This IEM took me back in time. Literally into 2017-2018 when high end BA based IEM meant the IEM most probably has a analytical sound signature with its heart and soul at details and clarity only. Pro 5 is not an IEM for light hearted people who seek enjoyment. I consider myself an accuracy and precision loving audiophile, the more the better, I love transparency and attack and guess what… After using the Vision Ears EVE20 and VE6XC I had gone soft. Pro 5 is a no nonsense IEM which doesn’t care much about holding back its attacks. It belts out some of the most balanced lower end I have heard under $1000 in a while. The mid and treble regions have some of the highest transparency to them.
It is very accurate and has little to no coloration. Crisp and deeper notes make it sound very natural.
The Pro 5 has been burned for more than 100hrs and I am using my Earmen Sparrow and Burson Playmate 2 for this review.
TECHNICALITY AND MATCHABILITY:-
The Pro 5 is easy to drive out of any balanced dongle but give it power and it will open up a bit, gaining more dimension and dynamics. The 36ohm impedance and 113.5db sensitivity at 1khz makes it one of the most friendly BA based IEM. Even if driven out of weaker sources it doesn’t really sound bad, can get loud easily but may sound slightly splashy. One can definitely opt for the pure copper cable while placing order to tame this and then the Pro 5 feels calmer. I paired it with the Effect Audio Ares II and the changes are as desired.
The Pro 5 has a bit sensitivity issue, it does have a bit of floor noise with some sources, especially in high gain modes.
The Bass region is very well defined and paced with plenty of precision and details, it has good amount of energy to the notes but it is not for a bass heads for sure. Sub Bass notes are very much in line with typical BA earphone like AF1120 and ER-4 micro series. Thankfully the lower end notes have reasonable thump and rumble to them. Pro 5 does move a bit of air and the slam is acceptable, the bass body is nicely rounded and delivers a fuller notes. When compared to the likes of Fibae 4 the Pro 5 can feel very flat.
Best comparison for the Pro 5 is the Hoerluchs HL4410, both have similar bass size and body, the Pro 5 has better precision, details and accuracy. The decay of the Pro 5 is as good as the ER-4P but has better and depth to the notes, which means it is a lot faster than the Bravado. Notes don’t vanish into thin air, they make their presence felt while keeping the speed up to the mark. The sub-ass extension is as good as it gets for BA based IEMs, better than Audiofly AF1120 but is slightly less compared to the HL4410. There is some rumble, nothing to write home about though. Mid bass is slightly fuller giving the bass its body. Upper bass has better energy compared to the HL4410.
It is not as dry as the 4P or not as juicy as the Fibae 4, it lies just in the middle of these two. The Pro 5 as I said earlier is not for those looking for Bass, it can deliver but cannot please a bass head.
The transition from upper bass to lower mid range is without any obvious drop in energy. It maintains very good amount of energy at the lower mid range. The mid range is slightly more forward compared to the bass region giving the instruments and vocals a more central projection. Notes are sharper and more precise compared to the Fibae 4. Fibae 3 tries to deliver smoothness over details or clarity. Pro 5 notes have nice finishing to them, sonicality, too is up to the class. The first thing to notice with the mid range is the amount of accuracy, its exceptionally paced with plenty of details and energy. It has very good instrumental distribution and density, sibilance and aggressive notes are nicely kept at bay, things do get sharp but not overly.
Vocals on the Pro 5 are very well defined with good amount of throaty feel to them. Let it be male of female vocals both sound very clean and have accurate tonality to them. Over all vocals have very good texture but can feel a bit less full than natural.
Instruments shine like the star of the show. There is plenty of energy and bite to them leaving a mark, without getting uncomfortable. They have better amount of details, resolution and transparency compared to the likes of Fibae 4 and Aonic 5. I love the way the Pro 5 projects its mid range, the level of resolution is mention worthy, it is willing to go the distance with plenty of accuracy and precision. Upper mid range is energetic with the pure silver cable but still is not bothering even after few hours of usage.
Transition from upper mid range to the lower treble region is very good. There is nice amount of energy around the transition phase. Level of details at this region too is very good. When we go up the spectrum, energy with the notes increases and instruments exhibit class leading details and transparency. Let it be pianos, trumpets or cymbals, they have the very good amount of sharpness and the finishing of the note, along with the presentation is very good. Let it be resolution, clarity or imaging, Pro 5 doesn’t hold back. The level of imaging delivered is cleaner and clearer when compared to the Fibae 4 and Bravado.
It delivers plenty of details and has very good amount of spark to them, Aural Definition has not tried to dial the energy back, which is admirable. The amount of extension too is up to the class. Yes the Treble doesn’t feel as endless as the Fibae 3 or ARA but it is not a thing one can put a finger on either. Layering and separation is better than the two earphones I have been constantly mentioning. The Pro 5 is airier and more defined.
STAGE AND IMAGING:-
Pro 5 has an interesting imaging while the stage has very good height, good width but average depth. Against the Ara oe Legend K8 it lacks a bit of stage depth.
Back to Imaging, Pro 5 is exceptionally accurate with it. All the notes originate from a plane but it is reasonably dynamic. Vocals are almost always placed inside the head while some instruments originate inside the head but spread out effortlessly. One interesting aspect is its instrument distribution, it is exceptionally even, Pro 5 has no region of the spectrum dominating the stage or makes the rest of the spectrum revolve around it. It lacks a bit of dynamic Cue placement tho, affecting its sonicality, it can dynamically place stuff, not that it just simply cant, but is not subtle about it which robs it off of some nuance. When everything is served with same energy it loses the contrast and mystery.
VS Shozy Black Hole:
VS Panther audio Legend K8:
This 8BA IEM is not as serious sounding as the Pro 5. It is a bit more jolly and lighthearted with its presentation in comparison but is 2nd to none when it comes to the amount of details or clarity.
K8 has a bit more bass, specially the mid bass volume is bigger. It still has the similar amount of texture and details. It has slightly better dynamics and a bit slower decay speed. Mid range of the K8 is not as lean as the Pro 5 and is a bit less attacking. It does not try to deliver a sharper or leaner note losing some cleanliness of the Pro 5. The treble is a more different story. K8 keeps thing sparkly and lively but is simply doesn’t have the precision or edge definition of the Pro 5. Stage size of the K8 has a taller and deeper feel but the X-axis width is not as good as the Pro 5. Imaging of the K8 is very good too but the Treble notes envelop some of the Vocal notes which can feel a bit odd given that it is a $850+ IEM.
Aural Definition Pro 5 is a purist. No adulteration whatsoever. Pro 5 is for those who demand clarity, and transparency. It has details, accuracy, precision and transparency in its DNA. It doesn’t try to be anything but an analytical IEM. Clarity and cleanliness is paramount for the Pro 5. This tuning will not please those who like a more fun sound. The bass is okay at best and cant satisfy those who even care for a balanced sound. It feels like there is only one BA for the lower end and I would like Aural definition to add another for some more volume and weight.
If you are a purist or want to possess an IEM that exposes every bit of detail in the track, the Pro 5 should be the top pick. Not even the Campfire Ara or MEST mk2 has the level of transparency of the Pro 5. This kind of signature makes it sound a bit less emotional but it is what it is. Pro 5 has only one mood, serious, this is the next serious Sam which only grin for a smile. It has the attack and barely holds back, Just like Sam, Serious Sam.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.