Precog's IEM Reviews & Impressions
Jul 19, 2022 at 1:44 AM Post #2,476 of 2,722

Precogvision

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Cayin RU6 Impressions

Price: $250
Unit kindly loaned for review by @antdroid
You can read his review
here for an alternative perspective.


dongle9.jpg


A few people have asked for my impressions on the RU6, and I can now oblige thanks to Antdroid graciously sending his out on loan. The RU6 has two distinct modes: OS and NOS. The OS mode of the RU6 is generally mediocre to my ears. It sounds etched and sharp in the treble, and the midrange is likewise quite lean. That's not to mention decay transients on this mode which are truncated to the point of which they amount to little texture. Moving along, the real selling point of the RU6 is intended to be its NOS mode which takes advantage of the device's R-2R configuration. On this setting, I found the RU6 to be quite warm, mostly thanks to what sounds like a pronounced roll-off after 15kHz. Bass is perhaps a tad boosted, the midrange favors the lower-midrange, and treble is wholly smooth. On one hand, I can see why this type of sound might appeal to some listeners. It's fatigue-free, the timbre is pleasant, and it's quite "musical". On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore that this warmth negatively impacts the RU6's ability to resolve detail. Transients are generally soupy and, realistically, I find the Apple USB-C dongle to surpass the RU6 for clarity in A/B. Transients on the RU6 decay slowly enough to pull off some sense of texture, but it's difficult to knock the feeling that they're a little too pulled out and entering blurred territory. The RU6's sense of dynamic contrast, slam, and imaging are all fairly average as well.

At the end of the day, I'm not exactly sure what to make of the RU6. The OS mode is vanilla in a bad way, and while the NOS mode does have some novel, it's also not without its share of drawbacks. If one is partial to the synergy game, then I suppose the RU6 could have some utility for taming brighter or more aggressive sets. But at least to my ears, it's playing within a niche within a niche.

Critical listening was done off of my iPad Air 4 with lossless files and my 64A U12t and Symphonium Helios.
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 1:52 AM Post #2,477 of 2,722

Precogvision

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Is the treble air any good, or is it metallic because it peaks too early? The graph looks quite promising to me.
The extension is good...I do think that the timbre could use some work not unlike all the other recent planar IEMs on the market.
When can we expect the video review?
Probably in the next couple days
Hi.
I heard Custom Art Fibae 7 Unlimited few days ago.
It sounds amazing! Try and compare it with U12t, please.
I'll take a look and see if I can get a review unit, as they're not as well-known in the States. If that's not possible, I'll probably be able to hear it at CanJam SoCal as Musicteck is slated to be there :)
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 1:54 AM Post #2,478 of 2,722

Harisankar

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Cayin RU6 Impressions

Price: $250
Unit kindly loaned for review by @antdroid
You can read his review
here for an alternative perspective.


dongle9.jpg

A few people have asked for my impressions on the RU6, and I can now oblige thanks to Antdroid graciously sending his out on loan. The RU6 has two distinct modes: OS and NOS. The OS mode of the RU6 is generally mediocre to my ears. It sounds etched and sharp in the treble, and the midrange is likewise quite lean. That's not to mention decay transients on this mode which are truncated to the point of which they amount to little texture. Moving along, the real selling point of the RU6 is intended to be its NOS mode which takes advantage of the device's R-2R configuration. On this setting, I found the RU6 to be quite warm, mostly thanks to what sounds like a pronounced roll-off after 15kHz. Bass is perhaps a tad boosted, the midrange favors the lower-midrange, and treble is wholly smooth. On one hand, I can see why this type of sound might appeal to some listeners. It's fatigue-free, the timbre is pleasant, and it's quite "musical". On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore that this warmth negatively impacts the RU6's ability to resolve detail. Transients are generally soupy and, realistically, I find the Apple USB-C dongle to surpass the RU6 for clarity in A/B. Transients on the RU6 decay slowly enough to pull off some sense of texture, but it's difficult to knock the feeling that they're a little too pulled out and entering blurred territory. The RU6's sense of dynamic contrast, slam, and imaging are all fairly average as well.

At the end of the day, I'm not exactly sure what to make of the RU6. The OS mode is vanilla in a bad way, and while the NOS mode does have some novel, it's also not without its share of drawbacks. If one is partial to the synergy game, then I suppose the RU6 could have some utility for taming brighter or more aggressive sets. But at least to my ears, it's playing within a niche within a niche.

Critical listening was done off of my iPad Air 4 with lossless files and my 64A U12t and Symphonium Helios.
I find that the RU6 pairs very well with the 7hz Timeless in 4.4mm connection in high gain
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 1:57 AM Post #2,479 of 2,722

Damz87

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Jul 19, 2022 at 2:37 AM Post #2,480 of 2,722

Harisankar

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Cayin RU6 Impressions

Price: $250
Unit kindly loaned for review by @antdroid
You can read his review
here for an alternative perspective.


dongle9.jpg

A few people have asked for my impressions on the RU6, and I can now oblige thanks to Antdroid graciously sending his out on loan. The RU6 has two distinct modes: OS and NOS. The OS mode of the RU6 is generally mediocre to my ears. It sounds etched and sharp in the treble, and the midrange is likewise quite lean. That's not to mention decay transients on this mode which are truncated to the point of which they amount to little texture. Moving along, the real selling point of the RU6 is intended to be its NOS mode which takes advantage of the device's R-2R configuration. On this setting, I found the RU6 to be quite warm, mostly thanks to what sounds like a pronounced roll-off after 15kHz. Bass is perhaps a tad boosted, the midrange favors the lower-midrange, and treble is wholly smooth. On one hand, I can see why this type of sound might appeal to some listeners. It's fatigue-free, the timbre is pleasant, and it's quite "musical". On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore that this warmth negatively impacts the RU6's ability to resolve detail. Transients are generally soupy and, realistically, I find the Apple USB-C dongle to surpass the RU6 for clarity in A/B. Transients on the RU6 decay slowly enough to pull off some sense of texture, but it's difficult to knock the feeling that they're a little too pulled out and entering blurred territory. The RU6's sense of dynamic contrast, slam, and imaging are all fairly average as well.

At the end of the day, I'm not exactly sure what to make of the RU6. The OS mode is vanilla in a bad way, and while the NOS mode does have some novel, it's also not without its share of drawbacks. If one is partial to the synergy game, then I suppose the RU6 could have some utility for taming brighter or more aggressive sets. But at least to my ears, it's playing within a niche within a niche.

Critical listening was done off of my iPad Air 4 with lossless files and my 64A U12t and Symphonium Helios.
Hai Precog,
I have the opportunity to get a used Seeaudio Midnight and a new 7hz Dioko for the same price (99$). Which of these two will you recommend? I am looking for a more midrange /vocal lush set as a complement to my 7hz Timeless.
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 9:16 AM Post #2,481 of 2,722

nihalsharma

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I have had an opportunity to audition Empire Ears EVO and 64 Audio Fourte. EVO is certainly a bass monster. The bass is done in an incredible way. I do not have complaints about vocals or the mid-range. They are also really good. I can imagine why it is such a revered IEM in the audiophile community.

But I found Fourte to be a lot much better. Whatever I found lacking or constrained in the EVO is a lot more open and refined in the Fourte. Coming from a Sennheiser HD800S background, which is king of soundstage, I could relate more with Fourte than with the EVO. Fourte has this headphone like feeling where imaging, soundstage(width and height) every thing is just too good.

I cannot understand why Fourte has been placed so low in the ranking list. I find other iems rated really well. I can also understand the love for U12t. I had an opportunity to listen to these couple of years back when I had a CA Andromeda and I was just amazed with U12t. But, does the Fourte's low ranking justify?
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 9:39 AM Post #2,482 of 2,722

ian91

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Cayin RU6 Impressions

Price: $250
Unit kindly loaned for review by @antdroid
You can read his review
here for an alternative perspective.


dongle9.jpg

A few people have asked for my impressions on the RU6, and I can now oblige thanks to Antdroid graciously sending his out on loan. The RU6 has two distinct modes: OS and NOS. The OS mode of the RU6 is generally mediocre to my ears. It sounds etched and sharp in the treble, and the midrange is likewise quite lean. That's not to mention decay transients on this mode which are truncated to the point of which they amount to little texture. Moving along, the real selling point of the RU6 is intended to be its NOS mode which takes advantage of the device's R-2R configuration. On this setting, I found the RU6 to be quite warm, mostly thanks to what sounds like a pronounced roll-off after 15kHz. Bass is perhaps a tad boosted, the midrange favors the lower-midrange, and treble is wholly smooth. On one hand, I can see why this type of sound might appeal to some listeners. It's fatigue-free, the timbre is pleasant, and it's quite "musical". On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore that this warmth negatively impacts the RU6's ability to resolve detail. Transients are generally soupy and, realistically, I find the Apple USB-C dongle to surpass the RU6 for clarity in A/B. Transients on the RU6 decay slowly enough to pull off some sense of texture, but it's difficult to knock the feeling that they're a little too pulled out and entering blurred territory. The RU6's sense of dynamic contrast, slam, and imaging are all fairly average as well.

At the end of the day, I'm not exactly sure what to make of the RU6. The OS mode is vanilla in a bad way, and while the NOS mode does have some novel, it's also not without its share of drawbacks. If one is partial to the synergy game, then I suppose the RU6 could have some utility for taming brighter or more aggressive sets. But at least to my ears, it's playing within a niche within a niche.

Critical listening was done off of my iPad Air 4 with lossless files and my 64A U12t and Symphonium Helios.

NOS is my preferred setting with nearly every set and you've captured it pretty well in writing. The Dioko and NOS synergise well out of 4.4mm. It tames some of the treble and introduces some 'more natural' transient control to the otherwise snappy and critical planar sound.
 
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Jul 19, 2022 at 10:02 AM Post #2,483 of 2,722

firesign

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I have had an opportunity to audition Empire Ears EVO and 64 Audio Fourte. EVO is certainly a bass monster. The bass is done in an incredible way. I do not have complaints about vocals or the mid-range. They are also really good. I can imagine why it is such a revered IEM in the audiophile community.

But I found Fourte to be a lot much better. Whatever I found lacking or constrained in the EVO is a lot more open and refined in the Fourte. Coming from a Sennheiser HD800S background, which is king of soundstage, I could relate more with Fourte than with the EVO. Fourte has this headphone like feeling where imaging, soundstage(width and height) every thing is just too good.

I cannot understand why Fourte has been placed so low in the ranking list. I find other iems rated really well. I can also understand the love for U12t. I had an opportunity to listen to these couple of years back when I had a CA Andromeda and I was just amazed with U12t. But, does the Fourte's low ranking justify?
It is usually due to problems related to its tonality.
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 10:30 AM Post #2,484 of 2,722

GrBm

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So,… why don’t all (or, any) DAP/dongle reviews include FR graphs of the outputs? That’s not a rag on individual reviewers (unless they do a lot of such reviews), but you (or I) would think at least the parent sites could (should) invest in a decent oscilloscope. Trying to decide what source to buy when there’s no way of knowing if it even has a clean (read: flat) output signal,… especially when practically EVERY reviewer goes into great detail about how NOT clean/flat the devices are WITHOUT disclaimers,… (obviously that doesn’t include pregoc, that disclaimer a page back should be an industry standard).
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 12:10 PM Post #2,485 of 2,722
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So,… why don’t all (or, any) DAP/dongle reviews include FR graphs of the outputs? That’s not a rag on individual reviewers (unless they do a lot of such reviews), but you (or I) would think at least the parent sites could (should) invest in a decent oscilloscope. Trying to decide what source to buy when there’s no way of knowing if it even has a clean (read: flat) output signal,… especially when practically EVERY reviewer goes into great detail about how NOT clean/flat the devices are WITHOUT disclaimers,… (obviously that doesn’t include pregoc, that disclaimer a page back should be an industry standard).

I think it's because it's not the primary focus of the DAP community - most people already know DAPs all affect sound ins some way and their house brands have certain 'house sounds' that will influence things in some way. They don't need specifics, and a result, hasn't asked for it.

Just taking a guess and providing my 2 cents here :)
 
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Jul 19, 2022 at 12:17 PM Post #2,486 of 2,722

GoldenOne

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So,… why don’t all (or, any) DAP/dongle reviews include FR graphs of the outputs? That’s not a rag on individual reviewers (unless they do a lot of such reviews), but you (or I) would think at least the parent sites could (should) invest in a decent oscilloscope. Trying to decide what source to buy when there’s no way of knowing if it even has a clean (read: flat) output signal,… especially when practically EVERY reviewer goes into great detail about how NOT clean/flat the devices are WITHOUT disclaimers,… (obviously that doesn’t include pregoc, that disclaimer a page back should be an industry standard).
You'd struggle to find a DAP/dongle that was NOT a flat FR to be honest.
Other than DAC filter rolloff I'm not aware of any devices that have anything other than a flat frequency response. (Excluding the obvious EQ options like the Mojo 2 or tuning alterations like ifi xBass).
When a DAP sounds different (same as with desktop DACs/Amps) it's almost always a result of distortion level and profile, crosstalk, jitter, output impedance etc, not FR
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 12:39 PM Post #2,487 of 2,722

SenyorC

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So,… why don’t all (or, any) DAP/dongle reviews include FR graphs of the outputs? That’s not a rag on individual reviewers (unless they do a lot of such reviews), but you (or I) would think at least the parent sites could (should) invest in a decent oscilloscope. Trying to decide what source to buy when there’s no way of knowing if it even has a clean (read: flat) output signal,… especially when practically EVERY reviewer goes into great detail about how NOT clean/flat the devices are WITHOUT disclaimers,… (obviously that doesn’t include pregoc, that disclaimer a page back should be an industry standard).

@cqtek shows oscilloscope readings on all his reviews of DAPs, DACs etc. However, as @GoldenOne says, the FR is just a straight line that gets boring seeing it over and over again. The measurements are more for power and output impedance etc.

You can find @cqtek's reviews here on Headfi and also on https://hiendportable.com/
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 4:07 PM Post #2,488 of 2,722

Precogvision

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Hai Precog,
I have the opportunity to get a used Seeaudio Midnight and a new 7hz Dioko for the same price (99$). Which of these two will you recommend? I am looking for a more midrange /vocal lush set as a complement to my 7hz Timeless.

I think the Midnight has more refinement in the tuning department and would be more suitable if you're looking for more warmth (although it's not necessarily very warm). The sense of resolution on the Dioko is probably better.

I have had an opportunity to audition Empire Ears EVO and 64 Audio Fourte. EVO is certainly a bass monster. The bass is done in an incredible way. I do not have complaints about vocals or the mid-range. They are also really good. I can imagine why it is such a revered IEM in the audiophile community.

But I found Fourte to be a lot much better. Whatever I found lacking or constrained in the EVO is a lot more open and refined in the Fourte. Coming from a Sennheiser HD800S background, which is king of soundstage, I could relate more with Fourte than with the EVO. Fourte has this headphone like feeling where imaging, soundstage(width and height) every thing is just too good.

I cannot understand why Fourte has been placed so low in the ranking list. I find other iems rated really well. I can also understand the love for U12t. I had an opportunity to listen to these couple of years back when I had a CA Andromeda and I was just amazed with U12t. But, does the Fourte's low ranking justify?

Hi, if you look at the fine details of the rankings, you'll see that the Fourte mostly gets knocked on the basis of the tuning which takes too many creative liberties for my tastes. Nasal, too bright, blunted bass, etc. If you come from an 800S background, though, I can totally understand why you like the Fourte, as it does have one of the largest stages I've heard of an IEM. But if you're wondering why I've not ranked them at the top for imaging, the issue I have with their imaging - and this is just me personally - is that they sound unnatural to me. The 800S's wide soundstage exacerbates what I hear as a distinct lack of center image on headphones. On the other hand, the Fourte actually has stronger center imaging; however, the recessions at 1kHz and 3kHz lend to some oddity to its imaging (and tonality as noted above).

So,… why don’t all (or, any) DAP/dongle reviews include FR graphs of the outputs? That’s not a rag on individual reviewers (unless they do a lot of such reviews), but you (or I) would think at least the parent sites could (should) invest in a decent oscilloscope. Trying to decide what source to buy when there’s no way of knowing if it even has a clean (read: flat) output signal,… especially when practically EVERY reviewer goes into great detail about how NOT clean/flat the devices are WITHOUT disclaimers,… (obviously that doesn’t include pregoc, that disclaimer a page back should be an industry standard).

Like Golden and some others noted, the FR graph is not very useful for source measurements unless you're looking at something like iFi's XBass feature. I am definitely interested in getting more measurement tools in the future, though. The analyzer that Golden, ASR, and some others use is far out of reach financially for me, but something that I want to do is start measure the output impedance of sources and the impedance curve of IEMs. At the Headphones.com office, they've also put together A/B boxes for sources that I'd love to eventually get my hands on.


Thankfully, I don't think I've gotten much pushback for my reviews in the last year or so haha. Relatively speaking, I remember reading Animus' thread a couple years ago and there'd be flame wars in that thread pretty much every time he dropped a new post! There's probably some confirmation bias on my end, but it's nice to see that the review industry has been pivoting if slowly but surely...
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 5:42 PM Post #2,489 of 2,722

jlemaster1957

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NOS is my preferred setting with nearly every set and you've captured it pretty well in writing. The Dioko and NOS synergise well out of 4.4mm. It tames some of the treble and introduces some 'more natural' transient control to the otherwise snappy and critical planar sound.
Agreed- I much Appreciated your review Precog. Silly me, I had been using RU-6 only on OS mode (why?) so missed whatever goodness was there in NOS. Listening in NOS today (to Monarch Mk2 with stock cables and Azla Xelastic tips) I affirm RU-6 in that mode is much better than OS, though along the lines you stated. I am mostly using it for OTG situations when I want balanced output and my TOTL DAP (Hiby R8) is impractical to bring along (like to the gym, though I have to use Cayin’s own USB-C -> Lightning adapter with my iPhone to do so). I admit that other choices will provide better technical performance. But thanks for directions away from OS!
 
Jul 19, 2022 at 5:50 PM Post #2,490 of 2,722

o0genesis0o

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I cannot understand why Fourte has been placed so low in the ranking list. I find other iems rated really well. I can also understand the love for U12t. I had an opportunity to listen to these couple of years back when I had a CA Andromeda and I was just amazed with U12t. But, does the Fourte's low ranking justify?

Cannot speak for Precog, but my 2cents is that Fourte sounds kind of … odd. I remember the first time trying them, getting all excited about the “largest IEM soundstage”. And then I wonder what the fuzz is about. The orchestra sounds a bit strange with some kind of high-pitched, metallic tine. I’m all for tuning trick to expand soundstage, but I think 64 Audio pushes it too far here. The Trio is wonderful, though, perhaps because its tuning tricks are less extreme comparing to Fourte.
 

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