Meze Rai Penta – Review


Review by Riccardo Galla

Price: 1100$

Where to buy:


Driver: 4 x Customized Balanced Armature and 1 x Dynamic Driver
Frequency Range: 4Hz – 45kHz
Impedance: 20Ω
Sensitivity: 110dB SPL/1mW Sensitivity
Max Input Power: 30mW
Distortion: <1%



There are many ways to review products. I feel the Rai Penta are in-ear monitors designed for musicians, and I’m confident enough to be one of them. So, my point of view is the one of a person who not only listens, but also writes music, plays, sings. I came to know well some Meze products (like the 99 Classics, which I use for reference and for pre-productions). Meze has released the new “Rai” series (which means “heaven”) as their IEM line-up, with the Penta as first and the Solo after them. Compared to the 99 or the 12 Classics, the tuning has changed from a warm to a more flat and reference one. That’s a good choice for people like me, who not only like, but also need a flat frequency response.

The Rai Penta cost over 1000$. The only product by Meze which costs more are the orthodynamic/planars called “Empyrean”, which are full-sized headphones. That means these are their flagship earphones, and you can feel it. The build quality is astonishing and the design is a breath of fresh air. The MMCX connector is clicky and among the best ones I’ve experienced to plug into my reference cable – the Kasai X by Ares Audio. The stock cable is more than good enough, even though I’d expect a more solid one for this price – it’s a matter of feel, nothing bad on sound or other areas (no microphonics whatsoever). The plug is rhodium plated, the same treatment you can find on their upgrade cables for the 99 series (review here, but the 4.4 connector is gold plated); you can also buy official balanced cables for the Rai series, which are very similar. There are some vents (the largest one has the same design as the holes of the Empyrean), because there’s a dynamic driver which needs air and because of pressure release. Like many TOTL earphones, there’s a system to avoid the vacuum to create inside your ear canal, and this one does an amazing job. Unlike most of my resin in-ear monitors, these never hurt my ears when I put them on, thanks to that pressure relief vent. The metal shell is nicely crafted, with a perfect CNC treatment; there’s a Meze logo on the front of both buds. The nozzle is a little bigger than average, allowing a fuller filling of the canal. I have pretty small ears and that didn’t hurt me once. The nozzle itself has three holes, directly connected to the dedicated drivers. There are two couples of balanced armatures, as well as the aforementioned dynamic driver. I assume the big one handles the low frequencies, while a couple of BAs is for the midrange and the other is for treble. Everything in these earphones is made of metal: even the interior chambers, which usually are made of 3D-printed plastic. The premium feel is there, when you look at them, when you touch them and when you put them on. But when you start listening, that’s even better.



The Rai Penta feature a whole package of foam tips, single and double flange silicon tips, a quarter inch adapter and an airplane adapter, as well as some stickers. Even though I think my ear tips are different in measure than the ones I’ve seen in other reviews, I liked both the single and double flange silicon ones in their smallest size. I don’t need foams in this case, because the fit is already great. There’s also a nice cleaning tool which can be inserted deeply into the nozzle. My only concern? There could be another cable, balanced, to have more versatility from the start.


I’ve released a music video featuring the Rai Penta. It’s an original song, which is part of the soundtrack of a short movie released last year by Quokka Production. If you want to check it out, it’s this one, called “Veleno”.


The most expensive IEMs that I’ve ever tried have been the Unique Melody Mason V3. I didn’t love them at all, but I felt the giant difference from my gear: the micro details, the liveness, the extreme frequency range they covered – all absolutely perceivable by ear. The Rai Penta give me that sensation every time I put them on: compared to every other earphone I have, there’s a consistent gap which makes me enjoy every bit of this earphone. I’m a psychologist, so I know biases and I fear to have many while reviewing stuff; that’s why I’ve tried giving these and other earphones to various people which don’t know nor understand anything about pricing, driver configuration or tuning. That was a blind test, to be sure there weren’t any heuristics. I gave them the BLON BL03 and the AudioSense T180 (two sub-50$ models), the AudioSense T800 and the UfoEar Ufo-112 (sub-400$) and then the Rai Penta (as well as other models). Funny story, the stage musicians perferred the BLONs and the UfoEar, the classical cellist was impressed by the T180, but all of them and the other people tested agreed on the absolute superiority of the Rai Penta. Like there were more difference between the T800 (300$) and the Rai Penta (1100$) than between the BLON (30$) and the T800. So? We can start from here: price doesn’t make a product good or bad. But everybody can hear when the difference is undeniably perceivable. And when it is, then even I can justify to go above a thousand dollars.


The Rai Penta are great. It’s like realizing that in-ears can achieve a superior sound that I’d never expected but in full-sized headphones. It’s not for micro-details (like on the aforementioned 16-driver UM Mason); they don’t shine for that reason. It’s because the sound representation is closer than I’ve ever experienced to a live listening session. This kind of sensation is similar to bringing everything forward, not in the way you can achieve with earphones like the KZ family (even though some of them are really good for live staging), but in a superior, more refined and psycho-acoustically accurate way. I’m not choosing random words: superior, because they give a sense of perpetual control; more refined, because the crossover is amazingly engineered, in a way I’ve never experienced. I’ve heard bad crossovers (e.g. NiceHCK N3, a hybrid piezo which wasn’t coherent), so-and-so crossovers (e.g. BGVP DMG) and this one is by far the best implementation. And psycho-acoustically accurate? That means peaks are studied to enhance the room you hear, while avoiding being harsh or sibilant. A whole lot of work has been done to obtain this result, which is – in my personal opinion – really close to perfection.

Let’s start analyzing the characteristics. Bass isn’t their main focus, and that’s okay: I wouldn’t need more. That’s fair to mention the dynamic driver is really capable: if you try with an equalizer, or use them for a production in your DAW, you’ll notice that you can absolutely smash the low frequencies, but it’s not the goal of these IEMs. Usually, when I speak of earphones I mention the quickness of the bass, the decay, the transients. I feel it’s more difficult than usual to talk about those features here, because it’s another level of sound. I’d never say this bass isn’t quick, or the decay is slow; however, I don’t feel they necessary are the quickest earphones in the bass reproduction. It’s just that they sound so convincing that I don’t even need to be so precise in the analysis. But forcing myself to do my job, I’d say the bass is tamed in their choice of tuning.

Midrange is stellar. I don’t think I’ve ever heard something so well-tuned for vocals before. In a different way, they have a similar approach to the Tin HiFi P1 (planar IEMs), with a controlled bass and a fantastic and airy midrange. But I feel a multi-driver approach is more difficult to work on, and Meze has absolutely done a great job. Instrumentation separation is wonderful, that’s the range of frequencies when you can feel at best when the space has been distributed well or not. And the stereo imaging is something I’d cry on. When you try a lot of earphones, surprises are way less than the ones a “normal” person would get. That has been a stunning surprise: not the width of the soundstage (still great) or its depth, but the perfection of the imaging around you. One of the absolute best experiences you could get is listening to a binaural recording with the Rai Penta: you will be absorbed in the sound like never before. The only other earphone with a similar result that I’ve tried is the Mason V3, with a completely different tuning (that was v-shaped) but the same incredible embrace when it came to liveness.

Treble is sweet: never harsh, never sibilant, with extension and air. And control: control is one of the main features of these monitors. Sometimes I fear that some earphones would struggle with some music (e.g. The Bloody Beetroots’ “Heavy”), because I feel I’m pushing them too hard. Well, the Rai Penta feel like they won’t ever struggle reproducing anything. It’s like those microphones which never clip, or those 32bit recorders which can handle pretty much anything. And that’s amazing, because the only fear I have is forgetting to turn the volume down. Because the Rai Penta are so sensitive that the volume is always on the higher side (with average sources). I suggest using something well-amplified with a precise volume control – or an IEM-match to not push the driver too hard. Not because the drivers wouldn’t hold, but because your ears could be damaged.


Speaking of sources, I’ve tried these IEMs with the whole iFi Zen series stack: Zen Blue to Zen Can, standalone Zen DAC, Zen DAC to Zen Can… wonderful. I didn’t love the xDSD because of some features and the sound signature, but this Zen series has taken my heart and not only it sounds amazing with the 99 Classics, but also with these Rai Penta. I’m appreciating Meze more and more while upgrading my sources. I liked the 99 Classics. I started loving them when I switched to balanced, and even more when I separated DAC and amplifier. Unfortunately, I didn’t try the Rai Penta balanced, but I’m already loving them the way they sound single ended. And, to be honest, I’m switching to balanced because of the community, but musicians only use balanced wires for their instruments, not for their earphones. That’s because music is so present in their lives that their phone, even if they have better equipments, is their main source. And I know because even though my DAP is better-sounding than my phone, it works only offline, it has to be powered, it is small, it’s another thing to carry with me. And Meze knows that: the Rai Penta have a high sensitivity and a low impedance, so you can hear them perfectly through your phone. That’s the reality: musicians care more about the music itself, than the way that it sounds. The Rai Penta maximize what the earphones could bring out of your easiest source; if you, professional musician, want to approach the audiophile world, you just need to upgrade the source and the wire, while using the same (and now burned-up) earphones; that’s the smartest thing to do even in this expensive price range.



Are all these words an attempt to justify a 1100$ expense? Not at all. This has all been carefully thought by Meze. The Rai Penta, without any external amplification, are the best earphones I’ve ever heard through my phone. They sound great with every ridiculously cheap USB C to jack dongle, they are easy to listen to and that’s a key point! If I buy the Tin P1 for 1/10 the price, I’d be able to listen to them through my phone with much, much less satisfaction, because they wouldn’t pump, they would struggle without amplification and they would need another expense to sound decent. Plus, the fit is bad. That’s not less important. That’s obviously just an example: you don’t need to spend a thousand dollars to achieve a sound that satisfies you. I have, though. And that price assures me a quality which I can’t get anywhere else in a lower price range, with the only use of a phone as a source. I know because I have tried dozens and dozens of earphones between 3 and 3000$. And I understood that spending higher prices in technology is something worthy. Like on phones, like on cameras. It’s for the quality of the components, for the carefully-studied design, for the quality control, for the accessories. That’s a whole lot to say about pricing and choices, but I agree with the Rai Penta being the first in ear monitors of Meze to be priced that high. They are worth it. I hear people saying they’re anemic or boring; they are accurate, indeed, they don’t color the sound. A tool like that is a winning instrument for me.


Zorloo ZuperDAC-S Review: recommended

Price: 79$ (89$ with iOS cable)

Where to buy: and when dropped


  • ESS Sabre 9018Q2C as DAC
  • USB Audio 2.0 Asynchronous Mode at 192kHz 24-bit
  • 50x16x10mm
  • Impedance < 2 Ohm

Thanks to Zorloo for providing this sample to review.

It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed the Audirect Beam, a DAC-Amp with incredible performance and features for such a small form factor. While that model was based on ESS Sabre 9118, this model by Zorloo uses the older 9018, the same base DAC of the M7 by FiiO.


Unboxing and first impressions

This white box is very rational: small, with specifications written on the back and everything needed on the inside. This is the “special” edition, with a cable for iOS too. The standard edition doesn’t have one, and you’d need a camera adaptor to work on iOS. Inside the box there are three more cables, all with micro USB at one end; one is micro USB on the other end too, one is USB type C and the last one is USB A. We also find the ZuperDAC-S itself in a matte magenta finish, and a manual. The DAC uses a micro USB and it’s able to work on every OS, both mobile and desktop. It’s actually pretty lightweight and solid and the build quality is average, with metal for the shell and plastic for the two buttons (for volume up and down). The jack plug is a 3.5mm, unfortunately not gold-plated.

I’ve tested this DAC with a lot of earphones: Tin HiFi T2 Pro and T3, Simgot EM1, BGVP DMG and others. I have an Audirect Whistle too, and I’ve reviewed the Beam. So, I’m able to compare the threes under a few ways. Zorloo says this is a DAC and doesn’t mention the Amp side. But you can consider it an Amp by comparing it with the efficiency of your stock DACs, because the perceived volume, in the end, is way higher by using the ZuperDAC-S.



Audirect Whistle and Beam support DSD, while Zorloo ZuperDAC-S don’t. Is it a problem? I personally don’t mind, but a lot of people actually care about that format. Both the Whistle and the Beam have a led that switches between PCM and DSD, but you obviously have to use a source which supports DSD natively. Most of the times, by using them with your phone or your PC, if you don’t have a specific program to run DSDs, you will listen to them converted to PCM. So, this doesn’t make a lot of a difference.


Whistle doesn’t have any button. ZuperDAC-S has two buttons for volume. Beam has a lever which works for volume and play/pause. Look at this progression: everything concerning these three products follows it. Let’s explain better.

Whistle doesn’t have any particular function: it’s a DAC/Amp, it works with every OS too, but you have to use your source for the volume and other controls. I personally use Android and Mac OS, so I won’t give you any particular information with iOs and Windows, at least for now. Beam has a really interesting feature: its lever works directly on your system volume (on Android for sure), so you always know your percentage of listening. At the other hand, you are stuck with your device maximum volume. ZuperDAC-S is different: its buttons change the volume independently from your source. This is a bad thing if you need to precisely know the volume of your listening, but it’s good if your stock volume steps finish at a level that’s not enough high for you. Be careful: this is true on Android, but not on Mac OS. On Android, you can change both your system volume and your DAC volume, while on Mac OS your system volume, even though it’s graphically changing, always remains the same. So, you must change it by using the buttons on your DAC. Here I encountered two problems. The initial volume on Mac OS is at maximum level: pay attention and take it down before starting listening to anything. The other issue concerns this: when you press the buttons on the DAC, you move it a little bit; sometimes it’s enough to disconnect it.

My overall ranking on features is: Whistle as last (but it’s not sold anymore), ZuperDAC-S second and Beam first.



Remember: every consideration comes by avoiding the earphones characteristics, which I know and I’ve already considered by writing about this DAC.

I don’t want to talk a lot about the sound of the other characters: if you want, you can read their reviews. But I summarize my experience quickly here, so it’s easy for you to understand. Whistle: it’s sibilant. I think they did a giant step up with the Beam. Which was a little bit warmer than neutral for me, as a source. But warm is better than harsh. Zorloo stays in the middle: the ZuperDAC-S is the most neutral of the threes. ESS Sabre 9018 is a really capable DAC, and I already believed it by trying a variant of it inside my FiiO M7. I think that the FiiO sounds a little bit brighter than this Zorloo, actually. But there are a lot of variables which have to be considered, like the OS, other hardware components, ecc.. I think it’s not so useful talking about soundstage and other aspects which concern more the earphones themselves, rather than the DAC. This is an instrument which honestly did everything well by carrying and improving the sound coming from my source (my phone, mainly). I liked the smoothly reached sub-bass, the controlled mid-bass (which may sound slightly colored, giving this pleasant perception of warmness); I like mids, which benefit of a precise layering between instruments, while giving space and airyness to vocals; I like treble, too, which doesn’t sound sibilant nor harsh but it’s robust and sparkly when needed. If I had to compare the stock USB C to 3.5mm adapter of my phone (Xiaomi Mi MIX 2) to this Zorloo, I would say that I hear improvements on the volume area, on the scene reproduction and on dynamics. Being a sort of an Amp obviously gives more body to your sound, which benefits not only from a higher volume, but also from a better detail and precision. I wouldn’t say, then, that this sound is holographic (which is not something I’m a fan of, though): this is a good stereophonic representation, with believable imaging and spatial distribution of instruments; not crazy surrounding simulation, luckily. Every aspect of your “stock” sound (coming directly from your phone) here is improved: punchiness and speed in bass, clarity, space for every instrument, control in highs. I really enjoyed this sound.



I can’t compare the ZuperDAC-S to the Whistle: for my taste, everything did by Zorloo is better between these two particular models. However, I find the challenge open between the ZuperDAC-S and the Audirect Beam: while I still prefer the Beam (for using USB C, that really useful multi-functional lever and the updated DAC inside), I have to admit that Zorloo offers its DAC for 20$ less! And honestly, while in an absolute sense I may consider the Beam superior, I think the ZuperDAC-S is really worth its price and really is a solid competitor to its counterpart. Absolutely recommended.




Lark Studio is a new audiophile company, but quite experienced in producing universal and custom products, they just released their first 10 balanced armatures model: LSX.

“The lark is a well-known bird to the music industry.
As it flies high, you may only catch a glimpse of it as its cry reaches you.
The crisp and sweet sound of the lark is a symbol of Lark Studio’s constant pursuit of sound quality.
The lark’s rich colors inspire us to build ever more diverse and beautiful products, with an aesthetically-focused design.
Lark Studio was created out of a passion to bring the market top-notch custom and universal in-ear monitors embodying the beauty of the lark, in both body and sound.

After a long two years of preparation, three audiologists, with a combined experience of 18 years, set out to create excellently-performing monitors that provide an excellent visual and sonic value. Each employee of Lark Studio is a veteran of the audiophile market, with the youngest of ours having more than five years of experience.

We are a group of people chasing dreams.
Our team features an industry-leading tuner, hardware engineer, and product engineer, and together we’ve refined the traditional engineering/production cycle to provide a higher quality product, at a lower cost.
Each pair of in-ears goes through three separate polishing passes at the factory and is inspected for quality control rigorously with each pass. We do not tolerate any defects.
During the production process, our IEMs pass through four separate groups of tests, designed specifically by our quality-assurance team. And just to make sure that nothing gets through, a manual review is done by a trained professional right before we box up your new pair of in-ears.

As a testament to our commitment to our customers, we offer a comprehensive insurance package that covers all forms of damage, be it user error, product defect, or environmental damage. A payment of $180 gets your IEM two years of no-questions-asked insurance. Just send us your IEMs and we will get to work. Please note that shipping must be covered by the customer.

Each of Lark Studio’s products is a labor of love. Every in-ear is made from high-quality materials, including some of the finest exotic woods you can find. Each piece is painstakingly screened for visual appeal and then treated to get the highest level of aesthetic value. We aim to build for you IEMs that transcend utility and become a true work of art, an heirloom quality product.

It is exactly for this reason that when each new employee joins the company, he or she knows they must embody the values of Lark Studios.
The staff strongly believes in the value of their work, as their job lets them bring life to an inert piece of plastic or chunk of exotic wood.

This is the story, and these are the values, of Lark Studios. We aim to provide you with a service that leaves you glad you did business with us. Happy reading!”

Today, i am going to review their custom model, but i have had the opportunity to test their final universal prototype too.

CLSX 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 Lark Studio team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this engaging and nice-tuned IEM.


LSX will come in two versions: standard one, with a copper cable and a special version too, with PWaudio Saladin cable.
They will offer their custom version at the same price of their universal one.
From what i know, you can customize the artwork of both your universal and custom models without any additional cost, this is amazing and quite revolutionary.
( at the end of this review, you can find all the specs for standard cable and PWaudio Saladin one).

For more info about lsx or many custom available artworks, you can easily ask to Michael or Arthur on their facebook channel.




PACKAGING: usually, don’t like to write much about packaging and other feautures, cause my main focus is sound quality, but the package here, is quite premium and rich: in the large box you can find many adaptors, a warranty card, a soft pouch and other more accessories, that you can see in the picture above.
Where, other companies uses only an hard case for their custom models, Lark Studio uses for both their universal and custom IEM the same premium box( in the universal model, you will find many SpinfFit and Comply eartips, i found a good isolation and great sound with the blue core SpinFit eartip).
For the custom artwork, i choosed a wood faceplates, trasparent shell and their silver/gold logo. Build quality seems premium and sturdy, though the pin socket are a bit tight specially at the beginning( so pay attention when switching cables).
Will update this review, if will find any build quality issue in the near future.

SOUND: All my sound consideration has been made after 150 hours of burn in as suggested by Lark Studio company, with different DAPs such as AK KANN, AK se100 Futura, Opus 1s, Opus2, iFi Nano Idsd black label.
I really found a great improvement after 100 hours of burn-in( usually, i am not a great burn-in believer for multi balanced IEM, but for custom models it needs time to adjust to your ear-canal and consequently when the seal will be good, perceived sound will improve. At this point, i don’t know if the great improvement i found, was due to only the better seal or the burn-in driver, but just to be sure, i suggest to make always a 50/100 hours of burn-in, before judging the overall sound quality.

LSX is quite a neutral/warm, but still engaging iem, and was quite impressed by the refined tuning. Lark Studio created a nice combination of engaging and neutral/warm sound with sweet female vocals.
Bass is for sure, a strong point of this IEM: last time i heard such a quality bass response was with the Rhapsodio Galaxy V2(dynamic driver). Usually multi-balanced IEMs cannot compete in bass quality with dynamic drivers models, but here bass goes very deep, with great sub-bass extension, mid-bass has adequate presence, but never warms up too much the scene. The overall result will depend on the source too, for example this LSX with ak se100 Futura really shines, giving a great punchy and layered bass response.


Vocals are a bit behind, but have nice tonality and realism, here again this iem has a great sinergy with astell and kern player, cause se100, usually, tends to push vocals more forward. There is a peak on the high-midrange area that creates a great balance with the strong bass response. Both male and female vocals are well portrayed, but feamale ones are really sweet and refined. Listening to Yael Naim or Cèlin Dion on this LSX was a pleasure for my ears.
Treble is clean and well extended and sometimes, will give you some sparkles, but never resulting too harsh or hot.

Soundstage is quite wide and holographic with the right tracks, but i found the universal model to have a wider soundstage(my custom model fits very deep in my ear-canal, so it can changes the overall perceived soundstage).
This LSX is quite easy to drive, but is not the most sensitive IEM out there, so needs a bit of current to really shine. Overall with good players such Opus 2/1s and ak se100 you will have a great result.


the standard copper cable will give you a warmer sound, with more focus on bass and vocals(nice with modern and pop music), on the other side Saladin has always a smooth approach with more organic vocals, but will give you a better balance of mid-bass and upper treble( i would say a more audiophile approach). Overall Saladin has a more refined and sweet sound, with better transparency and resolution. I would suggest you to go with the standard edition, if you love a warmer sound with a more focus on bass response.


LSX and Astell and kern SE100: great sinergy, with deep and airy bass response, vocals results more sweet and more forward. Soundstage results a bit more intimate and less wide compared to Opus2, but there is better depth layering.

LSX and OPUS2: bass doesn’t go deep as ak se100, but acquires more rumble and mid-bass presence. Vocals are not forward like SE100, but are still sweet with good tonality. Soundstage is wider and more holographic, but is less deep.
I can easily drive this IEM on mid-gain without any issues.

LSX with Opus1s: Opus 1s is a bit more full-bodied than Opus 2, less neutral, with a warmer and punchier bass response. Vocals are not so weet and detailed like for SE100 and Opus 2. Soundstage is less wide and layered, but there is great left/right channel separation.


INEARZ EUPHORIA CUSTOM(999 USD) VS LSX(1699/1899 USD): lsx has better treble response and upper-mid presence, for this lsx, is capable to show a better female vocals. Euphoria has good bass response, but doesn’t go deep as Lsx can do. Soundstage is more or less on par.
Overall INEARZ EUPHORIA, sounds a bit smoother and less fatiguing, but LSX has better bass response and is capable to combine an engaging and natural sound in a better way.

CONCLUSION: this LSX was quite a surprise for me, wasn’t expecting such a refined tuning abilities from Lark Studio engineers and giving the opportunity to their customers to choose artwork customization for both their universal and custom product without any additional cost, will be for sure a winning choice for this new/big company.


10 precision tuned balanced armature drivers:
3 bass
4 midrange
2 treble
1 super-treble

4-way passive crossover design.

AVX Oxicap Capacitors
Vishay Resistors
Impedance: 19-20ohm
Sensitivity: 109-110 dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20 kHZ

6N OCC 24awg *4 6N 24awg *4
280*0.06mm conductors /
TPU Shielding (Japan)

SPECS PWaudio Saladin cable:

tapping on his vast experience with copper based and silver based cables, Peter Wong has set out to create a new range of products, known as the “Vanquish” series, to mark a new era of PWaudio products.

Featuring a unique geometry and wire design based on his “Sevenfold Pipe” series, together with his knowledge of different types and grades of cable materials, PWaudio has created the Saladin.

Saladin features an all new 7 bundle Litz geometry of copper and silver-plated copper. Drawing from the characteristics of the copper, Saladin presents a vast, yet warm sound that draws the listener in with its intimacy and smoothness, and which also takes advantage of the SPC to present a detailed treble that provides added resolution and energy.



Aroma Audio is quite a young company, founded in 2015 has an independent R & D and design department dedicated to the design and development of portable and desktop audio product.

Talking with Antony, marketing manager of Aroma Audio, I understood their philosophy and the origin of their brand name: “Our philosophy is to make the sound as like as the variations of aroma.

Our team members are experienced in audio products. From the perspective of market demand, we create unique products to meet consumer expectations by our philosophy”.

This company received quite a good response in the audiophile community both for their desktop amp both for their Witch Girl IEM models. Now they released their new Musical Box headphones with these three models:

EARLY, TWINS AND YAO. Today I am going to review TWINS model with 7 armature units.
Time ago, I reviewed their Yao model, this is the link to the article:

Main differences between their Witch Girl IEMs and Musical Box Series: “Witch series has a more pop music style, on the other side, this new Musical Box series is more like England style and so, has a more mature reproduction”.

TWINS unit was sent me for the purpose of this review, I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks Aroma team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test such a great product.
Aroma Audio is still a small company, but I am really impressed on how their products have such a premium build quality and audiophile sound. They spent a lot of resources in producing this Musical Box series, so will not give a lot of space for reviewers and marketing. From my experience, both their Twins and Yao can easily compete with other premium and more famous companies out there, so really hope they will obtain more visibility worldwide.




PACKAGING: Since both their Yao and Twins have the same package and build quality, I will share the same I wrote for my Yao article.
the musical box packaging is really nice and particular: a wooden case that is really cool.
In the wooden case you can find warranty card, instruction manual ( instruction explaining how attach the cable to the earphones in the correct way), Acoustune original silicon tips, hard aluminium case, soft pouch and obviously TWINS IEM with a black standard cable.


Build quality seems very solid: the shell is made up of transparent acrylic and the faceplate of metal material. I have to admit that TWINS model, as you can see in the images I attached to this review, is a really nice looking IEM.
Comfort wise TWINS IEM is very comfortable thanks to its rounded shape and nozzle angle; it’s lightweight considering that mounts 7 drivers and I was able to find a perfect fit with Acoustune silicon eartips out of the box.
Speaking of isolation, it is very good in this department and if you can find the right eartips you will enjoy your playlist without any annoying external noise.

SOUND: Aroma Audio Twins shares the same philosophy at the base of Yao model: sound with great dynamic ,tempo and musicality, but has a totally different sound signature. Twins has overall a good balance of neutral and clean sound, never sounding too thin or harsh. Bass, like for Yao, is not too much strong, but is capable to give good musicality to the scene. Sub bass is very quick and fast with natural decay. Mid bass gives the right amount of body, but is always natural never warming up too much the music. Overall Twins is capable to show a natural and audiophile bass response never resulting exaggerated.
Voices have good body and realism, thanks to the clean nature of this IEM, female voices are rendered with great accuracy and definition. Treble response is excellent: with great extension, gives a natural and airy sound. Twins is capable to give you good amount of sparkles, but never resulting too much harsh and fatiguing. Overall this IEM has a great fun and enjoyable sound, but still refined and detailed.
Soundstage is very wide and you can enjoy an out of the head sound with the right tracks.


On the external faceplates this IEM has a switch that can be used to change the overall sound signature: with the switch up, the IEM has a more reference and correct sound, but if you love musicality can result a bit boring( it is not my case). With the switch down, Twins will give you a more fun signature, with more bass quantity and a wider soundstage and so with increased loudness. I usually want that my IEM should sound more neutral possible, so I really loved the sound with the switch up.

Dynamic is very good and so is instrument separation.

Thanks to its low impedance, Twins is quite easy to drive( I usually set the volume bat at 60 with my ak Kann in low gain).


TWINS WITH OPUS 1S: Opus will give you a more organic sound with a full bodied and punchy bass response. Voices are rendered with more body and warmth. Soundstage is quite good and left/right channel separation is great. Opus 1s can drive quite easy this IEM in low gain.

TWINS WITH AK KANN: Astell and Kern KANN will give you a great musicality and enjoyable sound. Bass is not strong and punchy like Opus 1s, but adds a good mid bass emphasis. Voices are rendered very good with great realism and timbre. AK kann has more liquid voice reproduction, on the other side Opus 1s a more organic. Treble is a bit smooth with this DAP, but still defined and extended. Soundstage is great with a nice holographic space around you, in particular if connected in balanced mode( I truly suggest you to upgrade to a nice aftermarket cable like PW audio Saladin to improve tonality and soundstage).


AROMA AUDIO TWINS VS AROMA AUDIO YAO: Twins has a more clean sound signature, capable to give a more airy reproduction. On the other side Yao, has a touch more warmth, with a more mid-bass presence. Vocals on Yao, have incredible realism, so if you are a vocal lower I truly suggest Yao. Twins has a more fun signature, with better clarity and sparkles( in particular if used with switch down).
For me, Twins is a great IEM for its price, but Yao is capable to give you better emotions and realism, so I consider Yao a special IEM.

TWINS VS INEAR SD5: SD5 has a more thin sound, with great female vocals, but can result a bit fatiguing. On the other side, Twins will give you more musicality and better dynamic. Bass on SD5 has more impact, but can sound a bit artificial, on the other side Twins has a more audiophile tuning with a faster and more articulate bass response. Soundstage on Twins is wider, but SD5 is capable to provide a more holographic space around you.

TWINS VS UNIQUE MELODY MIRACLE V2: UM has a more full bodied sound. Bass is stronger and punchier. On the other side twins shows a more natural and audiophile approach to the music. Vocal are well rendered on both of these IEMs, but Twins is capable to give you a more refined female vocals. Soundstage is wider on Aroma Audio Twins, with a better instrument separation. Overall, Miracle will give you a more full bodied sound, on the other side Twins will give you more treble resolution and airy sound.

TWINS VS HEIR AUDIO 10.0: Twins has more clean sound signature, with better definition. Bass on HEIR 10.0 has more body with more impact and rumble. Voices on heir 10.0 can result a bit nasal, on the other side Twins will give you great clarity and transparency. Soundstage is great on both of these IEM, but Twins has a bit wider stage.


3 ways 4 frequency division
Driver Type:7 * Armatured Units
Switch Up: Sensitiviy:114dB/mW Impedance:24Ω
Switch Down: Sensitiviy:111dB/mW Impedance:32Ω
Frequency Response:20-20000Hz
2) Corss-section
Super High frequency: 2 Driver unit (Knowles composite driver)
High frequency: 2 Driver units (Knowles driver)
Mid frequency: 2 Driver units (Sonion composite driver)
Low frequency: 1 Driver units (Knowles driver)



This will not be a review about InEarz Euphoria model, but just a comparison between the Euphoria with ADEL technology and standard one.

For full review of standard EUPHORIA:

For more photos of EUPHORIA with ADEL:

For the first part of this article, I will share some info about this technology, in the second part you can find my personal experience with ADEL and a sound comparison between EUPHORIA ADEL and standard model.

ADEL™ is the world’s first and only patented technology that safely delivers a louder, more spacious and richer sound in professional In-Ear Monitors & Earbuds- all while avoiding the risk of hearing damage caused by earbuds.
Stephen Ambrose, speaking above at Autodesk’s Accelerate 2016 Conference, invented in-ear monitors, an advanced earbud used by professional musicians on stages around the world. This invention became today’s earbuds. When he saw the resulting damage he returned to the lab and with National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation funds solved the problem by creating a second eardrum.
He’s toured with artists like Stevie Wonder, Rush, Simon and Garfunkel, Kiss, and Diana Ross to develop his professional audio products. And today, he’s ready to help bring another innovation to market.
Why? Because too many teens, young adults and professional musicians suffer from hearing loss today and will experience even more in the future. In fact, the proportion of teens with mild or worse hearing loss has increased 77% since the 1990s. And their studies prove the loss is due to earbud use. According the the LA Times, once hearing is damaged it will never recover.

Fact: Earbuds cause hearing loss…

Stephen discovered that when the ear canal is sealed by an earbud, the speaker vibrations create acoustic pressure. In the confined space of the closed ear canal, these become harmful amplified pneumatic pressures and cause the eardrum to move with an amplitude thousands of times greater than normal. Tiny muscles around the eardrum then tighten to protect the ear by dampening the sound. To overcome this dampening you must turn up the volume. The more the volume increases, the more the eardrum tightens. And so on. And so on.
40 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. For 10 million Americans, the hearing loss is noise induced, not reversible and permanent.


The Solution…

Stephen found a way to break the cycle. It’s called ADEL™ and it’ll change the way you hear music. This technology adds a second eardrum into all of our earbuds. This second eardrum takes the punishment of the pneumatic pressure caused by sound in the ear canal, and delivers clear, crisp sound that’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard. And it’s not louder noise coming from your earbuds.
Vanderbilt University study of Asius Technologies’ earbud performanceActually, with ADEL™, it’s quieter – often operating at 1/10th the amplified in-ear power levels of traditional listening devices (per studies conducted at Vanderbilt University Medical Center). And by not prematurely tightening in-ear muscles, which can dramatically compress the volume, loud sounds actually sound louder and require less overall volume levels. The results from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center study show that using ADEL™ allows listeners to enjoy Enhanced Loudness Perception (lower volumes sound significantly louder and better over conventional devices). This provides them a louder yet safer, high fidelity listening experience at greatly reduced power levels (1/4 to 1/16th typical levels) with no perceived loss in volume.

Before sharing my personal experience, keep in mind these few points:
I tested only the ADEL s1 auto model, on INEARZ site you can buy your custom model with different options: s1, B1, G1, manual and 01 auto model.

I used the same black standard InEarz cable for my audio sessions

My audio experience can be not only influenced by ADEL module, but just keep in mind, that a few mms longer ear canal for custom model, can change sound perception.

More info about s1 auto model: Engineered to automatically tune itself to absorb the pneumatic pressures in your ear canal through a dual membrane design.
-Noise isolation up to -18dB


PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I spent many time switching between IENARZ EUPHORIA standard model and with ADEL, so these are my sound impressions:

Euphoria with ADEL, for sure, sounds more natural with a bit airier and wider soundstage. Bass has a touch less strong impact, but gains a more natural and correct reproduction. I don’t think, as stated by Asius technologies, that ADEL gives you a richer sound, but to my experience, it is capable to give you a more natural and less fatiguing experience, that most probably is due to the lack of sealed pressure in your ear canal.

With Euphoria Adel, I can reach more satisfying pressure levels with significantly lower volumes. I usually set the volume bar of my astell and kern KANN( low gain) to 80 with EUPHORIA ADEL, on the other side I have to push the volume to 90 with standard model.
Talking with Matthew of INEARZ, he explained me that ADEL doesn’t add any electrical impedance and there are no changes in tuning, so it truly allows listeners to enjoy enhanced loudness perception.
Thanks to both EUPHORIA natural tuning and ADEL module, I found less tinnitus issues during my night audio sessions. I am not telling you that ADEL will cure your tinnitus, but can help to enjoy your audio sessions for more time and with less listening fatigue.

Overall, both EUPHORIA ADEL and standard model are great IEMs and for sure, are among the best IEMs I have ever tested not only in this price range. There are slight sound differences, but EUPHORIA with ADEL model is able to give you a more natural reproduction, with better soundstage in all directions and with ,most important thing, a less fatiguing experience.

INEARZ has just released their new universal models with ADEL technology: ZEN with 2 AND 4 drivers. For more info about, just follow their official site.

Good isolation( considering it adds an open vent in the faceplate)
More natural sound
Airier soundstage
enhanced loudness perception
doesn’t influence the IEM weight and thickness too much

Price is not cheap
Minimal issues with wind noise



This is our first product from the german company Inear, so would like to write something about their philosophy and origin: “Under the management of Andreas Schmitt, who has more than 25 years of experience in the production of individual hearing products, we offer an all-round service under one roof.
Our team takes care of the development and production of our products, services and sales throughout Germany.

Our skilled specialists produce an entire range of individual communication systems with precision work and sophisticated technology. Our individual products are produced by using the best modern manufacturing processes, which include the digital capture of the ear mold data, product design with special CAD software and 3D Manufacture systems for the manufacture and assembly of all products by hand. In the field of ear monitoring we work according to the principle »By musicians for musicians«. When it comes to developing new InEar monitoring systems or product enhancement we can immediately test all new products live, in addition to performing all the usual laboratory tests”.
This company is becoming more and more famous in the audiophile community not only for its great sounding IEM, but for their singular and ergonomic shape used on their products too.
“Looks like custom made, sits stable and secure. The base for the housing was developed by overlapping hundreds of different scans from ear impressions. Several prototypes were manufactured in-house and tested on customers to find the perfect fit so the monitor will not move. At the end of the development cycle InEar had created an almost perfect to the anatomy of the ear universal monitor”.
Just recently, they won the IF DESIGN AWARD and i can tell you for sure, that this SD5 is one of the most comfortable universal IEM i have ever tested. So, for this, very compliment Inear!.
I saw many chinese brands just copyed and used their shape, i think without permission, for making their own IEMs, so this thing would mean something!
In their catalogue you can find two audiophile products: stagediver models( with a fun, but still a natural and well controlled sound), that to my opinion are aimed to the vast majority of audiophile and people out there and ProPhile 8 models with a more studio reference signature. I usually love a more natural approach to the music, but i really loved how this SD5, is capable to portray a fun signature, but still with great technicalities and a refined sound.
At the moment, you can only find a standard model for this SD5, but soon, will be released a wood version too ( i think this material should effect the sound giving a warmer response).

SD5 unit was sent me for the purpose of this review, i am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thank Oli and Inear team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this fun and engaging IEM.
For more info about SD5 and other products, you can easily contact them on their facebook channel. Oli or Andreas will answer you quickly.



PACKAGING: the overall packaging experience is simple, but quite premium: you will receive a classical pelican hard case with the Inear sticker attached on top.
In the box you will find the SD5 with different size silicon eartips, a gold plated adapter and three cleaning wipes. Eartips have good quality and surely will find the right ones for you , but they are all made of the same material, so you can’t “tune” the sound signature according to your needs. Inear has a lot of experience in custom products, but for universal models, eartips are very important not only for the right fit, but they can drastically change the sound signature of the IEM, so as always, i suggest you to try different ones, with different materials and only at the end enjoy your new product. I tried many: double, triple flange, Comply and Spinfit ones and found that black silicon one with green bore that comes with my old fiio ex1, gives me the best sound( obviously this thing could not be true for you). Hope Inear team will listen to my suggestion, providing more accessories for new releases.
Build quality is excellent, with a black lucid shell, will give you a premium feeling from the very beginning. The product seems sturdy and well built, and i am well trusty can last for many Years.

The SD5 comes with recessed sockets, thanks to this, you can move the cable-end further into the shell and provide a more sturdy mounting point for the cable and the pins of the cable, thus protecting it more.
SD5 comes with removable filters too, keeping cerumen away from the drivers, this thing is a smart and innovative feature in the audiophile community.
The original stock cable that comes with SD5, is a typical OFC wire in a rubbery jacket that makes a great job both for sound quality both for microphonics issues. I switched to many aftermarket cables, but found that the original one makes a great job under a sound quality point of view. If needed, i truly suggest you to pair this SD5 with a more natural or warm sounding cable, cause adding more treble can ruin the overall balance and so sound experience.

Speaking of isolation, it is very good in this department and if you can find the right eartips you will enjoy your playlist without any annoying external noise( they claim to eliminate surrounding noise up to 26 dB).
The overall experience with this product is excellent: SD5 is capable to give you a comfortable and premium experience with great isolation and a fun and engaging signature, but still able to offer a refined sound.

FIRST IMPRESSION: listening to SD5 for the first time required me some time to get used to its sound signature. My previous review was Inearz Euphoria model that has quite a natural and never fatiguing sound , on the opposite, this SD5 has a cleaner approach with stronger bass response . So just waited for burn-in period and with the time, I started to really appreciate this IEM: SD5 has his own philosophy and approach to music, its aim is to provide a fun and engaging experience, but still balanced and refined.


SOUND: All my sound consideration has been made after 100 hours of burn in, with different DAPs such as AK KANN, Opus 1s, fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label. I tried this IEM for many hours on the go and does very good with Tidal and my iPhone too. Obviously with better sources sound has better dynamic, a more refined bass response and most important thing, a more natural and controlled sound, but overall this SD5 makes a great job out of whatever source it’s connected to.
After 100 hours of burn-in I didn’t notice any improvements, so this SD5 sounds just great out of the box.
After many hours with this product I can surely say that has a clean and detailed response with a W sound signature, it is great in portray both vocals and instruments. Treble pick will give you an airy and detailed sound with great female vocal reproduction, all these things are well balanced with a strong bass response that helps dynamic and to avoid a too much fatiguing sound. Philosophy of this IEM is to give you an engaging and fun signature, never resulting boring , but still perfoming quite natural and detailed. For this can be a good choice for most of the customers out there.

LOWS: SD5 has above average bass quantity and for sure, can be considered a strong point of this IEM.
Bass response is quite strong, punchy, airy, with excellent impact and decay. The overall bass performace is above typical multi balanced IEMs, but still can’t compete with dynamic driver in this price range( bass quantity is above average, but still sounds natural and controlled, for this i will not suggest it to bass-heads). SD5 has a great sub-bass response, with adeguate rumble and a more controlled mid-bass response that never warm-up too much the scene. Here, Inear engineers made a smart choice in tuning this IEM: sub bass elevation will give you not only a more fun signature, but create a nice balance with the overall bright signature of this IEM.

MIDS: if you are a female vocal lover, most probably this IEM will be a great choice for you.
Lower mids can result a bit thin, so the aim of SD5 is not to provide a full-bodied sound, but just on the opposite, will give you a more thin, defined and quite revealing presentation. Upper mids are very detailed and clean, this thing will help with female voices and to give you an airy performance. If you love a warmer, more relaxed sound, most probably this IEM will not be a great choice for you.

HIGHS: treble response is nicely extended with great amount of sparkles and detailes( keep in mind, i usually prefer a neutral/clean sounding IEMs, never smooth or warm).
Highs can result a bit hot and fatiguing, nothing you can’t solve pairing it with a warmer/natural source( for example i found a great sinergy with my Opus1s and ak KANN).
Using bad recorded tracks with this IEM, can give you many problems, due to its quite revealing approach to the music, for this, i truly suggest you to use lossless tracks.

SOUNDSTAGE: soundstage is another strong point of this SD5: very wide and holographic, obviously the final result will depend on the source used. Soundstage is well extended both in width and depth providing a great layering experience. Overall, this SD5 will give you a nice “out of the head” experience, thing that is not common in this price range.
Dynamic and transient response are great and very accurate.
Thanks to its low impedance(13 ohms), SD5 is very easy to drive and will sound great just connected to your smartphone. Obviously, better will be the source, better will be the final result .


SD5 with astell&kern kann: this is a great pairing: ak Kann, helps to give a great musicality to the scene, with great bass response will surely amaze you for its fun factor, still sounding very coherent and airy. Treble on ak kann is a bit smooth, this thing helps a lot with this SD5, thas sometimes can result a bit harsh. Voices are very detailed and clean, with that “liquid” presentation typical of this DAP. Soundstage is very good: width is just exellent, this combo can give you a nice holographic stage around you. On low gain at volume pushed to 80, I was able to drive quite well this IEM.

SD5 with Opus 1s: in my opinion, this is one of the best pairing with this SD5. Opus 1s will add more body to the music , with a great sub-bass impact. Bass is very full and punchy, Rumble and impact are outstanding with that slam that always bring me to move at the rhythm of music. Voices are more organic, with more body and emotions. Treble is clean and defined, Opus 1S helps this SD5 to sound a bit less harsh and fatiguing. Soundstage is quite big and holographic, but on AK kann soundstage was a bit wider.

SD5 with AUNE X1S DESKTOP DAC/AMP: sinergy here, is not so great. Aune has a neutral/clean sound that doesn’t match so good with this SD5. I would suggest to pair this IEM with a more neutral or warmer sounding source. The overall performance is ok, but a bit fatiguing and harsh on treble. Due to the high output impedance of this Desktop DAC/AMP, all my tests were made with the use of iFi IEMatch between the x1s and SD5. This dongle helped with impedance dismatch and with sibilance issues.

SD5 with AUDIRECT WHISTLE portable DAC/AMP: this is a very great portable combo. With this small DAC/AMP sound is very musical and engaging. Bass is very strong and deep, but not so articulated and refined like on the ak kann and Opus1s. Voices are exellent, with the right amount of body and most important thing, with accurate tonality for both male and female voices. Soundstage is narrower than Opus1s and AKkann, but is quite wide, with good instrument separation.


SD5 VS HEIR AUDIO 10.0: SD5 has better bass impact, with a more refined and articuated sub-bass response. HEIR 10.0 has a typical multi balanced bass impact, on the other side SD5 is nearer to a dynamic driver one. HEIR has a warmer and more relaxed sound signature, on the other side SD5 is cleaner. Female voices are better on the SD5. Soundstage is quite similar, with great width and depth on both these IEMs.

SD5 vs UNIQUE MELODY MIRACLE V2: these two IEMs have great bass response: SD5 has more sub-bass quantity with a faster response, on the other side Miracle v2 shows a bit warmer, fuller bass, but still on the neutral side. Voices are more vivid and “liquid” on miracle v2, on the other side SD5 has a more clean,peaky and airy approach, this thing helps SD5 to sound very good with female voices. Treble on SD5 has more sparkles and definition. Miracle V2 has above average soundstage, but SD5 is capable to reproduce a wider and more holographic stage around you, with better layering.

CONCLUSION: this SD5 has his own philosophy and approach to music: always sounding fun and engaging, but still capable to bring refinement and technicalities to your songs. Inear team, with this SD5, was able to create a perfect combination of fun and neutral sound with great and premium build quality. If you are looking for a purer and more reference sound, you can always choose their Prophile 8 model.




• System: 3-way system(5 drivers)
• Transmission range: approx. 20 Hz–20000 Hz
• Output sound pressure: 120dB
• Impedance: 13 Ohms
• Cable length:140 cm / (4’7.5″)



iFi Audio just recently released their new iEMatch2.5, that just like the standard model, will reduce hissing and will help with DAP that have high output impedance( this thing can be a huge problem with multi balanced IEMs).
Let’s see what iFi has to say about this small dongle:

“Following the success of our original iEMatch®, which improves sound quality and dynamics for headphone users listening to music sourced from their smartphones, tablets or laptops, iFi is proud to announce the arrival of iEMatch2.5 for those with dedicated hi-res digital audio players ( just keep in mind the iEMatch is compatible only with balanced connections).

Like the iEMatch®, the iEMatch2.5 significantly reduces background noise and widens dynamic range to enable headphone listeners to enjoy the full openness of a recording without having to turn the volume of their music players down to an comfortable level. Lowering the volume reduces audio quality (resolution). With the iEMatch2.5 users can up the volume on their DAP to gain back the ‘bits’ lost with digital volume control but still maintain a comfortable listening level.

When listening to music, you want to hear everything from the high-pitched jingle of a tambourine to the deepest rumble of a kettledrum. In other words, you want a wide dynamic range. Having great DACs, DAPs and headphones to deliver this to your ears is all well and good but there’s a problem – the sound of EVERYTHING will be boosted, including the self-noise of the source AND the sound level. Plus some higher end headphones and IEMS add to this by being sensitive themselves.

At the beginning was quite skeptical, but after many tests with some of my multi balanced IEM, can surely suggest you this product if have any hiss problems with your sources.

This unit was sent me as a sample , I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks iFi team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this simple and effective dongle.


PACKAGING: The IEMatch 2.5 comes in a simple, but quite elegant box. With the dongle you will find a velvet pouch and memory-foam contoured ear plugs (-37dB)(that you can use when travelling or in noisy environments).

Build quality is very good, obviously is not one of the most elegant products, but for this price range makes its job. iFi used a Al-Mg alloy casing for the body and a 6N silver/copper matrix wiring for the cable; with a Gold plated 2.5mm Balanced Connection. Like the standard IEMatch, you can switch between high and ultra sensitivity( I always used only high sensitivity with all my custom and universal IEMs, but ultra mode can be quite helpful with sensitive monster like Campfire Andromeda). Switching between high and ultra mode depends by your iems and sources too, cause ultra mode will oblige to push the volume up and this thing can cause clipping issues.


FUNCTION: overall, this small dongle makes all it was promised, and not only helps with hissing and with DAPs that have high output impedance, but most important thing doesn’t color the sound( this is a great PRO).
I just tried the IEMatch 2.5 with Opus1s and Astell and Kern Kann in high gain, so here are my impressions:

Aroma Audio Yao(12 BA) + IEMatch2.5 + Opus1s: Yao doesn’t have too much hiss problems, but overall thanks to the IEMatch benefits the overall scene, with more detailed and clean sound( just to be clear, the IEMatch doesn’t improve sound quality, but the fact that you can push the volume up and keep a low noise will give you a perception of a more detailed and clean sound with full dynamic range).

HEIR AUDIO 10.0 + IEMatch2.5 + Opus1s: this IEM benefits a lot with this dongle, cause is prone to hissing and Opus1S in high gain mode can give a bit of problem here. As before IEMatch will guarantee a more detailed and more enjoyable audio experience.

Fiio F5 + IEMatch 2.5 + astellkern KANN: kann doesn’t have too much noise in high gain, but the F5 has good amount of hiss. I found F5 with balanced cable, IEMatch2.5 and akKANN one of the best pairing for this iem giving me the chance to experience great dynamic and never fatiguing experience.
With my custom InErz Euphoria, I never had any needs to use IEMatch with my sources, cause never found any hiss problems, but I am quite sure it should be useful with a high output impedance DAP like hiby r6.

CONCLUSION: there is no cons about this product, it just works great and keeps promises, so If you have any hiss problems with your high sensitive custom or premium IEMs, just give a try to this dongle and will surely not regret.

Ultra (-24dB) & High-Gain (-12dB) sensitivity adjustment
6N silver/copper matrix wiring with FINAL6063-T5 aluminium-magnesium alloy shell
Gold-plated printed circuit board with audiophile components (eg MELF resistors)
Gold-plated 2.5mm male/female connectors
Input Impedance: 16 Ohm
Output Impedance: < 2.5 Ohms (High-Sensitivity)
< 1.0 Ohms (Ultra-Sensitivity)
Weight: 12.2g
Total Length : 116mm



InEarz is a company quite famous in custom community for its build quality and great sound at affordable price factor, based In the USA they design and manufacture all products in their lab based in Casselberry, FL.
As always, would like to write something about the origin and philosophy of the company:

“Here at InEarz Audio we want to bring a high quality yet very affordable product, whether its for professionals in the music industry or just someone who just likes to listen to good music. We are a family owned and family operated business that strives to bring the best customer service around and to make sure all of our customers are satisfied”.
Kaysen followed me during the all build process and answered to all my questions about the product, so is always beautiful to feel a “soul” behind a company name.

Today I am going to review their standard Euphoria model with 6BA(2 Low, 2 Mid, 2 High); just recently they introduced ADEL module for all their products in catalogue( plus 200USD). ADEL is a revolutionary “second eardrum” called the Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens (ADEL™) which absorbs harmful in-ear pressures, thereby preserving the health of the human ear, thus allowing people to more safely hear sound the way it needs to be heard. In the near future, hope to review the model with ADEL module, in order to explain better how this technology improves comfort and sound quality perceived.

Euphoria 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 Kaysen and inEarz team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this sweet and natural IEM.

PRICE: 999 USD (basic model)


PACKAGING: packaging is quite simple, but premium. Euphoria arrived in a black, sturdy case with inEarz sticker, a microfiber cleaning cloth and a wax-cleaning tool. In my package was included a pair of Earasers Earplugs, but don’t know if customers will receive it too.
Build quality is excellent: with rounded acrylic shell, I never felt any pain issues or bad fit. The product is sturdy and will give you surely a premium feeling. Obviously will update my review, If will find any build issues in the next months.
My Euphoria model came in a grey/transparent color with a detachable 2pin cable and recessed sockets( you can add this option for 20USD). Thanks to recessed sockets you can move the cable-end further into the shell and provide a more sturdy mounting point for the cable and the pins of the cable, thus protecting it more. To my surprise, stock cable not only has a great build quality, but has a great audio synergy with this model: I tried many aftermarket cables, but none of them can compete with the stock one. Out of the box, this IEM with stock cable, will sound just perfect: natural, sweet and transparent.


At the beginning, left channel gave me some strange pressure issue; so talking with Kaysen, we agreed to wait few days, and right now it goes just perfect. I am quite impressed they made such a good work with my ear impressions, that was not one of the greatest( maybe one of the worst they have ever seen in their lab). For this, I truly suggest you to wait one week after getting you custom IEM, in order to get used to its fit. You can customize almost every aspect of the design: you can change canal, shell, cable and faceplate color adding ADEL technology, recessed sockets or custom artwork logo. To be honest, I just sent them the photo I liked the most on their facebook page, and work is done.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: If I liked build quality and premium feeling of Euphoria, its technical capabilities just amazed me. Is quite surprising, how inEarz with only 6BA created and tuned such a natural and great sounding IEM. Reading on their site, I was expecting a warm, bassy signature, but to my surprise Euphoria has a perfect combination of natural and fun sound. Tuning an IEM for audiophile people is not so simple: must be natural, with great definition and resolution, but never fall in a boring result. InEarz made just a great job with the tuning of this model. At the beginning, voices and dynamic weren’t so great. I am not a believer of burn-in for multi balanced IEM, so assume what improved the sound was the fit, that improved over one week. So if you are going to buy your first custom product, just use it for one week, in order to have a better fit and so a better reproduction.


SOUND: All my sound consideration has been made after 100 hours of burn in , with different DAPs such as AK KANN, Opus 1s, fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label. I tried this IEM for many hours on the go and does very good with Tidal and my iPhone too. Obviously with better sources reproduction has better clarity, a more refined bass response and wider soundstage, but overall this Euphoria makes a great job out of whatever source it’s connected to. This thing, makes this IEM an all rounder: not only sounds great with average sources, but works good with 320Kbs files too( obviously with lossless music benefits the overall performance).
Euphoria has a natural approach to music, everything is controlled and refined with good detail retrieval. Balanced is the strong point of this IEM, with a touch of emphasis on bass frequencies to avoid a boring sound. As stated before, inEarz made a great job in tuning this IEM providing a never fatiguing IEM.

BASS: bass response is a bit emphasized, but always controlled and never overwhelming. Sub bass has excellent impact and decay, thing that is not so common in balanced IEMs(obviously can’t compete with dynamic driver on this price range, but for sure, has a great bass response among BA drivers. Mid-bass has a great control and never warm too much the scene. This is not a product for bass-head people, I would say that is more for audiophile ones. The overall tuning of this IEM will give you an audiophile approach to music, with a touch of fun given by the slightly bass emphasis. Listening to “Royals” of Lorde, bass is strong, fast and articulated giving a great rhythm to the track.

MIDS: voices are greatly reproduced, both male and female ones. Tonality and realism are great with good definition, never resulting veiled or lacking body. I would define voices “smooth and liquid”, they are never harsh and never too much in face. They are just a bit behind to give a better soundstage( never think that this is a v-shaped IEM). Euphoria can compete with my Aroma Audio YAO 12BA, that costs 2x its price range in voices reproduction: they are both great IEMs if you love vocals, Yao will give you overall a more organic and fuller sound, on the other side Euphoria has a more liquid, neutral one.

HIGHS: trebles are a bit behind, so if you are a trebleish man, this is not the IEM for you. Euphoria has a good clarity and definition on this spectrum, but it doesn’t never result harsh . If you have hiss problems, Euphoria will be a good choice for you, giving a smooth, natural and never fatiguing experience.
I really love this IEM cause is capable to give you “liquid” trebles, so they never cut like razors, they are smooth, but still, capable of good clarity, definition and detail.

SOUNDSTAGE: soundstage is another strong point of this IEM: wide, but still coherent. Instrument are well placed around you, with great instrumental separation(obviously the final result will depend by the source quality). For example, with astell&kern kann soundstage is great, and you can “feel” the air and space between every instrument. Depth and height are above average, but width will surely amaze you giving you a good “out of the head” experience( obviously can’t compete with semi-open headphones, but makes an excellent job, considering its closed nature). Channel separation is remarkable and you can easily pinpoint every instrument in the space around you.
Dynamic is quite good and well controlled, this thing will help to give you a great tempo and rhythm, but at the same time a gentle and never fatiguing performance.
Like most of the multi-BA IEMs, impedance is quite low, so you can easily drive it with everything and to my surprise Euphoria doesn’t suffer of any hiss issues.


PAIRINGS: the natural and quite revealing signature of Euphoria, makes quite easy the pairing with most of the sources over there, so you will surely not have any problems in this field.

EUPHORIA WITH AK KANN: I found a great synergy with this DAP: Kann, as always, helps to give an airy sound with excellent musicality. I can easily drive this IEM in low gain pushing the volume to 70/80. Bass is well controlled with good impact, but if you love a strong bass response, this is not the ideal combo for you.
Voices are reproduced with great accuracy, realism and details. Timbre is excellent, resulting in a natural and liquid presentation. Treble are a bit smooth, but still with good clarity,definition and extension. Maybe, I would like just a bit more sparkles. Instrument separation is just great with good air and space between every instruments. Soundstage is quite big, in particular this combo will give you a very wide one.

EUPHORIA WITH OPUS1S: this DAP will give you a more organic sound with a full and punchy bass response, Rumble and impact are outstanding with that slam that always bring me to move at the rhythm of music. Voices are more organic and less liquid, with great realism. Opus1s will give you good clarity and definition on top end spectrum. Soundstage is big and holographic, but can’t compete with ak kann.

EUPHORIA WITH IFINANO BLACK LABEL: this DAC/AMP will give you a warmer sound with great bass response: very punch and rounded. Voices are more organic, but smoothens up too much treble response. If you love a relaxed and sweet sound, you should significantly consider this pairing.

EUPHORIA WITH AUNE X1S DESKTOP DAC/AMP: X1S helps to give more sparkle and trebles, but sometime can result too boring. It just sounds good, but lacks the engaging and musical sound of Kann or Opus1s. To my surprise, Euphoria will not give you any hiss problem with this source too.

EUPHORIA WITH IPHONE 6 PLUS AUDIRECT WHISTLE DAC/AMP: Whistle will give enough power to drive this IEM. The overall sound is quite good with excellent bass response and voices reproduction. Soundstage is quite wide, but can’t compete with Kann and Opus 1s. This combo will give you a natural performance with good definition.

EUPHORIA WITH IPHONE 6: to my surprise this IEM sounds just great with my iphone too, with a very wide soundstage and great instrument separation. My iphone6 can’t compete with expensive DAPs, in particular in dynamic and bass response, but makes a good job with most of the low impedance IEMs. Euphoria is an all rounder IEM, sounding great with just poor sources like smartphones, and I really appreciated this thing on the go .


COMPARISONS: at this time Euphoria is my first custom IEM, but will receive other ones in the next months, so will update my review in the near future. Is quite interesting to see how Euphoria competes with other premium universal IEMs.

EUPHORIA VS UNIQUE MELODY MIRACLE V2: Miracle has more fun and engaging sound signature with stronger and punchier bass response, on the other side Euphoria has a more neutral approach with a more accurate timbre. Miracle has more sparkle on top end, on the other side Euphoria has a more “liquid” and more smooth treble response. Soundstage is wider on InEarz IEM, with better instrument separation.

EUPHORIA VS HEIR AUDIO 10(10BA): Heir IEM has more mid-bass presence with overall a more congested scene. On the other side Euphoria shows a more audiophile approach to music: with faster and more accurate bass response. Voices on Euphoria are more accurate both in timbre both in presence. Soundstage is quite wide in both of this IEMs. Overall Euphoria has a more accurate and natural sound with better control over the all frequencies.

EUPHORIA VS CUSTOM ART FIBAE 2: they both share fast and articulate bass response, but Euphoria has a fuller and stronger bass response. Voices are more detailed and have more body on the InEarz IEM. Soundstage is a bit wider on Euphoria, that is capable to portray a more coherent space around you.

EUPHORIA VS RHAPSODIO INFINITY( 20BA): you may think that this comparison should be quite unfair, since infinity shows 20 balanced armature, but it is not so. Euphoria, here, is a clear winner with better dynamic and most important thing, a more natural tuning. Bass is stronger with a better impact on Euphoria. Infinity has a bit wider soundstage with a bit airier scene. Overall Euphoria has a better sound, with a more correct and audiophile approach to music.

CONCLUSION: At the end of this review, is quite clear that Euphoria is a special IEM. inEarz made such a great work tuning it; final result is a neutral and refined reproduction with a touch of emphasized bass that will give you a natural enjoyment. As I wrote at the beginning of this review, is quite hard to produce an audiophile product: it must be natural, detailed with good resolution, but never fall in the boring side. InEarz with this Euphoria model, made all these things, and for me, this company can surely compete with all the other premium companies out there( that maybe can have a more aggressive approach to the market with tons of reviews and sharing on socials, but this company, with its “family soul” created not only a great sounding IEM, but a special one, with that special natural sound, liquid voices and never fatiguing presentation will surely satisfy your audiophile needs.

Great job inEarz.

PROS: build quality, dynamic, wide soundstage, overall a natural, coherent and never fatiguing reproduction, matchability with different sources

CONS: treble could be a bit behind

• 2 Low, 2 Mid, 2 High Balanced Armatures
• Triple Bore Design
• Impedance: 12 Ohm @ 1kHz
• Noise Isolation: -26dB (+/- 2dB)
• Input connecter: 1/8″ (3.5mm)Stereo Jack
• Shells made from medical grade, hypoallergenic acrylic



Today i am going to review the new released Aune desktop DAC/AMP: the X1s 10th Anniversary Edition.
This is our first Aune product we review, so would like to share a quick introduction to this company:
“Aune (Wuhan AO LAI ER Technology )company is one of China’s first dedicated high-quality digital audio company , it is a development and manufacture of integrated enterprise, with high-end design team unity , excellent operational management team. Full of scientific and technological innovation mission , we are constantly exploring different solutions in the high -quality digital audio field . We are not only the first launched mastering digital audio player in China , launched its supporting 32bit/192kHz advanced decoder and peripheral products , but also supporting the development of personal computers around the traditional audio equipment , developed a high -quality USB decoder and the traditional CD turntable .
In addition to the innovation of R & D , from operations to customer service, from product manufacturing to the user manual , every detail , Aune pursue excellence. We firmly believe that the “pursuit of perfection” is endless . Meanwhile , Aune company’s HIFIDIY.NET as the sound field to focus on portal – since 2004 to become the largest Chinese audio site and community , with nearly 1,00,00,00 members. It is the foundation of Aune brand rooted , making Aune brand has extensive influence in the Chinese community , received numerous accolades.

AUNE HISTORY: “aune ”is the brand of the largest Chinese audio technology community HIFIDIY.NET (2004-2014) ,which had ten years of histroy In the past ten years ,we have accumulated a large number of excellent designs. High performance and high quality is aune’s pursuit.
With the new x1 model, Aune wanted to create a simple, easy to use and affordable audio product.

X1s 10th Anniversary Edition is the sixth generation of X1.It is a special version to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the launch of X1. X1 series is a multi-function decoding headphone amplifier which is designed for desktop PC, HIFI and small audio system
X1s 10th Anniversary Edition uses ESS 9018K2M chip (with three filter modes), support for 32bit / 384K and DSD128 master class audio playback, with the next generation of decoding capabilities.
This 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 Aune Audio team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this product.


PACKAGING: X1s package is quite simple, but well refined and with a good premium feeling. In the black box you will find: the x1s DAC/AMP, Power adapter & cableUSB cable, USB drive with user manual AND 6.35 mm adapter. Build quality is very good for this price range and Aune team made a great job here, giving for sure a premium product with its aluminium chassis( this model was created in conjunction with the European Industrial Design team, featuring an innovative five-sided screw-less design, a minimalist arc of beauty, a blend of technology and art).
In this review I will focus more in the sound quality and synergy with some headphones and IEMs as requested by my readers, cause there a lot of articles that explains quite well its functionalities. Most of the time I used it jus connected in USB mode to my laptop with flac (16,24 bit) and DSD files and for sure it is a well upgrade in sound quality over the internal chip of my Samsung R580 model.


The initial configuration was easy: just plugged the USB port and Windows downloaded the drivers in few seconds. If you will have some drivers problems, you can easily download their latest version from their official site.
Hope they will make a x1 version compatible with the iPhone too, but from what I know, you can connect your Android device to this 10th model.

SOUND: sound is very good for this price range and for sure will be a good upgrade over the internal chip of most laptops over there. Sound signature of this DAC/AMP is quite neutral and revealing with a touch of treble emphasis that will help a lot with warm headphones and IEMs. Bass is quite neutral with good impact, but if you are a bass-head this is not the audio product for you. Sub bass response is quite strong and fast with good impact and decay. Voices are well reproduced, but are more on the clean and natural side than the organic and fuller one. Treble response is a bit emphasized, giving you good definition and airy sound. The new x1s has a natural and clean approach to the music, never sounding too congested or bloated. Dynamic is very good for this price range( obviously can’t compete with premium DAC/AMP over there, but considering its low official price this product makes his great job).
The headphone output power is rated at 200mW @ 300Ω and 560mW @ 32Ω, so is quite good and never had problems with most of the headphones I tested with.
Soundstage is good, but not great, but overall it will give you a high level layering and instrument separation. If you are looking for an “over ear sound experience” this is not a good choice for you. The x1 has a more intimate reproduction, but still, with good separation between voices and instruments in the scene. Soundstage is coherent and is able to reproduce a good amount of air and space between instruments.

Many readers asked me to test this DAC/AMP with some cans and IEMs i already reviewed, so here we are:

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MITCHELL & JOHNSON MJ2: I found this pairing very good. This closed can with electrostatz technology with the x1s has a clean and refined sound. Highs are extremely extended with great definition and details, but never resulting fatiguing or harsh. Voices are well reproduced with excellent realism and detail( voices sound just natural and clean, so do not expect a warm and organic reproduction). Bass response is a bit shy, with a natural and fast sub bass response, so if you are looking for a great and fun bass, most probably this will not a great combo for you.
Dynamic is good with good rhythm and tempo. Soundstage is coherent with good amount of air between instruments and with a good layering.

MEZE 99 NEO/CLASSIC: I found a correct reproduction here, but Meze headphones really shine with amore organic sound. With the x1s, the overall performance is quite clean, but lacks the analogical and organic typical sound of Meze cans. Soundstage is quite big, with a good “over the ear” experience.

AKG K702: the overall sound is clear and analytical, with good excellent voice timbre and tonally. Bass is shy, but well refined and articulated. Highs are a bit thin and, sometimes, can result a bit harsh and fatiguing. Overall, this Aune can drive quite well this headphone, but I truly suggest to use a tube amplifier with AKGk702.



UNIQUE MELODY ME.1: with this planar IEM, combo is very good: soundstage is big and wide, with the right amount of bass and trebles. X1 can easily drive this IEM( me.1 is a bit hard to drive out of standard DAPs or smartphones, so I truly suggest you to buy a good AMP for this planar IEM).

AROMA AUDIO YAO( 12 BA): the overall sound is very natural with great realism and definition for the voices. X1 helps Yao to have more sparkles on top end and so an airier sound. With its low impedance I found some hiss problems and lack in dynamic range. Nothing you can’t solve with the iFi IEMatch dongle.
If you want to use custom and multi balanced IEMs with the x1s, I truly suggest you to buy this dongle to help with hiss problems and to recover full dynamic range.

INEARZ EUPHORIA CUSTOM FIT(6BA): this combo will give you a full natural sound with very wide soundstage and instrument separation. X1s helps this IEM to have more sparkle on top end and a better treble extension. Due to natural sound signature of this IEM, this combo could result a bit boring for some people. I never notices any hiss issues with this combo.

AUDIO 10: this is a great combo: bass is strong with great impact and decay, voices are never veiled or lacking details. Treble response is more clean with an airier sound. Soundstage is quite wide with excellent layering. I found some hiss problems her, nothing you can’t solve with the iFi dongle.

CONCLUSION: Overall this new x1s sounds very good for its price range and for sure will be a huge upgrade over the internal chips of most of the laptops over there. Aune created a classy and well built product with a nicely natural and detailed sound( obviously you can find better and fuller sounding DAC/AMP over there, but here the overall performance/price ratio makes this new x1s a clear winner.

PROS: natural and clean sound, good soundstage and layering, output power, build quality

CONS: for some people can sound a bit sterile and not too much engaging

DAC CHIP: ESS 9018K2M chip (with three filter modes), support for 32bit / 384K and DSD128 master class audio playback, with the next generation of decoding capabilities.

Headphone out power: @300Ω 200 mW (0.1% @ 1 KHz 0dB)

@32Ω 560 mW (0.1% @ 1 KHz 0dB)


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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.


perfetta 20

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.

perfetta 3perfect 1

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.

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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
Vishay resistors
Impedance: 22-25 ohm
Sensitivity: 108-109Db
Frequency response: 20Hz-20000Hz

MIDS: 8.8
HIGH: 8.7



Noble Audio is considered one of the most famous company in the audiophile community for its multi-balanced IEMs, both custom and universal. Right now their flagship are represented by Katana and Encore models, but just recently they released a new budget friendly series: “The EDC series from Noble is a new family of more mass-market universal earphones that deliver Noble’s exceptional sound quality and renowned design at lower prices”. Today I am going to review their new 5.8 mm single dynamic driver model: Velvet.
The reason of this name is quite obvious and after 200 hours with this little boy I can say for sure that this model has a relaxed, velvety sound. There aren’t many reviews about Velvet, so will try my best to describe my sound impressions about this product and providing many comparison against other IEMs in this price range.
Velvet 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 Brannan and Noble Audio team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this sweet and romantic IEM.



Packaging is simple, but quite elegant. Unfortunately mine was damaged during the travel to me, but you can have a look on their facebook page. In the box you can find Velvet IEM with tons of silicon eartips and a round hard-case that is quite elegant and refined. Tips have a good quality and surely will find the right ones for you, but they are made all of the same material, so you can’t “tune” the sound signature like Dunu ones. For universal models, eartips are very important not only for the right fit, but they can drastically change the sound signature of the IEM; so as always, I suggest to try different ones, with different materials and only at the end enjoy your new product. I tried many: double, triple flange, Comply and Spinfit ones and found that black silicon one with green bore that comes with my old fiio ex1 gives me the best sound( obviously this thing could not be true for you). The grey tips in the Velvet box, give me a brighter sound; switching to fiio eartips I was able to test the real nature of this IEM: a lush and romantic sound that never experienced in this price range. Bass is so sweet and rounded with very good vocals.
Velvet is one of the smallest and lightweight IEMs I have ever tested( it’s a bit smaller than my old HiFiMAN RE-400).


Build quality is excellent for this price range, indeed this model with Precision-machined ported aluminum housing will give you a premium feeling from the very beginning.
Speaking of isolation, it is very good in this department and if you can find the right eartips you will enjoy your playlist without any annoying external noise.
Velvet shows a “classic cable”, so it Isn’t a detachable one, but has a great build quality(Reflective cable with Vectran fibre weave) and never noticed any michrophonic issues.
Overall my experience with this product is very good: thanks to its small size is very comfortable and easy to use on the go. Yes, this model doesn’t have a detachable cable, but sometimes simplicity is better.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: listening to Velvet for the first time required me some time to get used to its sound signature. My previous review was Dunu falcon-c that has good amount of trebles, on the opposite, this Velvet has a warmer sound with a more relaxed treble response. So just waited for burn-in period and with the time I started to really appreciate this IEM: Velvet has his own philosophy and approach to music and right now is one of my favourite IEM on this price range with iBasso IT01 and Periodic Audio Mg.


SOUND: All my sound consideration has been made after 100 hours of burn in as suggested by Noble Audio company, with different DAPs such as AK KANN, Opus 1s, fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label. I tried this IEM for many hours on the go and does very good with Tidal and my iPhone too. Obviously with better sources sound has better dynamic, a more refined bass response and wider soundstage, but overall this Velvet makes a great job out of whatever source it’s connected to.
After 100 hours of burn-in I noticed a more controlled bass response and more extended highs( obviously this thing can be due to brain burn-in).
After many hours with this product I can surely say that has a warm response with focus on bass and vocals. Sound is just “velvety”, lush and romantic. For this, Velvet doesn’t suit well for every musical genres.
It’s quite hard to find an earphone on this price range with such philosophy: usually companies like to use a Vshaped sound signature, so more fun can suit better with the vast majority of people, but Noble Audio used a different approach and I really appreciated: sound is relaxed, but well rounded, with great emotions and , to my surprise, is capable of good detail retrieval.

Velvet has above average bass quantity, but for sure is not for bass-heads: sub bass has a good quality and gives good impact and decay, but is not strong( is quite impossible with this small driver). This IEM has more focus on mid-bass that gives a warmer touch to the music. Bass is rounded and sweet and never covers other frequencies. Obviously the freq response depends on your source; for example Opus1s emphasizes sub-bass response with a better rumble definition, on the other side astell&kern kann gives a more sweet bass and less impact. Overall bass of Velvet is rounded, sweet and adds an enjoyable warmth to the music.

MIDS: voices on this IEM are excellent both male and female ones. Usually a warm sounding IEM can be covered in a layer of mud from an overbearing low end, but is not the case for this IEM. Voices are organic and Velvet is capable to portray a good amount of emotions, this thing is quite rare on this price range.
Listening to Lana Del Rey “Gods and Monsters”, the singer voice is very well reproduced with great details and organic feeling. Overall vocals are rich, luscious and sweet. If you are looking for vocals on this price range, I truly suggest to try this model.

HIGHS: treble response on this IEM is not sparkly, but is more rounded and sweet, so if you are looking for resolution or you’re a trebleish man, this IEM is not for you. Velvet has good detailed treble response, but a bit behind and softened, cause this is its philosophy: Velvet wants to give you a rich, luscious and romantic sound and this is only possible with this tuning. Obviously all depends on the pairing with your source, for example my ak kann really helps to bring out a more airy sound, on the other side, ifi nano black lable is prone to sweet too much treble response.

SOUNDSTAGE: the small housing and the focus on voices doesn’t help with the soundstage; Velvet is more on the intimate side, but has good instrument separation. Soundstage is quite good in width and sometimes you can hear a good holographic stage, but never an “out of the head” sound. Soundstage is quite good for this price range, considering the extremely small size of this IEM.
Dynamic is good, but not excellent, this helps to have a more relaxed and gentle reproduction.


Velvet with astell&kern kann: I found a great synergy with this DAP: Kann helps to have an airy sound, with good clarity, for this makes a good job with warmer IEMs and headphones. Bass has good impact, but is more emphasized mid-bass spectrum. The only thing I didn’t like of this pairing are the voices: kann gives a more liquid presentation, on the other side, Velvet wants a more organic and fuller mids to really shine. Highs are well controlled and kann adds a bit more sparkle and definition, providing a good instrument separation. Soundstage improves a bit, in particular width. On low gain at volume pushed to 80, I was able to drive quite well this IEM.

Velvet with Opus1s: excellent synergy: Opus 1s gives you a fuller sound with great rumble and muscular bass response. Voices are very organic and detailed; this synergy will give you a lot of emotions and fun.Highs are a bit too much controlled for my tastes, and would like more energy in this spectrum. Soundstage is quite good in all direction, providing you a good holographic space around you, but never “out of the head” sound. Velvet needs a bit of power to really sound good and this Dap will provide you enough.

Velvet with iFi Nano Idsd: this DAC/AMP will give a lot of power, with great bass slam and rumble. Dynamic is excellent with great instrument separation. Soundstage is well extended in all direction( in the limit of this small IEM).

Velvet with Iphone6 and audirect whistle: this small DAC/AMP makes a great job with Velvet: voices are more refined and clean giving a better near to life feeling. Bass are not so punchy and strong like with the Opus1s, but have good impact. Highs are clean and well extended, this helps to reproduce an airier sound. Soundstage is not the greatest, more or less on the same level of my Iphone6.

Velvet with iphone6: Velvet model is a more mass market IEM, so a lot of people would prefer to drive it with their smartphones alone: my iphone6 can’t compete with expensive DAPs, in particular in dynamic and bass response, but makes a good job with most of the low impedance IEMs. Clarity is very good and so is instrument separation, but bass response is quite shy and not so engaging. Soundstage is quite extended, in particular width. Voices have good details and emotions, but less organic and a more liquid feeling. Velvet benefits a lot with more power, so I have to push the volume to 80/85 to have a satisfying sound.
Overall Velvet sounds very good with my iphone, but with better sources will really shine.



VELVET VS Ibasso IT01: IT01 comes with a detachable cable, but in my opinion looks less premium than Velvet. IT01 has a v-shaped sound signature, with more sparkle and energy trebles, bass is faster with more impact, on the other side, Velvet shows a more rounded , luscious bass response. Voices are more laid back on the iBasso IEM and lacks expression and emotions typical of Velvet model. IT01 can render a wider and more holographic space, on the other side, Velvet has a more intimate sound. These are two great IEMs for this price range, IT01 has more technicality, definition and engaging sound, on the other side Velvet has a completely different approach to the music with a more euphonic, rounded and fuller sound.

VELVET VS PERIODIC AUDIO Mg: Velvet has more premium build quality and durability. Mg has a more natural and audiophile tuning, but can lack the overall more emotional and organic sound of Velvet. Bass on Velvet is more colored and has more mid-bass quantity. Soundstage is more or less equal, maybe more holographic on Mg. Both of these IEMs sound better with a better amplification. Overall these are very competent products and with IT01, they are one of the best IEMs I have ever tested in this price range.

VELVET VS DUNU FALCON-C: these two IEMs are not in the same price range, but Velvet sound quality can compete with a lot of earphones that costs 2x its price. Falcon has a more audiophile bass response with better attack and decay. Voices on Velvet have more expression and organic reproduction, so if you are a vocal lover Velvet will be a better choice for you. Soundstage is on the intimate side for both of these IEMs.

VELVET VS HIFIMAN RE400: they share the same classic build quality, but Velvet is just a bit smaller. RE400 has a great vocal reproduction, but is a bit bass shy, so many people can find its sound signature a bit boring( is not my case). Velvet has a more romantic a luscious approach to the music with more bass quantity and overall a warmer sound signature.

CONCLUSION: right now Velvet is a very competent and well sounding IEM: with its strong philosophy and approach to the music will give you a full, luscious and romantic sound( uncommon thing for this price range), with good details and build quality. Noble Audio is famous for its multi balanced IEMs, but they did a great job with this product and for sure can compete with other great earphones on this price range.

Single 5.8 mm dynamic driver
Precision-machined ported aluminum housing
Reflective cable with Vectran fibre weave
3.5 mm termination and three-button mic/controls (iOS and Android compatible)
Impedance less than 35 ohms



Astell & Kern is a company well known in the audiophile community for producing great DAPs, home audio equipments and just recently premium IEMs in collaboration with JH Audio. Today I am going to review their KANN model that isn’t one of the newest release, but still is an interesting product thanks to its integrated amplifier and features. “ Astell&Kern has introduced a new product design that cleverly incorporates a high-performance amplifier into a player for a perfect merger of two independent devices. Supporting the output of 7Vrms when connected via high-gain balanced output, the KANN not only drives high-impedance headphones without an additional amplifier, but also reliably reproduces high-quality sound with low-impedance speakers”.
KANN not only claims great driving output, but has a lot of features: first of all is equipped with a line-out circuit that supports 2.5-mm 4-pole balanced outputs too ( I played a bit with these features and I liked so much connected to my audio car system). With the latest update that was released 1 week ago, you are able to adjust volume level of line out. Line out is really good and noticed an airier and less congested sound with zero noise floor ( but is really hard to say if is a brain trick).
This model has an internal memory of 64GB, but thanks to both standard SD cards and micro SD can be expanded up to 832 GB with the internal memory included. Thanks to this will not have any problem to fill it with heavy flac files; consider you can stream from Tidal or NAS too thanks to AK Connect.
KANN mounts a 6.200mA battery that offers 15 hours of continuous playback.( all depends on the volume and if the screen is turned on. In my days with this DAP using it in high gain mode, I have never had any problems concerning durability).


To increase flexibility of use, you can connect additional USB Audio to KANN via the micro USB port. KANN allows output conversion according to the specifications of the external USB Audio that supports DoP (DSD over PCM) or PCM, and provides continuous music playback with charging via the Type-C USB port while connected to the external USB Audio.
Plus it can be connected to the PC for use as USB DAC.
I just used it connected to my Windows PC and never had any driver or configuration problems( you can find all drivers link on their official site. At the first time was quite amazed on how KANN improved sound quality of my PC: dynamic is very good and what you will notice soon is the air you can hear and feel between every instrument and great dynamic and musicality.
Overall KANN is not a simple DAP, it is a full optional audio gear that will easily adapt to your audio needs.

The unit was sent me for the purpose of this review, I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks Alex and AK team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this musical and “full optional” music player.


This is my first AK digital player I review, so was really interested in the sound signature of this company. When I received it, I plugged in my SD card and tried to understand its sound signature before the burn-in. Don’t know why, but imagined the sound of KANN on the warm side, so was quite surprised to noticed that was natural and airy with only hint of coloration: a more quantity bass that helped the dynamic and a “liquid” voice reproduction. The three week before KANN arrival, was reviewing new Opus1s, so was quite used to its more organic and full-body sound. AK dap on the other side seemed to have a more clean approach to the music with less body, but a bit of more definition. What impressed me at the first song is the capability of KANN to reproduce great air and space between instruments and voices, this thing really helped my multi balanced IEMs to sound less congested. First impressions were quite good, but preferred to wait 200 hours of burn-in before writing this review.

PACKAGING: packaging is quite simple and elegant and surely gives you a premium feeling, as all the other AK products, the package hasn’t a lot of accessories. For this price range a leather case in the box wouldn’t have been a bad thing. In the box you can find KANN, warranty card and a type-c cable charging.(KANN features a fast charging mode, but you will not find both normal or fast charger in the box). Usually don’t like to talk much about packaging and other staff cause my main focus is on the sound quality, but overall the unboxing experience of this DAP surely will not disappoint you.


Build quality is excellent, and surely has a premium quality. First time was thinking KANN was a bit heavy, but after 3 hours get used to. I know this DAP isn’t the most portable and lightweight of AK models in catalogue, but you have to consider the integrated amp and the other features.
On the right corner you can find a rounded grill to control volume, that is quite comfortable and intuitive. On the upper side you can find single ended and balanced output and single ended and balanced line out output, plus a button to turn on/off the audio device. At the bottom you can find two slots for SD cards, a type-c connection for charging and transfer files and a micro-USB connection to use KANN as a USB DAC.
KANN is available in 2 colors, namely astro silver and eos blue.
Screen is quite good, but not one of the brightest with a good touch response, but not excellent ( consider KANN isn’t last release from this company). On the screen you can find physical buttons that can be very useful to go head/behind with tracks or play/pause functions.
Interface is quite easy and never had problem of navigation. KANN is able to stream Tidal and this thing is very helpful to manage million of tracks in HiFi, but really hope AK will integrate new streaming apps like Qobuz and Deezer in the future firmware upgrades.

In order to use Tidal, you must be connected to a wireless line and can’t download tracks. KANN supports wireless networking DLNA (Ver. 1.0), which makes it easy to work with PC/NAS on the same AP network and through the AK Connect app supporting smartphone/tablet computer interfaces.
This model can use Bluetooth connection APTX, using with my Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless was quite impressed by the clarity and detailed sound and with almost no noise. All these features makes this product a complete all-around portable high-res digital player and thanks to its high driving power can be a great “audio friend” for both common people and audiophiles.


KANN integrates an AK4490 DAC chip capable to convert up to 32-bit 384kHz.
Audio impressions have been taken after 150 hours of burn-in testing with different premium IEMs and headphones: Heir 10.0 ,Rhapsodio Infinity, Unique Melody Me.1, Aroma Audio Yao, Custom Art Fibae 2, Rhapsodio Saturn, iBasso IT01, Periodic Audio Mg,Be,Ti, Meze 99 Neo/Classics and Mitchell and Johnson Mj2.
Describing the sound of this product alone is not a simple thing, for this usually tend to test with different IEMs and headphones. Overall KANN will perfect for you if you are looking for musicality, but at the same time good details and definition. This DAP will not amaze you for its technical capabilities or resolution and don’t think was created for this, but surely will do for its great tempo and rhythm. I find KANN to have neutral-revealing sound signature, but with certain IEMs his musicality can bring you to consider it more on the warm side. It’s sound signature is quite smooth in the top end, this thing will help to have a relaxed sound, but at the same time with good details.
This DAP doesn’t want to bring out micro details and resolution, but want you to enjoy your music and with high gain mode I was truly amazed on how good and dynamic my multi-balanced IEMs sounded.

BASS: bass on this player has more quantity than impact, this thing will help a lot increasing the dynamic. I would say bass response is quite neutral, with a good decay and definition. It doesn’t cover other frequencies and has quite a good speed. All depends on pairing, for this I will focus more on its different sound response with many IEMs and headphones.
MIDS: voices are clean and have good details and definition, but for are not organic; I would say they sound more in a “liquid” way. For this female voices are very well portrayed with the good amount of clearness. They are neither too much in face or behind, but they are well placed in the centre of the scene.
HIGHS: : I could say that treble are a bit smooth, but never lacking details or extension. Simply will not give you too much sparkles, for this I found a great synergy with treble-ish headphones like my Grado MS1. Treble clarity will help a lot in providing a very airy sound with good instrumental separation. KANN is able to produce good details in this spectrum without any harshness or sibilance isssues.
SOUNDSTAGE: soundstage is very impressive both in width and eight and good in depth. KANN never sound congested with great instrument separation and in certain tracks you can feel the space and air between voices and instruments. This DAP is capable to provide a quite realistic and holographic space around you( obviously this thing will depend on the headphones you will be using). Channel separation is quite good and in certain tracks you can easily perceive instruments sounding on the right or left channel.



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.I was quite surprised by this KANN: in high gain never percevied any noise or hiss problems with low impedance IEMs.

AROMA AUDIO YAO WITH AK KANN: KANN enhances what I loved of this IEM: voices reproduction and dynamic. Bass improves a lot, portraying a more rounded and fuller bass response, this is a very good thing, since this IEM lacks a bit in bass quantity. Voices are less organic, but more liquid with an incredible life-like feeling. Highs are clear and well detailed, but with not too much sparkles. If you love sparkles and highs in evidence this combo will not be a good choice for you. KANN drives very well this IEM in low gain and never found any needs of more power.

UNIQUE MELODY ME.1 WITH AK KANN: this is one of the best pairing: this DAP drives quite well this planar IEM in high gain. Dynamic and transient response is excellent with good and fast bass response. Soundstage is airier and wider with great instrument separation. Voices are very clean and detailed, with greate performance for female voices.

RHAPSODIO INFINITY WITH AK KANN: INFINITY benefits a lot with KANN. I was able to drive this IEM in low gain without any hiss problems and noise. With this combo instrument separation is very good with a lot of air between voices and instruments. Bass is very fast and controlled. With wood cable soundstage is a bit wider. Infinity alone has thin voices, so KANN helps to bring out more liquid and fuller voices.

CUSTOM ART FIBAE 2 WITH AK KANN: for me FIBAE 2 needs more sparkle to really shine and KANN has smooth treble response. So I found better synergy with other sources, but overall treble has good definition and details. Dynamic is very good with a great tempo and rhythm. Soundstage is quite good with a good left/right channel separation and articulate and fast bass response.

RHAPSODIO SATURN WITH AK KANN: bass is too much with this AK KANN. Saturn is like a crazy boy, i would suggest a more natural and less dynamic source for this IEM(obviously if you like bass and not natural sound signature could be a good choice for you). Soundstage is quite big and holographic with more accurate and better instrument separation.

DUNU FALCON-C WITH AK KANN: bass is very good: fast and very articulate and perfect decay( sub-bass reproduction of this IEM is a joy for audiophiles). Soundstage improves a bit, in particular width and height. AK KANN smoothen up arsh treble of this IEM.

IBASSO IT01 WITH AK KANN: great sinergy: this IEM shows a vshaped sound sig. With KANN dynamic is stille exellent, but bass frequencies are more controlled and refined with better definition and decay. Voices improves a bit: just a bit less recessed. Soundstage is quite wide with good instrument separation.

GRADO MS1 WITH AK KANN: this is a great setup. MS1 has low impedance, but really shine with a good amp. Dynamic and transient response is excellent with great definition and instrument separation. Smooth treble of KANN really helps this headphone to not sound harsh and fatiguing. This is open headphones, but portayes a more intimate soundstag; with KANN you can feel more air and a bit wider and more holographic soundstage around you.

MEZE 99 NEO/CLASSIC: KANN can drive quite easily Meze headphones in low gain. Soundstage improves a lot with good clarity and definition. Bass is very tight and controlled. Maybe meze headphones shine better with a more organic sound like iFi Nan that brings out fuller voices.

Mitchell and Johnson MJ2 with AK KANN: treble response is excellent: very detailed and extended without any harshness or sibilance. Voices are very clear( female voices with this combo are excellent).
MJ2 is bass-shy, for this benefits a lot with the dynamism of AK kann.Voices are very accurate and detailed ( i would say MJ2 and KANN are a great combo for audiophiles looking for superb and exellent treble response without arshness and sibilant and very refined voices reproduction( in particular with female ones).

AK kann is not a perfect DAP: is not one of the most portable device and best looking one, but if you are looking for power on the go and a lot of features this will be a great choice for you. KANN is not only a simple DAP; is a media center that can fit every audiophile and common people needs. With this “little” boy you will be able to drive most of the IEMs and headphones on the market; plus you have a lot of memory and possibility to stream Tidal. Talking of sound, KANN is capable to reproduce music in a really engaging and musical way with good details and great clarity; so if pure resolution and micro-details are not your prerogatives KANN will be a great audio-friend for you.
This DAP was created to bring out the joy to listen to music: dynamic, musicality, tempo and rhythm all together will surely amaze you from the first listening.


NOT ONE OF THE MOST PORTABLE AK DAP( it’s not too big and heavy considering features and integrated amp)

Technical Features:

• Single AKM AK4490 DAC
• Native DSD playback up to DSD256 (11.2mHz)
• PCM audio playback up to 32bit/382kHz
• Built-in amp with normal/high gain switch: drive the most demanding headphones with ease!
• Lowest output impedance of any our portable high-res audio players: Single-ended 3.5mm: 0.65Ω / Balanced out 2.5mm: 1.3Ω
• USB Type-C support (charging & data transfer)
• Micro USB for USB audio out & USB DAC
• Dedicated Line Out (2.5mm balanced & 3.5mm single-ended)
• 64GB internal flash memory
• Micro SD card support up to 256GB
• Full size SD card support up to 512GB
• aptX HD Bluetooth codec support
• 4″ WVGA 800 x 480 LCD touch screen
• Long battery life: 6,200mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery (up to 15 hours)



Dunu Topsound is a chinese company quite famous in the audiophile community. My first experience with this brand was their Dunu Titan 1, that was fantastic for its price range and right now is still one of my favourite IEM under 100 USD. Today I am going to review their new dynamic flagship: Dunu Falcon-C, but first, would like to introduce the philosophy and history of this company:

“ With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide our products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.
Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparation are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our earphone products, with Delicate Sensation, Unique Design & Utmost Quality”.

New Falcon-C model shows an advanced CNT diaphragm drivers, with new enlarged MMCX plug and a new silver-plated copper 6n OCC wire.
Dunu C-Falcon unit was sent me as a sample , I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks Vivian and Dunu team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to experience such an innovative product.



Packaging is rich with a lot of accessories. First of all, you can find a lot of eartips of high premium quality. Very compliment Dunu for these features. For universal models eartips are very important for the sound: they can change the overall reproduction, for example changing bass response or soundstage; so eartips like the sources are very important for the final result. In the box you can find: transparent gray tips, blue-tube tips and SpinFit ones. I tried many and at the end tips with blue bore not only gave me the better fit, but overall a more natural reproduction with great and lively vocals. In the box you can find one protective plastic case, the IEM and various instructions with warranty card and an airline adaptor. I don’t know why Dunu doesn’t give shirt clip like in the other models in catalogue.
Build quality is excellent and really surprised me: new Falcon-c shows a “new liquid metal jacket with its non-grain boundary is three times stronger than stainless steel and has an excellent acoustic character that restrains harmonic resonance to achieve a firm and more coherent sound”.
The IEM is very comfortable and lightweight and thanks to the MMCX angle I was able to listen to my music for many hours without any fatigue. The carry case is a bit small so has enough room inside for only the IEM. The new high quality cable with enlarged MMCX plug and a new silver-plated copper 6n OCC wire has great build quality and never noticed any microphonics issues.
In terms of comfort i found C-Falcon perfect and thanks to its rounded shape and small structure I never found any annoyance or fit problems.
Isolation is quite good, but not one of the best: Falcon makes a good job in blocking outside noise, but in noisy environments like metro, bus you could find some problems.


All my sound consideration has been made after 100 hours of burn in as suggested by Dunu company, with different DAPs such as Opus1s, fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label and my iphone 6 too.
Overall this IEM offers a v-shaped sound sig. Voices are a bit laid back but offers a good amount of details, for example in Lana Del Rey “Tomorrow Never Come” you can hear all the sensuality of this singer. With male vocals I found a lack of body in certain tracks, but with female voices this IEM can bring all the delicacy and sensuality typical of a female voice.
Highs are very clean and detailed . They are refined and you can find a lot of sparkles, you will get an extended treble response but without harshness and sibilance issues, indeed, i could be able to listen to this IEM and never find any listening fatigue. I don’t understand why some says highs on C-Falcon are harsh. I did notice this thing with cold sources or with my iPhone 6, but with a warmer source like Opus 1s or iFi Nano I found a more controlled sound with good amount of sparkles and bass.
Bass of this IEM is just perfect, I would say it was just tuned with an “audiophile bass”: it is not one of the strongest, but is really fast, with great impact and decay. You will get a good amount of mid-bass that will give just a touch of warmth, but will never cover mid frequencies. If you loved bass of the previous Dunu dynamic model: Titan 1; new Falcon will offer you the same quality, plus a more mature and controlled bass response.
Dynamic is very good, maybe not one of the best, but for the price tag is more than average. With my iPhone 6 I found dynamic a bit “anemic”, so I really suggest you to invest in a DAP or DAC/AMP in order to unleash the full potential of this IEM.


Soundstage is very good with a coherent sense of space both in width and depth, you will not get a “speaker-like” soundstage, but a natural and coherent one. I found the soundstage a bit narrower and a bit less holographic than Dunu Titan 1.
With its low impedance is quite easy to drive, you can drive easily with your Smartphone, but obviously with a good DAP you get an overall better sound, with better dynamic and a stronger bass response.

C-FALCON VS PERIODIC AUDIO Ti: these two IEMs share a V-shaped sound signature. Dunu has a better build quality and more premium feel, with detachable cable and is more ergonomic. Falcon has better bass response that is very fast and intricate with excellent decay. Voices are a bit recessed on both these two IEMs, but Ti make a good job with both male and female voices. On the other side Falcon makes an excellent job with female voices, but with male ones can lack of body. Soundstage on Falcon is wider than Ti, but Periodic Audio IEM has more depth. Both of these IEMs are quite easy to drive, maybe Ti needs more power to really shine.

C-FALCON VS Ibasso IT01: iBasso IEM has a more fun sound sig. with stronger bass and more sparkles. On the other side Dunu IEM shows a more mature sound with a more controlled bass and a bit less recessed voices. Soundstage on IT01 is wider, but Falcon has a more natural and coherent extension.
Falcon costs more or less twice, but you have to consider that has better build quality and a more premium feel. Plus with Falcon you will get better quality ear-tips.

C-FALCON VS ORIVETI NEW PRIMACY: ORIVETI has a more warm and romantic sound with more focus on voices. Primacy has more mid-bass quantity and a less detailed sound reproduction. On the other side Falcon has a more “audiophile” bass response with good impact and great speed and decay.
New Primacy has wider soundstage, but C-Falcon has more depth.

C-FALCON VS TITAN 1: it’s quite interesting to compare these two Dunu models. Titan 1 has a more v-shaped sound with more bass impact and more sparkles. Voices are more recessed on Titan 1. On the other side C-Falcon shows a more mature sound with more detailed voices and less listening fatigue. Soundstage on Titan 1 is wider with a more holographic feel thanks to the five bores in the shell.


FALCON WITH OPUS 1S: Falcon has a great synergy with this DAP: bass gets more body with more rumble. Male voices acquire more body and fullness. Highs are less in evidence and this thing can help to reduce harshness and so listening fatigue. With Opus 1s soundstage is quite wide with a good instrument separation. I can drive quite easily Falcon with high gain at 80 volume level.

FALCON WITH IPHONE 6 + AUDIRECT WHISTLE: thanks to this small DAC/AMP voices have more body and presence. Soundstage is not as wide as in Opus 1s. Audirect whistle will help a lot to reduce any hiss problems.

FALCON WITH IPHONE 6: my Iphone can drive quite easily C-Falcon with wide soundstage, but voices are too thin and lacks body, Plus with my iPhone i noticed more harshness on top-end frequencies.

BASS: 8.6
MIDS: 8.4
HIGHS: 8.5