Chapter 4: JHAudio, 1964, Aurisonics, Ultimate Ears, Unique Melody, Translucent, and Canal Works.
I’m beginning to feel that the age of custom IEMs are starting to go by, at least for people like us who are not stage performers. Especially when you have IEMs like the 334ToGo and the upcoming SE846 being so competitive. One thing that people eventually find with Custom IEMs is that it sucks not being able to share your IEM with your friends and that when you eventually get bored with it (and you will), resale value is pretty bad compared to universal fit IEMs.
Anyway the big custom manufacturers were all present with their universal fit Demos. JHAudio with the Freq-phase JHA JH16, UM with their own DSP box (someone help me with the name), 1964 with their flagship 6-driver, UE with their Reference Monitor and the UE18, and lastly Japanese manufacturer Canal Works with their complete line up as well. I listened to mostly the flagship models, (except UM’s which I didn’t get a chance to listen to) and I felt that they are all roughly on-par in terms of technicalities. It’s just a matter of choosing the right tonality for you. Some has a more upfront midrange, some darker (JH13/16 tend to be the darkest sounding of the bunch), some has extra bass (JH16) and so on. Had I thrown a comparison, I would probably go with the JH as my favourite in terms of tonality, but once again, technicalities are roughly the same.
Worth mentioning is that JH happens to have a custom IEM made from real carbon fibre, not that it does anything to the sound, but check out the photos if you fancy carbon fibre.
Aurisonics had their ASG-2 demo which I checked out and was surprised to find the sound quite different than the AS-2 universal fit demo (which is supposed to be what the ASG-2 is). the ASG-2 was noticeably darker than the AS-2 and has a tonality very close to the single dynamic driver ASG-1, which shouldn’t be the case since it should come with a BA-driver for the high frequencies. Next to Aurisonics was Translucent but I didn’t listen to the T1+2 as I’ve listened to it a few times back home.
Just for the record the Headfonia Store is a Unique Melody and Shure dealer.
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