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The R2 Aten is more like a revision of the R1 with slightly better ergonomics and a bit more control over tuning options with tuning nozzles and filters. The R2 Aten houses bespoke Aten driver which combines a neodymium motors with beryllium composite diaphragm and is aided by a high resolution piezoelectric ceramic driver. In this ever growing market it faces tough competition from earphones like Moondrop blessings 2, TSMR 4, secret garden 3 and a lot more.
The R2 aten comes with a lot of accessories out of the box, surprisingly it does not have a proper retail box. It comes with a large travel case which contains all the accessories and cables. I love the way it keeps the things organized. The earpieces are stuffed in the foam. There are 6 pairs of tips inside a transparent case.
There are 6 pairs of filter and 5 pairs of nozzle screwed in couple of aluminum will elaborate them in the sound section holders. The best thing about the package is the cables. There are two, a 3. The 6. There are a lot of options in this price point and a lot of brands use semi custom type build but none of them have metal housing. The R2 is one of the rare earphones which uses full metal shell and the build quality is very good.
The back plate is held in place with screws and feels very sturdy. Dropping it on the floor will not damage it from outside but it can be a different story inside. What stands out about the R2 Aten is its shiny rear vent which makes it an open back earphone.
There is barely any earphone which incorporates metal into semi custom type shells but brands do try to make them a bit curvy and contoured. The back plate already looks quirky with its orange accent to the filter bracket and the notch to accommodate the screw also gives an impression that it might not be very comfortable inside the ear. In reality it really manages to surprise me with its level of comfort, it is not very ergonomical but nothing feels obstructive inside the ear.
The biggest reason is the longer than usual nozzle depth, it really gets deep into the ear canal giving a very secure feel. The earpieces are not heavy and the lower than usual weight helps it stay in ear without falling out. I am a huge sucker for good quality cables. Man, these IEMs with heavy price tags on them deserve an equally complimenting cable, both sound quality wise and aesthetically.
A fantastic IEM with bad cable will not leave a very good impression. To my surprise the R2 ships with two beautiful looking cables. The first one is a 3. There is a generous amount of rubber on the cable which kind of makes the cable a bit stiff, thankfully the braiding is not very tight.
The cable splitter is minimal in size and the chin slider comes in handy. This means that Gold Filter with Gold Damper provided an actually good sound, despite the gold filter alone sounding odd. Same for black, the high amounts of bass of the black filter are balanced a bit by the black damper, and the final sound is actually enjoyable, although aggressively V-Shaped with a strong bass, kinda like Rhapsodio Zombie was.
Then, if you want to have a sound with no bass, there's also the Green filter that opens the bore entirely, and which reminds me a bit of other IEMs with an open design. The soundstage, thanks to the open-back design, is really large, and you get excellent separation and imaging from the piezoceramic driver. Although R2 Aten isolates less than most of its direct competitors and most other options, the holographic stage makes me grab it so often, and explore my music in a whole new way.
The detail and clarity is also top-notch, and you have an IEM that's not only a unique piece, but also really fit for its price category. Not to mention, there are B-Stock and sales going on sometimes, so you can grab one for less than the market price. Portable Usage R2 Aten is not particularly hard to drive, but it has a 32 OHM impedance, which means that it is less sensitive to hiss than IEMs with a 10 OHM impedance, paired with an dB sensitivity, which makes it fairly sensitive.
There are options like IE from Senniesher, which are 16 OHM in impedance and in sensitivity, but they are really hard to drive in practice, so the subjective impression of how hard something is to drive when tested is more relevant than the theoretical values. In terms of passive noise isolation, you could use Final Audio IEMs, like B1 if you wanted more isolation, but even final has models that have a lot of leaking, and isolate less, like Final E , which was a pretty happy-trigger IEM in terms of how much it leaked.
When taking a walk, having some input of what is going on is better, so make sure you don't fully isolate from the outside noise, otherwise you could get in an accident or in trouble. As for portability itself, the cables are a bit springy, so not absolutely ideal, but it is within normal, you can drive R2 Aten from most medium sources, because, as I said, it is not particularly hard to drive, but it is not easy to drive either.
As it comes with two cables, and one of them is balanced, you could enjoy sources that have a balanced output as well, like FiiO M9 , or iBasso DX R2 works well at both high and low volumes, and you don't have to worry about it sounding bad if you're listening more quietly.
IMR R2 Aten is right in between, and will sound interesting at both high and low volumes, especially as there is a good selection of filters, and you can spice the sound to suit your listening volume as well. In a few words, the package is actually better for R2 Aten, with more cables from the start, better cables, the filters are also a bonus, and the carrying case, despite not being necessarily better for R2 if you're carrying it alone, provides a good solution, if you're carrying an entire setup within.
The comfort is actually slightly better for RE, at least for my ears, there's better comfort. RE isolates more, and creates a more quiet listening space for you, but at the same time, the sound is very analytic, and doesn't have anywhere near as much bass as R2 Aten if you're using the black filter. RE is almost a reference tuning, with a sparkly top end, a mild V-shaped overall signature, and a deep, well extended, but almost neutral bass. There is a bit of extra bass for RE than the absolute neutral, and the speed, resolution and clarity of it are sublime, but the quantity is nowhere near R2 Aten.
Now, by comparison, R2 Aten has a stronger upper midrange peak, it has more overall sparkle in the treble, and it has a thicker bass, meatier, but also slower bass. The resolution is better on RE Silver, but both can be very musical and easy to enjoy. The package of R2 Aten is actually better, and especially the default cable is better than the one of Fibae black, since there are two of those cables with R2 Aten.
I consider the filters to also add to the package, as Fibae Black does not like EQ at all, and The Custom Art squeezed everything there was to squeeze out of the driver inside Fibae Black. You can understand that Fibae Black is very coherent, and natural, but when you add R2 Aten to the mix, you get a much more dynamic, punchy sound, with more treble sparkle, more excitement, and more actual options to configure it.
Fibae Black is quite excellent, if you want to lean back, and relax, while R2 Aten is a gem for tinkerers, those who like to experiment, and those who want a more sparkly, more exciting sound. It looks like they kept improving more and more, and with every new release, they leave a nice trace in the world, with more masterful works, with more unique tech, and with better price-to-performance ratios.
The package is similar, but the comfort is better for R2 Aten, as it has less edges, is smaller, and has a better cable than its older brother. Now, with R1, you had two ways of tuning its sound, it had a little screw at the back, which would allow you to either open or close the acoustic chamber of the driver, and it also had a selection of acoustic filters.
With R2 Aten, the acoustic chamber is always semi open, but there are more tuning options than with R1 Zenith. It was really easy and fast to determine which was my favorite signature with R1, but I took more time to tweak and play with R2, there was simply more option and more beauty with each setting to discover. You'd be happy with either, but if you wanted a larger soundstage, more detailed sound, and precision under all settings, R2 Aten manages just that.
With R1 Zenith, the more you wanted to increase the stage, the more vague the sound and instrument separation became, but that doesn't seem to happen with R2 at all. Recommended Pairings The pairing of R2 Aten is easy, as long as you get a decent source, so anything above Shanling M2X , in terms of power, dynamics and control, should do just fine.
I am surprised to notice there is no hiss and no noise coming from this setup, and I'm surprised to notice a very detailed, dynamic and lively midrange, a clean, yet not overbearing bass, and a sparkly, well extended, airy top end. If you're considering getting it, you will have a slightly more neutral and bright signature for your R2, with a wide soundstage, but a slightly stronger treble, including a slightly stronger upper midrange spike, and with a clean bass that's slightly thinner than with most other sources, that seem to thicken it a bit.
For an IEM that has the bass as its highlight, you need to chose a source that will keep that bass under control, and the softer, cleaner nature of QA compliments R2 Aten quite well, providing what I would call a match made in heaven. QA is a minimalistic DAP, so everything went to audio, there's no hiss, and there are lots of details, but there's also no streaming support, no touch screen, just a basic DAP to enjoy for years.
Value and Conclusion The price of R2 Aten, of USD, is actually pretty high, but for the technology employed, quality of sound, number of accessories, and quality of the package, you get what you pay for. There's nothing missing from the package, and getting two high quality cables is pretty much insane considering the little number of IEMs that have a similar package.
Since you can configure up to 30 Signatures, out of which about ten are pretty awesome, that's paying almost 50 USD for each signature of R2 Aten, but it still has the clarity, detail, dynamics and punch of a USD IEM. When it comes to the fit, the only downside of Aten is that it has an open back, and some people are looking for IEMs that isolate, R2 Aten not doing that very well. This being said, the comfort itself is awesome, the tips included in the package are large in number, and there's a rich selection of them, there is no driver flex, and there's no cable microphonic noise, making R2 Aten one of the more comfortable and better built IEMs out there.
Although I tried my best taking some slightly artistic photos for this review, it may not be obvious, but R2 Aten is a true looker, a beautiful design, with an industrial-edgy look, golden accents on a metallic body. Reality can be whatever you want , said Mr. Bob when he set to design R2 Aten, then proceeded to make an IEM that has 30 possible signatures, leaving it up to you how you want to tune R2.
At the end of this review, if you're looking for an IEM that has it all, sparkle, bass, dynamics, punch, thickness, and the option to chose, even the option to choose between its balanced and single ended cable, uses 2-Pin connectors for its cables, and has great comfort, and an open design, you should really consider R2 Aten, and if you keep an eye out, you may spot them while on sale, drop or other sale.
Full Playlist used for this review While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy. Papa Roach Reactions: lgcubana. LostnAmerica Wow, super detailed review, well done. Couple of questions though: when you stated.
And finally, does this have a chance of being an all arounder? Thanks Dobrescu George! Dobrescu George LostnAmerica - Thank you for your kind words! Yes, they can be EQ'ed. My point was that the upper midrange and lower treble are quite stong, not smooth or bland.
They can be a bit spicy for some. Crin has his own standards and I can understand why he might not like the IMRs, they have a hott-ish upper midrange, and a strong bass. Not really an all-rounder unless you EQ them a bit honestly, but if you like a strong bass and a stronger treble and upper midrange, you will most probably love them. Pros : Fun and lively sound with great extension and detail Above average soundstage.
Cons : Bass heavy Open back means limited isolation. Build quality overall is great, the housings are more polished than the original R1 which looked a little DIY. There is good strain relief on the cable and the earphones use a standard 2-pin connector. Overall I cannot find a single issue with the build quality, just make sure not to cross thread the filters. Accessory wise you get a regular 3.
Literally everything you need is included and more, the accessory set you get with these is really impressive. Comfort and Isolation: Once you find the right tips, the R2 Aten are comfortable, the housings are smooth and fit well in the outer ear without creating pressure points. The cable is supple and conforms well over the back of your ear. Isolation is not supposed to be a strong point on these, they are open back as you can see from the grills. They have limited isolation and at high volumes will leak a little.
Sound: There are so many filter combinations so I will try and sum up the R2 Aten as best I can without going too deep into filter rolling. It also took me some time to find my favourite filter combination, but more on that later.
The R2 Aten come with the black filters installed out of the box, and they are tuned to be fun and engaging rather than analytical or reference like. They have incredible impact down low and you can really feel the sub-bass rumble. If you are a bass head I guess you might enjoy this, but the lower midrange gets masked a little by this thunderous bass.
The upper midrange then has a peak which can introduce a little bit of sibilance, they are quite v-shaped with all black filters. There is however good extension and air up top which reveals plenty of detail. You get a selection of lower stage filters which mainly affect the bass with Black having the most and green the least.
I found pink lower to be my preferred bass quantity bringing the lows more in line with the rest of the spectrum. The top filters mainly affect the treble but I found some of them to introduce a little bit of unwanted sibilance. You do have to play around a bit with different configurations to find your preferred signature, but that is one of the fun things about the R2 Aten.
You can have a pair of bass heavy earphones, or you can tune them to be a little more balanced, it is up to you how you want them. On to my preferred combination, at first I was enjoying all Red, as it provided plenty of impact with good extension, but they were still a tad too v-shaped for my preference. I then changed to pink lower and red upper, and with this combination I have a fun yet more balanced signature, the lows still hit hard but are a little more controlled in their impact.
Now I have found my ideal combination I can listen to the R2 Aten for hours on end without any fatigue. They are always going to lean towards a more fun signature, as this is how Bob intended them to sound. Conclusion: I actually really like the R2 Aten, they are versatile allowing you to change filters to suit your preferences but at the end of the day they are designed to be fun and engaging.
They have great detail retrieval, along with a wide soundstage and excellent instrument separation. I can recommend these for those looking for something a little different and a little more fun. Reactions: malfario and Cat Music. Pros : A wholesale upgrade over previous models, fixes glaring sonic issues with the R1 and Zenith; rich, powerful bass some of the best I've heard in an IEM, with balanced mids and better control in the highs; excellent stage and imaging; generous package. Cons : Some bizarre filter and nozzle choices, and frankly too much choice that deviates from the driver's strengths; highs can still be a touch too hot with that piezo driver; not the most resolving driver ever made; limited isolation with a semi-closed design.
Full disclosure : I received an IMR R2 Aten in exchange for my fair and honest opinion, with no expectation of a favourable review. The views expressed are my own, based on my personal sound preferences and taste in music, which may well vary from your own. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. It comes as no small relief, too, because the hype surrounding the first two IMR IEMs was, to my ears anyway, overdone.
The review of updated IMR hit named New Aten. The enhanced bestseller sound in stylish body with a fair price. The culmination of meticulous craftsmanship and cutting-edge components, IMR's all-new Aten IEM is certainly attention grabbing. Inside, it features IMR's own. The R2 Aten features an open-back design, which gives it an expansive and natural soundstage. Inside, this IEM is equipped with IMR's all-new Aten beryllium.