AIWA - a brand reborn?
Apr 7, 2018 at 10:28 AM Post #31 of 70

soundstige

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Posts
1,836
Likes
252
The second portion of your comment was absolutely fine. You should have started with a positive message not a negative one. That's my only point. I appreciate the discussion. We have both said our peace. I'm fine with moving forward.

What was the negative part of my original post? I only said I was skeptical and wanted to investigate these IEMs myself. I never called you a liar or wrote anything to make you feel unwelcomed. In fact, in the same sentence, I thanked you for your input. Then you come out of nowhere with a strange accusatory tone and things like "I will return in kind, I'm old school like that".
 
Apr 7, 2018 at 10:42 AM Post #32 of 70

Mellymelsr

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Posts
16
Likes
7
Location
California
I've already moved on. I was referring to "healthy skepticism" that you quoted following the "astro turf" and "marketing material" comment by the other gentleman. So do those two comments paint a positive picture to you? No they don't. So for you to follow that up with "healthy skepticism" didn't strike me as a positive follow up. Hopefully you have said all of your peace on this issue as it is time to move forward to more positive things. Thank you once again for the conversation.
 
Apr 7, 2018 at 10:44 AM Post #33 of 70

soundstige

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Posts
1,836
Likes
252
I've already moved on. I was referring to "healthy skepticism" that you quoted following the "astro turf" and "marketing material" comment by the other gentleman. So do those two comments paint a positive picture to you? No they don't. So for you to follow that up with "healthy skepticism" didn't strike me as a positive follow up. Hopefully you have said all of your peace on this issue as it is time to move forward to more positive things. Thank you once again for the conversation.

I'm not in control of what other people post, I'm only talking about my own posts and the healthy skepticism that I have. Then you cop an accusatory tone towards me based on what someone else writes, it's very inappropriate.
 
Apr 7, 2018 at 10:49 AM Post #35 of 70

soundstige

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Posts
1,836
Likes
252
Now I'm the one who is inappropriate? Really? I've been everything but that. Moving on from you. Don't need a troll in my life. Carry on if you wish.

Yes, you are the inappropriate one to accuse me of doing things I didn't do, then try to "move on" once I point it out. That's the only "troll" behavior going on here.
 
Apr 7, 2018 at 3:39 PM Post #36 of 70

Aevum

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 15, 2007
Posts
2,621
Likes
185
Anyways, discussion aside.

Sony owned the AIWA brand, no ? i remember them using the brand to sell cheaper MiniDisc players and cheapo home stereos you usualy find in general retailers.

in 2017 Sony sold the brand to a small Transistor radio manufacturer called Towada. would be interesting to see if they can actually make decent headphones.
 
Apr 7, 2018 at 4:37 PM Post #37 of 70

jant71

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Posts
7,418
Likes
4,446
They state they are not affiliate with Aiwa of Japan. This is U.S. Aiwa and not Towada. So, this...
https%3A%2F%2Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%2Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%2Fimages%2F_aliases%2Fmiddle_320%2F5%2F3%2F2%2F9%2F169235-10-eng-GB%2F20170620_aiwa_portable_player.jpg

..is Towada who makes for Sony...
c0227783_17173439.jpg

They make HDTVs and boomboxes...
https%3A%2F%2Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%2Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%2Fimages%2F_aliases%2Fmiddle_320%2F6%2F9%2F1%2F9%2F169196-8-eng-GB%2F20170620_aiwa_boombox.jpg

...and are talking about revenue in the billions.

The Aiwa in this thread makes a Bluetooth speaker and now these earphones. I do not disagree that a healthy dose of skepticism on these earphones is warranted till they prove themselves with several people comparing them to known products. They may be good but it is just not proven yet. If this was a Towada product there would be less skepticism though still something to prove.
 
Last edited:
Apr 11, 2018 at 5:42 PM Post #40 of 70

soundstige

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Posts
1,836
Likes
252
I received the AIWA Prodigy-1 IEMs in the mail today. Here's my quick impressions :)

Purchase Experience / Shipping / Packaging:
The Prodigy-1 were purchased for $49 inclusive of standard USA shipping on their website and arrived at my house in about a week. They were put in a hard pleather case a la Meelectronics P1, along with some tips, and put into a bubble mailer. No retail display box to speak of. Inside the bubble mailer was also a letter requesting me to literally "break these headphones" as a dare of sorts for them to honor their 3-year no-questions-asked warranty. I like their boldness in making it clear that you can treat them like any other pair of headphones and they'll honor their warranty. Of course, since I don't plan on breaking them soon, I'll just have to take their word for it for now.

Fit / Build / Accessories:
All rubberized plastic housing. FLAT linguine-style cable which (non-detachable), while being completely tangle-free, is not my favorite as it doesn't tent to sit right down the ears, nor wrap up neatly when storing. At least it's not a flat J-cable like the Sony MH1C had. Cable seems to be of good quality. Straight 4-pole plug. Shells are medium size, should fit in all sizes of ears without impinging on the outer ear. The included tips are very basic, just injected pieces of silicone. The texture of the tips are not great, kind of flimsy, and they are difficult to get on to the nozzles when changing tip size. I was able to get a good seal after a bit of fiddling around with tip size and insertion position. I would still tip-roll and use some Complys or Spin-Fits or something similar. No other accessories are included, just the hard pleather case, tips, and the earphones. One issue that came up with build quality while using in just the first few minutes was that the thin plastic filter mesh over the nozzle (to keep out debris) partially fell unglued while changing tips. I was able to reseat the mesh but... that shouldn't have happened. Surprised not to see a sturdier metallized mesh when $10 IEMs from China can have them.

Sound Signature and Quality:
Overall they have a sound signature gently tilted upwards with forward upper mids and slightly rolled off lower bass. Most other BA/DD hybrids I own have a more mids-foward signature with slightly stronger bass. Treble heads would enjoy them, while bass heads may find them a little lacking. However, the bass still reaches down to 30-40hz without issue, it's just in the background of the presentation. Definitely not muddy in any way at all, while also not being dry/weak in bass. The treble can get a little too strong and sibilant on poorly-mastered (hot) tracks, but otherwise isn't sibilant, although I did find a couple of my favorite songs, albeit not perfectly mastered, became displeasing to listen to with the strong treble tilt of the Prodigy-1. They are very, very easy to drive. They have excellent dynamic range and easily go from quiet to loud without sounding lazy or slow, better than many other IEMs I've heard.

The overall presentation has a lot of energy and really gives a good upper-bass and midrange slam. Background details are fairly easy to pick out. They have a nice organic tone that doesn't sound metallic or artificial like a lot of treble-tilted IEMs do. I wouldn't call them warm, but I certainly wouldn't call them cold. They're luke-warm / neutral in tone. The sound stage is a bit wider and taller than average compared to some of the other 1 BA / 1 DD hybrid IEMs I own. Vocals sound realistic although they are hidden a little behind the upper mid/treble area of reproduction.

The general theme I get when I listen to the Prodigy-1 is sizzling and exciting brightness and a lot of energy across the spectrum. Agile, lithe, even if not a heavyweight. Organic sound and a wide stage. Not the flattest response, but fun. A full size headphone they remind me a bit of is the HiFiMan HE-400i. I think if you loved those HE-400i you would die for these, and vice versa if you didn't like them. An IEM from yesteryear they remind me of is the Brainwavz B2, with actually better bass and less harsh treble, though overall similar presentation.

Should You Buy Them?
Why should you buy the Prodigy-1 for $49 when there are dozens of other 1DD+1BA hybrids around ranging in cost from $20 to $100? KZ just released a $17 BA+DD hybrid that I haven't heard yet but is probably of good KZ quality like most of their past products. What makes the Prodigy-1 special?

Well the first thing that stands out to me is their hyper confidence in their warranty. You don't get something like "we dare you to break these and we'll replace them no questions asked for 3 years" from ANY purchase you make from China (unless you live in China I imagine), and you don't usually get it with USA marketed IEMs unless there's a really obvious reason like with Skullcandy where IMO they're selling $2 sounding IEMs for $40 with "lifetime no questions asked warranties". The AIWA Prodigy-1 is certainly a much, much better deal than that at $49. The sound quality actually warrants their $49 price tag, even factoring in diamonds in the rough you can get from China. I wouldn't hesitate to say they punch above the $49 price point.

Second to mind on why you should consider the Prodigy-1 is the sound quality. It's not my preferred signature being treble-tilted, but in that respect them actually make a nice contrast to most of the other IEMs I've kept in my collection. The details are definitely there in spades in the way other treble-y IEMs I've had aren't. It's easy to smear the upper range if you just overexert a tweeter armature to be louder instead of source a nice full-range armature driver. But again, the Prodigy-1 just sounds agile and organic in presentation of the entire upper mid range to treble range. They also have wider and taller sound stage than other BA+DD hybrids I own which makes them a more likely choice when I want to be immersed in atmospheric music.

I think if you're interested in a treble-tilted IEM with a killer warranty and don't have issues with minor sibilance, you could do a LOT worse than the AIWA Prodigy-1. They seem to have done a good job sourcing a competent dynamic and BA driver and the R&D in how to pair them together. I wish the tips were better and I wish they had maybe experimented with the filter mesh to tame some slight harshness that's possible in the treble range, but overall, job well done by the current owners of AIWA. At $49 they definitely get a recommendation.

Thanks for reading :)
 
Apr 11, 2018 at 5:53 PM Post #41 of 70

nofarewell

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Posts
370
Likes
58
Thanks for the detailed interview, soundstige!
I'd consider them if they weren't IEMs and I didn't buy a set of Sony MDR-62s again recently. :wink:
But this review draws me more to it. I guess more mids would be better for my taste to say it "blindly".
 
Jul 20, 2018 at 5:08 PM Post #43 of 70

FeedYourHead

Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Posts
77
Likes
54
Look to me like a cheap shot for making quick money out of an reputable old brand.

I agree there should be a some skepticism toward a new company making a new product under a proven name. They certainly have to earn that.
I know this thread is old, but just wanted to clear this up. The Aiwa name was bought by Joe Born out of Chicago. He immediately set out on making the most incredible bluetooth speaker for the money you can imagine, which I've owned for over a year and a half, and can vouch for its amazing quality and especially value. It's huge, and it sounds HUGE. Have you ever seen any product on Amazon that has a FULL 5-star rating (not 4.5) with over 1200 reviews? I havent.
https://www.amazon.com/Aiwa-Exos-9-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker/

Anyways, I don't own the Prodigy nor they're soon to be released Arc-1, but if it's anything like the Exos-9, I'm sure it's amazing. I love that they don't waste all their money on marketing and fancy packaging but instead put it into high quality components. I would not hesitate to purchase anything they make.
 
Last edited:
Jul 20, 2018 at 10:28 PM Post #44 of 70

ClieOS

IEM Reviewer Extraordinaire
Joined
May 11, 2004
Posts
20,503
Likes
10,314
Location
Mid Johor, Malaysia
The (U.S.) Aiwa brand wasn't bought by Joe Born at first. It was bought by a company that specialized in old brand acquisition and remarketing, then it was pitched and sold to Mr. Born, whom I believe is already in audio video business since early 2000s with multiple brand names. It doesn't look like a clean and simple case of old fan trying to revive an beloved brand from my POV, but an attempt to benefit from the old brand's fame. He could have made just as good a product without the Aiwa brand, but the name certainly helps putting his company on the front page.
 
Last edited:
Jul 23, 2018 at 9:04 AM Post #45 of 70

nofarewell

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Posts
370
Likes
58
Thanks for the reflections. I am a bit disappointed tbh - or not disappointed, just expected something different. After the brand's so desired earphones from the past from the V series to the even more rare X series on ear stuff I was a bit hopeful that they'd come up with something that resembles - even if a bit - to the oldies. This is totally new stuff, modern stuff, recent stuff. I guess if it is cool than bene. I am interested in the new ARC headphones. Please share your opinions about it here. The Prodigy - I'd buy but it is in-ear. And I'd like earbuds, not in-ear....
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top