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Radius HP-TWF11r Review and Impressions thread

post #1 of 864
Thread Starter 

There are already two detailed reviews here at Headfi plus a slew of great Japanese reviews out there, but as more users pick these up, it might be helpful to try capturing their thoughts on this IEM.

Shigzeo's review: Dual Dynamic Driver: Radius HP-TWF11R: Pleasure pleasure little treasure

And on the same day, Takoyaki7 also released impressions of this earphone.

ClieOS' review of the DDM

Takoyaki7's review: First Day impressions of the HP-TWF11R

Rawrster's review of the HP-TWF11R DDM earphones

SkiesOfAzel's Comparison of Radius and AT-CK70

I realise there will be more as a few people have ordered them. I hope that we can use this thread to round up impressions and as reviews are published, collate them here.

As this is an impressions thread, please try to keep things like shipping, other earphones, and cars, out of it. I cannot wait to read more impressions as these are very good SOUNDING earphones. In other areas, I think they lack completely, though the case is quite nice.

For pictures and my full review, head to the HP-TWF11R full review.


Edited by shigzeo - 10/7/10 at 8:47am
post #2 of 864
Glad you started the thread @ shigzeo. Mine are being shipped as I type here. Do you think you can add some of those Japanese reviews with english translation here? I would be curious in other thoughts before they arrive. Thanks.
post #3 of 864
Thread Starter 
I could, but not sure if I have the time to translate them - actually, I don't. This week is a very bad week. If I get time eventually, I'll do it, but someone else might be able to do it now.

Most reviews are about the same though. I look forward to your review!
post #4 of 864
Okay @ shigzeo,when you have time I appreciate it. Although, If you do get a chance to put up the links, I have a translator. Thanks again for your great review. And Takoyaki7's review too. I can't wait to give first impressions.
post #5 of 864

 

Hi guys! I just thought I'd give you a quick update after more quality time spent with the DDM's.

 

Basically, I've come to realise that these really are actually very polite and balanced, which is actually not what I was expecting given the gaudy design and huge bass driver (I know shigzeo's review stated they were balanced... but it was hard for me to overlook the design.) They have a dry, textured sound, with very controlled differences in volume. In terms of detail, nothing stands out but at the same time I hear quiet little things that I've never heard on other IEMs. Essentially, these don't seem to have the aggressive bite of my armature based CK90 Pros, making them less ideal for fast electronic music, but I don't consider this a negative thing. The bite can be a bit too much for me to handle at times.

 

Seal seems to be critical with these, but not in the normal way: perversely I find I enjoy the sound without a proper seal, as they open up and are more neutral. I gave my friend a listen, and he found them far too warm, though we both agree on other earphones, so we can only put it down to him achieving a seal with the Sony hybrid tips. (I deliberately chose a size that would be too small for me to get a seal, and he has smaller ears it seems.)

 

Shigzeo is right - what these do best is acoustic guitar and piano. And I mean, best, as in when the right track comes up on shuffle I just mentally pause and soak it in. For some reason, the timbre and sound of these is perfect for piano - they sound like real instruments, and its quite breathtaking. They are especially good for quiet tracks, though by no means do these lose cohesion at louder volumes.

 

In case anyone is wondering, YES these sound even better when they are amped. Plugging them into my little uDac, everything just seems more cohesive. I've been using them to play games, which is pretty fun in itself.

 

For my fellow DDM owners, here are some tracks that I heard that just sound amazing, plus some higher quality youtube links for a preview. (Thanks to the handy &fmt=18 hack :D ) These are also some of my favourite tracks, which gives you an idea of how random my shuffle can sound.

 

Another Saturday - Stuart Murdoch, from the compilation album Dark Was the Night

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5-fdmezMgA&fmt=18

Really sweet acoustic guitar track, with great mastering. I don't know guitar terminology, but the texture of the strumming... wow. The male vocals layer so nicely as well.

 

Joy Luck Club - Massive Attack, from the album Collected

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_JTD2sPFV8&fmt=18

The youtube link for this sounds pretty cruddy actually, but I use this track for testing speakers. The DDM's soak up the bass on this, but the ghostly female vocals just float (all creepy like) thanks to the wide soundstage.

 

Truce - The Dresden Dolls, from the album The Dresden Dolls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6y9mjwAR8o  <-- Horrible anime music video link...

My apologies for the youtube link, for some reason the &fmt=18 doesn't seem to work for this one, and the only version I could find was a horrible AMV. Just try to ignore the visuals. Amanda Palmer, is one of my favourite artists. She makes an almost psycopathic genre of caberet music with a macabre sense of humour. She's a brilliant lyricist, this is one of her slower songs. When she whispers on this track, it feels like a whisper in your head. The cello in the background is a highlight. Everything she does sounds good on the DDM's actually.

 

Give these a go :D

 

Edit: For some bizarre reason this is all in Times New Roman. I have no idea how I even did it.

 


Edited by a_recording - 5/13/10 at 11:19pm
post #6 of 864

NICE follow-up review @ a_recording. Man, I have the worst luck with shipping usually. At this rate everyone will have the DDM and I might see it next year....lol. Even someone I told about where I ordered mine from, ordered his after me and has received it already. But hey that's life. Really, I'm hoping I see it by next Monday at least. We'll see. But great impressions buddy. Thanks again. 

 

Oh, someone said the DDMs doesn't sound good with classical and jazz. Are you finding that to be true too?

post #7 of 864

nice writeup there :) I do have a good amount of acoustic and piano..these are quite tempting indeed :P

 

@eric: well good thing you got enough phones to hold you over :P

post #8 of 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

nice writeup there :) I do have a good amount of acoustic and piano..these are quite tempting indeed :P

 

@eric: well good thing you got enough phones to hold you over :P


LOL @ rawster buddy. This is true.. Really enjoying the FX700...

post #9 of 864

To help you along when you get your Radius I'll be willing to take the FX700 off your hands so you can devote all your time to these earphones..lol jk

 

Some post by a_recording earlier comparing the bass to the CK90PRO really makes me want them even though a newer model is coming out :T damn my inability to have patience here...knowing my luck I'll probably buy these the day before the newer ones go on sale ;p

post #10 of 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post
...

Oh, someone said the DDMs doesn't sound good with classical and jazz. Are you finding that to be true too?


Unfortunately jazz is one genre of music I don't really listen to (don't know why, but I just haven't really explored it.) In terms of classical, I think the radius is great for orchestral classical - full orchestra recordings where there is a big dynamic range in the instrumentation, and the microphones are passive mics designed to gather that full dynamic range rather than active ones for pin drop sensitivity.

 

Because they don't have incredibly biting treble energy though, they aren't great for recordings of small groups or single instruments of strings for example. You don't get that kind of shimmering hanging in the air energy with strings that you might get with an amature phone. That said, they sound incredible with pianos and great with cellos.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post
...

Some post by a_recording earlier comparing the bass to the CK90PRO really makes me want them even though a newer model is coming out :T damn my inability to have patience here...knowing my luck I'll probably buy these the day before the newer ones go on sale ;p


Don't get me wrong, the CK90Pro and the Radius sound similar in terms of overall proportion of bass to treble (at least with my modded CK90Pros) but the devil is in the details. The CK90 Pro is several orders more convenient in terms of fit, isolation, and also for having a L-plug as opposed to the infuriating J plug and horrific cable of the Radius.

 

In terms of sound, the CK90Pro sounds better with any modern synthesized or electronic instruments, from electronic drums to sine wave effects, just because there is more energy and speed for the treble. For recordings of real instruments though, the DDM seems to do better just because it has a wider frequency response, and seems to replicate all the harmonics up and down the range better. The Radius also have a more diffuse and 'polite' sound, and because they are ported have a wider soundstage. Imaging is better on the CK90 Pros, instrument layering is better on the Radius.

 

The CK90Pro actually has a fair bit more mid-bass to be perfectly honest, which I consider to be a tick against them, since there is a potential for them to sound bloated at times with the wrong tracks.

 

So as a general rule, for instruments that are meant to sound natural, the CK90Pro sounds a bit more plasticky, while the DDM sounds really transparent and natural - a really beautiful effect. For un-natural instruments, the CK90 Pro seems to do better. So I think it depends on what you listen to most of. I would hesitate to say for sure which one is better - I listen to enough of both types of music to be torn between the two. It's a good kind of indecision though. :)


Edited by a_recording - 5/14/10 at 5:16am
post #11 of 864

Some random thoughts after spending time enough with the Radius...

 

- I believe they are a high end earphone. They can perform with the best on overall sound and do certain things at/near best of class.

 

- I think the build quality is more in the middle. Not the best but not on the bad side. The choice of cable could have been better. Though I have no fear of it breaking, it does tend to tangle. It does not kink though like the Klipsch cable which gets bends that won't straighten. All the strain reliefs are solid as well are the housing.

 

- The design works for me just fine. There is a learning curve for fit and a more gradual comfort improvement( similar to breaking in new dress shoes). Patience is recommended but should pay off. I now fit them quite easily. Having had the UM2 and currently having the FX67, a loaner pair of CK90 Pro, and others, it is saying something that these can become quite easy to fit and fairly comfortable. If you think you have the ears for them don't let the design deter you. They just take more getting used to than other earphones.

 

- I hear an earphone with a large soundstage which doesn't use it all the time. It keeps things in the center but, when called for, pushes things back or brings them up closer well. Also it is very well layered but the separation is also in the middle as far as amount goes. It is not separated out as much as a CK10 is. So, it is big but not very open or airy most times. When the recording calls for it can be quite open. It doesn't do it all the time like some phones.   

 

- The dual drivers seem to let them do things single driver dynamics can't do near as well. Such as conveying harmonics, texture, emotion. Varying decay is so well done with the DDM. Holding the decay on low notes or high notes independently is done like few earphones. Armatures don't usually hold the decay as long. Many dynamics can't hold it on the highs and can't vary it as well on the lows.

 

- The dual drivers layer out very well and make things so easily perceptible. Like all the recording mics are there and equal in amount. So, you hear things with this phone that you don't hear with others. Secondary vocals are more evident with the DDM and inflection and emotion are quite evident. Little noises and sounds are picked up well esp. those in quiet moments in the beginning or ends of certain tracks that many of us are familiar with.

 

-  I agree with Shigzeo  that the Radius are some of the best for guitar. I agree with a_recording that they are up there for piano. I put forth that they are some of the best for mids. They don't do thick. They don't do creamy/lush. They are fairly unaltered yet present all the emotion, inflection, intelligibility there for the hearing. Bass is also very well done. It goes very low. It is tight. It is really well layered. It has presence and power while still being balanced. One of the better balances of articulation and power with no humps or ill side effects.

 

- I think the radius sound natural and realistic. They are surprisingly clear. So, in comparing it to another phone they might make it sound thicker or muddier which comes as a surprise since the radius don't throw clarity or crispness at you. On occasion they can be very transparent but overall they are not going to disappear. they always throw a little bit of color/warmth down low(more or less depending on source signature). You can go with less seal which will make them thinner sounding and more transparent.

 

- The price is right. The nice case, the looks(which have grown on me), the fit and comfort, and the sound quality which is quite good. I feel they earn their price tag.

  While I'll question others like the RE252 being worth $199 or feel the Turbine Pro Gold should be $179 instead of $279, I'll say I feel my $165 is justified with the Radius DDM.

 

 

 

    

post #12 of 864

Those are great comments Jant71 :) I think its weird how much they vary between recordings, but it may just be a kind of accuracy. It's a really interesting mix of qualities - like you I wouldn't describe them as crisp or extremely clear, yet at the same time there is a lot of delicate detail. You are spot on when you mention how they convey emotion and nuance - I was listening to Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt yesterday, and it was basically a transcendant experience on the DDM's. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clq01TXQR0s

 

This is an absolute must listen. It almost brought tears to my eyes. :D

post #13 of 864

Damn!! Thank you again @ a_recording and jant71. Well, two weeks have passed and still no Radius in sight (sigh). HK Post  show they shipped out Wednesday, but that's it. No signs of landing yet. But I keep hope alive. Hopefully early next week. So I live through you guys. Thanks again buddies. I'm very excited.

post #14 of 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Damn!! Thank you again @ a_recording and jant71. Well, two weeks have passed and still no Radius in sight (sigh). HK Post  show they shipped out Wednesday, but that's it. No signs of landing yet. But I keep hope alive. Hopefully early next week. So I live through you guys. Thanks again buddies. I'm very excited.


I don't know how it is in the US, but in Australia my local post didn't even state it it had arrived in Australia until the morning it was delivered. Treat it as a surprise : )

post #15 of 864

Hey, Still have not gotten your long awaiting Radius DDMs? Headfiers, looking to order Radius in the USA, I believe Ken from ALO audio has them, at least I heard from some one who lives in Portland saw them in his shop.

 

be waiting for your first impressions...

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Damn!! Thank you again @ a_recording and jant71. Well, two weeks have passed and still no Radius in sight (sigh). HK Post  show they shipped out Wednesday, but that's it. No signs of landing yet. But I keep hope alive. Hopefully early next week. So I live through you guys. Thanks again buddies. I'm very excited.

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