Today I decided to give these 3 earphones a side-by-side comparative listen to find out which one sounds best to my ears. I’ve always really enjoyed single dynamic driver earphones for their ability to be so simple but still perform wonderfully.
I have owned many single dynamics in the past from most of the big brands out there; ASG, Audio Technica, Etymotic, Campfire Audio, Dunu, Flare Audio, JVC, NF Audio, Shure, Sennheiser, Sony, Vsonic. I also have experience with some of the smaller brands as well; Fidue, Kz, Peacock Audio, Tri Audio.
When it comes to signature preference, I tend to prefer a smooth V shape signature with big sub bass and nice crunchy guitars. I like a smooth, well-extended treble.
The prices are different for the 3 models, as well as the build quality/design materials.
The DR2pro being around $50, is a very beautiful transparent resin + wood panel IEM with a large and very visible dynamic driver with a sound tube to the brass plated nozzle. The SG-03 being around $70, is a more robust design. It has an all-alloy build and is the largest of the 3. Lastly, the RHA being the most expensive retailing at around $200, is a molded metal IEM. I was a very lucky guy on eBay & found my set of T20 for $50!
I’ll be using my Fiio M11 to listen to music today via the 4.4mm balanced output. Misodiko TWS foam tips are installed on all 3 IEMs.
First up is the Dr2pro from one of my favorite brands, Pai Audio. This little Gem is Oem’d to death by about 8 different brands. I’m not even sure who is credited with the original design actually. But I can tell you that of all the different brands that have this earphone, Pai Audio is the ONLY brand that came out with a ‘pro’ version, which is a testament to their commitment to a product lineage/history. AKA product integrity.
So, having owned the original dr2, I can say this pro version has more forward midrange as well as a more subtle approach to the sub-bass. The low end is not a tight and detailed style, but more rounded and soft in its nature. I don’t hear a bunch of mid-bass muffle or anything, which is great, but still, the definition in the lows is subtle. I noticed the staging size pretty quickly on the DR2pro. It’s generous and seems to give room to the midrange for vocals and guitar to shine nicely. Male vocals are slightly warm & smooth. Going up to the treble, I will say they sound a bit blunted on the extension. Sometimes it makes things like synth transients, or guitar solos sound a bit dull compared to other sets.
I think Pai’s ‘pro’ version of their Dr2 is exactly what I expected, barring the early roll-off in the treble. It’s a more mature tuning with a tasteful emphasis on midrange, a well-behaved low end with a pinch of sub-bass tilt, and smooth but roomy treble. A very nice slice of Pai!
Next up is the Reecho Sg-03. This earphone I’ve already reviewed fully on AndroidBrick.com, so I will keep this short. It’s an IEM motivated into existence by ergonomics. It is intent on being very comfortable for the user. It also uses a titanium-coated dynamic driver.
The Reecho SG-03 has a nice naturalness to the signature overall. There is a linear delivery between the 3 frequency ranges. Now, that is not to say that these are flat, cuz…they are not. They just have a nice balance to everything. The staging size is pretty good. Slightly above average, I’d say. Vocals are richly detailed. The midrange is somewhat cool or technical sounding. The upper mids/ low treble area seems to have a very slight emphasis. The low end has a good amount of definition and a somewhat forceful amount of thump. I like it! The treble on the SG-03 is nice and clean with good detail and zero audible distortion or artifacts of any kind. There is a good sense of 3-dimensional sound too. Overall the reecho is a natural-sounding W shape with a crispness to the midrange and treble that is also free of any hotness or distortion. Needless to say, I am truly excited to get the SG-01 as soon as I can!
Lastly here, we have the RHA T20. This is actually the T20 wireless model, but I use it exclusively with an MMCX cable terminated in 4.4mm balanced. I love the fit of these. They’re very small, so I can get them to go into my ear fairly far and seal really well. Especially when using foam tips. I am using them with the bass filters installed, for what that’s worth, lol.
The RHA T20 has a cool, natural tone to it. The midrange is roomy and detailed with good, emotive vocals. The extension from top to bottom is excellent and has an above-average staging width. The low frequencies have a softer delivery over a more defined one with more of a mid-bass tilt. I can detect a peak in the upper mids/lower treble region but it does great for instruments and it is free of distortion too, so good job RHA. The sound from these is a perfect mix of lively & detailed. Lots of technicalities, lots of fun too!
Some of the tracks I used for this comparison were; caroline by Arlo Parks, The Comeback Kid by The Midnight & Promises by Monophonics. The rest of the comparison was done with random tracks from across tidal premium.
Now for the verdict. The winner of the 3…For me, was the RHA T20. It sounded the best of the 3 due to its ability to be both fun and lively, as well as detailed without being sterile or harsh sounding. I especially found the midrange to be warm enough to give great emotions in vocals, but also crisp enough to give good distorted guitars. I can also assume that these will scale well with a bigger source like my ifi ZEN can. Compared to the others, it made the Pai sound dull and the Reecho sound…just less inviting, really.
NF Audio NA2+
Looky here! Why, it’s the new cool kid, The NF audio NA2+! Just look at how sleek and stylish it is! I love the design language of NF Audio products, the simplistic stylings just speak to me. But I have not been the biggest fan of their tuning in the past. My set of NA1 from the same ‘music series’ was not to my liking. I found it to be very sterile sounding and void of any emotion really. Sad to say, right? Well, thankfully not so for the NA2+. I’ve already given this a full review over at AndroidBrick as well.
The NA2+ is a micro detail kind of earphone. It has a slightly dry vocal range and very tight bass. Good staging and imaging with a cool treble presentation. There seems to be some slight roll-off detected, but nothing distracting at all. The low frequencies are nicely weighed & detailed for sure but compared to the T20, it can sound slightly clinical a bit. The treble has bright characteristics but no break-up or peakiness. Overall there is a nice sense of air & imagery to the upper end of things. Really good at instrument placement.
Deciding between the RHA & The NA2+ comes down to one being more of a monitor vs. the other more musical/fun IEM. To my ears, the T20 captures both the fun, musical side as well as the detailed and airy side of things too, And I find that the slightly warmer signature of the T20 lends itself to an overall preference for me. Kudos to RHA and thank you to everyone for reading!