Auglamour RT-1 Review: Unapologetically Different
Ever since I saw the Auglamour R8, the company’s first mainstream IEM, I was captivated by their design language. A seamless blend of organic curves and hard edges made me wonder why I’d never heard of them before. The R8 kept it simple with a metal shell and a single dynamic driver. This formula worked well and I really enjoyed the R8. However Auglamour wasn’t satisfied with just that. They’ve aspired to larger and greater things and have now come to us with the RT-1, an IEM with a radical design language that takes courage. Not Apple-style courage, real courage. I gotta say though, it damn well payed off.
You can find the RT-1 for sale here, on Penon Audio, for $55.
Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Auglamour beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.
Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
Source: The RT-1 was powered like so:
HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones
Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones
HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones
PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones
All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
The RT-1 has a relaxed V-shaped sound signature. It doesn’t have aggressive treble, and has a pronounced, though lax, bass. The mids are prominent enough and don’t feel recessed, though it isn’t too hard to notice the treble and bass edging out in front of them.
Treble is my only real sticking point with the RT-1. While it is a dual-driver hybrid IEM, it could certainly use more upper-treble emphasis. In it’s present state, I’ve caught myself thinking that an instrument sounds a bit too soft more than a couple times, though this may be an auditory artifact from the poor mastering of those songs / a result of me spending too much time with TOTL IEMs.
One of the reasons I feel so conflicted about the upper-treble on the RT-1 is, in the Cage The Elephant’s song, In One Ear you can hear some amp-buzzing in the left channel, something that my earphones seldom have enough resolution pick up. The RT-1 continued to perform admirably for the rest of the song, giving me a pretty solid timbre for the cymbals and high-hats in the song.
The RT-1 does a good job mitigating sibilance, and did not cause my ears any pain or discomfort, even on my worst-mastered songs.
The mids are quite good, and have some pretty excellent instrumental separation at this price point. In fact the quality of the sound staging of the mid-bound instruments took me by surprise. At $50 I don’t think I’ve heard anything better.
Jacked Up was a thoroughly enjoyable listening everything from the two pianos to the guitars and vocals sounded well weighted and full. Though this song did feel noticeably more relaxed than it did on, say, KZ ZST.
The guitars on all my test songs sounded pretty damn good, with no exception. As a result I am considering updating my “IEM for Rock music under $50” recommendation to the RT-1.
Male and female vocals were well-weighted, though the RT-1 does prefer males.
The RT-1 was not designed for bass drops, but that doesn’t stop it’s dynamic driver from trying really hard to eek out every last rumble from your filthiest playlists. DJ Fresh’s song, Gold Dust, sounded fresh. We’re talking “farmer’s-market” level fresh.
Auglamour bestowed unto the RT-1 a top-notch bass signature. While it doesn’t have the extension I’d look for in my personal bass-cannon earphones, it does well for it’s price point. But more on the subject of bass signatures: the RT-1 sounds similar to my full-sized sub-woofer at home and has pretty good bass manipulation. Bass is neither too hard nor too soft, something that aligns well with my personal preferences for bass.
Packaging / Unboxing
The driver-housings are made of a light and tough plastic, though it has a smooth matte finish that makes it hard to tell. I really like the visuals Auglamour went with on the RT-1. The face-plate is also made of a plastic, though it has a reflective finish. Underneath is another highly-reflective layer of plastic that, at least on my model, has a rainbow finish. This is a highly unique design that is really eye-catching. Auglamour’s designers seem to effortlessly blend aggressively-lined geometry and organic curves.
The nozzle is of average length and has two separate holes in it, one for the dynamic driver’s acoustic chamber and the other for the balanced armature driver’s acoustic chamber. It has a well-sized lip that keeps ear-tips secured onto it snugly.
The cable is removable and follows the 2-pin 0.75mm standard. It is slightly recessed (on the male side). The cable also features memory-wire close to the connectors and is effective at holding the RT-1 in place.
The cable is terminated with a metal-encased 3.5mm jack. It’s sturdy and has a good amount of stress relief.
Keep in mind that the following impressions are all subjective and are a result of my unique ear anatomy. Your mileage will vary.
I was able to get a good, albeit shallow, seal with the RT-1. I never once had discomfort while wearing them and I found that their light construction combined with their very capable memory-wire ear-hooks lend them an effortless feeling.
The RT-1 comes well stocked with acessories. Inside the box you will find:
- 1x soft rubber carying case
- 1x 6.3mm jack adapter
- 1x shirt clip
- 1x cable wraper
- 1x pair of foam eartips
- 3x pairs of extra silicone eartips
- 1x cleaning tool
What can I say? The eartips are comfortable and provide a good seal. The adapter works, as do the cable wrapper and shirt clip. However the case is a bit odd — it’s not something I’ve seen before. I guess the decision to include it is an outcropping of Auglamour’s habit of deviating from the norm. I do think that such a different type of case does indeed have practical uses, however. It provides the RT-1 with a shock resistant layer of protection that is inherently water-resistant. Furthermore it fits well in tight spaces, and the case itself is bendable.
The RT-1 is an impressive package from Auglamour. Had it not come with any real accessories I think I would still recommend it on sound alone. While I can’t say it’s my favorite IEM overall, it certainly does stand out to me from the crowd. If you care as much about the way your IEM looks as you care about the way it sounds, while still trying to not break the bank, the RT-1 is the IEM for you. Auglamour has courage. Real courage.
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