- Quality of bass, sub-bass in particular.
- Clear sound and soft treble, but detailed.
- Minimum packaging and accessories.
Link to the Store
Paiaudio is a brand from China, specifically from Shenzhen. It specialises in the manufacture of Hi-End headphones. The DR2 is a model in the Dynamic series. Paiaudio also has other series: Flat Earbuds, Balance Armature and Hybrid Earphones.
The DR2 are IEMs made of transparent resin, with a really ergonomic and beautiful design, built as gems of high resistance.
- Type of Drivers: Dynamic
- Frequency response: 10Hz-30kHz
- Sensitivity: 125dB
- Impedance: 8Ω
- Transparent resin capsules
- Jack connector: 3.5mm angled
- Cable length: 1.2m
- Capsule connection type: MMCX
The box where the DR2s come from is a small, transparent methacrylate box. The IEMs are embedded in a foam base. Under it is the cable and a bag with two pairs of grey silicone tips and three pairs of white silicone. It seems that the sizes are only large and medium. The last accessory is a clothing clip.
Although the content is the minimum required and the presentation is very simple and austere, the transparent box enhances the beauty of the IEMs, as it lets you see them almost completely.
Unfortunately, the accessories do not include a carrying case.
Construction and Design
The Paiaudio DR2 have been built entirely in transparent resin, of high hardness. Inside you can see the great dynamic driver. The nozzles are metallic and gold-plated. They also have a metallic filter, of a fine grid. The outer faces of each IEM are translucent, red for the right channel, blue for the left. In the middle of the outer faces you can see the symbol π inside a circle. The gold-plated MMCX connections are completely embedded in the resin. The set is very compact, strong and durable in appearance, as well as beautiful and very attractive.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The adjustment is simple and excellent. The nozzles are long, allowing you to play with multiple tips to find the best seal and sound. Depending on the size of the tips used, the insertion can be superficial or medium, adapting to the taste of each one. All this thanks to the construction of the nozzles.
Due to the highly ergonomic design of the capsules, the fit is outstanding and movement is minimal.
In addition, the level of insulation is remarkable.
The profile of the Paiaudio DR2 is in clear V, focused on the sub-basses and in the high mids. The highs are really smooth, but sharp and detailed, although the roll-off from 4.5kHz is noticeable. Then there is a slight rise above 9kHz that brings air and clarity to the whole.
The focus is clearly located in the sub-bass zone, as from 40Hz the curve gradually descends to 700Hz. The result is a markedly deep sound, which enjoys a very important sub-bass hit. The rest of the area doesn’t feel so powerful, yet the bass doesn’t sound orphaned or incomplete, but is very enjoyable.
The speed of the lows is remarkable for the price range. The color is also very realistic and the body it provides is very suitable, meddling little in the mids, due to its special focus on the lower area.
It is true that the width of the area is not large, compared to other IEMs with more punch in the center of the bass. But its special characteristic shines in many genres, it is surprising how the DR2 provide depth in musical pieces where the basses are even subtle.
As I have already commented before, the low mids go down to 700Hz, to go up as a W between 2kHz and 4kHz. With this profile the DR2 suffer from a certain body in the lower part of the mids, sounding somewhat backward or sunken, but never dark or congested. Thus, male voices can be perceived somewhat more distant and thin, even something similar can happen with female voices. But luckily the clarity and naturalness is quite good, although the relative loss of power in the final area of the bass, makes this area sound slightly hollow.
However, the rest of the mids shines clearly, with a good cleanliness and clarity, remarkable level of detail and separation. The clear enhancement between 2 and 4kHz makes the mids sound more coherent than its graphics might initially suggest. The definition and resolution of the area is even surprising, despite the a priori imbalance.
In short, mids are better than one might expect by looking at the frequency response.
The treble is smooth, without obvious enhancement, with a slight peak above 9kHz that provides brightness and air, without causing stridency or wheezing. The resolution and definition is remarkable and gives the whole a good level of separation and clarity. Suitable for all those who are looking for a sound with «safe» treble, without losing detail or clarity.
Pure V-sound doesn’t have to be at odds with a lack of scene or separation, even if the price range is the current one, around $50. The scene enjoys a good width and depth, propitiated by the excellence of the sub-bass. The cleanliness and clarity of the sound, as well as the lack of congestion, produces an almost remarkable separation. The instrumental recreation is shown at the same level and the feeling of three-dimensionality is perceptible without a hint of doubt.
Until recently I thought QT2s were good IEMs, but they don’t really support any comparison with DR2s. The QT2 mids sound dark, veiled, congested, without light or clarity, even somewhat muddy. It could be said that they are closer, with more body, thickness and warmth, but they don’t even sound more natural. Low highs are not as clear as DR2, so the sound of QT2 feels duller. It’s true that the QT2 bass are wider and more complete, perhaps it would be the only point where the Revonext could surpass the Paiaudio. But it can’t compete with the quality and depth of the DR2 sub-bass.
At the level of detail, separation, scene and resolution the DR2 are ahead, without discussion.
The KC06A offers a warmer sound, with more present and closer voices, with more body, but with some darkness. The profile is more balanced from bass to mids. While the DR2 sound more V, with that deeper sub-bass and finer voices. However, DR2 has a crisper, brighter, more sparkling midrange. While the KC06A are more contained and smooth. Such smoothness is common throughout the Ostry range and detracts from a certain capacity for resolution and detail. However, the Paiaudio are perceived clearer and offer greater separation. Despite all this, the low treble in the Ostry are clearly enhanced compared to the DR2.
The KC06A has never been characterized by offering a very wide scene, its more frontal sound penalizes this aspect, as well as the feeling of depth. In the DR2, there is a greater openness, a more open scene, greater depth and better instrumental recreation.
Other warm IEMs, with low and mids close and very soft highs, are the Fiio FH1. The differences here are quite noticeable. The curve of the FH1 is clearly flatter. The lower part of the Fiio is more linear and thicker. The mids, except in their upper part, are more compact and balanced, but more congested, veiled and dark, bordering on lack of air and cleanliness. The character in V of the DR2, with the central zone of the mids more sunken, favors the decongestion of the sound in this zone, although it reduces body, being perceived something hollow in the comparison. In this zone the FH1s overwhelm in presence and density, becoming saturated. However, there is a clear lack of air, light, brightness and separation, characteristics that DR2 do provide.
The FH1 are IEMs with a low zone quite palpable, more homogeneous and not so focused on the sub-bass. But the sound is not as deep as the DR2.
Although the Fiio has a BA driver, this is not used to offer detail or a great resolution, since all the sound has a great compaction and density. The detail is clearly more noticeable in the DR2 and its sound has higher resolution and separation. The scene, therefore, is greater, with a larger depth. Meanwhile, the FH1 have a vastly frontal sound.
The DR2’s are really very sub-bass. But not only. I’m learning to appreciate more balanced profiles, with higher resolution mids and sharper, more detailed highs. But when I hear IEMs like DR2, I go back to my origins and remember primeval sensations that evoke the power of its lower zone. But, I insist, these IEMs offer quite a bit more, as they have a surprising middle range for such a pronounced V. In addition, they have a good dose of clarity, separation, sharpness and detail. Finally, Paiaudio has given these IEMs an excellent, beautiful, precious and ergonomic construction.
The DR2 is a sub-bass gem, which shines beyond.
Sources used during the analysis
- Burson Audio Playmate
- F.Audio S1
- Fiio M9