When I first saw photos of the IEMs on offer from Paiaudio on the internet, I thought they looked rather plastic and cheap. I was proved wrong when I opened the box.
In person they are well made, seem durable enough to withstand general day to day punishment and use.
They have two kinds of cable, the old and the new. The old is the one I prefer for looks and design, a clear cable similar but not identical to the more custom looking Echobox X1 or the FiiO EX1 cables, stylish snake skin like looks comes to mind.
The (discontinued) new cable seems too plastic looking to me, a glossy black.
Paiaudio said that they will be reverting back to the original cable after feedback from their customers. The current batch are now shipping with the original cable design.
The cable can easily get tangled and I suspect this is due to the way it is wrapped, I have offered feedback on a more suitable way to package the cable.
The IEMs shells are of the closed style, so I found them to isolate well on my daily commute.
They also have MMCX connectors, so the cables are removable and replaceable.
There are two Knowles driver in each ear piece.
The main box is in a beautiful looking black sleeve with the companies logo on it, slide it off and inside is a cardboard black box with a lid affixed by magnets. Open it up and the IEMs are packed within a foam plate, the underneath of which has the cable (I gave feedback on how to package the cable so it would not be kinked upon arrival), also in the box is a small users manual, some extra tips (full set of S,M,L in a clear thin white silicone).
This is one of the first pleasing points (apart form the outer packaging design) that hit home, I could get a full insertion via the good length of the nozzle, one that gave me the same experience and volume on both ears.
My ears are on the small side and as you can see in the photo the models ears are also on the small side, so fitting the main body of the IEM shell in the ear should not be a problem for most users, I expect.
They are light which makes for a comfortable experience and fit within the outer ear comfortably.
The included tips are soft and thin, others may prefer to do some tip rolling with other brands to achieve a good fit and preferred sound signature.
Also the 360 movement of the cable due to the MMCX connector aids in a comfortable fit.
The Paiaudio range of IEMs is priced as follows
DR1 US$39 - $49
MR2 US$129 - $149
MR3 US$169 - $189.
I think it is an acceptable price US$129 -$149 for a multi driver IEM.
It also has replaceable cables, and a great fit which makes these great value for the price.
The Paiaudio MR2 is great sounding IEM, but one that needs decent amplification to really shine.
They tend towards the warm side, with good separation and layering. Decent detailing.
The supplied tips are silky smooth and very comfortable, I found that I did not have to reply on my current go to tips the JVC Spiral Tips (which made the MR2 sound overly dark) but could get a decent fit and experience with the stock tips.
They are built sturdy enough to last If one takes care of them.
The replaceable cables are also attractive and convenient in case one needs to replace them or wants to try an aftermarket alternative.
DR1 - Clear and well balanced over all. fairly flat. Not particularly wide. Good separation.
MR3 - Great separation, good width, height. More of a full sound, smooth.Accurate. Airy.
MR2- Slight warmth, full sound. Not as much width or height, but good separation. Musical. Improves with amplification. Accurate.
The MR2 occupies the middles spot in the Paiaudio family at the moment, the price between the MR3 and MR2 are so close in price and sound it could well be worth it to just go for the MR3, `cause three drivers gotta be better than two!?, right, ight...amirite?
Well it comes down to a matter of taste I think when choosing an IEM from the Paiaudio family, size and design wise they are identical in form. The difference is in the number of drivers and each has their own particular sound signature; which I have outlined above and will expand on in a later article.
The Paiaudio is an IEM that needs about 100 hours to reach their optimum performance, they are an IEM that grows on the user after time. if you are a detail, treble monster preferrer they might not be the IEMs for you, not to say the MR2 is a slacker in this department either.
If you are looking for a well priced entry level two driver IEM that performs above its price point then the MR2 is for you.
Its not TOTL nor is it BOTL either, a decent well rounder with a tendency towards warmth.