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12 BA

Aroma Musical Box Yao

Rating:
5/5,
  • Yao)Specification
    4 ways 4 frequency division Driver Type:12 * Armatured
    Units Sensitiviy:113dB/mW
    Impedance:26Ω Frequency Response:20-20000Hz 2)
    Corss-section Super High frequency: 2 Driver unit (Knowles driver)
    High frequency: 2 Driver units (Knowles driver)
    Mid frequency: 4 Driver units (Sonion composite driver)
    Low frequency: 4 Driver units (Sonion composite driver)

Recent Reviews

  1. Watermelon Boi
    Aroma Audio Yao Review: Bold and elegant
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published Aug 7, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Large, premium sound
    -Stylish metal faceplates
    -Great comfort for numbers of drivers
    -Quality stock cable
    Cons - Not meant for those who prefer flat/bright signature
    -Lack of distributor (hard to get one)
    DSC_0291.png

    Aroma Audio Yao (尧) Review: Bold and elegant

    On the last review, I've dealt with the youngster from Aroma Audio's Music Box series - let's now take a look at the big brother, Yao. Yao is the flagship model from the Music Box series and used to be the linchpin of Aroma until Ace got released, but the king always stays as a king. Let's take a look and see how it performs and sounds.





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    Packaging

    The Music Box series already got their theme clear from their packaging. Early comes in with a wooden box with cushions inside of it, protecting the metal case and the earphones. Other than the earphones, the included accessories are 3 sets of Acoustune AET07 eartips, soft pouch, metal case, a stock cable, and some small paper works. I would have preferred to see more eartips option, but I suppose Acoustune eartips supplement that. The packaging is identical throughout all Music Box series, except the cable. I'll talk more about the cable a little later on.





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    Earpieces

    All music box IEMs have transparent resin shells with beautifully crafted metal faceplates finished with vertical hairlines. It has the steampunk looks like Campfire / Acoustune IEMs but more in a feminine style. Yao incorporates 12 balanced armatures per side - 4 lows, 4 mids, 2 highs, 2 ultra-highs. The earpieces are detachable with terminations of non-recessed 0.78mm 2pins. The nozzles are divided into three for a cleaner sound flow and have an outer diameter of approximately T400.





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    Ergonomics

    Crafting an ergonomic earpiece usually gets harder when the numbers of drivers go over 7-8 per side. And even if the manufacturers make the shape comfortable enough, then the size often gets bulky and big. Though despite the driver counts, Yao is slim, small, and surprisingly comfortable to wear. The insertion depth is also deep enough with average nozzle diameters and doesn't fatigue my ear canals at all. Probably one of the most compactly-sized 12BA IEM I've experienced so far. The right faceplate is engraved with Aroma's logo and the left one with 尧 (Yao) which means emperor.





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    Eartips

    Yao's stock eartips are the Acoutune AET08 which matches very well with these. I've been trying multiple eartips and sorted out to the best selection to be either AET08 or stock eartips from Moondrop. The one from Moondrop has a similar look and sound as the AET08, so I would rather prefer to stick with the provided AET08 eartips.





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    Cables

    Yao comes with a 4 braid custom-grade copper cable. The end connector is terminated with a 3.5mm straight jack and has a leather strap attached at the lower end for better convenience.

    The quality is nice, but Yao definitely deserves something better. A balanced sounding copper cable, Null Audio Tiburon, for example, would maintain the originally intended tonality but brighten up the upper frequencies even more. Silver/copper hybrid cables like Effect Audio Eros II would be a good option too. I wouldn't much recommend if you're looking to pair with either gold or copper cables as they might make the lows and mids overwhelming.




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    Sound impression: Lows

    Yao presents a sound that lives up to its name and position, having a thick W-shaped sound signature with a manly characteristic. First off, the bass. The bass is very rich in details, quantity, and depth. I haven't seen much full-BA IEMs equipped with such high quality on the lows. The bass textures are presented in a way that normal BA IEMs would do, however with a good amount of moisture and dives deep. The dynamics are vivid and up-close. It wouldn't be an overstatement to call Yao's bass quality to match up with a flagship-level dynamic driver.

    The bass here reminds me of a medium-rare, thick steak. The bass here feels chewy and natural, unlike the way that many BA IEMs do with their bass - fast, hard, small imaging, or less in reverbs. Yao won't hold back when it comes to expressing the bass large and plentiful in reverbs, extensively spreading out towards the entire headroom but in a clean, controlled manner.

    Yao's powerful bass feels to be highly controlled which proves me with its speedy strike and decay. Multiple low-frequency BA drivers act as a one makes it possible to produce a coherent, natural expression and I especially enjoy the way how Yao presents the drum kick. I'm a guy who mostly prefers DD bass more, but with Yao's dark, plentiful yet controlled amount of bass pinned down to the bottom, it's definitely a type of bass I enjoy.





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    Sound impressions: Mids

    Having a seamless connection with the bass, mids are slightly pulled forward and could feel the dense core inside it. Mids are vocalized in a thick, smooth manner but start to gain a colorful tonality on the upper mids, giving a mild amount of air and refreshment. This makes the lower mids to produce powerful male vocals while the upper mids are shiny and suitable for female vocals. Vocals are displayed up-close with much liveliness, so it sounds even more attractive.

    The lows and mids are imaged in a large and thick scale, but I won't call it overwhelming since they're well controlled and the airy upper mids resolves all that. Though of course, this probably won't be suitable for those who are looking for a thin or flat sound. Mids overall show a very steady flow without any bothering dips or spikes, pretty much a fatigue-free sound signature.





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    Sound impressions: Highs, etc.

    Highs are slightly recessed from the mids but with very prominent in expression. It has an organic, crispy texture and calmly plays along with the overall sound rather than jumping out and breaking the harmony. I'd say the sound feels to be quietly flowing pass like a stream of water. With a slightly dimmed brightness, Yao keeps the treble with a lively, clear ringing tone.

    Staging is wide to all directions, creating a wide and round headroom. Separation is moderately highlighted but only to the point where all sound stays intact and flow naturally. It's clearly a different approach compared to Noble Audio IEMs where they much highlight these kinds of stuff. Of course, Yao still does pay attention to the separation and won't spit it out in a big lump.





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    Verdicts

    It's no easy task for creating a grand-sounding IEM without getting the sound dull. Not only Yao handles well with both male and female vocals, but its entire sound fills the entire ears full and rich with details, eventually comes down to a harmonic, coherent sound. I think that would be a good way to summarize the sound. I previously reviewed Early, the entry model of the Music Box series and now I could see that these two IEMs are heading for the same sound signature - Yao being the completed form for that. If you're for an IEM with large staging and coherent dynamics, Yao is definitely worth to check it out.



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    Aroma Audio Yao has been purchased by myself.
    I am not affiliated with Aroma Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
      hqssui likes this.
  2. narco dacunzolo
    NATURAL PLEASURE
    Written by narco dacunzolo
    Published Jan 5, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - FANTASTIC AND DETAILED VOICES, NICE BASS RESPONSE, COMFORTABLE FOR A 12 BA IEM
    Cons - HIGHS STAY A BIT BEHIND
    IMG_3185.JPG

    Aroma Audio is quite a young company, founded in 2015 has an independent R & D and design department dedicated to the design and development of portable and desktop audio product.

    Talking with Antony, I think the marketing manager of Aroma Audio, I understood their philosophy and the origin of their brand name: “Our philosophy is to make the sound as like as the variations of aroma.

    Our team members are experienced in audio products. From the perspective of market demand, we create unique products to meet consumer expectations by our philosophy”.



    This company received quite a good response in the audiophile world both for their desktop amp both for their Witch Girl IEM models. Now they released their new Musical Box headphone with these three models:

    EARLY, TWINS AND YAO. Today I am going to review the Yao model with 12 armature units.

    Hope you will understand my review, since I usually write for my Italian public, but when I find the audio product that really impresses me, I am really happy to share my opinions worldwide. Hope you will enjoy my review.

    YAO unit was sent me as a loaner unit, I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks Aroma team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this musical gem.



    LINK TO THE OFFICIAL SHOP: http://www.aromaaudio.shop/

    LINK TO THE OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/aromaaudio.hongkong/

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    PACKAGING: the musical box packaging is really nice and particular: a wooden case that is really cool.

    In the wooden case you can find warranty card, instruction manual ( instruction explaining how attach the cable to the earphones in the correct way), Acoustune original silicon tips, hard aluminium case, soft pouch and obviously YAO IEM with a golden cable.

    The construction seems very solid: the shell is made up of transparent acrylic and the faceplate of metal material. I have to admit that YAO model, as you can see in the images I attached to this review, is a really nice looking IEM.

    Comfort wise YAO IEM is very comfortable thanks to its rounded shape and nozzle angle; it’s lightweight considering that mounts 12 armature IEM and I was able to find a perfect fit with Acoustune silicon eartips out of the box.

    Speaking of isolation, it is very good in this department and if you can find the right eartips you will enjoy your playlist without any annoying external noise.

    This model comes with a golden cable that is different from the other two black cable for EARLY and TWINS.

    Talking with Aroma Audio team they told me that this gold cable was created and tuned for a perfect match and synergy for Yao earphone.

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    I was just curious how this cable changes the sound quality of the earphones, so I decided to use it with different IEMs such as Rhapsodio and Unique Melody models and found that changes the sound in a very good way: it adds a neutral sound with a touch of warmth, a solid bass response and a particular focus on mids.



    SOUND: overall the YAO model is a great sounding IEM, a phrase to describe its sound signature could be : a natural sound with a touch of warmth and delicacy. I liked so much this headphone and I tried a lot of high quality IEMs, for this I decided to share my opinions not only in Italian language.

    All my sound consideration has been made after 200 hours of burn in as suggested from the Aroma Audio company, with different DAPs such as fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label and my iphone 6 too.

    I tried different eartips such as Acoustune original silicon out of the box, sony hybrid silicon, foam eartips and found that this IEM is very sensitive to the different eartips.

    With Acoustone ones you get a clean and very detailed sound, instead with sony hybrid you get a bit warmer sound with a more focus on mids and punchier buss.

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    Overall this IEM offers a natural sound with a very quality bass rich of depth, but not the faster I have ever heard. Bass is strong but never overwhelming and respectful of the track.

    Mids are so vivid and detailed with a lot of emotions, for example in Lana Del Rey “Get Free” you can hear all the sensuality of this singer. With male vocals I found a lack of body in certain tracks, but with female voices this IEM can bring all the delicacy and sensuality typical of a female voice.

    I could say that mids are “in focus” but never overwhelming, simply are in the middle and around are played all the other instruments.

    Highs are very clean and detailed but stay a bit behind . They are very controlled and refined but you can’t find a lot of sparkles, so you will get an extended treble response but without harshness and sibilance issues, indeed, i could be able to listen to this IEM and never find any listening fatigue. Surely this is not a treble-ish IEM.

    Dynamic is very good. I was really surprised on how Aroma Audio created an IEM with such a natural and controlled but still a musical and engaging sound.

    Soundstage is very good with a coherent sense of space both in width and depth, you will not get a “speaker-like” soundstage, but a natural and coherent one.

    With its low impedance of 26 ohm is quite easy to drive, you can drive easily with your Smartphone, but obviously with a good DAP you get an overall better sound, with better dynamic and a stronger bass response.

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    AROMA AUDIO YAO VS UNIQUE MELODY MIRACLE V2 UNIVERSAL MODEL: Miracle has a stronger bass response and maybe can reproduce more details in high frequencies, but cannot have a natural sound such as AROMS AUDIO YAO. I could say that YAO has a very audiophile and natural sound, but at the same time brings an enjoyable fun signature.

    Yao is more lightweight than Miracle and has a more comfortable fit.



    AROMA AUDIO YAO VS RHAPSODIO GALAXY V2: GALAXY V2 is heavier and big than Yao, so it is not so comfortable. Rhapsodio has a better dynamic and transient response thanks to the single dynamic driver in titan, a stronger bass response, but too much highs so can cause listening fatigue.

    As before, Yao is a winner for me, cause is able to bring a natural and controlled sound. When you listen to this IEM, don’t pay attention to the highs, mids or bass you only enjoy your music and afterall this should be the goal for a great musical product.



    FINAL WORDS: if you are looking for a natural, coherent and detailed sound with a touch of warmth and delicacy this IEM is the perfect one for you.



    (Yao)Specification

    4 ways 4 frequency division Driver Type:12 * Armatured

    Units Sensitiviy:113dB/mW

    Impedance:26Ω Frequency Response:20-20000Hz 2)

    Corss-section Super High frequency: 2 Driver unit (Knowles driver)

    High frequency: 2 Driver units (Knowles driver)

    Mid frequency: 4 Driver units (Sonion composite driver)

    Low frequency: 4 Driver units (Sonion composite driver)



    BASS: 9

    MIDS: 9.4

    HIGH: 8.9

    SOUNDSTAGE: 9

    SOUND SIGNATURE: 9.7

    FINAL RATING: 9,2
      all999 and ezekiel77 like this.
    1. coolcat
      I'm a basshead so far I love Witch Girl 12 drivers the most I think this brand is really underrated, I've owned a lot of expensive iems but I like WG12 the most
      coolcat, Apr 7, 2018
      narco dacunzolo likes this.
    2. narco dacunzolo
      Totally agree with you. They really deserve more visibility. Talking with their team, witch girl model should be more fun tuning. Yao model is more bass shy, but voices are incredible real and emotional.
      narco dacunzolo, Apr 7, 2018

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