Shuoer Tape Pro Review: A Trainwreck


For today's review, I'm going to be looking at the Shuoer Tape Pro. It's Shuoer's follow up to their popular Shuoer Tape that I reviewed a while back and thought was fairly decent. At $130 IEM, the Tape Pro costs exactly the same as the regular Tape does, and I believe uses a similar "composite electrostatic dynamic driver". Please note that this is not a true estat driver as it does not require a specialized amp to power it. Technical trifles aside, how does it sound? While Antdroid released a rather unfavorable review of these recently, having heard the Shuoer Tape, I do have some expectations that comes with the Pro moniker.

Disclaimer: I received the Shuoer Tape Pro as a review unit from Linsoul in exchange for this honest review. I am not or will be compensated in any other way.


What's in the Box?

In an unusual turn of events, the first thing you're greeted with in the box is... a Shuoer product catalogue. At least the booklet is rather high quality. Moving on is the IEMs themselves and a small plastic case with a number of goodies. In it is a spare set of tuning filters and nozzles, a cleaning brush, and a set of S, M, and L tips. Below the foam compartment lies the included hard carrying case with the cable, a tuning tool, and another set of tips.The cable is a straight jack 2-pin 2.5 mm cable and they do include a 3.5 mm L-shaped adapter. The cable itself is of OK quality. It tangles easily, there's cable noise, and is rather hard to touch. But at least it does feel rather sturdy.

The build of the IEMs is a full metal shell that looks identical to the regular Tapes. There's a vent in the middle of the shell. It does feel a little thicker than the original Tapes and has a monstrous 7 mm removable nozzle. I'm not entirely sure why the nozzle is removable as it doesn't affect tuning. It's just a feature that's there. Despite the insane nozzle size, I don't find the Tape Pros painfully uncomfortable. The fit is shallow but it does seal reasonable well and stays in place. Isolation is subpar due to the shallow fit and large vent(s) on the back. The sharper edges of the shell can get a little uncomfortable at times. I guess this just goes to show that beyond nozzle size, the actual shape of the IEM matters quite a bit too as the Tape Pros use that popular Shure-style over the ear design.

As alluded to previously, one of the ways the Shuoer Tape Pro distinguishes itself is through its tuning filters. It comes with these blue and silver tuning filters that you swap on the back. Here's Shuoer's guide to installing them with the tuning tool. 


You basically unscrew the filters and swap their places. The back filter (i.e. closer to the 2-pin jack) is the important one as it acts as a tuning port to the second vent. The front filter doesn't actually need to be there; it just screws in for convenience and aesthetics. My Shuoer Tape Pro set came with the blue filter installed in the back despite the image saying that the stock tuning is with the silver. I can confirm that the blue is the bassier of the two.


To describe the sound of the Shuoer Tape Pro, imagine witnessing a trainwreck. You see the train coming. You see the obstacle in its path. Right now it's chugging along just fine but deep down you know that something very, very wrong is going to happen. That is the Shuoer Tape Pro. When I listened to it for the first time, I opened with rock track starring a vocally driven opening. Immediately, the vocals felt off. Not enough that it was unlistenable but enough to fill me with a sense of dread for the next passage of the song. And sure enough, as soon as the drums kicked in, the Tape Pros turns into a messy trainwreck. 

Blue Filter

There are a number of problems with the Tape Pro on the blue filter. The first is that there's pretty only two instruments. It's vocals and everything else. The Tape Pro is so vocal forward that it completely isolates the vocals from all other instruments. Yet it doesn't even do vocals well. Female vocals are shouty and hollow with little upper harmonics. Male vocals have a smothered veil on them despite being so forward. The second problem is the bass quality. It's probably among the worst I've ever heard, topped only by cheap dollar store IEMs and headphones. It's muddy, bloated, incoherent, sloppy, and every other negative adjective you can throw in there. There's just no definition at all. It's like Shrek's bubbling swamp, where each bubble represents a nondescript drum beat somewhere. I don't say this lightly: With the blue filter, the Tape Pro is close to unlistenable for a lot of music. Only on slower paced tracks is the driver able to keep up.

Silver Filter

Thankfully, the silver filter is much, much better. Despite measuring pretty much identically on the frequency response, it adds a much needed level of definition to the notes, partly salvaging the Tape Pro. At least the different instruments can be heard now instead of being just a smear. But it's still quite poor overall. The bass is still muddy and low resolution. It still sounds boomy and bloated. There's still very little dynamics and sense of impact. But at least it's not wholly incoherent and I can look past it to begin enjoying music.

Aside from the bass, the mids and treble are pretty scuffed too. I already mentioned the vocals but the rest of the mids have a distinctly off tonality due to the Tape Pro's midrange suckout and absolute Mount Everest for upper mids. The timbre of pretty much every instrument is wrong by some extent. The treble is completely muted and lifeless. After the 4 kHz mark where the upper mids generally ends, there's just a cliff where the treble drops off and never recovers. If there was any less upper mids, I'd call these IEMs dark. 


On the technicalities portion, the resolution is pretty much low budget tier on the silver filter. Forget about the blue. The only saving grace for this IEM is its large horizontal soundstage. Like its predecessor the Shuoer Tape, the vents on the shell does give it a wide stage. But otherwise it has absolutely zero height or depth. There is also pretty much no imaging beyond the 3 blob left, right, center. 


Should You Buy It?

No. Absolutely not. At $130 this is a travesty. I'm frankly shocked that Shuoer decided the Tape Pros were good enough to be let out of the factory, let along as a successor to the Tapes. The blue filter Tape Pros is the worst sounding IEM I've heard in recent memory. The silver filter is better but its a bit of a stretch to call it acceptable. Even the Kinera Freya that I reviewed a while back wasn't this poor. It's a real shame because clearly the person tuning this had put some thought in designing the filters. I wish the Shuoer engineers good luck with their next design but I'm not holding my breath. Of the three Shuoer IEMs I've tried to date, they all share a very similar V-shaped tuning. And of the three, only one was decent: the Shuoer Tapes. With the <$150 IEM market being so fiercely competitive, Shuoer has a long road ahead of them.

View the product ratings on Antdroid's IEM Ranking List and/or Antdroid's Headphone Ranking List


  1. Totally agree and I think your review is the first negative review I've seen and wished I saw it earlier to avoid the mistake of buying them. Wonder why the reviewers on youtube hyped the @hit (improved drivers while keeping price unchanged!!) out of these shrill sounding IEMs.

    1. Unfortunately, reviews don't come out all at once. Typically you'll have to wait a couple of months as review units trickle out and reviewers get around to reviewing products.
      As for YouTube, Antdroid and I are working on videos! Just that writing is our preferred style of reviewing.

  2. There is a certain Youtube audio reviewer that gushed about these... My next stop? Unsubscribe from that channel...


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