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Vibro Labs is going on sabbatical

  1. Luke Pighetti
    Vibro Labs is going on sabbatical until June 10th.
    We will be at the NYC Head-fi meet with a big announcement.
    Please everyone enjoy the end of the semester and the beginning of spring! GET OUTSIDE!
    Note: outstanding orders & RMA will be in the mail by Monday, April 24th.
  2. Cloudtastrophe
    Cant wait to see what you guys are up to! Will enjoy my Arias in the mean time :)
  3. scottcriswell
    Strongly considering a Sera->Maya upgrade this summer, curious and excited to see the announcement in June.
  4. glassmonkey
    You coming over to Europe to do some exotic beer brewing courses? It's a good time for that kind of thing, and the beard screams 'Beer Me!' I love your beard, by the way.
    Enjoy your well earned time off. Being a one man show is a tough gig. I look forward to your big news in the near future.
  5. ngoshawk
    Well deserved. And I thoroughly LOVE my Arias! Thank you Luke!
  6. Cloudtastrophe
    Any News?
  7. rantng
    No activity on here or his FB page for over a month now & the website still says he's on sabbatical with a re-launch in the Summer. From the surveys sent out in February & March, he must be working on a new earphone. Hope we hear something soon.
  8. FortisFlyer75
    Same here rantng, Maybe that survey from everyone is taking longer to sift through as I know each of my replys to his surveys were quite in depth as I love my Mayas and would like to see a smaller casing universal verrsion of that with maybe some more resolution but keeping the same signature would make my day. Hoping universal shells based on average fit of 500 ears like In-ears do would be a dream with my Mayas.

    I keep my fingers crossed anyway he is back sooner rather than later with a vengence and unleash something that will take us by surprise?

    Where are you Luke?....:flashlight::headphones:
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  9. rantng
  10. Schwibbles
    Just noticed that as well. I can't find any impressions or much in the way of details about it anywhere except the Vibro Labs website.
    Can't wait to read some reviews on it.
  11. amdee1979
    After my first encounter with Vibro's IPO Sera earlier this year, I was immediately hooked on @Luke Pighetti 's sound signature: great clarity, slightly veiled mids, crystal highs, and clear sub-bass. I immediately started looking forward to upgrading to his Aria's or perhaps Maya's. After all, here were multi-BA earphones presented in gorgeous clear bodies offering a peak at intricate engineering and capped with stunning woods to complement a blissful audio experience; all at an affordable and accessible price point. In an audiophile world where manufacturers seem to push increasingly outrageous costs with every armature they shove into a shell, Luke was making statements of "less is more" with his small yet dangerous arsenal of Sera, Aria, and Maya.

    As I was about to pull the trigger on his higher end offerings in the summer, Luke surprised me (and probably many folks) with retreating into the shadows to take some time to rethink his ethos and how he wanted Vibro Labs to play its part in a growing market of artisan IEM's. I was a part of his community survey, asking what do we value in our audio gear? If we could design our own IEM, what would it look like? How would it sound? What would it be made out of? While using my Sera's as dailies, I became obsessed with checking back into all the Vibro channels (FB, head-fi, vibrolabs.com), eagerly awaiting what Luke was cooking up. Weekly, I would make my rounds in hopes of an announcement. Summer came and went, and still no noise out of VibroLabs.

    Finally, in late-September Luke re-emerged from his Maine confines with a bold move. He announced that he was reducing his earphone selection to just one option: the EARPHONE. A 4-BA design in a simple, non-descriptive 3D printed opaque black shell. No bells. No whistles. He exclaimed that he was moving away from the creative, sometimes eccentric, designs of high-end in-ears. He would not offer the Earphone in a custom option. He preached function over form, utility over beauty. If any aspect of the design did not lend itself to improving the audio quality it was left out. I found that to be a fairly shocking development. At first, I didn't know how I felt about it. I even had negative thoughts of "don't be so pretentious Luke." But that's Luke's whole point, don't be pretentious. As a fan of Vibro, I decided to jump in feet first and try this Spartan brainchild, the Earphone.

    I finally received my Earphone this morning (at work), and I dropped everything to test these babies out. For the record, I'm listening to Earphone as I write this review, and all observations are obviously my initial thoughts having only 30 minutes of run time.

    Upon receiving a small, uninspiring postal envelope (he's really working this bare-bones theme), I open it to discover the only contents are his typical hard-shell case and a packing slip. Opening my new treasure chest reveals little black jelly beans, a standard twisted black cable, and a general set of silicone ear tips (S,M,L, dual-flange, and tri-flange). The earphone is gloss black, silky smooth to the touch, completely opaque now hiding Luke's magic. They utilize the industry standard 2-pin connection. I have a set of upgraded Litz cables from my Sera order so I swap the standard cable out for those. Oddly, simple is beautiful. Jet black with a sheen from ambient light make these a black beauty, but it's clear these earphones are not intended to turn heads. I plug my Litz cable into my Creative X7, and start to exercise the armatures.

    As a side note, I do not claim to be a professional audiophile, nor do I use top end equipment. However, I am a music enthusiast and I've acquired some mid-grade sources, and headphones over the last 18 months I've been into this audio culture. My review includes music selections across several genres such as death metal, top pop, and hi-res classical. Most of the selections are played through Spotify, and my classical/soundtrack samples are hi-res 192 kHz played through Foobar.

    Like a fish jumping out of the water and smacking me in the face, my immediate reaction to Vibro's new sound signature is holy mids batman. The clarity is overwhelming. I'm listening to guitar solos in my metal selections like I'm hearing them for the first time. The famous Vibro sub-bass is hanging out at the party too. I'm surprised at the subdued mid-bass but not necessarily disappointed. This may be a result of my other daily IEM's being bass juggernauts (Noble Dolce Bass, Campfire Lyra, Audio64 U4-SE). I'm used to a big bottom end. I've always enjoyed a nice full, warm sound, and my initial reaction to Earphone is one for longing in the lower areas.

    After several songs, I readjust my thinking. My modus operandi has always been to push lower frequencies through equalizer edits, and tweaking ear tips. Even my over-ear headphones (TH-X00, DT-990) offer ample punch down low. I've never actually test run a truly neutral IEM, and I'm realizing that's exactly what Earphone is. It explains the clarity and forward mids. Everything is in alignment. No frequency pushes itself to the front of the stage. Consequently, instrument separation is unlike anything I've personally experienced. Every slide on a fret board, the slight reverb in background synth, the crispness of the hi-hat hits, the rise and decay of a bass drum are all there, just hanging out saying "what's up eardrums". The sub-bass in Jurassic Park's Main Theme raises the hair on my arms. The layers revealed in Taylor Swift's "This Love" are stunning. The accuracy and speed of the machine gun pedaling and fast snare work in Black Dahlia Murder's "Abysmal" is outrageous.

    Luke has created a wonderful product. He's stripped down his own beliefs of what high-definition audio can be without going over the top. The Earphone is not sexy; it's not colorful, and it's intended to be just that simple. He's simplified the equation by focusing what really matters: the audio. What you see is what you get. The new VibroLabs Earphone takes the age old mantra of "less is more" and pushes it as far to the boundary as possible without sacrificing any of the requirements in a good set of in-ear monitors.

    I would not say the Earphone is my favorite IEM that I now own; however, it is my most detailed and neutral offering. It definitely has a place in my regular rotation, especially if I'm interested in honing in on the minutia in my music. If you're a dedicated bass-head, I would not recommend this set. With some slight adjustments in my equalizers, I can achieve the warm signature I desire but nothing ever sounds bloated or stuffy. The Earphone handles everything I throw at it without distortion. Therefore, I absolutely recommend this great IEM to anyone looking for an absurdly affordable multi-BA reference earphone. After all, it is THE EARPHONE. The name says it all.

    This review is based entirely off my own opinions and is in no way influenced by anyone associated with VibroLabs and the design and manufacturing of the Earphone.

    hqssui and FortisFlyer75 like this.
  12. FortisFlyer75

    Nice post.... I look forward to trying these at some point as I have the Mayas and absolutely love them that much that listening to a lot of the other offerings at shows recently that cost 3-4 more it they have not done enough to dislodge me from the lovely mids and detail rendering Luke has managed with these. Just wish I had got my Mayas done as a custom now as one of the feedbacks I gave on those many questions he threw at us I mentioned was the Mayas shell and bore was a lot bigger than it needed to be for fit porpuses and low and behold these "Earphones" look more ear friendly shape and size.

    It does make a change even when Luke was doing the wooden format finishes emphassis was not on trying to cram a million BA's in it = best sound as somecomapny's would have you believe which is purely not the case at all from my experience, not saying they are all like that but there is enough out there playing good at the marketing game

    Some of the best IEM's can be only one driver per ear. One of the other underated IEM's like that of all time is the now discontinued Ortofon EQ8 which is stunning if you can get the right source to drive it properly to bring the low bass response in to play otherwise it will be just all mids and treble as they are hard to drive with quite a few things.

    The EQ8 like the Maya for me sound good with a relatevely normal or sensible priced source but have found recently even IEM's in this mid affordable price band can scale really well, I mean extremely well with good equipment like a Hugo2 or even a £10K nagra dac and £11K Valve amp!!

    As we speak I am going to bed now with Maya & Hugo, don't tell the wife!
  13. Luke Pighetti
    Thanks for the kind review, and I'm glad you're enjoying Earphone!
  14. FlyinUte
    An update: Vibro Labs has shut down as of April 23rd, according to their website.
  15. rantng
    Not sure what prompted Luke to close up shop, but sad to see Vibro Labs go. Kind of surprised by this. From the front page:

    T H A N K Y O U
    Six years ago we started making Grado cups from African Mahogany on an Atlas 612 metal lathe in a garage in Cape Elizabeth. Today, we close up shop.

    We have laughed, cried, loved, lost, and learned during this venture. Every single customer, from New York to Réunion Island, has been a treasure.

    Except for that one guy. He was an asshole.

    We love him just the same!

    Please contact us via email if you require warranty service.

    Signing off,
    Vibro Labs
    April 23, 2018

    Special thanks to Meagan for her support,
    Matt for providing shop space at a dire time,
    Jin for teaching me the essentials of design,
    Ben for his golden ears,
    Bryan for his library of sound,
    and Jack for our productive alliance.

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