Softears Twilight

Sound Analysis.

Softears Twilight

Graphs are measured using an IEC60318-4 (IEC711) setup. You can compare all the graphs on my IEM Graph Database here – Animagus Squiglink.

Summary – Twilight is the first IEM I’ve heard from the Moondrop and Softears camp that strays away most from the VDSF target (which most of their other IEMs generally follow), but it does so mainly in one region – the lower-midrange. It is north of neutral in the region which results in a fuller presentation and makes it significantly different sounding from their previous IEMs like RS10, RSV, S8, Blessing2 and Kato, which were more neutral there. Luckily, it works really well along with the forward upper-midrange that has 9dB of pinna gain and comes across as a well done, fun take on the VDSF target. It has a 5-6dB bass boost that not only boosts the sub-bass but also the mid-bass. So, it has rumble as well as punch, which make for quite a fun listen with bass-dominant tracks, without them coming across too boomy/in your face. It has well balanced, neutral sounding lower-treble tuning and a very natural upper-treble downward slope that follows the Harman IE Target’s slope almost perfectly, with it extending till 20kHz fairly well.

Let’s dig in deeper…

Softears Twilight + iBasso DX170

Bass – Twilight has a 5-6dB bass shelf that starts around 600Hz. As a result, it boosts both the sub-bass and mid-bass. It does have good amount of punch and boom but since it has warmer tuning post 10kHz, the bass transients are on the softer side resulting in a transient presentation that is more rounded off than sharp and precise. Because of warmer lower half tuning which boosts everything below 600Hz, it seems that the bass occupies a wider than neutral amount of central image. This also results in the centre image not coming across extremely well separated from the left and right image.

Midrange – Being an audio engineer, I like my lower-midrange from 250Hz to 1kHz to be extremely neutral/linear – a straight horizontal line on the graph as it otherwise makes instruments sound muddy, boomy and tonally wonky. But Softears has managed to balance the fullness with finesse and refinement that I’ve seldom seen done properly otherwise. What I love is that it has a fuller presentation without loosing out on the crunch, bite and definition that is absolutely necessary to keep vocals, guitars, piano and orchestral instruments sounding tonally correct and that it because of the well done 9dB of pinna gain with it peaking at the extremely accurate 2.8kHz.  So, instruments in Twilight do have a bit more body and fullness than neutral but also the forwardness that presents them in the soundstage really well. This balance actually also makes it fairly easy to boost volume for some enthusiastic listening.

Treble – Twilight has excellent lower-treble balance but is warmer in mid-treble and upper-treble regions, with not a lot of air up top. This along with the boosted mid-bass and fuller lower-midrange tuning results in a warm listen. The treble balance is quite well in line with the Harman target (see graph below) and does make for a very comfortable and easy listen but I would’ve liked a bit more air up top for my own preferences and what I think would’ve made for a better balance. I anyway think that the Harman target is a bit warm post 10kHz and that is why my own neutral target has more mid-treble and upper-treble balance than the Harman target.

Softears Twilight vs Harman IE Target Technical Performance.

Because of its warmer and fuller lower-midrange tuning, it’s easy to boost volume levels for some fun, enthusiastic listening and that’s where Twilight excels at building a wide and expansive soundstage with really good instrument definition and imaging in the soundscape. I’m guessing the multiple vents, especially the 5 parallel slits near the nozzle really help in this regard too. Detail retrieval and resolution are no slouch but not class leading because of its warmer upper-treble tuning, especially when you compare it to some of the best multi-BA and hybrids in this segment.

Softears Twilight + Cable

Comparisons.

Sennheiser IE600.

Softears Twilight vs Sennheiser IE600

IE600 is a 1DD IEM like the Twilight, priced at $700. It is much more W-shaped IEM. It has a 11-12dB bass boost compared to Twilight’s 5-6dB and primarily boosts much more sub-bass in comparison. Yet, it doesn’t come across much more rumbly because it is also much brighter post 7kHz and that brightness adds a lot of thinning and sharpness to IE600’s signature, moving the attention a bit more towards treble. Twilight comes across as the one with more organic punch in comparison. Twilight is fuller in the 250-1kHz lower-midrange region where IE600 is much leaner in comparison, which is not only because of more neutral lower-midrange presentation but also the brighter treble than contributes to major thinning of the signature. Twilight has the more accurate, forward upper-midrange presentation with better pinna gain and more accurate primary peak at 2.8kHz instead of IE600’s 2.4kHz. IE600’s extra presence in the 1k-2kHz region adds slight honk into its signature. Twlight has better balance and is more even in the 1k-10kHz region. IE600 is brighter in its treble presentation with more mid-treble as well as upper-treble air and extension. This does lead to better sense of resolution and detail retrieval but also makes IE600 sound peaky and troublesome for the treble sensitive, especially its 7k-10kHz region. Twilight makes it easy to boost volume levels for enthusiastic listening but it’s not as easy with IE600. Twilight has a warmer, fuller soundstage but one which has wider boundaries. IE600’s soundstage is cleaner as well as more open and airy but with width boundaries are slightly narrower than Twilight’s.

Campfire Andromeda 2020.

Softears Twilight vs Campfire Andromeda 2020

This is an unusual comparison since Andromeda is a 5BA IEM whereas Twilight has 1DD and yet this was one of the most requested comparisons from our readers after I published Twilight’s In-A-Snapshot first impression article. It’s hard to describe Andromeda’s sound signature in a single word because it does not follow any traditional tuning ideologies and yet is an IEM that has a massive fanbase and works for a lot of people perfectly. I primarily see the Andromeda as a V-shaped tuning with boosted bass, fuller lower-midrange, recessed upper-midrange and decent balance of treble to go with it. Both Andromeda and Twilight have equal amounts of sub-bass but Andromeda has more mid-bass. Twilight has a more typical-DD organic timbre, smoother transient presentation and punchier punch whereas Andromeda has quicker and sharper bass transients with not as organic or natural bass timbre as the Twilight. Andromeda has slightly fuller lower-midrange and a much recessed upper-midrange presentation. Twilight has proper pinna gain resulting in a more forward instrument presentation with stronger definition. Instruments in Andromeda sounds a bit diffused outwards. They have similar lower-treble presentation but Andromeda is ever so slightly airier up top, though neither are as airy as I personally prefer. Andromeda has a more open and diffused out soundstage with wider boundaries but Twilight has a more natural and organic soundstage, which is similarly wide, but with stronger instrument definition in the soundscape as well as stronger imaging. Andromeda has slightly better resolution and detail retrieval.

Softears RSV.

Softears Twilight vs Softears RSV

RSV is a reference IEM tuned to Moondrop/Softears’ VDSF target. They both have similar amount of sub-bass but Twilight boosts much more mid-bass. As a result, RSV has clearer sub-bass rumble whereas Twilight has more boom and punch. RSV has a neutral lower-midrange presentation whereas Twilight is much fuller in the region. As a result, instruments like kicks, snares as well as acoustic and electric guitars sounds more accurate in RSV and slightly fuller and fatter in Twilight. Both have a similar amount of pinna gain and have a similar forward upper-midrange but Twilight is ever so slightly more natural in this region since RSV dips a bit in the 1.5k-3kHz and 3.5k-5kHz region. Twilight has slight more lower-treble whereas RSV is slightly airier and extends sightly better till 20kHz. Since Twilight sounds warmer because of extra mid-bass and fuller and warmer lower-midrange, RSV comes across as the one that has better overall treble balance. They both have similar-ish resolution and detail retrieval but RSV has a cleaner, deeper as well as more open soundstage. Twilight on the other hand has better imaging and wider width boundaries. Both have a very natural and pleasing tonality, with one being a more neutral and accurate reference signature and the other a warmer, fuller and romantic take on the same.

Conclusion.

Twilight has a nicely executed, romantic-warm take on Softears/Moondrop’s VDSF target neutral tuning, resulting in a very comfortable and easy to like signature with organic DD tonality and timbre. Twilight is an IEM for people who like a fuller than neutral lower-midrange presentation but still want the crunch, bite and definition that proper pinna gain (forward upper-midrange definition) brings to vocals and instruments. Basically people who like fuller sounding IEMs like Andromeda and Solaris but wished that they had proper pinna gain and less of the wonky tonal issues. In general, if you like premium single DD style of IEMs, I recommend giving Twilight a shot!

2 thoughts on “Softears Twilight

  1. Hello
    You didn’t compare the ie600 and rav surectly but both to the twilight
    I own the rsv and am quiet satisfied but how do they compare to each other especially in the midrange
    Cheers Jonathan

    Like

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