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[REVIEW] Future Sonics Atrio M5 with MG7 transducer

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

Almost 3 years ago I picked up my long dreamed pair of Atrio M5 after the reversion 2 reached the Asian shore. It was the tale about the legendary subwoofer-in-the-ear that attracted me the most, and it certainly wasn’t disappointing at the bass performance. But M5 rev2 wasn’t really turn out to be the greatest dynamic transducer based IEM as I once thought it was. In fact, M5 rev2 didn’t sound particularly impressive beside the hard hitting bass. Still, it is quite a smooth (if not darkish) and relaxing IEM to listen to and serves a good reference point of what a basshead IEM should measure to. Naturally I am slightly skeptical when I heard that there will be a new Atrio M5 with a new MG7 driver. Future Sonics, as low profile as they usually are, didn't even do any promotion or had a big press release on some convention. In fact, my inquiry to the customer service about the difference between the old and new Atrio M5 is simply: the headroom is improved so it is a little more detail – doesn’t seem like much, right? Well, that’s the assumption I had till I eventually picked one up myself, and how wrong that assumption is! The new MG7 based Atrio M5 is a totally new beast of its own!

 

AMG7-01.jpg

 

AMG7-02.jpg

 

SPEC

Driver: 10mm MG7™ Proprietary Dynamic Drivers
Frequency Response: 18Hz – 20kHz

Impedance: 32ohm

Sensitivity: 112db @ 30Hz/1mW
Cable:  51" (1.3m) with gold plated 3.5mm plug.

 

AMG7-03.jpg

 

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality

With market as a whole heading for more eco-friendly manufacturing process and packaging, Future Sonics too adapts a green packaging for their new Atrio . It is basically a hard paper box with a printed paper warp and a little of see through plastic to show case the earpieces.

 

Inside the box, the included terms are identical to that of the old Atrio (unless you order the new special edition, which comes with a different looking hard case). There is the specious hard case, enough not just for the IEM but also a small DAP, three pairs of silicone bi-flange, 4 pairs of foam tips (two of small and large each), a earwax cleaning tool, and manual.

 

AMG7-04.jpg

 

Build quality is pretty much the same as the old Atrio, as all the design and material are the same. In fact, you can’t really tell the old and new M5 apart by simply looking at them, hence the reason why I bought a different color version this time. The earpiece is in the classic curved-teardrop shape of the Atrio line. For those who are new to Atrio, the silicone eartips can be a little irritating at first use, much like the tri-flange on Etymotic. But you use give it some time to absorb a little of your skin oil (a little baby oil works too), it will eventually soften up like more silicone eartips. The isolation is actually quite good – better than average though not quite the most isolated yet. If you don’t like the included foam tips or want something a lot more durable, you can try using Shure black foam (olive) on Atrio as well. The cable is the soft rubbery type and since it is the same as the old model, I can say in good confident that it is a fairly durable cable that doesn’t harden up easily. It is also a low microphonics cable, and you can wear it over the ear if you want to.

 

Overall, the new Atrio retains the same simple and no-fuzz design from the old model and I don’t have much complaint on it.

 

AMG7-05.jpg

 

AMG7-06.jpg

The new Atrio M5 (MG7) and old M5 rev2 look and feel identical from the outside.

 

Sound Quality

The IEM had received no less than 100+ hours of burn-in before the review. If I remember correctly, it took almost 100 hours of burn-in on my old M5 rev2 to achieve a stable sound. It is one of the most dramatic changes of any IEM I ever have. For that reason, I am sort of expecting the same to apply to the new MG7 Atrio. To my surprise the new Atrio sounded pretty good at first listen and the burn-in process didn’t actually change much of the original sound. I too have no complaint for that, of course.

 

The sound signature is bass driver with a slight U-shaped frequency response. Bass is deep, strong, well textured and bodied. There are often wrong impressions on Future Sonics that they must have the (quantitatively) biggest bass around to be championed as the king of bass. But a great bass is not about just having the volume, but also the quality. Overly bloated, texture-less bass can’t be considered good regardless of how much air can it pumps. It is that careful balanced of quantity and quality that makes the new Atrio a true bass monster, as it is deep (to the sub-bass), punchy, yet retains a good level of texture and decay. Mid is perhaps one of the real weaknesses on the new Atrio. It is a little recessed, especially compared to the bass - just a little blended and lacks a good touch of texture and thickness.  Then again, this is a common problem for most IEM with the same sound signature, not unique to the new Atrio. The most improved area of the new Atrio is its treble, and it comes in two folds: First, the quantity is improved as it extends more linearly to the top. Second, the overall presentation is more forward, resulting in more transparent and airy sound that better showcase the sparkles and micro-detail. While it is still nowhere near being analytical or sparkly, it is not longer as darkish as the old Atrio. Subsequently, the soundstage, perception of speed and overall imaging are also improved and much more decent than the old M5 rev2, though soundstage wise I won’t call it wide, just average with better width than depth.

 

Compared to the old Atrio M5 rev2, the new Atrio comes with better bass rendering (lower rumble and less mid-bass bump), overall detail and soundstage. It is also more forward so you won’t get the same veiled / distanced feeling as in M5 rev2. So how about the other IEM in the same price range that is also well known for its bass response, the Radius DDM? If we only talk about bass alone, Atrio absolutely has the upper hand over DDM. Mid is where DDM really outshines Atrio, but it loses again to Atrio on treble. Soundstage wise, the DDM is more 3D and specious. If we were to consider the presentation as a whole, Atrio is perhaps just a little ahead of DDM technically; then again it is not quite as fun and musical in comparison.  I won’t call anyone of them a superior sounding IEM, perhaps just different in presentation.

 

AMG7-07.jpg

 

Verdict

The MSRP for the new Atrio is the same as the old model at about $200, but it is not difficult to find it on the street for around $150. This makes it a decent bargain. It is not yet a top-tier in my book, but it is definitely one of the best choices for basshead.

 

Check out the Concise Multi-IEM Comparison in my sig. for ranking.

post #2 of 86

Thanks for the nice review with great pictures!  I've owned the original Atrio (with memory wires), the rev 2's and the current MG7 Atrios, and I'd say you've provided an accurate account of the detail of this earphone.  Well done.

post #3 of 86

I've been waiting for this review ;) Now that I remember, I think I've tried this at Jaben when I bought my DDM last month. Not sure whether I heard correctly, still sounds a bit "dark" as compared to DDM imho. What do you think?

post #4 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatthumb View Post

I've been waiting for this review ;) Now that I remember, I think I've tried this at Jaben when I bought my DDM last month. Not sure whether I heard correctly, still sounds a bit "dark" as compared to DDM imho. What do you think?

I don't find it dark by itself. But DDM has a more forwarded sound for sure, so it might sound dark if you are using DDM as reference.
 

 

post #5 of 86

ClieOS thanks to review. future sonics atrio m5 and ecci pr401, would the bass as a comparison?

post #6 of 86

 

Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

I don't find it dark by itself. But DDM has a more forwarded sound for sure, so it might sound dark if you are using DDM as reference.

Yes I did use DDM as reference, maybe that's why L3000.gif


 

post #7 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by desilver View Post

ClieOS thanks to review. future sonics atrio m5 and ecci pr401, would the bass as a comparison?


ECCI PR401 has a fairly respectable bass response on its own, but isn't quite as much as Atrio nor able to do sub-bass.

post #8 of 86

I am trying to choose between Atrio and DDM2 for my next IEM. So,...

 

How would it compare to the DDM2, particularly the treble?

 

How would you compare the bass of Atrio vs Eterna V1 quantity wise?

 

 Would the sound stage be closer to RE-ZERO's width or is it better?

post #9 of 86

Does anyone have any pics of these in-ear, both over the ear and cable down?  I'm just tryin to see how big these things are relative to the competitors.  I'm really interested in hearing these, but if they are too big, they won't be very good for gym use.

post #10 of 86

Nevermind...found some on the web.  Here if anyone else is interested:

 

http://the-gadgeteer.com/2009/01/18/future-sonics-atrio-m5-professional-earphones-review/

 

I just bought a pair from an alleged "authorized reseller" on ebay...so hopefully they are authentic.  I really like the reviews on these things and hopefully they'll be a more well-rounded original Turbine that I can wear at the gym.  I've got high hopes.


Edited by dbdynsty25 - 5/23/11 at 11:28am
post #11 of 86
Thread Starter 

Answered in bold.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post

How would it compare to the DDM2, particularly the treble? Atrio Has a better treble presentation. Not that it has a lot more treble, just that treble is more frontal compared to DDM2.

 

How would you compare the bass of Atrio vs Eterna V1 quantity wise? Eterna's bass is more on the bloated but fun side. Atrio on the other hand is punchy yet controlled. It doesn't have as much as Eterna, but the quality is much higher.

 

 Would the sound stage be closer to RE-ZERO's width or is it better? I find Atrio to have better soundstage than RE-ZERO overall.



 

post #12 of 86

Just got mine in today. I'm quite surprised, in terms of SQ, these quite honestly belong right up there with the rest of the top tiers I've come to own. It's really the bass that attracted me (rolleyes.gif), else I would have never discovered the Atrio's altogether. Having owned the Monster Turbine Pro Gold, Copper's, as well as the Miles Davis, I had very high expectations; to say the least, the Atrio's definitely exceeded my expectations. I'd place them right alongside my other bass favorite IEM's, the MDT's. The bass carries just the impact I was looking for, and there is absolutely no mindrange bleed to my ears. I'm having a blast relistening to some of my favorite bass-heavy trance tracks. The treble has much more sparkle to it than I imagined, and while it's only been a few hours in, I've yet to experience any sibilance. The midrange is exactly where it should be, not the slightest bit recessed to my ears. Before anyone begins the infamous burn-in rant, I'll say it now: I prefer to listen to my earphones right out of the box, and allow for my ears to become accustomed to the signature AS they burn-in. I have no complaints with what I'm hearing as is, and will post again once I've given them a good 50+ hours. etysmile.gif

 

P.S. If anyone happens to find me selling the Atrio's, it's because I mistakenly ordered twice; long story short, I placed my first order, only to request it be cancelled the following day, since that same following day I found them elsewhere with faster shipping, for relatively the same price. I was unfortunately too late, and my first order had already been shipped. I figured, I'd just sell the extra here, or even both if I don't happen to find the signature to my liking. However, it looks like they're here to stay, and may even replace my MDT's, since I've no need for multiple bass oriented IEM's. wink.gif

post #13 of 86

Thought I'd share one of my favorite tracks at the moment:

 

 

As with any trance/progressive tune, it requires a bit of patience until it builds to the climax, and when it does... e'nuff' said.

post #14 of 86

It's official, they've definitely replaced my Miles Davis Tributes, which were my go to bass-heavy IEM's (until my JH16's get here sometime mid July wink.gif), and I had never imagined I'd have found a more competent replacement. Needless to say, it's obviously strictly a matter of preference since I'm very fond of both, but for what it's worth, I will mention that I've never felt the music more throughout the length of the entire track than I am now experiencing with the Atrio M5's. It's a no-brainer for trance and EDM fans if you ask me, especially at it's sub $200 price point. I prefer to wear them over-ear, and have found them to be extremely comfortable. Coupled with my Monster silicone tri-flanges, the seal is as good as it gets. I've found, regardless of the IEM, the tri-flanges offer my ears the best and most full overall bass impact, above all other tips I've tried, and by now, I've lost count. It took me a a few days before my ears became accustomed to the tri-flanges. At first, they caused more pain than comfort, but that was based entirely on the angle of insertion. After 2-3 days time, no matter how I insert them, they're equally as comfortable. I haven't looked back since, and they're now my exclusive tips. A billion and one thanks to the Monster eartip adapters, which made it possible for me to use the tri-flanges on any earphone I've owned to date, regardless of the size of the nozzle. etysmile.gif

post #15 of 86

I hate to be the only one posting but I thought I'd provide an update; A/B-ing against my MDT's, there is a very obvious mid-bass hump with the MDT's with apparent midrange bleed. The Atrio's on the other hands don't experience any bleed whatsoever; they're channeled more towards the sub bass, versus the mid-bass hump. While I absolutely love the punch and feel of the MDT's, in direct comparison, the Atrio's offer a much more refined listening experience to my ears, across the whole spectrum.The MDT's don't match the level of detail and clarity the Atrio's carry.

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