HIGH-CLASS
IN-EAR

TAPE

SHUOER

Rating

Price

8.8

120 €

Driver

2

per Side

1

Dynamic

0

Balanced

Impedance

18 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

1

Sound

9

Bass

8

Mids

9.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

104 dB

Handling

10

Workmanship

8

Comfort

8

Suitability

Frequency

20 - 30000 Hz

8.8

Intro

Remember your first Walkman? Welcome to the '80s.
The Shuoer tape takes the cue from the good old days of cassette tapes. But only on the outside, because under the hood is the latest hype in the in-ear world.
An electrostatic driver paired with a dynamic one. This makes the TAPE the currently cheapest representative with an electrostatic on board and a fantastic introduction to the "new" technology. This is not really new, because electrostatics have been used in over-ears for several years. Probably the most prominent representatives are the products of STAX.
However, the electrostatic driver in miniature in-ear format is not yet very widespread, although we can expect a real flood of such in-ears in the near future.
To briefly explain what an electrostatic driver is, here is a short explanation by the colleagues from bonedo.de:
>> The transducer consists of a conductive, (statically) precharged membrane foil, which is exposed to an electric field by two electrodes, the so-called stators. From a mechanical point of view this corresponds to the magnetostatic principle, but here the audio signal flows through the stators and not the membrane, which is moved by the changes in the electric field and the electrostatic attraction. The advantage of this drive is mainly the playback properties of the membrane, which can act less sluggish, more impulse-triggered and with higher resolution due to the omission of conductor tracks or a coil, and is therefore appreciated by audiophile music lovers.<<

Handling

The packaging of the TAPE is a bit playful and does not exactly give the impression of holding a high-quality product in your hands.
However, the cylindrical packaging contains a robust metal case, which contains the solid MMCX cable and a selection of 6 different silicone tips. The small cassettes are wrapped in foam.
The design is independent and nice to look at. But of course this is a matter of taste and not everyone will like the design at first go, because it does not correspond to the usual custom construction and does not look so "professional". The design probably had more priority in the production than the wearing comfort. Comfort is quite good, but not as comfortable as it could be. Nevertheless, the seat is convincing and with the right choice of tips you are prepared for every situation.
The metal housing makes a very robust impression and has no production flaws of any kind.
The isolation is of course always strongly dependent on what you achieve for a seat and on the tips used. I achieve an almost complete isolation, whether in the office or on the street. However, some of the music also penetrates to the outside.

Sound

The TAPE is repeatedly mentioned in relevant forums in one go with the TIN HIFI P1.
I find it is often compared to apples and pears, because the only thing the two have in common may be the resolution and richness of detail, but otherwise they are two independent in-ears, which happened to appear in a relatively same period of time, with different technology (P1 - planarmagnetic)

Thanks to the dynamic driver, the TAPE has a rich bass that is constantly reinventing itself. It can be well-behaved in the service of the mids, or it can really turn up the volume in electro/hip hop, so that it almost reaches basshead level. Is this now wanted, or simply inconsistency, concerning the bass level. I choose the former, because I find it quite appealing that the bass goes along with the music so dynamically and doesn't exaggerate permanently, or is too weak on the chest.
The transition to the mids is clean and you always get a natural dotted bass with good speed and texture. What I think is a bit of a shame, though, is that the bass sometimes holds back in rock music, but then that's mostly due to the recording. If there isn't much bass, the tape doesn't add anything, which makes the kick look a bit thin in some cases.
The rule here is: If the music is well produced and mixed, the TAPE is fun, otherwise the TAPE is less forgiving, so you should always pay attention to a good resolution of the music.

The mids are a double-edged sword for me. On the negative side, they sometimes seem a bit shrill, which is noticeable in bright vocals or even electric guitar-heavy pieces. Here, the dB-boost was probably exaggerated a bit too much in the pursuit of clarity. The mids could use a bit more thickness here and there. On the positive side: Nevertheless, the mids are still able to convince the TAPE with excellent instrument separation and details. Sibilants are also minimized surprisingly well, despite the presence of the upper mids and lower trebles. Voices sound very natural and have a good weighting in the signature. Especially acoustic pieces, or country music with powerful male voices are convincing.

The trebles are actually the highlight of the TAPE. The resolution and extension is enormous without seeming artificial. Somehow this doesn't match the mids and bass 100 %, as the trebles on their own deliver just perfect. But well, we're still talking about in-ears around 100 € and especially in this context the trebles really play up. You really get lost in the spatiality and the fine micro details. Again, if the input is bad, the TAPE doesn't work as a sewage plant. If the quality is poor, the listening pleasure is severely impaired, which doesn't always make the TAPE the best companion for everyday use. Here you really have to take your hat off to what such an electrostatic unit can reproduce musically and that you can get this experience for this price.

Outro

The TAPE is a very interesting in-ear and not only because of its technical nature.
It's really fun to rediscover your music library with it (I'll leave the rock genre out of this one). It has a classic V-signature, with a dynamic bass that knows where to hit and where not and impressive treble reproduction (the comparison with the P1 makes sense here). The mids limp a bit behind, but this is a whining at a high level. Because these also have a lot to offer in separation, resolution and details.
All in all, a successful entry into the world of electrostats with a unique design and great sound experience.

1/0

H27

TAPE

Second Opinion:

CHI-FIEAR © 2018 by David Hahn

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