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Radiopaq Pop Review

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  1. mark2410 Contributor
    Full review to come in post 2 when its done

    for now a running commentry and thoughts.

    when i first put them in my ears it thought omg are these broken but a little fiddling about with them and woosh!!!! music in abundance!!!

    ive since come to the conclusion these have the god dam fussiest fit of anything ever in human history but when you get them just sitting right then wow, i really really like them. they have a completly W shaped sound signature, lots of bass lots of highs and lots of mids and while every so often the ipod plays something thats doesnt work so well with it pretty much every pop type song just sounds great on them. so clean and clear, when you get the fit just right these things are fantastic for £60. actually they remind me a lot of the senn IE8's, so wow and dynamic. these this things can definitely make me smile, get the right song and i find myself grinning and giggling a little.

    a couple of quick pics





    okay just removed from ears and replaced with the IE8's (someone and their impatience made me, naming no names but yes you know who you are!!! [​IMG] )

    and oh my, the IE8 sound so thin in comparison, how weird is that

    edit: not long ago found out that the shure E2c sized tips fit perfectly on these, orange foamies much better than the sony hybrids, yey
  2. mark2410 Contributor
    Radiopaq Pops review

    First impressions: for the first 2 min or so i thought there is something wrong here but then music appeared. Astonishingly impressive music too but playing about with them on the bus going home i just found it next to impossible to get them into that fit sweet spot where the music worked. It felt like the drivers were super sensitive to pressure and their fit just utterly muffled the sound. I was deeply deeply unimpressed. Once i got home it was time to play with the tips and i found that slicing the tips just a little let the air pressure equalise when putting them in. This made getting that fit right sooooo much easier and when you get the fit just right god these things came alive. I was so astonishingly impressed i had to send them to soozieq to have a listen for a couple of days just o have someone to go OMG about them with.

    Thankfully tips wise ive discovered that shure E2c tips fit on the radiopaqs perfectly, particularly the orange foamies which the wonders of ebay provided me with. While still not perfect the orange foamies go along way to fixing the fit sensitivity they have.


    Packaging: the box looks great but is a bit of a bugger to get open for the first time, when you buy them you will see what i mean. A little bit of clear plastic holding other bits of clear plastic together means you cant see how to open them. Also i did kinda feel it a bit stingy that there is no little case or bag for them. Its not a big deal but given the springyness of the cable a little baggy would be rather helpful, but again its no big deal

    Source is a 5G ipod line out via and icon mobile amp. Will also test via just hp out on ipod too

    (btw if these things have any burn in required I can’t say i noticed any)

    Lows: the lows are big fat and abundant. Im not really a bass lover and i cant say i love the bass on these, its a bit loose, there is too much for me and its just a bit too flabby. Then i remember these are meant for pop, people want some big fat ass bass on them and they do it very well, frightengly well for £60 which is something i keep forgetting. These are not IE8 competition really but that’s the comparison i keep jumping to in my head. The IE8 does everything better, no question but they cost like £200 so they had bloody well better. The bass on the pops is so strange, its so huge and abundant but it never feels like its bleeding in to the mids or taking over anything. In fact it never feels like its dominating anything even though its so huge, if you like a big fat wedge of bass then you will like these.

    Mids: the mids are on the whole quite clear and forward but there is a few songs where the vocals seem to be far more distant most often on male quite low vocals. Its very clear the sound signature on there is a W and if the vocals fit outside then they fade away a little. Again its not really a big problem or anything. The mids just work so much better on things a little higher which shockingly is what you likely to find in pop music. Really oddly they don’t seem to like Vanessa Carlton terribly much, usually vocally she stands out above the music but on the pops she doesn’t. Not that she sounds bad in fact the vocals all sound good on the pops, really good for £60. If you like some girly pop then these do them really very well, oh girly boy bands come out well on them too.

    Highs. Hmm got to say if you get the fit perfect then the highs are great but usually an acceptable fit means the highs are just rather good. Most of the time thy feel slightly veiled but for the cost they are great. With their sound sig i keep comparing them in my head to the IE8 and they just always come up lacking but they cost 4 times as much. They highs are good and detailed but never overwhelming, a very nice crispness to them. Very nicely in line with the mids and lows.

    Soundstage: well there isn’t the illusion of music coming from all around you but they certainly give a huge sound, they sound vast and abundant but don’t give very much in the way of airiness or space but they give a huge wall of sound that can be really really fun.

    Comfort: comfort is great, the things are rather small and have no problem disappearing right inside my ears. Nice and small, zero issue on the comfort front. Well other than i think these can be a bit tiring to listen to all day, the sound is so huge on them after about 4 or 5 hours my ears feel as if they need a break. Not really a problem or anything but still could bother some.


    Fit: well this is where my only really complaint with the pops is. The fit is so sensitive, the drivers demand that the pressure on them is just so and with the stock tips i found it a total bugger to get them just right. Now the issue is largely solved with the shure orange foamies but its still not perfect which a huge shame. I can easily see normal people (ie non head-fi’ers) buying these trying them on and just getting this horribly muffled mess. At first i thought they had to be broken they just sounded so crappy. How this issue wasn’t picked up in pre release i really have no idea as its a huge problem i think. Now in all fairness soozieq didn’t seem to have this problem and yes ive mostly fixed it but be warned. If you get them and they sound crap then you really have to play around with the tips and do try some orange foamies, really i think radiopaq need to bundle them with them, or i guess complys could work too but i haven’t tried them.

    Cable: cables fine, a bit stiff but nothing too bad, i really wish they had included a little neck tie slider thingy. Then it might have been possible to wear them over the ear and pull them tight to hold them in place. With the cable being a bit stiff you just have to wear them down. Micrphonics isn’t terrible or anything but id have been happier if i could wear them up.

    Isolation: great with the stock tips that i hate and not so much with the orange foamies, think about senn cx300 level of isolation. Okay but nothing to write home about but fine for on bus use.

    Unamped: well i find they really don’t seem to care if they are amped or not, yes they do improve amped most in the highs but thats prob more to the ipods line out being better than its hp out, no great night and day difference like say there is with the C751. If your using an unamped rig then these will do you fine, given most of their buyers will be using an ipod hp out they go rather nicely together. In fact now using the hp out i cant say i really notice any difference. I can if i A B A B them but really nothing major.

    Value: oh hell yeah, these things are great value so long as would want the kind of sound they deliver. If you want neutral and balanced go look somewhere else. If you want something that’s erm well, errr suited to pop music then these rock. Big thumping bitch ass bass, good clear mids that come through great, Katie Perry yes you can indeed sing. Highs that offer some great clarity and detail but aren’t too sharp on the senses. If you like to listen the latest Now 407 or whatever number they are now up to then these go so well with that kind of music. They give a really fun and alive sound, definitely not for critical listening but if you want something that will make you bounce then they do it really fantastically well for £60. Every complaint i have about them isn’t really anything so major that you wouldn’t buy them, the tips is a problem yes but a fixable one everything else just pails into insignificance.

    Final Conclusion: If you want something kinda cheap and a big spade load of fun then these could be just what you are looking for.
  3. ClieOS Contributor
    Wow, that is quite a lot of info [​IMG]
  4. mark2410 Contributor
    lol just edited in some info, wanted to make sure i got post 2 claimed first
  5. walkingman
    Come on, post some super close up pictures first! [​IMG]
  6. mark2410 Contributor
    just took a couple of pics will add them momentarily, uploads so sloooooow or maybe i should have shrunk the pics first oops

    pics now up, included an IE8 in there so you can see what size they are, i think they look like Q-jays but they not so tiny
  7. soozieq
    Nice pics Mark. The IE8 looks huge beside them, but then the IE8 sits flush with the ears, and I imagine the radiopaq sticks out like the Denon C551's? They do look small though, somewhere in between the q-JAYS and the C551's. And they're priced almost equally with the C551's... hmm, [​IMG]
  8. mark2410 Contributor
    actually the radiopaqs can go in as deep as you like, well those once can anyway not sure about the others as they dif shapes. the pop ones you could loose then in your ears if you wanted to but then you would have issues with their fit troubles.

    god dammit im sat bouncing my head looking like a moron, but me likey these [​IMG]
  9. mark2410 Contributor
    okay just removed from ears and replaced with the IE8's (someone and their impatience made me, naming no names but yes you know who you are!!! [​IMG] )

    and oh my, the IE8 sound so thin in comparison, how weird is that

    hmm i should put this in the commentary post too
  10. cn11
    Nice review Mark! Can you comment a little more in depth on the Radiopaq/IE8 comparisons?
  11. soozieq

    Originally Posted by mark2410 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    okay just removed from ears and replaced with the IE8's (someone and
    their impatience made me, naming no names
    but yes you know who you are!!!
    [​IMG] )

    I know who I am [​IMG]
  12. mark2410 Contributor

    Originally Posted by cn11 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Nice review Mark! Can you comment a little more in depth on the Radiopaq/IE8 comparisons?

    well they have lots of bass and lots of highs like the IE8 and still retaining nice clean mids, i mean they arent as clear and clean as the IE8 obviously but thats the IEM they remind me of most.

    having gone from the pop's to the IE8 the 8's just sounded so thin and bass light in comparison, which is a little shocking but the pops dont feel like they are utter bass monsters since their mids and highs balance them out.

    they are just so dynamic, just whoa i mean they make the IE8 sound relatively balanced and bass light yet themselves they dont sound outrageously unbalanced or bass heavy
  13. cn11
    Wow, sounds like an impressive new earphone. The bass must be something to hear on the Pops. Thanks again for your impressions......
  14. VoLTaG3
    Well if the IE8's sound thin in comparison to the POP's. Your most preferred earphone the Shure SE530's may sound like air. LOL.
  15. soozieq
    I've been so bored waiting for my UM3X to turn up (nearly 2 weeks now), so when Mark asked if I'd like to try out his radiopaq pop, I said YEAH YEAH YEAH! Well, I got a good fit as soon as I put the Sony hybrid tips on, and I have to say they are pretty damn amazing for £60. They're very lively, musical and FUN. I prefer them immediately to the Denon C551's, the midrange is much smoother and more forward and soundstage is nicer. And I prefer them to the CX95 too, mainly because the CX95 was just too warm sounding for me.

    Anyway, these impressions are after just 30 minutes of listening.

    Mark, you're right, they're fun [​IMG]

    The cable noise is not fun [​IMG]
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