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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!