I definitely think the R2A is better than the FlaresPro.
I like bold statements like this because they make people question and challenge the obvious bias towards more cost = more SQ rationale.
I have been doing some exhausting testing for past few weeks and going back on forth between stock R2A and FlaresPro that I bought and I've never done a comparison as challenging as this.
But it was a real fun and interesting experience.
Put brand new Complys TX200 tips on both of them for a fair battle.
(the caps on R2A were actually tightened more during listening)
First and foremost this comparison taught me to realize how damn good R2A actually are and to appreciate them even more. All of my impressions are based on R2A vs FlaresPro in regards to each other. I don't have any other "reference" earphone whatever you might consider one.
On first listen it seemed FlaresPro are more extended on both ends, but running a sinewave across frequency range proved that was not the case and both IEMs extend comfortably till the edge of my hearing. Provided silicone tips (orange ones) gave me feeling of bit harsh upper treble as pointed out in previous @Arysyn
posts. However on Comply TX200 tips I was not bothered by that at all.
FlaresPro are very clear-sounding IEMs with amazing bass and vocal reproduction. They are definitely most advanced and neutral IEMs I had overall. Subbass seem to be pronounced more than midbass (in regards to R2A), female vocals appear more upfront. For example Morcheeba - Rome wasn't build in a day and Gimme your love sounded very good and I think better than on R2A. However Sia - Elastic heart, Space between was a bit harsher and sounded better on R2A. I attribute this to different mixing / mastering of producers and Morcheeba seem to have more information in lower mids. FlaresPro render a slight 6khz bump in comparison but I would not consider them overly bright. This reminds me when I compared VE - Duke to R2A
, but FlaresPro are not so harsh and have much better bass.
R2A enhance midbass to lower mids more than FlaresPro. There is more energy in 150hz - 600hz region. However this might be considered as boomy / muddy region of music for some, but I did not observe any bleeding or uncalled information here. Due to this, R2A appear warmer than FlaresPro. Songs like Enya - Orinocco flow and Carribean blue 2009 remaster sounded much fuller and encompassing due to this. The upper frequencies are smoother and more relaxed with treble being delicate but does not miss details. Overall I would rate R2A as warm and FlaresPro as neutral but I think I slightly prefer R2A tuning as it appears more fatigue free.
That being said, I just sent FlaresPro back and was hesitating until last moment whether to do it or not. I love balanced option and BT module but had connection interference through my iPhone sometimes and was expecting better battery life and overall loudness. Anyway I am still unsure if returning FlaresPro was a mistake or not but looking from the price / performance point of view I think nothing beats R2A.
R2A - 100 Eur
FlaresPro - 400 Eur
Are FlaresPro overally better? Yes. Are they 4 times better? No.
As of now I consider them more of a sidegrade rather than direct upgrade to R2A due to sound signature preference. They are higher-tech quality but somehow I like R2A tuning more also because I listen to ambient a lot. YMMV!
Anyways I highly recommend FlaresPro to anyone looking for reference IEMs suited for all use.