Firstly I would like to thank Heygears for sending me this sample to review, as always I try to write honest reviews. These received over 50hrs of burn-in, no differences were noted.
Audio Opus #1 > Anora
· Driver: Single Knowles Balanced Armature
· Sensitivity: 108.5±3dB
· Impedance: 46 ohms
· Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The Anora come in a very slim and simple box, there is a clear plastic window on the front showing off the IEM’s, and information and specs on the back of the box (mainly in Chinese). The inner tray is plastic and there is nothing luxurious about the packing, just plain and does the job.
The build quality is good overall, the 3D printed housing is very well crafted but I wish they had used a better cable. They have used a cable that is very similar to apples offerings, the strain relief is good, the microphone and playback controls feel fine but the overall cable feels cheap.
Included accessories again are lacking, you get a wax cleaning tool which is good, along with S, M and L single flange tips. No case and only one type of tips included.
Comfort, Isolation and Cable Noise:
These are well designed, and should fit most ears out there, unfortunately for me I have tiny odd shaped ears. I found the L side fit well and was comfortable but the top parts that keeps them secure put a little too much pressure and created a tender spot. The R side was a different story, the top part that is supposed to tuck into the Cymba just kept coming out and thus looking ridiculous. Again my ears are small and a bit odd, so I had fit issues, but a friend had none, it all depends on your ear shape. For me, not very comfortable, for my friend, he said they were very comfortable.
Isolation is very good, they use a single sealed balanced armature driver, even though the housing looks open they block out a good amount of outside noise.
Cable noise is present and a little bit of an issue, investing in a cable clip would be wise as these have no chin slider and can only be worn cable down.
Split into the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end.
Lows: Being a single balanced armature, these handle lows very well, they don’t have the body or slam that some multiple driver or dynamic sets have, but they have speed and detail. Yes they are not up front, nor do they extend effortlessly, but nonetheless the lows that are there are very well controlled, and do have some body and kick to them. Not for bass heads, but for those who like a well controlled, and balanced low end these will be fine.
Mids: This tends to be where BA drivers come into their own, and these do not disappoint. The mids are forward, detailed but perhaps a little dry. There are no peaks, just a very linear mid range that fairs very well with both male and female vocals. I think the detail retrieval in the mids are their forte, and they really do bring the finer details up front to be easily audible.
Highs: The highs are not lacking either, with very good tone and extension. Heygears have managed to find a filter for this driver that simultaneously allows for an articulate and well bodied low end, a slightly forward mid range and a well defined but not fatiguing top end. Yes they are not as smooth and refined as higher price IEM’s, but at least they are not dark and boring.
Instrument separation is very good, everything is well separated, and the soundstage is fairly average with slightly better height than width.
Not a fair comparison, but similar in price are the Simgot EN700 Bass. The Simgot offer a fuller, more organic sound with more natural tonality. They are also better built and more comfortable. The Anora is leaner, quicker and more nimble, it offer better detail retrieval and a more reference like sound.
Conclusion: Unfortunately I have issues with the fit of these, I know that is personal so I will try not to hold it against Heygears. My issue is that the driver tuning is excellent, but they kind of ruined that by saying “we are going to make something new, exciting and odd looking”. The costs of making the exquisite housing, they could have put the driver into a housing like the Brainwavz B100 and sold it for a lot less and possibly had more success.
The housing as it is won’t fit everyone, and I do think it is a shame as they do sound very good. They may not have the best extension on either end, that is the limitation of many single BA driver models. But they do offer a highly resolving, nimble, detailed and balanced sound that is not lacking low end body. So a thumbs up for sound, but please sort out the weird housing, sometimes innovation can be a great thing, in the case of the Anora it has held it back.
Sound Perfection Rating: 5/10 (Great sound, just lacking everywhere else)