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REVIEW: Creative Aurvana In Ear 2 - the perfect antithesis to the SM3

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just got them today,


Initial impressions:


My goal was to find a earphone that could be what the sm3 cannot be: wide and airy soundstaging, non recessed treble, clear, transparent sound.


I found it in the most unlikely of IEMs: the Aurvana In Ear 2 


- Clear, transparent,refreshing sound

- Super balanced, leaning towards the treble region (owing to the limitations of single armature driver design, the mid to high treble distorts and clips)

- Clear, punchy and transient bass

- Soundstage is above average: caused by the vents on the housing itself?

- Detailed, punchy bass unlike single armature driver IEMs

- hyper detailed, mostly in the first layer of the song*:


*To me, music contains 3 layers:

1) main instruments, vocals, beat, rhythm, melody: the In Ear 2 does this very well

2) Peripheral details, such as accompanying instruments : SM3, UM3x do these well

3) Atmospherics,organics, shape of the music, breathing (like when a choir sings you can visualise its shape and feel, and the singer in-breath before the lyrics): a matter of presentation- the most accomplished iems can grasp this ethereal sense of the music.


Detailed review and pictures to come next.



Stay tuned!

Edited by avorite - 8/29/11 at 3:59am
post #2 of 7

you trying to say this 80 dollar IEMs are superior to SM3? Interesting...

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 







Actually, no. I am not saying that the SM3 can be outperformed by this IEM. I have auditioned W4, UM3x, Ex1000, SE535, and nothing has ever came across more coherent and natural sounding- SM3 is simply the best all rounder IMO and (exclusively MO) in terms of smoothness and lushness and musicality. It is simply the best universal I have ever tried and owned.


What it however lacks is an wide soundstage, refreshing clarity which the Aurvanas are my new found solution towards. When I said Antithesis, I meant


1)Exact opposite 2)The juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance


which is the dictionary's definition and it fitted well for my experience (:

post #4 of 7

Actually Aurvana IE2 does have a little EarSonic flavor in it, now I recall. Need to try the IE3 sometime.

post #5 of 7

Actually the IE2 is $120 something when it first went out, then Creative dropped it to $99 last year. It is sale season now in Singapore, so I can imagine they have dropped the price again. Price is a bit high on $99, but not overly so because the build quality and accessories are pretty good.

post #6 of 7

My review is here.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 




I stand corrected, but your initial post was very confusing then, in terms of your liking the SM3, because it read as if you found something much better than the SM3s for $80. Guess that is why yello131 asked that question. It made me think the same thing.


Also, the SM3 is a much debated IEM in that several of those who either tried it or bought it got rid of it, for the exact reasons you specify (recessed treble, unclear, aka muddy/veiled, sound signature). Don't understand if the SM3 is those things to you, which is what anyone reading your initial post would think, you say it's the best all-rounder among universal IEMs. Does that mean you believe a great all-rounder would include recessed treble and an unclear sound sig? I just find that a bit odd. But as you say, it is IYO.


Thanks for the links.




The SM3 to me is uniquely the most coherent, natural and musical sounding IEM, the sound blends together very nicely and perfectly. To achieve that level of sonic perfection IMO the SM3 has to sacrifice some clarity and transparency ( though it is still perfectly present if one goes looking for it) to produce that lush and thick sound signature and the treble has to be toned down for the same reason.


I have tried making the SM3 into a balanced and neutral IEM using EQ, but it loses much of the subtle timbre and natural tone, but it is very competent and excellent technically in PRaT, similar to the UM3x. The EQ settings to make SM3 neutral to my ears are here if anyone is interested:



SM3 Balanced.PNG


and here is the freq response by DFKT that I used as a resource:



But I think it just misses the point if I did so, as I love my Sm3 un-EQed.


Edited by avorite - 8/29/11 at 10:37pm
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