Aurisonics ASG-1: The Black Black Sound

aurisonics_asg1_06

Bonus Review

As a bonus, I asked my friend Hadi who is an excellent IEM reviewer to give me his impression of the ASG-1. I’ve read his impressions and while he doesn’t seem to be as excited about the ASG-1 as I am, I think his impression is very good and a lot more descriptive than what I wrote. I’ll include it along so you guys can get a different perspective on the ASG-1.

 

ASG 1.2 (large double-flange)
Bass texturing is good
Bass is weighty, not that punchy, but has a nice mild rumble. Extension is superb for an IEM. Among IEMs with good bass extension, this is the rare one that doesn’t really try to be in-your-face punchy or impactful sounding, but after a while you begin to notice and whoa, such power it has.

Laidback pace and attack, and overall not very crisp-sounding but deceptively fast, detailed, textured. Technicalities are superb and is quite natural sounding.

This has an open soundstage and a lot of air, while maintaining good sense of depth. I kind of wish it has a little bit better center focus with the large double flange tips, as the focus marred the good depth projection.

Barring lack of top end energy, midrange tone and clarity is a standout. Lack of treble energy makes pop music less energetic than many IEMs. It’s just not a crisp sounding IEM. My threshold of treble prominence is between sm3v1 (min) and GR07 (max). This one is below sm3v1, which many people said as a bit dark-sounding.

Tuning is a bit confusing, what music is it best at? As far as I have heard, acoustic and instrumental recordings sound good out of this, but a little bit more bite and snap is very welcomed. My radiohead recording sounds very good, the Aurisonics got the air, ambience, and beats right.

Making a farfetched analogy with cars, the Aurisonics can be best described as an equivalent of Audi. No flair of a Ferrari, drama of a Lambo, or clinical capabilities of a Porsche. Its capabilities are a bit understated, you discounted it the first time you listen to it as you think it lacks excitement/sparkle. After using it for a while and everything starts to shimmer, you begin to realize how capable the Aurisonics is, the raw power, extension, and generally understated capability and detail.

Would I buy it? No, it’s a very interesting listen and has a lot of charms, but I figure in the long run, I wouldn’t get over the fact that I want the treble to come out a bit more, especially when I rotate it with my other more exciting and specifically crisper sounding IEM. I would also the attack to be slightly more aggressive. The $300 price tag and poor comfort on my ears doesn’t help, despite that it’s very capable. A very nice niche powerful dynamic IEM.

 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/WilZC Wilson Lim

    I struggled with this one frankly. And cave in about 3 weeks. Sold it off.

    The presentation was too cavelike and echoey. But I had the first revision of it. Hopefully the 1.2 is much better

    • http://www.theideate.com/ Gorboman

      Cavelike and echoey? I didn’t hear any when I try them. But they do have a black sound signature, which I’m not used to. But the thing is, listening through them was not fatiguing.

    • AnAudiophile

      The ASG-1.2 has a very smooth sound with great bass and warm (yet detailed) mids. Warmer than the ASG-1.0, which I read that it has quite a cold midrange. Treble is still dark.

      • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

        I heard the rev 1.2 changed the midrange a little from the 1.0 to be less upfront. But that’s just what I’ve heard from people, not my own ears.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=688434417 Brian Hamrick

    I thought the sound of them were great, except the lack of a lower treble made it sound too mixed together to my ears. I got the Earsonics SM3′s, which I found to be a good upgrade from the ASG’s (though I wish they had the ASG build quality!)

    • AnAudiophile

      What kind of improvement have you seen?
      About the build quality.. yes, I think these are the toughest top-tier IEMs I’ve ever seen. I actually sat on them accidentally for one hour (and I’m quite a heavy guy = 99 kgs), and they had no problems.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Not a fan of the Earsonics, but I thought the ASG-1 while very tough doesn’t have a very fine build quality.

      • Andre

        Neither was I. I purchased the SM3 V2 and was very very disappointed. The depth was actually very good. Quick punchy bass and great clarity but the mids were way to pronounced and upfront and ruined what easily could have been the best I.E.M’s for the money. Shame.. I’ll stick with my future sonic Atrios

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Yea that mids is too upfront for me too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.kong.547 Alex Kong

    Um there are actually 4 models:ASG-1, ASG-1S, AS-1 and AS-2

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      You mean on other sites?

  • dog ears

    I’m keeping mine, I’ve tweaked it and it is sounding great WITH EQ just to extend the highs. Very musical IEMs!

  • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

    Sorry I just found your comments, somehow, in the pending section. The AS2 I believe uses one (or two?) BA drivers to handle the treble/mid (I’m not so sure) and what you get is a much livelier treble than the ASG-1.

    Personally I think the mix with the BA ruins the magic, but that’s just me not being a fan of BA Drivers. The majority of people we give the AS-2 to audition to, however, prefers it over the ASG-1 as the treble is more present and overall just seem more “right”.

    I do think that aside from my preference for dynamic drivers, the treble on the AS-2 tend to be quite sibilant.

  • reckoncile

    I was wondering if you could make a comparison between the two dynamic driver IEMs: the EX1000 and the ASG-1.2. That would greatly be appreciated. I listen to mostly Hip Hop and I’ve been enjoying the EX1000s over the last couple of years very much, if that helps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692862021 Nick Tam

    hi Mike, any good recommendations for portable amp pairings with the ASG-1?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

    mike, do you think the sound will be an upgrade from the ultimate ears trifi10? i have the trifi10 now and i dont like the noise isolation and comfort of it. im looking for a custom iem, so i want to know if the asg1 is an upgrade from the trifi10, if it is, then maybe i will get an as1, the custom version (im guessing the internal components are all the same)

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      More of a different sound, not an upgrade.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

        mike just to be sure i stated clearly what i wanted to ask, they have different sound sigs but the as1 is not superior in sound quality, right? confusion was when i asked you if its an upgrade (better in technicalities) then you may think i asked if its a “direct upgrade” (same sound sig but better)

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Different sound, that’s all. Of course the ASG is superior on some aspects like midrange quality, the TF10 on others.

          Sent from my mobile device. Sorry for any mistype.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

            thanks for the info nick and mike, i think im going to pass on the as1… and will be looking at other customs iems

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692862021 Nick Tam

          In a way it is a definite upgrade. The ASG-1 is known for one of the largest soundstages compared the balanced armature counterparts and even besting the IE8/IE800 in many ways

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

    mike does the asg1 kind of share the same sound sig with the audeze lcd2? i never tried the lcd2 myself but always wanted to try it…

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Both are dark, the ASG-1 darker and has less air. But that’s about where the similarities end.

      Depends on what you’re comparing to. If you’re comparing the ASG-1 to say a Sony EX1000 then yes the ASG-1 is more LCD-2 like. But at the end they’re different designs (open back full size vs IEM, planar vs dynamic), done by two different companies. How similar can you get?

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

        thanks mike for answering my question

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          You’re welcome Jonathan.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

            well what im looking for is a fairly warm sounding custom in ear monitors that can let me listen for hours without fatigue while having good audio qualtiy. im currently using my ultimate ears trifi 10, the sound is ok to me though it doesnt impress me like its used to anymore. what i dont like most is the fit, and second thing i wish theres more is the amount of noise isolation. i used to use etymotic research hf 5 before and the isolation part is awesome though right now its broken and soundwise, its a bit on the thin sounding side. thats why im going custom next. i will not be using an external amp or dac (at least not anytime soon and all my fund will go to the ciem instead of carrying around a portable dac or amp). i probably wont need external dac or amp anyway, my dap should suffice. my dap is ibasso dx100. so any ciem recommendation? also i never have any experience with ciem…

            • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

              IMO the frequency balance on the AS-2 is extremely good. Not the neutral transparent type, but the type I would choose for music listening. Good bass body, enough treble amount. Fairly smooth. I think it’s worth a listen.

              You also should look into the JH line up. They’re generally great. The JH5 is my favorite due to the price.

              The TripleFi remolded into a 6 drivers by Unique Melody is also another one you should consider.

              • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

                Mike have you ever heard of dream earz? The aud5x is said to be similar to the jh16, the aud7x is advertised to have the same sound signature as the aud5x but better mid and treble due to extra mid and treble drivers. If you recommend Jh audio, shouldn’t I look into dream ears too since its more affordable? I read that remolding the tf10 doesn’t improve the sound too much and I would like to save my tf10 and try something new.

                • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

                  No I don’t know about those. The TF10 remould into a 6 drivers is one of the nicest customs I’ve listened to.

                  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

                    oh, i see why you recommended remolding the tf10 now :) i will do more research myself and see what decision i finally come up with. im in no hurry of deciding though because i dont have money right now anyway

          • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.yeung3 Jonathan Yeung

            btw, i havent set a budget yet, so feel free to recommend any recommendation though i dont see myself buying a ciem over 1000 bucks on my first purchase really…

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          If you like the LCD2 then the ASG-1 is worth a try.

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          And if your budget allows, the AS-2 probably is closer to what you’re looking for.

  • http://brianlimusic.com/ Brian Li

    I agree! Vocal music and classical are my two favorite genres when listening with the ASG-1s. They just make gorgeous string lines sound so lush!

  • http://brianlimusic.com/ Brian Li

    I share similar thoughts. I was a little taken aback at first, but after listening for a few days, you really fall in love with the power of these IEMs.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      It’s a special IEM but not easy to appreciate.

      • http://brianlimusic.com/ Brian Li

        Have you listened to the latest 1.3 revision?

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Sorry No.

  • Michael

    Mike, do you think this will work with iBasso DX50?