ApeSonic Rain

ngoshawk

Headphoneus Supremus
Apesonic Rain-Purple & Cable: Purple Rain is good...
Pros: Good looking
Fit
Decently large bass
Good foundation for their next model
Treble is pleasant, not bitey
Cons: Less coherence
V-shaped
does not separate itself from the rest
Lack of accessories
No Case
Apesonic Rain-Purple & Cable ($44): Purple Rain is good...3.75 stars

Apesonic

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Specs:

Not much is available, but:

1, Comfortable Ear-Canal Fitting;
2, Full & Wide Frequency Response;
3, MMCX Connect, Cable Changeable;
4, Hybrid Balanced-Armature & Dynamic Trasducers.
5, Synthetic-Resin & Half-Transparent Shell

Finally, about the Hybrid drivers sound quality, the small balanced armature unit is responsible for middle and high frequency, and a diameter 10mm moving coil transducer is responsible for providing enough dynamic bass. A passive crossover is built in the earphone to ensure smooth vocal and phase response (which is very important for stereo imaging).

The Cable of RAIN is made by 5N pure copper core and Teflon smoke-transparent skin, golden-plated MMCX connector & 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, do not support call function (without microphone), together with smoke-plated aluminum shell, this cable will provide you pure & clear sound.



In the box:

Rain-Purple IEM
Rain cable
Tips

(The gear came in two very small clear plastic cases, which were not much larger than the items themselves. Call it conservation on steroids.)

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Gear Compared/Used:

Kinera BD005 ($49)
Whizzer HE01 ($75)
CCA C10 Pro ($49)

HiBy R3 Pro Saber
Shanling M0



Songs:

Alex Fox
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Elton John
Twenty one pilots
Santana
Buena Vista Social Club
Jeff Beck


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Unboxing:

As noted above, the items came in two very small clear, plastic cases. That’s it. I assume that is so if you order only the IEM, it can be shipped in a small container and vice versa. I like the idea, but since it does not come with a dedicated carrying case for the duo, you still need to provide one. I used an aftermarket case, which is large enough to fit either the Shanling M0 or HiBy R3 Pro Saber and the Rain. That case can “comfortably” fit into my pocket or with ease in my backpack. That’s it.


Build:

I read somewhere on a FB post that the Rain is actually another manufacturers model, but with the guts taken out and replaced with single balanced armature for the mids and highs; and a 10mm dynamic driver for the lows. The aforementioned model was a multi-driver bit with more BA’s. I can neither confirm nor deny the close tie, but only verify what the specs state for the Rain.

With what I would call a normally shaped shell, the Rain fits easily into my average-sized ears. Ordering the “purple” since it is my favorite color, I was surprised at the subtleness of the color. The JET model is much more vibrant in color and some will immediately like that option. I would call the purple a “midnight purple” in color and very subtle. You can feel the lip of the faceplate, but I do not fear it coming apart such as some I have had in the past.

The shell itself is of a grayish color but see through so you can see the BA and DD inside. There is one port on the bottom, below the stubby nozzle (which allows good fit). The MMCX connection at the top is protected well, but the cables ear guides form a “Treble Cleft” of wrapping ability that to me is too much. Make it more flexible and a bit shorter to cut down on the ingress/egress around your sound-listening-device. The subtle color carries over to the cable, with the grayish bronze showing as a nice compliment to the IEM.

The overall look of the Rain-Purple is quite appealing to those who like subtle and care more about the sound than garish looks. Of this, I do approve.

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Technology:

A small balanced armature unit is responsible for middle and high frequency, while a 10mm moving coil dynamic driver provides enough dynamic bass down low. A passive crossover is said to ensure smooth vocal and phase response providing good stereo imaging. This is a typically built unit, with typical hybrid technology. I do like the simplicity of a single BA and a single DD. The KISS methodology comes to mind here, and I’m good with that.

That 10mm DD does provide a solid foundation, and the single BA (unknown origin to me) provides good reach up top, providing the Rain with to me the classic V-shaped signature of many models in this range, and it could be called “consumer tuned.”


Sound:

Summary: At this price many are of the classic V-shaped ilk. This would be another, which to me is not all that bad. Deep reaching bass that while it does override the mids, gives the foundation for excellent EDM or hard rock, or even Rap provides a basis of which male vocals such as Ziggy Marley’s doeth ride upon. A hard push up top, without sibilance settles the V-shape and there you go. What is slightly different here is that there are only two drivers. A single BA and a single DD of which to run it all. That passive crossover ensures vocals are heard and to me pushed more forward than they ought to be. But if you are a fan of say Billie Eilish or the sort, this may just be your budget offering. Not if they could drop the price to make it a bit more competitive, this would make for a really hard decision in that segment.

I do like the Rain, and maybe I am a classic-V type of listener as I get older. Then I pop in my Legend X and I forget of what I speak regarding V-anything. But the dynamic driver does provide a solid foundation in the bass department. Reaching deep, but bleeding into the mids, what could have been a superb presentation falls short as it runs a bit slow to me. Thick would be an apt description for the low end, and while I do find it enticing, I would have preferred a bit more control and pace. Mind you, it isn’t boring or so loose you need to corral it, but one wonders how a bit more restraint might have tamed it to make a really good taut thump. Still good, but in this sub-$50usd market, one might a bit more control and speed.

Since there is bleed into the mids, male vocals do sound quite good. Ziggy’s Dragonfly (one of my all-time favorite songs) sound uplifting and forward, with the dynamic driver helping push his voice to the front. On Dave Matthews So Damn Lucky, the same occurs. Such a wonderful song and with the tuning of the Rain, I do enjoy that sound. But there isn’t a whole lot of detail present. I am guessing that this may be due to the classic-V. I do not really mind, even as the track gets a bit busy. On Gravedigger, the song is intensely busy and complex. With the strings and electric guitars playing together in a cacophony of sound, you get the sense that the overriding bass hinders the showing of that complexity. I still enjoy the sound, but not like I would on say the BQEYZ Spring2, which to me is superb in the mids. I did find myself turning the volume up, though. This could be due to the tuning and the Rain just wants to sing.

On the aforementioned song Gravedigger, I did get a mild amount of sibilance from Dave’s voice. Not as bad as many other competitors from a manufacturer, which shall remain nameless, thankfully. But it was present. As such, the treble note makes the story complete in the V-shaped department. Classically tuned for this, but without that overly sparkly sound up top, nor tinged too much in the nether regions, it is enjoyable and this to me is where EDM may sound quite good. You could raise the volume to get that piercing of sound, which permeates the genre, but without the grating attending from some (think manufacturer of which I spoke a few sentences back).The push up top provides a good amount of clarity, helping offset the lower bleed. Somewhat.

Soundstage comes across as competent, but not cavernous. Decent of width, and height it falls a bit short in depth. I would consider this about average overall as a result. From this, detail and layering is average as well. I can distinctly pick out the instruments, but placement is a bit confusing at times. Mainly on complex tracks, and as a result separation is also only average. PraT is good for the cost, and while not great due to the slow nature of the dynamic driver, it is adequate for music, which relies upon a more laidback “natural” sound. Much of rock music is thick and heavy, and the Rain works well in that genre. If you prefer warmth and richness, the Rain goes along with that tuning, and does so well. The sound is also a bit exciting, so rock won’t sound like the old 80’s songs with their really horrible MTV videos (blech). While this may seem dichotomous, it really isn’t as on the song Grey Blue Eyes, the bass rumbles nicely giving that deepness and richness so the song oozes with character. Play Dragonfly again right after, and you get a vibrant uplifting tonality, which almost seems antithesis to the aforementioned song. It isn’t, and this does show decent tuning to provide the listener with variety.

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Comparison:

Apesonic Rain (w/ cable, $44) v Kinera BD005 Pro ($49):

The BD005 Pro is the latest in a long line of innovative products from Kinera. Having the same set up as the Apesonic, this is a good duo to compare. The Kinera comes across with more clarity than the Rain, but with less thump. If you prefer a more neutral sound, then the Kinera is a better choice here. If you prefer the classic-V, then the Rain would be the better choice. What the Kinera lacks in bass thump, it provides in the mids, including vocals. Coming across as clean and crisper than many at this segment, it does provide the listener with a more vibrant signature than the Rain. Thankfully, that vibrancy does not transfer into a shouty or sibilant treble section, either. Providing a good upper end, the BD005 Pro gives the listener a much better airier presentation. And when called upon, such as on the live version of Bittersweet, there is sufficient bass to hold your attention.

Both provide about the same sound stage as well. That said, I found the Kinera somewhat of a conundrum. On some songs it sounded wider, while others presented a more intimate presentation. I would not call it narrow by any means. But both lack the depth of which can give good spatial presentation. More 2D, than 3D, but both are acceptable at this price range. This one comes down to whether you prefer the classic-V or a more balanced sound with better mids, espousing the same technology.


Apesonic Rain (w/ cable, $44) v Whizzer HE01 ($75):

The HE01 continues the success of the Whizzer line up to me (review published). I was a big fan of the HE03, and the HE01 brings “newer” technology at a lower price, so I do believe whizzer gets it. Running a single 10.2mm dynamic driver labeled as the “4th generation BRIGHT” dynamic driver, the company shows that not all IEM’s need be multi-driver units to sound good. Much has been made about the speed of bass between BA’s and DD’s. The Whizzer starts to chip away at the DD stigma of speed. At least at this price. I found the HE01 thoroughly engaging, with good bass and a musical vocal presentation. On the slightly warmer side, but not like the Rain, this may not be a fair comparison. Especially when you espouse that the rain is the company’s first iteration and Whizzer has had the ability to play around for much longer.

That said, I do wish the HE01 had a bit more down low. Tuning for a bit more thump might have appease me but could also have led to the same bass bleed of the Rain. For that, I do prefer the tuning of the Whizzer, for it pretty much presents the whole package and has quickly become one of my go-to recommendations at the sub-$75usd price point. A thoroughly competent IEM and well worth a look.



Apesonic Rain (w/ cable, $44) v CCA C10 Pro ($49):

The C10 Pro came as a review unit. And while I do espouse the virtues of the CCA line as my favorite of the three KZ iterations, I am simply not a fan of the tuning. That said, the reason I do like the CCA is FOR the tuning. To me it provides the most mature of the three repetitions, and I can live with that. On Shane Hennessy’s Rain Dance, they guitar work is superb, but I get a sense of a slight hollowness through the C10 Pro. Not so with the V-shape of the Rain. A bit dry of taste, the C10 Pro to me is one of the line ups best, and it is a good choice for the throw in the bag gym pair, or commute. Good, but not great bass is had as the dynamic driver tries to ply through the four BA’s. Competent comes to mind, but not inspiring. But, on Bittersweet, the song does come alive with a speedy bass laying tonality down while vocals come to the front, but not as much as on the Rain. A welcome change, this seems to show that all the parts work together in unison to present that even sound. Not bad.

If you want clarity and a good near-neutral sound, then the C10 Pro is the easy choice. If you prefer a more V-shaped, classical sound then the Rain is the obvious choice of the two.


Finale:

The Rain comes into the market with big expectations. Mirrored off another, our representative tells us that he is very lucky to have the owner be a respected sound engineer as well. I do not doubt that when he told us. I can also see why Apesonic took the straightforward route of making something that might be considered “safe” in tuning. This could be called the “Classic V-shaped” tuning, and that would be correct. For those who like bigger bass, with the support up top; then this might be one for them. The vocals support comes along as well, giving a sense of filling in that V. A bit higher and more forward though, and some might be turned off of that tuning. I for one do not mind and applaud the companies first effort here. My hope is that they can take more of a chance on something in the future. Because the current market is littered with companies who weren’t (or were) brave enough in the segment at which they aimed. I would hate to see that happen here, for the company backing is in all the right places. One need only peruse their website to get that they are a conscientious group, who cares about the items they offer and the planet. Maybe espouse that connection a bit more with a Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) and that flamboyance for their next IEM. Make a statement of your intent and follow through with that.

All of the above said, you should give it a listen, especially if you like the sound in a classically shaped sound signature, which in no way could be confused with the Harman Curve (thank goodness). I thank George and Apesonic for the review sample, and I did enjoy the listen. My hope is that they are willing to take that chance to move up to the next level. And that they succeed. We need more quality brands on the market to combat the “big three.”

Cheers, and good listening.

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Dsnuts

Headphoneus Supremus
ApeSonic RAIN
Pros: Very affordable, solid build, well isolating with a decent spacious stage for earphones. Highly detailed and surprisingly technical given the price point. Well defined bass to treble. Option to buy the earphones without the stock cable. Very competitive for a budget fi offering.
Cons: Accessories are at a bare minimum. No pouch or anything to carry around the earphones with. Cable is just ok. Treble is a touch peaky and takes precedence over the tonality. Not the most coherent. Lacks musicality. BA timbre for trebles.
ApeSonic Rain
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ApeSonic is a new and upcoming retailer of headphones and earphones. From online web site located here. You can read about their offerings which are sold on newegg.com web site here.

The Rain it is called is their newest hybrid IEM that uses a single 10mm dynamic and a single BA in a resin encased medium sized shell for IEM housings. The shape and design of the housing will look familiar to folks that own budget Chi fi earphones as they resemble earphones from CCA, KZ, KBEAR and NiceHCK. Similar in design but the difference being that the housing is a solid piece of resin vs drivers that are just placed within a housing. I can tell resin was poured inside the plastic shell for a solid block of plastic. Which makes the Rain very durable. Due to the all resin design sound isolation is above average.
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I was contacted through an old time headfir who is currently working with ApeSonic and was offered a review sample so I agreed to take a good listen and do a write up about their new Rain. The Rain can be bought in 2 color varieties. Brownish marble with gold leaf flakes which is called JET and a purple colored variant.

Upon receiving the earphones I was surprised as their photos make the Rain look like something different and new however upon careful inspection the Rain looks very identical to other Chi fi universals used by myriads of companies like KBEAR, NiceHCK, CCA, KZ and the like. Of course on the box itself it says it is made in China which makes me believe these are a rebrand from a larger OEM company out of China now using the ApeSonic branding. Which is fine, ultimately it comes down to the actual performance of the earphones that matters to you and me so let's get right into it.
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This housing works in that it is a mass produced housing which makes sense given their cost and design. It is a one size fit all universal housing you have seen numerous times. Functional and yes you can stuff up to 7 drivers in this housing as shown on the NX7 models. I have no issue with the housing per se but not exactly original, the tuning however was surprising for the given price point.

A bigger surprise to me was that upon listening to the Rain, not only did the housing look similar in form and shape like the previously mentioned NX7 MK3 but it also sounded identical to them down to the tonality. Keep in mind that the Rain costs $50 excluding the cable. So it bodes them well in comparison to the NX7s as those cost more than double with more than triple the driver count of the Rains. Either the NX7 earphones was under utilizing all them drivers or the Rain here could be an overachiever considering it is using only one dynamic and one BA for the sound.
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Included accessories are at a bare minimum. You get 3 sets of silicones in different sizes and a set of double flange tips. The cables it comes with is the same skinny insignificant, single ended, throw in cable you get in a lot of cheaper earphones. Well to be fair it is supposedly a higher quality 5n copper cable but who measures cable quality nowadays especially in a sub $50 earphone? Just know that it works but that is all I can say regarding the cable. It is prone to tangle too. I honestly think you're better off not getting the $55 included cable option as just about any aftermarket cable will be an upgrade in ergonomics and performance over this stock cable. For an included cable it is just standard fair.
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Sound was evaluated using my sources. Fiio M15, Shanling M6 pro, M5s, M3s, Sony ZX300, IBasso DX160, and my IFI Black Label

Overall I would say for $50 you can do a whole lot worse that is for certain but with longer listening sessions the Rain while sounding like its cousin the NX7 MK3 with red filter. It also shows some similar issues as the NX7 MK3. It has a surprising amount of detail you wouldn’t associate with a $50 earphone.

The Rains at first seem like a highly resolving and technical earphone but lack some naturalness which comes off a bit cooler in tone and timbre. With an ample amount of upper mids and trebles, sound design has a clear influence on the detailed nature of the tuning. A warmer source is recommended to match up better with the Rains. The BA being used shows all what a BA can do including the typical BA imaging and timbre for the region.
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It was tuned with a high fidelity type tuning leaning a bit more toward analytical in nature as treble and clarity takes precedence for tonality. Lacking in any type of richness the rain makes up for it with ample detail with good imaging across the sound design, adding to that a punchy well defined bass end. You can’t expect high levels of resolving ability but it does do a good job for detail with a good sense of space with decent layering for your music.

Treble can come off a touch edgy at times with ample presence especially the mid to upper trebles, while showing good sparkle. Treble has that BA coldness that is unmistakable among budget fi earphones. Sound balancing shows the coolness of the upper registers and the warmth of the bass end with not much in between the two tones here. The Rain is a mild V shaped sound tuning with surprisingly good dynamics.
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The Rain does a good job mimicking a higher end tuning with a good technical foundation given the price point. For folks that haven’t heard a good $100 plus range of earphones that does this type of tuning, these will sound great if not amazing but for folks that are even moderately experienced with budget fi and the greatest of what Chi fi has produced at the price range. These might not impress nearly as much. While they genuinely sound good for the price I don't necessarily feel they are ground breaking at the same time. While I may sound a bit harsh when describing the Rain. Competition for even $50 price range of earphones is at an all time high. These are competing with the likes of budget fi giants TinHi fis and Blons for your money not to mention all the other Chi fi manufacturers I previously mentioned and much more. I can recommend these but with a few caveats. Throw on a good thicker 8 cored copper cable, get your best aftermarket tips on and that you have a warm source to play these with.

Upper mids sound a touch rough depending on your source. I notice DAPs with a high degree of detail don't sound all too natural with the Rains. Shanling daps do extremely well to match up with the Rains due to their warmer tunings for their DAPs. The upper mids can show a slight bit of glare due to that ample treble emphasis. While not exactly sibilant it is just at the edge of that. All is not lost however as the trade off for ample treble emphasis is a good amount of micro detail with very good clarity for the overall sonics. Which again replicates a much higher end tuning. It was reported that the BA here is doing the mids to treble. To my ears it sounds like the dynamic is doing the bass to mids and BA is doing the treble as their tonality is not exactly coherent. Treble tonality sounds more energetic vs the rest of the sound hence that BA timbre for treble is clearly evident. Not exactly natural but for treble fans these will have ample presence for all parts that include the highs. Mids is not recessed but not really forward either so the mid bands take a step behind treble notes and the bass end.
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Bass has a good 10dbs of enhancement for the mid bass and gently slopes toward 20 hz and to my ears they do have a bit of roll off but not to the point where you're gonna notice a clear drop off. Bass here has almost the exact same amount in emphasis and in ability to the NX7s bass, but upon closer comparison the bass emphasis while similar lacks the textured bass that the NX7 earphones have so not exactly the same bass ends. Emphasis and ability is good here with a satisfying moderate level of emphasis in the region so your bass tracks sounds complete. Bass shows a good deal of agility and presence with tunes that call upon emphasized bass notes. In the price range bass end is detailed with good authority but is not quite a bass head type bass nor is it lacking in bass presence. You can’t expect top of the line bass for earphones that cost $50 but for the given price point, bass is surprisingly satisfactory.

Overall the tuning is versatile with a clean detailed signature in mind and for the budget minded enthusiasts will give a good slice of Chi fi hi fidelity. While the treble end could use more refinement it has an above average level of detail and clarity which shadows the overall tonality. Acoustic tracks that need a bit of an edge for detail to pop the Rain shows good presence and does a fine job to immerse you in your music. The mids have good range with a punchy dynamic bass end. The Rains will be a perfect gift for yourself or a loved one to get into higher end earphone sonics on the affordable. While the housing and build will be a familiar one for Chi fi enthusiast the build is actually very good with an encased poured resin housing vs an open hollow plastic shell. The Rain has a good build, good detailed dynamics, good isolation and easy to drive. Your $50 will go a long way with the Rains.
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As always, thanks for taking the time to read.
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