Review: Jomo Audio Haka – Golden

The treble section doesn’t have the absolute furthest extension but it’s in no way recessed either. Treble is energetic, yet soft and musical. Treble is perfectly in balance with the rest of the spectrum and it at the same time gives a nice contrasting feel to the very enjoyable mids and bass. With its soft timbre, treble isn’t the airiest or most detailed and for some it might not be “sharp” enough, but its tuning perfectly balances the Haka’s sound sig.

Listening to the Haka brings so much feeling and emotion. Close your eyes and you’d say you were sitting in a concert hall listening to Charles Bradley. The musicality and enjoyability is very high with this one. Or as Joseph calls what you get: a pure sound.

Compared to higher end multiple BA driven IEMs you can say the layering as well as the spaciousness and extension could be improved. Haka isn’t the most clear monitor in my collection but I never found its clarity level to be lacking, to label it as a dark monitor. To me it simply isn’t.

Tuning wise, the Haka is a job well-done. I personally prefer listening to it in balanced mode as it improves the spaciousness and separation, giving you a more “out of your head” kind of sound. Also, the bass performance in balanced mode to me is of a higher level with better extension and detail.

7. Competitors/Comparisons

There only are two other single driven custom monitors in my collection and those are the Cosmic Ears CE1 and the famous Prelude from Warbler audio.

The CE1 sounds slower and much darker compared to the Haka, which is more clear, spacious and fast. The difference between these is huge. The CE1 has a very airy sound which some might even call veiled, where the Haka has a pure and natural sound. The Haka has the CE1 completely beat for what technicalities are concerned but there are a lot of years between these monitors, the CE1 is probably one of my very first customs. Both models are musical in tone but the CE1 just is a bit too dark for my preference.

The Prelude Warbler, which is in our recommended guide, is an exceptional one driver monitor. Warbler doesn’t like it when people focus on it only having one driver as they feel it should be compared to multiple driver monitors as they’re convinced it has the same quality if not even better. Warbler certainly has a point and the Prelude absolutely impresses, even more so if you realize it’s coming from just one driver.

Switching to the Prelude coming from the CE1 is a world of difference. The Prelude (vs the Haka) is very clean and clear sounding from top to bottom. Body-wise the Prelude is a bit lighter in bass and mids compared to the Haka, but it has better separation and a better sense of spaciousness with a more airy presentation.. The Prelude’s presentation is also musical and like the Haka has a smoother and warmer feel than they are neutral. The Prelude is more precise, detailed and dynamic sounding than the Haka, but that last one will please the bass-lovers between us more. Prelude is more linear and balanced compared to the more v-shaped Haka (compared to the Prelude anyway).

Haka and Prelude are two really great sounding CIEMs and where the prelude would be the all-wanting-audiophile’s choice, the Haka is the choice of the fun loving/bass listener.

8. Driveability & Sources

The Jomo Audio Haka both in universal as in custom version come in with an 18Ω impedance and a  107dB sensitivity level. In theory this monitor is fairly easy to drive in theory but in reality it’s a tad more difficult. Everything I hooked the Haka up to perfectly drove the monitor though, so don’t think this will be an issue with your source.

Looking at the signature of the Jomo Haka, I would recommend using a neutral and clear source as a warm and bass heavy one might make the Haka more dark and overly bass heavy sounding. Unless that’s your thing of course, then go for it. We’ve tried the Jomo Haka with the following sources:

The Hiby Music R3 is a full bodied player that comes with bigger than neutral bass and a good amount of body and warmth. The combo is very musical but warmer and sower sounding and it has a more dark tone to it. If you like warmth, body and bass then you’ll like this combo, but if you’re looking for clarity, precision and a neutral tuning, this is definitely not the combo for you.

The Astell & Kern AK70ii very much is like the Haka: bigger in body, more than neutral bass and very musical. With this combo however I never get the feeling it’s too much. It’s not too warm, too dark or too big. It’s smoother and warm and musical. It’s also warmer and if you want clarity above all, this isn’t the place to look. If you like how the AK70II sounds on its own however, you’ll love the pairing with the Haka.

The Astell & Kern Acro L1000 has been my desktop amp in my office for a few weeks now. It’s very clean and clear sounding with a high level of detail and a neutral sound signature. The synergy with the L1000 is really good as they have a complementary character. The L1000 has a lighter bass but excellent detail and clarity, and that combines perfectly with Haka’s musicality, bass presence and natural mids. I really like the combination. The synergy with the AK SP1000 is comparable. The SP1000 is clean, very detailed and extended and it has a preference for higher mids and treble. The tuning is neutral with a tight/fast bass, and with the Haka hooked up to it that translates in a really good sound stage width and depth, a good level of detail and a superb mix of detail and musicality.

The Cayin N5ii is more clear sounding and is tuned closer to neutral. It also has a tight bass, good body and nice speed. The synergy with the Haka is there and you get a good mix of both units’ strong points. The Cayin N5ii just is a really good player and it’s very easy to use with any kind of monitor.

The Fiio X7ii, just like the Cayin is a really great sound DAP and it’s technically even stronger than the Cayin N5ii is. The combination with the Haka is excellent: great clarity, speed, tight bass, great vocals and energetic treble. The Fiio X7ii and Haka combo is a really good setup with a quality sound that always remains musical.

From my good old Samsung S6 running Tidal, the Haka sounded a tad slower but very musical. Bass is really big here though and it’s not in control (probably because of the lack of power). If you’re into bass you’re going to love this combo as everything else really sounds good. The focus here is on the powerful bass and for me personally that’s less attractive. The mids are so sweet though and the voices are really nice to listen to.

My favorite Haka source turns out to be the AudioQuest DragonFly RED. You get great bass which is bigger in body, with rich mids and energetic treble. The sound stage is really good in both directions and you get the most spacious and airy delivery from all the sources I tried the Haka with. If you like your bass with a smaller amount of body then this combo probably isn’t for you but this setup just ticks all the other boxes on my checklist. Awesome.

Conclusion

Jomo Audio gives you the choice between a universal and custom version. The universal and basic custom version give you a very good, quality monitor for a more than acceptable price. The full custom carbon version is quite more expensive but it doesn’t alter the sound in any way. So up to you if you’re willing to pay more for cosmetics.

As usual from Jomo Audio, you can expect a great build quality and top comfort. The Jomo Haka is easy to drive and pair with a whole series of sources and it delivers a really nice sound with a focus on musicality and naturalism. Jomo calls it a coherent and pure sound, and it’s exactly that. I myself like it most with a clear source that’s fully in control such as the Cayin N5ii, SP1000 or Fiio X7ii. It was the DragonFLy RED however that really got me hooked to the Haka.

The Haka is affordable and it’s the perfect monitor to enjoy your music with. The Haka has an easy to like sound signature and it lets you dream away with your favorite tunes. For a one driver, you’re getting a lot in return and it is a recommended monitor in its price class. So yes, buyer’s guide material for sure!

 

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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.

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