Before starting this review, I would like to share technical aspects and package details.
8mm dynamic with 2 balanced armature drivers
8mm dd 2ba
2 ways crossover
Rhapsodio RDB Gen2 earphone
3 pair Silicon Tips
3 pair Foam Tips
Lotoo Paw Gold Diana
Astell & Kern AK120
Package, Design & Isolation;
RDB Gen2 comes with a fantastic big and heavy wooden box. It looks and feels absolutely fantastic. It has Rhapsodio logo on the top. When you open the box there are aluminium case and some other accessories. Package contains 3 pairs of foam tips, 3 pairs of silicon tips, earphone and cable. Package contents are not rich but they are absolutely high quality.
Surprisingly RDB Gen2 shell is pretty small contrary to the entire Rhapsodio’s products. For example, Saturn, its shell is pretty big and I think it is size same as Zombie and Solar. Shell color is solid black and it has gold Rhapsodio logo on the faceplate. Body design and color really beautiful and there is no other color options available as far as I know, but there is no limit for Sammy and I believe that he will produce some other special options. Shell has a pretty nice shape and it fits quite well. I don’t have any issue or complaint about its design. It is very safe design that will fit most ears without any issue.
RDB Gen2 comes with Rhapsodio Dwarf cable which is a great cable. I like how it looks, the material and sound of Dwarf. I’ve tried some other copper cable with RDB Gen2 but the best synergy I found is with Dwarf. Cable is 4 braided 6N OCC litz copper. Usually this kind of cables mostly come with TOTL products, but Rhapsodio Audio includes in their base line model, great.
Overall material and build quality are pretty satisfying. Especially that wooden box is one of the best outer boxes I’ve ever seen.
The general sound character of RDB Gen2 is V-Shaped but it has slightly on the bright side due to the prominent and bright upper frequencies. The low frequencies are noticeable and can go deeper. The quantity is not as bass-head level, but it is powerful enough to satisfy. Middle frequencies are typical V-Shaped and laid back. Vocal presentation is slightly forward. The upper frequencies are surprisingly well extended and it has nice sparkle. The soundstage is not super wide, but it is wider than average.
I think upper frequencies are the best region on the RDB Gen2, or my favorite at least. It is fretless, airy and transparent. This makes RDB successful in most music genres. The resolution and detail level are above its price. The instruments are not attached to each other and RDB puts enough space between them. A slightly uncontrollability can occur in fast music, but it is only at louder level. Due to the prominent trebles, listening loud doing some fatigue. The treble is quite energy-loaded and offers a good detail with its energy. Although it has not as the same level of detail, but the amount and presentation are similar to Andromeda. Clarity of the treble makes sound clean lifelike presentation. As a plus feature, even at high volume there is no artificiality and digitalization in the treble. In the meantime, when I listened first out of the box it had a slightly sibilance in the treble, but after a 50-hour burn-in, it became more controlled and tamed. If you want to upgrade the stock Dwarf cable, I recommend looking for a copper cable again. With Silver- or silver-plated cables may be uncontrolled and have some sibilance. In general, the treble performance is absolutely excellent for an earphone in this price range.
Mid frequencies are slightly laid back and recessed due to overall V-shaped sound signature. Despite of natural timbre, instruments are a bit thin and it is especially noticeable with the stringed instruments. This thin instrument presentation does not feel any weakness in the body, but it does not have full bodied presentation. The performance of mid-frequencies in music genres like EDM is extremely successful. In the upper mid section, where the mids are close to the trebles, there was not much problem in this region except for some dynamism and slightly sharpness. Sammy did a good choice combining it with the Dwarf copper cable. With Spc or silver cable, upper mids might show some harshness and sibilance. I like forward vocal presentation for my personal taste and I like RDB vocal sound, but I feel that some of the instruments have been pushed backwards and there is some artificial distance between vocal and instruments. It is great for separation and airiness but somewhat it is lack of harmony. This is the only criticism for the mid frequencies, overall, mid frequencies have been successfully tuned. No interference, losing control or losing its detail.
Bass is another great frequency of the RDB Gen2. As you might expect from a dynamic driver, it is powerful and it reaches quite deep. It is satisfying both in quantity and impact. The disadvantage of dynamic drivers is a bit slower in bass region comparing with the balanced armature drivers and generally dominates other frequencies. RDB bass response is not as fast as BA driver but it has nice attack and tightness. It doesn’t have any distortion at high volumes and it is not muddy. It performs well in bass-based music with accent and deep. The stress in the bass can be increased in the bassy tracks and may cause some uncontrol, but recovery time is good for a dynamic driver. The resolution and detail level are quite good. In overall, the bass is dynamic, tight and quite controlled.
Background is clean, dark, but I think it could have a darker background. Soundstage of RDB Gen2 is quite spacious, and the wideness is quite enough to distinct the instruments.
Rhapsodio RDB Gen2 is a great hybrid earphone for its price range. You will get lovely wooden box with Rhapsodio Dwarf cable and beautiful RDB Gen2 earphone. Nowadays, hybrids earphones are getting more popular and RDB Gen2 is a great example for a good hybrid sound. There is no perfect earphone and Gen2 also has some weakness but it has a really good performance in overall.