Disclaimer: I received the Audio Genetic AG2 and their "Air Series" custom cable directly from them as review samples. The AG2 goes for 450$ right now, whilst the cable costs around 220$.
Audio Genetic is one of the new IEM manufacturers that emerged recently. They’re from Hong Kong and they started their business with custom cables. They don’t have a website yet, and the only connection to them seems to be their Facebook page right now. There’s also no website that you can directly purchase them from. So if you want to order the Audio Genetic AG2, it has to be done by Facebook as well.
It’s not a shocking development to see a cable manufacturer decide to build in ear monitors. But let’s see what type of an IEM Audio Genetic has created here. The AG2 model is their first attempt to this market, and features 2 Balanced Armature Drivers. 1 driver is responsible from lows & mids, and the other handles the highs. The Audio Genetic AG2 positions itself in the mid-range level with its price and capabilities.
DESIGN, BUILD & FIT
This is one of the most impressive IEMs I’ve seen in terms of design as far as I’m concerned. The shell is transparent to some extent and it has a smokey black color. On top of that, there’s the Audio Genetic logo in red, which is a great and cool-looking touch. The red & smokey black color scheme gives it a charismatic, yet elegant character. In terms of shape, it reminds me the In Ear StageDiver & Prophile Series somewhat. I absolutely loved this IEM looks-wise, right after the unboxing. I don’t know about you, but I always prefer designs that have a “cool factor” with simplicity.
The shells are very smooth, seamless and in one piece. My only concern with the AG2 is the nozzle design. It doesn’t have any filters on the nozzle, so it looks vulnerable to dust and earwax in this respect. Be careful and keep it clean at all times if possible. My impression for build quality is generally positive though, despite the plastic material, which doesn’t give a cheap impression in any way.
And don’t forget that plastic material allows a lighter weight, hence this IEM is very comfortable to wear. Do note that it sticks out from your ears a little, preventing it from being useful when napping, like several IEMs these days. AG supplies 6 pairs of silicone tips, and 3 of them are actually from Acoustune, another IEM maker from Japan. Both types of tips work very well with the earphones and of course you can always find some foam tips if silicones aren’t your best bet. The package also includes a carrying case, an airline and a 6.3mm adapter and a cleaning tool.
Overall, the Audio Genetic AG2 leaves very nice impressions to the user, with a great looking design, good build quality and a comfortable fit.
THE AIR CABLE
As I remarked, Audio Genetic originally started their business with custom cables. They also supplied me their copper cable (Mono Crystal Treated Copper to be exact), named “Air” to try out. This is an incredibly well built cable and I’m actually starting to think that I could’ve used this one like a rope for climbing up some high obstacles, if it were much longer than this. I can only hope the photo above could reflect that impression.
The name “Air” is not just a name by the way. The cable is actually filled with air to eliminate EMI and provide better ergonomics. We see this feature on some high end speaker cables as well. It is a very interesting, built to last 2.5mm balanced cable and the sound is really nice to listen too. Very tight and deep bass, rich mids and slightly laid back but still beautiful highs. I’ll talk about it in detail in the text so keep reading!
Audio Genetic also have lots of other cables to choose from, so you might want to check out their Facebook page for that reason as well. We might do more reviews of their cables in the future.
The AG2 has a linear, mostly neutral kind of sound with a nicely resolving character. The focal point is the mid range however, which makes it a good choice for vocal / forward mid lovers. Overall the sound shifts toward the open and bright nature with the AG2, but it also manages to stay under control. The technical performance of this monitor is good for the price, as it is not too edgy together with a nice control over sharp points of the sound. Tonality is slightly on the thinner side but it still gives a good timbre in general.
The AG2’s bass is not significant and it stays linear in the spectrum, although it still has a slight impact when needed. Subbass is lacking but the midbass quantity is good and I think it’s enough for most genres. Almost non-existent mid-bass hump helps the monitor to sound very clean on the whole range. But it wouldn’t be wrong to think the lacking area of the AG2 is the bass department. The rumble, deepness and most importantly layering is not the very best.
The overall resolution of lows is not sublime either. So this IEM is not really suitable for bass-demanding genres, but its clean and linear sound can work very well with certain ones. Decay is good though, very controlled and generally lows aren’t slow for the price. But they sound congested on the other hand, and more air could’ve played very well. I think this is caused by the narrow sound stage in general, but more on that later.
With the Air cable – The bass is blatantly better with the copper “Air” cable here. Bass is bigger and better layered in general, and the impact is definitely improved. I really dig the bass of this cable, as I’ve also tried it with other IEMs in my inventory. The resolution of bass notes get better as well, together with a better subbass and midbass presence. I personally think the stock cable is not fair for the AG2. The Air adds a great body and makes the IEM much more cohesive.
The review continues on PAGE 2.