Last year we reviewed the Alpha & Delta D2M a solid cheap set of earbuds that were designed to be used when working out. This year the company is moving to more premium offerings and we just got the Alpha & Delta D6 in for review. On paper, these look really good and their association with Lendmeurears is on that inspires confidence as its a company that for years has brought to light great sounding earphones from lesser known brands.
What is the Alpha & Delta D6?
The D6 are a traditional cable down set of earphones with a fairly normal looking barrel housing. They are an entry into the more premium end of the market by the company, are said to be focussed towards an audiophile market yet still represent good value for money. They are single dynamic driver headphones and come with a 3-year warranty.
Accessories & Packaging
The packaging is nothing fancy. It's just a simple presentation style box with ample padding to keep the earphones safe during transit. You find this sort of packaging on a lot of earphones at this price point and it's perfectly adequate. I like that the front is clear so you can see all the key aspects of the earphone such as the cable, jack point and tips.
In the box, you get a lot of accessories and they are all high quality and well thought out thus giving that extra bit of perceived value over its competitors. In the box you will find the following items:
- Alpha & Delta D6 Earphones
- Leather Carry Case (Black)
- Leather Cable Tidy(Black)
Build Quality & Styling
I am not the biggest fan of the style of the Alpha & Delta .... to me, the housing is just one of the many off the shelf generic barrel designs. Not only is it quite boring and overused but many other earphone companies such as Oriveti, RHA, and Yamaha have much more ergonomic designs for their earbuds.
I find with this type of design the diameter of the housing is just on the larger side from what I prefer and that it prevents me from finding a truly comfortable fit. Additionally, this extra size also contributes to a bit of extra weight which is noticeable when the earphones are worn over long periods of time. You can get a good seal at relatively shallow depth when using the right ear tips but if you like deep fit things might be a little more difficult.
The build quality though is excellent, especially one area which I will go into a little more depth later. The housings are made from metal and feel extremely robust though not as refined as many of their competitors. There is adequate support from the rubber strain reliefs that give me confidence about the long-term life of the D6.
The 3.5 mm right angles jack and the splitter are both excellent high quality and great looking and are befitting of the excellent cable they are attached to. So let's talk about that cable.
I'm going to make a bold statement here but one that I think is true. This is the best cable I have ever seen on any IEM regardless of price. No, I'm not just talking about earphones in a similar category, if you stuck this on my own set of Shure SE846 or Campfire Audio Andromeda I would be over the moon. Its a beautifully braided silver cable that is almost unbelievable in its ability to resist tangles. It is incredibly supple and never holds shape. It feels, unlike anything I have tested before.
This cable is so good that I would appeal to Alpha & Delta to start selling this cable on its own with both 2 pin and MMCX connectors. I am sure there would be a big market for this and it would be a smash hit the more people become acquainted with it.
Overall build is excellent and styling is so-so. I just wish the housing was more befitting of the premium cable offered on the D6.
Its been a long time since I heard an earphone tuned like this and I have to say I like it. It has a very distinct Asian tuning to it. What do I mean by that well there has always been a leaning of headphones that are sold predominantly in Asian markets to be tuned with a certain brightness to them. Brainwavz and Hifiman are well known for this and it comes from the fact that popular Asian genres of music such a K-Rock and J-Pop were well suited to this style. When done right it is very enjoyable and instead of coming over as shrill and sibilant it actually leads you to focus on the details.
The treble has a deep extension. It is clear and full of life but many people wont be used to this tuning, if you think it sounds too much at first give your ears time to adjust and you soon notice the top end presents a lot of detail. I really like this style of tuning when paired with the right music but its not my personal choice as my every day set of earphones.
The midrange is balanced and fairly flat across the board. No real warmth exists and it is more weighted to an accurate representation of the music being played There is a lot of clarity and detail in the midrange making it very easy to pick out individual notes.
The Lows - Bass extension is very subdued leading me to believe further believe that they are very much designed for the Asian market. You get decent quality with lots of clarity and plenty of distinction between differing low end notes but you don't get anything back in the way of sub bass.
Just to be clear these are a good sounding set of earphones, very much so if they fit into your style of listening. Nowadays it is hard to find a good quality set of earphones with this style of tuning, especially at a decent priced. It seems manufacturers have moved towards warmer tones but that has left a lot of people wanting more top end sparkle. Paired with the right music the D6 sound very good when the price is considered but if you want a do everything earphone to listen to multiple genres then this probably isn't the one for you.
Alpha & Delta are still a relatively new company and the are making moves in the right direction. I suspect the D6 will be successful in the Asian market but less so to listeners with a greater to exposure to bass-centric music. The design is not my favorite but that cable is just incredible and should be carried on to future models and possibly even sold on its own with MMCX and 2 pin connectors, I really think it could be a favorite of the aftermarket community.
The biggest problem facing the D6 however is that the competition just feels a step ahead. At this price you are going up against the 1More Triple Driver, Simgot EN700, Vsonic GR07 and Yamaha EPH-100.
You can find out more about the D6 earphones on the Alpha & Delta website.