The crowd is screaming, chanting, cheering for the performance to start. As the musicians take their steps onto the stage, they each have one in. With many manufacturers to choose from, customs are becoming more and more common. Aurisonics, designed the ASG-1 to originally be a demo product. As more artists started asking for the demo product to be put into production, it became more than just a demo. Although its intention was for professional use, it still works well for personal use as well. Read on for the full review:
The design of the ASG-1s comes in a single beautiful translucent frost color. The entire matte design works well and stands out while still being able to stay soft on the eyes. There is no glitter on it, which isn’t a bad thing, but also not a good thing. The design as a whole is just professional, as it should be for a professional stage monitor. The Aurisoncs logo along with a circular rippling pattern is silently embossed into each faceplate. Although they wouldn’t be what Lady GaGa would want to put on, but they work for their purpose and aren’t ugly in any sense. They stand out strongly with the entire professional appearance. The cable shines and glistens to create a great contrast between the earpieces and the cable.
The ASG-1 may have a peculiar design for some, but this design is common among customs.
As stated before, these IEMs were designed, and tuned for professional on-stage use. The sound signature does depict it well. The bass digs deeper than I could imagine any IEM going creating beautiful textures without the need of a huge body. The impact is large still, but quantity overall is on the lower spectrum. The midrange is powerful, clear, detail, and energetic as ever. They remind me the most of Etymotic mids. The highs roll off and sit in the shadow of the midrange’s energetic presentation while disappearing every now and then.
The low end is one of the strong suites of the ASG-1s dispite being on the leaner side; I would say they are leaner and meaner. They dig well into the sub-bass and give amazing textures that aren’t normally noticed in any songs. The body itself isn’t humongous like something on the Phonak 232s, but it is enough for the bass to have great presence. The body also helps give the punchy bass an amazing impact that isn’t heard at all times, but still is able to slam you. The ASG-1s have some of the most accurate bass I’ve heard to date.
I would call them the heart and soul of the ASG-1s, the driving force behind the engine, the processor in the computer; it’s the main emphasis of these IEMs. The midrange is powerful to the touch, just walking the line of being overdone, but never stepping over it. The detailing is astounding in these while the clarity really doesn’t disappoint at all. The pure energy put into each 15mm driver is astounding. My best comparison would be that they are Etymotic mids with slightly more vocal energy, but don’t have the details forcefully thrown at you. They are really something special; unique in a sense.
If the mids were the driving force, the highs are the Achilles Heel. The detailing is all there, while the clarity in the high end is good, but can definitely use some work. These have good sparkle to them that makes them shimmer nicely. The main problem is that the highs don’t protrude enough at times and really just end up sitting in the back seat overshadowed by the energy in the midrange. Over time, the highs really go from the silent kid at the party to being more active.
Aurisonics does have a filter coming out that will be user-insertable that will change the sound of the IEMs dramatically. The end result is not yet known. I will update the thread of the review when the filter is available. As of now, it’s supposed to calm down the vocals in the midrange a tad bit. I have no clue what it does to the rest of the spectrum.
The build quality on the ASG-1s is absolutely wonderful. The Aurisonic IEMs don’t come in any retail packaging. Instead, they are shipped to you in an OtterBox case with every accessory inside the large case itself. Although not the smallest case, it still proves well sized for a bag or purse. The ASGs can definitely survive without the case, but as always, better safe than sorry.
We all trust OtterBox with iDevice cases, Aurisonics trusts them to protect their ASG-1s.
The housings of the ASG is made extremely durable with a sturdy plastic faceplate and a rock solid body all around. Screws are visible as the heftyness of the body feels nice. Essentially, the housings of the IEM are built really nicely and sturdily, as I’d expect from any custom IEM manufacturer.
Moving out of the body, we find that the cables not only look beautiful in their shiny goodness, they are strong as well. Sticking to the traditional helix-shaped cable, it creates a perfect amount of flexibility to the cable while still being able to be durable. Also to note is that the cable is removable, so if it were ever to break, you don’t have a 300 dollar bill on your hands.
The cable is more than just shiny looks, it’s strong and tangle resistant too!
The headphone jack is one of the biggest I’ve seen, which can be a good thing for build quality. The jack itself is a 90 degree angled one which helps take some stress off the cable. It’s built tough and looks as if it can withstand some torture.
A strong, durable headphone jack wraps up the build quality perfectly.
Despite having the custom appearance, these IEMs were made to fit everyone; hence the reason why Aurisonics calls them a generic fit IEM. They do a good job of this too as they fit my uniquely-small-sized ears perfectly. It did take me a little while to put them in as they are supposed to be inserted like customs to fit the best. Once in correctly, they are extremely comfortable and can definitely last a long time in your ears without irritating anything.
The curves on these IEMs are made to fit the natural curves of your ear.
Although there are three tips included, they will most likely not be used. This is not for comfort issues, the tips are extremely comfortable. However, there are many other tips that seal better than the stock ones for a better overall sound. If you are planning on purchasing these, I’d advise looking for Sony Hybrids, Ultimate Ears single flange tips, or Monster silicones (if you can get your hands on them).
Aurisonics includes 3 sets of silicone tips with their IEMs, they work well and are comfortable, but there are better options for better sound.
Coming in around 300 dollars, these IEMs definitely will set you back, but they still aren’t the most expensive we’ve seen *cough* Phonak *cough*. For 100 more, you can get the option to get them custom fit (Impression cost not included). The ASG-1s were made to be upgraded in many ways. Tips, cable and even drivers can all be upgraded. The unique part is that once the ASG-2s are released, you can send your 1s in and get their innards replaced with the guts of the ASG-2s and you’ll be set.
Sound-wise, the ASG-1s are worth their price, although I wouldn’t pay too much more for them. The entire package of great sound, amazing built and comfort is really something that makes these well worth it. The upgradability of these IEMs is just another added bonus.
Although not made for personal use, I still find that the ASG-1s can definitely be used for that purpose. The upgradability and entire package you get them makes them well worth the price. The signature is a unique one offering a fun, yet analytical sound in the midrange that delves deeper than I could possibly image in the low end.