AZLA is a Korean brand renowned for proprietary eartip and IEM products. I suppose it’s redundant to repeat all introductions of the brand. Anyhow, AZLA has come up with another eartip line-up that follows up Xelastec and Crystal, called the Max. There are currently two variants in the Max series – Max and Max ASMR. Today we’ll be dealing with Max ASMR
The Pitch: What’s Max ASMR?
Max ASMR eartips are a special variant of the Sedna Earfit Max series that focuses on comfort and smooth listening. The eartip is slightly shorter than other variants which makes it ideal for TWS earphones and general earphones. The umbrella portion of the eartip is tapered which applies less stress to the ear canal. Another feature is that the eartip has a hexagonal silicone filter that prevents earwax and dust from falling into the nozzle. The sound also makes a positive impact in terms of comfort yet does not degrade the clarity.
Comfort / Compatibility:
The Max is a comfortable tip as long as the insertion isn’t made too deep. If you apply the eartip on an IEM that has a longer nozzle, the umbrella portion of the tip may apply pressure to the ear canal (at least in my case). It was still possible to get a decent fit and comfort by using the eartip a size smaller than normal, however. Perhaps the eartip itself is not meant for deep insertion which explains why Max ASMR has a shorter stem than other eartips from AZLA.
Compatibility with IEMs varies a bit. Since Max ASMR has a short nozzle as some TWS eartips are, you should choose a larger size than usual. In my case, I need to choose a size larger than other AZLA eartips. Alongside, the insertion depth is not so deep which wouldn’t be ideal if your IEM has a short nozzle. However, the Max ASMR should fit just fine as long as the nozzle isn’t particularly short.
Max ASMR vs. Sedna Earfit Light
While the Sedna Earfit series tend to expand the size and scale of the sound,
Max ASMR has a characteristic that tightens up the sound. I’d like to be careful with my wording as this does not mean it decreases the soundstage. It’s more like bringing the loosened ends to the focal point, making the overall sound clearer, cleaner, and up close to the ears.
Max ASMR vs. SpinFit
Speaking of “up-close to the ears”, some may compare it to SpinFit eartips. SpinFits sure are great products and I enjoy them dearly, yet there’s a difference in the way how the sound actually results to the ears. One of the major drawbacks of SpinFits, personally, is that it’s easy to alter the intended soundstage and imaging of the IEM. Simply speaking, SpinFit is prone to warping the original resonation and sound flow. Not in all cases, of course – some IEMs work incredibly well with SpinFit. However, the results are quite polarizing, so I find it a bit picky to use SpinFits. However, Max ASMR constantly matches well with most IEMs. That’s what I particularly love about it.
Max ASMR vs. Xelastec/Crystal
AZLA always stresses the straightness of the sound for all their products, and so does the Max ASMR. However, the way Max ASMR strengthens the clarity differs from how Xelastec and Crystal do. Xelastec and Crystal achieve clarity by improving openness and airiness. On the other hand, Max ASMR achieves a different type of clarity – a clarity that collects the tiny details up to focus. Expansion and upper frequencies are superior on Xelastec and Crystal. The density, texture clarity, and vocal fullness are superior on Max ASMR.
Paired with AK Zero Two:
The overall timbre is more rich. The Zero Two sounds more on-focus as if adjusting the focal point of a camera. The texture gets more tidy and dense. Vocals also sound more controlled and tightened, making the sound cleaner and neat. The original wide-bore eartip carries out more openness yet the texture details and density are superior on the Max ASMR.
Paired with Kinera YH802:
Quite an interesting match. The Max ASMR makes YH802 sound even smoother and meatier without actually reducing the resolution. The tiny details approach closer and clearer to the ears. Vocals sound more universal and tightened. Vocals also sound moister and warmer – yet the upper-end shine stays almost the same as before. Would be a good change for those who want a more organic sound but would also like to retain refreshing upper ends.
Paired with PW Siren:
Sounds more in-depth. It’s like thickening the color and depth of the overall sound. Resuming back to another tip I’ve used (SoftEars UC tips) feels like watering down the sound. The UC tips are excellent eartips indeed, yet the Max ASMR works out better with Siren.
Siren is an IEM that’s meant to be matched with various custom cables and bring out differences in its nuance. For that reason, Siren tends to highlight a lot of the texture grains. That also means the sound may feel dry or too grainy depending on preference and cable matching. The Max ASMR soothes the texture of Siren and makes the sound more natural and organic. It’s a different effect from foam tips muffling the sound. A very nice eartip choice for this IEM.
Listening to ASMR with these tips…
These eartips serve well while listening to ASMR audios. The Max ASMR better highlights a variety of textures from the sound – crumbling, tingling, speech, and many more. Simply speaking, the texture clarity goes up. The sound also feels smoother and less grainy which makes the sound to be more organic and warm. The shape of the stem and umbrella makes the sound image to be more enclosed and private.
By nature, some ASMR videos require higher volume than normal to get that sensational feeling to the ears. Though there are some incidents where loud or sharp sound slips into the audio, mostly due to mistakes made by the content creators (ex. touching the mic). Another core effect that the Max eartips has is that it softens these unpleasant sounds and makes the overall experience less fatiguing.
It somewhat feels similar to bringing the positive effect of a foam tip yet the difference is that the Max ASMR retains the clarity. The biggest difference would be the mid-range. That’s probably why Max ASMR is released along with their ASMR-dedicated earphones (ASE-500), a consumer-friendly IEM focused on comfort listening.
These eartips bring a similar experience to the ASE-500 to your original earphones – by soothing the rough, dry audio texture and bringing the sound closer to the focal point. If you’d like to bring out both clarity and comfort, the Max ASMR is a small investment you could make to bring a bigger change to your listening experience.
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