Radius HP-TWF11 Review (DDM’s)
First Impressions: Gosh these have a really very nice case, most impressed. It’s scary just how much these look like my Sony EX500’s. Okay in the ears and firstly ouch secondly where did the treble go, thirdly, oh god these are not comfortable. Note to self, go pull out the ear tips tub, you’re going to be needing them.
Acoustically I don’t think I like these at all, really not hearing anything like I was expecting to hear from what I have read about them. Had them in a little while now and I can feel my sinuses beginning to protest, this doesn’t bode well.
Source 5G iPod Video line out through a Practical Devices XM5
Lows: Oh F me, these have bass, oh dear god they have so much. Great big huge warm soft bass that just seems so endless, endlessly abundant. Its so abundant, just so unfathomably abundant I can feel it in my sinuses, the pressure it feels like it’s going to crush my skull at any moment. These reminded of the Sony EX500 in their shape and warmth so I had to A/B them and the Sonys felt like such a breath of fresh air, so light and airy (and a thousand times more comfortable) I can’t believe it. The Sony’s I have described as the warm bath with scented candles of the IEM world. So very warm and gentle and soft. The Radius’s are just so much warmer to the point it’s not just oppressive it actually hurts. I cannot actually listen to anything at any significant volume; for god’s sake they make the IE8 feel light. The Radius’s are just so thick and rich sounding I cannot say I like it at all, it moves so much air. It’s not of a terrible quality but there is just so much, I just can’t stand it, I just have to keep turning the volume down.
Mids: They are very rich and very very warm. Oh and so far behind the bass its not funny. What is there works very nicely with liquid favouring vocals but behind that bass the mids are clearly playing a distant second fiddle.
Highs: The quality is rather nice the quantity however is so much less I thought there was going to be. Who has ever seen me say something has too little treble? Perhaps it’s not that there is too little treble, in comparison to the mids, there isn’t but that bass! The treble I can make out is pretty good stuff, clean and delicate sounding with a nice, natural decay. What I can hear I do like.
Soundstage: For a dynamic it’s not that great but then perhaps it that my ears can’t get past the thickness of the sound these produce. There is just no air.
Comfort: Well I have managed to make them no longer actually hurt but not what I’d say comfortable.
Fit: I didn’t really have much problem making them feel like they were sitting correctly. However I am willing to hope that I am mistaken and that’s why they sound like they do.
Cable: Hmm, not terrible but not great either, it looks and feels like the sort of cable that if kinked will break. The jack is alright though for a straight ending one.
Microphonics: Wearing down there is a ton. Wearing up it’s pretty much cured.
Amped/Unamped: There really wasn’t much of any difference I noticed other than the highs were much cleaner amped. The bass was clearly still in charge though.
Isolation: These isolated more than I was expecting them to, still not a vast amount but easily on the higher side that which is found on a dynamic. Especially one that clearly must be vented.
Build Quality: The build looks pretty great to me, these look like they ought to be expensive.
Accessories: Well I don’t have the full package as these are loaners but the case, is totall quality. One of the nicest cases and shock of horrors it’s actually functional (oh Sennheiser you know I’m looking at you.)
Value: I see there going for £120 and if you like how they sound then maybe but assuming you haven’t heard them I could never suggest these as the best way to spend £120. They are not terrible quality but the comfort and all that bass mean I have to say definitely try before you buy. If you are getting at the US$100 I hear one can then that’s a far less bad proposition but still not one I would recommend.
Conclusion: I cannot say I liked these but I can’t say I hated them either. Check that, I absolutely can say I hated these, I just can’t say they are fundamentally terrible. There were things they did nicely but that bass was just so uncomfortable. It was so thick and abundant it felt as though everything else was behind that thick warm haze. Some I know will like it but for me it was painfully unpleasant and I do mean painful, physically painful, to listen to these at length. Something one could enjoy for the odd spell here and there perhaps but these now sit at the head of the bass head ache inducing Triumvirate (these, the C710 and the HJE900.) As I sit listening to them right now I can’t help but want to get this review over and done with so I can get them out of my ears to make all the pain and unpleasantness stop.
Comparing these to the C710’ which I am no lover of I’d take the Denon’s over them. The Denon’s manage to push the mids out enough so I can hear them and the treble battles its way through to be heard too. I can’t compare to the HJE900 as they or off on holiday somewhere near the south coast but from memory I’d take the Panny’s over these too. Oh and many will know I have bad mouthed the Panny’s a plenty.
I know many have loved these but for the life me I am not one of them, these are just like higher end R1’s but with even more bass. You may want to go find my review of it but it costs circa £25ish so it I’m willing to cut a lot of slack for being a gargantuan bass monster. At £120 I shouldn’t feel like I’m being assaulted. I daren’t even try to compare to what else could be had for the money. These have the most bass of anything I recall hearing so if that is what you want, decent quality bass by the container ship load then this might be for you but it certainly wasn’t for me.
Edited by mark2410 - 9/10/10 at 9:25am