Apesonic Rain-Purple & Cable: Purple Rain is good…
Pros: Good looking
Decently large bass
Good foundation for their next model
Treble is pleasant, not bitey
Cons: Less coherence
does not separate itself from the rest
Lack of accessories
Apesonic Rain-Purple & Cable ($44):Purple Rain is good…3.75 stars
Not much is available, but:
1, Comfortable Ear-Canal Fitting;
2, Full & Wide Frequency Response;
3, MMCX Connect, Cable Changeable;
4, Hybrid Balanced-Armature & Dynamic Trasducers.
5, Synthetic-Resin & Half-Transparent Shell
Finally, about the Hybrid drivers sound quality, the small balanced armature unit is responsible for middle and high frequency, and a diameter 10mm moving coil transducer is responsible for providing enough dynamic bass. A passive crossover is built in the earphone to ensure smooth vocal and phase response (which is very important for stereo imaging).
The Cable of RAIN is made by 5N pure copper core and Teflon smoke-transparent skin, golden-plated MMCX connector & 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, do not support call function (without microphone), together with smoke-plated aluminum shell, this cable will provide you pure & clear sound.
In the box:
(The gear came in two very small clear plastic cases, which were not much larger than the items themselves. Call it conservation on steroids.)
Kinera BD005 ($49)
Whizzer HE01 ($75)
CCA C10 Pro ($49)
HiBy R3 Pro Saber
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Twenty one pilots
Buena Vista Social Club
As noted above, the items came in two very small clear, plastic cases. That’s it. I assume that is so if you order only the IEM, it can be shipped in a small container and vice versa. I like the idea, but since it does not come with a dedicated carrying case for the duo, you still need to provide one. I used an aftermarket case, which is large enough to fit either the Shanling M0 or HiBy R3 Pro Saber and the Rain. That case can “comfortably” fit into my pocket or with ease in my backpack. That’s it.
I read somewhere on a FB post that the Rain is actually another manufacturers model, but with the guts taken out and replaced with single balanced armature for the mids and highs; and a 10mm dynamic driver for the lows. The aforementioned model was a multi-driver bit with more BA’s. I can neither confirm nor deny the close tie, but only verify what the specs state for the Rain.
With what I would call a normally shaped shell, the Rain fits easily into my average-sized ears. Ordering the “purple” since it is my favorite color, I was surprised at the subtleness of the color. The JET model is much more vibrant in color and some will immediately like that option. I would call the purple a “midnight purple” in color and very subtle. You can feel the lip of the faceplate, but I do not fear it coming apart such as some I have had in the past.
The shell itself is of a grayish color but see through so you can see the BA and DD inside. There is one port on the bottom, below the stubby nozzle (which allows good fit). The MMCX connection at the top is protected well, but the cables ear guides form a “Treble Cleft” of wrapping ability that to me is too much. Make it more flexible and a bit shorter to cut down on the ingress/egress around your sound-listening-device. The subtle color carries over to the cable, with the grayish bronze showing as a nice compliment to the IEM.
The overall look of the Rain-Purple is quite appealing to those who like subtle and care more about the sound than garish looks. Of this, I do approve.
A small balanced armature unit is responsible for middle and high frequency, while a 10mm moving coil dynamic driver provides enough dynamic bass down low. A passive crossover is said to ensure smooth vocal and phase response providing good stereo imaging. This is a typically built unit, with typical hybrid technology. I do like the simplicity of a single BA and a single DD. The KISS methodology comes to mind here, and I’m good with that.
That 10mm DD does provide a solid foundation, and the single BA (unknown origin to me) provides good reach up top, providing the Rain with to me the classic V-shaped signature of many models in this range, and it could be called “consumer tuned.”
Summary: At this price many are of the classic V-shaped ilk. This would be another, which to me is not all that bad. Deep reaching bass that while it does override the mids, gives the foundation for excellent EDM or hard rock, or even Rap provides a basis of which male vocals such as Ziggy Marley’s doeth ride upon. A hard push up top, without sibilance settles the V-shape and there you go. What is slightly different here is that there are only two drivers. A single BA and a single DD of which to run it all. That passive crossover ensures vocals are heard and to me pushed more forward than they ought to be. But if you are a fan of say Billie Eilish or the sort, this may just be your budget offering. Not if they could drop the price to make it a bit more competitive, this would make for a really hard decision in that segment.
I do like the Rain, and maybe I am a classic-V type of listener as I get older. Then I pop in my Legend X and I forget of what I speak regarding V-anything. But the dynamic driver does provide a solid foundation in the bass department. Reaching deep, but bleeding into the mids, what could have been a superb presentation falls short as it runs a bit slow to me. Thick would be an apt description for the low end, and while I do find it enticing, I would have preferred a bit more control and pace. Mind you, it isn’t boring or so loose you need to corral it, but one wonders how a bit more restraint might have tamed it to make a really good taut thump. Still good, but in this sub-$50usd market, one might a bit more control and speed.
Since there is bleed into the mids, male vocals do sound quite good. Ziggy’s Dragonfly (one of my all-time favorite songs) sound uplifting and forward, with the dynamic driver helping push his voice to the front. On Dave Matthews So Damn Lucky, the same occurs. Such a wonderful song and with the tuning of the Rain, I do enjoy that sound. But there isn’t a whole lot of detail present. I am guessing that this may be due to the classic-V. I do not really mind, even as the track gets a bit busy. On Gravedigger, the song is intensely busy and complex. With the strings and electric guitars playing together in a cacophony of sound, you get the sense that the overriding bass hinders the showing of that complexity. I still enjoy the sound, but not like I would on say the BQEYZ Spring2, which to me is superb in the mids. I did find myself turning the volume up, though. This could be due to the tuning and the Rain just wants to sing.
On the aforementioned song Gravedigger, I did get a mild amount of sibilance from Dave’s voice. Not as bad as many other competitors from a manufacturer, which shall remain nameless, thankfully. But it was present. As such, the treble note makes the story complete in the V-shaped department. Classically tuned for this, but without that overly sparkly sound up top, nor tinged too much in the nether regions, it is enjoyable and this to me is where EDM may sound quite good. You could raise the volume to get that piercing of sound, which permeates the genre, but without the grating attending from some (think manufacturer of which I spoke a few sentences back).The push up top provides a good amount of clarity, helping offset the lower bleed. Somewhat.
Soundstage comes across as competent, but not cavernous. Decent of width, and height it falls a bit short in depth. I would consider this about average overall as a result. From this, detail and layering is average as well. I can distinctly pick out the instruments, but placement is a bit confusing at times. Mainly on complex tracks, and as a result separation is also only average. PraT is good for the cost, and while not great due to the slow nature of the dynamic driver, it is adequate for music, which relies upon a more laidback “natural” sound. Much of rock music is thick and heavy, and the Rain works well in that genre. If you prefer warmth and richness, the Rain goes along with that tuning, and does so well. The sound is also a bit exciting, so rock won’t sound like the old 80’s songs with their really horrible MTV videos (blech). While this may seem dichotomous, it really isn’t as on the song Grey Blue Eyes, the bass rumbles nicely giving that deepness and richness so the song oozes with character. Play Dragonfly again right after, and you get a vibrant uplifting tonality, which almost seems antithesis to the aforementioned song. It isn’t, and this does show decent tuning to provide the listener with variety.
Apesonic Rain (w/ cable, $44) v Kinera BD005 Pro ($49):
The BD005 Pro is the latest in a long line of innovative products from Kinera. Having the same set up as the Apesonic, this is a good duo to compare. The Kinera comes across with more clarity than the Rain, but with less thump. If you prefer a more neutral sound, then the Kinera is a better choice here. If you prefer the classic-V, then the Rain would be the better choice. What the Kinera lacks in bass thump, it provides in the mids, including vocals. Coming across as clean and crisper than many at this segment, it does provide the listener with a more vibrant signature than the Rain. Thankfully, that vibrancy does not transfer into a shouty or sibilant treble section, either. Providing a good upper end, the BD005 Pro gives the listener a much better airier presentation. And when called upon, such as on the live version of Bittersweet, there is sufficient bass to hold your attention.
Both provide about the same sound stage as well. That said, I found the Kinera somewhat of a conundrum. On some songs it sounded wider, while others presented a more intimate presentation. I would not call it narrow by any means. But both lack the depth of which can give good spatial presentation. More 2D, than 3D, but both are acceptable at this price range. This one comes down to whether you prefer the classic-V or a more balanced sound with better mids, espousing the same technology.
Apesonic Rain (w/ cable, $44) v Whizzer HE01 ($75):
The HE01 continues the success of the Whizzer line up to me (review published). I was a big fan of the HE03, and the HE01 brings “newer” technology at a lower price, so I do believe whizzer gets it. Running a single 10.2mm dynamic driver labeled as the “4th generation BRIGHT” dynamic driver, the company shows that not all IEM’s need be multi-driver units to sound good. Much has been made about the speed of bass between BA’s and DD’s. The Whizzer starts to chip away at the DD stigma of speed. At least at this price. I found the HE01 thoroughly engaging, with good bass and a musical vocal presentation. On the slightly warmer side, but not like the Rain, this may not be a fair comparison. Especially when you espouse that the rain is the company’s first iteration and Whizzer has had the ability to play around for much longer.
That said, I do wish the HE01 had a bit more down low. Tuning for a bit more thump might have appease me but could also have led to the same bass bleed of the Rain. For that, I do prefer the tuning of the Whizzer, for it pretty much presents the whole package and has quickly become one of my go-to recommendations at the sub-$75usd price point. A thoroughly competent IEM and well worth a look.
Apesonic Rain (w/ cable, $44) v CCA C10 Pro ($49):
The C10 Pro came as a review unit. And while I do espouse the virtues of the CCA line as my favorite of the three KZ iterations, I am simply not a fan of the tuning. That said, the reason I do like the CCA is FOR the tuning. To me it provides the most mature of the three repetitions, and I can live with that. On Shane Hennessy’s Rain Dance, they guitar work is superb, but I get a sense of a slight hollowness through the C10 Pro. Not so with the V-shape of the Rain. A bit dry of taste, the C10 Pro to me is one of the line ups best, and it is a good choice for the throw in the bag gym pair, or commute. Good, but not great bass is had as the dynamic driver tries to ply through the four BA’s. Competent comes to mind, but not inspiring. But, on Bittersweet, the song does come alive with a speedy bass laying tonality down while vocals come to the front, but not as much as on the Rain. A welcome change, this seems to show that all the parts work together in unison to present that even sound. Not bad.
If you want clarity and a good near-neutral sound, then the C10 Pro is the easy choice. If you prefer a more V-shaped, classical sound then the Rain is the obvious choice of the two.
The Rain comes into the market with big expectations. Mirrored off another, our representative tells us that he is very lucky to have the owner be a respected sound engineer as well. I do not doubt that when he told us. I can also see why Apesonic took the straightforward route of making something that might be considered “safe” in tuning. This could be called the “Classic V-shaped” tuning, and that would be correct. For those who like bigger bass, with the support up top; then this might be one for them. The vocals support comes along as well, giving a sense of filling in that V. A bit higher and more forward though, and some might be turned off of that tuning. I for one do not mind and applaud the companies first effort here. My hope is that they can take more of a chance on something in the future. Because the current market is littered with companies who weren’t (or were) brave enough in the segment at which they aimed. I would hate to see that happen here, for the company backing is in all the right places. One need only peruse their website to get that they are a conscientious group, who cares about the items they offer and the planet. Maybe espouse that connection a bit more with a Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) and that flamboyance for their next IEM. Make a statement of your intent and follow through with that.
All of the above said, you should give it a listen, especially if you like the sound in a classically shaped sound signature, which in no way could be confused with the Harman Curve (thank goodness). I thank George and Apesonic for the review sample, and I did enjoy the listen. My hope is that they are willing to take that chance to move up to the next level. And that they succeed. We need more quality brands on the market to combat the “big three.”
Cheers, and good listening.