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"The Lab" - Page 507

post #7591 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
 

My Brainwavz BLU-100 review is up, hope you'll enjoy it:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/brainwavz-blu-100-bluetooth-iems/reviews/13264

 

Nice one Peter.  You're a bit like me - first experience with Bluetooth and just didn't know what to expect. I'd love to see some advances over the next couple of years with better ergonomics, signal stability and maybe something with a slightly more reference signature.  But a good first effort at a really nice entry pointy (price)!

post #7592 of 19150
Thread Starter 
Very good review @peter123. Good job!

Nice list of music used as well. I'm going to check those songs out next time I'm jamming some music.
Edited by Hisoundfi - 5/31/15 at 5:57am
post #7593 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter123 View Post

Superglue is your friend wink.gif

These pads are smaller and less deep so everything fits more stable on the head. I also think the soubdis closer to stock, probably due to the pads being cliset to the eae than with the HM5 pads.
Lol, true!
This is how I do it as well .
I'm planning a comparison between the HI2050 and the MH463 since I couldn't fund a good one on here. I actually find the MH463 cheaper in Sweden than from China so I had it shipped to my parents. Will be a while before I grt them both though.....
Yeah, I was also disappointed with those. Broke my pair while modding them but I've still got the drivers....
I'm intrigued as well. The lack of reviews makes me worry though, I'm really trying to stop buying stuff that just ends up in a drawer after a week.....
Good thing you included that or else.....

Jk,jk wink.gif
+1

I know what you mean. Wish there were more reviews. The flare audio thread I linked, has quite a few impressions from people who received and auditioned units.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/flare-audio-r2pro-earphones/reviews/13250

This is for the most expensive model but it's worth a read imo. The r2pro is being compared to summit fi single dynamic driver iems.
post #7594 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Nice one Peter.  You're a bit like me - first experience with Bluetooth and just didn't know what to expect. I'd love to see some advances over the next couple of years with better ergonomics, signal stability and maybe something with a slightly more reference signature.  But a good first effort at a really nice entry pointy (price)!
Thanks Paul! Yeah, I probably gave it half a star extra because I was so impressed with all the new (to me) features but no harm done wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hisoundfi View Post

Very good review @peter123. Good job!

Nice list of music used as well. I'm going to check those songs out next time I'm jamming some music.

Thanks, I think one of you reviews was the first where I read the list of songs and found it helpful so you're my inspiration pal.smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJohn456 View Post

I know what you mean. Wish there were more reviews. The flare audio thread I linked, has quite a few impressions from people who received and auditioned units.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/flare-audio-r2pro-earphones/reviews/13250

This is for the most expensive model but it's worth a read imo. The r2pro is being compared to summit fi single dynamic driver iems.

Yeah, I've read the thread but I still have no impression at all what they sound like. Best description was actually from that guy comparing the Pistons and stock Samsung buds.....
Edited by peter123 - 5/31/15 at 6:36am
post #7595 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmatheis View Post

Yes, that's what I've gathered. I could especially use it with my right ear, with is pretty hit or miss with universals.

Going customs isn't automatically more comfortable, or even 'better'. I still use universals all the time, especially considering the signature I'm looking for has been easier to find in universal. Regarding comfort, I find shallower fitting customs, like my UERM and Supra much more comfortable long term than my deeper fitting customs like the Legend and Penta. So I'd say for me regarding comfort in general: shallow custom fit > universal > deep custom fit. But then you wear something like the Grado GR10e and it is the most comfortable iem ever placed in my ears. Just thought I'd share my take to give you another data point. Ymmv.
post #7596 of 19150
post #7597 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter123 View Post


Thanks Paul! Yeah, I probably gave it half a star extra because I was so impressed with all the new (to me) features but no harm done wink.gif
Thanks, I think one of you reviews was the first where I read the list of songs and found it helpful so you're my inspiration pal.smily_headphones1.gif
Yeah, I've read the thread but I still have no impression at all what they sound like. Best description was actually from that guy comparing the Pistons and stock Samsung buds.....


From this review: http://headfonics.com/2015/05/the-r2a-and-r2pro-iems-by-flare-audio/2/

 

Just gonna quote the bits of the review pertaining to the R2A for everyone's benefit:

 

Quote:

The R2A

So, there are some IEMs out there that offer a good sound stage and then there is this R2A.  When I swap out my JH16 customs for the R2A, I feel like I can breathe and experience the music without physical constraint.  As far as stereo image size goes, I’ve not come across IEMs like this outside of the IE800 from Sennheiser (which has a setup similar to the R2Pro in my opinion).   Sound stage is a tricky thing to get right in an IEM and I cannot see one person on this Earth stating the Flare Audio IEMs don’t have impressive sound staging qualities. There are lots of elements to consider: height, width, the feeling of space and air between instruments, depth of field and how well formed and shapely the presentation is setup.  I can safely say the R2A will impress everyone and I’ve found it plentiful and of equal parts width and height, good depth of field and a strong sense of airiness to the entire sonic void.  The Pro version offers a very different presentation, but more on this later.

Physicality

There is a great effortless appeal that these IEMs give off, something akin to what most would consider a fatigue free experience in the mids and treble.  I consider this presentation extremely soothing and unlike most IEMs in general that offer a high solidity factor that tend to go overboard with slam factor.  Such is not the case with the R2A; it is both highly engaging and vividly smooth at the same time.  How can that be?  Well, the impact levels through the mids and up into the treble are forward and lush, lacking a harsh impact but are also nowhere near what I would consider overly relaxed.  Impact levels are gorgeous and reflect much higher audio price tiers and flagships and how they tend to sound.  Heard the Koss ESP950 Electrostatic?  Well, these IEMs sound similar in effortlessness factor.

The naturalness of the midrange and treble is quite special, but this model offers a very plentiful amount of deep reaching bass.  One would think this IEM would sound lopsided due to the potent bass quantity, but that isn’t the case. The quantity of mids and treble are also more than plentiful.  There is enough to insure that the presentation feels smooth and well formed.  With that in mind, the bass is potent, deep and very pure sounding.  By comparison, it feels similar to my Fostex TH600 in texture and quantity and makes my Sony Z7 full size headphone sound horribly muddy.  IEMs generally don’t have a broad sense of bass while at the same time offering a pure texture.  Normally, it would be broad and slow, or thick sounding instead of broad and pristine in texture.  These IEMs are unique in that respect.  The bass quantity is both plentiful and clear enough to best some mid-tier full size headphones.  This R2A reaches deep enough in a smooth enough fashion for me to eyeball my TH600 and my Z7 full size headphones and cringe.  If you like Bass and sound stage, you really need to hear this R2A ASAP.

 

Bass

I do find this model to house a slightly warm tilt to the bass experience, but it is not overly colored at all.  If you are into the texture of Audeze bass, you’ll enjoy this IEM.  If you want a clinical appeal similar to the HD800 from Sennheiser, the R2Pro might be worth looking into.  Both the Pro and R2A models offer the same physicality and substance factor, which is something of a natural texturing and void of a hyper monitor flavor.   Those who don’t care about how the mids or treble texture sounds, but who want some damned yummy and tasty bass are going to love the R2A.  So, I would consider the low end gently colored and exaggerated in quantity, with a natural mid and treble presentation that is absolutely titanic in spaciousness.

There are striking differences between the R2A to the IE800, sadly Sennheiser’s $799us flagship IEM just doesn’t compare much.  The biggest difference you might instantly notice is the vast superiority of bass purity the R2A pushes over the IE800: one of them sounds unclean and bloated, the other sounds pure and extremely firm, deep reaching and expansive.  Sennheiser’s IE800 sounds wrong and unnatural in every sense of the word.  I’d previously thought it sounded good, but it seems I was very incorrect.  My reference point for what is actually natural sound and “good” is now set by this R2A from Flare when it comes to IEMs.  To date, I’ve not heard any other IEM that sounds this nice that wasn’t a custom monitor.  Truthfully, this R2A’s bass quality is superior to my JH16 custom.

Mids and Vocals

The midrange is lively and forward, extremely natural and shockingly vivid in realism.  When I swap back and forth between this IEM and the full size Sony Z7, which again the Z7 has a more well-formed stage than the TH600, the R2A here once again makes the Z7 sound like it is busted or has taken water damage.  The solidity factor on this IEM is off the charts good and rivals a lot of my custom IEMs like the UM Merlin and the JH16.  That poor IE800 just falls so flat, I feel bad for my buddy who loaned it to me and paid full price for it.  Ouch.  Formation of vocals is really hard to find in IEMs in my experience, normally I would look to full size Planar’s for this type of thing.  In this case, I shrug and just go with it.  The likes of Sinatra to Whiz Khalifa, Winehouse to Buble’…doesn’t really matter here as the sheer size of the stage only accentuated the vocal experience.  This headphone makes my TH600, Z7 and IE800 all sound positively sibilant and warped.  There is no natural appeal to those headphones and again previously my thoughts of the TH600 was that the tonality of the midrange was pretty natural sounding, albeit recessed.  By comparison, the TH600 is less natural in the mid tonality.  I am legitimately shocked by the natural clarity of the midrange and vocals in general of the R2A.  Both IEMs are genre masters, but very spacious and plentiful IEMs like this generally are well rounded.

Treble

If there is a weak point, it is the treble and upper end in general.  I find it to be just a bit relaxed, perhaps too much by contrast to the exceptional bass and midrange quantity.  In this giant void of stereo imaging, the R2A seems tuned to be relatively flat in treble quantity, but plenty clean.  Again, a sibilant tendency just doesn’t exist here and it is well into the world of what I would call reserved in quantity by comparison to the plentiful bass and forward mids.  The treble is plenty responsive to EQ as well and able to sound bright when physically inclined on digital source equalizers, but also normalized and a little flat for a number of other recordings on neutral presets.  With regard to literal midrange clarity, again we are talking upper midrange and lower Summit level custom IEM quality.  Yes, the R2A is just about on par with the literal clarity and fidelity of my JH16, surpassing my Merlin audibly.  I would call the treble experience of this model a clinical/natural hybrid in tone and presentation.  This is really odd, but considering the amount of bass and midrange offered, I would expect the treble to be tuned like this to insure there is no fatigue ala’ Hifiman HE-6 or HD800.  Don’t forget though, the aim of these IEMs was to be non-fatiguing…it pretty much says it in the title description that these are not treble emphasized nor bright and snappy.

 

 

This is for the R2Pro (said to be competing with dynamic driver flagships):

 

Quote:
 

R2Pro

Mr. Roberts considers this model aimed at Audiophiles and the R2A suited for the general consumer interested in Hifi IEMs.  For the MSRP of $440us, I am not sure the price to performance is at all justified over what the R2A offers.  I am hard pressed to consider it as a not so good deal next to its little brother. If it were standing on its own and being compared to various other headphones…then I would absolutely call it a great value.  The problem here is that the R2A nuked the IEM market with regard to price to performance; sadly the R2Pro’s price is a bit unjust in my opinion.  Both of these IEMs make most $400-500 full size headphones wet themselves and might make every IEM I’ve ever heard in the price range beg for mercy.   This R2Pro is still a good value at $440…it is just out shined by the R2A by a fairly large margin with regard to that price to performance value.

Flare’s CEO and I both had near identical impressions of the R2Pro, so I feel safe to say Mr. Roberts knows what he is doing, knows what he wanted and went after it with careful selection of metal housings.  Before I let him know what I thought, I asked him what his impressions were.  He sent me a detailed, mini review of his own and basically told me the R2A feels larger and more elevated on the bass due to the aluminum housing’s resonance: it doesn’t do as nice of a job as the R2Pro’s titanium housing, which is audibly more linear and smooth.  In that sense, the R2Pro is more reference in setup.  Not only was he 100% honest with the sound signature, but he nailed his own products qualities to the letter and mirrored my final thoughts on them near perfectly.

Physicality/Stage

Where the R2A is noticeably larger sounding in height and depth, the R2Pro is more linear sounding.  There is more of a sense of width occurring inside the R2Pro, but at the cost of stage height.  Side by side comparisons prove the R2A simply sounding more vast, whereas the R2Pro sounds more natural for musical recordings.  This is where things get tricky for me.

During music track testing, I didn’t hear much of a difference in stage size, both IEMs seems to portray great height, width, equal separation quality and the same effortless sense of appeal.  However, it wasn’t until I started running Naturespace binaural tracks that I noticed the R2A was larger sounding.  The R2Pro sounds wider, less tall and more realistic in depth of field and with more reach in stage forwardness.  The R2A sounded more traditionally box shaped, meaning equal parts height and width and with less depth of field.  It seems the R2Pro is the more holographic of the two when it comes to lifelike depth of sound stage or that reach out and touch the artist feel.  The R2Pro is slightly more forward and enveloping than the R2A as well, the feeling of sitting in with the band is a little less satisfying on the R2A.

 

Bass

This model boasts less substance and firmness than the R2A, but certainly pushes a bit more purity.  It also has a tendency to sound drier and truer to the texture of the recording, something very noticeable when A/B comparisons are made between them and while running tracks like Bassgasm by TEB, a track that is probably one of the better seriously deep reaching bass tracks available.  A sacrifice of quantity for and upgrade in quality is what my gut tells me is occurring here.  You should aim your sights on this model over the R2A if more purity is the type of sound signature you want in your bass experiences.  Personally, I dislike it but that is absolutely subjective and nothing more than my preferences coming out.  I really find the R2A to be more fun and musical, less serious and less analytical.  With that in mind, the R2Pro is a different beast with regard to tone and texture of the low end of the spectrum. Bass heads won’t like it, but purists will.  Those who love to hear the subtle track imperfections or who may enjoy a more neutral bass response should feel right at home here.  For reference, that track from TEB called Bassgasm reaches insanely low and offers a pure, liquid bass type…but I can hear a flutter in the track that isn’t as prominent as when I swap out for the R2A.  So, clearly the Pro model is more revealing to those subtleties in the track and is more adept at revealing impurities than its little brother.

Mids and Treble

The R2Pro shares the same lush mid vocal experience as the R2A, which is forward and enveloping, exceptionally well formed and realistic in terms of placement of sounds as per what those Naturespace tracks tell my ears.  This model sounds a bit more stage forward and more like you are sitting closer in with the band, but only by a small amount over the R2A.  Clarity again is stellar and but that much better than what I hear in the R2A to justify the hefty price tag jump.  The main difference between this one and the R2A is not so much found in clarity, but more so in how well formed things seem.  The R2Pro does solidity and realism better, but I truly don’t hear clarity that is significantly better in the R2Pro than what is found in the R2A.

*According to Mr. Roberts, it was intended to specifically a certain way in tone from the beginning, offering less resonance in the chamber due to the type of titanium used.  He’s told me he invested a great deal of time into researching and testing various metals to see which one reacted with the most purity to any given track.*

I find it very interesting that titanium of all things can tame sound waves from excessively bouncing around any better than aluminum.  I wonder if once other companies hear these IEMs and that they will also opt for thick cut titanium housing instead of lower tier aluminum.  The proof is in the pudding, as again there is a physicality factor difference between these two IEMs:  the R2A is larger sounding, but not as deep or realistic in formation of sounds, the R2Pro has more of a natural setup with a stronger sense of width, again due to the feeling of the listener sitting closer band.  No doubt the Pro model achieved a bit more realism in a physical sense of the word, there is a solidity factor that is simply breathtaking offered here and I just can’t really take most of my mid-tier headphones seriously at this point.  After comparisons, nothing I own in the price tier, whether that is full size or IEM alike, has achieved this type of a realism factor.  The downfall occurring here is the lack of a height factor in the R2Pro.  Bird calls and thunder have more authority, more volume and density and you can easily tell that through those Naturespace tracks.  Again, with normal music tracks I really don’t think you can tell this, so look for some nice binaural tracks and test for yourselves if you feel inclined.

 

Stage

My TH600 is pretty good at this type of vast, spacious “flare” to the sound stage, but I’ve found it to sound overly lopsided compared to the Pro.  Do most of us fall victim to very large sound stage and the idea that they are somehow more realistically formed, something closer to real life than other headphones with smaller sounds?  While testing these binaural tracks, I’d noticed that sometimes the track lacks information with regard to height, but may sound very wide.  Others had plentiful height, but lacked far off capabilities in the recording, sounding a bit dull and unrealistic.  So, it really depends on the track and in turn either of these Flare Audio IEMs may sound better or worse.  Depth of field is certainly superior on the Pro model, but it just doesn’t achieve and react to some of these bird calls in that Naturespace track I was speaking of that are set at a slight distance away, but also a few meters up.  The R2A responds more realistically to that specific call from some odd bird, but a few seconds later in the same track, a bird calls from a great distance away.  With that last audio cue, the R2Pro responds more realistically, retaining distance perspective and solidity realism where the R2A loses it.

Noise

They are both also quiet and not overly sensitive at all; by comparison my JH16’s give off a bit of hiss when no track is playing through my AK120.  The R2A is dead silent, but the R2Pro seems to pick up on just a little bit of hiss and background noise through most Daps I have tested with: The Calyx M, AK120 Red Wine, FiiO X3 and X1, Sony A17 and Sansa Clip.  As I work my way down the lot of Daps, the Pro version hiss increases, however when I plug the Pro into my Oppo Ha-1 or Pathos Aurium, I get zero noise factor.   So, I’ve found that the Pro model reacts to source and amp noise, but the R2A remains silent until I got to the FiiO X1, Sansa Clip and Sony A17.

 

Conclusion:

Quote:
 

Final Thoughts

I’ve never heard an IEM this spacious before, but let’s try not to take this as if these IEMs are cosmic deities.  They are very good, but I am hard pressed to say they are the best ever.  These IEMs shattered and severely outclassed my JH16 and my Merlin customs in stereo imaging, as well as naturalness and realism, but both of those customs have superior treble clarity and luster, both offered more of a musical appeal to the top end.  With that in mind, both of those customs are much more fatiguing and harder to listen to than even the R2A for extended periods of time.  I consider the Flare IEMs natural and smooth, but those customs in the higher tier tend to have more treble than these and in turn the treble tends to be more enjoyable, maybe even more accurate in terms of quantity.

It is important to note again the aim of these IEMs was that they would offer a non-fatiguing experience, so I really can’t judge them negatively for not having a bit more treble.  I am not fond their natural treble, I prefer something a little brighter but not at the cost of overpowering the mids.  Their bass quality rivals my Fostex TH600 full size, but does not exceed it.  It definitely exceeds my Sony Z7’s clarity and similar headphones in that tier though. In my previous top of the line review that compared a lot of flagship headphones against each other, going back to revisit some of those headphones resulted in one of my lot mirroring the sound signature of the R2A near perfectly…that headphone was the MrSpeakers Alpha Dog: a Planar Magnetic modification of the Fostex T50RP and a headphone I’ve felt to perform on the $999 full size level.  The R2A is almost identical in setup and clarity, tone and texture, but with a PRAT similar to the Koss ESP950.  If you loved the Alpha Dog and want a portable version…the R2A is for you.

Price aside, both IEMs are fantastic and there really are no negative faults.  Both dish out exceptional bass quality, one of them is musical and exaggerate and the other is smoother, more accurate to the track.  Their midranges are lush, solid and entered Summit level realism and solidity and their treble experiences are a bit relaxed, have almost no sibilance at all and offer a natural appeal in tonal flavor.  I am no longer interested in mid-fi custom IEMs like my Clear Tunes CT-300 and Livewires.  Both of those customs don’t even remotely compare in any way to the R2A and R2Pro yet are roughly the same price.  Expect clarity that is on the upper end of mid-fi full size headphones and even besting some higher end customs in some ways.  Great job Flare Audio!

 

I hope this gets across why myself and the other backers are excited for this :)

post #7598 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJohn456 View Post
 


From this review: http://headfonics.com/2015/05/the-r2a-and-r2pro-iems-by-flare-audio/2/

 

Just gonna quote the bits of the review pertaining to the R2A for everyone's benefit:

 

 

This is for the R2Pro (said to be competing with dynamic driver flagships):

 

 

Conclusion:

 

I hope this gets across why myself and the other backers are excited for this :)

Ha, ha yes I've seen it. My only concer is really the bass as everything he's comparing it with is pretty bassy if I'm not misstaken. I'm not familiar with this reviewer so I havn't got a clue about his preferences. The part about the T50RP's might be enough to convince me in the end though ;)

post #7599 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTwilight View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotnijoe View Post

Just moved into a new aprtment and thiught id share my new audio corner. Got everything from portzble to desktop setups covered here and ready to roll!


My girlfriend drew me a painting of a game character wearing a pair of Audezes cool.gif
 Lol (no pun intended) is that Teemo??

A fellow league fan? It is teemo!
post #7600 of 19150
Would anyone backing the R2A be willing to tour them? Im rly interested in giving them a listen but just cant get myself yo pull the trigger...
post #7601 of 19150
I looked at them & read the review, and I can't really understand the hype. What I'm reading is:
  1. warm signature
  2. lush mid-range (usually associated with warm and smooth)
  3. rolled off treble

The guy that wrote the review has a lot of darker headphones, and is a self confessed bass head. Is it just me, or does the R2A hype train appear to be running madly amok?

What I'd like to see is someone who's reviews I know and can relate to actually give an honest opinion on them.
post #7602 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotnijoe View Post


A fellow league fan? It is teemo!

 

Haha I used to play it a lot in unversity. My favs are Ahri (no doubts why lol), Jayce, Riven and Kha'zix. I understand that LoL has progressed considerably since where I left off though.

post #7603 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

I looked at them & read the review, and I can't really understand the hype. What I'm reading is:
  1. warm signature
  2. lush mid-range (usually associated with warm and smooth)
  3. rolled off treble

The guy that wrote the review has a lot of darker headphones, and is a self confessed bass head. Is it just me, or does the R2A hype train appear to be running madly amok?

What I'd like to see is someone who's reviews I know and can relate to actually give an honest opinion on them.

Thats my thoughts exactly. From the reviews they seem like people are really enjoying them. But i cant deal with a weak treble with a dark sound...
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTwilight View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotnijoe View Post

A fellow league fan? It is teemo!

Haha I used to play it a lot in unversity. My favs are Ahri (no doubts why lol), Jayce, Riven and Kha'zix. I understand that LoL has progressed considerably since where I left off though.

Not to late to go back to it! Haha hit me up if u do smily_headphones1.gif
post #7604 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

I looked at them & read the review, and I can't really understand the hype. What I'm reading is:
  1. warm signature
  2. lush mid-range (usually associated with warm and smooth)
  3. rolled off treble

The guy that wrote the review has a lot of darker headphones, and is a self confessed bass head. Is it just me, or does the R2A hype train appear to be running madly amok?

What I'd like to see is someone who's reviews I know and can relate to actually give an honest opinion on them.


The R2Pro is the one thats supposedly top tier. Not sure, haven't heard any of them, but with deep insertion and comply foam, and some sort of pressure equalization it should feel like you're not listening to iems but sounds coming from mind, according to KS anyway :) 

 

Yeah I don't know why I am so excited for it can't explain it haha

post #7605 of 19150
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Going customs isn't automatically more comfortable, or even 'better'. I still use universals all the time, especially considering the signature I'm looking for has been easier to find in universal. Regarding comfort, I find shallower fitting customs, like my UERM and Supra much more comfortable long term than my deeper fitting customs like the Legend and Penta. So I'd say for me regarding comfort in general: shallow custom fit > universal > deep custom fit. But then you wear something like the Grado GR10e and it is the most comfortable iem ever placed in my ears. Just thought I'd share my take to give you another data point. Ymmv.

It's not really a comfort issue. Sound cuts out a lot with IEM in my right ear but not my left. Seems like the tip is getting blocked or pinched. Having something pumping the music past that point of blockage / pinching should prevent this.
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