Pros: Detail, Speed and Presentation
Cons: Some of the worst build quality, Design and Comfort.
^^( First I would like to thank Rob Reyna of In Ear Customs who got me the R-50 to make up for my reshelled GH-ERC-DMS getting stolen in POST )
I am writing this review as I will be parting with my R-50 within another day or two, the left cable has come loose and rotates around the housing, making the IEM unusable as it can only be worn around ear.
On to the sound quality, this for me is the TWFK to be. A role model of sorts. The sound quality is excellent, imaging is the best I have heard from an IEM. The treble dont get very peaky like my GH-ERC-DMS(another TWFK). Mind you, the treble will definitely get annoying to listeners sensitive to brightness/treble emphasis also with the sibilance that is present.
I don't think TWFK Knowles implemented earphones really need a second introduction to detail reproduction, as far as I know they are second to none.
The bass is real tight and fast. Does n't show much sub-bass body but the mid-bass is excellent in quality and to an extent satisfying in quantity.
With comply tips, the sound really is something astonishing. The brightness is reduced by a good margin and the over-all sound remains airy yet delicate and detailed. A slightly warmer presentation with extended treble and better bass body while the sibilance in the mids is nullified. I think, this is the best presentation for me and reminds me of the RE-272 by Hifiman, with better bass and better present treble.
The imaging is spectacular and beats all my previous earphones by a mile, and the transient response is also stunning with these earphones.
As evident, my only gripe is the ridiculous,sub-par, atrocious build quality that really annoys me to have it send back.
I ll do a couple of comparison for you other IEM owners out there although much of them is from memory(which is clear)
1. Sony MH1C
The sony is very very very forgiving compared to the R-50. The bass is the highlight, yet the mids are present to a very appreciable extent and the treble just dies down but is well extended. They resolve a very good amount and is generally a perfect signature for the casual listener. Their sound stage offers very good width and height but loses in accuracy and imaging to the R-50, which also has an amazing height in its presentation yet not so much width. Micro-detailing is completely polar to the MH1C, and the overall sound is very very warm to my ears to get the real hang of things in music.
The GH-ERC-DMS was my first TWFK Knowles dual BA monitor that provided excellent imaging, great resolution and adequate bass. With comply tips the sound was excellent albeit brighter and more treble tilted than the R-50. The micro-detail is on par with the R-50 but the refinement and imaging is not. The mids are also much more forward than on the R-50 and the over all balance is towards to the uppermids-treble.
Mid-forward presentation with the best bass I have heard from an IEM. They are not so resolving as the R-50 nor has the height in presentation. Their build quality was just light years ahead of the R-50, but to me that is almost what you pay for. I think the R-50 is much more transparent of the recording and their imaging still beats the $300+ Shures. Their transients are good yet not in the level of the R-50. The bass is very refined on the SE-535 and much better in quantity and quality over the R-50s.
So far my reference, I do not know what exactly happened to these godly IEMs or why Fang Bian decided to replace them with the new line up. Their paper filter version(which I auditioned first) is more of what I prefer over the metal filter version(which I acquired second). I think the R-50 offer much better imaging and is also more transparent of the recording than the RE-272. The R-50 has better treble presence, yet quality of the treble on the RE-272 is simply better. The bass is very low in quantity on the RE-272 and the R-50 just feels better with the low-end. The mids on both are fairly flat, yet I think the RE-272 has the edge.
If you want an IEM for re-shelling get the R-50, that's all I have to recommend to you. I do not think that they are supposed to be used for long time and are like disposable cameras, only good for the roll of film inside.
Thanks for reading