The Heir Audio 4.Ai
It is likley that by now you have heard of Heir Audio. They are a relatively new company in terms of how long some have been around. They started off as a company dedicated to making customs which were aimed at the audiophile community and head-fi goers. The creator is a head-fier himself who your will likely know as FullCircle. He goes by the name of Wizard and is actually a doctor of audiology. Along with a few other guys at heir such as Dr. David Jiang and Nancy, i have already found the Customer Service at Heir to be great which is needed from a company selling customs.
Now they are based in China which means that distributing customs worldwide is not the easiest thing to do due to the impressions and overall process. So to counter that Heir decided that they would open a new office and start selling to universal IEMs which are just universal version of their customs. They are labeled the 3.Ai and 4.Ai. Here is the post from FullCircle about the new plans.
Originally Posted by FullCircle
From the Skunk Works department of Heir Audio
At Heir Audio we have always had the goal of making some of the best audio gear available. The trouble is, CIEMs require ear mold impressions which can be cumbersome to the purchaseing process. Beyond that, we sell products all over the world, from Romania, Greece, Singapore, Kuwait, Taiwan etc etc. Finding a location to get propper ear mold impressions is sometimes very difficult for some of our customers.
To help over come this obstacle we developed the 3.Ai and the 4.Ai. They are also hand crafted, with the same exating standards used to build our CIEMs. Their internal structure is also the same as their respective cousins, the 3.A and the 4.A.
We hope that starting August 6th, our web site order menu will be set up to allow for pre-orders to be taken. The expected shipping date is September 1.
Both the 3.Ai and the 4.Ai will come in (no custom variation):
Shell Color - Black Mamba
Faceplate - Amboyna Burl
Feast your eyes upon the 4.Ai:
In addition to the release of the 3.Ai and 4.Ai, our North American office/distributorship will be opening September 1st to help facilitate the release and shipment of both custom and non-custom products in the North American territories. This will greatly reduce shipping times and and shipping costs for customers in this area and ourselves as well.
Please note that custom products will still be built at the Heir Audio Labs, but North American customers will be expected to send their earmold impressions to the US instead of China.
Complete contact information will be posted on our website shortly as well as updated shipping options/instructions for North American customers. For now, you can go ahead and talk to user bangkokkid, who will be heading the North American operation.
From what i know these are now listed on the Heir website and will sell for a reasonable amount at $399.
The technology on them is rather impressive seeing as it uses the same driver as the full custom, the 4.A. The drivers that are used are both from Knowles and are the DTEC for the lows and a TWFK for highs and mids, they also have a 3-way crossover. Both of them are dual armatures. This means that these are a 4 balanced armature IEM and as far as universals are concerned their are only 2 other available which are the Westone 4 (also uses the DTEC and TWFK) and Sony XBA-4 (uses Sonys own drivers).
I have no received a pair and was very pleased with the shipment. They were shipped on the 3rd of the month by Heir using the courier UPS and arrived in the UK from China in just 3 days on the 6th. Very happy with the speed.
Would also like to add how impressive it is to think that these beauties are hand made from top to toe. Wow!
So because i am instantly impressed with the sound and how beautiful they look i feel (as do a few other members) that these deserve there on thread. So getting posting you impression of them, link me to your review and just tell us all what you think!
Currently in the sponsors section of head-fi, Heir are running a competition to win a pair of these so good luck: Enter to Win an Heir Audio an All New 4.Ai ..... This has now been won!
We have great news from the Wizard and a new Premium version of the 4.Ai (and the 3.Ai) is avaliable!
Originally Posted by FullCircle
Heir Audio News:
There has been a lot of discussion in regards customization options for the Ai Series, so I thought I should share what is brewing, and will be initiated as soon as the web site is up-dated.
Introduction of the 4.Ai - P and 3.Ai - P
P = Premium Package (or "pimped" as Sorensiim would call it)
The Premim Package Ai products will come with the following:
1) Magnus 1 cable
2) Engraved Carrying case
3) "Wizard" Engraved Shell
4) Choice of 3 Face plate options
A) Standard Face plate (burl currently used)
B) Buck Eye Burl
C) Black Mamba Face Plate with engrave Heir Audio Logo
Premium Package Fee is an Additional $199
Buck Eye Burl Photo Below
SwimSonny's Review - http://www.head-fi.org/t/622235/review-heir-audio-4-ai-could-we-have-perfection
Sorensiim's Review - http://www.head-fi.org/t/624873/review-heir-3-ai-and-4-ai
Swampax's Video Review - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM7V2CTjOlk
CNET Review (Steve Guttenberg) - http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57513146-47/heir-audio-headphones-the-new-kings-of-clarity/
HideousPride Review - post #570
Audio-Head Review - http://audio-head.com/heir-audio-4-ai-universal-in-ear-monitor/
Swimsonny's YouTube Comparison Review with the Shure SE535 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smd6-ue4Qu0
Elnero's Review - post #851
TheGrobe's Review - post #951
PCMag Review - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411360,00.asp
Rinchoi;s Review - http://rinchoi.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/heir-audio-4ai.html
SwimSonny's Comparison with the Aurisonics ASG-1 - post #25
SwimSonny's Comparison with the Sony MDR-EX1000 - post #38
Swimcoleby's Impressions - post #65
Sorensiim's First Initial Impression's - post #85
Sorensiim's First Comparison with the 3.Ai - post #100
SwimSonny's Comparison with the Fischer Audio DBA-02 - post #142
Polimandres Impressions - post #226
Librarian's Comparison with the Etymotic ER4s - post #305
Darinf's Impressions - post #328
Tomscy2000 Comparison with the 3.Ai - post #67
Tomscy2000 Comparison with the Westone 4 - post #68
SteveKiwi's Initial Thoughts - post #113
Tomscy2000's Brief Comparison with the Fit Ear ToGo 334 - post #468
Tomscy2000's Full Comparison with the Fit Eat ToGo 334 - post #91
SixthFall's Impressions - post #526
SteveKiwi's Comparison with the UE IERM - post #116
Vkvedam's Comparison with his Custom Moulded Shure E500 - post #116
Sinocelt's Heir Audio Round Up - post #3
Esuhgb's Comparison with the Sennheiser IE80 - post #603
zloy loup's Impression - post #114
Zenpunk's Impressions - post #120
Bokyung's Impressions - post #787
Omastic's Impressions - post #936
Ink's Impressions and comparisons:
DMS541's Impressions - post #960
Jason36's Impressions - post #1027
Heir Audio World Tour (will Feature Impressions of the 4.Ai)
Pictures: (Click to show)
Were It Ranks in SwimSonny's Round Up Thread:
Edited by Swimsonny - 10/31/12 at 9:08am