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⭐ Softears RSV | Pleasant Reference
▶️ Demo unit is available for auditions now!
Softears started as an R&D company developing and designing premium in-ear monitors. They have been working together with Moondrop to create their IEMs, however as of recently, Softears has decided to launch their own line of IEM models. Their first model was the RS10, aimed at the higher end market with 10BA setup with a neutral tuning, received high praise for its competent and well-tuned IEMs. Softears decided to create the RSV after the RS10, featuring 5 Balanced Armature drivers per side, tuned as a “reference sound”. Today we will see if it lives up to its name.
The RSV comes in an elegant box, which includes a rather premium round hard carrying case, a braided 0.78mm 2 pin cable, cleaning brush, as well as 3 pairs of silicone and foam tips. The overall package is elegant and simple albeit a bit sparse.
The design of the RSV is very classy and premium looking, with a full-black inner shell and a premium designed faceplate which has bits of raw carbon fiber shards sprinkled with golden flakes. The gold details are subtle yet luxurious, akin to having jewelry. The cable feels quite nice as well, fully blacked out with a non-tangling sleeving and braiding, terminated with a 3.5mm plug. Personally, I wish the stock cable came with modular plugs for balanced outputs, as it gives the user more freedom to use in balanced or single ended. The overall fit and feel is also great; the custom inspired resin shell is ergonomic and comfortable to wear for long hours without much pressure points.
Sound wise, the RSV is overall fantastic and easy to like; its tuning is warm/neutral, smooth and musical, yet has great technicalities. Its presentation is soft, smooth and easy going, with plenty of detail; a good “monitor” like signature without being aggressive or overly strident. The RSV was also designed to be driven without much power, running off my iPhone dongle without fuss, however with dedicated audiophile sources and amplification, it has the chops to show how capable and technically competent it can be. The tonality of the RSV is on the warmer side of neutral, though the tuning here is accurate, making it sound fun yet technical. Another thing I noticed is that despite the RSV being an all-BA setup, it doesn’t have exhibit the metallic/artificial timbre it normally presents, job well done.
The RSV bass, to my surprise, is impactful with nice thump and kick. Granted, it's not as punchy compared to what a DD can offer, but the bass is well controlled and does offer good dynamics and musicality. The sub-bass region reaches deep and rumbles, but it's still more of listening to the bass as opposed to feeling the bass. The mids are quite amazing IMO, the instruments and vocals sound very coherent, natural and life-like. Its smooth, clear yet full, without being overly thick or rich sounding. When it comes to treble, the RSV tuning does shine; treble has liveliness and sparkle to them, but it never gets harsh nor spikey. The highs are well controlled, with air and detail to them yet smooth enough to not sound hot or piercing. It's very refined and elegant, quite forgiving with poorly recorded tracks, but it’s no slouch when it comes to showing details and articulation.
When it comes to technicalities and staging, the RSV is not as wide or holographic as the competition, but everything contained in it is well placed and offers good layering and cohesion, it doesn’t feel congested or blur at all. The PRaT on the RSV more than makes up for the slightly small stage, as its layering, depth as well as ease of separating the details is impressive and effortless.
When I first laid my eyes on the RSV, knowing how it helped Moondrop achieve its transparent yet bright tuning, I had the impression that it would sound largely the same. However, the RSV surprised me with its neutral, accurate yet technical sound, with the right amount of warmth and musicality. After spending time with the RSV, I’m quite blown away for what it can offer and while it's the price is on the upper echelons, the RSV is a good representation of the ‘goldilocks’ zone, where everything is well tuned, balanced and judged; nothing sounds overly warm and bloated, neither it is dull nor sterile sounding, a great balance.
✒️ Author : Han | 📷 Photo : Willy
👉 More Stars Picker's In-House Review | starspickeraudio.net/blogs/blog
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■ 5 Balanced Armature Driver
■ 3 way crossover
■ Neutral warm Tonal Signature
■ Detachable 2pin cable
■ Premium faceplate and resin shell design
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⭐ Official Store | bit.ly/softears-RSV-SP |
◇ Retail : RM3450 (PM for best price)
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⠀■ Physical shop / audio specialist since 2013
■ Authorised distributor for Softears
■ 100% genuine / warranty covered
■ Malaysia’s first audio theme cafe / library