Alclair Electro – Elegance, Eloquence, Excellence

4

DISCLAIMER: Alclair provided me with the Electro in return for my honest opinion. I am not personally affiliated with the company in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. I’d like to thank Alclair for their kindness and support. The review is as follows.

Alclair is a custom in-ear manufacturer based in Minnesota, USA. Although they currently aren’t as widely known in the audiophile circuit, they’ve built an outstanding reputation in the pro scene. With over 60 years of experience under their belt, their customer service and price-to-performance ratios have widely been lauded by musicians as some of the best in the industry today. Back in 2013, it was our very own average_joe who introduced them to enthusiasts with a review of their triple-driver Reference monitors. Now, having come full circle, we’re immensely grateful to have been given the first go at their new flagship Electro – a gorgeously-tuned piece, featuring the world’s first e-stat design in custom form.

Alclair Electro

  • Driver count: Four balanced-armature drivers and two electrostatic drivers
  • Impedance: 24Ω @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 107dB @ 1mW
  • Key feature(s) (if any): N/A
  • Available form factor(s): Custom acrylic in-ear monitors
  • Price: $1499
  • Website: www.alclair.com

Build and Accessories

My Electro arrived in a stunning wooden box with Alclair branding subtly engraved on top. Now unfortunately, this is a limited option only made available in small amounts around late last year. But, who knows? If enough demand is heard, perhaps Alclair may consider doing another run. In addition to the wooden box, Alclair also kindly provided their default leather case, which is no less attractive in its own right. As indicated by the insignia stamped on the bottom of the body, the case was made in collaboration with Haiti Made, who craft leather goods to help feed families in Haiti. Being entirely handmade, it certainly has a more rustic feel than the pin-point precision of Sennheiser’s leather case from my most recent review. But personally, I love its character, and I admire Alclair’s initiative to help others whenever they can.

Both cases feature dense foam inserts with indents and channels precisely cut-out for the in-ear monitors, cables and accessories to snugly reside in. This makes organisation a breeze, and security guaranteed. Accessories-wise, the Electro arrives with a 1/4″ adapter, a cleaning tool and a magnetic cable tie. Here, I would’ve loved to also see a microfibre cloth and desiccant. For now, they’re only available as part of their $25 Cleaning Supplies Kit – which also includes ear lubricant – on the Alclair online store. There, you can also purchase in-ear vacuums, cable testers, hard-shell Pelican cases, zipper cases, microphone cables, etc. The Electro comes default with Alclair’s premium UPOCC copper cable. In terms of feel, softness and flexibility, it fares fine. But, the inclusion of a $149 cable only adds to the value of the in-ears themselves.

On their site, Alclair also provide an IEM designer for you to visualise your designs before you finalise your purchase. In terms of ease-of-use and presentation, it’s up there with 64 Audio, Empire Ears, Vision Ears and Custom Art. But again, JH Audio is the only thus far to feature entirely rotatable 3D models with simulated lighting. Cosmetically, Alclair offer 35 transparent colours, 15 glittered shades and 6 pearlescent hues. And, for the faceplates, you also have 6 kinds of woods, black carbon fibre and an option known as Bling; dots of odd-sized diamonds throughout the surface of the faceplate.

For my own, I opted for Gold Pearlescent and Black Pearlescent shells with transparent faceplates, so I get a clear view of the monitor’s innards. Cosmetically, I think Alclair did a fabulous job. Perhaps the printed logos aren’t as high-res as the engravings I’m more accustomed to, but that’s a minor nitpick. Fit-wise, the Electro is one of my most low-profile IEMs. The right side in particular can be tricky to insert with aftermarket cables. But once they’re seated correctly, all is well.

1 2 3
Share.

About Author

Church-boy by day and audio-obsessee by night, Daniel Lesmana’s world revolves around the rhythms and melodies we lovingly call: Music. When he’s not behind a console mixing live for a congregation of thousands, engineering records in a studio environment, or making noise behind a drum set, you’ll find him on his laptop analysing audio gear with fervor and glee. Now a specialist in custom IEMs, cables and full-sized headphones, he’s looking to bring his unique sensibilities - as both an enthusiast and a professional - into the reviewer’s space; a place where no man has gone before.

4 Comments

  1. Hey Daniel,

    Incredibly well-written as always! Thanks a ton for the review.
    One thing that came to mind when reading though was that how would the Electro compare to the SM64 as they are both (supposedly) tuned for mixing. Do you have any impressions on how these two compare — especially in the midrange and the overall engagement?

    Cheers!

    • Hey Ed,

      Thanks so much! I currently have the EM64; not the SM64. So, I hope the comparison still applies. The EM64 is quite a bit sparklier than the Electro. The top-end is brighter and bites more, so I’d say the Electro’s top-end is more transparent (i.e. it changes more from one track to another). Obviously, that’s a quality that would be more ideal in mixing, so you can track the differences you’re making more accurately in real-time.

      The EM64’s midrange is also a bit more distant, which gives its soundstage a bit more depth. As I said in the review, the Electro’s upper-mids are a hair more forward than flat-neutral. If your engagement is determined by dynamic energy and the contrast between the top- and bottom-ends, the EM64 is more fun and lively to listen to. The Electro’s reference-tuned low-end can make it sound straight-up dull down-low with certain recordings. But, if your engagement is determined by the fullness and intimacy of the vocalist or lead instrument, the Electro’s more forward, vibrant midrange will come across more engaging.

      With all that said, I think the EM64 is more ideal for performing than it is for mixing, even though it can serve that function capably too. I feel the reverse is true for the Electro. If you like a touch of brightness and a bit of bite to your IEMs, the EM64 is for you. If you prefer a slightly thicker, smoother, but no-less-detailed sound, the Electro is the one.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Daniel

      • Daniel,

        Thank you for the detailed explanation! I meant to say EM64 — the one you recently reviewed (sorry) and you got straight to the point! Seems like the Electro would be more ideal for vocals lovers and the EM64 is more fun-oriented.

        Thank you again for your help!

        • Definitely! But, I reckon they’re both balanced enough to please most crowds as well.

          No problem! Cheers! 😀

Reply To Deezel Cancel Reply