Shuoer Tape Pro

Precogvision

Reviewer at Headphones.com
Best Worst IEM?
Pros: - makes sound
Cons: - the sound
Every once in a while, an IEM's reputation precedes it, and indeed, the Tape Pro is a prime example. With an accolade of 1-star reviews on Head-Fi (no easy feat, mind you) and no shortage of my fellow reviewers raving about how horrible it sounds, I knew I had to get my hands on one. Thanks to @antdroid for making it happen, although funnily enough, I was likewise thanked for "taking out the trash". So let's find out then: Just how bad is the Tape Pro?

To ease you in, let's start with the bass which is arguably the least offensive part of the Tape Pro's tuning. It's considerably mid-bass emphasized, and it's the epitome of everything wrong with mid-bass: bloat, smeared transient attack, you name it. But it's not unlistenable. No, no, unlistenable is the Tape Pro's midrange. It's a sibilant, sucked-out mess. Male vocalists sound nasal likely due to the unnatural ear gain. The 4kHz peak lends female vocalists to an unpleasant forwardness, occasionally managing to subvert outright sibilance because, well, it dips straight after. Cymbals have virtually zero impact, and treble is generally emphasized in all the wrong places. I don't know what to say. The Tape Pro has some of the worst timbre I've heard, and it's almost completely by virtue of how poor the tuning is.

Technicalities? No doubt, the standout here is the Tape Pro's dynamic range. The Tape Pro sounds incredibly compressed because of the 4kHz roll-off; it doesn't seem to scale swings at all. In all seriousness, though, I'd say the Tape Pro's imaging is acceptable. It certainly feels a tad more open than some other IEMs I've heard; however, that might be more attributable to all the unnatural peaks in the tuning. Outside of this, yeah, the Tape Pro doesn't really have any redeeming qualities, and it resolves more like your bog-standard $30 IEM.

In all fairness - and credit where credit is due - the Tape Pro is a challenge of preconceptions and of my experience as a reviewer. Like so, it might be one of the best "worst IEMs" I've heard, in that I can't help but admire how something went this wrong. At the same time, though, I don't think it's quite to the level of bad that other IEMs I've given a 1/10 have exhibited. Those IEMs had more latent meme factor - be it the trashy marketing or absurd pricing - and for that reason I think the Tape Pro can squeak by ever-so-slightly higher on the bias scale.
RikudouGoku
RikudouGoku
Shuoer Tape Pro, next please
Pros: Cable, accessories, ok bass
Cons: Overall sound
Shuoer Tape Pro Review
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The Shuoer Tape Pro was sent to me for free for the purpose of me sharing my honest thoughts about them.

They can be purchased here:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/100...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

About me:
I’m a 48 years old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later on also IEM’s.

My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).

My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.

I do not use EQ, ever.

I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.

Introduction:

The Shuoer Tape Pro uses Composite Electrostatic Dynamic Driver and retails for $129.

The Tape Pro is my first experience with Shouer sp, unfortunately, I ‘ll not be able to compare it to the original Tape. On the positive side I’ve got plenty of other IEM’s that priced roughly the same (Titan 6, NM2+, I3, MT300 and Spring 2 to mention a few) so I’ll be able to give my subjective opinion on how they perform against some of its main competitors.

The package they arrive in is pretty standard. A couple of pictures says more than a thousand words:
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I’d say that the accessories are good for the price. Especially the included cable is really nice in my opinion and has a 2.5 mm termination in my case. There’s also a basic 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter included which I’ve never experienced before and I really appreciate this. It has 2-pin connectors and the housings are made of high quality aluminum which makes them feel very solid without being heavy. You also get a couple of extra tuning screws, two extra filters for the nozzle, a cleaning toll, a tool to change filters, six pairs of silicone eartips and a nice carrying case. Overall build quality seem very good.
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The Tape Pro are quite easy to drive. For the this review I’ve used them with the Quedelix 5K and the Radsone ES100 since they’re my preferred sources for portable listening these days but I’ve tried them with a very wide number of other sources as well. I suppose many people would prefer them with a warm source and I suggest avoiding bright or thin sounding sources with it.
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The specs:
Drive unit:
Composite Electrostatic Dynamic Driver Frequency response range: frequency response 20Hz-20kHz
Impedance: 16Ω
Sensitivity: 105dB/mW
Earphone pin: 2-pin interface

Length:1.2 meters
Plug: 2.5 mm (3.5 mm adapter included)

Ergonomics:
Despite its sharp edges on the housing the Tape Pro is very comfortable to me because the edges doesn’t touch my ears. The stem seems well proportioned and the included transparent tips with black stem is a great fit for me (I use the smallest size). As always with fitting a big YMMV has to be included as we all have different ear shape and size. One thing to note about the Tape Pro is that the lip that holds the tips in place is a bit oversized making it hard to fit some third parties tips on them. Overall fit and ergonomics are good for me and I don’t mind wearing the Tape Pro for a couple of hours without any break.

As for looks I enjoy the industrial all metal design on the Tape Pro and would consider it a good looking pair of IEM’s. They use a 0.78 mm 2-pin connection that I generally prefer over MMCX. As already mentioned the included cable has great quality and I see no obvious reason to change it for something else. Then again I’m one of those persons who doesn’t notice any difference in sound between different cables as long as they’re properly made. My main reason to use third party cables is looks, ergonomics or the wish for different termination but neither is valid for the stock cable in this case.

Sound:
The overall sound of the Tape Pro is actually quite hard for me to describe. The reason for this is that I find it to be a bit strange in overall balance. As the bass on the Tape Pro is tuneble I’d like to mention a couple of things about this before going any further into the description of the sound. The black and red screws on the housing are actually tuning filters for the bass. Switching position on them gives a bit more bass presence, especially sub bass (more about this in the description of the bass performance below). I typically never use tunable IEM’s in their most bass focused setting but the Tape Pro turned out to be an exception so the rest of the sound description in this review is with the bass screws in the non-stock configuration. Back to the overall sound I’d say that it’s a bit weird. The bass is quite good while there’s an overall lack of soul to the whole presentation as the overall tonallity is strange to my ears. I think the best way to describe the sound of the Tape Pro is to brake it down to the three standard parts: bass, midrange and treble.

Bass:
The Tape Pro has more subbass than midbass focus in its tuning. The subbass reaches fairly low and have good impact but even in the configuration with most bass presence I wouldn’t say they’ve got basshead level. The toned down midbass contributes even more to this conclusion and makes the Tape Pro lack a bit of drive with some electronic music. The quality of the bass is pretty good without being really great. It’s quite engaging and has an ok speed and overall quality. As already mentioned the midbass is toned downed quite a bit but still have some bloom to the higher frequencies but this is actually a welcome feature to me in this specific case as it gives some extra warmth to the lower midrange. This is a good thing as the midrange lacks a bit of soul in these IEM’s.

Midrange:
The midrange on the Tape Pro is, unfortunately, it’s biggest weakness in my opinion. Being a midrange and, especially vocal lover, this is normally the single most important part of any IEM’s for me. To start with the midrange is a bit recessed on the Tape Pro. I’m normally fine with this if the midrange quality is good but this is where the Tape Pro misses the target with quite a bit for me, especially in the vocal reproduction. Male vocals are a bit too thin and nasal sounding, using the bass enhanced tuning helps out with this to some extend but it’s still a bit off for me. Female vocals on the other hand can occasionally be a bit shouty sounding due to the lifted upper midrange. Neither of these two issues are terrible but on top of this I find the whole midrange presentation to be a bit boxy and hollow sounding. It’s really har for me not only to describe this issue in words but also to find the explanation for it. I think that it may be that depth in the presentation is severely lacking, add to this a timbre that sounds far from natural and I think this may explain why I find the midrange to be ripped from the soul of the music. Because of their poor vocal performance I think that the Tape pro perform a lot better with instrumental music than with other music. Unfortunately my main music is acoustic music with vocals and the Tape pro just don’t live up to my expectations on this point.

Just to add to the confusion on what goes on here I find them to sound quite good with some songs (Patricia Barber’s Regular Pleasure for example). Unfortunately this is quiet rare and does not seem to be because of the genre but rather the specific recording. Call me puzzled……

Treble:
The treble on the Tape Pro has more focus on the lower than the upper part of the frequencies and extension in the top is average. Despite this I don’t really hear any sibilance here, the exception being recordings that has this clearly present. In total I’d say that the overall impression of the treble is ok and a bit below average in the price range.

Stage and separation:
The Tape Pro has an average performance in soundstage in all directions, this does not need to be all bad as many IEM’s manage to deliver an intimate and seductive sound despite not being great in soundstage but I don’t find this to be the case with the Tape Pro. They come across as quite two dimensional sounding in comparison to IEM’s with more presence in the upper bass region and an overall warmer sound. Separation is also just ok and the Tape Pro loses out here compared to many other offerings in the same price range. On the positive side microdetails and resolution are quite good without sounding clinical. In all I’m sorry to say that I find the Tape Pro to be more boring sounding than correct and balanced.

Comparison:
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NF Audio NM2+ ($169)
The NM2+ are my favorite single dynamics.

The NM2+ are also very comfortable for me and for people that get contact to their outer ear with the housing of the Tape Pro I’d imagine that the NM2+ will be more comfortable. For me the two are about equal in comfort. Isolation is also quite similar on both. Although the overall description of these two would be quite similar: more midbass than subbass, recessed midrang, boosted upper midrange/lower treble the NM2+ sounds a lot more natural and engaging to me. The subbass on the NM2+ do reach deeper and is drier and tighter. The midrange on the Tape Pro is more recessed. The quality of the midrange on the NM2+ better and sounds a lot more tonally correct and natural with good details and transparency. The treble on the NM2+ has better extension and air. The NM2+ has a noticeable wider presentation. They’re both easy to drive.

Tri I3 ($169)
The Tri I3 are a dynamic, planar and BA hybrid that hits way beyond its price. They’re one of my all-time favorite value for money IEM offerings.

The I3 is heavier and bulkier compared to the Tape Pro. Despite this I do actually get a similar great fit with them even with my smallish ears. They’re equally comfortable but the I3 align better with my ears and, probably because of this, isolate better. The I3 has a lot more bass impact, especially midbass. The bass quality is quite similar on both. The midrange on the I3 is thick and lush while the Tape Pro is more hollow and unnatural sounding. Both have a bit treble roll off but the I3 treble mixes in much better with the rest of its sound. Both male and female vocals are more enjoyable to me on the I3. The I3 has a wider stage and better instrument separation, it’s also considerably more 3D sounding. The I3 needs quite a bit more power.

BQEYZ Spring 2 ($169)

The Spring 2 are another pair of triple hybrid IEM’s (dynamic, BA and Piezoelectric drivers) that is next in line for me to review.

Much of what I said about the NM2+ in comparison to the Tape Pro will also be true for the Spring 2 both when it comes to ergonomics but also in sound. For me the Spring 2 and Tape Pro are about equal in comfort but the Spring 2 has a more rounded body and would probably be more comfortable for some users. Isolation is also quite similar on both. The overall sound of the Spring 2 is a bit thicker and more dense compared to the Tape Pro. The subbass on the Spring 2 do reach deeper and has slightly more impact. The bass on the spring 2 does also feel better integrated with the rest of the frequencies and midbass has more presence which helps giving them a overall more natural sound and noticeable better depth. The midrange on the Tape Pro is more recessed. The quality of the midrange on the Spring 2 is better and sounds a lot more tonally correct and natural with more weight. The treble on the Spring 2 has better extension and air but can also be a touch splashy with the wrong recording. The Spring 2 does also has a quite intimate presentation but has better depth and height making the overall sound much more enjoyable. They’re both easy to drive

Conclusion:
After having spent a month with the Shuoer Tape Pro I still can’t get into the music with them and I honestly think that I’ve tried hard to do so. I’ve used them with different tips, sources and music to get there but I still find them to be a bit weird and unnatural sounding. Although they’re not a bad pair of IEM’s per se they do lose out in being musical and engaging compared to most other IEM’s I’ve heard in the price range the last couple of years. Even more importantly they do not excel in any single area but rather come across as average as best. I’m afraid that they’ll be hard to recommend to people looking for the best value in this price range no matter of music, preferences and usage they’ve got as there’s so many other offerings that overperform around the same price. The fact that they’re the second try for Shuoer with this particular model makes me a bit sad, that being said lets hope that the third time is a charm (if it ever happens) as the build quality, cable and ergonomics offer a great base for a future success.
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DallaPo

New Head-Fier
Exacerbate for advanced users
Pros: the bass remains the only halfway positive
the cable is nice
it could always be worse
Cons: shrill mids
wrong tonality
cut off treble
compressed, lifeless sound
pointless tuning filters
Rating: 7.2
Sound: 7

Intro
The SHUOER TAPE had made a name for itself in the Chi-Fi world (even with misleading marketing - it's a dynamic driver with a low voltage electrostatic unit in front of it, just like the BGVP ZERO), with a good and fun V-signature, without the quite high audiophile claim.
The TAPE PRO now wants to make you forget the shortcomings of the TAPE with the same technology, at the same price tag.
Well, in my opinion, the engineers at SHUOER should have slept another night over their result before releasing the TAPE PRO for sale, but maybe someone will find happiness with the TAPE PRO, even if I will never reach the end of the rainbow with this IEM.

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Handling
The TAPE PRO is similar to its predecessor in design, except that it is now also available in silver. In addition, the cassette wheels are interchangeable (filter). The sound hole is unscrewable and replaceable if too dirty or otherwise worn (1 pair enclosed), but also thicker than the original TAPE.

SHUOER already knows why the TAPE PRO is not enclosed Foamtips, because an even greater reduction of the high tone and emphasis of the upper mids would not be tolerable with the TAPE PRO, but more on that below. Instead, we get two sets of silicone tips in three sizes, though they don't make much difference sonically. In terms of comfort, I prefer the slightly softer white tips.
However, if the sound hole (7mm) had turned out even thicker, I would no longer need tips to achieve a seal in the ear. Why this large diameter? Apart from the fact that an unpleasant pressure can arise in the ear, it is a small test of patience to put on the tips. Likewise, not all of them (3rd party) will fit.

The cable is haptically a very successful one for my taste, though. For some it may seem a bit too clunky/robust, but I like this design and also the feel. In addition, it is a 2.5mm balanced cable with a matching adapter to 3.5mm jack (stereo) enclosed.

The faceplate has a slot that serves not only as decoration, but also as ventilation. However, this takes away the usefulness of the bass filter, since the sound / air can look for another way. In addition, the isolation is impaired.

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Sound
Let's start with the bright spot of the TAPE PRO. Even though the bass tends to take a step back compared to the TAPE because the extension in the subrange is less, it is still the best thing about the TAPE PRO. Lessons have not been learned from its predecessor in any way, however, as the bass still penetrates the mids and is slightly lacking in firmness. It has a fun quantity and also convinces with a good structure, but is also sometimes a bit bloated and not always on the point. In contrast to the TAPE, you can replace the cassette wheels this time, as these serve as an additional filter and should influence the bass. Basically, I find this consistent and a nice feature if it didn't completely turn out to be a gimmick. I honestly don't hear any real difference when I replace the filters. True, this should also only increase the bass by 2 dB, which is not the biggest difference. But it should at least be measurable, which turns out to be a miss for me.

Often, for me, the tonality of the mids rises and falls in my favor with the 2 kHz range of an IEM/headphones. I can't stand it when voices have even the slightest semblance of shrillness or electric guitars become roaring bugs. Exactly in this frequency range so much can be influenced, since our hearing also reacts most sensitively here (2 - 4 kHz). The old TAPE certainly did not cause any great jubilation in the mids, since it also has the stronger V-signature. However, it just doesn't highlight the 2 kHz range as intensely as the TAPE PRO, but rises steadily to 3 kHz, where it provides the most energy. This makes it brighter than the TAPE PRO and puts the mids more in the background, but is more tolerable, at least for me.
The TAPE PRO's mids, in sum, sound more wrong tonally than right and kind of hollowed out.

I am aware that not every signature can meet my preferences and that is fine. However, it is not easy to remain reasonably objective in such a case. I am less comfortable with a darker timbre, as well as when it gets too bright. The highs have an extreme roll-off after 4 kHz, which now completely robs the TAPE PRO of its claim to be a tonally correct and coherent IEM after the mids that took some getting used to. They come back between 8 and 10 kHz with a peak, but this is rather negligible in terms of sound. Thank goodness this does not additionally provide for an increased sibilant emphasis, as a result I would then have more or less completely lost faith in SHUOER. If you will, the trebles are the only element where SHUOER has listened to the listeners, but has overshot the mark by far.

The treble usually has a strong influence on our subjective perception of the stage and its space, imaging-wise. Neither can live up to the price tag. The stage seems more or less compressed and the imaging is okay within the possibilities, but can't pull the cart out of the mud either. The voices, which are placed in the foreground and sound a bit slanted, also cause even more irritation.

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Outro
The TAPE PRO is, for me, an exemplary example of how a fairly good product can be made worse with the wrong approaches. If I'm not mistaken, many reviews of the TAPE have pointed out that the bass should be a bit tighter, the upper mids/lower highs have too much energy, which can quickly make them shrill, the mids seem thin in some cases, and the highs could be smoothed out slightly. Now, in my opinion, these are valid suggestions for improvement and not all that difficult to implement.
However, what prompted SHUOER to focus more on the mid-bass in the low frequency range, to rob energy from the lower treble, but to distribute it to the sensitive 2 kHz range instead, and to more or less cut off the treble, is a mystery to me. I can't think of a single thing that the TAPE PRO does better than its predecessor. The TAPE PRO sounds dead, dark and uninspired in total, without any dynamics.

Be that as it may, my opinion is only ONE of many on the Internet and certainly not universally valid, but for me the SHUOER TAPE PRO is a shot in the oven and in no way an upgrade to the original TAPE. Sometimes I am a bit shocked by what you can read and see about the TAPE PRO. There are big words like "monster of detail" or "top-class imaging" and so on. Here I am wondering whether there are perhaps 2 different versions / production series or what the motives are. Well, to each his own...
The TAPE PRO is in my world an average and thus also overpriced IEM with a somewhat weird tonality. You can get similar sound material with the TIN HIFI T1 PLUS, for example, for a decent €25. This does not make the T1 PLUS better, but who is looking for such a signature, has a much better price-performance ratio here.

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antdroid

Headphoneus Supremus
Meh
Pros: Cool looking cable
Intricate shell design
Balanced cable included
Cons: Sound



The Shuoer Tape Pro is the follow-up to the popular Shuoer Tape released a year ago. I have not heard the original model, so this quick review/impressions will be based solely on listening to the newest model from this brand.

The Stuff



The Tape Pro comes with a carrying case, a fancy-looking cable, and a series of tips. In addition, there is a cleaning brush, and a tool to unscrew filters placed flushed within the shell. Let's talk about teach quickly.

The carrying case.
It's small and the same case I've seen on other Shuoer products I've tried. It came in very smelly, and the chemical smell hasn't worn off yet, though I do admit, I put it right back in the box and don't want to take it out due to the smell. It's otherwise a nice case that is simple and functional.

The cable.
It's nice looking from afar, but I do not like how thick it is, and how easily it tangles and how hard it is to handle. It's just too heavy and janky to use on a daily basis, and I'd opt for something else. In addition, this cable comes with a 2.5mm connector, but it comes with a 3.5mm adapter, which isn't too bad. I mainly use 4.4mm for my desktop amp and digital audio player though, but I have several adapters.

The Filter Screws.
Ok this is just a weird design. I just took a look at the VE Erlkonig recently and it had a flat head screw that could be turned to change settings. In the Tape Pro's case, you physically unscrew two of these and then swap them to change filters and alleged tuning. I say that, because in my measurements, nothing changes! Not to mention that the tool is quickly lost (I lost it already), and the screws are small and easily dropped (I did that three times while trying to swap them), and this just seems like a lot of work for nothing. (really, nothing... apparently)

In addition, you can also remove the front nozzle filters too. They unscrew and come off. The filters themselves are very open so I doubt any sonic changes occur, but because you have a different unobstructed insertion depth now, it may increase treble slightly. I measured about 1dB difference.

The Sound
I am not a fan of the Shuoer Tape Pro. That's the quick version.



The slightly longer version is that I feel that both the tuning, timbre, and technical performance of the Tape Pro is very lacking. While tuning can be subjective, I do think that there is quite a bit of bass bloat, and there's a severe lack of treble. The large drop-off in sound after 4KHz is evident of this, and this really creates a dark, grainy and super veiled sound. It makes it sound very low-resolution.

The shouty region is quite shouty. And the lack of the treble mentioned above, pushes this way forward, and this totally reduces any dynamics. The mid-range is very recessed in my opinion, with mid-range instruments and vocals sounding very thin and missing and a lot of that has to do with the elevated bass.

That said, I can deal with the bass, and I can somewhat deal with a darker tonality, but the dynamics of this IEM are severely poor, even at $120, and even at half the cost, and perhaps even less, as I've listened to a few $50-range IEMs that easily top this one. The IEM sounds flat. I tried several songs across different genres, and outside of the tonality, the flatness of how dynamics came across was totally clear and distinct to me.

I tried the most dynamic songs, and nothing. Everything sounded dull, dead, and just there. Everything was presented in a way that makes music lifeless, and forward, and the energy and soul sucked out of even the most expressive and angelic of voices.

The Tape Pro taped everything shut. Sorry. Move on.

FcConstruct

Head-Fier
A Trainwreck
Pros: Wide soundstage
Cons: Low isolation
Awful bass
Dead treble
Shouty and hollow mids
Fit - Shallow and 7 mm nozzles may not be for everyone
Introduction

For today's review, I'm going to be looking at the Shuoer Tape Pro. It's Shuoer's follow up to their popular Shuoer Tape that I reviewed a while back and thought was fairly decent. At $130 IEM, the Tape Pro costs exactly the same as the regular Tape does, and I believe uses a similar "composite electrostatic dynamic driver". Please note that this is not a true estat driver as it does not require a specialized amp to power it. Technical trifles aside, how does it sound? While Antdroid released a rather unfavorable review of these recently, having heard the Shuoer Tape, I do have some expectations that comes with the Pro moniker.

Disclaimer: I received the Shuoer Tape Pro as a review unit from Linsoul in exchange for this honest review. I am not or will be compensated in any other way.

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What's in the Box?

In an unusual turn of events, the first thing you're greeted with in the box is... a Shuoer product catalogue. At least the booklet is rather high quality. Moving on is the IEMs themselves and a small plastic case with a number of goodies. In it is a spare set of tuning filters and nozzles, a cleaning brush, and a set of S, M, and L tips. Below the foam compartment lies the included hard carrying case with the cable, a tuning tool, and another set of tips.The cable is a straight jack 2-pin 2.5 mm cable and they do include a 3.5 mm L-shaped adapter. The cable itself is of OK quality. It tangles easily, there's cable noise, and is rather hard to touch. But at least it does feel rather sturdy.

The build of the IEMs is a full metal shell that looks identical to the regular Tapes. There's a vent in the middle of the shell. It does feel a little thicker than the original Tapes and has a monstrous 7 mm removable nozzle. I'm not entirely sure why the nozzle is removable as it doesn't affect tuning. It's just a feature that's there. Despite the insane nozzle size, I don't find the Tape Pros painfully uncomfortable. The fit is shallow but it does seal reasonable well and stays in place. Isolation is subpar due to the shallow fit and large vent(s) on the back. The sharper edges of the shell can get a little uncomfortable at times. I guess this just goes to show that beyond nozzle size, the actual shape of the IEM matters quite a bit too as the Tape Pros use that popular Shure-style over the ear design.

As alluded to previously, one of the ways the Shuoer Tape Pro distinguishes itself is through its tuning filters. It comes with these blue and silver tuning filters that you swap on the back. Here's Shuoer's guide to installing them with the tuning tool.

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You basically unscrew the filters and swap their places. The back filter (i.e. closer to the 2-pin jack) is the important one as it acts as a tuning port to the second vent. The front filter doesn't actually need to be there; it just screws in for convenience and aesthetics. My Shuoer Tape Pro set came with the blue filter installed in the back despite the image saying that the stock tuning is with the silver. I can confirm that the blue is the bassier of the two.

Sound

To describe the sound of the Shuoer Tape Pro, imagine witnessing a trainwreck. You see the train coming. You see the obstacle in its path. Right now it's chugging along just fine but deep down you know that something very, very wrong is going to happen. That is the Shuoer Tape Pro. When I listened to it for the first time, I opened with rock track starring a vocally driven opening. Immediately, the vocals felt off. Not enough that it was unlistenable but enough to fill me with a sense of dread for the next passage of the song. And sure enough, as soon as the drums kicked in, the Tape Pros turns into a messy trainwreck.

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Blue Filter

There are a number of problems with the Tape Pro on the blue filter. The first is that there's pretty only two instruments. It's vocals and everything else. The Tape Pro is so vocal forward that it completely isolates the vocals from all other instruments. Yet it doesn't even do vocals well. Female vocals are shouty and hollow with little upper harmonics. Male vocals have a smothered veil on them despite being so forward. The second problem is the bass quality. It's probably among the worst I've ever heard, topped only by cheap dollar store IEMs and headphones. It's muddy, bloated, incoherent, sloppy, and every other negative adjective you can throw in there. There's just no definition at all. It's like Shrek's bubbling swamp, where each bubble represents a nondescript drum beat somewhere. I don't say this lightly: With the blue filter, the Tape Pro is close to unlistenable for a lot of music. Only on slower paced tracks is the driver able to keep up.

Silver Filter

Thankfully, the silver filter is much, much better. Despite measuring pretty much identically on the frequency response, it adds a much needed level of definition to the notes, partly salvaging the Tape Pro. At least the different instruments can be heard now instead of being just a smear. But it's still quite poor overall. The bass is still muddy and low resolution. It still sounds boomy and bloated. There's still very little dynamics and sense of impact. But at least it's not wholly incoherent and I can look past it to begin enjoying music.

Aside from the bass, the mids and treble are pretty scuffed too. I already mentioned the vocals but the rest of the mids have a distinctly off tonality due to the Tape Pro's midrange suckout and absolute Mount Everest for upper mids. The timbre of pretty much every instrument is wrong by some extent. The treble is completely muted and lifeless. After the 4 kHz mark where the upper mids generally ends, there's just a cliff where the treble drops off and never recovers. If there was any less upper mids, I'd call these IEMs dark.

Presentation

On the technicalities portion, the resolution is pretty much low budget tier on the silver filter. Forget about the blue. The only saving grace for this IEM is its large horizontal soundstage. Like its predecessor the Shuoer Tape, the vents on the shell does give it a wide stage. But otherwise it has absolutely zero height or depth. There is also pretty much no imaging beyond the 3 blob left, right, center.

VDDs61o.jpg


Should You Buy It?

No. Absolutely not. At $130 this is a travesty. I'm frankly shocked that Shuoer decided the Tape Pros were good enough to be let out of the factory, let along as a successor to the Tapes. The blue filter Tape Pros is the worst sounding IEM I've heard in recent memory. The silver filter is better but its a bit of a stretch to call it acceptable. Even the Kinera Freya that I reviewed a while back wasn't this poor. It's a real shame because clearly the person tuning this had put some thought in designing the filters. I wish the Shuoer engineers good luck with their next design but I'm not holding my breath. Of the three Shuoer IEMs I've tried to date, they all share a very similar V-shaped tuning. And of the three, only one was decent: the Shuoer Tapes. With the <$150 IEM market being so fiercely competitive, Shuoer has a long road ahead of them.

Star Rating Explanation: Generally speaking, I consider 1 star products to either be something that makes no noise at all i.e. DoA or so incomprehensible that you might as well not be listening to anything. Thus, I gave the Shuoer Tape Pros a 1.5 star. If it was just the blue filter, it would be 1 star.
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sakt1moko
sakt1moko
I've already done, multiple times mate.
Anyways this is perfect for anyone who want nice bass, for only 50 on used market.
Just autoEq and this iem move forward; on stock is hiding mids, with piercing highs.

Just my grain of salt
FcConstruct
FcConstruct
@sakt1moko
1. Reviews are written for stock performance.
2. I actually love EQing but I only do it when it's worth the time and effort. It is not for the Tape Pro.
3. AutoEQ can do it for any IEM as long as you have measurements. No point to mention it specifically for the Tape Pro.
sakt1moko
sakt1moko
1. No problem about that mate. But will be nice to point that Eq could help with this particular case.
2. Personal opinion, but U could always try to get the best performance of your equipment.
3. Don't understand, but STpro got Autoeq profile. Feel free to rey and share ur impressions.

Anyways, I answer on your review, like I could do on any of headfi, sorru if I disturb u.

Medikill

100+ Head-Fier
Average
Pros: Average Bass
Average Seperation
Cons: Soundstage
Technicalities
Upper mids
Treble
Preamble:
- Purchased without subsidisation for this review.

Packaging and Accessories:
- Good
- Case is solid
- Good tip selection
- The cable is very nice

Build:
- Good
- Only caveat is changing tips is very hard due to nozzle design
- very light

Fit:
- Good
- Comfortable to wear

Tuning screws:
- Gives a bass bump
- The bass becomes bloated with the bump

Equipment used:
- E1DA balanced off MBP16

Sound:

Bass: Good quanity. Lacks speed and prescion. There is a boost in the midbass, bleeds into the lower mids.

Mids: Upper mids recessed. No harshness in vocals.

Treble: No silibance. Not airy or extended.

Soundstage: average, nothing special. Poor technicalities, doesn't have good seperation.

Overall:
A very average set of IEMs, even at this price point i think there is better to be had (i.e. BLON and YBF). Lackluster listening experience, overyhyped. I initially thought they sounded decent but after comparing with other IEMs - but it was the E1DA doing their magic improving the sound.

chinmie

Headphoneus Supremus
Shuoer Tape: Good Improvement, but not good enough for me...
Pros: - Nice package and accesories
- Included balanced cable and extra 3.5mm connector is a nice touch
- Removable/replaceable dust filter on the nozzle
Cons: - Tuning is not for everyone
- The sharp edge might be uncomfortable for some people
- changing the filters is a nuisance, and not too much of a difference
- Slight compression across the overall sound
Disclaimer: I rarely do reviews, if ever. I usually prefer to write my impressions on the forum thread and talk about it there instead, but Yaoyaotiger from Aliexpress send me this at a discount, so it's fitting for me to write a review to honor their good gesture

Gears used for testing:
Centrance Bluedac
IFI Hip Dac
Fiio BTR5
Audio Technica AT PHA55BT

all running Spotify (and also Tidal) from my Android phone

Built and accesories:
The build quality is pretty much the same as the older Tape: Solid.
I used only the stock cable, and Symbio peel eartips, so no comment on the included stock tips.


Fit:
For me personally, i don't have any problem with fitting this on my ears. i can see that some people would have a problem because of the sharp edges, but i just want to point out that as I don't have that problem, the experience would not be the same for everyone.

Isolation:
good

Sound characteristic:
This is the point that's so polarizing for people who have heard it. It's either you like it or you don't sort of a deal.. but funnily enough i seem to end up quite in the middle on this matter. The signature of the Tape Pro can be described as nasal and honky on the mids, V-shaped tuning, and sounded like someone run this IEM through a compression effect or an overdriven amp.
For my ears that compression makes the dynamics of the sound seems flatten out, making it a more safe and controlled listen, but at the same time, a less exciting experience.
There's an option to change the bass response by swapping the bass port filter.. only the bass response would be altered slightly, while the mids and treble area would stay the same.
Changing the filter, however, is a really bothersome task, especially if I'm using the included tool on the box. I find that it's easier to change it using a regular small screwdriver instead.

Bass:
On standard filter (black), the bass is boosted with a good extension, with warm and compressed sounding bass region. The bass filter (red), does indeed increases the bass slightly more, but not in the area that i would prefer. it makes the sound more wooly, boomy and blurred compared to the already compressed sounding black filter. I personally don't see myself using the red filter in any scenario whatsoever. Red Filter mode reminded me of the old Tape sound, which is more scooped on the mids because of the larger bass response.

Mids:
The mids have a nasal and honky tone to it, because of the sharp boost of the upper treble region. It does make the sound seems more analytical, but to me that's more of the illusion of the tuning, not from the resolving capabilities of the driver itself. Compared the older Tape though, to me this Tape Pro is an Improvement on the mids. It's now have a louder and more forward mids. I can listen to the Tape Pro in relatively louder volume, while i can only listen to the old Tape in low to moderate volume.

Treble:
It's quite extended and lively, but (like the rest of the frequency) sounded compressed. It might sound lively, but cymbals would sound splashy and not crisp/ sparkly on the real top end. From memory, i'd say this part is more or less the same as the older Tape.

Soundstage:
The soundstage is wide, but not much depth

Conclusion:
I have sold my old Shuoer Tape, because while it has some special sound to it, i ended up not using it much, or even at all. The Scenarios that i would use the old Tape was so small because i have other IEMs that i think can perform better at that scenario.
This Tape Pro definitely an improvement, as it addresses the problem that i saw on the older Tape... but at this rate and time , i just think it's still not good enough for me.
There are lots of newer IEMs that I either enjoy more or can be a substitute to this Tape Pro on the lower priced bracket, as well as IEMs that just surpassed it entirely on the higher price range. that makes this IEM sits in limbo for me personally.
Don't get me wrong, i don't say the Tape Pro bad, not at all, it's even quite good..but just maybe not good enough for me


What's in the package:
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-15 at 5.57.43 PM (1).jpeg

Close up shot of the IEM (Symbio Peel Tips attached):
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-15 at 5.57.41 PM (1).jpeg
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DallaPo
DallaPo
@twiceboss i feel you!
I have now made three attempts to give the TAPE PRO a fair chance for a longer time so I can write the review and I can always find less good about it. Tonally it's kind of a failure, with harsh mids and no highs. Absolutely compressed. I like the T1 PLUS even better, and that's saying something.
The bass is still quite good. Here the original tape wins in every way. Of course, this is only my opinion.
RikudouGoku
RikudouGoku
@DallaPo yeah, tried it on 3 different sources. (Ibasso DX160, JDS Atom and the Little Dot 1+) Sucked on all of them.....Also used the faaeal litz copper cable which is a better measuring cable.
FreeWheelinAudioLuv2
FreeWheelinAudioLuv2
i agree with you in so much said. OOTB, the highs are very distant and muted. No fun. Eventually, they do open up and are extended and present. The timbre and tone are not as good as the MT300, but they are less harsh than the NM2+. I just think at the end of the day, imaging is very average, stage is very average, and when you put it all together, they are quite average for the tech and price. I enjoy listening to them with certain DAP's, silver plated copper cable, and spiral dot tips.

RikudouGoku

Headphoneus Supremus
Torture Pro
Pros: Cable
metal build
Accessories
Cons: Everything about the sound
Sharp corners, very uncomfortable
Non-working "tuning" screws
Big lip on the nozzle causes many tips to not fit
Price
20201212_133709.jpg


Disclaimer: I received this review unit from linsoul and burned in for 20 hours. Thank you very much

Price: 130 usd

Specifications:

Sensitivity: 105dB/mW

Impedance: 16Ω

20201212_133853.jpg

Accessories:

Carry case

Cleaning tool

1 pair of backup filters

1 pair of backup “tuning” screws

Screw tool

2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter

Product catalogue

20201212_134038.jpg

Cable: The cable is actually very good, it’s a 4-core cable that measures at 0.21 ohms. Divider and connectors are made out of metal and there is a non-working chin-slider. It is balanced with a 2.5mm connector. Adapter from 2.5mm balanced to 3.5mm SE is included.


20201212_134107.jpg

Build: all metal build and very similar to the previous tape. It has a lip for the tips so they won’t fall off (like on the previous tape), but the lip is too big and tips like the Final Audio Type E and the Sony EP-EX11 doesn’t fit at all.

Fit: no problems with the fit for me.

Comfort: But the comfort is bad because of the sharp edges that stab my ears.

Isolation: average and nothing special.


FIY: The “tuning” screws are pretty much pointless
stock vs bass.png

Setup:
Ibasso DX160 (low gain, volume around 35), Acoustune aet08 L tips, Faaeal litz copper cable (4.4mm)

Lows: Very mediocre bass in both quantity and quality. It is boosted but not enough to make it fun and not low enough to be considered neutral.

Mid-bass: Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), clean bass but not that fast/tight bass. Texture is lacking and individual strikes aren’t distinct (but the sound is shouty…). The (02:55-03:01) section with the chopper isn’t very clean and detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), not enough quantity to be fun nor low enough to be neutral. Tightness, speed and texture is nothing special either. Sounds grainy as well.

Sub-bass: Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extension isn’t very good and low rumble as well. Punch quantity is lacking quantity, tightness, speed and texture.

Will Sparks – Sick like that (03:08-03:22), lacking texture, quantity, speed and tightness.

Mids: Not recessed like the original Tape, but not very forward either. Female vocals are more tonally correct due to the brightness but is harsh, grainy, shouty and sometimes sharp. While male vocals are shouty and lacking warmth.

Female-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), vocal quantity is good, that is that they are forward enough. But quality is unnatural and not very detailed.

Yuki Hayashi – MightU (01:58-02:55), vocal quantity is good, that is that they are forward enough. But quality is unnatural and not very detailed.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), sharp and very fatiguing.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Crescent (02:07-02:26), very sharp and extremely fatiguing.

Male-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), quantity is fine, but quality sounds very unnatural and not very detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), not enough warmth and sounds unnatural.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), sharp electric guitars but not very detailed either.

Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), very shouty and imaging/instrument separation is a mess.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), unnatural timbre, tonality, texture and details are bad on both the violins/cellos.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), harsh, grainy and unnatural.

Soundstage: below average at this price range.

Tonality: Very weird tonality as it doesn’t have recessed mids (which is a typical V-shape), not very boosted bass and massive lower treble peaks (2.5k and 3.5k) and then just no treble at all after that point. Cymbals is barely heard as a result and very poor micro details. Timbre is very unnatural as well. So, I guess calling it “balanced” is the closest signature for it…

Details: below average details

Instrument Separation: below average, sounds chaotic on busier tracks.



Comparisons:

IEM: Shuoer Tape (stock), Final Audio Type E LL, cable 168 (4.4mm)

Bass:
Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Extends lower and rumbles more on the Tape. Punch quantity is also more, tighter, faster and more textured. The pro sounds less clean, lower details and harsher/grainier.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), more quantity, faster, tighter and more textured on the Tape.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), more quantity, faster and tighter on the Tape and it isn’t shouty.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), more forward vocals on the Pro, but cleaner, more detailed and not harsh/grainy on the Tape. (you could say the tape sounds more natural because it is cleaner and not grainy…)

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), cleaner, more details and less sharp on the Tape.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), more forward vocals on the Pro but tonality and details are better on the Tape.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), more detailed on the Tape and sharper and grainier/harsher on the Pro.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), details, tonality, and clarity are better on the Tape with both the violins/cellos. Overall naturality is also better because of those factors, even though timbre is fairly similar (although the Tape has a bit better timbre anyway…).

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), recessed vocals on the Tape, more forward on the Pro. Cleaner, better tonality, not harsh/grainy on the Tape.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), soundstage, details, instrument separation, imaging and even the timbre is better on the Tape.

Overall: The original Tape is better than the Pro. The Pro makes the Tape (that I consider shouty and sharp) to be mild and relaxing…



IEM: LZ A6 mini (black filter), KZ Starline L tips, Tri Through cable (4.4mm)

Bass:
Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower on the mini but rumble is similar. Punch quantity is a bit higher and faster, tighter and more textured on the mini. Much cleaner as well.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), quantity is similar but tighter, faster, more textured and cleaner on the mini.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), much faster, tighter bass on the mini but is similarly textured. Both are shouty.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Tonality, details, clarity and vocal quantity are much better on the mini.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), unclean, less detailed and sharper on the Pro.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), tonality on both is lacking warmth/thickness, but is cleaner and more detailed on the mini.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), sharp electric guitars on both, but more detailed on the mini.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), timbre, details, texture and clarity are better on the mini with the violins/cellos. Tonality with the violin is better on the mini as well, but the tonality with the cellos is similar on both.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), details, clarity are better on the mini without it being grainy.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Soundstage, detail, instrument separation, imaging and timbre are better on the mini.

Overall: The A6 mini is performing on another level and is doing so at 33% of the price of the tape pro. (also has 3 different tuning filters that actually changes the sound…)

False Marketing: This is an important point that I will bring up. In my opinion, the Tape Pro (and the previous Tape) DOES NOT USE ELECTROSTATS! They are using a driver that is developed by a Korean company called “Earbridge” that is combining a DD with their own “magneto-static” driver, where the DD is taking care of the bass and the magneto-stat is taking care of the mids/treble. This in my opinion is blatant false marketing because they are using it as a way to get buyers, since the marketing term “electrostatic” is such a powerful bait.

Now it does look like Shuoer themselves have corrected it and is calling it a dd + magnetostat:
1607801962257.png

But the other 3rd party sellers need to change it as well.

1607801974964.png

Source: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-world-s-first-magneto-static-earphone-hpsd-e70#/



Conclusion: The Tape Pro is a miserable failure, that doesn’t even live up to the same standards that the previous Tape has. Not recommended, and even with EQ on it, the original Tape (with EQ) still sounds better and of higher quality.

Graph:
Tape Pro.png


Cable source: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/resistance-of-cables-pics-comments-and-links.907998/

Reference/test songs:
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F700
F700
One Punch Man Serious Punch 🤜
NeonHD
NeonHD
This was exactly the review I was expecting, had a hunch the Tape Pro was nothing special. I mean, yuck, that graph pretty much screams generic chi-fi sound.
activatorfly
activatorfly
Pure fantasy!
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