Auvio Armature

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Reviewed Jan 2010

 

Details: Flagship IEM from RadioShack’s in-house electronics manufacturer Auvio
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $79.99)
Specs: Driver:BA | Imp: 55.5 Ω | Sens: 108 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cord: 4’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Comply T400, Soundmagic PL30 single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (3.5/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes), comply T400 tips (3 sizes), and a pleather carrying case with magnetic flap and inner pocket
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The housings are in two parts, the rear being nicely machined metal and the front – plastic. The plastic feels a bit rough and cheap. Cabling is fairly thick but somewhat tangle-prone. Strain reliefs are functional on the 3.5mm plug end but not molded on earphone entry.
Isolation (3.5/5) – Isolation is quite good with the stock silicone tips and improves further with the included Complys. Angled nozzle is conducive to deep insertion.
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Very low when worn cord-down and non-existent when worn cord-up
Comfort (4/5) – The nozzles are angled as on the Klipsch S4 and the fit is very similar. Can easily be worn cord-up or cord-down.

Sound (5/10) – The Auvios produce a very flat and neutral sound that falls just short of expectations on a few levels. Extension on the low end is rather average, with the bass rolling off quickly past about 35 Hz. What is there is quite tight and accurate, though with little impact. The mids are slightly recessed and the soundstage is just a bit wider than average. Separation is mediocre and for the $80 MSRP I would also expect better clarity and detail in the mids and treble. The high end is devoid of sparkle and excitement, resulting in a slightly dark sound. Really, they aren’t bad at all, but I expect more from earphones with a list price of $80.

Value: (6/10) – Though the Auvios really excel on the usability front, the sound isn’t quite something I could get excited about. While they perform admirably from a technical standpoint, they lack a certain musical quality that keeps me coming back to earphones such as the Soundmagic PL50. I was actually originally convinced that the Auvios utilized the same armatures as the Soundmagic PL50 (both are Chinese OEM single armature earphones with similar impedance and sensitivity specs). Having listened to both side by side, I can say that the sound signatures are pretty different. Needless to say I prefer the PL50.

Pros: Comfy, decent build quality, almost zero microphonics
Cons: Bland sound, optimistic MSRP


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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