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Remax RM 305M Aluminum Earbud

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. Redcarmoose
    Just When You Thought You Have Seen It All
    Written by Redcarmoose
    Published Dec 6, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Revolutionary Aluminum Construction Elements Creating A Dynamic Listening Experience
    Cons - None
    Remax RM305M Aluminum Earbud

    Here is the $10 Remax Earbud, just as sexy as your high school's homecoming queen. Though lost in the rush of new products from China this year, I learned about it from stories told on HeadFi, some saying it was far superior to the Monk earbud. 2016 has been in many ways the year of the China value. After reviews of the RM305M's bass being fast, tight and refined, after reviews of the mids being forward-detailed and surprisingly special, I went on the lookout.
     
     
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    Looking for the Remax RM305M Earbud:
    For me anything from Remax touted as having a titanium coated driver combined with an aluminum build has me roaming the city streets with interest. All this curiosity has me wondering too, due to falling in love with past Remax creations. So in regard to sound quality you will find a better review edit right here on this very page in three months after the dust settles. Emotionally involved with the new sound endearment, I will do my best to stay grounded and refrain from gushing endlessly simply due to the new sound signature at hand.




    The Future Is Now:
    Yep, the future came out with giant China Manufacturers making 3 million IEMs a month and still finding themselves in competition with still other even better China manufactures making a different 3 million IEMs a month and gaining ground. We are witnessing the best part of capitalism in manufacturing. We win getting audiophile gear for a song, and the trend seems to be getting better every day.



    Quality Control:
    Even small details like the control-wand/microphone are completely constructed from aluminum, a far cry from the regular plastic infused $10 market price point.


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    The Quest And Adventure:
    Still for many Head-Fi members many a quest has been won looking outside the box to the unknown manufactures which offer value and quality not found through normal channels. Possibly someday cost will truly not matter and everyone will enjoy audiophile music? Places like Head-Fi offer the researcher the information needed so they can trust that unknown manufacture and purchase a product from a far away place. Much of the time we even read descriptions about specific device sound character by people we trust, in the end taking the risk and fear out of a purchase decision.
     
     


    What IS Normal These Days?
    Products like the Remax RM305M don't actually compete completely with the mega-buck gear, but offer a mid-fi value which can complete a portable audio system. Still though after making a ton of different China purchases, we start to realize these low-cost Chinese products are actually starting to arrive at the base of true audiophile quality, and allow us a way to avoid the risk from loosing or breaking expensive multi-digit high-end audiophile headphones.

    What ends up being different here is the sound signature and build materials. Surprisingly this is a perfect example of value. We are now experiencing the value due to economy of scale. If 300,000 earbuds are made, they make a profit in volume sales and we profit by getting a lovable earbud for $10.
     
    Build And Resulting Sound Responses:
    After years and years of speaker and headphone reviews something starts to take place. The listener starts to relate to the sound of the construction material. Much of the time our industry uses materials as a sonic paintbrush palette to refine and create a desired sonic signature. Much of these materials also end up being long lasting simply due to the quality of material and construction methods used. We have all found well built entry level products to be a previously unknown brand trademark, in the end endearing us and allowing the company to get a foothold in the crowded marketplace. Remax has made a name for itself making accessories for cellphones and a multitude of headphones, though relatively unknown outside of China.

     
     
     
     

    You can't really define this construction methodology other than revolutionary. Tons of aluminum IEMs out there, but only a few aluminum earbuds. Go figure?
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    Things Simply Sound Like The Material They Are Built With:
    Simple really. Stone speakers sound very cold due to the stone not resonating like a wood guitar body. Different woods all enamor their personal special sound into and through the applied transducer case, yes? Hardwood is colder and the softer wood starts to add maybe even more color and softness to our listening experience. So what about an earbud made from aircraft aluminum? Well it's just like you would think really.

    The Sound:
    The Monk has a low toned resonance which is bass being vibrated around the plastic housing. So let's take that all away. Let's mount our drivers into a solid aluminum construction where resonance still takes place but in a more controlled environment. Let's start to enable our transducer with spacial clarity and imaging just due to construction. What we are looking for is a controlled decay. Still our treble is rolled off in an enjoyable way. These earbuds are all about the mid-range. These Earbuds are all about imaging and clarity. And as you guessed, give us a perfect mid-range with character and personality and we may even overlook any audio shortcoming at hand? That said, most musical information is truly in the mid-range.

    Much of our sound results from new titanium driver coating technology which in turn has delineated the Remax house sound in the past and help separate Remax ultra-budget offerings apart from the pack. This year the Remax 610D has found itself atop many a list of profound IEMs under $20. Listening to the tone it's not a stretch to think both headphones share similar driver technology? My description would be both airy and detailed yet still being grounded to a warm and stout lower mid-range. These are not bass head earbuds nor treble head earbuds for that matter. Anyone in love with mid-range would be hard pressed to find a worthy competitor for the money.

    Treble:
    When designing the tune a difficult guess is where to roll off the treble frequency. Home speakers can have their crossovers and transducers emit all the treble possible as the room and listening distance from the home speaker acts to thwart the sound waves. On the other hand IEM manufactures pay special attention to keeping those high frequency waves from reaching our ears. Stridency and sibilant "SSSSSS" artifacts are the direct result of manufactures reaching for treble detail at the expense of going overboard. The best sound character gets us treble detail but refrains from being piercing or shouty. In my experience I find two basic sonic faults in ultra-budget IEMs, one IEM has too much bass covering detail, the other swing is bright stridency in the treble. I listened to one the other day that had both, a blurry bass and a hot treble. Lol.

    At times it's actually pretty easy to spot when the treble is going to be an issue. Still with other headphones it's weeks before we notice the character flaws at hand.
    Getting the character of tone may seem like a simple task for IEM builders but almost never do they get the balance right. The balance is never perfect, but can end up enjoyable in the end.

    Reality:
    Really in the end it is just finding a personal sound signature you can relate with. Some folks like more treble and some like more bass. Here we have a lot of mid-range. Now to be realistic it is forward, but at times does not seem forward enough. That is where my personal confusion is in understanding the signature, hence a follow up review edit section later. There is also the issue of these just getting to the edge of shouty. After 100 hours of burn in I hope some of this behavior smooths out. I also have a gut instinct these may need 300-600 hours of burn in like the k701s do?

    The Color Of Sound:
    It's the color that gives us emotion as listeners. It's this balance of detail-color and emotion which determines the entertainment factor. Still with all the above stated many listeners may still request slightly more treble than the RM305Ms produce. It's perfect for my taste but everyone is different. It's the highly detailed upper mid-range here which gives up the detail. Still these may come off as slightly dark for some, and lacking all the treble energy looked for and expected. With so many of the non-audiophile V signatures around, finding a mid-centric and upper mid-centric signature may come off as confusing. I don't think I have ever heard this exact signature before nor ever owned any solid aluminum earbuds for that matter.

    The Treble In Theory:
    A well tuned treble balance determines if we can live with the headphone day in and day out. Most of us go from one sound transducer to another, looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Few ever find true happiness in a sound signature but have moments of satisfaction between purchases and sound signature taste changes. Much of this process success comes from not getting personal opinions about signatures too soon, but learning to understand different signatures and what they have to offer over time. Most of the time a different color ends up creating an emotional response to a product. Confusing as it may be, it's normally the color (and understanding of it) which has a person buying and selling the same exact headphone multiple times.

    Still after the honeymoon is over many find they are left with a tone, still fun but keeping them from hearing all the detail offered by today's musical genres. Thus more and more money is spent in this futile search for the lost city of gold. I can't verify the Remax Earbuds are perfect, but they continue to entertain day in and day out.

    Bass:
    No sub bass but it all somehow works in the end. Remember too I'm primarily listening to bass centric genres. Of all the genres I listen to, movie soundtracks come out best. What makes it all work is the profound lower mid areas which hold onto bass notes in a sound field zone and delineate the tones distinctly apart from the rest of the mix. This same feature also allows us to hear important sonic clues as to our outside/real-world surroundings. When in public loud sounds like construction noise and cars will make their way through into the listening experience.

    These end up a nice outside walking headphone due to the safety of hearing what's around. Still going back to a full IEM will remind the Remax user of that bass which was left out. In many ways the bass level and tone could be compared to the AKGk701, where it is there but does not carry a strong presence. Still amazingly I like them, regardless of the bass character.




    Money And Sound-quality:
    Why Does A Stradivari Cost 15 Million Or More?

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    Well maybe the fact that only 560 Stradivari musical instruments exist today? But most likely due to tone. Yep, the wood resonate sound is special. Color, it's the color that gives the vibrating strings amplification and life. Resonate reverberation and wood body sustain. Character and personality, yes? Just like a really good wine, these character traits are simply personality. Personality and Character always come with age. Still others would argue that they demand such a high price only due to placebo and reputation.

    Color!
    It's Always Color Which Makes Audio Life Interesting and Fun:

    So the same sonic romantic resonance stuff happens on a smaller basis with headphones, earbuds and IEMs, as with quality wood musical instruments. These things are all vibrating and the construction material is coloring and amplifying the sound. All this is happening even if we like it or not. So what happens when the manufacturers use a non resonant material like aluminum, or rock? What can we expect from our experience? Normally coldness and detail. Just a fact of life really. Softer material resonates more and harder thicker material resonates less. With less resonating we can at times get detail. The fall-off of sound wave energy becomes faster and we end up with a slightly clearer picture (at least that is what I think is going on here)? We end up with a less responsive enclosure but get detail. We get a little less sound-stage and color too. The final result can be a slight loss of response to signal. Typically a harder and thicker material is going to sound wave amplify less and different.

    The Sound.................Again!
    So in my explanation of construction materials I have described the sound signature without totally mentioning the Remax RM305M signature. Remember I said that I would edit my sound signature review later. It's just that most of us are wowed by change. Change is good and change is fun, but change is most of all confusing. That new detail or lack of resonance is exciting and new. A perfect example of musical entertainment being new and fresh. We are using an earbud, just slightly dry and with less responsive warmth, just like that stone speaker build. The stone speaker is fast and detailed, it still has a color though reserved and colder than we are used to. Still here we are given a slight gift. The gift ends up being an unexpected warm lower mid-range. Remember too, these are earbuds so there is no chance we are going to get deep, subsonic bass details, due to a less than perfect airtight seal. There is no seal so to speak. With the foam covers the more you push the earbuds into your ears, the more bass you get. Due to the egg shape, the tip of the egg becomes placed in the front of your ear canal and the back lays flat at the opening of your ear canal. (Note Picture)The small pole piece helps keep the buds in place, and I found they somehow stay in place, though I am at loss as to exactly why?
     
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    Another Gift:
    What we are gifted with is a open and airy sound-stage with all the instruments perfectly imaged in their own area. Still don't get me wrong, as the 305Ms only transduce a medium sound-stage, but it's nice. It's just that we are shown nice treble imaging and decay. Our decay is not interfering with the resolution.

    Many may yearn for a larger sound-stage, though maybe not? Also these are not the end all in detail. These are not RE0 detail, but make up for any loss of detail by having an over all cohesive sound signature. They just don't have that delicate detail that comes from more and more treble extension. That said a treble detail buff may want just a slight boost in the upper region. For my uses, I would not want any more treble.

    Most other reviews are going to pigeonhole these into doing light and airy music best, like folk or jazz, and they are dead-on right. I'm not going to try and make these more than they are. What we have learned is most earbuds and IEMs are slightly different and have a character which if married with the right musical genre, becomes special and grand. No different here. Most of the time a very few number of headphones get all genres right. Owning a collection allows us to tailor our listening experience by choosing the IEM and music used.

    More Yet Smaller Build Concerns:
    Somehow we see and feel Remax using the exact cord and plug style as used with the Piston 3s. Yes, the volume and song control wand has a microphone and button control which are exactly like the Piston 3s, made from solid aluminum.

    Take Note Of The Photographs Here:
    Our aluminum has all the same plug and control wand microscopic burnished lines, which along with the box hologram stickers show us they are hard products to fake. The cable though is missing the carbon fiber strands which go to stiffen the Piston 3 cord. Upon touch the cable seems to be softer and more flexible than the Piston 3s. Still we are met with cable strain relief in all the right areas exactly like the Piston 3s. We have TPE cable exiting the earbuds only to be run into the cloth wire at the aluminum Y plug. We find the transducer housing to be exactly egg shaped and mounted into a rubber ring which helps get us a more airtight fit, enhancing bass with the foam covers, as shown. The rubber ring maybe makes them more comfortable too? I actually use them with both foam covers and with the foam covers removed. The foam covers enhance the bass a little, but all and all these buds seem to resist sound changing factors on every level, more on that phenomena later. No micro-phonic cable wind noise either, but I'm not sure why?

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    First Impressions:
    The packaging is nice but also very sparse reflecting our price point at hand. The fit and finish of the actual product seem miles above the $10 price point. Even upon closer inspection they have just done a great job of construction in all areas. First seeing and holding the earbuds, I was not sure I was reading the price correctly? They give off a feel of something far more expensive.


    The Extras Are Few!
    They only come with a pouch, 6 month warranty card and 1 set of foam covers. Every Remax product also comes with a small report card which lists build information and insures quality control at the factory. Remax also always includes a burn-in manual where they recommend an elaborate 6 level burn in process. They have you start with low volume and slowly add volume in the process. A full description of how Remax recommends burn in will be listed at this review bottom.
     
    Nothing Is Perfect:
    There is no perfect headphone, so the story goes. How are these different than the other choices and what makes them special? First off earbuds offer a safer hearing experience while out and about in traffic. Earbuds offer a way to talk with other humans without taking the transducer out of your ear. In sound quality there is a special warmth in the mid-range which when combined with all the provided detail and moderate sound-stage, overcomes much of the sterility which you may guess is in danger of going on. All and all the volume alone helps drown out much of external noise when walking outside.

    Comparison:
    I'm really not an experienced listener of earbuds. Still it's easy to get interested in earbuds in general as they offer a slightly different routine in listening. Maybe the only headphone which gets close to the signature here would be the AKG k701s? The mid-spike, the fastness, and the lack of subsonic bass, causes me to refer the AKGs as the only headphone I have encountered which sounds close to these earbuds. Much of my worries when first getting these came from liking both mid centric and bass heavy headphones. I was actually worried that the lack of warm musicality would cause me to put these in a box away from thoughts and memories. Still they do something special and unique which makes them fun and a keeper. You will get a smile every time you put them on.

    Music And Equipment:
    They start to show their value in classical and acoustic recordings, though still wake-up with intense playback of dance or metal genres. There is a section of the the mid-response which could have you turning down the volume with aggressive songs. They actually walk a fine line approaching shouty but just slightly. Also the RM 305Ms seem to like power. Some Samsung phones may not arrive at driving them to their full potential? These end up being a great value only because I know of no $10 IEMs that do what these do, let alone come with a $150 build quality. Still to be critical here they do have a slight edge which does not go well with aggressive music. There is a very profound mid-spike which can make Heavy Metal a little intense at high volume levels. Confusing too as you will find most metal-heads are looking for the mid-range to make their genre of choice sparkle?

    Mid-centric Rarities:
    Still it seems the industry has moved away from mid centric and flat signatures in favor of V signatures. In many ways the mid-range personality will have the Remax RM305M earbuds coming off as audiophile simply due to clarity and speed. The above stated simple removal of bass goes miles to introduce the tried and true audiophile sound signature. They can be turned up really loud with no distortion, still the mid-spike tends to have the listener seeking lower volume levels. It's not that high volume is really bad, but medium volume levels seem to be what this headphone is about. 3/4th of full volume of an iPhone is just perfect for most genres of music. In ending the sound could really be described as classic audiophile with just a slight mid spike and splash of warmth injected into the lower mid-range.


    Specifications:
    32 ohm
    PU Composite Diaphragm
    Aluminum Alloy
    Abrasive Blasting
    Three Key Volume Control and Microphone
    Braided Wire and TPE Wire
    120mm Cable Length
    3.5mm Plug


    External Diameter 13.4mm
    Titanium Complex Moving Coil Unit
    Tri-Band Sound Equitation
    Full Aircraft Aluminum Construction


    And...............The Conclusion:
    These are the headphones which will surprise you in the box opening experience and then surprise you again in your first listening experience. Words like "value" and "different" come to mind. Words like entertaining and fun come to mind also. They don't seem to scale with better equipment. That said, an iPod or iPhone tend to bring out much of the romance these are capable of. Surprisingly much of the value IEMs gain a portion of quality joining them with better equipment. The Remax RM 305Ms just stay in character, though detailed, never scale up a ton with better equipment or file quality. Be this as it is, it all comes off neither bad nor good as our rock solid aircraft aluminum Remaxs seem to just be. In the end they excel with softer tones and seem to not notice which amp is placed before them, for better or worse.

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    The essential Remax burn in process. Don't know if it works, as I have never done it?
    a) 30% for 12 hours
    b) 60% of full volume for 12 hours
    c) normal volume 72 hours (whatever normal volume is?)
    d) 80% for 24 hours
    e) finally now the headset can withstand 90% of full volume



    Special Extra Comedy Section
    China headphone advertising has always been entertaining with broken English and the Remax RM305M is another classic example. They spelled the word metal as MATEL on the Y split. On advertising we read "305M Mental Music Earphone"! Also interestingly all the product photography from Remax shows a completely different screen? Either the product photography was made from a prototype, or they made improvements later on.
     
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    https://www.tokopedia.com/kkrk/original-remax-rm305m-with-microphone-volume-control



    Update 01/25/2017
     
    Value:
    To keep things in reality, remember this equipment is going to be Mid-Fi at it's best. I'm going to be comparing two value priced ear-buds, one costing about $10-$14 USD and the other $69 USD. They maybe reach the lower level of quality HI/Fi, but simply expecting more would be purely delusional.
     
    I always planned on an update, mainly due to not having a good second set of ear-buds for reference. It would be like reviewing one IEM after only hearing one IEM. I purchased the MrZ Toneking Musicmaker Ting. Even though the Remax 305m costs about $14 and the Ting $69, they are both Chinese aluminum ear-buds and share some traits in common. In the end the Ting showed me what was possible with an aluminum ear-bud and helped delineate the slight drawbacks in sound quality of the 305m. As seen in the photographs both have a similar shape with the Ting being larger.
     
    I needed a second ear-bud to help show what aspects of the sound were just traits of the ear-bud response. To reiterate there are just going to be sound signatures  which result just from the character of the mechanism. Thus all IEMs sound close to the same, all open back headphones share similar traits.....ect, ect. Ear-buds in general will have a slightly lower bass response just due to the physicality of not creating a seal with the ear. Ear-buds in general offer a farther away and more relaxed sound due to their intrinsic construction nature. A second aluminum ear-bud regardless of quality is going to help line out the benefits and faults of the Remax.
     
    Ting Vs Remax 305m
     
    Both ear-buds end up being midcentric with the Remax 305m having a slightly forward upper midrange and treble. Remember too that most ear-buds are known for their replication of mid-frequencies. The Ting almost struggles with bringing compressed vocal tracks up inside the mix, where the Remax seems to bring the vocals forward with ease. Still the Ting showed a spectacular skill of bringing the treble items such as cymbals and launching them farther out in the soundstage. In contrast we now can view the 305m for what is is and what it is not. Much of these comparisons could be the same comparing the $29 Piston 3 IEM and the $100 1More Triple Driver IEM. The Piston shows a simple and not fully expanded treble response, though adequate, becomes almost undetailed when in comparison to the Triple Driver.
     
     
    In ending there is definitely an area where the Remax 305m can not go. The Ting offers a fully explored bass region as well as a more expensive sounding treble response. The learning came from understanding that all ear-buds offer a similar slightly farther away soundstage just due to their nature. The Ting also never walks near shouty where part of the Remax character is to bring the upper midrange forward, helping with vocals but nearing a shouty signature.
     
    Interestingly The Ting ends up darker and the Remax on the bright side of middle centric.
    So you have a lush area with the Ting where the Remax 305M offers detail in a different way along with a slightly pulled back detailed bass.
     
    As in most upgrades it really depends what your looking for. The Ting does solve some of our issues to bring us closer to a perfect sound, though I can't help but wonder if I would enjoy a mixture of these two sound signatures the best.
     
     
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    Equipment Used:
    iPhone 4
    iPod Touch Generation Five
    Schiit Asgard Amplifier
    DACMagic Plus DAC
    Electra Glide Audio Epiphany MK2 Power Cord
    Virtual Dynamics Master Series RCA Interconnects
    Rega Planet Transport
    Datalink 100 Digital Coaxial Cable

    Music:
    Compact Disks 16 bit-44.1 kHz Redbook
    MP3 Sound Files
    FLAC Files Foobar 2000 Resolute In IPod Touch/IPhone 4
    1. View previous replies...
    2. gmahler2u
      how do you order this ear bud?  i went w.s. i don't see add to cart or nothing...looks good for christmas gift..Thanks for your value review.
      gmahler2u, Dec 13, 2016
    3. Redcarmoose
      Redcarmoose, Dec 14, 2016
    4. ozkan
      Any comparison to Monk would be great!
      ozkan, Mar 21, 2017