Flare Audio [FA] out of the UK is on a mission, a very serious one. This Kickstarter-funded company is out to create some of the best headphones in the game at price points that are well, more doable for most of us.
We got our hands on the R2Pro IEMs for a test run and without giving it all away at the start, WOW. So yeah, maybe we just gave it away but read on faithful audiophile you are going to like what you read.
If you were lucky enough to score the Kickstarter discount you made a great purchase, and even if you didn't, it's still worth the full MSRP in my opinion.
R2PRO – Titanium, $315 at KS campaign price, $625 after
FA has created an incredibly realistic sounding IEM with the R2Pro; it's almost like you are sitting in the studio with the musicians with some genres, especially acoustic music.
Other IEM's that are coming in with this type of range start to get more expensive; you start getting into the $700 - $1100 range for this type of quality.
Fit & Comfort
The R2Pro's come with Comply memory foam tips, which are all about creating the perfect seal although they need to be often replaced. It takes a couple tries to get the seal just right so you are maximizing these buds. Once you get it perfect you will know right away, it's obvious. If you don't get it right, it's just going to sound off kilter and annoy you.
Once you are all sealed up you are usually good for a while unless you are moving around drastically. These IEMs remain super comfortable over long periods of time because of their incredibly light weight.
The R2Pro is made from Titanium so they are strong and should be able to take normal wear and tear. The thing you will have to replace the most are the tips, which I might just swap out for the cone style tips anyway. The machining of the metal is incredibly precise as well, which speaks to the incredibly high quality of these little buds.
The FA engineers have even created damage prevention inside of the cable to prevent any from happening to it from normal wear and tear. If you do end up ruining your cable you can order a new one that you can put in yourself for $55.
Despite all that they could have stepped up the cable quality just a bit for the price point. Pro models are just going to take on more abuse, and even aesthetically a cloth/fabric cable would be a better look.
The R2Pro's are simply stunning and reproduce sound with incredible clarity. They are quite accurate and from what I can hear perfectly balanced. They sounded amazing with every genre that I tested from Rock to Classical to EDM but where I was blown away was the sound of acoustic recordings. I'm more of a fan of over-ear headphones for studio monitoring just because of the "bigger" sound you can get from them but playing the R2Pros with a DAC (DacMagic by Cambridge Audio) has changed my opinion.
The staging creates that feeling of depth and being in the room with the musicians. With electronic music, you can hear the well-produced records from the ones that are mediocre. When you are listening to well-produced ambient, deep house or minimal techno, it takes you into another dimension.
The highs and mids are perfect and never really struggle anywhere, but the bass is just mind blowing for IEMs. Electronic music is all about that bass (sorry had too), so the R2Pros will not disappoint. It's never overbearing, just perfectly present unless the tune has intentionally dialed it up like dubstep, etc.
Should You Buy Them?
Yes. If you are in the market for a pair of IEMs then by all means, consider the R2Pros.
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