263 viewsNov 8, 2018, 05:45am
RevoNext Reveals New IEMs At A Price We Can All Afford
Mark Sparrow Contributor
Consumer Tech Technology journalist specializing in audio and photography
Although they don't offer a remote control or a microphone, the RX8 IEMs from RevoNext deliver exceptional sound quality.REVONEXT
There are three things you ideally want from a good pair of earphones; the first is sound quality, the second is a comfortable fit, and the third is value for money. Very rarely do all three of those parameters come together in one pair of earphones. However, as unlikely as it may sound, I’ve discovered a pair of earphones that deliver amazing sound quality, exceptional comfort… and at a bargain price.
A month or two ago I reviewed a pair of quad-driver earbuds from Swedish company RevoNext. The earphones were superb and really well made with aluminum ear-shells. They included removable cables and used balanced armature drivers as well as regular dynamic drivers for a really big sound that could still deliver delicate music. A few weeks later RevoNext asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the RX8 earphones, a dual-driver model which sells for just $27. They sounded too good to be true.
A few days later the RX8s turned up and very impressive they looked too. I should probably call these earphones IEMs (In-Ear Monitors) because they look like the very expensive IEMs that musicians use on stage and they use a balanced armature driver that you find powering expensive hearing aids and IEMs. There are quite a few earphones coming out of China now that use this once-expensive technology. I can only assume production has been ramped up sufficiently that the price can be brought down to a level where we can all afford to use earphones incorporating balanced-armature drivers.
The RevoNext RX8 use a hybrid design incorporating a conventional dynamic driver in each earpiece that takes care of the bass, while a balanced armature driver provides a really high-quality treble signal. By using two separate drivers and a crossover filter, these IEMs can deliver a sound quality that really would cost a lot more if produced by a traditional single driver design.
The RX8 drivers are housed in a streamlined sound chamber made from a shell of translucent polycarbonate imported from Germany and they’re designed to sit naturally in the bowl of the ear while the detachable cable hooks up over the ears to keep the shells in place. The RX8 are available in blue, black, grey and red, and the shells are coated in a UV-cured, high-gloss varnish, which is extremely hard wearing and looks really cool.
The earphone’s cable attaches to the earpieces via 2-pin plugs. A detachable cable means that the wire can be replaced should it get damaged, or it can be substituted for a cable with an inline remote control and a noise-canceling microphone for making phone calls. The cable itself is made from oxygen-free copper wire, coated in silver, and then platted like expensive IEMs so that microphonics (those horrible vibration noises that can travel up the cable to your ears when wires rub together or chafe on your clothes) are kept to a minimum. This is particularly useful for when you’re walking, jogging or simply exercising in the gym. The end of the cable is terminated in a regular 3.5mm stereo jack plug which is suitable for use with smartphones and digital music players.
Before using the RX8 earphones I had to choose a suitable pair of silicone ear tips to attach to each earpiece. There are three sizes of ear tips provided and they feel well made enough to withstand plenty of use. As mentioned, the cables hook over the ear and the ear tips slip into the ear canal while the shell housing the drivers sits snugly in the bowl of the ear. The plastic shell feels comfortable, more comfortable than the more expensive RevoNext quad-driver earphones I reviewed earlier; I’d say they are every bit as comfortable as many of the really expensive In-Ear Monitors that I’ve tested before.
The sound from the RX8 is simply awesome considering their price. The dual driver design, using a dynamic driver for the bass and mid-range, while leaving the treble to the balanced armature driver, works like a charm. The separation of the two signals creates a wide and dynamic soundstage that really brings the music to life. Bass lines come out a sounding almost like a sub-woofer; it’s as much something you feel as hear, and it really brings out kick drums and bass lines in a way you rarely hear with conventional dynamic earphone designs.
Cutting through the rich and plummy bass and midrange is the sweet and precise treble from the balanced armature driver that makes cymbals and other percussive instruments assert themselves with the same insistence as the bass. And yet, with all these dynamics going on, I never found my ears tiring from such a big and engaging sound. The music is presented delicately when required and yet bold and brassy when the occasion demands.
Verdict: The more I listened to the RevoNext RX8 earphones; the more I really liked them. I think these could easily be my ‘go-to’ everyday earphones as they work brilliantly with such a wide range of music and they’re inexpensive enough that you don’t need to worry about losing them on a train. To get anything better you’d need to be using a pair of IEMs costing considerably more. The combination of warm and beautifully articulated bass alongside the steely precision of the treble from the balanced-armature driver makes these earphones probably the best value IEMs on the market. Highly recommended.
Pricing: £24 / $36 / €27
More info: www.revonext.com
RevoNext is offering some special deals from November 10 – 30 so it may be worth checking that out on the company's website.
· Type: In-Ear
· Connectivity: Wired
· Cable Length: 125cm±2cm
· Sensitivity: 105dB
· Impedance: 25Ω
· Frequency Range: 7Hz-40KHz
· Plug Type: 3.5mm L Plug
· Pin Type: 0.78mm
· Weight: 20g
Mark Sparrow Contributor
I've been a print and online journalist covering technology and industry for around 35 years. In that time I've written for both Mac and PC titles as well as spending many years writing about audio, digital imaging and camera technology. I enjoy all aspects of technology, especially the pleasure of using gadgets that make life more enjoyable, creative and productive. A large part of my career has been spent reviewing and testing the latest technology and that’s when I’m at my happiest.