Within the last few years, there has been a glut of new Chinese IEM makers eager to have a piece of the budget pie. Unfortunately, early attempts at making good budget IEMs were not always met with great success. Brands such as KZ have become notorious for overly hyped but ultimately disappointing IEMs. This has led to a general perception of "ChiFi": cheap Chinese audio products that compromise sound quality for the price.
In recent times, however, ChiFi has made a strong comeback against this sentiment. Starting with (or at least popularized by) the Tin Audio T2, new manufacturers have begun making well built (QC aside), competently tuned IEMs that have effectively decimated the budget market for Western IEMs. Just within the last 6 months, I've reviewed the KZ ZSX, BLON BL-03, Guideray Gr-I, TRN v90, Tin Audio T4, MoonDrop Starfield, and most recently, the WG T-one. For the price, the performance of these IEMs, each from a different company, range from being either simply good to truly great.
One such new company is Shuoer, of the recent Shuoer Tape fame. Today, this review focuses on the Shuoer Singer, a new $75 IEM that features a DD and an electrostatic driver. Full disclaimer: I was sent the Shuoer Singer from Linsoul as a review unit in exchange for my honest opinions.
As with the Tape, the Shuoer Singer utilizes an "electrostatic" driver in a hybrid set-up. The exact details of this electrostatic driver are not clear. I won't make any assumptions as to what the technology truly is but suffice it to say it is unlikely to be an electrostatic driver as seen in the Shure KSE series or the Stax headphones as it doesn't require a specialized energizer.
The Singer uses a small bullet-shaped shell with white text on a blue body. The white text prints a short marketing paragraph that unfortunately sullies the otherwise handsome blue shell. Interestingly enough, the Singer comes with a 2-pin 2.5mm braided cable and a short 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter. Accessories wise, the Singer also comes with 2 sets of foam tips and 2 sets of standard silicons (S, M, L), a black carrying case, and 2 sets of tuning filters.
For this review, I used the silver-threaded tuning filters. I briefly tried the blue-threaded filters but found that they made the Singer sound significantly worse. The Singer becomes seemingly bassier, more bloated, and sounds more smeared out. Interestingly enough, they measure almost identically on a frequency response graph (courtesy of antdroid). My guess is that the tuning filter somehow affects the decay of the driver to turn the sound into a smeary mess. At any rate, I can't explain it via the FR graph so to quote WhatHiFi on why things sound different: "Because, dear readers, we can assure you they do."
Overall Sound Signature:
The Shuoer Singer is lively with a thunderous bass response and a focus on vocal clarity. It has a boomy low end, a large recession in the mids, a peak for vocal forwardness, and another steep recession in the treble. It's like the tuning of a night club. For some songs, this tuning seems to work decently well, especially on slow, ballad-like songs.