Good VFM offering in the sub-$500 price segment!
PROS: Good VFM (Value For Money) proposition in its price segment, excellent craftsmanship, build and finish, well tuned fun take on VDSF target, good tonality and timbre, bass-lover bass tuning, good clarity and resolution for the price.
CONS: Nitpicking – I would’ve liked a bit more mid-treble and air up top.
The product was sent to me free of charge for the review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Softears is closely associated with the highly popular Chinese company – Moondrop, as they share a lot of R&D and manufacturing assets while remaining sister companies that run their business independent of each other. As per what I’m told, Softears’ CEO was an automobile engineer by education who joined Moondrop after completing his studies. Moondrop’s founder, Herbert invested in him to create a no boundaries, no budget restrictions R&D brand, Softears, to see what could be achieved if money was no object. If you haven’t noticed, Moondrop’s IEMs like Blessing2 and S8 use Softears developed drivers for the reference quality midrange they are particularly known for. We previously reviewed their flagships RS10 and Cerberus in a dual review here and their 5BA reference IEM – Softears RSV here.
- Driver: 10mm Dynamic + 2 Balanced Armature
Dynamic diaphragm: PU flexible suspending+beryllium-plated
- Impedance: 5Ω @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 123.7dB/Vrms@1kHz
- Effective frequency response: 20- 20kHz (IEC60318-4)
- Frequency range: 8- 40kHz(1/4 inch free field microphone, -5 dB)
- THD:< 1%@ 1kHz
- Shell material: Imported medical resin + Aluminium alloy faceplates
Included in the box.
- Softears Volume
- 4 core cable
- Eartips – Silicone (SML), Ultra Clear (SML) and Foam (SML)
- Leather case
- User Guide
- Warranty Card
- Cleaning cloth
Volume’s package is BIG, much bigger than necessary for an IEM! It does come with very nice goodies though – a very nice premium leather case and 3 different types of SML ear tips (Silicone, Ultraclear and Foam). Ultra-Clear ear tips are similar to Xelastec ear tips.
Volume has very attractive royal green translucent shells and aluminium alloy faceplates with the brand name ‘Softears’ printed on the right shell and ‘Volume’ on the left. Volume’s shells too are made in collaboration with the 3D printing tech company Heygears, like Moondrop Blessing2’s. There are no imperfections and the build quality is spectacular for the price. Frankly, I like Volume’s shell colour and design much more than Blessing2’s.
Cable – Volume comes stock with a really nice black 4 core braided cable with 2-pin connectors and a 3.5mm jack, quite similar to the one that RSV comes with. The cable is fairly supple, has minimal microphonics and pairs really well with Volume aesthetically. It has pre-moulded ear guides and a red ring on the right connector to indicate the right channel.
Case – Volume comes with a very premium looking rectangular leather case which has a magnetic closing mechanism that locks reassuringly. The case is quite roomy on the inside and comfortably fits the IEMs with the cable.
Fit and Comfort.
Volume’s nozzle size is substantially smaller than Blessing2’s, so people with smaller ears will probably not face any problems with the fit. For reference, I have medium-large sized ears and the shells have a very nice comfortable fit owing to a very well executed ergonomic semi-custom shell design, particularly with the silicone and foam ear tips. Even though the shells aren’t small by any means, they fit and feel like a CIEM in my ears with them. The nozzles are the perfect length and with the right eartips, provide a nice deep insertion fit. The shells have a vent for the dynamic driver right under the 2-pin sockets but isolation is still pretty good because of the snug fit and full resin shells. So, it will work well for commutes and public places with the music playing.