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Ranko Rie 880 IEM Review – Are They Different?

Ranko Acoustics is a HiFi audio equipment company and they primarily focused on the development of high quality audio cables and accessories and last year they have decided to enter the IEM market and launched their first flagship product RIE 1000 and to continue its line-up they have also launched the RIE 880. In this review let’s see how does this 880 performs

DISCLAIMER:

This unit has been provided to me as a part of a review circle organised by HiFiGo and thanks to the team for considering me and giving me this opportunity. I have not been paid by any means to manipulate this review hence this review is completely based on my experience with this product and it might differ from person to person since this relies upon the type of source used to test out the gears.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Driver: 9.2mm Single Dynamic Driver

Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-30 kHz

Maximum Power: 15mW

Impedance: 60 Ohm

Jack: 3.5mm

Connector: 0.78mm 2-Pin

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PACKAGE:

Since this is a review sample circulated among our group members only the earphones along with the case is provided and from that perspective the case is really the best. The case is made of plastic but its hard plastic. Inside the case there is a soft sponge layer to protect the earphones from scratches. The case is locked by a hinge clip on mechanism which is pretty sturdy and feels very premium. 

DESIGN AND FIT:

The design of the 880 is custom shell shaped and the overall size is pretty average and can fit most of the ears. The faceplate is unique with some lamination, they are hand painted too and the overall build is seamlessly finished with no cracks or gaps.

The 2 pin connector area is nicely recessed and the nozzle is pretty good in length with lip seal to prevent the tips from slipping on. The fit is actually good with nice noise isolation and the tips included are pretty good enough.

The cable looks like an electrical cable, the texture looks very sturdy. The cable is not that supple and feels very hard in hand. The cable is twisted and overall aesthetically they are not that pleasing. Sonically it does the job and if you need some premium feel and to match the aesthetics, then get an aftermarket cable.

SOUND:

The overall sound signature of the 880 is U shaped sound with recessed midrange and the boosted bass and the treble. I personally like the U shaped since they are not that recessed like the V shaped and attains that sweet spot for the midrange. The midrange will be smoother and fatigue free in this signature and in this review let’s see whether this one really lives up to my expectations.

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Source: iPhone + Zorloo Ztella + iFi Zen Can

LOW END:

880 has one of the best low ends in the game. It’s not the deepest extension but it does well in its range. The sub bass is more elevated than the mid bass thus making the midrange pretty clean and sweet. The sub bass has enough rumble and the texture and separation is above average.

The resolution in the low end is pretty great too with nice micro detail retrieval in the low end. The mid bass is fairly balanced here thus it never reaches the boomy side of the bass whereas it sounds very controlled and clean in the low end.

Overall the low end has enough warmth and has great technicalities for the price. This might not be the bass head level but will never disappoint even the bass heads too thus making this a very good pair to buy if you love the controlled and well resolved low end.

Tracks Used:

  1. Why Do We Fall – Hans Zimmer
  2. What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World – Hans Zimmer
  3. Bigfoot – MALFNKTION
  4. Even Heaven – Aimer

MIDRANGE:

The midrange here is slightly recessed and laid back in signature. Since it’s a U shaped signature the midrange is pretty relaxed and sometimes it’s not that engaging in sound. Personally I like the forward presentation of the midrange especially the instruments but here they are pretty laid back but yeah this might be preferred by a set of people.

The other aspect that I don’t like here is the tonality and timbre. It’s brighter! The vocals sound very bright and even the instrument’s timbre is brighter. The kick drums appear natural but percussion instruments like the piano notes, trumpet and the acoustic guitar picks are pretty brighter thus not providing the natural listening experience.

The midrange overall is pretty clean and well layered. This is the best aspect of the 880, the layering and the separation is impeccable. The detail retrieval in the midrange is pretty great too. Despite the tonality and the timbre they perform really nicely in the midrange. Both the upper and the lower midrange is pretty balanced and thanks to the clean mid bass which lead to the clean vocals and the instruments making the lower mid section not fuzzy.

Tracks Used:

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  1. Cardigan – Folklore
  2. Every Little Thing – Eric Clapton
  3. Me Love – Sean Kingston

TREBLE:

The treble here is inoffensive and smooth. After extended listening I can confirm that this is definitely a fatigue free and non sibilant earphone for sure. The treble has nice separation and detail retrieval. The amount of air that it has is very impressive thus creating that nice spaciousness in between the instruments.  

The cymbal crashes again. It’s very bright but thankfully they are not splashy. I don’t know what went wrong but the tonality and the timbre is pretty bright for me thus I cant use this as my primary iem. The electric guitar sounds very bright too thus they don’t sound natural, thus making it more metallic or artificial.

The extension is pretty good and good in terms of detail retrieval. Overall the highs are non sibilant and pretty offensive during my listening. The treble energy may not be present like that of the all BA but for this configuration this is pretty good.

Tracks Used:

  1. Move Your Body – Sia
  2. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven – Phil Collins
  3. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

TECHNICALITIES:

Soundstage: The soundstage here is pretty good with enough width, height and the depth. This is not the widest but it’s great overall and it doesn’t have that in head effect. The depth and the width are proportionate and overall they are pretty nice and spacious.

Imaging: The imaging is very precise and the transient movements are smooth and the sweep is pretty smooth across the channels. Since each frequencies are separated well even in faster tracks the precise pointing of instruments is made easily.

The detail retrieval and the separation resolution are above average for the price and overall it has excellent technicalities. The layering is another exceptional quality of this earphone making this pretty engaging to listen to.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  1. Nice Technical Low End
  2. Imaging and Layering
  3. Fit and Design

Cons:

  1. Brighter Tonality and Timbre
  2. Cable

VERDICT:

The 880 RIE, a latest offering from the Ranko Acoustics is a pretty welcome package which does most of the aspects correct. From the build to the sound everything is pretty great for the asking price. Has nice technicalities and good consumer friendly audio signature but for me this is a big deal breaker since the tonality and timbre is what i expect to be better than the technicalities. I would have preferred a less brighter tonality and timbre which the Ranko can ofcourse make it perfect in their next iteration of earphones.

Overall this is really a solid buy for people looking for some U shaped sound with nice technicalities in this price range. Based on my experience with other similarly priced iem’s i question that does this thing do anything different? Can’t find the answer but I hope Ranko can deliver this answer via their next iteration of product.

This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C

KATHIRAVAN

Follow him on – Instagram | Facebook

I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.

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Shubham

Shubham Garg (Editor Shubz.in) is an engineer with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering from AKTU, Uttar Pradesh. Being a mechanical engineer he has always loved to learn the inner working of various machines and consumer electronics. He regularly tests various audio, home appliances, and daily use products, to provide the best advice to readers. He is a wizard that can make your shopping easy, saving you time and stress of figuring out what to buy.

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