Selling their wares under the Linsoul umbrella, Shuoer is a bit of an oddball newcomer to the Chi-Fi scene. Recently, I was impressed by the Tape; a low-voltage electrostatic IEM for $129. But today I review the Shuoer H27.
Packing 2 balanced armatures, 1 dynamic driver, the H27 has a price tag of only $109. Just another forgotten Chi-Fi flavor of the month? Or will the H27 etch its way into my heart like the Tape did?
Shuoer H27 Review
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Shuoer has some of the strangest headphone packaging I’ve ever seen. Not a complain, just an observation. The cylindrical red box is decorated with a piano roll and some broken English. Gotta love it.
And my aesthetic admiration for the green carrying case jewel-thing has not diminished in the slightest. The metal surface is brushed, which makes for a pleasing tactile sensation when turning it over in your hands. And if you unscrew the and bang the two sides together, it rings out like a tuning fork! Crazy. Hell, if these cases came in different colors, I’d be the chump who starts collecting them.
Unfortunately, the little green beauty remains totally unpractical as a carrying case. It’s just too big to fit into a pocket, and just too clumsy to open on the go. But I bet if you got a bunch of them together, you could make a damn good wind chime.
Linsoul and Shuoer provide no information on the cable, but the one provided with the H27 looks very different than the one that comes with the Tape. This one is silver, and has a thicker braid. The MMCX connections are silver as well, with a blue and red band to differentiate left and right.
Also like the Tape, the H27 uses a metal housing, which I always appreciate. No matter how much you pay for your earbuds, plastic housing will always feel cheap to me. But they are also blue, which I don’t like. I’m a picky guy, what can I say.
The fit is much better than the Tape, probably due to the more conventionally-shaped housing. The seal is solid, and the housing doesn’t feel abrasive despite being made of metal. Maybe a little cold, is all.
And actually, after wearing them for a while, I came back to praise the fit further. I really love how the H27 feel. Maybe it’s just the personal shape of my ears, but they feel at one with the H27.
The H27 sounds good… but doesn’t sound great. Maybe it’s unfair to hold the H27 to the same expectations as the Tape, but Shuoer really knocked it out of the park with that one. Such is the weight of great expectations.
The low end is present and punchy, but nothing mind blowing. As someone who prefers a little thickness, I was satisfied, but I know there are better bass headphones to be found.
The texture on the H27 is a little soft, and the bass doesn’t have a ton of grip or speed. But it does make up for it in oomph.
This is where I found the fatal flaw of the H27. What I did like was the balance between the low-mids and the high-mids. Everything is present and accounted for in the midrange, so no qualms there. It doesn’t impart the sense of clarity that a low-mid cut usually entails, but it doesn’t sound dull either.
But in the upper-mids, there is a strange, honky sounding notch that wreaks some havoc on the vocal range. It is pretty subtle… the kind of thing that only someone who spends too much time demoing headphones would notice, but it’s there. I noticed, dammit!
The same boost, applied a few Hz above or below may have been alright. I think Shuoer were just trying to add some excitement to the overall warm sound signature. But they just missed the mark. The mids ended up sounding unnatural to me. Just a little notched, a little wonky. But I couldn’t get past it.
The upper highs are smoothly rolled off, but the lower highs suffer from the same weird notching as the midrange. Instead of adding some nice crisp to the top of the cymbals, the crisp comes in at the bottom of the cymbals. I’m not sure if you understand what I’m talking about, but the point is that it sounded strange.
I felt great about recommending the Tape, but I don’t feel the same about the H27. The FiiO FA1 for example is the same price, more natural sounding, and has more detailed highs and a faster transient response. The only thing the H27 has on it is a punchier bass.
But even then, if you spend the extra $50 or $30 to move yourself into the next price bracket, you can get something like the Tape that runs circles around both of those, highs and lows both!
Shuoer, I like you guys. The Tape is phenomenal. Your green carrying cases are beautiful and useless works of art. Your packaging looks like it holds Chinese candy. I’m eagerly anticipating your next move. But the H27 is just okay.
Pros- Chunky bass, super comfortable metal housing
Cons- Strangely notched midrange, lack of high-end detail
Buy it for the case! On Amazon.
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