Today we're checking out Auglamour's entry into the ear bud world, the RX-1.
In my experience with the brand, Auglamour's products are well built, highly stylish, and provide an enjoyable sound, all while keeping costs well within reason. The RX-1 is no different and is probably my second favorite product from the brand, just behind the excellent GR-1 amplifier. Let's check out why!
Thanks to Chi at Penon Audio for arranging a sample of the RX-1 for the purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are my own and do not represent Penon, Auglamour, or any other entity. There was no financial incentive provided to provide a positive review or otherwise. At the time of this review the RX-1 retailed for 23.00 USD: https://penonaudio.com/auglamour-rx-1.html?search=auglamour
For at home use the RX-1 was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp with my Asus FX53V laptop sourcing the beats. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, F.Audio S1, HiFiMan MegaMini, or HiFi E.T. MA8, all of which easily brought it up to listening volume. I found the RX-1 easy to drive and didn't feel the need to amp it when used with my portable devices.
I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.
Specifications: Taken from the manual
- Driver: 14.3mm dynamic
- Impedance: 15 +/- 3.5Ω
- Sensitivity: 105dB@1KHz
- Frequency Response: 10Hz-20Hz
I have no idea how accurate these specs are since they vary greatly from site to site, including Auglamour's own store where they have two different sets of specs listed. Your guess is as good as mine.
Packaging and Accessories:
The RX-1's packaging is very unique. It comes in a large jewel case, clasped shut via a large elastic band similar to those you use to strap an amp to your media player. The RX-1 is set within a thick wood block etched with the Auglamour branding and model information. Below is a white cardboard box containing the accessories. In all you get;
- RX-1 ear buds
- Clamshell carrying case
- 3 pairs of solid foams
- 3 pairs of donut foams
- Short clip
- Auglamour logo pendant
- Pink/Blue elastic bands
This is a good bit of kit, not just for the price, and a cool package unlike anything I've seen before. That said, my pics do not show the RX-1 set within the wood block for a reason. When I get in a new product, I immediately test it out to make sure it works. When the RX-1 was first removed, they fit so snuggly in the cutouts in the wood block that I felt I was going to tear the cable apart. Once I managed to get them out, they never went back I because the fit was so tight. This is a testament to the RX-1's build quality because I highly doubt 99% of products I've tested would have held up to the amount of strategic tugging required to remove it from it's prison.
Build and Comfort:
The RX-1's MIM shells are wonderfully crafted. The vents on the back are clean and precise, as are the details on the top. The way the cable feeds visibly through the stem is quite different, and adds some additional visual flair to what is already a unique looking ear bud. The only plastic is a small ring that surrounds the metal grill.It doesn't really match the aesthetically, but it's a minor concern at worst and is likely going to be covered by some foams which are necessary to get the most out of the RX-1.
The cable is a bit of a mixed bag, but overall is pretty decent. On the plus side, it is extremely durable, as I found when trying to remove the RX-1 from the packaging. The jack and y-split are all metal with acceptable relief at the jack. Strain relief is absent everywhere else. Microphonics are present, but not too intrusive. The downsides are the cable is a little stiff and it has retained all the bends from when it was first released from it's packaging. It would probably straighten out with a bit of heat from a hairdryer.
The RX-1's drivers are pretty small at 14.3mm meaning the face of the ear bud is very compact. The angle of the taper from the rear to the front of the housing is fairly minimal too, letting the RX-1 rest very daintily in your ear. It's not the most secure fit, but the RX-1's slightly above average weight keeps it in place. It's overall exceptionally comfortable, with no sharp edges or spots that would cause discomfort. If you like to wear your buds over ear, you might need to find some silicone ear guides so they stay in place. The relaxed taper means they aren't particularly stable when worn cable-up.
Foams: Full foams made the RX-1 overly thick and congested. Donut foams helped improve clarity and maintained a solid level of bass but still felt slightly congested. Using the RX-1 naked makes them more mid/treble focused with a neutral bass response. I prefer them this way as it avoids the congestion issues heard when using foams.
The RX-1 has a pleasant sound that is easy to listen to over long periods Treble is well extended with smooth peaks that keep it from being overly bright or aggressive. It's a fairly detailed upper range too with the RX-1 sounding clean and crisp with the cymbals work and pianos on Supertramp's “School”. Airiness is lacking with foams, improving vastly without.
The mid-range is typical ear bud; prominent. Vocals, both male and female, come through loud and clear with a pleasant weight and coherence. Timbre is quite satisfying with instruments sounding like they should. Guitars especially have a wicked crunch to them that makes metal a fun genre through the RX-1.
Bass is slightly elevated with good depth. Sub-bass is quite prominent for an ear bud, especially one with a smaller than average driver, pending you're using foams. Without it tends to roll off early. It's well textured and quick with a speedy decay and plenty of attack. Throwing on foams makes them quite a bit bassier, pulling the RX-1 into v-shaped territory.
Sound stage is smaller than average for an ear bud. When using foams, on particularly busy tracks the RX-1 sound congested. Running it foam free opens it up considerably. Imaging is accurate enough but not to the point where I'd be using these for gaming. Layering is excellent giving off a good sense of depth. Separation is decent too, though using foams hinders this aspect significantly.
The RX-1's signature changes significantly using foams, and as such I warrant anyone who picks these up to take some time to experiment to make sure you're getting the sound you want out of them. Another thing to note. Using them on the daily I never found myself wishing for a wider, deeper stage. Only once I started pitting them against other ear buds did the intimate nature of the RX-1's presentation really show itself as a negative.
The RX-1 has a more balanced signature with less low end emphasis and a more forward mid-range. It has a less full bodied sound than the 150Pro which sounds more like listening to a full-sized set of headphones, especially in the bass presentation which is more robust and engaging. The 150Pro's vastly superior sound stage also let individual instruments and effects breath, avoiding the congestion issues of the RX-1 when paired with foams. Even without foams, the RX-1 is the more closed in and intimate sounding of the two. The RX-1 requires significantly less power to drive, which makes sense given the 150Pro is a 150ohm ear bud.
The HE 150Pro is nicely made with metal shells and a quality braided cable. It has a bit of a DIY feel to it though, especially noticeable when comparing to the RX-1. The 150Pro's generic shells, glue filled y-split, and generic straight jack can't hold a candle to the RX-1. I do prefer the 150Pro's cable though since it has no microphonics, is very flexible, and displays no memory. Comfort is a pretty much a wash between the two. Maybe the RX-1 comes out on top due to the smaller housings, making them more suitable to a wider variety of ears.
The Ti7 is somewhat mid-range focused. Despite feeling it has a fairly thick sound, it's leaner than the RX-1. Bass on the RX-1 digs deeper and has a similar impact. Treble on the Ti7 is smoother and more precise with greater definition and detail. He mid-range is much the same, with improve clarity. Sound stage on the Ti7 is much larger as well, bless with more accurate imaging, depth to it's layering, and greater instrument separation. It requires more power to drive than the RX-1, but not nearly to the extent of the 150Pro.
The Ti7 is one of the more unique looking and well built ear buds I've come across. So is the RX-1. Materials, fit, and finish are about even with the RX-1 getting the nod. It's design is more complicated. Much like the 150Pro, the Ti7's cable is a step up; limited cable noise, great flexibility, no memory, better strain relief, chin cinch, carbon fibre infused jack, etc. etc. It's a great cable. Fit handily goes to the RX-1. The Ti7's housings are thick, angular, and in the right position can poke your ears causing discomfort.
The RX-1's sonic performance isn't class leading but it's plenty enjoyable and fair for the price. It also fits in with what I think this product does best; act as a daily driver. This bud is small, comfortable, and durable. It's the type of ear bud you toss in your bag or pocket without worry, pulling them out when you have a moment to listen to some tunes. You pop them in your ears fuss-free and can get them up to volume with ease using your phone, DAP, or whatever you happen to be using as a source. While they do not isolate at all, their physically forward presentation helps keep the music in the forefront, sitting ahead of all the noise of the world around you. I can't think of a single ear bud in my collection that does that as well as the RX-1.
Thanks for reading!
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Some Test Tunes:
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)
Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)
King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)
Tobacco – screw*d Up Friends (Album)
Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)
The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)
Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)
Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)
Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)
Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)