disclaimer: I was given the Radsone He100 as part of a giveaway through head-fi. I have no financial interest or relationship with Radsone other than as a customer (ES100). If you are interested in Radsone products, they can be purchased through their website or via their Amazon store.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The He100 comes in a white box designed to be hung for retail sales. The front shows a picture of the earphones along with Earstudio logo and model information, while the reverse shows exploded diagrams of the driver and internals along with specs. Inside the outer packaging is a black pressboard box with the earphones in a foam tray at top and the rest of the kit hiding underneath. Included with the He100 are a shirt clip, a 3 sets of tips, a small cloth bag for carry, and the instruction manual.
The He100 are relatively small barrel shaped iems with a fixed cable at the bottom rear. Shells are two part with the rear of the shell in matte black and the front in polished black chrome. The cable is cloth wrapped from the 90º TRRS jack to the splitter, then rubberized above the splitter. A chin slider is present and the microphone is high enough up on the cable to allow use of the chin slider. This is a nice design touch as far too often in-ears feature a slider on the cable but the mic is so low on the cable that it renders the slider useless. A shirt clip is also provided for those who prefer one. Weight is not a factor as I had no trouble with the He100 moving during periods of activity. I found the insertion was fairly deep and I ended up using a size smaller tip than usual due to the fit. Once I found the right tip size, I found the He100 very comfortable for extended wear.
I found the He100 to be fairly tip sensitive and played around with tip selection a good bit before settling on the Auvio wide-bore medium as my favorite. Spiral dots, and the Whirlwinds were also solid options. The He100 benefits from a tip that enhances bass response and helps tame that upper-mid / lower treble push.
Sub-bass is minimally present and not exaggerated as is very common in today’s offerings. Mid-bass comes off as slightly thin and a little warm but retains good slam and detail. Radsone has managed to walk a tough line between not emphasizing the mid-bass and having it feel flat and lifeless. The bass does a good job of retaining enough energy to sound natural while not feeling overly forward or aggressive. Bass guitar timbre is particularly good.
The lower mids have a slight mid-bass bleed that gives them some warmth without smothering the details. As you move up, the mids move a bit more forward and the He100 could probably be best described as upper-mid/lower treble centered. I found higher register vocals to be brighter and slightly thinner than their lower counterparts and as a result they cut through the rest of the signature a bit more. Overall, the mids sound clean, open, and well rendered with no mud or slop.
There is a lower treble emphasis carried over from the upper mids that pushes vocals forward and gives the overall signature a bright slant despite a bit of warmth being contributed by the bass and lower mids. Detail in the treble is quite good, although at times it is evident that the attack is a bit faster than the decay. Cymbals sound surprisingly realistic for an iem at this price point, but snare hits can sometimes sound slightly unnatural due to the slower decay.
Soundstage / Imaging:
I’ll admit to being surprised here, the He100 delivered an entirely larger soundstage than I anticipated from an iem this size at this price point. Depth is slightly less than width but neither is small and the He100 give the listener a good sense of height as well. Seating the orchestra is fairly easy as imaging is good and instrument separation is better than expected for a single driver. Layering is better than anticipated too, but does have its limits as tracks get particularly complex and fast. Overall, way better performance than expected at its price point.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
Radsone has been a serious player in the Bluetooth receiver market and the Es100 is still considered by many to be one of the benchmark models in the field, so the He100 represents a new venture for Radsone. It would be easy to assume that Radsone would target its previous customers for this new release and the He100 does indeed perform well when paired to the Es100, but the He100 is not particularly targeted only to it. For instance, many with the Es100 will lament it not having either a shorter cable or a removable one.
Luckily, the He100 doesn’t need a captive audience as it performs very well in its own right. Its signature while not what one could call neutral does have good linearity up to the upper-mids/lower treble and even the push there is tasteful and not nearly as over-stated as typical in its price class. Details are better than expected and gives the He100 a clarity that is also hard to find without spending more. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the soundstage the He100 manages to convey in such a small package. I’m a fan, try a pair out, I think you will be too.
- Bass - 7/107/10
- Mids - 6.5/106.5/10
- Treble - 6/106/10
- Soundstage - 7.5/107.5/10
- Imaging - 7/107/10
Pros: Near neutral signature with enough energy to keep it out of the doldrums,
Cons: more treble than needed at times, non-detachable cable