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Introducing CL2 Planar (Impressions Thread)

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  1. szore
    I would say the CL2 does not add bass but if bass is there in the recording it will be reproduced faithfully. A friend tried CL2 and rejected them cause he said there was too Much bass!
  2. BiggieBig
    i'm no bass head , but expected a little more slam. certainly very different tuning to everything i've owned (Andromeda, AKG N5005, ie800s)

    Update - Listening a little more last night and had a really pleasurable listening experience. Full of detail and instrumental. At a moment I feel they have a space in my collection but not as sole IEMs.

    As suggested I think I will give them more time before I decide.

    On the plus side I have real issue with fit generally on IEMs, and for me these are the best fitting they don't fall out which is a real bonus for me.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  3. ANOpax
    these aren’t the IEMs you’re looking for...

  4. BlueIguana
    I just received my RHA CL2 today and I wanted to help clear up some confusion about it in the hopes that people who are sitting on the fence won't miss out on a good deal.

    Here's a TLDR for everyone who doesn't feel like reading my whole rant on it: Its an awesome earphone for the money IF and only IF you run it off of really good equipment with good quality files.

    So I'll start off by saying I've been an audiophile for about 20 years ever since I got my first desktop speaker upgrade to a 5.1 setup with a logitech speaker package (forget the model name). I was hooked. Hearing things and feeling the music in a way I never had before opened up a whole new world and I was fascinated by sound ever since.

    I have owned quite a few high quality and mid quality components now and feel like I have somewhat of a grip on differences between various speaker types, sources and components and what they're capable of. Basically to clarify, it's definitely not all snake oil (up to a point!)

    I'm going to be speaking intuitively about these subjects because although I grasp some of the basics with regards to audio tech I'm not a sound engineer or physicist so I can't speak definitively. I can only tell you my perceptions and results.

    I have never owned a planar, but I did recently purchase a pair of Oskar Keil Kithara speakers, which have a ribbon that plays from around 600hz upwards, with a sub covering the lower range below that. It operates under a similar principle to planars and electrostats. There is a thin diaphragm that is energized and manipulated by magnets. This happens much more precisely than a dynamic driver can articulate. Probably partially because of there being less mass to move and therefore the driver is free to move more quickly. This translates to a sense of realism.

    Now what I noticed with my Oskar Heils is that they scale up much more than any dynamic driver speaker I've ever had when I pair them with quality components. Even things like bitrate really started to matter. I can actually hear the difference between 96khz and 384khz output from my dac on the ribbons. Now I doubt I would be able to hear much of a difference on my other more conventional speakers, it just comes down to the fact that the ribbons are capable of rendering the difference in information density.

    I immediately noticed the same thing with the CL2's. I Took them out of the box. I Tried first with the BT cable. Ugh, total disappointment. Sounded miserably thin and like listening through a tin can. Then I tried plugging them directly into my laptop with a supposed 'hifi' 3.5mm jack input. Okay, slightly better, but nothing to write home about. Then I decided to plug them into my McIntosh MA6300 which is fed by an LKS dual mono Dac and plugged into an Exactpower EP15A. Massive overkill to run IEM's on. The difference is night and day.

    Everything opened up, suddenly the textures are palpable. The speed and transients are right up there with my Heil's. Except, just as I was hoping, now the room acoustics are out of the picture (which is half of what your ear hears) things are sounding awesome now. :)

    So my point is, IMO the CL2's are a steal with the price being slashed in half, (I paid $430 USD on amazon). But there's a huge caveat here. They MUST be run directly to an amp that can power them and run off of a decent dac with high res files. Then they come alive. I'm happy with the purchase but I wouldn't have been if I hadn't run them off of my main system. And they may be no good for being trully portable. But I only wanted them to use at home anyhow. So hope this helps.

    Edit: Oh btw, on the eq issue. Before I plugged them into my main system the eq'ing of the CL2's sounded horrible. I played around with it but couldnt get it to sound right. But once I plugged them into my main system with enough resolving power they sound great. No eqing necessary. I know this sounds strange, but its pretty well known in the full size speaker world that most high end speakers dont measure ruler flat, so its not a big issue for me. All I care is that it sounds good to my ears in the end. Every driver has its own character.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  5. BlueIguana
    Another update: Watched a movie last night on the CL2's using the Spatial Audio soundcard software (downloadable on Steam). With excellent results. Almost felt like listening to external speakers at times using the Shanghai studio preset and binaural 7.1 surround with the long room envelope. The bass on these is excellent and the natural sound signature on these is perfect for dialogue. Perhaps not as good as the Smyth Realiser, but not bad for $10 :)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  6. SilverEars
    Sorry if this was already posted, but a review that tells it like it is. God I miss reviews like Tyll's

    szore likes this.
  7. szore
    Nope, much appreciated...
  8. szore
    I got into the review....he talks how it does not stay in his ear....you have to bend the memory wire TOWARDS your ear...it is a 3D adjustment...wrap the memory wire firmly around your ear, and it will stay in place in perfect angle, depth, etc. The wire adjustment is not just 2D!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  9. Spie1904
    I generally don't like dissing on people because everyone is in my opinion entitled to their own opinion and that's fine.
    However I do believe this person loses a bit of credibility with the insertion topic.
    I'm a person who struggles to fit almost any IEM and the CL2 are one of the few that I can comfortably get a great seal on every time.
    I can wear these for hours without any discomfort.

    As for the sound, I run them off an Astell & Kern SP1000M and I honestly have 0 complaints.
    They are one of the best IEM's I've listened to and I much prefer listening to them over my Campfire Andromeda or Etymotic ER4XR.
    However that's a purely personal statement and I'd advise people to simply give it a shot as they are definitely a bit on the unique side.

    However for people who have very small ears and struggle to fit most IEM's, I absolutely recommend to put the CL2 on the shortlist because they are my end game and I've struggled to find a comfortable small / tiny IEM for over 2 years :)
    twiceboss and szore like this.
  10. szore
    Amen. I'm listening to my cl2 right now on my Se100 and it sounds fabulous. Zero distortion, perfectly coherent, rich bass, perfect timbre, tone, I'm in heaven!

    The word "audiophile" has lost its meaning. It used to refer to a Conneseur, now its any yahoo with a YouTube channel and a pair of Beats.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  11. Spie1904
    To be fair, I don't know the man and haven't watched any of his other reviews so I have no clue how knowledgeable he is.
    Other than that I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    I for one think that RHA CL2 sounds very different to the Campfire Andromeda for example.
    And a lot of this is the consequence of tuning choices and I think this is a very polarising experience.
    Some people will enjoy this, others won't.
    IEM's in general are very fit dependent but even FR doesn't always tell the tale in IEM's the way it does for headphones in my opinion.

    Therefore with IEM's, I always advise people to try it and make their own judgement.
    For that perosn specifically for example, he won't ever enjoy the IEM because he can't get a fit with it.
    Whether that's due to bad insertion or because they simply don't fit him, doesn't really matter in terms of whether he'll be able to enjoy these babies.
    For example, it doesn't really matter that people claim Sony IER-Z1R are better for me than CL2 because I won't be able to comfortably listen to music for 2 hours.
    If listening to music becomes a painful experience, what good does it do?

    tl;dr: I think audiophile community sometimes forgets that audio is a subjective thing. Furthermore because of what I've experienced, I rate comfort as the #1 priority. If it's not comfortable, I won't use it for extended periods anyway.
  12. szore
    Yeahhhhhhhh to a point. A Ferrari is a Ferrari and a Yugo is a Yugo.
    Don't forget, Andromeda is BA and cl2 is planar, apples and oranges.
    Spie1904 likes this.
  13. Spie1904
    True, lcdi4 is planar but not closed so not a fair comparison either.
    I don't have the me planar closed iem to compare.
    For me the CL2 are magic :)
    szore likes this.
  14. szore
    It's funny, I was on the verge of getting the Legend X today, but I decided this morning over coffee to just sit tight. Happy at home with my CL2!
  15. Spie1904
    I was also considering getting an other set of IEM's..Xelento or se846 but I just don't know if it will be that much better since the CL2 just thick many boxes for me just fine.
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