The Softears RSV is easy to like and listen to, with a very safe tuning and with good technicalities for the price. It’s hard to hate this IEM since it has a soft, smooth, and easy-going nature, and it is at times a very musical and enjoyable monitor overall.
As I mentioned, Softears created this IEM for more mainstream use with a low impedance value. As a result, you can hook it up to your smartphone or a DAP, and it will play your tunes unaggressively. It’s smooth and quite forgiving.
The sound I think is on the warmer side of neutral, though the tuning here is spot on. Hence it’s not really too warm, so it gives a great balance and cohesiveness overall. When the once-famous Oriolus MKII was released, I had similar feelings. This has a similar touch with good musicality and with an enjoyable experience.
The RSV has an impactful bass response, and it’s often surprising coming from BA drivers. It’s not over the top, but it has great punch and kick, and it also has very good decay, which is expected from BA technology. Bass has good balance, enough presence for most music, and it’s very controlled.
This makes the RSV very versatile and easy-going. It has the kick for sure, so you can tap your feet with lots of music genres and especially with popular tunes. Yet, if you listen to Jazz, Soul, Classical, or Vocal, it gives a good performance as well, since the bass is very well under control and it’s never overly done. So I think that the Softears team has done a great job in terms of overall tuning here. The texture of the bass is excellent as well.
The sub-bass region has the authority a bit, so the mid-bass takes a step back. So this moves this IEM from the neutral side a bit, making it a bit more fun-oriented IEM, instead of reference. But it’s certainly not a dominating presence at all, it’s just a bit more upfront than the mid-bass region. For example, the RS10 is more balanced with exceptional refinement, but it costs more than double the price. However, I think the RSV is very impressive in terms of bass, especially in terms of decay and speed.
Mids have good refinement and texture with a very nice timbre. Once again the mids are tuned quite safely with a very controlled and musical nature. The tonality of this IEM is simply great too, and I simply can’t find any deficiency here. The instruments and vocals sound very natural and life-like. Once again there’s excellent coherency in this part and it simply makes you feel like you’re listening to a recording live.
So the tuning success of Softears is perfectly shown here once again. In its own price range, it’s not easy to find better mids with better tonality and naturality. The impressive thing here is that it does all of that effortlessly. It’s not forcing anything to sound impressive, it’s just impressive with a very smooth and full response. And since the mid-bass area is excellent, it doesn’t have any mid-bass hump problem. So the mids are well separated from the bass region.
The only thing I can say as negative is that the RSV doesn’t have a great sense of space. This is present with their flagship monitors, but not with this one. Though as you can also say, it’s not fair at all. The RS10 for instance costs around 2000 $, so when you consider the price of this one, you can easily let it pass. Once again, I have to say; the RSV has a spot on timbre and it sounds incredibly realistic.
The RSV has good treble energy and presence, but once again it’s very controlled and smooth with an unaggressive approach. It doesn’t have an incredible extension but it has a good presence and definition. The treble has a good extension for the price though, and the detail level is excellent. If you pair it with a good source device, you’ll hear great details with a great micro performance.
The treble is not congested, it has good air and a good sense of space. I can even say that the treble has more space than the mids overall. There’s great refinement here and that is actually the case with all of their monitors. The RS10 and the Cerberus are also very very refined, and Softears managed to transfer that quality to the cheaper RSV. This is a very good sign that they don’t take away something from their cheaper offerings and I suggest they continue so.
Another good thing about the treble here is the overall articulation. Since it has great layering and separation, the treble sounds clean with a great sense of separation, and everything sounds in place with great rhythm.