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[Review] Encore Rockmaster IE (In-Ear) - well rounded $30 budget hybrid iem [crowdfunding is LIVE]

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  1. nmatheis Contributor
    Listened to Myrkur's new album and some technical metal today.

    MacBook Pro -> Calyx PaT -> RockMaster IE

    Sounded better than the price would've led me to believe :D
     
  2. Armaegis
     
    IMG_6478-j.jpg
     
    Natural light? That's ridiculous...
     
    IMG_6476-j.jpg
     
    For the curious, those are tomato plants in the background.
     
    edit: apparently I'm dumb and put these in the wrong thread [​IMG]
     
  3. jasonl Contributor
  4. nmatheis Contributor

    Great news!

    I was listening to these the other day, and sonething struck me...

    For those of you who've heard VSONIC's elusive 16th Anniversary IEM (ANV16), RockMaster IE have a similar presentation but the RockMasters have a touch more low bass, a bit more mids, and much less peaky upper mids and treble. If you missed out on ANV16 and want a taste, here's your chance...
     
  5. nmatheis Contributor
    Just had another listening session with these tonight as I surfed headfi. This time, I listened to Aphex Twin's Syro with iPhone 5s -> Cozy Astrapi -> RockMaster IE. The Astrapi is quite the little beast and gave the RM IE more punch down low and more energy up top. Nice listening session. I wasn't left wanting.
     
  6. nmatheis Contributor
    By the way, I've been playing around with an inexpensive audio analysis setup and wanted to share what I got for RM IE vs. some other IEM I compared them with awhile back.
     
    I used a calibrated mic, ran pink noise through the IEM at ~90dB, captured 2,000+ points from 20Hz - 20kHz, took 30sec average readings, and normalized the FR graphs at 1kHz. 
     
    Please keep in mind that this is raw, uncompensated data.
     
    Here we go...
    IMG_0197.jpg
     
    IMG_4509.jpg
     
    IMG_9586.jpg
     
    I think these give you a pretty good idea of what you're getting with the RM IE vs. some other popular IEM. As @Armaegis stated earlier, you're getting a really smooth response without the upper mid / treble peaks the other IEM have. This makes them less shimmery / sparkly / vivid (whatever your favorite term is) but also makes them really easy to listen to for lounge periods of time without fatigue.
     
    Honestly, for the $30 Indiegogo price, I thought these might have some screaming BA treble peaks, but they've done a really good job controlling the BA driver in these to achieve a smooth, relatively linear listening experience.
     
  7. nmatheis Contributor
    For the final post on these for the night, some thoughts on ergonomics...
     
    I've used a lot of IEM over the years. I started using IEM when the venerable Shure E2C were first released, and have listened to and owned a lot since then.
     
    On the Indiegogo page, the RM IE are always shown worn down, like this:
    IMG_2696.jpg
     
    But it's just as easy to wear them up, like this:
    IMG_2698.jpg
     
    They're comfortable either way. I'm a wear 'em down kind of guy if I can get away with it, so I wore the RM IE down for the most part. But those wear 'em up kind of guys (and gals) out there should find them comfortable. The only caveats are they don't have a cinch (but you can always DIY one pretty easily) and wearing them up places the mic + play/pause control in an awkward spot. I'm not using those, so this wouldn't bother me in the slightest.
     
    Some people are fussy about flat cables. This one is pretty narrow and supple, so I wasn't annoyed with it like I am some flat cables.
     
    I wore them while wandering around the neighborhood, and I didn't get a lot of footfall or wind noise. This last is because they isolate well, since they have no vent holes. This is a double-edged sword of sorts, though. The lack of venting caused driver flex and a vacuum seal with silicone tips. I tried pulling up on my ear during insertion, no better. I tried pulling down on my ear during insertion, no better. Foamies solved the issue for me, though. Once I got the foams on, my problems with driver flex and the vacuum seal were gone.
     
  8. nmatheis Contributor
    Just tried RM IE with a few battery-free DAC/Amps + iPhone - Calyx PaT and Cozoy Astrapi & Aegis. For these, I'd recommend the Calyx Pat.

    PaT plays very nicely with the iPhone and sounds really nice.

    Aegis sounds better but is 3 time the price and chews through your iPhone's battery faster.

    Astrapi does not play nicely with RM IE at all - bloated bass, scooped mids, and sibilant upper mids. Avoid!
     
  9. nmatheis Contributor
    Just compiled thoughts from my posts into a more coherent review: LINK.
     
  10. angelgrin
    are the cables grippy? that when it touches your clothes it drags on it.
     
  11. jasonl Contributor
    The cable is flat and doesn't grip cloth.  The material is mated plastic, not the glossy sticky type.
     
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