Ambient Acoustics Laboratory — CIEM makers from Ukraine
Mar 7, 2016 at 4:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 120


Headphoneus Supremus
Oct 14, 2011
Hello, today I'd like to tell about my friends and pioneers of hi-end IEM on the territory of exUSSR, Ambient Acoustics Laboratory from Kiev, Ukraine. It was founded in 2008, and since then developing and researching lots of unusual options in the field of hi-end IEMs.

My first acquaintance with them took place long ago in 2012. In the spring, I've visited beautiful old Kiev, enjoying warm weather and blooming chestnuts. But the main impression, of course, was my visit to AA lab. At that time I was pretty newbie in the world of Hi-End audio, but nevertheless I was impressed. AA's lineup that time contained 4 models with drivers count from 1 up to 4. All models except of one-drivers offered two versions of sound tuning: regular, and more neutral, called "pro". After my first visit I've ended up with new fancy AM4 (four-driver, as you can easily understand). But it was just the beginning of the long road.

As many other custom IEMs laboratories, AA also offered reshelling service with sound tuning, if necessary. Also they make different earplugs: water-protective for swimming, sound-damping for hunters, for professional musicians, and so on. Yep, I need to mention, that AA have lots of famous ukrainian musicians as their customers. Also they make custom eartips for IEMs. Actually, a full range of custom products.

Just a few words about my AM4. I've really enjoyed them, in 2012 it was definitely the best IEMs I've heard. Engaging sound with V-shaped frequency response and separate driver for infrabass, offered really life-like presentation and signature. I think customs owners will understand me, how drastic was sound difference between "before" and "after". AM4 was worth every single dollar, out of their price ($525 at that time).

As any good company, Ambient Acoustics didn't stop on their existing lineup, and started to tune their model line. They've removed separation into "pro" and "not pro" versions, and introduced few new models, so their actual lineup contains 7 models.

AM1 ($270) Intro-level model with single driver, for those, who wants to try CIEMs without sending extra money.

AM2 Vocal Edition ($420) As you can easily understand by model name, it's an option for professional singers, for bowed instruments, in short — for music with detailed and accented mids.

AM3 Ref Edition ($495) As far as I know, most popular model among professional musicians. Expressive Ukrainian singer Jamala (watch this year on Eurovision) uses AM3 during hers shows. AM3 offers really linear frequency response together with outstanding level of details.

AM4 Music Edition ($565) Model, close to my "first love", that "old" AM4. They are pretty close to AM3, but have "additional" bass and sub-bas, this makes them perfect option for rock-lovers and for mixing music in studio.

AM4 Hybrid ($590) Yes, those are hybrids with 1 dynamic and 3 BA drivers. Punchy powerful bass makes them perfect for drum and bass monitoring purposes and electronic music lovers

AM6 HighRez ($735) And even more extended bass and high frequencies. Earphones, designed for most tempted stage monitoring. They offer wide soundstage and great sense of depth.

AM10 Special Edition ($1100) Truly audiophile model, created for music listening. Biggest soundstage, deep, detailed lows, great resolution, etc.

After some time I've upgraded my AM4 to AM6, and, of course, then to AM10, so for now, I am a proud AM10 owner.

Few words about AM10 sound. They have really impressive lows. It's even hard to belive, that AM's are armature only IEMs. Power and punch of their bass are close to best hybrid models. Add here detailed clear mids and almost linear treble, you can imagine the sound of AM10. One note, their bass sometimes can be overwhelming, so, if you prefer more monitoring sound, you should look for other models.

Besides this models, AA developed and produced few experimental models with 14, 16 and even 20 drivers. They have similar to AM10 sound signature, but increasing of drivers number leads to even further improvement in soundstage and instruments separation. Due to construction specific, this models can be done only for people with big ears, so they aren't listed on company's website, but still available upon separate request. Abmeint Labs have really friendly support team and often tries to fulfill users' requests, if it's possible.

In their customs, AA developed and used few interesting technologies.

Dual acoustic filtering of bass drivers. Allows to remove electric limiter from lower frequency circuit. This help to avoid phase distortion, introduced by electric filtering, and maximally narrow frequency band of bass drivers. In other words, this helps bass not to bloat mids and sound thightly and punchy.

Phase and impendence correction of crossover circuit. This proprietary technology allows to make phase and impedance curves of IEMs more linear for any sound source. Simply said, players and amplifiers with high output impedance don't have such impact on AM's frequency response, giving you more natural sound with any source.

Also, AA customs can include metal resonator for treble, acoustic damping, multi-bore configurations, semi-soft shell and many others features, available in custom world.

Besides all the abobe, there are few technologies that are in "beta test" stage now.

Screw-thread connectors. They are both durable and easy to plug. I think everyone faced problem with loosen sockets, causing poor connection and even risk of earpiece lost. And the other option — sockets so tight, that it's hard to disconnect cable without damage. New AMs have connectors that you can screw, so this gives you reliable connection that can survive lots of re-connects.

Acoustic bass regulator. Technology, that allows bass amount without changing electrical parameters of cross-over. I don't know in details, how this work, but simple explanation — you can change air elasticity of low frequency resonator chamber, changing bass response in this way (about 8-9 dB). Guys from AA promised me that they will create video, explaining how it works, when it will be ready for release.

And of course, artistic part of customisation. Besides regular prints on faceplates, AA capable of doing really unusual design, that is able to express creative nature of owner. Here is, for example, my AM10 in "Cyberpunk" design.

Another example of unique design by AA Lab — mated faceplates with glossy images, AFAIK they are the first company, offering such option

Hope this story will be interesting for you, if you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them (or pass them to AA, so they will answer).
Mar 8, 2016 at 10:50 AM Post #3 of 120
Thanks for the detailed introduction. So is the 20 driver model theoretically the best sounding?

yep, in theory — yes. but I didn't heard it. one owner (I think he's actually also an only owner) said that AM20 gave him unbelievable stage, tons of details and instruments separation. so, after all, I've decided to stay with 10-drivers model. also, I'm waiting for new 5-driver model by AA, it will feature all their know-hows, will have completely new tuning and I think will be cheaper :)
Mar 8, 2016 at 4:05 PM Post #4 of 120
ive been waiting on a thread about ambient accoustics as i was looking at the universal am6u to replace my aurisonic asg2..
hopefully there will be some more impressions from this maker
Mar 16, 2016 at 4:01 PM Post #13 of 120
Getting ready to send in a CIEM for reshell, so far the ordering process has been fairly painless, the artwork and cable options they have are really quite impressive. 

Do note that after customizing your order there is a small delay as an employee of Ambient Acoustics has to confirm all the details. Now i just need to find time to get my impressions done.

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