A good comparison is the DUNU DK-3001 ($469, Review HERE. It has a DD for bass and BAs for the rest. Like the Studio S2, it is amazingly smooth and refined. The treble is emphasized a bit, infusing the stage with more air. But the DUNU is not bright or harsh in the slightest. Vocals are larger, and perhaps more forward than the S2, though both IEMs have a lushness, and a supremely natural feel. DK-3001’s low-end is a special treat. Emitting from a huge 13mm DD, the bass can’t help but have titanic presence. Even though it isn’t overblown in the tuning. The balance is quite reasonable, with just a dB or two of exaggeration beyond neutral. Sweet f**k does it sound good! DUNU’s soundstage is clearly bigger on all axes. Separation is slightly better defined. Imaging is spot on with both. Although neither IEM excels at resolution, DUNU edges out Accutone here.
Another IEM which fits well alongside these: the Periodic Audio Be ($299, Review HERE). This Beryllium DD produces a great amount of warmth and richness, but it’s not as smooth and buttery as S2. The treble is well-tamed and mostly natural, but there is a boost in the presence region which gives the Be sharper reproduction of details. This can make the mids a little too etched at times. The S2 is far silkier. Periodic’s bass is so delicious. It hits you like a wave, washing around you, with god’s own layering and texture. S2 has less sub-bass, though perhaps more mid-bass, providing meatier vocals. The Be sounds thinner in this way, even though the bass feels much bigger. Soundstage is unquestionably in favor of Periodic. It is crazy large, in all directions. Imaging comes off flawless. Resolution and separation are superior to the Studio S2, and the overall performance bears a higher quality.
Because the Studio S2 is so mellow in the upper frequencies, feel free to pair it with the most detailed and resolving source you can. Hell, go all out bright with the DAP. These IEMs will never sound harsh.
The Opus#2 by theBit ($999, Review HERE) is neutral done right. Being neither bright nor thin, but rather possessing a slight warmth for organicity, and a full, deep body, it stands as the most natural player I’ve ever heard. On top of that, Opus is a monster of resolution and detail, which suits the S2, since it struggles in those areas. Take into account the grand soundstage, and you have the perfect marriage for Accutone, helping it where it needs help, and bolstering its natural traits.
Cayin’s N5ii ($369, Review HERE) is a bit more forward in the treble, and thus comes off more detail-oriented. But it’s still a ways away from bright, unless you have a monitor which leans that way. Accutone does not, and only gladdens at the extra light. The depth and intricacies of the SABRE chip are on full display here, feeding the S2 all the information it could ever ask for. It pushes clarity, while maintaining the S2’s note weight and smoothness.
Now, the Opus#1S ($399, Review HERE) is another creature altogether. It is warm, thick, and smooth. Not ideal for an IEM with those same qualities. It could come off claustrophobic. That was my fear, at least. However, the reality works rather well. I find this setup, not veiled, but extremely musical. There’s a deep, velvety, chocolate flavor to the exhibition, and I highly recommend it if that’s your bag.
Congratulations! You’ve reached the end, and with only a minimal case of syphilis. That’s better than the others fared. If you don’t know by now how Pinky, the good and wise, delights in the Accutone Studio S2, then you ought to run the gauntlet again, because I’m sure I enunciated such, somewhere along the way. The Studio S2 is one of those rare animals that truly lives up to its purpose. It is accurate of tone, and perfect for studio engineers. And because it is not dry or analytical, it’s a splendid choice for hardcore pleasure listening, as well.