October 3, 2015 Luckbad 2
Is the exceptional beauty of the Rhapsodio RD3 indicative of its performance?
Rhapsodio RD3 In the Box
- Mirror silver earphones
- OFC copper CM cable
- For this review: 5n Silver plated OCC upgrade cables
- Hardshell case
- 1-year international warranty
Here’s what Rhapsodio has to say:
With the same UltraMag driver technology equipped as the flagship RTi1, RD3 also reproduce music in good detail, and have a greater amount of bass. It suits almost all types of music and rivals most 3 to 4 drivers balanced armature earphones in the market. Metal shell is molded, consistency is guaranteed.
- 8mm Carbon-fiber diaphragm driver design
- UltraMag technology provides extraordinary sonic quality
- Rich and deep bass yet retains clear treble extension
- Bundles with OFC copper CM cable
- Rigid, durable metal housing
- CM socket cables compatible
- 1-year international warranty
- Available in silver colour
Rhapsodio RD3 Impressions
It should be noted that I did not have the stock cables available to me at the time of review. Instead, I had the 5n Silver plated OCC upgrade cables. There are likely minor sonic differences between the two cables, but overall impressions are unlikely to change much.
When I first gazed upon the Rhapsodio RD3, I was a instantly impressed. The build quality of the IEMs and cable is outstanding. They feel durable and solid, like you got what you paid for.
My initial sonic impressions were a little less enthusiastic. For those of you who have read my reviews in the past, you know that I’m very sensitive to treble. Any heat in the upper registers (beyond about 4-5kHz) fatigues me quickly and causes me pain. The Rhapsodio RD3 has a fun sound signature, which means the treble is rather pronounced.
I believe in burn in more than I should, so I didn’t want to let this first impression color my final thoughts. They’re only a little hot in the treble department for me, so I decided to burn them in for ~200 hours before listening again. I also performed a measurement experiment to see if I could detect any frequency response changes from burn in. Those graphs are provided below.
Second impressions: The treble is still a little pronounced for my liking, but I feel like the bass impact has improved. Note that I don’t find the Sennheiser HD650, JVC HP-DX1000, or JVC HA-FX1100 to be dark at all–that’s how much I dislike treble. Saying that a headphone has more treble than I prefer is like saying that the headphone has as much treble as 90% of all headphones.
The bass on the Rhapsodio RD3 belies the small 8mm driver. It hits more like an 11mm driver to my ears, delivering similar levels of impact to the JVC woody line (850 and 1100). It extends rather deep and can be felt viscerally. Does it hit like the Aurisonics ASG-2.5 or Sony MDR-XB90EX? Nope. But, it has superior clarity to both with its stock signature (the Aurisonics IEM can provide excellent clarity and detail with EQ, though).
I dug around my supply of eartips and found that both Comply and Monster SuperTips helped tame the treble while also providing a better seal and more audible bass. A clear improvement for what I’m after.
As far as fit is concerned, this thing is pretty beefy. It’s not light, and the bores are fairly sizable. If you have tiny ears or ear canals, these actually might not fit. I don’t so they fit just fine for me. They also go over the ear, relieving some of the feeling of weight.
After burn-in and tip rolling, the Rhapsodio RD3 is a fun, well-made IEM that is going to be worth its price tag for many. Is it ultimately for me? I don’t think so, but I like dark headphones. If you’re after a lively sound signature with solid bass, give the Rhapsodio RD3 a listen.
Rhapsodio RD3 Frequency Response Graph
This curve was generated using a Dayton Audio EMM-6 Electret Measurement Microphone, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface, and Room EQ Wizard. The mic calibration file was provided by Dayton Audio and the output calibration file was generated using the program itself (3.5mm out on PC to 1/4″ input on Scarlett 2i4).
I did something special here. I measured at 0 hours, then again at 200 hours of burn-in. For the first 100 hours, I used a combination of files, including the Isotek system enhancer, Densen DeMagic, frequency sweeps, pink noise, white noise, and silence. I also played a wide variety of genres for the second 100 hours.
As you can see from the graphs, the changes are measurable. Did I get a superior seal on the second test? It’s entirely possible, but I used the same earphone (left) and tips (small) both times, and I remove and insert between my 3 tests.
This will help you see the differences from 20Hz to 10kHz (compare the treble peak to bass):
- Good bass depth
- Good bass impact
- Nice level of clarity
- Very good build quality
- Detachable cables (nice ones at that)
- Fairly big and heavy
- Fit might not be great for small ear canals
- Treble is a bit hot for my dark tastes
- Fairly expensive
- Aftermarket eartips are preferred