Paiaudio DR1 IEM review 
- expatinjapan


Photo: Rudi0504

PLEASE NOTE: Awesome! I just noticed that many of the basic information concerning the DR1 is the same as I wrote for the review for the Paiaudio MR3, such as Build, Fit and Packaging etc. So excuse me whilst I copy and paste that information over here as it is virtually all identical to my experience. For those readers who have already read the Paiaudio MR3 review you might want to jump to the Sound and Overall sections whilst enjoying the photos along the way.
Work smarter, not harder!
 “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”― Bill Gates



Build

When I first saw photos of the IEMs on offer from Paiaudio on the internet, I thought they looked rather plastic and cheap.  I was proved wrong when I opened the box.
In person they are well made, seem durable enough to withstand general day to day punishment and use.
They have two kinds of cable, the old and the new. The old is the one I prefer for looks and design, a clear cable similar but not identical to the more custom looking Echobox X1 or the FiiO EX1 cables, stylish snake skin like looks comes to mind.
The (discontinued) new cable seems too plastic looking to me, a glossy black.
Paiaudio said that they will be reverting back to the original cable after feedback from their customers. The current batch are now shipping with the original cable design.
The IEMs shells are of the closed style, so I found them to isolate well on my daily commute.
MMCX connectors, so the cables are removable and replaceable.
There is one Knowles driver in each ear piece.


Packaging

The main box is in a beautiful looking black sleeve with the companies logo on it, slide it off and inside is a cardboard black box with a lid affixed by magnets. Open it up and the IEMs are packed within a foam plate, the underneath of which has the cable (I gave feedback on how to package the cable so it would not be kinked upon arrival), also in the box is a small users manual, some extra tips (full set of S,M,L in a clear thin white silicone).
There is also a small cloth bag for transporting the earphones. I prefer a hard shell case but the supplied cloth bag seems to suffice.


Paiaudio DR1 single driver IEM, packaging and included extras.

The IEMs themselves have a nice long nozzle that means the user can get a satisfying fit, often I have the experience of not being able to get a deep enough insertion in my left ear canal, with the Paiaudio DR1 I can. The result being that I have a nice balance of the music within my head and ear to ear.
The nozzle has one large bore with a metal screen covering.
I spent a bit of time trying to pick apart the IEMs themselves without too much brutality and they stayed together.
The cable can be rotated 360 degrees where it connects at the join to the IEM, also the cable can be detached.
They seem to not hiss when using the an ipod touch 6G, Shozy Alien and Centrance Hifi-Skyn.


Fit

This is one of the first pleasing points (apart form the outer packaging design) that hit home, I could get a full insertion via the good length of the nozzle, one that gave me the same experience and volume on both ears.
My ears are on the small side and as you can see in the photo the models ears are also on the small side, so fitting the main body of the IEM shell in the ear should not be a problem for  most users, I expect.


They are light which makes for  a comfortable experience and fit within the outer ear comfortably.
The included tips are soft and thin, others may prefer to do some tip rolling with other brands to achieve a good fit and preferred sound signature.


Photo: Rudi0504

Sound
As usual I got over 50 hours of airtime on the IEMs before entering into reviewing mode.

Listening with an ipod touch 6G with Flacplayer app and JVC L Spiral Tips the Paiaudio DR1 are a gentle IEM, soft and sweet without sacrificing any of the lovely detail and soundstage that I came to enjoy with its larger sibling the MR3.

It seems at times mid centric, but definitely with the right seal they can also seem bass heavy at times.
The sound is consistent and coherent, for $50 these are certainly beautiful sounding.
Detail, imaging and instrument separation is well managed, vocals are accurate.
The sound stage is quite wide and gives the listener a definite sense of space.

I feel like a bit of a huckster, a shill for Paiaudio writing this review but I can`t deny that for the price these are a nice pair of IEMs. Simple and satisfying. Put another shell on them, a custom looking cable and up the asking price and then send them to me again for review under another name and I would be interested in my opinion. Mind that I am not trying to overhype these IEMs, just that for $50 they are good.

Changing to the stock tips - M sized I could get a deeper fit and seal, the lows came out more, but some resolution and soundstage was lost.

Changing to the stock tips - L sized, the stock tips being of a softer silicone than the JVC tips I could get a deep insertion again, the bass/lows was still more prevalent but not at the expense of soundstage and instrument placement.

Changing now to the Centrance Hifi-Skyn, gain 1 the Paiaudio DR1 handles the extra amplification well, and the more resolving DAC within does not do any damage to its sound signature nor does it create any distortion at acceptable listening levels. It seems to perform slightly better with a bit of extra amplification

The PR1 with the original snake skin looking cable, I found the sound was darker and fuller in my opinion, whilst the (discontinued) cable which is black and more plastic looking and had a more spacious and clearer sound signature. But the differences were largely incremental.

I find the Paiaudio DR1 has sufficient detail, imaging and is spacious enough to be a sleeper hit within the audio community especially due the price, the lows are nice and tight, the mids smooth, lush and creamy, the highs are far reaching without entering into fatigue territory.

Make no mistake, It is not a TOTL IEM in terms of price nor performance. But what it does , it does very well.



Value

The Paiaudio range of IEMs is priced as follows
DR1   US$39 - $49
MR2  US$129 - $149
MR3  US$169 - $189.
I think it is a wonderful price US$39-$49 for a single driver IEM that looks like a multi driver IEM. Fool all your friends for a fraction of the cost!
One can`t complain at the price as one gets all the same packaging and extras as the two and three driver models (MR2 and MR3).
The sound is excellent for such an inexpensive pair of in ears.
It also has replaceable cables, and a great fit which makes these great value for the price.
if you have a bit of disposal income and feel like an experiment I would be interested in what others have to say.




Overall

For the budget minded and destitute looking to enter into the world of cool looking IEMs the Paiaudio DR1 could be a great starting point.
The supplied tips are silky smooth and very comfortable, I found that I did not have to reply on my current go to tips the JVC Spiral Tips but could get a decent fit and experience with the stock tips.
They are built sturdy enough to last If one takes care of them, the replaceable cables are also attractive and convenient in case one needs to replace them or wants to try an aftermarket alternative.
The sound as mentioned before is excellent for the price.
It can come across as bassy, mid centric or even reference flat to a degree depending on what tips are used.
In all If one spent the money, I think they could say it was money well spent.




Thank you to Paiaudio for sending Head Pie the DR1 for review
-expatinjapan




Advanced AcousticWerkes W300U IEM review 
- expatinjapan



I was offered the pleasant opportunity to be sent a set of IEMs by Advanced Acousticwerkes, an IEM/CIEM company out of Singapore, the AAW W300U a universal model.
These recent years have seen the market saturated with new companies especially makers of IEMs that I had all but given up trying to keep up with the constant flow of new products until recently.

I was happy to see on their website many great examples of craftsmanship and good design, later I asked a few friends who gave me positive opinions about Advanced AcousticWerkes IEMs.
I got excited and looked forward to demoing and reviewing the AAW W300U.







Build
Simply exquisite was my first thought when I opened the supplied case to reveal the AAW W300U. 
I could immediately see the time that had been put into crafting these IEMs and the gorgeous looking Null Audio Vitesse braided cable.

The IEMs have a smooth finish, are very strong and durable and made of hard clear acrylic.
If one looks at the photos in this article I do believe the photos speak for themselves and illustrate well the quality of these IEMs.

I love being able to see the inner workings, detail and wiring. Also on the outside is the AAW logo and each IEM has W300U in red (right) and also in blue (left) which I thought was a nice touch.

The cable is the Null Audio Vitesse.



Sound
First out of the box impressions of the AAW W300U using the Shozy Alien Gold DAP and the Centrance Hifi-Skyn using Flacplayer app were positive. I liked the sound and thought the IEMs performed well.
I then left them playing over a few nights to get a bit more air time on the drivers, as well as through usual everyday use.
They seem to have a unique sound which I suspect is a signature of the supplied Null Audio Vitesse cable.



As per usual I settled on the generic round figure of 50 hours before commencing writing the sound section of the review. 
Sources used are the Centrance Hifi-Skyn, Centrance Mini-M8 and the Shozy Aegis DAP.
Generally I use 16/41 or 16/44 FLAC tracks.

I find the Advanced Acousticwerkes W300U to be a high performing IEM and one that I will be happy to have in my rotation of IEMs. 

The AAW W300U came with a Null Audio Vitesse copper cable.

Centrance Mini-M8.
Vocals are sweet and soaring, not too far forward of the music which suits my personal preferences.
I found it to have a definite quality of accuracy that was retained even when I changed cables that altered the sound signature slightly.
Clear with good instrument separation.
Enjoyable medium width and soundstage.
Good height and depth.
Fast response.
definitely have to make sure one achieves a perfect seal with tips or these can sound quite thin with the supplied Vitesse cable.

Centrance Hifi-Skyn.
Performance seems improved again with this latest edition of the Centrance line of products, It having a larger amp than the Mini-M8.
Everything is smoother, softer yet not at the expense of detail, highs are more present and sweet but not to the point of sibilance or peaky. Realistic would be the correct description.
The W300U has good musicality, it is in the realm of reference IEMs in that it does not favor a V shaped or musical signature, given that it is a three driver IEM one would general expect this kind of sonic balance.
Soundstage is improved and wider, though not to the TOTL level - this being an upper mid tier IEM. 
Instruments are reproduced more accurately.
Vocals are crisper and natural. female vocals are especially great.
Bass is present, satisfactory and slow moving,  it is not strong or overpowering. 

One wonders how the W300U would sound with a silver cable.

I found a few few aural and sonic differences when using the supplied Vitesse Cable (copper) and an aftermarket cable (silver plated)  I have by CCPH(Musical Harmony).
The CCPH cable bought out the lows/bass and mids more, vocals are sweet and slightly forward, a more fuller and dynamic sound, larger soundstage.
The Vitesse is lighter and more airy, not so full sounding as the CCPH.
Sometimes slightly grainy in places. More highs. Better detail, music and vocals appear to be balanced well, smaller soundstage.

In summary the Advanced AcousticWerkes W300U is high performing in ear that reproduces the music accurately and smoothly. It fits well within its price point. An added advantage is that one is able to swap out cables to suit ones sonic preferences.

Fit
I find that I need a longer nozzle to get a good fit and seal on my left ear, the nozzle lengths on the AAW W300U seem to be within accepted industry standard lengths and are just long enough for me to be able to get an acceptable seal.
They came with a supplied tip (Spinfit?), which I soon changed to my current to go tips the JVC Spiral Dots. This helped me get the grip, seal and isolation I required.
The IEMs main body looks to be a bit on the chunky side, but I managed to find a comfortable resting place within my ear without difficulty. Looks can be deceiving.
The Vitesse cable does not seem to have a memory cable within, so a bit of playing with the wire is needed to circle the ear to ones preference.
In all they are a comfortable IEM that nestles well within my inner ear without any noticeable rubbing or annoyance.




Details and specs
*From the AAW website.

W300
Configuration: W100 Reference Proprietary 9mm Dynamic Driver + 2 x Balanced Armature Drivers
  • TruXross Electronic 3 Way Passive Crossover
  • Triple Sound Bore Design 
  • Frequency Range 18Hz-23000Hz
  • Sensitivity 100dB SPL @ 1 mW
  • Impedance: 16.8 ohm @ 1kHz
  • THD <= 0.2% @ 1kHz
  • Filter-less Design
  • 26db+/- Ambient Noise Attenuation
  • 46" Null Audio Vitesse Cable(4 Braid Detachable)
  • AAW Shock&Waterproof Carrying Case 
  • Cleaning Brush & Cloth



Value
The W300U retails at $899 (Singapore dollars) which roughly exchanges to US$655 (United States of America dollars).
I would say that the Advanced AcousticWerkes W300U fits into this upper mid level price point due to its well built, quality crafted IEM. The W300U is a well constructed piece of gear, beautiful to look at and reproduces music wonderfully. The supplied Null Audio Vitesse (Copper) cable is thin, finely crafted and looks and sounds splendid.
Also the ability to swap out cables is something I prefer with my IEMs to get the sonic response and synergy with my gear to suit my personal preferences.



Overall
The W300U is a wonderful little IEM.
At first I was worried about the fit aspect, but when I found the right tips for me everything fitted into place comfortably.
The sound is quite gorgeous, the IEM itself is well built and responds positively to amplification.
Of course If you don`t have a decent DAP or DAC/Amp then it is pointless buying this level of in ear IEM in my opinion.
The price puts it at just about upper mid level, of course the price spectrum extends quite far these days, my upper mid level point would be US$450-US$700 approximately. perhaps an article on my mental processes about price points would be timely.
The supplied Null Audio cable provides a decent unique aural experience.
As written at the end of the Sound section `the Advanced AcousticWerkes W300U is high performing in ear that reproduces the music accurately and smoothly. It fits well within its price point. An added advantage is that one is able to swap out cables to suit ones sonic preferences`.





Thank you again to Advanced AcousticWerkes for sending Head Pie these beautiful IEMs for review.
-expatinjapan.





HP: First of all tell us a little about yourself and the company, present and historical.

Effect Audio is founded and fueled by Suyang's passion and research in the upgrade cables industry. Since our inception in 2009, Effect Audio started out as a creative and professional audio studio. We have since been committed to offer the Hi-Fi / Head-Fi enthusiasts quality hand crafted cables. Having begun as a homegrown cable atelier, through years of efforts and constant support from Head-Fi enthusiasts, we have since been recognized in the industry as a premium cable manufacturer.

Our R&D facility and premium cables production facility is strategically based in Singapore. In doing so, we were able to innovate competitively by utilizing the latest technology and production methods. With state-of-art manufacturing equipments and backed by a team of professional engineers, Effect Audio seeks to constantly push the boundaries of cable crafting.

Our cables are completely re-worked and designed from our R&D facilities with Suyang's direction. Within our line, working with limited variations of of materials is our greatest challenge. We choose to employ only the highest grade Ultra Purity OCC materials that is customized to our design make up and cable structure.

Albeit constant pressure of globalization and changing consumer demands, we adhere strictly to the one belief that has driven the company thus far. That is to take pride in everything we build, valuing every relationship forged throughout the years and perfecting our craft through constant learning and development.

I was roped in by Suyang to help develop the brand, marketing strategies , business model and forge relationships with our key partners. My background lies in branding and sales. I had a 4 year stint in one of the major global retailer for head-fi products and subsequently moved on to a regional distributor distributing the major brands for another 3 years before coming on board to Effect Audio. My passion lies in building up the industry, sharing the knowledge with consumers and eventually helping them appreciate the beauty of our industry. We have all come a long way since i stepped foot in the industry. I was from the time where people were into portable amps and playing with different interconnects....



[Mars] GOLD PLATED OCC SILVER IEM UPGRADE CABLE

HP:Please tell us about your current product line up. Cables and collaboration with Vision Ears.

A very apt question, in fact, we are in the process of restructuring and streamlining our product line up. We will be offering two series, "Premium Series" which is a collective of our current line up with Mars as the Flagship. A vertical extension offering would be the recently launched "Heritage Series" which currently only has "Leonidas" in its lineup.

Premium Series is directly under the care of our founder Suyang. The line-up seeks to offer a upgrade option route with our distinct house signature sound to our consumers. Premium series lineup is also constantly under his scrutiny and a great deal of R&D will be devoted to improving this area.

Heritage Series however, is a whole new different approach to the Premium Series. We will be exploring unexplored grounds and will be employing new geometry and materials that are difficult to sourced. Most, if not all attributes about Heritage Series from sleeving to materials will be custom made to our required specifications. Our house signature will not be inherent in this series, it'll be about exploring a unique signature that stands by itself, even within the same series.

Our collaboration currently stands with quite a few CIEM manufacturers. We've been tight and they are great people, really. Vision Ears (Amin) and us will be exploring some bundled promos and combined marketing strategies. Cosmic Ear was recently added to our friends and family list and Phil has been nothing but great help to us so far. We'll be working closely with them for some interesting projects that will be launched this year, unfortunately we're not at the point where we can divulge information now. We're currently revamping our website and will be announcing these valued friends & partners (6 of em') soon!


Vision Ears VE6/VE6 Xc
VE6 is the Flagship product from Vision Ears. Six balanced armature drivers with 4-way crossover.


HP: If you have several products up and coming. Could you tell us a little about them.

As mentioned earlier, the Premium Series will be under constant R&D, therefore we'll be looking to upgrade this series in 2016, taking small steps at a time ensuring that what we will be delivering will be exactly perfect. We'll be looking to launch another offering within Heritage Series Q4 of 2016 as well. Several collaborations / projects with our partners will come to fruition soon, please kindly await the exciting things that will be coming your way :)



[PICCOLINO IC]PICCOLINO MINI INTERCONNECT CABLE


HP: How would you describe your companies products sound signature?

Our house sound tends to be slightly warmer / darker and full bodied. This is applicable only to the "Premium Series", we however will not apply a house sound to "Heritage Series". During the development of "Premium Series" we made it a point to voice the lineup vastly different to each other so consumers will not have a hard time choosing or understand what different material brings to their audio rig.



[DUO CC PICCOLINO] ULTIMATE HEADPHONE UPGRADE CABLE 


HP: Tell us a little about any future plans for your company.

2016 will be an expansive year for us. Besides the multitude of approaches in cable crafting we're exploring, we are also working closely with our Distributor network and partnered CIEM makers to launch some regional marketing campaigns somewhere in Q3 2016.

We're ready now to start exhibiting for international shows, so we'll be meeting you guys in person very soon! :)


Effect Audio also have a range of accessories for the DIY`ers.


HP: Anything else you`d like to add?

A shout out to all our partners in the industry, distributors and users of our cables. Effect Audio wouldn't have gotten this far without the support of you guys. A HUGE thank you! :)

HP: Thank you for participating in this interview -expatinjapan.





Paiaudio and Head Pie 3.14 giveaway!
http://www.paiaudio.com/


Seven prizes!

Paiaudio in collaboration with Head Pie are generously giving away SEVEN of their fabulous products.

Contest starts March 14th, 2016 (3.14 get it?) and finishes on March 24th, 2016 at midnight Tokyo time.


The prizes!
One MR2 (Two driver IEM), one DR1 (One driver IEM) 
and five of their cool earbuds the PR1.

MR2 (One prize) in a choice of three colors.


Being equipped with imported American Knowles original binding moving iron units of balance armature type, 2 inner-set moving iron units, 1 high-frequency unit and compounding middle-low-frequency one, along with national top tuner's work, it has become the product of best cost performance. 
Perfectly fit earplugs in many sizes are available. The products go smoothly with Remote Talk(TM)* cords to pick up phone-calls and control music. (*Compatible to iOS equipment. Functions varies based on different equipments.)

DR1 (one prize) in a choice of four colors

Vigorous bass, arousing high-pitched and clear alto voice, back-hang design, all together they lose the problem of earphones that fall off your ears constantly during exercise. 
Perfectly fit earplugs in many sizes are available .
(Compatible to iOS equipment. Functions vary based on different equipments.)

PR1 (Five prizes)

The product is equipped with high quality reinforced transparent Sennheiser earphone plastic shells. Export-level quality excels well its price. 
When the high quality TPU 12 core wire bumps into burning red cord, coming in see-through shell cases, it only makes you feel fresh and comfortable. 
The earphone is silk printed round dots in red and blue color to indicate the left/right soundtrack. BLUE L/RED R. Fit out with imported sponge, 16MM earphone shells lead listeners to more natural and cozier bass. 
Extra red sponge doughnuts complimented.
(*Compatible to iOS equipment. Functions vary based on different equipments.)


Rules and conditions:

*Please read carefully.

-There will be only one winner for each of the seven prizes offered, so seven winners in total.
-The judges ruling is final.
-No negotiations will be entered into.
-Any tax, customs fees, VAT etc or the like are the responsibility of the receiver of the prize.
-Paiaudio will post out the prizes at their own expense.
-The names will be chosen from the comments left on the Head pie Paiaudio giveaway competition post.
-Like the the Paiaudio Facebook page. -
-leave a comment on the giveaway post on the Head pie Facebook group.
- (optional) : please share the competition post.
-the winners can directly contact us on Facebook or email Head Pie at headpieblog@gmail.com , the winners will have 48 hours to respond, failure to do so will result in them losing the prize won and another draw for that prize will commence.
-Winners names will be announced on the Head Pie Facebook group and also on the Paiaudio Facebook page.
-This is an independently run and fun competition with no connection to Facebook the company itself.

How to enter:
-MUST DO -Like the Paiaudio Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/paiaudio/?fref=ts
-Share the competition post to your Facebook timeline (optional but please do).

Most important!
-MUST DO -Leave a comment on the competition post on Head Pies Facebook group.
http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/03/paiaudio-and-head-pie-314-multi-prize.html

-Good luck!







ubsound - `The Dreamer` headphone review
-expatinjapan




Build
The ubsound The Dreamer is a fairly robust set of headphones, but as I have only had them for a short while I have no way of knowing what long term everyday use might do to them.
I did do a bit of twisting here and there for stress reactions, they seemed to hold up well.

The plastic parts fit rather seamlessly into each other.

In the close up photos you can see the care that has gone into the stitching of the headband, and also the cups.


ubsound The Dreamer also has a one button microphone for handsfree call answering, also works to play and pause music.


Packaging
The box is beautiful and certainly catches ones eye.
Inside is the headphones themselves and also a nice carry pouch to protect and carry The Dreamer whilst moving about your day.
The Dreamer comes also wrapped in a  plastic bubble protective bag.







Sound
Straight out of the box I was not particularly moved by The Dreamer, I should have taken notes at the time but I was knee deep in another review of a more pricey item so a snubbed it like a snob and put it into burn in mode for over 50 hours. I suck.


After a burn time of over 50 recommended hours by ubsound the Headphones did seem well, improved. I am sitting here listening to them now with the Centrance Hifi-Skyn using FLAC player and am rather surprised at the change.
Now I am no evangelist or advocator of burn in, I just follow a 50 hour rule to keep everyone happy, it does seem to have a bit of an effect on headphones, looses them up a bit. Smooths some of the rough edges.

I quite enjoyed it with the Centrance Skyn, it seemed to keep pace well, I put it on Gain 2 and it responded positively to the extra power.


I next changed to the ipod touch 6G, 128GB using Flacplayer app by Dan Leehr, my thinking being that most users of the ubsound The Dreamer would probably be the ipod or mobile phone crowd.

The sound is simple, music is reproduced faithfully, drums can be deep and strong, good lower bass, deep but not crisp and fast either, vocals are fairly creamy and smooth.
The music and vocals are of a similar volume - I don't enjoy an earphone with forward vocals though it seems to be a crowd favorite these days. 
The Dreamer plays best at low to mid volumes for control and clarity within its limitations.
The ubsound The Dreamer has a V shape to it and could be described as warm, it doesn`t have the dynamism that can sometimes be expected of V shaped headphones, but comes across as flat at times.
In short I am aware of the various limitations, but I still find them a pleasant pair headphones to listen to.

Compared to my ATH-ESW9, the ESW9s have more space and width, better details, slightly faster in response, the sound stage and instrument separation is superior. The ESW9 are meant to be mid centric but appear lighter and have more clarity in sound to The Dreamer. 
But of course this comparison is unfair and skewed due the different price points, it just helps me and the reader to clarify some of the sound signature differences and particulars.


Fit
They fit my thin head fairly well, the cups are tight enough to prevent any leakage it seems, but not tight enough to cause me discomfort, those with a head like a pumpkin may prefer to try a pair on first - although do note I am using them with the head band at the smallest fit (is my head so hobbit like?), loosing the headband appropriately gives much more space for a comfortable fit for those with larger heads.

Isolation is good, clicking my fingers by the cups I cannot hear anything, clapping my hands only slightly can I hear it.



Value
The ubsound The Dreamer is priced on amazon.com at US$70, is it a good deal. I would say so, sound wise they fit into around that price bracket.
Build and look is great, even the trendy Beats crowd might find these fashionable enough to wear.
Sound is enjoyable enough for the asking price.




Overall
Well in the end I quite enjoyed reviewing these headphones, at first I thought it was going to be tough as I have many TOTL and mid-fi price point products to review.
Do keep in mind the asking price of US$70 for these headphones from this new company, that is one of the many points that is scaled into a review. Are they worth $70, yes. Could they ask a little more, perhaps.
The sound is well acceptable within the $50 - $150 range, on some tracks I thought they did rather well.
Build is unknown as I haven`t trashed them on a daily basis, but on my time with them the construction seems well thought out.
I think for the casual user and beginner into portable audio they would be satisfied with this headphone.



A short note from ubsound:

HP: Any plans to produce mid or high end products?

Hi Damon,
Yes, this is the aim of our company, but step by step as we are still a small Italian company based in Italy and we need to grow on a daily basis. 
Indeed, as of today, the engineers of our Ubsound Research & Development department work very hard mostly on the acoustic project and the sound signature, choosing the best drivers available in terms of value for money in order to contain the costs for the end users. 
All the acoustic projects/designs are based on the spaciousness (in squared cm) we have inside the pads, as most of the parts are public molds. So we work hard on the quality of the main components like drivers, tangle-free cable, microphone and the rubber-foam inside the leather of the pads and the headband. Also the double-painting of the plastic + protective transparent paint.
Basically the sound segment is projected/designed in Italy, then the production is based in China and the packaging process is made by hand here in Italy (including the pack cardboard, user guide and the velvet bag).
The upcoming projects are focused on our own designs and even a deeper quality of the acoustic components (with a related increase of the consumers price of course). But as of today, we have to work in line with a street-price of only 69$ for the headphones which, considering the bad value from Euro to USD and the high "distribution margin" requested by the Retailers and the E-tailers, is very tough as you can imagine.
So yes, the high-end world is our main aim, but step by step and always thinking to give great products with an affordable price for the people.
Thanks for your precious support.
Take care, Marzio