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PMV A-01 Hybrid In-Ear Monitor

Rating:
4.375/5,
  • PMV A-01 Dynamic + Dual Balanced Armature 3 Drivers Hybird HiFi In-Ear Monitors Earphone

    Description

    Dynamic and dual balanced armature Driver flagship configuration

    Small body with 10MM dynamic and dual balanced armature Driver. Through the unique combination of dynamic and armature, from bass to high treble presents detailed texture sound, achieve strong resolving power and the ultimate sense of hearing.
    Using the same worn around the ear style design as stage earphones

    Wearing firmer: strenuous exercise the earphone will not fall off
    Wearing more comfortable: reduce the stress of the ear
    Wearing more professional: reduce auscultation effect
    Sophisticated design, professional tuning mode

    In order to achieve the best sound quality in such a compact sound cavity, we use a variety of tunings. First, the diaphragm and the cavity using software sophisticated calculations to find the most suitable size and the most suitable for film-state, which is beneficial to realize the ideal of sound quality.
    More reliable structure

    Fixed cable design to increase the reliability of cable, cable ends using ergonomic structure more fitting earplugs, wearing more comfortable and secure
    High precision CNC metal cover

    Earphones’ back cover after high precision CNC process, sandblasting, anode and other technology, enhanced the texture of the earphone
    Comfortable fit ear canal, easy to wear and removal

    Wearing comfortable is our top priority to solve the problem. So we sampled a large number of data of the ear canal, and via hundreds of testers tried to obtain a more accurate and average and typical size of the ear canal. 65 °Angle of design, so that the headphone perfect fit ear canal, more comfortable to wear, not easy to fall, do not feel tired even after long time wearing.
    Using Kevlar

    To enhance comfort of earphone cable, we use a tough pull-resistant Kevlar bulletproof silk fiber, effective protection earphone cable, and prolong life. Meanwhile, in order to solve the problem of the headphone cable is easy to wound knotted, the surfaces of the cable using braided wire, keep your headphones flexibility and not easy to wound. The cable near the ear using TPE, reducing friction with the clothes, to reduce the "auscultation effect"
    Stage monitor level sound effects

    Give you a more professional sense of hearing, more realistic reproduction, sound clearer, higher resolution, larger sound field, sound quality better
    Specification

    Cable material: silver-plated OFC
    Cable length: 1.3m
    Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated
    Speaker Impedance: 13Ω
    Sensitivity: 110 ± 3dB
    Distortion: <3% (1KHZ, 1mW)
    Frequency range: 20-20000HZ
    Maximum power: 10Mw
    Package

    PMV A-01 in-ear Earphone
    3 pairs of Silicone Eartips(S/M/L)
    One pair Double-flange eartips
    One pair Earhook
    Carrying Case

Recent Reviews

  1. mark2410
    PMV A-01 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Jun 6, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound quality is outstanding. Stupidly cheap. Sound Quality is outstanding. Gorgeous case.
    Cons - Bland looks. Bit of upper mid over enthusiasm. Wants a warmly rich source.
    PMV A-01 Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to PMV and their distributor, Penon Audio for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/810483/pmv-a-01-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  Crazy cheap triple drivered hybrid
     
    Price: US$69 or £48 (sans HMRC’s cut)
     
    Specifications:  Cable material: silver-plated OFC, Cable length: 1.3m, Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated, Speaker Impedance: 13Ω, Sensitivity: 110 ± 3dB, Distortion: <3% (1KHZ, 1mW), Frequency range: 20-20000HZ, Maximum power: 10Mw
     
    Accessories:  3 pairs of Silicone Eartips(S/M/L), One pair Double-flange eartips, One pair Earhook, Carrying Case.  (Case looks awesome btw.)
     
    Build Quality:  It would appear to be excellent.  The cable is crazy nice, the jack is great too and the buds are anodised aluminium.  On the whole it’s pretty great, looks and feels fancy, quality stuff.
     
    Isolation:  So so.  It’s at the upper ish end of what you would get form a dynamic drivered IEM.  These have a dynamic in them for the bass and thus need be vented the same.  So you could get away with these is most uses, out and about or on a bus but I wouldn’t play too loud.  They aren’t great for flight or Tube but would do in a pinch.  Naturally though they are more than sufficient for getting yourself run over if you don’t use your eyes near traffic.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  Excellent for the most part.  They need to be worn up if that’s and issue for you.  They also sit rather shallow which I don’t love as a rule.  They were comfy to wear all day and easy to get seated but I’d have like them a little more deep seating.
     
    Aesthetics:  The black outer weave on the cable looks fancy, the buds despite being aluminium are just bland.  Nothing approaching ugly, they are just not particularly visually interesting.  Usually I love metal buds but these just didn’t seem to catch my eye.  
     
    Sound:  This is where things matter and the sound quality is first rate, beyond first rate for the money.  They are triple drivered and while in comparison to other triple drivered IEM’s they may not be anything wildly special but what sets these apart is their price tag.  Seriously they are £48, how do they manage that?  That’s US$69 for US folk.  That is an unheard of price for something triple drivered and that sounds this good.  If they cost a ton more I could pick fault with things, like they can be a little strident in the upper mids and want to leap forward to shout at you.  However you can largely solve by pairing with warm, rich sources.  Then you see the price tag.  You just can’t stop coming back to that price, any time they don’t quite nail something perfectly you have got to keep in mind that the things you’re mentally comparing it to cost considerably more.  In fact acoustically only the RE-400 (which is still US$10 more) can come close to it.  However the build quality on the A-01 is very considerably nicer. 
     
    Priced as it is, the PMV-A-01 is untouchable.
     
    Value:  They spank everything around them, if you have the money grab a pair and unless your hardened bass head I’d bet you’ll be very highly impressed with what you’ve gotten for your money.
     
    Pro’s:  Sound quality is outstanding.  Stupidly cheap.  Sound Quality is outstanding. Gorgeous case.
     
    Con’s:  Bland looks.  Bit of upper mid over enthusiasm.  Wants a warmly rich source.
      peter123 and hqssui like this.
  2. peter123
    A sub $100 hybrid that means business!!
    Written by peter123
    Published Apr 30, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Fantastic with female vocals, great bass quality/quantity ratio, very comfortable once you find the right tips
    Cons - Tips comes off easily, no chin slider, cable is not the best
    The PMV A-01 was sent to me from PMV by the help on Penon Audio. Thank you to both for let me try them out! The price at the time of this review was $69.
      
    The PMV A-1 is available from the Penon Audio website:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/PMV-A-01
     
     
    Disclaimer:
    I’m not in any way affiliated with PMV or Penon Audio.
     
    IMG_3604.jpg
     
    IMG_3608.jpg
     
    IMG_3617.jpg
     
     
    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 PMV A-01 is a triple hybrid IEM featuring a 10mm dynamic driver and a double BA driver. They’re available in one flavor only as far as I’m aware.
    The cable is two parted with a clothed part below the Y-split and more normal rubber above it. The clothed part is quite thick and I’d have preferred a thinner solution. The upper rubber part of the cable seems to tangle a bit more than average. There’s no chin slider, which is a must for me with over ear fit, so I made my own one.  The 3.5 mm connector is straight which I personally don’t like so an angled one would have been more appreciated. That being said the connector is very sturdy and thicker than normal. Strain reliefs are in place in the right places and the Y-split is solid.
     
    The build in general seem solid. The housings are all plastic but still feel quite sturdy and reliable.
     
    The L/R marking is white on silver and I’d have preferred the marking to be easier to see but on the other hand the design makes them fit correct one way only so it’s not a big deal.
     
    The retail package is quite nice and is about average for the price point.
     
    The accessories pack is pretty standard and I’ve seen both less and more stuff included at this price point. This is what’s included:
    3 pair of silicone tip (S/M/L)
    1 pair of double flange tips
    1 pair of earhooks
    1 zippered storage pouch
     
    The PMV A-01 is quite easy to drive and worked very well with all the sources I’ve tried it with including cellphones.
     
    IMG_3618.jpg
     
    IMG_3619.jpg
     
    IMG_3651.jpg
     
    IMG_3652.jpg
     
    IMG_3654.jpg
     
     
    IMG_3657.jpg
     
    IMG_3656.jpg
    The stem without anything to stop the tips to come off and the front facing bass port
     
    The specs:
    Housing
    Plastic
    Driver Unit
    10 mm Dynamic + 2 BA
    Frequenzy range
    10Hz-25KHz
    Sensitivity
    110dB
    Impedance
    13 Ohms
    Weight
    5 g
    Cable lenght
    1,3 m

     
    Fit and ergonomics:
    I find the PMV A-01’s to be very comfortable and got no problem wearing them for several hours. They are over ear only wearing style and they sit quite flush to the ear so I’ve got no problem using them when going to sleep. They’re also very light and I don’r get any “hot-spots” when wearing them for longer time.
     
    The short stem made finding the right tips quite challenging for me. With most single flange the fit was too shallow and I wouldn’t get a proper seal. The fact that there’s no “lip” at the end of the stem is also a bit troublesome when hunting for the right tips and I got multiple tips left in my ears when pulling the IEM’s out. This is a quite irritating flaw in my book. The bass port is located on the inside of the housings which means that you ear anatomy will have an impact on how much bass impact you get. This makes room to play around with tips giving different fit with different bass quantity as result but it’s also possible that the tips with the best comfort will not give the best bass reproduction. In short I’d have preferred another placement of the bass port.
     
    After a lot of tip rolling I found two pair that worked very well for me both comfort and soundwise. First pair was the Etymotic triple flanges that gave me a very balanced and smooth sound, albeit lacking a bit of bass impact and excitement for me. Second pair was some cheap Chinese foam tips that makes the presentation a bit airier and also has a bass impact more to my liking. These foams are the ones used on this review.
     
    Isolation is quite poor and definitely below average but is still ok using foam tips.
     
    Sound:
    I’ve used them as my main IEM in my rotation 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 mainly used them with my LG G3 phone as well as the HifeMe Sabre 9018 USB DAC and my FiiO X3/Cayin C5 combo and although they’ve worked well with all sources I’ve tried them with I enjoy them the most with a source that’s warm and smooth.
     
    As already mentioned this review is made with foam tips on them.
     
    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
    Tracy Chapman – Baby can I hold you
    Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
    Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
    Adele - Hello
     
    The overall sound signature on the PMV A-01 is well balanced with an airy presentation, great clarity and a good mid bass impact and speed.
     
    The sub-bass extension and presence is a bit subdued even with the foam tips but it’s still enough to be enjoyable with all kind of music in my opinion. Mid-bass presence is much better with excellent speed and control and gives very clean and clear presentation, bass-bleed is very low and practically a non-issue. As a matter of fact the quantity/quality ratio of the mid-bass is pretty much spot on for my preference and one of the best I’ve ever heard in a sub $100 IEM. It’s enough to give the necessary drive to electronic- and pop music without ever going overboard.
     
    The midrange is well in line with the rest of the frequencies, maybe even ever so slightly forward. Male voices have enough weight to feel full and natural and female vocals sounds even better with good help from the excellent clarity and effortless presentation from the PMV’s. This is one of the better reproduction of female vocals and also acoustic guitars I’ve heard in a sub $100 IEM.  
     
    The treble is well extended with good detail and never feels harsh to my ears but rather delicate and accurate.
     
    Clarity and micro details are well above average for an IEM at this price point. The combination of this amount of clarity and smooth presentation is not something one should take for granted and it certainly plays a big role in the enjoyable overall signature of the PMV A-01’s.   Soundstage width is very good and depth, although not quite on par with the width, is still good but I’d still have enjoyed even a bit more 3D feeling.  
     
    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.
     
    These comparisons were done listening through the FiiO X3/Cayin C5 combo.
     
    LZ-A2 vs PMV A-01:
    Compared to the PMV’s the LZ-A2’s have better sub-bass extension and impact. The A2’s also got more impact (a bit too much for my preference) in the mid- and upper bass. The PMV’s on the other hand has faster bass response and less bloom. The PMV’s also have a slightly more forward midrange and more natural sounding voices, especially female vocals are significantly better on them. The treble rolls off earlier than I’d appreciate on the A2’s while the PMV’s have great extension and also better quality (more articulated) treble. The PMV also have a wider soundstage, better clarity and a lot more airy presentation.
     
    I find them both equally comfortable with maybe a slight advantage to the PMV.
     
    Build in general feels pretty similar but I prefer the metal housing on the A2’s.
     
    The A2’s slightly easier to drive.
     
    Isolation is slightly better on the LZ-A2.
     
    Soundmagic E80 vs PMV A-01:
    These two are more similar that different. Sub-bass extension and impact is slightly better on the PMV’s and they also got quite a bit more mids- and upper bass presence. Not only does the PMV’s have more bass, it’s of noticeable better quality as well. Compared to the fast, hard and detailed bass response on the PMV’s the bass on the E80’s actually sounds a bit muddy. Listening to Martin Garrix – Animlas easily reveals this. The midrange on the E80’s is more forward.  Male vocals sound more or less identical with maybe ever so slightly more weight to them on the PMV’s while female voices on the other hand definitely  sound more natural on the PMV’s. The PMV’s has a slightly fuller treble as well as better clarity and micro details. The PMV’s have better soundstage width and a more airy presentation while depth and 3D presentation is better on the E80’s.  Overall the presentation of the E80’s is a bit on the softer side while the PMV’s feels more distinct.
     
    I find them to be equally comfortable.
     
    Since the housings on the E80’s are made of metal they feel a bit more premium. The UE’s on the other hand offers detachable cables. Overall build quality is good on both.
     
    The E80’s are harder to drive.
     
    Isolation is similar on both.
     
    Havi B3 Pro1 vs PMV A-01
    Sub-bass have quite similar extension with a slight edge to the PMV’s. The PMV’s also has more mid bass presence. The Havi’s have a noticeable more pushed forward midrange and I find the Havi to be slightly ahead on male vocals while the PMV pulls equally slightly ahead on female voice reproduction.  Soundstage width is actually quite similar while the B3’s have better 3D imaging and timbre to the notes while the PMV has a more airy presentation. Treble has similar extension on both but better clarity on the PMV’s. Overall clarity and micro details is also better on the PMV.
     
    I find both of these very comfortable.
     
    The Havi’s are much harder to drive.
     
    Isolation is similar on both.
     
    Summary:
    The PMV A-01 is a great introduction to hybrids at an affordable price. They clearly show the advantages that can be had by combining BA divers with a dynamic driver for the bass reproduction. They do more than that though as they offer a sound quality that put up a fight with the best sub $100 offerings that I’ve had the pleasure to hear. Excellent bass quality, clarity, female vocals and a very airy presentation is key words I’d use to describe them.
     
    Unfortunately there are some deign issues that forces me to drop half a star on the overall rating. The straight 3.5mm connector and lack of chin slider alone is not enough to warrant this but the lack of “lips” on the stem and the short length on the stem it was pushes me over.
     
    In total I’d consider the PMV A-01 an excellent value and the best sub $100 hybrid I’ve heard to date, especially if you enjoy listening to singer/songwriter kind of music but also as an all-rounder. Based on sound only I'd even go as far as place it toghether with the Havi B3 Pro1 and a new wood offering as my favorite performers below $100.
     
    IMG_3621.jpg
      Brooko, twister6, Hisoundfi and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. peter123
      @foreverzer0  The Zero has a much warmer sound with better depth and timbre while the PMV's got much wider soundstage and tighter bass. I like the both very much but they're really different. I couldn't put one above the other. 
       
      @HCK Earphones Thanks!
      peter123, May 19, 2016
    3. mikek200
      Peter,
      An excellent review..got mine yesterday,and have been listening to it for the last 16 hours.
      For $69.00,this is a no-brainer purchase.
      On my desktop rig,Asggard2 amp/GungnirMB dac,,I'm getting exceptional SQ ,the highs are fantastic,,clear,clean, detail
      The bass however,is a bit weak for my taste,so I added a bit more with EQ'ing slighly
      I do miss the chin slider.,and the cable could be a bit longer.,though.
       
      Dollar vs. SQ,build quality,...I rate it a 9,out of 10,my ears are telling me,they agree.
      Thanks PMV,a great prodauct at an even greater price.
       
      Mike
      mikek200, Jun 17, 2016
    4. lesp4ul
      Did you tried PMV A-01 MK2? I own a Shozy Zero and confused of PMV A-01 MK2 or HLSX BK50.
      lesp4ul, Oct 14, 2016
  3. HiFiChris
    Really Good Sound for the price but questionable Fit and Vent Placement
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Apr 25, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - sound quality, value, really good entry into hybrid IEMs
    Cons - vents placed on the inside -> unintentionally varying amount of bass depending on vent covering, short nozzle & bulky front -> bad fit, no chin-slider
    IMG_1406.jpg

     
     
     
     
    Preamble:

    Recently, I was contacted by Penon Audio who cooperated with PMV to supply the PMV A 01 to me (http://penonaudio.com/PMV-A-01). I have no affiliation to either and as always, this review reflects my honest opinions on the product without any personal bias.

    The PMV A 01 is a hybrid triple-driver in-ear, utilising one dynamic 10 mm woofer for the low frequencies and two Balanced Armature drivers for the mids and highs. I have no idea whether there is a specific three-way crossover or if both BA drivers are running in parallel, but nonetheless, at $69.99, they are coming rather cheap.
    It was a few years ago when I coincidentally first heard that hybrid in-ears even exist. Back then, they were still niche products without much awareness, but not long ago, something that I’d even consider as hybrid boom has started, with many new hybrid in-ears showing up, getting more and more awareness. And I surely cannot deny that there are some hybrid IEMs I thoroughly love, although being a Balanced Armature preferring person. Yes, hybrid in-ears are really cool and I find myself using them quite often (mainly for in-between and mobile listening, not for stationary stuff where Balanced Armatures are still and will always be the way for me to go (yes, I am such a freak that most of my stationary listening is done with BA in-ears instead of my full-sized headphones although I have some not-so-bad models in my inventory with giants like the HD 800, HD 600, DT880 Edt. 600 Ohms or LCD-X to name some, but models like the StageDiver SD-2, Pai Audio MR3, UE900, ER-4S or UERM to mention just a few get clearly more play time at home)).
    Anyway, this is usually the part where I tell you something about the manufacturer, but in the case of PMV, I haven’t found anything out so far except for that they are Chinese and very new on the market.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: $69.99
    Driver: 10 mm dynamic + 2x BA
    Frequency Range: 10 – 25000 Hz
    Impedance: 13 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 110 +/- 3 dB


    About Hybrid In-Ears:

    As you can read from the technical specifications, the PMV A 01 is a little different from most In-Ears and doesn’t only use dynamic or Balanced Armature transducers, but combines both in one shell.

    Most In-Ears use dynamic transducers for audio playback which have the advantage of covering the whole audible spectrum and achieving a strong bass emphasis without much effort. Valuable dynamic drivers are often said to have a more bodied and musical bass that has a more soft impact and decay and lacks of the analytical character that BA transducers are known for. On the downside, in contrast to headphones with other driver principles, dynamic transducers often have a lower resolution.

    Higher-priced and professional IEMs mostly use Balanced Armature transducers, which usually have got a higher resolution than dynamic drivers, are faster, more precise and have got the better high-level stability, which is important for stage musicians that often require higher than average listening levels. On the downside, it is quite hard to cover the whole audible spectrum with just a single BA transducer and strongly emphasised bass is only possible with multiple or big drivers. Some people also find In-Ears with BA transducers to sound too analytical, clinical or cold (in several active years in a German audio community where I wrote multiple reviews, gave dozens of purchase advice and help, from time to time I heard people that got into BA earphones for the first time using these attributes for describing BA earphones, especially their lower frequencies).

    Hybrid IEMs unite the positive aspects of both driver principles and use one dynamic transducer for lows reproduction and at least one BA driver for covering mids and highs, wherefore the often as “musical” described bass character remains and the BA transducers add resolution and precision to the mids and highs – and that’s what the A 01 does with its technology. It is addressed to those people who perceive the clinically-fast character of BA transducers as unnatural, but want to keep the mids’ and highs’ resolution, speed and precision.


    Delivery Content:

    “Have you seen updog?” – “What’s updog?!” – “Not much, how ‘bout you?”: The appearance of the black package is very minimal – the front solely shows a shiny silver PMV logo and the sides have nothing more than “A 01” printed on them. The technical specifications can be found on the blue back and are printed in Chinese plus English (do you find the translation error? Small hint: the notation left to “3.5mm” is surely not in English :wink: ).
    Inside, one will find the in-ears and carrying case, securely covered in black foam, as well as silicone ear hooks and a total of four pairs of silicone tips (3x single-flange, 1x double-flange).
     

    IMG_1391.jpg   IMG_1392.jpg
    IMG_1393.jpg   IMG_1394.jpg
    IMG_1396.jpg   IMG_1397.jpg



    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    The shape of the in-ears which are made of matte silver aluminium on the outer side as well as (typical, rather cheap appearing) black soft-touch plastic on the inside strongly reminds me of a plectrum. The faceplates each show a PMV logo as well as side markers. Both the y-split and straight 3.5 mm connector are made of black aluminium. The nozzle is made of shiny silver aluminium, too, and has got a built-in mesh that keeps out dirt.
    The rubber strain relief is visually subtle but effectively built into the cable at all relevant parts but I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit longer directly at the in-ear bodies.
    The cable is pretty flexible but doesn’t allow for tiny bending radii. I don’t really get why the lower part of the cable is coated by some sort of plastic fabric mesh, as although it looks visually appealing, it is impractical and frays over time.
    A chin-slider is unfortunately not present and the cables are non-removable although they look as if they were.

    The carrying case is made of felt, not much reinforced and seems a bit cheap but is really nice to look at (I simply love the interior’s green colour) and protects the in-ears sufficiently (from dust and dirt).
     

    IMG_1398.jpg   IMG_1399.jpg
    IMG_1400.jpg   IMG_1402.jpg
    IMG_1403.jpg   IMG_1404.jpg
    IMG_1405.jpg   IMG_1407.jpg



    Comfort, Isolation:

    The in-ears aren’t super large but my ears are and therefore I don’t have fit/comfort issues with the vast majority of in-ears – unfortunately that’s not entirely the case with the A 01, because its short nozzle and bulky shape nearby force me to insert it slightly deeper than usual which causes uncomfortable pressure on my tragus after wearing the in-ears for a longer period of time (with somewhat longer single-flange tips, one can get a bit around that).

    As the in-ears are worn with the cables around the ears, microphonics show just little presence but could be even more reduced if there was a chin-slider. Nonetheless they are clearly less present than with in-ears that are worn with the cables straight down, which is the more common case with models in that price range.

    Noise isolation is rather moderate to average.


    Sound:

    For listening, I used the LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100, iBasso DX80 plus DX90 as well as HiFiMe 9018d.
    For critical testing, the largest included single-flange tips were used and I, just in case, burnt the in-ears in for 50 hours although I am not really into the burn-in theory with headphones.

    Tonality:

    A 01’s sound is highly depending on fit, ear anatomy and the consequent covering of the inner facing vent. That is one thing I don’t really find welcome – in some ears, the in-ears will sound very balanced, in some they will be moderately bassy and in others, they will be very bassy. With my large ears and quite wide, straight ear canals, I can take influence on that pretty well (for the avoidance of doubt, seal was identically good with all insertion depths): inserting the in-ears really deep so the vents are pretty much covered by my auricles, bass is quite present (~ 12 dB in midbass). Without that deep insertion, the vents are more or less freely sitting, almost as free as in my measurement coupler, wherefore the sound was pretty neutral in the lows.

    Ensuing is a measurement plot of entirely free and entirely covered vents (so who wants a lot of (esp. mid- and sub-) bass can just do a tape mod, probably with a small pinhole):

    FRvent.jpg
    (About the measurements: http://frequency-response.blogspot.de/p/about-measurement-graphs.html)

    For listening, I decided to go a middle way – not too freely inserted but yet somewhat deeper than average, the in-ears sound v-shaped warm with evenly rising treble and mids that are slightly brighter than neutral in my ears.
    The lows’ emphasis begins slowly and evenly rising at ca. 800 Hz, reaching the climax at about 80 Hz with around 8 dB north of neutral (Etymotic ER-4S as reference point) (just as said, the intensity varies +/-, depending on the closeness of the vents to the auricle). That level is kept upright in the entire midbass and also remains in the sub-bass which however can’t keep up with sound pressure. Although the climax is reached pretty low in the frequency spectre, the lows are on the warmer side because the emphasis starts (slowly rising but nonetheless) pretty high, beginning at 800 Hz. Though, compared to similarly bassy in-ears, there is less fundamental bloom into the lower mids. With free vents, the bass is even pretty neutral, but only when there is some space between the ears and in-ears.
    From 1 to 3.5 kHz, midrange level climbs evenly in my ears wherefore vocals are somewhat on the brighter side. Towards 5 kHz, level decreases in my ears (here, the in-ears have a dip) and then climbs back to form a rather narrow-banded peak at 8.2 kHz. At 10 kHz, level is less distinctive and rolls off above 12 kHz.

    As the emphasis of the upper midrange extends somewhat higher, tonal balance in the mids is still present, without too much colouration or tendency to the bright side to the extent of amplifying sibilance. Altogether treble is free of any sharpness, despite the evenly rising emphasis (the dip at 5 kHz makes up for the emphasis of the lower and upper highs), and without sibilance or any annoying/steep peaks. A timbre shift to the somewhat brighter side with violins, trumpets and piano is there due to the rising lower treble, but not too drastic. With Rock, Pop and Electronical, it doesn’t stand out and even cymbal splashes don’t sound harsh or sizzling.
    The tuning is quite well made and engagingly fresh, but not too obtrusive or artificial.

    Resolution:

    The use of Balanced Armature Drivers can be nicely heard with the A 01 – resolution in the midrange and treble is somewhat higher than many dynamic in-ears in that price range (e.g. SoundMAGIC E80, Brainwavz M3, Ostry KC06A) and the PMV has got the higher speech intelligibility. As entry to the world of hybrid in-ears or even Balanced Armatures in general, the A 01 is therefore a good way to start in my opinion. However, if one is willing and/or able to spend more money for somewhat better hybrid in-ears like the Fidue A73, one gets even better detail retrieval with in-ears that are using two different types of drivers. But for the price, A 01’s detail retrieval is good and can be found more in the upper half. Fine details are audible but very minute ones are still in hiding.
    The dynamic transducer fits harmonically into the overall presentation but appears a bit blunt and I don’t really think the body is fully realistic, as the bass is somewhat less detailed and softens towards the subbass in comparison.

    Soundstage:

    Spatiality is pleasant and the in-ears’ stage has got good width that is about of the space between my ears. A good amount of spatial depth is present as well, however about 20% less distinct than its width.
    Instrument separation is good and single elements don’t blend into each other much at all, however there is no air between instruments yet. Layering is decent although the single layers could be somewhat better separated from each other.
    All in all and for the price, the soundstage is however better than average although it doesn’t reach the size or precision of the Fidue A73, HiSoundAudio HA-2 or Havi B3 Pro I.

    ---------

    In Comparison with other In-Ears:

    Fidue A73:
    In my ears, the A73 is clearly more comfortable.
    Tonally, the A 01 is bassier (or thinner sounding, totally depending on the proximity of the vents to the auricles) but A73’s fundamentals are more full-bodied. The midrange of both in-ears is about identically bright, however A73’s peaks a bit earlier wherefore sibilants are a bit more present but don’t appear unnatural to my ears. In the lower middle highs, the A73 shows less level presence, in the upper treble however its peak is steeper wherefore hi-hats show somewhat more sizzle.
    More drivers don’t automatically mean a superior sound, and the Fidue makes that clear as well – the A73 (~ $150; as OEM version (UPQ QE50) only ~ $100) is overall audibly higher resolving by quite a bit, revealing very minute details the A 01 is holding back. With fast music, the Fidue also shows the better controlled and somewhat more arid bass response while having more (and more realistically appearing) body presence at the same time.
    A73’s soundstage is somewhat better separated and has got a bit more width and depth.

    SoundMAGIC E80 (wide bore tips):
    In my ears, the E80 is clearly more comfortable.
    The E80 has got less bass in my ears (or more, depending on proximity of the PMV’s vents to the auricles), but with the warmer fundamental range. Vocals are brighter with the PMV but in the upper treble, the E80 is spikier with most recordings (here, the A 01 sounds more even and tempered although bright as well).
    The PMV’s use of the hybrid technology is an audible benefit when comparing both face to face – in the midrange and treble where the A 01 uses BA drivers, transients are better wherefore sound is more detailed and better controlled with fast music. The higher speech intelligibility as well as the better minute detail retrieval are also noticeable (especially in the upper treble where the PMV doesn’t really have much less level but doesn’t sound peaky because of the higher resolution). The difference isn’t super huge, nonetheless it is definitely a bit more than a subjectively perceived half class in my book. In the bass, both are about on the same level and I wouldn’t be able to say which is clearly better.
    A 01’s soundstage is larger and also better layered as well as separated.


    Conclusion:

    PMV’s A 01 is a good entry to the world of hybrid in-ears but also to the sound of Balanced Armature drivers. The sound is somewhat more on the brighter side in the mids but appears harmonious. Typical for BA drivers, resolution in the mids and treble is better than with most similarly priced dynamic driver in-ears.
    What is less felicitous however is the placing of the vents – depending on ear anatomy and proximity of the vents to the auricles, bass is once more and once less present. Comfort might also be a drawback with some ear anatomies (longer than average, deeper sitting single-flange tips like for example the SpinFit Tips will then improve fit and comfort).

    For around $70, the PMV A 01 does a really decent job and if there wasn’t the UPQ QE50/Fidue A73 for ~ $100/150, I would say that there is not much competition at that price for a good entry into the world of hybrid in-ears – who is able and/or willing to spend a little more money, I would recommend to go for the somewhat more expensive (than the PMV) UPQ or Fidue which are even higher resolving by quite a bit.

    With a 70% price-sound (90) to 30% comfort-build (53) evaluation, I come to a conclusion of good 3.945 out of 5 stars. Apart from the average comfort in my ears, sound quality is pretty good for the price and as mentioned twice, the A 01 is a solid start to get to the world of hybrid in-ears and offers really good value.
      Carlsan likes this.
    1. Jim-Ali
      Very objective review. thank you.
      Jim-Ali, May 13, 2016
  4. BloodyPenguin
    A Clarity Focused Hybrid Without All the Bass
    Written by BloodyPenguin
    Published Apr 25, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Smooth Signature, Close to Neutral Sound, Solid Build Quality, Easy to Drive, Super Comfortable
    Cons - No Foam Tips Included, No Microphone Option, Not the Best Isolating
    --
    My review of the PMV A-01 Hybrid IEM:
     
    P1060911.jpg
     
                                     -All photography taken by me-


    **Disclaimer – The A-01 was shared with me by PMV, with the Help of PenonAudio**

    [Product Link]: http://penonaudio.com/Earphones/In-ear-earphone/PMV-A-01
     
    P1060916.jpg
     
     

    *Specifications*
     
    Drivers: 10MM Dynamic + Dual Armature Drivers
    Cable material: silver-plated OFC
    Cable length: 1.3m
    Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated
    Speaker Impedance: 13Ω
    Sensitivity: 110 ± 3dB
    Distortion: <3% (1KHZ, 1mW)
    Frequency range: 20-20000HZ
    Maximum power: 10Mw
     
    P1060914.jpg
     
     
     
    *Packaging *

    PMV went with a simple box for packaging, with basic black on the front and a prettier blue back cover with its colorful hue:  Business in the front, party in the back.  Inside you will find the A-01 and its accessories sitting comfortable in a layer of cut out foam.
     
    P1060903.jpg     P1060906.jpg
     
     
     
    *Contents*

    PMV A-01 In-Ear Earphone
    3 pairs of Silicone Eartips(S/M/L)
    One pair Double-Flange Eartips
    One pair Earhook
    Carrying Case
     
    Again, there is simplicity to the accessories.    You get standard silicone eartips in multiple sizes along with one pair of double-flanged.  I guess if I feel like being picky, it would be nice to include some foam tips, but I just used a pair of Comply T500 I had laying around.  The ear hooks are also of a normal design that is found along with other earphones and are built well enough along with working like they should.

    The Carrying Case however, does stand out as the light brown material is felt like in both appearance and feel.  Inside the case your eyes are greeted by a powerfully bright, neon green cushioning.  Not sure if my pictures will do justice of just how intense the color is. 
     
    P1060907.jpg
     
    P1060919.jpg
     
     
     
    *Build/Design*
     
    Quoting the product description: “Earphones’ back cover after high precision CNC process, sandblasting, anode and other technology enhanced the texture of the earphone”.  It all adds up to the A-01 having quite the fancy housing.  The only, small issue is that the L and R labeling is small and a bit hard to read. 

    From the Y splitter down to the 3.5mm plug, you will find that the cable is thickly braided with a Kevlar bulletproof silk fiber.  So if you get in a gun fight, you have some added protection.  From the Y splitter up, the cable is your standard rubber cover, which allows for more flexibility.  Strain relief more than sufficient throughout.  
     
    There is no microphone option, for an earphone that can easily be driven by a cell phone, it would be a nice feature to include.
     
    The PMV A-01 is a very solid built from end to end.  It also looks quite good as well, subtle, but premium at the same time.
     
    P1060927.jpg
     
    P1060924.jpg
     
     
     
    *Fit/Comfort*
     
    The A-01 has a relatively small housing that is well shaped for the inside of your ear.  Also, the nozzle is rather short, so it does not intrude inside the ear much.  Both of these feature help the PMV Hybrid to be worn with ease.
     
    The PMV A-01 can be worn in a few different ways and they are all super comfortable:

    Cable Down – While the A-01 was designed as around the ear fit, they can be worn straight down as well.  I found this to be surprisingly comfortable, though I am sure it has a lot to do with the smaller, very smooth housing.  I touch of microphonics can be heard with this fit.

    Cable Over the Ears – Worn this way you more comfortable fit, with the elimination of any microphonics.  While the cable is flexible, it is a bit springy and light which in return does not help to stay perfect in place around the ears. 

    Cable Over the Ear with Guides – Here we have the most preferred and effective way to wear these PMV Hybrid earphones.  The A-01 stays firmly in place with a quiet cable.  Comfort is at the highest level and little ear fatigue to speak of with extended use.
     
    P1060920.jpg
     
     
     
    *Sound*

    Lows – The PMV does it best to stay on a neutral level.  As such, these are not too heavy in the bass department.  While there a touch of sub-bass in the distance, it does well to stay controlled instead of powerful.  The same goes for the mid-bass which is slightly subdued.  The A-01 went for quality instead of quantity down low.

    Mids – If there was any bias in the sound signature, one might find that there is the smallest, I mean really small boost of mids.  While listening to “Adele – Hello”, her vocals were intimate and focused.  The whole mid-range is silly smooth yet very much detailed. 

    Highs – That smoothness from the mids tricks to the highs, while not rolled off too early, they are in return never harsh or sibilant.  It is this easiness to the upper frequencies which gives the A-01 an advantage of extended use to fight off sound fatigue
     
    Tuning – PMV did a fantastic job finding a great overall tune for the A-01.  It has a smooth balanced sound throughout the signature.  The Dynamic and Dual Armature drivers all seamlessly work together to keep music flowing at a very high quality.  The PMV A-01 due to its hybrid design was able to keep up with quick movement at speed with no delay. 

    Soundstage – I was caught a bit off guard by the decent distance the A-01 could provide.  Not sure what is going on in those tiny triangle housings, but PMV was able to find a good amount of soundstage in a closed IEM.  

    Isolation – Due to the smaller housings and nozzle insertion depth, the A-01 does not have the best isolation.  While I did not find there to be any sound leakage, I could still hear a little of what was going around me when I took my morning walks to work.
     
    P1060922.jpg
     
     
     
    *Comparisons*
     
    Hybrids, they are everywhere, but who does them right?

    PMV A-01 ($69) vs. Hoomia H8 ($96)
     
    These two, really do not have much in common on paper or in actual testing.  They even start off being price transposed of each other.

    The H8 has a more pronounced presence in the lows, with ever so slight rescission in the mids.  The A-01 is the exact opposite, with only a touch of bass and ever so slight bump in the mids.  Ok, so I lied a bit, I after comparing the two side by side, treble response for both IEMs is closer than I remembered.  Both seem to deal with the upper range with care and clarity.  Sound isolation is night and day.  The H8 blocks amazingly well, while I have already mentioned that it is not a strong suit for the A-01.  The H8 has a bit of microphonics, while the A-01 does well to keep the cable quiet.  Hoomia included a microphone, where PMV chose to forgo that feature.  There really is no winner or loser here, more of a, what do you prefer or need in an earphone.  Though, it must be factored in that the PMV has quite the value costing almost $30 less.
     
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PMV A-01 ($69) vs. Bette/i.VALUX 8MM 1+1 Hybrid ($50)

    Down one Armature driver, the Bette/i.VALUX does its best to keep up with the PMV, battle of the budget hybrids. 

    Right away you will notice a slight V shaped signature in the Bette/i.VALUX IEM.  The PMV on the other is flipped is more n shaped with its reproduction.  Both earphones focus on music primarily and skip the microphone.  Comfort will always be a personal thing, but while the Bette/i.VALUX is your typical earphone shape, it just cannot match the smoothness of the PMV.  Build wise, the A-01 has a big advantage from bottom to top.  Not that the Bette/i.VALUX is built poorly, it is just that the materials and attention to detail are top notch for the PMV.  The Bette/i.VALUX does hold the edge on isolation.  Value wise, it is pretty even.  The Bette/i.VALUX gives up a fancy build for a solid sound and lower price, while the PMV packs a premium punch in design and fit.  Again, the winner here is the earphone that best suits your needs.
     
    P1060917.jpg
     


    *Overall Thoughts*
     
    The PMV A-01 produces a neutral bass response, which could be viewed as slightly bass light.  Mids are something special and do very well to bring out the most of the Hybrid drivers.   Highs while refreshingly smooth, also bring out a good amount of clarity. 
     
    Build quality is through the roof for a $70 earphone.  PMV outdid themselves with both design and materials.  The A-01 looks way above its price range. 
     
    Where I see a little room for improvement?  Maybe adding a pair or two of foam tips so that the A-01 can be a little more versatile in its fit.  Again, the Comply T500 fit great.  Also, maybe release a microphone version, as I am sure this earphone will be used with a lot of cell phones and on the go.
     
    Any little improvement I may suggest, are very small.  On the whole, the PMV A-01 is an excellent Hybrid and an excellent value.  So if you are looking for a high quality earphone, with a comfortable fit, an almost neutral signature and slightly subdued bass, then look no further.
     
    P1060915.jpg
     
    P1060929.jpg
     
     
    --
      Carlsan, leobigfield and peter123 like this.
    1. leobigfield
      Nice review, you even included my picture at the end :wink: :p
      leobigfield, May 5, 2016

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