IEMs Discovery & General Discussion

Just posting my initial impressions of the Softears RSV - it seems to be all the rage these days. In general, I like it. The tuning here is really quite good, with perhaps a bit too forward of an upper mid presentation around 3khz for my liking, but the treble balances it out reasonably well. In fact, the treble in general is quite well balanced - even if a bit relaxed overall. So there’s no sibilance or fatiguing qualities, and while it looks like it tapers off in the upper treble, it is reasonably well extended too - more so than most IEMs up there.

Keep in mind this uses the GRAS RA0402 coupler, which is different from the one Crin uses, so there’s no resonance peak at around 8khz on this one (it’s slightly damped there).

Soundstage is also pretty darn good for an IEM, as is the timbre. I don’t hear any BA smearing in this one. For detail… I think that’s really the only thing that’s not as good as the rest of its aspects. It’s not bad per se, just… nothing all that special. I do really like the way the bass feels though. It’s not massive or overdone, but still commands a decent punch to it. Again, not the most detailed or textured but generally satisfying.

So in general, everything is solid here. Would I take it over a Dunu SA6?.. maybe. There’s better treble extension on the RSV, and it’s also less bassy. So maybe for a more ‘reference’ neutral sound, the RSV would be preferable. But if I’m honest with myself for what I prefer… it’s that SA6 / U12t type of sound.

A few notes on the ‘tangibles’. The cable is a bit annoying, and the IEM itself isn’t the most comfortable for my ears. It’s quite large, with a somewhat longer and protruding nozzle. For this reason I had to use smaller tips than I normally would. But, others may not have any issues with this.

In any case, it’s great that there’s another contender available to compete with the Thieaudio twins. Think of this as a slightly less bassy clairvoyance in a sense.