Review: Avara AV3 – Accessibly Neutral

Avara AV3

Disclaimer: I received the Avara AV3 for the purpose of this review free of charge. I only had to pay for import and customs fees. Avara is not affiliated with Headfonia and is no site advertiser. Many thanks for the opportunity and generosity.

About Avara

Avara who? Yeah, I know what you mean. I stumbled across them when I was browsing the portable headphone threads on Head-Fi and got a curious about them. Avara has not been around for very long. They are based in Jakarta and markets themselves as the first affordable CIEM makers from Indonesia. They have a lineup consisting of models with simple configurations ranging from single BA models all the way up to six driver IEMs. All of them are positioned within a good financial reach for many audiophiles. Their most affordable custom in ear starts at around 150 USD already, colour me impressed, that’s a number I haven’t seen for a CIEM in a while, if not ever.

We’ve seen a hand full of companies utilize them in the past already, but I think Avara is the most accessible company in terms of pricing that offers 3D printed custom monitors. The entire shell is actually filled with acrylic to offer a robust and durable build, on top the extra filling also reduces resonances from the drivers.

Avara seems to have a quite strong follower base when judging by their facebook page.

Avara AV3

Avara AV3

About AV3

After a short talk with Avara about my preferred sound and my favourite music they suggested to review the AV3. Of course it’s the company’s decision what product they want reviewed and after all they know their products much better than me and if they advise for this model I trust their judgement.

The AV3 is Avara’s mid-tier offering with a tripple BA configuration with a true crossover. They use one driver for lows, mids and treble each. According to Avara’s website it is their most musical and fun sounding IEM, suitable as an all-rounder for all mainstream music lovers. Avara themselves say that it is a good fit for Pop, Rock, Hip Hop or Trance due to its extra bass driver. Let’s find out if that’s accountable.

Not much else can be found in regards to the AV3, there are not technical specifications other than the above available.

The AV3 comes at an incredible price of 280 USD (at the time of writing) and can be built within a freakishly short time of three days after receiving your impressions or scans.

Personalization

For a young and small company like Avara it came to me as a surprise how many different options they offer for their customers, as well as their IEM designer tool. I have seen other companies that are a lot bigger with a simpler and less engaging tool than theirs.
For the shell you can chose between three standard colours, these come with no upcharge. Transparent clear, blue and red can be picked for your custom IEM. For a mere 15 USD you get six additional options: black, brown, yellow, green, orange and pink.
When it comes to designing your face plate you will face a whole array of different options. Free of charge come again red, blue and clear transparent. For small fees Avara also offers 38 other Premium, Prestige and Ultimate options. All comes down to what you would like your new custom IEM to look like.
You can then also add artwork to the face plates in either silver or gold, or go a different route and upload your own files.

I went with clear shells and glitter blue face plates and silver printed logo left and silver model name on the right.

Avara AV3

Avara AV3

Package

Every Avara custom will come witha soft zip carrying case, a cleaning tool, a sticker, an owner card, a leather cable binder and a leather keychain.
Attached to the monitors is a black four-braided cable that actually reminds me a lot of the Null Audio cable that came with my AAW W900 custom IEMs. The build quality looks nearly identical, apart from the black colour. But of course I can’t say for sure if these cables come from the same factory, Avara does not market their IEMs to bundle with any special cable, so I guess it’s not a Null Audio cable after all.

Build Quality

When I unpacked the AV3 monitors, I was a little surprised to see so many bubbles in the shell. Those bubbles come from the acrylic filling and are best found around the drivers. For a small and new company this is okay I think, but for higher aesthetics I think this should be looked into. Sure, if the shells weren’t transparent you wouldn’t see that I guess.

Avara uses shorter nozzles and therefore these custom IEMs sit less secure but more comfortable than others in the canals. The overall build quality is very nice for a starting brand as Avara. There are no signs of glue-residue. The face plate is closed very well without any sharp corners or overlooked lacquer. One thing I want to say though is that the AV3 is the only monitor of mine that produces a considerable pressure on the concha on both sides, due to that I cannot wear them for too long. A refit would be the optimum solution, thankfully Avara offers 45 days of refit warranty.

The AV3 uses dual sound bores and flushed 2-pin sockets.

The review continues with Sound on page 2!

Review: Avara AV3 – Accessibly Neutral
4.8 (95.77%) 104 votes

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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.

14 Comments

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Jonathan Z Bernabe

    Looking at their IEM builder they have a model called the AV1LE (Lite Edition) which dips below 100 USD. Will you guys be reviewing those too? I’m curious of how they sound.

    • Reply May 25, 2018

      Linus

      Oh I didn’t notice that one. Thanks for the pointer.
      Currently there’s no plan for it, but that doesn’t mean we won’t ever 🙂

      • Reply May 27, 2018

        Jonathan Z Bernabe

        No problem, hope you guys get to review them soon 🙂

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Dan

    Hi, how would you compare these to the Lear Turbo or even the Jomo Haka? Considering they are right smacked in between those two price wise.

    • Reply May 25, 2018

      Linus

      I agree, it would be great to compare them, yet all of them are handled by different people here.
      Lear is Berkhan and Haka was covered by Lieven.
      So I unfortunately can’t offer you the comparison. Sorry.

  • Reply June 14, 2018

    Kidd

    Hi Linus, is there any universal IEM you would compare this with around that price range? I’m interested on buying one, but still thinking if the universal IEMs on that price range would sound better than the AV3. Thanks!

    • Reply June 14, 2018

      Linus

      Hey Kidd,

      thanks for your comment.
      I’m currently test driving the new AK/JH Billie Jean and it is fantastic. It goes for 350$ I think, so just a little more than the Avara.

      • Reply June 15, 2018

        Kidd

        Review for the Billie Jean will be out soon, I suppose? Would you be so kind to put the detailed comparison between the AV3 and the Billie Jean on the review?

        Looking forward for your review of the AK/JH Billie Jean. Thanks Linus!

        • Reply June 15, 2018

          Linus

          No problem. 🙂

          There are some other products in the queue before the Billie Jean, but it will be published soon, yes.

          I will include a comparison to the AV3.

          • Reply August 2, 2018

            Brian

            In your initial impressions of the Billie Jean, would you choose these over the CIEM Avara AV3? Do you like the Billie Jean more than the Michelle?

            • Reply August 2, 2018

              Linus

              Hi Brian,

              thanks for your comment.
              Yes, my impressions of Billie Jean are more positive than with AV3. I have never heard Michelle, sorry.

              • Reply August 2, 2018

                Brian

                Oh the Michelle’s are just Astell’s next step up above the Billie Jean’s (they used to be their cheapest offering before the Billie Jean’s came out).

                What are some of the advantages of the Billie Jean over the AV3? Sorry I know you’ll publish a detailed comparison soon but I’m about to pull the trigger on one of them for my birthday in a week so I just wanted to pick your brain a bit.

                • Reply August 3, 2018

                  Linus

                  Yeah, I know what Michelle is, but I still haven’t heard it 😉

                  To me Billie Jean is just more alive, fuller, has great bass and more energetic treble.

                  • Reply August 3, 2018

                    Brian

                    My bad, I somehow read “I have never heard OF Michelle” instead of “I have never heard Michelle” lol. Thanks for your feedback! I’m gonna go down to my local Astell & Kern dealer this weekend and try them out!

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