Disclaimer: The oBravo EAMT-1A was sent to us directly by oBravo for the purpose of this review.
I’m sure most of you know oBravo by now as their full sized headphones (and inears) have been talked about a whole lot these last few months, mostly because of their price point but more on that later. oBravo is based in Taiwan but luckily they’re always present at Canjam Europe. I also met them during High-End in Munich earlier this year and arranged this review. For some reason I can’t get used to their website and if you Google oBravo or EAMT-1A you won’t find a lot of English results.
oBravo was established in 2006, dedicated in the research and development of audio systems and professionally focusing on technological advances of audio speakers, computer speakers, peripherals and Apple accessories.
“Listening to music is enjoying the journey, audio system is merely a tool”.
oBravo is dedicated to its core value of professional excellence, design, innovation, high quality, attitude and change. OBravo is also known for their extensive research development on the application of the mylar ribbon and air motion transformer. At oBravo, technology, music and sound are not only their passion, but their mission. Great sound is not meant for just a few and it should be available to all.
“ Music Is the Passion That Runs Through Your Life.”
oBravo has partners all over the world, but the one that’s most active on the web is Audio Sanctuary from the UK. Most of you will know Phil as he’s active on Head-Fi and Facebook as well as replying to all kinds of questions. He’s a friendly, cool and helpful guy and if you want to know anything about the oBravo IEMs, just get hold of him.
“ I am Unbelievable.
I am Incredible.
I am oBravo. “
The unit we’re looking at today is the top of the line oBravo EAMT-1A universal hybrid inear monitor. With the flagship EAMT-1, oBravo have used one of the most advanced hi-fi driver technologies in the world called Air Motion Transformer (AMT). They have coupled this with a Neodymium Dynamic Driver (NDD) to deliver one of the most staggering, astonishing sounds conceivable from a universal earphone. These earphones have been designed to deliver the very finest treble performance of any earphones in its class. Enhanced by its coaxial structure design, these earphones enable a brand new listening experience.
The EAMT-1 comes in 3 different versions/finishes/enclosures to slightly alter the sonic representation to suit everyone’s individual listening requirements. According to Audio Sanctuary the all-aluminum EAMT-1A gives a very neutral balance to your music. The EAMT-1W (Wood) arrives with a luxurious Acacia wood driver enclosure. This increases the tonal balance of the earphone very slightly and adds a degree of extra warmth to the audio. The top of the line EAMT-1C is produced using a handmade precision ceramic enclosure providing the ultimate in style and substance. The level of sonic details improves yet again with the ceramic version, increasing the texture of the bass notes and giving an outlandishly lavish soundstage. According to oBravo the EAMT inears are the world’s first Coaxial two-way IEM design using an Air Motion Transformer tweeter and Neodymium Dynamic Driver.
The aluminum EAMT-1A is the version we’re reviewing and the difference with the EAMT-2X and EAMT-3X is the size of the Neodymium Driver. The 1-series use a 13mm one, while the 2 and 3-series respectively use a 11.5mm and 10mm driver. The AMT tweeter is the same in all versions (8mm).
AMT a.k.a. Air-motion transformers
The AMT diaphragm is made of a Mylar ribbon bonded with conductive aluminum strips. It is equivalent in surface area to a conventional seven inch cone-type mid-range driver, but is accordion-folded down to a compact one-and-a-half-inch grouping for point-source dispersion. The low-mass diaphragm is suspended within a dipole magnetic field concentrating an intense field around said diaphragm. When signal current passes through the aluminum strips, the ensuing bellow-like motion of the folded pleats moves air five times faster than with a conventional cone driver.
Air Motion Transformer (AMT) was developed and patented by German physicist Dr. Oskar Heil in the 1960s. The beauty about AMT is its ability to get sound to vibrate faster than a dome or cone can do. The diaphragm does not move back and forth in a simple piston-like motion, but compresses like an accordion. As the space between the folds narrows, the air within is released and then sucked back in as the space expands. These relatively small motions drive more air which is ideal for a high efficiency and faithful transient behavior. With Air Motion Transformation, the oBravo EAMT-1A can do loud and fast.
Looks, Build Quality and Comfort
You probably either like or hate how the oBravo EAMT-1A looks as its design is very particular. I myself quite like the designed and the perforated wood on our aluminum 1A simply oozes quality. It’s impossible to deny that the EAMT-series isn’t big, that immediately shows in all the pictures. Their size is probably directly related to the driver technology and their MMCX-style connectors don’t help making the earphone look smaller either. I’m personally not a fan of how the TOTL ceramic version looks: the white ceramic finish just doesn’t do it for me.
The build quality of these is extremely good but you wouldn’t expect or accept anything less at the price they’re going for either. I’ve been pretty careful with these (the price does that to you) but I’m pretty sure the EAMT-1A could teak a beating if needed. The perforated wooded plate might get scratched though but I wouldn’t suggest finding out. I myself have always been transporting it in a Pelican 1010 hard case with the rubber inlay. Safety first.
Even though these aren’t the smallest or absolute lightest (35g) inears, they actually feel pretty comfortable. Once inserted in to your ears, the weight isn’t an issue and they don’t want to fall about because of it. They seal pretty well but as these have an open-back design a lot of sound will leak in and out, these aren’t the most ideal inears in a crowded train. Yes, they will stick out of your ear quite a bit and people might look at you a bit weird but comfort wise I have no complaints at all, especially with the super comfy Comply T500 foam tips. You can either wear these IEMs cable down or with the cable going over your ear.
The Box & Accessories
The oBravo EAMT-1A comes in a beautiful qualitative hard box I have never seen before. It seems to be specially built for oBravo and when it’s closed the top and bottom look identical. That means you have to be careful when opening it, or everything might fall out when it’s upside down. It’s actually fairly easy once you figure out the left side it the side with the carabiner attached to it.
Inisde the box there’s a large foam part with a big open space to put the cable and there’s a cut out to put the monitors in but basically I never put them back in there once I started using them. The case is a little big though and like I said I have just been using a Pelican case to transport the unit. The EAMT-1A comes supplied with 3 pairs of Comply foam tips (S/M/L), three pairs of silicone tips and three pairs of ear-clips. You’ll also find six weird metal “pins” to hold your tips and a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter. For this price level, the accessories aren’t very impressive and they could have put some more effort into that.
The cable that comes supplied with the EAMT-1A is a grey sleeved 1.2 meter one that’s terminated in a straight 3.5mm plug and modified gold-plated MMCX connections. While the cable certainly is of good quality, I do find it makes just a little bit too much friction noise. Because of the specific connectors I wasn’t able to use any other (aftermarket) cables with the EAMT-1A. The optional balanced 2.5mm cable wasn’t included in our package so I couldn’t test the EAMT-1A in balanced, which I feel would make it even better sounding.
According to the manual, the blue color is the right monitor and left is red. I get it wrong all the time as everyone else uses red for right. Details. Ah.
The article continues on Page 2 where you can find out all about its price, specs, sound, comparisons and synergy. click HERE or below to jump to the next page