Class-leading design and excellent build, Highly linear tuning, Dead neutral tonality, Satin Audio cable
Limited bass extension, Will be too dynamically flat for some
If you’re looking for a neutral, accurate sound without a fatiguing top-end and value build and ergonomics, the Nair is certainly a strong investment.
GAudio is a new kid on the block from Switzerland who definitely deserves your while. The company is hugely ambitious, their first product release already aiming sites on market leaders. The company design and build all of their products from the ground up. I had a wonderful time getting to know the brains behind GAudio, Nicola, who was very open with their process and receptive to feedback – he definitely gives off mad-scientist vibes so you know he’s onto something good! It is this mentality that underpins their designs and the results show in the finished product. Welcome the Clariden and Nair, GAudio’s first earphones. Both sport gorgeous all-metal shells alongside a 3-BA design. The Nair reviewed here today, is the more reference offering of the two while the Clariden offers a more engaging tuning. From the outset, the package is highly enticing, with a focus on refinement over bulk specification. The shell design and inclusion of premium Satin Audio cable are an indicator that Nicola has very serious intentions in the high-end audio space. As we’ll see, it’s the small touches that make this a convincing package.
The Clariden and Nair are available on GAudio’s website for €759, you can read all about GAudio’s designs and treat yourself to one here.
I would like to thank Nicola from GAudio very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the Nair for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. I paid a reduced cost for the earphones in return for honest evaluation and will attempt to be as objective as possible.
- 2 Acoustic paths
- 3 Way-System – 1x Bass, 1x Mid, 1x high
- Impedance @1kHz = 26ohm
- Impedance average = 25ohm
The Pitch –
3 Drivers – 3-Way
Both earphones are designed to sing from a wide range of sources and avoid hiss with an average 25-ohm impedance. The design has been tuned in both frequency and time domains to match Nicola’s vision – this was a prime reason behind the choice to use a lower driver count.
Satin Audio Hyperion
Both GAudio in-ears include Satin Audio cables from factory. Satin Audio are renowned for their excellent value custom cables and the Hyperion exemplifies this with a reasonable $70 USD asking price. It’s super light with 28AWG wires and features 7N SP-OCC pure SPC conductors with Type 2 Litz geometry. Individually enamelled strands promise no oxidation over time while proprietary TeCu connectors promise enhanced conductivity over standard brass and bronze. All the bells and whistles of a good custom cable are here from factory including a tough Nylon damping core and Cardas solder at all terminations.
The GAudio packaging is very appealing with a magnetic split-fold box that opens to reveal the earphones within protective foam inlet and leather carrying case below. GAudio includes 5 pairs of Final Audio E-tips out of the box which is a huge plus as these tips are some of my personal favourites both from a sonic and ergonomic standpoint.
In short, the stem is flexible to conform to the bends of the user’s ear canal without obstructing the sound tube-like Spinfits for a more transparent sound and stable fit, excellent stuff. GAudio includes a nice acrylic tip holder to keep things organised. In addition, the user will find the Satin Audio cable and cleaning tool. It’s a very premium and professional experience.
Surely, the Nair represents one of the most visually appealing earphones on the market. The shells are a gorgeous 3-piece aluminium design – an ebb and flow of curves. They pursue a pseudo-custom design with anti-helix fin for fit stability and elongated nozzles for a strong seal and consistent sound. The shells are relatively light but perfectly sturdy in the hand and the only hint that this product isn’t from an industry veteran is the very slight mismatching of the faceplates and shells. That said, this did not cause discomfort for my ears and Nicola has made it clear that the tolerances are closer on each subsequent batch. An acrylic window denotes the model, the Nair being white, the Clariden being black. These are undoubtedly some of the nicest universal shells currently on the market.
The earphones employ a 0.78mm removable cable system and, as aforementioned, Satin Audio’s Hyperion is included in the box. Though I am not familiar with the original cable, no corners appear to have been cut for mass manufacturing. The cable is thin and light but sturdy with well-anchored terminations and even some visible strain relief. The wire is highly compliant with zero memory and good tangle resistance too on account of a slight springiness. There are no ear guides but a kink just above the connectors that routes the cable over the back of the ear. It is supple enough not to spring over, achieving flawless comfort and stability. Altogether, a highly premium package from an upper-midrange IEM.
Fit & Isolation –
Another highlight of the Nair is its fit which, much like its design, is some of the best I’ve come across. The long nozzles are very well-angled which positions the slightly wider housings neutrally in the ear. The fin does indeed aid fit stability with a very locked-in sensation once fit. I didn’t experience any issues with seal nor comfort, with no hotspot formation over time, they were a great complement to my daily productivity at home or a portable companion when on the go.
What helps with this versatility is their excellent passive noise isolation. The long nozzles promote a deep fit which, in culmination with a dense metal and fully-sealed design, produces some of the best isolation I’ve experienced from a uni. With foam tips, these isolate almost as much as a custom, it’s terrific. If I have one caveat it’s that the nozzles are on the larger side which does limit fit depth to some degree. However, I didn’t experience any issues with fit stability or comfort because of this. The GAudio IEMs are ergonomically excellent.
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