1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

New Auvio Full-size review - "Auvio Elite Series"

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by loveableterror, Jan 28, 2013.
  1. loveableterror
    So, Once again I return with another brand new review of Auvio headphones. These are the Auvio Elite Series over-ear full size headphones. Normal precursor here: I work for Radioshack, they don't pay me a dime to do this, I just get awesome discounts on the products and like reviewing them for my fellow audiophiles. This particular pair retails at $99 USD and go on sale sometimes for about  $79. 
     
    This is what we are working with here: (pic goes here)
     
    A very handsome set I must say. They are very comfortable and fit my head well, but I did have to extend the arms all the way out to get them to fit correctly. The ear cups feel a little stiffer in comparison to my Concert Classes, but I also have quite a bit more time in on those. Speaking of the Concert Classes, referred to a few times on head-fi as Beats by RS, these are the true attempt to get at the beats market with the style. I leave it at style because these sound amazing, something the Beats fail at in my opinion. I will get at this later in the review.
     
    My (if you can call it this) Rig: A Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GSM) running AOKP with the audio libraries swapped to stock instead of the Louder profile floating around XDA. For FLAC files I am using my Samsung laptop (N-series) with the Realtek HD Audio interface with SoundAlive off, set to play 44000 hz. I have a Fiio E6 on the way but I will add that much later on if it changes the profile of these cans much. Both playback sources will be tested WITHOUT any equalizer. Using an equalizer lets you toy with the sound too much and diminishes the quality of a review in my opinion, hence why I am not using my Evo 3D for the comparison because it uses the Beats Audio EQ. 
    Comparisons: I have quite a few headphones at my disposal to try out and compare head-to-head with these so I will put those up as well, as well as price point and comparison notes. 
    - Auvio Concert Class (RadioShack/ Ignition LP, $49.99)
    - Beats by Dre Solo HD (Monster, $199.99)
    - Skullcandy Hesh II Supreme Sound (Skullcandy, $59.99)
     
    I am using these for comparison as they are what is readily available to me. If I can repair my ATH-A900's I will add them to the comparison but until then we will stick with what I have now.
     
    Design: Style wise these are very much in line with the Beats market, they have smooth lines with subtle metal accents. The driver housing is on a multi-pivot system and the closed-back design has a nice gunmetal-colored brushed metal accent with AUVIO stamped into it. It's a nice start for anyone concerned about the looks of their headphones (not that I worry about that kinda crap, I used to wear Senn 600 to school with the weird marble design on them). Moving on to the comfort section- These are the most comfortable sub-$200 headphones I have purchased. The thick padding on the head band and the "clamp-free" fit of them is perfect. They stick to my head without discomfort or pressure like the Beats tend to and they don't slide around like the Concert classes. The Hesh are on par in this deprtment minus the comfortable headband, the Auvio's still win in that department, in-part to their fantastic padding up top. The padding extends to an approximation of where a normal person's crown would be (sorry to all homo habilis neglected by this feature). The padding ends with a feature I am not happy with, and something that was a particular favorite of mine on the Concert Class, a plastic hinge cover... I hate these things, they always feel cheap, and I feel a little betrayed when my $50 CC's have a metal cover and these $100's have a pastic one, Whats worse is that it is of the same color as the accents on the back of the driver housing, adding to the deception, as an old joke my Dad used to tell me, That's once, Auvio. All in all these are very handsome and feel (for the most part) durable... kinda. I will get to that in the next section. 
     
     
    Durability: These are pretty sturdy cans. They are definitely designed to be mobile and come with a carry case to keep them nice. While they are designed for mobility they do feel a tad fragile. Not flimsy by any means, but definitely should be kept in the carry bag if they are being placed in a backpack or laptop bag. In terms of durability feel, they are on par with Beats and the Hesh II's. The Concert Classes, on the other hand, are the champs of knock-around headphones. I have used and abused these things. I slept in them, Threw them in my bag, dropped them down stairs, and (with cleanings in between) use them as demos at work. They are impressively durable, if a little hard to use without coiling the cable, which is listed as being 18" but measured out to a full 36" ( the main reason why I swapped the cable on them). Back to the Elite Series, they may not feel durable but so far I have had them for 3 days and have tucked them in the case, pulled them out, listened to them and then tucked them away again and they have stood up without creaks or other signs of flawed material.
     
    Sound: This is what you came for, isn't it. This review will be done with a large number of songs from a varied set of genres.
     
    - Playlist - (Track Name - Artist - Album)
    Jolene - The White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights
    Forty-Six and 2 - Tool - Aenima
    Choices - Nero - Welcome Reality
    A Thousand Years - Lindsey Stirling and Aimee Proal - Stirling Strings
    Shadows - Lindsey Stirling - Stirling Strings
    Daylight Dies - Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies
    If It Means A Lot To You - A Day to Remember - Homesick
    Harsh - Eyes Set to Kill - White Lotus
    First of the Year (Equinox) - Skrillex - More Monsters and Sprites
     
    All songs are either 320kbps or FLAC rips from EAC. 
     
    Jolene: I have talked about this track before. It is very raw, emotional, and heartbreaking to listen to. With a good set of cans it is even more so, with a great pair it can give you shivers. The Elites are a great pair. Simple as that. From the start of the track to the final note you hear every reverberation of the guitars strings, every break of Jack White's voice and every emotion poured into it. The simple chords played at the open are crisp, with absolutely no muddiness or vagueness to their sound. You can almost picture every string as it is plucked and it is very easy to hear individual notes. In comparison with the Concert Class, Beats, and Hesh these are the kings. The Beats tend to wash out anything but bass and when there is bass it is harsh and overly emphasized, although I know that is what they are designed for. The Concert Class does well to reproduce the sound but tend to be very neutral and imprecise in the playing of this track in general, where the Elite's have a very nice brightness to them without being overly harsh on the treble. The Hesh fair as well as the Concert Class, not bad, but compared with the Elite they are just lacking in precision.
     
    Forty-Six and 2 - This is personal favorite of mine. Tool is just awesome, Maynard kicks serious ass and, the composition of the song is varied enough to give a nice workout to any set of headphones. The lead in with the bass helps build the song up quite a bit to the initial start. The Elite's show a bit of a weakness in separating the whispered vocals in the opening from the guitars, something that ma be fixed with an amplifier because they are able to reproduce it, it's just very faint. The bass is very well reproduced and has a nice sound to it, the sound does seem to get a little murky with rock in general so these may not be the best all arounders. They are also new so maybe a little burn in will open them up some with this type of music. The Concert Class seem to fair well with this music, the guitars sound great and the sustained guitar notes sound very good with out much mixing together of the individual notes. The Beats were terrible with this. They muddied the bass to the point of everything sounded like a sustained note in the background, vocals were fine but the whispered lyrics were completely indecipherable. The Hesh were not available for this song, I had to give them back to their owner.
     
    Choices - This is a very different type of song. Not your typical thumping club anthem that is typical of some Nero mixes. It has a nice spoken word intro with a simple electronic backbeat. The build up speeds up the tempo of this backbeat and adds many extra electronic elements to the mix. The Elites shine here. They are great for the fast tempo and mix of sounds. The bass is very well done, it hits but isn't over emphasized like the Beats tend to do. The Concert Class was also we suited for this song if a little heavy on the bass. The Beats, in comparison with the Elites, do well with this song, the sound is very precise and the highs actually come out well but the bass drops are a little too throbbing and gave me a headache, plus the length of the track made them give me the clamping feel common with the Solo line. There is a particular point in the song that I love in which the song build to a very high note and then drops the beat entirely with a small sustained note in the back and then suddenly bring every element back without a bass drop. I would liken the sensation it induces is similiar to falling and the Elites do a great job of giving the sensation, something I hadn't experienced with any other pair.
     
    A Thousand Years - This is a great cover of this song. Lindsey Stirling on violin is amazing and Aimee Proal plays the piano and sings extremely well. The Elites stand out a lot with this song. They handle the piano, violin and bass guitar extremely well. It's very pretty and the highs in the vocal come out very well. Something of note is that this song a slow tempo and appears to produce each individual sound well with the Elites, something I felt was lacking on Forty-Six and 2. The Concert Class reproduce this well but fall flat on playing the bass guitar, I actually didn't notice it until I listened to it on the Elites. The Beats over emphasized the bass guitar to the point that it made the song unenjoyable. I literally couldn't listen to it because it sustained the bass over everything else, washing out the piano in the process and disharmoniously blending it with the violin. I would rather listen to rats in a blender then those headphones ruin this beautiful song.
     
    Shadows - Anyone who listens to Madame Stirling will know that she is extremely varied in her talents. She produces beautiful and emotional notes for A Thousand Years and then goes on to make songs like this one. Shadows is her Violin/dubstep crossover, and it works very well. The beat starts out fast and the bass thumps melodically while she plays these very intricate violin pieces. The Elite's also stand out in this one. They keep up with the bass, not letting it over power the violin or the backbeat and handle the changes in headspace the song plays with well. You can tell where the tempo is, that feeling that it moved from front to back, very well, it is impressive to say the least. The Concert Class does well but again lacks precision and a wide stage like the Elites have. The Beats once again kill the enjoyment with too much bass. The precision is sorely lacking and the bass seems to muddy quickly when the position of the sound is played with. 
     
    Daylight Dies - This is an interesting one. The Elites seem to do well with the opening riffs and drums but wash out a little on the spoken vocals. They highlight the cymbals and drums well, but seem to put them a little to far forward. The overall song played well but got washed out as the tempo sped up. I am hoping an amp helps this as I am a metalhead at heart. Howard's great vocals get washed out as well when he switches from his usual growls to his melodic singing, the guitars a little to far forward, although this is possibly due to the rip, it checked and this one is not a full 320 rip but a 192 that drops a few times to 130. I will relisten. The Concert Classes did well. They seems to keep everything neutral with a close stage, everything sounded clear with nothing standing out too much over other elements. The Beats were returned to their owner, I got tired of them giving me a headache.
     
    To Be Continued, I need to give my ears and my fingers a rest. Pics coming very, very soon, stay posted!
     
    - LT
     
    Edit: Apparently I cannot add photos at this time. I will post the hyperlink to them once I get them hosted. They are quite handsome to look at. Further review info coming and pictures of my re-cabled Concert Class' coming as well. Whther or not these inspire a purchase, or if you just enjoyed the read, I am happy with the work, I am having fun with these reviews and hope to expand them much further as I rebuild my collection (I used to have a much larger collection to draw from when I was younger :wink: )
     
    Still cant post pics as of 2216 my time. Here is the photobucket album with those pictures. I will finish the audio comparison review tomorrow. I have the Beats again that my friend has graciously loaned and the Hesh as well. 
    http://smg.beta.photobucket.com/user/LoveableTerror/library/Auvio%20Elite%20Review
     
  2. JorgeA
    Hi-
    How have these held up since you did this review? Really interested in picking them up at my local Radio Shack but wanting to know how they hold up to consistent use. Thanks!
     
  3. loveableterror
    They have held up extremely well. I have some new pics that I have taken too comparing in size to the Beats Solo HD. They show the Elite's  as they are today after not being in a case for most of their use :p
     
  4. loveableterror
    I have updated the pics at the photobucket link, feel free to peruse them. I have had then for close to 4 months now with no issues. I use them with a jdslabs DIY cmoybb. You can catch it in a few pics. I have also tested the new SOL Republics V10 headphones and can say that they are exceptional, but still feel like the Auvios are bit more well rounded. I was looking at picking up a pair of the V12's but it will be after I finish my media PC build.
     
  5. JorgeA
    Thanks for replying, very helpful. After much back and forth i went with the Sol Republic Tracks HD at Radio Shack (an i even bought an extended warranty!) and im loving them. To me they sound slightly better than the Auvio's across all genres of music that i listen to and yeah, they look cooler too. I'll see how they hold up over the next few weeks and if they don't, ill go back in and pull the trigger on the Auvio's.
     
  6. The Goat
    Forgive me for the ridiculous necromancy here, but this was literally the only in-depth review of these headphones I've found and I simply had to leave a comment. :) 
    I agree with everything you said, aside from your comfort rating. 
     
    They sound phenomenal for what now is $30-40, literally equal to Beats studio edition. I bought these because I refused to pay the price of beats, but I wanted that sound quality.
    I work at a mall that had a radioshack, and I went in there to test out what they had available... some skull candies, beats studio, a lower end beats, and the auvio elite.
    Of course I tested the beats studio first, I was like "wow this is what I was missing". Skull candies and the other beats were a joke, and when I got to the auvios it literally scared me and made me jump because of how unprepared I was. I went back n forth between them and the beats studios on the same song to be sure, and they had equal sound. I instantly purchased them because at the time they were $60 compared to $200+ of the beats. 
     
    When you have them on for less than thirty minutes, they are great... comfy and perfectly clean sound. But after 20-30 mintues, oh the agony. The pain becomes so severe that I actually have to remove the phones and rub/massage my ears and temple area until I can put them back on. They are probably the least comfortable phones I've ever worn (for long sessions). But to be fair, I do have an extremely large head... and my girlfriend who has a tiny head has no problem with them. 
     
    I do not regret buying them, because I got to piss off all my friends who had bought the beats studios... bahaha they never wore them long enough to feel how uncomfortable they were, so they always got jealous they spent over triple what I did for the same quality sound xD 
    worth it 
     

Share This Page