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Acoustic Research AR-E10/AR-E100

  1. Signal2Noise

    I saw the AR-E10 teased on AR's FB page. Looks like they're making appearances at trade shows. Has anyone seen, held, and/or tried these? A Google brought up the two models although the FB post only covers the E10. Is the E100 new as well?

    As new fan of the AR-M2 DAP my interest is piqued for these IEMs.

    AR-E10 FB Linky

    Aslshark likes this.
  2. AR-Voice
    Both AR-E10 and AR-E100 will be launched in early December. Stay tuned with us! :ksc75smile::ksc75smile:
    Signal2Noise likes this.
  3. Signal2Noise
    Seems to be a surprisingly reasonable price for the E100. Will the E10 be higher or lower?
  4. AR-Voice
    Fujiya Avic Autumn Headphone Festival 2017 !!
    IMG_0279.jpg IMG_0280.jpg IMG_0281.jpg IMG_0282.jpg IMG_0283.jpg IMG_0284.jpg
    PJBrownSkin and Signal2Noise like this.
  5. AR-Voice
    The E10 will cost $249, thanks to it featuring a hybrid acoustic module made up of an 8mm Beryllium dynamic driver and a proprietary balanced armature driver, and an additional 1.2m balanced audio cable (4.4mm 5-pole).
  6. FUYU
    249$? That is reasonable.
    I really adorned the E10 back when I auditioned them at the Munich Highend. Have there been any changes in tonality? Specs seems to be identical.
  7. AR-Voice
    There have been some minor tweaks, but overall it's a finished product.
  8. lostman
    Just saw that these come with Bluetooth cable! That's pretty cool!

    However, the player supports aptX HD but the bluetooth cable does not. That's unfortunate since I've seen them sold as bundle
  9. Simon T
    Hi all,

    Just received the AR-E10 in office. I usually do not post much, but since the is very little information in the Internet about this pair of IEMs. I have decided to share a couple of pictures about the packaging:




    Now, you will be laughing, if I told you that, the main reason I purchased this pair of IEMs is because I wanted to get the aptX bluetooth cable to use it with my custom IEMs :p...

    Also, till today, I have yet to invest in another brand TOTL DAP; because, since I have invested on the AR-M2 player a couple years ago, I have been more than satisfied. Thus, I am hoping that these IEMs will provide the same satisfaction.

    Based on the pictures, packaging and accessories are pretty decent for the price tag of $250. It features the following (from their website: http://www.acousticresearch-hifi.com/AR-E010/):
    • Proprietary hybrid acoustic module with balanced armature & 8mm beryllium dynamic driver
    • Interchangeable Cable for flexible connectivity
    • 1.2m unbalanced audio cable (3.5mm, 3-pole) and 1.2m balanced audio cable (4.4mm, 5-pole) included
    • Bluetooth audio cable with aptX™ technology included
    • Cables reinforced with para-aramid ballistic fiber for enhanced durability
    • Silicon rubber tips and memory foam tips included
    • Frequency response 20Hz to 40kH
    Additionally, not listed in their website, is the USB cable for charging the Bluetooth audio cable, and a standard pouch with the cool AR Logo

    Up close the size of the housing is actually smaller than what I initially thought, comparable to the Shure SE846. The housing material looks metallic, but feels plasticky.

    hqssui, tarhana and Signal2Noise like this.
  10. Signal2Noise
    Nice pics. I'll be interested in sound and comfort level once you've had time with them.
  11. Simon T
    An update from yesterday...

    After leaving office on my way home, I listened to the AR E10 (few tracks from Tidal) out from a Galaxy Note 8. And, these were my impressions::

    1. Comfort wise is good
    2. Isolation with the silicon stock tips is not sufficient
    3. Cable felt rubbery, and the ear hooks do not bother me much, but, might not be ideal when wearing glasses
    4. On less than optimal listening condition, the IEMs did not "wow" me with the first listen out of the Note 8, it did not sound right, it sounded too thin... (please don't jump to conclusion and read further)

    Reaching home, I had my family duties... but before going to bed, I decided to have another go at the AR E10 but listening through the AR M2 (was thinking, maybe acoustic research tuned the IEMs to work best with their DAPs), and:
    1. Now, with the silicon stock tips it sounded much better, could hear what i was expecting i.e. bass characteristic was what i expected from a DD and highs from a BA
    2. Next, tips rolling... I was very surprised that the nozzles were so large, nonetheless, tried first with the Spinfits Twinblades (were not comfortable), second normal Spinfits CP100 (were alright, did not improve isolation), then moved on the RHA Audio stock tips (same results as the CP100). Last but not least, went for the JVC Spiral dot filled with Comply foam... best results, slightly improved isolation and diameter of the Spiral dot tips holes matched exactly the size of the AR E10 noozles (picture below).

    This morning I have decided, to carry with me the AR M2 and AR E10 combo to the office (since I have the Naim Muso QB and Sennheiser HD700 set up in my office, carrying a portable audio is very unusual):


    But, unfortunately was only able to listen to an album "Pure Heroine" by Lorde, I personally like this album because it has great female vocals, music with abundance in bass married by 3D sounding highs harmonics.

    To: Signal2Noise, hope section below partially answers your curiosity:

    The IEMs performed really well, sound stage and presentation was large enough that on certain tracks it did not feel congested (some other IEMs with narrower sound stage does not allow the 3D sound effect/harmonics to nicely fade away), bass was pretty tight and punchy, mids was not too recessed, and highs were pretty smooth. To my ears the sound signature was neutral.

    Please note that, the above mentioned are just and only first impressions of the AR E10 in listening to an album. And, it probably does not mean much to anyone because, there is no basis of comparison in terms of the IEMs we own, how ours ears are accustomed to a sound signature preference and etc.

    I do have few IEMs below USD$500 range, on top of my head:

    Dynamic Drivers: Sony MDR-EX800 ST (with tape mod), Sony MDR EX600, , Sony XB90EX, TFZ King, JCV HA-FXT208se, RHA T10i, Sennheiser i8
    Balanced Armatures: NuForce HEM4,
    Hybrid: Sony XBA H3 & Pioneer SE CX9S

    Some of the above list are packed and stored somewhere i.e. not been listening for a long time :p, but if it is helpful to you to have a quick comparison. I will try to find sometime and do my best :).

    pitsel and Signal2Noise like this.
  12. iems0nly
    Hey Simon T - Can you please compare them to Sony EX800 ? Does the AR have more details/micro details. In what ways are these 2 IEMs similar/different. I have the EX800, and am very interested in these AR E10s. Waiting for your response! Thanks.
  13. Simon T
    Hi iems0nly,

    That is a very good question. Before responding, let me first share my opinion; frankly speaking, I think the Sony MDR-EX800st (EX800) are one of the more underrated IEMs in our community. Probably, because it has been overshadowed by its elder MDR-EX1000 sibling which was tuned a little bit brighter and more airy and marketed to audiophiles few years ago; or, because it was a no frill packaged IEM for studio monitor (pic below). With the tape mod (enhanced sub-bass), the EX800 sounds similar to Sony current IEM flagship the XBA-Z5 (Z5) i.e. sharing similar tonality, with EX800 edging on Bass (especially sub-bass) but slightly lagging on instrument separation and treble extension (due to the BAs in the Z5). But that is another story.


    Coming back to the AR E10, I am a little concerned that, just because there is lack of marketing on such IEMs (like Acoustic Research flagship DAP, the AR-M2), compared to their competition. The AR E10 might not reach some deserved attention like the AR M2 and to a certain extent the EX800.

    With that out of the way, let's focus in answering your question. My comparison is between the AR E10 with JVC spiral dots tips and original cable vs the tape mod EX800 with Sony XBA H3 silicone+ red foam tips (pics below) and original cable our of the AR M2 DAP.

    Let's start of with the differences on tonality and stage presentation/dimension, which affect the perception on micro detail retrieval.

    1. If the EX800 (w mod) are considered to have a reference tonality, then in comparison the AR E10 are towards the neutral side (slightly brighter/clearer).
    2. The EX800 (w mod) stage presentation, probably due to their housing design have wider sound stage, it feels like a rugby ball where the tips of the ball stretches from the left to the right IEM channels. On the other hand, the stage presentation of the AR E10 feels like a sphere like a volleyball, where it feels to have a higher sound stage. In terms of depth,they are similar, but because of the AR E10 tonality it feels like the mids a slightly less intimate.

    A. Hotel California (Eagles) - acoustic guitar lurking at the back (front left channel of the IEM) from the beginning of the song playing the same notes, until the 5th minute of the song, when electric guitar takes over.

    What I usually assess here, is whether I can clearly hear the acoustic guitar playing the same notes (over and over again) in the midst of the male vocals, and other instruments like electric guitar and bass coming in between. Lesser IEMs does not pass this test, as there is too much coming in between, that i am not able to hear the acoustic guitar clearly. This test is won by the EX800, the perception is that, since the stage is wider; even if the song passage is very busy/congested; the acoustic guitar notes can be located most of the time. On the AR E10, I could still hear the notes clearly, but not as often as from the EX800.

    B. Time (Pink Floyd) - clock subtle mechanical spring/coil sound between 45 seconds to 55 seconds (directly left channel of the IEM)

    Here I assess whether I can clearly/realistically hear this subtle mechanical spring/coil sound in the middle the the treble frenziness of the clocks ringing bells and the heartbeats; i will give it to the AR E10 as it sounds closer and more realistic, it probably has to do with higher and slightly narrower sound stage, together with clearer tonality, which makes the noise of the mechanical spring coil more eminent.

    C. No Woman No Cry - 1975 live performance (Bob Marley & the Wailers Legend album) - mic distortion/problem 1:53/54 seconds into the song

    Well, we all probably have heard microphones acting strange before. It is just a 2 second mic problem, in a Bob Marley's live concert. No winners here, just stating that the EX800 are more forgiving compared to the AR E10 :beerchug:.

    D. Spanish Harlem (Rebecca Pidgeon - The Raven album) - over plucking on the string instrument on 2:33 seconds into the song

    Same as above, No winners here, EX800 are more forgiving compared to the AR E10 :beerchug:.

    20180225_210658[1].jpg 20180225_210929[1].jpg

    In summary, there are more differences than similarities between the EX800 and the AR E10. The AR E10 edges the EX800(w mod) in terms of treble extension and general clarity, while the EX800 (w mod) sub-bass is hard to beat among all IEMs I own, While mid-bass have similar impact from the dynamic drivers, the mids and sound stage are up to individual preferences "intimate vs. clarity" & "wider vs. higher".


    Note: I am doing this, not because I think the AR E10 are the greatest IEM and try to convince you to purchase them (all the IEMs I own, are purchased from my hard earned money :ksc75smile: ). I am doing this, because, I think these IEMs deserve a little bit more attention i.e. audition; especially now, where the IEM market feels saturated, and it is perceived that the more expensive IEMs are always better (which is not an accurate assumption).
    iems0nly and Signal2Noise like this.
  14. iems0nly
    Thanks for the comparison. Unfortunately i haven't heard the tape mod. I just love the EX800 as it is. I'm not a bass-head at all. It's an amazing IEM even without the mod , no doubt.
    I almost ordered the AR E10, but stopped short, because a reviewer said they lacked the highs (upper mid/lower treble). This is kind of a deal breaker for me, as this is my most favourite area in the sound spectrum.
    I need the cymbals and bells to be a little on the splashy side. And micro details always turn me on. Do you think these have what i need ?
    Thanks again for you detailed comparison. I'm sure it's useful to anyone considering these beautiful IEMs.

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