The Ra range of earphones have become a bit of a legend since their launch, just like it’s smaller brother the EAMT1. The new 21 version features revised internals with vastly improved integral damping. Alongside these improvements there has also been a major overhaul of the airflow through and around the drivers. The Ra 21 has taken over a year of testing and modifications to get even more from the huge 16mm driver and patented AMT II driver. By improving the performance of the massive 16mm driver, oBravo have managed to drastically improve the bass. This is not to say that the bass has got thicker and overpowering, but it now extends a lot lower from 100Hz down. With a change in the specification of the dynamic driver it meant that the crossover also had to be changed so that the AMT driver could be seamlessly integrated. By altering the internals so much oBravo have managed to make the Ra 21 easier to drive than the original, bringing the resistance down to 168Ohm from 182Ohm. This enables users to benefit from the great sound using a larger range of source equipment.
Creating the original Ra in 2017 was not an easy task and the 21 version has taken over a year to come to fruition. The final tuning was obtained from a close collaboration between Audio Concierge’s very own Phil Wannell and oBravo. During the research and development phase it was also established that the cable was also a limiting factor in it’s performance. To that end a custom cable was introduced to the range in order to improve on Ra’s incredible performance. The new cable – called Newton Signature – consists of high purity copper and silver plated copper in a litz construction with a quick click release, 4 in 1 connector system. This will enable you to quickly swap between 4.4mm, 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4 pole 3.5mm.
Ra is my all time favourite earphone range and provides undisputed levels of detail. The patented 2nd generation AMT tweeter is up to 5 times faster than a normal dynamic earphone and you can easily hear that when you begin listening to it. The timbre of this earphone is exceptional and very well suited to anyone who plays an instrument and knows what it should sound like. The Ra range excels when used with a source of similar quality that can provide it with enough power to make them sing.
It’s enormous 16mm dynamic driver that works in combination with the 2nd generation AMT tweeter offers bass like a large over ear headphone. The aluminium and ceramic enclosure offers great durability and details with more purposeful bass than the copper version, however it isn’t quite as true in its representation of the music due to this. The Ra model enables you to have access to the impressive AMTII tweeter without the need for the flagship, Signature Ra C Cu copper version. The Ra features the same driver setup as the flagship Ra C Cu with it’s 16mm dynamic driver and 8mm AMTII, however it doesn’t have the copper body.
The Aluminium version of Ra has exceptional performance with a lift in the bass response due to the resonance of the all aluminium enclosure. The C version means that the enclosure is made of precision ceramic which, due to its inert properties doesn’t add anything to the sound and therefor is as accurate as it can be. For extra warmth then the Wood version provides a slightly smoother treble that has less energy than the aluminium or ceramic versions.