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Future Sonics 010-045 Atrio Series M5 Earbuds (Onyx Black)

Posted

Pros: Great controlled sub bass; Instrument realism

Cons: none the second time around

 

I bought these on a whim, due to a deal too good to pass up, and with the interest to hear something with more bass presence. (Edit: I purchased these a second time from atrio.me and received them in Jan 2012)  Here is my review.

 

Fit and Isolation:  The Atrios are pretty light weight and when properly seated do not touch the ear.  They are very comfortable and provide very good isolation with the right tips.  Isolation is above average and they most you can get from a vented dynamic driver.

 

Build Quality:  The Atrios are built from a lightweight but heavy duty plastic housing and provide good strain relief on where the cables exit the housing.  I think these could take some abuse and keep providing years of use.  Cables are of medium density and do a fair job of staying untangled and are fairly supple.  Worn over the ear, I haven’t noticed any microphonics issues.  For iPhone users, the right angle plug will fit in bumper style cases with ease.

 

Accessories:  My Atrios came with a rectangular case that is pretty flimsy and unnecessarily large.  I use it carry a small cmoy and put the M5’s in something else.  The latest version of the MG7 come with a very nice case made from recycled material.  It has extra cushioning and both sides have netted pockets.  The supplied tip selection is the weakest attribute to an otherwise fine product.  Three sizes of bi-flanges and 2 sizes of barrel foam type tips are supplied.  I find bi-flanges uncomfortable and either go in too deep or too shallow for quality sound.  The barrel foam type are pretty useless and they do not fit in normal sized ears.  (I found the best tips to be the Shure PA749M, now called EASFX2-10M, which had to be modified to fit by taking out the tube from one of the stock foam tips).  Enough with the negative and on to the sound. The latest version comes with black barrel style foam.  These provide excellent isolation and comfort, as well as providing the best sound the Atrios can offer.  If you want to try something different, the Klipsch gels are a close second in sound and comfort.

 

Sound:  The new M5’s have an new proprietary driver called the MG7.  The driver is a reported improvement over previous models by having better and more prominent treble.  The result is a fairly balanced presentation for what are considered bassy phones.

 

Most dynamic driver phones need a period of burn in.  The Atrios require a fairly long burn in time of about 100 hrs to sound their best.  I noticed significant changes to bass over that period. The second time around with the Atrios, I experienced no changes or sibilance like I did the first time.  This is due to previous experience with fit.  Most changes during burn in are psychoacoustic in nature and also due to fit.  Not having the fit issues of the first time around, I benefited from top notch sound for the moment I first plugged them in.

 

Bass:  A bass lovers delight.  The M5’s have bass in spades, however it is not all about quantity.  The bass is of superb quality as well.  Most phones achieve their bass signature by boosting mid bass.  Not so with the Atrios.  The M5 has a great deal of sub bass that effortlessly reaches very deep; deeper than any other phone I’ve ever heard.  The quality of the bass adds a dimension of realism (timbre) to bass guitar and drums not exhibited in other phones.  Best of all you get all this bass without it stepping all over the midrange.

 

Mids:  Mids are placed just right.  I find them neither recessed nor forward.  They are clean, detailed and natural, if a bit dry.  Vocals and guitars are placed in the mix just where you’d expect them to be when heard live.  Once again, realism with strings is something really special here. 

 

Treble:  The new Atrios treble is clear and non-fatiguing with plenty of detail; however for my ears, I would prefer even more treble presence.  For instance, the perfect treble for me is found in the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10’s.  I suppose this is due to the M5 design as studio monitors and the need to listen for extremely long periods of time.  The Atrios cannot match the effortlessness and airiness of the TF10’s but they are no slouches;  the fact that you can easily pick out small details like cymbal splashes in bass heavy songs is a testament to their improved presentation.

 

Soundstage:  Just average or maybe slightly below average in width (this is dependent upon fit and I have experienced a slightly larger soundstage the second time around).  Depth, however , is very good.  The M5’s often make me feel I’m in the recording studio with them.  In contrast the TF10’s make me feel I’m at a concert and maybe 15 rows back, presenting a wide soundstage for an IEM.

 

Overall the new Atrio M5’s are a very fun and enjoyable phone and does very well with good and poor quality mastered songs.  While being a bass oriented phone, they still offer up a fairly balanced sound.  If you’ve felt that your IEM’s have always been missing something in the bass department, whether quality or quantity, then give the Atrios M5 with mg7 driver a try.

 

(updated with a few additional thoughts from my second time around in Jan 2012.)

 

Posted

Pros: Incredible, well-controlled dynamic-driver bass with great sub-bass, superb timbre and balance in the mids and non-fatiguing, yet extended treble

Cons: Needs some burn-in like other dynamics, neutral mids and non-boosted treble are great for stage monitor sound--it's a con if you wanted a colored sig

The Future Sonics Atrios line of earphone monitors have undergone a revision, moving from the MG5 to the new MG7 dynamic drivers, improving the build quality and changing to new eco-friendly packaging.

I've had a chance to hear these for two weeks now. I'm happy to give a complete overview so you can decide whether Atrios are right for you.

The packaging: Future Sonics has moved to using much more eco-friendly materials. They have a new case for the earphones which is made from recycled tire rubber (and looks great). They've done a good job and I hope other companies follow their lead.

On to appearance. It's easy to judge a picture, but often what looks good on a computer screen looks horrible sticking out of your ears. In the ears, the Atrios look good--not too attention grabbing, but their curved design adds a touch of style. They come in several colors, the red is most eye-catching, if you want that.

Fit: Atrios are made from a high-strength, low weight plastic. They are light and easily stay in the ear, even seeming to disappear. There are small, medium and large bi-flange silicon eartips and two sizes of foam tips as well. Getting a good seal is essential to getting good sound. Future Sonics gives a reasonable selection of eartips, but some other companies give more and better eartip options.
One nice thing about the Atrios' design is that they can easily be worn cable down, or over-the-ear.

Cable: On earphones, the cable is the most-likely part to fail. How do the Atrios do? Pretty well, I'd say. The cable has a sturdy right-angle plug with good strain-relief and good integrated strain relief at the housing of the earphone. The cable itself is light. It's a bit microphonic (you can hear sounds when the cable brushes against something), but this can be pretty much entirely eliminated by wearing them with the cable over the ears, which is easy and comfortable to do.

Build Quality: These should last if you take good care of them. Again, the cable is always the weakest part of an earphone, so don't just wrap the wire around your ipod and throw the mess into your briefcase... Future Sonics also has an excellent customer service reputation and I can say from personal experience they are really top-notch on that.

Isolation: These earphones are vented for better bass, but they still do a good job of blocking external noise. There are other earphones that can block even more, if that's primary concern (The Monster turbine pro, for example. Etymotic's earphones are the kings of this). Atrios do well, most people will be satisfied.

Sound: The most important part, of course. Future Sonics Atrios are engineered to have a particular sound signature. In fact, Future Sonics is one of the very few companies to design and manufacture their own transducers. I'll try to describe that sound, as I hear it in the new Atrios, so you can decide if it is what you want. Keep in mind that this is just my take on it, but I think I have a pretty good feel for it.

One important note before I begin: These earphones have dynamic (moving coil) drivers. It's like a miniaturized version of your home stereo speakers. Many audiophiles find that this kind of driver needs playing time to "break-in". Whether it has to do with the diaphragm which produces sound breaking-in a bit or whatever, I found that to be the case with Atrios. The bass settled down and tightened up a bit after 50 hours of playing. Speaking of which:

Bass: This is something special. Thanks to the dynamic driver, the bass has excellent energy and a living feel that most earphones with an armature transducer (Shure earphones, for example) don't. The bass reaches down deep to the sub-bass region easily, where many other earphones can't go. Even earphones costing much more don't do this as well as the Atrios. The Atrios' bass is fairly detailed and well-controlled. Some other earphones have an artificial sounding bass, but the Atrios do an excellent job. It's there when you need it, as much as you need. Hip-hop and bassy genres sound great. However, when I played string quartets (e.g. non-bassy music), the Atrios handled it very well, too. The only thing I want to note is that the sound is bass-forward. The drummer will sound a bit ahead of the singer if you close your eyes. Speaking to people in the music industry, it seems that this feature comes from Atrios' heritage as a stage monitor where a forward bass is helpful for a musician during a loud concert performance. You may or may not like it.

Mid-range: It's important to note that the mid-range is clear and accurate. It doesn't sound boosted or thickened. It's fairly detailed and has an excellent reproduction of the timbre of strings and vocal music. You may be used to artificially-boosted mid-range sounds on other earphones, so an accurate mid-range may not be for you. I like it. Again, it's a bit recessed behind the bass, but always clear. I enjoyed pop and classical music equally. It occasionally has a bit of trouble with pop songs that have a bloated lower mid, such as a not-so-clearly recorded electric bass, but the Atrios generally does a good job. It's accurate like you'd expect an in-ear stage monitor to be.

Treble: This is where the new Atrios should show an improvement over older versions, with enhanced treble extension. The treble is indeed well-extended. Violins and soprano voices can sound great. One key thing to note is that the treble is slightly dark. That means that it is non-fatiguing without spitty, sharp, piercing, nails-on-blackboard sounds. These sound toned-down a bit so you can listen a long time, while keeping the treble accurate. The down side is that a dark treble doesn't shimmer and sparkle as much as a bright treble for things like cymbals crashing, etc. Many earphones have a bright treble and stronger treble energy, if you love that, then the Atrios aren't for you. However, if you're sensitive to glaringly bright treble and want something that you could listen to for as long as you like without fatigue, then you'll like the Atrios.

I like the Atrios and I think they are competitive with more expensive earphones. As I listen, their sound only grows on me. It's musical and enjoyable. If you like how I've described their sound signature, the Atrios might be perfect for you.

Posted

As an avid trance & progressive listener, one area of the spectrum that can never go overlooked/undermined is the low frequencies. Having owned the entire top tier Monster series (Gold, Copper, MDT), I'll admittedly say it: I'm a basshead, loud and proud. However, that doesn't necessarily translate to me being biased towards bass-light or even bass-neutral earphones. I know a good sound when I hear one. Speaking of which, to my ears, the Atrio's deliver, and oh do they ever! wink.gif

 

For a few days time, I took the opportunity to read up on potential competitors to my beloved MDT's. While I'm quite fond of the MDT's, they're hardly perfect; in fact, nothing ever is to be quite honest. Of the infamous bass-centric IEM's, there are quite a few names that immediately come to mind, including (but certainly not limited to) the IE8's, EX1000's, FX700's, the Monster lineup, DDM/DDM2, Eterna, Hippo VB, and the list goes on... Fortunately, based upon my findings, it wasn't at all difficult for me to narrow down my selection, owing to the fact that fit/seal & isolation are deal breakers for me. Hence long story short, my attention almost immediately fell upon the Atrio M5, with the latest MG7 dynamic drivers.

 

Were it not for the Monster eartip adapters, I'd have simply overlooked many top tiers, which fail to offer a decent seal, given the included tips, which from my experience, rarely ever offer a good fit/seal combination. It's really that one or two pair of tips I keep aside as my exclusive tips, irrespective of the IEM. Using the aforementioned eartip adapters, I was yet again able to use my Monster tri-flanges, with my new Atrios. When worn cable down, the Atrio's offer a sub-par seal, which I couldn't bare with for longer than 2 minutes. Fotrunately, the length of the y-cable extends comfortably so and allows for a more than reasonable over-the-ear fit. With the tri-flanges in place, and the Atrio's now worn over-the-ear, I begin my listening.

 

The very first song I chose to listen to brings out the full bass potential in any IEM I've come to test. Quite literally, from the moment my mouse clicked on the play icon, I felt the vibrations of every single low frequency note, like I never had before. I was in complete awe! basshead.gif I immediately thought to myself, were my MDT's this efficient? So after a few minutes of absolute euphoria, I A/B'ed the MDT's and Atrios, to which I was able to pin-point exactly which areas it was that the M5's shined. There is a massive mid-bass hump with the MDT's, one that's literally non-existent with the M5's. The M5's strength is packed almost entirely in its sub-bass, and rightfully so. As fond as I am of the MDT's (even to this day), it wasn't but 2 minutes that the M5's replaced them altogether. Bare in mind however, I hold both in equal regards, and as is always the case, it's a matter of preference, and nothing but.

 

The mids fall right into place, though I can see where some may perceive them as ever so slightly recessed, when in direct comparison to the rest of the spectrum that is. To my ears, that's hardly the case. I find them neutral, at best. In other words, they're not at all forward, nor are they recessed to the point where the midrange goes unappreciated. That's far from the truth, and is made apparent to me when mid-vocals come into play. They're quite pleasant, and there is absolutely no midrange bleed whatsoever, which is what sets them apart from the Monster series altogether.

 

With respect to the treble, it's amongst the most neutral/non-fatiguing I've come to hear, of any bass-centric IEM I've ever owned. Much like the mids, it's neutral at best, and sibilance is pleasantly non-existent. The soundstage bears more depth than width, no doubt about it. Regardless, the width is completely satisfying, and complements the depth very well IMO. As with most other bass-centric IEM's, the Atrio is no exception in that it bears an overall warm presentation, which coming from the SM3's, was nothing short of what I had hoped for. YMMV!

 

While it's true that there are many top tiers that offer better overall sonic performance, the Atrio is undoubtedly first class in what it's channeled to be, as a sub-bass monster. More capable than even IEM's nearly 3 times it's cost in that very regard, it's a dead easy winner in my book! It's even forced me to list my beloved MDT's for sale (until next time my friend), and I simply refuse to look back, period! They're not nearly as unnattractive as they appear to be, especially if you are able to acquire the special edition wood finish.

 

If you're in the market for one of the absolute best (if not THE best) bass-centric IEM, look no further. As the bass impact hits, you'll feel every note, and even feel the low frequency vibrations when the track calls for it, as if there's quite literally a subwoofer within your ear canal, without any midrange bleed. I haven't been able to take them out since the day they arrived, and I'm speaking quite literally. My listening sessions now begin with the Atrio's and end with the Atrio's, at least until my JH16’s get here hopefully mid July. In all honesty, I've even found it easier to finish my workload, because if and when I'm in the mood to procrastinate, I instead refuse to get up from my seat until at least the track finishes; a feeling no other top tier (excluding the SM3) has brought me to date.

 

Cheers and happy listening my friends! etysmile.gif

Posted

Pros: Comfortable; sleek appearance; nice stock tips; A+ bass response; friendly cord; Exemplary customer/warranty service

Cons: Tight soundstage; no nozzle foam grille of any kind to protect drivers from provided cleaning tool

I owned several pairs of the M5s (owing to the fact that I had them replaced several times through the warranty service). Never had a lick of trouble getting a replacement. I bought from an authorised reseller on fleaBay for a very decent price.

 

The design of these IEMs is quite pleasing to me. They are low profile, nice blue accent, sleek design. The cable is not at all fussy. The provided rectangular case is of a good size as well as quite durable. My package included a very nice assortment of tips, single through triple flange of 2-3 sizes each. Sure olives fit these IEMs as well.

 

I found them to be very comfortable for extended use using the stock biflanges. The olives I have provided a tiny bit more isolation, but I felt the isolation was good enough for my needs with the biflanges and the olives hurt my ears with extended use.

 

The sound...as many are aware, the bass response of these is quite renowned, and for a very good reason: excellent sub bass extension, quick, punchy, and full sound at low frequencies, and very little bleed into the mids. I wouldn't say the mids are necessarily recessed, although perhaps lacking a bit of detail or attention-grab from a more mid-centric IEM. The highs live in a similar boat, not forward yet not at all lifeless. These are not a 'sparkly' or 'bright' sound by any means, however I would not say the sound is extremely dark, either; rather, it's a decently flat sound with a warmth to it.

 

The soundstage, owing to the lack of shimmer on the high end, is a bit tight, although it has some decent depth. Despite the fact that things are quite 'intimate', I found the separation admirable.

 

Overall, the character of these IEMs is warm with EXCELLENT sub bass extension and terribly accurate and engaging bass response, with a pretty warm overall presentation and a fairly small 3D presentation. The upside is that you won't find bass like this anywhere else close to it's price range, and the presentation is not at all fatiguing. The downside is that it passes up a bit of detail and shimmer.

 

Future Sonic's warranty and customer service is absolutely wonderful, I might add. In the end, though, after tons of abuse, my 3rd pair of M5s bit the dust I believe because I may have stabbed the right driver with the earwax cleaning tool provided - there is no nozzle foam or grille between your eardrum and the driver on these, so use caution. This may be what the Atrio M5 owes a bit of it's amazing bass reproduction to.

 

All in all, an excellent value, and although the MG7s have now usurped the M5s, these were fabulous IEMs.

Posted

Intro

This is a review of the Future Sonics Atrio MG7. This model of Atrio carry’s the latest MG7 drivers (I also recently realised the "MG" in the driver names is probably the initials of FS founder, Marty Garcia LOL), which are said to be a great improvement over the previous MG5pro driver (which was one ahead of the older MG5 driver), retails for $199 but I got mine for AU$160. This puts them at somewhat upper mid-level IEMs in terms of price but in terms of sound, IME they are much higher up the scale. In fact, it is very hard to find a negative review of these IEMs, the majority of negative statements about these is fit problems. I will talk about this later.

 

Out of the box, they sounded pretty good! Like any other dynamic driver IEM, the bass was pretty big and not so textured to begin with however, the Atrio still didn’t have much mid-bass bloat, which shows just how well tuned these things are! I allowed them to burn-in for about 50 hours before I started properly reviewing them. Please note that the Atrio’s really do need ~100 hours before the sound matures.

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging is very simple but I like it. It comes in a brown, recycled paper box with a cardboard sleeve around it. I love this move towards certified recycled packaging (I have always hated non-recycled packaging since I was very young!). Inside the box, the IEM cable is coiled up in the case with just enough of the cable leading out of the case to the IEM drivers which are in a small plastic cover.

 

The package includes: Atrio MG7 IEMs, zip carry case (really fantastic case, my favourite out of the ~12 cases I have laying around!), S/M/L bi-flange silicon tips, 2 pairs each of standard and large cream foams, 2 pairs each of standard and large black foams, cleaning tool. It’s a nice set of accessories and I like the recent introduction of the black foams.

 

Comfort & Isolation

I find the Atrio to be one of the most comfortable IEM ever. It might be due to their shape which sort of moulds to the shape of the outer ear and fitted with the right tips, the isolation is fantastic where it can block out traffic noise on one of Sydney’s busiest arterial roads!!!

 

Tips about Tips:

I tried a few different tips on the Atrio’s, here is what I found:

  • Atrio stock bi-flanges: I believe these were used as torture tools in Ancient History. I think I remember reading about them in History class back in high-school!!! They are shockingly uncomfortable for me but the pity is that they actually sound great! They are “purpose built” for the Atrio’s. A lot of people put non-Atrio tips on and complain about sound quality, well I can confidently say that most non-Atrio tips change the sound signature intended by FS!

 

  • Atrio stock foam tips: I use the standard size as the large are way too large for me. I absolutely LOVE these tips. They are super comfortable, sound awesome!...better than the stock silicon tips because the foams project the exact sound FS intended and the sound stage is noticeable wider with the foams too. These are my tips of choice and I made a bulk purchase of these years ago with my old pair of Atrio’s. Yes, they are bloody expensive but I wash them in warm water, let them dry and they are as good as new (just don’t squeeze the water out of them as they will be ruined!)
  • NOTE: The black stock foams are denser than the yellows. This means the sound stage reduced a little, the highs are not as sparkly and the bass is not as open, the overall sound is a litttle "thicker", compared to the cream foams. The blacks do provide slightly better isolation but I prefer the cream foams. The blacks IMO will last longer and seem more dirt/wax resistant.

 

  • Klipsch eargels: OK, here is a tip which is non-Atrio but definitely compliments the sound signature. The bass is not a tight as with the stock foam but pretty close. The mids and highs are retained to near perfect levels. The sound stage is definitely not as wide but isolation is great! Overall, these are my silicon tips of choice with the Atrio.

 

  • JAYS silicon tips: I used these with the Monster eartip adapters. They sound decent enough but they somewhat lose out on the balanced/natural Atrio sound sig, which, let’s face it, is one of the major advantages with the Atrio! These are also the least isolating out of this entire comparison.

 

  • Shure black foam (“olives”): These are the best foam tips ever made! They are super comfortable, last FOREVER, are washable but they are not the best with the Atrio. They will bloat the bass, push the mid-range forward and the highs take on a strange sparkle…not a natural sparkle, it’s kind of difficult to describe.

 

I believe most people who have a negative experience with the Atrio is because of the fit. The shape of the driver casing means they are limited compared to other IEMs which can go much further in the ear canal due to their shapes. Negative comments are normally due to having fit problems with stock tips and replacing with other tips which don’t project the Atrio Fidelity.

 

Build & Cable

The build quality seems excellent, just like with the previous Atrio’s. The cables are fantastic!!! Nice and solid, not rubbery and dont tangle very easily either. FS also call them “QuietCables” which seems quite true as microphonics are relatively much less on these.

 

Sound

  • Out-of-the-Box: Straight out of the box, the IEMs didn’t sound as “bad” as others, which was exciting. Although the bass was not as textured as my burned in older Atrio’s and the highs were not as smooth. I put them on the burn in process for 50hrs.

 

  • Treble: To start with, the highs didn’t present much smooth sparkle but as time went on, the sparkle came out more and more and the harshness decreased. I agree with other reviews stating there has been a significant upgrade with the high end where it is now much more forward and present compared to the older versions, this is a very welcome upgrade indeed! The highs carry fantastic energy, not at all shrill or harsh but still very clear, defined and sparkly…I love it!

 

  • Midrange: Mids are extremely well presented. Vocals sound great, as if the vocalist and guitarist are right there with me or like a front row seat at a concert! As with the older Atrio, any stringed instrument, piano and chimes are absolutely magical, truly amazing!

 

  • Bass: At first, the bass is not as textured like my older Atrio but the one thing you notice right away is the lack of mid-bass bloat and absolutely no mid-range bleed! As burn-in continues, the bass settles down but also gains an ability to produce amazing texture and separation e.g. notes on a double bass can easily be followed due to the texture and the separation between e.g. a double bass and the kick drum is very easy to define with the Atrio.

Many people already know of one other quality unmatched in the IEM industry…the sub-bass. The Atrio drivers move so much air, the sub-bass can be felt and this is one of the most satisfying characteristics because you not only hear your music but you feel it, just like with a full size hi-fi system! I have yet to experience this with any other IEM! The TFTA 1XB come the closest but the speed and texture of the sub-bass on the Atrio can’t be matched.

 

  • Soundstage and separation: The sound stage is wide but with the stock foams becomes much wider and is quite impressive for a closed, dynamic driver IEM. The separation is fantastic, very clean and natural. This is the philosophy FS have about using dynamic drivers and not multi-BA with crossovers and this is quite evident when you listen to them.

 

Overall

The Atrio MG7, at ~$160, are a fantastic purchase. These do pretty much everything right and are industry leaders with the quality/texture/separation of the low end. There is a lot of competition at this price point but I still feel the Atrio are priced well below their performance. I also feel they are suited to a wide range of genre’s as they do everything so well, they would be a safe option for pretty much anyone.

 

These are not all about the bass, the bass is just a contributor to their reputation but they actually do the entire frequency range amazingly well! I hope this review will help people understand this “misunderstood creature” a little better.

Posted

Pros: THUMPING LOW END BASS!!!, Balanced mids and highs, oh that timbre!, clear and crisp highs, capable of reproducing complicated songs, infinite others

Cons: Looks, Fit, Comfort, Durability, Fatiguing at times, Power hungry

Background

This is my first time reviewing products and I hope you guys take this review with a grain of salt! I bought these last december as a replacement pair of iems after my last pair (cheapo and horrible sounding soul sl49s) broke. I had a budget of 200 and was looking for a bassy iem. I was at Stereo Electronics demoing some iems and i narrowed it down to the Atrios m5 and the shure se215. Now i know the se215 is widely praised here on head fi but i just found the Atrios sound much more natural and clearer. Fast forward 3/4 of a year and now im reviewing them.

Disclaimer i do not work for futuresonics and am not getting paid to review these lovely iems.

 

Packaging

The Atrios come in a simple, eco-friendly box. There is a small clear portion to see the iem which unlike other iem boxes, shows you how your iem will look like. The box is made from recycled waste and though that sounds disgusting, this packaging is akin to recycled cardboard boxes and is pretty sturdy. It touts that the Atrios produce true bass response and studio quality sound. Overall, the packaging deserves a 4.5/5

 

 

Accessories

 

 

The Atrios come with an array of tips, their proprietary bi-flange silicon tips, black and beige ComfortFit tips. The bi-flanges come in 3 sizes, small medium and large. The black and beige foam tips also come in small medium and large. A small cleaning tool is provided to clear out debris from the nozzle should any ear wax enter and change the sound quality. Also included is a carrying case and an informative booklet. It is soft type case that wont protect against a much pressure but it should protect against most moisture. The materials used to make it are also recycled but have a good feel to them. Overall however, i wished FutureSonics included a 1/4 inch adapter and an output divider to share music thus, they only get a 3.5/5 for accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit

 

The fit on these is pretty unique. In order to avoid microphonics,which is horrible on these, i wear them over the ear. The housing kind of rests outside your ear. This causes irritation sometimes when the housing touches my ear. But what can i say, my ears are pretty small.

Looks and Durability

 

 

Now, i wont completely bash the designers at FutureSonics for the design of the iem but damn, they look pretty weird!! The teardrop shape is reminiscent of the shure se420 and does look good at times. However, i still feel that they will attract attention and in a bad way. I'll give the looks a 2.5/5.

 

The durability is pretty questionable here. My current pair are replacements and I am confident i will send them to be replaced pretty soon. The lack of proper strain reliefs is a bad sign and i hate the way the rubber sections on the housing, which I assume is some kind of strain relief, keep degrading. That i guess is due to the fact that i wear these over the ear and the cord pulls on the rubber, causing the rubber to tear and degrade, kind of like a rubber tire being worn out. Other than that, I dont have any qualms about the iem. The strain relief on the plug is adequate. The yoke also doesnt seem to need any strain relief and is very durable. The housing, though it looks like cheap plastic, is very hard and rugged. The wire is pretty thick and yes, you guessed it, durable. I do have a problem with the cable though, It is a very memory prone wire and i dare not keep it in a case for fear of dealing with very ugly looking wires. Instead, i hang them vertically and the wire stays straight. Durability gets 3.5/5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOUND

 

When i demoed them, i was stunned by the clarity, the bass and the natural sound. However, when i took them out of the box, i was utterly disappointed with the sound, Although i dont remember how it sounded exactly, it was enough for me to revert to my old pair of cheap phillips iems. YES, it sounded THAT bad. I kept playing music through them and tried to burn them in but to no avail. Thus, i chucked them aside for a couple of months. It was not only until a few moths ago that I read a review by a fellow headfier saying that it needed a long burn in period that i took them out of the box and tried them again. WOW, they sounded amazing. So guys, if you plan to get these, burn them in for perhaps a few weeks and then hear them. Another thing is that although it says on the packaging that the Atrios provide bigger sound at lower volume, i highly disagree. I have to crank up the volume to about 70-80% to get to my desired volume, when i usually only put it to 50% for my westone 1s.

 

Let me first start on instrument separation. These separate instruments pretty well and i can discern between the many different instruments, even in fast rock songs like Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy. These reproduce all music very naturally. You would actually think the singer was performing live in your ears, as if you were listening to a PERSON, not a voice singing.

 

Here comes the commentary on the soundstage. These dont have a huge soundstage. In Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, the first few lyrics, everybody get up, sound very close to you. Personally, i dont like that. However, they dont sound echoey or caged up, music sounds free to roam and is not constrained.

 

Bass. These are undoubtedly, unbeatable bass monsters. Unlike other bassy iems, these do not have a mid bass hump. These have boosted sub bass, allowing rumble in the song without muddying up the mids and highs. This in my opinion is a remarkable concept that is very effective in allowing the Atrios to be bassy while being extremely clear and setting the Atrios apart from most other iems. Thumbs up, FutureSonics.

 

Mids. I feel that the mids are a tad recessed. In Emile Sande's Clown, her voice is overshadowed by the piano, and is not as forward as i would like. Even with this though, i like how the mids are placed, they are there but dont interfere with the instruments. Vocalists beware though!

 

Highs. The mids and highs are actually pretty neutral however, the highs does tend to be just a tad more pronounced. Treble extension IMHO, is fantastic and i can hear all the treble in a song. There is a noticable crisp, or how i like to call it "bite". At times however, i can find the Atrios to be a bit too fatiguing. I sometimes take them out after an hour of listening to rock, where the treble can make my ear hurt. I do recommend using the foam tips to help with attenuating the treble a bit and help with the fit.

 

The type of music i recommend using them for is mainly rock, pop and anything that doesnt require a forward mid-range.Again, vocalists and mid range lovers beware.For the price? Wow just wow these are a bargain for their sound and i applaud FutureSonics!Overall, the sound gets a solid 4.5/5!

 

Thanks for reading my review and i hope this gets you to buy these value for money iems!biggrin.gif

Posted

Pros: Sub-Bass, Bass, Clarity, Warm Sound, Fun sound

Cons: Too Much bass, Ugly looking, Burn-in required!

For any of you looking to purchase authentic atrio's go to "Atrio.me" and enter the following code for 50% off: "CostProg50%"   I absolutely love my atrios! they are great sounding, comfy, and bass heavy, an overall exciting sound.

Future Sonics 010-045 Atrio Series M5 Earbuds (Onyx Black)
Description:

Enjoy your tunes the way professionals do with the Future Sonics 010-046 Atrio series M8 ear buds. Thoughtful engineering features ergonomic designs that are comfortable for both adults and children. Future Sonics incorporates MG5Pro and TruTimbre technologies into the Atrio for a big sound and wide response for a rich listening experience, at a response level and sonic quality that uncannily recreates the way your own ears would hear.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandOnyx
ColorOnyx Black
EAN0890423001001
FeatureMultiple fit options, carrying case, and loop cleaning tool included
Height1.5 inches
Length6.2 inches
Weight0.3 pounds
Width6 inches
LabelFuture Sonics
List Price$199.99
ManufacturerFuture Sonics
Model010-045
MPN010-045
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherFuture Sonics
StudioFuture Sonics
TitleFuture Sonics 010-045 Atrio Series M5 Earbuds (Onyx Black)
UPC890423001001
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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