Picture Sunday – Custom In Ear Monitors

Disclaimer: The star of this weeks’ picture Sunday are 64 Audio’s A18, the Advanced Acoustic Werkes W900 and Jerry Harvey Audio’s Lola. This post is a part of our Picture Sunday series.

Facebook reminded me that just a little over a year ago I got my first custom IEM, the fabulous Noble Kaiser 10. During this past year my collection of CIEMs has been steadily getting bigger and bigger. In the past twelve months I have gotten to a total of seven models, with yet another one from Empire Ears coming in in the not too distant future.

Ever since I went the custom route I have found most universal models lacking especially in the comfort department, nothing will ever beat a custom in ear monitor in comfort. Not all CIEMs are made equally good though, some of my possessions are perfectly made and some are just a tad too thick or too thin. Customs offer the best isolation and enable me to take care of my hearing by not bombing it with unecessarily loud music. Sure they don‘t block out everything, but they do lower the ambient noises by a good margin and also make it possible for me to enjoy a little silence when I need some me-time at the office.

I have already covered the Kaiser Encore, Katana and Model X by Lime Ears. All of them have their respective strengths and are amongst my favourite picks. Though they also have to take a step back for the next three customs.

Jerry Harvey Audio‘s Lola has been featured on a previous Picture Sunday post, since then I have spent a lot of time with it. Though it didn‘t grab me at first, Lola has become my go to model for all non-electronic genres because of its impressive midrange, that very much reminds me of my first CIEM. Expect a full length review of Lola very soon and find out how it fares up against some of the mightiest models available right now.

One of the very best current models is 64 Audio‘s A18. An in ear monitor that packs an incredible count of 18 balanced armature drivers per side. What makes the A18 stand out from the rest of the entire field is its unrivalled sound stage and great airy treble with impressive instrumental separation.

Advanced Acoustic Werkes W900, just like Lola, is a hybrid IEM and has been talked about a lot since it has made its debut. I‘ve been fortunate enough to also get to review it. The W900 is the only monitor I ever sent back for a refit. Personally I prefer longer and a little thicker nozzles to the short canals AAW and many others use. The W900 has an impressive sound stage and a very coherent tuning, yet its treble region could be a little too bright and forward for some. I also found myself many times wishing it had a warmer approach in its highs, especially upper treble which shimmers too much for me.

Expect to see these IEMs reviewed in full length soon on Headfonia!

5/5 - (11 votes)

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.

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