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Audiophile Experience Designed with audiophile experience in mind, featuring AAW’s proprietary...

AAW Nebula One Titanium Diaphragm In-Ear Monitor

Rating:
3.91667/5,
  • Audiophile Experience
    Designed with audiophile experience in mind, featuring AAW’s proprietary ultra-thin layer titanium diaphragm with Neodymium drivers, Nebula One is truly a class leading performer with excellent ergonomics and functionality.

    Dynamic Micro Transducer
    Advanced design of 10mm ultra-thin layer titanium diaphragm with neodymium magnet delivers a rich and organic presentation of audio playback. It offers excellent resolution of sound delivery over a wide and spatial sound stage. The AAW in-house developed diaphragm has a wide and acute frequency response from 5Hz to 23000Hz, while maintaining an ultra-low harmonic distortion across the range.

    Acoustic Structure
    Carefully designed enclosure is inspired by beehive structure with numerous cells surrounding the main driver mount. The cell structure coupled with rigid enclosure material result in an optimum resonance free chamber for the moving diaphragm. The fore chamber and rear chamber are individually dampened and pressure balanced to create the most natural bass response with impactful hits.

    Ergonomics
    Precision angled sound bore gives a low profile outlook when worn by user. The formable cable and over-the-ear configuration keep a secure fit and minimum cable tangling. The cable on Nebula One is tensile and very flexible, it is microphonics resistant and durable for extended usage.

    Wiring
    Nebula One’s cable is built to perform, featuring OFC multi-stranded wiring core in Type 2 Litz construction. It is of excellent conductivity property and offer very low impedance to ensure obstruction free transportation of the music signal. The cable is insulated in TPE material, which is tested to be absolutely hazardous material free and environmental friendly during production.

    Functionality
    The microphone enabled remote has dual mode and auto detection functionality, it has full function support for both Android and Apple devices.

    Accessories
    Nebula One comes with a practical carrying casing giving maximum protection when storing and traveling with your earphones. The vast selection of ear tips means secure and tight seal for all users.

Recent Reviews

  1. Hisoundfi
    Titanium diaphragms that slam. The Nebula One in-ear monitor with three button mic and remote.
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Dec 30, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sleek and sturdy housing design, Secure fit, Nice accessories package, Good smartphone companion, Good for those who like warm and bassy sound
    Cons - Not for those looking for linear or neutral sounding IEMs, Memory wire creates a tedious fit, Cable is not the best, Mid-bass bleed, Bass is loose
    20161230_162658.jpg
    At the time this review was written, the AAW Nebula One was listed for sale on Musicteck’s web store. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
     
    https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/aaw/products/aaw-nebula-one-earphones-titanium-diaphragm-with-remote-for-iphone-and-android-dual-mode
     
     
    Introduction
    Writing comprehensive reviews has allowed me to experience earphones from several different companies for the first time. Hearing an earphone from a manufacturer is usually a “taste” of what they have to offer.
     
    I try to keep my mind (and ears) open to what I’m about to hear, and not allow outside opinions and impressions weigh in on how I perceive an earphone. Even with reviews, I intentionally try to avoid reading other people’s coverage of a product. I want my impressions to be my own unique perspective. Often times my impressions will line up with others. Sometimes they won’t, and that’s okay. One of the great things about this hobby is that many people enjoying agreeing to disagree on how we perceive and feel about a product. When this is done it makes for some great conversation, and if handled correctly it leads to a better understanding of both the product and people involved in the conversation.
     
    AAW stands for Advanced Acousticwerks. Here is some information copied and pasted from their website:
     
    Advanced AcousticWerkes (AAW) is a Singapore based electric-acoustic company specialised in in-ear monitoring technology. AAW is recognised by the audiophile and professional community for our exquisite hybrid drive technology and bespoke custom in-ear monitor products, during which course we have successfully attracted a diverse clientele consists of pro-musicians, audio engineers as well as serious audiophiles. We have accumulated vast experience and expertise in sound engineering and human ergonomics by working closely with several otolaryngologists as well as professional musicians.
    Now we have also applied our knowledge in developing the best in-ear monitors available today. Investments have been made to build a dedicated production facility for our universal range so that we have absolute control in quality assurance and engineering precision.

    We surely hope the AAW products will deliver an unforgettable experience for your listening pleasure and we shall remain committed to develop more exciting audio products for the years to come.”

    Taking a look at their website, it appears they have something to offer just about every price point from one hundred dollars and up. There is some unique driver configurations in their earphones, utilizing hybrid technology in their flagship products where most companies go with all armature driver designs.

    Today we will take a look and listen to their lowest priced entry level earphone, a single dynamic per channel universal in-ear monitor named Nebula One. This is the first product I will be trying from AAW, coming in at a $199 MSRP (and selling usually around $99 USD). Let’s have a taste of what AAW can offer as an entry level monitor, shall we?

     
    Disclaimer
    I was given a free sample of the Nebula One in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Advanced Acousticwerks. I would like to take this time to personally thank Andrew for the opportunity to experience and review the product.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me. I want to hear any earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I can share my impressions with  enthusiasts and help them find the audio product they’re looking for. My Head-Fi profile has a list of audio products ranked from favorite to least favorite. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and having a variety of different gear to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are solidly built, with ergonomics and sound that is pleasing to my ears. It’s my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based on gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    NOTE: The Nebula One has practically identical housings and cables as another earphone I will be reviewing, the Nebula two. The only difference in appearance is the the outside of the housing finish. Because of this, the top part of the review will have repeats from the other review. If you have already read the other review, you might want to skip ahead to the sound review portion to save from reading nearly the same information twice.
    I received a promotional sample of the Nebula One, which came in a ziplock bag. I assume the retail packaging is different. If not, who cares? To be honest, the packaging is only good for first impressions. The good news is I have all the accessories and earphones to report on. For those of you interested in the retail packaging, here is a picture from the AAW website:
    81UhON2T69L._SL1500_1024x10241.jpg
    Specifications
    *Proprietary titanium plated microdriver
    *Frequency Range: 10Hz-23000Hz
    *Sensitivity: 100db SPL @ 1mW
    *Input Power: 3mW
    *Cable Length: 1.2m
    *Android/Apple dual mode inline remote control
     
    Accessories
    1X Nebula One earphone
    1X Earphone sleeve: Foam 3 pairs, Ultra-Flex 3 pairs
    1X AAW carrying pouch
    1X Flight adaptor
    1X 1/4 inch adaptor
    1X User manual
    1X Warranty card
     
    Housings
    20161230_162340.jpg
    The Nebula One housings are very nicely done. They come in a brushed nickel all metal outer shell, and translucent black plastic inner shell. The shape is that of a stack of dimes with an angled nozzle.
     
    20161230_162832.jpg
    The Nozzle is relatively standard in terms of length and width and has a nice dust screen. The AAW logo is machined into the outer shell and has some nice detail. All in all I find it to be nice looking and nice fitting. The black finish looks very modern and stylish.
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    20161230_162958.jpg
    I am going to be completely honest from the start of this section. The cable is the worst aspect to this earphone, and does the housing design and sound no justice. While it is formidable and works fine, there are traits to it that became pet peeves over the course of my time with them. Please don’t think along the lines that what I’m saying should make it a dealbreaker to anyone considering purchasing these. There are some far worse cables on other earphones in today’s market. Ones that come to mind are the flat noodle style cables from Brainwavz, or the abysmal J-cord of the Sony MH1C. I would take the Nebula Two cable over these two any day of the week.
     
    However, the cable is thin, non replaceable and resembles cables used in much cheaper budget earphone models like KZ. It has a considerable amount of spring and memory. The memory wire is very long and impairs my ability to get a consistent and even seal. Although AAW indicates the cable has nice conductive materials and properties, at the end of the day it’s thin, frail, and has enough spring and memory to say that it’s an issue for me.
     
    With all the negatives out of the way, let’s discuss some positives. Strain reliefs are well done. The cable has a nice ninety degree plug that is slim in profile and pocket friendly. The included microphone and remote is well placed.   
     
    Functionality
    20161230_163020.jpg
    Nebula One comes with a three button microphone and remote that works with both Android and Iphone devices. Although functional, I was initially clumsy with the remote. The button layout is different than most models with the play/pause button on the bottom rather than the center. After acclimating to the layout I didn’t have any further issues.
     
    The microphone worked great. When talking with friends and family they reported my voice coming through at a four on a scale from one to five. The microphone did pick up wind noise however. When chatting on the phone voices came through with good clarity.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    20161230_163042.jpg
    I prefer an over the ear fit, so I had no major issues with these earphones. Because of the over-ear design and long memory wire, wearing them down from the ear isn’t really possible. If you prefer wearing your earphones cable down these aren’t for you.
     
    Although I didn’t have a ton of issues wearing them after finding a good sealing tip, the long memory wire was a slight hindrance. The added length of the wire forced me to readjust the fit several times over the course of using them. Although not a big deal, it can be a slight issue.
     
    Nebula One is a mediocre isolator. When music isn’t playing you can easily hear your surroundings. Microphonics are well controlled. Once I was able to a good seal and securing them in place, they were extremely comfortable to wear, which is a big plus.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-V10 for smartphone use, and either my Fiio X7 or iBasso DX80 DAP/Bushmaster D14 DAC/Amp for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use, I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192 kHz. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS), and also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    Although impedance is not specified, I’m going to guess it sits somewhere between 15 and 30 Ohms. Nebula One will work great with your smartphone or DAP. It manages to avoid background hiss and EMI for the most part.
     
    Nebula One is designed to be a smartphone companion and it’s universal remote will work perfectly with both Android and Apple devices. Using my LG V10, I found a healthy and listening volume at around the halfway point. The same could be said with my Iphone 6 Plus. The Nebula One sounded good with both devices. With a DAP that packs a little more power, lower registers seemed to have a bit more control of the sound (primarily lower frequencies).
     
    Nebula One’s warmth sets up better for leaner sounding sources. Using an already colorful source will add to the already emphasized mid-bass and lower mid-range tuning, making it seem sluggish or veiled. That will depend on a listener’s preference.
     
    Powerful desktop units are overkill. Although the quarter inch adapter can attached and the Nebula One and handle the extra juice, it’s really not what I feel these were intended for. After using these for a while, I find them to be a good “on the go” option for when I want to hear my surroundings when music isn’t playing, and tuning the world out while music is (all while keeping them in my ears). They are great for those who commute, or want a musical a rich fidelic upgrade over most of the stuff you find on store shelves.

     
    Sound Signature
    Nebula One is a rich and dynamic tuning that doesn’t shy away from mid-bass and lower midrange sounds and still manages to keep a reasonable amount of control while avoiding distortion. Lower mid-range sounds have weight and a forward presence that won’t appeal to those looking for a linear or airy sound. For those who want to emphasize the tones of bass and guitars, this is right up your alley. Nebula One does this while maintaining a decent yet relaxed sense of neighboring frequencies.
     
    Bass
    The Nebula one is definitely a bass forward earphone that packs more rumble than punch. This is done so without going insanely overboard. Sub bass is solid but not as forward as mid-bass, and slightly less resolving. Sub bass is present and its tone is lacking slightly. Attack and decay at sub-bass levels are a bit on the slow side. This doesn’t destroy the sound, but rather adds a rumble that some can appreciate. Listening to Daft Punk’s “Doin it Right” the bass lines had good depth and rumble but were slightly lingering and monotone.
     
    Midbass is forward and has more of a rumbling effect. As we venture away from sub-bass tones, Mid bass comes forward but also begins to tighten up a little bit in it’s response. Still, the Nebula one does suffer from a bit of mid-bass bleed that drowns out some of the lower mid/mid-range clarity. Although not the most resolving thing I’ve heard, mid-bass tones avoid distortion while packing a slower attack and decay. Although synthesized sub-bass tones may muck up lower registers, genres without a lot of the computer generated bass (like acoustic, rock, band, and symphony orchestra) tend to have more control of the the lower half of its response than modern genres (pop, hip hop, EDM).
     
    Mid-range
    The Nebula One mid-range is their biggest strength in my opinion. The overall sense I get is that they are considerably warm with good resolution. It’s a beefy sounding mid-range that is slightly unnatural yet still enjoyable.
     
    Lower midrange is robust and forward. It is tighter and faster in response than mid-bass frequencies. This trend continues into the upper midrange as well (The higher the frequency, the more responsive the sound becomes). Guitars have a nice depth and chug with a nice sense of impact. Although the deeper tones of bass guitars can be a little boomy, higher bass guitar notes have a nice resolve. Male vocals sound weighted and on the thicker side of natural. All in all, the lower mids of the Nebula one have girth that some will appreciate.
     
    The upper midrange is clean and nicely done. Things seem fairly neutral at this frequency and although it is slightly subdued in comparison to its mid-bass.
     
    Treble
    Treble valleys out at sibilant sounds and picks back up a bit after this. The impression I got was that although there is a decent snap with some tracks, for the most part the Nebula One has a smooth response, a little sparkle, and a bit of roll-off. This tuning will set up well for someone who is very treble sensitive but doesn’t want to lose the treble presence all together at the expense of a fatigue free listening experience.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    Packing some rumble and a little bit of sparkle, I can give the Nebula an average score. There is a nice sense of depth, but the rumble overshadows the midrange with some songs, preventing me from saying that they create an open or airy presence. There is some nice textured midrange sound when bass isn’t dominating the track. When it is, the overall clarity takes a hit.
     
    Comparisons
    TFS Series 3 ($55 USD on Penon Audio)
    The Series 3 is a musical signature earphone released by TFZ. They offer a bassier sound and over the ear fit:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/the-fragrant-zither-tfz-series-3-hifi-earphones/reviews/16947
     
    Comparing the two, the Series three has more of a sub-bass focused lower frequency presentation. Nebula One has more mid-bass and lower midrange presence. Although the Series 3 has a cleaner and more neutral middle frequency tuning, it is also blander than the more musical Nebula One. Series 3 has a bit more upper mid-range presence and very similar treble presence.  Considering these two earphones have similar concepts in terms of how their sound is shaped, I give a ever so slight edge to the Nebula One for sound quality. Considering the fact that these are nearly twice as expensive (when they are on sale) it’s a much closer contest than the pricetag would indicate.
     
    Build and design goes to the Nebula One. Despite the fact that I give a sight advantage to the Series 3 for their cable, I prefer the build, fit and sleek look of the Nebula One housings. I’d rather be seen in public wearing the Nebula One. I also give a decisive advantage to the Nebula One for their accessories package. They offer a nice clamshell case and adapters, while the Series three offers a velvet drawstring bag. For storage and no added adapters. All in all the Nebula One is a better built IEM with better accessories and slightly better sound. The big question is whether or not the improved aspects justifies the leap in price. At $99 USD I say yes, but at the $200 MSRP I say no way, no how.

     
    Hisoundaudio HSA-AD01 ($129 USD on Penon Audio)
    The AD01 is a dual hybrid (one dynamic and on armature driver in each channel) with a bass forward tuning:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/hisoundaudio-hsa-ad1-in-ear-dual-hybrid-in-ear-monitor-with-microphone-and-remote/reviews/15266
     
    Comparing the two, the AD01 has more of a sub-bass focus and improved clarity at mid-bass tones. The Nebula One has more of a mid-bass focus, and caters more to those who want a more colorful, forward and weighted mid-range. The Nebula One sounds a lot more busy and aggressive, while the AD01 sounds more technical and detailed. I have to be honest here and say that for my preference the AD01 sound takes the cake and justifies the thirty dollar leap in price.
     
    All other aspect are another story. Build and design goes to the Nebula One. They offer a over the ear fit that works better than the flat cable and under-ear fit of the AD01. Nebula One also gets top honors for offering a accessories package which is far better than the few tips that come with the AD01.  
     
    Conclusion
    Nebula one is mid-bass forward and colored sound. If that’s your thing you’re in luck. If you prefer a more linear and natural sound, you might want to skip these. They are a somewhat consumer friendly tuning that is beefy down low, and avoids sibilance up top. They play most genres of music reasonably well. They have an excellent shell design, decent fit, a mic/remote that works with pretty much every smartphone, and awesome accessories package. There’s a lot to like about these things. At the end of the day, there’s a ton of competitive products at the one hundred to two hundred dollar price point. While some will like the Nebula One sound, others may find something that sounds better for their preference at this price point.
     
    When reviewing a product, I have to take all criteria into account. I give these earphones five stars for accessories, four stars for build and design (minus one star for the cable), four stars for fit and ergonomics, and three and a half stars for sound signature. All things considered, I give the Nebula One four stars overall.
     
    20161230_162443.jpg
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
  2. HiFiChris
    AAW Nebula One: Unleash the Thunder
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Dec 6, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - value, sound, price-performance ratio, (surprisingly) good fit & comfort, detailed sound, really strong yet still controlled bass
    Cons - weak isolation, strain relief could be better on some transitions, not for those who don't want a dominant (esp. upper) bass, sub-bass somewhat loose
    IMG_2269.jpg

     
     
    Preamble:

    Advanced AcousticWerkes, in short known as AAW, is a Singapore based  audio product manufacturer best known for custom-moulded in-ear monitors (CIEMs). Not long ago, they have introduced a line of universal fit in-ears that are not universal models of their CIEMs, but an independent product line.

    Some of those models belong to a product line called “Nebula” that currently consists of two in-ears that are using proprietary drivers developed especially for these two in-ears. One of them, the Nebula One, features one 10 mm titanium-coated dynamic driver per side, whereas the other, the Nebula 2, is a hybrid in-ear that is equipped with a Balanced Armature driver for the midrange/treble reproduction in addition to the 10 mm dynamic driver.
    This review will primarily focus on the Nebula One (https://www.aaw.me/collections/universal-in-ear/products/advanced-acousticwerkes-nebula-one-universal-in-ear-monitor).


    Before I go on, I want to take the time to personally thank Advanced AcousticWerkes for sending me a sample of the Nebula One in-ears free of charge for the purpose of an honest, unbiased test and review.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: ~ US$99
    Drivers: one proprietary 10 mm titanium-coated driver per side
    Frequency Range: 10Hz-230000Hz
    Sensitivity: 100 dB SPL @ 1 mW
    Input Power: 3 mW
    Cable Length: 1.2 m
    Android/Apple dual mode inline remote control


    Delivery Content:

    Not the full retail package but just a plastic bag arrived in the review package I got that however included all of the original accessories which are: a nice carrying case, four pairs of black silicone tips (1x S, 2x M, 1x L), three pairs of black silicone tips with white stem, an airplane adapter, a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adapter and of course the in-ears.
     

    IMG_2261.jpg   IMG_2262.jpg
    IMG_2263.jpg   IMG_2272.jpg



    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    The in-ears are made of silver metal on the outside and semi-transparent plastic on the inside. I really like the design with the engraved “AAW” logo on the outside and the mesh that can be seen through the venting cut-outs on the faceplate.
    The in-ears are puck-shaped and feature non-removable cables with memory wire. Speaking of the cable: it is the same as the one that is used for the inexpensive Knowledge Zenith in-ears, however I’ve mentioned it at least once or twice that this cable is better than what is used for many in-ears in the $200 range, so AAW has done everything right with it although it is a bit rubbery (and so is the Knowledge Zenith cable, too).
    Strain relief is good at the angled 3.5 mm connector but sparsely implemented on the other transitions. Fortunately though the cable has got a chin-slider and even a three-button remote control with a built-in microphone, and is semi-transparent what I think looks really nice.
     

    IMG_2266.jpg   IMG_2267.jpg


    Besides the rather lacking strain relief on some transitions, the in-ears’ build quality is really good.
     

    IMG_2270.jpg   IMG_2271.jpg



    Comfort, Isolation:

    Although I have got large ears, I was afraid that the fit might be problematic for me as this in-ear body shape along with the nozzle angle and length has proven to cause fit and seal issues in my ears with other in-ears that have got a comparable shape, which happens very rarely though. I am extremely happy that I can now report that the AAW Nebula in-ears fit me very well, also seal well and are super comfortable.
    The cables are worn around the ears and secured by memory wire. I know some people don’t like this but I think that the memory wire works very well with these in-ears. The cables lack microphonics even when the chin-slider is not used, which is a good thing.

    Isolation is weak – really weak actually. Probably as weak as with the DUNU Titan 1.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were the iBasso DX80, HiFime 9018d and Cowon Plenue M2.

    For listening, I used the largest included black silicone tips.

    Tonality:

    The Nebula One (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “N1”), just as the Nebula 2 (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “N2”), has got an inner-facing vent that is almost impossible not to be almost completely blocked by your ear due to the shape of the in-ears. Just like about all front vents, it affects the bass quantity, and unless you have some weird ear anatomy that makes it sit freely and IMG_2268.jpg
    uncovered, the Nebula One might be a quite bassy not to say rather bass-heavy in-ear (the last bit of quantity will still depend a little on your individual ear anatomy and on how much the vent is really covered – in my case, it is almost entirely covered which I think is also the intention so that it leads to a strong bass presence).

    The N1 has got a quite strong upper bass that is almost always present and might sometimes appear like a sledge hammer. While this probably sounds negative and/or judgemental to you, it really isn’t meant in that way – I am like a chameleon and can adopt to almost any sound signature and like it as long it isn’t too coloured in the midrange, while I mainly prefer a balanced and even diffuse-field neutral sound especially at home.
    The upper bass is definitely strong, nonetheless it doesn’t bleed into the mids by too much considering the quantity, and doesn’t make the sound too warm or soft although it is more on the fuller and warm but definitely not mellow side. With bass-heavier tracks though, it can overshadow the midrange somewhat but vocals never drown or feel congested.
    Around 650 Hz, the bass starts climbing and is already quite powerful in the upper bass. In the midbass, it gains even a little more quantity but not much. It has also got good sub-bass presence and drops only slightly below 30 Hz. Quantity is around 12 dB north of a diffuse-field-neutral in-ear.
    Between 650 Hz and 2 kHz, the level is quite flat to my ears, and loses slight quantity between 2 and 3 kHz. Around 5 kHz is an ever so slight and broad-banded lift with the treble remaining flat and without any emphasis from there on. The highs start rolling off above 13.5 kHz.

    The Nebula One is therefore a bassy in-ear with a warm-ish but not mellow bottom end and no sibilance in the highs. For my preference, there could be less upper bass in relation to the midbass and sub-bass, but especially on the go this is not necessarily a bad thing, and what I find really good is that the midrange keeps presence and doesn’t sound congested or unnaturally overshadowed by too much despite the strong bass. And the treble is also well implemented and neither sibilant nor peaky nor does it show any sudden dip or unnatural unevenness. Cymbals also sound natural and neither stretched nor subdued or accentuated.

    While I wouldn’t mind somewhat less upper bass on the subjective side, I don’t really find any tonal flaw on the objective side – despite the strong bass, there is not that much bloom, the midrange sounds natural and a little warm but never congested, and the highs are relatively even and not peaky. The midrange and treble even sound pretty natural and quite realistic.

    Resolution:

    With a bass emphasis that strong, an in-ear often tends to sound overpowered, soft and boomy as well as bloomy. Fortunately though the Nebula One sounds rather quick and especially well controlled in the bass despite the emphasis, while the lows are on the softer side nonetheless but not muddy or mushy. The bass is not yet as fast as DUNU’s Titan series’ in-ears however about comparably controlled, and never becomes muddy or unrecognisable. There is some softness in the midbass attack, but decay is reasonably quick and the bass doesn’t struggle or sound boomy. Playing Metal and fast Electronic, the lows don’t struggle too much with control at all and can keep up without leaving a mess of something you won’t recognise anymore, which is sometimes the case with very bassy in-ears.
    As already mentioned, the midrange doesn’t sound congested or dry despite the strong bass elevation. Details are good and speech intelligibility is also fine although not as high as compared to most BA-based in-ears.
    The highs really don’t lack details or air either and sound detailed as well as nicely separated.

    Soundstage:

    The soundstage sounds rather open to me but not particularly large or really much larger than average. Depth is good although there is a little more width than depth.
    Separation is good and the stage doesn’t appear blurry but it is not razor-sharp either, but there’s nothing really wrong with that at this price point.

    ---------

    In Comparison with other In-Ears:

    Let’s see how the Nebula One stacks up against some other comparably priced and more expensive in-ears.

    IMG_2274.jpg
     
    DUNU Titan 5:
    The DUNU has got 5 dB less bass with my ear anatomy (its bass quantity also depends on how much the vent is covered) and the less hammering but still present upper bass. Sub-bass extension is comparable with the DUNU staying slightly flatter below 30 Hz. The Titan 5 has got the brighter midrange and treble that is however also less even in comparison – here the N1 sounds somewhat more natural.
    The Titan 5 has got the somewhat more nimble and faster as well as tighter bass while the control appears to be comparable. The DUNU sounds a bit more detailed in the mids while both are comparable in the highs.
    The Nebula One has got a little more spatial width while depth is comparable. The DUNU has got the somewhat sharper instrument placement and separation.

    Fidue A65:
    The A65 has got noticeably less bass but also rolls somewhat off towards the sub-bass. The AAW’s midrange is a bit warmer and the Fidue’s treble a bit darker.
    The Fidue has got the somewhat faster bass attack and slightly faster decay, making it appear more nimble, however control is comparable. The Fidue appears a bit more detailed in the mids while the AAW has got the slightly cleaner upper treble rendering.
    The Fidue’s soundstage is smaller in all directions but cleaner.

    LEAR LHF-AE1d (upgrade nozzles):
    The LEAR’s bass is adjustable and can be tuned to have even more quantity than the AAW’s. The LEAR has got definitely less warmth in the midrange but its bass bleeds more into lower vocals with that much quantity.
    The AAW has got the faster, tighter and also somewhat better controlled bass out of the two, but the LEAR is in a noticeably higher league when it comes to overall resolution, minute details, authenticity and realism that no other dynamic driver in-ear in the same price range as the LEAR (ca. US$200) managed to achieve to my ears.
    The LHF-AE1d has got somewhat more spatial depth to my ears and is also somewhat more precise and authentic when it comes to layering and the positioning of instruments.

    Sennheiser IE 80 (screw fully opened):
    Both have got comparable amounts of bass (the Sennheiser has got ever so slightly more) but the Sennheiser’s bleeds somewhat more into the midrange and sounds warmer and mellower. The IE 80 has got less presence around 5 kHz and more around 8.
    The IE 80’s bass cannot really keep up with fast tracks – it then sounds overpowered, boomy, lacks some control and sounds soft as well as mushy. This is even more so true for the sub-bass. The Nebula One has got the noticeably higher bass control and does not sound mushy or muddy. As for the rest, the N2 also sounds more resolving and natural than the IE 80.
    The Sennheiser has got the more expansive soundstage with more width and depth, but I really couldn’t say that it is more precise than the AAW’s, as rather the opposite is the case.

    Advanced AcousticWerkes Nebula 2:
    I was honestly expecting both to sound quite differently, however this was not the case to my surprise – the Nebula One sounds quite a lot like the Nebula 2 to me when it comes to tonality. The difference is that the N1 has got a little more than 2 dB more bass than the N2 to my ears and the slightly darker and fuller midrange. In the middle highs around 5 kHz, both have got an ever so slight lift whereas the Nebula One has got less presence in the upper treble which makes it an overall bassier and smoother in-ear. But the genes are definitely quite a bit similar and the Nebula One is kind of like its dizygotic twin (or at least a brother/sister that looks very similar) that is not identical overall but has a lot of similarities.
    I would say that the N1 sounds a little more coherent because it is using only one driver per ear, however the N2 has got the less soft and better controlled bass, especially in the lower bass, that has also got the better control although the Nebula One is no slouch here either. In the midrange and treble, the Nebula 2 sounds more differentiated.
    The difference is not that large, nonetheless the Nebula 2 is like a more refined version of the Nebula One.
    In terms of soundstage, the N1 appears to have more spatial depth to me while the Nebula 2 has got a bit more width and the very slightly cleaner separation.


    Conclusion:

    When it comes to in-ears with a really strong bass and a price tag of around $100, the AAW Nebula One is definitely among the better if not best. While it is not perfect, it shows good control, IMG_2265.jpg
    reasonable speed, not too much softness along with a natural midrange and treble.
    Not much surprisingly though, it will not attract those who are not interested in bassy and bass-heavy in-ears that are already very strong in the upper bass range. It will also not be the right choice for those who want good exterior noise isolation.
    If these aspects sound appealing to you, you should definitely have an eye on this in-ear that I consider as a good recommendation for those on the search for the properties and features I mentioned in my review.


    With my usual 30% build and fit (92.5) to 70% sound/value/price (86) weighting, I come to a result of 4.3975 out of 5 stars.
      trellus, hqssui, Hisoundfi and 3 others like this.
  3. sp3llv3xit
    Have a mobile phone,, add One, will travel, happily.
    Written by sp3llv3xit
    Published Nov 21, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Easy to drive, relatively detailed, great midrange
    Cons - Loose midbass, rolled-off sub-bass.
    DSCF6452r.jpg
     
     
    AAW Nebula One
    A review.


     
     
    ------------
     
    Tracks Used In The Review:

    Kinderspiele by Esther O  from Five Songbirds – A Reference Collection
    Hotel California (Live) by Eagles, from the Hell Freezes Over – The Reunion album
    A Case of You by K. D. Lang  from the Hymns of the 49th Parallel
    Eye Of The Storm by Scorpions from Return To Forever album
    Faster Than The Speed of Night by Bonnie Tyler & Meat Loaf from Heaven & Hell album
    You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) by Josh Groban from A Collection album
    Revolution Roulette by Poets Of The Fall from Revolution Roulette album

    --------------
     
     
    Almost five years ago, my friend Jay Tana and I had a brief discussion about the future of universal headphones.  We projected then that budget-fi will eat up the mid-fi’s market share.
     
    Recently, we are seeing this trend unfolding.  USD 100.00 products are giving the midtier products a run for their money.  A perfect example is this open-back universal monitors from Advanced Acoustic Werkes (AAW), the Nebula One.   Although getting old now the One still regales and engages.  What made it more relevant now is the introduction of its sibling, the Two.  Immediately, as with real human siblings, comparisons are made.
    First things first.  I’ve had the One for more than four months now.  Despite owning several headphones, the Nebula One managed to get decent ear time simply because it is comfortable and easy to drive.
     
    XPR28780.jpg
     
    XPR28781.jpg
     
     
    Packaged in a rectangular black box, this AAW came with 6 pairs of silicon ear-tips, a rubber carrying pouch, an inflight and a ¼ inch adapters, then there is the usual user’s manual and warranty card.  The zippered carrying case has travelled with me in the past three months.  It has withstood some rough handling in hotels and airports. 
    The flat disc driver cabinets are akin to the Dita Answer driver shells.  Due to the One’s vented back it is almost half as light as the Dita but may be just as comfortable, if not, slightly more so.  Problem arises when using the One outdoors because it just doesn’t seal.  Open-back design is more suitable for use indoors or on a relatively quiet bus-rides.    Inflight, the Nebula sounds acceptable but I was easily distracted by the movements of the passengers around me.
     
    I suspect that most people won’t find an issue when it comes to wear comfort with this IEM.   They might when it comes to the cable though.  Yes, the cable tangles easily and has at times taken me a minute or two to disentangle it.   Over time, the sheathing becomes a bit sticky.  Beyond that little objection, I find the PTT microphone to be at best tolerably sensitive for mobile telephony, with barely audible microphonics.  Its right-angled 1/8 inch gold-plated plug looks and feels sturdy enough to outlast the cable to which it is attached.
    Another thing that behooves mentioning is the ear hook guides.  Out of the box, my impression was it looked thin, ugly and poorly made.  I have since changed my opinion about it.  It is adequately fabricated with practical pliability.  And precisely because it is wire-thin, it makes itself scarcely felt when worn.
     
     
    DSCF6450.jpg
     
    SOUND IMPRESSIONS
     
    PRESENTATION
     
    You must be thinking, open-back must have a wide stage, right?
    Correct.  It does.
     
    However, as post-War affluence grows, people’s experience in this hobby has also been defined by how hifi home rigs sound.   The openness of the AAW Nebula One is dissimilar to those hifi setups.  The vented back whilst giving it a freer sound, also takes away the room feel of the stereo image.   Anyone who’s had the chance of auditioning hifi systems with proper bass absorber panels and room acoustic treatments, know that the image reproduced isn’t that of a boundless open-field.  It is defined by the size of the room.  That is the stage that we have come to acclimatize.
     
    Whether good or bad, the One isn’t like those hifi systems.  There were times when I found the sound quite liberating.  Then, there were also times when I found it wanting serious forward depth.
     
    Recently, a friend in this hobby also asked me if it sounds like a miniature Sennheiser HD800?  No.  The 800 has a more distant feel.  Its sound source has the psychoacoustic to render it coming from outside the headphones.  The Nebula being in-ear, is way more intimate.  Having tested the newer Nebula Two, the midrange (particularly the vocals) has been tuned to sound a little farther back; thus giving it an illusion of depth.
     
    Instrument separation is very good with the warmth acting as a thread that ties everything together. 
     
     
     
    ARTICULATION
     
    For a titanium-plated dynamic driver priced at USD 100,  the Nebula One certainly deserves admiration.  However, its bumped up midbass (around 200 Hertz) often drags its feet.  Though by no means a permanent fixture, the heightened midbass when it does rear its head, really stays.  In K. D. Lang’s “A Case Of You” (FLAC 24/192), the opening piano has sub-harmonics flying all over the place.  Midbass adds weight to the notes but One prolongs the decay, making the midbass linger and resonate in ear, and at times, it does give the impression of poor-timing and blurs the image.
     
    For tracks from the Swedish House Mafia or even the Poets Of The Fall, the accentuated midbass and forward midrange of the One is nigh perfect.  Save for the occasional bleeding into the midrange, the large and thick midbass is absolutely lovely.
     
     
     
    TONAL BALANCE
     
    If this were to be drawn in a chart, the resulting graph would probably look like a fat “n”.   Nebula One’s midrange, like Bruce Lee’s gait, the thrusted groin leads the charge, followed by the low-end kicks.  The treble range is largely focused on the low-treb push.  Roll-off occurs around 8 kHz.   In brief comparison with another hundred dollar IEM, the Suzaku EN700 from Simgot the One sounds more correct in its midrange presentation.  EN700’s is high-octave emphatic. 
     
    DSCF6458r.jpg
     
     
    “Kinderspiele” by Esther O. is quite engaging with the right-banked strings appearing palpably close.  Though crisp, midbass is prominently present in each pluck.  This is true in almost all kinds of stringed instruments played out of the Nebula.   It must be said however that the elevation in One’s midbass response isn’t anywhere close to the Sennheiser IE80’s zip code.   That, laid down, even with the a portable rig powerful enough to drive the 300-ohm HD800, there just isn’t enough sub-bass out of the Nebula One.
     
    Josh Groban and Adele are my faves for this IEM.  They just pair exceedingly well for a mobile phone (iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 7) source.  Groban is a slightly better choice than Adele in this but both demonstrably outperform more complex tracks.  The limitation of a single-driver IEM can be felt when playing heavy metal tracks.   Fast, bright and complex, the One fumbles and sounds rattled.  Moving to something less demanding, Bonnie Tyler’s duet with Meat Loaf in “Faster Than The Speed of Night”, the splashy cymbal crashes are crisp, dry and bright.  Tyler’s throaty voice rises above the din of percussions and strings.  If only the drums can hit harder and deeper… This IEM would be perfect for mobile phone use.
     
    This roll-off in the lower midbass towards the sub-bass frequencies couldn’t be more obvious than when the newer Two is A/B’d with the One.  In Eagle’s Hell Freeze Over album, the oft-mentioned Hotel California played live onstage, has the first kickbass hitting at 0:00:33.  That first kick just isn’t deep enough to be satisfyingly real.   A/B it with the Two, the difference in bass response is starkly contrasting. 
     
     
     
    TEXTURE
     
    Because of the overstaying and overfed midbass, there are certain bass instruments that may appear to be smoothed.  However, owing to its forward midrange, vocals sound like they have the spotlight trained on them.  Impressively detailed and textured, One does midrange right.  In the highs, anyone with a low-threshold for brightness may find the occasional peakiness of this Nebula to be quite glaring. 
     
     
     
    XPR28763c.jpg
     
     
    CONCLUSION
     
    Less expensive but with performance approximating the midfi products, budget-fi IEMs are killing the mid-tier monitors.  Save for the abovementioned midrange quirk, I am perfectly happy with the Nebula One and iPhone 7 as my on-the-go music entertainment.   If only I don’t have the Two, the One would still be the one.
      puppyfi likes this.
  4. suman134
    The Sweet Mid Ranger with one of the Biggest Stage. (comparison galore)
    Written by suman134
    Published Nov 12, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Good mids, Awesome stage, Good cable, best Microphone clarity.
    Cons - Bass needs tighening, Highs need some park, And you need time for adjusting its memory wire.
    INTRO:-
     
    IMG_20161020_153908.jpg
    Nebulaone.jpg
     
      AAW are better known for their Custom made in ear monitors and have been around for some time, now you can wonder how dare I get to review a custom IEM given that I have some of the lowest credibility when it comes to reviewers. Don’t worry, I cannot dare to go the custom way, what I have here with me is AAW's first attempt with UNIVERSAL IEMs, THE ADVANCED ACOUSTIC WERKES, NEBULA ONE.
     
     It comes in only one color, silver, there are two versions of the nebula one, REGULAR and BASSHEAD, both versions are priced at SGD $149. I think mine is the regular one, not specified by null or Su sadly, but this one is not close to the bass prowess of WooDuo 2 or Alfa genus so I assume it’s the regular one.
     
     Nebula one houses a 10mm ultra thin layer titanium diaphragm for its dynamic driver with rigid enclosure material which result in an optimum resonance free chamber for the moving diaphragm, The fore chamber and rear chamber are individually dampened and pressure balanced, has a dual mode remote control which works with both android and Apple devices.
     
     Lets find out how this earphone performs when compared with some of its rivals like RE-400, GR-07 (AN-16 in my case) and Hisound HA-2.
     
     You can grab one from here.
     https://www.null-audio.com/products/advanced-acousticwerkes-nebula-one-universal-in-ear-monitor
     https://www.aaw.me/products/advanced-acousticwerkes-nebula-one-universal-in-ear-monitor
     
     I would like to thank Null audio and Su from Null audio for this  review unit.
     
    ACCESSORIES ERGONOMICS AND MISCELLANEOUS:-
     
     (Mine didn't come with the retail package)
     
    IMG_20161020_153736.jpg
     
    IMG_20161020_153816.jpg
     
    IMG_20161020_170028.jpg
     
    IMG_20161110_142714.jpg
     
    IMG_20161112_175012.jpg
     
     Nebula one is nicely accessorized, it has plenty of tips, there are 3 pair of rubber tips in 2 sets, one is our all so familiar narrow bore tips set and other is a cone type, kind of wide bore tips. There is a LARGE carry case, bigger than most, thankfully. There is an airplane adapter, a quarter inch adapter too. All I am missing here is a cable clip, it's not that it's necessary but its keeps things tidy. A pair of comply would have been fantastic but, yeah.. no problem..
     
     Build is really good, metal on back with vents all around, plastic on front with a small vents on it for the fore chamber. Cable guides are kind of on the stiffer side, it could have been a bit more supple or like the Brainwavz R3 rev. but its not horrible. There is some stress relieving at the earphone end but its not exactly required. No stress relievers at the y-splitter, some at the remote unit and good enough at the 3.5mm jack end. There is a cable joiner or something like that which can keep both the wires together. Nice touch I must say.
     
     Now this one has a nice cable, supple and strong enough, reinforced by Kevlar fiber in the conductor core, the cable is tensile and very flexible, not bouncy, no microphonics at all or say as low as it gets. No need for L/R markings, as this earphone just can't be worn in the wrong ear.
     
     Now ergonomically this is a comfortable and easy on ear earphone but takes time to adjust the memory wire to one's comfort, shallow depth too makes it difficult, at least I feel like adjusting it every time I put this on. The design is not exactly simple but nothing extravagant when you consider its over the ear design, I like its ergonomics better than im-70.
     
     Isolation is average at best, not exactly bad, good with foam tips.
     
    REMOTE AND MIC UNIT:-
     
    IMG_20161020_165743.jpg
     
    IMG_20161020_165916.jpg
     
     Nebula one has a slightly different 3 button remote setup, mostly we have the play/pause or the call end/receive button flanked by volume up down buttons but it has the volume buttons above the call end/ receive button.
     
     It does all the usual functions of any other remote unit and I have to say that its one of the best MIC unit I have experienced, nice feedback on clicks and has fantastic call clarity.
     
    SOUND QUALITY:-
     
     Keeping in mind that this is AAW's first attempt at Universal earphones, Nebula one turned out be one hell of an earphone, it's not extravagant , doesn’t have serious bass power, nor has the most forward or delicate mid, doesn’t have those super fine details of an ER-4p or q-JAYS.
     
     What it has is an awesome symmetry or equilibrium of things, every part of the spectrum compliments others. It has a slightly V shaped signature, mids are not left in the valley by any means but elevated bass makes things feel like going the V way.
     
     It has warm, neutralish still dark type of signature.
     
     FYI I have burned this pair for more than 180hrs, it doesn't need an amp to sound at its best and I am using Stock medium size tips for this review. One can use foam tips for better traction and slightly better balance.
     
     Now this assessment of sound will be a total comparison, nothing else.
     
     P.S.  This assessment is subjective to my limited knowledge of less than 180 earphones.
     
      IMG_20161020_172453.jpg
     
    IMG_20161107_154046.jpg
     
    IMG_20161110_125038.jpg
     Powered by Creative E5 + Plenue D
     
     Let's start with BASS:-
     
     nebula one has good bass, has nice impact, moves good amount of air, has good extension with plenty of body. It lacks the micro detailing and precision of the RE-400 or gr-07/HA-2. Quantity, impact and body is far more than RE-400 and HA-2 and more than GR-07, but where it falls behind is with its control over mid bass when un-amped, gains some control when amped but it's still not as clean as these earphones.
     
     Decay is good, it's natural to be precise, not slow like  WooDuo 2or Brainwavz S0, neither fast like these. HA-2 has the best speed, then RE-400 and GR-07, Nebula One is good but not as good as these.
     
     Extension on the other hand is as good as these earphones.
     
     Spectrum wise it has good reach and has good presence, mid bass could have had been better but not as bad as Brainwavz S5. Upper bass is pleasantly clean and nicely detailed, similar to these.
     When it comes to details, Re-400 and GR-07 are really good with nice body, precision and micro detailing, HA-2 has awesome details too but for some it loses its charm with lack of impact and air. Nebula ONE is not trailing by much and is really good, can pick similar amount of details with bigger body than these and more air too but slightly lacks that amount of definition and finishing.
     
     Has good transparency and clarity too, bit lower than HA-2 and similar to RE-400 and GR-07, HA-2  has the best decay and speed.
     
     What Nebula ONE has is its musicality, its more enjoyable than these earphones, it has a nicely rounded impact, and it has an awesome ability to emulate 40-50hz vibration that we only experience with headphones, I love this!! What is special about it is that it can adapt to any type of music, let it be pop, rock or hip-hop or even house or trance, one will make everything sound thoroughly enjoyable with fatigue free bass presentation.
     
     All in all Nebula one has an above average  bass quality. No, it can't be used for analytical listening, but if you want to enjoy your bass, Voila, Here you go, it won't disappoint for sure.
     
     GR-07 (9.0) > RE-400 (8.8) > HA-2 (8.6) > Nebula One (8.0)
     
     MID RANGE:-
     
     Mid range is where the magic happens. Nebula ONE blows every earphone away in its price range when it comes to tonality and body. It has really nice  thickness with male vocals and precise body for female vocals, its as organic as it gets for this price. Now I haven't used this word much but when it comes to Nebula ONE, one word comes to my mind "sweet"!! It really sounds sweet and really natural. Vivid is another word but that might suit the RE-400 and HA-2 more.
     
     RE-400 and GR-07 tend to sound thin, where HA-2 can sound lifeless at times, ONE can never sound lifeless or thin. It doesn’t have the type of clarity or micro detailing like these earphones but it has the openness and wider presentation which makes it stand out of the competition. To be precise, I haven't heard an earphone that sounds this much open.
     
     When it comes to instrument clarity its neck to neck with all these earphones. Its just that it sounds slightly congested at the upper mids which RE-400 or GR-07 doesn’t exhibit. HA-2 maintains the highest amount of precision then comes GR-07, RE-400 and ONE are slightly lacking.
     
     Sonicality of RE-400 is really nice, then comes ONE and GR-07, HA-2 too has nice sonic abilities. Transparency and clarity of HA-2 is top class, then comes GR-07, ONE and RE-400 are plenty good but just a bit lacking.
     
     The only problem with RE-400 is experienced at the upper mid range where it gets a bit shaky and loose at times. GR-07 is V shaped which makes its mid range slightly less weighted.
     
     Instrument separation and layering are better on the Nebula one when compared to GR-07, RE-400 and HA-2 are equally good.
     
     ONE has one of the biggest stage I have experienced so far, evenly spaced with bigger height width and depth unlike Titan-1 which has its depth getting narrower as it goes deeper. GR-07 has good stage, then RE-400, HA-2 has the smallest of this lot with good height and width but shallow depth.
     
     All in all Nebula One resolves good amount of details and clarity, not class leading but is up there for sure and makes every type of music enjoyable.
     
    Nebula One (9.0) > RE-400 (8.95) = GR-07 (8.90) > HA-2 (8.7) ( includes stage and enjoyability)
     
     HIGHS:-
     
     Now this is somewhere I think Nebula one should improve. Highs on this earphone is acceptable but I was looking for a bit more bite, yes it doesn’t have any type of harshness bar some peaks in the lower treble region which makes it sound thin and I am not fan of thin note presentation.
     
     Best extension goes to GR-07, then RE-400, HA-2 and lastly one. One even when doesn’t roll off the treble it lacks the spark and liveliness exhibited by others.
     
     Details are average at best, I like treble, you got some problem? Same order as above.
     
     The best thing about this top end is that its fatigue free and not harsh by any means, you can wear this earphone for hours and hours but will not be bothered by annoying highs.
     
     RE-400 (9.0) = GR-07 (9.0) > HA-2 (8.5) > Nebula One (8.2)
     
    CONCLUSION:-
     
    IMG_20161020_154823.jpg
     
    IMG_20161020_155045.jpg
     
    IMG_20161107_154323.jpg
     
     Lets conclude with rankings which is just my opinion, not an universal constant by any means. [​IMG]
     
     DETAILS and Precision :- HA-2 (9.0) > RE-400 (8.8) > GR-07 (8.7) > Nebula One (8.2)
     
     Musicality :- Nebula one (9.2) > GR-07 (8.8) > RE-400 (8.6) = HA-2 (8.6)
     
     OVER ALL :-
     
     Nebula one ( A good all rounder and sounds awesome with its huge stage, timber and tonality) .
     
     HA-2 ( an RE-400 ( doesn’t have the slight shakiness with the mid range though) with tighter and smaller bass with best in class control over notes precision and clarity)
     
     GR-07 ( Really nice bass control and precision, thinner mids, really nice extension at both ends and energetic high, hot at times)
     
     RE-400 ( nice bass and awesome control all over the spectrum, excels with sonicality, neutrality and PRAT)
     
     P.S. Chose the one that suits you the best, as these are some of the best earphones you can buy for around $100.
     
     If you are in the market looking for an earphone will bring out the essence of music, with which you want to fall in love with vocals and its musicality, want to enjoy the openness of an headphone in an earphone, Welcome to Nebula One. If  you are a bass head go for the basshead version which must have more bass.
     
     I am not one of those guys who likes to use earphones with mobile phones but this one my dear friend, is one of the best with fantastic call clarity at both ends.
     
     Have some money? Want to try something pleasantly different, do give the Nebula one a go.
     
     And again I would like to state that -
     This assessment is subjective to my limited knowledge of less than 180 earphones.
     
     Any suggestion or advice? Feel free.
     
    Thanks for reading guys, I hope you liked it, enjoy your time, Cheers!!
      Cyanogenmoded and trellus like this.
    1. nimnz
      (mind blown) very professional writing
      nimnz, Nov 12, 2016
  5. peter123
    First universal offering from AAW
    Written by peter123
    Published Sep 1, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Comfort, build quality, great microphone, midrange and treble
    Cons - Memory wire, boomy bass
    This is a review of the Advanced AcousticWerkes Nebula One IEM’s.
     
    2-17-7-2.jpg
     
    UPDATE SEPTEMBER 5'TH 2016:
    Since the final retail package for the Nebual One is very different from the one that I recieved as a sample I've changed the first picture. 
     
    The Advanced AcousticWerkes (AAW) Nebula One was sent to me from MusicTeck who is the authorized dealer in the US for AWW. A big THANK YOU to Andrew for contacting me and offer me free review samples for both the Nebula One and Nebula 2 (soon to be reviewed here as well). The retail price for the Nebula 1 is $99 and it’s available on Amazon US:
     
    https://www.amazon.com/AAW-Earphones-Titanium-Diaphragm-Android/dp/B01CT20S7G
     
    For more information about the Nebula One you can also visit the product page for them on AAW website:
     
    https://www.aaw.me/collections/universal-in-ear/products/advanced-acousticwerkes-nebula-one-universal-in-ear-monitor
     
    I’m not in any way affiliated with AAW or Music Teck nor do I gain financially by doing this review.
     
    About Advanced AcousticWerkes:
    AAW is a Singapore based company that has been doing custom made IEM’s for some time now.
     
    This is what they say about themselves on their website:
    “Advanced AcousticWerkes (AAW) is a Singapore based electric-acoustic company specialised in in-ear monitoring technology. AAW is recognised by the audiophile and professional community for our exquisite hybrid drive technology and bespoke custom in-ear monitor products, during which course we have successfully attracted a diverse clientele consists of pro-musicians, audio engineers as well as serious audiophiles. We have accumulated vast experience and expertise in sound engineering and human ergonomics by working closely with several otolaryngologists as well as professional musicians. 
    Now we have also applied our knowledge in developing the best in-ear monitors available today. Investments have been made to build a dedicated production facility for our universal range so that we have absolute control in quality assurance and engineering precision. 
    We surely hope the AAW products will deliver an unforgettable experience for your listening pleasure and we shall remain committed to develop more exciting audio products for the years to come.”
     
    The AAW Nebula One is their first universal IEM’s they release and it’s also my first experience with the brand so let’s find out more about them.
     
    About me:
    I’m a 44 year old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later also IEM’s.
     
    My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).
     
    My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.
     
    I do not use EQ, ever.
     
    I tend to value function over form within reasonable limits.
     
    I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.
     
    Built and accessories:
    The AAW Nebula One is an IEM featuring one 10mm titanium coated dynamic driver.
     
    AFAIK it comes only in one flavor with a microphone.
     
    The cable has a 90 degree angled 3.5 mm connector and which I personally tend to prefer.
     
    The cable is round and flexible but still feels a bit on the cheap side. The over the ears wearing style makes microphonics pretty much non-existing. The chin slider is also in place the way I like it. Unfortunately the Nebula One also has fixed memory wire for a more secure over the ear fit, I really don’t like memory wire as I never seem to get the perfect fit with IEM’s that has it. I much prefer a regular cable and a pair of included ear-hooks or even better a detachable one.
     
    The build in general seem very solid. The housings are all metal and feel well made. Strain relief is in place on all the crucial points and the Y-split is also solid without being overly large.
     
    Left/Right markings are black on black and not very easy to spot but the over ear wearing style makes it pretty much impossible to reverse the channels.
     
    The retail package is plain and simple but still looks very nice.
     
    The accessories pack is good at the price and includes the following:
    6 pairs silicon tips in two different deigns (S,M,L)
    1 6.3mm adapter
    1 Airplane adapter
    1 zippered case to store them in when not in use
    1 Warranty card
    1 Manual
     
    IMG_4064.jpg IMG_4063.jpg
     
    IMG_4099.jpg IMG_4102.jpg
     
    IMG_4105.jpg IMG_4106.jpg
     
    IMG_4107.jpg IMG_4109.jpg
     
     
    The AAW Nebula One is easy to drive and worked very well with all the sources I’ve tried it with including cellphones. I don’t find them to benefit significantly from a more powerful amplifier but the do benefit quite a bit from a clean source.
     
    The specs:
    Housing
    Zinc Alloy
    Driver Unit
    10mm dynamic driver
    Frequenzy range
    10Hz-23KHz
    Sensitivity
    100dB
    Impedance
    N/A
    Weight
    25 g
    Cable lenght
    1.2m

     
    Fit and ergonomics:
    Despite some issues with the memory wire I find the AAW Nebula One to be very comfortable and got no problem wearing them for several hours. As a matter of fact they’re the most comfortable IEM’s with memory wire that I’ve ever tried.  I had to reach for some dual flanges tips to get the best fit though since the combination of the memory wire and included single flanges didn’t work too well for me.
     
    Isolation is definitely below average and if blocking out external noise is of great concern other offerings might be better. That being said they’re still work pretty well with music playing.
     
    Sound:
    I’ve used them back and forward in the last couple of weeks and they’ve played for well over 100 hours. I’ve used them both around the house and when out and about and I haven’t really found any significant weaknesses in the way they’re designed.
     
    I’ve used them with my LG G3 phone and FiiO X3 combined with the iBasso D14 as well as the Audinst HUD-DX1 and although they’ve worked very well with all of them I find them to perform their best with a leaner sounding amp/dac as the D14 or a high quality one like the LH Labs Geek Out V2+ Infinity.
     
    As already mentioned I enjoy the AAW Nebula One the most with double flanges tips.
    Demo list:
    Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
    Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
    Ane Brun – These Days
    Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
    Metallica – Die Die My Darling
    The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
    Eva Cassidy – Songbird
    Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
    Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
    Celldweller – Unshakeable
    Jack Johnson – Better Together
    Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
    Dire Straits- So Far Away
    Passenger – Let Her Go
    Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
    Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
    The overall sound signature on the AAW Nebula One is smooth, warm and bassy.
     
    The sub-bass extension on the One is pretty good and it hits hard deep down making it quite enjoyable with bass heavy music. The texture of the sub-bass is on the loose side and I’d preferred if it had been better controlled.  Mid- and upper-bass presence is also high letting the bass intrude into the lower midrange quite often.  These are bass-head level IEM’s in my opinion and no one should need to feel bass lacking here. When using these indoor at home the bass is definitely too much for my preference but when out and about the bass presence makes up quite a bit for the low isolation level giving them a more balanced sound.
     
    The midrange is surprisingly present given the bass heavy character of the One. It takes its place but is overshadowed by the bass a bit too often for my liking. On the positive side the full bass makes male vocals and string instruments have a nice weight and timbre to them. Female vocals are also very enjoyable and non-fatiguing. In all the midrange is both full and airy and isolated the midrange is actually really nice.
     
    The treble is probably my favorite part on the One. It’s fairly well extended and full as well as detailed and never gets harsh or fatiguing. This is pretty close to how I like my treble, a bit more air and even better extension and it would’ve been spot on but it’s still very good (especially at this price).
     
    Clarity and micro details are about average for an IEM at this price point and good considering the bassy signature. Soundstage in all directions is also good and 3D feeling and out of the head experience is also good.
    All in all the AAW Nebula One offers a very entertaining listening experience, especially with electronic bass driven music. It soes also perform very well with both male and female singer/songwriter kind of music.
     
    Comparison:
    Please note that the comments in the comparison section are not in absolute terms but in comparison between subject A and B. This means (as an example) that if subject A is found to be brighter than subject B it does not necessarily mean that subject A is bright sounding in absolute terms. I hope this makes sense.
     
    These comparisons were done listening from my FiiO X3 paired with the iBasso D14 Bushmaster trough the coaxial output.
     
    TFZ SERIES 5 vs AAW Nebula One:
    Compared to the Nebula One the sub-bass on the TFZ’s reach deeper while the bass quality is quite similar and a bit on the loose side on both. Mid-bass is actually even slightly more present on the One and it definitely has more upper bass making it sound more muddy with some recordings. The One has an over all slightly warmer sound making their presentation slightly fuller and smoother across the frequencies with the exception of the already mentioned lowest bass. The midrange on the TFZ’s is more forward but also thinner. Both have good reproduction of both male and female vocals but the One’s pulls slightly ahead for me. The TFZ’s has more upper midrange energy making them more airy sounding but also able to sound more shouty occasionally. Treble extension is also pretty similar with a slight advantage to the One, and once again the presentation is fuller on the One’s. The soundstage in all directions is pretty similar on both.
     
    I find the TFZ’s more comfortable due to my issues with the memory wire on the One.
    I like the metal housings on the One’s better but apart from that build quality is pretty similar.
     
    They TFZ’s are a bit easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is better on the TFZ’s.
      
    SIMGOT EN700 vs AAW Nebula One:
    Compared to the Nebula One the EN700’s has a lot less bass presence in subbass and especially in the mid- and upper bass. .The sub-bass on the EN700’s don’t reach as low and has quite a bit less impact. The EN700’s are clinically free from bass bleed into the midrange while this happens with quite a lot of music on the One’s. The midrange is fuller but also more recessed on the One’s while the EN700’s are more linear. The treble extension is quite similar on both with maybe a slight advantage to the EN700. The EN700 has a thinner and more airy treble while the One’s are fuller. Being the brighter of the two the EN700’s has slightly better clarity and detail retrieval. The EN700’s has a touch wider soundstage and more airy presentation while the One’s have better depth and 3D presentation.
     
    Fit is quite similar on these two and I find them to be equally comfortable.
     
    Build quality is good on both but I prefer the cable and connector on the One’s.
     
    They’re about equally easy to drive.
    Isolation is pretty similar and quite low on both.
     
    LZ A2S ($70) vs AAW Nebula One:
    Compared to the One the sub-bass on the A2S don’t reach quite as deep. The One have overall more bass presence and also more boomy mid-bass that overshadows the midrange more. The overall signature of the A2S is more intimate while the One has a wider presentation. Both have enough mid- and upper bass to makes male vocals sounding full and natural. . When it comes to female vocals both continue to perform very well but the One pulls slightly with its more energetic upper midrange. The midrange has more presence on the A2S and it’s also a bit fuller. The treble on the One has better extension while still maintaining full and smooth. Details and clarity is pretty similar on both.
     
    I find the A2S to be the more comfortable of the two.
     
    Build quality is good on both but I prefer the lack of memory wire and cable on the A2S.
     
    The A2S are a bit easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is better on the A2S.
     
    Summary:
    The AAW Nebula One offers a pretty typical consumer friendly entry level presentation with quite a lot of bass presence. Despite doing this it’s not the typically v-shaped signature as the midrange is actually quite full albeit slightly recessed while the treble peak that many IEM’s with this kind of bassy signature often has is nowhere to find on the One’s. Instead it has a full, smooth and fairly well extended treble presentation.  
     
    In addition to being very well built and comfortable to wear for longer listening sessions the AAW Nebula One has got a signature that’s most enjoyable for use when out and about in my opinion. They also offer a very good mic/remote making them great to use with mobile phones making them a good alternative for everyday usage. 
     
    IMG_4114.jpg
      Zelda, Pastapipo, kvad and 6 others like this.
    1. Zelda
      Nice! Looking forward to the Two review from you.
      Zelda, Sep 1, 2016
    2. Podster
      Nice review Peter, I was wondering how these would fair against the Simgot at around the same price but I'm just going to stick with my TFZ's
      Podster, Sep 1, 2016
    3. peter123
      peter123, Sep 2, 2016
  6. Zelda
    Nebula One - Powerful First Universal Dynamic
    Written by Zelda
    Published Aug 2, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality; Powerful and deep bass; Rich midrange; Sound performance for the price
    Cons - Fit can be tricky; shallow fit; low isolation; needs extra eartips for best sound results; extra bass quantity is not for everyone
    Full review here:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/816149/rev...w-nebula-one-powerful-first-universal-dynamic






    Website: www.aaw.me


    Specifications:


    1. Proprietary titanium plated microdriver
    2. Frequency Range: 10Hz-23000Hz
    3. Sensitivity: 100db SPL @ 1mW
    4. Input Power: 3mW
    5. Cable Length: 1.2m
    6. Android/Apple dual mode inline remote control


    Price (MSRP): U$D 99.



    Accessories: (4/5)


    Build & Design: (4.5/5)


    Fit and Comfort: (4/5)


    Isolation: (2.5/5)




    Sound:

    The Nebula One is the first universal In-Ear monitor model from Advanced AcousticWerkes which up to now was a company solely focused in Custom IEM models. Having listened already to one of their CIEM upper models, I wasn't sure what to expect for their new universal line and most affordable earphone. Right from the start, the Nebula One had a sound reminiscent to certain Japanese well known in-ear models. To be more specific, it sounded very similar presentation to the ATH CKM and CKS series or JVC headphones. The open design of the Nebula gives a more open and bigger sound, that isn't just limited to the bass regions. While it gives up on isolation it certainly has its good effects on the whole overall presentation. Fans of the Japan big companies should feel at home with this new AAW, but the Nebula One might fit even a wider audience with its smoother and (arguably) balanced sound. It has a lively and slightly aggressive sound signature, though in a less fatiguing way, and while a very powerful bass wouldn't be my first choice for a $100+ set, I find the single driver of the Nebula One to be among the best IEMs in its price range, which includes the MA750, Titan 1, VE Duke and A73, if we include hybrids. Having a more open design also means being more natural and effortless at least for this AAW.

    The Nebula One delivers a warm sound with plenty amount of bass but is not missing in terms of clarity and refinement. The bass is definitely dominant and always present with most of the sources I tried, even with cleaner and transparent ones such as the Panda AMP-S with its extreme tight and analytical sound. Nevertheless, control is surprisingly good with a very high speed and it's still tight enough not to be muddy. The aggressiveness starts from the low-end which is quite powerful, full-bodied and very strong in impact. The mid-bass is strong but less intrusive than the old ATH-CKM500 and even better controlled than the Fidue A73, which I found good but a bit overdone. It's similar to the MA750 or a bit bigger but feels more natural than the closed-design RHA model. Yet, the best part is found at the lower bottom, as the One has great sub-bass extension and depth with excellent texture and rumble that's quite addicting and effortless. Finding the right eartips is a must as the included ones weren't well fit for best sound results. Foam tips are less recommended as they tend to add extra weight and overdone the bass, breaking the balance with the rest of the frequencies. SpinFits are a better option for a more coherent sound. Strong and powerful bass doesn't always mean lack of definition or accuracy, and this is just a good example.

    For a dominant low-end, the midrange is well balanced. Not forward but not so recessed to lose presence, probably to their thick and fuller texture thanks to the warmer lower frequencies. Bass bleed is noticed so mids are not totally free from being a tad veiled, but on the whole they are presented in a smooth and dynamic way. They still have better body and are more prominent next to more conventional v-shaped or extreme bass sets. Clarity and detail are very good and notes have a good balance between weight and accuracy; not too thick but definitely can't be described as lean. The Dunu Titan 1 mids are thinner but also much crisper, while the Nebula One prefers to remain smoother, more musical and richer. Vocals are very nice, in an energetic way typical of the Japanese popular IEMs. They're also more realistic than MA750 and friendlier than the A73 for being much less sharp than this dual hybrid even though they're less clear than the single BA unit in there. It's worth mentioning that the Nebula's midrange is the more source dependant part and seems to respond quite well to EQ or amping. With more mid-centered sounding portable amp such as the Audinst AMP-HP, the strong bass takes a few decibels down and give place to a nicer midrange to bloom.

    The top-end sounds smooth next to the so more energetic low end. Definitely not a laid-back treble as the so-smooth and inoffensive Shozy Zero treble or a Hifiman RE-400, but far from being as fatiguing as a GR07 or any BA TWFK based IEM. Extension is quite good just not as impressive as the low-end amazing effortless reach. While the Nebula's treble may not be the most resolving, it doesn’t lack air either; the good thing is that it remains sibilance free unlike the A73 and won't sound ever as sharp as the MA750, and the similarities to the ATH CKM and CKS series aren't shown in the upper Nebula. The presentation is well-rounded, soundstage dimensions are above average due the open design with very good depth is good and dynamics, which also helps for a better level of layering.




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