SOFTEARS RSV RS5 IEM Review: Arghadeep Misra's Take

Disclaimer:

The following review has been thoughtfully crafted by Mr. Arghadeep Misra from Kolkata, a cherished supporter, customer, and friend of The Audio Store. We express our gratitude to Mr. Arghadeep for generously sharing his personal insights into the SOFTEARS RSV RS5 IEM. It is important to note that this review is entirely unbiased, reflecting Mr.Arghadeep's genuine experiences and preferences. No benefits or exchanges have influenced the content of this review. His valuable contributions significantly enhance our blog, and we sincerely appreciate his unwavering dedication to the audio enthusiast community.

SOFTEARS RSV RS5 IEM Review: Arghadeep Misra's Take

Introduction

This is a 5BA IEM and comes with a moderately sized shell which looks beautiful. Fun Fact I got the same review unit as Timmy from Gizaudio & I haven’t encountered any unit variation story till now. 

Timber

When discussing audio quality, timber is a crucial aspect that greatly impacts the overall experience. For me,and I tend to avoid headphones or IEMs that don't accurately reproduce timber. Fortunately, this IEM excels in timber reproduction, making it a pleasure to listen to.

The violin

sounds rich and full, with a great tonality that captures the essence of the instrument. Both lower and upper registers are lifelike, and the upper registers are produced without any harshness or peaks, making it ideal for those sensitive to treble. Listening to classical music like Vivaldi is a delightful experience with this IEM.

Guitars

Both acoustic and electric, sound smooth and beautiful. Classical guitars, in particular, sound exceptional, with covers by artists like Tarrega and Segovia sounding delightful and rich. While acoustic guitars may lack a bit in the upper registers, the timber is still well-maintained. Electric guitars, on the other hand, produce beautiful tones, with the tamed upper frequencies enhancing the overall sound.

Drums

The reproduction of drums is very realistic, capturing the complexity of this instrument accurately. While some IEMs may overemphasize the bass or lack tactility, this IEM strikes a good balance in replicating the sound of drums. However, the cymbals may not have the same transient nature, lacking a bit in the air and trailing edges.

Wind instruments

They are also well-handled, with good body and texture, although they may lack a bit of sizzle and shine. This can be beneficial for those sensitive to treble, but it may feel a bit dark for others who prefer brightness in their sound.

Vocals

The timber of vocals is a highlight, providing a lifelike feel that enhances the listening experience. The subtle bass elevation adds to the realism, making it feel like the vocals are being performed live in a club setting.

Bass

The bass performance of this set may not meet the expectations of those seeking a powerful low-end. While the BA Bass it produces is tasteful, the sub-bass quantity could be improved by Softears. The lack of sub-bass may feel disconnected from the midbass in certain genres, resulting in an underpowered sound when a slam is expected. Despite the analogue-like attack and decay, the set is not ideal for bass enthusiasts.

So it's all comes down to what generes of music you prefer to listen to. For my library, this IEM is a blessing.  

Mids 

The IEM's midrange is truly exceptional, setting it apart. With its timber characteristics, I find this IEM quite appealing. The sound is incredibly natural and vibrant, with a high level of realism. While it doesn't offer as much textural detail as the Performer 8, it's not as lacking as the IE600 either. The presentation feels very natural, striking a balance between being upfront and laid back.

I find the head voice in this IEM a bit overwhelming. It's not sharp or sibilant, but it tends to overshadow other elements in the mix, leading to a disconnect with the music if not connected with suitable source. Since most of the songs I listen to feature prominent head voices, this becomes a significant area to consider.

The chest voice and nasal vocals sound very authentic. There are moments where a bit more authority and confidence in the sound would have been appreciated, but nevertheless vocal in overall this IEM is fabulous.

Treble

The treble in this IEM is not particularly noteworthy to treble heads or who wants boat loads of 4-10Khz. It is not offensive, but it also doesn't reach a level where it could be described as bright. The higher frequencies are present, but they don't contribute enough to create a spacious soundstage that may give the vocalists a distance feel (This is a complex topic as various tuning methods can be employed in the ear gain region to enhance the soundstage).

However, the treble has a very pleasant and gentle effect on the sound. I will discuss its resolution later, but it is tuned in a way that allows details to be subtly noticed without any sharpness or sibilance. In a single word, it can be described as bitter-sweet. It flows smoothly, carries a rich note weight, and has a sweet quality to it.

SOFTEARS RSV RS5 IEM Review: Arghadeep Misra's Take

Resolution

In the audio community, Resolution and Details are perceived differently. Resolution refers to the ability to bring out every element in the mix, while details pertain to the nuances it can project to our ears, such as micro contrast or textural information.

The RSV's resolution capability is average. It can handle normal tracks well, but complex mixes may not be fully resolved. While it doesn't feel congested or claustrophobic, it may lack in bringing out certain instruments in mixes.

As for details, they are above average. While it can produce textures effectively, the recessed treble makes it hard to notice certain elements of the instruments. For instance, the long-lasting tone in pianos or other acoustic string instruments may not be as prominent as desired. 

Soundstage

The RSV is quite personal in soundstage performance. It provides a decent soundstage that doesn't feel too closed in or overly expansive. It's large enough to position instruments outside your head, yet intimate enough to make vocalists sound personal and engaging. Soundstage performance in IEMs can be subjective due to individual ear anatomy, so my experience with it has been pretty good to enjoy vocal centric emotional tracks.

Drivability 

The RSV is very easy to drive. It works smoothly with almost all dongle DACs, from budget options like Abigail Pro/Apple Dongle to higher-end ones like Moondrop Dawn Pro. While the frequency range remains consistent, features like Separation and Treble Refinement slightly improve with more expensive dongles.

But it takes a leap in audio quality when you connect it with the Aune M1P. This DAP takes the RSV and makes it what it is. Simply everything becomes so good that spending hours at a stretch doesn't feel tiresome.

Pros & Cons 

Pros Cons

Vocals

 

Air Pressure due to no ventilation

 

Timber Depth of the shell is a bit much
Inoffensive tuning Sometimes sound dark
Very accurate sense of Neutrality Nozzle is big & slippery for my ears
Note weight
Cohesion of BA drivers  

 

SOFTEARS RSV RS5 IEM Review: Arghadeep Misra's Take

Conclusion

I recommend trying the RSV, albeit it is for those who prefer Timber and midrange as their priority. At its price point, there are competitors like Twilight, Hype 10, and Supernova. Therefore, I suggest giving it a test run too.

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