I’ll explain the transition from LOAK-PROTOTYPE to LOAK2-TX, which marks the most significant change in the LOAK2 revamp, discussing the updates, changes in sound, and considerations for upgrading.

Titanium 3D Printed Housing:

The change from LOAK-PROTOTYPE to LOAK2-TX occurred in the body housing. While both are titanium materials printed in 3D, the production has shifted domestically to Japan, resulting in higher performance and improved quality.

The body housing of the PROTOTYPE was produced overseas to keep costs down, but due to the nature of 3D printing, its precision was inferior compared to CNC machining, resulting in subtle dimensional differences and errors. Furthermore, there were inconsistencies and irregularities in layering, with individual variations and inconsistencies, such that even if 100 were printed, only 50 might be usable. While it may not be readily apparent in photos, to put it simply, the 3D printing of the PROTOTYPE resulted in slight distortions rather than perfect circles.

The 3D printing of LOAK2-TX is left with surface irregularities as a texture without much polishing to avoid dimensional errors caused by polishing. This gives it a slightly antique appearance. Thanks to Japan’s high-performance 3D printing technology, there are extremely few dimensional deviations, and there is almost no loss during the housing production process. While the price is nearly five times higher than that of the PROTOTYPE’s titanium 3D printed housing, I believe it’s worth the quality it offers.

Is there a sound change?:

The transition from PROTOTYPE01 to TX01 and from PROTOTYPE02 to TX02 has occurred, but the most notable aspect is the difference in sound between the PROTOTYPE and LOAK2-TX.

I measured and listened to both sounds repeatedly, and in reality, there is hardly any difference in sound. However, there are slight differences as well. The old PROTOTYPE gives the impression of a stronger edge and clearer sound texture, while the TX series presents a smoother and more connected sound. It’s a difference that you might only notice when comparing them side by side.

The change in the output source of the 3D print has resulted in slight differences in hardness in the printed 3D objects, which likely translates into subtle differences in sound. The new 3D print housing for LOAK2-TX possesses characteristics closer to CNC-machined titanium, while the old PROTOTYPE tends to be harder. The harder material is less prone to distortion (less deformable), making it easier to produce sharp and fast sound response, resulting in a stronger edge and tighter bass. On the other hand, the new 3D print housing for LOAK2-TX exhibits properties closer to standard titanium, being more prone to flex but still strong. As a result, the bass isn’t overly tight, and the edge isn’t excessively sharp.

However, these differences in sound due to the hardness of titanium are almost indistinguishable, akin to the small difference between changing the wood of the rear housing backplate from Cocobolo to ebony.

Therefore, in my opinion, those who already own the LOAK-PROTOTYPE may not need to upgrade to the LOAK2-TX solely based on sound quality. However, if one is particular about the overall quality of the product, as an earphone, it’s evident that the LOAK2-TX offers higher quality. So, for those who prioritize such aspects, upgrading might be worth considering.

Special Plan for Upgrading from PROTOTYPE to TX:

If you wish to upgrade from the old LOAK-PROTOTYPE to each model of the LOAK2-TX series, we offer a special plan where we will trade in the old LOAK-PROTOTYPE at 80% of its selling price and apply a discount to the price of the LOAK2-TX.

However, as previously explained, we believe there is no need to upgrade from the old PROTOTYPE to the LOAK2-TX in terms of sound quality. Therefore, please consider this plan only if necessary. The upgrade is limited to models with the same model number. For example, the upgrade from PROTOTYPE01 to LOAK2-TX01 is eligible for this plan, but the upgrade from PROTOTYPE01 to LOAK2-TX02 is considered a different model and is not eligible. Please take note of this.