Review: AAW Canary – Overcoming Gravity

AAW Canary

Custom Build Choices (Personalization):

AAW does not have a visual designer which helps you pick your colour-combination. They are still using a simple colour chart with examples of their offers. When you order one custom set of their range, you can select between a multitude of different translucent and opaque colours. You can check their charts for shells here, and for face plates here.
As you can see in the charts of AAW, you get a big selection of different colours and materials to pick from. I didn’t go the usual route of designing a new CIEM by picking colour combinations from their charts though, I simply picked the design their universal version sports, as to me it does look different and beautiful.

My set features black smoke shells, with turquoise perloid face plates with some mosaic chunks. Personally, I think it’s beautiful and the perloid is something very nice, as it changes colours depending on the angle light is falling on it. Pictures, especially mine, can’t do it justice and you really should see it in nature to know what I am talking about.

AAW Canary

AAW Canary


The Canary comes in a medium sized brown cardboard box, in which you will find a luxurious blue leather transport case of almost the same size. Stored in that case is a circular African Blackwood transport box and next to them you’ll see your new CIEM.

Also in the package is a flight adaptor, a cleaning tool and cloth, a 6.3 mm adapter and the Hakone cable for your Canary. This cable is from Null Audio and is a silver/copper hybrid cable that retails for 300 USD alone. I did inquiry a 2.5 mm balanced cable for my review set and this is what I got. The cable itself is nicely flexible and shows excellent build quality in my opinion. It’s very nice to see AAW putting in a high quality cable like that for their flagship.

Let’s get back to that blue leather case for a moment. It looks very well built and it’s incredibly beautiful too. In it you have additional layers for warranty cards and whatnot. It took me about a week though to realize that under all the accessories that are in there, you also get two independent Velcro separators to use this box for storage or transport of bigger gear. I have been looking for something like this for my DAPs, IEMs and cables for a while and found it by surprise. Awesome! I like it so much, that I have already put in an order for two more of these. If you’re interested, they retail for 100 SGD. Worth every cent in my opinion.

The presentation of Canary is absolutely flagship worthy, and I wish some other manufacturers would take note here. This is how you show your customers what they paid for.

AAW Canary

AAW Canary

Build Quality:

AAW 3D prints their custom IEMs, and therefore I did not have to send them a physical impression of my ears, but rather an SLT file containing 3D scans of them. That not only saves time, but also comes in handy when you’re working on the detailing and contouring of the CIEMs.

The entire shell of my set is incredibly smooth, there is no single bubble, no marks and no sign of the 3D process. It looks just perfect. The body and face plates are closed perfectly and I could not spot a bit of residual glue anywhere. My first AAW CIEM, the W900, was not like that, and I’m really glad to see that AAW has made such a progress since then.

Canary’s 2-pin sockets are recessed, and while that gives additional support to the connectors, it renders some cables impossible to roll. The surface of Canary is nicely smooth, and I didn’t detect any sharp edges or spilled lacquer anywhere.

I do have a small issue with fit of my left ear-piece though. I can break seal on this one rather easily, and I suspect an additional layer of lacquer will resolve this. It was not a big issue for me, therefore I have not sent it back for refit just yet. I will after this article has been posted online though.

Other than that I have no problems with my Canary. The comfort and isolation is as you’d expect it from a custom IEM and that’s why I love them so much.

It continues with sound on the next page.


A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.


    • Reply June 14, 2019


      plz comparison canary vs hyla te5b.

      • Reply June 20, 2019


        Hi Majid,
        sorry for the late reply.
        don’t have the 5B, can’t compare them. sorry.

    • Reply October 17, 2020

      Rahul Singhal

      I’m a sound engineer so my hearing is my livelihood. I’ve just started researching headphones (again) and much of what I read is opinion and mostly unsupported assertions. Can you point me to some research that supports your comments regarding the superiority of using over-ear headphones. ” Supra-aural earphones don’t send sound vibrations directly into your eardrum

    • Reply December 23, 2020


      My Canarys must have any issue because mids are horrible, worst I’ve ever heard, bass is lacking hard and soundstage is narrow. LCD-i4 sounds much, much, MUCH better, is night and day difference. I would have rate these 7 out of 10 to be generous with AAW.

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