Gaudio Nair & Clariden Reviews, Impressions and Discussion

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by shotgunshane, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    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.
     
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  2. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The Nair and Clariden will be going on a SBAF US tour. Look for the thread to be posted Monday 9/21.
     
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  3. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Did you feel the Nair was less shouty than the Ara under wrong input z?

    For the price, I'll be looking forward to trying out the Nair on the loaner if possible.
     
  4. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I didn’t try Nair with added impedance; I’ll give it a try tomorrow and see what happens.

    At less than 1 ohm, Nair is a little brighter through the upper midrange but I don’t find either shouty. If I recall right, it was Ara lower treble that became issue with added impedance.
     
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  5. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Agreed with the added impedance on the Ara. Only way I could make it sound good to me was either using IEMatch or my Sony WM1A DAP. the lower treble/upper mids could be sour on the wrong setup.
     
  6. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    @YMO added impedance makes the Nair brighter. IEMatch on high was fairly subtle but 33 ohms was really lean. Best to keep Nair at less than 1 ohm OI.
     
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  7. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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  8. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    @zeed , could you post impedance vs frequency curves for both models here or on your website? It would be interesting for people to see how their favourite source (or potential alternatives) might affect their tonalities.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Would love to get on the Nair loaner (and extra measurements, impedance, et. al.)
     
  10. zeed

    zeed MOT: Gaudio

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    Sure, here we go:

    CLARIDEN impedance & electrical phase
    [​IMG]

    CLARIDEN fr vs output impedance (0.1 vs 5 vs 30 ohm)
    [​IMG]

    NAIR impedamce & electrical phase
    [​IMG]

    NAIR fr vs output impedance (0.1 vs 5 vs 30 ohm)
    [​IMG]

    PS: no smoothing applied
     
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  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Great review @shotgunshane ! And thenks @zeed for offering 2 of your precious item's for loaners! Very generous and smart of you, this community is quite honest and a trusted source of real information.

    I mean no disrespect, but this description of the Nair on your website leaves me scratching my head a little bit

    "This is our take on a reference type of tuning, for professional mixing and mastering or for the most demanding audiophiles.

    The sound consist of extended, linear and detailed bass, with slightly elevated mids to treble region for better articulation, separation and detailing.

    The result is an earphone which is transparent and accurate to the original master and works remarkably well as a high-level all-rounder or a precise studio tool"
    So if the mids to treble are slightly elevated, as Shotgunshane's review corroborated, how can they be accurate to the original master or be a reference tuning? They by definition have more mids and treble than the original master. Again, no disrespect this is just a huge pet peeve of mine. Neutral or reference is flat, not "elevated mids and treble" for the "clarity effect"

    huge hugs for making or trying to make a flat iem though! They are few and far between!
     
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  12. zeed

    zeed MOT: Gaudio

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    @rhythmdevils: thanks for your comment, and no offence taken! :)

    Well, the issue here is that you have to compensate for the ear canal acoustic impedance (and loss of pinna+concha gain, if comparing to headphones).
    Why that?

    When inserting something in your ear, you are altering the volume in the cavity, which from being empty becomes partially filled by the eartip+earphone assembly.
    By changing the air volume, you are also changing the impedance and the interaction between the speakers and the load at the front, which in fact is the volume of air to be moved.

    With the use of an in-ear system, therefore, the resonance of the external portion of the ear is effectively lost, and with a more or less deep insertion, the resonance of the internal channel gets also altered by some margin.

    The consequence is that an in-ear that measures perfectly flat on the ear simulator, will produce a sound not flat, but rather very unbalanced on the midrange and dull, totally not natural and not accurate.
    To avoid this, it is necessary to compensate this resonance deprivation with the frequency response of the earphones with an increase in the mid-high range (1.5-6khz).
    How much increment, where and in what way it is up to each manufacturer, as everyone has his own "house sound", and his vision about accurate sound.
    In the case of Gaudio, Nair represents my vision of an accurate, not too tiring sound (8khz+) which allows long listening sessions (fundamental in the case of studio monitors), while maintaining excellent detail.

    [​IMG]

    Continuing on the subject, which I find very interesting, let's consider the following case.
    Let's say we can make an earphone which does sound perfectly flat to the acoustic designer, in every bit of its Frequency Response (FR).
    Let's consider that we can put a microphone against the eardrum of 10 subjects.
    Let's consider inserting the same earphone (so not considering tolerances in production) with the same eartip with the same insertion depth (definitely difficult).
    By measuring the FR at the eardrum, you will get 10 slightly different FRs.
    Yes, different. And this from a measuring, objective perspective.
    Then, come into play the different subjective taste (personal, cultural, from region to region, etc) and the different kind of music the people listen to and you can clearly understand how such different feedback on the various products occurs.

    There are no definitive studies on this, but different points of view, see for example Harman's target curves for IEM of 2017 and 2019 and the other ones presented around.

    It is a subject in development and it is interesting to observe the different perspectives of both the actors involved, as well as the end-users.
     
  13. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    It’s the Clariden that has elevated upper mids and middle treble, to compensate for the more prodigious bass. The Nair is one of the flattest frequency response sounding iems I’ve heard. Up there with the ER4, UERM and PP8 in overall perceived flatness.
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Please tell me the Nair isn't as PP8 from 3.5-7kHz. UERM is good, PP8 was a bit too much. The problem with IEMs is that the designer has to guess one's ear transfer function, particularly for the pinna and concha. For headphones which don't bypass these structures, an individuals inverse transfer function (brain) will translate more correctly. Unfortunately, IEMs bypass these structures.

    As you know I prefer less emphasized in this area (unless there is bass boost, but then are talking something along the lines of Sean Olive's curse), probably because my physical pinna and concha gain is low (thereby my brain applying less correction).
     
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  15. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    It’s similar to my recollection of the PP8. However it doesn’t have the 5k heat the PP8 has with some songs. I haven’t experienced any issues.

    It’s less pinna gain than the ER4 series, although Ety centers it’s gain a little under 3k. And it’s more pinna gain than the UERM, which is ever so slightly relaxed there.
     
  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    We should all cut off our Pinnas and mail them to our girlfriends.
     
  17. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Gear List at time of Impressions/Review:

    Thinkpad X260 via Roon or Foobar2000-UPnP > Schiit Eitr > Massdrop x Airist R-2R DAC (RDAC) > Zampotech SW51+

    Roon or UPnP > PI2AES [Coax Output] or Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD Player (CD Transport) [Toslink Output] > Schiit Bifrost 2 > DNA Starlett

    Sony WM1A & Drop x JVC HA-FDX1.

    I have to apologize to @zeed. When I saw his introduction to Gaudio thread here, I didn’t know if this was going to be an actual company that will actually make a product. In matter of fact, I forgot about it. This is due to me seeing new companies coming up talking about a product, then it doesn’t come into fruition. When @shotgunshane got his hands on the Final versions of the Nair and Clariden, I was like so @zeed was legit after all. On top of that, very favorable impressions from the IEMs on top of that. I wanted to get another higher end IEM since I don’t feel like using my over-ear headphones all the time, and I wanted something different over my Drop x JVC HA-FDX1. Of course since I am working from home 100% of the time now I just use my two desk setups. Normally it isn’t recommended to use BA IEMs like the Nair and Clariden on desk amps without the IEMatch due to sensitivity and noise issues. Also, you have to be crazy like me to plug these suckers on my tube amps. I’m pretty crazy, so lets do this.


    Packaging and Design:


    The loaners came in this really nice size retail packaging that is cool to open up what is inside the box. Since Gaudio is Swiss, they of course have to make their packaging special with the words “Swiss Made.” The two flaps are weirdly shaped, but easy to pull from the box. When you open the box you will see the IEM that you ordered, the pleather carrying case that is very similar to the Drop X JVC, a warranty card and a serial sticker. The Gaudio carrying case is excellent and has enough space for the IEM inside. It is also easy to take out it/put it back in. Most IEM packaging is on the smaller end, the Gaudio one is different where it is a bigger size box that won’t wear down if you keep opening it/closing it.

    The design of the Nair and Clariden is fantastic. The aluminum bodies feels great on your hand, and doesn’t feel cheap at all. At first you might think these IEMs won’t fit your ears due to how strangely shaped they are for people’s ears. However, it is done on purpose for close to custom fit as possible. I’m in love with the fit. I like them so much more than than the CA Ara deep insertion in my ears. No pressure on my ears, and no itching feeling with the default Final E Tips. While the CA Ara is the best fit CA IEM for me, he deep insertion with the marshmallow tips did made me itch inside my ears at times. However, it was a minor thing and not close to the comfort issues I was having with the OG Solaris and OG Andro.

    The default SatinAudio cables are quality and don’t feel cheap, but I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of litz configuration cables feeling on my arms. These do not use MMCX connectors but the standard two-pin configuration, aka the Edolic plugs.

    End of the day, I wish more IEMs feel great on my ears as the Gaudio housing I’m very sensitive to comfort on anything on my head/ears, and these past the comfort test. However, you should try them out if you can because maybe your ears are weird and may not get along with the Gaudio housing.

    Sound:


    Note: For both Nair and Clariden I just used the default tips that came with the loaners, the Final E Tips.

    Clariden:

    So this is the musical tuning of the two loaners. For @zeed first attempt it is not bad, but I don’t think it fully hits the spot for me. Bass is boosted but not crazy boosted to the point it is a boombox. I felt on the EQ it’s a +3 on bass, which does make the bass guitar on Mick Karn – Titles come out nicely. However, my issues with the Clariden is the vocals are just too strange for me here. It’s too laid back for me and it is too mixed in with the bass/treble, which at times became a mess for me to listen too. Even with the bass boost, it felt it was too much in David Sylvian – Brilliant Trees where the bass at times was too muddy and gross. I think in certain records the bass boost would be great appreciated, and in other recordings it would be an issue where it just doesn’t sound right. The treble didn’t fatigue me at all, and honestly I thought that region was just fine. However, I just didn’t like the treble mixing in with the other regions. I almost forgot, I didn’t like Grace Jones’s voice when listening to her Nightclubbing album. I felt the Clariden didn’t bring out Grace’s voice that I’m use to, mostly due to the vocals being laid back as I said earlier.

    I dunno if this is full W-tuning IEM, but I think it is. I I don’t mind a V-Shape/U-Shape/W-Shape/Whatever-Shape IEM if it is done right. I’m just not feeling this one. Even putting on some HI-NRG Patrick Cowley singles I’m just not in the groove to dance to it.

    I hate to be negative on @zeed’s first musical IEM, but if the Clariden was a pricey dinner dish I would eat it and tell the chief this meal sucks. Maybe for the next IEM that is a musical tuning ask the IEM gurus for their input (@shotgunshane, @La Cenric, @james444, and others that I forgot, sorry). Sorry if impressions here wasn’t that good, I just don’t like it.

    Nair:

    WOW. My goodness, @zeed knocked this one out the first time for a neutral tuning IEM. I know there is a big market for musically turned IEMs. However, the Nair doesn’t have any hot issues from my end, it is pretty damn flat depending on the Input Z (more on that later), and doesn’t fatigue you out. The catch of course is a neutral turning that isn’t everyone’s favorite type of sound.

    I became a big fan of the Nair due there is no serious flaws on the sound. Yes, maybe more bass would be helpful here and there, but bass guitars still sound good and on point. Yes, maybe the vocals from Grace Jones and David Sylvian could be a little more forwarded, but there is nothing weird about how the vocals is coming out here as-is. Yes, maybe more bite would be helpful for my Judas Priest enough, but there’s just enough bite for engagement. You know when making chicken soup you add too much hot sauce in it and people get pissed about it? I feel the Nair just have the right balance of neutral here. Yes, the OG CA Andro has the more musical tuning type sound people love, but the lower treble can be an issue for some people. Yes, the CA Ara with its more BA drivers surpass the Nair on resolution, bass texture, a little more staging, etc. But, the Nair wins by just being on point, and doesn’t attempt to lie to you on the source material. Yes, I think the Drop x JVC HA-FDX1 has more bass impact in certain moments than the Nair, but the JVCs isn’t being honest with you with its untextured bass and less technicalities than the Nair. Also, the CA stuff cost more than the Nair and have more BA drivers.

    Nair biggest strength to me once again is no hot issues anywhere that I can tell. I can see this as part of a Headphone/IEM collection where after listening to bass/treble-heavy stuff you just want to put something on to give your ears a clean out. Even the CA Ara that I previously tried is not forgiving on the Upper Mids/Lower Treble when the Input Z isn’t ideal. So long story short, best IEM that I used with no fatigue issues. Also one of the best neutral ones that I tired out in my time. If you are bias for one sound region, these aren’t for you. If you want a neutral leaning IEM when you have other stuff where it is more on the musical side, then consider these. If you want to just have one IEM, I can’t consider these since I believe the Nair works best in a collection of other Headphones/IEMs. If you really need one IEM, I still tell folks to do the Drop x JVC HA-FDX1.

    If @zeed wants to improve the Nair, the only way to do it is to add more BA drivers so it would gain resolution/staging/bass/etc. At that point call it a new model. The price/sound ratio is on mark for this IEM (I think @zeed could get away from selling these almost $1000, but the $850ish USD price I like it as it is!) I can’t say the same for the Clariden.

    Staging
    :

    For both IEMs I thought the staging is average. I think on both IEMs the staging is a little better than the Drop x JVC HA-FDX1. I think the staging is the same compared to the OG CA Andros that I had. CA Ara and OG CA Solaris will win on Staging over both IEMs, no questions ask. Staging whores should avoid these IEMs. Then again, what is staging on an IEM to begin with? I mean, we are talking about IEMs here……


    Desk Amps + Tube Amps + Input Z
    :

    One of the biggest challenges of BA IEMs in general is their super sensitive nature of them. You plug them in a desk amp and they get loud quick with a minor volume knob adjustment. Also, due to they are sensitive it could perhaps pick up noise from the desk amp. The biggest surprise when using both IEMs is they work pretty well with the two tube amps that I have in my apartment (SW51+ and DNA Starlett).

    Previously when trying other BA IEMs I have to use the IEMatch due to volume issues and it would cut down any noise from my amp. I’m not having any serious noise pick up from using the Clariden and the Nair on my two tube amps. The only noise it could pick up is when turning on a tube amp and you can see the tubes “clicking” when they are warming up. Noise goes away when you are playing music. I dunno if @zeed made them less sensitive compared to other BA IEMs in the market, but I hope he keeps it up like this. I do truly believe there is a market for IEMs that will work on desk amps. The THX AAA 789 was marked as a desk amp that plays well with IEMs. Since I was mostly using the Nair, I was using it the most on my desk amps.

    When using the Nair on the SW51+ I prefer the sound from the High Ohm input. This gives the Nair a minor U-Shaped sound that helps makes it a little more musical to me. However, the trade off is the minor compression and very little staging loss. I think the trade-off is worth it here depending on what type of music I’m listening to. I get similar results on the DNA Starlett as well if I put the IEC Switch on High and 0DB on the SE switch. However, I don’t always have the volume control that I want for the most compressed recordings with the Nair. When that happens, I put the SE Switch to -6DB and boom more volume control. Most of the time on the SW51+ I have the volume knob at 9/10 o’clock. On the DNA Starlett on most records I have it on 4 or 5. The real compressed recordings I have is on 2-3 on the Starlett, but after putting the SE Switch down to -6DB I have it back to 4-5 on the volume knob (which is my preference). With the same settings adjustment on the Clariden, the W-tuning type sound is well, less W-tuning sound. However, it still sounds a little weird due to the nature of the tuning.

    Bringing out the IEMatch and setting it to High will make both IEMs sound what they were originally intended to sound like. This means the Nair will be really flat (and not minor U-Shaped when not using the IEMatch on my amps) while the Clariden will be well, a Clariden. I used the IEMatch to my advantage because some recordings don’t need the minor U-Shaped sound on my end (some random classical pieces), while some records you would want the Nair to be kind of musical (pop stuff, rap, and the albums that I listed on this post). Does this mean get rid of your pure musical Headphones/IEMs and take advantage of this interesting finding with the Nair? Nah, don’t do it. But I have to admit, I don’t mind plugging them in for hours without the IEMatch when blasting Public Enemy – Fear Of A Black Planet since well, no fatigue!!

    My biggest issue with the CA IEMs were they aren’t truly desk amp friendly to begin with. You have to use IEMatch or stick to DAPs/Portable Units if you want to get the best out of their IEMs. Not their fault, it is just they are super picky on Input Z for best sound. I just don’t have that problem with the Gaudio IEMs, which is want I need more than ever since I just work from home 100% now. Honestly, I’m happy that they play nicely with the desk amps that I currently have.

    Of course as a reminder, your mileage may super vary here when using these IEMs on your desk amps. You may not get the result you want from them. For another datapoint, I know @shotgunshane likes the Nair running directly into the THX AAA 789 being fed the Modius for a little extra fatness to the sound.

    Other Things
    :

    Just use them for music only. On some portable gaming devices you will get more sound noise than ever. This could happen on cell phones with a headphone jack. Of course, your mileage also may super vary here. For some who are curious, I prefer the Drop x JVC HA-FDX1 for handheld gaming.


    Conclusion:

    To be on point:
    • @zeed's first neutral tuning IEM, the Nair, is fantastic on being neutral without the fatigue and is super duper recommended.
      • But it won't win on staging/resolution/bass/etc. when compared to costly IEMs.
      • But the price is super right and would make plenty of people happy. Since it doesn't attempt to lie to you about the sound for its MSRP.
      • Very desk amp friendly, but make sure you still have an IEMatch just if you want the Nair to sound flat as it should. However, your mileage may vary and you may need the IEMatch 100% of the time if using desk amps.
      • Dunno if I can recommend this as the only IEM to have, this works better if you have other Headphones/IEMs.
      • If you hate any hotness or any sound range gives you fatigue, Nair is your ticket.
    • @zeed's first musical tuning IEM, the Clariden, is kind of a dud to me because the W-Shaped Sound just makes the music and vocals too weird for my taste.
      • I think the JVC HA-FDX1 is more musical than the Clariden.
      • It sounds kind of average for the price to me.
      • A second model or an improvement after working with the IEM Gurus can steer the Clariden successors/upgrades into a positive direction.
      • At the same time, this is the first musical tuning IEM! It isn't like our first times in life wasn't always perfect, you know....
    • I was thinking of getting the CA Ara, but other things prevent me from getting one ATM. After nearing the Nair, I'm saving money to get a Nair hopefully in a few months over the CA Ara. CA Ara is the better IEM, but I work from home 100% now, and I'm tied to my desk amps. Nair being desk amp friendly and I can get two different flavors with/without IEMatch is icing on the cake (I don't wanna deal with IEMatch all the time). It is a very practical IEM for me nowadays, while the CA Ara with its improvement is not practical due to my desk amp use (and CA Ara requires IEMatch 100% on desk amps due to strict Input Z requirements, which is not something I want to deal with all the time. I stated before that I prefer an IEM without IEMatch).
    • It doesn't take me long to know if I like/don't like/love something. Nair listening was love at first hearing, while Clariden was yuck.
    • @zeed and Gaudio is not a joke. Yes I was hard on the Clariden, but the Nair is no joke. Very impressed that he got something down fantastically on a first release with regards to neutral tuning IEMs.
    • I'll say this again, I'm saving money on getting a Nair. Holy shit this is good.....
    • Both the Clariden and Nair most comfortable IEMs that I ever used. The semi-custom ear fit from the shell housing is fantastic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Oh yeah - the Nair are nahs!

    To my ears, the Nair is more UERM than PP8. I couldn't stand the 3kHz to 5Hz "heat" of the PP8 (or maybe it was more a matter of the slight depression from 200-700Hz relative to the frequencies it). Agreed on the comparison to the Ety. The Etys have too much pinna gain for my ears. Nair has good amount still, but UERM like. Bass is well extended and not overdone. I will post some measurements to examine relative differences.

    Those who like the HD600 will find the Nair very appealing. Those who lamented the discontinuation of the UERM (replaced by the awful UERR) now have cause to celebrate. Tonally, it's similar to the UERM, just a tad less lean with more extension in the bottom end. It doesn't quite have UERM wide headstage and separation, however the headstage while not wide, was particularly deep. Clarity is also much better than UERM, particularly from modest sources such as smartphones, although this was never of the UERM's strengths.

    The Nair's excellence stems that doesn't anything wrong or even noticeable - screaming look at me! It simply gets out of the way. I fell asleep while listening to music - refusing to get up and put them away - that's a good thing.

    Their look is elegant. I guess we can call this Swiss. The body has sort of like a Terminator T1000 liquid metal effect, which is accented by the chrome tips and a gunmetal connectors. Photos really don't do it justice.
    Nair.JPG

    Will be back later with measurements.
     
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  19. FlySweep

    FlySweep Friend

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    Does the Nair present a (speaker-like) center image as well as the UERM did? Among the many things I loved about the UERM, the center image probably ranks #1.. it's as close to feeling like I was "sitting in front of a nice pair of bookshelf speakers" that I've heard from a IEM. Most all the glitzy new stuff I've heard (Andro, etc.) can't touch it in this regard.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's quite possible the new CFA stuff is more expansive, but as a result the center image isn't as solid or stable. While I don't have the UERM anymore, the Nair in comparison to the CFA stuff has a narrower headstage. Vocals (for example Giorgio by Moroder) are more in front, more stable, not wavering or diffuse in respect to Ara. I don't know if this is what you mean.
     
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