1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice
  1. iems0nly
    Comfort fit with a cozy sound
    Written by iems0nly
    Published Aug 21, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Perfect bass, lush and intimate mids, super easy to drive.
    Cons - Laidback treble, slightly coloured, not very detailed
    Simple Man’s review – Akoustyx R-115 (~120 USD)
    This is called simple man’s review because they are based on the sound of these earphones directly from my mobile phone (HTC 10), using 320 Kbps mp3 tracks. No expensive gears nor lossless tracks,no EQ, and all that hi-fi stuff.

    IMAG3798.jpg

    A word about Akoustyx
    Akoustyx is an American company whose founder is the same person that founded the old Rock-It Sounds, if you’ve heard of them. There was a cult following for their R-Shield headphones- a drummer’s favourite, and the dual BA IEM R-50. So, they're into the headphone business for quite a while. However, Akoustyx is in no way related/connected with Rock-It Sounds and are completely separate business entities.

    IMAG3808.jpg

    Product Specs
    Driver
    : Single BA (Custom tuned BK Knowles driver)
    Impedance: 22Ω; Sensitivity: 114dB@1kHz; Rated FR 15Hz - 22kHz
    Cable: 4 foot MMCX detachable cable, with Microphone, 3-button remote
    Shell: Plastic
    Nozzle: ~3mm (like Etys)
    Preferred eartips: Stock-double flange tips or SpinFits CP800 (with Pronged customization sleeve)
    Release year: October 2018
    Price: 120 USD

    IMAG3813.jpg

    Build – 4.5/5
    Housings
    are made of high-density polycarbonate, or very hard plastic, which are very lightweight and colourless, through which you can clearly see the big BA driver.
    Cables are twisted, copper-coloured, secured in a transparent braided plastic tube. I’ve never seen a cable in this colour, I really like them, and they don’t come across as flashy. The cable is smooth and good to touch. The Y splitter is solid, spells Y, loaded with strain reliefs on every protruding end. They are also equipped with a flat neck-cinch.
    3-button remote module functions as expected.
    L-Shaped jack is solid and sturdy. In transparent white, they match the Y splitter and the connectors in colour.

    When left lying on the desk the entire unit looks nice and elegant.

    Accessories – 5/5
    A small soft Neoprene pouch
    is provided which looks great and is of the perfect size to hold an IEM. It also has a little external zipper pocket to hold some eartips, etc. They are very light, and are layered with damping cushions to protect the IEMs, from a fall for instance. A very intelligent, and practical IEM case.
    IMAG3807.jpg
    Tips. We get 1 pair of double-flange and 1 pair of Comply foam tips. And 3 sets of single-flange tips in S/M/L sizes.
    Customization kits:
    We also get a bunch of ear-braces, or Customization kits – which were designed in collaboration with a third party company - Freebit. This helps to secure the earpieces fast to the ears and get a good consistent fit. Different sizes and design choices are provided so that any ear would be able to benefit for these kits. The silicon gels used are soft and are very comfortable, they feel like cushions to the ear.

    IMAG3861.jpg

    Fit – 5/5
    We get two types of these customization kits to help achieve the perfect fit,

    One, with ear prongs, the pointy things, which seat themselves in the upper Concha of the ear, called Concha Cymba. We are supplied with 3 sizes of these ear prongs that are varying in length. The one with the smallest prong works well with me, the medium size also hugs my ear very securely.

    We are also supplied with one pair of sleeves that are without the prongs. These help to increase the surface area of the housing and help to get a better seat in the lower concha (in case none of the prongs work for you). The housings are on the smaller side to accommodate the customization sleeves. But still, i was able to get a nice deeper fit without any of these customization units.

    Basically, all of these work well for my ear. I choose to use it with the pronged-sleeves, using the supplied double-flange tips that help me to get a deeper seal.

    IMAG3864.jpg

    Isolation and leakage – 4.5/5
    There are no vents in the housings. As a result, with the deep double-flanges, we get excellent isolation. With music ON you’re near totally isolated even in a noisy environment. I would say these are just behind Etys in this aspect. No leakage is noticed, and these are office proof.

    Microphonics – 4/5

    Not an issue at all, over the ear wear helps to eliminate any cable noise. I see no issues while walking about with the wires jumping about me.

    Drivability – Extremely easy to drive, possibly the easiest to drive in my IEM collection. They get quite loud with 40% volume driven by HTC 10.

    Sound
    The Akoustyx R-115 sounds full and is a musical IEM. It has plenty of warmth and the mids sound very organic indeed. There is certain lack of air in the treble region. As a result, the centre is rooted on the mids and bass, and the treble plays at a distance, politely, and does not try to grab the spotlight.

    Akoustyx R-115 measurement by the manufacturer
    FR_R115.JPG
    Bass: The BA bass, surprisingly, reaches low and adds a good amount of punch and warmth to the mix. We strike a nice balance between detail and impact quantity. Sub-bass rumble presents itself tastefully, and there is some reverb that can be really felt. The bass never gets boomy and sounds like it should. Although not dynamic, the bass out of this single BA is natural and correctly tuned.

    Mids: The mids are intimate, and highly musical in nature. They sound thick and notes are weighty. The tonality is slightly coloured and one will notice this immediately. Male vocals sound authentic and intimate, done very well. Female vocals lack some of that shrill quality and sometimes come across as a bit dull. Pushing the volume too much will make the mids shouty, like it is usually the case with mid-centric IEMs. Sibilance is completely avoided, and any amount of SSSs and ZZZs will be of no bother to even the most sensitive listener.

    Highs: The highs are very polite and inoffensive. These are definitely tuned with long listening sessions in mind. Going for the inoffensive route also results in a certain lack of detail retrieval from the treble regions. This can be noticed in the cymbals and hi-hats where they restrain from attack. They are present but are not the most resolving in detail. If you have one complaint against this IEM, this will be it. The tuning also keeps the IEM from sounding bright.

    Timbre: The mids and bass instruments are portrayed clearly and with an extra dose of warmth. We are left a little wanting in the treble for more definition and attack.

    Soundstage:
    Soundstage envelopes the listener and shows some depth. Not very wide since the stage is intimate. We can call it a well-rounded stage, extending a bit in all 3 dimensions albeit not too much.

    Comparisons

    IMAG3867.jpg
    Round 1 – Vs Sennheiser IE 40 Pro (~100 USD)
    Sennheiser‘s recent iteration of single dynamic Stage monitor series is a good benchmark IEM priced below 100 USD. Let’s see how different the R115s are in comparison.

    The IE40 Pro are a balanced IEM with a big bass and big treble. There is great detail retrieval and the vocals/mids are (only) slightly recessed. The soundstage is quite wide with limited height. High pitch voices and treble come out crisply and they tend to sound bright when there is much treble action.

    Switching to the R115s, we can immediately notice a great dose of warmth introduced to the tone. R115s are full sounding, and the male vocals are up front, and are delivered with great clarity. The notes are heavier, and they sound greatly organic. There is absolutely no hint of harshness in the treble. In fact, the treble is very inoffensive as it plays only a supporting role in the background. Especially in contrast to the emphasised treble of the IE40 Pro, one will notice a lack of attack and detail retrieval in this region.

    Between the two, R115s are better in playing the bass and mids. But the Senns do treble better at the cost of coming across as brigher. R115s play intimately while the Senns spread out to a larger, more breathier soundstage.

    Round 2 – Etymotic ER2SE (~129 USD)
    Same price. Let’s see how the R115s BA driver stands against the Dynamic driver of the ER2SEs.

    The mid-bass quantity/ impact seems to be very similar. The R115 sub-bass is greater in quantity and gives us better impact than light attack of the ER2SE. The lower mids are slightly more forwarded in the R115 unit, which adds greater amount of warmth in this region. The impact and details are near perfect. Male vocals are absolutely clear and forward. They sound very up-close in the R115s, even more so than the ER2SEs for certain deep voices due to the extra thick delivery. R115s also display a decent amount of depth in the stage.

    The upper mids of the ER2SE are more neutral/forward, where the R115s restrict themselves to a smooth and warm level. Female vocals are better with the ER2SEs as a result. The Etys are also able to extract more details compared to ER2SE.

    Striving towards neutrality, ER2SE sounds more balanced over the mids and treble. The R115s give you a better bass, including sub-bass, but leave you wanting a little bit of treble action. Immersive, organic R115s vs brighter, more detail oriented, monitoresque presentation of the ER2SE. Their intentions seem to be completely different.

    Round 3 – Vs Final Heaven IV (~120 USD)
    Let’s compare the R115s, to a similarly priced, and similarly warm Final Audio Heaven IV, that also runs on a single BA driver.

    Comparing the two, again, we notice a more intimate sound centred on the mids with the R115s. The Heaven IVs display better instrument separation and detail retrieval, and accordingly sound slightly thinner in comparison. The R115s are warmer and come across as slightly darker – possibly due to the polite treble delivery. Certain male vocals are done better in the R115s than the Heaven IV due to the extra warmth and clarity in the lower mids.

    The R115s are much more intimate than the Heavens, and they have a tendency to get a bit cluttered in busy passages. The Heaven IVs take a middle ground tries to give us a little bit of intimacy and a bit of treble excitement as well. There is a certain distance from the stage with the Heavens and the soundstage opens up considerably, whereas with the R115 you are right in between the players. You might say the heavens are slightly more V shaped and retrieve more treble information where the R115s are a little more middy.

    Round 4 – Vs Flare R2As (~120 USD discontinued)
    Comparing the two since the R2A is also a warm IEM, with a thick sound. Let’s see where the R115s stand again the dynamic drivers of Flare R2A.

    The bass of the R2A are HUGE. And the sub-bass rumbles are copious. On the other end the treble is thin and spikey. The mids, as well has a certain thinness to it. Detail retrieval is decent.

    Switching to the R115s in this case is relieving, and we see a great increase in mid-range clarity due to the controlled bass. The BA clarity with vocals is also much better to listen to. Compared to the boomy bass, thin mids and spikey treble of the R2A, the R115s subdued treble delivery works better.

    The R115s play on another level.

    Further musings
    The R115s remind me of the Ultrasone Tio in the intimate sound that they deliver. The Tio goes further and extracts more information from the treble, sounds clearer, at the risk of sounding harsher. Here the R115 takes the safe route by letting go of some treble clarity. For my own taste, spoiled by all the studio monitoring IEMs, i would have preferred a bit more detail retrieval. But we must consider that the Tio was around 300 USD, whereas the R115s are a little above a 100 dollars.

    Personal Sound Rating of Akoustyx R-115: 8.4/10
    Vocals 4/5
    Soundstage 4/5
    Timbre 3.8/5
    Instrument Separation 3.8/5
    Positioning/localisation 4/5
    Details 4/5

    IMAG3869.jpg

    Conclusion
    The Akoustyx R-115 is a full sounding, immersive IEM that is very musical. They provide great isolation and the fit is supremely comfortable. Tuned for the stage, they provide a very intimate listening experience. The bass is perfect all the way down to 20Hz. If monitoring and detail extraction is not your priority and immersing yourself in the music for a long time is, then the R115 will keep you smiling with their fatigue free tuning.
      iBo0m and hqssui like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. iems0nly
      @iBo0m never tried the CA Comets. Sorry. But i checked the graph, Comets seem way bassier and V-shaped. These have the right amount of bass, but sound warm due to their polite treble tuning. These are very intimate, and being super sensitive can get real loud!
      iems0nly, Aug 26, 2019
      iBo0m likes this.
    3. iBo0m
      You're right I didn't remember the Comets graph correctly. However, they were definitely not bassheads but the bass was quite punchy for BA (also fast which is typical for BA). Anyway, I'm being very tempter by the R-115! :) Did you have some issues with hiss (for particular devices, output impedance) if they're so sensitive?
      iBo0m, Aug 26, 2019
    4. iems0nly
      @iBo0m Zero hiss using my HTC10. I haven't tried them with any amps,etc, but with its high sensitivity you wouldn't need one.
      iems0nly, Aug 27, 2019
      iBo0m likes this.