LimeEars Aether Custom IEM Review: I don’t always listen to treble, but when I do, I listen to the Aether


LimeEars’ Emil is a wizard of treble


That Treble with a capital T

But oh! That deep romantic chasm which slanted down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! A savage place! As holy and enchanted as ever, beneath a waning moon, haunted by a woman wailing for her demon-lover!

Nobody should mistake the Aether for a club-thumping drums and bass monster, nor is it a vocal powerhouse. After all, it’s all about that Treble, ‘bout that Treble- no bass.

The Treble is clear, even, smooth, and detailed. It sounds raw, unfiltered, like tasting sashimi for the very first time. It’s blazing fast, and also helps contribute to a precise and airy sense of space and stage. I’m not sure what Emil did here, but it sounds unlike any other Treble I’ve heard before, and I love it. It’s not absolutely perfect in every way, but it’s darned close. For example, it’s not the absolute last word in sparkle, nor does it extend like the neck of a giraffe. But these are minor annoyances. Give me quality over quantity any day. With the Aether, passages that I’d normally either wince at, or completely not hear (yes, some IEMs deal with the pesky ‘problem’ of treble simply by glossing over it altogether), I can now enjoy in their gorgeous entirety. My EDM soul rejoices- bring on that synthetic mashup of high notes!

Now let’s learn what Emil did here (spoiler alert!)

Let’s cut to the chase. How did you do it?!?

In Aether I used fairly high-output treble driver which was fairly heavy-damped (acoustically). Acoustical damping reduces peaks and valleys in FR making highs smoother and more silky so to speak (jelt2359’s note: yes pleasee). This combined with VariBore tech is responsible for the effect.

While implementing VariBore we use different bore diameters for different groups of the transducers. Subwoofer and low frequencies are delivered through 1mm bores and mid-high frequencies are delivered through 2mm bore. Increased bore diameter has the biggest impact on highest frequencies: reducing the air friction and diminishing resonant effects. The result is better high-end extension (compared to smaller bores) and what is most important fewer resonances (peaks and valleys in FR) causing the highs to be less harsh, more silky and natural. (jelt2359’s note: so apparently all he did was damp more and increase the bore size? Cheeky fella, I’m guessing that’s not all there is to it. But I suppose you can’t give away *all* your trade secrets at once!)

…back to regular programming (aka my thoughts)

This Treble has the ability to be crystal clear and detailed, yet avoid any harshness at all. It’s like when you eat top notch sushi for the first time, and you’re like, man, why would I bother marinating and seasoning and sautéing and all that stuff I normally do to cook something, when food actually tastes so darn good raw?

Cos’ it aint normally that good, silly. Welcome to the Grade A sushi buffet that is the Aether Treble. Stuff yourself silly, and go light on that soy sauce and wasabi. Savour every treble note that you’ll hear in its full, gorgeous, unfettered glory. Press ‘play’ on your harshest records and appreciate how great they sound for the very first time. I hope you’re one of those lucky ones for whom The Treble the IEM maketh, for if so this IEM is very simply your endgame.


Page 4: Comparison, Summary and Score

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About Author

When jelt2359's Shure earphones stopped working ten years ago he was forced, kicking and screaming, to replace them. He ended up with more than 20 new IEMs. Oops! jelt2359 flies to a different city almost every week for work, and is always looking for the perfect audio setup to bring along.

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