BASN MMCX In-Ear Monitor Headphone Review

Pros: Extravagant unboxing
Lots of accessories
Bass performance
Controlled treble
Good isolation
Cons: Average build quality given the price
Single pin MMCX
Treble lacks a little sparkle
Needs burn in


BASN is an acronym for 'Be a sincere newcomer', which would serve as a reminder to passionate audiophile Louis Lee when he founded the brand back in 2009 of his intentions and values. The MMCX Series are one of several product lines in the BASN portfolio, starting from the dual-driver entry-level Bsinger through to their MTPro 14.5mm Planar and ASONE models, reviewed here recently at Headfi.

The MMCX is in the middle somewhere, with a hybrid triple-driver arrangement (2DD & 1BA) and a specific sound signature aimed at drummers and guitarists in particular. BASN seem to have been very popular with performers - for stage instrumentation or recording studio mixing - so I'll be taking a look at how the MMCX perform from that perspective and seeing how it translates into everyday use.

The MMCX are currently available for £60.79 at Amazon UK in Green (reviewed here), blue and white, but there are other colours available - see the BASN website for details.


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The unboxing experience with BASN MMCX is pretty much unparalleled, with the IEM set into the inlay, making it visible from the front, and the key parameters listed about the whole box. I read a review that said they felt like they were unboxing something from Tiffany's with the MMCX, and whilst that might be overegging the pudding a little bit, it's not by much - peel away the outer layer and you have a jewellery box-style enclosure, which you lift up to reveal the IEM's and carry case, and slide the drawer out to find two sachets of accessories. Impressive stuff.

The accessories that come with the MMCX are impressive in their number and quantity. Firstly, you've got no less than 12 sets of eartips - 9 silicone, 3 foam. The eartips are reasonably good quality - nothing special, but as you would expect for a sub $100 IEM.

There's standard fit in SML, and you've also got double-flange and Etymotic-style triple-flange in the same configurations. Foam also come in three sizes and are Comply-style unbranded. You've also got a small, black zippered carry case - it's probably too small to hold the IEM's as well as the mass of accessories unfortunately, but useful nonetheless.

And that's not all. You also get a 1/4 inch adapter, a cleaning brush and a small clip, as well as two MMCX cables.

The first is a standard brown 3.5mm cable which has a three-button control unit (two volume, one MFB) and microphone built in. It's OK quality, and although the metal adjustable earhook guides aren't really my preferred style, it still wears well enough. The other cable is silver-plated, with an anti-tangle thingy in the middle and no microphone. Both cables are quite long - 4.9ft - and have single pin MMCX connectors at the end. I'm not a huge fan of this connector generally, but tolerances seem fine - there's a satisfying 'click' when you insert them into the earbud, and whilst there is some swivel, I didn't notice any issues with them unclipping or anything like that. It's the preferred connector for active use, so it makes sense they've used that in this model. Plus they'd have had to think of a new name!

basn in ear monitor headphone for musician singer drummer shure iem westone earphone KZ in ear sennheiser custom in ear factory and manufacturer OEM ODM supplier and agent

Ergonomics & Build Quality

The MMCX is an attractive looking IEM, with a green-marbled effect to the plate, and BASN MMCX screen printed in gold. They have a teardrop-style shape with quite average measurements of 21.5mm in height and 16.4mm in width. They also weigh in around average too, at just over 5g - pretty much the median for triple driver designs.

Guess what type of cable connects to the MMCX?! It's a single pin connector - not a connection I love in all honesty as it is guaranteed to trash a cable or two per lifetime! I did not stray far from the supplied cable, because as much as I'd have loved to have tried it with a balanced one, I've been bitten by engineering tolerances in the past. However, the connection was quite tight and it clicked into place nicely, and the cables have blue and red dots to remind you which side connects to which IEM.

Flip them over and you see the transparent plastic design of the MMCX. For a £60 IEM, you'd probably hope to get something a little more premium-looking and premium-feeling - it's a similar build quality to earbuds much cheaper, and whilst the materials aren't everything, even so I'd be looking for something metallic in shell for the MSRP (around £78). At least it gives you an opportunity to view the drivers - you've got a dual-chamber dynamic driver and a balanced armature in the nozzle. The nozzles are standard 6mm diameter, so aside the plethora of tips that come supplied with the buds, you've got plenty of third party options too.

The depth - 22mm - is also pretty much about average, so they fit well both inside your ear and around the shape of your ear. It's a lightweight and easy-wearing IEM that has good fit and strong isolation. BASN claim around 30dB - and this sounds about right. Their core market has typically been for drummers and bassists, using these in live or recording environments, so isolation is going to be very important to them - and it shows, because the MMCX do blot out a lot of background noise.

Audio & Sound Signature

basn in ear monitor headphone for musician singer drummer shure iem westone earphone KZ in ear sennheiser custom in ear factory and manufacturer OEM ODM supplier and agent

First thing to mention on the MMCX is that they needed an overnight burn-in, sounding much more controlled on second marathon listen. The second thing is the tip selection - they are seemingly much boomier with silicone tips than foam, which tames the slightly wild lower frequencies a bit, opening out the clarity of trebles. Driving the MMCX is fine - I tested with a variety of sources, including my Sony Xperia 1 IV and a couple of different DAC's.

Given these are targeted at bassists, I was expecting a beefy, full-sounding lower frequency response, and I wasn't disappointed. On first listen, it was a little too beefy, but the tips and burn-in seemed to remedy that, and you're left with a fun sounding bass that, despite the subbass roll-off, has loads of rumble to it and gives drums and percussion a hefty slam. There's good density thoughout the lower frequencies.

Given the buds peak at 50-60Hz, you won't be surprised when you hear basslines thundering in. The deepest notes in rock and acoustic tracks are full of body though - despite the dip in the higher bass, you've got decent harmonics, good texture and adequate decay. On 'Break up with your girlfriend' by Ariana Grande, the bassline comes in unrelentless, and move over to something like 'Layla' by Eric Clapton and there's plenty of intensity to guitars. With 'Fly Away' by Lenny Kravitz there's good separation and quite accurate imaging. There's a little bleed into the mids, but overall it's good texture and heft - the bass is without question the star of the show, but it doesn't overpower the mids and trebles, thankfully.

The midrange is quite well balanced and neutral sounding, with some warmth, good detail and body. Male vocals are a bit softer, a bit further back but with better depth, whereas female vocals have medium dynamism, not jumping out nor retreating into the mix. There's no sharp peak in the upper mids, it's a gradual climb that brings a pleasant smoothness.

The trebles are about as natural sounding as a balanced armature can get, but for trebleheads, you may find them a tad uninspiring. Cymbals and claps are a little muted, albeit realistic. Pianos and brass instruments sound pleasant. There's a moderate mid treble peak at 8kHz, and the trebles don't then roll off completely, and that makes for a realistic-sounding response across the upper frequencies with quite good separation. The BA timbre is more evident with silicone tips, but with the foam tips it sounds much more organic. There's a moderate amount of air, and little to no sibilance or coarseness. All in all it's a controlled treble - the MMCX certainly aren't a fatiguing set, but they do admittedly lack a bit of shimmer and sparkle - this is most notable when you listen for percussive detail, which falls a little short.

Staging on the MMCX is also fairly natural - they aren't especially wide, but have good depth and height. Imaging is also quite good - they're accurate rather than precise, and this translates to a pleasant experience for the casual listener. It is quite easy to see why these are popular with guitarists and drummers, because the sound is quite realistic and balanced, with strong emphasis on the midbass. There's good harmonics, and a decent balance between the frequency ranges.


The MMCX is a performer-friendly IEM that looks good, has decent enough build quality and an enjoyable, dense, bassy sound with a softer treble response that does a solid job for casual listening.

At the discounted price of £60, they represent fair value for money, especially if you are fairly new to the game and haven't amassed a cupboard full of spare tips and cables. The presentation and accessories are a big plus if you're dipping your toes into IEM's and don't want to have to pick up a load of bits and pieces from different places.


A Review of BASN MMCX IEMs_From Regancipher

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