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Akoustyx S-6 review : An Excellent Planar IEM

Akoustyx, some of us might have never heard about this brand but they have an past to take note of. Previously known as Rockit they had one of the best BA based IEMs under $200, going head on against the DBA-02 and were able to take on the legendary Etymotic 4 micro series to an extent. They changed their name and base and renamed the brand with a better list of IEMs. This flagship, R220 is an IEM that is purely tuned for details and delivers top notch transparency and clarity, yes it’s purely about details and nothing else but that’s what the R220 is meant to do and it does that with ease. They do have a few other IEMs, BA based but this IEM that I have with me is something really special. It moves away from their usual choice of drivers and uses a planar driver. S-6 is meant to keep up with the change this industry is going through and Akoustyx has nailed it.

But does the S-6 deliver? There are a lot of planar based IEMs these days, floating around the web like webs. I have heard a handful of them too. Mostly under $200 but only a couple of them were able to impress me and I do not have any hesitation in stating that the S-6 is one of the best thing that has came out of this flood of planar based IEMs.

Get one from here:

Akoustyx S-6 comes in only one colour, black and is priced at $179 and take my word for it, this is it. If you have $200 for am IEM, get this. Simply a no brainer. Why? Read on!!


S-6 ships with a paper cover box with a cardboard box protecting all the stuff inside. The earpieces are stuffed in foam while the cable is attached to it. The cable and all the accessories are placed inside the carry pouch under the foam.

The soft zipper pouch contains 7 pair of tips. There is a set of silicone tips in S/M/L sizes, a pair of dual flange tip and a set of foam tip conclude the list of accessories.


While the R-220 shiped with one of the supplest cable I have ever seen on an IEM, S-6 switches to something they are calling a 2nd gen cable with newer connectors but is not as supple or memory free as the previous one. If you like a well behaved cable, this 4 core titanium kevlar mono-crystalline OFC cable is the best for sure. One has to aware of some microphonics too. And unlike the last gen cable we get no mic here.

Thankfully we get no cable guides here. The Y-splitter is small and has stress relievers around it. The 90 degree jack has its own protection too.


Build quality: S-6 uses titanium oxide coated aluminum alloy as the body while the later half with connectors uses polycarbonate. This straight barrel design is very comfortable and will fit smallest of ears without any problem. It feels sturdier and stronger than most of the plastic and acrylic based IEMs. The 90 degree bend at the 3.5mm jack gives it the edge over ETY, making it shorter and less protruding. This is one of the lightest IEM in the market too.

Comfort and ergonomics:  It is one of the most comfortable earphones in the market which doesn’t have a semi custom type shell. The small form factor helps a lot with fitting, even people with smallest ears can accommodate it inside their ears without any problem. The long nozzle helps with deep insertion and giving the earphone a very secure feel inside the ear. All the ear tips provided with the S-6 are fairly comfortable too. If you feel all the silicone tips are failing you, use the foam tips.

It is designed to sit effortlessly inside the ear, and it sits plush inside my ears without sticking out, easy on ears and comfortable to say the least, the its smaller and narrow shell plays a big role here. Adjust the cable a bit and you are good for hours.


S-6 is one of those rare Planar based IEMs that doesn’t need a lot of power to produce best possible sound. It has an impedance of just 18 ohm and it doesn’t behave oddly with weak sources like mobile phones. I have used with my Note 10 pro max and it sounds slightly less transparent, there is barely any loss of details.

When I use it with my Shanling UA5 it exhibits better sonics and resolution but the improvements are not big enough to go gaga about so keep calm and use this IEM without bothering too much about sources.


Using a dual sided planar driver, S-6 is tuned for reference sound and it doesn’t disappoint me at all. It isn’t a bassy IEM but if you can hear the lower ranges, it has the best sub-bass extension under $200, no questions asked. Being a planar, they had to tune the bass as clean as possible and I find this to be an excellent strategy. Overall S-6 has an exceptionally well balanced tuning with simply the best consistency and clarity across the spectrum.

S-6 is the most neutral Planar based IEM I have heard, it doesn’t have much warmth but isn’t dark or dull either.

I am using stock tips and Shanling UA5 for this review.


Things are really interesting here. I have mentioned that S-6 is a balanced sounding IEM but it has exceptionally good sub-bass rumble with excellent texture and details. It goes deeper than even the bass heavy IEMs like Campfire Honeydew and much better than competing Planar IEMs like Dunu Talos. Mid bass isn’t prominent as the energy comes down gradually to exhibit better control and accuracy. It still retains very good texture and details but doesn’t have the heft or heavy feel to it, especially in the upper-mid bass region. Notes have decent body and weight, better than Dunu SA6. Upper bass has same attributes and energy as the mid bass, delivering nice details and texture without going overboard with energy.

As I mentioned earlier, notes are on the faster and lighter side, helping the decay speed. Unlike some DD based IEMs who feel dry and rough, this planar feels a lot more natural with a more realistic timber and tonality.

This is the kind of bass I love, fast yet slow, heavy yet controlled, textured yet fast. It’s excellent, excellent because even if the lower end has very good feel thanks to subs, there is no bleeding and it’s very clear and dynamic too, and I love this sub-bass presence!!


S-6 thanks to its balanced nature has a much better mid range performance than V shaped Shuoer S12 and Dunu Talos. It delivers an aptly forward mid range that has a slight bit of W shape to it with a hint of more pronounced vocals yet the instruments are not lacking attack or bite. What I love the most is the consistency and coherent notes. It doesn’t feel out of place like the Talos thanks to its even notes body and emphasis. If an instrument has some emphasis to it, it gets priority, this is the kind of dynamics and flexibility that makes an IEM special. It doesn’t change the track’s nature but changes according to the track. Yes, the upper mid has a bit of emphasis that plays a big role in this but even in this region S-6’s ability to dynamically places a particular instrument in foreground, enhancing it’s definition and presence is excellent. Notes have excellent texture and timber too. It easily separates the background act, making it an evolved and technically capable IEM.

Vocals too are lucious and tasty. They have the right amount of poise and emotions. Both male and female vocals have the juiciness and very good texture with accurate tonality. There is no artificial timber and notes have better body than both Shuoer S12 and Dunu Talos. But yes, it doesn’t compete with the likes of QoA Margarita and Ikko OH5 when it comes to full and meaty vocals and then one needs to keep in mind that this IEM is meant for a balanced and accurate output.


This has to be one of the best treble I have heard in an IEM priced under $300. It simply has one of the best combinations of attack, energy and extension, especially the extension, its extension is simply the best, bettering the Shuoer S12, it feels like this mostly because it doesn’t have any peaks and the energy is nicely balanced till the end. There is no mid treble emphasis or lower treble dip to give prominence to a particular part of the highs. And over all this, S-6 manages to maintain excellent sparkle, it doesn’t feel very sparkly or dull. Layering and separation are top class too thanks to it’s wider than usual stage size. S-6 has very good air between instruments with a clean and clear floor.


Being a planar driver S-6 delivers a bigger than average stage. It has a well developed 3D stage with good height, width and one of the best Z-axis depth. No other IEM in this price range has better Z-axis presence than the S-6. Shuoer S12 though has better stage height but is not as good with depth.

Imaging too is very good with accurate instrumental positioning with good amount of air between the instruments. Most of the lower end notes are placed inside the head and move deeper into the head while some of the mid range notes are projected out of the head and almost all of the treble notes are placed out of the head. S-6 has very good instrument distribution with a fairly even density across the spectrum. Sonics too are above average and doesn’t feel restricted like the DUNU Falcon.



I am well aware that not many of us are aware of this brand, especially because nearly no one is promoting this brand but believe me when I say that If you like a well balanced IEM that delivers a lot of details with excellent accuracy and precision and like some sub bass presence, S-6 from Akoustyx is the best IEM priced under $200.

There are IEMs that do everything nicely but are not meant of superb accuracy and precision in this price range and most of the IEMs are V shaped. S-6 moves away from this signature and delivers a studio reference sound with a full bodied sub bass. ITs a very well tuned IEM and one of the best Planar IEM I have heard.



Picture of Suman Sourav Meher

Suman Sourav Meher

My humble audiophile journey started in 2010, when I was in college, where I fell in love with the elements, nuances, and variations of this mesmerizing world. The ability of tiny earphones to recreate amazing sounds made my bad days tolerable and good days better! Now I am a full-time audiophile with a preference for musical tracks, especially vocals and engaging ones. I must admit I am addicted, but not to drugs or alcohol, but to earphones. Come join me as I share my experiences, bad or good, and let’s have some fun!


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