*This review will be done in the format used by |Joker|
Details: Dynamic driver earphone from Aurisonics
Current price: 299$ from aurisonics.com
Specs: Dynamic driver | Impedance 32 ohms | Sensitivity 121 db | Freq. response 8 hz - 25k hz | Cable: 5' L-plug, removable
Nozzle size: 6mm | Preferred tips: Stock
Wear style: Over the ear
Accessories (3.5/5) - Otterbox case, 5 pairs of silicon tips (2 bi-flange, 3 single-flange), lanyard
Build (4.5) - Housings are made of thick and sturdy plastic, and the cable is not only flexible and tangle resistant, but also removable
Isolation (4.5/5) - Very good for dynamic-driver earphones, isolating only slightly less than the deep-insertion ER4/HF5
Microphonics (5/5) - Worn over-the-ear and results in nonexistent cable noise
Fit (4/5) - Relatively lightweight, and the memory wire is not overly thick. Housings are on the large side, and cause discomfort after a few hours
Sound (9.1/10) - They have a very dark tone, and as a result, are not very revealing and come off as slightly veiled. However, they possess an extremely powerful and robust sound, and because of the dynamic driver, show slight emphasis in the lower end of the spectrum.
Bass presence is strongly felt, though it is not overpowering. Bass texture and extension are excellent. On a side note, these are among the only earphones I have heard which have sub-bass. It also shows excellent impact, though decay is not the quickest, and an exciting sound this is not. They do show good detail on the whole and the mid bass does not bleed into the mids by any means.
Upon first listen, the midrange surprised me, in a good way. They possess some of the smoothest and most lush bass I have ever heard. Though details suffer slightly, these have one of the best non-fatiguing sound signatures around. Moreover, they sound excellent with most vocal music, and despite not being extremely transparent, perform well with most orchestral music as well. I would describe the midrange as slightly forward, but in some cases, take second place behind the bass in terms of emphasis.
The treble proves to be this earphone's biggest weakness, despite it being the third revision Aurisonics has made. Certainly the problem does not lie with its clarity and detailing, but rather its overall presence. Treble rolloff is quite severe, and as a result guitars and female vocals suffer. However, like the mids, they remain oh-so-smooth, and sibilance is never an issue.
The presentation of these earphones is arguably their strongest point. Spatial cues and the overall imaging is excellent, and the soundstage matches the IE8 in size. However, unlike the IE8, they do not sound distant, and the imaging is arguably better as well.
Value (8/10) - As a whole, these are a very strong, if overlooked contender in the 300-400$ price bracket. Many will dismiss these as muddy and devoid of air, and indeed, those looking for a neutral, more balanced sound would be better served by the Westone 4 or the Shure SE535. However, these are truly unique in terms of sound, and I wholeheartedly recommend anyone looking for a non-fatiguing sound to look at these. The monstrous soundstage and bass response are just cherries on the cake.