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Aedle ODS-1

Rating:
3.83333/5,
Tags:
  1. Cinder
    Luxury Brand Meets Audiophile Standards
    Written by Cinder
    Published Jun 22, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent construction, top-notch styling, great accessories, comfortable, nice midrange
    Cons - Lacking treble-presence and sub-bass control
    [​IMG]

    Aedle ODS-1 Review: Luxury Brand Meets Audiophile Standards
    Aedle is a French mobile-audio company whose focus is high-performance luxury IEMs and headphones. They’ve really taken me by surprise, as I’ve seen an exceptional level of professionalism from them up until this point, more so than I’ve seen from many other companies that are well established. Even their products are like a breath of fresh air —their unique styling combined with their fully custom-tuned sound makes it hard to ignore them. The ODS-1, the hybrid IEM that I am reviewing today, is their first go at the in-ear market. Can they compete at their luxury price?

    You can find the ODS-1 for sale here, on Aedle’s official website, for $360.

    Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Aedle beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.

    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.

    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.

    Source: The ODS-1 was powered like so:

    Nexus 6P -> earphones

    or

    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

    or

    HiFiMAN MegaMini -> earphones

    or

    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    Sound Signature
    Initial Impressions:

    The ODS-1 is not flat. The ODS-1 is not “natural”. The ODS-1 is decadent and warm, and pulls it off quite well. As someone who has always tilted towards enjoyed warmer IEMs, I find that I do quite like the thicker sound the ODS-1 provides. The bass is centered behind the lower-mids which are placed above the upper-mids and treble, which are fairly matched.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy

    Treble is fairly tame, as the ODS-1 is a warm IEM. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any extension, it is a hybrid-IEM after all. However its just that the treble isn’t a main concern of the sound-stage. Do I hear minute details? Yes, but they aren’t as pronounced as, say, the Pisces BA or the K3 Pro.

    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams

    Mids are pretty darn satisfying. A nice tonality mixed with good texturing and decay makes for a pleasant listening experience. Guitars and drums have a good weight to them and decent separation in the majority of songs. I have to say that the mids are my de-facto feature of the sound signature, everything just sounds so smooth.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    Bass is my only concern. For an IEM of this price, especially one that’s a hybrid, the bass shouldn’t have any looseness issues like the ODS-1 does. Is it pronounced? No, but it still isn’t so subtle that I wouldn’t mention it. While using a higher-amperage setup has seemed to help a little bit, I still couldn’t get the ODS-1 to the place where I wanted it to be.

    That aside, I do quite like the quantity of bass present. It isn’t so overpowering that normal songs sound muddy, but its strong enough to where my electronic songs sound nice and robust.

    Strangely enough, I found the ODS-1’s bass to respond extremely well to the production style of The Glitch Mob. They are the single artist who’s songs exhibited no real bass-smudging even though they make copious use of it.

    Packaging / Unboxing
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Build
    Construction Quality

    I’ve only thought this about one other company, RHA, but every inch of Aedle’s products simply oozes quality. The driver housings are made from a well-polished metal. I’m fairly confident it’s stainless steel.
    [​IMG]
    The housings are connected to the leather ear-guides via a rotating joint with 360 degrees of range. The rotation is smooth. It’s got a really well-tuned level of resistance.

    The ear-guides are among the best I’ve used, and while they aren’t memory wire, I doubt you’ll actually want them to be once you put on the OSD-1. The stitched leather that covers it is durable and smooth. At the base of the ear-guides is a reflective metal cylinder that likely hosts the stress relief for the cable.

    Speaking of the cable, the OSD-1 comes wired with a nice plastic cable. Though non-detachable, I don’t have any real long-term concerns on durability. The cable’s diameter is slightly above average, though I lack the appropriate tools to cite a specific number. The cable is composed of two layers: an inner nylon layer and an outer transparent plastic. This should be a very good combination in terms of longevity, as it has a high resistance to a lot of kinds of mechanical force. The cable terminates is a metal-housed 3.5mm jack.

    Comfort

    The ODS-1 is very comfortable. Despite the fact that it appears to have large driver housings I rarely “felt” it in my ears. During my extended listening sessions I had no comfort complaints.

    Furthermore, the ear-guide is quite good. It fits me really well and kept the OSD-1 secured in my ears even during an intense BMX session.

    Accessories
    [​IMG]
    The ODS-1 comes with some pretty great accessories, and presentation is top notch. Inside the box you will find:

    • 2x sets of foam eartips
    • 3x sets of extra silicone eartips
    • 1x soft carrying pouch
    I really like the carrying pouch. It’s the best implementation of one I’ve seen yet. It is soft, compact, and cusiony. It even has a magnetic seal to keep the ODS-1 in and debris out.

    Summary
    The ODS-1 is a good first attempt from Aedle. While I certainly think the tuning could use some work, especially given the ODS-1’s less than wallet-friendly pricing, I can absolutely attest for the top-notch accessories and build-quality that Aedle infused into this IEM. So if you find form to supersede function, absolutely take a look at the ODS-1. However, if you aren’t too fond of very warm sound signatures, you’d be better off looking elsewhere.
  2. Brooko
    Aëdle ODS-1 (Legacy) – Beautiful mid-range, but lacking balance
    Written by Brooko
    Published Apr 25, 2017
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Overall build quality, fit, comfort, mid-range quality and treble extension, I-device controls, carry case, style (French flair)
    Cons - Very shallow fit (short stem), elevated bass (not my preference), no lip on stems
     ​
    ods-139.jpg
    Picture are default 1200 x 800 resolution - click to view larger images.

    INTRODUCTION

    This one came out of the blue. A company I'd never heard of, and an IEM I didn't know existed. The inquiry was from Baptiste Sanchez (their CEO) after a recommendation from Nic Flinkenflogel – and naturally I was intrigued.
     
    The ODS-1 is a hybrid IEM in 3 different subtle options – the Classic, Legacy and Eclipse. All run at $360 on aëdle's website. I think what hooked me is the style/flair/elegance. I should elaborate a little. I'm a huge Rugby Union fan. Our national team (the All Blacks) is regarded as being the best in the World (not bad for a nation of a little over 4m people). The All Blacks is also regarded as being one of the greatest international sports teams of all times. For a number of years – we had one “Achilles heel” team on the international stage – France. They could be very ordinary against weaker opposition, but in the big matches (against the All Blacks), they would rise to the occasion. And while the red blooded Kiwi rugby fan was left battered wondering how they could play like they did, the one true rugby fan simply marvelled at their pace, their flair, their panache.
     
    When you talk about the French generally, you can't help talking about their passion and style. So take a journey with me, and we'll see how the ODS-1 fares.
     
    ABOUT AËDLE
    aëdle was founded in 2011 by Baptiste Sancho. The company was originally conceived by Baptiste and his first partner Raphaël at KEIO Japan. The dream was to combine a minimalist but refined design with outstanding audio performance. This resulted in their first headphone (the VK-1), and the same main parameters are continued with their inner ear monitors – the ODS-1 series.
     
    The combination and use of “noble” materials is at the heart of aëdle’s creative process. They believe that the key to create unique pieces that transcend time lies in the mastery of details. This includes the use of real leather and highly machined metals. Refined and elegant – the two words that come to mind the first time I handled the product. Flair indeed!
     
    DISCLAIMER
    The ODS-1 IEM was provided to me free of charge or obligation as a review sample. I thank Baptiste and aëdle for the opportunity to review this earphone. I am not otherwise affiliated with aëdle in any way, nor do I make any financial gain from my contributions, and this is my honest opinion of the aëdle ODS-1.
     
    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
    I'm a 50 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (mostly now from the FiiO X5iii, X3ii, and iPhone SE) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Sennheiser HD800S, Sennheiser HD600 & HD630VB, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has mainly been with the Jays q-Jays, Alclair Curve2 and Adel U6 (although I am spending more and more time with a pair of FiiL Diva lately). A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
     
    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.
     
    I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 49, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays). My usual listening level is around 65-75 dB.
    For this review – I've used the aëdle ODS-1 out of most sources I have around me – from the higher end X5iii and X7 to the more budget X1ii. I haven't used extra amping – as during my testing (we'll cover that later), I didn't find they needed or even benefited from additional amping. In the time I have spent with the ODS-1, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (burn-in), but am aware that I am becoming more used to the signature as I use them more often (brain burn-in).
     
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
     

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
    ods-101.jpg ods-102.jpg ods-103.jpg ods-104.jpg
    Front of the retail box
    Rear of the retail box
    Inside flap and window
    Inner box

     
    The packaging for the ODS-1 has to be seen to be believed. The box measures approx 250 x 100 x 100 mm, and my first thought was that it looked like a display box for a ½ bottle of champagne. The colour is sort of a creamy off-white, and the text is a very dark brown. The front face is very simple – just a name and short description, along with the aëdle logo. The front face also opens (book-like_ to review the ODS-1 behind a clear plastic screen, and the inside flap giving further information on the configuration. The rear of the box has a list of the accessories, and a little more description of some of the tech included in the design.
    ods-105.jpg ods-106.jpg ods-107.jpg
    Bottom tray
    All the accessories
    Tip selection and airline adaptor

     
    The box top and bottom can be removed to real an inner black lidless box. This has several layers of soft foam, and houses the ODS-1, and the accessories – which include:
    1. The ODS-1 earphones
    2. Detachable MMCX cable with microphone and remote
    3. Foam tips (S/M/L)
    4. Silicone tips (S/M/L)
    5. Airline adaptor
    6. Travel pouch
    7. aëdle registration card (with serial number), metal business/contact card, and small manual booklet.
     
    The booklet is brilliant, multilingual (English, French, German and Chinese) and has all the information you could possibly need, including specifications and instructions.
    ods-108.jpg ods-109.jpg ods-110.jpg
    The padded carry pouch
    The interior of the pouch
    The ODS-1

     
    The pouch is soft padded cloth with a generous real nappa/soft leather top (which has magnets sown in to help close it). The pouch is well padded and will provide some protection, but it is more for storage and ease of carrying rather than full protection. Its ideal for trousers (if a little large – approx 110 x 100mm), and even better for a jacket pocket. Personally I really appreciate the design – its very different to what I would normally use, but it is both functional and looks fantastic.
     
    So overall – reasonable accessories, well presented, and definitely some design flair and panache at first look (IMHO anyway).
     
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    (From aëdle)
     
     
    aëdle ODS-1
    Cost
    Approx USD 360.00
    Type
    Hybrid inner ear monitor (1 x DD, 1 x BA)
    Driver Types
    Dynamic 10mm, and single Balanced Armature
    Frequency Range
    20Hz – 20 kHz
    Impedance
    32 ohms
    Sensitivity
    109 dB / 1mW
    Jack
    3.5mm gold plated – straight – 4-pole
    Cable
    1.25m fixed OFC with on-cable controls
    Weight
    24g
    IEM shell
    Machined aluminium with two tone coating finish

     
    FREQUENCY GRAPH
    The graphs below are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. Ken Ball (ALO/Campfire) graciously provided me with measurement data which I have used to recalibrate my Veritas so that it mimics an IEC 711 measurement standard (Ken uses two separate BK ear simulators, we measured the same set of IEMs, and I built my calibration curve from shared data). I do not claim that this data is 100% accurate, but it is very consistent, and is as close as I can get to the IEC 711 standard on my budget.
     
    The graphs are provided merely as a point of discussion, and later in the review I've included comparisons to other IEMs for similar reference.
    ods-1freqgraph.png
     
    What I’m hearing from the aëdle ODS-1:
     
    1. Elevated mid-bass with a hump about 8-10 dB above what I would subjectively call “natural”, and very good extension (slight roll-off into sub-bass).
    2. Sub-bass is extremely robust with a lot of rumble with tracks where sub-bass is emphasised.
    3. Typically V shaped recession in mid-range because of the sub & mid-bass emphasis and elevation in upper mid-range.
    4. Upper mid-range has a rise in the presence area (1-2 kHz) and gives a clear vocal presence. It is around 8 dB above the fundamental range at 1 kHz.
    5. Lower treble extension is impressive with good resolution (somewhat marred by the bass bleed into other frequencies)
    6. Channel matching is excellent and among the best I have measured.
    7. Overall it is a slightly V shaped monitor with emphasised bass giving it a warm and dark tonality, but a very impressive mid-range

    BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN

    External
    The aëdle ODS-1 outer body is a two piece aluminium, with the external side having a polished silver coating, and the internal having a polished black coating. The outer shell is perfectly round with just under 20mm diameter at its widest point, and the main body being approx 8-9mm in thickness.
    ods-111.jpg ods-112.jpg
    Internal face is black - filters coloured red and blue
    Very short nozzles with no lip

     
    At the top of the IEM is a recessed MMCX connector, and when I first got the aëdle ODS-1 I didn't actually realise the cables were detachable until about a week later! The aëdle cable is a perfect fit, but most of the other alternate cables I tried were unable to fit – mainly because of the width of the socket recession. I was however able to fit a DUNU “trial” cable from the 2002's – so I understand the socket should be standard.
     
    The nozzle extends forward and slightly upward, but is only around 4.5mm in length, lipless, and because of the design, makes the fit extremely shallow (more on that later). The nozzle is a shade over 4mm in diameter and does have a wax filter in place.
    ods-113.jpg ods-114.jpg
    Polished silver coating on the outside
    Recessed sockets - very smooth outer body

     
    There are no other marking (including L/R designation) anywhere on the ODS-1 body, and I could not find a ventilation relief for the dynamic driver (there is some slight driver flex on insertion if you are able to get a good seal). The nozzles do have red (right) and blue (left) colouration on the wax filters - so this is an easy way to recognise which is which.
     
    The cable
    The cable is detachable. The male MMCX connector sits on an aluminium sheath which perfectly matches the silver shell of the ODS-1. This in turn is permanently connected to a formed earpiece finished in stitched Italian leather, and then connected to another aluminium sheath – this time with L / R designators. There is good rubber strain relief at the cable.
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    MMCX connector
    Leather earhooks and strain relief
    Seamless connection!

     
    The cable is approx 1.25m from the exit of the ear guides to the join with the jack. It is OFC copper and encased in a a polyurethane outer coating which is both very smooth and quite supple. The cable is an attractive brownish gold colour with a faint herring bone pattern. The y-split sits around 38 cm below the ear-guides which puts it just below my sternum when worn. There is good relief at both ends of the y-split and also at the 3.5mm straight 4 pole gold plated jack. Both y-split and jack casing are the same aluminium with polished silver casing as the ODS-1 body. There is no cable cinch – but none is required as the ear-guides help the cable sit naturally anyway.
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    The jack
    On cable controls
    One cable which did fit - aftermarket from DUNU

     
    In-line microphone / controls
    The cable has an in-line microphone and control unit extending from the right ear-piece approx 110mm from the formed ear-guides. This unit hangs just under my jaw when worn over ear (so ideal height for the mic for me). The three button control unit has a central button for track controls (allowing play/pause (one push), next track (two pushes), and previous track (three pushes). The other two buttons are volume control buttons. All controls work brilliantly with my iPhone SE, AND with my wife's Android Galaxy (S3 – she's an old fashioned girl), and also my FiiO X5iii (brilliant!). The microphone has excellent quality – and I had no issues with phone calls or activating Siri when using my iPhone.
     
    Internals
    The ODS-1 is a hybrid design with a full range 10mm dynamic driver accompanied by a single balanced armature. The dynamic driver has a titanium diaphragm and neodymium magnet. There is no cross-over, and according to the documentation the configuration is designed for the DD to handle the lower registers (sub-bass, mid-bass and lower mids), while progressively yielding to the BA (positioned forward) for upper mid-range and treble. However they are achieving this, I can attest to the fact that the mid-range and extension are both pretty good with this earphone. I've included an exploded diagram of the internal below – courtesy of aëdle
    ods-1internal.jpg
     
     
    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. I initially tried both the included large silicone tips and large foam tips, and I was unable to maintain a constant seal (a combination of my difficult ears and the extremely shallow fit). I then switched to my after-market tips.
    ods-133.jpg ods-134.jpg ods-135.jpg
    Triple flange + default Crystal
    Ostry and Spin-fit
    Trinity Kombi and Shure Olive

     
    One of the flaws with the ODS-1 design (IMO) is the very short nozzle, and lack of nozzle lip. When combined with the relatively large size, the fit is always going to be very shallow – meaning that you may need to go a size larger than you normally would to achieve a decent seal. I tried a lot of tips in my search for the ideal fit – and this included:
    1. Spiral dots – slipped off the nozzle
    2. Ostry tuning tips – slipped off the nozzle
    3. Spin-Fits – fit the nozzle but couldn't get seal
    4. Sony Isolation / Trinity Kombi tips – fit the nozzle but couldn't get seal
    5. Crystal foam tips – would not stay on nozzle – I did not have the narrower stem size
    6. Comply tips – didn't have any on me that would fit
    7. No-name triple flanges – fit but uncomfortable
     
    Eventually I used a pair of large Shure Olives. I had to stretch a bit to get them on the nozzle – but finally success with perfect fit and seal. So just slight word of caution – you may need to play with tips to get an ideal fit. A note for aëdle though – I would suggest your next design include a longer nozzle and even a shallow lip – simply to make the IEM more compatible with a wider range of tip choices.
    ods-121.jpg ods-122.jpg ods-123.jpg
    External side
    From the side
    Internal side

     
    aëdle designed the ODS-1 to be worn cable over ear, and the comfort was extremely good with the Shure Olives. There were no hard edges and the IEM sits well within my outer ear and are extremely easy to sleep in. The ear guides are quite comfortable for me – even when wearing glasses, but it may be something that is personal. Early on with my testing, the guides could become slightly uncomfortable – but this was only my ears getting used to them. I was able to use an alternative DUNU cable, and this was also a pretty good alternative if the ear-guides became uncomfortable.
     
    ods-136.jpg
     
    Isolation with the ODS-1 is about average for me and do a reasonably good job of passive isolation. However I wouldn't be using these for long haul air transport. A lot will depend on the level of seal you get. I found them pretty good for travelling in a car.
     
    SOUND QUALITY
    The following is what I hear from the aëdle ODS-1. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my FiiO X5iii as source, and my Shure Olive tips. The reason I chose to go with the X5iii was simply because it has become my default player and although it has a smooth sound signature, it is essentially neutral (nothing emphasised).
    ods-124.jpg ods-125.jpg ods-126.jpg
    Most testing was with X5iii
    X7 with various amp modules
    Most day to day use with iPhone SE

     
    For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X5iii was around 23-25 on low gain which was giving me an average SPL around 65-70 dB. Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
     
    Relativities
    1. Sub-bass – has good extension but is emphasised and sits around 14 dB above the 1 kHz mid-range fundamental. The peak is about 50Hz but there is only around 4dB drop off down to 20 Hz, so the ODS-1 has extremely good lower range. There is a lot of rumble with sub-bass emphasised tracks – too much for me, and when playing Lorde's “Royals” it simply overwhelmed the track for me. Relative to the rest of the freq range, sub-bass is elevated slightly above mid-bass and a lot above lower mid-range, and has even above the the upper mid-range and lower treble peaks. Unfortunately for me this means a lot of bleed into the mid-range, and an overall unbalanced signature.
    2. Mid-bass – still elevated but is slightly recessed against sub-bass, and quite elevated compared to lower mid-range. If all of the mid and sub-bass was dropped by about 10 dB you would end up with a quiet nicely balanced and natural sounding monitor. Unfortunately as it is, there is some bleed into the mids – which is a real pity, as the mid-range on the ODS-1 is quite phenomenal.
    3. Lower mid-range – recessed compared to bass and upper mid-range. Vocals don't appear overly distant though, and this is fantastic – especially when you consider the overall cohesion between lower and upper mid-range for vocals. Male vocal in particular have a lot of body – its just a pity that with the elevated bass, there is simply too much warmth in the overall signature.
    4. Upper mid-range – elevated compared to lower mid-range, and there is a slight rise from lower mid-range to the first peak at about 1.5 kHz. The result is a clean and clear vocal range, with extremely good overall balance and enough euphony for female vocals to sound sweet and elevated.
    5. Lower treble has a peak at 9 kHz which is about even with the lower mid-range peak. This gives a very good sense of overall clarity, and is very good for cymbal decay and overall presence.
    6. Upper treble – reasonably good extension though to about 12-13khz, then rolls off – but does not affect/detract from the overall signature.
     
    Resolution / Detail / Clarity
    1. Actually has good clarity when listening to non-bassy tracks. A lot of micro detail present, but does not become harsh or grating. Actually a very smooth but detailed listen. As soon as you get to a track with some bass though, the resolution disappears somewhat in the abundant bass warmth.
    2. Cymbal hits have subdued presence (unless the bass is dialed back), and although they can display good decay, a lot is lost in the overall warmth.
    3. A monitor capable of good resolution however this is largely hidden because of the overall warmth of the lower end.
     
    Sound-stage, Imaging
    1. Directional queues are reasonably good, and presentation of stage is just at the periphery of my head space with binaural tracks – so an average to good sense of width and depth.
    2. Spherically presented sound-stage – no issues with L/R dominance
    3. Average sense of immersion with the applause section of “Dante's Prayer” (mainly because of the bass warmth). When I later replayed this with bass EQ'd down, the immersion was much improved. “Let it Rain” was next up and this time an absolute winner because the track can be a little bright and lend toward sibilance at times. There was a fantastic sense of 3 dimensional sound (the way the track was miked).
     
    Strengths
    1. The entire frequency range from about 500 Hz through to 20 kHz is the real strength with the ODS-1, and if you dial the bass back, the mid-range is among the best I've heard.
    2. Detailed but smooth - a trait that not many manufacturers get right
     
    Weaknesses
    1. The bass quantity. The actual frequency curve (shape) is fine, there is just way too much bass. The pity is that with a drop of around 10 dB, the ODS-1 becomes a real shining star. An opportunity lost.
     
    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
    The ODS-1 with its relatively benign impedance (32 ohms) and higher sensitivity (109 dB/ mW SPL) is pretty easy to run straight out of your average source. With the FiiO X5iii I tended to stay around 25/120 depending on the track recording quality. With my iPhone SE – this translated to 25-30% volume.
    ods-127.jpg
    I tried the ODS-1 with the E17K, and there was no increase in dynamic presentation or elevation of detail to my older and somewhat insensitive ears. Even using different DAPs with varying levels of power (X7 with various amp modules) didn’t really make any noticeable difference. So I think I’m pretty safe in saying that the ODS-1 doesn’t need, nor benefits from, any additional amplification.
     
    EQUALISATION
    Glad you asked! For this, I simply used the E17K with the X5iii, and engaged the bass reduction tone control. Its a quick and dirty way of applying EQ, but all I wanted to do was cut the bass back – and apply a -6 or -8 cut immediately allowed the mid-range to soar, and brought back balance. If this was the default signature, I'd be seriously over the moon with this IEM. I went back to Lorde's Royals again, and the rumble was still there – but in balance. And oh – female vocals – absolutely amazing. This is the sort of IEM I could listen to for hours. Captivating, balanced, detailed yet smooth.
    ods-128.jpg
    Anyway – if you have the ODS-1, and are finding the bass a little (or a lot) over the top, give it an even cut by 6-8 dB from 20-150 Hz and then taper it down from there. The results are quite simply stunning.
     
    COMPARISONS
    Boy – tough one. Mainly because I already know the outcome, and I feel comparing the ODS-1 with others in its price range is a little tough with its current default tuning. But its only fair that I compare apples with apples – so here goes. I mainly stuck to the price point with the following comparisons.
     
    As always, I first volume matched with a 1 kHz test tone and SPL meter. I had a fast switch set-up in place with a splitter and volume attenuator for the volume matching. This section is very subjective, as it is sighted, the change between IEMs took about 5 seconds, and I knew exactly which one I was listening to. But it is my honest thoughts on where the ODS-1 sits for my own personal tastes. Source used was first the X5iii solo, and then afterwards the EQ'd ODS-1 with bass reduction via the E17K.
     
    aëdle ODS-1 ($360) vs Earsonics ES2 ($299)
    ods-130.jpg ods1ves2.png
    ODS-1 and ES2
    Frequency comparison

     
    The ODS-1 has the superior build materials, but both are well built. The ODS-1 has the on-cable controls. The ES2 has the ability to easily swap cable to accommodate one. Accessories provided are similar – with the ODS-1 carry pouch being a little more luxurious.
     
    Both have quite short nozzles, and necessitate a relatively shallow fit. Both have very good overall comfort.
     
    Sonically both are have very similar transition from lower to upper mid-range, and although the ES2 has an earlier lower treble peak, the tuning from 1kHz up is more similar than different. The ODS-1 has more body in its lower mid-range. The major difference, as you can clearly see, is the bass quantity – which on the ES2 is quite balanced with the overall signature, but with the ODS-1 is excessive, and tends to dominate. The ES2 is quite a natural monitor – smooth and with a hint of warmth. The ODS-1 in comparison is overly warm and thumpy – and it is very apparent when comparing how much the bass is obscuring the beautiful mid-range.
     
    When you take into account the price – there really is no comparison here. For my preferences the ES2 is simply superior sonically. However – using the E17K and dropping the bass back 6-8 dB, and suddenly the playing field is much more even
     
    aëdle ODS-1 ($360) vs Oriveti Primacy ($299)
    ods-132.jpg ods1vprimacy.png
    ODS-1 and Primacy
    Frequency comparison

     
    Both have very good build – but the materials used on the ODS-1 again are slightly superior. The ODS-1 again has the advantage of the on-cable controls, but the Primacy has the benefit of more standard connectors, and also has the better overall accessory package.
     
    Again, short nozzles on both, and the fit is shallow but very comfortable – very little in this so far.
     
    Sonically again it is somewhat chalk and cheese. The Primacy has a very slight mid-bass hump, and excellent extension throughout its frequency curve. It is well balanced, delivers extremely good levels of detail, but does have quite a big peak at 7kHz which may be troublesome to some people. Again the ODS-1 has more body throughout the lower mid-range, but it is very thick and overly warm when compared directly.
     
    At the price points, I would prefer the Primacy's default signature – BUT, after EQ applied, I actually would lean slightly toward the adjusted sonics of the ODS-1. The extra body, and slightly more bass after EQ balances the default signature is perfect – where the Primacy is ever so slightly on the dry side.
     
    aëdle ODS-1 ($360) vs FLC8S ($355)
    ods-131.jpg ods1vflc8s.png
    ODS-1 and FLC8S
    Frequency comparison

     
    Build quality and materials is superior on the ODS-1 (and this includes the cable controls, and quality). The FLC8S of course has the tunability and more accessories.
     
    Again both earphones provide very good comfort and a slightly shallow fit – although the FLC8S definitely has more nozzle length and far better tip rolling options.
     
    Sonically the FLC8S is a chameleon – you can choose your signature, but I wanted to show in the graph something with a similar mid-rang, and the bassiest option the FLC8S filters allow. That means the red sub-bass filter, no mid-bass filter, and I used the gold mid/high frequency filter. As you can see, this results in a very much sub-bass oriented signature with the bass quite elevated compared to mid-range. Its not a filter combination I would personally gravitate towards, although I can see the appeal for some. It results in a clean clear overall signature but with a warm and impactful bottom end. The difference with the ODS-1 default signature is once again there is simply too much bass on the ODS-1 (in my humble opinion), and it ends up choking the beautiful mid-range.
     
    Once again – I would take the FLC8S over the ODS-1 if I was relying on default signature. Where it changes is again if you EQ the bass down to a more balanced level. Doing so actually results in better overall coherency and a more natural tonality than I can achieve with the FLC8S tuning options. Again for me – if the ODS-1 was tuned differently, it would be a winner. The nice thing is that you can change it if you have the right tools (EQ or amp with tone controls).
     
    aëdle ODS-1 ($360) vs Alclair Curve ($249)
    ods-129.jpg ods1vcurve.png
    ODS-1 and Curve
    Frequency comparison

     
    This one is here simply because the Curve is one of my favourite IEMs at any price. Its dual driver, and although its dual BA vs hybrid, I still consider the comparison valid. The Curve is around 2/3 of the ODS-1 price.
     
    Build materials go to the ODS-1, and the accessory package is pretty even. Fit and comfort go to the Curve. Its ergonomic design is like what I imagine a custom would be like. Both have relatively shallow overall fit, but the ergonomics on the Curve also gives superior isolation. Again it is the standard cable config vs the more limited option with the ODS-1, but the benefit of on-cable controls.
     
    The mid-range on these two are very closely matched – the Curve just has less bass, and slightly different lower treble emphasis. Where the Curve has superb balance, the ODS-1 has the bleed. And this is one of the few times with the ODS-1 after EQ is applied, that I could choose either – but ultimately would stick with the Curve (for my personal preference).
     

    AËDLE ODS-1 - SUMMARY

    I've enjoyed my time with the ODS-1, and if anything its shown me how good the unrealised potential of an IEM can be – even when the execution may be a little shy of the mark.
     
    The ODS-1 has an extremely good build, with quality materials, and a simply yet functional design. For future iterations, aëdle probably needs to think about lengthening the nozzle to give more potential variability with fit and tip use, because in its current form, it is a very shallow fit, and limited with tip choices. Despite this though, I've had no issues with comfort, and the style is (to me anyway) unmistakably French simplicity, style and flair.
     
    The on-cable controls are very good, functional for both Android and iOS, and I applaud them for this. They are great for use on the go. As far as the cable connection goes, if it was possible to allow the connection of other standard cables, or even release a balanced cable themselves, this may add to the perception of overall value.
     
    Sonically the ODS-1 has a wonderful mid-range, and good extension in the lower treble. The personal issue I have is with the volume of sub and mid-bass, which unfortunately intrudes into the mid-range, and obscures some of the wonderful clarity and detail which the ODS-1 possesses. Applying some EQ (bass reduction) results in a far more balanced signature, and if this EQ'd signature was the default, I'd definitely be interested. For those who like a warmer, bassier signature, the ODS-1's default signature still has a fantastic mid-range, and could be right for your preferences.
     
    I guess the issue I have overall with the ODS-1 is when you look at the current price ($360) and compare it to some others in a similar price bracket. The issues with the shallow fit and nozzle length, as well as the overly warm signature, mean that the ODS-1 may struggle as a value proposition against other IEMs.
     
    Still a 3 star from me, and I will definitely be watching aëdle's development. If they can come out with a model based on the ODS-1, but with a more linear / balanced signature, I predict we could see something really special.
     
    Once again thanks to aëdle and Baptiste for sending me an evaluation sample.
     
    ods-138.jpg
    1. Hawaiibadboy
      Leather earhooks....I gotta get me some of that
      Hawaiibadboy, Apr 25, 2017
  3. mrazik
    The sound of jewel
    Written by mrazik
    Published Mar 13, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sound, sound and sound
    Cons - It is not easy to get proper fit because of nozzle
    Before I will start with this review I would like to say BIG thank you to Baptiste from AEDLE who provide to me ODS-1 free of charge in exchange to my honest opinion.
    AEDLE cross my sight here on HeadFi where my eye was catch by thread about AEDLE, which is very short BTW, it should change. When I start read about company and products they offer, it wake up my curiosity.  AEDLE is not very famous name between audio community and I think, that it is pity. AEDLE are two enthusiasts from France who start build headphones and earphones, which they dream to do. So fare this story could be similar to many other makers who are present on headphone market. But those two chaps are different. Their products are different. These two artists start build their headphones like jewel. It is not only earphones, but even cable is great piece of artwork. At AEDLE found way how to combine unique style, great fancy look, perfect hand-crafted work and high-end sound. Baptiste and his partner Raphaël found right mixture of all these ingredients and voila we got very special earphones ODS-1.
    Even package it self is peace of art. Earphones are in white paper box with inner aluminum structure. Inside you can find earphones, cable, box with silicon tips, foam tips, airplane adapter, cable and warranty card. For every day carrying you can find nice textile bag.
    ODS-1 are offered in 3 different color combinations – brown with silver is called CLASSIC, black with silver is LEGACY and black with black is ECLIPSE. These combinations are based on color of ear hooks, which are coated with hand stitched calf leather from Italy and color of shell. Ear hooks looks robust and it may look that seam can cause discomfort, but no. I have glasses and ear hooks do not make me feel like that. Actually it is very comfortable. True one need a bit practice to wear ODS-1 earphones, but when you get it, you be ok, believe me. Earphone shells are made partly from aluminum, which have nice marks after machining. Inner side with nozzle is made from plastic. Generally is ergonomics very good and earphones are very comfy. Only nozzle may deserve a bit adjustment. First of all diameter of nozzle is 4,2mm, which is mean, that most favorite tips like SpiralDots or SpinFit CP100 will not hold on nozzle. Stock tips hold on nozzle pretty well, but they are short and I was not able to get good seal with them. So I improvise a bit and build kind of lining from old foam tip and I was able to use SpinFit tips than. After this home made adjustment I got good seal and nice comfort. But more than anything I could enjoy superb sound.
    ODS-1 are two driver hybrid earphones with one 10mm custom-made dynamic driver (titanium diaphragm with neodymium magnet) and one balanced armature. Frequency range is 20Hz to 20kHz. Cable is detachable through MMCX connectors, which are hidden in shells and for that reason, will be not easy to replace stock cable by some aftermarket. On other hand who would like to take away original cable, which is in great visual and aesthetical synergy with earphones. Synergy you can hardly see and get anywhere else. Cable is equipped with phone remote control, which can work with iOS devices. This remote control is not best in class. It is located on left side, is relatively high and buttons are not easy to find and recognize by touch. Cable itself is very firm and strong, 3,5 mm trrs termination is straight.
    Sound is well balanced, vivid, well refined with plenty of details and yet not analytical, but very musical. ODS-1 do not suffer of hiss with any of my current sources ( xDuoo X10, Shanling M1 and iPhone 6s ). With iPhone is sound very punchy and bass is sometimes omnipresent. Best synergy I found with xDuoo X10, because sound is well balanced and non of bands are present over others. Bass is deep and present only where is required, trebles are light and airy, signers are placed on middle of scene and music is behind and around them as it should be. Detail retrieval is exceptional and can help you discover your music as never before. Instrument separation and they location on scene is precise. Sound stage is not widest or deepest I ever heard, but it is believable and realistic. ODS-1 are also versatile in terms of music genre. Classical, Rock, Jazz, any music I listen was entreating and I really do enjoy that a lot.
    AEDLE ODS-1 are unique earphones with unique look and great rich sound. I can honestly recommend them to anyone of you, who are looking for some special gear for reasonable price with touch of craft man’s hand, with own style, which is not uniform and you can see them on every buss stop.