InEar StageDiver SD-2S

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. HansBarbarossa
    InEar StageDiver SD-2: Power and Magnetism!
    Written by HansBarbarossa
    Published Sep 12, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sound, comfort, assembly, quality of material, price.
    Cons - Not
    Hi, firends. Here also that moment when stars of the sound universe have met has come as it is necessary, and at me it has turned out to tell you about remarkable 2BA's model StageDiver SD-2 IEM from the German InEar brand.

    A few years ago at me was a transient meeting with these earphones, but it insufficiently to turn the feelings of that time from acquaintance into the text was obvious though desire was big. Today we at last will make up for lost time. But at first there are a little words about the company.


    InEar for 25 years successfully researches in the field of professional audio, production of in-ear monitors and also hearing aids and ear protection. Musicians and sound producers use her specialized production, and for judges of a high-quality portable sound there is a series of in-ear StageDiver earphones.


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    Technical characteristics
    System: 2-way system (2 drivers)
    Transmission range: approx. 20–18000 Hz
    Output sound pressure: 119 dB
    Impedance: 40 Ohm
    Cablelength: 140 mm



    Appearance, set and ergonomics

    IEM have arrived in reliable plastic "PELI CASE" of black color with a company sticker of InEar StageDiver. Inside besides SD-2 there are also a cable 140 cm long, cleaning wipes for care of earphones, the adapter 3,5/6,3 mm and four couples of silicone tips of the different size.


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    The quality of assembly, as well as in a case with earlier surveyed SD-5 model, doesn't raise questions. The shell of earphones cast, is made of black glossy plastic/acrylic . It very clearly and convenience reminds an acrylic shell of CIEM - the monitors executed on an individual mold of an ear.


    All range StageDiver has two sizes of the of IEM shell: usual and "S". It seems to me that most of listeners will suit reduced option, but to exclude probability of a mistake better to consult in this respect to the producer.


    Besides, since recent time an opportunity and the choice of color of earphones has appeared. So, our SD-2 are available both in black luster, and in the "aubergine metallic" version, it will be such peculiar "eggplant metallic". And StageDiver SD-5 can be chosen even in the wooden case with various shades, well and of course in plasticity with the richest choice of color. Moreover, all StageDiver series is available also in a custom look (the section "LivePro" on the website of the InEar).


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    But we will return to technical characteristics of our experimental. In SD-2 sound waters the replaceable filters serving for protection of earphones against hit in them of moisture and sulfur are installed.

    Complete cable of black color, fork 2pin, jack L-shaped 3,5mm. He is replaceable, it is executed by a texture from four wires. As well as in a case with the senior models from InEar, he hasn't caused serious complaints in me. However, you can pick up easily for earphones other cable with 2pin connectors (0,78mm).


    With sound insulation at ears a full order, it is necessary to pick up tips only correctly.


    Well, go already to listen to our charm!



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    Sound



    Listening was carried out on: MyST DAC 1866OCU V.2, Lotoo paw Gold, iBasso DX200 (AMP7), iFI xDSD, iFI micro iDSD Black Lable, & Colorfly BT-C1.


    With all devices IEM were won back wonderfully well. From the first steps of music it becomes clear that SD-2 of the professionals of the business adjusted. Ideal coherence of drivers, without hint on joints and distortions and also excellent voice-frequency balance is available. All in an adult way.


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    Sounding of SD-2 neutral, well balanced, powerful, without peaks and failures, sounded in a little warm manner. If it is absolutely short, then a sound at earphones "correct" and "rich".



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    Low frequencies are fulfilled expressively, precisely, with the powerful hard notable blow and a fast bass which isn't encroaching on other frequency range. The area of a midbass is some accurately forced, at the expense of it the subbass fades into the background a little, but isn't lost: if he needs to give serious "growl" and to transfer vibration, it does accurately, quickly and it is perceived.


    Midbass strikes with fine transfer of textures and vigor, tracing all depth of a musical cloth, loading the listener with the incredible drive.


    Mids is equal, smooth and extremely natural. Any sound is allocated with the corporal cover. Giving of mid-frequency range at the same time dense and detailed. Each timbre, each vibration of a voice or a string is transferred naturally and deeply, with drive and slightly in chamber style.


    High frequencies exact, clean and smooth. They are a little maleficiated to please to comfortable listening, but in too time of a lack of them isn't felt. Perhaps, quantitatively they can lack fans of bright giving a little, but it is impossible to carp at quality of working off and transfer of textures. Though, of course, here all as always individually. For me this ideal combination of quantity and quality of high frequencies.


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    The musical cloth appears the integral massif where all details are harmonized. The virtual scene doesn't strike with the width, but perfectly transfers space depth. Seriously, it is just magnetic chasm which tightens you during the sound whirlpool and it is tenacious there holds, and you at the same time don't want to get out from there at all.

    These earphones will hardly suit those who needs air and width with the flitting filigree images. And here those who love orotund timbre rich and naturalistic giving, StageDiver SD-2 will be unambiguously pleased. Their a little assombri fascinating handwriting constantly keeps the listener in suspense. It is the real, honest and full-blooded sound in which there is a wish to revel as long as possible without interruption.


    Still SD-2 very much please with the genre universality. They fascinating give surroundings of classical music, instrumental music and jazz, it isn't less interesting and is fascinating win back rock and electronics.


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    For example: Depeche Mode "Going Backwards"

    The composition moves powerfully and monotonously, clouding gloomy fog the listener's head.


    The hard, direct shot shatteringly hits into a bone. The shaking bass as if the pendulum, resounds with an eardrum and enters into a trance. The accruing wave of a synthesizer rolls on you, and the velvet Dave Gahan's voice is detached, but penetrating removes:

    «We are not there yet

    Where we need to be

    We are still in debt

    To our insanities

    We're going backwards

    Turning back our history

    Going backwards

    Piling on the misery…»

    And here all booming "depeche's" artillery is connected, scorching from all tools where each sound shell is depicted to the smallest particles.


    These IEM as the skillful conductor in the jungle, enter you into the hypnotic atmosphere of a song. Even to goosebumps!


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    If to compare SD-2 to the earphones which are earlier surveyed by me from InEar, then SD-5 play "is more juicy" and in expressive way at the expense of the emotional middle, accurate emphasis on a joint of Mid/High and distinguished "spark" at high frequencies. ProPhile-8 sound more widely, paying more attention to nuances that no wonder, it is model absolutely of other category.


    Anyway StageDiver SD-2 have a special charm, a natural manner of a sound and identity. They have an interesting giving of a sound, a pressure and enviable power that a rarity for the earphones constructed on only two BA drivers. It is sure that this model will have many admirers.


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    Conclusion

    I will be short: in my opinion, it is one of the best models in price category up to €500-600. On the official site of inear-monitoring StageDiver SD-2 there are €399. As you have already understood, I consider that SD-2 - it the most right option is correct to spend 400 euros.



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      Moonstar, hqssui and Zelda like this.
  2. nofuture
    Natural, Neutral IEM
    Written by nofuture
    Published Jun 6, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality, Neutrality, Build Quality, Value, Ultra Secure Fit
    Cons - Comfort
    Before starting the review I'd like to explain a few thing about myself so you can contextualize my advice/review.
     
    I'm a 24 years old student in IT, my passion in life is Sound Design, I also like the mixing / mastering phase of electronic record. I don't play any instrument since I can't due to an accident that cut my tendons and ligaments on one of my hands.
     
    I listen almost exclusively to electronic music mostly to :
    - Deep House / Classic House (ex: Ten Walls / EDX)
    - Glitch Hop / Neuro Hop (ex: Kursa)
    - Experimental (ex: Autechre)
    - Techno (ex: Paula Temple)
    - Hardstyle (ex: Warface)
    - Electro Pop / Future Whatever (ex: Odesza / Cashmere Cat)
     
     
    At first I was on the market for a pair of portable headphone in the 500 $ range but I couldn't find any really flat headphone in this price range that had all the thing I "needed" (non proprietary cable, detachable cable, good comfort, fold able, etc.)
    Then I decided to look on the IEM market and after a few days ( a lot of hours ) comparing the measurement available on Innerfidelity I found what I was searching for in term of frequency response. Something as flat as possible in the Sub/Bass/Mid-Bass/Mid region with a good extension in the highs and a gentle roll-of to avoid fatigue.
    This was the SD-2. ,
    So I decided to give a try to IEM because I never even consider these as an option to listen to music, so this is my very first pair of IEM, reason why you should read and interpret my review in this context.
     
    I then decided to order the SD-2 from Thomann, received them and I wasn't able to wear them because they were too big for me, so well I had to sent them back and I then ordered the SD-2S which at the beginning seemed way too big, but with "retreat" ( don't know how to say this in English but when you think to something a few times after, you have a better view of it...) they are not too big but there's something that doesn't feel right, even after one month wearing them.
    So obviously, why do I kept them ? (Read below and you'll know)
     
     
    The Sound Quality
     
     
    They are super neutral, listening to music that has been correctly designed / mixed / masterised is an eargasm to me.
    On the other side, listening to poorly masterised / mixed track, like almost 75 % of Hardstyle / Hardcore track is just horrible, the bass isn't there, highs are uncomfortable because of the ##### loudness war.
    Well, these are, in my point of view the best friend of mixing / mastering engineer in that price range in term of frequency response.
    The only thing that I won't do with these is maybe sibilant check since they are relaxed in the highs, but still with a great extension, but well a pair of DT880PRO/HD800 would be better for that purpose.
     
    Then, the stereo image seems nice to me but since it's my first pair of IEM I won't go too far on that route because my perception of how a pair of IEM can compete with a pair of studio monitor isn't sharp at all.
    I won't go into further analysis, because I won't call myself and audiophile, but more a nerd who lives for electronic music, but still a tech guys.
     
    To make it short:
    PROS
    - These are Neutral, I hear some sounds in a way I've never on my Focal Studio Monitor / Beyer DT880PRO
    - These are Clean, if you hear some rumble in the Bass, of something that doesn't feel right, then you can be sure that this is related to the record not to the IEM and I think that as Mixing / Mastering Engineer this is one of the most important point, be able to have confidence in the support you're working on.
    - These are Neutral, (Yes, again), so if you're accustomed to IEM/Heaphone that got a, even slight, boost in the low end you'll find these light in the bass, but at a correct volume to me the relation between frequencies between 20 & 2000 Hz is just so close to perfection that saying something on this would be snob-ism
    - Stereo Imaging is respected and it's not over-made
     
    CONS
    - These are slightly slow, on some fast type of music the bass can feel a bit slow, Hardcore  ~180 BPM suffer slightly from this but honestly, it's really really slight and it's also often related to the records themselves.
    If some other owner didn't speak about this I wouldn't even have compare with my other gear this particular point and I honestly think that I wouldn't have noticed this since this isn't a critical point for me.
     
    The Build Quality
     
    PROS
    German Quality. Period.
     
    CONS
    The ear guide on the cable doesn't seem to be removable. I don't like ear guide... Is it really a cons ? ...
     
    Fit, Comfort
     
    PRO
    The fit is, in my case ultra secure, there's no way that (even without the ear guide) they could fall. You can take a convertible car on the highway with these.
     
    CONS
    In my case they aren't comfortable, I don't know if this is because IEM are not comfortable for me since it's my first pair of IEM.
    I use the xS tips, I've tried the Small from Comply, they are way way too big for me so I'll stick with the xS from InEar.
    The 30 first minutes are okay, after 45 it become uncomfortable, after 90-120 minutes painful in the upper concha.
    I have them for around 3 weeks now so I still have to get used so this review is non definitive.
    I would say, if the comfort is the important-est point for you, read the other reviews because my point of view might be biased by too high expectation from a "Universal 2 Custom" IEM pair or simply because I never wore IEM for more than 5 minutes before these.
     
    The Word of the End 
     
    Listening to music and working (mix/mastering/sound design) with this product is a real pleasure, my best experience so far in term of neutrality,  I might even get a pair of the Customs one day if I have the money.
    I wouldn't exchange these for anything even if I have some fit / comfort issue.
    I highly recommend these to anyone that wants a neutral and natural experience, either for pleasure where they'll shine with their natural sound and relaxed highs or for work where their neutrality will help in mixing and mastering.
    A big Thumbs Up for InEar, nice and helpful guys by the way.
     
    EDITED : Typo, Poor English Level, Etc.
      mgunin likes this.
    1. Jenz
      Hello, Thx for the Review!
      I have a Question:
      Does the SD2 only the 2-Way Driver GQ-3 0783 installed or have in addition a bass driver?
      Greets Jens
      Jenz, Jan 10, 2016
    2. mgunin
      Thanks a lot! A couple of questions: do you use them outside/on the go? How's the isolation?
       
      And, which sources do you use them with?
      mgunin, Feb 16, 2016