A single dynamic driver IEM can be of particular interest to some of us. In a day and age where dynamic drivers, balanced armatures, electrostatic, bone conduction and, more recently, planar magnetic drivers, can be found in IEMs; dynamic drivers have an allure no other driver have — and for good reason.
Dynamic drivers have been omnipresent in speaker systems which have been surrounding us for as long as we can remember. We’re used to hearing recorded music via particularly coherent drivers and we’ve been accustomed to their timbre.
Single dynamic driver IEMs are however difficult to tune to a high standard compared to multi-driver IEMs. This explains why they’re so uncommon and sought-after by some.
The object — Pictures of the Softears Twilight found online often are close-ups and, therefore, misleading. In person, the Twilight felt surprisingly small if not downright tiny.
With their matte black shell and splitter, black 4.4 cable and 2-pin connectors, Softears went for a minimalist and understated look. And while the packaging shares this approach, there’s nothing minimalist in its content with a good selection of tips, a mesh pocket, round leatherette case and microfibre cloth.
Build quality and machining are good yet serial #A71 showed some marks on the splitter out of the box where the matte finish was rubbed off on the corners/edges. It’s nothing major and barely enough to qualify as B-stock at this price-point but it’s there. Softears also seemed to have thought a good idea to perfume the card with the serial number — not a smart move. While the IEMs, cable and mesh pocket weren’t affected, if they would have been, they would have been promptly returned.
Fit & Comfort — Being small and very light, the shell won’t be an issue for most despite their unique orientation compared to other IEMs.
While not as thick as some other brands, the nozzles are on the thicker and longer side. This is where some might find fit and comfort to be a challenge. Worthy of note, some might find that tilting the IEMs (a tad) forward helps.
The three types of bundled tips in S, M and L are of excellent quality yet might not fit some as it was the case here. Alternatives work well with little alterations to the tuning as the Twilight are extremely well-vented. They are going to leak sound yet are pressure-free and have no driver-flex.
Tips used: settled on the SpinFit CP145
Sound — The Twilight are impressively coherent and have a wonderfully natural timbre with instruments and voices sounding lifelike.
Lows are very much present when called for and offer a satisfactory rumble but otherwise remain in their place. The same goes for the mids which are well-balanced and similarly offer grit when the track calls for it. Highs are plenty satisfactory for sensitive ears without being conservative either.
What stands out in particular is the Twilight’s ability to be smooth all the while retaining a good amount of detail and a particularly open soundstage — the latter two not being attributes often found in a relaxed tuning. This translates into instruments and voices naturally breathing and having what some could consider being the perfect amount of detail and texture.
Files / Sources used: CD-quality FLAC bought from Qobuz & Tidal HiFi streaming / Sony NW-WM1AM2 (Direct Source: On), Cayin RU6 (NOS) and Astell & Kern SR25 MKII (Phase Compensation Slow)
Conclusion — The Twilight are absolutely stellar. If it wasn’t for potential fit and comfort issues due to the nozzle on the thicker/longer side, they would be recommended without hesitation as a blind buy for anyone to whom the aforementioned sound description speaks even remotely.