Truthear ZERO RED Review: Red Velvet

I really liked the initial Truthear ZERO so I was very excited when I was offered a chance to review a re-tuned version of the ZERO called the ZERO:RED. I will admit I was surprised to hear the new “project RED” IEM was another version of the ZERO since I felt that was good enough that it didn’t need a retune. Well, I’m glad a new version of the ZERO is out since it definitely brings its own flavor and I think it’s a good compliment to the ZERO. The RED comes in at $54.99 and is using a double dynamic driver setup. 

Quick shoutout to Shenzhenaudio for sending me the ZERO:RED to check out and review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers or dealers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

Gear Used

IPhone 14 Pro Max with headphone adapter, Moondrop Aria, Turthear ZERO, Moondop MoonRiver 2, Hiby R6 P2.

Looks and fit

The shell is the exact same size as the OG ZERO. I do find this fits my ears well with my trusty Spinfit tips. The IEMs are lightweight and I find long session comfort pretty good. I like the look of the red faceplate that has some depth to the design. I was hoping it would have the same color changing effect the OG ZERO had at certain angles but it looks a little more solid and less flashy so it might appeal to more people. 

Isolation and sound leakage

Just like the OG ZERO, it leaks very little sound and passive isolation is about average for a vented IEM. I think with lower volume levels, it can be used in quiet places without worry.

Packaging and accessories

The unboxing experience between the ZERO and ZERO:RED are pretty much the same. The only addition is the added 10ohm adapter. The RED box is a little smaller as well which I always appreciate.


These final impressions were done off the Eversolo DAC-Z8 connected to the SMSL SP400. These impressions are what the ZERO:RED sounded like to my ears. This was also using the Spinfit CP100+ tips. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The RED goes for a neutral to warmer tuning. It still has very good bass performance and thumps very well. Bass reaches down low and sounds both powerful yet detailed. Which results in a non muddy bass which sounds great for lots of electronic music with deep bass hits. The mids sound a little more relaxed but still very enjoyable. Instruments don’t sound super fast or ultra detailed but I find them good enough given the price. Vocals do sound natural and detailed and I did rather enjoy the presentation here. The upper mids are a little closer to what I prefer and they aren’t super boosted. I’m so used to IEMs having upper mids that are either over the top or on the bleeding edge of what I personally find comfortable. I think this will appeal to most people as “pleasant” upper mids. Treble isn’t that bright but I do feel it sounds just a bit better controlled and less metallic vs other stuff in this price range. It pulls in decent details and while not super fast or sharp sounding. The treble is very enjoyable and still competitive given the price. I really don’t have any complaints with this enjoyable tuning. 

10ohm Resistor Adapter

Truthear includes a 10ohm resistor adapter in the box and I think it does well at adding extra bass without ruining the lower mids. It does require more power to get the same volume without the adapter but I like the option. Plus it allows you to play around and use the adapter on other IEMs to see what results one might get from the adapter.


I think the staging is about average in width and depth. Maybe hovering a little on the smaller stage presence but still good enough. The imaging was accurate and I could still pick out details even in more bass heavy tracks.


The RED isn’t hard to drive nor is it sensitive so I had no issues running balanced with floor noise and I could run it off my DAP in single ended with now issues power wise. Keep in mind when using the 10 ohm adapter, it will need more power to get the RED up to regular volume. Not a big deal but it could cause some low power source devices to struggle or get closer to max volume.

Stock cable

The stock cable is the same as the other Truthear IEMs and I think it's fine overall. It is that shiny black rubber texture and it’s neither bad nor good. I wouldn’t replace it given it’s a $55 IEM unless you really want a balanced cable.

IEM comparisons


While I don’t want to parrot everyone else, I was in the middle of moving while writing up a review so now that I’m releasing this review late, I’m just gonna combine both IEMS into one section.

The OG ZERO has a slightly brighter sound but the bass performance is still really good. I think those who like a brighter sounding IEM will prefer it over the RED. Does the RED sound better than the ZERO detail wise? Not really, I couldn’t tell a difference minus a lack of treble brightness so ignoring the perceived detail from a stronger treble, I would call them about the same in the detail retrieval and resolution department. Both are awesome ~$50 IEMs and I have no issues recommending either one. Having both to listen to might even be a good way for new audiophiles to get a sense if they prefer a brighter tuning or warmer tuning without spending an extreme amount of money.

The HEXA is an extra $25 over the RED and while it’s a better neutral sounding IEM, I still find the RED a little more fun sounding and it fits in my ear a little better so comfort definitely wins at the end of the day. The HEXA is better in terms of detail retrieval but once again, I’ll take a more enjoyable tuning most days over a neutral tuning when it comes to the low-mid range IEM price brackets. Both good, but I’ll still recommend the RED to new audiophiles.

Moondrop Aria

The Aria is pretty old in the IEM world at this point but I’m still patiently waiting to hear something that sounds as good or better than the Aria. The RED is a little closer in tuning to the Moondrop Snow Aria but regardless, the Aria still sounds better to my ears overall tuning wise. The Aria brings in better details and while the bass isn’t as impactful as the RED, I simply prefer the tuning of the OG Aria over the RED. Is the Aria worth the extra $25 over the RED? I don’t think so. I think the RED is a safer bet honestly. 

Amping Combinations

Moondrop MoonRiver 2 Ti

The newer MR2 Ti sounds a little warmer but very detailed and I found it paired pretty well with the RED. The lows are still strong with an added sense of warmth which helped the awesome bass slam the RED provides. The mids are smooth and while not overly detailed, still provide a sweet sound that I really like. Same thing with vocals. They sound extra sweet and come through with workable details. The upper mids are relaxed and same thing with the treble. It doesn’t sound overly warm, just smoother and more enjoyable. I would say those who want a little brighter experience, will want something like the OG MoonRiver 2 or something a little brighter overall to pair the RED with.

Eversolo DAC-Z8/SMSL SP400

This is the newer setup I use for my sound impressions on each review. Do I think the RED scales well with high end gear? Not at all. I think you can get most of the way there with an Apple dongle or even something like the $189.99 will be overkill for the RED. A better power output dongle will be better when trying to use the 10 ohm adapter however. Either way, I wouldn’t stress about source pairing a RED and I would just say buy it and enjoy it with almost everything.

Overall thoughts

I loved the Turthear ZERO and I like this new variant as well. I think the ZERO and ZERO:RED are good options for those who want either flavor of tuning. I’m happy to say the Turthear ZERO:RED is an easy recommendation! While I was hoping for a new design from “project red” I think this is competitive and will continue to be a wonderful option under $100. Great job to the Truthear team and Uncle Crinacle and I look forward to what comes next. Thanks for reading!

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