There are a lot of brands who don’t pop out into the grand scene of the audiophile world but make some engaging and exciting earphones. IMR acoustics is one of them, their R1 Zenith was a best seller in its price range and was highly praised by both reviewers and consumers. It had tuning filter on the back to customize the sound effectively and the IMR R2 Aten is not different. The R2 Aten is more like a revision of the R1 with slightly better ergonomics and a bit more control over tuning options with tuning nozzles and filters.
In their words:-
“The R2 Aten is an exquisite open back in-ear monitor incorporating an all new bespoke IMR driver.”
The R2 Aten houses bespoke Aten driver which combines a neodymium motors with beryllium composite diaphragm and is aided by a high resolution piezoelectric ceramic driver. It comes in only metal grey color and retails for around 300 Euros with a 400 Euro MRP. In this ever growing market it faces tough competition from earphones like Moondrop blessings 2, TSMR 4, secret garden 3 and a lot more.
The production is limited to only 300 units but you still can get one from here.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX:-
The R2 aten comes with a lot of accessories out of the box, surprisingly it does not have a proper retail box. It comes with a large travel case which contains all the accessories and cables. I love the way it keeps the things organized. There are a few documentations, one with the nozzle’s color and its effect on sound can be handy. The earpieces are stuffed in the foam. There are 6 pairs of tips inside a transparent case. There are 6 pairs of filter and 5 pairs of nozzle screwed in couple of aluminum (will elaborate them in the sound section) holders. The best thing about the package is the cables. There are two, a 3.5mm cable and a 2.5mm balanced cable, that’s generous, hardly seen in earphones in this price range. The 6.5mm adapter, cable clip and leather cable ties rounds up the list of accessories.
ERGONOMICS AND BUILD:-
There are a lot of options in this price point and a lot of brands use semi custom type build but none of them have metal housing. The R2 is one of the rare earphones which uses full metal shell and the build quality is very good. The back plate is held in place with screws and feels very sturdy. Dropping it on the floor will not damage it from outside but it can be a different story inside. What stands out about the R2 Aten is its shiny rear vent which makes it an open back earphone. This feature is barely seen with earphones under $1000. There is barely any earphone which incorporates metal into semi custom type shells but brands do try to make them a bit curvy and contoured. R2 doesn’t have any type of ergonomical design but the best thing is it sticks to minimalistic design, nothing flashy.
At first glance the R2 doesn’t look much promising with its ergonomics. The back plate already looks quirky with its orange accent to the filter bracket and the notch to accommodate the screw also gives an impression that it might not be very comfortable inside the ear. In reality it really manages to surprise me with its level of comfort, it is not very ergonomical but nothing feels obstructive inside the ear. The biggest reason is the longer than usual nozzle depth, it really gets deep into the ear canal giving a very secure feel. The earpieces are not heavy and the lower than usual weight helps it stay in ear without falling out.
HOW IS THE CABLE:-
I am a huge sucker for good quality cables. Man, these IEMs with heavy price tags on them deserve an equally complimenting cable, both sound quality wise and aesthetically. A fantastic IEM with bad cable will not leave a very good impression. There are earphones priced at around $700 which ship with run-of-the-mill cables. To my surprise the R2 ships with two beautiful looking cables. The first one is a 3.5mm cable which can be used with most sources and a 2.5mm cable which brings a smile on faces of people who have balanced sources. The 6.5mm adapter gives the flexibility to use the 3.5mm cable with desktop DAC/AMPs.
The R2 Aten’s cables have dual core single crystal oxygen free copper inside them. There is a generous amount of rubber on the cable which kind of makes the cable a bit stiff, thankfully the braiding is not very tight. It is not the supplest cable but it doesn’t have much memory and doesn’t tangle easily. The cable splitter is minimal in size and the chin slider comes in handy. The cable guides are very supple and doesn’t have any stiffness to them, it is the last thing one needs to worry about.