I finally got some thought put together on the loaner ASG-2. A huge thanks to Eke for sending these my way.
The first thing I notice when trying out the ASG-2 is how linear they are. Nothing stands out as lacking, or offensive. Treble is nicely extended, conveying all the necessary detail without catching me off-guard with harshness, bite, or any sibilance. Bass goes nice and low (thanks to that 15mm dynamic driver), and remains taut and controlled. I've been listening with the bass dials closed, as I feel that opening them at all just starts to introduce murky mid-bass. If I were a glutton for more bass, I'd just add it in via the clear bass on my Sony F player (that they handle quite well). The dial assembly strikes me as quite fragile though, and I would be paranoid about toying with it overly much. If that painted dot ever wore off from use, an owner could conceivably be left without a way to know what position it resides in.
Soundstage strikes me as a little on the small/closed in side, but it does convey instruments and their locations quite well. It feels a little limited to a singular axis, I would say. But I think that through reading about these, that was on purpose by Aurisonics-- they wanted them to be more of a monitor, and not such an audiophile earphone with the hugest of huge stages, and in your face detailing. They've certainly succeded at that, as they are about the most polite, non-offensive IEM I've heard in quite some time.
Midrange is very detailed and reasonably natural sounding, but it seems a little on the dead side somehow. And maybe, one of the only flaws I can come up, with... just maybe... a touch receded away from the listener. If not the perfectly linear signature, there could be the smallest hint of a shallow U-shape. But that's nitpicking!
The more time I get to listen to the ASG-2's, the more I grow to enjoy their sound, and find I can spend long listening sessions getting lost in the music, and forget about the ASG-2 even being in my ears at all. Besides the smooth presentation, this is also due to the supreme comfort. They really are well thought out in shape, and how they rest in the ears. It would be a treat to fly with these I bet, since they sit so flush and stay securely in place.
Overall, I think they are a solid value at their price, and they take that relaxed Aurisonics house sound and improve upon the 1.2/3. The extra detail of the dual BA tweeters is a highly welcome addition to that 15mm dynamic. I feel that the ASG-2 is a highly enjoyable, widely applicable, and excellent IEM.
Some notes on sound compared to the TG334:
- the sound is quite neutral, very monitor in essence-- possibly a touch dulled from the upper mids through lower treble
- soundstage is on the narrower side, with less of a 3D impression than the 334
- midrange seems a tad withdrawn
- overall tone is supremely polite, and reasonably detailed
- no hint of sibilance or harshness whatsoever (makes the 334 seem almost aggressive sounding)
- bass is fairly close in quantity, with the 15mm driver reaching perhaps a touch lower, but is still more mid-bass oriented at the same time
- sounds somewhat hazy in comparison to 334 (but still very respectable in detail and insight)
- seems very, very mildly U-shaped in signature
- more expansive sounding, bigger/grander in scale
- more space between instruments; placement is more distinct
- better resolution in the treble, and especially mids (more distinction between midrange instrumentation and vocals)
- bass very close, but rolls off perhaps a touch earlier than with ASG-2
- treble has more sparkle, better tone, and very tactile sensation (this is to me just about the most enjoyable aspect to this IEM-- nothing I've heard has portrayed cymbal ticks so convincingly, including the ASG-2)
- human voices seem more lifelike, full-bodied (not to be mistaken as warm, they are not that at all), not as withdrawn
Edited by cn11 - 6/16/13 at 9:10am