Gaudio Nair & Clariden Reviews, Impressions and Discussion

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

  1. recarcar

    recarcar Friend

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    Ugh that sucks but lucky break! Never been one to mess with cables but glad it worked out! The lack of extension and consequent lack of crispy transients were what made me sell them. With those improvements, I could see them being a reference for many more people.
     
  2. MrSheep

    MrSheep New

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  3. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Ok, so, after the Nairs we're awakened with an Amazon cable, they're nearly the best headphones I've owned. Tone is spectacular, and their clarity, detail and nuance, and timbre walks the line just right to me... A very natural sound. Elex didn't come close being comparatively smoothed over, off timbre, and tonally lightweight.

    So now who can tell me which over or on ear headphones sound like Nairs? My ear holes need a rest from time to time!
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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  5. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    @zeed can you elaborate on the differences between the OG and the 2022 versions?
     
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  6. ald0s

    ald0s Facebook Friend

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    I'd also be interested in any differences besides the color.
     
  7. zeed

    zeed MOT: Gaudio

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    Apologies for not having replied earlier, I must have accidentally removed the flag with which I was following this thread.
    It is good to see everyone back here and I am glad to answer your questions.

    The change in colour is not subtle. Let me elaborate more on this.
    On previous Nair and Clariden models (2020) the anodising was already strong. Part of the design from the beginning was to have the parts with a stronger anodising layer than what the competitors were offering, which had several problems with 'fading' after a short time. That's why with the grey anodising and after several attempts, I managed with my supplier to find a balance and use an anodising thickness twice as thick as what is normally offered for cosmetic purposes.
    With the 2022 models, on the other hand, I wanted to take a further step to further differentiate these products. I went for an unconventional type of anodising, loaded with Titanium, which gives the parts a surface hardness of 2x that offered by previous 2020 models.

    Colour aside, I also modified the shells. Taking customer feedback about the good comfort but trying to improve further, I reduced the thickness by 1-1.5mm towards the outside for a more flush fit.
    In addition to this, the entry angle has been slightly modified as well as the nozzle, which is now conical based from the previous cylindrical base and allows for an even deeper and more comfortable fit.
    The deeper insertion now possible can lead to listening differences and improvement (depending on the shape of the ear canal, volume and resonance frequency of the listener, of course).
    [​IMG]
    Regarding the sound, since I know that this is the main aspect of interest, changes have also been made here on both models.

    NAIR 2022
    On the Nair, the changes are pretty much solely about the top-end extension; I would say that the 2020 version is 95% of the 2022 version. With a different construction of the interior, I was able to bring out more top-end extension. That's not to say that suddenly the Nair's have turned into a earphone that extends to 30khz, after all it's still 3 drivers (even if I did wring their necks :D), but you do get better extension which, coupled with the easier insertion of the improved shape and nozzle, results in an overall improvement in performance.

    CLARIDEN 2022
    Clariden, on the other hand, got a significant upgrade, which I would quantify as a +20% increase in performance if I had to put a number on it.
    The mid-high range was kept almost intact, apart from a 4khz peak that was typical of this model, which got now reduced to make listening less 'harsh' in tracks that are not recorded at their best.
    The mid-bass range has undergone a substantial treatment, with more body in the 500-800hz frequency area.
    The bass has been tuned differently in the 2022 version. The level has been reduced by 1-1.5 db, but now extends considerably more in the lower registers than in the 2020 model.
    The sound is now better balanced.

    In short, the 2022 products are not just a face-lifted new release; instead, it is the natural progression of the 2020 products by maintaining what was good and further improving the products as a whole ;-)
    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2023
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Nope, I didn't ever think that at all. I hate Ey's though (but probably never got a good fit for fear of ear f'ing)
     
  9. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    So I got myself a used Nair 2022 and have been listening to it on and off for the past week or so. Finally this weekend I had quite a bit more time to dive deeper into it.

    TL;DR: with all of the praises I'm seeing for the original 2020 Nair, I was almost afraid to say it, but after confirming with @CEE TEE when coming over to see him, I think I can conclude that the 2022 Nair is at least not what I would call "reference".

    The longer of it though, is that I think this one is "close", but it misses the mark a bit for me:

    From sub bass to low bass, the transition is quite good. There is a bit of a warm tilt that gives vocals a bit more warmth and thickness, not very unlike the Sennheiser HD600/650/580 series. Bass also to my ears hits just about the right amount. Not too much, nor too little. Sub bass doesn't extend quite as deep as dynamic driver IEMs but we're really nitpicking there. To my ears, the bass to low mid portion is totally fine.

    It's when we get to around the middle of the midrange to upper mid that I have a bit of trouble here. Except for when I use some weird foam tips that also have front filter, or the original Spiral Dot ear tips (not the new Spiral Dot + ones), that I can get the amount of upper midrange to sound closer to "right". Any other tips really accentuates the upper midrange and causes especially the "bite" part of sounds to really show itself apparently. It's not like the 2022 Nair IEMs are sibilant to my ears, but this "bite" it presents is sometimes a bit too much for me. It shows up in vocals like a sore thumb, detracting from the overall track. The bite kind of reminds me a bit of the worse samples of HD600 where the 4-6KHz region is pushed up 3dB compared to the rest of the range. It sounds to me almost kind of... unnaturally sharpened and... bitey here. In the Nair's defense, I do hear this "bite" with BA IEMs of all kinds to a lesser or greater extend depending on the tuning. However, I do not hear this "bite" from, say... Campfire's Andromeda, and I would say, the lack of "bite" in the upper midrange of the Andromeda sounds closer to how my ears usually hear other more neutral headphones that measure closer to flat. And... it also does not help that out of most of my sources, 2022 Nair really lacks air and top end extension, so that lack of "air" or treble extension really makes the bite stand out. But more on that later.

    Overall, I would say this bitey-ness to the sound is the single one thing that may cause me to not think the new Nair is worthy of the "reference" naming. It seems to add the bite even to songs that do not seem to exhibit it on other gears (except for really bad BA IEMs cases). It's just a bit too overdone here. I almost get the feeling this bite was added to the tuning because some were complaining that Nair 2020 was too smooth. But in any case, let's just say my ears do not seem to agree with this tuning here.

    Moving on to the treble, 2022 Nair seems to do this section very well. It's silky smooth with a very gradual roll-off. Not very unlike what I hear from HD650. At least there's nothing egregious here. And people who know me well know I'm super sensitive to sibilance and sharpness, so for this region to not solicit any complaints from me is quite an amazing feat of engineering.

    Now, about that lack of air I mentioned earlier: I do end up hearing this with most sources I have. Except for one: LH Labs Geek Out V2+. The battery-powered one. With this pairing, for some reason, I can actually hear a ton of air with 2022 Nair. It extends really high up, it seems, and it's still very smooth sounding. In fact, out of the GOV2+, 2022 Nair is the smoothest sounding out of all of my sources. Maybe now the very apparent extra amount of air makes the bite part not stand out as much? Or maybe the relative volume of this peak is factually pushed down? I'm not sure. But the combo is much closer to "neutral" to my ears than any others. It may be related to output impedance, since I know the GOV2+ has very low OI, but still, it doesn't quite explain why the other sources don't really sound as airy.

    So what's the conclusion? I think 2022 Nair is a very valiant effort to try and chase the "neutrality" dragon, but it's just quite a bit off the mark to me with the upper midrange peak. If that peak was not there, or if it could be pushed even higher for more "sparkles", I think Nair can become quite a good "reference" to me. As it is, it's close, very close, but I honestly would not call it "reference".

    And of course, all of that is just basically based on my own ears and also how my own HRTF plays into it all. It may be that the 2022 Nair may be right up someone else's alley, seeing as I think I have read quite a few comments asking for a bit more bite to the way 2020 Nair sounds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2023

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