When I first heard the Raptgo Hook X, I was pretty astounded by its quality. Since then, I have been looking to hear what else Raptgo could do. I have finally gotten a chance to listen to the Leaf, which costs even less than the Hook X, and has a semi-open design. Can the Leaf properly follow up the Hook X with another great IEM, or is it a stumble for Raptgo?
What You Get
- RAPTGO LEAF-D01 earphone
- Interchangeable OFC cable
- Earphone bag
- Silicone eartips*2 (S M L)
Look & Feel
Some of the aesthetic of the Leaf takes after the Hook X, but it is completely its own thing. The body of the Leaf is meant to take the appearance of the thing it is named after, and it makes for a unique design. Its shell feels like the same material as the Hook X, feeling both light and durable. I find it actually surprising that Raptgo is able to shape the housing this way and still keep the design relatively ergonomic. You should have no problem wearing the Leaf for a couple of hours comfortably.
Inside the Leaf is a 10mm dual cavity dynamic driver with a 9 micro Japanese LCP diaphragm. This diaphragm is composed using a high tensility dual layer OFC voice coil and N52 magnet circuit. The biggest advantage this construction has is a bigger potential for dynamic range and resolution. With its stock 3.5mm cable, the Leaf can be driven from any device with a simple headphone jack, or with a dongle. You’ll get plenty of headroom and loudness no matter where you plug them in.
I know I can’t just expect the same spectacular performance of the Hook X for the Leaf, so the Leaf must be judged in its own right. For its price, the Leaf displays a great soundstage. Its width feels massive next to other IEMs in this region, but the individual elements aren’t as tall or dimensional. This is one of those IEMs that operate on a mostly flat plain of stereo imaging. The Leaf uses its linearity to great success though, as it articulates the position of each instrument in a definitive manner. None of the spatial imaging pops out as much, as its layering is mostly surface level, but separation is still a big highlight here.
For the most part, the bass response on the Leaf is clean but not very invigorating. Its tone is not as thick as it is on the Hook X, but the detail is still persistent. Everything feels fully revealed to you, but the Leaf doesn’t offer any significant lift to the timbre. You’ll still feel like you’re getting a transparent resolution to the quality of each frequency range, so it definitely places accuracy over fun texture or coloration.
The most exciting sonic presentation on the Leaf is happening in the mids. You can immediately tell that the range of frequencies present in the Leaf is more prevalent than the bass range, hooking you with lush realism. Instruments and vocals feel full and precise in their space, and perform expressive textures within the stereo field. Transients are snappy and add a polished bite to notes for extra transparency.
There is a lot of excitement in the treble of the Leaf, so much so that it can make or break whether or not this IEM is truly for you. Even if the level of brightness on display here is not your cup of tea, it’s hard to call the Leaf not fully clear. Like the mids, the high-end frequencies are sharp and even fuller in tone. The treble has a crisp shine to it that can overextend into some piercing territory. I can see it getting a bit hard to digest for some listeners, and I wouldn’t blame them, as the Leaf doesn’t hide anything about its blaring treble.
While it doesn’t reach anywhere near the heights of the Hook X, the Leaf is still very good for the price. Its sound profile is more mids and highs than bass excitement, but your music will still feel engaging and transparent. You’ll get a more linear soundstage and imaging, and while I expect more from a semi-open IEM, the Leaf makes up for its lack of dimension with stereo width. I think the Leaf is a fine option for the price, but if you don’t like the brighter side of the frequency spectrum, this might not be your taste.
The Ratpgo Leaf is available at Audio46.