Remember the Mangird Tea? The nonsensical name aside, it was and still remains an excellent option for those looking at IEMs in the $200–300 price range. I had mentioned in my review of the same how the company was rebranding as XENNS, so there are all sorts of permutations now when it comes to the words XENNS, Mangird, and Tea, with my particular naming going to be XENNS Mangird Tea. It hasn't stopped the poor branding exercise with the latest release, however, which many opt to call the XENNS UP the Mangird XENNS UP instead. There is no XENNS (or Mangird) website for us to check, and thus no place to find the XENNS logo, either. So until the company works this out, I will just use the Mangird branding. Thanks to Linsoul for providing TechPowerUp a review sample.
Confusing naming and branding aside, the XENNS UP has been a subject of interest for many folks looking for their first foray into premium IEMs and tribrids. We first explored the concept of tribrid IEMs—essentially a set using three different types of drivers—with the ThieAudio Monarch that used a mix of dynamic drivers, balanced armature drivers, and electrostatic (electret, to be more precise) tweeters for an extended frequency response across the full 20 Hz to 20 kHz hearing regime. XENNS goes the same route with the UP, and it costs nearly the same, too. Let's find out how the XENNS UP exactly fares in our testing, which begins with a look at the product specifications in the table below.
XENNS UP In-Ear Monitors
Hand-painted face plate + translucent black resin shell
6N OCC silver-plated copper cable with Litz braiding technique
10 mm imported beryllium-coated DD + two Sonion 2300 series BA + two custom Sonion BA + Sonion EST65DA01 composite dual EST
110 +/-1 dB/mW
20 Hz–80 kHz
20 +/-2 Ω
2.5 mm TRRS plug to source (w/ 3.5/4/4/6/35 mm adapters) + two 0.78 mm 2-pin plugs to IEMs
4 ft/1.2 m
Packaging and Accessories
Aiming to position itself as a premium audio brand and hoping folks do not associate their new release with the previous Mangird IEMs before the Tea as those didn't leave much of a lasting impression, Mangrid rebranded to XENNS such that it coincides with the XENNS UP launch. You may have picked up on the hand-painted face plate, and the packaging for the XENNS UP reflects as much with a very unique swirl of colors on the cardboard box to mimic paint mixing. The box comes in a plastic wrap to keep things clean, and we see the company and product name on the front, along with the updated logo and some marketing taglines. The design continues on the back, and superimposed is a specifications sheet and contact information.
A look from the side confirms this is a decorative sleeve with a flowing design, and the inner box can be pushed out the side. This box is black with a textured finish, and we see the XENNS triangle logo make an appearance. It is a two-piece box, with the lid lifting up to reveal a thick piece of machine-cut foam over the contents inside for added protection. The top layer houses the IEMs placed inside cutouts in an even-thicker foam piece, with notches on the side to remove them. Underneath, and in a larger cutout, is the carry case.
Don't expect a genuine leather case, although the faux leather is convincing and tough enough to be similar practically. We see a tanned brown finish on all sides, with the XENNS logo embossed on top. The stitching quality is quite good, and we see a hinge on the back rather than zippers to close it. It is a box you need to force open, and opening it, we see a liner on the underside for some accessories. The XENNS UP cable is found in the main compartment. We will examine it in more detail on the following page, but it shows that there is enough room for the IEMs to fit for protection and transportation alike.
The bottom layer, once again with plenty of foam all around, houses the rest of the accessories that come with the XENNS UP. We get a 2.5 mm TRRS to 3.5 mm TRS adapter, 2.5 mm TRRS to 4.4 mm TRRS balanced adapter, 3.5 mm to 1/4" (6.35 mm) single-ended adapter, and 3.5 mm to dual 3.5 mm airline adapter, which is nice to see. The accessory found in the case is also shown above, and it turns out to be a cable-management clip to tie the cable to your shirt if you have it going down your front rather than the back as recommended. The top-center compartment contains a cardboard box housing warranty cards and two trays of ear tips.
XENNS provides three types of ear tips in different sizes for a total of eight sets to choose from. These include both silicone and memory foam tips, with the two different silicone types differing in softness and the grooves in the outer flange and one being narrower than the other. The bores are also thicker on one than the other, but your guess as to whether this is meant to affect the sound signature in a specific way over the other is as good as mine.
I had two separate samples for reasons we will discuss soon enough, and the newer set has slightly different ear tips. The accessory box containing the warranty cards also has a different message, but that is nothing compared to the first set of ear tips, which are clearly different from before. These new tips are slightly stiffer and narrower than the equivalent from the previous generation, making it a silent change that may also affect the sound signature slightly.