Jomo Audio Déux – Syrupy Serenade

Select Comparisons

Advanced AcousticWerkes A3H 2018 (S$399 (UIEM); S$499 (CIEM))

Advanced AcousticWerkes (or AAW) were arguably the first to popularise hybrid in-ears in Singapore. I recently reviewed the 2018 iteration of their 3-driver A3H (1DD + 2BA) and I found it excitingly energetic. Like the Avalon we’ll explore soon, its penchant for dynamic energy contrasts heavily against the Déux’s relaxed presentation. The A3H throws a more vibrant, more exciting image because of its brighter treble. The Déux is fatter and richer, but compensates spatially. The latter is more intimate-sounding with a stage that wraps around the head – more even in proportion and genuine in depth. Conversely, the A3H is akin to a bright, crisp LED screen; detailed and clear, but comparatively less immersive.

Down low, both display the rumble and physicality evident of a dynamic driver. But, the A3H is significantly more subtle, as its bass lies further back in the mix. The former then has a cleaner stage and higher clarity. Bassheads though won’t be remiss to call this unused potential. This reservedness also renders its lower-treble sounding more pronounced, while the Déux has better top-to-bottom balance. Resolution is stronger on the latter as a result, as its notes sound more complete; less top-heavy. But, if your cup-of-tea is crisper transients, cleaner soundscapes and sparkly cymbals, the A3H comes out on top. If you like your mids warmer and fatter – and your bass just the same – the Déux takes the cake.

Nocturnal Audio Avalon (S$629)

Nocturnal Audio is yet another Singaporean manufacturer with an eye on the mid-tier market. Their 3-driver Avalon is an in-ear with emphases on treble sparkle and sub-bass physicality. Clearly then, it’s the antithesis of what the Déux has to offer. Immediately, the two clash massively in upper-treble energy. The Avalon comes across sharper, clearer and crisper, but at the cost of balance. The Déux may flaunt less detail, but it’s more pleasing to listen to; throughout long stretches, especially. The Avalon is extremely articulate, but the Déux portrays a fuller and more well-rounded sound.

The Déux has a richer, more present low-end with emphases on the mid- and upper-bass. The Avalon is more sub-bass-oriented, which gives it a leaner, more guttural texture. This results in similar bass clarity and separation between the two. But, the Déux’s dynamic driver gives it superior physicality and thump. The Avalon has a crisper, cleaner and brighter vocal range, where the Déux is warmer and more organic. This lends the former towards audiophiles who heavily prioritise detail, while the smoother, more laid-back Déux finds its audience among more tone-oriented listeners.

Jomo Audio Haka (S$599)

The Haka is one of Joseph’s most balanced and versatile monitors. Although it’s an entry-level piece, it has a knack for sounding pleasing with everything – my only complaints being a lack of treble extension and bite. These sentiments very much carry themselves through against Déux. The Haka is more coherent and balanced, especially around 3-4kHz and 6kHz; where the Déux is most saturated. Here, the Haka has greater headroom, so it comes across more effortless and natural. Conversely, some audiophiles may prefer the Déux’s energy for a more immediate presentation of instruments.

Although the Haka delivers a warm, well-rounded bass, it can’t compete with the Déux’s dynamic driver. The latter is superior in texture, extension and impact by significant margins. The Haka gives it a run for its money in overall timbre, but the Déux is the obvious victor down low. Despite the saturation, the Déux also has greater clarity. Instruments are more forwardly-placed and articulate, even if they are a touch forceful. Finally, the Déux has more middle-treble energy, so it’s top-end is crisper and livelier. The Haka may have a blacker background, but the former wins out in air and detail.

Verdict

The Déux is an immensely appealing piece from Jomo Audio. It’s reminiscent of the Haka in that it strays from Joseph’s clarity-driven house sound in favour of a warmer, smoother, more tonally-inclined signature. And to that end, it uses its dynamic driver in unique ways. Rather than emphasising sheer punch and impact, the diaphragm contributes warmth in a rich, sumptuous manner; reminiscent of yesteryear’s tube-y analog tones. But not to be outdone, modern advances in time and phase preserve resolution, and ACU is always there in case you need a little more (or less) kick. Whether you’re the type to listen for hours on end or die-hards of smooth, lush monitors in general, Déux will definitely do you good.

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Deezel

Deezel

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.

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