IMR Acoustics R1

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. subguy812
    IMR-R1
    Written by subguy812
    Published Jul 3, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Wonderful Bass, Tuning Filters, Performance to Price Ratio
    Cons - Cable Ergonomics
    IMR Acoustics R1

    IMR-R1 – Direct link to information

    Purchase B-Stock - B-Stock purchase if available

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    A Little Technical Stuff:

    · 13mm driver featuring Neodymium motors with beryllium diaphragm + Ceramic driver

    · IMR Open and close porting system

    · 5 Audio filters

    · 2 Pin detachable cable

    · Impedance: 32 Ohm

    · Sensitivity: 108 +/- 3DB

    · Frequency response: 14 - 40000Hz

    · 24ct Gold plated 3.5mm Jack

    · 1.4M length OFC cable

    · Hard Case

    · 6.5mm Adapter

    · Huge selection of ear tips for the perfect fit

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    FILTER SOUNDS:

    · Black - Maximum attack with powerful impactful bass, rich mids, and controlled highs

    · Pink - Slightly decreased bass from the black filter with the same mids and highs

    · Copper - Maximum bass, lush mids, and slightly recessed highs

    · Orange - Balanced bass and mids with rolled off highs

    · Blue - Beautifully balanced across the range, natural and airy sound with perfect mid and sub-bass.

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    IMR Acoustics IMR-R1

    -MRSP: Universal fit £500.00 GBP/$663 USD at the time of the review

    Sometimes available in B Stock – (currently £299.00 GBP - $397 USD)

    I want to thank Bob James, proprietor of IMR Acoustics for providing me with the IMR-R1 for review.

    Bob has been known in the industry for quite some time due to past affiliation with Trinity Audio. Bob’s company, IMR Acoustics, is a UK based company. The IMR-R1 is his current companies first go-round with an IEM and I will say they have made quite a royal splash, UK-Royal, get it? The IMR R1 has price positioned itself in the middle of the IEM tiers unless you are able to purchase a B-Stock which is quite a terrific bargain. However, while they may have priced themselves in the middle tier their sound quality can marginally compete with some upper tier offerings. I find the IMR-R1 has a great sound to price ratio.

    I am not generally the person that has a lot of patience for “tweaking” sound, I guess I am more of a plug and play person. The IMR-R1 has taught me that experimenting with various filters and open/closed port combos were fun and worth the experimentation. In the end, I was able to find my sweet spot with an open port and the pink filter, but I also will say I enjoyed the default black filter almost equally as well.

    The IMR-R1 is not without faults, as I will touch on later, but sound quality and the ability to engage the listener is not one of those faults.

    A one sentence summary would be, the first offering from IMR Acoustics is a worthy listen.
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    A Little Marketing Hype:

    The R1 is unlike any other universal in-ear monitor available on the market today.

    Experience sound like never before with beautifully textured bass and lush midrange and highs that are present but not harsh.

    Tuned to perfection using IMR's custom 13mm Ceramic hybrid driver unit. With its specialist hi-res ceramic driver combined with a beryllium 13mm dynamic driver with powerful neodymium motors for a huge soundstage and precise instrument placement and with an FR from 14-40000Hz to cover the whole audible range of audio.

    Unlike other manufacturers using ceramics in this market that require high power to drive their units ours only needs 32 Ohm!

    However, the R1's abilities do not stop there! The R1 also incorporates a switchable open and close port on the rear of the in-ear monitor to allow you to change the staging and shut off the outside world when required. In addition, the R1 is supplied with 5 audio filters to allow you to tweak the tuning to your individual style. These audio filters allow you to alter bass levels, treble levels and increase midrange as required.

    The First Switchable Open and Close Port

    The IMR R1 uses a unique switchable open and close port on the rear of the in-ear monitor, allowing you to change the staging and acoustic levels and shut off the outside world whenever you choose. This innovation is easily recognizable in quiet environments and is exclusive to the R1.

    Fully Customize Your Experience

    The IMR in-ear monitors are supplied with 5 acoustic audio filters allowing you to tune your IEM’s to your individual taste. These audio filters enable you to alter bass levels, treble levels and increase midrange to suit your personal preferences.

    3 YEAR WARRANTY

    5 ACOUSTIC AUDIO FILTERS

    SWITCHABLE OPEN AND CLOSE BACK

    WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

    · 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor

    · A semi-hard shell, zippered carry case,

    · 3.5mm cable

    · Eartips out the wazoo

    · IMR-R1 monitors

    · Filters and more filters

    · Shirt clip

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    Unboxing and Accessories:

    The accessories are plentiful. There are no cutesy items like wiping cloths or bags but the accessories that are included are exactly what is needed. A semi-hard, zippered carry case, ample ear tips in a variety of different styles and sizes and the sound filters. Originally a 2.5 balanced cable was included with the 3.5mm cable but the 2.5mm cable had issues and the decision was made to only include the 3.5mm cable. After the 2.5mm balanced cable was redone and issue free, I asked Bob if I could receive one and was promptly sent one. I have a 2.5mm and a 3.5mm SE cable, both being stock. I cannot think of anything else I would want as an accessory to further enhance my experience for that matter.

    The explanation of the filters and what they attempt to achieve is listed above. The IEM’s are threaded as are the filters, so one must only unscrew whatever filter you are currently using and screw in one you would like to switch to. Very simple! Each and every filter is distinguished by a different color. The only issue is the fact it is difficult to decipher which is the orange and which is the copper, copper is the darker orange one, maybe green or some other color not so close, might have been a better choice.

    I tried all of the filters and finally settled on the pink filters. I will say that “settled” may not be the correct choice of wording because out of my three favorite all seemed to be the “right one” at various times. I found the black(default), copper and pink to be my favorites. Keep in mind this is only my preference and YMMV and probably will.

    Eartip wise, I decided on the JVC Spiral Dot L tips. They provided me with the best overall experience. I received a great seal and bass response and well as comfort with the JVC tips, and overall the best sound.

    Now for the elephant in the room, the cable. Frankly, the cable sucks. It is rubber coated, uncomfortable, unruly, springy cable with a weird connector, to add to that, the cable doesn’t always want to stay behind the ears. The connector is a 2-pin so what could be so wrong? The pins insert into the IEM at an angle making it almost impossible to find one of your existing cables that will work. I hate the cable ergonomics and how it connects.

    The cable should not enough deter anyone from buying the R1, as a matter of fact, I have worse cables in my collection, the Dita Truth, a $500 cable, has worse ergonomics. The sound of the cable is adequate, but the fact that it has a mind of its own is disturbing. The cable ergonomics do improve a little over time. In one of the online forums there are many folks mentioning that they have found aftermarket cables that provide comfort and fit inside at the angle and that they have fallen completely in love with the R1 with an after-market cable.

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    Build and Quality and Fit:

    The IMR-R1 is quite an industrial, almost military looking IEM with metal screws and a brutish metal open/closed port dial. The R1 is neither large or small, the housings have a certain heft with its aluminum shell. The dial on the face of the housing is the main focal point as it is large and industrial with a notched edge. The bright chrome dial is designed to twist to give you either an open or a closed IEM depending on your environment. The nozzle itself is medium in length but extends further due to the fact that the filter threads into the nozzle end. The design is almost three pieces with the dial being one and both sides of the housing being two and three. The housing itself is a gunmetal color but with the huge dial being bright chrome it gives the illusion everything is chrome. On the side of the housing closest to your head, the monitors are labeled identifying the L and R and an IMR logo is emblazoned on the outside of the housing. The dial had some imperfections in the metal, I am usually very critical of imperfections but these have such an industrial design I wasn’t bothered.

    The build quality is solid in its metal housing. I am sure they are not indestructible but they certainly have a feeling that they will be your companion for the ages. The only thing I question may be the threading where you insert the filters. Inserting and removing with time can cause the threads to become stripped and cross-threaded. These are only ramblings and possibly unfounded worries. Also, after initially playing around with filters you will more than likely settle on a filter that satisfies you and not swap them often. Also, remember the IMR-R1 has a three-year warranty.

    A little more on the open/closed port dial. While it is a nice option, I found there to not be a staggering difference in sound quality between the open or closed position. Possibly, there is a bit more air in the open position but to me, it is not a huge night and day difference. It is subtle more than drastic. Also, the difference in isolation from outside noises is minimal.

    Overall, I have zero-real complaints with the comfort of the IEM. They are about in the middle of the pack as far as comfort is concerned. I have had torture devices and some IEM’s I barely knew were in my ears and these are somewhere in between, if it weren’t for the cable, ugh! The nozzle has a slight upward tilt which happens to work well for my ears.

    The IMR-R1 is a hybrid driver design utilizing a dual driver design. One being a beryllium13mm driver and the other a ceramic driver said to be a hi-res ceramic driver. I had no problem driving the IMR-R1 with any of the sources I have in my collection with the impedance being 32 ohms.

    While I am not disturbed by driver flex I know many folks are and I want to tell you that driver flex is present and can be quite strong, especially upon insertion.

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    Review Setup:


    This review was written utilizing multiple sources, Opus #2, LG V30, QP2R and Opus#1S. I listened using both a 3.5mm SE and 2.5mm balanced connection. I mostly utilized the pink filters and JVC Spiral Dot ear tips. My sample music consisted of 320kb and FLAC as well as streaming Tidal Masters, Spotify, and Deezer.

    Moving on to the sound section….

    The IMR-R1 is one of those IEM’s that comes out of the box and just smacks you into reality from the start, and it is a Godsmack. The default filter is the black filter and the R1 immediately begins to impress you with its prowess. It is a rich, snappy, bassy, with a up front and center aggressive sound. The R1 commands your attention and I admit it did get my attention. The IMR-R1 is not a smooth, Cohiba and Cognac type of IEM, not a warm, inviting s’mores around the campfire listen.

    Presentation

    To effectively articulate the presentation and overall sound signature I would begin with aggressive, fast, furious, snappy, gritty and unapologetic. There is a tremendous amount of energy and snap in the signature. As I have stated I am using the pink filters which I felt had the most impact on bringing out the positive attributes and taming the most negative attributes. The R1 does not do much to try to tame music files that are prone to sibilance or harshness and to me it’s sharp aggressive delivery of the highs is one of the few negatives I can mention. The positives are without a doubt are the incredible bass that envelopes the listener and makes for a toe-tapping, head bobbing experience. An example of some of the music that will showcase the speed and presentation of the R1 would be EDM or specifically the likes of Infected Mushroom. That genre of music has a lot going on within the music and the R1 also seems to deliver at a frantic pace so they match quite well. While my description may conjure a manic display the R1 performs with the same level of intensity across the spectrum, so it delivers quite a balance. If you want immersion, play YYZ from Rush and take in all of the fast and furious bliss that the R1 is capable of. The R1 is an incredibly capable IEM.

    The soundstage is very large and very well defined. Geometrically, It would be a large cube as it presents itself in more of a 3d fashion than a square. I think the fact the clarity of this IEM is superb lends itself to the encompassing feel that there is so much air around the notes. It certainly has one of the largest stages I have encountered. Worth mentioning is the fact that to my ears the entire delivery is so in your face. When listening you can forget feeling you are two or three rows back from the stage, with the R1 you are exactly at the stage. I feel even with the pink filter everything is in your face, and some of the filters make this effect more pronounced.

    I would classify the tonality and timbre to be average. The R1 has showcased other qualities in which it excels but the tone and timbre have a slight metallic sound, and those characteristics are placed mid-way through the list of specific qualities pertaining to the R1, with instruments sound ing realistic but their timbre being off. I am highlighting what I hear, but I do not wish to sound as if there are any glaring defects that would be considered deal breaking. I think the fact the treble extends so darn well really overshadows any artificial tones. The delivery is not spastic or out of control, in fact, I find it very controlled it is simply the tuning of the R1 and I feel Bob is presenting us the music exactly as he intended to.

    Each frequency range is clear, defined and well presented. Nothing bleeds or interferes with the providing you with clear definition. While there is a strong, snappy bass presence there is no real feeling of warmth or smoothness. Some adjectives that would not describe the R1 are lush, smooth, warm.

    Bass

    The bass is the driving force of the R1 and clearly, it is my favorite part of the signature. It is a thunderous yet fast, snappy bass. The sub-bass kicks with a jaw-rattling force, especially with the copper filters. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, By The Way, is a delightful listen to get a feel for the intensity of the bass. What the heck, anything by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Flea is awesome with the R1. The bass in the R1 is proud of its weight and it flaunts its girth without any loose or flabby notes. It is crisp and defined, to say the least. I am a huge fan of Dynamic Driver bass and the R1 certainly carries on that DD tradition. All of the bass frequencies are clearly represented and accounted for. Definition and resolution of the bass notes are what you can expect while having a serious impact that the listener can feel as well as hear. I feel the pink filter may decrease the sub-bass somewhat. There is a sharp decay and you won’t find any lingering notes. The bass of the Dita Dream is still at the top of the heap of the DD’s I have heard, based at the time I received the R1, but this would certainly be a close second and first in terms of impact with the Dunu DK-3001 also thrown somewhere in the mix.

    Mids

    Depending on the filter used, the mids can be very front and center. I think the pink filter is a little less aggressive than some of the others. The pink filters may produce a slight dip in the lower mid-range. There is no decline in the amount of clarity or details in the mid-range and as previously mentioned the separation is huge. Possibly, because the pink filter appears to slightly lessen the sub-bass it creates the illusion of increased clarity and detail. There is nothing analytical or fatiguing about the mid-range of the R1 in that it is not the most micro-detailed but the clarity is phenomenal. There are adequate details revealed but you won’t have fatigue over long listening sessions due to an overabundance of detail. To me, some of what you can achieve from the mid-range is going to be based on the music you throw at it. Meaning, the R1 has a capable mid-range and if the music is complex and detailed then that is what you will hear.

    Treble


    This is the part of the signature I wrestle with the most. The treble extends well and has a very aggressive shimmer. The treble certainly aids in producing the awesome soundstage and delivery of details but yet there is something metallic to me in the tone. It is not really a natural timbre and I think that is part of the perception of the in your face highs. They say perception is reality and to me, that is the reality, I enjoy the overall IEM immensely but I cannot effectively articulate my feelings towards the treble without sounding negative. Nothing is truly offensive here nor would I say that the treble is troubling but it is the weakest link to the entire signature. I am hesitant to say the R1 is a bright IEM because I found balance with the pink filter. The copper filter appeared to lessen the treble a bit more but I enjoyed the extension and width the pink filters provided me. As I said before if you have music that is sibilant the R1 will do nothing to smooth out the rough edges. You can expect details and clarity and I am being critical, because I love how the treble creates a balance and harmony throughout the entire range. Some of the sources, such as the Opus #1S, with its smoother tone and rich full sound, helped cure what I feel ailed the R1. Listening to Dire Straits Sultans of Swing, the cymbal hits can be a touch overbearing.

    Pairings

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    The R1 doesn’t need a great deal of power to drive but with some extra power, it will certainly excel. It is an IEM that realizes the sweet spot between well powered and underpowered, meaning that I found its aggressive nature to be fatiguing with too much power, just overbearing. I want to say that I have tried to become more volume conscious lately as I am trying to preserve my old ears and hearing. I have found that while it is really enjoyable to bump up the volume on occasion it probably isn’t the best for the hearing. I know it is not an earthshattering bulletin that loud noise damages hearing but it is becoming my reality.

    All of my sources drove them perfectly fine and while most of my sources have a more neutral to slightly warmish profile, except maybe the Shanling M3S, I found it is indeed the neutral to warmish signature that works best for my needs. I would say that tone and organic sound might be what you should seek in a DAP to find your ultimate pairing.

    My least favorite pairing of the sources I utilized to write the review would be the LGV30. I did not feel it provided the tone and body that the aided in smoothing out the rough spots with the R1.

    My favorites were the Opus#2, Opus#1S, and the QP2R. The Opus#2 has a slight edge because of the warmth in its signature. The Opus#2 is very organic and has been my reference DAP for quite some time now. As I will mention in another review, it has been replaced as my reference by the QP2R but I still found the Opus#2 to be a slightly better pairing with the R1. The stage remains immense and the slight warmth, in all of the right places seemed to mesh so well with the R1.

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    The Opus#1S has such a full, rich sound with a very cozy tone that it was really a match made in heaven for the R1. It lacks a little resolution that the Opus#2 offers but the pairings tonality is truly hard to beat. For the $600 difference between the Opus#2 and the Opus#1S, with the 1S being the less expensive, I do not think you can go wrong with this pairing. For $400 for the Opus#1S and a B-Stock R1 for around the same price, it is quite a formidable combination.

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    To you QP2R owners or anyone considering the QP2R you will not be disappointed, but I found that the amount of power the balanced output delivers, you can easily listen at lower volumes. The sound is not quite as warm, as the slightly warm tilted Opus#2. That said, to me a touch of warmth is better with the IMR-R1 so I give the nod to the Opus#2 with this pairing. The QP2R does, however, provide a big, full concert hall sound.

    Comparisons

    Yikes, comparisons are super tough with the IMR-R1. Firstly, you have so many tuning options between the open/closed port and the array of filters. Secondly, they are at a price point new that I don’t have anything to compare and B-Stock it is one of the best IEM deals around and again I have almost nothing in this B-Stock price range.

    I will provide a comparison between the DUNU DK-3001, which is a DD hybrid, and $500 and the FIBAE 2 at $560.

    DUNU DK-3001 vs. IMR R1

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    This is an interesting head to head. I love most everything about the DUNU-DK3001 except for the medieval dungeon torture device style fit that the DUNU employs.

    The sound of the DUNU is smoother in its delivery and no way near as in your face as the R1. Soundstage wise the R1 is certainly the king but the DK-3001 is no slouch, I find the R1 stage to be one of the best I have heard. I would like to say, in general, I really enjoyed the signature of the DUNU, I had no sound issues. I equally enjoy the R1 and I do feel it is a better IEM by a nose. Partly, because you have more tuning options and partly because it has a superb overall clarity. My critical points are more when I dissect the frequencies as opposed to what it brings to the table as one cohesive IEM.

    The bass in both is incredible, with the R1 being a touch more present and snappy. They both deliver nice bass layering and clarity, Dunu is smoother and the R1 is crisper. The overall tone may be more natural with the DK-3001 and I prefer its tuning and tonality to the R1. I generally like a smoother tuning than an aggressive one. The R1 is extraordinary in its clarity and how it digs into the song and extracts the detail. Neither IEM are detail monsters and they confidently leave the analytical sound to others on the market. Treble is abrupt in the R1 and smooth in the DK-3001. I think by now you get the idea. Personally, you can’t go wrong with either, for me, I give the nod to the R1.

    R1 VS. FIBAE2

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    The soundstage is displayed differently between the two IEM’s, both are incredibly wide but the R1 has a more 3D geometry. The F2 is a fun, musical IEM with a warmish signature. The warmth of the F2 is so welcomed. The R1 is more detailed and direct with a higher level of clarity than the F2. The F2 adds a richer, lower mid-range with the R1 having more resolution and clarity in its mids. This showdown would more depend on the mood of the listener. As previously stated, I like smooth and warm. However, once you plug in the R1 and hear the bass snap and the how the sound all comes together you quickly become a believer.

    Two different moods, but with the tuning options I would find myself grabbing the R1 more than the F2, even though the fit is better with the F2 and its warm tuning to make it a tough choice I would give a slight edge to the R1.

    Sorry, there are not more comparisons I just could think of any fair comparisons that I have in my possession.

    In Closing

    IMR Acoustics is a new kid on the block, the owner is not. Bob has been the topic of drama from the Trinity days, but I can only speak from my own experience and it has been stellar. This is not an attempt to sway anyone’s thinking, it is merely my experience. Responsive responses, great service, quality first product, again overall stellar.

    The ability to tune the sound to your liking is pretty incredible with the open/closed port dial and the tuning filters. Without a doubt, you can find something that strikes your fancy.

    The build is an industrial inspiration and heavy duty but not uncomfortable in contrast to how it looks. I think they are built for the long haul and heavy duty.

    The sound caught me by surprise. It kicks some serious butt! I know the overtone of this review appeared negative referencing bright and aggressive but everything comes together so darn well. The frequencies all blend and the sounds have an incredible synergy. There is oodles of clarity and resolution.

    Bass is incredible, snappy, with little decay and it is always present. The bass never interferes with the other frequencies.

    The cable really is not good. If I was asked to make one improvement, the cable is hands down the weakest part of this product. The sound quality of the cable is fine but the unwieldy ergonomics and the fact it doesn’t like to stay behind your ear makes it a challenge to like.

    If you want validation for your purchase or a recommendation, consider this both. It is a terrific addition to the collection or if it is your only IEM, you can feel confident you have made the right choice. Enjoy!

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      drbluenewmexico likes this.
  2. Watermelon Boi
    IMR Acoustics R1: Back to the basics
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published May 26, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Reference tuning
    -Wide sountstage / frequency response
    -Switchable open-close vent
    -Exchangeable filters
    Cons - Connectors are horizontally aligned
    -Packaging doesn't look so premium
    -Stock cables aren't compatible for other recessed 2 Pin IEMs
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    Intro

    IMR Acoustics is a new in-ear brand around the block, founded by Bob who previously worked with Trinity Audio. So who is Bob? Before talking that, let me first give a brief insight about Trinity Audio. TA has been considered as one of the popular manufacturers for their active communication with the users and for their cost effective gears. Bob was the one who communicated with users and managed the entire making of their product. Now, as a guy who used to be a TA fanboy, I’ve tried almost all of their gears since their debut to Kickstarter with the Delta V-II. Few of their products felt to be somewhat like prototypes, but overall I had very good impressions with TA. End of last year, Bob got out from TA and started his own brand, IMR Acoustics.

    Now before moving on, some of y’all may have heard about the complicated situations now going on with Trinity Audio. For those who do not know, I rather suggest you to search up what is going on with them, because it’s going to get way too lengthy to explain. Anyway, Bob have clarified that IMR Acoustics is clearly a distinctive brand departed from Trinity Audio, so I won’t be relating IMR much to TA here.

    Enough with the background, let’s now move on to the IMR R1. IMR R1 is classified as a flagship IEM and currently priced for £500.00 (approx. $700). IMR R1 is their first model and they are preparing for other 2 IEMs – resulting into a lineup with total 3 products. Cheaper or pricier, that is unknown.



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    Packaging

    The R1 comes with a normally sized box and various accessories, including a 3.5mm cable, 2.5mm cable, 4 pairs of filters, AV adapter, 7 pairs of eartips, carrying case, and a shirt clip. It comes with most of the essential accessories and I’m quite satisfied about it. The packaging itself, though, seems to be somewhat simple. It didn’t particularly surprise me as I was aware as TA used to have a similar style of box.

    But anyway, I’d still prefer the packaging to have a stylish look, or a similar approach to what Campfire Audio does. Their packaging is simple, yet beautiful. This is the first product from IMR, so I suppose this would get improved soon.



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    Earpieces

    The earpieces are fully made out of metal coated with a color of gunmetal. I wasn’t able to find any flaws from its build quality and the earpieces seem to be pretty darn durable. The driver configuration is a hybrid 2DD, using a 13mm neodymium motors with a ceramic driver.

    R1 isn’t only unique with its driver configuration, but also has a switchable open/close port. I haven’t not seen such feature from any other IEMs so far and caught my eyes right away when I first discovered the R1. The switchable port system that allows users to easily tweak the sound as well as the isolation. Sound leakage is moderate or relatively less than most ported IEMs, and it significantly improves when the ports are closed. There isn’t much change for isolation, only showing minimal difference. Though isolation is actually decent enough either way, so I don’t find this problematic at all. Difference does exist sound-wise, and I’ll talk about that below on the sound section.





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    Cable / Ergonomics

    The stock cable feels smooth, chubby and has a sturdy feeling in terms of durability. It’s not particularly thick or stiff, so it won’t be problematic while you walk around with these. The cable has a comfortable fit and doesn’t occur microphonics. One thing that I’d like to see a change though, is its connector alignment. It uses a normal ciem 2-Pin (0.78mm) connectors, however the connectors are aligned horizontally, not vertically like most IEMs. This doesn’t mean that your ciem 2-Pin cables won’t fit but you have to re-shape the earguide, if the cable has one, and the process gets even longer if the earguide is shaped only with shrink tubes without the steel wire.





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    Usability / Matching

    The fitting is pretty nice. It’s ergonomic and comfortable even after long time listening sessions. It’s meant to be worn over-ear, so wearing these straight down won’t give you the best experience. Keep that in mind if you prefer wearing earphones straight down.

    IMR R1 shows adequate, but distinctive sensitivity to different filters, players, cables, and eartips- not extreme though. In this review, I’ve used JVC Spiral Dots eartips (as I believe it performs the best with these) and the stock cable. Aftermarket cables could surely bring out more from the R1, but the stock cable does its job. At least this cable doesn’t feel like holding back R1’s potentials. I have used the black default filter and paired with my QP2R and DX80.





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    Bass

    R1 does an awesome job presenting weight and depth of the bass without getting muddy or loosened up. It is impressive how clear and prominent the bass sounds without overwhelming the upper frequencies. There’s a bit more bass amount than typical slightly-V shaped but less than Shure SE846 or Campfire Vega. The edges of the bass are polished, giving a smooth, analogue taste. Now most flagship IEMs that are well known for its bass performance are usually equipped with large amount of bass. R1 manages to keep up with such IEMs, picking up all the details to the very low notes, however with just the right amount of bass.

    Don’t get me wrong, the amount is plentiful and has a strong and manly rumble to the lows; it just doesn’t get the point where it feels stuffy. I’m quite positive bassheads could also find R1 to be satisfying. What I also love from the bass is its wideness. It spreads out wide without the border (or the edge) of the bass getting vague, making bass more prominent and full-bodied. It also got great density with that DD-style punch at the lows.





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    Mids

    Sweet, creamy mids are slightly stepped ahead with a natural thickness. The vocal sounds lively and airy, providing a very spatial presentation which I found to be quite unique. R1 does well on both male & female vocals, and I’d say it has that “Multi driver-like” richness but with better coherency. The overall brightness is just about neutral, however the ceramic driver adds a brighter tone to the upper mids, making the female vocals more refreshing. The sibilance section from the frequency is briefly polished, making it non-fatiguing. Overall, R1's sound signature reminds me of HYLA CE-5 but with a more naturally toned mid range.





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    Highs, etc.

    It’s easy to think for dynamic drivers to sound dull on the trebles, but thanks to the ceramic driver R1 manages to pick up the details with good precision. Highs feel clear, crispy, and does well on expressing the dense texture from treble instruments. It’s visibly brighter than lows or mids, however it won’t be a problem as it doesn’t get spiky. The highs on the R1 tends to stay transparent without any coloring added to it. The treble spreads wide sideways as the bass did. And with the spatial mids added to that, IMR R1 generates one of the finest, largest headroom for an in-ear.





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    Verdicts


    IMR wasn’t trying add unique coloring on the R1, but they rather stuck with the basics and nailed it. IMR R1 aims to have maximum wideness for both frequency response / staging, and I'd say they accomplished it very nicely. I can consider R1 to possibly have one of the widest soundstage among flagship IEMs available to the market, and that’s a good start for IMR. I’ll be glad to keep my eyes on how IMR shapes out their products in the future.



    Thanks for reading! Visit aboutaudio.org for more reviews.​

    Thanks to IMR Acoustics for providing the R1 in exchange of an honest impression.
    I am not affiliated with IMR and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
      natemact and Koolpep like this.
    1. voxie
      "Active Communication"??? Good review though
      voxie, Jul 3, 2018
    2. Watermelon Boi
      @voxie Prob should of added "used to" in front of that. Their status is a pity now :/
      Watermelon Boi, Jul 5, 2018
      voxie likes this.
  3. lionheart3500
    great sound with custom tips
    Written by lionheart3500
    Published Apr 27, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - great adjustable sound, detailed sound, wide sound stage.
    Cons - need custom tips as they are too heavy for normal tips.
    hi all i have now had these for a few months.

    i work in coffee shops a lot so need good noise isolation, i got a good fit with foam tips but when they got hot the kept falling out.

    i was struggling to get the best sound with the supplied tips and was going to give them back but i asked on here about custom tips and Blommen said that i can get them from https://thecustomart.com. I live in London and used Gisele at http://www.aid2hearing.co.uk/ for the moulds. she was really helpful.

    they cost £50 for the moulds and £55 for the tips.

    Now that i have the custom tips, it changes everything !!!!!!. it took me a wile to get them in ok. they are amazing, they never come lose, the base is now so full with the copper filters, altho i am going to try the blacks again :) they sound great. i can sit in a cafe at half volume, and not hear anything :)

    i would advise everyone to get custom tips for any earphone, definitely the way forward.

    UPDATE tried the black and sticking to the copper :) re listened to all my music, they sound unbelievable !!!!!

    images

    1. 31351471_10156287154661788_4839721942594355200_n.jpg
  4. Dobrescu George
    IMR Acoustics R1 - Customizable Enjoyment
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Apr 24, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Customizable Sound, Full-Metal Construction, Excellent reliability, Filters and Vent settings, High-quality cable, 2-pin connectors, Excellent bass and treble, Good Impact, Nice PRaT, Engaging Sound, Revealing signautre, Good all-arounders
    Cons - Pretty Pricey, Premium Quality comes at a price.
    IMR Acoustics R1 - Customizable Enjoyment

    IMR acoustics is one heck of a little IEM that comes with tunable sound with both filters and an option to change its design from closed to open. We'll look into what it does best and what its downsides are today.

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    Introduction

    We haven't had the chance to review any IEM from IMR acoustics before, and we aren't sure if there's been any, but the creator of IMR acoustics is a respected engineer who has vast experience with designing and tuning IEMs, so he had an excellent base start for IMR R1. As the company is new, we don't have a large amount of data regarding its customer interaction, but our preliminary data shows that IMR acoustics is from UK and will be very helpful with your purchase decision and will provide high-quality after-purchase assistance.

    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with IMR Acoustics, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by IMR Acoustics or anyone else. I'd like to thank IMR Acoustics for providing the sample for this review. The sample was provided along with IMR Acoustics request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with IMR Acoustics R1. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in IMR Acoustics R1 find their next music companion.

    ---

    Purchase link: https://imracoustics.com/products/59884cfc71b0c811009787d0

    Purchase link 2: https://www.amazon.co.uk/IMR-Generation-Monitor-Interchangeable-Filters/dp/B077V7HQ3H

    ---



    About me

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/about.html



    Packaging

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

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    IMR R1 comes packaged in a high quality, pretty weighty cardboard box. It is fun to open the package, and IMR Acoustics placed a good amount of care into designing an excellent first interaction between the customer and R1.

    The outer package is black and it has a very sleek large logo on the front, which slightly reminds us of a sci-fi movie. On the back of the main package, you can find the main specifications for IMR R1, which are quite impressive as well, as it features a 13mm Dynamic Driver along with a ceramic BA driver.

    The box within is used to store the R1, and it is red in color. All materials used are thick cardboard and they all provide an excellent amount of protection for R1.

    Inside the main box you can find R1 seated in a foam cutout, without their cables attached. After removing the first layer of foam cutout, you can discover the rest of the accessories sitting comfortably just below. There is a professional cable, with what seems to be high-quality connectors, placed inside a small hard carrying case that also wears the logo for IMR Acoustics. We noticed a sufficient collection of tips, and although IMR R1 doesn't feature our favorite tips, Spinfit, they do feature a few high-quality tips which offered us a very efficient and pleasurable usage.

    Box contents:
    - The IEM Body
    - 1.4m cables
    - Hard Transport Case
    - 6.3mm Adapter
    - Tip Selection
    - 5 Audio Filters
    - Filter Holder


    All in all, the box contents are good for their price and usage, there aren't any accessories we really found missing from the package, unless you want to count Spinfit tips, which would be the best selection of tips for a IEM.



    What to look in when purchasing a high-end In-Ear Monitor

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/what-to-lookl.html



    Technical Specifications

    13mm driver featuring Neodymium motors with beryllium diaphragm + Ceramic driver
    IMR Open and close porting system
    5 Audio filters
    2 Pin detachable cable
    Impedance: 32 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 108 +/- 3DB
    Frequency response: 14 - 40000Hz
    24ct Gold plated 3.5mm Jack



    Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

    Get ready for the little trip!

    Starting with the build quality, IMR R1 is made out of very high quality metals, and this makes them ever so slightly heavier than similarly sized IEMs. The plate on which the filters rest is also made out of a large piece of metal, machined with care, and the filters are made of metal, some of them with material inserts for the best acoustic dampening.

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    The IEM bodies seem to be carefully machined, and while the IEM bodies are larger than what we've seen to date in most cases, they surely look sleek and sturdy. There are actual screws placed on the IEM body, and while we didn't open the IEM body itself, we're sure that IMR acoustics made those to be easily serviceable, so they can provide a large number of years of flawless usage to the one purchasing one. There is a Open/Closed dial on the back of the IEM body, which, when moved, will provide a more open or a more closed sonic character. The Open position will give the sound more soundstage in size, but it will also increase the bass resonance, similar to the mechanism we've noticed in Sennheiser IE80.

    There are also a set of interchangeable filters included with IMR R1, each with a sound signature of its own. The sonic changes are not exactly small, but they are not as high as going from a different IEM to R1. Each Filter is made of metal and is connected to the IEM body with a metallic thread (screwed). The whole thing is made of metal and feels extremely solid, we can't detect any plastic in the build of the IEM bodies, and we're quite enthused with the findings so far.

    The cables are connected to the IEM body via one of the most loved connectors, which is 2-pin. The cables are quite thick, and they seem to hold an excellent overall build quality and thickness.

    The cables also have metal insertions, and albeit we feel like it might be overdoing it a little, it does provide a sense of well-made and high-quality.

    The 3.5mm TRRS jack is angled and gold plated.

    We're crazy for the build quality of R1. When it comes to their comfort, they are on the larger side of things, being a rather large IEM, with large IEM bodies, a normal to larger bore and over-the ear wearing style. The overall comfort is good, but those will not disappear in your ears, and the metallic materials included in the build should be considered for comfort reasons. The tips included provide excellent comfort and wearing, they do not get slippery with usage, and R1 can be used for very long periods of time with literally no fatigue.

    When it comes to their style, they are on the slightly industrial side of things, with a larger wheel on the back, a larger physical size, and with screws included in the build.

    All in all, we are amazed by the build quality of R1, and we feel those are IEMs that can last you for a lifetime, we like their comfort, and we feel that their aesthetic style will fit just fine with many customers. Of course, the fun part will be the sound.



    Sound Quality

    IMR R1 is the type of IEM that makes you think "Now here's a warm IEM with a really engaging signature!"

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    In a few words, they are warm, with a strong sub-bass and mid-bass, they bear an excellent midrange that is very vivid, energetic and very detailed. The treble is engaging and energetic, with a good amount of sparkle and with the area after 10kHz smoothing out a bit, but staying fairly present and energetic.

    The sub-bass is one of the most interesting aspects. Along with the mid-bass, the sub-bass of R1 can change when you use the wheel on the back of the IEM, as the IEM features a closeable acoustic chamber. This compresses the bass for quicker, less in amount and more precise response in the "closed" position, and a slower, more natural and much bigger in amount response with the wheel positioned in the "open" position. The trick here is that you can fine tune the IEMs to your tastes, and you can go anywhere from really bassy to pretty tight and quick bass response. Anything in between is doable and R1 is here to bring that to you.

    The midrange is one of the most vivid, energetic and detailed we've seen on a IEM in the 500£ area. It can render male and female voices with excellent depth and emotion, it can show a juicy guitar solo in the songs of Metallica, and it can make you cry when you listen to the sad songs of George Enescu in classical music. In fact, the key word here is their versatility, R1 sounds good with classical, R1 sounds amazing with pop and electronic, and R1 sounds bloody sweet with metal music. There's no genera they really lack in, and if you require one IEM to do all musical styles, R1 and its sweet midrange sure can do any music genre you throw at it.

    The textures of R1 work well with the textures of a violin, the textures of a guitar, and they seem natural and feel just right even with both male and female voices.

    The treble is sparkly, it is firey and it becomes smoother as it goes higher. There's no serious roll-off to be discovered, but the treble climbs nicely with strength and expression / emotion until the 8-9 kHz area, after which it becomes slightly softer, all whilst keeping an excellent amount of air and separation between the instruments, defining an interesting stage and a good amount of high-end details.

    All in all, the overall signature is very versatile, it simply works well with almost any music style you like to listen to, there's nothing R1 doesn't do well, and if we are to pick something that they do best, we'd say that they do similarly well in everything. Vivid, detailed, energetic, forward, and well-textured are just a few of the words we'd use to describe the sweet sound of R1.

    A lot of those descriptions apply to R1 regardless of the filter they are used with, but some of the filters can change the sound to the point where those descriptions might not be accurate. We've tried using the filters that seemed the most natural and reference via IMR Acoustics description. We tried Black, Pink and Blue filters to provide the review for the Sound Quality part.



    Soundstage

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    The soundstage of R1 is variable in its way, every filter and the wheel on the back also changing the soundstage size and type R1 has. There's some instrument separation lack in certain combinations, but if you like your music blended together rather than well-separated, then R1 sure is one of the best IEMs to do that, along with providing a large soundstage, provided you select the right combination of tips, filters and vent position. In all honesty, we could get to sound well-separated, wide, and even narrow if we wanted to, it is a really interesting thing to have and play with.



    ADSR / PRaT

    The ADSR and PRaT (Texturization) of the sound stays fairly consistent across all filters used, but it changes with the position of the vent. Things are best defined and clearest with the vent in "closed" position, and using it in "open" position will slowly make the transients go from good to rather natural all the way to rather slow. In all fairness, the texture definition is still rather good with the vent in fully open position, but compared to it in closed position, it tends to render textures less enhanced and smoothed out. For Jazz we strongly recommend the vent to be kept in open position, while for EDM / Electronic music in the "closed" position. Other musical styles can be experimented with, but those would be our picks so far.



    Portable Usage

    When it comes to their portable usage, we were quite impressed with R1 and their portable usage. They are actually very svelt and their cables never gets in the way of listening to music. Even if it doesn't fully work for you, you can happily change the cable with any of the 2-pin connector cables that can be bought from a third party seller.

    When it comes to their isolation from the outside noise, it is extremely good, you are separated from the outside noise, and even while gaming, it is impossible to find the noise of our workstation, even at full load, if there is a little music playing. Taking a walk through the noisy streets of Bucharest is no issue for R1, as it separates the listener from the environment, and on this note, please pay attention while walking with music!

    There is no microphonic noise that we can detect while wearing R1.

    R1 can safely be driven from a smartphone, and provide excellent results, but we'd recommend using a stronger source so you take full advantage of this amazing IEM.

    There are many sources that can really drive them, but the best results will be the best with a high-end source like Opus #2, DX200 and FiiO X7mkii/FiiO Q5.



    Comparisons

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    IMR R1 vs Dunu DK-3001 - This is probably the most interesting comparison given their price and overall build quality, as both are really solid IEMs, made really well by good companies. DK-3001 is slightly larger, and it comes with Spinfit tips, which is a plus, but their shape, especially the inner part of it, is slightly less ergonomic for some folks, where R1 doesn't come with spinfit tips, but it is very ergonomic for most ears, although they are slightly large. The sonic abilities are outstanding on both, and the overall detail retrieval and overall sonic quality is similar for the two, although R1 has the upper hand in customizability, and although it reveals the same details as DK-3001, R1 is fully customizable and can change with the taste of the listener until it can fit almost any bill. By default and with most filter combinations, R1 is warmer and provides a slightly thicker sound, but this shouldn't turn anyone away from them, as they are quite good like this. It doesn't quite take the place of DK-3001 in terms of everything else, especially soundstage size, where DK-3001 tends to extend more, but it has its place as a competitor for DK-3001 in this price area.

    IMR R1 vs Sennheiser IE800 - IE800 is quite a bit more expensive than R1, and they are slightly more revealing, but they make a fair competition given that IE800 has been slowly growing less expensive, with the release of IE800S. Now that both can be found more or less at the same price, they should both be considered by a buyer. Starting with the build quality, no one can fault Sennheiser or IMR Acoustics, both standing on similar grounds, but R1 has detachable cables straight from the base of the IEM, while IE800's cable cannot be detached from any other point than from below the Y split. The size of Ie800 is smaller, but R1 manages to win our hearts in ergonomics because the tips of IE800 still get slippery after a while and need to be taken out and washed when they get, while with R1 we haven't noticed this. The sonics are quite different, IE800 being strongly U-shaped in its sound, with a very thick, enhanced and extremely satisfying bass that is sure to please any rock / metal / pop / acoustic music listener, while R1 doesn't get quite this strong in the bass with any combination of filters and vent position. The midrange is actually more revealing and has more detail with IE800, but it is more forward with R1, thing which means R1 works better with Jazz, Vocal and other voice-oriented music where the midrange needs to be presented forward. The treble is considerably more forward on IE800, having more sparkle, more shimmer, more impact and more extension, but those all come at the price of very easily sibilance reveal, meaning that IE800 will show sibilance extremely easily, and if your music was sibilant, IE800 will show that, IE800 being not recommended with music that needs to be laid-back and relaxing, and being much better in electronic, pop, rock, metal, where laid-back music works better with R1, like downtempo, Jazz, and other types of music that need to be played in a laid-back and relaxing fashion. On this note, R1 still is extremely versatile.

    IMR R1 vs Beyerdynamic Xelento - Xelento is another interesting IEM to compare to IMR R1, as the price of the two can be close, and because one might be considering both. On the outside, the aesthetics are in favor of Xelento as they have a sleek and rounded body vs the similarly shiny, but featuring-screws body of R1. On the comfort part, R1 can be slightly more comfortable, especially as it has a more universally sized bore size and it will work with Spinfit tips and other third party tips. The sound is vastly different, with Xelento being much bassier, much thicker, much more focused on the bass and midrange, where R1 feels more balanced over the whole spectrum. Here, R1 works better with Rock, Metal and Pop / EDM, where Xelento is much better with Jazz, Classical, Downtempo and other laid-back music types, or for those who want their music to sound laid-back. There is a good sense of space and instrument separation in both, but the treble of R1 feels more natural, compared to the overly smooth and friendly treble of Xelento. Of course, for those looking for the ultimate forgiving IEM, Xelento is quite forgiving, being good at letting the music shine with albums that have large amounts of sibilance and such. The two IEMs feel like they are geared towards different types of customers, R1 being quite good for those who want a versatile and customizable IEM, which sounds mostly balanced with a warmer sound, while Xelento is geared towards those who are looking for the ultimate relaxation and ultimate music experience with a smooth sound.



    Recommended Pairings

    IMR R1 seems to respond very well to being paired with a higher quality source, like iBasso DX200 or FiiO X7mkii. While it works with smartphones, those don't reveal the full amazing sonic performance of IMR R1.

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    IMR R1 + iBasso DX200 (AMP5) - Combining IMR R1 with a true high-end DAP like DX200 paired with its AMP5 module sure is a blast as DX200 offers one of the best sonic performances there are. The transients and detail revealing abilities of R1 are instantly improved when compared to them being driven from a smartphone, and there is an excellent sense of depth and width to all music played through the combo. Everything is placed where it should be, the music feels emotional and enthusiastic, and we can safely say that this combo will be a favorite for almost anyone who wants the ultimate experience from their IMR R1.

    IMR R1 + FiiO X7mkii (AMP5) - FiiO created something very competitive in their X7mkii, and it is really close to DX200 with its AMP5, sometimes comparable, depending on the IEM or Headphone. As AMP5 for X7mkii makes things much better for this little DAP, we surely recommend our fans and readers to look into this specific combination for the best results. X7mkii with AMP5 provides an excellent depth and width to music, a ferocious impact and dynamics, that not to be taken lightly. Transients offer music a better texturization and everything feels snappier when compared to less expensive sources. The power and abilities of X7mkii are quite similar to those of FiiO Q5, and if both are running the same AMP module, we feel that one would be really happy with either.


    IMR R1 + Hiby R6 - Here, R6 is a little on the thicker, warmer and less detailed side, when compared to X7mkii or DX200, but it is much better than any smartphone we could find to pair with R1. The transient reproduction and dynamics from R6 to R1 are quite incredible. The highlight of using Hiby R6 is how fluent its whole firmware is, being a true pleasure to use and experience. We felt, however, that we could name this combo R7, in light of the names of both devices.



    Value and Conclusion

    IMR R1 is a new thing for us, coming with adjustable and configurable sound, and with an impressive performance, form a company that we don't know quite that much about. We did our investigations, and it seems that the director of IMR Acoustics is an outstanding acoustic engineer named Bob who was previously involved in many successful projects.

    With R1, there are many things to love about it. First, they have a really good build quality. It is rare that we see a IEM assembled using actual screws or including actual metals in its build. While it isn't quite that light, it sure isn't heavy for the quality of the materials used.

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    IMR Acoustics made sure to also use some of the highest quality cables we've seen to date, and while this seems to still be a rarity, R1 comes with detachable cables, and even with 2-pin based connectors, thing which is rare, but well respected as 2-pin connectors provide one of the highest quality connectors there are.

    The aestetics are good, IMR R1 looks like an excellent IEM to take with you regardless of your personal style, and they'll surely fit with almost any environment you're in, but they really shine when it comes to looking slightly aggressive and slightly industrial. The comfort, on the other hand, is quite good. We found excellent comfort in them although they are on the slightly larger size.

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    The sound, the most important aspect of any high-quality audio purchase, is quite outstanding. The removable filter design found on IMR R1 is not only well-made but also works very well. We're really happy that IMR Acoustic included a large number of filters in their package, along with a really well-thought venting mechanism that lets you really customize the sound. From brighter to warmer signatures, from relaxed to tight and energetic signatures, IMR R1 can do a lot more if you take the time to tinker with them. Their detail retrieval is very good for the money, and at 500£ they surely are a nice deal, as you're getting an entire package of signatures.

    If you're looking for something really interesting, comfy and well-made, we urge you to check out IMR Acoustics R1 as those are some of the most impressive IEMs we've seen at 500£, especially in build quality and customizability options.


    Stay safe and remember to always have fun while listening to music!


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      ValSilva and mdtolic like this.
  5. Blommen
    "I am the one who knocks!" -a review of the IMR-R1
    Written by Blommen
    Published Feb 10, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Delicious dynamic bass
    Customization to fit your preferences
    Soundstage width and depth
    Solid construction (time will tell)
    Price to performance ratio is very good
    Cons - Cable is a mess design-wise
    Treble can be sharp at times
    20180210_140214.jpg
    The IMR-R1

    About me


    So first of all, a little backround on me. I am not a reviewer, nor do I have any aspirations on being one. I simply write this review to highlight this product because I think it deserves attention and also because it is a way of giving back to the community. I am more of a silent on-looker than a participator in forums, partly because of me browsing on mobile which makes it tedious to write long messages and partly because I am a man of few words. A habit I now break.

    In my opinion, a great number of audio equipment reviews get caught up in flowery poetry in order to describe sound. This makes every iem/headphone sound great in some way and becomes an affirmation of a product the reader already owns or is set on owning.
    On the other hand, you have those that seem to be an unboxing with a side-order of "It sounds good out of my phone and the soundstage was wider on my amp, all in all it's great!"
    My intention will be to try and hit a middle ground: It's a product (objective), yet it reproduces art (subjective). Let's hope I succeed.

    In order to read this review, you need to understand that I am not objective as far as sound goes, not in the least. Math and science is objective but "I am not a number, I am a free man!" So, my preferences will shape my opinions, and here they are: I listen to metal 80% of the time, 10% old progressive rock (Rush, Pink Floyd, Yes tec.) and the rest is a mix of reggae, female vocals and electronic. I listen at semi-loud levels and I prefer warm sounding gear with big bass, mids must be present for guitar and vocals and I like my highs to be airy and a bit recessed or at least without any harshness or peaks.
    There, I just described my ideal iem. You needed to know, otherwise the review would have no context. So, with that in mind, let's at long last get to the review...

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    It's....a box!

    IMR R1 -Overview

    The IMR-R1 is a creation of Bob, formerly of Trinity Audio. There has been some controversy surrounding his former place of work, but this has nothing to do with his new firm. Also, I don't own any TA iems so I'd rather not get into it or comment on it.
    This is supposed to be the iem he "always wanted to make". Releasing at 500£, the equivalent of 710$ for those over the pond, it is firmly taking a place in the mid-tier category price wise. I however, paid 300£/450$ for a B-stock. I will get into the differences later but let us have look at the specs first:

    SPECIFICATION:
    • 13mm driver featuring Neodymium motors with beryllium diaphragm + Ceramic driver
    • IMR Open and close porting system
    • 5 Audio filters
    • 2 Pin detachable cables (3.5mm TRS and 2.5mm TRRS balanced) Impedance: 32 Ohm
    • Sensitivity: 108 +/- 3DB
    • Frequency response: 14 - 40000Hz
    • 24ct Gold plated 3.5mm Jack
    • 1.4M length OFC cable
    • Hard Case
    • 6.5mm Adapter
    • Huge selection of ear tips for the perfect fit
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    This is what is included in the B-stock package

    As you can see it is a pretty significant package, well designed box yada yada, everything is good and feels like a premium product. As I said before I have a B-stock, which means that I don't get a balanced cable and that there might be some minor imperfections. Luckily, I have found none.
    Five different filters and the option to close/open the port for more air gives one great customizability as to the sound that suits your individual tastes. The filters have each been tuned for a specific sound-signature but to be perfectly blunt: no point in getting an iem with dynamic drivers unless you plan on getting your bass on! And fret not; these can seriously kick!

    Now I will primarily be focusing on the bassier two filters, the Black (standard) and the Copper (moar bass). I will not go through all five filters because this review would be too damn long! All listening is done on Sony WM1Z and Samsung Note 8 single ended unless otherwise stated.


    Cable

    Let's get the cable out of the way first, this is a weird one.
    The quality of the cable is good, thick enough so that it shouldn't fail in the near future and when/if it does, it is replaceable. I had a little bit of difficulty with the left part of it because it wouldn't stay behind my ear. It seems to have to have sorted itself out now, so not a problem anymore.

    What makes it a weird one is the connections on the earpieces. What the hell is going on here? You pull em out and think "ah, standard 2-pin connection" but no! Upon closer inspection there are several factors that make these a PITA and the worst part is, it could have been avoided so easily. The female end on the earpiece is turned around 90 degrees, which means that the pins on the cable have to line up horizontally instead of vertically as in EVERY OTHER IEM!!! Why?!? No, seriously why? What this means is that if you have a cable or buy a cable you must make sure that it does NOT have ear hooks or is shaped in any ordinary way. Also, connectors must NOT be angled. This is of course not a problem if you just stick to the standard cable in the bundle. Luckily the sound makes up for these shortcomings.

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    Up close with my custom tips, these are NOT included:)

    Bass


    Mmmmm dynamic bass. These are the epitome of dynamic drivers bass wise. They kick with such authority that you unconsciously draw your lips back in a smile, showing of your rattling teeth to anybody looking. First off, these go low, 30-50hz is nicely heard and felt. The rumble is heavenly and just lies in the background of the track if it is mastered to include it, giving the music a nice warm foundation to build upon. From there, 60-100 is the main emphasis with the two filters I use and let me tell you: feels great! The impact is felt, and it gives life to rock and metal, just makes it sound like you are listening to the band live or on speakers. The drums sound like wardrums and just makes you nod your head while the bass guitar around 100hz and onwards pounds away just reorganizing the insides of your skull. Now granted, all this sounds like they are in severe basshead category...and they are, bass is definitely enhanced with the black and copper filters. The thing is though, in my opinion the bass is tight and non-intrusive (black filter) to the midrange. It does color the sound though, this is a warm iem. Warm yes, but not veiled or dark.

    With the copper filter it does get a little dark, I wouldn't exactly say veiled but warmer and darker. Also, bass is less impactful and more analog sounding, a bit looser and midbass focused.

    Tl;dr Exceptional

    Mids

    Now with all that bass talk you would think that the mids would be taking refuge behind it and that the IMR-R1 is yet another V-shaped pretender. Not so. With the black filters this iem is a kind of W-shaped signature meaning there is an equal distribution across the frequencies without it being balanced or reference. That being said, bass is still the frequency that has most quality and quantity, however it does not mask the mids. The mids are still very present and clear, actually surprisingly so. Clear as a winters day with the sun shining, the bass ads a hint of warmth to the mids but does no veil them.

    Guitars are exceptionally crunchy, adding great life to all kinds of rock. Horn instruments also sound amazing. Vocals come through with good detail, better than average but there is nothing romantic about them. I cannot discern any difference quality-wise between male and female vocals. They do have a decent amount of air to them. The most exceptional part of the mids for me personally is this: even eq'ed, sub-bass and midbass up 30hz + 4.5 dB / 62hz +3 dB / 125hz +1 dB the mids come through clear and detailed without any lack of details. And without the drivers sounding "stressed" or strained. What I can't figure out is if this is the mids doing a good job or the bass? Either way it doesn't really matter; great stuff!

    Tl;dr Very Good

    Highs

    Alright, so the highs are the weakest part of this iem –at least with the filters I prefer. I am not sure why dynamic drivers that have a great quantity of bass, usually have a hard time with treble. I have noticed this with the CA Vega as well, it seems in order to have a single dd deliver hard hitting bass the treble also becomes hard hitting, which is not what most people, myself included, prefer.

    The highs have a good presence here, they do a fine job of letting themselves be heard through the rest of the sound spectrum. Even in complex passages they are not masked by bass or mids, but the detail is simply not there. There is, to my ears, a greater emphasis on lower treble, -cymbals crash with authority and provide awesome energy. When moving up the ladder frequency–wise the treble lacks air and extension with the black and copper filters, with the copper filter the treble becomes significantly softer and easier on the ears. Even so, the treble is not fatiguing to my ears when driven by the WM1Z, but on my phone the treble can be a bit tizzy (tst tst) with some harshness. This is with the black filters, I have not gone through all five on the phone, so experimentation can be done but, in my opinion trebleheads should look elsewhere.

    Tl;dr Good

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    Great synergy, from single ended no less!

    Soundstage


    As with other aspects of the IMR-R1 the soundstage is highly customizable. On the back of the two earpieces is a wheel that can be turned towards "O" or "C" as in open or closed. I have found that a ¼ of a turn is the sweet spot for me, sometimes a bit more towards open. This widens the soundstage, giving more air to the whole presentation. Also taking away some harshness from the treble and extension improves. With bass as well, more extension but in turn it does not hit as hard.

    It is hard to describe the soundstage when so many factors affect it (filters, the wheel, tips, cable) but generally, with my custom ear tips, original cable and single ended, the soundstage is deeper than it is wide although width is decent. If you put your fingers lightly on the ports on the back, covering them up and then taking them away you can clearly hear how the soundscape spreads out from the box-sized in your face dimensions, into a clearly better separation of instruments and a wider presentation.
    How much you turn the wheel obviously affects isolation from the outside, so again it is crucial to find one own's sweet spot.

    Tl;dr Very Good

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    The most neutral and organic sounding filter.

    Comparisons


    Before we reach the end of the review I would like to throw in some short comparisons, the keyword here being short. It is important to note that these comparisons are a bit unfair as I cannot listen to R1 is balanced which makes them less valid than I would like. Thanks, weird cable connectors!

    CA Vega

    Compared to the Campfire Audio Vega, the IMR R1 is somewhat similar in many regards. Both sport a metal housing with an industrial design. The R1 is in my opinion hampered looks-wise by the customizability factor and the Vega wins here, by have having a cleaner design. Fit wise it is a toss-up. I had my custom tips made for the Vega (thanks Custom Art) and now use 'em on the R1 so yeah, fit is too personal to rate. Quality also seems about equal.

    Sound: compared to the Vega the R1 has greater quantity of bass (black filter) and I want to say better quality as well. Hits harder because it has a bit more midbass and has greater potential for eq, maybe because of the size difference (13mm vs. 9mm). This in turn makes the R1 warmer than the Vega. Mids are better on the R1, I found the Vega to be harsh in the upper mids making female vocals sound strained and adding sibilance to some records. Details seem equal. Treble is similar in tonality, but Vega has the better extension. Soundstage wise the Vega has better separation and depth but not as wide.

    ASG 2.5

    Oldie but goodie. These two iems are actually nothing alike, apart from them being considered bass monsters. My ASGs are custom; so fit, build and so on are not comparable.

    Sound: Bass on the R1 hits harder, cleaner and deeper. The 2.5 has a lot more midbass and it colors the whole presentation, making it warmer and more mellow. Mids on the 2.5 are veiled and lack detail comparably, a lot more recessed. The treble is more present on the R1, sharper and less airy. The 2.5 has a softer and more extended treble, though you have to look for it as it is not "in your face". Soundstage goes to the 2.5, it is simply outstanding, more like a headphone than an iem, very holographic. Weird, given the bump in midbass but there you go.

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    These really pound at your eardrums when listenig to metal!

    Conclusion


    As you can tell, I am pretty stoked about the IMR-R1. This is not the most natural or realistic iem out there. However, it does a great job at presenting music in a fashion that I find entertaining and moving. There is no doubt in my mind that if you are looking for a capable universal iem with an ability to rock your socks off, you should look no further. It might not be sophisticated or a reference monitor, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make me smile and enjoy my music to an extend that I have not experienced in a very long time.
      scottsays, mdtolic, natemact and 10 others like this.
  6. ostewart
    IMR Acoustics R1 (Feel the Power)
    Written by ostewart
    Published Feb 10, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Fun, Impactful, Detailed, Filters work
    Cons - Don't scream high end on the outside, a bit of driver flex
    Firstly I would like to thank Daniel for passing this sample on to me for review, the sample came from IMR themselves. They have received well over 50hrs of burn-in as is suggested.

    *disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.

    Gear Used: Audio Opus #2 / iBasso DX200 > R1

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    Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
    The R1 come in a simple box, it is black and red with the company name on the front. I have been told the packaging may change in the future, but as is it is a fairly standard affair with specifications listed on the back. Slide the outer sleeve off and you will find the R1 held tightly in place in a foam insert, the carry case is held in a similar fashion as are all the rest of the accessories. For the price the packaging is not luxurious, but it is compact and serves its purpose.

    The R1 are well built, the housings are metal and well finished with a 2-pin detachable cable. The cable socket is mounted horizontally instead of vertically like most IEM's, so cables with a moulded ear hook will not fit very well. The dials to change between open and closed vents on the back move fairly easily, they could be a little tighter to avoid accidental adjustment upon insertion. The cable is rubbery with good strain relief, out of the box it takes a little time for the cable to keep its shape behind your ear, but it's not a big issue. The nozzle filters have a good size thread and screw in tightly, it is well implemented. The different shades of metal of the housing don't scream high-end, but overall they feel like they will last a while.

    Accessory wise you get the filters which are screwed into a block of aluminium, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor, a semi hardshell carry case, 2 cables (one 3.5mm, one 2.5mm balanced), regular single flange tips in S, M and L, a pair of M bi-flange tips, and 2 pairs of foam tips S, L. Overall you get a fair amount of accessories, and I can't think of anything else that could be included.

    DSC_9907.jpg

    Comfort, Isolation and Driver Flex:
    The R1 are an odd shape, but once you find the right tip they are comfortable over longer periods of time. the housings are metal so a little heavier than most standard IEM's, however I don't find them falling out of my ears, the cable is soft enough to not be a problem during use.

    Isolation is good, both with the vents open and close the isolation is roughly the same in my opinion. They drown out a fair amount of outside noise, and would be fine for day to day use, but not the best in noisy environments.
    Driver flex is sometimes an issue, I found it more of an issue with some tips over other, so be sure to experiment. The driver flex is quite bad, but tends to only present itself upon initial insertion.

    DSC_9894.jpg

    Sound:
    Now these come with various filters, so I'll write a little summary on each filter. They also have the open/closed vent option, however I did not find this to make a huge difference so I left them open (closed has slightly bigger mid-bass impact, open offers a slightly wider soundstage).

    Black (stock):
    The black filters give these a fun but slightly L-shaped sound signature, the bass is big and full bodied, with incredible sub-bass presence. The midrange is pushed back somewhat, and does not allow the finer details of recordings to shine through properly. The highs are not exactly recessed, but they are controlled and never overly bright or in your face. The lows carry real power with these, feeling the impact along with hearing it, the midrange lacks a little definition with the black filters and the highs ultimately lack a little air and separation up top. The black filters are great for those looking for an engaging, powerful and fun sound signature and these sound very good with the black filters. Micro detail retrieval is good but these are more about having fun and letting go of technicalities and just enjoying the sound, and that they do very well with excellent extension on each end and great coherency.

    Pink:
    With the pink filters, the bass is a little more controlled than the black, having a little less body and quantity. The lows still extend well into the sub-bass but kicks are a little more subdued, and they are not as lively and as fun. With the pink filters, the mids gain little clarity and sound a little less full, but the highs are still lacking a little air and openness that leads the pink filters to sound a little odd. There is a narrow band in the midrange that is more prominent than the rest of the sound, by controlling the bass, the midrange is a little cleaner but the balance of the sound is all off and overall I don't like this tuning as much.

    Copper:
    Bass, Bass and more bass, these are the ones for the real bass heads out there. They offer plenty of punch and articulation but the lows mask the rest of the sound, making them sound a little muddy overall. Again I am impressed by the power down low, and female vocals still come across with fairly good presence but the lower midrange is masked and the highs are rolled off. The sound is very smooth with these filters, but again way too much bass for most people.

    DSC_9904.jpg

    Orange:
    The lows are much more balanced here, the upper midrange seems a little forward with these filters. These is still excellent extension down low but the lows are much more controlled, this allows the midrange to shine through. The midrange has great clarity and detail retrieval with the orange filters, the bass no longer comes in and overpowers them. The tonality of the midrange is erring on the colder/analytical side of sound, but they never become harsh or fatiguing. The highs are lightly rolled off, this leads to a fatigue free listen, but one that has a slight focus on the midrange. Overall the orange filters sound very good, with a slightly mid-forward sound but one that still has excellent extension down low just with a bit more control, and lightly rolled off highs.

    Blue:
    Now these hit the spot in terms of balanced sound without anything sticking out too much or being too emphasized. There is excellent clarity across the board with the blue filters, there is no real mid-bass hump like with a few of the other filters, but there is still fairly strong sub-bass presence. The lower midrange is no longer shadowed by the lows, the highs are present and extend with ease and they sound quite coherent and natural. The sound is still powerful and engaging, and not a laid back and smooth sound. The blue filters to my ears allow the most detail to come through and there are plenty of moments where you hear subtle details in the recording with these.

    With open vents the soundstage is fairly wide, and there is good air around instruments, of course this also depends on the filters, the Black, Blue and Orange having the most air, with the Pink and Copper being more closed in. Instrument separation is very good overall, and they have good PRAT allowing even faster mixes to be easily picked apart.

    What is very impressive about the R1 is the detail retrieval with all the filters, these have the ability to pick out detail the other IEM's around this price range struggle to. These are a very fun IEM but they are backed up by incredible detail and control, few other headphones give you this technical performance coupled with a fun sound.

    DSC_9891.jpg

    Conclusion:

    £500 is not cheap for an IEM, especially since you can get the excellent Dunu DK-3001 for the same price. But with the R1 you can change the sound signature with the filters, and the differences between them are big. The stock Black filters are superb for an engaging and super fun on the go IEM, with the Blue having a more neutral but still engaging sound.

    The R1 is a great first product from IMR, and I am really interested to see where they go from here. As they stand, if you want a fun sounding IEM, then you need to check out the R1 as I don't think you'll find an IEM that is this powerful and enjoyable at this price. If you want a more neutral and smoother sounding IEM, then I suggest looking elsewhere. These will get your feet tapping, that's for sure.

    Sound Perfection Rating: 8.5/10 (Overall looks could be sleeker, the packaging doesn't scream high end, but they are extremely fun to listen to, with the ability to tune the sound signature)

    DSC_9896.jpg

    DSC_9903.jpg

    DSC_9908.jpg
  7. Yellow Star
    Excellent product
    Written by Yellow Star
    Published Nov 29, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Read my text
    Cons - None
    Not a product review per say, but still belonging to this space.

    I believe I have read every single word in Head-fi.org related to the infamous TA and some want to equate IMR Acoustics to TA, undeservedly. As a new, very satisfied, owner of a pair of R1s, I want to share my experience.

    I have learnt about Bob’s previous work and when I saw the design of the R1, read about the philosophy behind his latest creation and read a couple of reviews, I took the plunge and preordered, without hesitation. For me, talent and dishonest behaviour usually don’t go hand in hand, and Bob is a very talented engineer and designer. Passionate people, who invest their soul in their trade, deserve our attention. Honestly, I am not capable to review an IEM and I lack the experience to evaluate it against other competitors, so I leave this task to other profesional reviewers. Nevertheless, I know what I hear and am totally pleased with the R1s lush, powerful and musical sound. The build quality is excellent and the fit in the ear is very comfortable, with small size and no sharp edges. I value highly the open ports as a way of easing preasure in my ears and, hopefully, preserving my hearing. Good cables with 90º jacks, both 3,5mm & 2,5mm, generous accessories and classy packaging. My expectations have been overcome to the fullest and I am delighted.

    Finally, I want to tell that Bob fully lived up to his word, has been very attentive and proactive and made sure I got my shipment in time. Later, he took care to inquire if the goods were delivered and if I was satisfied. What more can I ask for in customer care? I know when I meet a gentleman and Bob is one of them. He deserves all credit for his work and success in his new venture. Well done Bob and I wish you the very best!
  8. AudioJunki3
    An absolutely stellar product!!
    Written by AudioJunki3
    Published Oct 6, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Clear and consistent sound across all genres.
    Fantastic deep rich bass that packs a punch.
    Built like absolute tanks
    Ceramic driver definitely separates this product from the crowd!!
    Cons - None as of now
    IMG_0026.HEIC.jpg IMG_0025.HEIC.jpg IMG_0024.HEIC.jpg IMG_0023.HEIC.jpg IMG_0022.HEIC.jpg

    Introduction:


    Hello everyone! This is my review of the IMR-R1. Who is IMR?


    IMR is a new company started by well established audio fanatic known as Bob.

    The company aims to start a new chapter in Bobs career and for him to pursue his goal of creating some of the world's best sounding earphones. And he’s done a damn fine job if I do say so myself.



    The IMR-R1 are utilising a special driver that is a combination of Beryllium and Ceramic. The reason for this is that there are limitations of other setups that Bob aim’s to overcome with this new technology. Rather than focusing on driver count and worrying who’s is bigger than who’s, the aim here is to create something phenomenal. Beryllium and Ceramic both have their individual strengths, both of which are present here.


    Tech specs:

    • IMR Open and close porting system

    • 5 Audio filters

    • 2 Pin detachable cables

    • Impedance: 32 Ohm

    • Sensitivity: 108 +/- 3DB

    • Frequency response: 14 - 40000Hz

    • 24ct Gold plated 3.5mm Jack

    • 1.4M length OFC cable

    • 13mm driver featuring Neodymium motors with beryllium diaphragm + Ceramic driver



    Before I start, I would like to thank Bob for allowing me to try these after many weeks of begging! ^_^






    Design:


    I’ve studied design for 9 years now and have worked in the audio industry with one the UK’s highest regarded manufacturers. Design for me is a huge part of every product I buy, ergonomics, feel, materials, features, product longevity, I wouldn’t say I’m picky but it’s definitely 40% of my reason for buying something.


    To start with the IMR’s design is quite fascinating. Looking at them you might think they are uncomfortable, however this is quite the opposite. I personally am a fan of their aesthetic. I’ve never been into flashy products with gold and all that crap. I feel the IMR focuses on sound quality, but somehow manages to look great. I love the attention to detail and the industrial vibe the hex screws give off. Shows that these are a REAL product that has received time and effort to create, it's definitely not to be messed with.


    Material wise, these things are built like a tank. Extremely strong exterior, and the removable cables have a very satisfying feeling when removing them. The rotating vent covers on the side of the housing are very easy to operate, so much so that I was able to adjust within seconds without having to take them off. Something I was VERY happy about considering some tracks require that extra width.


    I wore these for an hour straight at one point during my testing and didn’t suffer any discomfort or fatigue whatsoever.




    Isolation:


    With this being a universal IEM, isolation is going to depend on what tips you’re using. By this I mean brands like Comply are going to supply you with a better seal. During my testing I found the isolation to be good, using my rubber tips. (I couldn’t find any comply)


    In regards to letting sound through the body of the earphone, I found none more than any other earphone, microphonics were non existent due to the wrap around ear design.




    Sound:


    I guess this is the main attraction of any review so I had best put the earphones back in while I write it.


    My test gear for this isn’t anything fancy. I’ve owned a few DAP’s in the past, Questyle QP1R and an AR-M2, however I just don’t find myself using them as much as a phone with a good headphone jack, too bulky.


    The earphones come supplied with an array of filters that vary the signature of the sound, some people prefer a warmer approach, where as I go for the silver filters which brings out the high and low end.


    For this I will be using a Oneplus 5 with a Qobuz sublime subscription.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Rather than splitting this up into sections regarding the bass and treble, I’m opting for a general written description of the sound.


    The signature of the R1 is rich and punchy. It an extremely expressive piece of equipment and is an absolute joy to listen to. The accuracy of the sound is spectacular and presentation is very well spaced without giving that “concert hall” vibe. It expresses a very “there in front of you” feeling, which in turn triggers that shiver down spine feeling I got with the iSine 20.


    The mids and high’s are extremely well received here also, something I think bob was going for with the Ceramic plate. One track that absolutely strikes this is the opening of “Ain’t no Sunshine - Eva Cassidy”. The plucking of the guitar possesses depth that I’ve not come across before with another IEM, not only that but once the vocal work starts, I was astonished by the differentials between her, the bass and the guitar, which surpassed even further expectations at the introduction of a piano. The separation here is not something I would expect from a unit with this few drivers.


    My second test track for this review is Dust bowl Children - Alison Krauss, Just adding here I ain’t no hillbilly. But my father was always a big fan and it’s just something I’ve picked up. For those who know the track, there’s a lot going on here. It’s a fantastic demonstration of the R1’s ability to present a magnitude of instruments simultaneously. That little banjo is really going for it right in the background and you can certainly feel it.


    The third track is Owl City - Fireflies, the candlelight singer songwriter known as Owl City loves to work that treble in areas not many others would even think of. This track was selected to get a feel of the treble. One thing that I really hate is harshness of treble and it’s far too common to find that I have to EQ the heck of the high end just to stop my eyes squinting. This testing was done with a flat EQ and I had no issues listening to any of my music. What really surprises me is the resolution of the treble. Ceramic is an extremely brittle material, and I did initially have my reservations about whether my dog would run away screaming if I asked him to try these out. However the sound was very clear and consistent even at the higher end of the spectrum.

    The mids of the R1 are very lush and are not left out. My track for this was

    Hey now - London grammar. The bass in this track is very present and requires good sub bass presentation in order to fully accentuate itself the way the artists intended. I chose this because I wanted to see where to vocals would be placed in comparison to the bass. Pleasantly the mids weren’t suppressed at all and her voice was

    very much present.


    Switchable Open and closing port


    A major selling point of the R1 is the choice of having an open or closed vent. This of course gives the effect of a wider presentation, some tracks definitely take advantage of this and sound so much better with the vent’s open. My personal thoughts on this are that it purely depends on your own personal tastes and I wouldn’t say that one or the other is better. However it is a very welcome feature and something unique that doesn’t hinder other aspects of the product, but instead makes it all the more compelling.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------


    To conclude


    The R1 from IMR is an excellent product. It definitely competes with products within and above it’s price bracket, having tested and compared these with the iSine 20 from Audeze. I would say I prefer the less ridiculous aesthetic and build quality.


    The sound is simply spectacular and I feel the combination of Ceramic and Beryllium has definitely paid off here, so hats off to Bob for doing such an amazing job with the engineering. The R1 is an all round high performer that offers a very engaging sound which surprisingly performs very well on my mid range chinese phone.


    I would personally recommend the R1 to anyone looking for a very complete audio experience that doesn’t require a thermonuclear reaction to power it. In a highly saturated market with so much choice, it’s difficult to find that “one” that sticks out.

    All I’m saying is I know which one I’d go for knowing what I know now.