7th Acoustics Supernova

lycos

100+ Head-Fier
7th Acoustics Supernova
Pros: -Analog sound presentation
-Well balanced tuning
-Sweet vocal
-Beautiful build
Cons: -Average technicality
-Strong BA bass timbre
7th Acoustics is an Indonesian boutique iem maker, founded by Stephen Synanta in 2020 and has enjoyed meteoric rise since then. I first heard about them in 2021 when one of my Indonesian mates shared his glowing impression on SG8, one of 7A early creations. Early 2022, they released Supernova, their latest totl iem and once again, I heard positive reviews about it. I was keen to audition it but getting one for audition outside Indonesia was almost impossible.

Therefore, big thanks to Stephen and Denny for loaning this Supernova for Aust Tour and the tour organise @Damz87 for this opportunity.

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Supernova is all BA iems with 6x drivers. In general, it has a safe neutral tuning (with slight hint of warmness), however, it manages to be musically engaging.

Quantity wise, Supernova has a decent bass punch. It is impactful enough and capable to inject excitement on the low end of notes, but i doubt it will satisfy most of bass lovers. Unfortunately, it has typical BA bass texture that’s rather pillowy and plasticky. It is missing that DD bass slam. Moreover, the bass is rather loose (ie not tight) and not as well controlled as I would prefer.

Mid for me is the star of the show. Supernova has slightly more elevated lower mid which gives nice warmth in vocal that I really enjoy. Vocal is smooth and has that analog character – while still being authoritative and weighty. Male vocal simply sounds magical with it.

In term of treble, I feel like Supernova is tuned to be on the safe side, maybe abit too safe. The lower treble is pleasant, it does not show any sign of sibilance or shouty. However, some people may find the top end a bit dull. There is noticeably lack of treble extension.

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Supernova is a relaxed and organic iem. In term of speed, it puts more emphasis on a more natural decay, instead of being fast and clinical. Musical note edge is rather blunt, which is pleasant for long session listening but at the expense of being less precise and detailed. Indeed, my biggest criticism of it is the lack of refinement in texture and layering.

Comparison:
I do not have a lot of experience with iem in this price range. Closest one that I am familiar is Monarch Mk3 (Mmk3) that costs $200 more.
Mmk3 is a quite different iem than Supernova. It’s more energetic, with better bass texture. Having dd bass also gives advantage of a more natural bass timbre. Mmk3 also has better instrument separation. However, Mmk3 has noticeably hollow mid compared to Supernova, with more forward treble, drier and sounds more artificial.

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In summary, Supernova is a superb iem. In my opinion, it’s the best iem under $1k for vocal. Its strength lays on its non-offensive tuning and pleasing sound presentation. Therefore, it an ideal iem for background listening during working/studying. However, it only has average technicality. Therefore, it won’t suit for critical music listeners.

With Supernova, 7th Acoustics has proven themselves to be master in tuning. I am excitedly waiting for their upcoming iem, Asteria which they plan to release later this year to which would compete in totl/summitfi iems market
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Neweymatt

Headphoneus Supremus
7th Acoustics Supernova: Worth the Wait
Pros: Warm mid-bass and lower midrange
Engaging, sit-back-and-relax presentation
Great build quality
Good packaging and accessories
Cons: Availability
Details and Resolution are ok, but lacking a bit in precision
I had the pleasure recently to audition the 7th Acoustics Supernova as part of a tour, many thanks as ever to @Damz87 for running these tours!

Supernova arrives in a pretty nice package for the price tier. You get a couple sets of silicone tips including Final E’s, which happen to be my go-to tips for universal IEMs, so this is a win in my book. The cable is also quite good, a tight 4-wire braid that is supple, light, and just gets out of the way. The aluminium puck-style case is alright, but the lid feels just a little bit loose when removing it; maybe I’ve been spoiled by the better quality ones that 64Audio and FiR include with their CIEMs as they feel much more precisely machined.

The IEMs themselves are very nice to look at, I’m a big fan of the blue abalone faceplates. The shells are fairly small, the nozzles are just the right thickness for most tips, and I think the vast majority of listeners will have no problem with fit or comfort with these. Supernova uses 6 balanced armature drivers, and like many all-BA sets it is pretty easy to drive well with any source.

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A few notes on sound:
Following a fairly typical “neutral-with-bass-boost” type of tuning, Supernova hit me with a very pleasant first impression of bass that is a bit more mid-bass focussed than sub, a warm midrange and nicely extended treble with no hint of peaky-ness or harshness. My own first preference might be for even more mid-bass, but this is a tuning I’m quite happy with.

Technically, Supernova is good if not quite great. Stage has good height if lacking a bit in width and depth, giving it a more intimate presentation with a strong centre image. Detail retrieval is also pretty good for the price range, and has a kind of effortlessness to it that doesn’t make me feel like I need to strain at all to pick things out. This is an IEM that goes more for a smooth, easy-listening kind of sound rather than something with more incisive details.


A few Comparisons:
Dunu SA6 Mk II - The SA6 MkII digs deeper into sub-bass, especially with its tuning switch set to ‘On’. SA6 MkII stage is notably wider than the Supernova, giving notes a greater sense of space around them, and making details pop out more from the background. SA6 MkII treble is a bit more forward, which gives the SA6 a bit more sharpness and makes it feel more detail-oriented vs the silky smooth Supernova. On the flipside, Supernova's more intimate stage and warmer tuning give it a somewhat more engaging feeling. These are both great IEMs at the price-point, and I’d find it hard to pick between them. However I’d probably lean toward the SA6 MkII for its more technical approach and versatile 2-in-1 tuning options, however the smooth, easy-listening Supernova is also quite nice.

64 Audio U6t - Here again, the U6t is quite a lot better in sub-bass, and has a much larger, grander sense of its stage. The U6t sound image is much closer to a perfect sphere around my head, with a fantastic sense of depth. Dynamics on U6t are also notably better, I hear much more contrast between the quieter vs louder passages in a given piece of music. Detail and resolution are also a step up from Supernova, and the SA6 Mk II as well for that matter. U6t is of course $500 more expensive, and diminishing returns is very real in this hobby, but in this case I think you get what you pay for.


Conclusion
Supernova is a fantastic IEM that is probably only really hampered by its availability. I’m hoping the team behind 7th Acoustics are able to ramp up production and distribution of their IEMs, as Supernova shows they’re making and packaging Quality IEMs that I’d definitely be interested to explore more at this sub-1k level and especially above.

iceperry

New Head-Fier
Pros: Midrange tonality, Vocals, Soundstage and Imaging, Build Quality & Aesthetics, Natural Soothing Bass
Cons: Detail Retrieval, Hard to Get

Intro

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I love my mids and when I heard there was an interesting newcomer on the market known specially for its midrange tuning, I just itched to get in on it. Shoutout to Stephen from 7th Acoustics. It was not the easiest buying experience, and it was a long painful wait to get my hands on the earphones, but the guys at 7th Acoustics were great and I appreciate all the order updates.

Accessories

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Despite the small production, it comes in elaborate and very well-thought-out packaging. There is a metal case that would do a solid job at keeping the IEMs intact but might not be the best for compact on-the-go scenarios. The bundled cable comes in a 4.4mm balanced termination by default but you can request for your preferred termination when ordering. The cable is quite thick and bulky, and overall quite a good one, if I had to nitpick, I would have wished it was modular. Tips-wise, there are quite several options from the normal silicone eartips to a whole set of Final Eartips, which I thought was a great inclusion. For clarity, I swapped out the cable in these pictures to a third-party modular cable from XinHS.

Build Quality and Fit

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Build Quality is amazing for a handmade IEM. The design is also somewhat customizable as you can select the Abalone faceplates. They regularly cut batches and you can choose 2 you fancy for your Left and Right shells. The pictured pair belongs to another reviewer together with me. He got it with Haliotis shells as they call it, which have a certain “colour-changing” property depending on the lighting they are under. They turned out amazing and the shells themselves were smaller than expected and fit quite snugly and comfortably.

Sound


Sources

  • Lotoo Paw S2
  • Fiio BTR7
  • SMSL M200-Schiit Magnius

Bass

The bass has a very soothing natural quality to it. It is present but never threatens to overpower or do too much. Perhaps the vented nature of some of the drivers contributes to this organic quality of the bass. It is not the fastest or punchiest of responses, but instead a gentler, well-rounded response with decent extension and texture.

Mids

The mids were the highlight for me on the Supernova. It was spacious, very luscious and rich yet well-layered and never congested. The tonality was superb, with vocals coming in firm, yet gentle, never shouty or piercing. Instruments like violins and saxophones seemed to come to life with the sense of space the tuning creates, and lifelike timbre. The more I listened to the Supernova, the more I fell in love and I gradually found myself addicted. Of course, the mids would have benefited immensely from a boost in separation and detail retrieval, and can sometimes be felt missing that extra push to take the sound to the next level.

Treble

The present but controlled upper mids flows well into the highs, providing lively yet sibilance-free listening. There is a peak that comes in the upper treble that helps give the sound some sparkle and headspace. Everything here was done very tastefully.

Overall

Putting it all together, the Supernova is a very coherently tuned IEM and it performs superbly across the frequency range. It never attempts to do too much and a tuning that I love and I doubt I would be sick of it for a long time to come. Of course, I wouldn’t dare say it would be everyone’s favourite, but in terms of tonality and timbre, I find the Supernova hard to beat. It also manages to achieve a pretty good level of soundstage and imaging for an all-BA IEM, something that gives the sound an added dimension.

Conclusion

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When I initially put the Supernovas on, the first thing I noticed was that it sounded… different. It didn’t have the pinpoint accuracy and micro detail retrieval I was expecting, something on the level of the Thieaudio Monarch perhaps. My biggest and only gripe with the Supernova was that if it had better detail retrieval and separation, it would’ve been sublime.

With that out of the way, everything else about the Supernova was a drug to me. The lovely tonality and presentation of the mids just had me hooked. This was on top of a very nice layering, imaging, and soundstage for an all-BA IEM. The tuning is versatile and remains a good fit for a wide range of genres. There are no harsh peaks or sibilance and has a sound signature you could listen to for hours on end. All of this is topped off with a gorgeous aesthetic of “personalized” abalone shells. If 7th Acoustics perfects its production processes and comes up with another IEM, I will keep a close eye!

inscythe

100+ Head-Fier
7th Acoustics Supernova Review - "An Absolute Package"
Pros: - Amazing coherency
- Excellent timbre
- Great tonality
- Build quality
- Vented design so no air pressure buildup
Cons: - Stock cable was a bit short (resolved)
- Not the strongest in technicalities
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Disclaimer: 7th Acoustics provided me the unit at a discounted rate in exchange for this review.

Introduction​

7th Acoustics is a boutique IEM maker hailing from Indonesia, primarily focusing on made-to-order builds. However, recently they have been shifting towards a few standard lineups including Proxima (1BA, discontinued) and Stargazer 3 (1DD+2BA, discontinued), mostly not really catching international attention until the Supernova.

7th Acoustics Supernova is a 6BA IEM with dual Sonion vented bass BAs, two Sonion BAs covering midrange and upper-midrange BA, and two Knowles BA handling the treble and upper treble. The IEM is vented to give a more natural bass response, as well as for comfort to reduce air pressure buildup. Upon purchasing, you can get choose from a selection of abalone shell colours, or go with other custom designs at an additional cost as it is still made-to-order.

For accessories, it comes with 5 sets of Final Audio Type E tips and 3 sets of BGVP 07 eartips in various sizes, metal carrying case, cleaning cloth, and warranty card. The cable was a tad shorter than typical IEM cable, measuring at just 1.1m, largely due to the very tight braiding of the strands. However, after informing 7th Acoustic, I received a new cable at the more common length of 1.2m and was given assurance that the subsequent orders of Supernova will be of at least that length.

Sound Impression​

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Sources: SMSL H300+D300 stack, Quloos MUB1, Fiio Q15, L&P W2-131, Questyle M15, ifi Gryphon, iBasso DC04 Pro, and many more
Setup: BGVP Y01, Nostalgia Audio X, stock cable, Liquid Links Westlake
Music Sources: Local FLAC (redbook/hi-res), Tidal Masters, Apple Music Lossless

Listening impression is a very subjective experience depending on individual ear shape, choice of eartips, music library, and personal preferences, so your experience may vary.


For a multi-BA sets, it's typically straightforward to boost technicalities by stacking more and more BAs (at the cost of increasing BA timbre and incoherency). However, 7th Acoustics managed to extract the best out of a relatively modest BA count at just six. I let some friends who were unfamiliar with the brand and they were suprised to find out that Supernova is an all-BA set. But of course, you can't cheat physics and it eventually hit the technicalities ceiling in terms of resolution and layering with this BA count but still competitive at its asking price. Additionally, they managed to get an amazing coherency and beautiful tonality with a very natural timbre.

Bass​

Being an all-BA set, most people would expect a lacklustre performance in bass department, the so-called "BA bass". However, I think Supernova managed to avoid that stereotype and deliver a very natural bass with great subbass extension. Usually with other all-BA set, to get the subbass extension, the manufacturer would opt for a non-vented design. Instead, Supernova is a vented BA design, allowing the bass BAs to breathe and deliver an effortless rendition of the lower frequencies: not sounding over-damped or constricted. You could very easily mistake this for a DD bass. While the bass amount itself probably won't satisfy bassheads, it is mostly enough to balance out the rest of the frequencies.

Midrange​

Usually in Harman-tuned IEMs with aggressive bass shelf that's popular in the recent times, you tend to find this ultra clean midrange due to the precise separation from the bass region. Thankfully, Supernova has an immaculate midrange, rich and detailed with a smoother transition from the midbass. That also allows vocal, both male and female, to be rendered very beautifully and naturally. Indeed, this slight bleeding of the midbass into the midrange will impact the crispness of the midrange slightly, but it gains better musicality and timbre instead.

Treble​

I describe Supernova's treble as "unassumingly impressive". It managed to do nothing gimmicky or having a "special sauce" in treble, whilst having an amazingly smooth, fatique-less treble expression. Other IEMs might stuff in some ESTs there or PZT here to make the treble that extra special. However, by using the same type of drivers, the impeccable coherence from bass and mids also continues here that the music just flows right into the upper registers effortlessly. The treble details are also not lacking with a treble extensions that's competitive with those in kilobuck range. While it is maybe not as airy as some other summit-fi IEMs, Supernova delivers a more natural, delicate treble.

Technicalities​

For the price, I think Supernova delivers as good technicalities as it is possible at this budget and driver configuration. Due to the emphasis on naturalness of the timbre and the coherence, it does not have the bleeding edge resolution or layering. Also, soundstage is more on the intimate side. That said, with some tips and cable rolling, you can definitely improve on some aspect on technicalities. With the XWB tips, I find that the treble extension and details are improved slightly. With the BGVP YO1 tips and Westlake cable, the soundstage opened up slightly.

Driving Requirements & Pairing Suggestion​

While 7th Acoustics did not list the sensitivity rating of the Supernova, based on my usage, it is quite an efficient IEM. It does need some decent amplification from at least a dongle. I would recommend a slightly warm source or warm-ish cable to bring up the midbass slightly, but careful from going too warm. With ifi Gryphon, the warmth gets overwhelming quite easily and gets in the way of the mids. Somewhere along the line of MUB1 or iBasso DC04Pro can be a pretty good pairing.

Select Comparisons​

Night Oblivion Butastur ($599):
When I blind bought the Butastur, I was hoping that this is finally the one to dethrone Supernova in my preference list. I would say it is close, but no cigar. I find Butastur did excel over Supernova in resolution and layering, but at the cost of some incoherency in the upper midrange. The BA timbre is also more noticeable with Butastur. However, in terms of comfort, I think Butastur is definitely better. Over the months, Butastur did eventually replace Supernova for my on-the-go IEM, while Supernova still my preferred when I'm on my desk at home. I would say if vocal is your focus, Supernova is hard to beat due to its excellent coherence. I think Butastur is more focused on instrument separation.

Softears RSV ($720):
The RSV is probably the closest to Supernova in terms of tonal balance, coherence, and technicalities. RSV does have a slightly drier timbre due to its reference-style tuning, especially in the transition between midbass and lower midrange. I find RSV performs better than Supernova in layering and imaging accuracy, as well as slight edge on staging and bass texture. Meanwhile, Supernova's treble is better than RSV, with better texture and resolution. I find the comfort with Supernova to be much better too due to the vented design; with the RSV, I often feel some pressure buildup. I still think that RSV to be my preferred "reference" IEM, while Supernova is more for my enjoyment IEM.

Thieaudio Monarch Mk2 ($999):
Monarch Mk2 is still the most technical set in my collection so far. With the Harman-ish tuning and impressive resolution, I find that Monarch Mk2 is still the set that reliably incites a "wow" from non-audiophiles, but it is definitely not the most natural kind of sound expression. Monarch Mk2 can get fatiguing after a while, and the fit isn't the most comfortable. I ended up mostly with my Supernova than my Monarch Mk2 as of late, unless I want to do some critical listening.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts​

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Supernova is a very versatile IEM with close to a perfect coherence, paired with competent technicalities, natural timbre, and great tonal balance. While we can nitpick on individual aspects of the IEM as being not the "best-in-class", as a whole it is an absolute package of an IEM. It is a very easy IEM to love and enjoy.

To be honest, I have been holding on the Supernova since April and was pretty hyped when I got it after hearing about it for so long. I have been holding off this review in fear that I may have praised it too much during the honeymoon period. So, now we're at the end of the year, and after trying many excellent IEMs along the way, I do admit my opinions on Supernova are more tempered now, it still remains on top of my preference list. Especially now that 7th Acoustics just announced Supernova's successor, the summit-fi level Asteria, I do think I have to release this Supernova review.
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redrich2000

Headphoneus Supremus
7th Acoustic Supernova
Pros: Great value
Neutral balanced signature
Great clarity and seperation
Cons: Missing top-tier micro-detail retrieval
Build, comfort and aesthetics: The packaging for the Supernova is relatively straightforward. The cable is a 4-wire design with high-quality metal hardware. I generally like light and flexible cables and this one was pretty nice. I like this trend towards puck cases, much better than pouches for me. This one was okay, good size but not the smoothest threading. I’m not a fan of the audio-jewellery aesthetic, I’m a matte black kinda guy. So not a fan of these really but YMMV.

Comfort wise these are great, I used spin fit tips and had no comfort issues.


Sound Quality: I did my listening out of Mojo 2/Poly. My daily drivers are Focal Clear and Radiance and Campfire Ara. I like a smooth, laid-back, lush, warm presentation. I modded the Radiance with some damping over the drivers to calm them down a little. So that’s where I’m coming from.

Tonal Balance: The Supernova are what I would call almost perfectly neutral. Somewhat forward/aggressive, very crisp and clear. I initially found them a little too crispy/glarey for my tastes, but only slightly. Very similar to the Radiance which most people call warm. So I think most folks would consider the Supernova warm-neutral.

Technical Performance: I thought these were really good for this price range. They are very clean and clear so there is good separation and clarity but they lack the micro-detail and texture retrieval of top-tier IEMs.

Bass: I’m not a basshead but don’t mind the odd the thumping guilty pleasure. These however are very flat and natural sounding in the bass, not emphasised but not lacking. Extension is good. There is good clarity and definition in the bass but again not the texturing you get from top-tier IEMs.

Mids: Flat, clean, clear, neutral. Maybe a hint of warmth but not as warm as the Ara.

Treble: Initially I found these a bit to crisp in the treble. I had the Effect Audio Fusion 1 cable at the same time as these and when I switched to that I had much less problem with the treble. The Fusion 1 didn’t reduce the treble, it improved the quality. So I think the issue with the super nova is a little bit of treble grain/harshness.

Conclusion: These are great IEMs for the price. Very neutral and balanced tonality and good technical performance for their price range.
SUPERNOVA!!!!!!!.......Smooth~
Pros: - Warm and lush presentation
- Vocals take centre stage and becomes the highlight of the presentation
- Smooth yet open and airy presentation
- Great technicalities especially at this price point
Cons: - Bassheads might find the supernova a bit lacking in that department
- Might be too safe for anyone looking for that special something in the bass or treble regions
Hello everyone :)

Please find video below on my impressions on the 7th Acoustics Supernova

Hope you'll enjoy the video!

Happy listening and have a great week everyone!

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o0genesis0o

Headphoneus Supremus
7th Acoustic Supernova - The Rising Star
Pros: + Exceptional tonal balance
+ Exceptional midrange timbre and tonality
+ Natural and fun bass response
+ Open soundstage with good depth
+ Comfort
Cons: - Merely “good” resolution
- Lacking tack sharp instrument placement and layering
There is a fascination with small boutique shops in the audio hobby. After all, in a subjective hobby like ours, what could be more interesting than the idea of an audio geek working alone in a workshop to craft and share their vision of the ideal sound?

Today, we look at the flagship IEM from an Indonesian boutique that that has captured the heart and mind of many of my fellow reviewers, the Supernova from 7th Acoustic.

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My review is also available on YouTube:



Forewords​

  • What I look for in an IEM is immersion. I want to feel the orchestra around me, track individual instruments, and hear all of their textures and details. I’m not picky about tonality, as long as it does not get in the way of immersion.
  • I rate IEMs within with a consistent scale from 1 (poor) to 3 (Adequate) to 5 (outstanding). Ratings are assigned by A/B tests against benchmark IEMs, regardless of the retail price.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.
  • Terms used in my reviews are consistent with the glossary by Headphonesty
  • This review is possible thanks to the Australian review tour arranged by 7th Acoustic and Damz87 (Thank you!). I have no affiliation with or financial interest in 7th Acoustics. The unit retails for $800 at the time this review was published. You will need to reach out to 7th Acoustic on their Facebook page to order a unit.
Sources for listening tests:

  • iBasso DX300 (for all A/B tests)
  • FiiO K7
  • Hidizs XO
Local FLAC files ripped from CDs or bought from Qobuz were used for most casual listening and A/B tests. My playlist for A/B tests can be found on Apple Music here.

All of my listening was done with Spinfit CP100 medium ear tips. I listen at a medium volume. I usually turn up the volume until the midrange is fully audible and detailed, unless a treble peak or overwhelming bass prevents me from doing so.

Specs​

  • Driver: 6BA (Dual Sonion vented bass BA, Sonion mid + uppermid BA, Knowles treble + upper treble BA.)
  • Connector Type: 2-pin
  • Impedance: 15ohm
  • Sensitivity: unknown

Build and Comfort​

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The packaging of Supernova is relatively basic. The design and presentation of the outer sleeve is quite simplistic. On the other hand, the inner box is nicely done with magnetic clasp and custom foam cut out. Everything is well protected.

Inside the box, you would find the IEMs themselves, an IEM cable, 2 sets of ear tips, and a metal carrying case.

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The cable has a 4-wire design with high quality metal hardware. However, the wires are fairly stiff and do not lay flat.

Supernova comes with a set of generic, wide bore silicone ear tips, and a full set of Final Audio Type E ear tips. I’m happy that 7th Acoustic includes the very useful carrying case of the Type E ear tips in the box, as you can use this case to pack a collection of favourite ear tips with you.

Supernova comes with a heavy duty metal carrying case. Inside the case, there is a layer of soft lining to protect the IEM. My only complaint about the case is that it requires a surprising number of rotations to open and close. The threading is also not very smooth.

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Moving on to the ear pieces themselves. Supernova features a full-resin build, finished with beautiful abalone faceplates. The earpieces are quite thick. Luckily, the part of the earpieces making contact with the ears are smaller than other IEMs with similar driver topology.

The nozzles of supernova are also smaller than others. To put in context, you can use the eartips designed for 4 to 4.5mm nozzles with Supernova, while something like DiVa or Blessing 2 would require eartips for 5.5mm nozzles.

Smaller earpieces and medium nozzles make Supernova easy to wear. Despite having vents, the noise isolation of supernova is quite strong. Luckily, the IEM does not produce pressure build up or hot spot in my ears. I can wear this IEM comfortably in long listening sessions.

To achieve an optimal fit, meaning having the earpieces resting against the concha of your ears, I recommend using a shorter eartips to avoid lengthening the nozzles. I personally use a pair of Spinfit CP100 in medium size for all listening sessions.

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Subjective Experience​

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We start the subjective impression with vocal music from Pentatonix. When I listen to the Bohemian Rhapsody, from the first verse, I already know that I am listening to something special. To put in context, I did this listening test at a local coffee shop on a lazy weekend afternoon. When I click the “play” button on my music player, the coffee shop and all its ambience seem to fade away, as the soundstage opens up around my head and the voices of pentatonix members appear.

The tonality of Supernova demonstrates a high sense of realism while remaining incredibly balanced. The bassline by Avi is clearly presented with “oomph”. The kick drum beatboxing of Kevin sounds punchy. Every kick has a crisp attack and a physical sensation of the bass punch at the top of the note.

The soprano line of Kirstin pops out with great details and nuances, without becoming shouty or thin. The midrange lines by Mitch and Scott are loud and clear, without being overshadowed by the bass and the soprano.

At the same time, there is a strong sense of 3D positioning. It’s like every voice occupy a different position in the soundstage, from closer to further away, from lower to higher.

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Moving on with Mendelssohn violin concerto

The violin has a perfect level of energy to sound crisp, clean, and stand out from the orchestra without a hint of thinness or harshness. The violin also has a great texture and details, creating a strong sense of realism.

Supernova also showcases excellent control over dynamic. It can convey a wide gradation of loudness and can present quiet passages without losing textures ad details. Therefore, it can maintain the sense of tension when James Ehnes moves from forte to piano passages, creating an almost magnetic sensation that draws me into the concerto.

The sense of space and depth is another strength that Supernova showcases in this recording.

However, the complexity of the orchestra in this recording also reveal a limitation of supernova in terms of the definition and separation instruments. Simply put, I need to spend more effort than usual if I want to follow individual instruments in the busy sections of the music.

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In order to test the resolution of supernova, I listen to the third movement of the Summer violin concerto by Vivaldi.

This piece highlights both the strength and the weakness of Supernova in terms of resolution.

On the plus side, I was quite pleased with the overall sense of detail and texture of all instruments. On the other hand, I was not impressed by the lack of incisiveness and separation between instruments.

To be clear, Supernova is not a poorly resolving IEM by any stretch of the imagination. However, in these dense recordings, its resolution does fall behind something like the Andromeda 2020, which is already aging by the current standard.

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We conclude our subjective impressions with Live by Hans Zimmer.

I’m quite impressed by the bass response of Supernova. It’s punchy and powerful when the music calls for it, but it does not muffle the rest of the response when the bass punch is not needed.

Another advantage of Supernova is the soundstage. Across most tracks, Supernova demonstrates a strong sense of depth. The soundstage of Supernova has a noticeable projection forward, towards the front of the head. The center of the soundstage is also slightly pulled away from the head. Taken together, these characteristics helps Supernova sell the illusion of large soundstage coming from the front rather than a ball of sound inside the head.

The weakness of Supernova partially comes from the lack of incisiveness and separation. Simply put, the instrument placement of Supernova lacks a laser sharp focus. As a result, instruments do not form clear layers.

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Frequency Response​


Frequency response of Supernova against the Harman in-ear target. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.

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It is helpful to think of an IEM as a filter that highlights or subdues different parts of the incoming audio signal. This effect can be measured objectively by the squiggly lines above, called Frequency Response (FR) graphs, which measure how loud an IEM is at different frequencies from 20Hz (bass) to 20kHz (upper treble). Subjectivity is how your ears and brain interpret the effect of that filter on your music and decide whether it is “enjoyable.” There are some “rules of thumb” when it comes to tonality, but most interesting IEMs usually bend the rules masterfully.

How did supernova achieve its beautiful tonality? With the help of a 711 coupler we can see exactly how this IEM was tuned.

The best way to describe the tuning of supernova is that it follows the Harman target where it sounds right and modify the target wherever corrections are needed.

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Supernova strictly follows Harman target in the important region between 500Hz and 2khz. This tuning ensures that supernova is free of boxiness, honkiness, and hollowness and other nasty problems in the midrange region.

However, Supernova deviates from the Harman target in two important ways. Firstly, it significantly reduces the upper midrange between 2kHz and 4kHz.

Secondly, it completely removes the notorious lower-midrange dip of the Harman target.

These changes together reduce the contrast between lower and upper midrange, ensuring that the midrange of Supernova does not sound thin and shouty like a true Harman IEM.

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Moving on to the treble region.

Supernova significantly reduces the lower treble between 5 and 6kHz comparing to the Harman target. By doing so, it removes all the upper harshness and edginess.

Between 8kHz and 10kHz, Supernova again follows the Harman target. Personally, I find that the target provides a good idea for this region. Not too harsh, but also not too dull.

Finally, similarly to most modern IEMs, Supernova adds a peak in the upper treble, right around the upper range of human hearing. This tuning choice matches new research results from Knowle about listener’s preference in high frequencies.

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The subbass of supernova is slightly below the Harman target, which I find to be a good amount to create a physical sensation of the bass without overwhelming the rest of the response.

However, Supernova does not ignore the mid-bass region. As a result, you can also hear the bass rather than only feeling the subbass kick.

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In order to appreciate the tuning of Supernova, let’s compare it with Symphonium helios, another IEM that features various adjustments over the Harman target. Looking at the graph, It’s rather striking how 7th Acoustics and Symphonium approach an identical vision of the tuning above 500Hz.

However, they differ significantly in the lower region. Helios follow Harman target to a T in order to convey the feeling of using a proper subwoofer, while ensuring that the midrange is clean and clear. Supernova, on the other, embraces the lower midrange and its potential problems such as muddiness and boominess.

So, which approach is more successful?

Debatable. Helios has a clean and open midrange without the usual harshness of a strictly Harman IEM. However, many, including myself, have pointed out that it does not have the most natural tonality, especially when it comes to male vocals and lower instruments like cellos. On the other hand, Supernova is natural and realistic across the spectrum, but it lacks the clean presentation of Helios. You need to pick your poison in this case.

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Resolution​

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Resolution is a fascinating subject due to the difficulty of pinning down what it really is. To me, “resolution” can be broken down into three components: (1) Sharpness, incisiveness, or “definition” of note attacks (see the figure above). (2) The separation of instruments and vocals, especially when they overlap on the soundstage. (3) The texture and details in the decay side of the notes. The first two give music clarity and make it easy to track individual elements of a mix. The last provides music details and nuances. Smooth and well extended treble response plays a crucial role.

Resolution is where Supernova stumbles. Simply put, this IEM does not offer a razor-sharp boundary between instruments. For example, when I listen to a complex orchestral recording, I need to spend more effort than usual if I want to follow individual instruments.

On the plus side, I was quite pleased with the overall sense of detail and texture of all instruments, even in these complex recordings. Supernova shines with simpler recordings such as violin solos. For example, when I listen to violin sonatas and partitas by Johannes Sebastian Bach, I can hear a decent amount of details and texture in the violin. The reverberation of the recording hall was also highlighted. However, in direct A/B tests, I still found that the aging Andromeda 2020 IEM is still crisper and more refined in both the midrange and the treble air.

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In conclusion, the resolution of Supernova is between the Blessing 2 and the Andromeda 2020, a level which I consider very good.

Soundstage Imaging​

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Stereo imaging or “soundstage” is a psychoacoustic illusion that different recording elements appear at various locations inside and around your head. Your brain creates based on the cues in the recording, which are enhanced or diminushed by your IEMs, your DAC, and your amplifier. Some IEMs present a wide but flat soundstage. Some present a “3D” soundstage with layering, depth, and height. In rare cases, with some specific songs, some IEMs can trick you into thinking that the sound comes from the environment (a.k.a., “holographic”)

If you read my reviews, you would know that if an IEM cannot convey a convincing and interesting illusion of space, I’m not interested.

Luckily, Supernova does not fail the soundstage test. This IEM manages to create a spacious and open presentation across my music library. The strength of supernova is a strong illusion of depth, meaning background instruments can sound as if they come from a distant, in front of the head. Moreover, with the right recording, Supernova can place the center of the soundstage slightly in front of the head, creating a convincing illusion that the stage is outside the head, rather than a ball of sound inside the head.

My only complaint about Supernova is the lack a laser focus instrument placement and separation. As a result, the layering between closer and further away instrument does not feel sharp and precise.

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In direct comparison, it’s clear that Supernova has an edge against the Andromeda 2020 in terms of the spaciousness and the forward projection of the soundstage. However, the Andromeda has much more precise instrument placement within its smaller stage. It would be up to you to decide which one of these presentation is better. Personally, I find myself losing interest in the large but more cloudy presentation of Supernova quicker than the pin point presentation of the Andromeda. Still, in the grand scheme, I would place Supernova at the same level as the Andromeda 2020, which is great.

Conclusions​

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Despite my nitpicking about resolution and instrument placement, there is no denying that 7th Acoustic has done a lot of right things with Supernova. For someone who does not pay that much attention to tonality, I’m surprised by how impressed I am with the tonal balance and just the overall sense of realness of the tonality of Supernova. The bass response is also natural. It’s punchy when needed. It never sounds unnaturally dry and clean, yet it never overpowers the rest of the frequencies. The soundstage was also spacious and interesting. Luckily, Supernova can deliver all of those without compromising fit and comfort.

So, should you buy supernova?

Let’s look from the other direction and ask why you SHOULDN’T add this IEM to your collection. If you want the midrange to be thin and clean, Supernova isn’t for you. If you want you IEM to have razor sharp instrument placement and separation, you might also want to avoid supernova. If you want your IEM to have exaggerated bass response, look else where. Finally, if you want your IEM to present music with substantial colouring, such as very thick lower midrange or spiky, sparkly treble, you wouldn’t find that presentation in Supernova.

If you preference does not fall into those cases, supernova is worth a listening. It is one of the few IEMs that make me say “what a beautiful tonality.”

Absolute Sonic Quality Rating: 4

Bias Score: 4

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Updated: November 19, 2023

grumpy213

100+ Head-Fier
Heat death of my heart
Pros: Gorgeous, lush and euphonic tonality
Generous bass response
Smooth reproduction of music
Tremendous musicality
Cons: Detail lacking somewhat
Some centre imaging issues
Availability

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Preamble​

Many thanks to @Damz87 and 7th Acoustics for arranging the Australian tour of the Supernova and to Tom for ensuring their safe delivery.

The sources used to form this review included:
  • Chord Mojo 2;
  • Shanling M6 Ultra;
  • iBasso DC04 Pro;
  • Cayin RU7
all fed with lossless FLAC files.
In any hobby there is an air of pretension with certain hidden gems. Be it a sense of ownership of the hobby, the need to gatekeep the secret sauce to yourself or simply just an emotional reaction to something that you feel a connection to. The 7th Acoustics Supernova is perhaps one of the items of this phenomenon. Ordered off of a Facebook page of a smaller Indonesian maker, the Supernovas have received some attention from larger publications of audio reviews and the results have been rather telling. But in the grand scheme of things, the Supernovas remain as a fairly uncommon choice, a hidden gem if you will. But is this hidden gem a VVS diamond or a hunk of quartz?

The Factual Stuff​


The Supernova is a handmade IEM hailing from Indonesia and comes finished with a rather rounded black resin shell and a beautiful abalone faceplate.

However, there is a degree of customisability with your Supernova as their Facebook page is adorned with variations of the design ranging from clear resin shells to completely blacked out shells with no faceplate present.

Within the nicely finished packaging is a set of Final Audio E-type tips and BGVP A07 tips, a puck case with a screw down lid, a warranty card and a CEMA 4 wire copper cable.

The earpieces contain a six balanced armature setup with 2 drivers responsible for each section of the frequency response curve.

Their price at the time of this review is 800 USD.

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The Opinion Stuff​

Sound​

Bass:​

The Supernova takes a rather generous approach to the bass region, delicately balancing sub-bass and mid-bass frequencies in a manner that presents a rather fun listening experience. There was no want for more bass with hard-hitting hip-hop songs such as “GATTI” by Jackboys nor with EDM songs such as “Moving Mountains” by Disclosure. There is a sense of presence and punch with both the sub-bass and the mid-bass frequencies with these tracks and the latter imbues a sense of warmth and lushness to the rest of the frequency response.

The quantity does not veer into the inflated region and manages to maintain tonal balance within the music. The quality is also quite good with a sense of decay that provides more presence to the lower-end of music. It remains fairly fast however, as I would not describe the Supernova as “slow” in this region at all. The texture and detail of the bass remains readily discernible and provides great enjoyability to any song with a low-end focus, I was head bopping with the hip-hop regions of my library with great gusto. The one minor detraction I would make is that the mid-bass boost seems to tread slightly on the mids with certain male vocals such as The Weeknd’s “Out of Time” being somewhat lost in the sauce.

Overall, the bass presents an elevated tuning but manages to avoid being bloated and too much of a good thing, it imbues a sense of warmth and lushness whilst retaining detail in a manner that makes this region potentially the best part of the Supernova.

Mids​

Moving on to the midrange, the Supernova does a rather good job with its reproduction of instruments and vocals within this region. The aforementioned mid-bass “boost” provides a sense of warmth and engagement to the mid-range. With songs such as “Just the Two of Us” with Grover Washington and Bill Withers contain strong male vocals and a large number of instruments that reside in this mid-range. The Supernova handles it quite well save for the aforementioned “muffling” of male vocals in lower registers due to the mid-bass, leading to a lack of separation in this portion of the frequency response. However, saxophones, steel drums, guitars and synths are reproduced with a relaxed and smooth tonality that is easy on the ears and feel comforting and emotionally engaging. Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die” is a rather sparsely produced song focusing on the rather dramatic chords played by various instruments a very intimately recorded female vocal. The result on the Supernova is a very smooth rendering of the two with Billie’s vocals remaining clear, coherent but coloured slightly with a lushness and euphonic quality that makes it all a very easygoing listening experience. Upper mids such as those in “2easy” by Nive and Heize, a male and female duet with heady voices and lilting progressions are executed wonderfully with neither voice receiving undue precedence over the other. The emotionally charged singing comes across in spades and there is no edge to the voices to speak of.

Overall, the Supernova undertakes a smoother and more warm presentation of the mids that may leave some detail fiends wanting a little more neutrality, but these are definitely addictive to listen to and I find there is very little semblance of the oft quoted “BA plastic timbre”.

Treble​

The upper end of the frequency response curve of the Supernovas presents a relaxed approach to treble tuning. Even when forcing some very aggressively bright songs such as “You & Me (Flume Remix)” by Disclosure/Flume with an extremely grating synth during the chorus did not lead to the usual cringe that I get with any other IEM. The Supernova remains clear, and crisp in its reproduction and does not venture into the overly bright. It provides a sense of sparkle with certain tracks and presents itself with good airiness that matches well with the well-executed speed and decay of the other regions. Comparing to other IEMs however, some of the shortcomings of the Supernova in this region become apparent. Certain instruments such as a brush on a hi-hat in Cliff Martinez’s “The Demon Dance” and the cymbal crashing in Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” does not present itself in a readily apparent and clear manner, being somewhat lost in the sauce of things.

If I had to give some points off of the Supernova, it would likely be in the treble region. I do not feel that it is horrible by any means but given the excellence of the execution of the bass and the midrange, I feel that the treble could’ve done perhaps 5% better in order to make this a slam dunk no-brainer IEM.

Technicalities

Perhaps by virtue of its tuning (which is excellent) there is a sense of speed, crispness and detail retrieval that is left on the table in return for excellent timbre and easy going tonality. The Supernova takes on a smooth reproduction and as such there is a sense that there is a bit of “rounding out” of certain notes that limits the capabilities of absolute detail. This is ultimately a nit-pick as I feel that the Supernova does a great job of rendering detail and resolution, it merely is inherently not at the forefront of your mind when listening due to the smoother tonality. Songs such as “Rush Over Me (Acoustic version)” by Haliene remains excellent in capturing the subtle details of a piano pedal, inhales of the vocalist and fingers floating over keys. There is a teeny, tiny sense of a “veil” but in this regard, the veil is that 5-year-old pair of threadbare underwear with a loose elastic band, it is essentially the equivalent of having a piece of tissue over the driver as opposed to a pillow if that makes sense.

The sound staging of the Supernova has little to no complaints from me. It does not wow me in any aspect but presents a sufficiently wide and tall staging but lacks somewhat in depth in that it doesn’t jump out to me like a MEST MK3 does (noting that the MEST is considerably more expensive). Left to right imaging with panning instruments also is achieved well, with a smooth experience throughout instead of a noticeable jump from left ear to right ear on lesser IEMs. Centre imaging of vocals seems to fall short here of other IEMs and is a rather prominent shortcoming of the Supernova.

Ultimately, these are not detail monsters but they do well enough at their price point. The trade off is an almost perfect laid-back and smooth presentation of music that is hugely addictive to listen to.

Overall:

These have captured my heart and mind as being perhaps one of the best tunings that I have listened to. I described the Supernova as somewhat warm but I wish to clarify that in that it doesn’t lean too hard into that but rather balances it into a smoooooooth, easy listen that remains hugely engaging and highly emotional. I mean that in that there was plenty of singing along and toe-tapping and running through multiple tracks in their entirety instead of skipping ahead to the next test track. These are hallmarks of a wonderfully engaging experience and the Supernova provides that in spades.

Synergy


One thought coming to my mind here namely lessons learnt after multiple DAPs, DACs and Amps plus headphones and IEMs is synergy! Hoping for the one and only holy grail Setup is maybe just a nice wish unless buying according synergy transducers and I don't believe even the best sources are an exception here. There's a reason why people are having multiple devices in parallel or reducing inventory and keeping only the ones with right synergy.

Chord Mojo 2

I would characterise the Mojo 2 as a very, very slightly warm neutral tonality with a more natural reproduction of instruments and voices with no DSP enabled.

The Supernova presents itself in a very straightforward but ultimately very enticing manner with the Mojo. The neutral manner of the Mojo 2 combined with its increased dynamics compared to the rest of the sources in this review synergises well with the laid-back Supernova, not adding too much of a good thing. The upper mids seem to gain a little bit of an edge with sss sounds from vocalists presenting a very slight sibilance over the other sources in this review but not falling into the realm of being overly fatiguing.

Aforementioned concerns such as a far from ideal centre imaging capability as well as slightly too much mid-bass are alleviated using the DSP, specifically the EQ and the crossfeed functions. These seemingly confirm the shortcomings that I identified in the non-DSP listening experience.

Overall, there is hardly anything to fault when using the Supernova and the Mojo2 with zero DSP and there is definitely some benefits to have with the DSP. The Mojo2 presents a rather neutral presentation that coalesces with the smooth reproduction of the Supernova and the increased dynamism of its mid presentation creates a mid focus that is definitely enjoyable for more vocal-heavy tracks in my library.

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Shanling M6 Ultra

I would characterise the M6 Ultra (M6U) as a smooth, slightly warm source with an increased sense of presence in the mids and a strong note weight.

The M6U works to enhance the strengths of the Supernova by adding even more mid presence and smoothing out the frequency response even further. The result is an even lusher sounding IEM that feels sparsely staged and notes seem to strike with a relaxed character that feels almost effortless. Songs such as “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic feel tremendously analogue with instruments and the male vocals feeling as though they are meandering out of the drivers with a laid-back coolness. One could say that the two coalesce to be “too much of a good thing” which I can agree with in that there is a reduced sense of dynamism and attack from the notes and pushes the Supernova into the realm of being almost lethargic.

This is a pairing that is rather good for more folksy, acoustic tracks that perhaps may be poorly recorded (or just plain old) in that it is highly forgiving and just a relaxing listen. Those looking for a pairing that demands attention and greater critical listening companion may have to look elsewhere.
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Cayin RU7

I would characterise the RU7 as smooth, slightly rolled off and warm (depending on your settings). The sound signature is meant to replicate a more “analogue” sound signature and the result is a more calming and relaxed approach.

The RU7 is the M6U but perhaps to even more coloured approach to music, the resulting combination with the Supernova is a highly diffused reproduction that feels airy and wide. Listening to tracks such as “Out of Time” by the Weeknd, that utilises a rather retro 80s sample heavily sound analogue and out of a time machine. Listening to more aggressively produced modern music such as “Walk with Me” by Cosmos Midnight seem to lose the edge and sparkle of modern production and the result is an overly smoothed out experience. Not bad in small spurts but ultimately, I feel as though the RU7 doesn’t represent a long-time listening companion with Supernova unless you want to heavily lean into the already lush tonality.
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iBasso DC04Pro

I would characterise the DC04Pro as dynamic, clean and has a very low noise floor. The sound signature is slightly bright in comparison to my other sources and tracks seem to “attack” you.

The DC04Pro embodies what I feel is a running theme in modern chi-fi (especially more budget options) in that it is rather lean sounding and quite bright. These elements seem to contrast with what the Supernova seems to represent but I feel that the two synergise quite well, especially with the fast digital filter on. There is a greater sense of clarity and crispness to certain notes, the slight treble tilt gives an extra edge on wind chimes sparkling and cymbals crashing throughout a number of tracks.

The characteristics work well to bring a sense of crispness and attack to the previously laid-back Supernova and help temper its rather lush tonality with a greater sense of speed and attack.

Comparisons

vs Campfire Andromeda 2019

The Andromeda, especially the 2019 edition takes on a rather unique approach to tuning in that it lacks sub-bass, adopts a heavy scoop of mid-bass and imparts a generous amount of warmth into the frequency response.

The technical chops of the Andromeda are often hyped up as being “holographic” whilst I will refrain from stating that and overblowing it (like I was misled once a upon a time) the Andromedas do present music in a very unique manner. With certain tracks such as “Everything Has Changed” by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran presenting in a manner that feels as though Taylor Swift is singing from a stage in a small theatre imparting a wonderful sense of staging, the Supernova has some stiff competition. A comparison of the two displays that the Supernova has some issues with centre imaging of vocals, feeling decidedly left-right channel in nature whereas the Andromeda feels more capable and precise in its technical abilities.

Otherwise, the Andromeda’s tuning is a love-hate sort of approach whereas I feel that the Supernova is sure to please the majority of listeners out there. Overall, I feel the Andromeda is a Supernova turned up to 11 and whilst some benefits come from that approach (greater technical capabilities) so too does the thought that the music comes off a bit too coloured for most.

vs Symphonium Helios

I was less than forgiving to the Helios in my recent review with my qualms being that the tuning seeks to heighten its technical prowess at the cost of a more natural and calming tonality. The Helios seems to occupy the other end of the spectrum of the cold-warm scale compared to the Supernova. In this regard, it is a matter of preference of whether you are looking for clear, crisp notes that invite a critical hyper-aware listen of your music to seek out microdetails or if you are looking to sit back and relax with a random playlist.

The Helios wins out handily in terms of treble extension and quality, the mids however fail to match the Supernova and the bass is a little too tilted to emphasise sub-bass to be readily enjoyable throughout a more eclectic library.

The Helios gets a little too hot with certain sibilant tracks and certain songs feel fatiguing compared to the laid-back approach of the Supernova.

vs MEST MK2

The MEST MK2 impresses me through its unique staging and imaging qualities as well as its diffuse and rather balanced tonality. It presents technical prowess whilst managing to have a tuning that is enjoyable to me over long listening periods.

Compared to the Supernova, the MK2 wins out in its treble reproduction and in its technical chops but in terms of tuning and tonality, the Supernova trumps it. There appears to be some missing element of the Supernova, that the MK2 achieves through its generous driver count and quadbrid design. However, where the MK2 seems to squeezing the most out of each note and flexing its technical abilities with songs, the Supernova sounds effortless and cohesive in its reproduction. The MK2 is also highly reliant on a good fit and at times does feel as though there is some disjointedness in certain points where drivers seem to be playing hot potato with lilting vocal lines.

Overall, I feel that the MK2 presents a more neutral and analytical tonality that does not veer into the sterile region of the Helios whereas the Supernova feels effortless and more warmth.

Quality of Life

The Supernova is a handmade product and there are some apparent evidence of that in the finishing of the nozzles which are rather rough to the eye and to the touch. The included CEMA cable is rather kinky and microphonic leading to an unpleasant experience when on the go.
The eartips included are rather good in that the E-types are very good value for money, having a well made but rather mid-forward tip type.

The fit of the Supernova is rather good in my opinion, noting that I have rather large ear holes. The shells are well contoured and rounded and I feel that it would work well with most people. The nozzles are somewhat wide but are not long enough to cause me any issues.

The Supernovas are also vented, something that is quite odd to me with my past experience with multi-BA sets usually dispensing with this. The result is a rather comfortable listening experience over several hours but noise isolation is noticeably worse than some of the other multi BA sets covered in the comparison above.

Otherwise, the nature of 7th Acoustics and the Supernova means that you will be unable to simply demo and buy them from your local audio store. These have a wait time, and you are required to send money overseas over Facebook. This detracts from the overall appeal of the Supernova but it does benefit from you being able to customise your own 1 of 1 Supernova with the folks at 7th Acoustics.

Value

At its previous price prior to the price hike, I would have stated that the Supernova would represent the absolute most bang-for-the-buck IEM in the market.

At a price of 800USD I believe that the Supernova represents great value, trading punches with behemoths of the kilobuck region with gusto. It does ultimately lose on detail retrieval and a more technically proficient kilobuck IEM will be able to hold this over the head of the Supernova.

However, in return for this shortcoming, is a reward in the form of extremely well executed tuning and tonality. The Supernova is relaxed, easy-going listening experience, but not to the point of putting you to sleep and failing to engage you. The Supernova is a smooth, well executed sub-kilobuck price tag having kilobuck, and for that, I believe it represents very, very good value.

Conclusion

This review is entitled the “heat death of my heart” and that is because the Supernova’s namesake represents the final stage of a star. But unlike being an exploding star signalling the end, the Supernova represents a burgeoning maker of IEMs that I am hugely interested in seeing what the future holds. I await, with bated breath, the release of their next IEM which I understand will be their new flagship. And whilst this dramatic statement shows an overwhelmingly positive sentiment, the Supernova retains some rough edges in terms of details and technicalities.

The Supernova is a tremendously tuned IEM that presents a warm, inviting and natural tonality that is hugely enjoyable. There is an X-factor here that I feel is very unique and for that, I applaud the Supernova and heartily recommend it.

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Jaytiss

100+ Head-Fier
The Super Supernova
Pros: Goey is Sound
Faceplate is personalized
Tonality is perfect
Gaming sparkles on it
Shell is one of the if not the most comfortable shell I've ever used.
Cons: Case is noisy
Wait time and Limited Availablity
This iem has been on my radar for a long time. I’m a huge fan of it, and as of now, my only regret is not buying one earlier.
Photos 6 minimum March 30th until now is when I got interested

I try to tell the story of purchase or acquisition whenever I buy an iem. Basically, it took 3 major reviewers and lot of chatting with 7th Ascoutics on Facebook (Precog, Super, HBB, and lots of annoying MRS). I started talking to them around March 30th, Finally ordered my iem on June 13th, then finally got it on Sept 12th. So I’ve taken my time with this iem, as it is pretty darn special to me in the time I’ve taken to get it.


This was the first view I had of my faceplates. You get a large list to pick them out depending on what they have available.
hoh_miDk6K024ui2m6aLmBxQljTqVHBtcoSn5BhqmTRQnNhUzNLhlS5i8gXrIOHH1kT-G0_dOsWVh0nXwSn1-5soxiHjRr6EVd0Wvjk_xLXwqX-GGOivTpS5pT6lujSdIT1zUSogpGRv2IXKd1Fnxj8



Bass (20-60 Sub Bass, 60-250 Hz Mid Bass)

The details of the bass is strong and everything sounds right on it. The bass seems well-controlled and fun. I don’t find it partially lean but it does feel a tiny bit light. I do find the quality of the bass is correct. I have found that while it doesn’t match my target amount of bass, I do fully enjoy it. I feel percussions on it sound great. The iem is clean and lush even in the bass. It has this fantastic chewy visceral timber that just sounds amazing, and I love every second of it.


Midrange (250 HZ to 800 HZ Low Mids, 600-200 Hz Mids, 2000-5000Hz Upper Mids)


The timber and tone are great on this iem, people have described it as near-perfect or class-leading and they aren’t joking. It is basically perfect for what I want out of an iem. It has nothing that will often plague other iems. No weird plastic feeling, voices sound right with no plastic feeling.
I don’t find it shouty at all but it fun, smooth, and enjoyable. Podcasts and voices all sound great on it, and it has a good feel to it. Overall this iem is fresh, fatiguing, and just an easy clear listen. The vocals sound detailed and lifelike. The resolution is life-like, and it’s almost daunting compared to my average speakers and car audio setup!


Treble (5000- 10000 Trebble/Highs, 10000 ++ HZ Upper Trebble & Air)


The treble is a good part of this set and this iem has great detail and sparkle for me. No issues here. I’m able to game, listen to music, and a podcast all at once with this iem. It has incredible details that come across in the treble. Looking at the frequency response I would think it would sound neutral or boring without the 3k spike, but I enjoyed it. All the music that I listen to sounds great and I feel that it has a wide beautiful soundstage.

Gaming

Gaming is amazing on this em. Do I think you should buy this iem to improve your gaming experience? No, but this is perfect. Great shell, Super comfortable, and never has sibilance. It has a beautiful open and clean sound. The stage isn’t too wide, but just right. Detail retrieval during fights is immaculate, and the imaging vertically and horizontally is fantastic. It has great imaging. The iem is light and feels durable with this fantastically textured cable. It’s truly a treasure to have for long gaming sessions as the details of the game sparkle.

Shell
The shell is pretty, it fits great and it’s customizable. It has a nice dip here and it feels pretty great in the ear.

Case
The case isn’t something that I personally would use. I find it a bit heavy, but each to their own. If I wanted to store my supernova for the long term I would definitely use this case, but a Supernova is meant to be used. Thus in that circumstance, it is a bit bulky, but it does feel extremely premium.
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Cable
The cable comes normally in 4.4 mm connection. I requested a 3.5 and they delivered with no issue. This is an exceptional cable, and it feels great on the skin. This is easily my favorite cable that I’ve ever used.
ABUAo0LRZXgxN2tqZUXT1Tf7qycnO44vQzCa69fFmFgzJ6aAIe3ne7SFYcWqgxnqSBHveravT8i3GGFl9XNRW1clgn5O7cs4nYgKkiBOc_zgvPd2evty0b19XS68K76kzVyc11iMvfDFlhT7ajMwkNM

Tip Selection
I was pleasantly surprised with the tip selection! I really enjoyed them.
SlQ49ojdaxwBkj6QuT8HbTmldjuHL8nnTbLHkN_KyY9VGfJk6JDP_biTB8QyNdiCYcXj3bUv9YF5ysVwZe7akg-ejn5Bt0hrVseHveFapTt7dQ2xXhtg1dYkKXlqcqBYFAK9U_vC1-YesdLq_llke50

Comparisons:

Vs. Imperial Loki

The Supernova has a more comfortable shell, and you can pick your own design. I think this in a way is a leg up over the Loki. If I wanted to buy an IEM as a gift I’d probably go with the Loki as it does feel more premium and it wouldn’t have a 90-day wait, but the Supernova is no slouch. Sonically both are good and at 800 dollars vs 3000 you are looking at a really good-priced iem that competes with iems of a higher cost, the Supernova is an amazing experience. The Loki’s shell felt massive in my ear, and that is one of the major issues I had with it but the quality of the bass experience is better on the Loki.

Vs. Butasurr (Longer comparison as some have asked for it.)

While Butasurr is a very solid pic, it isn’t perfect, and seems the overall tone and timber of the Supernova is a bit better. Supernova does sound better, but not a great deal better. I would recommend Butasurr to those who want to save money and get 95% of the way to a Supernova or top-of-the-line iem. For the genre of music that I like the Supernova is better in the bass texturing. This is a link to my favorite music from Tidal that I typically enjoy. The Supernova is a slightly better tuning and tone of an iem, and the packaging on the Supernova is much better. For classical music and pop music, the Butasurr is just amazing. Exceedingly impressive, and competes with anything I’ve ever heard level good.
The Butasurr feels like a reasonably packaged iem, of what I’d expect out of a 300-dollar set. The Supernova has a premium feel of perfection, it’s just very well presented. The case, tip selection, and cable all feel very detailed and well chosen and more warranting of an end game iem.
-yjnZDMIbH5RTqVpZ_lqGl1yPOIajpZf89ykaO_EcghSpHWc6BY3sR3yudL3IE9oY8RC6BesZR6V-E4sT1foz5e5yqdY3rWmH3wZWSPckh7q--fyRM2SN9YZmoiPLRGVO5vH1ctTlZwpLML9lzgja-w


Wearing comfort is much better for me in the Supernova. It has a shape that doesn’t seem to slip from my ears and seems more snug like a custom-fit iem. The Butasurr needs constant adjustment and the right tip (H570 tips) to feel right. Yet isn’t a bad shell, but it feels a tiny bit delicate. It reminds me a lot of the Aful Performer 8 shell, of which I’m a huge fan of. Again, fantastic fit, great iem. But the fit for me on the Monarch ML III and Supernova are much better than the Butasurr.

I think sonically both the iems have good Trebble note definition and tangibility. Both have great midrange and timbre. The Supernova is a tiny bit more lush almost like the Simgot EA500 or EM6L, while the Butasurr timbre is a bit more dry yet clean.

Bass slam, rumble, and texture the battle is won by the Supernova, but this is a close race. Both are enjoyable in the lower end, but my feeling is the Supernova has a slight edge.
The Space and transparency on both iems are world-class. They do certain tracks better than anything that I’ve heard. I’ve had almost a month with the Butasurr and about 2 weeks with the Supernova and both are exquisite.

The treble energy on both is done very well and I have no major issues with either level of treble, but the Supernova is better in the treble and is the best thing that I’ve heard. The Supernova and the Aful 8 both get a 10 in the treble for me, while the Butasurr gets a 9. Again, extremely world-class and great, but not the best that I’ve heard. The tone and timbre carry the iem to heights I’ve never really heard before, just impressive.

Vs Monarch MK 3

Both are end-game iems in my mind. Part of what it boils down to is the form factor. The Supernova has a bit more lush timber, while the Monarch sounds a bit more dry like a monitor. Both are great, but on a few rare tracks you hear something different on each set. They both have incredible shells, details, and resolution. I think the driver tech in the Monarch helps this shine, but we are talking about very minor differences. They are both very quality iems, and the fact the 7th Ascoutics Supernova can compete with an iem that is made from a much larger brand is impressive in its own right.





Graph:

1695871854547.png

Sound - Final Impressions

While this iem is very good, and almost perfect is seems that there could be some room for some slight improvement here. I think the bass physical impact of the Monarch MK 3 is better, and I think the tuning could be slightly improved with EQ, but
Recommended EQ: I use Peace APO to EQ on the PC. This EQ is done to my preference. I recently set up a preference curve on My Squig. So for at least iems, I can use my own graphs now. Please feel free to use the measurements as you want.. Jaytiss.squig.link
Overall this is an amazing iem that could easily be a game for most. The goal for me with an iem is to have one that doesn’t need EQ.


Preamp: -6.1 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20 Hz Gain 2.6 dB Q 0.500
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 150 Hz Gain -0.6 dB Q 2.000
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 510 Hz Gain 0.6 dB Q 0.800
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1200 Hz Gain -1.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 5600 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 2.000
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 6700 Hz Gain 5.0 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 7900 Hz Gain 1.8 dB Q 1.200
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 11000 Hz Gain -5.7 dB Q 0.900
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 12000 Hz Gain -7.5 dB Q 2.000
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 15000 Hz Gain 10.1 dB Q 1.000

Does the Supernova need Eq,? no, but to my ears it sounds about 1% better with this eq. Yes, the final question of what is my preference target has been solved. Yet who knows, I might change it up someday!

Spider Graph

This is my first time doing a spider graph. Much thanks to TonedeafMonk and Leonarfd who both helped me with this a little. This shows a few iems here. All of these iems are good, but you can really see how while the Monarch is a bit better, not by much. The Supernova slaps and could be a good value for you. The Hexa is my work iem. I have tried to dethrone it with something around that price but can’t see myself doing it. (I like having a set at work that is relatively cheap and affordable, so in case I lose it, it’s not a big deal. And that it has reasonably good tuning to not need EQ.
YYzuALbkrsvJbm8Vhgc4XAtvOHRSVfkohAv1EtIlavdCSkqtEYN50-qACyu4YjQAu40XhB1pKDI3i_Z6_UOL1tvvxYzzNkF_1L2sA814O84YEjYFbv2MfJW8rv0u29a7bN5ZkmBdZveZDO8TkG_t09g



Gifting/who is it for:

I think this is a nice hifi iem to gift to someone, but the issue is the faceplates being customizable becomes an issue. I think this is more the kind of iem you will want to keep for yourself, but would make a fine gift as needed. My go-to for a cheaper price would probably be the Aful Performer 8 or Celestee Phoenixcall as they are packaged really well and very beautiful. This is exceptionally packaged, much better than other iems at this price that I’ve tried. So if the waiting list is quick, it’s an easy buy. If you wanted to gift someone a special unique iem, it would be fantastic, for a surprise gift…. Not so much due to the wait queues.

Pairing
I used a Quidelix 5k for mobile, my dongle Dac iBasso DC04 for my laptop, and my JDS labs Element III MK2 Boosted for my Desktop PC. I also tried the iem briefly on the Apple dongle as well. This iem had no issues being driven. Typically I only find overears to really have a hard time being driven and maybe some planar iems. (I personally am not a huge mmcx or planar fan.)

Summary
I’ve recently redone my ranking system to include a gaming/comfort quality, an overall rating along with Crinacle style rating. I am also releasing a video on YouTube at the same time of this review.
Here is my Ranking list.
Thanks for reading, and maybe even watching. Any feedback is welcome.

tombrisbane

500+ Head-Fier
7th Heaven Supernova
Pros: - Price
- Makes you want to listen to music
- Beautiful design
Cons: - Cable not my favourite aesthetically, no issues with the sound
- Limited Availability
- Not the most detailed
7th Acoustics Supernova
IMG_7675.jpeg


Intro

Thanks for 7th Acoustics and @Damz87 for the Australian Tour of these. All thoughts are my own and not influenced in anyway. Rating is based on similar IEM's around the same price point (or in this case + 50%).

I’ve been running from one review/impression to the next in the past few months and really had no idea what these were prior to receiving them. After not being blown away by some mid-fi IEM’s recently I was being to wonder if I’d fallen into TOTL territory where nothing under $2k would ever really do it for me. Thankfully, this wonderful IEM from Indonesia made its way into my hands to renew my enthusiasm for mid-fi market.

7th Acoustics operate from their Facebook page as far as I can tell, it only has a small following, but these guys certainly deserve the praise that it seems they have started to get. Without further ado let’s get into my thoughts.

Packaging

The full retail packaging came along for the tour which was nice! For it’s price the packaging is very nice, after opening the box you’re greeted by the (very pretty) IEM’s, underneath that there is a metal case which contains the braided cable (2 pin, terminated in 4.4mm balanced), the cable is a little stiff but gets the job done They've also includes two sets of tips, one set being the Final E tips, and the other BGVP silicone tips (apparently, I don't know these). Final E are my go to so big thumbs up here. There is also a card to prove authenticity, nicely labelled ‘Aus Demo’ for this set.

Build and Specs

The build on the IEM’s themselves are quite nice, the shells are feel solid but light, the faceplate is very nice, and I had no issues with the nozzle. The tips do sit on the end of the nozzle, I was worried that they might slip off but I didn’t have an issue. The 2 pin was a little finicky to get the cable in but no issues once connected.

Specs:

- 6BA
- Dual Sonion vented bass balanced armature
- Sonion mid + uppermid balanced armature
- Knowles treble + upper treble balanced armature
- Impedance: 15 0 01kHz
- Frequency response: 5-24kHz
- Socket: 2pin 0.78m

Sound impressions

Bass


The bass here is nice, it’s about the right amount that I like (which I think it is a little lower than some like). It has an overall relaxed feel to it, quite pleasant, you would be forgiven for forgetting that it’s a BA at times, and is implemented better than some of the DD’s I’ve heard. Speed is great, good texture to it, hits decently. All around very good and no real complaints from me.

Mids

Smoothish, warm, presentation. Vocals sound great, but on bass heavy tracks you don’t have enough separation between bass and lower mids and lose the ability to completely make everything out on the track, this is the exception though, not the rule. The level of detail is also little lacking, on par with some IEMs in the bracket below. That aside, it’s extremely lovely to listen to, and while it isn’t a detail monster for the most part it’s enough. Male vocals are particularly great to me ears, with deeper vocalists really standing out with magnificent weight behind their voice, it reminds me of my Meze Advar with regards to this, and often surpasses. Superb timbre.

Treble

Very nice, sparkles when it should, no sibilance. Good feeling of air. Went really well against my treble test tracks. Overall, very pleasing to my ears, nothing more to say really.

Soundstage and Imaging

Decent, not the widest or deepest but large enough so nothing feels like it’s getting in the way. Not completely 3D, circle starts somewhere in my head then projects out in front in a circle. Imaging is decent, not pinpoint but I don’t think that’s what they are going for. Taken with the rest of the sound signature here it suits it well.

Subjective thoughts

Subjectively, I absolutely adore these. They’re extremely balanced across the board and everything I throw at them sounds great. Sure, I would prefer more detail for some music, but for 95% of what I listen to these were wonderful and more than enough.

I’d take these over quite a few IEM’s which sit above them in terms of price. Once they’re in my ears I just want too keep listening to music, not so much to experience what it sounds like on these IEMs (which I sometimes do with TOTL pairs), just because I know it’ll sound like what my brain remembers it sounding like, which to be honest is quite an achievement. They’re not going to blow you away, but they will make you enjoy your music the way you remember it, and that to me is the highest praise I think I could give them.

Overall

A magnificent IEM for the price. Enjoyment / musicality is very high, I never wanted to take these off. In terms of what you get for the money my only slight complaint is the cable, otherwise everything else is great. If I didn’t have two new IEMs on the way I’d be buying them right now, and I imagine that I will absolutely buy a pair in the not too distant future - my Meze Advar (daily driver’s) may finally have a challenger. A very strong recommendation for a blind buy for anyone remotely interested.

Edit: after another day of listening I am ordering one, I need these in my collection.
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Smirk 24

500+ Head-Fier
7th Acoustics Supernova: Silky Smooth
Pros: - Near-immaculate tonality
- Solid dynamics
- Excellent tuning
Cons: - Mediocre detail resolution
- 2-month lead time

Introduction​

Based out of West Java, Indonesia, 7th Acoustics is a boutique IEM brand helmed by Stephen Syn that’s been gaining popularity over the past half-year despite its limited production capabilities and long wait times.

Its flagship IEM, the Supernova, has garnered acclaim from well-known reviewers Precogvision and Super* Review, particularly for its remarkable tonality.

By flagship standards, the Supernova is relatively affordable coming in at $750 – but can the Supernova compete with others in its price bracket and with current kilobuck stars?

20.jpeg

Unboxing​

The unboxing experience of the Supernova is enjoyable. It’s not as extravagant an experience as the Diva’s but it’s altogether decent.

There’s a wireframe image of the Supernova on the box cover and a frequency response graph with specs printed on the back.

Underneath the box cover you’ll find a handsome chestnut-colored box with a silver 7th Acoustics logo emblazoned at the center of the box.

5.jpeg

10.jpeg


Flipping open the magnetic lid you’ll find a card of authenticity and the Supernovas neatly nestled inside foam cutouts. There’s a musky, perfumed scent emanating from the foam that I think was intentionally applied.

Each Supernova has unique abalone faceplates that you’ll be able to choose during the ordering process.

12.jpeg


Here’s what comes inside the box:
  • The Supernovas
  • Metal puck case (threaded)
  • 2-pin 0.78mm cable
  • S/M/L Final E and BGVP silicone tips
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Card of authenticity
The Supernova’s stock cable is a high-quality braided copper cable with a 4.4mm termination. It has a nice thickness, is of medium weight, and feels very durable. It’s not memory prone and is one of the nicer stock cables that I’ve encountered.

Comfort​

The Supernova’s shells are medium-sized and protrude slightly beyond the ears when inserted. The semi-custom shells have ergonomics similar to the Variations while being even smaller and lighter in weight.

The nozzles are short and have a reasonably small diameter. Suffice it to say, the fit shouldn’t pose a challenge for most people.

I should mention that the Supernovas don’t come with nozzle covers. This isn’t a negative since there are many IEMs that don’t, but if you’d like to protect your new Supernovas from earwax and other debris, you’ll have to use a stick-on mesh filter or some other method.

The Supernovas come with a good variety of ear tips, but I elected for SpinFit W1 tips for their grippiness and slightly tighter bore to eke out treble details.

Sources​

I used the following sources during my review process:
  • Chord Mojo 2
  • Chord Mojo
  • HiBy FC6
  • Cayin RU7
  • Apple Dongle
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
I tested the Supernova using lossless files and I had no issues driving it on any of my sources.

Sound Impressions​

Lows​

supernova-frequency-response.png

Measurements were taken on my personal IEC-711 clone coupler.
This is the frequency response of the Supernova which can be succinctly summed up as bass-boosted neutral – but not all bass-boosted neutral sound signatures are created equal.

IEMs like the Variations and Diva have more of a sub-bass focus while the Supernova has a more pronounced mid-bass.

Here are their graphs with the Supernova in green:

graph-3-3.png

graph-2-1.png

The Supernova’s bass has good body, texture, speed, and transients giving it good punchiness and tactility.

The mid-bass crosses ever-so-slightly into the lower-mids, adding an underglow of warmth to male vocals. There’s no bass bloat however, and the two regions coalesce seamlessly.

The mid-bass can compete for attention with the upper-mids depending on a track’s bass levels and vocals. This may be due to a pronounced mid-bass coupled with a relaxed ear gain, resulting in less contrast between the two regions.

For my preferences, I wish the mid-bass was about 1-2dB lower but I acknowledge that the Supernova’s bass tuning will appeal to many of you.

Mids​

18.jpeg


The Supernova’s standout quality is its midrange, particularly its exceptional tonality. The Supernova’s tonality has an intangible enjoyability that appears to resonate with many listeners.

Vocals are realistic, well-bodied, and smooth with a slight warmth. Male vocals are a touch forward while female vocals are a touch back because of the Supernova’s slightly relaxed upper-mids.

Despite its enjoyability, the Supernova’s midrange isn’t without flaws. I mentioned the mids are smooth, but they notably lack detail resolution and incisiveness. The Supernova resolves at a Blessing 2: Dusk, or at best, a Variations level.

Priced at $330 and $520, the Dusk and Variations fall one to two price brackets below the Supernova.

Despite its average resolution, the Supernova has the best timbre of the three and has intangibles that the Dusk and Variations don’t possess.

Highs​

The Supernova has a linear-sounding treble without any egregious peaks or dips. It’s excellently tuned. Like its midrange, the Supernova’s treble timbre is on the warmer side.

The treble has plenty of sparkle and never gets too sharp or uncomfortable, even in tracks with what could be glaring treble in less competently tuned IEMs.

Detail and Imaging​

As I mentioned before, the Supernova isn’t the most resolving set. It’s resolving enough to not detract from music enjoyment, but you’ll be missing out on some microdetails here and there.

The Supernova’s soundstage is spacious in width and height but shallower in depth. The Supernova has somewhat weak center imaging but has surprisingly accurate left and right imaging.

Interestingly, the Supernova seems to exhibit greater detail resolution on its left and right sides than compared to its center, which can contribute to the perception of better lateral imaging.

Tonality​

There are some people in the community that have hailed the Supernova the “timbre king”. I wouldn’t go quite that far but there’s some truth to that claim.

The Supernova has a remarkably comfortable and pleasant tonality. I’m going to draw some comparisons to another IEM whose tonality I enjoy – the Elysian Diva 2023.

The Diva’s tonality can be described as hyperpigmented, lush, and euphoric, while the Supernova’s can be described as rich, honeyed, and soothing.

Dynamics​

The Supernova has noteworthy dynamics, especially for its price point. The Supernova surpasses IEMs at and below its price range, like the Variations and S8, and approaches the dynamics of kilobucks like the Symphonium Helios.

Shortcomings​

There’s really only one glaring issue with the Supernova – its mediocre detail resolution. It’s a missed opportunity for the Supernova to not just trade blows with, but to truly compete with the best kilobuck offerings like the Helios, Helios SE, and the U4s.

Intangibles​

Intangibly, the Supernova stands out for its near-immaculate tonality and great technicalities (minus detail resolution) for its price point.

As it stands, the Supernova falls just short of contending with the best offerings in the kilobuck space, but this is an unfair expectation to begin with.

If the question was instead “Is the Supernova the best IEM at $750?” I would answer, “Yes, I think it is.”

On a side note, I was informed by a 7th Acoustics rep that the Supernova’s price may increase by $50 to $100 in the near future, pushing its price up between $800 and $900.

The Supernova is still class-leading around $800, but for $900 you may be better off stretching for something like the Helios or U4s.

Comparisons​

Moondrop S8​

graph-4-1.png


The Supernova’s main competitor is an IEM that’s almost 4 years old – the Moondrop S8.

There have been many new $700 entries since the S8’s inception but newer isn’t always better. The S8, at least to me, has remained the $700 benchmark due to its class-leading detail resolution and Harman-inspired tuning.

Like others in its class, the Supernova fails to match the S8 for detail resolution. However, the Supernova has a less fatiguing midrange and treble and possesses significantly better bass texture, density, and slam. Essentially, the Supernova is better tuned.

The Supernova has a slight upper hand in imaging and dynamics but falls far behind in detail resolution, a highly sought-after quality that the Supernova lacks and the S8 has in spades.

If you’re looking for the best overall IEM at $750, look no further than the Supernova. It has a great timbre, tuning and reasonable technicalities.

For near endgame-level detail at $700, the S8 is the only IEM that fits the bill. The S8 is also well-tuned and has a leaner and sweet tonality.

Moondrop Variations​

graph-5-1.png


Let’s pit the Supernova against the $500 benchmark that is the Moondrop Variations.

The Variations has a cleaner, neutral tonality and a mostly fatigue-free midrange and treble tuning.

The Variations and Supernova are both equally well-tuned so choosing one will come down to personal preferences.

Compared to the Supernova, the Variations has more forward female vocals, more recessed male vocals, and less mid-bass quantity.

The Supernova and Variations have similar detail resolution chops with the Variations edging slightly ahead. The Supernova has a wider soundstage and more precise imaging, especially to the left and right.

If you want a cleaner, neutral tonality with great tuning and sub-bass, the Variations is a great option for $250 less than the Supernova.

For those who want to experience the Supernova’s unique tonality with more mid-bass and excellent tuning, the Supernova should be your pick.

Symphonium Helios​

graph-6-1.png


Moving up the ranks, the Symphonium Helios is a benchmark coming in at the $1100 mark.

The Helios is, first and foremost, a technical monitor. It has a neutral tonality and is more technical than the Supernova across the board.

But there are reasons to prefer the Supernova. The Supernova is priced $350 lower and possesses a better timbre with less mid-bass and lower-mids leanness.

Like the Variations, the Helios has a recessed mid-bass and lower-mids, and its timbre, especially in the mid-range, can sound overly clinical and strident. The Helios also provides an uncomfortable fit for many people.

These considerations aside, the Helios has world-class treble and great technicalities. Its incisiveness and treble are particularly suited for orchestral pieces and instrumentals.

Between the two, the Supernova is more well-rounded and is easier to listen to due to its timbre and tuning. The Helios then, is for someone that’s looking for neutrality and technicalities first.

I would be remiss without mentioning the existence of the Symphonium Helios SE, a collaboration between Symphonium and London-based Elise Audio.

It had a limited run of 50 units and addresses the Helios’ mid-bass and fit issues. I’ll release a review comparing the original and the SE in the near future.

Elysian Diva 2023​

graph-7-1.png
graph-8-1.png
graph-9-1.png


The final comparison is between the Elysian Diva and the Supernova which both do one thing very well – tonality.

The Diva’s tonality is hyperpigmented, lush, and euphoric, while the Supernova’s can be described as rich, honeyed, and soothing. Different approaches, equally excellent.

The two take different approaches to tuning as well. The Diva has greater sub-bass quantity but its bass lacks transient edges. The Supernova has more mid-bass, better transients, and slightly better bass texture as well.

The Diva’s female vocals are more forward, further emphasized by its lower treble dip, whereas the Supernova is nearly flat from its upper mids to its lower treble.

From a technicalities standpoint, the Diva is more resolving and has far better dynamics. Imaging precision, however, goes to the Supernova by a small margin.

Considering the Diva comes in at $1600 which is more than double the Supernova’s price, the Supernova holds its own pretty well.

Conclusion​

17.jpeg


The 7th Acoustics Supernova is a remarkable entry to the $750 space that upends current frontrunners with its exceptional tuning and timbre.

The Supernova comes agonizingly close to being the unanimous pick and competing with kilobuck stars had it not been for its Achilles’ heel: lackluster detail resolution.

Still, the Supernova is a marvel at $750 that garners near-universal praise for its timbre from veteran reviewers and from yours truly.

If you have the patience to endure a 2-month lead time, the Supernova is a great all-rounder choice – just make sure you get your order in before the price jumps.
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Smirk 24
Smirk 24
Update: the price has jumped to $800 :sob:

antdroid

Headphoneus Supremus
Great Value Reference IEM
Pros: Great U-Shaped Tuning - matches my preferences
Relatively low price
Beautiful shell design
Outstanding CEMA cable included
Lightweight, comfortable fit
Cons: Not widely available
Bass decay a tad fast




The Supernova is a flagship in-ear monitor product from Indonesian boutique maker, 7th Acoustics. This product comes in at a small $750 USD price tag for a flagship, and has a total of 6-BA drivers in a nicely laid out package. The unit was sent to me by another review, Theo of Precogvision and Headphones.com fame, as part of a 7th Acoustics tour.

I had just published a review of the Proxima the other day, which is a neutral reference budget IEM from 7th Acoustics. This one is their top of the line model and takes the neutral tuning and adds a small bass shelf that puts it into my preferred territory, and matches it up directly with my beloved Hidition Viento "B" CIEM.

The Supernova comes in a taller round tin container than the Proxima, with a screw-on top. While this is secure and a nice touch, the metal screwing on metal can be grating at times, but not a big deal.

The Supernova comes with a very high-quality CEMA cable that I absolutely adore. It is a copper-colored braided cable with large 4.4mm pentaconn connectors on the source side, and 2-pin connectors on the IEM side. The 4.4mm connector has a striped gold and chrome/silver look that I really enjoy and matches the similarly styled Y-splitter.

7th Acoustics went with a very traditional universal IEM fit with a rounded triangular shape and a medium length nozzle. It's an easy fit for me and is very comfortable. The front faceplate has their logo above an abalone design. The one this unit came with is a blue/green look, but there are many other color options available on the company's Facebook page.




Sound Impressions​


As stated earlier, the Supernova adopts a balanced and mild U-Shaped tuning that is very well aligned to my target preferences. This has a small bass shelf that downward slopes into the mids, and a gentle rise in the upper-treble and a very smooth and extended treble range. The Supernova has a neutral-relaxing signature with added low-end warmth.



The sound signature of the Supernova is easy to comment on. It's good. I enjoy the balance throughout the frequency response, and the smooth sound that comes with it. It does not have any disjointed transitions, and is very coherent in general. I don't have a lot of to complain about in the tonality choices made here.

On the technical side, I also have little to complain about, especially at its relatively low $750 price tag, which falls many times lower than other brand flagships. Its even lower-priced than my Hidition Viento, and is going to compare well with the Thieaudio Monarch MK2 and Clairvoyance.

The Supernova has pretty good resolution. It doesn't exert all the minute details that I sometimes hear on the Empire Odin or the Unique Melody MEST, but I also don't feel like notes are smeared, and transients are overly rounded. In fact, I actually am a little surprised at how sharp notes can sound sometimes, however, knowing that this is an all-BA set makes a bit of sense.

Sound separation and soundstage in general is medium to wide for in-ears. I never felt the intimate and sometimes very forward and small sound of the Proxima, and there's plenty of space between instruments that makes listening to big orchestral pieces here sound decently grand. The Supernova also does a good job of providing depth, but it's not the best I've heard.


Comparison to the Hidition Viento B




When I first looked at the FR curve for the 7th Acoustics Supernova, I immediately thought of the Hidition Viento-B, my daily-driver CIEM. And measurements-wise, they are quite similar as shown above here. But they do differ a bit in overall sound performance.

First off, I find the Viento to be surprisingly warmer, but also a tad brighter. The warmer part was a bit surprising, based on the graph, but it could also be due to the totally perfect fit of a custom-fit versus a universal-fit of the Supernova.

The Supernova has a more quick response with crisper edges and a little more definition to certain notes. That's not to say it is more resolving than the Viento, it just means that the Viento has a longer decay and sustain-ability, which does not sound as exacting. Which is more natural? That's tough to say. I think the Viento comes across a little more natural, but the Supernova comes across more clean and technical in this aspect, with also a slightly wider soundstage in my listening.

In some ways, the Supernova is a more up-to-date Viento-B, and that's a good thing in my viewpoint, as again, the Viento is my ideal IEM, though sometimes seeing its age in the technical ability versus newer flagships. Both are also strong in coherency, and that is perhaps where I find the Viento a little better, but it really is a toss-up. Some people may not like the smooth sound of both of these, but I'd ask, why not?

bnupy

100+ Head-Fier
Like Butter
7th Acoustic Supernova

The Supernova is a 750$ 6-BA IEM made by 7th Acoustics an Indonesian company. I recently bought myself a unit, and the following are my impressions.

Aesthetics and comfort.
This IEM, unlike most, happens to be a boutique where customers can get in touch with a sales rep and choose their faceplate from a list of available designs. I've always favored aesthetics, and the faceplate designs of these IEMs have been gorgeous, giving stiff competition to Dunu's SA6 line of IEMs. These are really comfortable with the BGVP tips.


Bass
I’ve noticed there is a respectable level of subbass, with a level of warmth I am very comfortable with.
The bass, to my ears, is executed well; it sounds like a dynamic driver. But, like all things, the BA bass, you will find it if you go looking for it (really hard in this case). This region contributes to the full sounding side nature of things, and so far I really like it.

Mids

The mids are conventionally tuned. They never come off as too intense or shouty. The vocals are just amazing, like listening to Lizzy McAlpine's "Erase Me," which comes off as natural and just right. The mids have the right level of distribution and separation with the rest of the frequency response, making it one of its biggest highlight points. "Balanced, as all things should be."

Treble
The treble is tastefully done. It never borders towards any sharpness, in fact there is a slight softness that contributes to the “buttery”ness that I’ve heard most people mention.
But its far from flawless, since there is little upper treble extension which does not hurt the overall performance of this iem.

Tech
The imaging in the supernova is quite impressive however it does not reach the heights of IER-M9 and MEST Mk2. The staging is pretty decent, it does not really do anything holographic. Doing something like that does depend on driver configuration, also the conventional tuning the supernova follows does not allow this. Again not a deal breaker. The timbre of the supernova is pretty pleasing, this paired with soft but focused attacks. Ever guitar pluck feels pleasing to hear on this. The level of technicalities isn’t kilobuck level but it really doesn’t matter given how well it does most things.

Conclusion

Who is this IEM for ? Anyone looking for a standard all rounder while not being intense. As you can tell I’ve been thoroughly impressed. In fact I was just telling a friend that I cannot remember the last time I was actually eager to come back home to just listen to an audio product.
The Team at 7th Acoustics have done a fantastic work with the gold standard tuning in the supernova. Kudos.


Some of the tracks tested:
  • Comatose - Jobii
  • erase me - Lizzy McAlpine
  • Keane - bedshaped

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salwani8888
congrats on the purchase ! and i would concur that the tuning on these is very very good
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