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Advanced AcousticWerkes partners with Null-Audio for new line of low cost CIEMs, including hybrids

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  1. BartSimpson1976
    just back from the launching event and I must say: Yes, these are good IEMs. 
    The bass is absolut great: Punchy, defined, dry. But I miss the sparkle and brillance in the highs.
    They cost 3000 SGD, but still the W350 for less than a third of that remain my favourite in the AAW lineup.
     
  2. ezekiel77
    So their specialty is still da bass.

    Was asking them about an upgrade option for W500 owners but I might give this a miss on account of price.
     
  3. etoilebiscuit
    wow, 3000sgd is not a small sum~~ can get alot of gear at that price.
     
  4. DGG32
    Was not expecting that steep of an increase in price, guess i will not be upgrading my w500 after all.
     
  5. crinacle
    pPSCHts.jpg
     
    Alright, just came back from the audition event @Jaben for the W900. A very solid addition to the pantheon of TOTLs, that's for sure.
     
    MSRP: SGD$2999
     
    Here's the general consensus around the table:
    1. Soundstage is HUGE. Very, very wide.
    2. Treble extension is top notch.
    3. Instrumental separation is excellent, definitely one of its selling points.
    4. It's surprisingly flat and neutral.
    5. The bass is not as satisfying as it was on the W500.
    6. The tonality is a little on the dry side.
     
    Here's my impressions of them. I think I spent the most time on the W900 compared to the rest of the patrons.
     
    BASS
     
    The W900 uses a different physical low pass filter to the W500, and the difference is quite apparent. Sub-bass retains the W500's legendary note articulation and rumble, and I think the lowest notes hit darker in comparison. Coherency is improved a lot; decay transition from bass to lower mids is much smoother and less abrupt than on the W500.
     
    Mid-bass speed is greatly improved, making it snappier and more detailed. Rumble is better limited to the lowest registers, which makes for better pacing and rhythm compared to the relatively boomier W500.
     
    MIDS
     
    Perhaps a little cut-and-dry with just the tiniest hint of warmth from the dynamic's bass. Kevin mentioned that AAW made a lot of effort in separating the driver's influence from one another and it was achieved to great effect, perhaps at the cost of musicality. The W900 excels in instrumental separation and resolution and has a very neutral tonality to it. Male vocals do benefit from the added heft of the low end, but certain female vocals tend to stray into the analytical side of things.
     
    The upper midrange spike of the W500 has been rectified on the W900, though comparatively speaking it cuts the energy from its midrange, making the W900 a little dull and boring. It's definitely less fatiguing though, and a whole lot more detailed and resolving.
     
    TREBLE
     
    AAW seems to have gotten greedy. It wasn't enough to have best bass, they had to have the best treble as well. The W900's upper frequency response is immaculate, being polite yet far reaching at the same time. Jelt praised the W500's treble for being flat and grounded; well the W900 achieves this to a even higher degree, with treble extension rivaling that of the Jomo Samba and the UERR.
     
    It's not really the most energetic treble, in fact it almost touches on the "laid-back" line. However, it still manages to sparkle, and it sparkles all the way up into the stratosphere. Rarely do I hear IEMs reach past the 13KHz mark, and the W900 confidently blasts past that barrier with ease.
     
    SOUNDSTAGE
     
    A lot of people praised the W500 for its imaging and soundstage. I personally wasn't as wowed by it like the rest; sure it had great outward diffusal, but it was honestly a little congested and smoothed over for my liking. I mean, I listen to the D2000 whenever I'm home, so a CIEM's "soundstage" wasn't going to raise any eyebrows on me.
     
    The W900 was a different case. Every single person around the auditioning table said the same thing. The soundstage, it's so big! So wide! I was a little skeptical. There's not a lot that a mere IEM can do with soundstaging, right?
     
    The issue with the W500 was twofold. Relatively congested midrange and treble extension. It wasn't exactly top-echelon material in those regards, and thus while it held the title for imaging, it's not exactly the cream of the crop for wide soundstaging. The W900 extends far out into both ends of the spectrum, and along with its elite separation made for an extremely wide stage being presented to you. That's not to say that the outward diffusal was sacrificed for it; decay control was still very well managed, allowing for extremely realistic 3D imaging on top of its wide stage. I won't say too much for now, but initial impressions have finally wowed me this time.
     
    GENERAL QUALITIES
     
    It's flat with a bass bump. It's very flat with a bass bump. Some people will hate this. It's neutral and flat to a fault, and coupled with the bass boost makes for a very niche signature. The tonality is leaning towards the dry side though neutral for the most part. Detail isn't as in-your-face like the Samba is, but it can be considered a detail-oriented IEM per se. 
     
    Moving back to the W500... man, I shouldn't have. By itself, the W900 wasn't really that impressive, but jumping back to the W500 or even greats like the 64Audio A12 felt like a downgrade. Mids are thick and muddy. Treble is comparatively non-existent. Bass not as well controlled. The faults I never knew existed popped out to me.
     
    Of course, I'm not saying that the W900 is better than the A12 just yet. That's a topic for when I'm writing up a full review.
     
    CONCLUSION
     
    i bought one
     
  6. BartSimpson1976
    hmmm...interesting.  Totally do not agree to your impression about the treble. Sparkle was exactly what I was missing.
     
    What source did you use?
     
  7. crinacle
     
    Straight out of the iPhone for now. I use it as a reference for all my CIEM auditions anyways, no reason to swap it out.
     
    What were your impressions?
     
  8. BartSimpson1976
    As mentioned above: Nice, punchy, dry and defined bass, silky mids but lack of sparkle and brilliance in the highs.
     
    Soundstage and seperation great though!
     
    I prefer the W350 over the W500 and the W900. 
     
    Would love to see them having a 4 or 5BA setup.
     
  9. crinacle
     
    I went for their upgrade promotion. SGD$1000 on the dot if you're upgrading from the W500.
     
    "It's not really the most energetic treble, in fact it almost touches on the "laid-back" line."
     
    Yeah, I kinda did mention that.
     
  10. tHePilGriM
    First time trying out AAW line of IEM (A3H, W300, W350, W500 & W900). TBH I don't find any of their lineup to have any sparkle in the high. Bass is their forte. Warm but lacking in treble except for the W900.

    I am more of a headphone (K501, X2) guy and W900 is probably the only one which has a comparable soundstage to headphone out of all their lineup. Nice separation of instruments. Actually, I like the sound signature of the W900. However, I am not sure whether i would spend that amount. I can get pretty good headphone with half that amount. Rather get the W300 and spend the rest on decent DAP with spares leftover.

    Also got to hear QDC 5SH which I prefer over the W500. Had to rush back home if not would love to hear the QDC 3SH and see how it performs against the W300.
     
  11. Malevolent
    Originally posted this on flinkenick's 'Ranking the stars' thread.
     
    @crinacle probably said almost everything I wanted to say. Great impressions, bro! Didn't see you at the event today (maybe I did, but I didn't recognise you).
     
    In any case, I went into the event expecting the W900 to be a better sounding W500, but I was disappointed in a few ways. For one, it is an improvement, just not along the lines I was expecting. It has a more balanced, neutral tonality, with no particular emphasis over any aspect of its frequency range. Nevertheless, I was not expecting being presented with this wide, deep soundstage that presented precise imaging and clear instrument separation. You could almost sense that you were sitting at the back of a vast concert hall, taking everything in at once - you can see/hear the different instruments with pinpoint accuracy. The airiness is evident; the experience surreal. I have not heard a soundstage as wide and as airy as this in an IEM since the SE5-Way Ultimate.
     
    However, this is where the  W900 fell short for me, since this was not my preferred sound signature. I've always been a fan of a weightier sound with a forward midrange, and boosted lows. Being an EDM-head, I'm also fond of a v-shaped sound, with sparkling (but not harsh) treble complementing strong, punchy lows. The W500 AHMorph is an IEM that ticked many of these boxes, channeling some strong bass to match that energetic treble to drive dance music to a frenzy.
     
    I'm sorry if my opinions are neither comprehensive nor fruitful, since I was not very interested in hearing too much of the W900. In total, I spent maybe 10-15 minutes listening to them on my AK240 and AK380.
     
  12. Malevolent
    I notice some of you were at the event today. Must have bumped into some of you, but it's a shame we don't recognise each other (or at least, I don't).
     
    I'm glad to see some of you loving the W900. It's a mighty fine IEM, no doubt, just not one with my preferred sound signature.
     
  13. Mimouille
    Would you say apart from soundstage size it is just a side grade from AAW500? Because I had the 500 on order and asked to wait for the upgrade...and I love the 500 sound.
     
  14. ezekiel77
     
    Yeah I sorta expected a W500 on steroids to be honest, because a lotta IEMs have the "neutral with big soundstage" signature already, but the W500 bass.... boom boom!
     
  15. crinacle

    The W900 still has the W500's signature sub-bass quality, though the mid-bass is much better controlled and less boomy. It sounds like a dynamic down in the deepest low end but has the speed and clarity of a BA in the mid-bass. There is about 2-3 dB less bass overall though, so I guess if you think the W500's bass is perfect, the W900 would be a little less satisfying.

    There's not a single neutral CIEM out there that can match neutrality with the bass response that the W900 can put out though. Kudos to AAW on that front.
     
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