Scuba Devils

Headphoneus Supremus
Aroma Audio Jewel
Pros: > Excellent balanced / reference tuning
> Large, holographic stage with stunning layering and imaging, yet still wonderful cohesion
> Incredible detail retrieval
> Technical gem, with plenty of emotion
> Comfortable shells
> Nice IEM storage case
Cons: > The metal box can be a challenge to open, and has little if any use once you do (thankfully Musicteck sent instructions!!!)
> Stock cable feels and looks cheap, also very microphonic
> It's expensive...
Aroma Audio Jewel

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Introduction & Caveats

Let's get the caveats out of the way first - I purchased Jewel at a reduced price from @MusicTeck in exchange for a review. Impressions shared here are following about six weeks of use, as such plenty of time to form a clear view on where they sit in my collection. Thanks to Andrew as always for his incredible service.

The Jewel is available from Musicteck, currently bundled with the Liquid Links 'Venom' cable at a $5,430 price point at time of writing... HERE

I am not a professional reviewer, it's my hobby and my passion - I enjoy exploring new IEMs across the price spectrum and sharing my impressions with the community. I lack the technical skills to go deep on some components, but do my best to convey what I hear in a way that I hope is useful.

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Preamble

Like many Head-Fi members, I was led to Jewel via Traillii. The bird not-so-long-ago sat perched proudly on a throne that poisitioned it by many as both the most expensive, and best IEM ever made. When Jewel came on the scene, it was lauded as a potential 'bird' killer, the first IEM to really challenge the position Traillii had held for many months prior. The negative directed at Traillii was typically due to the lack of a dynamic driver for the low-end frequencies - the arrival of Jewel on the scene 'solved' this, and retained a similar tuning to the bird. I was intrigued right from the start, but sort of convinced myself I wouldn't spend mega-bucks on another top tier set... even though it was niggling away in the back of my mind that curiosity would eventually get the better of me - especially as more glowing impressions rolled out over time. Indeed also, while I've loved Traillii since almost the start (I had an initial challenge with fit), I did miss the slam of a DD for some shelves of my library. The inevitable eventually happened in late July, I caved in and ordered Jewel...

Specifications
  • Low frequency (1DD),
  • Medium and low frequency (4BA)
  • Medium and high frequency (2BA)
  • Ultra-high frequency (6EST)
  • Impedance: 22Ω@1Khz
  • Sensitivity: 103db SPL@1mW
  • Sound insulation effect 26db(CM)
  • Frequency response: 10-22khz
Unboxing & Accessories

The Aroma Audio unboxing experience is rather unique and certainly has a sense of a 'premium' purchase.

The outer box is a subdued affair, with a simple plain blue box sporting the Aroma logo.

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Upon opening this outer box, is where the fun begins - and why I've noted it as being 'unique'...

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Inside the outer cardboard box, is a heavy metal box - without absolutely zero evidence of how the heck you might open it. Without instructions, one would be inclined to try leverage it open maybe with your fingernail, desperately seeking a recess or something around the edges that might suggest a point whereby you can lift the lid. Thankfully, this problem has been solved by those who went before me, and no doubt these early adopters had to ask the likes of Musicteck how you actually open the box - which has led to instructions being sent when you purchase... I of course had to refer to these - it is actually rather simple once you know how - push down on top, and slide off to the right - then you get access to the treasure inside! Oh and an aside, this shipment must have caused some confusion for DHL as it was held for three days for a 'security check', presumably the metal box caused some alarm, especially if they couldn't open it... this also explains some of the outer scuffs visible on the packaging, they obviously removed the usual outer cellophane to check the contents.

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The accessories are straightforward once you've managed to crack open the box -
  1. Selection of silicone tips in a small plastic case
  2. Beautiful case that has an expensive look and feel - I'm guessing it's leather, and it has an embossed 'Aroma' logo on the lid
  3. Cable (I've not really used this since arrival as it's too microphonic)

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Overall, an interesting unboxing experience, and potentially frustrating if you don't know how to open the metal box - we want to get to play with our new toys quickly, and this could certainly cause stress!

Design & Fit

The shells are on the larger size of those I've tried, but by no means massive. They are quite light and with a medium sized stem which allows for good flexibility in rolling tips. I've been using the Tanchjim T300 'treble' tips as these are my preferred choice with most IEMs. I have no issues with any discomfort even in long (>two hours) listening sessions. The blue translucent shells allow visibility of the internal workings, always interesting to see the various drivers and wiring.

The 2-pin is flat to the shell which I'm not a fan of - I tend to feel nervous that the pins might get bent if any inadvertent pressure applied to the cables, as such I would prefer recessed sockets such as those on Traillii.

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Listening Impressions

I've listened to Jewel on my Shanling M9 for a number of weeks, followed by the Lotoo Paw Gold Touch (LPGT) more recently - they both work well, the LPGT offers a more 'reference' experience which I felt might be too clinical, but thankfully discovered is not the case - M9 adds a bit of warmth, and is somewhat smoother.

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I've been using the Penon OSG cable pretty much since Jewel arrived as I ordered it around the same time - a very nice cable, with a nice soft touch and no microphonics.

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Overall, the Jewel has well balanced tuning with no real emphasis on any specific frequency. I did have a concern it might come across as bright versus Traillii, but that has not been the case at all - I'll come to a comparison later on. It has a large stage, with very impressive technical capability, yet still has a great sense of emotive connection. My library is quite broad, and I often find IEMs that work with very specific segments - Jewel has turned out to be a set that I can play really any genre, but there are some I tend to reach for more than others. Striking the balance of incredible technical capability, and huge enjoyment factor really does remind me of the old line, 'You get what you pay for', and that indeed rings true with Jewel.

Bass -

If seeking a bass-head IEM, Jewel is certainly not going to be one you should consider - there are plenty of others out there that specialise in this regard. However, I enjoy my bass and do not find myself wanting more when listening to Jewel. It has a very natural delivery, which I feel accurately represents the bass quantity in the track playing. The mid bass has excellent definition - kick drums tend to have a nice 'bounce' to them, often resonating with a good sense of a central positioning where the left and right channels meet. The sub bass extends to a good depth, but won't be chest-rumbling by any means. As you would expect at this level, there is excellent distinction between mid and sub bass where the mid impact and sub extension can coexist with great clarity. Other instruments in the lower registers are very accurate sounding to my ears, whether that's low-end on a piano, synth or a bass guitar.

Mids -

The mids have again a very natural delivery, with a fantastic sense of clarity and space on stage. There is never any feeling of congestion, even the most busy tracks with several instruments and vocals always have room to breathe. Male and female vocals are rendered beatifully, neither sounding too heavy or too thin. The sense of an 'emotional connection' in my experience is in large part due to the quality of the mids, how 'euphoric' or indeed sombre they can sound as appropriate to the music - Jewel can easily make me smile or shed a tear depending on what I'm listening to, the mids really do a wonderful job of portraying the artistic direction in the music. The transition from low frequencies to the mids is handled with perfection, there is no sense of bleed or any lack of cohesion. I don't hear any annoying spikes, or feel like I'm missing anything - with several weeks of listening, I have cycled through many portions of my library to include albums I've known for decades.

Highs -

I find a good 'sparkle' up top is critical for my preferences these days. If I was asked maybe only two years ago, I would probably have stated bass as a top priority - I would say now both bass and treble are on par in terms of priorities, I need a good level of I would say matching low to high end frequency to really enjoy my music for the most part. There are times however where I do like to reach for a set that is more bass focused, a session with good skull-pouding levels of bass (Oriolus Szalayi for example), I can't say I would do the same for a good old skull-sparkle session, with bass taking a step back. Jewel certainly ticks the box for me in the upper frequencies, it has very nice succinct, crisp delivery in the highest registers which is where I find I really appreciate an ethereal or visceral sensation - I won't say it's the best I've heard, that goes to the Elysian X or maybe even Sony Z1R but certainly not far behind. Lower treble/upper mids I'm discovering can at times be a bit of a problem for me, causing a bit of a sense of glare or harshness - no issue with Jewel, they sit in a comfortable zone and allow me enjoy vocals or instruments that creep into this area.

Technical -

From a soundstage perspective first of all, I wouldn't say Jewel is the 'largest' I own - that goes to Traillii but I don't think there's a huge amount in it. Jewel has an excellent width and height, giving a strong sense of music emanating from the centre, and out around my head with a fairly even level of distribution. The detail retrieval is absolutely top-notch, and there is no question here as to being in this crazy top-tier segment - it's mind-blowing listening to the vast amounts of detail from all over the stage, but still presented with such excellent cohesion. Instruments are well placed from an imaging and layering perspective, and this is very much dependent on the track in terms of the location in the recording - i.e. you get to hear it where it was mastered in the recording. There is excellent clarity between all components on stage, a nice feeling of separation and air, but again still presented with excellent cohesion.

Track Analysis and Rating

Agnes Obel - Fuel to Fire (5/5)


One of my most used tracks of recent times to test a mix of vocals and instruments, a really perfect and beautiful song for this task. Angnes's voice has excellent body, and a really natural and smooth delivery - it's slightly forward in the mix, with strings and piano stretched out the full width of the stage. A really ethereal listening experience, and one of the best I've heard this song sound.



Bill Callahan - Drover (5/5)

A good contrast to switch to male vocals, with a much deeper tonality and overall more lively track - adding percussion to the mix. Bill's voice sounds absolutely spot-on, very good depth and realism with a central position, and pushed a bit forward. Strings make an occassional appearance, sitting slightly right and a little behind. Guitars emanate out from centre to left and right, with percussion occupying a strong position across the stage without any harshness - the busy passages are absolutely free of congestion, with all instruments very well rendered with excellent clarity.

LINK (it won't embed for some reason...)

Hans Zimmer - Dust [Interstellar Soundtrack] (5/5)

First of all, I'm a big fan of science fiction movies and Interstellar a huge favourite - up there with my best movies ever, as is the soundtrack. As this piece builds, the tension and sense of drama unfolds across the large stage, the vast orchestra sounds brilliantly represented, with a wonderful mix of instrumental pinpoint imaging and beautiful realism. Yet again when I'm testing tracks for a review, I would love to just kick back and listen in full from start to finish. I find this soundtrack in general is a great example of the incredible ability of Jewel to step forward with amazing technical capability but still have stunning levels of emotional engagement.

YouTube link as it's not on Bandcamp (my test is via FLAC on my DAP)



Brambles - To Speak of Solitude (5/5)

This is a wonderful modern classical piece from a fantastic album, a great way to test a mix of instruments in terms of timbre, imaging, and overall stage presence. I'm looking for a calm, gentle, surreal presentation - I associate this album with unwinding from a busy day at work, or trying to go back to sleep when I've woken too early, all too often the case. There is a feeling of warmth, but in no way dark - enough space for each instrument, and even though the overall stage size is in abundance, there is still a feeling of intimacy for the entire track. This genre takes up a lot of my listening time, and Jewel absolutely delivers in every respect.



Washed Out - Time to Walk Away (5/5)

An excellent album, but this is my personal favourite - released in 2020, and a real 80's synth-pop vibe with an emphasis on ethereal synths, drum programming and male vocals. Not one I've listened to much lately on earphones, but a regular choice in the car - I real 'sing along' favourite for my kids too. As I'm sure is clear by now, Jewel has zero problems presenting this wonderful song - the vocals are again perfectly rendered, with good body and a nice central position - synths are captivating and melodic, percussion driven with good energy and space.



Heogen - End (5/5)

The closing track from the excellent album 'Odd Radio Circle' from 2021 on the always brilliant 'Touched' label. This is a melodic, IDM/downtempo album and a good test for how Jewel deals with a relatively complex electronic track. Drum programming and synths are presented with awesome detail - every single nuance is audible, and so easy to focus in on specific parts, or indeed listen to it as the complete piece. Synths have a gorgeous and captivating presence, and stretch out with a spherical reach across the entire stage. As the track evolves, the bass makes more of an appearance, and while Jewel doesn't dig overly deep, it really does sound wonderfully authentic and natural - I don't miss that sensation of reaching deep down into my chest, accuracy prevails and again the wonderful frequency balance allows the track to shine exactly how it was produced.



Nexus 23 - Electronic Dog (5/5)

This is a nice dark bit of electro, only released last year but very reminiscent of late 90's / early 00's electro. I've listened to music like this for almost 30 years now, and always important to test how an IEM handles these genres - again, the ability to present and handle complexity is crucial for me, as is a decent kick drum representation and the overall presentation must allow each component the ability to shine individually or together as part of the full track. Yet again, Jewel delivers - prior to this test, it's not actually a track or genre I would have figured would work with Jewel, I would typically reach for a more V-shaped tuning with deeper sub bass but this actually surprised me a lot, and I'll be allowing more time to delve into these sections of my library moving forward. A fantastic representation of an incredible track.



Matthew Halsall - Harmony with Nature (5/5...)

Another favourite album, this time a fantastic mix of jazz and electronic. This is another example of how much I love the wonderful natural bass on Jewel, the double bass sounds phenomenal - I've heard it go deeper, but it just sounds so incredibly lifelike here - as does the sax and piano. While very much chilled jazz, there is a lot going on as the track progresses and I feel like I've been plunged into the middle of a jazz club, with the band playing all around me. Such a fantastic album if you enjoy chilled jazz, and not yet heard this.



Comparisons

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The only set I currently own at the same level is Oriolus Traillii. I wondered when I bought Jewel which of them I might ultimately keep and at present, I don't intend to part with either - I find them sufficiently complementary to keep both. Where Jewel tips a bit more towards technical, Traillii leans a bit more emotive but they are both entirely capable in each realm. Overall, I find Traillii a set I'm more likely to reach for when I want to really relax and while I'll hear the details, I'll focus more on the overall sense of relaxation and feeling of an organic presentation. Jewel is somewhat more technical in presentation - the details are more apparent, and it's harder to ignore - I love that contrast between the two, both top tier sets that offer a similar but sufficiently different listening experience at the absolute pinnacle of the audio spectrum. An advantage that Jewel has is certainly the dynamic driver, and the benefit that provides when it comes to elements of my library that call for a solid DD kick, thud, slam or bounce - Traillii falls short there at times. I've owned Traillii for just over a year now, and Jewel for maybe two months - I can't say which I prefer, they really do both offer me listening experiences I never thought possible.

Conclusion

After several months of wondering what Jewel might offer to my collection, I finally know - and I'm sure it's pretty clear, I'm far from disappointed. It's a top tier set that's absolutely worthy in my opinion of a place at the top alongside Traillii, potentially even dethroning the bird altogether when taking the DD capability into account... but the trade-off being possibly the overall emotive charm the bird offers, most probably a tuning decision to not incorporate a dynamic driver. Jewel is now the TOTL set to beat in my collection, but I'm in no hurry to find a worthy contender. This is a set that has the highest level of technical capability, coupled with superb balanced tuning, and a wonderfully captivating presentation that at worst is hard to dislike, and at best becomes the absolute end-game in the quest for audio perfection.

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denis1976
denis1976
This great review shows that the musical taste and the quality of recordings is very important ,this selected tracks sounds awesome with my sp2000 cu even with my oldi CA vega og, great work
fiascogarcia
fiascogarcia
Wonderful, thoughtful review. And your photos are beautiful.
Scuba Devils
Scuba Devils
Thanks all for the comments!

tawmizzzz

1000+ Head-Fier
The Bird Finds a Jewel
Pros: Coherent, holographic spherical soundstage
Excellent transparency and clarity
Impactful, textured and clean bass
Wallops of detail
Masterful imaging and layering
Pretty and comfortable shell
Outstanding dynamics
Cons: Source dependent
Cost
Stock cable is not ideal
The Bird Finds a Rare Jewel:

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(Blue Tiger camo...COD anyone?)

Specifications:
Introduction:

The hunt for a TOTL that could replace Traillii for me has been an extensive effort-one that likely is annoying at this point for others who do take the time to reads my impressions and reviews.

So let me skip the foreplay and just cut to the chase: Elysian X almost clipped the bird, but the lack of the lower-midrange made it more of a specialist IEM than an all-rounder, so the bird got the final worm. Phönix didn’t outfly the bird. But the Jewel...thanks for complicating my life.

Simply put, Aroma hit it out of the park with this one (as it should at the price). Let’s ignore the pitiful cable-it’s thinner than an audiophile’s patience for their new toys. The “cables” bright and thin profile is as accurate physically as it is sonically-it really does the Jewel’s sound signature no favors. Therefore, all impressions below will be based off the PWA 4W 1960 cable. :)

Sound:
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Jewel opts for a more revealing tonality that still blends musical elements, mainly in its extremely cohesive staging and clean, hefty bass response. There is a slight sensuality in the midrange despite the wallops of detail. Jewel portrays an upper-mids emphasis that can be a bit fatiguing depending on your sources and tolerances. It is not the smoothest upper-midrange I’ve heard, but I quickly got used to it and appreciated the extra energy in that region to compliment the Jewel’s clarity proficiency. Jewel leans slightly on the brighter side of neutral, but can be reigned in depending on tips and warmer sources.

Bass: I’ve denied that I might be a slight basshead for too long. With my recent dabbling in TOTL Headphone planars and EQ’d low-shelf bass boosts, if the bass doesn’t rumble or slam, I get sad. Fortunately, no sadness here-Jewel has a top 3 bass response I’ve heard from any IEM.

Its’ elevation is rather modest than let’s say EVO, but it is extremely clean with excellent punch when the track asks for it. With Crystal eartips, I would pop in my favorite bass tracks and hear tremendous detail and pleasing slam with virtually no bleed into the lower mids. Speaking of the devil, Jewel’s lower-midrange adds a real heftiness and authenticity to bass drum hits and other percussive instruments, which only further proves why a properly implemented dynamic driver for the lows is, *chef’s kiss*.

For those who want dirty or ultra elevated bass, I am not sure if Jewel will fit the bill. But if you want one of the best DD lows in an IEM that performs at a summit-fi level, Jewel needs to be at the top of your list.

Mids: At first I was a bit surprised at the forward upper-midrange. It’s a region that I’ve gotten a bit more sensitive with over time. But with a cable swap and some brain burn-in, I began to appreciate the detail and transparency in the midrange. It’s not particularly thick, nor thin, but as Goldilocks once said, “The Jewel's note thickness is just right!" Vocals are natural with nice air between the notes. Female vocals are emphasized a bit higher than male, but the scruffy, growly male vocals are just as enjoyable. Instrument timbre is one of the best I’ve heard in an IEM, but with the clarity signature, you lose a bit of the special low-level detail on stringed instruments. It sounds natural, but the lack of warmth compared to something like Traillii still slots Jewel a tier below on overall timbre.

Treble: For a slightly bright IEM, the treble is relatively lax. There is excellent upper treble and overall air across the frequencies, but there is not much lower treble (much like on the Traillii). There is a huge dip at 6k which I think adds a bit more emphasis onto the boosted-upper mids. That being said, there is nice sparkle and energy up top. Cymbals sounds nice, synth notes are enjoyable. It won’t touch the Elysian X for treble (and to be honest, I haven’t heard an IEM that can), but Jewel’s upper frequencies should be suitable for most folks who aren’t true trebleheads. Tons of details up top with nice naturalness.

Soundstage + Technicalities: Two words: Summit…Fi. Soundstage is one of the most cohesive I’ve heard, portrayed in an addicting, engaging spherical stage. Imaging is incredible, allowing you to follow a myriad of instruments across the song, even on complex tracks. The stage depth allows a lot of room between the notes, with some modest stage height for that enjoyment. Width is not the largest, especially compared to the Traillii, but regardless, the width seamlessly blends into the rest of the axes.

Oh…and dynamics? ****ing awesome. The punch and defined transients is truly addicting. The overall sounds just reminds me of what a solid-state AMP would do to a referential monitor. This might be a good time to suggest that powerful desktop sources enhance how authoritative the Jewel can really sound.

What Weighs More-a Bird or a Jewel?
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Switching it up from my typical A/B on general sound impressions, I decided to pit the two across a variety of songs. The impressions consistently portray what I find the biggest differences between the two:

Traillii wins in soundstage width, Jewel wins in depth and height. Bird comes across as “flatter” on the soundstage plane, meanwhile Jewel goes for a spherical staging with more fleshed out transients and notes. The flatter presentation on the bird allows for a more “intimate” and richer experience for vocals and instruments. It is still king for timbre in the midrange, with more euphoric texture on stringed instruments.

That being said, Jewel wins in realism in the lows, especially for drums or for genres that benefit from macro dynamics. The dynamic discrepancy is very noticeable in an A/B, and made me realize Jewel is killer for rock, metal, and pop. Jewel’s DD bass is more realistic with an equal 1:1 mid to subbass ratio, meanwhile Bird’s midbass seems more plasticky and goes for a 2:3 midbass to subbass ratio (more subbass emphasis).
Treble is similar in that the lower treble is laxer, but due to Traillii’s more reigned in upper-mids, I hear more treble sparkle shining through Bird’s darker top end. Jewel is likely a bit more detailed and better imaging due to soundstage depth, but bird still layers better.


Track Shootout:

Both IEMs were compared from 1960 4W cable and off the IDSD Pro Signature (solid-state mode). Jewel strongly benefits from more power and does have more potential to scale than bird does.

1.
Anomalities in Heart Rate-Original Mix

Jewel’s dynamic driver exhibits more authentic, tighter and precise midbass thumps against Bird. Bird’s bass sounds a bit dirtier with a subbass decay emphasis, but the slams do not punch you as hard. Bird’s stage expands wider, but jewel has the depth advantage, more spherical as bird comes across as a bit flatter (putting sounds closer to you). A touch more sparkle on bird but more energy in upper-mids from jewel.

*Winner*: Jewel. I use this song for staging immersion and abyssal depths of bass. Jewel’s DD nails it.


2. Pontos de Exclamacão (Vintage Culture & Future)

Bird sounds sweeter, a bit more sensual, but clarity is a touch higher on Jewel. There is more of a tunnel depth to the notes on Jewel. Instruments like the trumpet and strings have more warmth on bird which gives off the more “musical” timbre. Bird’s instruments have more texture. Both excellent

*Winner: Bird. I love acoustic guitar and the Traillii’s timbre is still king---instruments and vocals are sweet and rich. Where are the tissues at? :cry:


3. Raven (GoGo Penguin):

Jewel: excellent drum punch, does nice job imaging the centered rapid drums while effortlessly imaging the contrasting piano keys. Great detail, good speed, and balances the drum versus piano dance without overlap, a feat that many IEMs struggle with.

Bird: instrument plucks linger a bit longer, exhibit more warmth again in the instruments. A bit smoother but that’s usually price you pay for slight loss of clarity that jewel has. Imaging feels more precise on jewel, but bird layers the coexisting drums and piano solo nicely. More flat, less depth. Less percussive weight on the hits, Jewel does the drums better due to DD authenticity. But pianos are sweeter, richer on Bird.

*Winner*: Tied. Two differing but excellent portrayals of one of my favorite songs. Jewel for the dynamics and percussive focus, Traillii for the piano emphasis.


4. Nutshell (Live at the Majestic Theatre, Brooklyn, NY)

Jewel: Excellent right hand acoustic guitar, can pinpoint audience crowd cheering as the bass line slowly chugs in from the mid-stage.

Bird: more emphasis in initial crowd cheering, acoustic guitar timbre is richer but less properly imaged on the far right (3 o’clock) than jewel. All imaged on a flatter y axis but excellent x-axis. A bit darker overall, more of a smokey, warm lighting environment. Vocals more emphasized

*Winner*: I preferred the Traillii’s intimacy and warmth for this one, but Jewel sounds more hi-fi and offers a more detailed rendition.


5. Dethrone-Bad Omens

Bird: Drum hits feel a bit lacking, this is an ultra dynamic song and bird feels flaccid on it (sorry). The intro breakdown is supposed to make you headbang, and bird falls flat on its face...unable to get it up. Cymbals have that nice sparkle though although muted on lower treble initial impact

Jewel: more heft on the bass, better punch on the breakdown (helps with the intended head banging) nature. Brighter, a little less forgiving. More detail on the cymbals but less of an enjoyable sparkle.

*Winner*: Jewel. I use this song to test dynamics and aggressiveness/energy in drum hits. Bird is noticeably soft here, meanwhile Jewel’s DD and lower midrange provide the impact for the song to properly amp you up.

6. Asilos Magdalena-The Mars Volta (*using the SP2000 DAP for this one)

Bird: Incredible. So rich, emotional, the vocals are haunting, intimate, detailed. The guitars are imaged nicely on the width axis, can hear every pluck.

Jewel: more out of head, less intimate due to depth. less warmth, more hi-fi sounding. Mature vocals, more detached sounding.

*Winner*: Bird. This song and pairing reminds me why Bird has permanently nested a spot in my heart. There is something magical about its synergy with the SP2000 CU. The midrange has a glow of musical timbre, texture and sensuality.

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So Who Wins?: There should be room for both in the Bird’s nest, and I can’t confidently say one is better than the other. It’ll come down to sources and preferences-I’ll always pick up Traillii to pair with my SP2000 CU for the romantic, textured mids, but Jewel would easily win if I am listening to dynamic tracks like rock, metal, EDM and/or just want more of that hi-fi experience.

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Summary:

IEM prices are getting more and more acid-reflux inducing…but being privileged enough to listen to most of the TOTLs in the $3-6k range, I can happily confirm that Jewel performs true to its summit-fi status. Yes, it should be paired with a better stock cable as it clearly bottlenecks the Jewel’s potential, but I guess Aroma is assuming anyone spending $5k on an IEM will already have their favorite TOTL cables to roll with. Ultimately I can see why some folks prefer Jewel to Traillii---depending on my mood or genres, I do too.

I know Traillii was getting all the "HiFiMAN Susvara of IEMs" comparisons, which I can kind of see in terms of having a pleasant, balanced presentation- but to my ears, the Jewel is the true mini-susvara. More clarity focused with nice but authentic bass. It's not as effortless or linear as the Susvara, but it performs at the top of the IEM game much like the Sus does in the HP world.

TL;DR: Jewel is appropriately named---a rare-find gem that is crystal clear in its tonality with enough shimmer and smoothness to bring a smile to your face. Just bring a different cable and feed it power to make it shine best💎

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OhmsClaw
OhmsClaw
Thank you for the test tracks! I'll enjoy ABX'ing my collection!

Legend x still best for that cavity rattling bass, while the Mest Mk 2 is uncanny with drum hits and the Solaris SE has some acoustic magic but too "far away" for some tracks you'd like closer in (it is it's party trick).

Hope to hear these multi kilo buckers some day!
jwbrent
jwbrent
Right up my alley aesthetics wise, but I’ve promised end game. Great review!
W
wolfstar76
Jewel, a precious stone, that potentially can kill two birds :)

pkcpga

500+ Head-Fier
Aroma Jewel: pkcpga Impressions
Analog Perfection
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I purchased the Aroma Jewel from @MusicTeck who I highly recommend, the Jewel arrived quickly, 2 days after I ordered it. And the follow up cable arrived the next day, very impressive service.
I paired the Jewel with N8ii in P+ class AB tube mode. Along with PW Audio’s First Times cable.

For myself this combo fits the photo above as it’s best description down to the cartridge I decided to photograph it with. The Jewel with FT and N8ii has an analog, airy and detailed sound. It sounds like one of my Lynn tables with an Ortofon MC cartridge, it has that wide soundstage, airy detailed highs with lovely slightly rounded layered edges. No harsh or teeth clenching details but perfectly separated clean details. Jewel has a detailed well placed stage with instruments coming from right where you’d expect them with amazing left to right separation and a nice focused center stage when called for.

The Jewel’s tonality took me for a bit of a surprise, my first thought was 6 EST with 6 BA’s and only 1 DD, that this was going to be a bright IEM. I found the Jewel to be very neutral with a touch of a bass bump. The EST’s provide a lot of air and details, but they are very well tuned and not forward or harsh but extremely well controlled. The BA’s for mids and upper bass are very neutral and natural sounding allowing for excellent details with exceptional separation between vocals and instruments. Everything even in very congested passages has its place. Vocals have a great tone and natural texture, nothing sounds thin or overly weighted or syrupy. The DD provides very nice deep bass going into sub categories. Bass is very natural and will be very present when the song calls for it but will not bleed into mids or deep make vocals. Bass does not go into bass head territory or extend past natural sounding. Sub bass can be felt by the nature of DD’s, mid bass it not very boosted but natural, detailed and clean sounding. Bass can be slow rolling or rapid depending on what the song calls for, which along with the felt air movement/vibration is the big advantage to the DD for bass over BA’s.
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Jewel comes in safe like metal case, make sure you get instructions on how to open it. The case slides open to the right with some pressure on the right edge. The included leather case is very nice, much better fitting of the IEM with cable then the EVO or Odin cases. The included cable I personally did not like due to microphonic and cheap feeling for an IEM of this price point. The FT cable was a perfect up grade, slightly warmed up vocals with offering a slightly bigger soundstage over the stock cable.
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Stock cable looks nice and is very comfortable, just wasn’t my cup of tea with its microphonic.

Comparing to Odin: The Jewel is the step up from the Odin I was looking for. It’s more detailed, better separation all while keeping the DD bass and adding a bit of warmth in vocals. The Jewel has less of a bump in the upper mids if your sensitive to that but it still has a bump there. Difference is the Jewel is much more refined and looses the hard forward edges for soft layered edges. Deep male vocals all the way to soprano are equally present. For myself the Jewel is the refined Odin with a more analog sound without becoming syrupy.

I no longer have the Traillii to compare the Jewel with. All I can say it the Trailli never meshed well with me. Was not a fan of its bass, very well boosted just less natural sounding and feeling to me. Traillii had more mid bass presence but a little less sub bass extension. Traillii also had warmer less layered mids with a little harder edged highs from my notes and memory. Although it’s hard to compare an IEM I haven’t owned in a while, but I have decided to demo it again multiple times to make sure I didn’t make a mistake in selling it and hearing so many rave about it. After hearing the Jewel I definitely did not, the Jewel fits my sound preference much better.

The Jewel is one of those IEMs like the A12t that plays well with all music types and sounds great even with poorly recorded songs. It tends to bring the best out in almost everything I’ve played with it. The Jewel has very good macro dynamics but is not as powerful as EVO or legend. Since owning the Jewel the only other IEM I’ve reached for is EVO and that was for some EDM music that someone suggested on here. Which there really is no replacement for EVO if you are craving big deep bass with big macro dynamic swings. Currently I’m quite happy with N8ii, Jewel and EVO combo, covers all my music playlists. The Jewel also paired very well with my sp2000 and m15, I just preferred the N8ii for it’s expansive soundstage and in P+ mode stronger macro dynamics. The Jewel definitely pair up very well as your source improves.
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Onik
Onik
5k for iem ⁉️ L😂L...even if I had the money I wouldn't buy this.
W
wolfstar76
Did you notice his cable: PW first times? that cable is 2.45k alone.
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morndewey
morndewey
You don’t know what you’d buy if you had the money
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