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Jomo Haka

Rating:
4.2/5,
  1. yong_shun
    Jomo Audio Haka - The Breakthrough
    Written by yong_shun
    Published May 13, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Tonality balance and neutral
    Good isolation due to the small form factor
    Provides a paid option to get a higher quality cable
    Cons - The price is quite steep
    Foam tips are not included
    The case could be better
    Normal 4 twisted wire cable looks shabby
    Jomo Audio took on a journey to design a single Balanced Armature (BA) driver and Haka is proof to the community that the limitation of the performance of a single Balanced Armature (BA) driver can be addressed.

    Disclaimer
    This review is originally posted on Headphonesty. I won this pair of in-ear monitors (IEM) during CanJam Singapore 2019. Thank you Euphoria Audio who hosted the lucky draw. This is not a sponsored post, but an honest review written from a consumer’s point of view.

    Introduction
    Jomo Audio is founded by a broadcast engineer, Joseph Mou. Joseph has long experience in Audio & Video (AV) mixing as well as signal broadcasting. Being inspired by the Japanese word of “Takumi” or Craftsmanship Spirit in English, Joseph extending his expertise to the audio industry. He worked with experts from hearing-aid business to craft wonderful IEMs that sound decent in ear and looks splendid on hands.

    "We studied existing single BA driver IEMs in the market and the result was not very pleasant. We kept challenging ourselves to see what we can deliver by using the minimum number of driver and how we can make it better." - Joseph Mou

    By understanding the situation and consumers’ needs, Jomo Audio worked closely with well-known Balanced Armature technology supplier to have a breakthrough in the design. However, Jomo Audio was not satisfied with what they can provide off the shelf.

    Hence, Jomo Audio decided to embark on designing a new Balanced Armature driver with self-specified performance. The journey was not easy. Numerous trials had been done by the engineers. Jomo Audio Haka is the answer to the mentioned situation.

    Haka Close Look 3.jpg
    Jomo Audio Haka

    Unboxing
    The unboxing experience for Jomo Audio Haka can be considered as pleasant. Upon removing the cardboard packaging, you’ll see a blue box with an engraved gold Jomo Audio logo.

    Haka Paper Box.JPG
    Jomo Audio Haka in a cardboard packaging

    Haka Internal Box.JPG
    Revealing a blue box after the cardboard packaging is removed

    Opening the box, user can find everything that is neatly arranged in a preset foam encased layout. The top portion is a single slot for the accessories while there is another for the semi-stiffened leather zippered pill-case. Inside the pill-case, user can find the Haka with the stock cable pre-installed.

    Haka Opening.JPG
    On the cover of the pill-case, there is an engraved “JOMO”.

    I am unsure whether is it due to the case, the stock cable was stained - there are some black spots on the cable that I cannot clean it even with a wet wipe.

    Haka Case 1.JPG
    The pill-case

    Haka Case 2.JPG
    Haka can sit perfectly in the case.

    The included accessories are as follows:
    • 1 x cleaning brush/tip
    • 3 x single bore Tennmak Whirlwind tips (s/m/l)
    • 3 x dual flange silicone tips (s/m/l)
    • 1 x quarter jack adapter
    • Airplane adapter
    • Leather semi-stiffened carry case
    Haka Unbox.JPG
    Accessories provided in the box.

    Users have the freedom to choose the cable when purchasing Jomo Audio Haka - a normal 4 wire braided silver plated copper (SPC) cable or an Effect Audio Ares II cable. You have to top up an additional of SGD200 (~USD145) if you decided to choose the Ares II.

    Since this is a gift for a lucky draw, only the normal stock cable was included. I have an Ares II from my Empire Ears IEM and I swapped it around for this review.

    Specifications
    • Single Proprietary Precision Balanced Armature Drivers
    • No crossover
    • 3D printed ergonomic semi-custom shell design
    • Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
    • Sensitivity: 107dB
    • Impedance: 18 ohms @ 1K Hz
    • Solid Brass nozzle
    The design approach for Haka is different. This is not a showing off of technology. This is a showcase of proprietary single balanced armature driver that Jomo Audio has crafted with their own specification and determination to break the current norm - Single BA driver IEM will not sound decent.

    Build, Fit and Isolation
    The shell of Jomo Haka is 3D-printed. The size is relatively small as compared to other 3D-printed IEMs’ shells such as iBasso IT03. Haka has a familiar look of a custom in-ear monitor (CIEM) which gives it a classy and sleek vibe.

    There is only one color option for the universal model - Black with a gold “HAKA” on the shell.

    This makes the overall presentation simple but eye-catching. Gold and black combination is always good.

    Haka Close Look 2.jpg
    Jomo Haka in a close look - Black with a gold “HAKA” on the shell.

    The nozzle is built by brass which makes the nozzle durable. The bore of the nozzle is pretty wide so users who are looking for third parties ear tips might need to search for those with a wide bore. With the brass nozzle, it enables the ear tips to extend well into my ear canal, giving me decent noise isolation.

    Haka Nozzle.jpg
    A brass nozzle that makes Haka looks sturdy.

    The stock cable I got from the packaging is a silverish 4 twisted wire cable. As mentioned in the earlier section, my cable got stained most likely by the internal of the pouch. The cable has moldable ear guides - a memory wire with heat shrunk outer layer.

    This is a nightmare for those who are wearing spectacles. I cannot get a good fit with the stock cable. This issue is solved when I change the cable to Effect Audio Ares II.

    Haka Cable.JPG
    Jomo Haka with pre-installed stock cable.

    The jack is a 3.5mm unbalanced stereo jack finished at a right angle with a stress relief finish. The same stiffened rubber finish of the jack is used for the y-splitter and adjustable neck slider. The microphonics on the cable is minimal if you managed to shape the memory wire to your ear shape with the aid of the neck slider

    There are no sharp edges on the shell and the weight of the IEM is light. I do not feel any fatigue after hours of listening. I really like the fitting of this IEM (with Ares II). Jomo Haka is utilizing a 0.78mm non-recessed 2 pin connector. This is a common market standard so a lot of third parties cables can be found to replace or upgrade the original cable.

    Haka Connector.jpg
    Non-recessed 0.78mm 2 pin connector on top of Haka.

    Pairing
    In this review, I used my favorite Opus #3 as the source. I did some cable rollings and source matching for this review. I am using MandarinEs Symbio W ear tips (not included in the box) during this review.

    Haka Pairing.jpg
    Jomo Haka with Effect Audio Ares II on Opus #3.

    Sound
    No crossover, no phase cancellation, just powerful and coherent pure sound.

    I found the tagline interesting and this could be the best words to describe the sound of Jomo Haka. The overall sound signature of Jomo Haka is relatively neutral. The presentation is uncolored. Coherent, with only a single driver and no crossover, the response is very accurate and on-point. It is almost perfect on the pace, rhythm, and timing.

    The soundstage is above average. On X-axis, space is sufficient for instruments and vocalists to stand without stepping on each other. I do not find any congestion for most of the track even with a complicated track. On Y-axis, the depth is sufficient. Haka can present the stage in a precise manner. I think this is the best I can get with a single BA driver.

    Haka Instagram 1.jpg
    Jomo Haka looks perfect with Ares II installed.

    Lows
    The lows are deep and fast - for a single BA driver IEM. When listening to Die Another Day from Madonna, I wouldn’t believe this is a response that can be presented by a single BA driver IEM. The lows are not warm, rather fast and tight. This is the bass that I valued the most. It is true that a warm lows can bring in some emotions to the track but sometime it might bleed to other frequency spectrum.

    The mentioned problem does not exist in Jomo Haka. The bass is very well controlled. It presents when it is needed and decay with the fastest speed after the presence. Very accurate presentation.

    With Effect Audio Ares II paired with Haka, the body becomes fuller and the response is faster. I like this combination and I think users who like clean, deep and punchy bass should go for this combination. Ares II can unleash the full potential of Haka at the lows without a doubt.

    Haka Instagram 2.jpg
    Jomo Haka on the black cardboard packaging.

    Mids
    If someone was to ask what I like the most from the sound of Jomo Haka, the midrange is the one for sure.

    What I love about the midrange is the smoothness and the emotion in the delivery. There is no spike in the mids and I enjoy myself especially on pop songs.

    User will expect more of an upper mids focus than lower mids focus. With the pairing of Ares II, the lower mids will turn richer. There is a small focus on the vocals for Haka but these sound natural and realistic. Ares II actually warms the mids, making it sounds meatier and juicier.

    There is also a good amount of space and air in the mids. When this meets with the fast and punchy bass, everything is coherent.

    Haka Instagram 3.jpg
    Jomo Haka on the blue box.

    Highs
    Energetic is a good word to describe the highs of Haka. The highs do not have the best extension but it is sufficient to make the sound sparkle.

    "You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend." - Bruce Lee

    The treble can be soft sometimes, giving a different presentation. It is not always energetic. It can sit in any tracks without any issues. The treble synchronizes in a balanced manner with the rest of the spectrum. It gives the overall presentation a sufficient amount of air and space. Nonetheless, the treble is not airiest but it coexist flawlessly with the mids and lows.

    Haka Close look 1.jpg
    Another close look on Jomo Haka and the stock cable.

    Conclusion
    Jomo Audio Haka is a great choice for those who want an IEM that sounds neutral and simple. At SGD499 (~USD365), this IEM’s performance to price ratio makes it attractive. However, I would highly encourage user to opt for the Ares II combination because the stock cable pulls Haka’s performance back. Ares II has a better build quality than the stock cable.

    Haka retails for SGD499 (~USD365). It can be purchased at most of the major audio retailers such as ConnectIT by Jade Gift Shop (Singapore) or directly from Jomo Audio

    I would like to congratulate the team from Jomo Audio with a loud “Mission Accomplished”.

    The team overcomes what is constraining a single BA driver IEM, designing Haka from with a ground-up approach. The BA driver is well-designed to handle the whole frequency spectrum without any compromises.

    Achievement unlocked, Jomo Audio!
      Wyville likes this.
  2. Deezel177
    Jomo Audio Haka - The Boy Wonder
    Written by Deezel177
    Published Feb 15, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Value for performance
    - Excellent tonal balance (and therefore, versatility)
    - Impressive sub-bass extension without over-prominence
    - Airy, open, spacious mids
    - A light, feathery, inoffensive treble
    - Gorgeous build quality
    Cons - May lack treble sparkle and raw clarity for some
    - Midrange positioning lies on the more neutral side
    DISCLAIMER: Jomo Audio provided me with the Haka in return for my honest opinion. I am not personally affiliated with the company in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. The review is as follows.

    Jomo Audio is a Singaporean manufacturer specialising in universal and custom IEMs. Broadcasting engineer Joseph Mou started the company in 2015, after his efforts in the DIY space rapidly found success throughout the audiophile community. Now a staple of cosmetic flair and excellent sonic performance, Jomo Audio has become one of the largest monitor brands in Asia. Today, we’ll be looking at Joseph’s single-driver unit: The Haka. Although it is the company’s entry-level piece, Haka is probably its most unique; boasting a fully-proprietary balanced-armature driver custom-voiced by Jomo Audio themselves. Truly bespoke from the inside out, the Haka is Joseph Mou’s attempt at the less-is-morementality: Maximum yield through minimal means; a true test of technical ingenuity and relentless innovation.

    JHaka-4.jpg

    Jomo Audio Haka

    • Driver count: One balanced-armature driver
    • Impedance: 18Ω @ 1kHz
    • Sensitivity: 107dB
    • Key feature(s) (if any): Fully-proprietary balanced-armature driver; 3D-printed shells (universal variant only)
    • Available form factor(s): Universal and custom acrylic IEM
    • Price: S$599
    • Website: www.jomoaudio.com
    Build and Accessories

    The Haka arrives in a laser-embossed, navy blue clamshell box. Inside, you’ll find 1/4-inch and airline adapters, an owner’s card (not included in my review sample), a cleaning tool and a UE-esque, billet aluminium case with the IEMs nestled inside – all within the package’s velvet-lined cut-outs. Visually, the Haka makes a strong first impression. Accessories are modest, but the efforts that went into presentation definitely boost the unboxing experience. Despite their humble beginnings, the Jomo Audio team have effectively shed the rusticity associated with home-grown, DIY start-ups. Fully abandoning the ubiquitous Peli 1010 case as a form of packaging placebo, this is both maturity and attention to detail I’d love to see more of throughout 2018, lest I continue my hard case collection into the high 20s.

    JHaka-1 copy.jpg

    Contrary to companies of their relatively young age, build quality and aesthetic finesse are things the Jomo Audio team struggle to get wrong. Defying the stereotypes that plague every Asian nation (but Japan), the born-and-raised Singaporean firm has produced some of the most stunning in-ears I have ever seen. Whether it’s multi-coloured swirls, genuinely-textured stone faceplates or full carbon-fibre shells, they can truly do it all. And, as you can see, my Haka is no exception. I gave Joseph full creative control over the monitor’s visual theme, and the blue-silver swirl he came up with exudes reserved glamour. From the shimmer of the shells and the vortex-like faceplate design, to the gold metallic accents, my personal Haka exemplifies simplicity and detail. Additionally, the unit boasts some of the best fit and comfort I’ve ever experienced, topped of with an outstanding lacquer coat; smooth and illustrious all throughout.

    JHaka-9.jpg

    Presentation

    The Jomo Audio Haka sports a well-balanced, versatile and musically-engaging signature. With its sans-crossover, single-driver configuration, Joseph aimed to achieve a forgiving yet capable signature, and he’s certainly succeeded here. Apart from moderate lifts along the sub-bass and lower-treble, the Haka maintains impressive linearity. This superb coherence – paired with the Haka’s admirable top-end extension – is responsible for the monitor’s outstandingly black background. It’s unquestionably one of the most stable foundations I’ve ever encountered within this price range, and it does wonders for the Haka’s technical performance. The in-ear gains tons of natural headroom through sheer (linear) extension alone, so instruments maintain a sense of crackle and pop despite the monitor’s lush and laid-back presentation. Like I mentioned previously, a slight bass bias does exist here, but it’s tastefully done for the sake of fun.

    JHaka-5.jpg

    The Haka constructs a natural, cube-like image; even in width, depth and height. Additionally, it maintains Jomo Audio’s knack for excellent precision by using a familiar set of ingredients: Neutral notes, a stable stage and swift decay. Like the Samba and the Flamenco, the Haka exhibits an above-average sense of speed. Where it differs is in treble articulation. The Haka neither sparkles nor bites like its bigger brothers; favouring a linear treble until roll-off. As a result, its average note size may come across as timid, but it has the advantage of sounding smoother, more forgiving and more natural than either of its siblings. Plus, the Haka’s neutral vocal placement greatly boosts depth, tip-toeing between expansion and recession with admirable success. Instrument separation is impressive, even if a small amount of texture wassacrificed for smoothness and tone. But, at the end of the day, the Haka still manages an honourable balance between tact and musicality; compensating its lack of bite with immense speed, whilst maintaining realism throughout.

    Bass

    The Haka’s low-end is noticeably sub-bass-inclined. Although mainstream pieces generally prefer a fuller bottom, the Haka has forgone this for an emphasis on control and definition. Impact is still satisfying – generally above average – but more noticeable is how tight these punches are, as well as the air that surrounds each note. As a result, the Haka’s low-end achieves great clarity and a neutral-erring tone. The mid-bass region is more relaxed by comparison, which helps maintain a clean stage. Also responsible for this is the low-end’s impressive pace. Swift transient response further boosts the monitor’s dynamic energy, and its short decay maintains a pitch-black background. Though, bassheads may find themselves underwhelmed by the more foundational nature of the low-end, rather than pure, unbridled slams. But, the bass’s agility and texture renders it versatile and genre-agnostic; unprecedented in the entry level.

    Give-and-take aside, the Haka’s clearest achievement is extension. Jomo Audio’s proprietary driver outputs impressive amounts of sub-bass rumble, successfully establishing the in-ear’s rhythmic foundation. Again, the rise is modest and quick, so don’t expect any skull-rattling to occur. But, the Haka still displays great physicality, leading to emotionally-satisfying cadences when listening to genres like pop, EDM or metal – all without losing an ounce of finesse. Additionally, this energy contributes slightly to vocal body in place of the mid-bass and the lower-midrange. Low-end coherence and timbre are the last to benefit from this. Upright basses and kick drums consistently sound rounded and clear, due to the linearity maintained from transience to decay. Some may notice a slight lack of bloom, but that would’ve been one compromise too many for the Haka’s balanced delivery; a work-and-play dynamic infused with skill, organicity and fun.

    Midrange

    The Haka begins with a lower-midrange dip. Because of a valley spanning around 500 to 1,000Hz, the Haka delivers vocals with impressive cleanliness, clarity and precision. This endows instruments with a light, wispy and feathered quality, but they never come across anaemic or thin. Again, the Haka’s solid, energetic sub-bass injects trace amounts of body and warmth into the midrange. This attenuated region also creates an impressive amount of space around lead instruments. But, thankfully, a rise in the presence region (around 2-3kHz) prevents them from sounding diffuse or distant. The result is a seductive, alluring midrange with a mindful balance between emotional resonance and finesse. Enthusiasts with a true love for singer-oriented tracks may take issue with the Haka’s lack of intimacy and note size, but its current tuning benefits versatility, because of a universally-beneficial emphasis on space and speed.

    JHaka-7.jpg

    The Haka’s lush-yet-roomy tuning inherently strays away from the bombastic, big band, wall-of-sound-esque signatures exemplified by the Lime Ears Aether or the Vision Ears VE8. But on the other hand, this contributes to its relaxing ambience; ideal for extended listening. The Haka dips once again around 4kHz, before rising in the lower-treble. These shifts make sure the monitor retains vibrancy and edge, but they’re also crucial in maximising versatility. The dip ensures the Haka is always stridence-free, while the following rise aids contrast in articulation. In terms of timbre, the Haka remains impressively natural too. Despite a neutral mid-bass, the monitor’s linear upper-treble imbues great organicity into the midrange. Again, playing into the Haka’s buttery nature, instruments truly impress in skill and tone. Although there’s room for improvement as far as harmonic detail and texture are concerned, the Haka’s midrange is a role model in the sub-$500 market; favouring tonal accuracy, effortless resolution, versatility and air.

    Treble

    As mentioned, the Haka employs a lower-treble peak to provide clarity and articulation. It resides somewhere around 6kHz, giving instruments an airy and tizzy edge. An earlier rise would’ve given the Haka better solidity (when reproducing hi-hats, vocal vibratos, etc.), but on the other hand, poorer recordings could’ve run the risk of sounding brittle as well. Jomo Audio clearly settled on a rise with versatility in mind, continuing the Haka’s congruent theme. This feeds into the wispy, ethereal quality present in the midrange; pairing ample headroom with smooth, effortless and clear delivery. It establishes the Haka’s natural spin on transparency (not dissimilar from IEMs like the Warbler Prelude or the Empire Ears Phantom) where linearity and coherence reign supreme. Finally, a familiar element – speed – returns to aid the Haka’s sense of attack; treble notes appearing like warm feathers to the ear before vanishing without a trace.

    The lower-treble is where the Haka peaks last. My church’s slow-rock rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – which I recorded live, mixed and mastered – particularly lacks the high-frequency hiss present in the piano channel; indicative of a 10-12kHz dive. However, the track still maintains admirable left-right separation (especially considering the four guitars panned throughout the stage) and an impressive centre image. I imagine this is due to the single-driver’s immunity against phasing and it plays into the solo star nature of the Haka’s vocal presentation. The calm upper-treble proves detrimental, though, in texture and friction. In instruments like guitars and violins, the Haka ever-so-slightly smears the pluck of a string or the pull of a bow. But on the bright side, this aids organicity. The reverb-like liquidity naturalises instruments, so neither the lower-midrange dip nor the lower-treble lift come across as artificial or hollow. Plus, the former allows the Haka to retain adequate separation and stability, even with its relaxed top-end.

    Select Comparisons

    JHaka-3.jpg

    Warbler Audio Prelude ($1099)

    The Prelude is another single-driver stunner from Turkish manufacturer, Warbler Audio. Like the Haka, the Prelude is very much a proprietary product, except its innovations take place around the driver; instead of within it. Although both monitors pursue wildly different ideologies – timbral accuracy for the Prelude, and versatility for the Haka – they arrive at their respective signatures with surprising similarities and very telling deviations. In presentation, the Warbler Audio in-ear is immediately more intimate, romantic and full-sounding compared to the Haka. Their stage dimensions aren’t too far off, but the Prelude’s forwardly-placed midrange and accentuated mid-bass occupy this space to a greater degree. The Haka allows more space around its instruments, but it sounds shier and less engaging as a result. Both in-ears exhibit great speed, rendering both their stages relatively clean, stable and well-resolved.

    The Prelude’s low-end is mid-bass-inclined, comprised of dense, warm and gorgeously-textured hits with excellent definition and separation. The Haka’s is less defined and more tonally neutral, but its superior speed makes way for a cleaner stage. The Prelude’s low-end is more life-like in tone and decay, but the Haka absolutely beats it in extension; providing rumble and physicality that the Prelude simply can’t compete with. The Prelude’s bass is better heard, while the Haka’s is better felt. The midrange is probably where the two are least alike. The Haka lacks the Prelude’s forwardness, texture, power and note size, but it gives the Warbler Audio flagship a run for its money in tone and delivery. The Haka provides admirable tonal balance and constant smoothness, even if its articulation isn’t as graceful as the Prelude’s; a result of their contrasting positions at 5kHz. Though, the Haka’s decision to employ a lower-midrange dip gives it a blacker background, a more airy instrumental presentation and superior transparency.

    Both monitors share a relatively linear upper-treble. The Haka’s lower-treble peak is its main source of articulation, while the Prelude’s resides in the middle-treble. As a result, the former’s interpretation of clarity is thinner and wispier, while the latter’s is thicker, meatier and more shimmer-inclined. Both emit similar amounts of energy, but they emphasise different harmonics. In cymbal crashes or open hi-hat hits, the Haka’s response is more tss… tss… while the Prelude’s interpretation sounds closer to tsh… tsh… Nevertheless, excellent speed on both allows either tuning to sound relatively clear (despite the relaxed upper-treble), so it’s simply a matter of preference. The Haka’s treble exhibits superior extension though – resulting in its blacker background – and the two trade blows in micro-detail retrieval and authority.

    JHaka-2.jpg

    Nocturnal Audio Avalon (S$629)

    Also hailing from the cityscapes of Singapore, Nocturnal Audio is another promising up-and-comer in the CIEM industry. Their Avalon is the Haka’s most direct competitor in the sub-S$1000 price range; equipped with a number of the company’s in-house tweaks. Dubbed AEX technology, the Avalon comes packed with unique cross-over networks, specially-treated sound tubes and a solid capacitor for high-pass filtering. This innovation promises a clean transition between the bass and the midrange, as well as a fun, dynamic signature.

    Sonically, the Avalon employs similar – albeit significantly exaggerated – peaks and humps as the Haka, along with additional peaks along the mid-bass and upper-treble. As a result, both monitors share several spatial qualities. Instruments on both are neutrally-placed with average-sized notes, but the Avalon’s are thinner and crisper due to the upper-treble peak. This aberration also means the Avalon has the cleaner stage – with a greater contrast between notes and the background – even though headroom is similar between the two. Soundstage expansion – again – leave the two within spitting distance, but the Avalon has the edge in width, while the Haka has superior depth.

    The Haka and the Avalon have similarly accentuated low-ends. But, the latter has more mid-bass energy which adds thump-y-ness to tracks. The Haka’s is more versatile, polite and clear. Plus, its linear timbre also proves better-suited towards instrumental reproduction. The two monitors share a lower-midrange valley, but the Avalon’s is more exaggerated. As a result, instruments on the Avalon sound thinner and drier, even if they’re relatively cleaner by comparison. They then rise similarly in the presence region, but the Avalon – again – has a sharper rise at 6kHz. Vocals are – at this point – much more articulative, but also considerably more fatiguing. The Haka’s smoother delivery is a tad less engaging; lacking a smidgeon of texture. But, it’s infinitely easier to listen to, especially over long periods of time.

    The treble region is where the two completely diverge. While the Haka settles after its lower-treble peak with a linear – but well-extended – drop-off, the Avalon has an extra rise around 11-12 kHz. This further increases its transient response, which translates to clarity, air and articulation. This’ll make the Avalon seem more detailed and clean. But, in actuality, both monitors retrieve similar amounts of detail and exhibit similar levels of resolution, even if the Haka is more subtle in its delivery. More crucially, this upper-treble peak significantly decreases the Avalon’s long-term comfort. Exaggerated contrast between the Avalon’s extremes allow for a fun – albeit short – listening experience, while the Haka is better geared for extended sessions; calmer and more restrained, but more rewarding in the long run.

    Verdict

    The Haka is Jomo Audio’s most ambitious release yet. Despite the limiting nature of single-driver in-ears, Joseph Mou – with the help of proprietary technology – has succeeded in his pursuit of ultimate coherence; delivering an immensely versatile monitor that balances fun, smoothness and accuracy in equal measure. In many ways, the Haka is an understated product. It exhibits none of the industry’s tropes; neither a dynamic mid-bass nor a crisp, crystalline treble. And yet, achievements in linearity, speed and headroom have resulted in a sonic palate alluringly musical, immaculately smooth and outstandingly homogenous at every turn. It’s the singular, powerful sound Joseph Mou had slaved to achieve, and it’s why the Haka is such a wonder at any price (though, the one it is in makes it all the more impressive). Kudos to the Jomo Audio team for their latest triumph, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future.

    JHaka-6.jpg
    1. Matthew420
      How would you compare it to the single-BA Custom Art Black?
      Matthew420, Apr 29, 2019
    2. Deezel177
  3. thelittleaudiophile
    Jomo Haka CIEM
    Written by thelittleaudiophile
    Published Jul 30, 2018
    4.0/5,
    [​IMG]


    Specifications:

    Driver: 1 x Balanced Armature

    Impedance: 18 ohms

    Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz

    Sensitivity: 107 dB

    Connector: 0.78 mm 2-pin

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Jomo in any way and do not benefit monetarily or in any other form for writing this review. I purchased this in-ear monitor with my own resources and I am simply giving my honest review of the product!

    Review by: “Gloryrain” from The Little Audiophile

    Jomo Haka CIEM Retail Price (at time of writing): Starting from S$599

    TLA Score
    Physical Attributes
    Comfort: 9/10
    Durability: 9/10
    Ease of Wearing: 7/10
    Noise Isolation: 9.5/10
    Microphonics: 8/10
    Value for Money: 8/10

    Sonic Attributes
    Bass: 8/10
    Mids: 7/10
    Trebles: 7/10
    Sound Stage: 6/10
    Separation & Imaging: 7/10
    Source Matchability: 6/10



    The Jomo Haka is a single balanced armature driver IEM available in Universal IEM (UIEM) or Custom IEM (CIEM) form. For the purpose of this review, we will be looking at the CIEM version of the Haka. The Haka comes in at S$599 and $499 for the base model of the CIEM and UIEM respectively. These IEMs are not cheap by any means so they’d better deliver in performance and build quality. But do they?

    THE BOX
    The Haka comes in a minimalistic black box with the words “HAKA” and “In-Ear monitors” on the front. Very simple, but I really dig the design – it just screams professionalism.

    Open up the box and you will find a warranty card, an aluminum case to house your IEM and lastly, the IEM itself. Do note that you do not get ear tips for the CIEM version of the Haka as there is no need for those.

    [​IMG]

    BUILD AND DESIGN
    Housing
    The Haka is housed in a very well made glossy finished acrylic shell which I have no complaints about. The golden “Gloryrain” logo is precision laser engraved into the shell and looks absolutely stunning. The housing does have some heft to it and the build quality is really commendable.

    [​IMG]

    Wire
    The stock wire that comes with the Haka is a 4-core Silver Plated Copper (SPC) wire which is really just decent. I am not saying that the cable is bad or of poor quality but it is unremarkable for the Haka’s price point. The cable is machine braided and the braiding is tight. The 3.5 mm jack is solid with a decent enough strain relief system and the connector terminates into a 0.78 mm connector on the other end.

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    COMFORT
    Comfort on the Jomo Haka CIEM is no doubt fantastic, considering it is, after all, a custom. The acrylic nozzle does not put excessive pressure on the inner ear and fits snug as a pug. There is, however, some heat build up after an extended listening period, but nothing too extreme or uncomfortable.

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    SOUND QUALITY
    Okay. The Haka IEM is tuned in favor of musicality as opposed to technicality. It takes on the U-shaped sound signature that leans towards the warmer side and takes on a smooth and relaxed tonality.

    The soundstage on the Haka is not particularly wide, due to the tight seal and heightened amount of body in the bass and lower mids. Do not expect “live-like” tracks representation. Instrumental separation is also just average and you do not get a distinct sense of separation between guitars and the percussion. Be advised that the soundstage and instrumental separation is by no means bad, it just hits slightly above its price range.

    Vocals take a nice mid-presentation while instruments take on a more frontal presentation. Once again, soundstage is not especially wide but is good enough for the price.

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    Bass
    In the Haka, there is more sub-bass body than mid-bass body. Bass extension is quite good and mid-bass leans towards the tighter side of the spectrum. Bass takes on a relaxed presentation but has a tinge of aggression to it. The bass profile on the Haka actually helps bring out warmth in the sound signature.

    Mids
    As mentioned, the Haka carries a U-shaped sound signature which means that the mid profile will be slightly recessed or laid back. Male vocals are thick, especially in the lower frequencies while female vocals take on a leaner approach as compared to male vocals. The upper and lower-mids are more forward than the mids (the mid-mids if that makes sense). Overall, the mids are well detailed and is good for the price.

    Trebles
    The trebbies are just slightly rolled off such that it is not fatiguing to listen to for long sessions and can be considered laid back. Also, with the rolled off treble, the IEM leans toward being musical instead of analytical. This is not a bright sounding IEM y any means and may not have enough treble for some.

    I personally would have preferred slightly more treble emphasis to show more details, especially in the mids and upper-mids regions as that is where the prominent frequencies of acoustic music.

    Pairing
    Cable
    The Haka uses a detachable cable, thus cable rolling is a possibility. I found that the Haka pairs well with “treble-forwarding” cables, namely SPC and silver cables.

    Source
    The Haka uses a BA driver and is quite sensitive and can be easily driven off a phone. In my testing, I have used an AAW Accessport driven off an iPhone 7+ and only had the volume turned to 4 out of the 16 steps.

    Conclusion
    In conclusion, the Jomo Haka is a good value for money CIEM. The slightly laid-back treble is very easy to listen to for longer sessions. If you are looking for a stage or studio monitor, these CIEM is probably not for you due to its U-shaped sound signature and rolled off trebles. It definitely fits better than all the universal IEMs I have owned as the seal here is near perfect so noise isolation and comfort is settled.

    However, if you are interested in getting yourself an entry level custom, the Haka is a good place to start. I highly recommend you audition the Jomo Haka universal IEM to get a feel of how the CIEM version would sound like however.

    Do check out our WordPress site at https://thelittleaudiophile.wordpress.com/ for more reviews!
    Links: Jomo Audio
  4. ExpatinJapan
    Welcome to the Pleasuredome
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published May 19, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Linear with a touch of warm, very well rounded and balanced, easy fit
    Cons - none.
    Jomo Audio Haka Review
    - Expatinjapan


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    https://www.jomoaudio.com/collections/jomo-universal-iem/products/haka-uiem

    'No crossover, no phase cancellation, just powerful and coherent pure sound.'

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    Unboxing


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    Gorgeous in black

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    A wide selection of tips (single and double flanges), a cleaning brush and two adapters.

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    A nice carrying case for the protection of your precious

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    A lovely cable. Two pin. Very supple with a touch of firmness and strength.

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    The Jomo Haka is a single BA model which sounds more like a dynamic driver or multi BA IEM.

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    Build

    Product Details
    'No crossover, no phase cancellation, just powerful and coherent pure sound.
    Limited by the physical size of driver, Balanced Armature technology were believed that cannot produce full spectrum of sound so that multiple drivers with electronics passive crossover and acoustic damping has to be used to create something with decent bass, smooth mid range and sharp high frequencies.
    We studied existing single BA driver IEMs in the market and the result was not very pleasant. We kept challenging ourselves to see what we can deliver by using the minimum number of driver and how we can make it better.
    Working closely with well-known Balanced Armature technology supplier, we were not satisfied with what they can provide off the shelf. We went one step further, to design a new Balanced Armature driver with our own specification. Brainstorm and discussion meeting with the engineers, samples were made and tested over and over again. Multiple rounds of pre-production demo and peer critique with industry insiders. Haka is the result and answer of our hardworking`.

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    The photos speak for themselves.
    Solid one piece build and decent metal nozzles.
    One BF BA.

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    Fit is nicely done. the IEM sits nicely in the ear held in place by the tips with no undue rubbing on my inner ear. the cable connection is nicely angled to hug the upper ear and the angle and length of the nozzle is perfect for my particular and beautiful ears.

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    Super smexy curvature

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    Price
    US$377.00 or Singapore $499 with standard cable.
    US$529.00 or Singapore $699 with Effect Audio Ares II cable.
    (Prices may slightly vary depending on exchange rates).

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    Specs:
    Single Proprietary Precision Balanced Armature Driver (1 BA).
    NO crossover
    3D printed ergonomic semi-custom shell design
    FR: 20Hz - 20kHz
    Sensitivity: 107dB
    Impedance: 18 ohms @ 1K Hz
    Solid Brass nozzle
    Artwork limited to black color only.

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    Sound

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    The Jomo Audio Haka is a single BA. I had to go back and check the specs and also message Joe of Jomo to triple check. To my ears it performed as a decent dynamic driver or multi BA IEM. Color me surprised.
    I did the usual exhaustive burn in of over 100 hours to please believers and non-believers (who don't care anyway).
    Listening was done with a variety of tips until I as usual settled on on go to tips for fit and comfort the JVC Spiral Dots.

    I used a variety of daps such as the iBasso DX200 (amp 1), Opus #2, Fiio X7ii, Opus#3 and Echobox Explorer, Opus #1 and 1S, Shozy Alien+, Shanling M3s and an ipod touch 6G to get a lay of the land of the average performance one could expect across a field of daps. In summary the usual suspects.

    The tracks used in testing were mainly FLAC 16/44 on shuffle to give my brain and ears the unexpected.

    I don`t really think about the price of an item much anymore when I receive it. I just get the mail, unboxing photos, a little listen and take some notes, then leave it on burn for the burn in brethren and also to lessen the possible new toy syndrome. it then joins the review queue and I pick up the item occasionally and listen and take notes then put it back into its place in the queue based on first come, first served (rarely broken). This also serves to get a better sense of the item even though I could probably pump out something fairly accurate in 48 hours or a week perhaps. But I could never be fully sure I had plumbed the possible depths and idiosyncrasies of the review item.
    Later when the item comes closer to its turn in the queue it joins my everyday carrying stock of daps, IEMs and next review items as I cross check with tips, cables, other earphones and daps etc to get a hopefully true and accurate sense of the items sound.
    Often lastly I set up the headphone switcher box and have several sessions where I volume check with a SPL meter and reconfirm my findings. It is a lengthy process.

    Some reviews write themselves due to the excellence of the item, the build or the sound overall is coherent and pleasurable regardless of my preferred sonic signature etc. others are more of a struggle due to the opposite of the above.

    The Jomo Audio Haka is one of the former.

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    Armed with a Single BA and housed in a strong shell the Jomo Audio Haka stuns at first glance. It bears a resemblance to a shell design that has seen a popularity of late. Also having only one BA it is at the forefront of what I expect to be a mini wave of single BA earphones coming out (such as the Campfire Audio Comet).

    But I have digressed enough off topic, where the focus of this section should strictly be the sound and not my methodology although essentially they are intertwined. Some may be inthralled, most probably are thinking 'I skipped all the way to the sound section for this!?'.

    'Thats all folks!' I mean 'On with the show'

    The Jomo Audio Haka performs well at moderate levels and doesn't need a huge amount of volume to satisfy.
    I comes across as fairly even across the board, verging on a reference, linear signature with a decent tinge of mids to fill it out. female vocals are smooth, rounded and gorgeous.

    It is very coherent and well tuned as I expect after hearing and reviewing several Jomo Audio models.
    Treble is sweet and not over extended, reaches just far enough to open everything up without ending up sibilant. Companies seem to be on the ball generally when it comes to treble these days.
    Bass is present but not hard hitting as in a defining feature, it is strong but with a softness to it, a still lingering deep boom boom with enough speed to please.

    Sound stage is just above medium. Lots of height, vocals central within the skull slightly towards the forehead, medium width, slight depth.
    Instrument separation is good, the limited sound stage impacts upon this at times. But generally has enough air and a sense of space. a brighter dap alleviates this to some extent.

    Layering becomes improved as one goes up the chain of daps, although even at the low-fi end it still pleases.
    On some tracks it became a bit brittle as the volume was pushed too far (beyond usual comfort levels), whereas on other tracks they were fine - so perhaps this was more the recordings themselves rather than the earphones I would surmise. But is one BA and not a DD.
    The Jomo Audio Haka scales well as I moved up and down the dap chain.

    Best matches were with neutral daps, then bright and finally warmer daps (to my ears).

    A good all rounder the Haka performs well with a variety of genres, one the right set of tips is decided on its just plug, play and enjoy.

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    Overall
    The Jomo Audio Haka is a single BA that doesn't skip on performance.
    As I shuffled from soft sultry vocals oozing with luscious mids or switched to an electronic dance track with underlying melody of bass and overlying treble beep beeps or the guitar and drum laden cacophony of rock music new and old the Haka performed respectfully throughout.

    It is a mainly linear earphone that is an excellent all rounder for many genres which I would more expect from a decent dynamic driver earphone than a single BA IEM.

    As mentioned before I had to message JOMO AUDIO and recheck that this was a single BA earphone.

    A bass that is solid and lingering, yet not over powering, a nice taste of mids to bring out the body with a well tuned treble and with vocals softly floating just above it all.

    With a medium sound stage, and an instrument separation that favors a brighter dap, the Jomo Audio Haka also scales well up the dap chain with layering and detail increasing.

    I would use a neutral, then a brighter and lastly a warmer dap with the Haka.

    The fit and sound I viewed favorably and enjoyed listening to without fatigue or discomfort.

    The Jomo Audio Haka is a single BA in ear monitor that veers to a more balanced linear sound with a touch of warmth in the mids.

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      HansBarbarossa and HiFlight like this.
  5. audio123
    Jomo Haka - Control & Conquer
    Written by audio123
    Published Jan 31, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Smooth Bass, Laid-back Midrange, Controlled Treble
    Cons - More Treble Extension
    Introduction

    Jomo Audio is a Singapore company that specializes in making handcrafted iems, be it in universal or custom form. Their product line ranges from the entry level Haka to the flagship Flamenco. I would like to thank Jomo Audio for the review unit of Haka. At the moment, you can purchase the Haka at https://www.jomoaudio.com/collections/jomo-universal-iem/products/haka-uiem .

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    Specifications
    • Driver: Single Proprietary Precision Balanced Armature Driver
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
    • Sensitivity: 107dB
    • Impedance: 18 ohms @ 1K Hz
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The retail packaging will consist of the iem itself, 0.78mm 2 pins detachable cable, 3 pairs of silicone tips (S,M,L), 3 pairs of double flange tips (S,M,L), flight adapter, headphone adapter, cleaning tool and case.

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    IEM Build & Design

    The Jomo Haka has a glossy black finish to it and the surface is smooth. The shell is made of acrylic. On the faceplate, there is the Haka printed in gold. The gold colour complements the black background. The nozzle is made of brass and it is straight without any metal mesh. I am able to fit the Haka in my ears comfortably. The Haka can be paired with 0.78mm 2 pins cable. Overall, the Haka is constructed well with excellent build quality.

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    Cable Build & Design

    The cable is not your usual stock cable. As stated in the specifications, the material of the cable is made of silver plated copper. At the 2-pin connector, you will see a marking of different colours on each respectively. Red colour will indicate the right side while blue colour will indicate the left side. It is a nice touch so users can differentiate between left & right. There is a memory wire area whereby the cable is being enclosed in a transparent heat-shrink tube. It is not very flexible due to the metal inside that helps to form the shape. The cable is braided with 4 wire conductors. The chin slider and y-splitter are translucent clear. The jack is 3.5mm right-angled gold plated and has a translucent clear housing. There is strain relief.

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    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The sub-bass of the Haka is extended moderately with good control. The rumble is moderate and it is being presented smoothly. Each bass note is expressed with a smooth hit. Although it is not the most impactful, the presentation is musical. The mid-bass has a decent slam to it and it exerts itself well without sounding too aggressive. There is a nice punch to it and the dynamics benefit. The bass operates in a smooth approach that is relaxing to listen to. Bass articulation is rather precise.

    Mids

    The midrange is moderately clean and operates in a laid-back approach. The Haka displays its midrange in a relaxing manner. There is a good mastery as vocals are being produced with ease. The lower mids has a moderate quantity to it. It is sufficient to tackle male vocals and there are no signs of hollowness and dryness. The upper mids has some forwardness and despite the fact that it is not very forward, female vocals are still being expressed with moderate intimacy. There is a good control in the midrange and details retrieval is great. It is certainly smooth with emotions conveyed effectively.

    Highs

    The treble is being presented with a moderate extension. There is no sibilance and harshness. It is being articulated in a smooth manner. There is moderate crisp present. The amount of air rendered is great and it helps to prevent the sound from being too congested. The treble is not bright. With such a smooth presentation, the treble will ensure a soothing and fatigue-free listening.

    Soundstage

    The Haka has a natural expansion in its stage width. The width has a moderate magnitude to it. It sounds realistic. The depth is not very close in with an effective amount of space rendered. There is a good open feel to it. Vocals and instruments positioning is quite accurate.

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    Comparisons

    Jomo Haka vs Final Audio Heaven VI

    The Haka has more extension than the Heaven VI for its sub-bass section. There is more quantity to it. The depth is being stretched further on the Haka for more impact. The sub-bass presentation is being expressed more smoothly than the Heaven VI. There is more agility on the Haka as the bass decay is significantly quicker. The mid-bass on the Haka has similar quantity as the Heaven VI but it is presented with more slam which helps to elevate the overall dynamics. Bass texture on both is rendered smoothly and the texture helps to provide a more relaxing listen. Each bass note on the Haka is articulated with more definition. The lower mids of the Haka has more quantity and it does male vocals justice. There is a better expression and male vocals does not sound dry. The upper mids on the Heaven VI has extra quantity and there is more forwardness. The extra forwardness contributes to more intimacy and female vocals are being delivered in a very organic presentation. The Haka still presents female vocals well but the Heaven VI does it better with more sweetness. The Heaven VI expresses them with excellent details. Next, in the treble section, the Heaven VI is slightly more extended. The Haka edges ahead with more body which helps to smoothen the top end. There is more control on the Haka but Heaven VI has more bite. The air on the Heaven VI is greater in quantity. The articulation on both is accurate. In terms of soundstage, the Haka has a more natural expansion in its width and the magnitude on both is pretty similar. There is better depth on the Haka with more space rendered.

    Jomo Haka vs Campfire Audio Orion

    The Haka has more sub-bass extension than the Orion with more quantity. The sub-bass has a better depth. The mid-bass on both has similar body and the slam is moderate. The bass note on the Haka is being presented smoothly and it packs details. Bass decay on the Haka is quicker with more control. On the other hand, Orion approaches it with a more weighted presentation with less impact. The bass texture on the Haka is rendered more smoothly. The lower mids on the Haka has similar quantity as the Orion but it is being expressed with extra cleanliness. Emotions are conveyed more effectively too. The upper mids on the Orion is slightly more forward which results in a nice bite. The Haka approaches it in a calm manner. There is better details retrieval on the Haka. Next, for the treble section, the Haka has better extension and the articulation is more precise. The Haka treble is more enjoyable to listen to. In terms of soundstage, the Haka has better representation with its expansion. Haka is slightly wider and has more space rendered to prevent the depth from being too close in.

    Jomo Haka vs InEar StageDiver 1

    The Haka has more sub-bass quantity than the SD1 and the extension is very similar. There is more control in the Haka sub-bass and it is being presented with finesse. Each bass note on the Haka has a more impactful hit. Bass decay on both is quite similar. The bass texture rendered on the Haka is smoother. The mid-bass on both is not very aggressive but there is a soothing slam from the Haka. The lower mids on the Haka has more quantity and I personally feel it tackles male vocals better than the SD1. The upper mids on both have similar forwardness and there is good intimacy. Moving on to the treble section, the extension is about the same but the Haka operates on a higher level in details retrieval. There is no sibilance and harshness. The amount of air rendered is more on the Haka. I find the Haka to be more clinical and has better mastery. The stage width of Haka is slightly better while the SD1 excels in the depth.

    Conclusion

    The Haka is a smooth sounding iem that has a moderate bass response, laid back midrange and controlled treble. It is able to provide details yet ensuring a fatigue-free listening. There is finesse too. In addition, the build quality is good with nice visual appeal. Jomo has produced an excellent iem in the Haka and it delivers.

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    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .