In today’s review, I’m checking out the RAPTGO Hook-X earphones. The Hook-X is a hybrid dual-driver IEM with 1 planar magnetic driver and 1 piezoelectric driver. It also comes with an interchangeable cable plug system containing 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm plugs. The price is $239.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Linsoul for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
- Driver: 14.2mm Planar drive+Double-faced 9-layer PZT drive
- Sensitivity(1KHz): 105dB SPL/mW
- Frequency range: 20Hz- 40KHz
- Impedance(1KHz): 15Ω
- Audio interface: 0.78mm – 2.5mm/3 5mm/4.4mm
- Earphone cable length: 1.25m
- Price: $239
What’s In the Box
- RAPTGO HOOK-X Earphones*1
- 0.78 2pin OCC Silver Plated Coaxial Shielded Wire + 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm Plugs
- Earphones Bag* 1
- Headphone Silicone Sleeves*3 (S M L)
- Warranty Card And Instructions*1
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Hook-X is its semi-open back alloy shells. Some of the benefits of semi-open shells are an improved soundstage and reduced pressure in your ears: sometimes referred to as “cabin pressure”.
The Hook-X feels good in the hands. It gives you the impression of a premium and well-made product. It features black perforated faceplates surrounded by a spearmint green border.
A single vent resides near the base of the nozzle. RAPTGO chose to go with standard 0.78mm 2-pin connectors which I prefer over the MMCX alternative. The connectors sit on the shell’s surface in a slightly raised and reinforced section.
When it comes to comfort, the Hook-X feels good in my ears. The shells fit nicely for me although they may seem somewhat large for people with smaller ears. Despite its semi-open-back nature, the earphones have decent passive noise isolation and fairly minimal noise leak.
The OCC silver-plated copper cable has a black and green fabric braided cover. It immediately stands out visually from the cables we’re used to seeing. Furthermore, the colour matches that of the IEMs perfectly. The components are all matching grey aluminium with lime green highlights.
In terms of handling, the cable performs well. It’s fairly supple and has minimal microphonics. One of its most outstanding features though is its modular termination system. With this, you can easily switch between the 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm terminations (all included in the box).
Gear used for testing includes the Yulong Aurora, Soundaware M2Pro and Shanling UP5.
The Raptgo Hook-X has an unashamedly fun tuning. But thanks to its technical prowess, it has good resolution, a good soundstage, clarity and dynamics. It’s an IEM where the music comes first, in the form of its tonality and musical presentation.
Hook-X has a U-shaped sound signature. It’s on the warmer side of neutral, making it (at least for me) more emotionally engaging than something brighter and more analytical. The Hook X has a sound that’s warm enough to be comforting but clear and detailed enough to be exciting at the same time.
The bass is slightly boosted above normal but this is not a basshead IEM. Hook-X’s bass adapts itself to the music so, if a recording has a meaty bass then Hook-X will respond in kind. As you would expect from a planar driver, the bass is fast and tight but if bass notes have decay on the recording then you’ll hear it on the Hook-X.
For example, in Wheel’s “Resident Human”, Hook-X renders the kick drum with a beefy, thumping impact. But that’s because the drums are recorded like that, not because Hook-X is a bass monster. Following up with Scarface’s “Game Over” the long rolling bassline sounds rather tame and reserved. Regardless of the song, the bass is layered and well-defined.
Vocal lovers will appreciate Hook-X’s forward vocal presentation. Male vocals are full-bodied and powerful. Female voices get some love too; they’re sonorous without being shouty and are deliciously articulate.
While the mids are full of detail with excellent spacing, they’re warm enough to be engaging too. The ultimate test for me is the connection I feel to the music and with Hook-X I’m consistently singing along and strapped in for the emotional rollercoaster ride. Listening to Dimash Kudaibergen’s “Sinful Passion”, the vocals are full of sentiment and the cello is textured but at the same time oozes with an enchanting richness.
If there’s one area where I’m not completely sold on the Raptgo’s sound, it’s the treble; On one hand, it’s detailed and reasonably smooth. On the other hand, I hear a strange ringing or resonance every now and then. It reminds me very much of the BQEYZ Spring and Summer IEMs which coincidentally also contain a piezoelectric driver. Whether it’s the piezo or just the 8kHz peak I’m not sure but thankfully it doesn’t appear often enough to be a problem.
Apart from that, the treble performance is excellent. It’s not bright or sibilant, the extension is good and there’s plenty of air. Details are abundant and there’s plenty of clarity and definition that aid in the overall resolution and of course, the soundstage.
The Raptgo Hook-X is a refreshing new addition to the existing and rapidly growing planar magnetic IEM category. Not only does it sound good but it shows the makers have a certain flair for original and interesting physical designs.
Hook-X is a sweet blend of musicality and technical agility. It’s good enough to secure a place as one of the best planar magnetic IEMs in its price range. In fact, it’s up there with the best IEMs in its price range, period. Raptgo might be a name I hadn’t heard before this review but it’s one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Recommended.