Spider Cable Realvoice In-Ear Headphones Page 2

Inside the Realvoice, you can see the slightly angled driver from the rear. Also note the small acoustic filter on the rear cover port.

Sound Quality and Intended Application
I'll quote Ronny Tsai, President of Spider Cable, on the intent of the Realvoice IEM:

    "We didn’t name our earphone 'realvoice' by accident, it can represent singers’ true voice."
The Realvoice IEM was designed to bring out the natural timbre of the human voice. Given my penchant for neutrality, and vast experience listening to "voiced" headphones that sound miserable, I was highly suspicious. Well, color me surprised, these things sound great.

With a generally warm tilt (bass accentuated, treble rolled off) the Realvoice is a pleasure to hear. The accentuated bass is not overdone and is well extended. Though slightly loose sounding at times, the bass remains reasonably articulated and well integrated into the mids. The treble is somewhat reduced relative to the mids, but by no means lacking. All the details are well preserved and articulated. The mids are downright glorious, and really do bring out the natural timbre of the human voice. Though slightly warm, it's hard to characterize the sound of these cans as "colored," rather, they are relaxed, comforting, and tremendously pleasurable for a headphone at this price. The Spider Cable Realvoice is definately one of the better sub-$100 IEMs I've heard.

Being a lower cost headphone with headset features, I listened extensively on my iPhone and Droid. I spend a lot of time streaming Pandora while I write, and the Realvoice headphones made streamed audio off my phones a distinct pleasure. Their gentle but articulate highs were never screechy, and they really brought out all the best things in the music without calling attention to the foibles of compressed audio.

Measurements

Click on above datasheet image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

On the upper corrected frequency response graph, the overall warm tilt of these cans can be seen with the bass elevated on the left and treble reduced on the right. The bass emphasis is mild compared to many IEMs I've tested, and shows good restraint on the designers part. It's interesting to note how flat the graph is between 300Hz and 2000Hz. On many IEMs the bass will start rising at a much higher frequency and net a muffled or murky sound. I think the FR curve for the Realvoice indicates how they delivered a balanced midrange so nicely. The spike at 9kHz is likely an ear canal resonance, and is fairly common in headphone measurements. During pink noise listening tests I can usually hear spikes in highs; I didn't hear this spike during listening tests.

The 30Hz square wave response show the high frequency components of the leading edge lower in level than the humped up top; this indicates a warm sounding headphone. The full length of the top of the waveform remaining well above zero indicates good bass extension.

The 300Hz square wave response and impulse response shows a headphone that may be a tad slow to react, but also shows significant lack of ring and noise artifacts that lead to harsh or grainy sound.

THD+noise data shows a low distortion headphone with very good power handling capability as indicated by the 100dB traces falling below the 90dB data.

With a very flat impedance curve at 18 Ohms and needing 24mVrms to achieve 90dB levels, this headphone will be driven quite easily by portable payers of all types.

All told, this is a very respectable set of measurements for a headphone of this price. Very.

Summary
I was surprised that this somewhat odd design fit so comfortably in my ears, and was tickled pink to hear the great sound of the Spider Cable Realvoice once inserted. It's not often you get to hear such tastefully tweaked headphones that do so many things so right ... especially at this low price point. I heartily recommend these tasty little cans.

Resources after the video!

Spider Cable website and Realvoice product page.
Head-Fi threads on the Realvoice here, here, here, and here.

COMPANY INFO
Spider International Inc.
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
UtzY's picture

Nice to find out and read about new earphones on your blog, but I think I would like to see more measurements/comments for "old-boys" like Ultimate Ears triple-fi and maybe the new dynamics that make big waves on the internet: Hifiman RE0/re252,262 Vsonic GR07, etc.

We need a background(headphones that we know), here on your beautiful and promising site! :P
It will be easier for us, readers.

PS: Nice review, and I think I began to understand more about square waves, and their impact on sound. Until now I used to look after the "perfect square wave" :)

KevinLP's picture

After I tried realvoice for a month, I started to love the sound signature they created. To tell you the truth, I started to believe that it can represent the artists true voice like they advertised. Now with your complete review, I don't have to doubt my own ears(I still couldn't believe this kind of quality can be find easily at the price range).
By the way, I like Michael Buble and I went to his concert several times, this phone really made me feel like having Michael singing in front of me, the bright and smooth mids really compliment Michael's voice and it just feel so so so ... good.
I think the only disadvantage they have is Spider is a new company and nobody knows them, hope they can come up with more great phones in the near future.

thegr8brian's picture

Are IEM frequency responses compensated using the same HRTF as with circumaural headphones?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
No, same curve. Our brain doesn't change when we put in IEMs, so same curve applies. IEM makers need to compensate for bypassing the pinna.
joster121's picture

You should try reviewing the Klipsch Image S4 IEM

santisinghok's picture

who are more concerned about reaching place timely, even by ignoring traffic signals.

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