Gaudio Labs is a Swiss company new to the IEM scene. You might have read a little about their beginnings and design process here at SBAF on Nico’s thread: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...-journey-from-an-idea-to-a-real-product.8734/ Their first two in-ears, Nair and Clariden are of premium build with ergonomic aluminum alloy bodies. They have a natural silver anodized finish with acrylic logo inserts on the faceplates. The nozzles are polished stainless steel. Everything is machined to look and feel premium, and frankly Gaudio succeeds fantastically. All the kilobuck brands out there need to take notice. This is how it’s done. The look is somewhat reminiscent of Campfire Audio’s industrial build but possibly taken to the next level, particularly in regards to ergonomics and weight. And I can’t say enough about the ergonomics. I was able to give Nico feedback on a very, very early prototype a long while back and a large piece of that feedback was the fit. It was pretty painful. I’m not sure how he went about tackling the fit issues but these housings fit superbly and I have zero complaints. This is an excellent universal housing with custom-like fit. Bravo. Both models come with SatinAudio cables custom tweaked for Gaudio. The wire is SPC in litz configuration. They appear to have Edolic (or similar build) plugs, connectors and splitters. The wire is very shiny and once again, it exudes the premium feel Gaudio is going for. Thankfully these boutique cables not only look good but are pretty flexible and pliable with just a hint of shape memory. Good news for glasses wearers like myself, no memory wire at the ears. Comfort is very good and tangling kept to a minimum. Accessories round out with a leather (or is it pleather?) case reminiscent of JVC’s great case that comes with their popular woodies; also included is a set of 5 quality eartips, which appear to be Final E tips. Accessories are functional and of good quality. Gaudio Nair Msrp $859 The Nair is Gaudio’s take on a reference tuning. Its a triple balanced armatured design with two bores. Overall signature is neutral and reminds me of a thinner, smaller sounding InEar ProPhile 8 (PP8). Bass is diffuse-field neutral. There is no lift that I can hear. I wish I had an Etymotic ER4 on hand, as I think bass is very similar but with perhaps slightly better extension. Upper midrange doesn’t have the same elevation as Ety or many Harman-ish tuned in-ears but reminds me greatly of the PP8’s tuning approach. The result is all the clarity without the shout. Treble also reminds me of the PP8 with the large roll off after 10k but minus the slightly hot, at times, 5k. The end result is a lean but neutral signature with a hint of mid centric tonality. It’s not going to wow you but it’s not going to offend you either. Nair vs. UERM Nair tips: Spiral Dots UERM: custom fit Source: Modius>THX 789 The UERM is perhaps the best comparison, as both attempt a neutral tuning in a triple balanced armature design, while not following a typical standardized target. I switched the Nair to Spiral Dot tips, as I thought they smoothed out lower treble just a hair better than the E tips. Upon initial switch the UERM sounds a hint U shaped with a little more warmth and a good bit more 10k presence. While I would never describe the UERM as veiled, it just isn’t as clear sounding as the Nair. Perhaps I’ll describe it as more laid back in upper mids, giving a more ethereal feel versus the clarity first presentation of the Nair. Where the Nair excels is with female vocals. Lzzy Hale’s voice cuts through with clarity and energy. The slight mid bass lift of the UERM is noticeable and in comparison it comes off as a little more punchy than the Nair; but otherwise overall bass presence is fairly similar. The Nair stages more intimately than the UERM, which thanks to it’s 10k lift sounds a good bit airer and noticeably more spread out from the listener position. Going into this comparison, I was expecting the Nair to come off as a little boring compared to the UERM. I’m really glad I did this comparison as it shows much in audio is about what you are currently used to, and lately I’ve been used the thicker, richer signatures of Andromeda and Starfield. Other than these small differences between the Nair and UERM (and at the end of the day these difference are fairly small), to me it’s the overall similarities that show they cut from the same cloth. A neutral reference. In fact, I’d say the Nair has more in common with the UERM, than the warmer, more laid back UERR that replaced the UERM. Gaudio Clariden Msrp $859 With the Clariden, Gaudio moves to a more musical approach to tuning. Clariden is also a triple balanced amateur design but with 3 bores instead of the Nair’s 2. The end result is perhaps a W shaped tuning; while tempting to call it a V shape, I can’t help but feel the upper midrange is anything but behind bass and treble. Bass is boosted and over all much warmer sounding. The boost starts a little early adding warmth, and peaks in deep bass providing plenty of rumble; it gives gravitas to instruments like piano. All in all, many listeners would probably describe this bass tuning as more natural sounding than that of the much more linear Nair. Clariden definitely provides more rumble and richness, if a bit of bleed at times into the lower midrange. While the upper midrange sounds forward, it just lacks the clarity and transparency of the Nair. Perhaps that’s the middle midrange sounding behind the bass and treble. The transition from upper mid into lower treble is a little laid back and rebounding with an Andromeda and UERM like middle treble peak and noticeably better upper extension, adding a sense of airiness and space. As a consequence the treble sounds just a little thin compared to the thicker bass. While Clariden sounds richer and bigger than Nair, it also sound much more colored with a hint more sibilance in comparison. Such is life between neutral and musical. Clariden vs. Andromeda (OG) Clariden tips: Spiral Dots Andromeda: Dual Flange Source: Modius>THX 789 Upon initially switching to Andromeda, I was immediately drawn to how much more forward sounding the Clariden is over Andromeda. Andromeda’s slightly downward slopping U shape sounds more laid back, spread out and airy; there’s much more stereo width. In contrast the Clariden sounds more forward, taller and somewhat in your face. The difference in bass is pretty apparent, Clariden bass is bigger and bolder; it rumbles harder. It’s bass is more forward and attention grabbing. While Andromeda is also bass boosted, it comes across as more even handed, demanding less attention and smoother overall. Both models carry a warmth into the midrange, however Andromeda male vocals carry a bit more weight and heft due to its relative lack of pinna gain. Clariden has a fair amount more upper midrange presence giving it more overall clarity and noticeably more energy in female vocals. It’s part of the Clariden W shaped response, making it sound more forward. I’ve always loved Andromeda’s sparkly treble. With the right fit depth, It’s one of my favorite trebles. It’s airy, it’s sparkly and it’s timbre is pretty realistic for armatures. Perhaps this is the magic of spoutless armatures. Clariden’s treble isn’t too far off. It’s airy and sparkly in it’s own right. It comes across a touch brighter to my ears, as well as a little thinner sounding. I really think it’s the contrast to the rich and forward bass that makes the treble seem a little thin next to it; it’s a hair harder and it just can’t quite match the more realistic treble timbre of Andromeda. Conclusions The difference in tuning between the Nair and Clariden could sometimes make it feel like Clariden had more drivers. At times it felt like it was also more resolving but it’s really due to the more forward boosts and peaks and in bass, upper mids and treble, pushing some detail more forward and in your face. Once acclimated over longer listening sessions, it becomes apparent neither is necessarily more resolving than the other, rather they just have different focuses. If anything, the much more neutral and even tuning of the Nair allows you to pick out details that might be glossed over in the more bombastic Clariden. The overall package from Gaudio is very compelling. The build is simply fantastic and fit unmatched, at least of those I’ve tried. I’m looking forward to future tunings Gaudio will bring and until then, the palate cleanser that is the Nair is going on my list.