Here we have yet another new brand from Linsoul that had been talked up quite a bit since it has released. It’s always safer to keep your expectations in check, but I can’t help but be a little excited about checking out the Raptgo Hook-X. This is another new planar IEM not unlike the 7 Hertz Timeless, with a generous $239 price point. However, there’s so much more to the Hook-X that makes it quite the item, so let’s dive right into it.
What You Get
- RAPTGO HOOK.X Earphones
- 0.78 2pin OCC Silver Plated Coaxial Shielded Wire + 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm Plugs
- Earphones Bag
- Headphone Silicone Sleeves (S M L)
- Warranty Card And Instructions
Look and Feel
I would describe the outer shell of the Hook-X as a classy design. The shape of its housing isn’t really anything new, but that golden lining that surrounds its faceplate grille makes this a super stylish IEM. Its CNC aluminum makeup also helps with the earphone’s level of value and durability. As for comfort, the Hook-X is light, and always felt secure while sitting in my concha. For me, it seemed a perfect size and the wide selection of ear tips should definitely help achieve the best fit possible.
The Hook-X is an open-back planar IEM that also implements a custom 18-layer double-sided piezoelectric driver, making this one of the first hybrid planar IEMs on the market. Its planar driver is 14.2mm and it is driven by N52 magnets. A thin ribbon is suspended between the magnets for its current, resulting in a much more powerful magnetic field.
- Sensitivity(1KHz): 105dB SPL/mW
- Frequency range: 20Hz- 40KHz
- Impedance(1KHz): 15Ω
Open-back IEMs should offer something special to the soundstage, helping it achieve a level of extension closer to headphones. I’ve come across a few open-back IEMs before, but the Hook-X really takes it to the next level. Not only is the sound field wide and expansive, but its layering reaches heights that I don’t think I’ve experienced with an IEM until now. The Hook-X favors a spacious image for its sound elements to showcase all they have to give, separating instruments, effects, and vocals with tons of air. You always get a sense of roominess within the Hook-X, as it offers its stage a huge amount of headroom. Its layers give the image an immersive depth that is easy to get lost in, and it all wraps around you in a way that spatial audio-supported Bluetooth earbuds just can’t replicate. All of its incredible dimensions and localization just come through with too much naturality to even begin to be compatible. All around, this is one of the best soundstages of an IEM period.
Expect a tonally rich and expressive response out of this bass, because the Hook-X doesn’t hold back in the lows. These IEMs deliver an exceptionally layered and detailed bass timbre, with engrossing textures that dive deep and expand outwards. Sub-bass presence is plentiful and well communicated, keeping a controlled bloom of rumbly tones that keeps the lows consistently satisfying. The mid-bass also possesses a tight punch that is always clean and perfectly positioned in the sound signature. Its most important aspect is its feel, having the ability to shake your core even when it is being more subtle.
The extension of the bass is realized well into the midrange, which operates with a similar level of fidelity. These frequencies expand greatly in detail, showcasing crisp artifacts and resolving instruments naturally. It gives the frequency response tons of space too, stacking multiple instruments on top of each other and letting them play with even levels of clarity. Vocals are also unique in that they always seem to appear above you in some way like they are being performed to you from a stage rather than emanating from inside your head. There also seems to be a bump in the upper mids that pushes them forward, which is a characteristic I always welcome no matter the profile.
Everything about the highs is performed with exceptional grace. They don’t quite extend in the way that the bass and mids do, but still, preserve a level of resolution that sounds proper to this timbre. It doesn’t stick out with brightness or peakiness but instead presents a more leveled and natural approach to its tonality. High frequencies resonate with a good click and provide the listener with a bit of sparkle that can make mixes appear lusher. They also give the sound signature a greater height, adding an airy quality to some of its responses.
Suffice it to say, I am pretty astounded by the quality of the Raptgo Hook-X. Its sound signature is almost like catnip to me, with its spacious soundstage, depth, and rich response in a lot of frequency ranges across its spectrum. It performs far, far beyond its $239 price point, and immediately showcases its value as the absolute best open-back IEM currently available. You really need to listen to this one for yourself, as I can’t see anyone not falling in love with it as I have.
The Raptgo Hook-X is available at Linsoul.