Review: Jomo Audio Samba – Makes me want to dance

2. Personalization

I didn’t ask for anything specific and neither did Jomo Audio so I only found out what they would look like when they arrived. I was quite happy to see Joseph used a dark blue, grey glittering shell combined with a navy blue and Aurora Neptune faceplate, as he calls it. The mix of the purple and light & dark blue is gorgeous and it reminds me of the gorgeous Noble designs from Dr. John Moulton and that’s definitely a compliment.

Jomo offers several types of “Artwork”: the first one is called “A la carte” and each design is paid individually. These are the most complicated designs. Then there is a “Standard package” where you get to choose up to two transparent colours. This option is free of charge. Next, there is a “Custom Design Package” where you can pick one shell colour and one base layer faceplate. Then there is the “Deluxe Package” where you can pick anything you want as long as it’s feasible. Another variation is the CDP + A la carte option where one colour, one faceplate and add on extra artwork.

Jomo up to today still has the best looking steampunk watch artwork (originally the steamjunk/punk was introduced by Cosmic Ears). You can check out more of their design on their Facebook page or their gallery on the website.

3. Cable

As said in the introduction, the Samba comes equipped and delivered with the Effect audio Ares II cable. The internal wiring isn’t visible in my set but the external and detachable cable sure looks good. The “4-wire” Ares II is terminated in a 2.5mm balanced plug and it uses the typical carbon Effect Audio splitter and gold plated plug. Samba doesn’t come with any other cable and as it was tuned with the Samba in mind, it should sound best in this configuration. The Ares II is a top level cable that goes for $149.90 in this exact termination.

jomo-audio-4

Personally I find the Y-splitter a bit heavy and big and the braiding could have been tighter but those are the only bad things I can possibly say about this cable as it feels good, has no microphonics or friction noise, is flexible, small sized and sounds good. I didn’t listen to the Samba on another cable as it was tuned by both companies with the Ares II in mind and because I couldn’t think of anything I’d want to hear the Samba “do” differently.

4. Price & Accessories

The Jomo Samba is available in both Custom and Universal version and prices start at $2,399.00 Singapore Dollar which translates to about $1685 USD and €1570 Euro. The other 8-drivers in my collection are priced between €975 / $1062 (VAT excl.) and $1400USD so that makes the Samba a little more expensive than its colleagues.

For the price you, next to the monitors, get a full pelican 1010 case, a cleaning tool, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter, an airplane adapter, Velcro cable binder and a cool metal warranty card. The very basics and as the Samba is their top model I wish there would have been something extra like a cleaning spray or cloth. I’m kidding of course as the Samba is delivered with that very good Effect Audio Ares II aftermarket cable, I’d take that over any accessory anytime.

Of course Jomo and EA aren’t the only ones pairing up, offering a “combo deal” and I for one like the trend, even though I really don’t need another cable.

5. Customer Service

Jomo doesn’t have an online CIEM builder tool so you can’t check out your design upfront. Jomo Audio still uses an order form like a lot of other companies do. They do have a clear overview of the colour samples on their website together with the artwork pricing though.

I didn’t use an order form myself as Joseph still had my impressions from the last time we reviewed his gear. The Saba made it back to me really fast but I couldn’t say how much the actual delay between order and delivery is right now, you best check that with Joseph directly. I can say is that Joseph was always kind, friendly and getting a reply never took long. Because my monitors again fit great and sound perfect, I didn’t have a reason to get back in touch with him after I received them.

6. Sound

Jomo Audio:

“From bass through the richest vocal and to the clearest instrument, you will not miss a single note”

Effect Audio:

“Distinct highs and details due to the signal transmission speed in thinner cable strands, while the thicker size cable strands are usually employed for smooth bass and mids”

The description below is with the Ares II cable.

The keywords that come to mind when listening to the Samba are: neutrality, detail, technicalities and sound stage. The Samba is a reference (neutral) tuned monitor and apart from the maybe slightly bigger bodied mids it indeed can be considered to be reference as in uninfluenced (sound). There are neutrally tuned monitors on the market that are incredibly analytic and maybe boring to listen to (unless that is what you like) but the Samba manages to keep everything detailed, dynamic and musical. There’s no added body, warmth, coloration or smoothness and it’s not dry, light, bright, sharp or analytical. To me this is how a reference tuned monitor should sound like, perfectly balanced.

Sound continues on Page 3, after the click

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

4 Comments

  • Reply January 9, 2017

    Max

    Hi Lieven,

    Would like to know how does it compare against the Lime Ears Aether? 😀

    • Reply January 9, 2017

      Lieven

      Quite a different sound really. The Samba is wider, deeper, richer and more balanced overal. The Aether, which also is very good, isn’t as coherent or neutral as the Samba is. The price level also is different and it depends whet you’re really looking for. Aether has great layering and the sub bass switch which is excellent. They’re different flavors. What flavor is it you want?

  • Reply January 11, 2017

    Max

    Wow that’s really quite an interesting CIEM. I’ve actually ordered the Aether and are awaiting for them to arrive, but I did not try the Samba so I was just wondering how do the 2 fair against each other. Guess if I really do like the Samba in the end, I’d probably get one in the future haha.

    Anyway, love the site and your reviews, keep it up!

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