The Panther Audio Aura D2X is a hybrid dual-driver IEM with 1 dynamic driver and 1 balanced armature driver. It has 2 tuning switches enabling a total of 4 different sound profiles and retails for HK$1,980 (approx. US$255).About Panther Audio
Packaging & Accessories
The Panther Audio Aura D2X comes in a large matte black cardboard box with a glossy panther image and logo on the top. It’s a vast departure from the single faux leather carrying case that my Aura DX4 came in. I love seeing brands mature and evolve over time and this was a really pleasant surprise to see. Here’s what you get in the box:
- Panther Audio Aura D2X earphones
- Detachable 2-pin 3.5mm cable
- Faux leather carrying case
- 3 pairs of ‘balanced’ silicone eartips (S, M, L)
- 3 pairs of ‘bass’ silicone eartips (S, M, L)
- 1 pair of orange-core silicone eartips (M)
- Branded cleaning cloth
- Cleaning tool
- Tuning switch tool
- 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter
- Thank you & warranty cards
- Tuning switch info card
Aura D2X’s fully hand-moulded, pseudo custom shells are crafted from medical-grade resin. The build quality is exquisite with no visible seams and perfectly rounded edges on every surface. The shells are a translucent, smoky grey colour adorned with honey gold flakes.
On the left faceplate is some Panther text and on the right is the brand logo, both in silver. On the top side are the 2 tuning switches and the single vent, while on the front are the 2-pin sockets. The dual-bore nozzles have a lip that securely holds eartips in place. In terms of build quality, these are some of the best I’ve seen at this price point.
When it comes to comfort, the D2X fit my ears like a glove and I can wear them happily for hours at a time. Noise isolation is slightly above average, blocking a good amount of outside noise. These would be ideal for noisy environments and would also be suitable as a stage monitor for live performances.
The D2X comes with a 0.78mm 2-pin, 4-strand high-purity silver-plated single crystal copper cable. There’s an optional 8-strand upgrade cable available as well which is what I received with my review sample. It has a tight, uniform braid with a black TPU sheath. The 2-pin connector housings, Y-split, chin slider and right-angled 3.5mm plug are all matching glossy black aluminium.
Strain relief is good from top to bottom and the overall feeling is quite premium. In terms of handling, the cable is lightweight and drapes well. There are no kinks, wire memory or microphonics. Overall, this is a nice cable that feels congruous with something in this price range.
Gear used for testing includes:
Panther Audio’s entry-level hybrid has a slightly warm tuning and punchy bass. It doesn’t reach basshead level but with the tuning switches in ACG (“Game”) mode, it leans in that direction. With the exception of the bass, the D2X has a fairly linear presentation with a small bump in the lower treble. It has a musical character but one that also happens to be quite strong in technical ability.
Panther Audio D2X (default) frequency response.
The 2 tuning switches in the D2X let you choose from a total of 4 sound profiles. Let’s assume that the switch OFF position is 0 and ON is 1. The 4 modes are:
- Equalization 1,1 (boosted bass and mids)
- ACG/Game 1,0 (boosted bass)
- Original sound 0,0 (default tuning)
- Pop 0,1 (boosted mids and treble)
For my personal preference, I stuck with the Original sound mode (0,0) which is what I’ll be primarily describing throughout the sound analysis. It has a light V-shape and to my ears offers the best balance of bass, clarity and soundstage/detail. Having said that, I was fairly content with all of the configs and I was not offended by any of them.
The bass lays the foundation for the D2X’s sound signature. It produces a warm and full-bodied sound that could be generally described as musical. The 10mm graphene dynamic driver is punchy and powerful but also quite nimble and controlled.
It has a nicely defined leading edge, meaty impact and fairly fast decay. The transition from sub-bass to mid-bass is quite linear, making it an engaging and enjoyable bass. The overall bass extension is gratifying and sub-bass notes have good depth with a tight, fast rumble.
Listening to Zymosis’ “Discover Yourself”, the bass slams with powerful impact yet the mids and details are present with minimal bleeding. This is a result of the speedy bass decay, snappy attack and overall control.