Heir Audio is a well known company in the audiophile community; this Heir 10.0 is my first review about this brand, so would like to talk about the philosophy of this company (“eventhough something has changed from the beginning”).
Heir Audio was created because there is a strong need for quality custom in-ear monitors with unique designs and artistic expressions. After a long five years of preparation, two American audiologists and friends of more than 25 years, set out to create monitors performing excellent functionalities and more importantly combining the best of audio-visual value. They believe that hearing without visual enhancement is just reduced to a mere auditory reception. They hope each Heir Audio monitor is just like a unique carefully crafted watch that one enjoys not only for telling time, but wearing itself brings the greatest pleasure. Together their joined efforts, along with a fully dedicated team have made happy hundreds of thousands of music lovers from 37 countries and regions across the five continents in a very short period of 17 months!
At Heir Audio, innovation and inspiration guide the fast development of this small lab. What really has motivated Heir Audio is many touching stories told by people from the global audiophile community, each story has convincingly validated the mission of Heir Audio that Heir Audio monitors (8 A, 4 A, 5.0…) convey music as well-built instruments, and, as time goes by, is turning into a piece of art, a memory and a history staying with their owners forever. Each Heir Audio monitor is unique and exquisite in material, design, craftsmanship, and more importantly the touch that each technician, young or old, has put on. As Heir Audioer often jokingly state: there is no comparison among them!
Today I am going to review their universal model Heir 10.0 that can be considered like the cousin of their custom model 10.A.
Heir 10.0 shows 10 precision tuned balanced armature drivers( four way passive cross over design, two balanced armature drivers for low frequency, four drivers for medium frequency, two for high frequency and two for ultra high ones.
The unit was sent me as a sample unit, I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks Heir team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this smooth and musical IEM.
PRICE: 1119 USD
LINK TO THE OFFICIAL SHOP: http://www.heiraudio.com/noncustom/33.htm
LINK TO THE OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/HeirsAudio/
PACKAGING: their packaging is quite nice with full of accessories. In the hard case you can find: 1 detachable magnus cable, a small drawsting bag, two bands, cleaning tool and different eartips.
Very compliment to Heir Audio for the quality of the eartips: I will never get tired of saying that for universal models tips are very important not only for the fit, but they can drastically influence the sound.
I tried many and noticed that black silicon ones with blue bore give a more natural sound and the ones with red bore give more focus on high frequencies. Obviously this thing can change depending on your ear canal configuration.
Heir 10.0 has really great build quality and is among the best looking and original IEM in the market for my opinion. My unit arrived in this configuration: black mamba shell color and burgundy face plate.
Comfort wise 10th is very comfortable and was really impressed on how small it is. For a multi-balanced IEM is one of the smallest I have ever tried.
Isolation is quite good, this is a common thing for multi balanced IEMs.
Heir 10 comes with Magnus detachable cable that is quite nice and well built and for sure you will not need to invest in aftermarket cables to enjoy this IEM.
SOUND: the 10.0 has a smooth and musical approach to the music with emphasis on bass frequencies. I would say that adds a touch of romanticism to the music, so will fit good with vocal tracks.
All my sound consideration has been made after 100 hours of burn in as suggested by Heir Audio company, with different DAPs such as AK KANN, Opus 1s, fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label and my iphone 6 too.
After 100 hours of burn-in I noticed more details on vocals and more extended highs( obviously this thing can be due to brain burn-in).
Bass has the typical impact of multi balanced IEMs: sub-bass has good impact, but surely can’t compete with premium dynamic ones. 10.0 has good amount of mid-bass that will give you good rumble and a touch of warmth to the music. This IEM is really tip-dependant: for example with Sony hybrid tips I found too much bass; I usually prefer a more natural sound . For this I suggest you to use the blue core tips in the Heir Audio case.
Voices have good clarity and definition, they are not laid back and well placed in the scene. They are quite detailed, but sometimes can lack in realism and emotion.
Highs are smooth, but at the same time have good clarity and extension, but if you are looking for pure resolution and a treble monster this IEM will not surely fit your needs.
I never noticed any harshness or sibilance issue, for this 10.0 has a very relaxed and smooth approach to the music.
Dynamic is quite good, but all depends on the sources you will use. For example I noticed quite a good synergy with AK KANN that really makes a good job with multi-balanced IEM.
Soundstage really surprised me in particular width and height. It is quite impressive since 10.0 has really smooth highs and this thing usually don’t help with the soundstage. If you are looking for holographic space around you, this IEM will be a great choice for you.
With its low impedance this IEM is quite easy to drive, but I really suggest you to invest I a good source to really pull out all its potential.
HEIR AUDIO 10(10 BA) VS AROMA AUDIO YAO(12 BA): this not a fair comparison since Yao model cost 2x HEIR 10, but is always interesting to see how different IEMs have different approach to music. Heir 10 has a small body and is more comfortable and is a bit more lightweight. Yao has better voice reproduction with a more organic and near to life feeling. Bass on YAO is more shy, on the other side Heir 10 has more bass quantity and overall a wider soundstage and is capable to render a more holographic space around you. YAO is easier to drive and can reach more pressure at low volume.
HEIR AUDIO 10 VS UNIQUE MELODY ME.1: ME.1 has a faster bass with better sub-bass extension. I would say ME.1 has a more audiophile tune bass response this thing can be due thanks to the planar technology.
Heir 10 has more clarity and detailed voices with better holographic perceived space, on the other side ME.1 has a more air between every instruments. Heir 10.0 is a lot easier to drive. Overall Me.1 has a more audiophile approach, Heir 10 has a more musical and fun sound sig.
HEIR 10 WITH AK KANN: this DAP usually makes a good job with multi-balanced IEMs and so have a good synergy with HEIR 10. 10.0 benefits of better dynamism and overall a bigger soundstage. KANN gives a good clarity and definition and never found any hiss problems using it in high gain mode.
HEIR 10 WITH OPUS 1S: OPUS 1s adds good rumble and better bass impact, but smoothens-up too much high frequencies. Soundstage is quite big and channel separation is quite good, but can’t compete with the overall bigger soundstage of KANN. Opus1s can easily drive Heir 10 but in high gain i noticed some hiss.
HEIR 10 with iPhone 6 plus AUDIRECT WHISTLE: this combo is quite nice: Audirect adds more clarity in top end and gives more body and expression to voices. I didn’t notice any sibilance or hiss problems with this small DAC/AMP. Whistle as always makes a great job to reduce hiss problems with low impedance multi balanced IEMs.
10 precision tuned balanced armature drivers
Four way passive cross over design
Two balanced armature drivers for low frequency
Four balanced armature driver for medium frequency
Two balanced armature driver for high frequency
Two balanced armature drivers for ultra high frequency
Avx oxicap capacitors
Impedance: 22-25 ohm
Frequency response: 20Hz-20000Hz
FINAL RATING: 8.9