T-PEOS RASIEL Review by mark2410
Thanks to T-PEOS for the sample.
First Impressions: Well it’s been a little while since I’ve had a T-PEOS in and these are a bit different, for one they are a single dynamic. Lol the box makes me smile though, apparently they are “Killing Sound” and “Filled with the Sound of Vacuum tube.” It’s adorable these Far East translations that you know what they were probably aiming for linguistically for just don’t quite get there, lol. I’m not too sure it’ll go down so well with the John Lewis sort but I doubt they well be sold there anyway. Opening the box and you cannot help but notice how pretty they look. I’m a total sucker for bare metal and the dark gun metal look is pretty lush. The pdf I got on them tells me they are chromium plated brass. I wonder if we’ll see a plain brass version? Damn they look pretty, not unlike the Finder X1 actually though the X1’s are more diminutive.
Slapping on the pair of Comply’s and in the ears. Woah nelly, that’s some bass you got on you there. Lol, damn that is some bass!!! That pdf, yeah it’s a got a frequency chart on it and I think that boosted bass line is if anything highly conservative. The uppers are less acoustically pleasing to me but the bass is fab. Fingers crossed a 100 hours on them will steady that upper ebullience. Something tells me this a going to a bit of a fun cannon.
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., HiFiMAN HM-650, 1G Ipod Shuffle, Nexus 5, Lumia 735 and a Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear.
Lows: The lows are a little bit odd. Now I am sure the RASIEL’s are sealed but the bass trails at a rate more in step with an open earphone. The deepest depts. Trail off quite rapidly. It’s strange but I’m fine with that, the bass is overall quiet boosted, raising to its fullest in the middle of the bass range, putting a little bit of a distance from it and any more typical bid/bass hump at the cusp of the two ranges. Thus the bass and the mids are quiet separate and distinct. Its a little bit unnatural like a mistuned 2.1 speaker set up where the satellites are rolling away before the sub kicks in, vigorously. While I technically know this is a little bit “wrong” but its super fun. Vocals stay clean and the bass get to go rip roaring, shaking that junk filled trunk all over the place. You know it’s a little bit wrong, a little bit naughty but it’s really rather fun.
Quantity wise they are really somewhat boosted, when you push them too they will spit out some pretty heavy bass and it’s all focused in the middle bass ranges, death is there but its highly over shadowed. Likewise as it rises towards the mids it takes a dip. So the bass can feel a little bit monotone. It isn’t filled with subtlety and nuance but it’s a US$40 IEM. Its party party bass that likes to give as much punch as it can even though it’s got a coating of soft foam. It wants to go aggressive but its impacts are slightly softened.
Mids: They are really quite good. In absolute terms I get they aren’t perfect, they lack in detail and can be a little bit monotone having a particular preference for middle mids. This however makes them feel distinct and clear without being forward. It’s nice and while I know it’s not getting everything right I still find I enjoy its peculiar style. Melanie Martinez tracks work perfectly. They have rather good instrument and vocal separation, the W shaped sound signature with the dips where the ranges meet. The vocals always sound more separate and thusly more audible because they aren’t encumbered by things up close to them. The most subtle of vocals are a little lost on them but for more pop centric, lively, jovial sort of things they are very well suited.
Quantity wise they are a bity behind the big bass peak. Their separation however makes them deceptively unencumbered and thus very cleanly obvious. It gives the initial impression of being more middy than they really are.
High’s: They are for the most part somewhat subdued up top. There is a roll off but the extension is pretty good actually. It’s highly polite about it, no hardness nor a sharp edge. Detail junkies or those wanting dazzling treble hurled at them like broken glass thrown in your face need look elsewhere. They are going to be rather too polite for many. Even when you push a little they will not go abrasive. There is no hard abrasiveness, which I’m really quite surprised by given their metal enclosures. Normally things with metal enclosures tend toward being quite cutting up top but these have clearly been pulled bock from that. Intentional I presume but while it works for my ears, being quite treble sensitive I’m good but there is a distinct lack of bight for an otherwise poppy, drama / good time machine.
Quality wise it’s very good but you have to listen out for it. However expect that what should be hard metallic edges will be rounded and softened. It makes them easy to listen to for hours but it is plain and simply going to be lacking for some.
Soundstage: In terms of scale they are alright, a big ish room. They however shine a little in terms of instrument separation. The W shaped sound signature whit the bass and the mids being so distinct and separate they are nicely separate. Though it’s a little bit weird because while things sound separate their placement in more or less about all the same. It’s just sort of there in the middle. Trying something very intimate or symphonic and its doesn’t really seem to care, it’s there, in kinda the middle and only a small stone’s throw away.
Fit: Great. I slapped them in my ears, up or down and instantly they fit fine. No trouble at all. Though I should mention their shape, the tapered, trumpet like shape meant the buds are a little hard to grip for extraction. Try not to pull them out by the cable as you may instinctively want to as such things shorten the life of IEM’s no end.
Comfort: Great. Up or down neither gave me any issues.
Microphonics: None. Even wearing down there weren’t really any to speak of, which is just as well because there is no neck synch. The mic and control thing did catch on my collars a little but nothing terrible.
Cable: From the Y splitter down it’s a tightly braided affair, the likes of which I’ve not seen for some time and I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen on a product at this low price before. Now just because its braided doesn’t mean it’s awesome but I’ve got to admit I like, I like it a lot and it’s impressive to see it on something so cheap.
Aesthetics: Oooooh shiney, oooh pretty. They are chrome plated Brass apparently, now hands up everyone that want to see a bare naked brass one too. Not that these aren’t pretty lush looking as they are. I’m a total sucker for bare metal, especially darkish metal. They may be chrome but they look more gunmetal to me and there is no question, they are lookers.
Build Quality: Like with the cable, for the price I’m very pleased. Now due to their shape I want to whip out the Finder X1’s but I know that would be unfair. These cost a sliver of what the X1’s do but the buds look fab. I’m a total sucker for bare metal, that gun metal colouring looks great to me. Sure they are polished and I’d rather matte, anodised or brushed metal but hey, they cost US$40. The only thing about the RASIEL that gives me pause is the mic / control thing. There isn’t anything “wrong” with it but the buds look lush and it by comparison looks rather naff.
Amped/Unamped: Amped they may gain a little bit of lightness, the upper vocals stand up a little bit more in comparison to a more heavy, bassy sound out of weaker sources. Thus for the most part I preferred a bit of a more powerful and lighter source than a phone for the RASIEL’s. Out of any mobile even the 735 and P8 they were very bass centric. So comparatively making them more bassy wasn’t really what I wanted and anyone whos already got amps may feel the same but….. you know I’d bet its more likely buyers in the first place won’t want to amp. They will not only never think of amping but will want their bass exactly where it is. So, really I wouldn’t particularly go out of my way to amping them. They don’t especially gain much as they are very sensitive anyway. Maybe a baby FiiO but really I wouldn’t go out of my way to amp them, you just don’t get any great return on doing so.
Isolation: You know they are actually not at all bad. Being sealed you get much better isolation in return and these therefor are towards the upper end of what a dynamic drivered IEM can deliver. You should be fine using these for just about anything, out and about, on a bus, that sort of stuff. Not super great for a Tube commute or long flight but you’d survive okay. As ever these, even without music playing are probably isolating enough to get yourself run down if you fail to pay attention using your eyes.
Accessories: Well the box says 3 pairs of silicone tips and pair of Comply’s. It also says you get a shirt clip and a fabric pouch. I however didn’t seem to get those, as google can find almost nothing about these they are I suspect pre-release so I’ll write that off as a simple pre-production omission.
Value: T-PEOS is has reasonably well established its name as a new “Far East” company that makes good value products. As these are going to retail for just US$40, their looks alone to me make them worth that and that they sound fun and good are bonuses. As is so often the case these days, these are well deserving of your pennies.
Conclusion: The RASIEL (okay what is that name supposed to mean?) the box declares, KILLING SOUND. I must confess I burst out laughing on reading, what I’m sure they meant is Killer Sound. Then they are “Filled with the Sound of Vacuum tube.” Again that made me snigger a bit, I know what they meant but it’s still funny. However while they may not be masters of the English language T-PEOS clearly know what the hell they are doing when it comes to making earphones. The things look lush and they sound epic too. Now hands up, they are not tuned with the like of me in mind. These are bootylishious badonkadonk bottom enders. They have much junk in that trunk and they are most certainly not shy about shoving it “up in yo face.”
Audio purists and audiophile snobs won’t be queuing up for the RASIEL. It’s much more Melanie Martinez and The Vamps than it is Bach choral works. Think pop, stuff with a big thumping bottom and decently listenable vocals. They both may not be the best you can find but they are both up on stage, you know that had 1 (or maybe 5) drinks too many. You are having the party time of your life and little details like being tonally perfect just don’t matter. That’s the RASIEL, its bucket loads of entertainment, it a great looking package and, yes and is actually pretty capable too. Details are not at all bad, the depth is a bit so so, and the treble extension too is moderate. The vocals are middling but they cut through nicely for the price. For the money I really can’t fault it. Even things it’s not best suited to, like the Krall woman. The vocals are so well articulated and separate from the bass and treble she sounds stand out, up in front and does a bloody good job of it too for a pop machine.
So should you buy one? Well, yes. I really can’t think particularly of any reason not to like the RASIEL (well, aside from that name, I mean what is it supposed to mean?) they are clearly lookers, even a quick glance I think tells you that. Acoustically they are a little rambunctious, a bit of a slanted W shape, the bass being biggest, then the mids with the treble taking up the least amount. However they are so clear in their instrument separation that it’s a big party sound yet can do anything pretty well. Slap on some vocal heavy soft jazz and the bootylishious bass casually melts into the background. Then fire up some pop masterpiece form the likes of the blond girl who thinks she’s fat but it’s okay because boys like fat girls says her mother. (Meghan Trainor.) They come rocketing back to exuberance. I kinda feel like I need to go dancing out in the sun with an iced Blue WKD in hand and maybe a pitcher of Margarita’s on hand.