Having a motto of “creating a diverse yet aromatic sound”, Aroma Audio is a portable audio manufacturer that started from Hong Kong and strengthened its brand as it becomes popular in Japan. Aroma Audio was founded in 2015, so it’s not so old in age. Though they’ve been doing R&D for quite some time which helped them quickly advance and build their own IEMs, amps, DAC, and so on. Currently, they have 3 IEM line ups – Witch Girl series (Witch Girl S / Pro / 12), Music Box series (Early / Twins / Yao), and the newly announced Ace. Today I’ll be covering the youngster from the family, the Early.
The Music Box series already got their theme clear from their packaging. Early comes in with a wooden box with cushions inside of it, protecting the metal case and the earphones. Other than the earphones, the included accessories are 3 sets of Acoustune AET07 eartips, soft pouch, metal case, a stock cable, and some small paper works. I would have preferred to see more eartips option, but I suppose Acoustune eartips supplement that.
All music box IEMs have transparent resin shells with beautifully crafted metal faceplates finished with vertical hairlines. It has the steampunk looks like Campfire / Acoustune IEMs but more in a feminine style. Early has a hybrid setup, equipped with a single BA and a single 8mm dynamic driver. The earpieces are detachable with terminations of non-recessed 0.78mm 2pins. These provide a very comfortable fit and has a nozzle size of approximately T400.
Cable / Eartip matchings
Early comes with an ordinary black OCC stock cable with an L shaped 3.5mm plug. Better cables are always preferred, though it’s understandable enough considering the price. It works out pretty well with various cables, though I found bright sounding cables to match the best as it provides shinier upper frequencies and tightens the bass. The included Acoustune AET08 is the best choice for eartips, so I recommend to stick with them.
Sound impression: Bass
Early goes for a W shaped sound with slightly recessed highs. The bass feels meaty and chewy. The sound ray feels thick and highly packed with density, making the bass bounce with adequate weight to it. The bass has just the right amount – neither boomy or weak. You can expect the bass amount to be similar to slightly V-shaped IEMs, such as TFZ King Pro or Apple In-Ear. It’s a very fun type of bass that most people will find it enjoyable. Ultra-lows are also presented well with powerful rumbles. Bass sounds very manly and tough, however Aroma Audio managed to nicely tame the aggressive bass to stay tightly controlled without causing reverbs that may cause the sound to turn murky.
Sound impression: Mids
Mids are located equally or slightly forward than the bass. It’s definitely not recessed, however not distinctly popped out to the front, having a natural transition from the bass. I have to give props to Aroma Audio for how they tuned the mids on these. I often found hybrid IEMs on this price range where it feels like BA drivers and dynamic drivers aren’t getting along that well – resulting into an odd tone or some sort of distort, especially when the sound flows from mids to highs. Mids sound very organic, soothing, and full. It also feels big in scale, somewhat mimicking a speaker-like presentation. Sibilance doesn’t exist whatsoever and maintains that warm, smooth sound signature throughout the mids.
Sound impression: Trebles, etc.
Treble is slightly recessed than the mids however still manages to achieve the tiny bits of details quite nicely as well as those shiny splashes from the instruments. The lows and mids are the main players while treble acts as a pinch of salt on top of them. It also feels like the treble keeps the sound from getting too warm or dark. You won’t be disappointed in terms of details, but definitely not for those who are thriving on strong freshness on the highs. Staging is also up to par. Trebles spread out with an adequate amount of airiness from top to bottom while the bass expands sideways, providing an enjoyable 3D feeling.
Early is a great all-rounder that could easily become everyone’s favorite. I’m impressed with how the tonality is organic as well as two different drivers showing a seamless harmony. I’m sure those who’ve experienced Aroma IEMs would know that these are hidden gems. Aroma Audio just began spreading its hands to overseas markets and I hope to see them go active in western countries too. Early is especially a cost-effective IEM and would be a great choice for those who are into SE846-like sound signatures.