- Jan 25, 2010
The RD3 is part of the next generation of earphones from Rhapsodio. Powered by a single high-end dynamic driver, it has a warm sound and a hearty bass response. The RD3’s design includes detachable cables and a strong metal housing. For $400, its sound and build quality make the RD3 a serious contender in the mid-level price range.
Please note that this review was written listening to an RD3 loaner set. I played this for 100 hours on a loud and varied playlist before listening and I used an Apex Glacier portable amplifier through most of my listening to give the earphones all the power they could need.
Rhapsodio is the result of two men’s passion for music. Sammy and Sam have a thriving audio business in Hong Kong and they decided to take their love of audio to the next level by making and selling their own audio gear. The RD3 is part of a new generation of Rhapsodio products including earphones, cables, and I’m told there will be more to come!
The RD3 is powered by an advanced, full-range, single dynamic driver.
Ear courtesy of Kunlun Modelling Agency
The RD3 is built very strongly with the striking look of its reflective metal housing giving a clear sense that these are very solidly engineered. The cables are detachable and replaceable and the stock cable is both light and strong, terminating in a very hefty jack.
I should mention that Rhapsodio also has its own line of upgrade cables available.
The RD3’s housing is more like a custom fit in-ear monitor than the typical earphone. It’s big and will stick out of one’s ears more than a lower-profile earphone. This might be a disadvantage for some and is worth considering. However, once it’s in, it doesn’t feel heavy in-ear and it’s fairly secure and quite comfortable.
The RD3 has average isolation of external noise. I found it certainly sufficient for commuting on the subway. Walking around was no problem with an average level of wind noise. People who need the ultimate in isolation may look elsewhere, but otherwise, these should be fine.
I tend to use a portable amplifier with my earphone, generally. However, coming straight from my old 5.5generation ipod, the RD3 sounds good. It’s warm, bassy sound does just fine. However, to bring out the RD3’s best clarity and to really see what it can do, I would definitely give it a higher powered source.
The RD3 has a full bass, a warm midrange and a little bit of a peak in the treble just to keep things a little more balanced and avoid a dark sound. It’s a fun sound that lets you enjoy your music—a non-fatiguing sort of sound that people often describe as euphonic. Acoustic rock, folk, jazz and light classical are all well handled in the warm sound. I listened to pop, hip-hop, rock, choral, orchestral and more with the RD3. It handled it all well and let the music take center stage.
Like many dynamic drivers, the RD3 does well with a realistic reproduction of voices and instruments. To me, this is a vital ability for an earphone so the RD3 was a pleasure to listen to.
Soundstage and Separation:
The RD3 has an open soundstage with a natural sounding spaciousness. The single dynamic driver gives a very coherent sound where instruments and voices come together the way that they do in a live music environment. The separation is good, but those looking for a slightly unnatural, hyper-separated sound will do better with a multi-balanced armature earphone.
The bass is strong point for the RD3. The bass here is well done with the mid-bass having the emphasis and decent extension into the sub-bass below that. Bass heavy music lovers will love the RD3. However, the control is good as well so the bass won’t interfere with bass-light genres.
If you want a warm sound with nice richness, the RD3 will give you that. It’s a sound that lets you relax in the music. There’s a little boost in the vocal range to allow the heart of the music to step a touch forward which works well in the overall tonality. The effect is to give you a bit of clarity with the warmth.
The treble does a good job of keeping up with the bass and midrange. The treble has a little peak around 7-8khz which adds emphasis and the sense of clarity. It’s well done, I never found the treble fatiguing during the weeks I’ve listened. The treble starts to roll-off after that, allowing the music to have a bit of air, but not extending far into the upper treble.
At $400, the RD3 is a definite, strong mid-range choice. It’s a very enjoyable sound and there’s enough control, clarity, and balance to go with the warm, bassy richness. Plus, the excellent build quality and detachable cable makes for a good package overall. Rhapsodio has a hit in the RD3.