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Acoustune HS1004

Rating:
5/5,
  • Acoustune HS1004 is advertised as an IEM having "Vocal and Bass Reverb with Wide-Range Clarity", which employs their innovative 10mm Myrinx-coated dynamic drivers.

Recent Reviews

  1. iems0nly
    Sound made by the ear drum for the ear drum
    Written by iems0nly
    Published Sep 1, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Reverberating, addicting bass. Super detailed. Great soundstage
    Cons - Slightly recessed mids. Coloured sound. Non-Detachable cables.
    Simple Man’s review – Acoustune HS1004 (~200 USD incl. Import to EU)
    This is called simple man’s review because they are based on the sound of these earphones directly from my mobile phone (HTC 10), using 320 Kbps mp3 tracks. No expensive gears nor lossless tracks,no EQ, and all that hi-fi stuff.

    Product Specs :
    Driver: Φ10mm Single Dynamic Driver
    Impedance: 16 Ohms; Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
    Weight: 10g (guess)
    Cable: Non-detachable, 1.2 m (4-core)
    Shell: 100% aluminium CNC milling
    Nozzle: ~4.5mm
    Release: 2016

    IMAG2487.jpg IMAG2488.jpg IMAG2489.jpg


    Myrinx Driver

    Acoustune uses a “Myrinx Diaphragm” for their driver as opposed to conventional dynamic drivers.
    Myrinx, if you google, redirects to Tympanic membrane. It is the membrane that coats the ear drum. Acoustune is using this material (synthetic, of course, not extracted from human ear-drum), they call this medical-grade material, to coat their dynamic drivers. Their whole driver setup is called Acoustune Integrated Acoustic Management System, or in other words, proprietary, Myrinx Driver Technology.

    The driver used in HS1004 is also called Riba-budoraiba - in japanese accent for Reverb Driver :wink:

    Build – 4/5
    The aluminium earphone housings are super light and feel durable. The braided cloth-sheathed cable are super light, thick, and are hardly affected by gravity when you wear them. A small hard-plastic, or hard silicon, column connects the wires to the housing. This is slightly flexible and can move a bit. A little rough application, a sudden pull or a press here, can definitely break this joint. This, and the lack of MMCX are the weakest links in the design, and considerable wear can potentially break the earphones. Deploying MMCX would have also increased weight and affected the aesthetic appeal of the product. The cable leads to the 3.5mm jack at a 45 degree angle, which is not totally annoying, for a change. A trusty metal mesh in the nozzles protect the drivers from dust and a practical neck cinch completes the no-frills design. Removing a point for the lack of replaceable cables.

    IMAG2741.jpg

    Accessories – 4/5
    The unboxing is a very simple yet presented tastefully.We get,
    -a practical Acoustune carrying case, nothing fancy but gets the job done.
    -three different types of silicon tips (three sizes each). It’s good for tips inventory.
    -a couple of fat ear guides for around-the-ear wear, which i don’t use.

    One point off, because the ear-tips, all of them, are quite crappy for the HS1004. I do use one of the wide bore tips for my CKR100 now though.

    IMAG2493.jpg

    Isolation & Sound leakage – 2.5/5
    Isolation is very mediocre. They don’t particularly isolate outside noise even while playing music. A noisy metro or public-transport can creep some sound in to remind you of your surroundings. But they’re not as bad as the EX800, for instance. You wouldn’t be bothered by the wind if you choose to take them out for a walk. Leakage isn’t very bothersome at acceptable listening levels.

    Fit – 4/5
    Believe it or not, i actually bought these earphones assuming the fit would be so super-perfect with the entire housing comfortably seated in my ear, giving me a perfect seal, where i can lay about on my sides and what-not. Alas, i was kinda disappointed to find that it wasn’t how it imagined it to be.

    Going for a wear-them-how-you-like approach, around-the-ear and straight-down, they had to place the protruding nozzle right in the centre of the circle. For an easy entry in the ear this must be placed a little away from the center, as you typically see with semi closed designs. And the outer plate of the housings, having a slightly larger radius, have to push the Tragus (the little triangular lobe of the ear near the face) out a little bit to rest in the ear. It’s not very uncomfortable, but if you aren’t used to this design it might be a bit of a bother in the beginning. I don’t feel this anymore after several months of use, and now I feel it’s quite comfortable. All this here just so you know. A little penalty in this section for deceiving me.

    Microphonics – 3/5
    It’s not great, not bad. I wear them around the ear and don’t have complaints.

    Drivability – With it’s high sensitivity, they are among the easiest-to-drive IEM that i have in my collection. Once i had a mild head-ache and still wanted to listen to some music. With the lowest possible volume in my HTC10 i found the Acoustunes to be too loud and couldn’t listen to them. Final E5000 came to the rescue then.

    Before we get to the sound:
    You must know that i don’t listen to trance, EDM, or bassy stuff, no metal stuff, so, take my opinion about the extremes of the sound spectrum, and speed,etc., with a grain of salt, as they are just based on the kind of music I listen to- namely Jazz, blues, some progressive rock from the 70s/80s. However, to give a fair review, i include some of my favourite Daft Punk, Tool, NIN, and some Pop songs among my test tracks.

    Eartips: I have not rolled so many eartips for any earphones as i had done for the Acoustune HS1004.
    Sprial dots made it too boomy, Spinfits made the housings protrude a bit to the outside, making them a little uncomfortable. Then I settled for Final E tips, Medium-Small, for a while. But something was still missing, at some times. Finally, I moved to ATH tips. The ATH tips have short stems and also make the bass tight, preserving the bass reverb yet, not making it too flabby. I find these to best suit the Acoustune HS1004s. ATH for bass, Final for warm mids, SpinFits for nice balance with cleaner highs.

    IMAG2747~2.jpg

    Sound –
    The general signature is leaning towards a V-shaped curve with a bump in the mids for vocals. They don’t sound like your typical fun V-shaped signature with head-banging sub-bass and gawdy highs. In short, they don’t sound like commercial trash (no offense, just my opinion). They have gone for a very unique presentation, which comes across as coloured (somewhat Audio-technica like). Let’s take a closer look at the spectrum.

    Soundstage:
    If you pop these in and start your music, you will instantly be confronted with a big, tall and wide soundstage. The mids are playing deeper in the sound field, behind the reverberating bass, peeking above the bass band. The treble spashes on the top right and top left giving an impressive height to the entire soundstage. Overall, it is nicely rounded with even width and height, measured with big numbers.

    Bass:
    As advertised, the Reverb Drivers produce a reverberating bass. Juicy, comes to mind when i look for a word to describe it. You can actually feel the drivers vibrating when those bass tones are invoked. It’s like hearing those big floor speakers with huge drivers that visibly vibrates with every beat. And the decay here is lingering to a satisfied length of time for you to appreciate the reverb qualities of the driver. Yet, i will still say they are quite fast. Not the fastest, like BA drivers, or the fastest dynamic driver bass in the world, Adagio V (harsh highs), but fast enough. They don’t skip a beat, but speed is not their forte.

    If you are used to neutral or BA-like sound, you will be a little overwhelmed, like i was to some extent, in the beginning with the, can i say, larger than life presentation. But believe me when i say, it will have you coming back for more, like it had me. Once you warm up to the signature, and accept the driver’s nature, you will start to appreciate it. You will notice that the bass never gets boomy, has a satisfying impact and still has great definition at the same time. Somewhat, very much (?), like the Sony EX800’s bass.

    Mids:
    The bass reverb adds warmth to the mids, the added warmth adds soul to the vocals. They are perceived as playing deeper in the soundstage, slightly recessed in comparison to the bass and treble. That little bump in the response curve helps the mids to stay in presence and hold its ground. The guitars strings, and any other instrument here as well, reverberate with these drivers. Mids are detailed and they retain good amount of space for each instrument. The surrounding space is filled with dying echoes of the each note played. The decay lingers for an extra moment until the next note comes rushing in to claim its spot in the composition. It gives an impression of the drivers being, let’s just say, not-fast. But this adds a certain flavour and colour that is rarely seen elsewhere.

    The mids reverb and echo with a certain brassy, or metallic, colour, if you can colour the echoes from a huge gong-strike in a Royal Throne Room. This peculiar decay quality is what colours the signature in my opinion.

    Treble:
    The treble is airy, shimmery, shiny, sparkly and, smooth. Even though the treble is brought forward in the mix it shows no sign of sibilance because of lack of spikes in this region. This makes for a smooth and fun listening experience. They play high and wide, and display great resolution as well. Maybe it lacks the micro-detailing compared to detail-oriented BA drivers, but for a dynamic they are super detailed. Here again you notice tasteful transience, and that slight lingering detail which hangs in the air for a moment after a chime or a cymbal hit.

    Comparisons

    IMAG2754.jpg

    Round 1 – HS1004 vs JVC FXT90

    First of all, let’s see where it stands against the classic FXT90, my gateway drug into this addictive hobby, also V shaped with bumped mids.

    Listening to FXT90 after a long time now. My goodness, these sound awesome, still!! They are so fun and really excites the heck out of me. Almost forgot about these gems. Sigh, alright, let’s get on with the comparison now..

    Listening to a fun EDM track, the FXT90 really drops the sub-bass and has your head bobbing to the beats. Bass has a big, heavy impact. Has good rumble, very slightly boomy, done well though. Tight and authoritative, does not come across as flabby. Vocals really pop out clearly, they bumped the right spot in the mids. Highs splash about with good resolution and clarity. My god, this is a fun IEM.

    Switching to Acoustune HS1004 with the same song. Wow. The soundstage just opens up in a big way. Everything sounds more refined and defined. The reverb really kicks in, and there is magical transients all over the place. Where the FXT90 sounds boosted, here it is delicately delivered with more subtle clarity. Micro-details pop up very obviously with the HS1004. For a moment, i thought this could be challenging, but, no, it was a walk in the park for Acoustunes.

    FYI, we just compared a 80 dollar IEM with 200 dollar IEM.

    Round 2 – HS1004 vs MEE Pinnacle PX
    The HS1004 meets an old audiophile favourite from China this round, Pinnacle PX (Massdrop version of P1)

    The Pinnacles were just an OK IEM for me. Even though i was initially impressed with its clarity and resolution, they never got much ear-time from me. Not my kind of sound, really. Although my massdrop version was around 110 USD, I’m still comparing these to give you an idea about the Acoustune sound.

    Listening to Tool this time, a progressive rock track, PX first. Volume about 70% in my HTC10.
    Bass is quite tame with the Pinnacle lacking impact with the bass drum. Vocals show good presence, and the highs are shimmery and spikey. Pinnacle hits a little closer to sibilance, but delivers good clarity in the treble region.

    Switching to Acoustune HS1004 at 40% volume to get the same output:
    Soundstage is bigger, more space around instruments, displaying better height and width and depth. Bass reverb is perfect, and the bass drum delivers the intended impact. Perfectly done. Vocals fall back into the depth in comparison. It’s apparent when A-B-ing. But, as the song progresses i feel the mids play out well in Acoustunes as well. Highs are very smooth, displaying no spikes, and lacking no detail at the same time.

    Pinnacle sounds cluttered in comparison, lacking breathing space around instruments. The larger soundstage, reverb bass, and smoother detailed highs makes the HS1004 a winner again. The Acoustunes are a band apart.

    Round 3 – HS1004 vs Donguri Syou Kurenai
    Similar price and signature, in fact i paid some 30 USD extra to ship the Donguris. Syou Kurenai is the Donguri that has the more dynamic – fun sound, with a bigger bass impact than all the Donguri lower models. Let’s see how they stack up.

    Switching back and forth with more than one song, i must say these 2 are tuned quite similarly. Both are fun to listen to. The high mids are accented in the Donguris. The upper mid presence, the little chimes and snares there are more showy as a result and pop up front and tease the listener. Whereas the Acoustunes with this bass reverb and transient echoes are mesmerising in another dynamic way. The highs of Donguri are a little more sculpted compared to the smooth treble of the Acoustunes. Treble definition seems better in Donguri Vs the more resolving treble of the Acoustunes (does that even make sense??) The soundstage of the Acoustunes are larger in comparison, creates more room to immerse the user.

    I can’t confidently call a winner in this round. Bass and soundstage goes to Acoustunes. Mids/Upper mids to Donguris. I have a soft corner for the Donguris, anyway.

    Round 4 – HS1004 vs Sony EX800ST
    Saving the best for last. Same price point with these two. Acoustunes’ bass kept reminding me of the Sonys. I’m really excited and looking forward to this direct comparison. Let’s get to it.

    After multiple different tracks of A-B-ing, i report the following:
    The Sonys, as intended, lean towards a monitoresque presentation. The micro-details and clarity are clearly better than the Acoustunes. The mids are placed in the perfect position, and the upper-mids as well are brought to the front, in comparison to the slightly recessed vocal range and upper mid section of the Acoustunes. The bass however has more reverb and authority in the Acoustunes delivering better impact. Un-modded, as mine are, the EX800s bass impact is slightly lesser than the Acoustunes. The Sony’s bass also “reverbs”, only with lesser impact. Also, Acoustune’s driver with its slower decay and lingering echoes probably is the reason for lesser perceived clarity. Treble in the Sonys are slightly thinner to achieve greater detail. This is sacrificed in the Acoustunes in favour of heavier, longer-lasting, notes.

    The soundstage of the Sonys are very wide stretching from far left to the far right, with a lot of space in between the instruments. But it doesn’t have any height to speak of. All the instruments are lined up in a single row from outside your left ear - through the inside of your brain - to outside the right ear with the Sonys. The Acoustunes have almost the same width (a few centimetres lesser), but has obviously greater height in its soundstage which give a more 3-D presentation. The players are all around your head, and the reverb gives a good depth of field as well.

    At the end of this round, i must give the award to the Sonys for their amazing clarity and clean presentation, it’s quite magical. It’s a pity they don’t isolate and are totally useless for outdoors.

    I’m impressed with the Acoustunes for putting up a great fight with the already much lauded Sonys. Not many IEMs can actually do this, let alone the 200 dollar price mark. Not really sure if the Sony EX800 can be convincingly beat at any level.

    Overall Sound rating of Acoustune HS1004: 9.0/10
    Vocals 4/5
    Soundstage 5/5
    Instrument Separation 4.5/5
    Details 4/5
    Timbre 4.5/5

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    Conclusion –
    Acoustune has tuned a wonder with their Myrinx Reverb Driver. The pulsating, detailed sound that the HS1004 delivers with their massive soundstage must be heard to be believed. Their musical tuning works great for all genres, and you can just pick them up with no second thought and enjoy your playlist. Rest assured. Although i wish it were priced a little lower, I must admit they sound great for the price, and offer something no one else does. Therefore, five stars.
      nick n, hqssui, mgunin and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. iems0nly
      @mgunin The E5000 is really uncomparable with any IEM, let alone HS1004. E5000s are dark and the bass is fluid-like. Acoustune HS1004 are brighter in comparison, with reverberating bass with high detail. Rounded soundstage with height in HS1004 vs wider soundstage with great depth in the E5000. E5000 is for relaxing and dissolving in music. E series goes for a smooth presentation, here the presentation is more pronounced. HS1004 is for a fun-mood with popping details in a surround soundstage.
      iems0nly, Sep 6, 2018
      mgunin likes this.
    3. davescleveland
      Why are there no other reviews or posts about these. I’m madly in love with this sound coming out of an iPhone 7 Plus and dragonfly red
      davescleveland, Sep 24, 2018
    4. iems0nly
      @davescleveland Beats me! These definitely deserve more praise. I guess fewer people have it since they don't want to invest 200 bucks on something with non-detachable cables. I just did a blind buy because i loved the design, and wanted to try the Myrinx driver for less than 500 bucks.
      iems0nly, Sep 25, 2018

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