Shenzhen Paiaudio Electronics Co.Ltd in short Paiaudio form Shenzhen is a manufacturer of high end audio products. They have variety of products (Earbuds, single dynamic driver IEMs, fully BA IEMs and hybrid IEMs) from 20$ to 300$ and today for review I have got their DR2 model. I would like to thank Penon Audio for sending a unit for review. Paiaudio DR2 is the successor of DR1, and it is a single Dynamic Driver IEM.
- Housing – Resin shell,
- Driver – 12mm Dynamic driver,
- Sensitivity – 120dB,
- Impedance – 32Ω,
- Frequency Response Range – 10-20 kHz,
- Connector – MMCX,
- Plugs – 3.5mm line type,
- Cable Length – 1.2m.
Buying Link – HERE
What’s inside the Box?
DR2 earphone, 3 pairs of Silicone ear tips (S/M/L), Shirt Clip.
It’s just an 85mm x 85mm x 50mm (W x L x H) transparent acrylic box and everything packed well inside. IEM secured using a piece of black foam and the cable is placed beneath it. You can adore the beauty of DR2 even without unboxing it. Branding done on small piece of paper with specifications, placed inside the box but sadly No carry case included, so I am going to use this box as a carry box while travelling. Tips and shirt clip placed in a separate plastic pouch inside the box. Overall unboxing experience is simple yet interesting.
Build & Design
DR2 is completely a handmade product yet very well made. Not sure but it seems DR2 is made out of medical grade resin. The surface is smooth and no sharp edges are there even any visible scratch or bubble not present on this resin shell. The brass nozzle has been fixed with the resin shell very carefully and wax guard mesh has been applied in front of that nozzles. Gold plated MMCX connectors also embedded with the shell quite nicely. You can see the large golden dynamic driver, small cables, and sound tube even from outside of the shell due to its translucent resin shell. Right and Left earpiece marked with red and blue color on the face plate. A small hole near MMCX connector maintaining the air pressure inside the IEM otherwise DR2 is completely seal and no visible joints are there. So overall solid and good build quality.
Cable quality is decent, 4 cores nicely woven till Y splitter. It is a detachable MMCX cable with L type 3.5 mm plug, soft and no sign of microphonics. A small chin slider and memory foam used for ease of usage. MMCX connectors goes inside the IEM shell a bit for better fit but noticed some movement yet no drop in sound .
Source, Comfort, Noise Isolation & Tip Selection
DR2 is only 32Ω and very easy to drive , worked fine with almost all of my sources like Iphone SE, N3, Fiio Q1 Mk2, Fiio Q5 & Audioquest Dragonfly . DR2 sounds best with bright source because of its sound characteristics, which I will discuss soon.
Comfort and noise isolation is too good, Paiaudio DR2 not only looks like a CIEM it also fits like a custom IEM. Supplied tips are good but a pair of double flange tip is must have, which is not there. I have used an aftermarket soft, medium bore sized double flange tip for improved sound. Before any serious listening I left DR2 for 50 hours of burn in.
Tracks / Albums Listened –
- Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams,
- Eagles – The Very Best Of The Eagles,
- Eric Clapton – Riding With The King (Tidal MQA),
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged (1992),
- Etta James – At Last! ,
- Michael Jackson – Scream,
- Sia – This Is Acting (Deluxe Version),
- Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour,
- Legends- Elton John,
- Michael McDonald – Wide Open,
- Daft Punk – Random Access Memories,
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours,
- Sting – The Best of 25 Years.
There is no doubt that the sound signature of Paiaudio DR2 is ‘v’ shaped, but it’s not that conventional ‘V’ shape tuning we acquainted with, especially the higher frequency part is not well extended to be a proper ‘V’ shaped sound. Let’s explain further.
DR2 designed keeping bass on top priority. Sub-bass section is the cream in terms of quantity and quality. The bass is impactful and goes deep without making it overpowering. Speed is fast, accurate and noticeable rumble is in sub-bass area. Song like ‘Instant Crush’ by Daft Punk sounds very enjoyable and every hit on drum is clear and punchy. A warm player with DR2 is not suitable as it’s already good in bass section. Pair of double flange tip and a SPC cable can bring more texture in Mid-bass area too.
Mids where Paiaudio DR2 suffers most, especially in lower mid range. Some bass bleed can be noticed in this area, rest mid range especially upper mid range is a bit forwarded than lower Mids. Male vocals are thin and muffled, female vocals are though sounding better. Song like ‘Are You Ready for Love ‘by Elton John lacks the texture where ‘House On Fire’ by Sia, sounding acceptable. I know the Mids of DR2 is not overwhelming but personally I am not expecting such natural Mids from a ‘v’ shaped sounding IEM.
Higher frequency part is not that well extended, it’s smooth and no harshness or sibilance at all. The quality is good but quantity is less. Don’t think DR2 is treble shy, for treble sensitive people it’s enough. With a third party SPC cable DR2 can even manages to overcome the shimmer slightly. Song like ‘Riding with the King’ by B. B. King and Eric Clapton with DR2 may feels less energetic first but it turns out, it’s actually less fatigue with the entire album.
Soundstage & Imaging
The soundstage is quite good for such a budget IEM, instrument separation is also very good. Separation of vocals and instruments are clear, DR2 is doing great with complex songs too. In songs like ‘I Don’t Want to Know’ by Fleetwood Mac the 3D holographic stage is present.
Comparison Vs Fiio Fh1
Fiio FH 1 priced around 75 $ and Dr2 is selling for 50$, now FH1 comes with lots of accessories which Paiaudio DR2 doesn’t provide, except that DR2 sound a bit better than FH1. Fit and noise isolation is also better with DR2. DR2 looks modern and stylish. Sonically Bass is boomy in FH1 where in DR2 is punchy, Mids are almost same in FH1 and DR2. In Treble section FH1 a step ahead. FH1 with balanced cable sound a bit better too.
From the perspective of design and fit, Pai audio DR2 is remarkable. It’s clear that DR2 is tuned for bass lovers; but it can please non-bass lovers too with natural Mids and 3D soundstage.