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The Elements Be-09 [pronounced ‘benign’] is the second instalment in the Signature Acoustics Elements series. The critically acclaimed C-12 was the first IEM for the Elements series as well as Signature Acoustics. With the Elements Be-09, Signature Acoustics has ventured into IEMs with mics, targeting the mobile users.
The packaging is exactly similar to the O16, minus the filters. The accessories included are:
• Ear-tips (Small, Medium, Large).
• Shirt clip.
• Handcrafted leather carrying pouch.
Whereas the default ear-tips provided with the O16 had a narrow canal to boost bass response, all the ear-tips on the Be-09 are of the normal variety, i.e., with default canal width.
I have always complained about the wires being too hard and having high shape memory for the previous O16 and C12 IEMs. This time, the company has nailed the cable.
The Be09 comes with the same braided cable as its cousins, but with vastly improved quality. It is soft and has almost negligible shape memory. In my prolonged usage of over a month, I have not found it getting tangled.
The wire-split is a metal cylinder which is light and yet strong enough.
The body of the IEMs are made from plastic, with a vent at the back. There is a metal jacket around the middle of the body of the IEM. The strain-reliefs are slightly flexible and firmly anchor the cable to the base of the IEM. They are light enough for extended listening sessions.
The shirt-clip is far better in quality than what came with the C12 and O16. It is thicker and has teeth to hold the shirt firmly.
While the Be09 is easy enough to wear in around-the-ear style due to the softer cable, doing so pulls up the microphone to just below the ear.
The microphone is placed on remote switch halfway up the left channel cable. The switch can be used to accept an incoming call, hang up an ongoing call or play/pause the music.
The jack is vertical type with a solid metal body. The body does not have any groves for grip, so once it is inserted it is a tad slippery to take out. I will quote SA directly for the pin out config details: “The Earphones with Mic (Head-Set) have two types of connection. Choose your models accordingly. Nokia and the pin connections are sequenced: Left Audio, Right Audio, Mic, Ground. Apple has pin connection sequenced: Left Audio, Right Audio, Ground and Mic. As an additional option we have provided you a TRRS (Female to Male) which reverses Mic to Ground so that you can enjoy portability between different manufacturers.”
After an ample amount of “burn-in” I tested the Be09 with a variety of music, in quality which are most commonly used in mobiles [MP3 128kbps/320kbps and FLAC].
The Be09 is excessively bright, especially when compared to the O16 which is already a tad bright owing to the lack of bass. The Be09 forced me to turn down the treble on my PC running foobar+WASAPI and my Sansa Clip. On my mobile [Zenfone 5] however, the treble is not so high and actually sounds nice.
However, as high as the treble is, it is crystal clear. The mids are clean, sharp and pronounced. The bass performance is better than the O16. However, in bass heavy tracks it does become bit a muddy and struggles to resolve the bass instruments.
Compared to the O16 and C12, the Be09 is more tolerant towards lossy sources and feels right at home. The sound-stage reproduction is sketchy at best, as is the reproduction of instruments in multi-layered tracks.
Vocals, although reproduced cleanly and clearly, are bright and do not sound as natural as its cousins, the C12 and O16. As an example, Shreya Ghoshal’s voice sounds extremely high pitched and I had to turn the treble down on my PC. The same track however, when played via my mobile sounded better.
The sound isolation is okayish with proper ear-tips installed. Anything above moderate level sounds will percolate through.
Coming to the microphone, people with whom I was on call using the Be09 were of opinion that my voice was clean and clear. The caller’s voice is clear too. However, this is subjective and highly dependent on other carrier signal strength and experience can differ with other users.
ConclusionPriced at just INR999, the Be09 is a good balance between dedicated audiophile grade IEMs and ordinary run-of-the-mill mobile headphones. It is tough enough to survive daily routine of transit to office/college. Provided that it performs reasonably well on my mobile than my PC means that it will suit a wide range of mobile based sources. It responds quite well to mobile equalizers and the user can modify it to his/her own taste.
If you are on a budget and need a mic+IEM combo the Be09 is your go-to set of IEMs.
Nokia Type: Signature Acoustics Elements Be-09 In-Ear Headphone with Microphone (Nokia Type) Early Bird Offe
iPhone Type: Signature Acoustics Elements Be-09 In-Ear Headphone with Microphone (iPhone Types) Early Bird Offe
Please feel free to comment below if you need any clarification. I will do my best to resolve them.