100+ Head-Fier
‘’Shining Star”
Pros: Overall balanced sound
Lightweight and comfortable to wear
Classy IEM. No Waifu.
Awesome sarcastic name.
Cons: Needs a base shelf.
Imagine a walk in the park. A Tuesday and you are trying to get some steps in and you see a shooting star. This is the history of the inspiration of Shing Star. A great song by Earth Wind and Fire sings this song. It’s snappy and fun to test headphones on. A shooting star is unexpected and beautiful. I had low expectations from the Aful performer, the name might have something to do with it. This headphone is a superstar, fun beautiful, and something to take home to mom.

I bought this iem with my own money. I’ll give you a hint. It’s a keeper. It’s fantastic, fun, and has great detail and frequency response.

A brief history, Aful was founded in 2018. They do have another iem, but it is no longer in production. This is their true entrance into the brand. The Aful 8 their next iem is currently for sale on hifigo. The company has a few patients and a strong vision of what they want to do. They want to achieve high-performing iems at a reasonable price. I encourage you to read up on the company. This company excites me about the Hifi Space and gives me hope for a new world, not many do.


The aful 8 looks Aful fantastic! But this review is about the Aful 5.

Here is some information about the Aful performer 5.

Driver Count: Five drivers on each side.
Driver Configuration: 1DD+4BA.
Impedance: 35Ω.
Sensitvitiy: 110dB@1kHz.
Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz.
Passive Noise Reduction: 26dB.
Connectors: 0.78mm 2-pin.
Termination: 3.5mm/4.4mm

Song Choice: Tidal list here:

I listen to a wide variety of music. I pick the songs because of various reasons. But I picture myself locked away like Andy Dufresne from Shawshank blasting music and shut off from the world. It’s a blissful image.
The Marriage of Figaro -The opera song from Shawshank Redemption, terrible recording but fun and gets me in the mood to listen to music.

O mio Babino caro -This is a modern less operatic version but a song with great female vocals.

Video Rigoletto - “La donna e mobile” Sung by one of the three Tenors, great song for high-performing male vocals. Pavarotti is the greatest classic singer maybe ever. Fight me!

Iron man - The sound at the beginning is hard to make sound great, great drums, and cymbals, and if done right it feels like an old-school band.

I Will Survive (1981 recording, I like her voice, and the old vocals, the drums, and various natural instruments really make this a favorite for me.

There is a light That never goes out - Smiths ( A classic, I just love it. It’s mellow, and I can tell a lot of the tuning if this song is done right.)

Jump I like how the sound effects are in this!

Star Child Someone recommended this song to me, and I like how funky it sounds and has nice vocals and a mix of music and things going on.

Dicke Titten Ramstein The beginning is amazing and the base hits hard. Great song. I love rock and metal. The german language fascinates me.

Master of Puppets: Very fast song. Helps me determine if the driver can keep up.

Shell - I find the Blessing 2 dusk to be a bit fatiguing as the nozzle is a tiny bit large, and getting a good fit is hard. This is not the case with the Performer 5. It has a smooth shell, and fits well. It feels like Theiaudio shells which are much more expensive. It has an ergonomic design that I can wear all day.


Case- This is a premium feeling case that has strong value. You will see it with much more expensive sets. I really like it. I normally coil my iems in a circle so this works great for that. Look at the case of the 7th Ascoutic Supernova a 750 dollar iem to compare.


Tip Selection - Normally tips don’t get me out of bed. I ram them into my ear and am happy as one could be. These tips, are just amazing. Red and blue coordinated to easily know which side to put in what ear. A novel concept from an upcoming brand. Packaging isn’t everything but it shows care, thought, precision, and ingenuity.

Comparison: I find it more resolving than the YUME 2. I find this iem can do micro details better. While it isn’t as strong as the Blessing 2 Dusk sonically. I do find them a good fit, a much better package. I can only wear the Blessing 2 dusk for a few hours, Aful performer was worn all day on multiple occasions.

Cable - This is a fine cable. I don’t believe in the sound quality of cables, but it lays flat. It’s almost as nice as the Truthear Hola Cable which is high praise. No issues, and one of the better cables I find. I don’t enjoy cables with balanced connectors as I don’t feel that they are super necessary.

Value- This is a premium feeling headphone for the cost of apple air pods 2. They feel like a great gift to a friend, and a great travel reference set for yourself. Maybe endgame depending on what you need. It is the defato recommendation around 200 for me at this time. If I guessed the price, I’d say 300 dollars. It’s just a nice package out of the box for the price, sound is fantastic as well. Want a true no BS Hifi experience? Here ya go. Delivered in a tactful presentation you could give your parents, in-laws, or even as wedding gift that would feel great. Gifts! This is the best gift iem I could ever think of.

Music - The Timbre is perfect for me. The highs seem natural and my music sounds fantastic on it with no eq. With Eq, it’s even better. Just a solid star in my eyes. Imagining might be the strongest of any iem I’ve heard. It’s very fun, and enjoyable. It’s not as fast as some other iems that price more than this, but for others in the price range, it’s very strong. It gave me that magical feeling that you can’t really describe in music and videos.

Pairing: I used a Quidelix 5k and a Topping DX1 on this. Both sounded fantastic. This was also used on the fantastic apple dongle and sounded great as well. I'm not a huge believer in dac or amps changing most headphones, but I also wanted to be transparent about what I used on this iem.

Cons- I’d recommend adding some EQ to this. I enjoy a slight base shelf to many of my iems and headphones. I personally recommend using EQ

This is an easy recommendation for me. It’s a modern Iem that is beautiful and unique. It could easily be more expensive and people could find value based on the presentation and sound. This is my first iem review, and I hope you enjoyed it.
Good review, mate! I like the conversational tone. Good choice of music too.

Edit: I need to hear the dusk one day. My normal Blessing 2 sounds like a sidegrade rather than a true upgrade of these P5.
Thanks, that means the world!
Loved that thoughts on this IEM. When I first got mine, it did take some burn in hours to settle. But once this was over, yes…this $200 IEM made me return my $600 Oracle 2. Can’t promise it will beat all $600 IEMs but it was better than the Oracle in clarity, resolution, comfort, and bass. The law of diminishing returns is a real thing especially in IEMs. I would say after experiencing $20-$600 IEMs, the best IEMs are found in that $200-$300 range.


New Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 5 Review
Pros: Overall balanced sound
Lightweight and comfortable to wear
Mids has good clarity and is very flexible
Imaging has decent retrieva
Cons: Just one actually, the treble and upper mid timbre, that unnatural and metallic sound is something that prevents this gem to truly be loved by me

Sorry for the long delays, I have been very busy at work, and I really don't have time to write a review. I also wanted to keep this simple for now as I don't have enough energy to do some editing. I wanted to clear all my review backlogs, so I am going to review the AFUL Performer 5.

These are the first pair I received from this particular company, and from looks alone, the Performer 5 looks like a very decent IEM. However, this one is sold around the $200 mark; will it be a true performer within this price range?


  • I am not affiliated with AFUL and received no monetary compensation during or after this review. This unit is provided by AFUL in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • I am not a professional reviewer and would only coin simple terms for most beginners, and experts in the hobby to understand.
  • Words taken from this review should be taken with a grain of salt. It's still the best experience to try out the unit when you get the opportunity.


Let's get straight to the packaging. To be honest, for $200, the packaging can do much more. It doesn't feel $200, and the inclusions don't look $200. It feels like I only paid for the IEM itself. Nevertheless, I'm not going to complain further. Despite its cheap inclusions, I admire its simplicity, and the absence of anime gimmicks is something that makes the packaging stand out above the rest.

These are the following inclusions from Performer 5:

AFUL Performer 5 IEM
The IEM is made of resin, it looks glossy, feels lightweight, doesn't feel bulky to wear, and is very comfortable to wear. It also has the Performer 5 label on the IEM and the brand AFUL on the faceplate.

8-core 3.5mm cable
The cable looks good; it has a nice touch of gray, a metallic material used on the pin, splitter, and jack for added durability but with a possibility to rust overtime. The jacks are not modular, unlike some modern Chi-Fi IEMs.

Photo by Remedy Music on Audio Gears because I'm a klutz who got a messy gallery and lost some of my pics

Round-shaped IEM case
The case included is good, nothing to say here, it's a good inclusion to have and fits well in your pockets.

3 pairs of narrow-bored ear tips and 3 pairs of wide-bored ear tips
The tips are very cheap, have an uncomfortable feeling for those who have sensitive skin like me, and I personally would refrain from using them. It's just something you can find on cheaper $30-$50 Chi-fi IEMs.

Some paperworks
Nahh, just some warranty stuff and QR codes you might not even use unless something is totally wrong with your unit.


The bass leaves quite an impact on the ears, but it is not the most powerful one around, that's for sure. The balance between the sub-bass and midbass has good distribution in the lower region. It might be lacking for those who want powerful bass. I, for one, feel like it needs a bit more of that impactful bass to make it truly stand out and sound fun.

The mids have good resolution and clarity. It can be described as flexible and balanced when it comes to midrange because it can be very perfect in any type of vocal. However, I find it rather thin and splashy at times on the upper mids.

The treble is crisp and has a good amount of air. It has decent detail retrieval, and small details can be heard in a song that you won't definitely hear on cheaper sets. However, I don't like how the overall sound from the treble sounds very cheap and unresolving. As I mentioned earlier, it sometimes sounds unnatural and jarring to the ears. As a result, you might hate this pair after longer periods of listening. Despite this flaw, it doesn't have a hint of sibilance, and it's not overly bright, but I hate how a $200 IEM's treble would sound so cheap compared to other competitors on the market.


For $200, the soundstage is on the average side, and while it doesn't fail to deliver, it also doesn't give an overwhelming amount of headroom for those expecting this to have a wide variety of stages and let the sound roam freely in your head. Yeah, no, sorry to disappoint, but it is what it is. For the imaging, I'd say it's not that bad, thanks to the treble's decent detail retrieval and the overall balanced sound of the IEM, instruments and vocals can still be pinpointed around the stage. It's not accurate at times, but it doesn't struggle to deliver sound at its proper locations and does not roam around in a chaotic manner.

  • Overall balanced sound
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Mids has good clarity and is very flexible
  • Imaging has decent retrieval

  • Just one actually, the treble and upper mid timbre, that unnatural and metallic sound is something that prevents this gem to truly be loved by me
In conclusion, I can't say anything exemplary or unworthy of Performer 5. I'd say that they could've done it better with the treble because, believe me, that doesn't sound like a $200 treble. As for the rest, I can say that it did not fail to deliver a balanced and clean sounding IEM. I could recommend this if not for my awful nitpick on the treble. I won't recommend that you blindly buy these pairs because listening to them may require something that you might call an acquired taste. You may not fall in love with it the moment you listen to these two, but given a chance and a decently warm source, it might change your thoughts about it.
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New Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 5: Initial Impressions
Pros: ✅ great tuning and tonality
✅ top-notch layering and separation
✅ melodious bass guitar replay
✅ details, man
✅ not power hungry
Cons: ❌ drums/kick drums a bit relaxed
❌ slow bass replay (cf. pro above)
❌ needs tip-rolling
Quick Take & Initial Impressions


I got the AFUL Performer 5 (hereinafter P5) as part of its Philippine review tour. These are my quick, brief first impressions of this exciting and (relatively) new set of IEMs:



For this first sitting, I used (as per usual) the Aune Flamingo + stock cable + stock tips (initially the red stems), playing Hotel California via Apple Music at 24-bit 192 kHz ALAC. Here are my thoughts while they’re plugged in—

  • tuning is great, tonality is very good, details are really, really nice, replay extension is clinical and precise, particularly bass replay - the start and end (attack and decay?) are distinct, not over-extended (although at times, I feel that the end would seem just a little bit abrupt and not fully extended in some parts of the track)
  • drums are comparatively a bit relaxed but still satisfying; there’s already clear (not just loud) replay even at low to medium volume
  • bass replay is somewhat slower than other IEMs, but layer and separation are top-notch; bass replay is more “melodious” since it sounds more like a string instrument rather than a percussive instrument (if that makes sense), and there’s better nuance in the plucks and notes played compared to other IEMs
  • one niggle would be the slightly different replay of the electric guitar (with the stock red stem tips vs the blue stem ones, see below); not the most natural sounding, but there’s a different tone or timbre there, not exactly SPD-unique but a little bit closer to planar, but with a slight variation in sound presentation
  • I’m surprised that with the level of detail, they’re hardly ever sibilant or too bright—quite controlled treble with nary an instance of peaking
  • there’s a high level of detail here since the first part of the song where the Cabasa is playing in the background; usually, most IEMs would play it with a little bit less detail compared to the second part of the track; the P5 plays that instrument a lot clearer even on the first part of the song, and yes, come the second part of the track, the Cabasa is replayed more clearly compared to most IEMs I have listened to, very percussive and nuanced
  • when I switched to the narrow bore blue stem, the slight unnatural replay of the electric guitar was gone, and the resonance and note extension became more natural and pleasing (not that the previous replay was bad, mind), although the vocals were pushed a bit back, I preferred the sound quality with these tips; I’m not talking about night and day difference and some folks might like the warmer, darker replay of the wide bore red stem tips; I like the additional details provided by the brighter replay of the blue tips, with the level of treble control the P5 has, it can handle extra brightness and still deliver great replay
  • one other surprise (although I’m not 100% sure about the technicalities, and this is definitely not my wheelhouse) was that it didn’t require too much power to drive the tech that’s reportedly inside this pair.

All in all, these IEMs are really good. I plan to compare them with other IEMs that may compete with the P5’s technical performance, like the Mangird Tea OG, the SeeAudio Bravery Red AE, 7Hz Timeless OG, Raptgo Hook X, and AudioSense T800. A longer review to follow. Please stay tuned. 😊

#AFUL #Performer5 #IEMs #MALEAudioReviews


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Headphoneus Supremus
AFUL Acoustics Performer 5: a innovation in iem
Pros: Sound
Cons: Non
Aful Introduction:Aful Acoustics has always targeted a strong and experienced acoustic R&D Team. They have adhered to the simple concept of "Only Real Progress in Technology can bring Tangible benefits to the Consumer". Four Years Ago, AFUL Acoustics was founded to bring a change to the HiFi Audio industry with class-leading IEMs and Headphones at pocket-friendly prices. After painstaking research by the team for over two years, Aful Acoustics matured the basic technology in 2020. Ever since then they have got several different technologies such as EnvisionTEC Medical-Grade 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure, 3D Air-Pressure Balanced Relief Technology, etc. Aful Acoustics has always targeted innovative Acoustic Technologies to produce crisp, high-resolution sound quality with IEMs that outperform the competition by a huge margin. We have always aimed to design quality products that deliver high-end performance while coming at a mid-range price tag.

2. Product Background:Currently, Multi-driver hybrid IEMs are the preferred technical solution for achieving the performance of high-end IEMs. Enthusiasts look for “No Shortcomings” in high-end pairs in all aspects of their preferred sound signature, a multi-driver IEM is easy to tune in that manner with trusted technological innovations. Aiming at top-quality sound performance, a pair has to be designed professionally with ultra-low distortion, proper phase-matching, amplitude-frequency characteristics, top, and lower end extensions, etc. In order to achieve such high-quality sound performance with their products, Aful Acoustics has done a deep R&D and designed some innovative technologies for the upcoming products. With their newly-developed patented technologies, Aful Acoustics has introduced their debutant product, the Performer 5.

3. Product Highlights:performer 5 is designed with high-quality premium features. The pair is designed with a five-driver hybrid configuration housing a dynamic driver and 4 balanced armature drivers. Here are the highlighted features of Performer 5:EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Cavity Structure:After spending three years of in-depth acoustic research and design and electrical design to create an acoustic structure specially designed for high-end IEMs, Aful Acoustics has introduced EnvisionTEC medical-grade 3D printing technology with a high-quality 3D printer specially imported from Germany. Compared to existing premium in-ear monitors, the physical 3D acoustic structure from the EnvisionTEC technology has a precisely matched structure. It houses a 60mm ultra-long and ultra-thin bass tube with a 30mm mid-bass tube promising powerful, deep-hitting bass response and excellent phase connection with the other frequencies. The above-mentioned 3D printed acoustic structure is not possible with any ordinary 3D printer or hand-molding techniques. With proper machinery, we have achieved accurate phase-matching.

High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System:performer 5 is designed with a high-damping air pressure balance system that releases the air pressure inside the ear canal when the pair is worn. It effectively reduces the pressure on the eardrum ensuring a comfortable fit for the users and also improves the bass texture at the same time.

RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology:Usual multi-driver IEMs in the market use standard RC frequency division circuits. Although they perform quite well, they are prone to phase interferences and are usually unable to solve the abnormal frequency response of the pronounced frequency region. To counter this, Aful Acoustics hasdeveloped a new RLC network frequency division technology. It not only allows multiple units to have accurate frequency division but also corrects the non-ideal frequency response of certain frequency bands. For example, Tweeters which are usually adjusted for high-frequency regions are prone to have peaks. With the new RLC network frequency division technology, this non-ideal factor is removed and we have achieved a realistic high-resolution sound quality.

4. Main Characteristics:performer 5 is a debuting product for Aful Acoustics. It has been designed with technological innovations bringing you high-end sound performance at an affordable price tag. The pair has been crafted to match the requirements of most music enthusiasts and brings an impressive performance. The frequency response curve of the Performer 5 is very smooth and there is no trace of distortion in any frequency band. You will be surprised by the clarity and performance of the Performer 5 compared to other such hybrid IEMs that are priced way higher than the set.

5. Main Specifications:Driver Count: Five drivers on each side. Driver Configuration: 1DD+4BA. Impedance: 35Ω. Sensitvitiy: 110dB@1kHz. Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz. Passive Noise Reduction: 26dB. Connectors: 0.78mm 2-pin. Termination: 3.5mm

I have bought my aful from hifigo, here is link from them to buy it :





The Aful Acoustic performer 5 has 8 patent in technology used inside the performer 5 and the sound output that is coming out of it is easily in the $400+ range. The iem scale so easily and sounds different with different setup , so I can say it'll depend all on the source quality for the sound. The look is sexy and reminds me of the monarch from the audio. It was an Iem I want but can't buy because of price 😅.


Treble: the treble is the least unique part being transparent and open with lower treble being smooth but detailed. I haven't heard any distortion and it always sounds natural.

Midrange: the midrange is the star of the show followed by the bass , it is organic and natural and open and detailed not missing anything and it's always beautiful to listen to everything and everytime. Vocals have weight and breath , instrument have texture, and space. Everything stays clear and intact with speed as well.

Bass: the second star of the show being close to basshead but not quite there. Itll depend on recording but if it has bass you'll get wobble the midbass is light but not so much that it'll be thin. Bass is fast too and clean. It has excellent texture as well.

Soundstage: the soundstage is also nice and open always and can get intimate as well depending on recording. But most of the time it's open an holographic and organic. It's always beautiful to listen to.

Build : the fit is like custom iem and size is on the small side not huge like some iems. The shell is used to the maximum for top sound in the size. Faceplate is sexy

Conclusion: the Aful Performer 5 is a killer set for the cheap price of $219 and sound quality will definitely suit a lot of people easily.


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Love the P5. Listening on my desktop the other night with a slight bass boost in the EQ and it was a great experience.
I know , it's awesome and can sound sublime
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I think it's the imaging and the layering and depth of soundstage, also the way the mids just seem to show a bunch of dynamics up through the treble...I dont know what the patents or the circuit boards are doing, but with a little bass EQ, the P5 really opens up. It's very dynamic with that bass slam kicking....I'm using my Schiit Lokius for EQ duties, :)


Headphoneus Supremus
AFUL Performance 5 - Breakthrough
Pros: + Natural and balanced tonality
+ Very good resolution
+ Clean and textured bass response (with right ear tips)
+ Accurate and 3D stereo image.
Cons: - Average to small soundstage
- The shape of the soundstage is sensitive to the audio source
- Bass response is sensitive to ear tips
We, audio geeks, like to think that we are immune to superficial characteristics such as appearance when it comes to audio products. Yet, sometimes, appearance is all we have in the current IEM market, where new products pop up everywhere, like mushrooms.

The appearance was the initial spark of my interest in AFUL Performance 5 (P5). Not only it looks great, its shells greatly resemble another iconic IEM with TOTL performance. When more information arose about all the patents underlying these IEMs, I knew I wanted to get my mitts on a pair.

So, what is it, then? A legitimate disruptor or a pretender to the throne? Let’s discuss P5.



  • I purchase this unit at a discount from Hifigo, following a reference from AFUL. I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Hifigo and AFUL. The product retails (exclusively?) at HiFiGo for USD 220 (around AUD 330 when I purchased)
  • You should treat this review as subjective impressions of an audio geek rather than an “objective truth” about the IEM. Your experience with any IEM would change depending on your DAC/AMP, music library, ear tips, and listening volume.
  • I believe that great IEMs are the ones that can achieve multiple difficult things simultaneously: (1) high resolution (elements of a mix are crisp, easy to follow and full of texture), (2) 3D soundstage with a strong sense of layering and depth, (3) bold and natural bass, (4) natural timbre and balanced tonality that can work with any genre of music.
  • I rate IEMs on the scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding). The scale centres around 3, indicating “average”, “adequate”, or “acceptable” performance. Scores are assigned by A/B tests against benchmark IEMs that represent how each score band sounds.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.


  • Driver: 1DD + 4BA
  • Connector Type: Flushed 2-pin
  • Impedance: 35ohm
  • Sensitivity: 110db@1kHz

Non-sound Aspects​


AFUL Performance 5 comes in a nice cardboard box with a clean and professional presentation. No whimsical Campfire Audio “candy box” presentation, “waifu”, or Fiio-like sci-fi. My first impression was positive.


Inside the box, you will find two layers of custom foams. The upper layer contains the earpieces and the carrying case with the cable coiled up neatly inside. The lower layer includes documentation and ear tips. It appears that some products from AFUL might also come with a dongle of some kind, though nothing was included with my unit.


Let’s talk accessories.

Firstly, the cable is really nice. It strongly resembles the one that comes with Dunu SA6: thick, shiny chrome plugs and black and white cores. No interchangeable plug system was provided, unfortunately. Upon closer inspection, I think the cable (not the hardware) looks like a 4 core black-and-white cable from XINHS.

The case of P5 is quite interesting. Firstly, it’s cylindrical. Secondly, it does not open randomly, yet not difficult for you to open it when you need to. Thirdly, it has a fabric layer to protect your IEM from scratching. Finally, it feels like cold metal when you touch it, yet it sounds like plastic when you tap it with your finger. I like this case.


Let’s focus on the show’s stars, the earpieces themselves. Yes, the face plates look nearly identical to Monarch MkII, even down to the placement of the logo text. What most photos cannot convey is the 3D illusion of these shelves. To me, they are just mesmerising to look at.

The rest of the earpieces is 3D printed in black resin, again similar to Monarch MkII. However, there are three main differences. Firstly, the letters (PERFORMERS) are printed on rather than engraved. Secondly, P5 has distinct “fins” to lock into your ears, resembling the Thieaudio V16 rather than Monarch MkII. Thirdly, the gloss coating on the black resin of P5 is not as good as Monarch II. Before taking photos, I had to wipe down both earpieces to restore their glossiness. Meanwhile, Monarch II remains shiny even after all the handling and listening.

All this talk about Monarch raises an obvious question: are P5 huge like the Thieaudio IEM? Nope. These are smaller than both Monarch II and Blessing 2. In fact, when I saw P5 for the first time in real life, I was reminded of the Dunu SA6 more than the Monarch II.

Before we move on, let’s talk about source pairing. P5 is moderately picky. The good news is that it does not hiss with most devices in my collection, from the humble Nintendo Switch to my desktop setup (Fiio K7). It does not get too loud quickly, like Andromeda 2020. However, P5’s soundstage imaging can change noticeably between DAC and amp setups. So, depending on what you use, you might find P5’s soundstage flat and unremarkable.

How it sounds​

Sources for listening tests:

  • Fiio K7 (for all A/B tests)
  • Shanling M6 Ultra
  • Hidizs S9 Pro
Local FLAC files ripped from CDs or bought from Qobuz were used for most casual listening and A/B tests. However, I don’t shy away from MP3 and YouTube either.

My playlist for A/B tests can be found on Apple Music here.


Tonality and Timbre: 5/5 - Excellent​

Frequency response of P5 against the Monarch Mk.II and Blessing 2, aligned at 500Hz. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.


Tonality or “tuning” is where objectivity and subjectivity meet. Objectivity exists in the squiggly lines above, called Frequency Response (FR) graphs. They are created by sweeping a signal from 20Hz to 20kHz and measuring the corresponding loudness coming from an IEM. Unless a human operator deliberately tampers with the microphone or the data, FR does not care about the price or prestige of an IEM and, therefore, is “objective.”

However, human listeners are not microphones. Our ears and brain interpret the sound and decide whether it is “enjoyable.” It is also beneficial to remember that when you play a note on a musical instrument, multiple sounds (fundamental and harmonic) appear simultaneously and mix together. Achieving a life-like balance between frequencies and adding a tasteful amount of imbalance (“colouring the sound”) is the hallmark of an excellent tonality.

P5 is an accomplished IEM when it comes to tonality. The overall shape of the frequency response shows a nice bass shelf, proper ear-gain boost, nice treble extension, and no alarming peaks or dips. This frequency response translates to a natural listening experience: bass and drums are present, cymbals and hi-hats are easy to follow but not harsh, and vocals and instruments are devoid of strangeness or uncanny feeling. P5 plays well with simple acoustic arrangements (Rasputin cover by Aurora) a full band (e.g., Ed Sheeran’s home concert), and a full orchestra with a choir (e.g., One-winged Angel).


The amount of bass of P5 is perfectly balanced against the midrange (20Hz and 2kHz are roughly at the same level). It means that bass guitars and kick drums will be as audible and emphasised as the leading singers, rather than fading to the background like some “neutral” IEMs, such as Blessing 2. Vocals and instruments also feel a touch warmer with P5.

For instance, with the song Make It Rain, when I adjust the volume so that Ed Sheeran’s voice is at the same level on both P5 and Blessing 2, I can hear more bass guitar and drums with P5. Ed Sheeran’s voice is also thicker and less emphasised with P5 than Blessing 2. So, which one is better? It’s up to you and your taste. I want to hear the whole band together, so I prefer P5.

The bass shelf of P5 extends deep into the sub-bass. It smoothly merges into the midrange at around 400Hz rather than dropping off before the midrange like the Monarch MkII. It means you can hear some “boom boom” in your music, and a slight warmth is added to most vocals and instruments. You wouldn’t find the bass detached from the rest of the music like with Monarch MkII or some true Harman-tuned IEMs. Again, your preference would dictate whether P5’s bass is natural or “bleeding”.


Let’s talk about the ear-gain. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of “ear-gain”, here is a quick rundown: your ears naturally boost the sound around 1kHz and 3kHz to highlight voices and other sounds necessary for survival. Because IEMs bypass your ears and pump sound directly into your ear canals, they must be tuned to boost the ear-gain region to compensate. Failure to do so can make the music feel muddy, “veiled”, or distant. Boosting too much can also lead to all kinds of nastiness. Generally, 8dB to 10dB peaking at 3kHz is a safe choice.


The ear-gain tuning of P5 is very interesting. Usually, IEMs can have a strong peak around 3kHz, which highlights vocal elements and their nuances and is generally detrimental to the rest of the band or orchestra. Alternatively, IEMs can have two peaks around 2kHz and 5kHz with a valley in between. This “cat ears” tuning gives the music a sense of clarity and vibrancy. Still, some nuances and details of vocals, violins, and flutes are slightly masked or “veiled.”

What makes P5 interesting is that it plateaus between 2kHz and 5kHz without any significant peak or dip. This approach is very close to Monarch MkII, and I think it is a clever one to handle ear-gain. You still have clear vocals. You can still hear nuances and details in voices without highlighting them too much. Because the 2kHz and 5kHz are still boosted, you also keep that sense of clarity and vibrancy.


Let’s clarify with the Rasputin cover by AURORA as an example, shall we? With Blessing 2, Aurora and the backing vocals sound fantastic because they are highlighted as if a spotlight has been shone upon them. Sweet, nuanced, romantic, you can use whichever adjective you want. However, the “boundary” between voices and instruments on the soundstage is not very strong. On the other hand, a well-done “cat ears” IEM like Fiio FW5 have tack-sharp separation, but some details in the voice are a bit masked. P5 combines the pros of both IEMs. Vocals are nuanced. The instruments are crisp and separated.


Let’s move up the frequency spectrum, shall we?

Mid-treble (5kHz to around 8kHz) is well done: energetic without unnecessary harshness. For instance, with Eye Of The Tiger, I can easily follow the constant pattern on the cymbals. Each cymbal hit is crisp and sharp and pierces through the mix like a needle without overpowering the rest of the band.

Vocal sibilance is also very controlled, possibly due to the controlled dip around 6kHz. For instance, let’s listen to one of the better ERB. It is full of sibilance-prone sounds, yet I was not bothered by any “sssss” or “shhhh” sound. At the same time, those edgy sounds are still there, giving the music energy.

The upper-treble or air region (above 10kHz), which controls the reproduction of micro details such as reverb, decays, and the overall sense of “space” in the music, is also well done. P5 extends well into 20kHz with a small peak around 15kHz. I don’t hear a sense of “fake” or exaggerated air as with some 64 Audio IEMs, but the treble air is there. For example, with the Flute Partita in A Minorperformance by the Netherlands Bach Society, I can easily hear the flute sound bouncing off in the concert hall. Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of Bach’s Cello Suite 1 is another recording that highlights the “air” of P5.

Conclusion? Well done. Correct and polished. 5/5 - Outstanding.

Resolution, Detail, Separation: 4.5/5 - Very Good​


Resolution is a fascinating subject due to the difficulty of pinning down what it really is. To me, “resolution” can be separated into “macro” and “micro” levels. The “macro resolution” is synonymous with instrument separation. In general, if note attacks are very crisp and precise, musical instruments in a song would be distinctive even when they overlap on the soundstage. The “micro resolution” dictates how many details you can hear at the note tails. Many IEMs are good at macro- but mediocre at micro-resolution. A few are vice versa.

As I alluded to above, P5 is an accomplished IEM regarding resolution. The micro-resolution, such as the texture and the “breath” in the voice of Aurora in her Rasputin cover, is revealed to a high degree, matching good performers like Blessing 2.

The macro-resolution of P5 actually exceeds Blessing 2 in A/B tests, using the excellent One-winged Angel performance by the Game Music Collective. In particular, the “edge” between instruments is more precise, making it easier to follow individual instruments with P5.


How does P5 compare to a top-shelf IEM, such as the Andromeda 2020? The gap is way smaller than you might expect. If I listen to P5 and Andromeda separately, I would likely say, “what’s the difference”. However, in the A/B tests, I can still find a gap. For instance, I can hear more individual voices in the choir of the one-winged angel performance with the Andromeda, even though the Andromeda is tuned with more “mud” and less clarity than P5. The gap in micro-resolution, such as in the voice of Gotye’s somebody that I used to know, is smaller but is still there.

Conclusion? P5 is a resolving IEM. It is slightly above the “good” level represented by Blessing 2 (4/5). At the same time, it is still a bit behind the top ones in A/B tests. Therefore, I rate P5’s resolution 4.5/5 - Very Good.

Percussion Rendering: 4/5 - Good​

Percussion rendering reflects how well the tuning and technical performance of an IEM work together to recreate realistic soundof a drum set. Good drum hits have a crisp attack (controlled by frequencies from 4kHz to 6kHz), full body (midbass frequencies around 200Hz), and physical sensation (sub-bass frequencies around 50Hz). Good technical performance (“fast” driver) ensures that bass notes can be loud yet detailed. IEMs that cannot control bass very well tend to reduce the bass’ loudness to prevent muddiness.

P5’s bass and percussion rendering are good but not unusual or spectacular. Let’s again listen to Eye Of The Tiger. I can hear the entire drum kit easily. Kicks are snappy with a proper sense of rumble rather than hollow “boom boom”. The amount of “boom boom” is not lacking either, so if you don’t like to hear this kind of thumping sound, you might find P5’s bass a bit too much.

The “texture” or details of the bass region is also quite good. For instance, I can hear and distinguish the bass guitar from the kick drums, something that I have a hard time with some IEMs with “textureless bass” like Blessing 2.

I need to emphasise one caveat about P5’s bass response: tips dependence. With the stock tips, I hear a more blunted bass response in line with Blessing 2. Switching to Fiio HS18 tips yields the bass response with the texture and details that I described above.


Another caveat of P5’s bass response is that it is not spectacular. For instance, a properly-driven E5000 can shake your head with its bass rumble whilst remaining snappy and clean. P5’s bass, while not subdued, is never that unusual or outstanding.

Conclusion: 4/5 - Good.

Stereo Imaging (Soundstage): 3.5/5 - Above Average​


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

Soundstage imaging is where P5 stumbles.

Simply put, P5’s soundstage size is, at best, average. Even when instruments are pushed to the far sides of the soundstage, they never seem to come from outside my head. The main vocals and instruments are closed and mostly placed inside my head. In other words, when you listen to P5, you can imagine a ball of sound within your head that rarely extend beyond the boundary.

The saving grace of P5 is how 3D that ball of sound feels. The sound can come from different directions and distances within that small stage. It is generally quite easy to pinpoint where the sound is.


There is one more gotcha with P5 regarding its soundstage imaging: the soundstage size and sense of depth can increase or decrease depending on the DAC and amplifier you use. For instance, when I use P5 with my Hidizs AP80 Pro X, the soundstage is unremarkable and spoils the listening experience. I can hear more depth and layer with my Nintendo Switch, but the soundstage still feels small and closed. With my Topping G5, Shanling M6U, or Fiio K7, the soundstage expands, and the closed-in feeling mostly disappears.

How does P5 compare against an average IEM like Aria? Let’s listen to Vivaldi’s Winter performed by the Voices of Music ensemble. The Aria paints a wide and shallow stereo image, meaning the ensemble does not sound congested. Still, the sense of space and layering of instruments from closer to further away is not there. The stereo image of Aria is also slightly fuzzy.

P5 fixes most of the issues by Aria. The stereo image is sharp. The placement of instruments is identical to the ensemble’s arrangement in the video. For instance, at 6:30, I can hear the soloist in front of the viola. Such accurate imaging creates an additional dimension of information to the music and elevates the listening experience. Of course, you don’t have to listen solely to “high brow” music to benefit from P5’s imaging. Even commercial music sounds better with a good soundstage.

Conclusion? 3.5/5 - Above average, but not a standout feature.

Some Comparisons​

In this section, I compare AFUL Performance 5 with Fiio JD7. You can use my ranking list to compare P5 with others. Due to how I rank IEMs, if two IEMs score the same, they perform more or less similarly.


Why JD7?

Firstly, because it is one of my favourites and if we have ever talked, I have likely brought that IEM up. Secondly, they are the same but different.

By “the same”, I talk about the tonality. In general, P5 and JD7 are pretty similar in terms of the tonality of instruments and vocals and the smoothness of the midrange. However, P5’s mid-treble (cymbals, hi-hats, chimes) is louder than JD7’s.

The first difference between P5 and JD7 is macro-resolution or separation. Simply put, P5 is noticeably better. It presents a crisper stereo image, with more space between instruments. When I listen to large orchestral pieces, P5 allows me to peel the layers of music and follow individual instruments more easily than JD7. Complex recordings are where BA-based IEMs like P5 shine.

Where JD7 triumphs over P5 is the soundstage and the “organic” timbre. For instance, the difference is day and night with the famous Chaconne in the Violin Partita No.2 performed by Itzhak Perlman. P5 presents the music as a small blob of sound in the middle of my head, whilst JD7 opens the stage up, creating the illusion that the violin comes from in front of me in a concert hall. The way JD7 presents the violin is also more “organic” somehow, as if the lack of tack-sharp resolution makes the recording more “real.” These instrument solos are where good single DD IEMs like JD7 trounce BA-based IEMs.

So, which one should you choose? It’s hard to say. At the end of the day, it’s about trade-offs. On the one hand, you have the accuracy and separation of a well-done hybrid IEM. On the other hand, you have the cohesion and “organic” sound of an open-back dynamic driver IEM. I decided to keep both in my daily driver setup.


IEMs are getting seriously good, perhaps because many bright people have been serious about these ear toys. AFUL Performance 5 presents a breakthrough, bringing tonality and technical performance from high-end IEMs down to a reasonably-priced bracket. I was impressed by the tuning, resolution, and accuracy of the stereo image. Whilst P5’s soundstage size left me wanting more, and its sensitivity to sources and ear tips creates some reservation in my recommendation, I still believe that P5 and its creator, AFUL, should be on your radar.

  • Natural and balanced tonality
  • Very good resolution
  • Clean and textured bass response (with right ear tips)
  • Accurate and 3D stereo image.
  • Average to small soundstage
  • The shape of the soundstage is sensitive to the audio source
  • Bass response is sensitive to ear tips

Updated: February 26, 2023
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I was curious!
Love your review, good job! Not a IEM I need myself, but a serious contender in the market for the price.
Nice review. Deep and technical.


100+ Head-Fier
AFUL PERFORMER 5: Prosper and Boldness
Pros: △ Very eye-pleasing and aesthetically gorgeous design on its face plate.
△ Certainly has the best ergonomically UIEM-style shell with smooth contours as it perfectly fits in my lug holes.
△ Amplifies well even on devices with decent power output.
△ Remarkable passive isolation
△ Well-textured and decently clean midrange.
△ Equally balanced distribution of sub bass and midbass.
△ Impressive separation and layering capability.
△ 3-D and holographic-like spatial imaging.
Cons: ▽ BA timbre, this is really my top concern on this set as it occasionally sounds metallic and tinny.
▽ Wishing for better proportion on its soundstage as it is quite average.
▽ Upper-mids needs some tuning refinement.

“Much effort, much prosperity.”

–Euripides, Greek Playwright, One of the fathers of classical tragedian dramas.

So how does that quote connect to the AFUL Acoustics itself? Well, AFUL is a Chinese word for prosperity and can be also translated into the word "affluence" as AFUL Acoustics wants their company to prosper in the midst of a very competitive audio market.

AFUL Acoustics was established in 2018 and under its portfolio they already have substantial numbers of patents and proprietary technology called RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology. Here are some of its principle based on my understanding, drivers has its own distinct frequency response and AFUL put these drivers into a PCB with some complex circuitry. And with this technology, it eases and rectifies the frequency band response of each driver to have a more accurate and gives a well-segmented and smoother frequency response to lessen the occurrences of distortion that might cause some unwanted peaks and inconsistencies. This tech actually piques my interest on how it will benefit the overall listening experience.

With some of their patented technologies, AFUL Acoustic released their first product for the international market, The AFUL Performer 5. Performer 5 is a hybrid driver IEM consisting of 1 dynamic driver and 4 custom balanced armature. Dynamic driver handles the bass response while the 2 BAs probably handles midbass to midrange frequencies then the remaining BAs handle the high and ultra high frequencies. All these drivers are implemented on a RLC tech frequency divider PCB.


The internals are enclosed in a medical-grade resin shell moulded via 3D printing by EnvisionTec and it has acoustic tube channels for its specific frequency range from the drivers and there is also a special air pressure vent to give a deeper and more slam on the low frequency. It has a copper- orange coloured face plate that reminds me of a colourway of planet Jupiter, then slanted brand logo at bottom. Performance 5 takes a more conventional UIEM shape with stabilising fin which is a proven design as it rests well in my concha. Good thing that AFUL decided to use a standard 2-pin connector which is a more logical choice for easing cable swapping.


When it comes to fitting and comfort, Performer 5 is probably one of the best as it perfectly snugs well into my lug holes without issues as I can wear them for a long listening session. It also has a good passive isolation as it manages to block some external noises from the outside.


Regarding on its product packaging, AFUL did a laudable decision to make the unboxing experience on the Performer 5 is quite very satisfying. The packaging box is of medium size with an illustration of the product at the front and basic specifications and some QR codes on their social media pages at back. It has substantial included accessories and here are the following contents:

■ Pair of AFUL Performer 5 IEMs.

■ A thick 8-core Bi-coloured OFC SPC cable with a 3.5mm termination plug.

■ 3 pairs of narrow-bored ear tips of different standard sizes.

■ 3 pairs of wide-bored ear tips of different standard sizes.

■ Round-shaped metal IEM case.

■ Some paperwork like instruction manual and QC/Warranty card.

■ a makeshift IEM stand.


Despite being a multi-driver IEM, Performer 5 is an easy to drive set that amplifies well on multimedia devices like smartphones and tablets which has decent power output that delivers an impressive level of amplitude and full range dynamic sound.


As for tonality, AFUL Performer 5 has a mild U-shaped sound signature as it has more emphasis on bass and treble with substantial textured midrange. It is more leaning on being balanced-warmish sounding.


Here's my observations on its overall sound characteristics within its sonic spectrum.


Performer 5 has a sufficient punchiness and decent slam but it is somehow lacking in depth and texture especially for a dynamic driver but at least both sub bass and mid bass are balanced and evenly distributed.

On sub bass, it has a satisfying rumble and reverb when I played some tracks with electronic drums, synthesisers and low tone bass guitar. As I mentioned previously regarding its inadequate texture, it really affects the sound characteristics of the mid bass subjects such as bass guitars, bass drum kicks and bass-baritone vocals. Bass guitars have a rasping and sustaining sound but it's a tad hollow in my ears, bass drum kicks have that enough thudding and resonant sounding but on a duller side. Bass vocals seems less dark, less guttural as it quite too smooth and mellow on my liking but there are some low baritones vocals especially the lyrical ones has a decent authority and rather light sounding.

Certainly that this type of bass quality will not satisfy overly bass heads out there. Even a non-bass head listener like me thinks that the bass on this one is rather a peculiar case.


Performer 5's midrange seems to have a balanced texture, a hint of warmth, sufficient clarity and at least clean sounding. As for vocal qualities of both gender, due to small amount of warmth, male vocals has an ample texture as it gives a smooth and flexibility on some baritone-level vocals, a rather weak and soft on countertenors when they belting out some falsettos (take note on Gackt's vocal on Au Revoir track) and a rather warmer , lighter and ringy take on tenor as it isn't that robust and rich as I listen on Pavarotti and the three tenors but Freddie Mercury (even he is baritone but he can reach tenor) and Prince on portrayal of their respective vocal prowess seems perform pretty well. Female vocals on Performance 5 are indeed expressive and captivating as I point out on different vocal types. Contralto vocal type on which majority of modern pop singers are usually dwell on this level, has a warmer, smokey and lilting sound with likes of Annie Lennox and Karen Carpenter while rarer dramatic contralto like Tracy Chapman has a distinct huskiness and darker tone. On mezzo-sopranos, it has a velvety and luscious sound that is mesmerising like Andrea Corr and Dolores O' Riordan of The Cranberries. And last ones were sopranos, lyrical sopranos like Alison Krauss has this angelic and captivating vocals while Tarja has the fuller range, provocative and energetic sound. Coloratura soprano ones seem to perform well as they have shimmering, light and crystalline vocals like Diana Damrau but there are some issues that I will point out later.

Instruments like strings and woodwinds are more prominent on this one as it gives a more crisp and lingering sound on both acoustic and electric guitars, a metallic and a tad shrilly on violins. On woodwinds, saxophones do have brilliant and reedy sound while flutes seem to have a penetrating and also brilliant sound too. Brass instruments like trombone and trumpets, the prior instrument has this intensity and eruptive sound then a shrilly and a tad vivid on the latter one. As for percussives, tom drums sound sort of having this hard hitting and a bit boomy characteristic, Snare drums have the penetrating and sharp sounds on every strike and pianos seems to have a vibrant and warmer sound though it occurs sometimes that it has a brighter tone, which is quite too exaggerated sounding.


This actually gives me some deeper thoughts on how I would describe the treble quality of Performer 5. There's an elevation on the upper-mids which give a sufficiency of sheen and sparkle to exhibit details but due to that BA timbre that I noticed immediately, It overemphasises the timbre of some instruments and vocals especially on sopranos that sound too excessive that cause the blaringly sounding and dissonant in my hearing. And then a perceivable fine depression to sound a bit smoothen and even out some jarring and peaks which probably lessens the sibilance which is remarkable enough.

It gives a sufficient shimmer and sizzle on cymbals and a shortened dull sound of hi-hats to have that distinct "chick" sound. It is noted that it has fairly airy extension on its brilliance region with ample amount of harmonics.


Its overall soundstage dimensions are rather average but wide bore will help it at least to improve and deliver an above average on wideness but still not spacious enough. It has decent height reach and good depth though that it gives at least a decent head room.

The imaging aspect of this set is quite impressive as it gives me a 3D-like spatiality in which I am able to pinpoint the placements of instruments and vocals. It has good separation of the elements and finer distinction on layering capability either frequency or individual dynamics layering within its sonic canvas.

For resolution capability, it certainly have a substantial texture on macro-dynamics and a good micro-detail retrieval as I was able to pick up some subtleties and nuances of data and it clearly has a sharp and edgy definition that will please the ears of detail lovers.

Coherency-wise, it is rather mundane as the dynamic driver seems a tad less nimble that doesn't suit well with the high performance of its BAs, it doesn't mean that it has slow response and transients as it has moderate speed but it will not give that cohesive performance to make it a spectacular one. As for tonal colour, it does have this BA timbre that it exhibits a metallic sound that gives a bit less natural tonality.


See Audio Yume Midnight

■ Both have similar profiles, from being a hybrid driver set to product packaging. Yume Midnight has a carbon-fibre aesthetic on its face plate and it uses a proven and more premium Knowles balanced armature on its internals while Performer 5 uses an unspecified model of balanced armature.

■ As for sound signatures of each device, they are quite contrasting in one another, Yume Midnight takes a more balanced-neutral sound profile while Performer 5 is more of a mild-U shaped sound. Compared to Performer 5, it has a tad leaner texture but it has more solid bass, a more neutral and cleaner midrange and more refinement of treble.

■ As for the technical aspect, Yume Midnight apparently has a wider staging and is a bit spacious. It also has an immersive 3D like spatial imaging and superb separation and fine layering of frequencies and distinct dynamics of elements like Performer 5 though its has better coherency and less BA timbre

LETSHUOER X Gizaudio: Galileo

■ Galileo has a similar implementation on its transducers but has a lone BA driver compared to 4's on Performer 5. The said lone BA driver on Galileo is a full range sounding and more premium one, Sonion. Both have an appealing and beautiful aesthetic resin shells and product presentation with its inclusions are on par.

■ Regarding its tonality, Galileo has a balanced-neutral sound profile that has outstanding midrange quality in its class as it is transparent, clean and textured. It has a more refined bass response but it has a lack of treble air compared to Performer 5. Somehow it has a noticeable smoother treble too.

■ Technicalities are rather interesting on this one as they are quite a reverse, Galileo has a better soundstage dimensions as it is more spacious but less impressive layering definition while Performance 5 has a narrower soundstage and yet a more impressive separation and layering. Timbre is more refined on Galileo as it doesn't have a BA timbre and sounds more organic.

The surprising year-end release of AFUL Performer 5 took the global portable audio community by storm with its beautifully-crafted and well-built IEM with some reviewers attesting to its well-balanced tuning and performance that punches above its price.

For me as an amateur portable audio reviewer that also favours either all-BA sets or hybrid driver set-up IEMs and also possesses a considerable collection of IEMs with the said set-up. I even tested some of the best mid rangers and TOTLs IEMs on a hybrid driver set-up form factor in the past that I can certainly rationalise my statement on my fair assessment and constructive critique on the AFUL Performer 5.

Performer 5 has a lot of potential to be the best IEM within its price range but those inherent issues like BA timbre, uneven upper mids to presence treble that need some refinement and in most cases, a confined sound/speaker stage will be its weakest points that hinders its overall performance. If AFUL Acoustics manage to rectify these issues on the next batch or in a modified variant. It will be probably the best product in its price segment and will also punch above its price that even more expensive sets will tremble.

Another thing is if you came from an under US$100 IEM with just ordinary and mediocre tuning with underwhelming technical capabilities, will Performer 5 be considered to be an upgrade on those ear gears? For me, it's affirmative in most cases.

AFUL Performer 5 is now available at HIFIGO. If you are interested in purchasing this set, Just click the link below, I can rest assured that it's not an affiliated link.




PLUG TYPE: 3.5mm

Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*


I am not affiliated to AFUL ACOUSTICS nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to HIFIGO especially to MS. YUMU SONG and MS. LVY YAN. And I also say thanks to NEIL NIÑO CLARK a.k.a @koyawmohabal for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate their generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.

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@szore I use them for over a week. 8 hrs of listening per day. I don't usually do some burn-in process to be honest.
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There is something about the sound on the P5 that is intoxicating....
Great review!

If these ones have larger soundstage, they would be a sensible end game, no joke. The imaging is quite accurate, but the stage size is just meh.


New Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 5
Pros: Lightweight shells with an ergonomic design
Good Tonal Balance
Cons: Vocals tend to lack nuance
Stock cable makes it sound dull and boring.
AFUL Performer 5


The AFUL Performer 5 (or AP5 for short) was sent to me by HiFiGo.com as part of a review tour in exchange for my honest opinion. I am neither paid by nor affiliated with HiFiGo or the brand in any way and have no incentive whatsoever, for writing anything positive or negative about the IEM. The views shared in this article are my personal views based on the week or so I spent with AP5.

Here’s the link to purchase the AFUL Performer 5 from HiFiGo:


Although I had not heard of AFUL Acoustics prior to this review, the brand has been around since 2018. They seem to have multiple patents registered to their name. The Performer 5 is their latest offering priced at about 200 USD. Let us have a look at the features and specs of the AP5.



  • Five-driver hybrid configuration.
  • 1 Powerful Dynamic Driver for lower-end.
  • Four High-Performance Customised Balanced Armature Drivers (2 for mids, 2 for highs).
  • EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure.
  • High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System.
  • RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology.
  • Ergonomic & Lightweight.
  • Unique designer face covers.

Technical Specifications:

  • Impedance: 35Ω.
  • Sensitivity: 110dB@1kHz.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz.
  • Passive Noise Reduction: 26dB.
  • Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm.
  • Termination: 3.5mm

The AP5 is surprisingly light in terms of weight thanks to the resin shell. The shape is comfortable overall, hence making it suitable for longer listening sessions without fatigue. The faceplates are quite good-looking and reminded me of the QoA Mojito. Unlike the Mojito, however, the AP5 shells are black in color while the faceplate has a fancy pattern with a glossy finish. Since the earpieces are 3D printed, the AFUL Performer 5 has quite a solid build quality. The unit I received was unboxed, hence, I cannot really share anything related to the unboxing experience. The IEM comes with a basic set of accessories such as a 3.5mm single-ended cable (2-pin) and 6 pairs of silicon tips. The stock cable is perhaps the most disappointing aspect IMO. The cable is well built as such, but the sound character of the cable makes the AP5 sound a bit too dull and boring. Swapping cables made a significant difference as it opened up the treble region, making it sound a bit more sparkly.


For the purpose of this review, I’ve tried listing to the AP5 with a Kinera Dromi cable (4.4mm bal termination) with JCally AP90, and FiiO UTWS-5. I tried rolling a few tips and chose to go with the AZLA Sedna EarFit Vivid ear tips.

Sound Impressions:

The AP5 has 4BAs and 1 DD configuration. The signature is quite neutral with a hint of a boost in the sub-bass region. The bass response is good with decent weight but I’d prefer something with a little more slam, especially in the mid-bass region. In terms of bass speed, the AP5 bass is mediocre at best. However, since there’s no bass bleed, the bass response overall is acceptable.

The mids are quite neutral, but the AP5 lacks nuance in this region. The mids seem too flat and fail to invoke emotion. Tracks like “Aankhon Mein Raho – Company” seem outright boring on the AP5.


The treble region is quite smooth and there’s a bit of a roll-off here, which may make it sound dark. Here again, the AP5 seems to be a little dull (especially with the stock cable and tips). All in all, the AP5 has gone with a very safe tuning and although it lacks nuance, the overall tonal balance is surprisingly good. The AP5 has an intimate and narrow soundstage and the detail retrieval is acceptable for the price range.


The safe tuning and lightweight earpieces of the AP5 make it a suitable candidate for long listening sessions. However, if one is looking for more bass slam or more detail along with a wide soundstage, the AP may not be the right choice.

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Thank you for the succinct review

I havE been looking to buy them. I am confused if I should buy them or not. Many say the bass isnt of good quality, some say the treble isnt well done. So a bit confused.

This will be my first expensive iem purchase so I am trying to take a very careful approach.

Do you have any other iem suggestion at this price point ?
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Well TBH, as mentioned in the review, I felt this one sounded dull and boring with the stock cable. This could be because balanced cables usually tend to improve dynamics and sound stage. If you're willing to spend on an upgrade cable this one might be worth it.

Else, I'd suggest placing your bets on something safer like the SeeAudio Yume II which sounds great out of the box. 🙂
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New Head-Fier
AFULly vibrant, clean, and precise
Pros: Great bass response
Coherent sync of drivers
Lively and vibrant sound
Awfully clean and precise
Prominent mids
Detail monster
Easy to drive but loves more power
Cons: Mids being forward has a tendency to hotness. Trumpets in particular
Sound stage could have been wider

AFUL is another new player in the audio community. Well at least for me. It is the first time I’ve heard of them. In the writing of this review, Performer5 has been receiving a lot of love. For the sake of simplification, I will call it P5.

AFUL has a lot of patents and frankly, I am no sound engineer and the explanation of these techs left me clueless. I am more of a sound guy, a gigging musician, and we will focus on that. Sound good? I hope so. LOL

This is a touring unit and 4-5 more reviews are behind me and they will probably justify the job of explaining the technicalities that AFUL has put in P5. Moving on…


  • The gear on hand has undergone at least 10-15 hours of use before it was assessed.
  • No EQ is ever applied in my reviews.
  • For the sake of convenience, I try my best to use a stock setup. Not everyone has access to personal ear tips or cables. If personal ear tips, cables, or accessories are used, you will be notified.
  • As I try to be objective, my claims inevitably will be subjective and biased to my personal preference. I cannot stress more that you should take this with a grain of salt for we have different perceptions to sound and what we hear.


Configuration: 1 x Dynamic driver, 4 x Balance Armatures

Impedance: 35ohms

Sensitivity: 110db

Freq response: 5hz - 35khz


P5 came with a medium-sized box. Very simple in design with specifications indicated at the back. Nothing fancy here. Inclusions are below:

  1. a pair of P5
  2. a cable that is available in 3.5mm and 4.4mm termination
  3. a metallic circular protective case
  4. documentations
  5. 6 pairs of ear tips

Concerning ear tips, I am accustomed to wide and narrow bores and I was quite surprised to find only one kind. I go for wide bores usually. Though the stock tips are not that narrow, they are not that wide. It plays around in the middle in terms of bore size. What I notice is the stiffness of the stems of the ear tips. Nonetheless, I did go for the M size. They are blue and red in color and since it was only one kind, I decided to use the blue ones for the left driver, and the red for the right driver.

Ok buckle up and let us talk about the sound!


  • Questyle QP2R
  • LG V30 quad dac with Centrance Dacport via Hiby Music app
  • LG V30 quad dac with IFI Hip Dac v2 via Hiby Music app
  • MacBook pro 2011 with Centrance Dacport via Foobar
  • MacBook pro 2011 with IFI Hip Dac v2 via Foobar
  • Tidal Masters and Qobuz Studio


What greeted me on the first listen and remained consistent is how clean and fast the sound presentation of P5. Adjectively fun, lively and energetic. It is a W-shaped sound signature to my ears, and the mids play a big role in this assessment. Let’s break it down.

The lows gave a good punching and attack. Mid-bass focused and has an adequate reach on the sub-levels that portrayed good rumbling. Simply, lows have a substantial elevation but are not quite on a bass head level still. Highly defined and detailed. Micro details like the vibration of bass guitar’s string and the batter of drum kicks hitting the skin are heard every now and then. Lows are fun to listen to and will give you a good nod, especially on modern tracks. Classic tracks like Alan Parson’s Project sounded very tight and thumpy without any bloat. It is like a good knocking on the door. Thudding and snappy.

Mids are prominently forward (which falls right down my alley) making P5 a mid-centric set. Snappy, fast, and with fast attack and transients resulting in a clean and precise presentation of many elements like pianos, rhodes, vocals, guitars, organs, woodwinds, and many more. Note weight and density is admirable and did not sound thin or lacking. Tonality and timbre are spot on and did not sound artificial or synthetic.

One caveat though. The forwardness can sometimes be overwhelming. At times, it feels like a bit too much information is being fed to me and I don’t know what to listen to or follow. Do take note this is just a nitpick. The mids are still something to love and desire.

Another thing I want to point out is upper mids can sometimes be hot. Not sibilant but hot. It’s a Long Way to the Top by Ac/Dc has these bagpipes at the middle of the song that can get irritating. I confirmed by comparing P5 to my Audeze Sine that indeed, P5 has that elevation on the upper mids that has a tendency to hotness.

Sparkly, airy, detailed, and open is what I can say about the trebles with excellent control. Bells, cymbals, and hi-hats are well-defined and very crisp and transparent. Xylophones, marimbas, kalimbas, and brass sections are very energetic and full of life. Deprived of sibilance and not fatiguing to listen. Not the brightest set I’ve heard but micro and macro details are prominently present to be heard. Trebles still shine even with warm sources and even crispier with neutral sources.

Now concerning BA timbre, the P5 by far is one of the most natural-sounding hybrid set I’ve heard. Personally, it surpasses my Kinera Idun Golden and Seeaudio Bravery red edition in terms of being organic. My jazz tracks sounded real to life and so far, I have no recollection of it sounding artificial.

Conclusively, P5 performed beyond my expectations and sounded outright excellent and proper in all aspects of the frequency spectrum. As a neutralist that I am, P5 still performs right up my alley and preference. P5 deserves applause from me and is worthy to be sitting amongst my top IEMs.


Technical capabilities are one thing I have emphasized in judging audio gears. And being a musician plays a huge role in my conclusion. Being constructive in my job is a nature I can’t shake. Diving deeper…

Let’s start with the weakest link. Sound stage. Right off the bat, P5 gave me an intimate staging. It reminded me of Seeaudio Bravery OG. I have stated in my reviews before that having an intimate sound stage has its pros for me. It is very constructive when I’m breaking down songs and deciphering chordal harmonies. Simply, the closer the sound is to my ears, the easier it is to be deciphered. Makes sense?

On the other hand, having a sound stage this intimate gives me a sense of an overwhelming impression. At times, complex tracks seemed too much information being fed to me. It is not fatiguing to listen to but it is fatiguing to process. This is a nitpick and not a deal breaker for me and purely my subjective take on sound stage.

Now, with an intimate sound stage, some elements struggle to shine especially those that need to be prominent. P5 surpassed this dilemma and in fact with the track Maputo by Bob James and David Sanborn, P5 performed well with good balance. Let me explain a little further. On this track, pianos, rhodes, guitars, and synthesizers are present. On top of that, the main melody is a saxophone played by David Sanborn. On the time stamp where the solos are playing, it amazed me and what I heard are elements randomly going forward and back and never overlapping the main melody which is the saxophone. In a phrase, the piano will shine because the part was supposed to shine then back off after that and let the saxophone shine again. And it happened with the guitars too and synthesizers. I will not dive into the tech that is making this possible but there is something special in this give and take nature of the P5. So the narrow sound stage is not a deal breaker if you are into wide stage.

Imaging is pinpoint and accurate as hell and well placed. I just reviewed the Bqeyz Winter before this and both are exceptionally accurate and the elements are a breeze to follow. It doesn’t struggle with complex tracks and instruments are highly discernable.

Speed is one of the strengths of P5. Attack and decay are quite fast and snappy resulting in a very precise and clean sound presentation. Polyphia with their bombarded instruments and insanely fast-paced guitars are very easy with P5 and succeeded without breaking a sweat.

Separation is favored over layering and I think it is because of the narrow sound stage I explained above. Once again, every element has its own domain, and bleeding or muddiness was never encountered with P5.

Conclusively, technicalities all passed with flying colors for me making P5 more than capable to handle anything you throw at it. Clean and precise are the perfect words to describe its technical prowess.


Comfortability is very high and no physical fatigue is present with P5. The shells are very light and easily disappear once worn.

A minor concern with the tips though. The ear tips are very stiff and if you are accustomed to wide bore and soft tips, the stock tips will give a little bit of discomfort. I find the stiff tips perfect for the sound making P5 sound full and rich. Using a softer tip will decrease the punchiness and soften the overall sound making the P5 less lively and energetic.

This is purely subjective and you are welcome to use your own tips. Go and explore to your heart's content.


vs Kinera Idun Golden 2.0 ($169)

  • P5 lows have more weight and punch. More prominent.
  • P5 sounded more fun and engaging
  • Sound stage is wider with Idun by a hairline
  • Technical capabilities are on par
  • Both have that edgy and precise sound presentation
  • Idun still is closer to being neutral having a leaner sound signature
  • Both are natural and organic
  • Imaging goes to P5

Conclusively, P5 is more engaging and fun to listen to. Idun’s sound signature is not for everyone given its almost neutral nature. P5 is easier to appreciate. But Idun will serve as a better option for monitoring, mixing, and be used as a reference for neutrality.

vs Seeaudio Bravery Red ($299)

  • P5 lows are more prominent. Has more weight.
  • Trebles are airier with P5.
  • Both have good extension and reach on top.
  • Layering and separation are almost on par.
  • P5 appeared louder on the same volume level.
  • Mids are more forward on P5.
  • Sound stage seems wider with Bravery.

Conclusively, P5 reminded me of the OG Bravery. The red edition of Bravery sounded more mature and leaner. While both portrayed good technicalities, Bravery wins with a cleaner sound due to its leaner sound signature. Both are fun to listen to with P5 having the richer sound presentation.

vs Audiosense DT300 ($179)

  • Both are closely similar in sound on the lows.
  • Mids and trebles are more open with P5. DT300 sounded warmish.
  • Both are nicely natural and organic in tonality and timbre.
  • Treble sensitives will favor DT300.
  • P5 has a more edgy and aggressive attack. DT300 sounded softer.
  • P5 has more defined drum kicks.
  • Mids of DT300 are lusher and richer hence making DT300 catered for mid-centrics.
  • Sound stage goes to DT300.
  • Both are technically capable. P5 having a slight upper hand.

Conclusively, P5 is edgy and has that faster attack in sound, and DT300 is more softer and relaxed. It surprises me actually for a full BA configuration set (DT300) to be softer in sound presentation. It will now fall to personal preference. P5 being the aggressive set, DT300 the softer choice. Both are very engaging and natural sounding.


That’s the way of the World by EWF

Africa by TOTO

The Girl in the Other Room by Diana Kral

Balmorhea album All is wild, All is Silent

Sila by Sud

Smooth Escape by D’Sound

Never too Much by Luther Vandross

P.Y.T by Michael Jackson

Ain’t no Sunshine by Eva Cassidy

Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC

Another one bites the Dust by Queen

Good times bad times by Edie Brickell

Alice in Wonderland by Bill Evans

Ain’t it Fun by Paramore

Redefine by Incubus

Far Away by Nickelback

Lovesong by Adele

Lingus by Snarky Puppy

Harvest for the World by Vanessa Williams

Love Bites by Def Leppard

No Such Thing by John Mayer

As by Stevie Wonder

Whip Appeal by Babyface

Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan

Futures by Prep

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

Every Summertime by NIKI

SADE tracks

AC/DC tracks

Queen tracks

And many more… I always listen to High-resolution format, being the least quality 16bit/44khz FLACS be it offline or online.


Putting it bluntly, there is no doubt that P5 is one of the honorable mentions of 2022. A great release before the year ends. A fun and engaging IEM with impeccable attack making everything sound precise. Accuracy is also its strength. The only caveat I have is having a narrow or intimate sound stage.

I have also mentioned above that with its mids having a forward nature, sometimes is too much to process. This is speaking for the purpose of breaking down songs.

Nonetheless, everything sounded right and proper to my ears and if I will have that extra $219, I will definitely pull the trigger on this one.

I can safely say that P5 is also constructive for musicians and vocalists or anyone in the music business. The casual listener and the hard-core audiophile will not find it hard to love the P5.

Coming from an unfamiliar company, AFUL, this is a surprise for me. AFUL (not a wise choice for a name actually) will be under my radar from here on out. They have patents on their techs and I’m really looking forward for their future releases. Maybe something for the budget consumer will be a wise move.

Even then, the asking price is much justified by its performance and I honestly think the P5 is a very competitive IEM in its price bracket.

I would like to give thanks to HIFIGO for sending this unit as a tour to us here in the Philippines and to a co-reviewer Neil Nino Clark for facilitating the tour.

That’s a wrap and thank you for reading! Again, love the music more than the gear! Cheers, and catch you on the next one!

PRICE: $219​

Purchase links:






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Last edited:
Thanks for the review.

1. I wanted a neutral sounding iem with a bit of bass boost while not losing details too much. Or do you think there is any other which fits my description at this price range?

2. You say its an honorable mention for 2022, what iems did you love in 2022?

3. And what are your personal favorite iems that you use daily ?
@tubbymuc sorry i didnt notice your comment earlier.

1. The aful is not a neutral sounding set. This might not be for you. The bass will come in too aggresive for your taste i think. I can recommend the Bqeyz Winter for you.

2. My favorite iems for 2022 is the Bqeyz Winter, Seeaudio Bravery red/blue. And my closest to neutral set the Kinera Idun Golden. But you want some bass boost so Idun might serve you dry sound.

3. My top choice is the Bqeyz Winter. I just got the Tangzu Heyday and I'm quite fond of it. Neutral sound with mid bass focus. Very technical and rich in details. On second thought, I think the Tangzu Heyday will serve you well and fall right into your preference.

Thank you for the reply


New Head-Fier
Fun IEMS at 200USD Mark!
Pros: Easy to drive
Great isolation
Fits well
Balanced tonality
Build quality
Cons: Fingerprint magnet
Timbre might be off rarely
Soundstage might not be for everyone
A CIEM-like design might cause some pain for very small ears
Disclaimer: This is a subjective preference based on my experiences with the unit. This is an unpaid review which is not influenced by HiFiGo or AFUL. However, I recommend you test the unit before making a purchase. Thank you to HiFiGo for organising this review tour.

Product link: AFUL Performer5 1DD + 4BA IEMs — HiFiGo

About the Unit:
Performer 5 is a brand new five-driver hybrid set of in-ear monitors from AFUL Acoustics. The pair houses a combination of a powerful dynamic driver and four high-performance balanced armature drivers on each side tuned precisely using in-house developed RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology. AFUL Acoustics has featured ergonomic and lightweight ear shells with uniquely textured face covers. With several different patented technologies from AFUL Acoustics, the Performer 5 is made to deliver a quality performance for its listeners with impressive sound delivery. (Source: HiFiGo)

Features of AFUL Performer 5:
  • Five-driver hybrid configuration.
  • 1 Powerful Dynamic Driver for lower end.
  • Four High-Performance Customised Balanced Armature Drivers (2 for mids, 2 for highs).
  • EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure.
  • High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System.
  • RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology.
  • Ergonomic & Lightweight.
  • Unique designer face covers.

Technical Specifications:
  • Impedance: 35Ω.
  • Sensitivity: 110dB@1kHz.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz.
  • Passive Noise Reduction: 26dB.
  • Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm.
  • Termination: 3.5mm
  • Package Weight: 0.5kg

My Experience with the Unit:
: Aful Performer 5 to me is neutrally tuned with a bass boost. It mainly focuses on the sub-bass rather than the mid-bass. Lows are clear with minimal distortion even at higher volumes. They don’t bleed into mids and have good cohesion. On some tracks, I might have felt bass lacked a little energy and punch.

Mids: Midrange is neutral and very straightforward, but sometimes might lack energy on some tracks. Overall, the mids are balanced which doesn’t sound on your face nor be recessive to be heard and are suitable for longer listening sessions.

Highs: Treble is not sparkly might be due to the less air and there’s zero sibilance whatsoever. However, you might feel that the lower treble is smooth and the upper is a little darker. Overall, highs are smooth and have good cohesion with mid and low ranges despite being a multi-driver architecture.

The review is based on using Roon (Offline FLACs) as a source via laptop onto an Audio Quest Cobalt at the same volume level for all tracks. Please keep in mind that I have used the stock cable and tips with the unit.

Tracks used for this review
  • Wow by Post Malone
  • Carry On by XXXTentacion
  • Jiya Jale by AR Rehman
  • Moh Moh Ke Dhaage by Anu Malik
  • Street Dancer by Avicii
  • One Kiss by Calvin Harris
  • Get Low by Dillion Francis and DJ Snake

Conclusion: AFUL Performer 5 is a great IEM at 219 USD with a solid build/design. It fits well (at least for me with small ears), with good isolation and balanced tonality. I might say a little more refinement and exciting sound would make it ideal. Nevertheless, a solid deal for the price if you are not into technicalities.
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Inoffensive & Sonically Satisfying Monitor (at Any Desirable Loudness Level)
Pros: Engaging tuning
Good resolution
quite Coherent as a hybrid
Minimal BA timbre
Near-holographic imaging
Large headroom
Good accessories & build quality
Cons: Lacking clarity
Blunted note definition
Might get slightly congested in busy passages

Tonality: 6.6/9
Technicalities: 6.6/9
Preference: 7/9
Overall: 6.7/9 (A-)

(star rating is for the price-to-performance ratio)

(total 6 mins read)
As we have heard, there’s a new rather good-looking kid on the block making noise and all but mind you, this is not a common kid. First of all, I want to give a warm welcome to AFUL in this never-ending quest for sonic ecstasy. I believe it’s always a good thing to see new competitors in the market every now and then, especially the ones that bring “new tech” or new sound to the table, because most of the time, new is always better.

AFUL claimed that they have the latest technologies that “break through the sound quality barriers of the traditional hybrid design” with their firstborn Performer 5. There are mouthfuls of designs and patents that played a part in the production of Performer 5 after 3 years of research and innovation. Usually, I don’t really bother about the long story behind a product, but I find it’s rather nice for companies to be transparent and bold. But the same question remains, how good is Performer 5?


(Packaging & Accessories)
As a new company, it's evident that AFUL studied the market to be as competitive with the offerings of their debut product. Performer 5 comes in well-constructed minimal packaging with the expected standard of accessories consisting of 6 pairs of silicone ear tips, a circular hard carrying case, and a good quality 8-core single-ended cable except for foam tips.

The build quality is very good with a relatively small shell size, and they are quite light in weight. It's all 3D printed including some special air pressure & damping designs, and I can confirm that I have no issues regarding the fit and comfort every time I put them in my ears. They are really comfortable but as we all know, one mileage may vary.


Configuration: 1DD + 4BA
Frequency response: 5Hz – 35kHz
Sensitivity: 110dB @ 1kHz
Impedance: 35 Ω

(Source pairing)
Tidal via Windows -> Topping EX5
Foobar2000 via Windows -> Topping EX5
Apple Music via iPhone 6s -> with/without Cayin RU6
Tidal / Apple Music via LG G7 -> with/without Cayin RU6 / Hidizs S9 Pro / Ovidius B1
Apple Music via MacBook Pro
FiiO X1

*Please note that I used everything stock for this review for 2± weeks of listening time. My preferred signature is neutral with or without a bass boost, but truly I'm a signature agnostic when it comes to gear review.

AFUL P5.png

measurement graph courtesy of Gizaudio (normalized at 1000Hz)

Signature & Presentation
On paper, the sound signature of Performer 5 can be described as neutral with a bass boost that emphasizes the sub-bass that glides smoothly to the mid-bass and with a sort of “polite” pinna gain. It could be described as mild V-shaped depending on one’s sensitiveness to the treble but it’s virtually not quite Harman.

On subjective listening, while it boasts a great rumble, it’s surprisingly great at delivering punch and slam too. 2 of the best (preference) bass aspects combo that’s rarely found in IEM, particularly in this price range. I guess the frequently-talked-about technologies behind it are working, and I can confirm that they work well as a unit. From my observation, this kind of neutral tuning makes the whole frequency spectrum appear more even and closer relative to loudness while having a good note weight and warmth. Instruments also appeared closer to each other in the mix.

A potent bass response has been my not-so-recently adopted criteria in music reproduction gears after being a moderate "neutral head" for the most part of my head-fi years. This “potent” bass must include a good amount of sub-bass rumble while not discarding the required amount of mid-bass kick & punch together with good texturing and agility without disturbing the melody lines. For the asking price, I could say that Performer 5 does all this with flying colors and in an effortless manner especially for energetic drum-forward music, though the transition between the mid-bass to the midrange may get a bit congested on busy passages sometimes, such can be heard in Don Caballero's "Don Caballero 3".

1991’s Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy” starts off with a sort of sub-bass boosted kick drum programming that rumbles on the left stereo field before the actual kick drum and percussion sampled in the center. While it reproduces excellent rumble, Performer 5 also shows a good separation between the sub-bass and mid-bass instruments with good texturing. However, I think some people might perceive the bass texture as a bit “blurry” or “bloomy” (like most sub-bass focus sets) simply because of the nature of its “intimate” presentation which makes it a bit difficult to see the whole picture altogether. It’s like watching a screen monitor up close rather than watching from 2 meters back if that makes sense. Nevertheless, I still think that the bass could be a tad better in terms of texture or overall quality. In other words, I think Performer 5 has everything that you could ask for "a bass" at this price point.

The midrange of Performer 5 is quite neutral without displaying the “thinness” that plagues most neutral IEMs I’ve heard. This is because of the moderate pinna gain as a tuning choice that rarely shows any hint of shouty-ness but rather introduces a bit of "lushness" & smoothness without being dull. Vocals are still forward yet some may appear a bit buried or hidden in the music but also depending on the mixing style. Nothing sounds out of place or too colored, yet full-bodied, rich, and quite "natural” to my ears.

The treble response is neutral and linear from the midrange where the overtones of midrange instruments seam evenly with their fundamental frequencies. This is indeed one of the smoothest BA trebles I've heard, yet it has ample energy with crisp attack and decay and can be considered "natural" for a balanced armature. There are no weird peaks or wonky dips so there's no hint of harshness or sibilance to be noted, yet I wish it to have slightly more shimmer, sparkle, and extension here and there even though I wouldn’t consider them lacking in overall playback. On a side note, I find wide-bore ear tips such as Azla Sedna Earfit Light help to give a more palatable treble response where the upper treble has a bit more breath and better coherency between the lower treble and the upper midrange. Overall, I think Performer 5 has a good tonal balance with a few minor things to nitpick than fault.

TLDR; AFUL Performer 5 is tonally inoffensive yet energetically & sonically satisfying to a great extent.


Technicalities +
Resolution-wise, I’d consider Performer 5 as “not bad” or rather “decent” in the grand scheme of things. It’s obvious there’s a trade-off for the smoothness it presents where the note definition comes off as slightly blunted even compared to other IEMs with the same driver configuration (or less). Given its somewhat "fuzzy" attack, Performer 5 mostly lacks the delicate nuances or subtleties in well-produced music such as Scott Walker’s “Corps De Blah” or Florence + the Machine’s “King”.

On a positive note, I find Performer 5 is highly dynamic in terms of macro decibel shifts that demonstrate nimble attacks & releases with impactful slams & sustains, though I’m not so impressed with the micro dynamics. For example, the string & horn attacks in Mozart's "Die Zauberflöte" by Patricia Petibon & Concerto Köln feel slightly relaxed and soft, but I wouldn’t say it’s bad either. It’s just a nitpick that I can’t ignore most of the time.

(Soundstage & Imaging)
The sound stage is rather average but might appear as wide because of its intimate presentation that we talked about previously. As we all know, the sense of space and depth is partially governed by the type of ear tips used and how much wattage one’s feeding in music playback. In this case, I find there’s a better perception of depth at a moderate loudness level than cranking it loud which makes the stereo projection go a few steps back for a better overall “head-view”. It’s not an issue for me but it could be a deal-breaker for some to have every piece of information presented very near or aligned to one’s head.

Imaging is all nice with more density in the lower details than the upper parts but not as vivid or strong as what I’d call “true holographic”, especially with its close projection that seemed “2-dimensional”. However, one could argue that Performer 5 has near-holographic imaging where it’s not hard to point out and focus on any instrument in the "stereo field" although it lacks clarity in terms of positional cues. Its intimate sound staging is also the reason for its 2-dimensional and “in-your-head" effect in the lingo of overall imaging. Moreover, the background is also not as dark as what I'd prefer which can be found in IEMs like ThieAudio Oracle. Generally, I can say that the imaging is not as sharp or well-formed yet it’s able to produce a quite holographical sense of the stereo image.

(Separation & Timbre)
Instrument localization is decent as it relates to its average positional cues and sound stage which are all derivatives of the imaging itself. There’s ample “air” to separate instruments reasonably although they are projected very close to each other. One might find overlapping notes at times, but my report is that it hardly happens; depending on how many instruments are played, some overlap and smearing can occur and create a little bit of congestion.

There are hints of minimal BA timbre, and it could become more apparent when pushed, though I find it still very minimal & well-controlled; I don’t think that anyone would crank it that loud. In my opinion, Performer 5 is quite cohesive as a hybrid as it almost sounds like a very technically capable single dynamic driver on many occasions. The BA used for the treble range is tuned for smoothness and moderately extended, yet it’s able to maintain a good amount of “authority” of the common balanced armature transient attack, but I doubt it will satisfy hardcore treble-heads in a long run.

Perhaps thanks to its RLC crossover technology & its large headroom, one could enjoy their “harsher” music at a desirable loudness with pleasantness. Substandard production and lo-fi metal music never sounded so rich and satisfying.

A little reminder that this is all relative to the standard of IEMs that I'd consider TOTL in terms of technicalities, nevertheless, I still think Performer 5 should be sufficient & capable enough in its own right.

(Drivability & Synergy)
Performer 5 is assuredly very easy to drive even with low voltage output devices like older DAPs and smartphones, but it will appreciate & benefit from a higher output power. Neutral to bright-sounding sources are most recommended to complement the nature of Performer 5's sound signature. In my case, I find the single-ended Ovidius B1 to be a better pair for Performer 5 than the analog-sounding R-2R resistor ladder dongle Cayin RU6. Performer 5 & Ovidius B1 combo is deadly glorious and extremely fulfilling.


For comparison, I could not think of any better IEMs than the (in)famous Blessing 2 for the same driver configuration and as a benchmark set even though it’s about $100 pricier. Realistically, Blessing 2 Dusk is a better challenger for its sub-bass focus tuning, but apparently, I don’t have it in my hand during this review. From the same price point perspective, there are others like See Audio Yume Midnight, 7Hz Timeless, Dunu Falcon Pro, and ThieAudio Elixir to name a few, but they are different in terms of driver config. So, I’m going with Blessing 2.

In terms of tonality, Blessing 2 comes off as more neutral with an actual forward midrange and leaner bass response that emphasizes the mid-bass over the sub-bass. On the other hand, Performer 5 has a more polite upper midrange that sounds fuller with thicker note density. There’s mild to strong shouty-ness and sibilance on Blessing 2 but there’s almost none to be noted on Performer 5. For example, Performer 5 shows a strong resistance towards sibilance in the first verse of Interpol’s “Barricade” or Bjork’s “Where Is the Line?” that’s very noticeable and unpleasant sounding with Blessing 2. Other than that, Performer 5 is also better extended on both ends of the frequency spectrum, especially the sub-bass.

For the intangibles, it’s safe for me to say that Blessing 2 is more analytical and more detailed with better overall resolution. It’s cleaner, tighter & more disciplined in the upper half of the frequency range, with sharper imaging toward realism. However, I suspect that Performer 5 has a better-quality dynamic driver that does everything better in the lower half of the frequency spectrum other than the advantages of the new acoustic structure design. With its intimate presentation, Performer 5 also boasts a larger spatial imaging with a wider stereo effect.

One of the negative points about Blessing 2 is that it lacks headroom. I find Blessing 2 distorts earlier than Performer 5, which gives a sort of “compressed” quality or commonly known as “BA grain” when pushed to a higher loudness level. Based on the specifications, Blessing 2 is supposed to be the easier set to drive, yet Performer 5 requires a lesser amount of power and can be cranked louder with less to no distortion. There’s plenty of headroom even paired with low-powered devices.

Objectively, one could say that Blessing 2 is the better set overall, but this is where preferences come to draw the line. From my perspective, Blessing 2 is a real reference-style studio monitor where one could analyze while enjoying their music at a moderate loudness whereas one could have more enjoyment with a full-sounding, musical & livelier music reproduction of Performer 5 at any desirable loudness level.


raw size comparison

(For whom?)
It’s obvious to me that Performer 5 is made for people who prefer musicality and “naturalness” over technical chops in their music playback without losing too much detail, and for those who listen to loud music and also those who listen to music loud.

Evaluation & Conclusion
As much as I wanted to have the best detail possible in my music playback, I also wanted the kind of musicality that I always savored back then in my teenage years, though I know it’s kind of hard to find a good balance between both worlds nowadays, especially from a certain price tag. AFUL Performer 5 is a rare case where I find myself basking in the music more than analyzing the details which makes me question the purpose of this hobby over and over again after every listening session.

Other than the questionable name choice of the company (honestly, I’m tired of the same joke), I think that AFUL has made an excellent debut that’s greatly pleasing in many aspects of pure musical satisfaction which I believe deserves its place high in the community and every enthusiast. With that being said, I’m going to name Performer 5 as one of the best 2022 releases if not the best in the $200 - $300 price segment. Thank you for your time.


close but not quite. faceplate comparison with ThieAudio Monarch MKii

*this unit is sent by HiFiGo in exchange for an honest review and I thank my buddy @OspreyAndy for the unit. all words are 100% mine and I'm not compensated or influenced by any party.

Purchase AFUL Performer 5 here: (non-affiliated)
Amazon Japan

key songs & ratings (pure enjoyment without comparison)
Será Una Noche – Taquito Militar (Tango) 4/5
Eddie Daniels – Baião Malandro (Jazz Fusion / Classical Crossover) 3/5
Patricia Petibon - Mozart: Der Zauberflöte – Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Classical [Aria]) 4/5

Yellowjackets – Summer Song (Jazz Fusion) 4/5
Lewis Porter-Phil Scarff Group – Journey (Jazz) 4/5
Dave Brubeck – Blue Rondo à la Turk (Cool Jazz) 3/5

Sinne Eeg – We've Just Begun (Jazz) 4/5
Lady Blackbird – Ruler of my Heart (Vocal Jazz / Soul Jazz) 3/5
Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone - A Lovely Night (Jazz Pop / Film Score) 4/5

Florence + the Machine – King (Chamber Pop / Pop Rock) 4/5
Father John Misty – Funny Girl (Baroque Pop / Singer-Songwriter) 3/5
Mariya Takeuchi – Plastic Love (City Pop) 5/5

Minnie Riperton – Lovin' You (Smooth Soul) 3/5
Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye – The Things I Will Not Miss (Pop Soul) 4/5
Nina Simone – Baltimore (Pop Soul / Reggae) 4/5

Muddy Waters – My Home Is in The Delta (Delta Blues) 4/5
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Tin Pan Alley (Blues Rock) 3/5
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand (Alternative Rock / Punk Blues) 4/5

toe - 孤独の発明 (Math Rock) 3/5
Don Caballero - Don Caballero 3 (Math Rock) 4/5
Tera Melos - 40 Rods to the Hog's Head (Math Rock / Avant-Prog) 4/5

Scott Walker – Corps De Blah (Experimental / Post-Industrial) 4/5
Swans – Lunacy (Experimental Rock / Post-Rock) 4/5
Zu - Carbon (Avant-Garde Metal / Avant-Garde Jazz) 5/5

My Disco – A Christ Pendant Comfort Her Neck (Noise Rock / Post-Hardcore) 3/5
Arab On Radar - God is Dad (No Wave / Noise Rock) 4/5
Shellac - Crow (Post-Hardcore / Noise Rock) 4/5

Interpol – Barricade (Post-Punk Revival) 4/5
Young Widows – Young Rivers (Noise Rock / Post-Punk) 4/5
Between the Buried and Me – Extremophile Elite (Progressive Metal / Metalcore) 4/5

Mastodon – Divinations (Progressive Metal / Sludge Metal) 4/5
Fear Before the March of Flames – High as a Horse (Post-Hardcore / Metalcore) 4/5
Botch - Japam (Matchcore / Post-Hardcore) 4/5

Radiohead - Idioteque (Art Rock / Experimental Rock / Electronic) 4/5
Lingua Ignota – The Sacred Linament of Judgment (Neoclassical Darkwave / Avant-Folk) 4/5
Björk - Where Is the Line? (A cappella / Art Pop) 3/5

TheFatRat - Warbringer feat. Lindsey Stirling (Electropop) 4/5
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy (Trip Hop / UK Hip Hop) 4/5
J.I.D – Surround Sound (Southern Hip-Hop / Conscious Hip-Hop) 4/5
Drake – One Dance (Pop Rap / Contemporary R&B) 4/5
Lizzo - About Damn Time (Contemporary R&B / Dance-Pop) 5/5
Kylie Minogue - Real Groove (Dance-Pop / Nu-Disco) 5/5
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@szore glad you love it. it's loud, does it? :ksc75smile:
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I am listening to the P5 as I read your descriptions and I think you really knocked it out of the park with this review!
@szore hey thanks again man, I try my best to explain what I experienced.


New Head-Fier
The Review Of The AFUL Performer 5
Pros: 1. Sub-woofer quality bass
2. Expressive Mid-range
3. Extensive Treble
4. Great resolution
Cons: 1. Hint of sibilance here and there
2. Lean quality over mid-range
3. Intimate stage

Review Of The Aful Performer 5



Although I have no other disclosed information about their past or was able to uncover any other information about the firm, AFUL Acoustics is a new company that was created in recent years and is based in China. The unit I will be reviewing will be their most recent release. However, it must be acknowledged that these represent a novel technology that could affect the audio industry. Let's find out for sure if it does, but first, let's clear up a few things.



*Since this unit tour was organised by the beautiful people at HiFiGo, I am grateful to them. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to these IEMs as "Performer5."
*I am using different Ear-tips and Cable for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the Performer5 based on their performance, even though I will convey some thoughts over its physical and aesthetics properties.



One dynamic driver and four balance armature drivers make up the five-driver hybrid configuration used by the Performer 5. The drivers are all created in-house by the AFUL Acoustics. The dynamic driver, in my opinion, is responsible for the low frequencies, while the other four balancing armatures handle the midrange and treble. This driver utilises three recently developed technologies, including
1. EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Structure.
2. RLC Network Frequency Divison Correction Technology.
3. High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System
I understand that the business created a customised acoustic tube structure with a bass tube that is 60mm ultra-long and ultra-thin and a mid-bass duct structure that is 30mm thick to improve bass performance. In addition to this, they also created a crossover so that the 5 drivers could operate smoothly over their preferred reaction. A method for alleviating air pressure in the shell that improves and adjusts the texture and slam of the bass. This cutting-edge IEM was made by AFUL Acoustic with significant time and financial investment. Regarding the faceplate, it is reminiscent of the Thieaudio Monarch Mark 2 but is much smaller and more comfier. The premium cable terminates with a 3.5mm straight plug and two pins. Additionally available are 6 pairs of assorted eartips in a spherical metal container. Technical specifications include a 35 ohm impedance and a 110 dB sensitivity. 5Hz to 35kHz is the range of the frequency response.



Performer 5 is a neutral tuned IEM with a bass boost. The tuning itself is very interesting according to the frequency response. The bass sounds more like a subwoofer but not in a rumble way where as the mid-range is very immaculate and spot on, the treble is very extensive and crisp for a pair like this. The overall response is very sharp and analytical, by sharp I meant more precise and clean sounding. For the price they're being offered is really a steal. This IEM really outdid whatever I have listened to in this price category, claiming this on from perspective measures. The sound is not warm or soft but hits with details and clarity. I understand the way the AFUL Acoustics have implemented the drivers in this IEM using their methods and technologies is impressive. I must also allow myself to call out that the tuning is a little off while listening to bass, sometimes I fear that the bass comes out more when tackling the bass response, when the overall mix is in play the bass steps down. It does feel like all drivers are trying to outdo each other. Also the use of such BA's does have a negative impact, their is definite BA timbre I suspected. Well let's dig in to find out more.



This IEM's treble is the greatest so far since it is expansive, sharp, and full of fine details. In works in this range, the upper treble has a significant approach to the notes. The vocals are more polished, richer, and appropriately delivered. I have occasionally noticed that the vocals are a touch sibilant, which could eventually seep across this area. The instruments sound metallic but not artificial or strange; rather, they sound a little lean. The sounds of the instruments, such as the cymbal crashes, are piercing yet not hot or peaky. I have to admit that the top treble has a really strong sensation of airiness and enormous expansion. The lower mid range, however, has a lot of acting. The lower treble has a lively, informative, and distinguishing quality. The vocals are direct and presentative; they don't deceive or stifle. Even the guitars don't sound this clear or informative, yet these instruments shine. The treble region's overall presentation is broader, crisper, and airier with sporadic sibilance.

Mid Range

The mid range is fascinating and thorough. The singers and instruments benefit greatly from the rich upper mid range's ability to mimic the lower treble. The voices stand out in the mix and are emotive. Although they are lively and rounded, the instruments blend well with the vocals and sound general. Arriving in the lower mid range becomes critical, thus they occasionally sound meaty and other times hollow. However, I did find that it was generally quite well balanced with voice presence. The lower mid-range is revealing rather than drab or reserved. The only problem I have is that because it is less dense, the sound is frequently lean in the upper frequencies. The Moondrop Blessing 2 caused me the same problem, except it resonated more strongly with higher frequencies. I have to concur that the playful mid range seems strong and personal. It does have a less immersive aspect and sounds quite forward and vibrant. Overall, the mid range has a rich, expressive, and personal tone.


The bass has excellent characteristics and is tightly regulated. It sounds punchy and slams wonderfully, hitting hard enough to enjoy. Although the bass driver does provide a subwoofer-like sound, it is not overtly audible in the mix. Sub bass is given more attention than mid bass. The mid bass does not flow into the lower mid-range or bloat over. The bass notes are more detailed than dense and more distinctive than present. It sounds more lively than the bass that comes out of a balancing armature. Every other instrument sounds clear, and the deep notes of the vocals have greater knowledge and presence, which shows nice subtleties. The sub bass is well-rumbled and has a long extension. When the bass performs alone, the presence quickly and broadly establishes itself. The bass texture conjures just the right emotions. The bass driver glows brightly no matter what is thrown at it. The bass region is presented overall as being very well regulated, clear, and deep.

Technical Performance

The technological side is quite impressive, and in my opinion, using such technologies has benefits beyond just the technical. Despite the stage's limited width, the image is excellent, with strong response separation. The resolution is excellent, and the detail recovery is superb. I didn't anticipate such drivers' nature to deliver this pace and quickness.

photo_2022-12-11_06-37-50 (2).jpg

Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation

The stage is holographically projected in three dimensions, although not in a very vast or distant manner. The stage isn't very large or roomy in my opinion, but it does provide ample room for performances. The sound image is clear, which is similar to the blessing 2 in my opinion. The separation is excellent as well; I can quickly identify the music's direction and there is plenty of room for each component of the sound to breathe.

Speed & Resolution

This is without a doubt the best-resolving IEM I have ever tested at this price point with such flawless details. For an IEM with such a mixed configuration, the attack and decay are surprisingly good, with a quick tempo in both the attack and decay of notes. While also taking into account the fact that I am listening to a BA&DD IEM and not a planar, this IEM totally destroys its rivals on the basis of technical qualities alone.

Sound Impressions



Tempotec V6 - With Performer 5 and V6, I could hear a richer and more complete rendition of any song I put on. There were many, fine intricacies in the treble. The mid-range was very forward, and the bass has excellent power and rumbling while being tightly controlled. The setting was really detailed and open. I thought the V6 was the ideal complement for the V6 since it made it more neutral and less artificial. The sound was in line with my preferences, which are warmer and more balanced.

photo_2022-12-11_06-37-53 (2).jpg

Questyle M15 - The M15 and Performer 5 worked well together, however the sibilance was considerably more audible. The presentation as a whole included far better details and response control. While the already expressive midrange got more vivid, the bass become more textured. The extensive nature of it didn't affect the treble, but the quality did. However, I did notice that the tone started to sound completely analytical. The slim tone was muted by the bass rumble or slam, which was audible in the instruments and vocals alike. However, the sound emanating from the queue through M15 was far superior and had more detail and definition.


iFi Hipdac - When paired with the hipdac, the mid range became more energetic and expressive, with less treble extention and a bland presentation. Although the mid bass was a little raised, the presentation overall wasn't to my taste. It gave the lower mid range more character. The texture of the bass was altered. With worse separation and imagery, the stage became more congested. Clarity suffered but added more musicality to the mix.


Tracks Used

Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Boston - More Than A Feeling
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere(Remastered)
Toto - Africa
The Police - Every Breath You Take
George Benson - Affirmation
Daft Punk - Doin' It Right
Daft Punk - Derezzed
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (End Titles)
GOJIRA - Amazonia
The Mars Volta - Inertiatic ESP
Fergie - Glamorous
50 Cent - In Da Club
Jay Z - Holy Grail
Erbes - Lies
Nitti Gritti - The Loud
Juelz - Inferno


In summary, this IEM has the ability to dominate its rivals because to its superb technical prowess. I firmly feel that whatever technologies were employed to create this IEM were successful. The entire response is concise, accurate, and comprehensive in every way. The tuning may not have been to my liking, but I can say these are a game changer in this price range. These are simple to recommend to anyone looking for a subwoofer-like sound without compromising the actual essence of the entire presentation. Anyone will be happy with this set, whether they are a treble head or a bass head.

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Got mine yesterday and I adore them!
Nice to hear that
How is this set compared to S12?

Dhruv Tampa

New Head-Fier
Aful Acoustics - Performer 5 : Good $200 IEM with Amazing Bass response
Pros: Solid Subwoofer like sub-bass response (precise and tight)
Fast Midbass with a lot of texture
Smooth Lower to Upper midrange
Fatigue free treble
Amazing coherency with no BA timbre
Beautiful Highend shells
Amazing Fit
High-quality cable
Cons: Technical performance (lack of micro details and average stage and imaging)
Recessed mids
nitpick (con of smoothness is you get a little darker treble)
Founded back in 2018, AFUL Acoustics has kept a precise focus to develop high-end performing in-ear monitors at affordable prices. Together with its innovative R&D team, AFUL has got many different patents under its name. They have adhered to the simple concept of "Only Real Progress in Technology can bring Tangible benefits to the Consumer”, in short, they have aimed to develop different technologies that benefit the end consumer. AFUL Acoustics was founded to bring a change to the HiFi audio industry with class-leading innovative IEMs.

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A few weeks ago, they came up with their new $200 challenger in the market with Performer 5. Aful Performer 5 is a brand new five-driver hybrid set of in-ear monitors. The IEM houses a custom dynamic driver with four balanced armature drivers, The dynamic driver handles the powerful lower end, while 2 Balanced Armature drivers handle the Midrange and the other Two handle the Treble.

Before beginning the review, I’d like to thank HiFiGo for the review tour of the Aful Performer 5. All thoughts and impressions are my own and not influenced by anyone. The only thing that affects my judgment is my personal listening preferences, I like good sub-bass with a thick midrange and sparkly, energetic highs. You can check more details on the HiFiGo link below.


Design, Build, and Specs:-
For Performer 5, Aful Acoustics has gone with a Resin Shell. The shells are beautiful, solid, and lightweight. I like Resin Shell iem because of their Custom IEM like fit and they way the shell looks like glass. The faceplace reminds me of the Thieaudio Monarch MKII or the surface of Mars. The shell and nozzle is one piece which I like as metal nozzle has the tendency to break or sometimes the glue comes off.

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As for accessories, it comes with 3 pair of Wide bore and 3 pair of narrow bore Eartips, a black clam shell like carrying case made of metal with foam lining inside it with Aful logo on it. The included cable is a 8-core hybrid cable which to me looks like SPC and silver but could be complete SPC but overall it’s a high quality cable, It’s soft and uses standard 2-pin 0.78mm connectors and a 3.5mm termination.

As I said, I like Resin shell due to their custom IEM like fit, you just need to find the right size eartips. They are very comfortable to use for prolonged hours of use and put zero strain in or behind the ears.

Technical Specs:-
  • Impedance: 35Ω.
  • Sensitivity: 110dB@1kHz.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz.
  • Passive Noise Reduction: 26dB.
  • Five-driver hybrid configuration.
  • 1 Powerful Dynamic Driver for lower-end.
  • Four High-Performance Customised Balanced Armature Drivers(2 for mids, 2 for highs).
  • EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure.
  • High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System.
  • RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology.

Power Requirements
Performer 5 is quite efficient and sounds decent straight out of a Smartphone, with my Xduoo Link2 Bal was able to power it with just 15-20 percent of power, I also tried it with My Zendac V2 and it improved the overall sound by a margin. I’ve most of my testing with Zendac V2 and it was providing the best sound signature and Sound quality

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Sound Quality:-

To start with, I find the Performer 5 to have a very Balanced tuning to it with a hint of sub-bass boost, Clean vocals, and precise instruments, and the thing that impressed me the most on these was the imaging and how speed the bass response was. The coherency on these is amazing, sounding very organic with minimal to no BA timbre.
The bass on these is balanced with a hint of boost in the sub bass which adds to the over experience, it’s detailed and transitions are speedy and does not interfere with the mids at all. Mid-bass on these is fast, precise, and got a lot of texture to it.
Mids in Performer 5 are a little recessed in the Male vocal region but female vocals sound amazing with good separation to it. The upper-mids on these is smooth and never get edgy.
The treble on these is smooth and comfortable sound, Could feel a little dark at times but still has a little below average airyness.
Soundstage on these is decent but imaging is very precise on these, you can easily identify multiple instruments in the stage.
Clarity is good but the details retrieval is decent but below average for this category Category.

This is a very versatile IEM with a very safe tuning which will suite most genres but will primarily suite Electronic, EDM, R&B but not very suitable for Vocal centric Tracks.


Aful Performer 5 VS Tripowin Olina SE:-

Olina is among the best-tuned Single DD IEM in the market under the $100 mark and sounds more Natural Compared to Performer 5, here Performer 5 deliver Better bass response, faster transient response and a wider soundstage. Both sound great for their price, here Olina SE is a better Value for money !!

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Aful Performer 5 VS SeeAudio Yume II

Aful Performer 5 does everything right, Decent stage, Good sub bass response, clear vocals and smooth treble but for me Yume II takes the cake her with overall a better sounding package with better vocal presence, treble spackle, huge soundstage and an overall more engaging sound.

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Aful Performer 5 VS Tanchjim Hana V2
Hana V2 is a Single DD IEM and I personally love my Hana V2, for me, it’s the best-sounding IEM under $200, the Performer 5 edges Hana V2 in terms of overall technicalities but falls short in terms of tone and timbre.

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Aful Performer 5 VS RaptGo Hook X
RaptGo Hook X here packs an overall more engaging sound with it’s wide soundstage and precise instrument placement along with an overall smooth sound signature. Performer 5 here presents a tighter bass response but fall short in every other aspect specially in detail retrieval.

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With Performer 5, Aful has done a great job, providing a solid experience in terms of sound and comfort. It may fall a little short in terms of VFM factor but still pretty solid with Amasing Subbass response and an overall smooth fatigue free experience. If you want something with amazing comfort and smooth sound signature with decent technical performance for the price, Performer 5 is a good option.
Waiting for my delivery. Disconcerting about what you said about the Hook X, I sold the Hook because as great as it is it was too 'safe'...and you think the Hook beats out the P5? oh, boy... I hope I like these now! Great review, also!
Dhruv Tampa
In terms of technical performance, Hook X does beat beat P5 but overall Aful P5 is a solid choice. I was using it on my Zendac and couldn't take it off my ears. I was listening to the "A Path Untold" album on it and the bass response was just amazing !!
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Scarlets Eyes
Scarlets Eyes
please what is the weight of the box ? it is important for my delivery costs


500+ Head-Fier
AFUL Performer5 Review: Amazing Bass, Clear Midrange!!
Pros: Powerful, Slamming Lower-end.
Sub-bass reaches deep and presents a powerful rumble.
Clean, crisp midrange.
Vocals sound smooth and rich.
Tonally its quite pleasing and inoffensive.
Can listen to it for hours and hours.
Cons: Treble is dark and needs more energy for my personal preference.
Stock tips are pretty meh.
Mid-Bass is a little loose.
AFUL Audio is creating a crazy vibe all around. Everyone is praising the all-new Performer5, a five-driver hybrid set of in-ear monitors from a new name called AFUL. The product page and all the information about AFUL Audio and Performer5 are filled with all the different research and patents that AFUL Audio has done over the past few years. Performer5 is a debuting product for the brand in the international market, and from all the hype all around, I am pretty sure it has already been a success. I have spent a good amount of time with the pair, been using it as my daily driver for the past few days(got it 10-12 days back). Today, I feel like sharing my bit of impressions on the set as well, so without wasting any more time let’s begin. First a little intro of the brand.

AFUL Audio:-

AFUL Audio is a name that has recently emerged in the international market. But from my understanding, they have been a little bit active in the mainland China local market. According to the Brand’s biography, they were founded back in 2018, and always focused on developing new technologies to bring high-end level sound performance to budget IEMs. Have they succeeded or not, we will find out with the all-new Performer5 which is their debut product in the international market. It’s a 5-driver hybrid set of in-ear monitors that features a classic combination of a dynamic driver and four balanced armature drivers on each side. It’s a lot of introduction, you can know more about the pair and brand on their website and official product page on HiFiGo.

Short Disclaimer:-

A short disclaimer before I begin, this unit of Performer5 was provided to me by HiFiGo as a part of a review tour in my country, there’s no monetary benefit involved in this transaction. You can be assured, all the impressions and points made in this review are completely my own based on my own experience with the pair. At the time of this write-up, Performer5 has officially been launched priced at 219.99$ available on HiFiGo.


Unboxing & Accessories:-

AFUL Performer 5 has got a simple black package with a white printed cover on it. The white cover on has technical info and a frequency graph on the back while an image of the pair along with branding and some technical information on the front side of the outer sleeve. Inside I have the pair sitting firmly into its foam cutouts alongside a round metallic carry case, which is pretty similar to what we have with See Audio IEMs(Bravery, Yume Midnight, etc). The stock cable of Performer5 is inside this box only. The package also includes about six pairs of silicone ear tips. There are no memory foam tips in the package. The cable here is 3.5mm single-ended.

Package Contents:-

>AFUL Performer5 IEMs.

>Metallic Carry Case.

>2-pin cable with 3.5mm termination.

>Six pairs of silicone ear tips.

Design & Build Quality:-

Despite housing a five-driver hybrid setup, the ear shells of Performer5 are quite small. I won’t just call them small, they are rather compact in their form factor. Entirely made up of black resin, the shells have magma-styled face covers which are unique to each unit. The face covers match exactly with Thieaudio Monarch MK2’s face covers. Just because of their looks, I used to call them the baby Monarch MK2. They are quite lightweight and very well-made. It adopts standard 2-pin connectors compatible with 0.78mm 2-pin cables. The included stock cable is also quite good, it’s lightweight and comfortable to use with the pair. IMO the design of the AFUL Performer5 is beautiful and it is paired with its ergonomic, lightweight design.

Fit & Isolation:-

Fit-wise, the AFUL Performer5 sits comfortably into my ears, although the stock tips are pretty meh. I find it to fit me well with SpinFit W1 and Azla SednaEarFit Light ear tips. Soundwise the Stock Tips feel a little boomy in the lower end as they have short and narrow nozzles.

Driving the Performer5:-

Performer5 is an easy-to-drive pair, it doesn’t take a lot of power to sound its best. For my critical listening, I have listened to the pair with three of my primary sources HiBy RS2, Shanling M7, and Tempotec V6. IMO the best pairing is with Shanling M7 and Tempotec V6, with the RS2, the synergy was not the best. It had a little boom in the lower end and also the treble felt a little soft(with the RS2). M7 and V6 have much better clarity and crispness to the Treble region with the Performer5.

Sound Impressions:-

Performer5 has got a neutral-ish sound with bass boosted signature. The bass is quite prominent in the output, especially the sub-bass response. I personally feel the pair sounds like a compact sub-woofer delivering a thunderous rumble in the lower-end region. The mid-bass also has a good slam in the output, but I got my mind drooling over the sub-bass presence of the pair. Although I must add, the bass is a little loose at times but surely it slams with full authority. The lower-end presence, even with such heavy slam is quite clean and extends well into the sub-bass depths. Might call it a Bass Head IEM at a budget for heavy bass lovers.

As soon as we transition into the midrange, we get a smooth, rich midrange presentation with presents lovely vocals. Vocals have got a good body to them, they sound rich and lush. Upper mids are slightly pronounced so they create a good impact with Pop and Vocal Centric songs. Lower-mids retrieve good details and show good texture to instruments such as acoustic guitars, and pianos in their midrange. Lovely midrange presentation imo!! It has better tonality than Yume 2 which I find to have a little metallic touch.

Treble is where things take a slight detour for my preferences. Performer5 although extends well in the Treble region, but the overall tonality here is a little soft and dark. Please don’t get me wrong here, it would be suitable for people who are sensitive to harsh treble, but me, I need some punch, some more crispness in the treble region. But that’s just my preference. As per Performer5, the pair maintains good clarity and resolution in the high frequencies. It even extends well enough as well and also have a smooth dark tone.

Dynamically, Performer5 has got an immersive soundstage with better depth than width or height. No way it’s intimate, but it’s not super wide either. It creates an immersive listening experience for me. For a comparison point here, Yume 2 has a wider stage, but I find Performer5 to have better stage depth, a more 3D feeling here. Air on the stage is decent, and instruments are well-separated, especially in the mid-range segment. Macrodynamics are more pronounced on the set rather than micro dynamics. Detail level is decent enough, overall I am kinda impressed by its fun and sub-woofer kinda sound. I have enjoyed the set thoroughly throughout my auditioning period. Honestly want to keep it for a few more days, but the reviewers ahead are waiting. TBH I don’t care much about all the technologies that the brand advertises, I just enjoy listening to the Performer5’s smooth, Bassy, inoffensive sound.

Some Track Examples:-

Bad Guy by Billie Ellish:-

Man the Performer5 rumbles so hard in this track that I felt my heart vibrating inside of me lol. I personally find the sub-bass of Performer5 to be the very best in this price segment. Like literally drooling, and Bad Guy is one of my favorite Bass heavy tracks for this.

Limit to your Love by James Blake:-

When the bass drops in this track, Performer5 kicks me out of my couch. Not to mention the clarity midrange maintains during the vocals part. I find Performer5 to be an absolute stunner for Bass-focused genres.

Hotel California by Eagles(Hell Freezes Over):-

Pretty decent clarity, and the acoustic intro sounds pretty good on the Performer5. Although the instrument notes feel a little hefty here may be due to the more focused sub-bass response. But overall a good experience.

Dark Necessities by RHCP:-

Performer5 keeps up with the pace of this track, although the instruments sound a little on the softer side. Overall, the speed, and punch are maintained in this track and so is the energy. Vocals are presented with complete clarity even with all the drums and other instruments around.

AFUL Performer5 vs See Audio Yume II:-

I happen to have both the Yume II and Performer5 with me, and it’s a good fight between them. Here’s my take on them.
yume 2 image.jpg

>Performer5 has more slam, and more depth to the lower end, Yume II sounds tighter.

>Yume II tonally has a little metallic tinge to it, Performer5 sounds more natural to me.

>Yume II delivers more clarity and a crispier treble, Performer5 sounds dark and inoffensive.

>Soundstage width is a bit better on the Yume II while the Performer5 sounds more 3D and deep.

Overall, Yume II feels livelier while Performer5 sounds punchier. Each of these will have its own use cases with Yume II sounding better for Rock, and other fast genres while Performer5 delivers awesomeness to vocal lovers and hip-hop lovers.

Final Words:-

I know the Performer5 has a lot of hype all around, and in my opinion, it sounds pretty good too. It delivers quality a powerful, maybe slamming is the right word, Slamming bass response with a pretty clean midrange presentation although the Treble is a bit on the darker side but hey that allows for easy, inoffensive listening for longer hours with the pair. I personally would have loved a little more energy in the Treble section, but all in all a pretty enjoyable experience I had with the pair. As I have stated earlier in this review as well, the AFUL Performer5 is a compact Sub-Woofer that grooves the crap out of my soul!! Well, I hope you guys liked reading my review, please leave me a like on the post, and feel free to ask me if you have any questions!!
Great review. I also had impressions that Yume II is the coldest among Yume/Bravery, so you may have same ear anatomy with me.
Good to know that P5 passed as warm-neutral IEM which generally people wouldn’t find wide diffusion field because that diffusion field usually accompanied by harman curve. P5 is then proved to be good neutral IEM for audience who find Harman tuning is too vocal forward “vocal in your head”.

I have similarly tuned Mangird Tea, and Tea is one of my best beloved true-neutral IEM, great for “non-vocalist” instrument player, because it simulates how it would sound on live stage.

Keep it going!
Scarlets Eyes
Scarlets Eyes
please what is the weight of the box it is important for my delivery costs


Reviewer at nymzreviews
AFUL Performer 5 - A new generation
Pros: Great tonal balance
Price to performance
No pressure build up
Resolving power
Cons: Intimate stage presentation
BA timbre
This review is a crosspost from my website. I usually post my reviews there first, so be sure to not miss them out!

Note: I was just informed by HifiGO that a giveaway of the AFUL Performer 5 is now live on their Facebook page, through this link. Good luck everyone.


Disclaimer: This unit was provided by HifiGO for free in exchange for a written review. No incentives of any kind were given and the review you are about to read are my own thoughts and opinions. Thanks once again to HifiGO for the opportunity and support.

Table of Contents

  1. Prologue
  2. Tonality
    1. Sub-bass
    2. Mid-bass
    3. Mid-range and Vocals
    4. Treble and Air
  3. Technical chops
  4. Comparisons
    1. Sony N3
    2. Xenns Mangird Tea2
  5. The verdict

Driver Setup: 1DD+4BA
Price: $219 (Black Friday release price)
Purchase link and info: HifiGO
Included in the box:
  • Performer 5
  • Standard 2pin cable with a 3.5mm termination
  • 3 pairs of silicone tips in two color variants (6 pairs total)
  • A puck style carrying pouch
  • Paperwork

Comfort, fit and isolation: Great in every aspect
Source used: Topping L70
Tips used: Final E
Measured volume level: 77db @ 440 hz
Test playlist with some of the songs used: Tidal



Out of all this year’s late releases, there’s only a handful stirring some waves. This one is no exception, given the context of today’s market.

First of all, we have the brand - AFUL. A new player in town, established four years ago and has spent the last two in full research and development, promising to shake the current market.

Second reason, and most important, falls into the product itself - the Performer 5 (P5). Before we dive into buzzwords, let’s take an objective look at the non-sound aspects.

Inside a relatively simple but well thought packaging you can find the following:
  • Six pairs of generic narrow bore tips that come in three sizes and two color variants, so you can use red and blue tips to signal left and right monitors. Tips are very personal and for me they did not work the best, and I ended up tip rolling which I will comment in a moment, but as always, YMMV;
  • A well built 2-pin cable, with a working chin slider and branded only on its termination. It’s light-weight and very user friendly, so there’s no need to change it other than for aesthetic purposes, in case you wish to. My only nitpick will go into its limitation to 3.5mm only, meaning that you can’t choose different terminations or a modular plug. Again, not important;
  • A puck-style carrying case that is well built and very easy to open, displaying the brand's name on top. Opposite to similar offered cases by other brands using this style, AFUL’s one is very light-weight due to the usage of hard plastic instead of metal. The interior has some sort of fluffy fabric to prevent your IEMs from scratching or breaking.
As for the monitors themselves, the build quality is pretty top notch. AFUL used some kind of special way to 3D print them, according to information provided. As far as I can’t tell, they don’t feel cheap in any way, at least compared to most stuff on the market nowadays.

The above is not the only “special technology” used in building the Performer 5. One of its main appeals consists of newly developed ways of building, and therefore tuning, the IEM itself. You can find all this information in the product page, but to briefly summarize it, there’s three key fundamentals technologies that I will paste here:

  • EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Cavity Structure: Using high-quality 3D printing technology, AFUL Acoustics has designed a precise 3D printed acoustic tube structure for the Performer 5. They have named it EnvisionTEC acoustic tube structure. This features a 60mm ultra-long and ultra-thin bass tube with a 30mm mid-bass duct structure for a powerful, slamming bass response. It helps maintain a proper phase correction between different frequencies.
  • RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology: In order to get the best out of the five-driver hybrid configuration, Performer 5 features in-house developed RLC Network Frequency Division Technology. It not only allows the different drivers to have accurate frequency division but also corrects their non-ideal frequency response for certain frequency bands presenting the listeners with a smooth frequency response without any peaks or irregularities.
  • High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System: AFUL Acoustics Performer 5 is designed with a high-damping air-pressure balance system. It releases the air pressure inside the ear canal when the pair is worn promising a comfortable listening experience. With this specially designed air-pressure balance system, the bass texture and slam of the Performer 5 are also improved.
Buzzwords aside, the first two will eventually come out on sound analysis, but the later will be touched on here, as it’s very important to a lot of people. There’s absolutely zero ear pressure with the Performer 5, which is a more usual than not problem with BA sets. And hell if it feels great. Combined with an extremely satisfying and easy fit, you can achieve great comfort and isolation, made to last on your ears for several long sessions.

Last word of this chapter will go into tip rolling. I’m not sure if this was caused by all the special tubing tech inside the shell, but I noticed a significant mid-bass drop while using wide-bore tips, to the point that I had some first impressions ready and I had to re-do them. I do recommend narrow-bore tips with the Performer 5 and they seem to help the bass the most, at least in my case, but as always, YMMV.

Now that I just wrote an essay without even touching the sound, I think it’s time for us to analyze the actual sound and check if the Performer 5 lives up to its name.



Depending on your definition of neutral, you could call this IEM a bass boosted neutral or U-shaped. As for me personally, it tends to fall more into the first, but with some weight added to its notes, due to the 300 hz self correction of the bass shelf.

After the sine sweep, I would say the area around 8k hz of my graph is slightly boosted by the coupler, but the extension is actually pretty accurate, starting to roll off at around 16k hz, and needing an amp volume rise past 18k to be heard.

But that only tells us so far, right?


The sub-bass replay at the 3:25m mark leaves me with no doubts that this DD is very capable and the tuning is well extended - in fact, the roll-off only starts at around 18hz, so there you go, measure freaks!

The sub-bass feels physically impactful during this replay, actually rumbling inside your ear, providing the expected claustrophobia effect, so it gets a giant pass.

As a double check, I also pulled out a masterpiece by James Black, Limit To Your Love, and the suspicions were thrown off, confirming what the first track also represented. Touché.

One strange nitpick I will have to disclose is that I would prefer for the Performer 5’s sub-bass to be slightly press prominent, which I will explain why in a second.


With a sub over mid-bass shelf, this is the area that usually suffers, so nothing better than the good old Magnetar to test it.

The tuning itself is pretty spot on, warm and thick, bringing the bass guitars and kick drums to the front, not to be mushed into the background melody. The kick-drums have a sense of impact that is commendable at this price range, especially since I’ve heard worse at higher steaks tables.


My only critique will go into the bass texture, as it gets somewhat masked or blurred on more busy tracks, especially by the sub-bass. This is unfortunately more common than not and not really a pick on Performer 5, but most iems with sub over mid-bass shelves.

Despite my nitpick, the mid-bass doesn’t suffer from an overly tightness a la Foster driver, having just enough bounce to it to make it fun during Haywyre - Permutate bass drops. This effect also means that the bass drops on hip-hop tracks like Backstreet Freestyle by Kendrick Lamar are well replayed by this set.

Mid-range and Vocals

The mid-range of the P5 is warm but still clear, but running far from the usual harmanesc thin notes, result obtained by the bass shelf as previously mentioned. Still, there’s a sense of separation between the bass and the shelf, avoiding some of the bleed into this area.

The tonal balance of this range is pretty spot up, especially in the upper regions, but lacks some sense of separation and layering (this effect will be explained further down below), which has me no choice but call it probably the weakest link of the frequency chart on the Performer 5.

Despite that, it still comes out as very detailed and you can clearly distinguish both hands keystrokes and hammers on Glass.

As for vocals… I have zero things to point out. Adele’s Oh My God shows no hints of shout and just a hint of prolonged “sssss” sounds that I can totally get by as the timbre accuracy for it it’s pretty spot on, with some correct bite to avoid any roundness.

The story repeats itself while enjoying the track In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company by The Dead South. Despite the bass shelf hinting their presence forward, the male vocals still have some sense of bite and absence of dullness, tilting just ever-so-slightly into huskyness.

Treble and Air

The treble region of the P5 is pretty commendable. Adapting a neutral style, it doesn’t show any signs of dips and peaks, being quite flat until its air regions. While it is not overly cooked, customers looking for dark sets might not appreciate this, while as for me, my hat is off.

The violins on this Mozart piece sound full and their harmonic decay is pretty much spot on for a BA driver, which is rare on a set, let alone for the price. Nothing stands out or fatigues me during my extensive take.

The cymbal strikes and electric guitar's replay during Cosmic Sands by Cory Wong follows the same trait, as the violins, with only fast decay being my nitpick, causing the fabled BA timbre to show up, but without being overly plastic.

I’ll cut this short: impressive.

Technical chops


The technical capability of the AFUL Performer 5 is no slouch whatsoever, minus a caveat.

Actually, that caveat might be a deal-breaker for you, so I’ll quickly rip the band-aid off: the soundstage is very intimate, and below average in size. This is not an hyperbole whatsoever, so if you are a stage size freak, this won’t be for you.

Another small note I will also mention while we are at it is the hint of BA timbre displayed mainly in the treble region, especially with brass instruments, where the decay is on the shorter side, leaving some plasticity tint in the tongue. The reason I called it a small note is that it’s not that obvious as some past sets I’ve tried like the Blessings, VX or the Lokahi.

With that out of the way, there’s mostly only good things from now on. The detail retrieval, anchored by the Performer’s tuning is pretty good and above average.

The dynamics are not dull or giving a sense of compressness, and I will consider them way above average given the price range we are talking about.

The coherency of the sound is not great, but not terrible. You can find a speed difference between the dynamic driver and the balanced armateurs (more obvious in the treble area), but other than that, I would assume most people would not pick this up as obvious or even ignore it.

The last subjective topic I will touch is a sum of three parts, affected by an external one. I do believe the layering, separation and positional accuracy (imaging) are solid, but they all take a hit due to stage size. Nonetheless green card and enjoyable.



In this section, I will do brief comparisons vs other hybrids in the market around the $300 bracket. All comparisons were done using 4.4mm terminated cables connected to my Topping L70, at a measured volume of 77db @ 440 hz.

Sony N3


Tips used: DUNU S&S (Cylinders)

The legendary N3 comes out pumping a warmer replay, thanks to a more pronounced bass shelf and less energetic treble. The P5 has better overall tonal balance and will appeal to more people as a standard choice.

Sony N3’s bass is an acquired taste, so objectively I will have to attribute this region to the AFUL, especially in the impact meter. Given that shelf, the mid-range of the AFUL is cleaner and better tuned, where the treble region is a masterclass into N3’s side of the field.

The technical chops are curious between the two, they both suffer in their imaging chops, but the N3 still feels wider, despite also lacking depth. The AFUL is more resolving while the Sony displays much better timbre and coherency.

In sum, I do think both sets are more of side-grades between each other and excel at different things.

Xenns Mangird Tea2


Tips used: BVGP W01

Just as blunt as the graph, the tuning conclusion is pretty obvious: the Performer 5 a slightly V-shaped version of Tea2’s tuning, bringing less mids and vocals into your face in exchange for more bass and mid to upper-treble.

The bass dictates the warmer tonality of the Performer 5 which I will admit, I prefer on some tracks and Tea’s on others, as at the end of a day, it’s kind of a toss. Technically, the bass bass of the Tea2 has more clarity to it (less blurred) and it’s snappier, but it’s still a BA bass. The Performer 5 shows better texture on its mid-bass and more physicality on its sub-bass. Gesaffelstein - OPR is a toss, as the speed and clarity of the Tea2 really show off but the impact and texture of the Performer 5 also bring the replay alive.

As for the mid-range and vocals, Tea2 has the total advantage due to its tuning and subjective aspects like separation and layering. It is more transparent and has more correct note weight - neither too thin or too thick.

Treble is more correct on the Performer 5, due to less dips, avoiding some of the vocal timbre wonkiness that vocals on the Tea2 might have due to its lower treble dip. The latter comes out as more relaxed and way more fatigue free, especially on some genres like rock and hip-hop, or older records. The extension is better on AFUL’s set.

Technically speaking, it’s majorly a win for Tea2, especially on imaging chops and timbre, where the Performer just can’t catch up. Do keep in mind Tea2 hits my HRTF pretty well and gives an insane sense of holographic display. The resolving power is close between the two, with a slight advantage for the P5 giving its treble boost.



Tips used: Azla Crystal

Once I switched between them, two major differences arose: the bass texture and the imaging chops of the VULKAN are on another level, but the tuning of the P5 is much more palatable, turning into a completely different approach and experience.

Tonality wise, the Vulkan is way more relaxed, where the Performer uses a more U-shaped approach in comparison, which means that for some, the Performer will come out as more engaging, especially in the sub-bass region. The mid-range is cleaner on the VULKAN but AFUL has more forward vocals, both male and female.

The treble region is much more prominent on the Performer 5 and also better extended, with the VULKAN having better timbre (Max Richter - Winter 1) and less fatigue. Resolving wise, they are close but the P5 comes out as having more sharp transients.

The verdict


Buzzwords and patents aside, AFUL’s team entered the building in absolute style, kicking down the front door. I’m finding myself hard pressed to find a more tonally balanced model than the Performer 5 at his price bracket or below (let’s ignore ER2XR due to fit, shall we?).

In sum, I think the price is pretty clever, positioning themselves far enough from the $300+ kingpins like the technically gifted Blessing 2 twins - which also have fundamental flaws of their own, - and being so competitive in price that everyone will want a bite of this pie. Hell, I’ll go further and say that minus the mid-range, I’d take the AFUL’s tuning over the Blessing 2 or Dusk, while the twins prey the Performer 5 open on imaging chops and better dynamics.

Despite any of the direct hybrid competitors, there was a void left between 200 and 300 dollars, where almost only Tanchjim Oxygen and some planar IEMs rested their heads, having now to face the orange powerhouse.

I really do think that if the stage wasn’t so intimate, it had a real shot of raising its asking price and still triumph. That’s the only aspect I will actually criticize on the Performer 5’s and this is the reason why I can’t consider it evaporates the competition or simply undercuts them.

As of now, I think it’s pretty obvious to assume that it is my pleasure to give my full recommendation to the Performer 5. My last word goes to AFUL, to whom my hats are off, proving that tuning is not a matter of price.


Thanks for reading!
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Sweet review of the Aful Performer5
Scarlets Eyes
Scarlets Eyes
please what is the weight of the box it is important for my delivery costs
vs your beloved olina ?


500+ Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 5 - The Future of Hybrids
Pros: -
- Natural and organic timbre/tonal balance
- Great dynamic extension and transients
- Exceedingly good technicalities
- Big and open sound
- Amazing Subwoofer Bass performances
- Exotic tech behind the build that's practical and proven
- Beautifully built
Cons: -
- Just slightly lacking with overall soundstage width

  1. At the point of this article, my AFUL Performer 5 has undergone over 150 hours of runtime
  2. I don't do measurements, I just describe what I hear, from my own POV
  3. My preferred sound tuning, Diffused Field Neutral (Etymotic)
  4. The entirety of my impressions was done with my own Dekoni foam tips
  5. Ultimately, my reviews are purely subjective and biased to my personal preference in sound
  6. For the purpose of this review, the unit will be mentioned as P5
The Build
AFUL Performer 5 (P5) is a newly developed 5 drivers hybrid IEM from AFUL, boasting some of the most impressive array of technology I have seen yet. For a start, P5 comes with 5 distinctive patented tech - something almost unheard of from most earphone manufacturers (the likes of Etymotic and Shure does have their own patents).

Frankly, I am not well versed with tech stuffs pertaining to audio gears. What I do appreciate is when a manufacturer goes the extra mile to produce bespoke like products to achieve possibilities and maximizing performance, value and dependency. So I will not delve too much into the specifics because my reviews has always been, how do they perform in real life? sounds good? - that sort of thing.


Lets start with the shells. They are made of hardened resin with EnvisionTEC High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure, I figured that this is where the characteristic of P5 sound are influenced - IEM auditory and sonic characteristics are largely attributed to how the shells are designed. What this means to me, AFUL has spent great effort to tune the internals of the IEM shells to comply to specific target they deem as fitting. Inside the shells, a single Dynamic Driver accompanied by 4 Balanced Amatures, Those 5 drivers deployed with RLC Network Frequency Division Technology - I assume that it means there's some serious tech under the hood to connect and tune the five different drivers, ensuring high level of precision, cohesion and accuracy.

Esthetically, P5 is a thing of beauty. The magma like faceplates looking gorgeous, layered with thick enameled lacquer finishes. The inside section, dark blue-ish black. P5 has been designed meticulously ergonomic to offer comfort and best possible universal fit. I would say the 4mm bore size nozzle exhibiting moderate length - not too short nor does it protrude longer than necessary. On top of that, at just 4.2gm each side, P5 is assuredly among the lightest IEM have ever had yet in my possession. These thoughtful design and implementation meant that wearing P5 is a pleasant affair. It is super comfortable once anchored securely. I have been able to wear my P5 for literally half a day with music on shuffle non stop - no unsavory effects like wear fatigue that I can complain of. P5 literally disappear when the music starts.


On top of that, P5 has something called High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System, some sort of integrated ventilation system intended to relieve possible build up of vacuum pressure - which means that there will be no sensation of closed vacuum proximity when IEM seal has been achieved. But this was also intended, and perhaps more importantly to impart some element of influence of how P5 would perform sonically (more on this later).


P5 comes accompanied with pretty much standard array of accessories as per expected of an IEM of this pedigree. Nothing too lavish or extravagant - it is more practical than fanciful. The stock cable, I believe being made of SPC, looked just like many other IEM cables seen these days. Well built, offering robust yet pliable feel to it and should stand the test of time with daily rigorous usage.


Then, there's two sets of silicone tips offering 2 variant - wide and narrow bore. Wide for Treble focus and narrow for lower frequency emphasis. I wished AFUL would have also included foam tips but alas none are offered, manufacturers really need to understand that silicone tips won't work for everyone - and I am one of them. The entirety of my review for P5 has been done with Dekoni foam tips instead. I just cannot bear the odd feeling of silicone tips on my ear canals.

Equipment Used
  • Sony Xperia 1 iV
  • Windows 10 with Native USB Drivers
  • UAPP Bitperfect Mode
  • HiByMusic USB Exclusive Mode with FLAC files
  • CEntrance DACport HD
  • Cayin RU6
  • Ovidius B1
  • Hidizs XO
  • 7Hz 71
  • VE Abigail
Test Audio Playlist

Sound Impressions

AFUL Performer 5 (P5), I would describe it as a fusion between Harman and W curved sound tuning. Pronounced boosting and coloration especially on the lower frequencies being prominent out of the box. With approx 40 hours of burn-in, I can audibly hear the lower frequencies firmed up and settled down nicely. Otherwise, to my ears which is so accustomed to Diffused Field Neutral sound curve, P5 sounded exceedingly Bassy, colored and vibrant.

P5 is assuredly rich and expansive with dynamic range. The breadth and expanse from one end to the other end practically TOTL level - only bested by the likes of Shure KSE1500. On the aspect of dynamic characteristics, P5 offer lively and vibrant dynamic transients that exhibited silky smooth flow of harmonics. Euphony level exhibited finesse and grace, it is exciting as it is mature sounding at the same time. Always clean and coherent. The transitions of sonic frequency interchanges seemingly fluid and purposeful. Most prominent would be the depth of lower frequency reach, P5 projected them masterfully yet keeping it sensible with imaging crispness - it is cleanly audible, but it does not overwhelm.

Tonal and timbre balance of P5 is highly organic. My extensive listening to P5 covering all possible genres, I was able to throw at it, I have yet to hear any hint of unsavory metallic or plasticky timbre. P5 is natural as it is gracefully realistic with tonal and timbre balance, despite being highly colored and vibrant. On this aspect, I can totally respect tuning acumen as exhibited by AFUL. For the most part, instruments, percussions and vocals presented transparently as how they are meant to be. I think P5 owes it a lot to how the 5 drivers bonded together to always remained cohesive to each other, the technology as stated earlier applied ensuring that the harmonics being well controlled and balanced, resulting in smooth projection of dynamic transients that sounded believable tonal wise.

For something that is relatively V Harman-ish curved, P5 is surprisingly rich and frontal with Mids presentation. Hence why I said earlier this P5 being a hybrid of V and W sounding IEM. It is rich, dense and succinct. The overall theme of P5 Mids being naturally organic, just very mild hint of warmth to the timbre and texture. P5 Mids offer good depth and resolution. Be it stringed instruments, percussions or electronic, P5 Mids will always appear well defined, crisp and smooth. Playing Jazz is an emotional and immersive affair thanks to the ambience of Mids staging which can be intimate depending on how they were mixed and mastered. The V element of Mids will be audible when subjected to listening to Rock/Metal genres, or practically any music that exhibited native suppression of Mids as part of the recording scheme. What this translated to me, P5 being highly transparent to the nature of the recording - the ability and agility to adapt to the source intended design. For someone who listens a lot to Metal music, P5 offer some of the smoothest sound for electric guitars - smooth yet still crispy enough imparting good sense of bite and edge. Or should I say, the electric guitar riffs will always appear well rounded and refined. The attack and decays remained realistic, engaging and vibrant. I can listen to raw Black Metal Lo-Fi recordings all day long and will never get any risk of auditory fatigue due to the smoothness of P5 Mids presentation, especially upper Mids which is absolutely free from any elements of Pinna glare.

For vocals, notably I would say the lower keyed female vocals (Contralto) from the likes of Diana Krall or Sinne Eeg would appear slightly warmer, but it still has ample natural tint to it - which resulted in something that is lush and engaging, highly emotional...that's the purpose of Jazz isn't it? to be emotionally connected to the music and singing. The same can be said of male vocals, typically richer and thicker in density, I am hearing deep chesty singing from Morrissey and Nick Cave, both being Baritone-Tenor type. And last but not least, subjecting P5 to the peakier type of vocals from Alison Krauss and Mariah Carey (Soprano-Alto), P5 exhibited excellent control to emit even the most shrill section of their singing - simply outstanding.

Treble for P5 can be best described as mature and well controlled. In fact compared to some competitors, I would say P5 may appear seemingly moderate with Treble projection. But moderate does not mean P5 being weak with upper frequencies performance. Simply put, it is not an outright bright sounding unit. P5 offer delicate and cleanly audible Treble with deep extensions - evidenced with great presentation of Treble micro details exhibiting smooth decays dispersal. The energy, the attack being highly mature. It is euphonic enough to instill excitement, yet never offensive or sibilant - not even when subjected to highly aggressive music that contain lots of Hi-Hat and cymbals. Treble transients being harmonious and fluid. I daresay, for someone who love refined Treble, I find P5 capable of mesmerizing performances that will not fail to impart sense of satisfaction.

Now to the best part, Bass. Among the many that I have listened to, without a doubt P5 is an absolute champion with Bass performances. I would even describe P5 being a miniature Subwoofer IEM. And thus the subject goes back to the implementation of P5 High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System, which means that P5 has an advantage of behaving like an open backed earphone instead of an In Ear Monitor. This in return resulted in something that is airy and gracefully flowing. Yes, Bass notes of P5 is literally flowing and mesmerizing, devoid of any sense of closed vacuum - something that is akin to Subwoofer sensations. Midbass of P5 exhibited solid authority and presence, commanding yet never overwhelming. It has details and rich texture, immersive depth and articulation. Impact and slam just as per expected of a Dynamic Driver, with strong seismic sensations all the way to Subbass decays. The Subbass itself being well extended into the furthest region with realistic dispersal of note edge. Despite largely being somewhat Bass heavy IEM, P5 surprisingly does not feel awkwardly boomy or bloated, Bass is always clean and fast. I am no where near being a Basshead yet I am addictively attuned to this sort of lower frequency performances. This is where I would say P5 being strong enough to rival some of the Harman tuned IEMs competitors out there. That deep and engaging Bass will assuredly please those who appreciate beautifully presented lower frequency vibes.


Without a doubt, AFUL Performer 5 is exceedingly good with technicalities. Perhaps the only critic I would say would be on the aspect of overall headstaging width and dimension. I feel that the soundstage could use a bit more space to compliment the open sound. It is not exactly narrow, but I have heard wider staging from other IEMs. Maybe, because P5 being frontal with the projection of Mids, that sort of presentation impart strong sense of intimacy which in turn making my ears perceive the soundstage being not wide enough. But really I am nitpicking here.

As for the rest, P5 exhibited clinical precision with layer separation and spatial imaging. Being a 5 drivers hybrid tuned correctly does that. P5 is highly holographic and immersive. P5 can easily be at home for music as it is for gaming as well, especially for FPS or TPP type of gaming where sound source accuracy is critical.

Transparency and resolution is assuredly top notch. P5 will resolve even better for high quality sources. Extracting all possible details contained therein. The bonus part, despite being highly resolving, P5 is still forgiving enough for Lo-Fi or even YouTube contents - this is not an easy thing to balance out.

Aligned with the rest of technical competencies, P5 is also great with speed. Good coherency between the 5 drivers ensured that P5 is able to resolve even the most complex of music composition, or outright speedy exceeding 250 BPM. P5 will never be subjected to sounding sluggish or muddied.

Rated at 35 Ohm with 110 dB of sensitivity, P5 runs perfectly fine even directly from my Sony Xperia 1 iV phone. The output being wholesome and rich.

Subjecting P5 to higher powered partners, P5 will then exhibit improved dynamic density and technicalities. Absolutely mesmerizing when paired with CEntrance DACport HD, Cayin RU6 and Ovidius B1. I must say that I am impressed that P5 was able to handle all that power without any effect of being shouty or overly euphonic. That's the sign of maturity and great scalability.

But I must also mention, P5 may exhibit floor noises on some DAC/Amps, something like Ovidius B1 or VE Megatron, both of which are obscenely powerful.

Final Words
AFUL Performer 5 is a solid and amazing unit end to end. The application of exotic tech does translates into sonic performances that will not fail to instill WOW element. I know it WOWed me, despite of my dogged insistence to sticking to more neutral sounding IEMs.

I like it a lot that P5 is highly organic and natural sounding with timbre and tonal balance (despite being colored with sound spectrum). This is how a vibrant yet mature sounding unit should be tuned. It compels the user to want listening more and more, not wanting to put it aside because music sounded so lively and immersive. While being musical, P5 remained highly acute with technicalities, details and crisp imaging in abundance, always.

And yes the Bass, damm that Subwoofer sensation is an absolute winner in my book. That rich mesmerizing flow of Bass responses, airy and commanding. Bass heavy tracks simply blissful to listen to.

Ultimately, AFUL Performer 5 is a wonder to behold. The build, the tech, the sonic element, the wear all seemingly well crafted. It will be hard to match the unique qualities of P5.


AFUL Performer 5 is available at HiFiGo (to be released 25 November 2022):

https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B0BN5R23ZP/aful+performer+5/ (Amazon Japan)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BN45CJX4/aful+performer+5/ (Amazon)

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804801271867.html (AliExpress)

Last edited:
Szore I am thinking of ordering one too.
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200 bucks how could you go wrong?
Scarlets Eyes
Scarlets Eyes
please what is the weight of the box it is important for my delivery costs