Review: Aedle ODS-1 | Excellence

Disclaimer: We received the Aedle ODS-1 directly by courtesy of Baptiste Sancho, the CEO of Aedle. The IEM doesn’t have to be returned. Aedle is not affiliated to Headfonia.

I should remark their kind and helpful behavior through the process. When we had some trouble with the first package in customs, they didn’t hesitate to send another box right away. I am grateful to them for showing class act, as this was the reason to make this review possible. 

I talked personally to Baptiste on the phone; he is a kind and easy-going guy with an open mind about improving the products. He likes to talk about audio and he has lots of knowledge about it. It was very nice to talk and share opinions with him. He remarked more products from Aedle will come in the near future.

The price of the ODS-1 is $360USD.

AEDLE

The young French brand – maybe not known too much among the Audiophile Community for the time being – is the manufacturer of the VK-1 Headphone and this new IEM, ODS-1. We reviewed the VK-1 On-Ear Headphone model a long time ago and it was quite impressive. Now we have a hybrid IEM in our hands to test and look at it’s capabilities. I think you will see the brand name more eventually, as they try to increase their awareness in the market.

Founded in 2011, Aëdle is a young French house developed by Baptiste Sancho. It is at KEIO, Japan, that Baptiste and his first partner Raphaël meet for the first time and give birth to a dream come true: the creation of a headphone combining minimalist and refined design with outstanding audio performances.

“Minimalist and refined design” is the key statement here, as Aedle clearly pays attention to the design elements. They also have good audio quality to offer, as proven by their VK-1 Headphone, so that doesn’t mean they just care about the style first and sound second.

DESIGN

The first thing we should talk about the ODS-1 is the design. I have seen many IEMs to this date and some of them looked real classy but I haven’t seen this kind of refinement before. The simplistic and slick approach that they took is really distinctive when you look at the earphones. This level of aesthetic beauty is rare and should be appealing to those who look for such an IEM to use daily with their smartphones. This is a specialty that can give positive effect to your daily style. Just put these on and people may ask what they are and where you got them from. Also I think ODS-1 shares some resemblance with the VK-1 Headphone, it looks like they carried the same design language with the IEM and this is a good thing for brand consistency.

The design is not only about the looks by the way, it is also created keeping in mind the fit and ease of use in general. This monitor has the ultimate elegance and convenience. In all honesty, this is impressive work from Aedle. When you visit their website you can see that design is their specialty and they certainly pay attention to every detail. Even the design of the website is very very stylish. Aedle oozes style and delivers great designs that you can barely find somewhere else.

The webpage of the ODS-1 shows that there are 2 more colour options you can choose. The one we received is the “Classic” model. The other two are called “Legacy” and “Eclipse”. The Legacy model has black ear guides and silver shells, and the “Eclipse” has black ear guides with black shells. The classic model looks elegant while the other two models look more sporty. You can easily wear the classic version when you have more formal clothes on while the others are for more suited with casual clothing in my opinion.

I should also say that ODS-1 looks really nice in your ears. It even looks like some sort of accessory; like an earring or something related to that. I really liked them in my ears when I saw myself in the mirror. I would even like to wear them one day in a public places for a while, just for looking cool you know!

BUILD

This is an area ODS-1 also shines, apart from the shiny look. Aedle chose aluminum for the shells to achieve lightness and durability at the same time. Even the ear guides are impressive, an area we normally don’t care much about. But ODS-1’s ear guides are made from real leather and this sounds so cool. Moreover, the leather is stitched by hand around the cable. The attention to detail here is astounding.

With its acoustic chamber made of machined aluminium, the ODS-1 uses and enhances the material properties: Lightweight and Durability. The hooks are coated with hand stitched calf leather from Venetia in Italy, for maximum comfort and elegance.

There is another point that should be highlighted and that is the detachable cable design. I know this isn’t a huge matter as we’ve seen detachable systems for a long time now, but when you look at these monitors it’s not that obvious because of the unique design. On first sight you can easily say “there are no detachable cables, it’s another cool looking IEM with no durability and there’s nothing for Audiophiles here”. But actually ODS-1 has MMCX connectors and they give a good impression about durability for long lasting use. So don’t be prejudiced by the looks.

There really is nothing to complain about regarding the IEM’s material quality. I found no flaws whatsoever. It looks unique, design and build are consistent together, and it has great integrity. This might be the finest monitor I’ve ever had my hands on in terms of authenticity and it definitely is one of the most impressive ones looking at the material quality.

PACKAGE

The box does show off. They’ve sent a special preview box to me and when I saw it, I thought it was a mistake and what I had was a full size headphone. It’s THAT big. When I opened it, it felt like getting educated/briefed about the ODS-1 and about Aedle itself. It gives every type of information and introduction you need. In fact, it even has a USB Flash Drive inside with pictures and informative documents about the monitors. So when I finished exploring the box and content, I was very well informed about the brand and the product. Well that’s exactly what you want to achieve when you send somebody a preview box, right?

The presentation of the actual consumer box maintains that nifty impression. It is much smaller of course but still with quite a good amount of information and again it’s just so cool. The content includes 6 pairs of tips, a great soft case and an airplane adapter. The soft pouch is elegant and convenient at the same time. It impressed me almost as much as the monitors. There are magnets placed in the opening so it closes itself to protect your IEMs. It’s so easy to carry around and it looks so stylish to the extent that you don’t want to take the monitors out of it.

FIT

As I said, the design has been made taking the fit in to account and the result is that the ODS-1 is extremely comfortable, you can use it for long periods without any problem. You can also lay sideways on your bed and still can listen to your music because the design allows you to. It is very comfortable and convenient and I can recommend any type of tips with it but in my opinion you should select some longer tips because of the very short nozzles.

These nozzles are why the isolation unfortunately is far from perfect. Although, if you can find good foam tips or some longer silicone ones, you will be just fine in terms of blocking outside noise. Combined with the top comfort, you have a great IEM that you can use anywhere you want. But again, larger and longer tips for it are important. In my experience, with the supplied silicone tips, it was just OK but with some large foams the isolation was very good.

How the sound is? You can click and jump to PAGE TWO to find out…

Review: Aedle ODS-1 | Excellence
4.4 (87.37%) 38 votes

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As a lover of personal audio, Berkhan always seeks perfection in his reviews. He chooses a simplistic expression of sound at all times, and tries to maintain his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes the photography wins, and sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside. Either way, he will always do his best.

6 Comments

  • Reply January 27, 2017

    tronco

    That’s not a Scotch in the foto…

    …but an excellent choice nontheless!

    🙂

  • Reply February 7, 2017

    Simon

    Great write-up! These look really interesting, though as I am looking for a headphone instead of a set of earphones, I am wondering if you have any words left for the Aêdle VK-1: are they still as superb as I was told in the review from 2013, or has anything changed (both in terms of the product itself, but also the market it competes in)?

  • Reply February 7, 2017

    dale thorn

    The VK-1 sounds pretty good for an on-ear headphone, but it was priced way above the competition, and was pretty uncomfortable. If they were to re-release it with soft squishy earpads, and either a lower price or a sound that would justify the price, they could have a hit on their hands.

    • Reply December 27, 2017

      Simon

      You realise this is a review for ODS-1s? Lol.

      I’m very tempted to give these a go. I can appreciate a bit of French style, even if it is at some expense to substance.

      I’ll report back if I get them.

  • Reply April 7, 2017

    Satish

    These earphones have a good sound quality. But not worth buying. Mine has gone bad within 4 months of normal use. Also, there seems to be a flaw in the ear cup – doesn’t fit well on all types of ears.

    Customer service is terrible and utterly useless. You never get response. You spend money shipping it to France if it goes bad.

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