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[REVIEW] Aurisonics ASG-2 (Updated with ASG-2.5 and Tralucent Ref 1) - Page 341

post #5101 of 5288
I will just add my two cents to the discussion of the 2.5. Bear in mind that I have never heard the 2.0 as my only ASG model is the ASG-1.3S. When I first listened to the 2.5 after unboxing, I thought to myself that this can't be returned fast enough, as the bass was overpowering everything else. Almost made Beats seem bass light! After a bit of fiddling, I discovered that they were shipped with the ports wide open. After more fiddling without seemingly much progress, I found that the right earpiece needs the port rotated to the right (CW) for LESS bass, and the left earpiece needs the port rotated to the left (CCW) for less bass.

When I finally got both ports to minimum, the phones sounded good, in fact way more than good. It seems as though the ports affect the shelving of where the bass really begins to hit, and by turning them down, one can still hear very impressive sub-bass without delicate mid and treble detail being masked. As the ports are quite sensitive to movement, I assumed that if they weren't set to allow the exact amount of bass on each, imaging would suffer, so using a 50hz test tone and a dB meter designed for IEM's, I matched each side to the exact same decibel level.

My settings end up having both ports very slightly open, perhaps 1/16 turn. For the type of music I enjoy (classical, vocal, acoustic and instrumental) the sound is, to my ears, excellent and quite capable of holding its own with the "big boys". The treble adds enough sparkle to make brass really sound like brass and to present the sound of cymbals, snare, high-hats, etc very realistically. I hear very little sibilance and what I do hear, I feel sure is present in the recording.

When I spoke with Aurisonics prior to ordering these, they said that the main differences between the 2.0 and 2.5 is that the highs are a bit less pronounced resulting in less "tizz" and the bass ports affect the level of the sub-bass more than the mid-bass, allowing a good fundamental foundation to the music without mid-bass bloom.

Overall, I consider the sound to be such that one doesn't lose interest in what you are listening to. It is, when tuned properly, both accurate and exciting. The more I listen to the 2.5's, the better I like them. IMO, it is a huge plus to be able to adjust the bass level to ones personal preference and for music that doesn't require huge amounts of bass, it is still good to be able to almost feel the sub-bass, giving the music a really solid foundation without masking details further up in the frequency spectrum.

I did try several different cables, including the Whiplash TwAu flagship, but to my surprise, I liked the stock cable better than any I tried.

My nits are relatively few: The cable really doesn't set far in the recess, in fact the recess is not very deep. I haven't experienced any problems with this so far.

Cosmetically, it seems as though the matte black finish might be prone to marring or scratching if stuffed into a pocket with keys, loose change, etc.

I do not like any of the included tips. They seem to be made of some type of material that is rather sticky to the touch and is not soft enough to provide a good seal for me. I ended up using large-bore silicon tips that provide an excellent shallow seal. The wide bore tips move the soundstage closer, while narrow bore tips move the soundstage further away but also narrow it some in comparison to the large bore tips. Imaging is quite good with both, once the bass ports are set to deliver matched bass levels.

Vocals, especially female vocals are a bit more recessed than those in my ASG-1.3S and Final Audio IEM's. It isn't really that apparent until one makes side-by-side comparisons.

The overall build quality is OK, but not up there with the likes of the Ref.1, StageDiver SD3, Final Audio, etc. When one first picks up the 2.5's, the expectation is for maybe OK sound but probably not TOTL performance based upon the look and feel in the hand. Fortunately, first appearances are not always accurate as the SQ is right up there among the best.

For an "all-arounder" universal, the ASG-2.5 should certainly be on one's short list for serious consideration.
Edited by HiFlight - 8/7/14 at 6:09pm
post #5102 of 5288
Great impressions! Wondering will there be any upgrade programme soon..
post #5103 of 5288
Excellent review. I'd say my only gripe with my 2.0 is similar to one of yours, the build quality seems like it's not the best and I certainly didn't expect that type of sound at all. Dollar for dollar, these are the best phones I own, and it's not even close. I loaned my G2 out to a friend, so I was using my Heir 8.0 Universal today, and to me, the G2 blows it away. Not bad, considering the price differential... Ref1, well let's wait and see what Eke has to say...
post #5104 of 5288
Did you ever experiment with the closed ports Warrior?
post #5105 of 5288
Yes, I tried. I honestly couldn't tell a difference. I'm not sure if they even worked...
post #5106 of 5288

Long time lurker on head-fi here, probably my first real post.

 

Here are my impressions of the ASG-2.5 compared to a few other UIEMs, (some TOTL included)


Lately I've been in the market for new IEMs, and I've had the opportunity to try out a wide selection of IEMs at my preferred retailer in Hong Kong. My previous IEM catalog from oldest to newest: Klipsch S4 > UE 400 > Westone 4 > UE 900 (/w Labkable Silver Shadow - 8 braid Pure Silver OCC, not sure of the gauge) Also I have a pair of rockets that haven't arrived.

 

When it comes down to the ASG 2.5 imo, they are fantastic for that price range and an absolute blast to use. If the sound signature is to your liking, then I would suggest you compare them to the likes of W60 or SE846, even the AKR 03 (I say this because I like the ASG 2.5 sound signature that much) you could save yourself some money for that latest portable amp  :wink_face:

My testing setup - Aiff 44.1 / 320kbps > iPhone 5s > Venture Craft Soundroid Typhoon (SDT) /w Muse 8920 (called "Red Shoulder" edition by Venturecraft because of black chassis with red torx screws)

For clarification, my preferred retailer had a pair of demo ASG 2.5 that had not completely burned in, but one of the store keepers had a pair of burned in ASG 2's and I tried both. Main differences will be mainly in the bass section.

 

My comparison with the S-EM6 will be shorter because I didn't listen to them as much, wasn't really looking for that sort of sound signature. They sounded like W4 with an upgrade across every frequency, bass is tighter but still as polite. The AKR 03 were too big and uncomfortable for me. They always felt like they were about to fall out in my ears, which are quite small in the canal (I use the bundled XS silicon sleeves for my UE900, fyi they go from XXS to L). Also I won't be comparing much with my UE900 because I haven't listened to stock cables in a long time.

 

 

Treble

I've never been much of a treble kind of guy. Lately I've been used to the warmer sound signature of my M-100s that I use at for home for comfort. Thus I am biased against the relatively sharp highs presented by the SE 846 during my IEM testing, (Perhaps it's brain burn in). But the ASGs presented no such fatigue for me. I could listen to them for long testing sessions without feeling discomfort aurally. But that's not to say the highs are recessed, no they are there with great extension and crisp during cymbals and such, but compared to the SE846 they are more laid back. That comes at the cost of a faintly perceivable roll off when a/bing with these ~930usd iems from my retailer.  

 

In comparison to Westones, I found that the W60, and to a lesser extent the UM pro 50 had greater detail, with better extension. Some people may disagree with the UM pro comparison, but I feel that it is because the UM pro has somewhat warmer mid bass relative to its treble and mid presentation, thus the treble feels more recessed on them. Back to the point, I still find that the ASG, provided slightly less detail then the Westones in the treble area. But of course the W60 is a $1000usd item. Also I find the ASG more preferable to the UM pro 50 in other areas and overall a package I like more.

Compared to the S-EM6, if you're after treble clarity, detail and extension, and your rig can drive these, hands down nothing else I've mentioned compares in this area. Am I personally in the market for this sound signature? Not right now. 

 

Mid

Here's where the magic begins. Vocals are amazing to me, very lush and smooth. Vocals are front and center to my ears, and remain clear and well presented even with the bass presence. No bass bleed to my ears.

 

Compared to the SE846, again I am personally distracted by what I feel are fatiguing highs. Not to take away from Shure's legendary mids, which are very good on the 846, but I found it difficult to isolate and describe the mids here due to the treble and bass presence. From what I remember they are present slightly further back compared to the 535 Shure house sound.

Compared to the W60, I find the W60 presents vocals slightly further back, slightly more organic in presentation, even greater smoothness, but that's to be expected of something almost twice the price. UM pro 50 again, mids sound recessed because of their relatively warmer mid bass, it's all in the head if you ask me. 

 

S-EM6, with a sound signature similar to W4/4r, the mids here are presented with great clarity and separation. Very good if you're after a flatter set of iems. But again these are not the droids you're looking for and I gave them a pass.

For this price range again, I feel that Dale has done a wonderful job tuning the ASG 2 and 2.5. Vocals are presented intimately, and smooth making these excellent choices as long as you dont mind the ....

 

Bass

What can I say, I like these a lot :). Impactful, deep, excellent extension into sub bass when your music calls for it. Most importantly well controlled, attacks and decays quickly when you need, no roll off, no mid bass bleed. Both the smaller driver in the 2.5 and the original 2 are capable of pumping amazing low end that you simply cannot compare with BAs. On electronic and Hip-hop tracks where the beats are thumping, the bass can extend down your chest when you want them to with bass port tuning. I had them fully closed to very very slightly opened for testing (again brain burn in from 2 years of UE900). Im not ready to open them up that far yet. but if you are a bass head, these will definitely satisfy your tastes, without having to take away from other frequencies.

 

Comparing the 2 to 2.5, as I had mentioned the demo units were not completely burned in. The owner of the ASG 2 had owned them for almost a year. He explained to me that the dynamic driver does take some time to burn in, relatively much more time than BAs. Whilst he didnt count hours, he said he had used them daily for around 3 months until the final result appeared. The differences are that the 'fresher' 2.5 had a relatively more bloated bass presence, still excellent, all the points i mentioned still apply. But after that burn in period, wow, that bass just tightens up, even better control and smoothness. I found the difference very clear. Of course if you dont have a pair of burned and not burned to compare, you wont notice the difference over the gradual blooming of these iems. But anyone who has the opportunity will certainly agree, after burn in the ASG is simply incredible.

 

Compared to the SE846. Yes the low-pass filter presents an ever so slightly more refined low end. But the ASG dynamic driver still offers me that impact that I have never found in IEMs. Both IEMs will give you more than enough impact, control, extension to make you a happy iem owner. But the ASG offers you the option if dialing the bass up to 11 and beyond (sorry i didnt dare open the ports to full).

Westone bass is much more polite in comparison. The W60 and UM pro 50 both have much more quantity and quality than their predecessors. It is smooth and well controlled, sub bass does rumble. W60 has better control of the two and doesn't have the mid bass hump that many people describe from the UM pro 50. But in terms of pure quantity, the ASG and Shures have that extra presence.

 

S-EM6, too polite for my current taste. But they are well controlled and smooth. Pass, same as above.

 


Overall 

- Shures are fatiguing to my tastes and I find them uncomfortable for long listening sessions.

- I like the W60s a lot, but they are quite a bit more expensive to the ASG. Bass is more polite, but rest of the spectrum more detailed.

- UM pros, that mid bass hump distracts from an otherwise superb iem, with flat and clear separation.

 

The ASG are an excellent iem for the price. Mids and bass are its highlights, with lush vocals, and well controlled, impactful bass. If you're looking for a well built iem, with excellent low end, bass tuning capabilities, and a good all rounder iem as mentionned by HiFlight, you should definitely put the ASG 2.5 at the top of your list to try.

Closing notes

I was told by the ASG 2.0 owner that ASG 2 and 2.5 are not that sensitive to cabling. "You would require some very expensive cables to even notice a small difference." Thus its go big or go home in this aspect. 

Since I dont own these, I cant comment on the packaging or included accessories.
 


Edited by DatGuy - 8/7/14 at 8:37pm
post #5107 of 5288
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior1975 View Post

Yes, I tried. I honestly couldn't tell a difference. I'm not sure if they even worked...

Hmmm... That... Is weird. You should definitely be able to tell since the mid bass should ratchet up very noticeably. If there's no appreciably gain or drop in midbass then your dials might just be busted
Edited by Idsynchrono_24 - 8/7/14 at 8:30pm
post #5108 of 5288
@datguy-Awesome review bro. Definitely enjoyed reading that.

@Idsynchrono_24-I'm not sure, my friend will check them out tomorrow...he will know.
post #5109 of 5288
Awesome reviews guys! I'd say the ASG-2 do respond quite well to cables in my experience. But I have nothing else to campare with except FA-4E which are less affected by cables.
post #5110 of 5288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idsynchrono_24 View Post


Hmmm... That... Is weird. You should definitely be able to tell since the mid bass should ratchet up very noticeably. If there's no appreciably gain or drop in midbass then your dials might just be busted

Definitely weird, there's heaps of change on my pair, it's immediately noticeable

post #5111 of 5288
Regarding comparisons with my Ref.1's, while I have the highest regard for Gavin and his company, I found the Ref.1 bass to overshadow the excellent, but rather polite highs and the overall SQ increasingly began to sound less realistic for the type of music I most often enjoy. Subsequently, largely based on the experiences of others owners, I ordered a Final Audio LAB I which I found gave me the exact sound that I had always been searching for in a headphone so I decided to sell the Ref.1 and replace it with the 2.5 for use as my daily "all-arounder".

IMO, the 2.5 can play happily in the same sandbox as the Ref.1 with the added benefit of being able to reduce mid-bass levels and still retain the sub-bass foundation.
post #5112 of 5288
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post

Regarding comparisons with my Ref.1's, while I have the highest regard for Gavin and his company, I found the Ref.1 bass to overshadow the excellent, but rather polite highs and the overall SQ increasingly began to sound less realistic for the type of music I most often enjoy. Subsequently, largely based on the experiences of others owners, I ordered a Final Audio LAB I which I found gave me the exact sound that I had always been searching for in a headphone so I decided to sell the Ref.1 and replace it with the 2.5 for use as my daily "all-arounder".

IMO, the 2.5 can play happily in the same sandbox as the Ref.1 with the added benefit of being able to reduce mid-bass levels and still retain the sub-bass foundation.

Well there are so many earphones to have fun with but what you just mentioned about the Ref 1 is great news for me. I listen to many styles of music and in all of them I always need bass and sub bass especially when the track call for it. Many so called neutral earphones cannot deliever the bass on certain styles of music that demand bass especially sub bass. What you mentioned about the Ref1 has just pushed me closer to buying it! Always love an earphone that has more bass then is needed because most doest have enough. BTW Clear Mids and Treble are obviously important to me as well!

post #5113 of 5288
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post

Regarding comparisons with my Ref.1's, while I have the highest regard for Gavin and his company, I found the Ref.1 bass to overshadow the excellent, but rather polite highs and the overall SQ increasingly began to sound less realistic for the type of music I most often enjoy. Subsequently, largely based on the experiences of others owners, I ordered a Final Audio LAB I which I found gave me the exact sound that I had always been searching for in a headphone so I decided to sell the Ref.1 and replace it with the 2.5 for use as my daily "all-arounder".

IMO, the 2.5 can play happily in the same sandbox as the Ref.1 with the added benefit of being able to reduce mid-bass levels and still retain the sub-bass foundation.

:O
Nice HiFlight, that's ringing praise

post #5114 of 5288
Thread Starter 

Incredible impressions guys. Added to the first post.

 

Btw, Ref.1 is in the house. I haven't had a chance to listen, since my mom flew in to visit. I'll try to post some initial impressions when she goes to bed.

 

 

post #5115 of 5288
First order of the day - open the ports on the G-2 all the way up and verify whether the REF1 somehow manages to have as much body/volume down low. If so... Yikes
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