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Radius HP-TWF11 Review (DDM’s)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

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. 

 

SDC11185.JPG

 

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.

 

SDC11191.JPG

 

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.

 

SDC11171.JPG

 

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.

 

SDC11188.JPG

 

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.

 

SDC11199.JPG

 

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.)

 

SDC11201.JPG

 

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. 

 

SDC11197.JPG

 

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
post #2 of 18

Nice Review dude ! Makes me love them more and more :P

Fix the pics.

post #3 of 18

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"

- Evelyn Beatrice Hall

 

Haha, but seriously, while I might disagree with you on how much we like the DDM's, I do respect that you have listened to them for some time now and have made an informed opinion on them. That's a lot better then a lot of people on this forum who might comment on some IEM without even having heard it. 

 

Great review, I wish they didn't hurt so much for ya :(

post #4 of 18

Mark, are these worse than the meelelec R1s you tried some time ago? Just asking since the R1's bass is also reported to fall into the category of "fart cannon".

post #5 of 18

nice review Mark. I guess I'm not the only one that has pain from using the DDM ;p

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

nice review Mark. I guess I'm not the only one that has pain from using the DDM ;p


any one else out there who got hurt by the DDMs?

 

Perhaps this thread will attract more attention if renamed to something like " A torture"  or a fable on how to get hurt by listening to music with DDM radius earphones" 

 

edit: P.S.  Even though Mark2410 has placed a ban on my posts and can not see my text, I yet would like to praise his effort in coping with the DDMs. If I would feel and experience the same Mark did concerning DDM,  I'd probably not invest any time and effort in having this thread out for y'all.. Cheers!


Edited by yello131 - 9/10/10 at 9:15am
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

nice review Mark. I guess I'm not the only one that has pain from using the DDM ;p


  Pain and pleasure are never too far apart .

 

  Thanks for the review Mark !

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

pics now fixed, not sure what the problem was as they worked fine when i previewed it

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post

Mark, are these worse than the meelelec R1s you tried some time ago? Just asking since the R1's bass is also reported to fall into the category of "fart cannon".


well yes the R1 is at least unoffensive fit wise.  still i wouldnt call them fart cannons, if you have a subwoofer stick in in the smallest room you have and turn it all the way up, thats what i found these to be like.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

pics now fixed, not sure what the problem was as they worked fine when i previewed it


  Did you use them with the tips seen on the pics?

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

i tried a bunch, the two you see where the ones i used.  the big biflange sounded less overwhelming but they fell out of my ears all the time so i had to use the hybrids mostly and of course they gave a tight seal

post #12 of 18

hybrids do ruin the treble thought, larger bores are preferable with this kind of iem.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

i tried a bunch, the two you see where the ones i used.  the big biflange sounded less overwhelming but they fell out of my ears all the time so i had to use the hybrids mostly and of course they gave a tight seal


  Both pairs have small apertures that don't work well with an iem that pushes allot of air, they kill what little treble there is and make the bass overpowering. A tight seal is also regretably (for the intelligence of their designer) not the best way to wear them, these need some breathing space to work.

 

  I wanted to say that i find it admirable that you managed to complete your review, even though you could hardly stand to use these.

post #14 of 18

I think Mark's experience highlights the biggest flaw in the DDM's design. The DDM's rely on the user's outer ear to cradle the circular part of the earpiece. I'm lucky in that the DDM just sits on the 'shelf' my outer ear creates. If the user's ear doesn't conform to that particular shape, then it means that all the onus is put on the silicone tip to keep the DDM in the ear. If you are relying on the silicone tip, you have to

a) Get a complete suction seal to keep them in

b) Shove them in further to keep them secure

 

In the case of Sony hybrid tips, I've always found that if I shove them in further, they are squashed into my ear canal and at times this makes the already small aperture even smaller as the rubber is crammed into the small ear canal passage. That's why they work so well to get a seal and improve bass - they are so soft that they'll go in deeper and seal perfectly.

 

This seems to be the worst thing you can do for the DDM's sound, because any aperture which is too small will kill the treble, and a complete seal makes the bass fairly overwhelming. This is like the experience a lot of people seem to have with the IE8's - namely that a perfect seal degrades the experience rather than improves it. On Azel's advice, I'm using tips myself which barely have enough silicone, and while they fit in the ear canal they most certainly do not seal. It works really well.

 

So I suppose the best question to ask yourself with the DDM's is, will they work with your ears? Will your outer ear work to cradle the large earpiece? I think probably the best way to answer this is, do your ears work well with normal earbuds? (Not canalphones) Because normal earbuds work on more or less the same principle, the outer ear cradles the earpiece. 

 

I think a good test would be for instance, do you do well with the awful pack in Apple earbuds? The diameter of the earpiece is actually quite similar to the DDM earpiece, and a lot of users have fit issues with those as well. They fit fine in my ears by the same method of sitting in my outer ear. So I'd be curious to know if the Apple earbud is a good fit test for the DDM's? :)

 

post #15 of 18

  Their somewhat problematic shape is more or less dictated by their huge drivers. There are simple stuff they could have done to improve ergonomics though:

 

  They could have reversed the angle of the nozzle or of the strain reliefs so that they can be worn over the ear.

 

  They should have made the nozzle heavier so that their weight centre is closer the the ear canals.

 

  They should have included tips with bigger apertures.

 

  And these are from the top of my head.


Edited by SkiesOfAzel - 9/10/10 at 10:20pm
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