Aurisonics ASG-2.5 Review by mark2410
Jul 9, 2015 at 11:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28
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Aurisonics ASG-2.5 Review
 
Thanks to Hifiheadphones for the loaner.
 

 
 
First Impressions:  Whoops.  Silly me thought I had but I clearly didn’t make notes at the time so I going by what I recall of my first encounter with the 2.5’s.  The box at stuff, are nothing particularly interesting or exciting.  I do rather like the little case, Pelican like but small enough that you could actually use the thing.  Comes with a lanyard too in there, can’t see many consumers using that but these are custom like, so live musicians are probably just as much the target audience.  Anyway lets have a listen.
 
Oh my god!!! I had turned the bass to max to see what sort of scale we were working with and I just about threw up.  There was so much bass, so much air movement it was not in the “bit much” it was into the oh my god its physically making me queasy.  Jesus Christ, that’s insane. How or why could anyone human stand that much let alone enjoy it.  Oh dear god I can feel the back of my mouth watering up just thinking about it.  Oh god that’s getting turned to min bass and it’s probably going to be staying there.  I think we likely have a super high end for bassheads here.
 

 
 
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., HiFiMAN HM-650, 1G Ipod Shuffle, Nexus 5 and Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear.
 
Lows:  Usually with tuneable things I will try to say a bit about the variety offered and usually have to battle past my own preference for one of those sounds.  Yeah I know I should be doing that, letting you know a bit about what it’s like with the bass at max but suck it, it’s not happening.  At max bass these move so much air it was more than I could physically stand.  I should probably do a in the middle but that’s not happening either.  Even on minimum bass these are still what a think of being pretty bassy.  I know I’m not a bass head and many like more bass than I do but it’s not min is at RE-0 levels.  It almost reaches that “natural” level but comparatively there is still so much energy in the bass that there just isn’t in the mids and highs.  The bass is tightly controlled but there just feels like there is an endless supply of power behind it.  Not so much that it’s being driven by a little driver but by a piston out of the crushing press in Terminator.  Endless power like it could cave your skull in if you accidently crank the volume dial. 
 
In its abilities though I will admit it’s quite masterly.  Tonality and grace are highly accomplished. The death and linearity too are exemplary, the depth especially going horrifyingly low (probably what I find so queasy inducing) it’s got a sense of limitless reserve on which to draw upon.  I just don’t want so much of it.
 

 
 
Mids:  A little reticent for my tastes but otherwise it’s rather excellent.  BA’s can so often sound so direct, like vocals ore being hurled at your face.  The huge dynamic here sounds so much more reserved.  It’s so relaxed and gently lingering stylistically.  Even in quicker brighter vocals its still has that dynamic hint of softness.  It’s not lacking in any detail, I want to say it feels like a nicely smooth sinusoidal waveform whereas BA’s can often feel more like a square waveform.  There is a feeling of being more natural than you tend to get with armature based stuff.  More naturally relaxed and more like a performance rather than the examination you can get from hyper detail revealing BA’s.  Not to say that detail retrieval isn’t excellent, it really is but don’t expect it be an analytical listen.  You want the most minute details you will have to listen out for them.  The 2.5 is far more about telling you to just shut up, relax and enjoy the show.
 
Quantitatively, even at minimum bass the bass is still the star of the show.  Mids are rather broad and have plenty of space but I could do with being pushed up to the front of the stage a bit.  They are a genteel and relaxed listen.  Mostly warmed but with a goody airy dash that you get from high end dynamics. 
 

 
 
Highs:  The quality is exemplary, it is pushed right the way back but no way am I questioning its quality.  While I may have liked maybe a tiny bit more treble its tonality and style are just what I like.  Faintly clean metallic impacts and with a smooth decay away.  It’s a little fast in the decay so I’m presuming it’s a BA at work.  Could it be that there are two BA’s both doing the treble?  That could explain the gently diffuse shimmer they can do, its edging towards how high end dynamics can do treble.  There is a touch of brittleness somewhere and despite its being really laid back presentationally and quantitatively it’s not very kind to crap recordings.  I’m looking at you Mr Buble here.  Tracks that should otherwise be perfectly sumptuous pairing with the 2.5 are scratch fests.  They are just so badly mastered and dynamically compressed its offensive to the ear.
 
However the big take away about the treble is yes it’s good but please sir, may I have some more? 
 

 
 
Soundstage:  Large.  These with their humongous dynamics feel suitably humungous too.  Not endless open space but like you’re in a huge hall, closed darkened, worm and with a huge wall of speakers scarcely breaking a sweat while they float music your way.  Most of those speakers are big 16 inch woofers.  Vocals are in the midst and a widely diffuse origin that’s rather pleasant.  Treble is even more nebulous than the vocals.  It’s just sort of there in the background trying to have anyone look at it.
 

 
 
Fit:  There is no way to not notice that the 2.5’s are F ing huge.  As IEM’s go they are just massive things but I slapped on a pair of Comlpy’s and then into the ear.  With that I was done, yes that simple, no issues at all.
 
Comfort:  Again they are vast but they slotted into my ears just fine and they never bothered me once.  Not even once.  Though they are massive so they stick out a bit, I don’t sleep in IEM’s but if you are I don’t see it working with these.
 

 
 
Cable:  Nothing visually particularly fancy.  It’s a black braided cable that like all braided cables are highly flexible and pleasant to use.  Oh and they are removable too so if you don’t like or you break it, you can just swap it out.  Personally I’d have preferred the silver cable the 1.5 comes with, but that’s just about looks.
 

 
 
Isolation:  Well it’s okay, it’s not up to BA levels but then that’s what happens if you have a great big dynamic and bass tuning vent.  It would be fine for your typical out and about use, on a bus or walking around.  Not flight or Tube commute worthy really bit you know, would be better than nothing.  As ever though, easily enough to make you a road stain if you forget to use your eyes when out.
 
Build Quality:  They seem to be rather excellent.  The IEM shells are great big moulded lumps of plastic.  They seem very well put together as you would really expect from such a product.
 

 
 
Aesthetic:  They come in red as I have here or black.  If you are willing to pay more you can also get the in nickel for US$200 more. Or if you’re feeling super flashy, gold for just US$400 over the price of red or black.  They say 24k gold but surely it would be too soft to make the shells out of?  Personally I don’t like gold anyway, I’ve always much preferred silver, so for me the nickel ones actually look great in photos but not sure I’d pay US$200 over red or black to get it.
 

 
 
Amped/Unamped:  Given these are clearly aimed at a groups that will have access to high quality sources you could easily think that they might be hard to drive or fussy.  They are not.  Even out of the mediocre Iphone 5 they sounded good.  If anything they were better out of weak puny sources.  Eh you might be thinking, yes the bass, that crushing behemoth bass, well it didn’t have that endless scull smashing power behind it so it was rather more pedestrian.  I could honestly go so far as to say maybe it was the source they used as a reference frame when creating the 2.5’s.  Even the Lumia 735 felt waaaaay more powerful and punchy with the 2.5’s.  I realise that all that bass and all that power isn’t my thing and there will be those who love it all, still it’s curious that the most amenable signature and presentation I found (for me anyway) was out of a roundly meh source but a highly common one.  Curious.
 

 
 
Accessories:  You get a little case, a lanyard, a bunch of tips and a little screwdriver.  The screwdriver is for tweaking the bass ports.  I very much like the little case as it feels like it would survive a real battering but is still useably small.  The other bits, I mean the lanyard?  Either way there it is.
 

 
 
Value:  So there are what US$700 in Americaland, that’s £451 and that’s before you dutifully declare to HMRC so you can give them a wad of cash too.  So as “universals” go these are very expensive.  For customs it’s more middling but in theory you could always sell them and recoup something.  Where these area a bit more value enhancing is if you want head exploding, dynamic driver power at your disposal.  Update:  UK price is £639
 

 
 
Conclusion:  The ASG-2.5’s are a product that if nothing else, it makes an impact.  In every possible sense you can think of these make an impact.  An impact to your wallet first of all and then on getting them.  Imagine if you will that you were in an aircraft hangar.  Yes just hear me out, and in that aircraft hangar you have placed thousands of sub’s, covering the entire floor, stacked them all the way up the walls too.  Then you place in the middle of the hanger a pair of quality speakers.  Then you hook it all up to behave like a 2.1 system.    That is something like what the 2.5’s are like when you crank the bass on them.  It’s not just raw power, its scull crushing, lose control of your bowels levels of bass.   I have not heard anything like it, it’s insane, completely insane, just outrageously insane.  Anyone who uses these at max bass, I, I have no words.
 

 
 
However if we take that little bass dial and turn it all the way down, you still get a pretty bassy IEM, with a rather tame treble to boot.  It becomes a much more realistic and entertaining proposition.  There simply are things that dynamic driver can do that BA’s simply cannot capture.  A certain sense of smoothly effortless nature is one such aspect.  The other obvious one is in the furthest depths.  They make a much, much more speaker like bass.  With these you have power and depth that would only otherwise be achievable with a mountain of sub’s at your disposal.  The tightly enclosed nature of an IEM makes for such violently, potently, spectacularly, insanely incredible bass.
 

 
 
Bugger me, these things are just mental.   Aurisoncs themselves say “The ASG-2.5 has an unrivalled soundstage and legendary performance. The sound is incredibly raw, visceral, and energetic with a massive bass response that you can tune. Be prepared for music that will move you.”  Lol, they weren’t joking.  Massive bass, lol and Hitler was a naughty chap.  Talk about comedic understatement.  These things shift so much air, it’s like one of those cars that drives by and everyone on the streets windows vibrate with the bass.  That, that is what these do, but inside your skull.  It’s epic and stupendous.  It’s amazing but it’s just so insane, waaaaaaaaay too insane for me.  This is to date, the most amazingly abundant bass cannon I’ve encountered.  It also has good mids and highs, but if you buy this you buy for the most skull smashing bass you’ve ever heard.  It’s fun like the most wild night out ever, incredible, fantastic but oh god, I couldn’t do it every day.  The Aurisonc’s 2.5 is a most insane IEM, mental and awesome, I’m not sure I could use them every day, but wow they are crazy fantastic / fantastically crazy.
 
Jul 9, 2015 at 12:04 PM Post #2 of 28
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Aurisonics ASG-2.5 Quick Review
 
Thanks to Hifiheadphones for the loaner.
 
Brief:  OMG ALL OF DA BASS!!!!!
 
Price: US$700 or £639 or more if want a diff finish on them.
 
Specification:  Driver: Precision Dynamic 14.2mm + 2 custom-tuned, next generation tweeters, Frequency response: 8Hz – 25kHz, Impedance: 41 ohm +/- 10% @ 1kHz, Sensitivity: 123dB @1mW, Passive noise attenuation: NRR 22db, Construction: 3D printed, Digital Hybrid Technology (DHT)™ shell fits 95% of ears like a custom (Hybrid custom/universal fit derived from thousands of ears scanned… and counting)., Cable: Detachable silver-plated low oxygen copper cable
 
Accessories:  Shock/Dust/Waterproof case.  Cleaning tool.  Tips.  Valve adjusting tool.
 
Build Quality:  It would appear to be excellent.
 
Isolation:  Meh.  For an IEM it’s passable but that’s what happens with dynamics.  They need air to move and with the venting port you do loose some isolation.  So not Tube worthy but would easily do for normal out and about stuff.  Still probably enough to get you run over too if your not looking where you’re going.
 
Comfort/Fit:  There is no mistaking they are huge but they are sculpted so that they fit me easily, effortlessly and perfectly comfortably.  Stuck on Comply’s ‘cause I’m lazy and that was me.  Of course if you turn the bass up I found it moved so much air is was physically uncomfortable.
 
Aesthetics:  The look nice.  Nothing particularly special, though if you are suitably rich and chavy you could have them made in 24k gold for just an extra US$400.  Mind you the pics of the brushed nickel look quite nice. 
 
Sound:  When you have the bass dial at min, these are pretty good, rather even ish balanced.  Bit of a W shape going on but nothing wildly out of step with anything else and the quality is what you would general think to expect from an upper end IEM.  The BA’s doing the tweeter and presumably the mids too are nice.  They are clean, tonally quite neutral and nicely detailed.  They are very pleasing in every matter you think to ask of them.  Even the extension is pretty good and BA’s traditionally don’t do so well at that.  So good, nothing magical but a very good solid contender for your money.    Then that bass.  The spec says 8Hz.  I think its lying, with the quantity of air the humongous 14.2 mm driver spits out its more like 2Hz.  (Okay not that I could hear 2Hz) the depth is stupid.  It extends so far and bugger me it just goes so effortlessly, oh my god it’s just amazeballs lunacy!!!!  No seriously it is just insane, its comedy levels of bass and oh god the depth!!!  It’s mental.  Lol.  You know if you dad came home with a 5.1 set up and you took the sub and turned it all the way up?  You know where your mothers ornaments all start vibrating and walking about the mantle piece.  All the while you being shaken by the room that’s turned into a giant vibrator and you find yourself laughing like some giddy fool?  Yep, that.  Its nuts, completely off the wall.  While this is super-duper entertaining.  It’s just mad.  Now if you step away from bass centric stuff and put the bass to minimum it’s a rather capable high end IEM but it feels pointless to talk of its other talents.  If you buy this, you do so because you want bass that will blow you away, seriously just blow you away.  Slap on some chart type pop and its an orgasmic thrill machine.  Amazeballs mental.
 
Value:  Well it’s cheaper than buying 20k’s worth of Sub’s.
 
Pro’s:  FCUK ME kinda bass.  Beyond epic bass depth.  Stupendous Bass power.
 
Con’s:  You had better be a bass lover.
 
Jul 9, 2015 at 4:49 PM Post #5 of 28

davidcotton

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May not be the done thing but thomann.de have them for pre-order for £410 delivered which is quite the saving.  The downside?  Not in stock but on pre-order.  Wonder if you could get hifiheadphones to price match or come down a bit?  Shame about the lousy isolation or I would have given these a try.
 
Jul 10, 2015 at 8:22 AM Post #12 of 28

soundbear

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Absolutely spendid review!!  Spot on in my books as I've had the AS2 and AS2 converted to the AS2.5 then converted to the AS1Plus.   Sorry they didn't have enuff bass for you!!HA!!
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    Anyway, the newest Hybrid the AS1Plus is much more my cup of tea, but in all honesty, for that genre of sound I much preferred the JVC850!   Still, my true flavored cup of tea is the FAD Heaven V!!
 
Mark, I definately think you have done your best written review ever, your writing style is now polished  in its own very unique way, Congrats!!!!   
 
I also think that anyone looking for a "shot from the hip" straight up review should read you first!   Cheers!
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Jul 10, 2015 at 10:11 AM Post #13 of 28

shaun_g

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@mark2410 Nice review!  We're loving your style.
 
@davidcotton We just checked our pricing and we messed up this end.  We had the wrong RRP set by the distributor.  The ASG 2.5 should have an RRP in the UK of £639.  We've updated it on our site:  http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/aurisonics-asg-2-5-triple-drivers-iem-earphones-with-replaceable-cable-polished-red.html
 
Just checking with Aurisonics and it seems that Thomann did buy some stock from a distributor in Germany last year, but Aurisonics have since changed distributor in Germany.  It seems likely that Thomann has cleared through that stock.
 
Jul 10, 2015 at 11:11 AM Post #14 of 28
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Nice review.
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These are a cross between my Sz2k and my ma900
 
Massive bass ability, smooth mids and highs that I actually raise a bit since I use the bass port wide open.
 
These are pretty much my Unicorn set.
 
Anyone familiar with old Robert Palmer "Sneaking Sally through the Alley" and the sick bassist plucks in the track especially the end part ...knows  git up and dance around music.
 
 
These excel at the whole joint. Vocals, guitar and of course tight fast bass. ******* LOVE these things!!
 
 
 I wanted audiophile staging and instrument separation with butter mids but still have a massive bass drop on call if I go from Pink Floyd to 2pac.
 
Aurisonics NAILED it!!
 

 

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