Rhapsodio Eden

Wyville

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Accurate timbre with a neutral tonality, outstanding clarity, excellent for acoustic and classical music, great stock cable, excellent build quality
Cons: Silver will not keep its mirror finish for very long unless you baby them, a more specialised signature that might not work well with all music
Rhapsodio Eden

Disclaimer
The Rhapsodio Eden were on loan from a friend. No incentive was given for a favourable review.

Rhapsodio Eden
  • Drivers: Single 10mm dynamic driver
  • Shells: Pure silver
  • Price: US$2,000

Links:
https://www.rhapsodiostore.com
https://www.facebook.com/rhapsodiohk/

Preamble
Rhapsodio is a small company based in Hong Kong that is quite unlike any other company I know. Its main driving force is the indomitable polymath Sammy, whose singular drive to keep inventing ensures a near endless variety of new gear coming out all the time. Whether it is Universal IEMs, aftermarket cables, high quality adapters, amplifiers or most recently an affordable line of Custom IEMs, there is always something in the pipeline. Even in the case of already finished products Sammy's drive seems to be incorrigible. The Zombie IEMs I reviewed on head-fi a while back for instance received a high-end upgrade in the form of pure silver shells and even very unique looking black silver shells. The Eden I am reviewing here, which come in pure silver shells already... Yes, you guessed it correctly (or more likely you are as surprised as I was), now also come as full-on, pure silver Custom IEMs that look like a work of art and are more akin to expensive jewellery than a pair of earphones. That is high-end luxury for those who can afford something truly special. I can't afford it, but I do appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into such CIEMs and feel it is a world apart from some of the rather silly "luxury" headphones I have seen floating around (looking at you diamond encrusted Beats). This is what I love so much about Rhapsodio, there always seems to be a genuine effort behind everything to create something special at both the entry level and high end.

Speaking of high end, time to look at the gorgeous Eden and see what those are all about. I have been urged by friends to take a very careful look at these because of my love for classical music and preference for an accurate tonality, so my expectations are high.

Build quality and fit
As indicated above, the shells of the Eden are made of pure silver and they look absolutely gorgeous. I believe the shell is somewhat similar in design to the first version of the Galaxy (although I have never seen those in real life) and it is a lovely small shell design, quite different from the larger shells I have seen on other IEMs by Rhapsodio such as the Saturn, Zombie and Galaxy V2. Although small, there is still quite a bit of weight to them because of the pure silver construction, which can make it tricky to get a secure fit. Much like I have had with all the other Rhapsodio IEMs I have tried, the fit was fiddly at first, but once I found the right tips I actually found them very comfortable and secure.

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The Eden come with a premium quality pure copper cable that puts many stock cables to shame. For me this is something I think should be standard with all IEMs at this sort of price range. All too often I see very expensive IEMs fitted with a cheap plastic cable that has poor ergonomics and I wonder why they did not include something more befitting the premium quality of the IEMs. With the Eden no such issues, as the stock cable is great. It is a little heavier and not quite as supple as some of the aftermarket cables I have used, but certainly still an excellent quality and very ergonomic cable that does not bother me, even after hours of non-stop listening. And I can tell you that I did a lot of non-stop listening with the Eden because they have been a joy to listen to. So let's quickly move on to the sound.

Source
All listening was done with the Cowon Plenue 2 (neutral) and some with the Astell & Kern AK70 (warm/natural) from the SE out.

Presentation
The Eden have quite a unique presentation that has something of a neutral, reference tuning, yet maintains a very musical character. It is an exceptionally clear sound that flows organically and avoids sounding thin. Indeed, notes feel full and natural despite the overall neutral signature. The Eden present an airy and detailed stage that has a decent size, but is certainly not the widest I have heard. It is large enough that it does not feel too confined, but I personally prefer a wider and deeper stage for classical symphonies. Not that there is much to complain about either, as separation is excellent and the image as a whole is very pleasantly built up.

What struck me the most after hearing several other Rhapsodio IEMs is that the bass of the Eden is surprisingly polite and even a bit attenuated, while the treble is baby bottom smooth with none of the excitement that I encountered with the Galaxy V2. It is a clear, uncoloured tuning that is achieved through modesty, rather than pitting the two forces that Sammy is so good at (bass and treble) against each other. That makes the tuning incredibly pleasant to listen to and gives the feeling of an almost mid-focused IEM, although not at strongly as with the Vision Ears VE5. The VE5 did come to mind a little bit, as there is something very refined about the Eden that reminded me a little bit of the 'evening dress' character of the VE5. The Eden do not have it as strongly, but there is this feeling that the Eden like to do things 'proper' rather than indulge in exuberance, something that other Rhapsodio IEMs such as the Zombie do in spades.

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Bass
I remember some time ago reading a comment where Sammy indicated that many of his customers were asking for "more bass" and indeed the Rhapsodio IEMs I have tried before all had plenty of that. With the Eden that trend has clearly gone in the opposite direction and the bass here feels very restrained, almost attenuated, but not too far. It is an understated bass that lets the entire signature breath the clean air and avoids the need for pushing up the treble to combat its warmth. Indeed, very little warmth comes from the bass and neither is there a lot of impact coming from it, yet especially with classical and acoustic music the balance feels incredibly good.

When listening to typical acoustic bass instruments such as the cello in Bach's Cello Suites the Eden present a light and airy bass with a lot of texture to it. It might sound a little on the thin side with such solo performances, although it does not come across as unnatural. It is just not in the thick resonant way you get with, for instance, the Galaxy V2 where the sound feels more like it is coming from the body of the instrument, rather than the strings themselves. In larger scale classical pieces such as symphonies this lighter bass results in bass instruments being placed right at the back, their natural place to be, and they give more room for mid-range instruments to come through. Still, the bass is not weak and there is a lot of texture to the sound of, say, a tympani. I guess this is where you can find the 'reference' part of the tuning, as you can pick up the texture and hear the playing techniques even though the tympani is not thundering forward within the image.

Of course where the bass shows some of its weakness is in EDM, where I am an unashamed bass-head and much prefer the bass of the Zombie, but I have to admit that it is actually quite relaxing to listen to down-tempo EDM with the textured, tight and quite fast decaying bass of the Eden. There is definitely still something of a typical dynamic driver bass in there, but without it being pushed forward.

Mids
The mids are where a lot of the magic of the Eden happens and what makes them so unique. The neutral tuning of the Eden really sets itself apart from the usual neutral/reference tuning by having a very nice note size, nothing anaemic going on here! Notes have a fullness to them that makes them particularly natural and really puts the spotlight on the tonality of the Eden, which is excellent. I feel that in particular because of this, the Eden really perform well for acoustic and classical music. In fact, I would say their performance is stellar. I love natural sounding instruments and up to now I have always found that in a warmer tuning where the bass warms up the midrange to give the natural fullness to instruments. This is not something everyone will agree on, and the Eden have shown me how an accurate and natural tonality can be achieved differently. With classical symphonies, I hear wonderfully sounding midrange instruments that I absolutely adore and they are crystal clear because there is no warmth to veil them.

To my ears the mids do have a slight lift in the upper midrange that benefits female vocals and because of the bass tuning this is a slight disadvantage for male vocals. I was missing some of the weight in Eric Clapton's voice on his otherwise outstanding sounding Unplugged album. Where everything does come together beautifully is with Agnes Obel. If the Eden do one instrument especially well it is the piano and combined with the beautiful vocals of Agnes, it is a joy to listen to. Vocals are not particularly forward and I feel they are not the strongest I have heard, but still very good and more importantly, everything just balanced really well.

To just highlight the excellence of the piano, I absolutely loved listening to Haydn's Piano Concerto in F. This piece has a beautifully flowing piano in it that with the Eden feels like it flows and jumps at the same time. Notes are articulate, precise and yet flow organically from one to the other with a great sense of speed. It is an exciting experience that is thoroughly engaging, which I guess is where the Eden depart from the 'reference' into the 'musical', and this is by no means the exception as the Eden do this all the time.

Treble
The treble of the Eden is much like the bass, a restrained treble, especially by Rhapsodio standards. I have had the Galaxy V2 with me for a while now and they must be a real treble-head's dream. Lively, sparkly, bright, perhaps a touch too bright for my preferences, but fun at the same time. The Eden once again go off in a different direction with a very even treble that has some sparkle to it, but it is understated and incredibly smooth. There are no ugly treble peaks here and it makes the Eden very easy to listen to for long listening sessions.

There is still a quality to the treble that is quite noticeable with strings and I feel is the reason why violins sound almost as good as the piano does with the Eden. There is a texture and bite to violin strings that is very good and makes it a joy to listen to violin solos. Sarah Chang playing Paganini's Cantabile in D is a joy with tangible emotions flowing from the strings. I think violins work so well because the body of the instrument is not as big as with a cello and the Eden can convey both the texture of the strings and the resonance in the instrument's body really well. This because the Eden do not have a treble that is too bright, but really nicely balanced with the mid-range.

Comparisons
-Rhapsodio Galaxy V2-
The first time I listened to the Eden I was immediately reminded of the Galaxy V2, which was very odd because the two have quite striking differences in their signature. My guess is that there is simply something quite unmistakable about their DNA that persists even when the tuning is adjusted.

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The stage dimensions of the Galaxy V2 and Eden are quite similar, it is not constricted but does feel intimate. This sense of intimacy is even stronger in the Galaxy V2 because of that bass, that very special bass. It feels the polar opposite of the bass in the Eden, and is very present, resonant and detailed. The double bass in tracks from Caro Emerald's Acoustic Sessions album is gorgeous and feels properly weighty. With the Eden that double bass gets pushed backwards quite a bit and yet you can still sense that it has similar qualities to the double bass with the Galaxy V2, just toned down a notch.

In the mids there is a world of difference, as the Eden ooze naturalness and have those amazing sounding instruments, the Galaxy V2 just cannot compete in these areas. Pianos sound nowhere near as good with the Galaxy V2 as with the Eden and vocals, although crisp and clear, are a little too crisp and clear. The Galaxy V2 have a noticeable lower treble lift that for me personally just falls shy of my treble sensitivity and makes them very bright despite the weighty bass. Here I think is perhaps where I sense the DNA between the Eden and the Galaxy V2, as it feels like the Eden were tuned to tone down both the bass and the treble to calm down the excitement you get with the Galaxy V2. It is almost like youthful exuberance has given way to maturity, and indeed the Eden are more a role model in their neutral/reference-type of signature. I still love the Galaxy V2's bass though.

-Dita Audio Fealty-
The Eden and the Fealty share a very similar signature with a few notable differences. The Fealty offer a wider and deeper stage, especially as the very convenient Awesome Plug can be easily switched to balanced, but from the SE out too the stage of the Fealty is larger and feels less intimate. Personally I love this modular design on the Fealty's cable and it might be something Rhapsodio could look into developing themselves as well, as I think it would be a great option for their aftermarket cables (especially the high-end ones) if those had that type of flexibility.

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The Fealty's bass is quite dynamic and can add a fair amount of warmth. This is especially noticeable with classical music where certain sections add drama to the piece, such as in Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto 3. Occasionally there are rises in the music with bass instruments coming up and the Fealty really give a sense of authority to these instruments, where with the Eden everything remains restrained and under control. It is the difference between the neutral/natural sounding bass of the Fealty and a more neutral/reference type of bass of the Eden. The mids feel quite similar, but the Eden easily have the edge in terms of clarity. Vocals also sound quite similar, but I find male vocals a hint more natural on the Fealty, while female vocals sound smoother on the Eden. This is because the Fealty have a slight lower treble lift compared to the Eden, making the Eden smoother. The treble of the Fealty is overall a bit more sparkly, while the Eden's treble stays very linear.

Personally, I prefer the Fealty a little more over the Eden mainly due to the advantages of the Awesome Plug, the stage dimensions compared to the Eden, and slightly more dynamic signature. Still, every time I listen to anything other than the Eden I keep missing that astonishingly nice clarity and smooth character.

-Empire Ears Phantom-
This was for me the most interesting comparison because I bought the Phantom for their accurate timbre, yet the way the Phantom achieve this is very different from the Eden. The Phantom derive their tonality from the bass and as a result instruments have a wonderful full and natural tone. Indeed, the presentation is a romantic one compared to the Eden. This is especially clear when listening to music such as vocal jazz, which has a romantic warmth and intimacy with the Phantom, but can sound more subdued with the Eden. The Eden are musical enough for sure, just not so much compared to the Phantom. The flipside is that the Phantom sound veiled by comparison to the clarity of the Eden. With the Eden details come through crisp and clear, while with the Phantom it takes some getting used to.

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The bass on the Phantom has an excellent quality to it and of course has the naturalness that the Eden are lacking a bit. The Phantom have a warm/natural bass that is a step further away (than the Fealty) from the neutral/reference bass of the Eden. The mids feel similar in terms of timbre, but due to the crisp and clear nature of the Eden, that timbre is much more pronounced and works better for classical music than with the Phantom. The Phantom just have a bit too much warmth. In terms of vocals the Phantom have more forward and stronger (denser) vocals, more natural sounding male vocals and female vocals have a bit of sweetness to them. The more forward vocal position creates a sense of intimacy that is much greater than with the Eden. A bit like Agnes Obel is whispering in your ear. Still, it is missing the outstanding piano that the Eden are able to render. Treble on the Phantom is a lot more sparkly, although sweeter, where the Eden have a more attenuated crystalline sparkle.

Conclusions
The Rhapsodio Eden are unique sounding IEMs with a neutral and uncoloured signature that is far from dry or clinical. The Eden offer accurate timbre and excel at acoustic and classical music, with a particular talent for rendering pianos and violins. They come with an excellent quality stock cable and while it might at first be tricky to find the right tips, they can be very comfortable due to the smaller shell size. The Eden are definitely a very interesting option for those who value accurate timbre while retaining a neutral tonality.

Watermelon Boi

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: One-of-a-kind sound signature
-Beautifully crafted earpieces
-Highlights both musicality and fidelity
Cons: Very vulnerable to scratches and dings
-Housing/nozzles are a bit long
-Requires proper eartips & cable matching
-Requires decent amount of volume
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Rhapsodio Eden: Reference heaven

Rhapsodio (short in RSD) is an earphone/cable manufacturer based in Hong Kong which is known to have a sturdy fan base throughout the audio communities. Previously I've reviewed the Zombie MK8, the flagship model from their hybrid line-up, which I still use as one of my daily drivers. Eden, on the other hand, is RSD's flagship model from their dynamic driver line-up and a successor of the Galaxy models. Eden has been released earlier this year, making its way to gain the spotlight of 2019. Let's go through the details and see what kind of sound signature Eden goes for.





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Packaging

Rhapsodio lately renewed their packaging for their premium lineups and comes in with a wooden box, though the one for Eden is quite large. Sliding the packaging downward reveals another wood box which contains the earphone and accessories. Other than the earpieces, Eden comes with a Pandora Dwarf cable, 3 pairs of whirlwind eartips, 3 pairs of E-Pro eartips, a cleaning cloth, a wooden stand, and a wooden carrying case.

Everything checks out fine and feels great, though the lid from the wooden case doesn't really stay attached. It would have been better if they included a more practical case for storing the earphones.





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I like how the entire theme for the packaging is made of wood which works out nicely with a premium IEM like this. It feels natural and organic. It's interesting to see Eden to come with a dedicated stand for keeping a neat presentation while at home. It comes with 4 steel rods which could be installed into the stand for holding up the earpieces. Adhesive rubber pads are also included for attaching to the bottom of the stand.





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Earpieces - Specs

Eden is equipped with a single 10mm dynamic driver made in house from RSD. The twist, however, is that the drivers are made out of aluminium (!) which is quite unusual. I had a short talk with Sammy from RSD about the Eden drivers and got to know that they've spent about 1.5 years only on tuning the drivers. Unfortunately, this is the furthest info I know about Eden in terms of the specs. RSD seems like they're trying to keep the details confidential, probably because they've spent much time and resources on this IEM.





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Earpieces - Comfort

I consider my ear size to be around average and I didn't have issues fitting these into my ears - not the most comfortable fit, but not necessarily bad or bothering. The nozzles are a bit on the longer side with two lips on each but didn't particularly have problems with fitting, since you could install the eartips deeper into the nozzle.

However I found heavy cables to not be the best with Eden. The weight of the cable would tilt the earpieces backwards, eventually pressuring the inner part of my antihelix - using average or light cables worked just fine though. The overall size of the earpiece isn't that big, though the long shaped design could be a limit for those who have smaller ears.





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Earpieces - Materials


Housings are purely made out of silver with a mirror-like polish on the surface, making the earpieces a bit weighty but not too much. The aesthetics are gorgeous and feels very premium, however they are highly vulnerable to scratches or dings. It definitely would have been better if they provided some sort of a pouch to protect the earpieces.

Though not so long ago RSD started to sell exclusive soft pouches with a smooth finish on the inside. I think it's one of the best storage options available for Eden, so check them out if you're looking for a good case to store scratch sensitive IEMs.





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Cable - Pandora Dwarf

Rhapsodio is one of the companies that actually put effort on stock cables, including the Pandora Dwarf as default. The Pandora Dwarf is retailed for $150 and made of 4 core 6N OCC litz copper cables. Both 2Pin connectors and the Y-splits are nicely designed with carbon designs and terminated with Rhapsodio silver 3.5mm plugs, while the 2pin connectors are far-infrared finished.





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Sound Impression - Lows, staging

Eden goes for a rather flat, reference style sound signature. The bass quantity is on the smaller side, sitting somewhere between being flat and slightly v-shaped, but does a decent job revealing the bass existence and saturation. It also feels to have a gentle nature to it, not letting the bass get too aggressive.

The bass calmly approaches with a small yet clear thud, keeping the overall sound mellow and organic. The booming is very well controlled, keeping the bass tight as well as properly exposing the textures. While Eden clearly aims for a reference flat sound, it's interesting enough to find out the staging and headroom to be quite large. Reverbs are minutely emphasized, giving a lively staging which also widens the size of the headroom. It would have been tricky to keep the clean sound signature while sparing the reverbs but I'd say Rhapsodio executed pretty well here.





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Sound Impression - Mids, tonality

Mids sound rich, full, and sweet all the way to the highs. It takes a step forward from the bass/treble and plays the main role from this IEM. Eden's mids are something that's truly special, the characteristics feel to be unlike any other DD IEMs but after all keeps the sound natural and organic. The tonality is on point though has a slight twist which is unique and hard to explain in words - the tone reminds me of a sound that comes when you roll a marble.

Vocals feel to be lightly coated with a silvery additive which enhances richness and makes the upper frequencies very sparkly. This all happens within keeping the correct tonality, of course. Textures are detailed and crispy while the core feels to be smooth and moist. The thickness on the mids is just about neutral, making it suitable for both male and female vocals. Vocals flow throughout the midrange without particular dips or peaks. Sibilance is also pretty nicely trimmed and controlled.





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Sound Impression - Highs, imaging.

Most characteristics from the mids also apply for the highs - smooth, sparkly, and silvery yet organic. The position feels to be similar to the mids or takes a small step back depending on tracks. Eden doesn't emphasize the brightness that much but the airy upper frequencies make it feels to be vented, making the sound quite refreshing. Again, Eden keeps things very gentle and calm. This type of characteristics would be ideal if you're into upper frequencies but still want that smooth, fatigue-free sound.

Another part that makes Eden a one-of-a-kind DD IEM is that it has a strong 3D effect to the sound. Multi-driver IEMs are usually also good at this, but as many already know the phasing issue kicks in. There are some technologies available (such as JH freq-phase) that are known to solve the phasing issue from multi-driver setups, but single drivers are undeniably better in this topic. While Eden keeps the phasing highly accurate, it achieves the same level of 3D imaging from multi-BA IEMs packed with much info and details.





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Eartips/Cable matching

For Eden, pairing the right cable is crucial as the Zombie did. These surely perform better once paired with either pure copper or gold plated copper cables. Using bass/thickness enhancing cables like these would add more body to the sound, as well as showing decent improvement with the size of its headroom.

PW 1960S and RSD Copper Wizard Series are my favorite setups with Eden. I like the sound most once it's paired with the Copper Wizard 8 MK2 but the weight of the cable would alter the fit begin bothering my ears after some time of usage, so I'm currently using the Copper Wizard 4 which solved the problem.

Eden also requires a good amount of power to gain enough volume. There's a high chance for not gaining enough power from phones and even if it does, you won't be able to get the most out of it. Eden sounds more lively and powerful once paired with a powerful source, so I recommend using is DAP or an amp while listening to these.







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Verdicts

Eden proves Rhapsodio's ambition for achieving top-notch performance from a single dynamic driver. I'm happy to see them taking a step forward from their former Galaxy series while revising the shortcomings that the previous models had. I own several more premium (or flagship) single DD IEMs and Eden is one of my favorite along with the Dita Dream. I might have said before, though a nicely tuned single dynamic driver could always compete with multi-BA IEMs and Eden proves it once again. Eden should be a great choice for those who enjoy a flat, smooth sound signature and should be ideal for both audiophiles and monitoring purposes.



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Rhapsodio Eden has been purchased by myself.
I am not affiliated with Rhapsodio and none of my words was modded or asked to be changed.

narco dacunzolo

New Head-Fier
Pros: TREBLE RESOLUTION
GREAT FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC
REFERENCE AND PLEASING SIGNATURE
BASS QUALITY
Cons: SOUNDSTAGE FOR THE ASKING PRICE
Rhapsodio Eden is the latest flagship model from this company, mounting a single aluminium dynamic driver and silver shell( same shape of their Galaxy V1). The Eden has a premium build quality and feels much more sturdy than most common acrylic BA iems.

This unit was sent me for the purpose of this review, i am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thank Sammy and Rhapsodio team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test such a great product.
For more info about Eden and other products, you can easily contact them on their facebook channel. Sammy is always online!

PRICE: 2000 USD

DRIVER CONFIG: single dynamic driver

SIGNATURE: NEUTRAL
SUGGESTED EARTIPS: EPRO HORN SHAPED TIPS/ SPINFIT CP145

OFFICIAL SITE: https://www.rhapsodiostore.com/products?page=1

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/rhapsodiohk/

PACKAGING: the overall packaging experience is great: the Eden comes in a premium wood package( not the typical black box from Rhapsodio), with EPro horn shaped tips and standard rhapsodio sylicon eartips. The Eden comes with the standard copper Pandora Dwarf cable.

All my sound consideration has been made after 150 hours of burn in as suggested from the Rhapsodio company.

FIRST IMPRESSION: listening to Eden for the first time required me some time to get used to its sound signature, special if you are used to balanced armature sound, you will need a bit of time to really understand the philosophy at the base of this product.

Out of the box, the Eden sounded to me a bit boring, with thin size notes, but with great treble accent, so i decided to follow Sammy suggestion and make a 150 hours of burn-in.

The great improvement i heard, i think, was not due to the driver burn-in, but to my brain, getting used to that sound( special if you usually use balanced armature iems, company tend to raise a bit the mid-bass to have a fuller bass response).

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SOUND: the Eden was tuned to be a reference sounding iem: from bass to treble, everything tend to sound linear, like water, so at first listening, you can think to a boring sound, but with the time, you will start to focus on the micro-details, the quality bass response and the great treble extension.

BASS: the Eden is just at the opposite of the Galaxy V2: showing a neutral bass response, not huge in quantity, but with great quality and extension. Here, the dynamic driver makes a great job, providing good impact,decay and moving enough air to be defined a good dynamic iem, focusing always on the sub-bass area and remaining always linear. There is not lift in the mid-bass region, so the overall sound signature doesn’t gain any warmth. Even if, the Eden doesn’t sound full bodied, warm or rich, the mid-bass has enough presence to create a good balance between male vocals and female ones.

MIDS: male vocals sound good, but sometimes, can lack a bit of emotion( here a bit more mid-bass presence could help to give a fuller experience). The star of the show are female vocals, that sound very clear, defined with great timbre and control. Compared to the Galaxy v2( that is more v-shaped), vocals on Eden have more space and details.

TREBLE: treble response is just amazing, and is the strongest point of this IEM. Eden shows great extension, that helps to have an airy reproduction and exellent resolution, never sounding harsh or annoying. All this, helps to have a better instrument separation and a better sense of space.

SOUNDSTAGE: soundstage is above average, but cannot compete with most of multi balanced armature iems, is very precise and all instruments are placed in a coherent way in the scene. If you are looking for holographic stage or out-of-the-head experience, this is not the iem for you. Eden main focus is in tonality, balance and to keep your attention on micro-details and instrument accuracy.



COMPARISONS:

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GALAXY V2 VS EDEN: they have totally different approach and philosophy: Galaxy V2 was aimed to sound fun, with great bass quantity and treble presence, on the other side, the Eden offers a much more refined and mature sound, providing more balance, resolution and treble extension. The Eden is more a monitoring product, but still enough good for audiophile needs, thanks to its timbre accuracy and extension on both bass and treble area. Soundstage on both is above average, but Galaxy v2 has a bit better depth thanks to its more v-shaped sound signature.

EDEN VS PEARS SH-3: both were tuned to have a reference approach, but the SH3 is a balanced driver iem, so is not easy to compare dynamic drivers iems and balanced armature ones. Bass is similar in quantity, but Eden bass response is much better in quality, thanks to the dynamic driver. Eden bass has better impact and decay. Male vocals on the SH3 have more body and presence, female vocals on both have great realism and timbre, but Eden has a bit thinner note size. They both show great treble reproduction, but the SH3 can sound a bit harsh and splashy with old tracks or bad recorded ones.

Soundstage on SH3 is a bit more holographic, but instruments are placed in a more artificial way in the space, on the other side, Eden has a more intimate reproduction, with a more precise instruments placement.

EDEN VS AROMA AUDIO YAO: Eden has better bass quality and treble extension, with better technicality abilities. Aroma Yao has better vocals, with a fuller reproduction, but with more treble roll-off, providing less listening fatigue , but lacking the treble resolution and airness of Eden. Soundstage is more holographic on Aroma Yao.



PAIRINGS:

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OPUS 2: great sinergy: in my opinion, this is one of the best pairing with the Eden. Natural sound with wide soundstage, female vocals and treble extension. The Opus 2 can easily drive the Eden on mid-gain pushing the volume knob on 80-90.

Opus 1s: Opus 1s will add more body to the music , with a great sub-bass impact. Bass is fuller with Opus 1s compared to Opus2, but lacks the wide soundstage and treble extensionsion of his big brother. Vocals gain more body and emotional feeling.

Opus3: similar to Opus2, but i need to set the gain to high and push the volume knob around 100-110. This pairing sound less natural compared to Opus 2, with treble a bit less refined and sounding more harsh. Soudstage size is between Opus 2 and 1s.

Astell and kern Kann: less detail retraival and less treble extension compared to Opus2, but the overall reproduction is less fatiguing and a bit more full-bodied, gaining more vocal presence.

Deezel177

Reviewer at The Headphone List
Pros: A unique interpretation of neutral
- Clear, crystalline and pure-sounding
- A delicate balance between definition and body
- Outstanding for instruments like pianos and violins
- Immense build quality
- Lavish presentation
Cons: Not for those yearning for any semblance of low-end thump
- Minimal warmth and euphony
- Stage definition isn't the absolute best given the MSRP
- Housings are on the heavier side and prone to scratches
DISCLAIMER: My colleague flinkenick loaned me his Eden review unit for the purposes of this article. You can check out his thorough review of the Eden – complete with notes on build as well as comprehensive comparisons – here. My review is as follows.

Rhapsodio is a custom in-ear and aftermarket cable manufacturer world-renowned for unending experimentation and equal ambition. From 9-driver hybrids to 20-driver customs, Rhapsodio founder Sammy has never been known as a business type – rather, a mad professor of sorts living off of the fireworks display he calls a product line. Limited runs, refreshes and one-offs are commonplace for the Hong Kong firm, but in my eyes, that only makes their mainstays all the more special. Enter: Eden. The Eden is Rhapsodio’s new flagship comprised of a single dynamic driver – Sammy’s clearweapon of choice. Tuned for a crystalline and pure signature, this is a TOTL that sells on performance and personality.

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Rhapsodio Eden
  • Driver count: One 10mm dynamic driver
  • Impedance: N/A
  • Sensitivity: N/A
  • Key feature(s) (if any): N/A
  • Available form factor(s): Custom and universal platinum-plated silver in-ear monitor
  • Price: $2000
  • Website: www.rhapsodiostore.com, www.facebook.com/rhapsodiohk
Sound Impressions

The Eden carries a strikingly clear tone, though with zero hallmarks of a crisp, clean, clarity-focused signature. This is because its crystalline nature comes from bass attenuation, rather than treble accentuation. In fact, the Eden’s top-end is kept relatively linear, because there’s minimal warmth for it to combat. On the other hand, instruments never come across lean. There’s a roundedness and body to its timbre – especially in the midrange – that maintains density and coherence. Although notes don’t hold the most weight, they’re always physically convincing. Expectedly then, the Eden builds a clean, open, proportionally-even stage with a natural sense of air – neither brightly harmonic nor richly warm.

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In expansion, I’d call the stage average, but left-right separation is especially strong – and imaging is moderately precise as well – because of the attenuated low-end. Tonally, the Eden precariously rides the line of neutral, whilst borrowing elements from either end of the spectrum. Heavier instruments like upright basses or male baritones sometimes lack the authority and resonance that lend them their gravitas – sounding too light and airy. On the other hand, pianos and violins excel because of the Eden’s bell-like clarity. Tone is a give-and-take with these sorts of instruments, but ultimately, all of them share a unifying quality that I can simply call pure – crystal clear, yet wholesome and even across the board.

But, as neutral as it is, the Eden’s low-end is quality. Despite its quantity (and the absence of warmth), the bass is full – probably so because of the diaphragm’s dynamic nature. It may border on unmoving, but solidity is high and coherency is excellent as well. Clearly, the entire low-end had been calmed rather than select parts. So, the Eden still pumps like a singular piston – however shy that piston may be. Energy is mildly concentrated around the mid- and upper-bass for a neutral tone. This lends itself well to the clarity of kick drums, where you can visualise the skin as the beater strikes. Swift decay further adds to this, solidifying the bass as a light cherry on top, rather than the spongy foundation below.

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The Eden’s midrange is smooth, engaging and surprisingly wholesome. A rise across 2-4kHz gives instruments a rich, almost saturated presence. Higher-pitched pianos and female vocals are particularly engrossing. The Eden balances the fullness and clarity of these two extremely effectively. There’s neither the thinness from the pursuit of detail, nor the bloat of mid-bass warmth. Again, a sense of purity runs through these elements to enchanting effect. However, not all instruments were treated equal in tone. Heavier strings or horns may lack warmth and weight. But, the wholesomeness of the midrange does prevent any notion of leanness. In transparency and resolution, the Eden fares fine for a flagship. Rather than technical performance, the midrange impacts by engagement – a full-bodied, musical and clear display.

The Eden’s treble is unique in that its contributions toward clarity are rather minor. Its lower-treble is articulate indeed, but its defining hallmarks are linearity and cleanliness – rather than any real attempt at emphasising crispness or air. On the plus side, the top-end comes across smooth and effortless. The region as a whole is inoffensive, rounded and ever-so-slightly warm. Extension is relatively average – and so is its transparency, concurrently – but calmness down low renders the treble crystalline nonetheless. Notes are on the thicker side, but sufficient articulation and swift, refined decay preserve that sense of attack. Cymbals and hi-hats won’t necessarily sound all that exciting, but violins and chimes exude elegance. Again, an out-and-out technical performer it is not, but it concludes the Eden’s signature with aplomb.

General Recommendations

The Eden’s pure, crystalline signature yields a unique listening experience that hybridises thick engagement and cleanliness. If the following traits pique your interest, the Eden will prove an excellent flagship for you to consider:

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A balance of rich saturation and crystalline clarity: Because of the Eden’s unique approach towards transparency, it’s able to maintain both cleanliness and body in the midrange. This is ideal when listening to instruments like acoustic pianos, flutes and violins, where both bell-like clarity and note weight are important in accurately producing the instrument.

Minimal low-end quantity: The Eden is as neutral as it gets. It truly goes to great lengths to let the midrange and treble shine. If you listen mostly to classical or acoustic music with little regard for bass quantity, the Eden will serve you well.

A smooth, superbly linear treble: But, that doesn’t mean the Eden’s shrill or thin either. Its clean, unobtrusive low-end allows the treble to assume a smooth and linear profile as well. There are truly no noticeably peaks on the Eden’s top-end, neither are there any apparent dips. It’s a smooth, forgiving yet crystalline treble that’ll serve detail with little effort.

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But, the Eden’s decidedly bass-less signature does leave the following caveats to be considered. If the three traits below are criteria of high priority when considering your next flagship in-ear monitor, the Eden may not be your cup of tea:

Any amount of low-end warmth or visceral impact: This is the Eden’s greatest Achilles’ heel. In an effort to maintain both clarity and midrange density, it’s had to compromise heavily on bass response. Even audiophiles adverse to low-end energy will most probably have to adapt to the Eden’s presentation. I’d like to think it’s an acquired taste – and it does have situational benefits as far as realism is concerned – but anyone with an inkling for impact would not enjoy Eden.

Stage fullness or saturation: A side-effect to the Eden’s neutral low-end is the fullness of the stage. Without bass warmth occupying its designated portion of the track, the stage may feel empty and nonchalant. With more acoustic music – where emotion is delivered through lyricism and micro-dynamics – this isn’t much of an issue. But, it can be; elsewhere.

Top-of-the-line stage definition and transparency: Despite its clarity, the Eden’s transparency is inhibited by top-end extension. For a flagship, stage definition and openness are rather average. So, if you’re after transparency driven by detail, nuance and stage expansion – rather than tone or timbre – the Eden would probably not be your cup of tea.

Select Comparisons

Sennheiser IE800S ($999.95)

Sennheiser’s IE800S is – like the Eden – a single-dynamic-driver flagship tuned for neutrality and detail. As such, the two share several similarities in tonal balance. Low-end warmth on both in-ears is shelved down in order to preserve cleanliness and clarity. However, the IE800S has a noticeably lifted sub-bass for a more guttural listening experience – especially with genres like EDM and pop. The mid-bass is a tad more elevated as well, which results in a more filled-in and tonally warm low-end, even though the warmth it imparts on to the midrange remains minimal. Consequently, the Eden has thicker, more saturated instruments. The IE800S is noticeably thinner with greater definition and contrast.

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A key contributor to this is the German flagship’s treble. Although similarly smooth, refined and clean, the IE800S has a crisper, more articulate upper-treble. Notes are more clearly outlined and the black background is further defined as well. The Eden’s presentation is less contrast-y, but it is more true-to-life. Instruments like violins hold greater balance between richness and clarity. But, cymbals and hi-hats sound sharper, livelier and cleaner on the IE800S. Extension is also the IE800S’s ballgame. The stage is further expanded with a more genuine sense of depth, and cleaner separation between each element. The Eden is more musically coalesced and pure, while the IE800S was purpose-built for hi-fi.

Alclair Audio Electro ($1499)

Alclair Audio’s Electro adopts a similar philosophy to the Eden: Clarity through low-end neutrality, rather than top-end accentuation. As a result, the two share several similarities in tonal balance. The Electro – despite its electrostatic driver – was tuned with a linear top-end. It’s neither overtly sparkly nor painfully crisp – very similar in tone to the Eden’s treble, yet more articulate. But, the Electro’s e-stat grants it superior refinement and speed. Notes appear and decay faster and more gracefully, which allows the Electro to image, separate and layer to greater effect. The Eden is still less coloured – more pure – in the sense that instruments are truly laid bare, but the Electro is cleaner with a greater rhythmic drive.

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And, this is because of the Electro’s low-end. Despite similar proportions across the spectrum, the Electro comes imbued with a touch more mid-bass and a dB or two more sub-bass. The physicality of the bass goes to the Eden by virtue of its driver, but the Electro undoubtedly has more of it. But again, the Electro’s electrostatic driver allows it to keep up with the Eden in stage cleanliness and note definition. In faster music, the Eden does edge it out in how effortlessly it renders instruments, but again, this is at the cost of bass quantity. The two are remarkably similar in the midrange – full-bodied, well-structured and linear. The Electro has more apparent clarity due to its articulation, but it’s the slimmest of margins.

Verdict

Rhapsodio’s Eden is one of the most unique in-ear monitors I’ve ever heard. By attenuating the low-end and linearising both extremes, it achieves a palate that’s neither dark nor bright, nor cold nor warm; simply neutral and pure. There’s a colourlessness that’s water-like in how pristine and bare the music comes across. But obviously, how that crystallinity is received will vary wildly from one track to another. Any track with a semblance of a need for bass will suffer instantly, while pianos and violins sing with beams of emotion. Whether or not the Eden is for you is for you to decide, but at the end of the day, it is unquestionably unique. And in this landscape, that’s nothing if not praise-worthy by all accounts.

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SLC1966

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Reference signature with high resolution and with the best natural sound I have ever heard in an IEM. The more time you spend with it, the more you long for it.
Cons: Price but that is par for the course these days for high end monitors but this IEM is made out of pure silver. The price of silver tends to go up over time. May be to reference sounding for some but the pleasure is in the timbre.
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My first review was titled Goldmember “Welcome to 1975.” That review was for the in your face Goldmemberish Rhapsodio RDB MK 8 Zombie.

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/rhapsodio-rdb-mk-8-zombie-in-ear-monitor.22799/reviews#review-20483

Today’s review is the antithesis of Goldmember. Hence the nomenclature Silvermember. Introducing the Timbrelicious Rhapsodio Eden:

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Single Dynamic Driver IEM
10mm Aluminum Diaphragm
Pure Silver Housing
Retail Price $2000

https://www.facebook.com/rhapsodiohk/
https://www.rhapsodiostore.com


It is easiest to contact Rhapsodio through Facebook. I am whimsically forlorn so I contact Rhapsodio the second-best way and that is through email. Contacting Sammy the owner directly is the best way to work out what monitor you would like and with what cable you would like it to be. Sammy is not shy about recommending IEMs and cables not in his best interest but in your best interest and that is honorable and rare to see.

The Rhapsodio Eden is a brand-new IEM. Sammy is the owner and mad scientist behind Rhapsodio. I think he runs a one-person show. To date there may be 5 Eden’s in existence. I was going to review it as part of the tour currently happening but Sammy contacted me about a month ago to let me know there was an Eden in California. He asked if I would like to purchase it before it was sent back to him in Hong Kong. The original owner was in the process of trying numerous Rhapsodio IEMs. So that is how I came upon this Eden.

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The Eden and the Christofle Cluny. Oh so Silver!

How did I get here?


I am 10 months into the IEM world. I have purchased 20 IEMs in that time period (yes, I have a problem). I have sold most after extensive listening. I tend to get very focused on things. For example, I once spent 4 months only listening to and only reading about Pink Floyd every spare moment. I also spent one year doing the same thing with Miles Davis music and literature. I have read about, and listened to IEMs every non-life essential moment during the past 10 months. I do not sleep much so easily 5-6 hours a day have been spent in the IEM world. I try to keep 3-5 IEMs at a time. I get bored with just one signature and each monitor has certain types of music it plays best with depending on my mood.

If I have learned anything is that TOTL means high end and not the best. No matter which TOTL monitor I am using there will be tradeoffs. TOTL to me means that the sound is of very high quality. The sound is visceral. The sound is real or a variation of real that is fun but not thin and annoying over time. I have tasted TOTL IEMs so I am spoiled and get annoyed with non TOTL IEMs after a short while. I was in a past life heavily into tennis and heavily into demoing, re-stringing and selling tennis racquets. I could blindly spend some time with a racquet and could tell you exactly what the cost of the racquet should be. I could tell you if it was a TOTL racquet and within the TOTL racquet world I could tell you exactly the racquets strengths and weaknesses. I could tell you exactly the string that was used and how many pounds it was strung at. The tennis string is the cable of the IEM world and just as important. I would love to be that good someday in the audio world. I am far from being there but the journey is fun.

For the Zombie review I focused on comparing it to the Empire Ears Legend X. This comparison was done because they are both in the same family of sound signature: hybrids with a serious emphasis on bass. For this review I will describe the Eden sound as I perceive it. I will then spend time focusing on comparing it to the Empire Ears Phantom. The Phantom is a “hot” monitor right now and the sound of the Eden and Phantom are in the same family of signatures even though the Phantom is a 5 BA IEM and the Eden has a single dynamic driver.

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The Eden

As I stated earlier the Eden is the antithesis of the Zombie. Sammy’s goal was to create something with high resolution with a “reference” sound. Well I think he did it and more. The sound of the Eden is extremely natural. Nothing jumps out to me concerning highs, mids, and lows. Nothing dominates and to me that is important for longer listening sessions. At any moment though while listening to music I can decide what to focus on. Because of the high resolution I can grab the bass or the treble or the vocals or any single instrument and own it and become one with it. I can take the holographic sound within my mind and take hold of and lift above the holograph any instrument or sound I want. For example at any time I can lift out the cymbals, the bass drum, the rhythm guitar, the main guitar, the piano, the vocals, or the brush drumming. Anything I want I can take out and it becomes mine as long as I want. Just like the EarSonics S-EM9 when you first insert the Edens they sound good. After a few minutes though the music envelopes you and brings a smile to your face.

Timbre as defined by Merriam-Webster: the quality given to a sound by its overtones: such as the quality of tone distinctive of a particular singing voice or musical instrument. Timbre is the word that is hard to pronounce and has been popping up in the audiophile world lately. Well the Eden nailed Timbre whether I can pronounce it correctly or not. The sound of the Eden is the most natural sound I have ever heard from a monitor. It is the closest to what I perceive as how an instrument or voice should sound. This is easiest for me to spot when listening to non-texturally complex acoustic music. Mellow trio Jazz such as the Bill Evans trio is a great place to start. It is about the double bass, the piano and the drums and Eden brings acoustic music to life better than any other IEM I have heard. I am right there with Bill, Scott, and Paul and the clinking glasses in the background. Such a natural drug.

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If you have experienced the fit of the Rhapsodio Galaxy V1 then you are 8/11thof the way there to knowing the fit of the Eden. The Eden has the same shape as the Galaxy V1 except that it is a little thicker and has a little bit longer nozzle. I get a great fit with both. I get a better sound isolation with both than I have with any other IEM. The Eden is heavier than the Galaxy V1 (aluminum housing) but the Eden is a pleasant weight. I fine piece of jewelry weight (whatever that is) without being cumbersome at all.


The Silvermember as compared to the Venerable Phantom:

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I purchased the Universal Phantom about 4 months ago. I liked the sound so much that I purchased a Custom Phantom. The Phantom was my definition of “musical reference” with an excellent natural sound. I believe in direct A/B testing only after spending a vast amount of time with each monitor individually. I did though do some direct A/B testing for fine tuning my impressions. I really like what the Rhapsodio 2.98 V1 8 wire cable does with both monitors. I therefore found a second 2.98 V1 so I could compare the two monitors using the same cable. More importantly, I like how the look and feel of the 2.98 cable is the same as high quality real gut string for tennis racquets.

I tried to keep user bias out of my comparison but that is impossible. I tried to keep user preference out of my comparison but that is even more impossible.

Both monitors display outstanding detail. The Timbre of both is a highlight. The mids of both are so impressive. Both are in the “reference” family. With both I can separate out each instrument and make it mine. Both have minimal fatigue over time.

Now I will try and tease out some differences. And as a reminder both are great monitors that live within a similar family of sound. The Eden does have more coherency but less separation of instruments. The Eden is analogue sounding. Even more natural than the Phantom. The Phantom is more “digital” sounding but only when directly comparing it to the Eden. With the Eden you are about 6 rows back form the orchestra. With the Phantom you are in the first or second row. The Eden has a little more veil to it than the Phantom because of being a few rows further back. The Phantom does the BA treble correctly. The Eden has a better visceral DD bass happening. It is not prominent but still visceral with the DD thump when you pull it out and play with it in your mind. The fingers on a guitar and the lips on a mouthpiece are more real with the Eden. The vocals on the Eden stand out as more natural than with the Phantom. The texture of the music is better with the Eden. The sound of the Eden is thicker vs. the thinner sounding Phantom when directly comparing to two.

Concluding Remarks:

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As with the Zombie the Eden is not your one and done IEM. I do not believe there is such a thing. There is variation in signatures within high end monitors. The Eden is what I suggest be your “reference,” high resolution, timbrelicious IEM. It plays best with acoustic music such as Jazz and Classical. Having Eden in your life is a sign of a very healthy relationship: you end up longing for more the longer you are with it. It is your “I want to be enveloped by music IEM.”
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