RadioPaq Classical Review

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RadioPaq Classical
Reviewed Jun 2010

Details: One of RadioPaq’s four acoustically-tuned IEMs
Current Price: £6 (approx. $11) from amazon.co.uk (MSRP: £60.00)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16 Ω | Sens: 120 dB | Freq: 18-20k Hz | Cord: 3.9’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Sony Hybrid
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (1/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The small metal housings are very sturdy in feel. As with the Jazz, the off-size nozzles lack filters and the cabling is plasticky and kink-prone. Unfortunately, no cord cinch is present and the strain relief on the 3.5mm plug is all but completely useless
Isolation (3.5/5) – The smaller housings of the Classicals make deeper insertion possible, raising isolation significantly over the Jazz
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Slightly bothersome when worn cord-down, almost non-existent when worn cord-up
Comfort (3.5/5) – The smaller housings of the Classical make them friendlier in fit than the Jazz. Deep insertion is still recommended, however, which compromises long-term comfort somewhat

Sound (6.5/10) – Compared to the warm and lush Jazz, the Classical are noticeably more neutral and balanced. The low end is tight and accurate. When inserted shallowly they can sound somewhat anemic. With a deep seal, however, the bass is very impressive, providing more impact than note but maintaining smoothness. Because of the high-impact, low-texture nature of the bass, it can feel layered over the sound rather than integrated, which is a very unique and engaging way to present music. Impact drops off and texturing picks up towards the upper bass regions, transitioning smoothly and neatly to the midrange. As with the Jazz, the midrange of the Classical is not the focus of the presentation – it is clear, detailed, controlled, and has a very neutral tone but the treble is the most exciting aspect of the Classical’s signature, boasting a great amount of sparkle and clarity, coupled with impressive extension. The high end can be a little hot-tempered, as with the Jazz, but the added treble emphasis pushes the Classical over the line on occasion, especially on sibilant recordings. The soundstage of the Classical is wider than average and instrumental separation is quite good. However, despite not being particularly thick-sounding earphones, the Radiopaqs don’t sound airy and have a decidedly in-your-head feel. Still, they do a decent job of conveying both distance and direction; just don’t expect them to emulate full-size cans in presentation.

Value (9.5/10) – The RadioPaq Classical provides a colder, more treble-happy alternative to the warm and deep sound of the RadioPaq Jazz. With average-sized housings that are slightly more friendly towards those with smaller ears than the monstrous shells of the Jazz and surprisingly impressive isolation, the Classical performs admirably as a day-to-day all-rounder. Those with treble sensitivities will really want to give these a pass but for the rest, the Classicals offer an interesting sound signature and a great all-around performance for the price.

Pros: Impressive isolation, excellent and rather unique sound
Cons: No accessories, plastic cabling, deep insertion crucial for proper sound


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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