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Aurisonics Rockets Solo Precision Micro-Dynamic Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones

Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. Voyageur
    Fly me to the moon...
    Written by Voyageur
    Published May 25, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Astonishing detail; non agressive balanced sound with a warm touch; musicality; good soundstage; outstanding build quality; isolation; value for money
    Cons - Vacuum seal issues with MANY different sets of tips (causes fit and imbalance issues); strong microphonics
    Design/durability: Stellar build quality is one of the highlights of the Rockets. Pretty much every feature of it seems indestructible. The L-shaped jack seems very sturdy and has enough strain relief. The cable is made of a fancy 'military-grade' material called kevlar and seems like it could withstand rough conditions, and the same can be said for the unibody titanium earpieces. They're tiny and seem crazy well engineered. The overall finish of the product is a very good balance between premium and rugged feel. One of the downsides of the Rockets' design are microphonics: they're above average, and can be bothersome, especially when worn straight down. The other issue I should point out is vacuum seal that I will develop further down below. Other than that, they are pretty flawless. 
     
    Fit/comfort: The Rockets' overall comfort is pretty good. They're tiny, have a very adaptable form factor and don't require deep insertion... nothing to report? Not exactly: there seems to be a serious 'vacuum seal' effect with these. Most silicon tips will end up either not fitting well (too small) or fitting tight, or even too tight (resulting in vacuum), no matter what brand I use: stock Aurisonics, Sennheiser, Ultimate Ears, Bowers&Wilkins, etc. I have to constantly adjust/readjust the position of the earpiece if I want to avoid one earphone sounding more muffled/quieter than the other one, which is definitely a bummer since it can take me a lot of time to find the right fit/position. Comply foams ruined the treble, so I didn't bother any longer with them. I'll continue to search for a better tip, but so far I've got no luck. That's not an issue I got with my ER-4 for instance. Otherwise impeccable comfort.
     
    Isolation: very good. Below the deep insertion range of Etymotic products, but above many other conventional in-ears. Good for everyday use.
     
    Sound: Impressive. Aurisonics hit the sweet spot tuning their new toy. The sound signature of the Rockets is very close to neutral, yet it retains a very surprising smoothness where some reference IEM can start sounding a bit aggressive. Starting with the bass: it's tight, fast, and has good texture. Just the right amount of it, with impact and character. Now the mids are real the star of the Rockets (pun intended): they're very, very well defined with astonishing clarity, they are full sounding and enveloping. I actually play the saxophone and I know when the timbre of my instrument sounds right. The Rockets just get it right where many other phones fail. Vocals sound natural too, should it be female or male. When it comes to the treble, the Rockets don't disappoint. They do have a nice amount of shimmer without any aggressiveness, providing a good sense of air. It's not overdone and very refined, with excellent extension, definition and energy, miles ahead of most IEMs, with the exception of the ER-4 maybe. I find them to have the right amount of presence, again, excellent balance here, the presentation of the music is quite organic and realistic.
    Soundstage is very good considering the size of the IEM, with good layering, width/depth. Instrument separation is great with clear distinction between all saxophones in a quartet (for instance), even orchestral works sound just fine with Rockets. They are very capable and suit all genres of music, and prove to be very musical despite being close to flat sounding.
     
    Bottom line: Apart from the various fit issues, I definitely recommend the Rockets as a very versatile IEM with excellent value for money, astounding sound and stellar build quality.
     
     
     
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      drbluenewmexico and peter123 like this.
  2. Jackpot77
    Good things come in tiny titanium packages...
    Written by Jackpot77
    Published Mar 15, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, lush mid-range, musical but neutral signature, timbre and texture
    Cons - Microphonics on the cable, fit can be awkward for some
    20160309_144514_HDR215302.jpg
     
    Aurisonics Rockets – initial impressions
    I picked up the Aurisonics Rockets recently after discovering their ASG series (see some of my previous reviews), so was looking to hear what Dale and his team could do with a micro-driver and some titanium shells compared to my previous micro-driver experience (the Flare R2A).
    About me: newly minted audiophile, late 30s, long time music fan and aspiring to be a reasonably inept drummer. Listen to at least 2 hours of music a day on my commute to work – prefer IEMs for out and about, and a large pair of headphones when I have the house to myself and a glass in my hand. Recently started converting my library to FLAC and 320kbps MP3, and do most of my other listening through Spotify or Tidal HiFi. I am a fan of rock, acoustic (apart from folk) and sarcasm. Oh yeah, and a small amount of electronica. Not a basshead, but I do love a sound with some body to it. Please take all views expressed below with a pinch of salt – all my reviews are a work in progress based on my own perceptions and personal preferences, and your own ears may tell you a different story.
    Tech specs
    ·       Drivers: 5.1mm Precision Micro-Dynamic

    ·       Frequency Response: 18Hz to 22kHz

    ·       Impendence:16 ohm +/ 10% @ 1kHz

    ·       Sensitivity: 105dB@1mW

    ·       Passive Noise Reduction: NRR 26dB

    ·       Construction: Precision Machined 100% Titanium shell

    ·       Cable: Proprietary Quad-Weave aramid Cable

     

    Unboxing
    The Rockets arrive in a tin the same size as a box of well known breath mints, and the first thing that strikes you is how small the shells are and how much the packaging “suits” the overall ethos of the Rockets (sturdy, no-nonsense and able to take a good battering). Included in the mint-tin is a nice pocket friendly leather carry-pouch with an embossed logo and separate pocket for tips/accessories on the side, an assortment of Aurisonics proprietary SureSeal tips, some tri-tab and anti-loop attachmemts for securing the IEMs in your ears in different manners, and the IEMs themselves. The packing is simple but stylish, with the clean lines of the tin and the classy leather pouch bring a nice premium feel to the enclosed contents.
    20160309_144326_HDR215303.jpg
    Build quality
    The build quality of the Rockets is possibly some of the highest grade (and definitely hardest wearing) I have seen on an IEM to date. The IEMs themselves are made out of titanium, and are barely bigger than the 5.1mm micro-driver they encase. The shells are totally sealed, giving the impression of small metal pharmaceutical tablets attached to two cables. The name Rockets most likely comes from the look they take on when the “Tri-tab” fittings are slid over the barrel of the IEM – these are designed to help grip the surfaces of your ear to ensure stability and once you get used to them, they do provide a good anchoring solution. They also look like the tail section of a 1950s rocket (or any car from that era with fins), so do look quite unusual. The reason they are needed is due to the cable exit from the IEM shell – to keep the size small, the cable exits at the rear of the shell, not along the bottom side, so the IEM and cable make a straight line when inserted into your ear, rather than the cable pointing down at a right angle. Aurisonics also include some anti-loop ear guides which grip the conch of your ear if you want to wear the cables over ear (which is otherwise pretty difficult), which slide on in the same manner as the tri-tabs and are a nice touch.
    The cabling on the IEM is non-removable, but built from quad-weave aramid material, which is capable of holding weights more in line with an industrial block and tackle without snapping, rather than the paltry 5 or so grams each earpiece weighs. This is terminated in a rubberised 45 degree 3.5mm connector, which again looks built to last. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the angle, this means it doesn’t sit quite flush with your DAP or phone when inserted, which can be a minor irritant. This also means that the cable is prone to microphonics when not worn over-ear, which can detract from the experience somewhat. As an overall impression, the Rockets exude the sort of build quality that makes you think that they will be around a lot longer than their owners (did I also mention they were waterproof? If not – they are). In fact, you can probably imagine James Bond taking a pair out his ears and garrotting a bad guy with the cord before putting one of the IEM shells in his trusty Walther after he runs out of bullets and using it to take down the main villain (or at the very least, the villain’s cat)*, they are that impressive.
    *Please don’t try any of this at home – leave it to the fictional British spy fraternity
    Ergonomics
    While the IEMs are minute, the exit of the cabling does make them slightly more difficult to obtain a good fit if you are moving around, necessitating the Anti-Loop/Tri-Tab systems. Personally, they can feel slightly awkward and in need of readjustment after a period of time unless I am using Comply foam tips to aid with the retention, but I do have very large ear canals, so those people with more normal sized ears will probably find the fit very secure.
    Sound quality
    Test gear:
    LG G Flex 2 (with and without Brainwavz AP001 mini-amp)
    Sony NWZ-A15 (as above)
    Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed, amped as above)
    Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (straight from the output jack)
    Test tracks (mainly 320kbps MP3 or FLAC/Tidal HiFi):
    Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B. / Wasting Time
    Blackberry Smoke – The Whipporwill (album)
    Slash – Shadow Life / Bad Rain (my reference tracks for bass impact and attack, guitar “crunch”)
    Slash & Beth Hart – Mother Maria (vocal tone)
    Richie Kotzen – Come On Free (bass tone)
    Otis Redding – various
    Elvis – various
    Leon Bridges – Coming Home (album)
    Foy Vance – various
    Blues Traveler
    Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (album)
    Sigma - various
    Rudimental – various
    Rodrigo y Gabriela – various
    Mavis Staples – Livin’ On A High Note
     
    General notes on the sound signature
    Coming from the ASG series, I was interested to hear what the engineers at Aurisonics had managed to achieve with a single 5.1mm driver, compared to their previous 14.2 and 15mm bass-monsters. The Rockets provide a different sound signature, with the emphasis being on a far more neutral presentation across the board. The famous Aurisonics mids are still in attendance (and in fact could probably be considered the star of the show), but this time are flanked with a neutral lower end and a smooth, slightly rolled off treble. These ‘phones are a little too musical to be considered truly neutral in my ears, but do provide a more balanced approach than the bass-heavy ASGs (the 1Plus excepted). Another overall observation since starting to listen to these IEMs is the ease with which they deal with quick or intricate passages of music. These things are quick. While that seems like an odd thing to describe a headphone as for the non-audiophiles out there (which I count myself as), what I mean by that is that when you are listening to some blistering drum solos from someone like Mike Portnoy of the Winery Dogs or some serious guitar workout, the notes all fire in staccato succession rather than muddling into each other as they can with some less precise IEMs I have heard. While not a deal breaker for me either way, this is one of the first IEMs I have heard that has given me such a clear impression of speed.
    Highs
    The highs on the Rockets are close to my ideal signature – clear, with decent substance but no sibilance or screech. Compared to some IEMs, they might not hit right to the top of the spectrum in the same way as something more treble-heavy like the Echobox Finders, but the tonality is very natural and pretty much perfect for my preference. Due to the lack of that final dash of “sparkle” up top, the IEMs are pretty non-fatiguing for extended listening. You are never left with a feeling that there is anything major missing from the higher frequencies, with cymbals sounding crisp and lifelike but never overpowering, and a decent level of crunch to rock guitar when needed. Fans of treble-heavy presentation may find these a little too smooth for their personal preferences, but for everyone else, I don’t imagine there will be many complaints.
    Mids
    Full, tonally beautiful and just out and out musical, the mid-range of this IEM is a thing of rare quality. There is a beautifully natural tonality it imparts to male and female voices (in common with some of the other Aurisonics stable) which really sucks you into the music, and leaves you feeling like you are listening to the singer in person rather than through a set or earphones. There is a smooth, liquid quality to the presentation, which leaves the notes hanging in your ears just long enough to wring every drop of emotion possible out of them before moving on to the next one with a fresh sense of wonder. Apologies for the superlatives, but the mid-range really is THAT good – from the dulcet tones of Mavis Staples to the chugging guitar work of Slash and Blackberry Smoke, the full smooth sound is a pleasure to listen to. Guitar music is pretty well handled by the tiny micro-driver, making these an excellent choice for those of you with a leaning towards more guitar-based fare. These are not the most detailed in presentation due to their smooth nature, but do leave you with an impression of the detail under the surface so never feel lacking in that area. Texture and placement of instruments is also very well reproduced, lending more to that authentic “feel” you get when slipping them in to your ears. This is a very vocal and mid-centric IEM, so the forward nature of the presentation suits it down to a tee.
    Bass
    The bass is of a very high quality, and of average quantity compared to the other Aurisonics range. There is a lovely blend between mid-bass “blast” and sub-bass “purr” which extends reasonably deep, but not quite as deep as its other siblings. Texture is excellent, and when bass is present in a track, the Rockets will serve it up to the listener in decent quantity, without bleeding at all into the lush midrange or higher frequencies. These could not be described as a basshead headphone, but the quality and just north-of-neutral quantity should be more than enough for the average listener to be happy with. The speed of the driver helps with this, as it copes well with complex drum beats and passages of high-speed music, lending authority and weight to the bottom end of the sound spectrum.
    Soundstage/separation
    The Rockets have a reasonable soundstage for something so small – it isn’t gigantic, but more than enough to give a slight “out of head” feeling, with a good spread from left to right. Separation and layering of instruments are both excellent, however. Despite the lush presentation, it is still easy to pick out positional cues in an almost 3D soundscape on tracks like “Better Man” by Leon Bridges, which is a trick that is difficult for IEMs with a much larger soundscape to play with. Something else that helps in this regard for me is the isolation offered by these tiny earbuds – as they are totally sealed, the level of noise attenuation is excellent, which really helps cut down the external noise and filter out any unwanted background sounds, leaving you free to concentrate on the music.
    Amping
    These can be played from a phone or DAP without amping, but you will need to give them more fuel than usual due to the lack of sensitivity. Amping with either the Fiio or Brainwavz provided more than enough power to make them flex their muscles properly, and they give the impression of being able to scale quite well with more powerful sources.
     
    Comparisons
    Flare R2A – while these are also a micro-driver IEM, and my previous daily driver, they have a slightly different presentation to the Rockets. The R2A are less lush and more “pure” than the Rockets, with a slightly warmer bass response and slightly more rolled off treble. They are very evenly matched apart from that, with the R2A winning on soundstage, the Rockets winning on build, and just about fighting to a tie on the actual sound produced in other areas.
    MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 – I have only recently acquired these, so this is just an initial imporession, but the P1 is a sharper sounding and more “V-shaped” presentation than the Rockets. The P1 edges it in definition and detail in the treble, with a little more crunch to proceedings than the Rockets while still remaining non-fatiguing. The mid-range on the P1 is more laid back than the Rockets, but very well presented, so that would be down to personal preference. Bass is roughly similar on both, with excellent texture but with the Rockets having the slight edge on speed. Again, a very close call.
    Overall conclusion
    The Rockets are a very impressive piece of engineering, and are a very musical and entertaining listen. They fall just a hair short of being my favourite IEMs to date due to the fit and placement issues I get (due to my large ears) and the tiny bit extra I would like to hear in the treble. That does feel very much like picking Einstein up on the way he wrote the “E” when he wrote down his famous theory of how we are all relatives (or something like that) – these are a brilliant sounding IEM, and for those of you looking for something which is on the musical side of neutral, with great mids, a build that wouldn’t look out of place in an Iron Man movie and an overall musicality that is hard to ignore, these will fit the bill nicely.
      shotgunshane likes this.
    1. drbluenewmexico
      rockets blast off!
      drbluenewmexico, Mar 16, 2016
    2. rebbi
      Very nice review, and thanks especially for the comparison to the P1's, which I tried but weren't quite my cup of tea. But the Aurisonics sound really close to what I'd love. Thanks!!
      rebbi, Jun 1, 2016
  3. peter123
    Rock it with the Rockets!!!!
    Written by peter123
    Published Feb 25, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound, ergonomics, built, isolation, looks, name...
    Cons - Microphonics, stock tips not the best
    The Aurisonics Rockets was purchased by me from Hifiheadphones UK in their big clearance of Aurisonics items after it was official the Fender has now acquired Aurisonics.
     
    At the time of this review they were available from Amazon at $249:
    http://www.amazon.com/Aurisonics-Precision-Micro-Dynamic-Isolating-Headphones/dp/B00NP9ZML0
     
    I’m not in any way affiliated with Aurisonics.
     
    IMG_3496.jpg
     
     
    About Aurisonics:
    As already mentioned Aurisonics was acquired by Fender not long ago so I won’t spend any time in telling their story here. Hopefully Fender will treat the legacy of Aurisonics with respect and I’ll get to tell their story in future reviews instead.
     
    About me:
    I’m a 43 year old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later also IEM’s.
     
    My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).
     
    My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.
     
    I do not use EQ, ever.
     
    I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life, Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.
     
     
    Built and accessories:
    The Aurisonics Rocket is a dynamic micro driver IEM featuring a 5.1mm driver.
     
    It’s been some variations on the Rockets with microphone (only KS if I understand correctly) and also a Massdrop edition with different cable (or at least a different color on the cable). The ones I’ve got is the “regular” version and it also seems to be the only one available now.
     
    The build of the Rockets are probably the best I’ve ever seen in an IEM featuring crafted titanium housings, quad-weave aramid cable (whatever that means :wink:), excellent ergonomics and isolation. On top of that they’re also waterproof (IP 65 rated).
     
    The housings are very small, feel very solid and are also very lightweight and I seriously doubt that anything will go wrong with them.
     
    The cable is Kevlar and feels very sturdy. As a matter of fact it may be too sturdy since it introduce quite a bit of microphonics when moving around with it. I’ve never been particularly sensitive to microphonics so it’s not a big deal for me but might be for others. Wearing them over the ear significantly reduces this problem. A nice feature is the red/blue stripes on the cable showing right and left side, very easy to spot to say the least.
     
    The retail package is nice and the metal box is a nice change from the standard paper boxes. To me it also sets the standard for what the Rockets are all about: versatility and sturdiness.
     
    The accessories pack is decent for the price and includes the following:
    4 pairs of Aurisonics own Super Seal tips (S, M, M+, L)
    1 set of Tri-Tab collar (the”wings” on the rocket)
    1 set of Antiloops (ear hooks)
    1 zipped leather pouch to store them in when not in use
     
    The Rockets are harder than average to drive but still works fine even with my LG G3 phone.
     
     Isolation is top notch and probably one of the best I’ve come across so far.
     
    The Rockets also sports a stunning 5 year warranty which is pretty amazing in my book.
     
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    IMG_3498.jpg
     
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    IMG_3512.jpg
     
    IMG_3518.jpg
     
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    IMG_3521.jpg
    Blue cable on the left side and red on the right, very nice!
     
    The specs:
    Housing
    Titanium
    Driver Unit
    5,1 mm dynamic driver
    Frequenzy range
    20Hz-20KHz
    Sensitivity
    105dB
    Impedance
    16 Ohms
    Cable lenght
    1.2m

     
    Fit and ergonomics:
    The very small housings on the Rockets make them a very easy fit in my experience. I’ve got narrow ear canals but these little things just slip right in.
     
    The Rockets are very comfortable and I can use them for a long time without any fatigue. They can be worn over the ear or straight down and for me both work equally well.
     
    I really like the Tri-Tab’s as they help both with isolation and a stable fit for me. The Antiloop’s on the other hand doesn’t work at all for me.
     
    I'm not overly crazy about the sticky stock tips so instead I'm using them with some tips from my RHA s500's.
     
    Sound:
    I’ve used these back and forward for the last couple of weeks and they’ve played for well over 100 hours. I’ve used them both around the house and when out and about and I haven’t really found any significant weaknesses in the way they’re designed.
     
    I’ve used them with my LG G3 phone (with and without my Elecom PAR500 BT receiver/amp), my FiiO X3/Cayin C5 combo and the CEntrance DACport Slim and they’ve worked very well with all of them. That being said I’ve got to admit that I love the sound from them when paired with the Cayin C5, excellent synergy.
     
    Demo list:
    Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
    Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
    Ane Brun – These Days
    Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
    Metallica – Die Die My Darling
    The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
    Eva Cassidy – Songbird
    Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
    Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
    Celldweller – Unshakeable
    Jack Johnson – Better Together
    Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
    Dire Straits- So Far Away
    Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
    Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
    Adele - Hello
     
    The overall sound signature on Rockets is mid-centric, full, smooth and very non-fatiguing.
     
    The bass is very good in quality across the board with a good balance between mid-bass and sub-bass. That being said those deepest punches are a bit rolled off. There’s no bass bleed whatsoever into higher frequencies since it’s very well controlled. The layering in the bass is also quite good. Although I find the bass sufficient for my preferences I wouldn’t recommend them to bass heads.
     
    The midrange is most certainly the star of the show with the Rockets. It’s full, lush and liquid and it’s also what you’ll notice first when putting them in your ears. These are some of the best mids I’ve ever heard and they carry enough fullness to give male voices enough weight and an overall fantastic sound. Female voices are also full and smooth without any hint of sibilance.
     
    The treble is also full and smooth and although extension is quite good it does roll off a bit steep in the top and I could personally have wished for a touch more sparkle. Then again by adding more energy the non-fatiguing nature of the Rockets might have been compromised so I won’t complain too loudly about it.
     
    In addition to the amazing midrange one other thing that’s obvious pretty soon when you put these in your ears for the first time is the amazing timbre it adds to notes and vocals. Guitar sounds just crazy good with the Rockets. I’ve read some comments that call the presentation of the Rockets for two dimensional, in my opinion nothing could be more further from the way I hear them. Soundstage width is quite good but depth and layering is really great giving them a great sense of 3D presentation. Clarity and detail retrieval are about average for an IEM at this price point but in combination with the lush and laid back overall signature it’s still very impressive.
     
    In all I find the sound from the Rockets to be very easy going and enjoyable.
     
    Comparison:
    Please note that the comments in the comparison section are not in absolute terms but in comparison between subject A and B. This means (as an example) that if subject A is found to be brighter than subject B it does not necessarily mean that subject A is bright sounding in absolute terms. I hope this makes sense.
     
    For these comparisons I’ve used the combination of my FiiO X3 and Cayin C5.
     
    Audio-Technica CKR9LTD’s vs Aurisonics Rockets:
    The LTD’s are another smooth and intimate sounding IEM that I really like. Compared to the Rockets the LTD’s has a quite similar bass presence but sub-bass reaches a bit lower and has more impact. The bass on the LTD’s are slightly looser across the spectrum.  Midrange is quite forward on both but maybe even more so on the Rockets. The Rockets actually has a fuller and lusher midrange, especially upper mids, while the LTD’s more airy sounding. The LTD’s got a good and vocal presentation but the Rockets hold their own against them. Sibilance is a non-issue with both of them. The treble on the Rockets are thicker in the same way as the upper midrange and it also feels more articulated.
     
    I find them both very comfortable and although built is great on both the Rockets takes the lead.
     
    The LTD’s are significantly easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is better with the Rockets.
     
    Havi B3Pro1 vs Aurisonics Rockets:
    Those who knows me also know that the Havi B3Pro1 is one of my all-time favorite IEM’s (despite its low price) and I therefore often use them in the comparison section although they’re often much cheaper that the object they’re compared to. Compared to the Rockets the Havi’s has a bigger soundstage width and an overall thinner sound. Balance is great on both with a slight lift in the mid-bass on both of them. Bass quantity is still larger on the Rockets while quality is similar but the Havi’s actually has better extension.  Midrange is the star on both and wile quite similar the Rockets are lusher and fuller. The Havi’s has better treble extension and none of them are prone to sibilance while the Rockets again has a fuller treble. Separation is slightly better on the Havi’s while the Rockets actually offer better layering and depth. Clarity and detail are quite similar on both with the Rockets pulling slightly ahead.   
     
    I find the Rockes to be more comfortable and also better built.
     
    The Havi’s are significantly harder to drive.
     
    Isolation is much better on the Rockets.
     
    Aurisonics ASG-1PLUS vs Aurisonics Rockets:
    After my experience with the Rockets I caved in and bought the ASG-1PLUS as well as it was said by many that they we’re the ones of the higher tier Aurisonics offerings that was most similar to the Rockets. Compared to the Rockets the 1PLUS offers a wider soundstage and a more airy presentation. The sub bass digs deeper and overall bass has a greater presence and drive (especially with electronic music). Midrange is just amazing and liquid on both but the Rockets are even more lush but also more intimate in its presentation while the 1PLUS adds more air to its presentation. The treble is smooth and full on both but even more so on the Rockets while the 1PLUS has better extension and more easily noticed details in the top.
     
    Built is excellent on both but with its Kevlar cable and titanium housings I’d still put the Rockets in front.
     
    They’re equally hard to drive.
     
    Isolation is very good with both of them.
     
    Summary:
    All together I find the Aurisonics Rockets to be a great performing IEM. It’s priced between $150 (originally on KS and occasionally on MD) and $250 (MSRP). I was lucky enough to pick up my pair on a sale for a mere $130. I’d say that at $150 it’s a great value but even at $250 I’d consider it a good value.
     
    It has a great build quality (probably the best I’ve ever seen), is extremely comfortable, isolate excellent, is waterproof and has a very easily enjoyable sound signature that’s extremely non-fatiguing. Add to this the fact that they sound good with most kind of music and are not particularly picky about the source. In total it’s as if Aurisonics really designed the sound of the Rockets to match the looks and features: an easy going sound able to be enjoyed from anything, anywhere.
     
    I can easily say that this is the most versatile, in every way, IEM  that I’ve ever came across and by being just that it also secures itself to get a lot of usage from me as my perfect beater pair for travels and other activities. 
     
    Unfortunately the fact that Fender acquired Aurisonics leaves some questions about the future of the Rockets but I for one sure hope that they’ll still be around in one way or another. It may also feel as a waste of time reviewing them because of this but the fact that they’re still available for purchase and that I like them a lot still pushed me to take the time to do it.
      Ritvik, gikigill, H20Fidelity and 5 others like this.
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    2. peter123
      @getclikinagas LOL! Thank you :)
       
      When listening to the Rockets I don't really feel they lack in bass at all since they're full and lush in their nature but as you can see all of the IEM's in the comparison do have more rumble in the lowest bass so it does roll off earlier and steeper than the Havi's. Innerfeidelity has produced graphs of the Rockets IIRC so might be worth checking out. Please note that this was with the latest version of the Havi's which does have a bit more bass compared to the original ones. I'd say that anyone who enjoyes the Havi's will also like the Rockets and the fact thet they're easy to drive and seem to be very  durable makes them an excellent "on the move" alternative to the B3's in my opinion. 
      peter123, Feb 26, 2016
    3. drbluenewmexico
      peter123 I'm enjoying your aurisonics reviews and enthusiasm for them.  did you ever hear the 2.5s in comparison to the ones you've reviewed?? thanks for your research and experiences!!
      drbluenewmexico, Mar 5, 2016
    4. peter123
      @drbluenewmexico Hi Blue, thank you for you kind words! Unfortunately I've never had the chance to hear the 2,5. I'd love to hear it one day though. 
      peter123, Mar 6, 2016
  4. eke2k6
    [Review] Aurisonics Rockets...Endgame.
    Written by eke2k6
    Published Aug 1, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Introduction
     ​
     ​
     ​
     
    In audio circles, the word "endgame" generally refers to a headphone or audio chain component that is practically without fault, and performs at a high enough level to render future purchases relatively redundant. In my case, I've owned my pair of Rockets since September of last year, and I've had absolutely zero desire to spend a single cent on another IEM since then. What I'll attempt to do with this review is to explain why this is the case, and hopefully by the end of it you'll find my endgame label justified.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     ​
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    My first encounter with the Aurisonics Rockets came during a tour put on by member @Idsynchrono_24 last year. I remember not being able to remove them from my ears, and I'd end up spending the entire night rediscovering my library. I knew immediately that the sound I was hearing was one of the best, if not the very best, I'd heard to that point. Still, the sound is only a part of why I consider the Rockets my endgame phones. I'll get to the sound quality later, but I want to start with a quick description of the Rockets.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Build
     
     
     
     
    The release date of the Rockets got pushed back several times, by almost a year in total. The guys at Aurisonics went back to the drawing board several times to ensure the final product was up to spec. Most of us backers got quite anxious during the process, but I have to say the wait was worth having the build quality.
     
    The shell is made from 100% solid titanium. Titanium. All of it. Furthermore, the cable is made from ballistics grade aramid fibers. The result is an iem that has proven near indestructible. I've put my pair through near hell this last year. I've left it at the bottom of a backpack that contains medical books that weigh over 5 pounds each. I've left it in my car during Louisiana summers, where you could leave a raw chicken in your car in the morning and have rotisserie for dinner at the end of the day. I've taken showers while wearing the Rockets...hot showers. Yet, they work like the day they came in the mail and there's hardly a scratch on them, like you can see in the photos above. This is for an IEM that costs $250 retail, and under $200 on the used markets. That's less than a quarter of what other "top tier" IEMs cost nowadays, and you still have to baby those things. 
     
    Furthermore, the Rockets themselves are tiny. Crazy tiny. As shown above, it's a fraction of the size of a quarter-dollar (US currency). In theory, this should make fit fairly effortless. The Rockets are also sealed, so isolation is insane. I've been doing a lot of driving this summer, but my car has an older V6 engine that is merciless with gas. I've been driving with the windows slightly down to avoid using the AC and save some gas. At 80mph, the wind noise should be intolerable, but with the Rockets in I can barely hear a thing. Airplane rides have become so smooth. If it weren't for the seat vibrations, I'd forget I was sitting next to a screaming jet engine at 35,000 ft. That is how good the isolation is.
     
    The cable of the Rockets is sturdy, to say the least. If there's any damage to it, it definitely wouldn't be accidental. There are youtube videos of people using the Rockets to pull cars. The downside of this is that the cable itself is relatively heavy. This, when combined with the light weight of the shells, could create problems if you wear them straight down without a very good seal when moving around. The cables are heavy enough to pull the Rockets from your ears. At least that's been my experience.
     
    Overall, the build of the Rockets give me confidence they'll last as long as I want them around. 
     
     
     
     
     
    Sound
     ​
     ​
     ​
    There are two very important, practically critical, considerations that must be made when discussing the sound of the Rockets.
     
    The first is that the Rockets are far from sensitive. My ideal listening level on my iPhone 6 with most IEMs is around 35% volume. With the Rockets, that jumps to near 70% to achieve the same "loudness". 
     
    The most important consideration to make when evaluating the Rockets is its physical design. The Rockets are very small sealed IEMs. There's literally nowhere for air to escape when inserted, and the titanium shell doesn't allow for any expansion of the housing to accommodate the extra pressure. The design of the ear can accommodate for this by allowing the pressure to equalize via the Eustachian Tube, which is located behind the eardrum. The equalization of pressure is a very necessary process for IEMs to sound "right" This is because of the nature of our eardrums. The eardrum needs to be able to vibrate freely in order for us to interpret the vibrations in the air as sound. Faster vibrations are interpreted as treble, and the slower vibrations come across as bass and mids. When the internal pressure of the ear canal is uneven, this impairs the ability of the eardrum to vibrate, and treble and bass will be affected as a result.
     
    Exhibit A
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
     
    If, for whatever reason, one's Eustachian Tube cannot compensate for the large amount of pressure placed on the eardrum by the Rockets, then you really won't be able to hear what the Rockets can do. Especially, you'll hear the Rockets as bass light and the treble will be very laid back.
     
     
    Luckily, this problem is easily sidestepped, as I've done for the last year. Simply pop off those silicone tips and replace them with foams. The was foam tips create a seal is fundamentally different from the way silicone tips do. Silicone tips seal by creating a vacuum, compounding the pressure effect I discussed earlier. Foam tips simply use bulk to block off the ear canal. That's why you compress them before insertion so they can they fill up and occlude the ear canal. They're also porous, allows the free movement of air and a lack of any direct pressure. I also trim down the excess foam to avoid those stereotypical foam side effects. What's left after this is the pure, beautiful sound of the Aurisonics Rockets that has made me pretty much stay out of other IEM threads.
     
     
    With all that out of the way, I'll try to describe how I hear the Rockets sound.
     
    On a macroscopic level, the Rockets are fairly linear sounding, with extra energy in the upper mids, smooth treble, and bass that is linear until about 40Hz where it starts to roll off. It's when you start to look at the quality of each of the parts that you truly begin to appreciate the way this thing sounds.
     
    When I first listened to the Rockets, I was instantly transported to an experience I had a couple of years ago when I first heard the Stax SR-009. I was struck by the SR-009's incredible transparency. It was like getting Lasik eye surgery and realizing just how bad your vision was before. When I closed my eyes and sat back, I felt like the music came alive around me. Everything was so clean, so present , so alive. It was truly an experience. This is how the Rockets are, only on an IEM scale.
     
    First, the Rockets are incredibly transparent. There's zero bloat. Zero glare. Just a drink a cool water on a summer day. The microdriver used here is among the quickest I've ever come across, which contributes to the cleanliness of the sound. This is an absolute treat when listening to the intricate melodies in genres like Hip Hop, Drum and Bass, EDM, and Metal.
     
    The second most remarkable thing about the Rockets its imaging prowess. The combination of driver speed and transparency allows the listener to effortlessly pick out every sound cue in space with pin point accuracy. The effect is particularly stunning when listening to a track like Miles Davis' "So What?". Close your eyes, and you'll be transported to Columbia Studios and you'll be tempted to reach out and pluck the bass yourself. That's how tangible the images are.
     
    Next is the Rockets' impeccable timbre. As an amateur musician myself, I'm kind of a sticker for my gear to represent instruments and vocals like they would in person. The Rockets excel at this, especially in the treble. Listening to "Hold On" by The Alabama Shakes, everything is how it should be, even the delicious thud of the kick drum.
     
     
    Breaking down the individual frequency groups, we'll start with
     
     
    Bass
     
    The most surprising thing about the Rockets' bass in the sheer amount of impact its capable of, given the clean nature of the overall signature. I've never listened to a song and thought the Rockets could do with more bass. Not even with the infamous Whisper song from the Ying Yang Twins.
     
    Otherwise, the bass is extremely clean and beautifully quick. Intricate hip hop beats are done full justice here. There are even rapid fire section to my favorite songs I was never able to pick up prior to the rockets. Sadly, the Rockets quickly start to lose energy below 40Hz. However, not a lot of music actually uses any information below this point. Unless you truly want a head banging experience, the Rockets will be more than enough on the low end. (A-)
     
    Midrange
     
    Wow. Just...wow. Hands down, best vocals I've heard from an IEM...and I've heard a lot. I'd write more, but the rest of the paragraph would just be a list of synonyms for the word Amazing. (A+++)
     
    Treble
     
    Weighty. Refined. A total lack of glare. Timbre is also fantastic here. Sometimes I wonder if a bit more sparkle would be welcome, but I can't see how they could have integrated it without throwing off the total balance. I personally like it as it is. Listening to "Crystals" from the new Of Monsters and Men album, cymbals are prominent in the second half of the track, and the Rockets convey them with the weighty metalic goodness I'd expect in real life. (A-)
     
     
     
     
     ​
     ​
    Conclusion
     ​
     ​
     ​
    I've procrastinated writing this for a while, partly because I haven't had time and also because I knew I wanted to make sure I fleshed out my thoughts well enough.
     
    The Rockets are pretty amazing for my uses. It's not completely perfect, though. Physically, the cable is heavy enough to affect fit if you don't have a good enough seal. Also the soundstage, while having amazing imaging, isn't as tall as I'm used to coming from the custom-shaped universals like the ASG-2, UERM, etc. I'm not sure if there's anything they could do, as I've found that soundstage height is a quality of these custom shaped IEMs.
     
    Still, the Rockets tick almost every single box. They're indestructible. They sound great. And you can get them for under $200. There's truly nothing else I could ask for. Plus, it's freed up a bunch of money for other wallet-burning hobbies.
     
    The only thing problem is that the best phone I've heard looks kinda like an anal probe and is named "Rocket", not Project XKR437847. And it wasn't marketed to us audiophiles lol. Sigh.
      Jill, MashaT2281 and Mihail1401rf like this.
  5. Brooko
    Aurisonics Rockets – Big sound in a micro package
    Written by Brooko
    Published Jul 26, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, cable, balanced and clear SQ, comfort, non-fatiguing, good isolation, diminutive size
    Cons - Jack doesn’t seem to be overly Fiio friendly, cable microphonic if worn down, sparse accessory package, issues with vacuum seal and air pressure
    rockets18.jpg
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

    INTRODUCTION

    I’m a bit of a noob with regard to Aurisonics, having never heard any of their earphones before. However, I had heard a lot of good things about the Aurisonics Rockets, so when my trans-Tasman mate H20 asked me if I’d like to spend some time with his pair, I jumped at the chance.

    Due to not knowing anything about Aurisonics, I jumped on the net, and did some research. Here is an excerpt from their website:

    Aurisonics, Inc. is a Nashville, TN (Music City) based professional audio product company. Aurisonics® was founded in 2011 by vocalist, veteran master audio engineer, and audio products designer, Dale Lott.
    We believe that everyone deserves to feel and live their music to the fullest extent.

    Our vision is to build In-ear Headphones that will allow our Aurisonics family to experience music in such a personal and intimate way that they truly Hear it, Live it...
    This concept of Live is interpreted in 2 ways:

    1. Emotionally – which is why our In-ear Headphones™ sound the way they do. Our In-ear Headphones™ deliver music that will transport you to a place that transcends time (you enjoy your music so much you forget about current time/space), AND also help you keep time (i.e. in the idea of tempo/pace for running, dancing, moving…).
    2. Literally – which is why our In-ear Headphones™ fit superbly and are built to last through the daily rigours of life. We bring our extensive experience in engineering military spec products into the design of all Aurisonics® products. Our In-ear Headphones™ don’t only sound amazing, they are also workhorses that are built to last, with some even meeting and exceeding military specifications for strength and waterproofing.

    DISCLAIMER

    I was provided the Aurisonics Rockets as part of a mini-tour organised by H20Fidelity. Due to an impending business trip, I not only had a week of critical listening, but also a further 3 weeks of using them during my trip (including air travel), so I’ve had a pretty good chance to get to know them. I’d estimate I’ve probably spent around 40-50 hours listening time with the Rockets before I started writing this review.

    I am not associated with Aurisonics in any way, I am receiving no form of compensation for this review, and this is my subjective opinion of the Aurisonics Rockets.

    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)

    I'm a 48 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (Fiio X5, X3ii, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5/X3ii > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1 and Sennheiser HD600. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and at the moment it has mainly been with the Fidue A83, Dunu Titan, Trinity Delta, and DUNU DN-2000J. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.

    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line).

    I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 48, my hearing is less than perfect.

    Over the time I’ve had them – I’ve used the Rockets from a variety of sources, but for this review, I’ve mainly used it with the iDSD (home), and straight from the headphone-out socket of my Fiio X3ii and also my iPhone 5S. Although I have tested them with an amplifier, I do not think they benefit from additional amplification. In the time I have spent with the Rockets, I have noticed no change in the overall sonic presentation – but I have noticed my own impression of them change (brain burn in). I am not worried about burn-in for the purposes of this review as they are a tour unit and have already clocked up many hours during the period of the mini-tour.
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

    The Aurisonics Rockets arrived in a very small metal box, about the same size as Cmoy type amp. The box has two pretty simple stickers – one on the front showing a picture of the Rockets with some descriptive information, and one on the back with some marketing information, specifications and accessory information.

    rockets01.jpg rockets02.jpg

    Front of the metal Rockets outer case

    Rear of the outer case



    Opening the tin reveals a black leather carry pouch which holds the Rockets, two “Antiloop” stability devices, two “Tri-tab” stability devices and 4 pairs of SureSeal tips.

    rockets03.jpg rockets05.jpg

    Accessory package

    Carry case


    The tips look to be fairly decent, and come in the normal S,M, L variety, with the last pair being somewhere between M and L, with a slightly different (more conical) shape. According to the literature, these are made from an ultra-high quality medical grade thermoplastic elastomer, and are made to hold their shape while providing an incredible seal with unmatched comfort for your ears.


    rockets06.jpg rockets07.jpg

    Medical grade thermoplastic elastomer tips

    For me sealed "too well" and caused major vacuum issues



    The Antiloops and Tri-tabs are made to fit over the diminutive shape of the Rockets. The Tri-tabs are soft silicone, and are designed so that the tabs on the Tri-tabs lock against the ridges in your ear to prevent them sliding out. The Antiloops are a harder (but still flexible) plastic which can be used for routing the cables over your ears or behind the head.

    rockets13.jpg rockets14.jpg

    Ear-loops and tri-tabs

    Loops and tabs fitted


    The one issue I have with the Antiloops is that I had to search the net to find out how to actually use them – and they didn’t really “assist” routing the cables over ear. They did lock the position of the rockets fairly solidly – I just found the harder material pretty uncomfortable.


    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Type
    Single Dynamic Driver Inner Ear Monitor
    Drivers
    5.1mm Dynamic Driver
    Frequency Range
    18 Hz – 22 Khz
    Impedance
    16 ohm +/-10% @ 1 kHz
    Sensitivity
    105dB @ 1 mW
    Jack
    3.5mm gold plated, 45 deg angled jack
    Cable
    1.2m quad weave Kevlar aramid coated cable
    Weight
    Approx 18g
    IEM Shell
    Titanium
    Passive isolation
    26 dB


    FREQUENCY GRAPH

    There are some graphs out there of the Aurisonics Rockets already – but I really wanted to compare them directly to some of my other headphones (Trinity Delta and DUNU DN-2000J), so I decided to measure them myself. It takes a little more work – but gives me a better baseline for understanding what I’m hearing.

    To do this, I used a calibrated SPL meter (not an iPhone app – proper meter), measured using the C weighting, and then translated to adjusted dB levels (ie what we would actually perceive). This is done by set formula, and I would like to shout out to @twj321 (for providing the spreadsheet and formulae) and @DJScope (for helping me format the graphs). I used a louder than normal listening level and set tones – so I could measure accurately and be above the noise floor. All readings were checked twice.

    So here are the measurements for the Aurisonics Rockets (after conversion), and below is the graph. A graph comparing the Trinity Delta and Dunu DN-2000J is posted later in the review.

    Hz
    20 Hz
    30 Hz
    40 Hz
    60 Hz
    80 Hz
    100 Hz
    150 Hz
    200 Hz
    300 Hz
    400 Hz
    500 Hz
    600 Hz
    700 Hz
    dB
    80.02
    82.80
    84.48
    86.61
    87.70
    88.40
    89.10
    88.83
    90.79
    91.37
    90.87
    90.47
    90.08
    Hz
    800 Hz
    900 Hz
    1 kHz
    1.5 kHz
    2 kHz
    2.5 kHz
    3 kHz
    3.5 kHz
    4 kHz
    4.5 kHz
    5 kHz
    5.5 kHz
    6 kHz
    dB
    89.58
    89.19
    88.80
    86.67
    85.77
    88.60
    88.25
    85.93
    83.23
    80.75
    78.49
    75.95
    72.52
    Hz
    6.5 kHz
    7 kHz
    8 kHz
    9 kHz
    10 kHz
    11 kHz
    12 kHz
    13 kHz
    14 kHz
    15 kHz
    16 kHz
    18 kHz
    20 kHz
    dB
    69.61
    69.71
    71.75
    71.81
    70.20
    67.41
    63.92
    62.13
    60.74
    60.14
    59.83
    60.48
    61.37


    graphrockets.png

    What I’m actually hearing is a clear, and quite forward mid-range, really smooth treble presentation (perhaps a bit rolled off), and a relatively flat low end end. There is a faint hint of a mid-bass bump, but no bloat. The Rockets actually sound pretty natural – except the mids remind me a lot of the Shure series in their quite forward and smooth nature.

    BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN / MICROPHONICS

    When looking at the build quality and design of the Rockets, the word “bullet-proof” comes to mind, closely followed by the word “tiny”. The Rockets appear to be milled from a single piece of Titanium, and although they are cartridge shaped, it’s the smallest cartridge I’ve come across (when we’re talking IEMs). I wasn’t able to find a port for venting the dynamic driver – perhaps because it’s so small it doesn’t need it? Anyway –despite getting a good seal, I’ve had no instance of driver flex.

    rockets12.jpg rockets11.jpg

    The tiny Rockets

    Wonderfully built, and hard to believe such a big sound comes from a tiny driver



    The body measures just 15mm from rear to tip of the nozzle, and has a circumference of just 6mm. To put that in perspective, the width of the body is the same as the width of the nozzle! The craftsmanship is impeccable, with the body being very smooth. The nozzle lip is indented enough to have a firm grip on all of the tips I tried. There are no L/R markings – as it is not needed. The right earpiece is attached to the red cable. The left side is attached to the dark blue.

    The cable IMO is a work of art. As I mentioned above, it is a quad weave aramid kevlar sheathed cable. This is military grade and incredibly strong, and because of this Aurisonics have not included strain relief at the rear of the IEM – simply because it is not needed.

    rockets09.jpg rockets10.jpg

    Bullet proof jack

    And Y split



    The Y-split is made of a hard white rubber which is slightly flexible, and most importantly has a very good neck cinch/slider.

    The jack is gold plated, angled at around 40-45 degrees, very solid with good relief, and has a collar so that it can easily accommodate smartphones with cases. I’ve tried with my iPhone, and the jack snaps into place easily and firmly. The one weird thing with the jack is that none of my Fiio DAPs connect with a firm click – or not at least to the same degree as my iPhone. It’s not a huge thing, as the connection is fine, and as long as the jack isn’t knocked around too much it stays intact. But the jack does come out easier than out of the iPhone – and with the Fiios the jack does not sit all the way down to the collar.

    rockets08.jpg rockets15.jpg

    Cable is super strong and reasonably pliable

    Rockets with included tips and tri-tabs



    The cable itself is smooth and very flexible. It has a single section above the Y split for each earphone, and a double below the Y-split (side-by-side). There are some microphonics if worn cable down, but virtually free from cable noise if work over-ear. As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t been able to properly work out the use of the Antiloops – but over-ear and using the cinch works really well.

    Aursonics also advises that the Rockets are waterproof (IP65 rated), and although you wouldn’t want to go swimming with them, they should be good for use in the rain, and also a natural choice for working out (sweat).

    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION

    As I’ve said many times in my other reviews, I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. This time I did try the included SureSeal tips, and the combination of shape and also the material (thermoplastic elastomer) did actually work pretty well. I also tried a number of other tips including spiral dots, Ostry tips (great fit and seal) and Complys (T400s actually fit pretty well). The most consistent, comfortable and best seal was with my Sony Isolation tips though, but the downside was the vacuum issues. My best experience with the Rockets was actually using Comply tips – which sacrificed a little isolation in return for less seal vacuum issues.

    rockets16.jpg
    My preferred comply tips solved the vacuum issues I was having

    Comfort and fit are both very good over ear, and the cable is very good to work with. I did have to use the cinch to keep the cable snugged over ear – but, hey, that is what it is there for. Through most of the review I just used the IEMs without the AntiLoops or TriTabs. The minsicule size means a really nice comfortable fit (after a while they just disappear), and I could see these being very good for any activity – including exercise or sleeping.

    Isolation though is really good for a dynamic driver, and I did get to use them several times during some long haul flights. They don’t fully isolate engine noise, but with music playing, it is minimised, and I had no issues at all with getting a comfortable signal to outside noise ratio. What was also strange was that despite the high isolation and no noticeable vent – there just didn’t seem to be any driver flex. There was however some issues with vacuum seal (it was too good), and any changes in pressure were then magnified. It is one of the few faults with this design IMO.

    SOUND QUALITY

    The following is what I hear from the Aurisonics Rockets. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X3ii and iDSD as source, and Sony Isolation tips.

    rockets20.jpg
    X3ii and Rockets - I did have ongoing issues with the jack and the Fiio socket

    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

    Thoughts on Default Signature
    The Rockets remind me a lot of the Shure SE535 – quite linear and relatively quick bass, a forward (or pronounced) mid-range, and gently rolling off treble. They are clear but smooth – whilst they have good definition, they are not what I would call overly detailed.

    Overall Detail / Clarity
    Starting with my usual go-to tracks (“Gaucho” and “Sultans of Swing”), and the immediate impression with both tracks is balanced and very smooth. The mid-range is definitely the start of the show (and this isn’t a bad thing). Vocals are clear, clean and focussed. Bass compliments without over powering, and the only complaint I would have is that cymbals (while there) are in the background, and quite distant. The Sax in “Gaucho” is brilliant though, as are both vocals and lead guitar in “Sultans”. All –in-all it’s a very smooth and non-fatiguing listen, but detail monsters the Rockets aren’t. For my particular preferences, I’d like a little more up top.

    Sound-stage & Imaging
    The Aurisonics Rockets don’t have a huge width of stage – even with the binaural track “Tundra” – but then again most IEM’s struggle to get out of head. But what they do have is very good imaging, and to me this is often far more important. The staging is very circumaural and believable, and image placement within that stage is very consistent.

    McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” is next, and the Rockets do well with this track. Stage size is very intimate – Loreena is only a few feet away, and the piano and cello are both playing next to me, but the tonality is very good. The applause at the end of this track can sometime involve the listener when the earphones manage to convey a connection via soundstaging and imaging (it’s why I use this track so much). With the Rockets there is no feeling of being immersed in the crowd. This is not a negative – relatively few ear/headphones achieve this for me.

    My last test was with Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain” and this presentation is very good vocally. This track does tend to be slightly holographic in overall presentation, and the Rockets did capture some of this – but I have to admit that whilst imaging is pretty good, actual soundstage width and depth is very intimate/narrow on this earphone.

    Bass Quality and Quantity
    The big question I had after my time with the Rockets casual listening was whether they could do full justice to the bass on my test tracks. Mark Lanegan’s “Bleeding Muddy Waters” is always first up. Any sign of muddiness or bass bleed is usually exposed very quickly with this track. The bass response of the Rockets was very good on quality – quick, accurate, delivered well. Mark’s vocals had brilliant texture, and there was enough impact to make the track enjoyable. Definitely not as much quantity as most of the triple hybrids I’m used to – but nothing presented by the Rockets detracts from my enjoyment so far. Where they may lack a little quantity, they more than make up for in quality.

    Time to test sub-bass, so the next track is Lorde’s “Royals”. Again – not the slam I am used to – but there is some thump there, and more importantly there is some sub-bass rumble as well

    Last test was Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” – and again the bass delivery is very consistent. Very linear, with enough impact to keep things interesting, but by no means bass cannons.

    Female Vocals
    Anyone who follows my reviews will know that around 60-65% of my music is made up of female artists. So the presentation of female vocals is important to me. My first test is always Agnes Obel’s “Aventine” which tends to expose if the upper mid-range is short or overly forward. The presentation overall as pretty good – I would have preferred (again) just a little more upper mid-range, and the Rockets did sound a little darker than what I’m used to – but I could get used to this presentation over time.

    London Grammar was next up. Hannah’s voice was presented well, but again (for me personally) the very intimate and in-your-face presentation is becoming a little tiring (I’ve now had 2 hours on this current session) and my enjoyment is beginning to wane a little. Time to take a rest and come back again later.

    After a break I resumed, and ran through my usual medley of female tracks. The presentation of the Rockets was pretty good with every artist. Vocals are really clear, there is enough bass contrast with Feist and FaTM to maintain dynamics, but again the forward nature of the Rockets is always on the verge of becoming tiring.

    Gabriella Cilmi’s “Safer”, which usually never fails to move me, felt slightly flat, yet Norah’s vocals were perfect with the Rockets, and Lianne La Havas was breathtaking.

    I guess I have to state that for me personally I wouldn’t say that the Rockets – despite being very clear, and quite nicely balanced – are the ideal medium for consistently portraying my female artists in the manner I prefer. They are very good with some, slightly fatiguing with others.

    Male Vocals
    For some reason, the Rockets were the exact opposite for me with Rock music. I found myself really enjoying all forms of Rock from older classic rock – 10CC, Jethro Tull and the Eagles, to more modern Rock from the likes of Alter Bridge and Seether. They conveyed the timbre of male vocals really well, and seemed to cope really well with guitar driven tracks – although Breaking Benjamin was bordering on “wall of sound” with a lot of harder rock.
    Acoustic rock was really portrayed nicely – and particularly so with the Eagles and Noel Lofgren’s “Acoustic Live “ album. Lofgrens finger picking, and the detail of finger taps and fretboard slides was something I could listen to over and over.

    My litmus test is always Pearl Jam. This was very good, great timbre in Eddie’s voice, and cymbals were coming through a lot clearer this time. But I do know this track quite well – and some of the shimmer from the cymbals just wasn’t there. Again, I do think the Rockets could have benefitted for just a little more heat up top. A personal preference – and one I would later revisit with EQ.

    Genre Specific Notes
    I’ve covered Rock and Female Vocals, so I’ll delve straight into some of my other genre choices.

    With Alt Rock I usually start with Floyd’s classic “Money”. Vocally the presentation was very good, sax was spot on, but I missed some of the upper end detail (too far back). PT’s Trains was really nice though, smooth but yet really dynamic once the bass kicked in.

    For Jazz and Blues, the overall clarity was pretty good. Both Portico Quartet and Miles were really pleasant listening experiences. Very smooth overall, and I would have liked just a little more edginess around cymbals and snares – but these are minor nitpicks. Clear presentation, and generally engaging.

    Moving to Blues and the Rockets were again pretty captivating. I really enjoyed Krall’s piano work and vocals in “Love Me Like A Man”, and likewise the guitar / vocal combo of Bonamassa was just about right. Smooth but clear. Beth Hart’s “Lifts You Up” (which is recorded a little hot) showed no signs of sibilance, but again I was surprised how much “heat” the Rockets roll off the treble. Not that it’s bad with this track – but it is very different to what I normally expect.

    Bass heavier music like Rap, Trance and EDM were actually really good, and I thought this was one of the genres which the Rockets portrayed really nicely for my tastes. The overall bass impact wasn’t the same as I am used to with some of my triple hybrids – but the combo of clarity and bass definition works pretty well. Both Little Dragon and Lindsay Stirling were very enjoyable – the bass wasn’t overpowering, but still remained quite dynamic,

    Pop and Indie fared probably the best of all the genres I tried. Both Adele and Coldplay were very easy listening, and when I switched to Indie (a genre that I’ve been enjoying more and more as I’ve discovered new artists) my appreciation of the Rockets raised a notch. Band of Horses was really good, just a really nice tonal presentation. And Wildlight’s “Dawn to Flight” – was really smooth and dreamy. This track in particular is so much more pleasant when bass is nicely balanced with vocals.

    Classical was also very good on both full orchestral pieces, and also on solo instruments. Kempffs rendition of Beethoven’s Sonatas and Zoe Keating’s performance with cello were both captivating. Even Netrebko & Garanca’s duet from Lakme was pretty good – but lost a little due to the intimate staging (this is one track that is supposed to convey distance and grandeur).

    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

    The Aurisonics Rockets are easily powered straight out of the portable devices I have, and I haven’t experienced any issues with the iPhone 5S, or any of the Fiio Daps. With “Sultans of Swing” on the X3ii I’m sitting around 40/120 on low gain. With iP5S, on the same track I’d be at around 45%. I did try amping with the E17K, but noticed no obvious signs of improvement.

    EQUALISATION

    As you may have picked up, for my own personal tastes, I would usually prefer a slightly brighter presentation. I had noted earlier that the Rockets reminded me a lot of the Shure SE535, so I fired up Accudio Pro on the iP5S, downloaded and applied the correction for the 535’s. This turned out to be a little too bright and thin, so I next used the preset for the SE425. This was just about perfect. I know this particular setting takes a little out of the mid-range and adds some sub bass, while boosting the lower treble a little – and for my preferences it fixed everything that I personally like in a signature.

    Tracks that I found a little lacking during the review “came alive”, and if this was the default tuning I’d be seriously looking at picking up a pair of these.

    COMPARISONS

    rockets19.jpg
    Trinity Delta, Aurisonic Rockets, and DUNU DN-2000J

    Like my last review of the Altone 350, I thought I’d look at comparing the Aurisonics Rockets with two earphones which have become my favourites this year – the Trinity Delta (balanced filter) and DUNU DN-2000J (both of which I’ve previously reviewed). The Delta sits just below 150 USD RRP while the DN-2000J sits above USD 300.00. So the RRP of the Rockets sits squarely between the two.

    I graphed all 3 – using test tones, a calibrated meter, and spreadsheet conversion program. The graph is below, and very much tells its own story
    graphcomparison.png

    Rockets vs Trinity Delta
    On build strength, I’d have to give top marks to the Rockets – although both are built really well. I do prefer the Delta’s cable and jack though – especially with my Fiio gear. Both are really comfortable – with the Rockets edging just slightly ahead. On sound, the Rockets sound closer, with more intimate vocals – where the Delta’s have a better sense of space. Both are reasonably well balanced, but the Delta has more noticeable bass (particularly sub-bass), and also more clarity. Of the two – the Delta sounds more natural to me – YMMV with this. For my preferences, I can listen to the Delta for hours, but the Rockets can sometimes get a little fatiguing with their forward vocal presentation.


    Rockets vs DUNU DN-2000J
    Again, the Rockets would take the top marks for build strength, but the DUNU also have wonderful build quality, and again I prefer the DUNU’s cable and jack. Both are also really comfortable – with the Rockets edging again slightly ahead. I still like the DUNU overall for build innovation (see my review). On sound, the Rockets are again more intimate and closed in with vocal presentation – while the DN-2000J has a natural sense of space. Both again are reasonably well balanced, but the DN-2000J has better quality of bass, and is also brighter, clearer and cleaner. With direct comparison, the Rockets slight mid-bass hump becomes a little more noticeable against the very flat bass line of the 2000J. I very much prefer the vocal presentation of the DN-2000J, and again in direct comparison the Rockets sound just a little unnatural to me (comparatively), and the combination of narrow sound staging and rolled off upper mid-range and treble just leaves me wanting more than they can deliver.


    VALUE
    The Aurisonics Rockets have a normal RRP of $249 and was recently promoted on Massdrop at USD 150.00. At USD 249.00, given the sonics and build quality I actually consider it a very reasonable offering. If you manage to snag a pair at $150 – you’re getting a bargain (I very nearly pulled the trigger on the MD deal). The Rockets should tick most people’s boxes – especially if they prefer a quite balanced (but forward) presentation with non-fatiguing treble presentation.

    AURISONICS ROCKETS – SUMMARY

    With the Rockets, Aurisonics has delivered an extremely well built, and very good sounding IEM at a very reasonable price. Ergonomically they are easy to fit, and because of the diminutive size, extremely comfortable.
    One of its strengths is isolation (no venting), but this also causes some of its problems (vacuum / pressure issues if you get a really good seal).

    Sonically, the Rockets deliver a very intimate presentation with balanced bass, and smooth rolled off treble. They are also reasonably clear – but I say reasonably because the polite treble comes at a cost in overall detail.
    Listened to in isolation (without comparisons), it is easy to get used to their easy going non-fatiguing treble presentation – but it is the lack of upper end (for me) which does at times make the Rockets seem slightly unnatural to me.

    Overall though – the Rockets present an easy to listen to signature with a great build, and at a reasonable price. While I won’t be buying a pair for myself – after comparing to the DN-2000J and Delta, I know they aren’t for me – I still would have no problems recommending them to others.

    Nice job Aurisonics.

    And a final thanks to Luke for giving em the extra time with the Rockets. I really appreciate it mate.

    RECOMMENDATIONS TO AURISONICS

    I’d love to see a version of this driver with a slightly brighter top-end, and slightly less forward mid-range. This is only personal preference though & I could achieve this via EQ. If there was any way to make a soft silicone earloop to hook the cable over ear, that would also be pretty cool.

    I also don’t know how you solve the pressure issues – but my immediate thought would be to sacrifice some of the isolation with a vent. This may have the added advantage of extending sound stage a little perhaps?


    rockets17.jpg
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Brooko
      Thanks for the insight. The jack thing is wired with the Fiios. It's the same with the X3ii and X1 as well. Only set of earphones that have had trouble with the Fiio sockets .......
      Brooko, Jul 28, 2015
    3. Oldandcurious
      I intend to get this, but before pulling the trigger, any thoughts how this compare with Dunu DN-1000 and Ortofon EQ-5?  The Rockets is just a tad more expensive than the Dunu and the Ortofon sells cheaper than the Rockets from this corner of the planet.

      My main portable sources are the X1 and the X3. Music is mostly classical - 60% chamber & 40% orchestral. I do have some smooth vocals and every once awhile do listen to Queen for a change of phase.

      Anyone can chime in. With four kids in college, I cannot go with the buy-and-try collecting approach :)
      Oldandcurious, Aug 1, 2015
    4. Brooko
      Good question.  Can't comment on the Ortofons - but the DN1000 I can definitely compare.  The DUNUs are more spacious, and a lot more V shaped - definitely a fun sounding IEM.  Mids aren't distant - it's just that the lows and highs are emphasized a little more.  You get more accessories with the DUNU.  Build quality is good on both.  Rockets (because of their diminutive size) are more comfortable.  Do you prefer a smooth treble, or something with a bit more clarity? Another I'd personally recommend would be the Trinity Delta. 
      Brooko, Aug 2, 2015
  6. acain
    Reference Sound With an Indestructible Housing and cable
    Written by acain
    Published Mar 31, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, Smooth Balanced Sound
    Cons - A little Pricey, Ear Tips
    This review is for Aurisonics Rockets in ears, a little about me I am 38 years old and have been into hi-res audio since I was in middle school. I don't consider myself an audiophile like many on this forum, but an ear bud or headphone enthusiast. I am mainly into in ear monitors since I use them daily at work for 8 hours, and always have an eye out for something new. Working in a machine shop I need something durable and can withstand a lot of abuse and machine coolant in the air. When I first seen and heard of the Rockets I thought it was one of those products like you see on TV (As Seen On TV) then I saw the price and researched them more and had to try them. I would like to say thank you to Andy at Aurisonics for sending me a demo unit to review, I am not employed or am I being compensated for this review and is based on my honest opinion. The Rockets $249 and $299(mic) you can purchase them from the website. http://aurisonics.com/product/rockets/
     
     
    Aurisonics set record breaking sales overnight with there crowd funded Rockets on Kick Starter. If you haven't heard of them yet you must not be a hard core headphone or ear bud enthusiast, Aurisonics have made big waves in the audio community since there start in 2011. Founded by vocalist and master audio engineer Dale Lott based in the heart of Music City Nashville, Tennessee. All of Aurisonics products are designed and assembled in the U.S.A., up to 60% to 80% of all parts are manufactured in the U.S.A. Aurisonics has quite the extensive product line from universal to custom in ear monitors, and the Rockets for still being fairly new to the audio world. So let's see if these are just a product that are over built and look unique.
     
     
     
    SPECIFICATIONS
     
    Drivers                                           5.1mm Precision Micro Dynamic
    Frequency Response                    18Hz-22kHz
    Impedance                                    16ohm +/ 10% @ 1kHz
    Sensitivity                                      105db @ 1mW
    Passive Noise Reduction              NRR 26dB
    Construction                                  Precision 100% Titanium Shell
    Cable                                             Proprietary Quad-Weave Aramid Cable
    Color                                             Water-Honed Titanium
     
     
     
    _MG_0019.jpg _MG_0013.jpg
     
     
    PACKAGING
     
    The Aurisonics come in a tin box with a product sticker on the front and another sticker on the back with the specifications. Nothing more nothing less, it serves it's purpose and keeps them very safe during shipping and handling
     
     
     
     
    ACCESSORIES
     
    1 Black Carrying Pouch
    Sureseal Tips
    Antiloop set
    Tri-Tab Set
     
    _MG_0021.jpg _MG_0025.jpg
     
     
     
    Aurisonics come with 4 size tips that they call Sureseal for tips for every ear size, they also include a piece that fits inside your ear called the Tri-Tab. The Tri-Tab grabs 3 parts of your ear to help them stay secure. It also includes a real leather carrying case that's embossed with the Aurisonics logo, that has 2 zipper compartments for storing your tips and ear buds. Rockets also come with Antiloops for when wearing them with the cable over the ear. Aurisonics gives you all the necessary accessories and sum, the tin can is a nice touch for storage. Overall I was very pleased with the accessories that came with the Rockets.
     
    _MG_0027.jpg _MG_0030.jpg _MG_0048.jpg
     
     
    BUILD AND FIT
     
    One word to describe the Rockets build  WOW, I thought Shures in ears were built like tanks. The drivers are housed in a 100% Titanium shell that's machined. Titanium is known for its high strength to weight ratio, and not cheap to work with due to the carbide tooling needed to machine it. The drivers are only 5.1mm / .200 of an inch, it has to be one of the smallest housings that I have ever seen. If you look at the opening of the housing you will see a mesh screen protecting the insides. There is a channel going around the outside of the housing for the tips to seat themselves.
     
     
    _MG_0033.jpg _MG_0040.jpg _MG_0044.jpg
     
    The rockets cable is a Proprietary quad-weave aramid cable, the cable is like nothing I have ever seen in terms of strength. It's coated in a clear smooth plastic that is red white and blue. Very fitting colors for the name they really due look like rockets with their Tri-Tabs. There is a cable slide to tighten up cable slack that's made from some kind of plastic that feels like Delran plastic. In the middle of the slide there is a elastic band in the middle for tension around the cable. The band can make it kind of hard to slide up and down, there has been some that have actually broke on some owners. I think they resolved this problem with newer models. They Y splitter is made from the same material as the slide and is sized perfectly, I hate when companies use a big Y splitter. The plug is 3.5mm jack that is set at a right angle made from the same kind of plastic. The housing of the jack is a little big for my liking and it also fits into my phone, dap's tighter then any other jack. You will never have to worry about strain relief with the Rockets, the are tied off mechanically inside all the housings.
     
    _MG_0039.jpg _MG_0037.jpg _MG_0035.jpg
    _MG_0042.jpg _MG_0047.jpg
     
    Now to the actual fit of the Rockets, they isolate better then average ounce I found the right tips. This is were I had the biggest problem the tips that come with them are a material that like to grab to your skin. Every tip that I have tried wouldn't provide a good seal they were either to big or to small. A couple of times the tip actually came off the housing and got stuck in my ear, I  had to use tweezers to remove it, but no big problem. I could see it being a problem if someone younger had this happen to them. One of the problems I found with them the tips don't stay securely on the housing and come off easier then most other tips I have used. Maybe the channel should be a little deeper or maybe it should be flared out to hold them on better. I finally found a tip were they securely fit in my ear with great isolation. Fitting them is very critical for maximum sound, and can change the overall signature and distort the low end. There has been a thread started for tip rolling to get perfect isolation and sound. I found them to be the most comfortable to wear them with the cable down. Trying to wear them over the ear the cable felt uncomfortable due to it's rigidity, people found solutions to this by using a plastic ear guide. When I finally got them to fit right I adjusted the Tri-Tab all the way to the bottom, since I have very small ears. At first I was a little skeptical about them but they really work well, they actually grab parts of your ear. If you have them placed correctly you can give the cable a pretty strong tug and they will stay in your ear. Overall the Rockets are built to last a lifetime besides the tips, they are indestructible to every day abuse. They are even water resistant, they did a demo of the Rockets taking a bath in a glass of water and pulled them out and they still worked.
     
    SOUND
     
    The most important part of the Rockets the sound, how good could something built to industrial standards and mil-spec standards actually sound. My main source I used was Astell & Kern's AK100II, I also used my Samsung Alpha, Fiio X1. The rockets are easy to drive and can be driven by most portable devices. So how do they sound, they sound unbelievably amazing. Their overall sound signature is Neutral or somewhat flat sounding. Flat, but very engaging the low end of the Rockets are tight and well controlled. They are far from being for someone that is a bass head, the bass is well controlled and is well balanced. Trying different tips I found you could get more mid-bass out of them. Now to the midrange the midrange is were these shine in my opinion, they have great clarity and is well refined. I wouldn't say these are mid forward but while listening to them it's the main thing that sticks out to me. Especially with female vocals being lifted, vocals are so smooth and lively and are reproduced with no coloring. The high frequencies are well extended, with great separation and imaging. Cymbals sound like cymbals, every instrument reproduced by this tiny driver is very detailed. Soundstage is very spacious for being such a small package, dynamic driver housings almost always have an air port for the driver to breath I couldn't find any opening. I tried the Rockets with my Fiio X1 stacked with Fiio's E07K amplifier. Stacking with an amp really opened these up, especially with the sub-bass using the bass setting in the amp. You can really tune these to your liking by using EQ settings, I usually don't use an EQ at all. That's one of the benefits to a neutral sounding ear bud, you can really dial them in to how you want them to sound.
     
    CONCLUSION
     
    Overall these have been one of my favorite in ears to use I would highly recommend these to anyone. Their build quality is above and beyond any other in ear that I have seen, their cable is the only cable I wouldn't worry about breaking. Aurisonics is always doing some kind of R&D and will continue to push their limits. Sure there are some things that can be improved on, but what product doesn't? I would love to see them come up with some kind of tip that snaps in place, if anyone could do it this it would be Aurisonics .The Rockets reproduce music the way the engineer intended it to be heard with no coloration. I still haven't heard any of their hybrid monitors and can't wait to get a chance to. If your the type to go through ear buds monthly do yourself a favor spend a little money and buy these, these will last you years. I hope this review has helped anyone interested in buying these, you won't be disappointed.
      MashaT2281 likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. customearsguy
      acain, Thanks for the great review.  I also own the Rockets, AS-1, AS-1.5 & AS-2.5 sets from Aurisonics.  The only improvement I can suggest for the Rockets is custom molded earpieces from Custom-Ears.com.  Once I got my new custom earpieces, the fit was night and day from the supplied earbuds.    As far as being spendy, you're right, they aren't cheap, but I have owned a few sets of the bose in-ear headphones that only lasted a year before the cables went bad.  I use my Rockets every day, and as you said, they sound excellent.  Especially after getting my custom earpieces installed.
      customearsguy, Apr 17, 2015
    3. acain
      That's a great idea never thought about it, I will have to look into pricing.
      acain, Apr 29, 2015
    4. stuart360
      stuart360, Jun 18, 2015
  7. Lieon
    A trip to the moon
    Written by Lieon
    Published Oct 28, 2014
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Mids are buttery smooth and detailed, great sense of air, built like a tank
    Cons - Could use more sub-bass and treble extension
    This is my first review. I do not consider myself an audiophile with golden ears, so take my impressions with a grain of salt. My intention is to help others out who have not had the chance to listen to the Rockets. My impressions of the Rockets will come out of my experience from other IEMs that i've owned / auditioned at length. 
     
    I've been eyeing the Aurisonics Rockets for quite a while now, and was fortunate to come across them at the Australian AV show held in Melbourne. I even got Dale to sign my copy, pretty cool I must say. Anyways, on to the review.
     
    Build and comfort: 
    I really like their build quality. I got the standard brushed titanium with white cabling (red/blue cross hatch). This is probably my only pair of IEMs which I have no intention of babying and I find it incredibly liberating. Too often I worry about damaging my other IEMs by accidentally knocking, dropping or tugging. During the Expo, I gave the Rockets a considerable tug with Dale (my arms were sore after that) and they came away literally unscathed. Knowing that these are built ruggedly gives me an added peace of mind. I can quickly stuff them into a my jeans pocket and not have to worry about them even while I sit on them. Perhaps my only small complaint with them is that the angled headphone jack is slightly too large and protrusive, so care must be taken not to bend them. Obviously time and use will be a true indicator of their ruggedness, but from what I've seen so far, I have confidence in them. Dale jokingly said that if there was only one earphone he could use during an apocalypse, the Rockets would be the one. Quite a testament. 
     
    Comfort wise, I have mentioned earlier in the Rockets thread that i’m having issues with the included SureSeal tips and this continues to be an issue for me. I find their texture too grippy and dry, causing me to exert considerable force just to insert them into my ear canals to achieve a seal. Adding a little bit of moisturiser helps alleviate this issue, but in the end, I opted for my other silicone tips as those provide a much better fit. The Rockets have a regular 5mm nozzle, so tip choices should be plentiful. I generally prefer to use them in an over-ear configuration and I find that they sit well despite not using the provided anti-loop accessory. Going over-ear also reduced cable microphonics considerably as the cable is on the stiffer side and hence, conducts sound more easily over a softer one. I am still unsure about the tri-tab collar as I do not find them very useful, perhaps i'm missing something here? 
     
    Sound:
    Initial audition:
    As mentioned earlier, the first time I put these on were at the Australian AV Show. I auditioned them for about 10 minutes with my HM-901. I was immediately struck by their neutrality (indeed Dale confirmed that they were tuned flat). The sound was uncoloured and there was something special about the mids, they sounded so natural. I generally prefer a neutral sound signature and with the added robustness of the Rockets, it was a no brainer for me. May I add also that the Rockets are slightly harder to drive than my other IEMs (with the exception of the ER4S).
     
    Longer-term report:
    Bass:
    The rockets have very well controlled bass. Bass is quick and tight and does not ‘leak’ into the upper registers. It is slightly lean, but with this comes great texture and control. There is a lack of sub-bass though, which could do with a little bit more extension and rumble. Comparing to the ER4S however, the Rockets bass have considerably more body and ‘oomph’, which was one of my biggest gripes with the ER4S. Previous ER4S owners will find the bass very welcoming indeed. Bass heads may find the Rockets slightly anaemic. 
     
    Mids: 
    I would say that they are mid-centric, but the mids are where the Rockets truly shine. Vocals are rendered smoothly with great sense of airiness without sounding artificial. Being mid-centric, vocals do sound more forward sounding and the impression that I get is that the singer is performing right in front of you. In contrast, my Hifiman RE-600 has a very laid back mid signature and depending on how you prefer your music, the RE-600 gives you the impression that you’re listening to a live concert albeit standing a distance away from the stage. Mids on the Rockets are very detailed as well, being able to pick up every little detail without much effort. I enjoy the mids so much that I would go as far to say that they are up there with my upper tier IEMs. 
     
    Treble: 
    The treble is non-fatiguing, clear and airy, although I feel like it could use a little bit more extension to add some sparkle especially to the cymbals. As such, the treble takes a back seat behind the midrange and can make certain instruments sound less lively. Those who are sensitive to treble aggression however, will love the Rockets as they are very easy to listen to for long periods of time. An added benefit is that sibilance is almost non-existent on them, even while playing tracks that I know are prone to sibilance. I found the Rockets treble more natural sounding than its older brother ASG-2.5, which were a bit too harsh and metallic at times. 
     
    Soundstage and imaging:
    The Rockets have a decent soundstage. Not 1plus2 huge, but definitely larger than say the ER4S or Westone W40 and probably on par with the RE-600 (non-balanced mode). There is a good sense of separation between each instrument which adds to the feeling of ‘being there’ in your music. Pairing with the HM-901, I am able to distinctly determine where each instrument is without much effort with a good sense of 3D-ness. The sound generally extends out and over your ears, unlike the more confined suspects like the ER4S where it sounds restricted to a bubble in your head with very distinct left-right sound directionality. Sound depth / layering is decent, but being mid-centric the treble and bass can sometimes sound 'blended' on one plane, with the mids sticking out forward. 

     
    Overall:
    I am very pleased with my purchase. Not only do the Rockets sound good, they're also durable. If I could add anything to them, it would be a greater extension on both the lows and highs, but hey, you can't have everything right? Their non-fatiguing character allows for an enjoyable listen especially for vocals. These are now my go-to earphones when i'm active on the go. I was told that the best earphone is the one you have with you all the time - and I think the Rockets qualify for this. 
     
    Thank you for your time. 
    Photo19-10-201413135pm.jpg  

      drez, jinxy245 and Plnarmagnaddict like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. almarti
      Thanks a lot for not forgetting it, I bought ER4-PT and I love them. Although rock fan is more rock electric guitar fan so bass is not an issue. Do you suggest in any case always use the spare cable to convert them as ER4S?
      almarti, Nov 4, 2015
    3. Lieon
      Glad to hear you're enjoying the ER4-PT. They are IMO, one of the most neutral sounding earphones and I still use them regularly after 4 years. 
       
      I would only convert them into ER4S when I have a good amp to drive them. When i'm on the go, I remove the converter cable and use it as ER4P. I'm not sure what DAC/amps you use, but I know my iPhone 6 alone is not powerful enough to drive the ER4S. 
      Lieon, Nov 5, 2015
    4. almarti
      At home Windows 7 - Schiit Modi 2 - Schiit Asgard 2 but usually with HD600
      On the go iPod 5G Onkyo HF Player and Tidal - Audioquest DragonFly v1.2 - ER4-PT, at hotel replace DF by Windows 7.
      I need your recommendation of DAC/Amp MFI to work with iPod 5G.
      What's your opinion on Oppo HA-2, Sony PHA2 and Chords Mojo?
      almarti, Nov 5, 2015
  8. xaddictionx
    The Rocket Sound!
    Written by xaddictionx
    Published Oct 9, 2014
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing sound with astonishing vocals and tight fast bass
    Cons - Microphonics
    Have been using the rockets for a few days now and the sound is simply brilliant! Pretty hard to imagine such a small IEM or a small driver can pump up such a full bodied sound. 
     
    Here are my short take on the rockets with some comparisons.
     
    Aurisonics Rockets:

     
    Lows:
    Low ends on the rockets are nicely done. Bass ain't overwhelming nor lacking. Bass hits with authority just reaching sub bass region before it starts to roll off at around 35-40Hz. The bass is extremely tight and fast with short decay. Bass texture is very good and sounds full, however not a bass head choice of phones.
     
    Mids:
    Mids are the limelight of the show here. The rockets retain the house sound signature of Aurisonics mids and vocals. The rockets could pose off as slightly mid centric whilst still retaining a balanced sound tilting towards flat or neutral response. Vocals are very well done here easily outshining sets such as SE535Ltd. Vocals sound really lush and intimate putting you right up next to the vocalist. You can practically hear every ounce of the singer's breath and the "rawness" in it. Vocals here does resemble the ASG2 which is highly regarded for its presentation of mids and vocals. Both male and female vocals sound excellent out from the rockets. Instruments separation is superb as well, with each instrument having air and space in between them and layered in a manner that it can be picked up quite easily from the rest. String instruments sound extremely crisp as well. However, due to the fast nature of the driver and short decay, it seems to have a toll on the timbre of the instruments. Though the vocals are presented in a forward fashion, soundstage of the rockets is surprisingly good, beating its elder brother the ASG2. The rockets is able to achieve a wide soundstage with very good imaging and depth.
     
    Highs:
    Highs and treble extension on the rockets is extremely linear though not as smooth as sets such as the Westone 4. The rockets can go bright on certain occasions depending on your setup and tracks used. It achieves impeccable clarity reaching the level of Hifiman RE272 but not as bright and sharp as the T-Peos H300. Due to the nature of the low end, the rockets have excellent detail retrieval capabilities and clarity which bests the ASG2. Instruments such as cymbals and snares does suffer slightly due to the fast nature of the driver resulting in very short decay.
     
    Overall, the rockets are tuned more to a flat and neutral sound signature whilst retaining the Aurisonics trademark mids and vocals. It is not a dark or warm sounding phone but rather balanced sounding. Bass is extremely tight and fast which focuses more on quality than on quantity. Timbre wise, the rockets takes a hit here due to the fast nature of the driver.
     
     
    Comparison with ASG2:
    Placed aside its elder brother the ASG2, it does sound bass light in comparison. That doesn't mean the rockets is bass light but the ASG2 focuses more on heavy thumping bass with a slight bump in the mid bass region. The rockets on the other hand, has much lesser mid bass bump with sub bass just touching around 40Hz packed with rocket speed. 
     
    Mids is where the fun begins. Mids in the rockets is simply nothing short of amazing. With side by side comparison with ASG2, it does sound pretty similar. Probably the ASG2 takes a slight edge here due to its warmer sounding signature and longer decay which increases the naturalness of vocals. However, it is worth noting that such a small driver in the rockets can churn out comparable mids with the ASG2 and easily beating SE535Ltd. Soundstaging is also slightly larger compared to the ASG2 probably due to the tamed nature of its low end.
     
    The rockets does have better clarity and slightly better details retrieval due to lesser bass impact and a more linear and present treble extension. Timbre wise, the ASG2 is hard to beat.
     
     
    Comparison with UE900:
    The UE900 is another set of monitor that does not have a huge amount of low end coupled to it though it does have 2 dedicated drivers to take the role of lows. The UE900 is also a balanced sounding phone leaning more towards a flat response. Low ends on both rockets and UE900 seemed comparable with the rockets having a fuller sounding low end with a rounder bass impact. However, the UE900 does dig deeper than rockets especially when coupled with an amp. With the right setup, the bass on UE900 can be very fulfilling. 
     
    MIds on the UE900 can often be hindered with a slight veil or clouding. Vocals on UE900 is portrayed very well with just the right distance away from the singer sounding very natural too. The rockets makes the singer comes "alive" and making the UE900 sound slightly recessed. Note that this is only apparent when placed beside the rockets. Details on UE900 is typical of a BA driver with excellent touch and presentation. However, the rockets does have more air and space between instruments making it sound more on-stage.
     
    Highs are comparable on both sets with UE900 sounding smoother and slightly further extension. The rockets does have better clarity and can be brighter than the UE900 on certain occasions.
     
     
    Comparison with T-Peos H300:
    These are two very different sounding sets of IEMs. With the H300 taking on both extreme ends of lows and highs. The H300 is a really special sounding phones with simply jaw dropping low end which destroys sub bass impact of ASG2 and even besting the SE846 which sports a woofer like bass. Bass impact is no fight here with H300 taking home brilliant sub bass impact, quality, quantity and texture. Nothing i have heard has come close to H300 bass performance with only SE846 coming near. 
     
    Treble extension wise, H300 achieves a further extension than rockets. But that comes with a cost. The H300 treble can be intolerable at times due to a treble spike which can also cause vocal sibilence. With that said, H300 is a bright sounding phone even when compared to Hifiman RE272. Details and clarity takes over the edge of rockets. But i do find that the rockets strikes a better balance than the H300. Clarity and brightness is done better on rockets than on H300.
     
    MIds wise, no questions asked and rockets takes home the win pretty easily. Due to the emphasized low end and treble, the mids and vocals on H300 takes a back seat. Listening to vocals on H300 is like listening to a recording. It just simply lost the touch to make the music comes alive as opposed to rockets and ASG2. 
     
     
    With the comparisons done, i would say that the rockets are simply a brilliant offering from Aurisonics. However, microphonics can be unbearable at times (i have no idea on how to use the anti loop as the cable does not seem to stay on when placed over the ear). 
    The rockets is definitely a very good compliment to the ASG2 with UE900 taking the middle seat working well with almost all genres.  
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