FlaresPro/FlaresGold by Flare Audio
Sep 19, 2017 at 4:19 PM Post #226 of 1,339

Arysyn

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Anyone that has these able to do a proper comparison against the R2 Pro and also out of interest to the IBasso IT03? On the fence whether to trade in my pro's, they don't get much use these days but there's something special about them which is why I've never let them go.

Well, I'm getting the R2A soon, from a trade recently. So in my opinion the best product I had for trade, the Meridian Explorer2, isn't available anymore. However, I have an Ocharaku Silver Moon to trade (I'll look up the exact model name later tonight when I return home).

If I can get the R2Pro, I'll do an extensive review of them in comparison with the FlaresPro. I'll even add in how they compare with the excellent MD/HFM RE-00.
 
Sep 19, 2017 at 4:52 PM Post #227 of 1,339

Fiberoptix

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Ah, sorry mate I meant trade in for the part exchange deal for the Flares Pro. I'm hoping to get to the Indulgence show in London week after next and get some decent demo time in then. I could then also post back with some comparisons.
 
Sep 19, 2017 at 6:23 PM Post #228 of 1,339

HiFlight

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I did own the R2 Pro and R2A and both were OK, but not at the top of my keeper list. The Flares Pro are for sure on my keeper list. The sound is great with all of my genres, the fit is actually better than my earlier R2's and the Bluetooth adapter is something I use nearly all the time when out and about. The fit is much less fussy and build is stronger than my IT03, although the sound of the IT03 is quite good overall.
 
Sep 20, 2017 at 6:46 PM Post #229 of 1,339

Arysyn

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I did own the R2 Pro and R2A and both were OK, but not at the top of my keeper list. The Flares Pro are for sure on my keeper list. The sound is great with all of my genres, the fit is actually better than my earlier R2's and the Bluetooth adapter is something I use nearly all the time when out and about. The fit is much less fussy and build is stronger than my IT03, although the sound of the IT03 is quite good overall.
What would you say are the differences in the sound between them?
 
Sep 21, 2017 at 8:33 AM Post #230 of 1,339

HiFlight

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What would you say are the differences in the sound between them?
As I can recall, the soundstage of the Flares Pro is more expansive and dimensional. I also prefer the instrumental and vocal timbre.
As always, preferences are an individual choice. The balanced Bluetooth module is very important to me as well.
 
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Sep 28, 2017 at 4:52 AM Post #232 of 1,339

barondla

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Sep 28, 2017 at 3:53 PM Post #234 of 1,339

Arysyn

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Really interested in FlaresPro. How is it with female and male vocals? I prefer a forward vocals. TIA.

I find the vocals to be plenty forward, and I hate recessed vocals, even the slightest bit. However, some have reported finding the vocals a bit recessed, so I'm not sure of any differences perhaps between units?

Flare Audio has the unit I sent back. They refunded me promptly, great company. Plus, they are testing for the issues I noted in the upper treble and apparently whatever else might be off a bit, though the only issue I heard was in the upper treble range. I'll keep updated here.
 
Sep 28, 2017 at 7:35 PM Post #235 of 1,339

wuwhere

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I find the vocals to be plenty forward, and I hate recessed vocals, even the slightest bit. However, some have reported finding the vocals a bit recessed, so I'm not sure of any differences perhaps between units?

Flare Audio has the unit I sent back. They refunded me promptly, great company. Plus, they are testing for the issues I noted in the upper treble and apparently whatever else might be off a bit, though the only issue I heard was in the upper treble range. I'll keep updated here.

Thanks for the reply. A recessed mids won't do it for me since most of the music I listen to have vocals.
 
Oct 3, 2017 at 5:27 PM Post #236 of 1,339

Arysyn

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First I'd like to say R.I.P. to Tom Petty, and hope he's in a beautiful wonderland many of his songs/music videos took his fans to. I'm not a listener to most popular music, especially nowadays, but Tom Petty was one of the few I did, and I look forward to the time when I can meet him and to tell him how some of his music really helped me at a time when I was transitioning from a pretty awful situation in my life back in 1993.

I've spent the past 30 minutes or so listening to some of his songs and music videos through the R2A DannyKing traded with me, and while I'm going to make a further review of these soon, especially in comparison with the FlaresPro, I definitely think the R2A is better than the FlaresPro. There is less bass quantity, maybe a bit more forward on the vocals, though the FlaresPro did not sound recessed in the vocals at all to me.

The biggest difference is in the upper treble tuning. The R2A does not have the metallic hissy fizz-like sound in the upper treble cymbal/tambourine instruments as the FlaresPro has, or is present on some units of it. Flare Audio currently is investigating the matter and will give an update to me when they figure out the main cause. Again though, I suspect its the extended upper treble hump that is causing the issue, and for those who don't notice it, either your unit has a tuning difference, or your source is capable of altering it somehow.

Either way, the R2A does not have this issue. Now as far as how the R2A compares with the excellent Massdrop HiFiMan RE-00, I'm going to do some comparisons soon, likely towards the end of next week, as I've got to deal with some health matters again this week and next, along with other stuff that needs to be done, before I can put my full focus into audio. When I do though, I plan on writing comprehensively about the FlaresPro, the R2A, the RE-00, and even finally getting around to my much delayed review of the excellent Meridian Explorer2.

Also, I'm still interested in the R2Pro model, if anyone is willing to sell or trade, or even do a temporary swap of earphones for listening and/or review purposes.
 
Oct 4, 2017 at 6:12 AM Post #237 of 1,339

sodesuka

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Hmm, I found the high can wildly vary depending on the tips used (more than with other IEMs), but maybe you really did get an anomaly, can't be sure about the variance stuff without getting another Pro (which I'm actually contemplating as a backup).

They're still my ultimate benchmark but the KC09 comes admirably close for a fraction of the price, I would still get Flares Pro every time if I had the choice though.

Edit: okay maybe not so close after all lol. damn, the vocals sound very real with the right recording on flares pro, most real I've heard from headphones/earbuds/IEMs yet.
 
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Oct 6, 2017 at 4:27 PM Post #238 of 1,339

Magick Man

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Any more word on a balanced adapter cable? These really need one.
 
Oct 6, 2017 at 7:50 PM Post #239 of 1,339

HiFlight

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Any more word on a balanced adapter cable? These really need one.
It only costs about $17 to make up a set of balanced cables using these couplers. You can then use your favorite balanced cables with the Flares cable. You can check it out HERE from one of my earlier posts.
 
Oct 11, 2017 at 1:12 PM Post #240 of 1,339

Bananiq

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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.

IMG-4016.JPG
(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.

Price paid:
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.
 
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