Sweden and Hong Kong-based RevoNext has been putting out well-made budget IEMs for some time now. Their latest design, the $48 NEX202, continues the trend with a stable metal housing, sturdy tangle-resistant cord, and a balanced sound sig that plays well with many different types of music.
I was sent the NEX202 at no cost in exchange for an honest review, and that is what follows.
Build and Features
So as I said, they have constructed NEX202 wholly of metal. The housing is made up of two parts fused with visible screws, and the pieces fit together so well, it almost looks like a solid piece of aluminum.
The screws fit right into the steampunk aesthetic of the earphones (at least that’s what I see, the company calls it aviation-inspired), which is pretty novel. I don’t think anyone will accuse them of a “me too” look here. I dig it.
One thing I didn’t like about the shape of the earpieces was the sharp edges along the top. It’s not severe enough to cut you, but it does feel kinda funky when you rub your finger on it. It’s just a nitpick on my part.
Inside, RevoNext outfits this IEM with one significant 12 mm Titanium coated dynamic driver combined with one high/mid-frequency balanced armature driver per side.
On top of the housing is an indent where the 2-pin detachable cable plugs in, it makes for a clean look, and also protects the pin connectors. I’m not sure how this affects cable replacement since I didn’t have another one to fit it.
The cable itself is thin but not tangle-prone. The black wire that came with my black sample earphones did tangle if you haphazardly balled them up, but they were easy to untangle even if they did. The $48 model has no inline mic/remote for phone use, but you can get one for only $2 more.
There are also preformed plastic hooks placed near the two-pin plugs to guide the wire over your ears.
The braided cable also has a decent chin slider that stays put for the most part, and there is a velcro strap attached so you can fasten the wire together once you bundle them.
That’s a good thing because there is no case to be found in the box. A little drawstring bag would be better than nothing. Just a pet peeve of mine, but for $50, I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
So enough about what you don’t get, let me talk about what you do get. In the box besides the earphones and cable, you get a few pair of silicone ear tips, a few foam ear tips, along with some instruction/warranty papers.
Not a lot here, but with all the different tips they provide, you should be able to get a secure fit in your ear.
Speaking of fit, I found the NEX202 quite comfortable and secure as long as you orient the earphones correctly. When I first got them, I just popped them in my ear the long way as you do with most IEMs. They will work that way, but they didn’t feel right, especially the ear hooks which had a weird tension to them.
But these fit just a little bit different. On these, you orient the long side straight up and down. That small change made all the difference. At that point, everything lined up, and the fit was great.
Listening to the NEX202
As usual, I tested these IEMs using my LG V40 with Hi-Fi Quad DAC. I played a variety of test tracks from my test track playlist on Tidal.
Overall Sound: The overall sound is what I would tonally balanced for the most part. No part of the audio spectrum sticks out too far ahead of the rest, even though there is a slight bass boost at the very bottom. They are warm and non-fatiguing, lending themselves to extended listening sessions.
Treble: The highs are slightly rolled off, presenting a little dullness at the very top end. But the mid-highs (or presence range) are clear bringing a welcome crispness to the sound.
Mids: The midrange is full and well-formed; this part of the spectrum is where you have the most detail. I always like an earphone that gets the mids right, and these do. Guitar strings and snare drums pop. (In a good way)
Bass: They elevated the bass at the very bottom, so these IEMs go deep without the low end being overbearing. However, the bass is not that articulate, so it ends up sounding a little diffuse.
Soundstage: Like other RevoNext earphones I’ve listened to before, the soundstage is excellent on these. The sound plays out way beyond the ear, and the imaging is superb. I listened to OCT 33 by Black Pumas, and it sounded like an intimate concert in a small club.
Comparison: Vs. The KZ ZS10 Pro, a five driver earphone with four BA drivers and 1 Dynamic driver, the RevoNext couldn’t compete when it came to overall detail. The highs and lows were a lot more fleshed out on the top and bottom. The bass is deeper on the NEX202 however.
However, the KZ is much brighter, so if you are sensitive to highs, the more laid back highs on the NEX202 may appeal to you more. I also liked the lush, open mids on the NEX202 a lot better, the mids on the ZS10 Pro sounded a little thin by comparison. I liked vocals on the RevoNext better.
The RevoNext NEX202 is a warm, enjoyable listen. They are not super detailed, especially up top. But, if you are tired of all the earphones with the V-shaped sound signatures (bright up top and boomy on the bottom) and are looking for something different, then check these bad boys out. They have a smooth treble and rich midrange along with deep bass that kicks in when needed. They are also well built and very comfortable.