Today we check out the $285 Softears Volume Universal IEM from China.
Disclaimer: Softears directly provided the Softears Volume sample free of charge. I covered the customs taxes for the package. This review reflects my honest opinion about the product.
Softears may sound like a new name in the audiophile market, but it’s actually quite popular in China and it was established in 2017. It has ties with the Moondrop brand but Softears mostly focuses on High-End IEMs and premium quality. Nowadays they’re trying to expand their business to the western markets, so that’s why they’ve reached out to us last year. We were glad to know about them and we accepted to put their products to the test.
Their debut was with two IEMs; the “RS10” and the “Cerberus”. I reviewed them in 2021, and they were two of the best products of the year that got a recommended buy from us, as well as a deserved spot in the 2021 Awards.
Softears RS10 & Cerberus Review
Their Cerberus Custom IEM is also one of the recommended custom IEMs on our site, and the RSV model is one of the best options below 1000$.
Softears Volume is the latest IEM release from the brand and it has 3 drivers in a hybrid configuration. There’s a 10mm dynamic driver coupled with 2 customized balanced armature drivers.
The dynamic driver adopts a PEEK suspension diaphragm coil with a Beryllium-plated dome structure. Per Softears, this driver gives an impactful and textured bass. We’ll see about that shortly. The IEM utilizes a 3-way crossover design.
The shell forms with a medical resin material and is closed off with green aluminium faceplates.
Considering the price bracket of the Volume, the box is simply spectacular. Even some $ 1000 costing units don’t arrive with this kind of a set. This is a very premium unboxing experience. If I don’t tell the price of the Volume and let someone else open the package, I’m sure they would guess it to be around $750 at least.
As I mentioned in my previous articles about Softears products; this is a premium brand and the package should be designed accordingly. And yes, this is more like it. I knew that Softears has been on it to provide new packages, but this is more than what I expected for an entry-level Softears IEM.
When you slide out the green cardboard cover (which reflects the IEM’s design with the same colours), you get to the black box with a gold Softears logo. When you open it you see the IEMs on top, mounted on soft, foam-ish material. On the bottom, you see a piece of cloth that helps you to open the foam lid. Once you open that up, you have your 6 pairs of ear tips in their respective packages, the leather carrying case, a user manual and the product ID card.
What a fantastic package for an IEM that is positioned below $300.
Build Quality and Design
The design of the Volume is a very harmonic and smooth one, with a full-green and transparent inner shell, and a green brushed aluminium faceplate that has golden writings on it. The black stock cable completes it nicely and overall the Volume’s design to me is quite impressive, but simple and elegant at the same time.
Build quality is very good as well, as the earpieces are unibody including the nozzles. The sound bores are cut nicely too, and the faceplate closing is perfect. The recessed 2-pin sockets are designed better with a deeper fit than the RSV, which is quite welcoming. It was also a recessed design in the RSV but it was actually not fully recessed so the cable connectors were moving slightly. However, this time around Softears came up with a much better and more rigid design.
The cable has nice braiding with strong insulation. The memory wire area behind the ear is also very flexible and it’s very comfortable as well. I criticized the cables of the RS10 and Cerberus flagships, but the cable in the Volume is excellent and I have no problems there for the price.
The fit of the Softears Volume is very good. It’s a very comfortable semi-custom fit with a reasonably low-profile design. It feels great in the ear and it also blocks lots of outside noise. It’s a flush and secure fit and I’ve had no problems whatsoever. The shape and the ergonomics are very very good.
The tips were another aspect of my criticism of the Softears IEMs in the past year, but they also worked on that one and improved it. I don’t know which provider it is but the new tips are much better with good quality.
I tried the Final Audio tips and SpinFit tips as well, also with a couple more tips in my possession. The result is very good with all of the tips that suit my ear size, so I don’t think anyone would have any problems with the fit of the Volume overall.
Page 2: Sound Quality
Page 3: Technical Performance, Comparisons and Conclusion