The Softears Volume is a dynamic and engaging sounding IEM with good brightness in treble and good extension and texture in the bass. The mid-range is musical and its tonality is enjoyable with good instrument timbre. It has a bit of resemblance to the RSV but it’s not the same presentation at all.
The new volume has good resolution and transparency, but it takes a different route compared to the rest of the Softears’ lineup in terms of presentation. The mid-range doesn’t have the same amount of fullness or warmth, and the bass is leaner compared to the RSV. In contrast, its upper mids and treble region is a bit brighter. So it’s a leaner and thinner presentation, with good coherency and technicalities.
The Volume has a moderate bass response, and it’s surprising coming from a dynamic driver. On top of that, Softears claims that this driver is quite impactful and textured. Well, the texture is there for sure, which is very good indeed, but the impact is lesser than what I expected. I think it’s perfectly fine for a reference sound perspective, but not so if you expect a fun type of bass.
It’s not too bass deficient by any means, but it doesn’t have great punch and kick, although it has excellent decay and speed for an IEM of this calibre. Bass has good balance, enough presence for most music, and it’s very controlled.
So it has an easy-going bass that won’t upset people who listen to Classical, Rock Ballads, or something like Vocal-Jazz for instance. Yet, it wouldn’t be enough for bass-heads. The bass is very well under control and it’s never overly done. So I think that the Softears team has done a great job in terms of speed, PRaT and recovery of the bass, but a bit more quantity would’ve been better. The texture of the bass however is excellent as and it’s the star of the show here.
I have to say that the Volume has better bass control and texture than most monitors in the sub $300 category, and the level of detail and resolution in the bass is quite impressive.
Mids have good refinement and texture with a very nice timbre. The lower mids are a bit recessed while the upper mids are elevated. Certain instruments like high sounding sax sound very dynamic and engaging, but lower vocals don’t give the same definition and excitement. The tonality of this IEM is very nice, and I simply can’t find any deficiency there. The instruments and vocals sound very natural and life-like, but the lower mids sound a bit distant.
So the tuning overall is a Japanese one somehow with the upper mid emphasis. Female vocals sound very exciting this way. That certain warmth and fullness of the mids are not present here unlike the RSV. With the RSV the mids sound flowing, smooth and liquid. With the Volume, the mids feel a bit forced to be bright and somewhat thin. Of course, it’s not fair to compare this one with a $700 IEM, but I expected Softears to continue with their specific and lovely tuning.
Now the positive side here is the level of resolution. For this price level, the resolution ability of the Volume is very impressive and it has great transparency as well. Also, the instrument separation and layering are excellent, and I couldn’t find any particular weakness there. Mids have a good sense of space and positioning.
The treble sounds bright with good extension and air. The Volume does a great job again here in terms of technical performance, but be aware that the presentation sometimes produces an aggressive approach. Especially lower treble is a bit aggressive at times, depending on the genre and the recording.
If you’re OK with bright treble, then the rest of the story is great. The definition of the highs is easily one of the best in the price range, and the resolution together and the detail level are excellent. The treble is not congested, it has good air and a good sense of space. I can even say that the treble has more space than the mids overall.
Another good thing about the treble here is the overall articulation. Since it has great layering and separation, the treble sounds clean with great imaging. There’s good treble energy and presence, but it’s not as refined and smooth as the RSV. If you pair it with a good source device, you’ll hear great details with a great micro performance.
more review: https://www.headfonia.com/softears-volume-review/
Purchases link: Softears Volume – DRASKY AUDIO MALAYSIA