Aurisonics Harmony IEM Headphone Review
Aurisonics promises to make a splash with its new ‘Bravo’ series of In-Ears, as they want to ‘honor the people that we started this company for, the working musicians’. At the apex lies the Harmony model which packs a dynamic driver and a specially designed ‘dual hybrid-dynamic tuned tweeter’ into each capsule. We assume the dual-tweeter has been designed specifically for use with a dynamic driver in the Aurisonics Harmony so the two driver types complement each other; as the product name might suggest.
- Tuning is really well thought out
- Soundstage is immersive
- Cable is light but strong
- Few eartips/accessories supplied
- Some may find high-mid frequencies a little sibilant
Design & Appearance
The Harmony model is fairly typical of an in-ear monitor headphone, with large capsules for enhanced isolation and an ‘over the ear’ cable. The earhook parts of the cable are bendable to help keep it in place and the braided cable is relatively thin, but seems strong.
Durability & Build Quality
The capsules themselves appear to be made like pebbles in all aspects apart from weight; the cable is light and the Y-splitter on the cable is strong with good strain reliefs. A 90 degree jack sits on one end, whilst the removable cable attaches to the earphones by means of a cylindrical push on/pull off connector which is free to rotate, likely so the earphones and cable are more easily stored in the accompanying semi-rigid zip-up case.
Aurisonics have taken pains to design a capsule which fits 95% of human ears, as they have averaged out measurements taken from thousands of ear scans. These are obviously adult ears and I would guess that most scanned ears belonged to males, as the capsules are fairly large. The trademarked ‘Sureseal’ tips consist of a grippy type of rubber which is good at isolation but may irritate the ears if the earphones need to be removed and replaced often; as an alternative, Complyfoam tips in ‘200’ size were found to fit well although no official information exists on Complyfoam’s site at this time.
The isolation is good; the rubber eartips do keep a good amount of unwanted noise out once they are in position. The standard eartips were found to lend themselves best to a shallow insertion into the ear.
Using a Chord Hugo DAC/Amp as source, the Aurisonics Harmony gives a warm, yet crisp presentation overall. In spite of the hybrid/multi driver configuration, the Harmony’s sound melds well and delivers a perfectly whole impression of the audio. The model name ‘Harmony’ is well chosen.
The Harmony packs a punch in the bass department and starts low. It’s almost as if bass with the Harmony is felt before it’s heard. The bass is there in quantity and carries a lot of weight within a presentation, yet it is well controlled and doesn’t get in the way of the midrange. There’s a smooth chunkiness to it which is very appealing. It also tends to supply what’s required, and doesn’t get ideas of its own if a particular genre such as classical has no need for bass in certain sections. It can certainly make a reappearance during crescendos though, with added impact.
Mid-range gives an excellent range of harmonics to instruments, bringing them to life. A recording’s perceived space is impressive if acoustic, and studio-applied reverbs are certainly not lost on the Aurisonics Harmony. It’s very clear and well rendered. Vocals come through loud and clear, with backing vocals also easy to follow. There may be a chance of an issue with sibilance in the high-mid area for some; however we all have different sensitivities to higher frequencies of course. Overall, the midrange gives an impression of neutrality despite the slightly enhanced bass.
High hats and cymbals are well defined and natural-sounding; the accent is on neutrality so the top end is pretty smooth and musical. Like the midrange, it finishes off harmonics nicely and puts flesh on the bones, giving a nice feeling of presence. Definition is sharp and sounds resolve very well; percussion appears very lifelike and helps along the Harmony’s excellent separation..
Soundstage & Separation
Here is a special part of the Aurisonics Harmony’s appeal; these IEMs really do envelope the wearer in the presentation. Soundstage is deep and wide as a canyon, and the bass/midrange complements this with an added feeling of space for a very large and realistic effect. Separation puts everything in its own space and even with a lot going on, no congestion results.
Music genres good for and why
The Harmony can pretty much do it all; it seems to bring out just the right combination of strengths within each genre tried. Dance music/Hip Hop benefits from a distinct bass and clear but smooth treble. Jazzy compositions give a full sense of space and atmosphere. Classical conveys the same, but with a full and impressive weight to proceedings such as when timpani are struck.
The Aurisonics Harmony may be primarily aimed at audio industry professionals but it will hold a lot of appeal with end-users too. It brings just the right amount of good stuff to any genre, resulting in a very enjoyable listener experience.