Hey mates, this is going to be my review of the Softears Studio 4, a $449 IEM. This is a review unit from my friend Practiphile. Huge thanks to him and to HiFiGo for sending out this review tour unit.
Disclaimer: Reviewing audio gear is highly subjective. There are many factors that influence the sound characteristics of a product, such as ear tips, fit, music choice, prior experience, and more. What I experience may not reflect what you experience, and vice versa. So please take everything I say here with a grain of salt, and always cross-reference reviews. So now, let’s proceed.
- Natural sound
- Good technicalities
- Versatile with any genre
- Generous amount of accessories
- Simplistic unboxing for the price *nitpick
- Could use more treble extension *nitpick as a treblehead
About the Softears Studio 4
Softears is a Chinese brand that focuses on technology, research and development, and innovation. They are a young but experienced company. Their founder started working in audio in 2014. The studio was founded in 2017 in Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley. And in 2019, they set up an independent lab for R&D and their own factory in Chengdu, a Humanistic City.
- Impedance: 12Ω
- Sensitivity: 123dB/Vrms
- Shell: Medical-Grade 3D-Printed Ear Shells
- THD+N: <1%
- Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-40kHz
- Effective Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
- Interface: 0.78mm 2-pin Connectors
- Termination Plug: 3.5mm Single-Ended
What’s Inside the Box
- 0.78mm 2 pin 3.5mm single-ended cable
- Carrying leather pouch
- Cleaning brush
- Hard carrying case
- 6.35mm male to 3.5mm female adaptor
- Cleaning cloth
- 2 mini pouches for each driver
The sources I used for testing were the Cayin N6ii Digital Audio Player (DAP) with its stock A01 motherboard and my laptop with a Venture Electronics Abigail Pro fed to an iFi Zen Can headphone amplifier.
Frequency response courtesy of Practiphile.
I used the stock ear tips and cable that came with the Studio 4. The fit was very comfortable for me and provided good passive noise cancellation. Like most IEMs, the Studio 4 is easy to drive.
The first time I listened to the Studio 4, I was playing Daft Punk’s “Fragments of Time” featuring Todd Edwards. Immediately, I was blown away as I heard a nuance in Todd’s voice at the 0:43 mark that I wasn’t able to pick up on with previous IEMs I’ve tried. It was so pronounced that I promptly tried another set just to confirm if it was really there. And it was—just very subtle, too subtle for me to notice before.
The Studio 4 simply sounds right—each instrument has an accurate timbre, and it provides clarity and natural decay across the spectrum. The treble is well-extended without being fatiguing, and the bass does not bleed into the mids. The overall frequency response is tightly controlled. The vocals are well-positioned, with a rich, lush quality for both male and female vocalists. Laufey’s voice on this set is sublime.
On busy tracks, the Studio 4 handles congestion admirably. I listened to both Wolf Alice’s “The Beach” and Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever.” Despite the chaotic moments in each track, I could still make out each instrument clearly separated. There was no noticeable shoutiness or peaks that often emerge when an IEM struggles to handle crowded frequencies.
I used the Studio 4 for gaming, mainly playing Overwatch. Right away, I noticed more body and impact with gunshot sounds. I could easily determine the direction and distance of enemies. The vertical imaging performance was average—nothing special, but still good overall. The Studio 4 provided an immersive and fun gaming experience.
In short, if you want an all-in-one IEM for music and gaming and have $449 to spend, the Softears Studio 4 is a no-brainer choice. If I could only own one IEM, this would be it. It provides exceptional value, and I can confidently say it has endgame potential for many listeners. The Studio 4 strikes a tonal balance that should satisfy most, unless you specifically want more treble or bass boost – but that comes down to personal preference.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the Softears Studio 4 In-Ear Monitor. Again, huge thanks to Practiphile and HiFiGo for giving me the opportunity to review this set. No monetary compensation or instructions were provided – this is my fully unbiased take on the Studio 4.