We absolutely loved the Spider PowerForce headphones. They offered staggering studio audio quality at a low price point, setting the bar for value in our testing and reviews, so the moment the Spider RealVoice (E-Series) earphones came through the door we anticipated a lot. And we weren't let down.
The audio produced by the Spider RealVoice earphones with a frequency of 5-20 kHz, an impedance of 18Ω and a sensitivity of 107 dB, has lots of energy. The bass is unbelievable; yes, it's a tad exaggerated, but the sheer fact that it's coming from earphones and not from over or on-ear headphones is remarkable. Frequencies are exceptionally well balanced. Despite such a whopping bass, the mid range is clear and the high range is sparky clean. A great example of a song with a thumping bass with high vocals that are balanced in harmony is 'American Boy' by 'Estelle'. But then we can go to the other end of the spectrum and listen to something like 'Taylor' by 'Jack Johnson', which is very acoustic and pleasantly renditioned by the RealVoice earphones; again it's headphone-like quality.
The sound stage is often not broad when listening to earphones and earbuds because the sound waves are directed straight down your ear channel, but the RealVoice earphones have the ability to distinguish the individual voices and instruments and position them around your head, which improves the listening experience greatly. After listening to a huge array of genres which all suited the RealVoice earphones it's blatant that these have been brilliantly engineered. Because of the bass and general high and balanced detail, they are a pair of earphones that suit watching movies via, too. We did play around with EQs and the style of the sound can be heavily altered, brilliant for in-ear-monitors, but we preferenced no EQ modifications for general listening. Volume can get uncomfortably loud at full volume without noticeably distorting.
Design & Accessories
Spider have presented us with a unique design; the distinctive element are the vertical earphones, which are this way in order to accompany the 12.5mm Neodymium drivers. They're not outrageously large though and are also quite light. The one criticism we do have is that the body of the earphones are made from plastic, not aluminium. The housing is very solid, but plastic earphones just feel cheap, although the silver paint finish does, however, give them a metallic appearance. The cable incorporates a copper-clad aluminium wire (CCAW), which supposedly improves the accuracy of the outputting sound. Small, medium and large silicone tips are included within the box, but we didn't bother with those as some Comply tips were also included, which we thought were the most comfortable tips to wear as they mould themselves to your ear. Another bundled item within the box is a little zipped carry pouch, compact enough to throw in your pocket to keep the RealVoice earphones clean and safe.
Maybe this is a saving thing, or Spider just wanted to purely focus on audio quality, but the lack of any remote control is a huge con, although the lack of mic we can just about live with. If you'd like this functionality you'll have to cough up considerably more money for it, which we don't feel is fair. A remote allows convenient control of some key audio functions like pausing, playing and quickly adjusting the volume of the device playing music. We just expect earphones and headphones to have such features for our convenience nowadays.
Spider have once again distorted our view of bang for buck in the earphone market. The Spider RealVoice earphones are available in three models. The most expensive model with an iPhone remote is around $100 and there is another cheaper model with just a remote. Our model makes them one of the best sub $100 pairs of earphones we've listened to, our remote and microphone-less pair is retailing at $59.99 on Amazon. However the Brainwavz R1 earphones are for sale on Amazon for just $39.50, which are also very competitively priced for the range of performance.