7Hz x Crinacle Salnotes Dioko Review

Salnotes is the sub-brand of 7Hz, and Dioko is the model name of their first IEM which has a planar driver like 7Hz’s Timeless. And as you can understand from the headline the new Dioko is another collaboration with Crinacle the Youtube content creator (also the owner of crinacle.com).

The purple colour changes depending on the angle you look

The newly developed 14.6mm dual-cavity planar diaphragm driver has been modelled and simulated to select the most proper magnetic circuit structure and wire distribution. The diaphragm is made of a high-end substrate imported from Japan and undergoes a precise magnetron sputtering coating and laser etching process.

The new Salnotes Dioko is the cheapest Planar IEM on the market at 99$ right now. But recently CCA announced its coming planar IEM too so it seems this won’t last long. Kinera is also making a planar IEM under a new sister brand Celest as 7Hz did with Salnotes, that one also will be cheaper than 99$.  The planar war, especially for the budget segment is growing faster than we think and this is a good thing for the consumers.

Dioko fits quite good in the ears although it looks like it won’t

Matched with the same tempered glass material as found on luxury watches, the shell surface is treated by sapphire coating and an anti-fingerprint process. The earphone shell is finalized with CNC from aviation-grade aluminium, making the earphone more lightweight. The shell surface has been given hard oxidation treatment, making it durable and wear-resistant.

The new Dioko Planar IEM comes with a 4-core Litz structure cable with a mix of OCC copper and silver-plated 0CC copper, with a total of 216 individually coated strands to ensure high-quality sound transmission. It’s a good cable for the looks, soft with good handling and thickness.

What’s in the box

Salnotes Dioko comes with the biggest carrying case I have ever seen in an IEM box. It’s a nice and solid case for sure considering the price, but for carrying the IEMs? I’m not sure, I’m thinking to use it as a DAP case.

Specs

  • Driver: 14.6mm Planar
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Sensitivity: 106dB
  • Cable: 4-core Litz single crystal copper silver-plated 0.78mm 2-pin
  • Price: 99$

I would like to thank Linsoul for providing me with the review sample of  Salnotes Dioko (no affiliate links). Amazon, Aliexpress.

Sound

Lows

The Dioko has a dynamic low-end reproduction. The bass is punchy, rounded, and very controlled. I found the amount of bass quite balanced. It offers a bass that feels precise, accurate, and organic. There’s some clear presence to the lows here, but the energy of the frequencies can vary. It is not a very sizable response but is still able to showcase some grip from underneath, with a smooth textural appearance that shakes up the tone well for some satisfying impact. The bass impact is very good. The detail level is solid. They appear to have a more controlled ground in the transition to the sub-bass and they’re capable of delivering some low-end rumble. The Dioko is somewhere in between with a quite relaxed and atmospheric bass that provides just enough detail in the texture to be enjoyable for strings and low-tuned bass guitars. It has a reasonably natural feel.

Mids

The vocals are crystal clear with good detail, mid-based instruments like the guitar or the violin feel organic and breathy. The mids show good body and the tonality feels right. Male vocals sound adequately bold and authoritative, female vocals sound transparent and open. The midrange is really clean, natural and smoothly textured. Has nice clarity and a natural tone. Vocals and instruments feel just right, with good timbre and body. A good amount of gain is given to most elements in the fundamental and upper-midrange area. This helps bring out the instruments and vocals significantly, granting more drive to the performance for higher engagement with their timbre. The sound elements come through clearly and with strong definitions. Mids open with good separation and resolution. As you would expect from a planar driver.

Highs

Overall music coming out of Dioko sounds detailed, well separated, wide, and clean. It feels like you could listen to it for days without fatigue but concurrently it offers excellent energy and dynamism. The treble range is no different than the rest of the frequency range. It is gentle with a good presence and it is detailed. Highs also extend really well without hitting that harsh borders. Furthermore, the treble carries good detail with great definition and this contributes to the perception of clarity. It’s admirable for an IEM to show some extended detail in the highs without being overtly bright. It’s crisp, detailed and airy.

Soundstage

The size of the headroom is slightly above moderate, not being so grand nor narrow. The separation is nicely done as expected yet doesn’t get too crazy in sensitivity to maintain Dioko’s wholeness. The instruments are appropriately divided and pronounced – it’s just that they don’t fly away or get aggressive in separating.

Sum-Up

Salnotes Dioko is a good-sounding and fair-price planar IEM, not much to criticize, well maybe the look of it. Glass doesn’t make something look premium. A full matte black metal shell would look much better, for my taste at least.

I enjoyed the Dioko for its great clarity and balanced sound. If you’re looking for something affordable in the planar IEM realm give it a try. If you ask me the little brother is a much better buy than paying twice as much for the Timeless.

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