Shuoer is an IEM manufacturer that hasn’t seen much output in the way of products, but they’re sure to get some people talking whenever they see a new release. The original Shuoer Tape introduced rare electrostatic drivers for an earphone and created a unique blend of details that showed a lot of strengths and weaknesses. Now we have the next iteration from this line, bringing back the electrostatic driver, and introducing a new adjustable bass feature. The last Tape model had a sound signature that was picky with its music choices, so hopefully, this new feature can offer more of a variety of fidelity. I’m not expecting the greatest sound for the $129 price tag, but I would like to see some sure improvements in especially the midrange. So let’s see if this entry-level IEM succeeds where the original is set back.
What You Get
The Tape Pro ditches the wacky packaging of the original for a more conventional approach. Gone is the round orange box with the piano keys. Shuoer has opted for a typical rectangular packaging with a more organized presentation. You’ll find the earphones in separate inserts, and a small box containing 3 pairs of ear tips, as well as a cleaning tool and items for the bass adjustment system. Underneath another layer of foam, you’ll find the Tape Pro’s leather carrying case containing your 2-pin, 2.5mm cable with a 3.5mm adapter, and a few extra ear tips. The case itself may be seen as a downgrade compared to the original Tape’s cool-looking aluminum, however, this case is far more practical, and doesn’t feel as unwieldy.
Look and Feel
Almost identical to the previous model in every way. The aluminum housing with the two screws planted on the front is carried over to the Pro. It’s a very mechanical aesthetic that doesn’t scream ergonomic or comfort on the first impression but is supported well by its extremely high-quality attachable cable. This new cable is one of the best-looking additions to the Tape model with its shielding and braid. The CNC aluminum is made from a 5 axis carve that aims to affect the acoustic properties of the system. Ear tips fit comfortably over the lip of the nozzle, and with the combination of excellent ear loops, the housing of the IEM has no problem sustaining security to your ears. The fit ends up being quite cozy, with only the slight downside of getting cold in the proper outdoor environment.
As previously mentioned, the Tape Pro brings over its 10mm dynamic and electrostatic driver system. One of the newest features Shuoer introduces here is the bass adjustment system. This is accomplished via the attachable screws provided for you. Shuoer also provides a separate tool to do this which is a plus. This lest you tune the bass to your liking, making the sound signature semi-customizable. I don’t think the original Tape had a lacking bass in any regard, but the system is welcomed here. In my experience, it could be used to warm the low-mids rather than boost the bass, giving you a particular listening experience that is more easily digestible for some.
I always found a comfortable gain on the Tape Pro no matter which system I was using. The 16 Ohm impedance will work well with any laptop or smartphone with the proper attachments. However, this being an electrostatic system, I would highly recommend some sort of DAC that really knows how to control treble.
While not being immediately impressive, the Tape Pro offers a respectable sense of accuracy and linear width in some areas. The imaging and layering can appear a bit tight, but some resonances do a good job showcasing the earphones’ depth and articulation. Spatiality is solid, especially with the electrostatic drivers producing a clear amount of top-end for the high frequencies. Separation is solid and helps the Tape Pro convey a nice sense of interior headspace. The width is at points very broad as sounds feel like they reach just beyond the housing of the earphone.
This isn’t the most impactful bass, but it definitely provides some nice growling textures. When listening to bass strings in an orchestral track the sub-bass can sometimes offer a deep rumble that is placed firmly in the soundstage. It brings a smooth gravely feel to the Tape Pro that showcased one of the highlights of this sound signature. It’s not quite a bass-heads tone, but one that is still immensely satisfying in its tightness.
The tonal smoothness of the low-end also resonates well into the midrange. While slightly recessed, the mids emit a warm tonality that helps heighten the color of some acoustic performances and make a mellow vocal more intimate. The mids are always clear, and the details are made very present while also committing to a specific timbre.
The treble here is the pickiest out of all the frequency ranges. At some points, the highs can be sweet and sparkly, with the electrostatic drivers doing their intended work. Other times it can be semi-harsh and peaky, like in the track “Last Tear” by Autumn’s Grey Solace, where a lot of the effects-heavy guitars reached a noticeable sharpness that sustained for a while more than I was comfortable with. However in other tracks like “Midnight Blue” by Saigon Blue Rain this sensation is diminished with the same amount of high-frequency information. If you’re not a fan of sibilance this one might not be up your alley.
Overall, I’m glad that the fidelity has been improved in areas I thought were lacking in the previous model. Shuoer has shown that they can play with the big dogs in the entry-level IEM game, and I can confidently recommend them to anyone looking to purchase their first pair.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Smooth bass, fit, warm mids, cable
Cons, Sometimes sharp treble
The Shuoer Tape Pro is available at Linsoul.
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