Rhapsodio Galaxy V2

General Information

Rhapsodio's co-flagship IEM, consisting of a single 10.3mm titanium diaphram dynamic driver housed in a custom brass enclosure

Latest reviews

narco dacunzolo

New Head-Fier
Pros: clarity,details,one of the best bass i have ever found in a dynamic driver
Cons: heavy

I will do my best in order to write a comprehensive review,since I usually write my articles in Italian language, on my personal blog and an important audio site in my country,but when I find the audio product that creates beautiful emotions in me , I am really happy to share my opinions worldwide. Since it is my first English review really hope you will enjoy it.
Link to the full review
In italian language:

DISCLAIMER: galaxy v2 unit was sent me as a sample unit,for this I really thank Sammy and Rhapsodio team. I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own.

Talking with Sammy,the boss of this company based in Hong Kong, I really appreciated his motivation and his philososphy. He has a lot of ideas in mind and a lot of future projects to show us,in particular he wants to concentrate on the mid price range for the upcoming releases.

In the box we can find the Iem galaxy v2 with a

PACKAGING: the packaging is really good: a hard case as you can see from the images I attached,various eartips(silicone ones) not adeguate for the 1450USD DOLLARS that this IEM has sent.

,and a stock cable Pandora Dwarf.
Packaging is not a rich one,but really nice looking.

The Galaxy v2 is very solid with a Brass housing showing a single dynamic driver in Titan material. So in a world where every company sells iems with a lot Of balanced armature and dynamic drivers, why Rhapsodio sells his single dynamic driver at 1450 USD DOLLARS?

My answer is this one: Galaxy v2 shows one of the most natural sound I have ever heard. Maybe,multi balanced IEMS can show more details,more control, but the can’t be as natural as Galaxy v2 can be.


All my sound consideration has been made after 200 hours of burn in as suggested from the Rhapsodio company.

Galaxy v2 has a very audiophile and natural sound,but at the same time brings an enjoyable fun signature. Has a lot of details in particular in the high frequency response, a very good bass, maybe too much for my taste, but shows an high quality bass, one of the best I have ever heard in a single dynamic driver. The star of the show are the hights, very crispy detailed with a lot of sparkles. Female mids are really portrayed and the are very natural,with “Adele” someone like you I thought that the singer was here with me in my room.

Maybe male voices are not as good as female ones, because they lack body.

The soundstage isn’t one of the best , but is coherent in particular has a wide one and sometimes offers an out of the head sound, with the adeguate tracks, deep is good and has a fantastic instrumental separation with vey good layering.

Dynamic and transients response is phenomenal, thanks to the titan driver. If you loved fiio ex1,or dunu titan 1, Galaxy v2 represents a really upgrade in every aspects.

CONCLUSION: YES ,galaxy v2 is a pricey IEM, is heavy if you can’t find the adeguate eartips and seal, so this is not a perfect headphone, but after all perfection doesn’t exist, but if you are looking for an audiophile sound and at the same time with a fun signature, with great clarity and dynamic, galaxy v2 is the right choice.

Frequency response: 10Hz~ 23,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 103dB/mV

Impedance: 16ohm

2pin sockets

Pandora Dwarf


Pros: Rosinous treble,
Solid durability than rough looks,
Optimized for listening to music
Cons: Heavy weight,
Sensitive to sound-source quality,
Need bur-in more than 200Hrs


Frequency response: 10Hz~ 23kHz
Sensivity: 103dB
Impedance: 16 ohm
Connectors: 2Pin ciem sockets

Galaxy v2
Pandora Dwarf upgrade cable
Silicon ear-caps (S/M/L)
Container hard case

[Usage time]

'Rhapsodio v2' units are wholly made of brass material from its chambers to the nozzles without connection except 2pin connectors and nozzles. Its color is like a dark silver reminiscent of titanium. Its units’ size is bigger than general iems and weight is heavy. The nozzles including enclosures are 6mm in diameter, and its insides are protected by wire meshes, which can use common-size ear-caps, but it will get a bit tough. On the sides of the chambers, there are anti-static stickers developed by ‘Rhapsodio’.


UP: Copper Wizard Upgrade cable
Down: Dwarf Upgrade cable

Its actual feeling of fit is heavy, but it does not give any pain to the ears because the unit chambers’ surface touches the ear canal widely. The connector of units is a 2pin ciem socket and suitable for matching with various custom cables. Overall, ‘Galaxy v2’ has a rough finish, but there has been no problem that directly affects the sound in actual use for nearly two months.


The "Pandora Dwarf" upgrade cable is included with the package. It is made of 6N OCC litz wires, the 2-pin male connector and Y-splitter covered with aluminum and carbonate materials. The enclosed ear-caps are designed by ‘Rhapsodio’ directly in the form of a thin bell-shape which swinging when equipped, that is quite similar to ‘Spin-fit’ ear-caps. Using them with 'Galaxy v2', reduce long-fitting fatigue by dispersing the weight pressures on the wall of the ear canals.


The most prominent part of "Galaxy v2" sound-signature is the strong harmonics texture in the treble. When you hear a new ‘Galaxy v2’, treble harmonic particles are uneven and rough, so seems to cause masking phenomena and unstable sound balance.

Therefore, the manufacturer recommends doing burn-in more than 200 hours. As the work is done, the harmonic particles of the high frequency get smoother and wet. Also, the mid-range and mid-bass are more emphasized. As a result, the overall tone of sound gets calmer, and proportion of mid-range and bass become more noticeable like bubbles rise to the water surface. Therefore, the overall sound balance becomes more stable.

After this change, the high-frequency sounds is like a lot of thin strands of thread are condensed into one line and spread a strong energy. This characteristic is evident in "La ronde des Lutins op.25" of "Antonio Baccini" played by ‘Itzhak Perlman’. The main violin playing at the beginning of the music is very resinous, feels like as rosin powder is scattered and bumping in the air.


The reason for these is that the instrument or vocals recorded in the main sounds lay-back in one step and the rest is the representation of the stage drawn in front of it. When you increase the volume of the sound to hear the proper volume of the main instrument, the weight of the treble will increase. When the dynamic range of the sound source is not recorded enough, high-band will be distorted as if being pressed. I recommend that listen to a sound source with good recording quality.

Its bass has very thin and deep harmonic characteristics. There was a highlight in the vicinity of 100Hz, so there is no problem with enjoying the solo of the bass or cello. If want to get more bass feeling, the manufacturer recommends using it with their "Copper Wizard" upgrade-cable.

With this upgrade cable, the harmonics of the bass will thicken, and overall sound signature presents darker and more massive. And the position of the midrange is pulled forward by one step and makes the duet part in Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey's ‘When you believe’ is more prominent. At the same time, the stage is shown narrower than before.

Galaxy v2 has affected the bass detail and the harmonic texture of the mid-range, depending on matching devices. As the signal-to-noise ratio of the mid-and-high range is stable, the harmonics of middles are softened. I would recommend matching the portable digital audio players with a neutral tone because you have heard output noise in an overdrive environment than a portable audio device.

Who am I & Claimer

I am Bigheadfiler, Head-fi product photographer and free-writer from South Korea. Having a partnership with 'Premium Headphone Guide Korea' magazine.

English is not my first language. So, Please understand even if I can not express the correct English sometimes.

The 'Rhapsodio Galaxy v2' was offered by ‘Rhapsodio’. The content of the review has been written without any restriction because the authors' freedom is respected.

Thank you for reading my post!


Reviewer at Headphonesty
Pros: Ultra-resolution and detail, reference but fun signature, musicality, superb female vocals, best bass in the universe.
Cons: Heavy housing, comfort is tip-dependent, male vocals lack body, 5KHz spike not for sensitive ears, unforgiving to bad recordings.

Like the Darkness song, I’ve been stuck in a rut. Can’t even call it writer’s block when I’m not much of a writer. The Galaxy V2 was sent to me about a year ago, and I promised a review soon after, to herald a new, glorious, triumphant era for Rhapsodio. Oops.

At the time of writing, the Galaxy V2 has been rendered obsolete, times three. Rhapsodio kept themselves busy! The ambitious 20BA Infinity is out, followed by the 8BA+1DD hybrid Zombie, and most damagingly, even Galaxy V3 is out, with a new tuning and smaller, tribute-to-V1-shell that I have yet to hear. Sammy the boss is never one to rest on his laurels. Always tinkering, always tweaking, always innovating. In short, he has the sort of work ethic I wish to have.

But let’s give this a go, shall we. Several IEMs have stood the test of time (even SE846 for crying out loud), and flagship single dynamics are still quite scarce (but not for long). And I dare say that after listening for close to a year and comparing with other dynamic flagships (and some multi-BAs and hybrids too), the Galaxy V2 deserves a worthy mention among the best of them.

Special thanks to Sammy for providing a small discount in exchange for this review. The Galaxy V2 can still be bought here (https://www.rhapsodiostore.com/products/galaxy-v2brass-housing) for $1450.


Equipment Used


-Questyle QP1R (FW 1.0.7)
-Sony NW-WM1A (FW 1.2)

-Rhapsodio Galaxy V2
-Rhapsodio Galaxy V1
-Rhapsodio Solar
-64 Audio A12
-Astell & Kern AK T8iE MKII
-Oriolus MK2

-Rhapsodio Dark Knight silver-plated copper cable
-Rhapsodio OCC MKII copper cable

Albums Listened

Amber Rubarth – Sessions from the 17th Ward
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Jazz at the Pawnshop
John Mayer – Continuum
Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
Macy Gray – Stripped
Taylor Swift – 1989
The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over
The xx – xx


Packaging and Accessories

The packaging is classic Rhapsodio. Unless there has been changes to how they package their IEMs, expect a good-sized black cardboard box with a printed gold logo, opening to reveal a miniature metal briefcase that’s about the size of a lunchbox. You can remove the foam and store your sandwich in it if you so desire. Within the metal box, are the IEMs, some eartips and a cable. The Galaxy V2 being a universal, I was supplied with 6 pairs of silicone eartips. 3 pairs of Spinfits (in S, M and L) which agree more with me in both fit and sound; and 3 pairs of fan-blade tips (again in three sizes) typically shipped with AliExpress IEMs. Do take note that the default cable is the Pandora Dwarf copper which I did not take. I instead paid a bit more to upgrade to the Dark Knight silver-plated copper, which not only looks spiffy and dressed for the occasion, but also provided a good match with the Galaxy V2 sound-wise. More on that later.

Fit, Comfort and Isolation

This is where the Galaxy V2 might put off potential buyers. The earpieces are big, larger than the ergonomic and sleeker V1 shell. Worse still, the brass housings are heavy, so it won’t be everyone’s cup of joe (I don’t drink tea). The fit and comfort would depend on your eartip choice too. A soft, flexible-stem tip like Spinfit means your ear canals bear most of the weight of the mighty V2, whereas tips with shorter, stiffer stems like Symbios help spread out the weight evenly. Once you get it to fit and seal nicely, they do get quite comfortable, but the weight means you’ll never forget you’re wearing them. Sort of like how Audeze headphones make you fully “appreciate” their weight lol. The good news is, Rhapsodio went for a utilitarian design with no weird edges or corners to cause discomfort. The hard part is getting the V2 to fit, of course. Isolation is tip and fit dependent, but on the whole you block about 70-80% of outside noise.

Design and Build Quality

For hobbyists like us, our sound-first philosophy means some designs look really baffling to the average consumer. Semi-customs that look like amoebas? Big hulks of metal? We’ll take a hit in design for better SQ. Galaxy V2, how do I put it, is… consistent with other Rhapsodio universals. They’re no-nonsense, all-metal and available in one colour (not counting the limited editions), in this case chrome. It is, in every sense of the word, a practical design. Nothing extravagant, just an engineered metal shell made to deliver music to both your ears. The Rhapsodio logo is just pasted on, giving the IEM a, uh, homemade look. Boutique if we’re stretching it. Build quality is good, smooth and solid, with no unsightly bumps, and the edges feel seamless, just not 100% flawless. Alas, the chrome surface invites scratches, and in my case, it really shows after a year of use.



The default cable paired with Galaxy V2 is the copper Pandora Dwarf. I’ve never held nor listened to it though. If you order direct from Sammy (via Facebook PM) you can consult him about cable choices and pairing. At the time the Dark Knight silver-plated copper cable was just released. It certainly looked the part, like a serious cable ready to deliver good hi-fi. It’s a 4-braid jacketed cable, handsomely dressed in black, with a carbon fibre Y-split, and clear L-R markings at the connector end. Ergonomics and feel is quite possibly the best I’ve had from a Rhapsodio cable, and a far, far cry from the RSD Silver Litz which sounds great but behaves more like it controls you! The Dark Knight coils nicely with little memory effect, and the pre-formed earguides are easy on the ears, great for comfort. The only complaint I have is the cheap-looking chin slider which is a piece of black PVC.

Sound impressions, now that’s the tricky part. After a few incidents involving some IEMs, I don’t cable-roll as extensively as before, because the 2-pin socket can be fragile when I least expect it. As such I’ve only directly compared the Dark Knight and Rhapsodio OCC MKII, a copper cable paired with the original Galaxy v1. The OCC MKII, was tuned with balanced warmth and detail in mind, and the Galaxy V2 gave very good note articulation and detail across the board when paired with it. There’s a slight richness to the notes most noticed in the upper bass/lower mids. The Dark Knight had some positive differences compared to OCC MKII. The best part was the air, depth and separation. Notes are better defined in their own spaces compared to OCC MKII. The soundstage width might be similar but the depth is improved. Detail retrieval is slightly better. The better differentiation of notes and instruments and the well-defined black space between them means the Dark Knight is a winner in my book. Neither cables colour the sound of the V2, which strives to be a flat, yet fun, neutral monitor.

For listening with Sony WM1A, PW Audio No.5 balanced 4.4mm cable was used. It wasn’t an apples to apples comparison with Dark Knight, being balanced and run only from the WM1A. It retains most of the Galaxy V2 signature and characteristics, and the balanced out provides some power and a blacker background. The good thing about the PW Audio cable is, it provides some much-needed smoothness and timbre improvement compared to the Dark Knight. It sounds a bit more true-to-life and engaging, but at the price of worse instrument differentiation and spatial abilities. As it wasn’t a direct comparison, I could not tell whether the differences were more from the cables or the DAPs.

Overall Signature

The review game has been raised by a good many reviewers in HF. Gone are the days when you can just plonk five stars and state confidently in a one-sentence review “this is simply the best of the best, go get it, your ears will thank you.” You’ll get your arse grilled for sweeping statements like that. Nowadays you have to sell your review, get deep into the whys and hows, especially at the TOTL level where prices are much higher.

Critical listening was done after 200 hours of burning in, as recommended by Sammy. The main setup used was QP1R (medium gain) > Dark Knight > Galaxy V2, with a switch to OCC MKII for cable comparisons. The other setup is Sony WM1A in high gain, with PW Audio No.5 in 4.4mm balanced. I prefer the pairing with QP1R as some dynamics and air are lost using the WM1A. Mandarines Symbio W wide-bore eartips were used, as I find them providing the best comfort and most detailed sound. Spinfit CP100 is not bad either, but you feel the weight of the V2 shells more, and the treble is slightly subdued with the Spinfits. Unfortunately I did not try foam tips as I do not have any.

In a world of single dynamic flagships, the Galaxy v2 provides a distinctive flavour. Probably roasted habanero. It has a mild U-shaped signature, not because the mids are recessed, but because the bass is deliciously enhanced, as is the lower treble. The mids stay where they are, flat and uncoloured. Midheads will find this wanting, but an uncoloured, super-detailed signature was exactly what Sammy had in mind when tuning. Extenson in both ends, and overall resolution is exemplary, probably class-leading for a dynamic driver.

And what might turn out to be the surprise of the IEM, its bass is also among the best I’ve heard. Are you sure this is a reference monitor? It’s a monitor with fun in mind. Sammy has often noted on FB that his customers want “da bass” and by golly was he giving a high quality one to them. The upper mids/lower treble has a characteristic 5KHz peak which increases clarity and detail in the upper registers. The downside to this though, it makes poor recordings sound bad. Not only does it NOT sugarcoat recording imperfections in the treble region, it pushes the aberrations to the front of the stage, naked and wrinkly. And shriveled. That’s a good monitor, but not so good in the way of listening enjoyment if your music collection is a mixed bag of recordings. Soundstage is wider than it is deep, quite good at this level, but does not stand out in the big picture. The spatial cues, imaging and head-stage exist to serve the signature (and da bass), which is more the star here.



One of the most pleasurable things in this hobby is waiting for the bass to drop, followed by the rush of warmth enveloping you, washing over you, maybe even leaving you tingling. Any more pleasure and you’ll be incontinent. The Galaxy V2 bass plunges into the deepest depths, hits hard, hits fast, lights a fuse, and gets the hell out just in time before the explosion. It moves so much air it might as well be responsible for Marilyn Monroe’s flying skirt. The rush of warmth, followed by the bass air, is what makes this IEM so very special.

It’s a big, dynamic bass, sure, but also disciplined. You feel the subbass impact just a bit, so as not to be distracting. You definitely hear the extension down to the gut, and it’s satisfying. The midbass is more elevated compared to subbass, not enough to blow your socks off, but enough to shake them down halfway. The notes are fast, well-rounded, with a quick attack and a natural, speaker-like decay. A small peculiarity about the bass which I forgive, the notes are thicker than the mids and treble, but miles more natural. The bass decay is clean enough that it never encroaches the midrange, yet moves so much air, it’ll alter the flight patterns of small insects. It’s a delicate balance between a fun and audiophile tuning, near-perfected. A bass that calls the shots. A shining example of what dynamic drivers can do, that cannot be replicated by balanced armatures.


In class, the smart kids raise their hands. The smarter kids show restraint because other kids will ask them to do their homework. The average kids (like me) avoid eye contact and pretend they’re busy. That’s the Galaxy V2 mids for you. While the bass is lapping up the accolades, and the treble is show-offish, the mids mostly keep to themselves. We unravel the mids and start with its biggest weakness. The bass might have been too clean for comfort. They lend little to no weight to the lower mids, and as such, male vocals suffer. They sound lean and throaty, and lack authority and menace, a growl reduced to a meow. Instruments that have more lower-mids body like the trombone, tenor sax and cello sound reedier than usual. It does have a clean presentation but I do prefer more meat on the bones, so to speak.

Moving up, the middle mids fare better, with piano, violin and guitars capable of both speed and emotion, a nice balance. There’s good air between the notes and instruments, owing to the nimble, leaner notes. And best of all, female vocals soar. They sound articulate and very detailed. You hear the singers inhale, smack lips (lady, are you eating?) and swing their heads to the microphone, all beautifully captured, and one of the highlights of the Galaxy V2. Timbre is on the brighter side of neutral, which leads to excellent resolution from note attack to release, but could be more natural. The mids, overall, are uncoloured and awesomely detailed. The lean notes won’t be for everybody, but is an amazing tool as a monitor. A great many people, me included, would ask for a bit more note body and smoothness.


In the club, inebriated, you spot a hottie and she signals you over. And there you are in the dark, swinging bodies together in motion, laughing and dancing, thinking of plans after the dance. Suddenly, the lights are turned on. Someone lodged a noise complaint and the police are alerted. White fluorescent lights illuminate the dancefloor, and everyone doesn’t look as attractive as when they were bathed in soft light. You see droplets of sweat, smeared makeup, bloodshot eyes… nothing is hidden. Aww hell, I nearly took you home! The Galaxy V2 treble behaves like the unforgiving white light of the party. The perfect example of GIGO (garbage in garbage out), it doesn’t play nice with poorly-mastered recordings, and that includes a lot of albums made during the loudness war era. It captures every nuance and detail there is, in fact it’s one of the furthest-extended IEMs I’ve heard, but sometimes you don’t want to handle the ugly truth. And in that instance, I’ll have to say the Galaxy V2 isn’t for you.

The treble, when it plays nice, is stellar. Continuing up from the mids, the treble is speedy, bright and airy, with texture you can feel, grain you can almost palpate. Detail is the name of the game. The signature 5KHz peak of Rhapsodio IEMs mean the treble is lively and in the thick of the action, never content to linger in the background. Cymbals and hi-hats have all the sizzle and sparkle you could ask for, and a good amount of energy. But again, if you feed it bad recordings, it will turn on you and drive spikes into your ears. Perilous, yes, but the rewards are great. Put on some Chesky Binaurals or classic jazz and be in awe of what the treble extension and resolution can do.

Soundstage and Imaging

These days, TOTL IEMs dare to dream, and strive for open headphone-like stage dimensions. You hear terms like holographic presentation, wide-open stage, depth and layering normally associated with cans, when a few years ago all the TOTL in-ears had an in-your-head sound. The Galaxy V2, in that accord, stays grounded in IEM territory. The stage size is quite large thanks to the vents, but average if compared to other TOTLs. Stage width is more readily noticeable than depth, and height is, uh, not so much there. Listening to music via Galaxy V2 is akin to looking at an artpiece on canvas in front of you. The centre imaging is excellent, with great focus and just enough depth for good differentiation between instruments. The images don’t pop out like a 3D movie, but stays coherent, and neatly arranged, in front of you. The presentation is like you’re seated in the first row of the performance. The bass does inject some warm air to the mix, so the imaging is not razor-sharp, nor the background as clean. The neatness and leanness of the mids and treble mean there’s still plenty of air to go around. The spatial ability of the Galaxy V2 is not one of its highlights, but competent as is. Given the choice I’d love to have more stage depth and height, with better separation and layering.



Rhapsodio Galaxy V1 (with OCC MKII cable)

So, why a sequel? The V1 was the talk of the town when it was released. Long story short, V2 provides a different, more accessible tuning. One thing you can say about Rhapsodio, is that their bass tuning never disappoints. V1 is more subbass-focused compared to V2, and you feel the rumble and growl of bassy tracks. V2 has a tamer subbass, and more prominent midbass. But even then, V1 midbass has thicker notes and longer decay, while V2 bass is less bloaty. So V1 has an even bigger, nastier (in a good way, y’know like Nasty Boys) bass than V2. And if you thought V2 is reference-oriented, V1 is even more so. The mids and treble are drier and grainier than V2. Very high resolution, but some male and female vocals sound shoutier and brighter on V1. Both don’t have much in the way of smoothness, but the detail levels are really something else, as long as your tracks are up to it. Timbre on V2 is more accurate, and sweeter-sounding. The biggest improvement in V2 is in spatial ability. Both have similar stage width, but V2 pulls ahead with a deeper stage, and better air, separation and imaging. Almost makes V1 sound congested. For my tastes, I’d take V2 over V1 any given day, except opposites day.

Rhapsodio Solar (with RSD Silver Litz cable)

The Solar is a counterpoint to the reference (with fun) tuning of the Galaxies, offering nearly an about-turn in terms of signature. Where the V2 is bright and airy, the Solar is smooth and intimate. Where the V2 is exciting and energetic, Solar is relaxed and laid-back. Solar isn’t interested in exposing the flaws in your music, it’s built for romance. It aims to win you over with lovey-dovey warmth with a hint of fun. The thick notes and bold midbass hump assures you there’s enough warmth to go around as opposed to the leaner and meaner Galaxy V2 bass. So much so that there’s some bass bleed into the mids. The mids, slightly recessed and laid-back in position, nonetheless shine in tracks with simpler arrangements, and sound smoother and more natural than V2. The hint of fun comes in the 5KHz peak which adds some sparkle and shimmer into the signature. But remember, Solar is all about smoothness and forgiveness, like a safe first date, so it’s not as extended as V2, and glosses over any recording imperfections. A very liquid treble. Solar has a deeper and taller stage dimension, while V2 is wider. Layering in the Solar is quite good thanks to the depth and height, but the warmth muddles the imaging, whereas V2’s airier and brighter presentation aids in more precise imaging. Ultimately they’re too different to pick a favourite, and shows off Sammy’s versatility in tuning.

64 Audio A12 (with M15 module and ALO Reference 8 cable)

This is the battle between the best DD bass in the universe vs the best BA bass in the universe. The A12 is like a Solar enhanced, with a more resolving signature, even bigger stage dimensions, more air, better separation and imaging, all while maintaining a warm and smooth signature. It’s damn near my endgame for warm IEMs. Ah yes, da bass. A12 reaches deep, gives you a nice pulsating subbass with a resounding thump. The midbass is equally promiment, with a nice, full body and an organic bloom… wonderful. V2 takes whatever A12 has, serves up more speed and way more air, and lacks neither in impact nor dynamics… endgame. Sorry A12, dynamics still rule. A12 roars back in mids, sounding superbly natural while providing dollops of detail. The timbre is lifelike, and vocals male and female truly captivate. V2 peers over from the corner, aware of its own thinness and brightish timbre. It only wins in detail level, but surrenders everything else to A12 in mids. Treble is governed by different philosophies. V2 has the better extension, and ekes out every detail possible, while A12 opts for fun and excitement while staying within the margins of smoothness. A12 is the Audeze LCD house sound in IEM form. Warm, smooth, liquid… fatigue-free listening for hours. Soundstage comparison is similar to V2 vs Solar. Where V2 is wider and airier with more precise separation and imaging, A12 is much deeper, much taller, and has amazingly good separation and layering despite the warm signature and thick notes. For what it is, A12 is a superb, decadent all-rounder. V2 is more critical, and despite everything I say, is very musical too, with the best bass in the universe. Certified.


Astell & Kern AK T8iE MKII

Another DD vs DD comparision? Oh yesh. The AK is to me, one of the most fun monitors I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. Upfront, dynamic, and well-balanced from end to end. Note attack and decay is super fast, cast against a vast, black background. Now say that quickly. V2 bass goes deeper, hits harder, moves more air, and rumbles like the jungle. AK has a faster, cleaner bass, albeit with less extension. The trend continues in midbass, where V2 has thicker and woolier notes while AK is leaner and punchier. You already know which bass is my favourite. For mids, AK actually has a brighter and grainier tuning than V2. The mids clarity and definition is more apparent. They make V2 mids sound sweeter and smoother in comparison (told you V2 can be musical). Timbre-wise, V2 edges out in accuracy. The downfall of the AK is in the bright upper mids and lower treble, where certain instruments like cymbals are brought to the forefront, distracting from the overall presentation. I hear this a lot in rock tunes. V2 sounds more linear and grounded in that area. Keeping up with the dynamic, exciting signature of the AK, it has more apparent detail than the V2, at times sounding harsh with poorly recorded tracks. But upon closer listening, I find the V2 to be better extended. The AK has a helmet-like stage dimensions. Not very large in terms of width, depth and height, but the imaging is stellar. Instrument placement has superb definition, and coupled with the smaller stage size, it’s an immersive experience. The V2 has a deeper and wider stage, and sounds comparatively laidback. In terms of technical ability and overall signature, V2 takes this, but I have a soft spot for the fun factor of the AK.

Oriolus MKII (with PW Audio No.5 cable)

We round up the comparisons with another one of my favourites, the Oriolus MKII. It’s a 3BA+1DD hybrid, with a W-shaped signature, capable of incredible detail and air yet sounding sweet and warm. V2 has better resolution and end-to-end extension, but then again Oriolus isn’t a detail monster to start with, focusing on its mellow, musical tuning that covers all genres. Oriolus bass has less impact but the shape of its note is better-rounded, thicker, with a gentle bloom and longer decay. It doesn’t move as much air as V2, but its dynamic traits are unmistakable. Both mids are similarly laid-back in position, but where V2 is unabashedly reference-sounding and uncoloured, Oriolus embraces its smoothness, note roundness and thickness. It’s like gooey caramel, sweet and coloured-sounding. Even then, Oriolus sounds organic with a more natural timbre than V2. Vocals are a treat, sounding true-to-life with excellent reverb. The Oriolus treble is less peaky than the V2, but manages an equal amount of sparkle and treble air. It only loses out in extension. The spatial abilities are what makes the Oriolus shine. It has tremendous width and depth, and lots of air in between instruments. A few would complain that this makes the presentation sound distant and too laid-back, but it is exactly these traits that make the Oriolus special. Thick notes without sounding congested. V2’s stage size is smaller, and imaging more precise, with a more conventional IEM presentation of width over depth. To sum it up, each has their strengths, and it’s entirely up to preference which to go for. I love both.



The Galaxy V2 set out to prove that a reference signature is nothing to be afraid of. They open a window to the music, sometimes exposing its flaws, daring sound engineers to be more diligent with mastering. But feed it good recordings, and you’ll be rewarded with a transcendent musical experience across all genres, like a strict teacher bringing out the best of the top student. It also helps that they have some jaw-dropping bass to pull in the crowds. In a growing market of single dynamic flagships (Dita Dream, HiFiMan RE2000, Beyerdynamic Xelento, Campfire Audio Vega), the Galaxy V2 brings its own personality to the mix. You cannot question its technical ability, its deftness in bringing the music in its truest form to you. And basshead or not, you will fall in love with the “audiophile fun” bass, like I have over and over again. All in all, it showcases what a mighty single dynamic driver can do, as Sammy heralded when he announced the Galaxy, “no more driver wars”. He did what he set out to do.


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