Spider "realvoice" Vertical in the Ear Headphone

General Information

• Pro quality sound reproduction
• Acoustically-tuned and balanced high end 12.5mm Neodymium driver
• Vertical earphone design delivers a high-definition sound stage
• Noise-isolating technology further isolates outside noise and enables deep punchy bass for the ultimate audio experience
• Copper-Clad Aluminum Wire (CCAW) voice coils for accurate and linear response

Universal Compatibility
• Adjust the volume, control playback of your music, record voice memos and answer calls
• Remote and mic compatible with iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4G, iPad and iPod
• Audio is supported by all iPod models and devices with a 3.5mm jack
• Compatible with Apple Voice Control and Voice Over technology (iPhone 3GS and iPod shuffle 3rd gen)
• iChat and Skype compatible

Outstanding Ergonomic Comfort Fit Design
• Newly designed super soft silicone fittings
• Three pairs of both black and clear silicone fittings (S, M, L)

• Spider Remote headphones with three-button remote and high fidelity, omni-directional microphone
• Three pairs (S,M,L) of silicone ear fittings in black
• Premium black carrying pouch
• Small Clip for prevent falling off your body
• Black hook for attaching to your bag

Latest reviews

Pros: Great voice reproduction, works well with IPhone, good soundstage overall. Good comfort and fit. Cable does not tangle. Easy to just pick up and use.
Cons: Not analytical (this is also a plus), highs slightly recessed.
First off the disclaimer, the Realvoice IEM’S were given to me a month or two back for reviewing. I would like to thank Spider Cable for the review sample and my apologies for taking so long in writing this review.
Since I have had these I have used them about 75% of the time when I am using earphones, which probably averages about two hours per day. So I have put quite a few hours into them and they are as burned in as one would expect. I own quite a few earphones as well as many full size headphones. I have used this on both my 3rd generation IPhone and on my cowon  J3. This reviewer’s ears are on the midlife side of age, so take general observations with a grain of salt. Hearing, especially at the high end of the spectrum, does degrade over time.  
 What I like:
Sound signature: Fun sound with bass that is non-intrusive but still gives a kick, excellent mids, and smooth highs, sound is non-fatiguing. Mids are warm and clear, voice presentation is especially good. Tremble is there but not overly sparkly, perhaps a bit recessed; this is not an earphone for those who like overly sparkly trembles. The non-fatiguing signature does not over emphasize detail in the music, these really are a fun earphone and not analytical. On the J3, when bass boost is used, the bass sound becomes really punchy and quite good without being muddy. They respond very well to EQ on the J3, really shining across the spectrum.  Still, without EQ, the earphones really shine with vocal presentation, a point also made by other reviewers. However, I should stress that the sound signature without EQ is equal or slightly better than the best in the same price range, including the RE0 as well as many earphones going up to the $175 price range.          
Fit and comfort:
So why have I used these so much in the last couple of months when there are obviously more expensive and better sounding earphones in my collection?  The Realvoice earphones fit well, are comfortable, and are relatively easy to just dig out of your bag and use. The lines do not tangle as easily as many of my earphones. The earphones do not go over ear so it’s a basic insert into your ear and you are set to roll. The fit is almost always the correct fit, I use double flange tips, and they do a great job with both the sound and the seal. These fit and are more comfortable than many of the earphones I own that are twice as expensive.
The Realvoice earphones are built well with solid medal earpieces that look to withstand being thrown loosely into a bag on a regular basis, as mine have been. The packaging has been described before, see for example: http://www.inearmatters.net/2011/08/review-spider-realvoice.html , so I will not go into that description.
Review request:
Spider Cable requested, when giving out samples of the Realvoice IEM’S, that the reviewer have an iPhone and one of several earphones within the $50-$100, including a pair of Head-Direct RE-0, to compare them to. I found these earphones to work really well with the iPhone. I’m actually not a big fan of the sound of the iPhone, the sound just didn’t compare to the sound of my Zune or the J3. These earphones actually made the iPhone sound better than with some of the other sub-hundred earphones I’ve used with it. The volume/mute control on the earphone line is quite handy as well. If you use an iPhone to listen to your music, than I would recommend this earphone. The sound reproduction is good, and the controls are useful. That said, the music still sounds much better on the J3 playing through these earphones.
As for the comparison with the Head Direct RE0, I would rate them very close in sound signature. After a week of going back and forth with the two, I finally just left the RE0 at home. It was easier to use the Realvoice earphones, they fit better, did not tangle as much, and the soundstage was as good or better to my ears.
My recommendation:
The Realvoice IEM’S are recommended at their current price, they do a great job within the cost/performance ratio. They are built very well, are very comfortable and easy to just pick up and use with a great sound that is mid-centric with a slight bass boost. They are easy to EQ for those music players that have that capability; they work well with the iPhone, and sell at a very reasonable price for the IEM one gets.     
What else do I own or have owned:
Ultimate Ears Super.fi 4, Shure 530, Westone 3, HiFiMAN RE262,  Shure SE535, Westone 4, Phonak Audeo PFE-112, Shure SE215, Phiaton PS 200, EarSonics SM3, Victor/JVC HA-FX700, Brainwavz M3, Fischer Audio DBA-02, Monster Golds, Monster Copper, Monster Miles Davis - 176.46, MEElectronics A151-BK , Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10,  and the ATH-CK10.
For the purpose of this review, I also borrowed my daughter’s pair of Head-Direct RE-0, this year’s model. 
Pros: Build quality. Sleek. Vocal.
Cons: Might not be best for non-vocal music.
First, I’ll like to thank Spider Cable for the sample. Spider Cable is a relatively small company in the mighty competitive cable market, but they don’t intend to stop at just the cable market. As their first IEM, realvoice is special in the way that it is intentionally tuned to maximize vocal performance, or should I say, to capture the emotion in the singer’s voice. Costing only about US$90, this unique IEM has became one of my favorite in the sub-$100 category.


Unfortunately the sampling CD isn't included due to international copyright issue.
Driver: Dynamic Driver 12.5mm
Impedance: 18 ohms
Frequency Response: 5Hz~20000Hz
Sensitivity: 107dB
Cord Length: 120cm



Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
The IEM comes in a well printed paper box. Nothing very fancy and just a little thin for my taste, but overall up to the task.  For accessories, there is a shirt clip, four pairs of single flange eartips (XS, S, M, L), one pair of small’ish bi-flanges eartips, a zipped hard case and a backpack clip to use with the hard case. Overall, the accessories are very well made. For those who have the older package, you might only have three pair of single flange eartips in the package (mainly the XS, S, and L). You can email Spider for extra free pair of middle side eartips. While the eartips are decent, I rather prefer using alternative single flange with a wider nozzle opening (i.e. MEElec single flange) to improve the detail and openness over the stock narrow eartips. Build quality is quite decent, especially on the metal earpieces. It is heavier and larger than other IEM with side mounted transducer in my collection, but it is surprisingly comfortable and doesn’t feel awkward in use, just don’t run with it. What is less impressive however is the slightly thin cable from the Y-splitter up to the earpiece. It could use a slightly thicker cable and perhaps better strain relief as well. The iPhone / iPod compatible mic+remote has an uncommon design though I find no problem with it. Microphonics is below average. Isolation is quite good. Not the best around but more than enough to handle anything but the noisiest environment.


Sound Quality
The IEM has been given at least 50 hours of burn-in before the review. Not major sonic change was detected.
The sound signature of the realvoice is very warm, sweet, relaxing yet not laid back and with a smooth upper end. Bass hits hard and has a full body. It can get slightly boomy at time which results in texture lost, but overall it remains in relatively good control and doesn’t become muddy. Mid is the strength of the overall presentation, pairing well with the bass but not overly done. It is warm to almost lush, sweet, intimate, well textured but not excessively up-front. It feels like the singer is right there with you, but not singing into your face or become overly vocal dominance that drowns out the small detail. Treble has sparkle, but small in amount and takes a step back in the overall presentation. It rolls off just a bit too early at 15kHz, but the lower end of the treble is able to maintain just enough micro detail not to feel overly smooth or totally lacking. However, the lack of upper extension translates to the damping of transparency and air. Because of that, soundstage is a little below average, which is not something uncommon for a very vocal centric sound.

The side-mounted IEM gathering - Spider realvoice, Radius DDM and Sony MDR-EX700.
Coloration is really the key with realvoice. While there are other IEM in the same price range that are technically better (i.e. Sunrise Xcape-IE, a few of the HifiMan), or even a few that also do vocal quite well (Sherwood SE-777, MEElectronics A151), the realvoice is really able to standout on its own by offering a distinct vocal that is relaxing, warm-and-fuzzy to a point of almost euphonic. It is the kind of IEM that wants you to listen to the music instead of listen to the IEM – and realvoice is doing a good job at that.

While it might not be one-size-fits-all regarding genre versatility, Spider has made the right decision to make the realvoice shines at what it is good at. Combining good build quality, comfort on the fit and one of the best vocal performances under $100, the realvoice is certainly quite a bargain and an easy recommendation for vocal lovers. With news of a no-mic version going to be released in the near future at an even lower price, I have a feeling that we might have a Sonic Diamond in the making.


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