>>Before start, I need to say that I’m not native from english language countries, and this is my first review in english, so forgive my deficient writing<<
AUNE is a Chinese company that make audio products such as DACs, amplifiers – desktop and portable – in-ear monitors (IEMs), and audio accessories. The company was founded in 2004 and since then has been consistent in the production of DACs and Class-A amplifiers. Now, the company expanded its horizons and started to make IEMs, releasing the AUNE JASPER, the IEM that I will review today.
According to the company, the AUNE JASPER intends to be an IEM that approaches the maximum of high fidelity sound, that is, listen to the music as faithfully as possible. The JASPER has in its composition the Dynamic Driver MGD (Multi Gradation Diaphragm), with characteristics such as high stiffness, high speed and high damping, resulting in a ultra low level of distortion.
The official price of the product is $299 USD. The JASPER is available in two colors: Black or Silver. If you look at the AUNE logo upside down, the logo will have the same meaning and orientation, this was inspired by the concept of Yin & Yang (Chinese philosophy of balance).
(1) 10mm Ultra Linear (MGD Cone) Dynamic Driver (DD)
Frequency range: 5Hz – 40kHz
Termination Plug: 3.5mm in L design
Cable size: 135cm + earhooks
Cable material: Rubberized
Connectors: MMCX detachable
Size: 18.6mm x 17.7mm x 18.4mm
Eartips. Let’s start with the eartips, there are important things to say. The product come with two types in silicone: one “normal” type and one in wide bore style, both in S/M/L sizes. I didn’t even test the Jasper with the wide bore eartips (I don’t like), only with the “normal” ones (gray color), but they weren’t the eartips that I analyzed the IEM.
What happened was, I usually use size ‘M’, but the stock eartips that came in size ‘M’ I thought they didn’t give the correct isolation that the IEM needs, so I tried the size G ones, but they become too big in my ears. So I decided to go with a solution that I had here and put the SpinFit CP145 size ‘M’, then I get the perfect isolation and sound that this IEM needs. Thus, the review of the Jasper was with this mentioned eartip.
In my opinion, a product in this price range should have included more eartips in the package, diversified eartips, including notable eartips manufacturers, such as SpinFit, Azla, Final, Sony. Of course this is very subjective, someone may have heard this IEM with the stock eartips and everything worked well.
Cable. The cable have good quality and doesn’t tangles easily, it’s lightweight and coated with a rubberized material. It has a very soft and smooth texture, and doesn’t get microphonics. However, I think this cable isn’t the most suitable for an IEM in this price range, but of course this is merely a matter of taste, so for me it would be good if the company offered two cables in the package, for example, a cable made of Paracord material, for me it would be much better. I say this because the trend nowadays is to have more refined cables, with more premium materials, and with a more remarkable aesthetic.
Earhooks. Unfortunately this was the most controversial point I found in the product. The angle of the earhooks were different from other IEMs I’ve tested until today, and this influenced directly in the fit. So I didn’t have much use with them because they didn’t fit me very well on my ears, the curvature is turned forward, towards my eyes, and this even the IEM being well placed inside my ears. Unfortunately for me this detail made it impossible to use the cable with this IEM. So I changed the cable for the IKKO OH1S cable, and to my surprise the earhooks fits perfectly in my ears and the fit changed from water to wine. But this analysis here was about the stock cable.
MMCX Connectors. Jasper’s connectors have the feature of being able to rotate but luckily they don’t rotate unnecessarily, they are stable and I would say the connection stability would be around 80% on both sides. I consider the connectors as of good quality, didn’t cause me any concern.
Chin Slider. It works. I would say it’s not the safest one I’ve tested, because it might slip along the cable if you keep shaking the wires (if you shake it too much), but overall I think it works fine.
Fit. The IEM itself (just the IEM without cables) has a very good fit, it’s small and has a horizontal style, which I really like because they have the ability to “sit” in the ear. The IEM is very discreet and there are no protruding parts out of the ear, it was very stable in my ears, I don’t need to keep adjusting every time, it’s the kind that put it on and that’s it. The insertion of the nozzle in the ear I consider it to be shallow to medium, so the eartips have a very important contribution, with them you can increase or decrease the level of insertion in the ear.
As I said before, the IEM has two things that influence the fit: the eartips and the earhooks. The eartips directly influenced in the isolation, and this is a very important aspect because if the person doesn’t achieve adequate isolation, they possibly will hear this IEM with a different sound. The earhooks directly influenced the attachment of the earphone, the earhooks of the stock cable didn’t stay in the place that I think an earhook should be.
Comfort. Jasper is indeed a comfortable IEM, when I changed the cable the comfort was even better because the fit also improved. The Jasper is made all in metal and I think it uses a little heavier metal than usual (at least from the IEMs I’ve tested), but this detail isn’t an issue, it didn’t make a difference to me, it was possible spend hours in the ear without discomfort. It’s a very well finished earphones and the surface is very smooth, it has a great touch in the ear, you don’t even feel like you’re wearing IEMs.
Carry case. AUNE really did a great job with this case, it’s excellent, in addition to being very functional, it’s very elegant. Isn’t magnetic or screw-on, the lid opens by pulling vertically. The interior is all covered with velvety fabric.
From accessories included in the package, comes a cleaning brush and a microfiber cloth with a velvety touch, evidently to be able to clean the IEM due to fingerprint marks. The black version this thing is less apparent, but the silver version should be more notable.
The Jasper sound signature is a variation of the Harman Target (curve developed by the Harman International group, currently subsidiary from Samsung) with a little less bass. For me, this is an IEM that stands out for its excellent tonality, everything keeps very well balanced, I even venture to say that this IEM would be a good pair of earphones for studio monitoring, but as I haven’t experience in this area, it’s just a thought.
Let’s start with the bass. In terms of quantity, if you read what was said in the physical aspects section, you saw that the quantity of bass can be completely different if you don’t have the proper isolation. So, using the SpinFit CP145, the quantity of bass for me was something that I consider as moderate presence, it’s a bass that certainly doesn’t call attention to itself as much, but it also doesn’t make the IEM become boring or without bass. For my taste, a little more would be better, and also more presence in the sub-bass would be better. I say this because the IEM has more presence in the mid-bass than sub-bass, the difference is very small indeed, but yes, the mid-bass are a little more prominent. I think this IEM is not very suitable for “bassheads” (but sure it wouldn’t be disappointing either).
In terms of quality, it’s a very versatile bass and can adapt well to different situations, it has a characteristic of let other frequencies (mids and treble) breathe, so the music stay very clean, without overemphasis. That said, Jasper’s bass isn’t boomy, isn’t muddy, it doesn’t bleed into the mids. Has a good impact but doesn’t bring that dry punch, it’s more like a full-bodied bass, it fills, but it’s some very coherent, it doesn’t make the presentation sound muffled. Has a good bass extension too, only the definition is not the best that I’ve heard in an IEM.
The midrange is the greatest excellence in this IEM, the one that attracts the most attention, especially the upper-mids, which are very forward. They have good presence, good emphasis, very detailing, great transparency, great articulation. For me this region doesn’t sound aggressive, but then, don’t expect too much smoothness, without the proper isolation of the ear canal, then yes, can sound more intense. Woodwind instruments such as soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet, transverse flute, all stays very forward, as well as percussive instruments (those that develop more in the mid frequency), eletric guitars are also very forward, with good energy.
In terms of voices, the qualities continue, the clarity and airiness are the strong point of the presentation, sometimes it seems to have a balanced armature (BA) focused on the vocals. Female voices win the battle over male voices, but male voices are also very good, but if I have to indicate a winning, I would pick female voices. I think Jasper develops very well with higher timbre voices and breathy voices than lower or raspy voices.
The treble region, in terms of quantity, it’s a very balanced and extremely comfortable region to listen to, ideal for those who want to avoid IEMs with too much treble, and consequently escape from hearing fatigue. It has a bit of a roll-off feel in this region, and particularly I would like more “energy”, but this is subjective, due to I spend more time listening to energetic IEMs, so when I listen a more refined tuning on the treble, I feel the difference. As well as the bass, the treble is very versatile too, they can go well with a lot of situations.
In terms of quality, Jasper’s treble are presented in a very coherent and pleasant way, everything sounds very smooth, no peaks, no shrill, no sibilance, no coloring, no harshness. Hi-hats are very smooth and polished, without bring aggressiveness feeling, cymbals also follow the premise of hi-hats, as well as triangles or bells don’t sound sharp, chimes don’t become too much brightness. Something that I didn’t find as satisfactory for me was the detailing, it even has good details, but it doesn’t reach the level of micro details, in this aspect I still thinking that BAs or planar IEMs are one step ahead (in my opinion).
Soundstage. The soundstage I thought was good/average. It was one of the technicalities that didn’t surprise me so much in this IEM, perhaps because I took hybrid IEMs as reference (maybe it’s even unfair to make this comparison), and also because of the more presence of the upper-mids, causing a proximity sensation of the sound to my ears, and then it takes away the spatiality feeling of the sound. So, I don’t think it has a lot of depth, but in overall the sound doesn’t present itself in a closed way.
Imaging. The instrumental separation was also another technicality good/average. Certainly the IEM has a great stereo imaging of the instruments, but I didn’t think it’s that last drop in precision in instrument placement. It’s possible to hear the instruments with definition, the only gripe is the spaces between the instruments (remembering that this may vary according to the recording and other processes during the music production).
Driver flex. Jasper has in its composition only Dynamic Driver (DD), so whenever an IEM has this type of driver is necessary to check if it has driver flex. Therefore, I can say that Jasper doesn’t have this driver flex issues.
Amplification. Here is an interesting question. I used the Radsone Earstudio HUD100 MK2 to analyze this IEM, connected to the notebook and plugged into the standard output (lower power), but I also tested it on the H-P output (high power) and I thought the IEM can get a slight benefit with more amplification. However, I don’t think this makes the IEM change to the point of saying that the IEM needs dedicated amplification. The Jasper for me plays well with low amplification, I even enjoyed listening to the IEM on the standard output (lower power). I’ve generally listened to a volume of 30 to 40% using the Windows 10 volume scale.
I also ran the IEM on my notebook and smartphone, and on both I thought it was possible to be satisfied with the sound without more amplification. Even on the smartphone I plugged it directly, just with an adapter (without DAC/AMP).
This is an even more subjective part of the review, of how I like to listen to some music genres. Jasper is an IEM that tonally is very interesting, it adapts to various musical genres, but there are other things that can make me think that the IEM will match or not with the musical genre.
Electronic music (EDM). Was approved in the test, even I wanting a little more bass, maybe not more bass but a little less upper-mids, because in some rare situations it was a little forward to my taste, but for example, Skrillex performed very convincingly.
Hip-Hop and Rap. Hip-Hop was better than Rap (imo), I think Hip-Hop is possible to listen with this IEM, now Rap I didn’t like it much. It seems when the music has more bass on the recordings it pleases me more, and yes, I really prefer IEMs a little more “fun” for these kind of music.
Reggae. Nothing lacking and nothing exceeding. Very balanced presentation for my taste. It’s already a genre that has an increase in bass, so for me it was perfect, very coherent. Of course based on the songs I evaluated.
Metal. So, I prefer to listen to this genre in a different way, I thought the presentation was too much information centered on the vocals, and also the soundstage could be something more elaborate, and then I’d enjoy more. So for me was “not so much” (but this is subjective).
POP. Here I didn’t have much difficulty to decide, when Michael Jackson started playing I already knew what was coming next. This is an easy genre to match with a lot of IEMs, and Jasper wasn’t different.
Rock was great, from the oldest to modern, all the songs I heard were very well performed, for sure this is one of the best IEMs I’ve heard for this genre. Great timbre from eletric guitars.
Blues. It follows the same premise as Rock, the songs were already in sequence in the playlist so one genre was leaving good and other one was arriving good too. The guitars were really forward, as I think the genre needs.
MPB. Here is one of the genres – along with POP – easier to play with many IEMs. Jasper brought a lot of transparency and emphasis to the vocals. For those looking for this kind of feature in an IEM, I would say that this one is an excellent for that.
Samba and Pagode. These two genres were also difficult to decide. The IEM could has more instrumental separation, but in fact, I listened to the songs and I was satisfied with what I heard. They are not genres that need a so analytical IEMs, so I opted for it combined. I listen to these genres with Shozy Form 1.1, and it doesn’t have all these instrumental separations too, but hey they are IEMs with different config, right?
Forró. It was very good, the Acordeon was a show apart, a lot of transparency, you could hear everything about the instrument. In fact, the overall presentation was very balanced, all instruments playing in a coherent way. I thought the question of the imaging would have a big impact here, but didn’t had.
Sertanejo. I confess that this is a genre that I’m not familiar to listening to, but from what I heard here I could be satisfied, the voices were very forward. The observation I make is that I’ve heard the “violas” and acoustic guitars with more detailing in other IEMs, but on the other hand, the tonal balance of the presentation was great.
Axé. There’s a genre that doesn’t need much refinement to sound good, it just needs the IEM to deliver the necessary energy dose to shake the “skeleton”, and Jasper luckily managed to do that, to my pleasant surprise.
Bossa nova. It was great, a very clean and coherent presentation, I really liked it. I put a few songs in addition to the ones on the playlist, and they all turned out great. Emphasis for vocal & acoustic guitar style songs.
Jazz. This genre was very difficult to decide, for example, if you consider Kenny G as Jazz, then for the instrument he plays I can say it was very good, now, when it goes to a sound with more instrumentation, I would like superior technicalities (in my opinion). Then I had to choose between tonality versus technicality, and for me, Tin P1 has both for this genre, so I stated that didn’t match.
Classical music. It basically follows the same thing I said to Jazz. Violins were great, but I would still like to get more out of the songs I’ve heard. It’s true that I’m no longer a listener of classical music as I was in the past, so the person need to choose whether they give more importance to tonality or technicalities.
Music is subjective, so below is the list of some musical genres that I personally think that was better with this IEM. Remember that were only few genres and few artists tested. If I describe that one genre was better and the other don’t, it doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to your favorite music genre with this IEM and love it. So, here goes:
*Brazilian musical genres.
Not so much:
Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
Jack Thammarat – Back to the Start
Slayer – Angel of Death
Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill
Deicide – Once Upon the Cross
Entombed – Left Hand Path
Immortal – Norden on Fire
Mayhem – Freezing Moon
Dimmu Borgir – In Death’s Embrace
Iron Maiden – Aces High
Angra – Carry On
Korn – Freak On a Leash
Slipknot – Left Behind
Paramore – Monster
AC/DC – Moneytalks
KISS – Heaven’s On Fire
Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane
Jethro Tull – Locomotive Breath
Pink Floyd – Time
The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
Queen – I Want to Break Free
Kings of Leon – Supersoaker
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
The Strokes – You Only Live Once
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Charlie Brown Jr – Lutar Pelo Que é Meu
Sade – Cherish The Day
Eric Clapton & B.B. King – Ten Long Years
Clube de Patifes ft. Luiz Caldas – Hey Mama
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Pride and Joy
Gary Clark Jr – Catfish Blues
Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing
Kenny G – Songbird
Boney James – Full Effect
Dave Holland Quintet – Prime Directive
Kenny Wheeler – Seven Eight Nine (part 1)
Keith Jarrett Trio – You’ve Changed
Diana Krall – Where or When
Enya – May It Be
Loren Allred – Never Enough
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is This Love
Edson Gomes – Malandrinha
Adão Negro – Louco Louco
Gregory Isaacs – Cool Down The Pace
Diamba – Miscigenação
Skrillex – Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
Armin van Buuren – This Is What It Feels Like
The Timewriter – Tenda Count
Alok – Piece of Your Heart (remix)
Hardwell feat. Amba Shepherd – Apollo [Mix Cut]
Tom Jobim – Desafinado
João Gilberto – Sampa
Roberto Menescal & Andrea Amorim – O Barquinho
Caetano Veloso & Maria Gadú – O Quereres (ao vivo)
Gilberto Gil – Aos Pés da Cruz (ao vivo)
Djavan – Pecado (ao vivo)
Chico Buarque – Renata Maria (ao vivo)
João Bosco – Mano Que Zuera
Vanessa da Mata ft. Ben Harper – Boa Sorte/Good Look
Ed Motta – Minha Casa, Minha Cama, Minha Mesa
Ney Matogrosso – O Tempo Não Para
Rita Lee – Doce Vampiro
Lenine – Martelo Bigorna
Kid Abelha – Como Eu Quero
Negra Li – Venha
Luiza Possi – Over The Rainbow
Michael Jackson – Beat It
Madonna – Like a Virgin
George Michael – Careless Whisper
Daft Punk – Give Life Back to Music
Adele – Rolling in The Deep
Geraldo Azevedo – Chorando e Cantando
Dominguinhos – Preciso do Teu Sorriso
Flávio José – Tareco & Mariola
Alcymar Monteiro – Lindo Lago do Amor
Fernando e Sorocaba – Vendaval/Bala de Prata (ao vivo)
César Menotti & Fabiano – Só Mais Uma Verdade
Paula Fernandes – Jeito do Mato
Zezé Di Camargo & Luciano – O Defensor (ao vivo)
Diogo Nogueira ft. Hamilton de Holanda – Salamandra
Paulinho da Viola – Onde a Dor Não Tem Razão
Luiz Melodia – A Voz do Morro (ao vivo)
Jorge Aragão – Coisa da Pele (ao vivo)
Mart’nália – Cabide
Mumuzinho – Eu Mereço Ser Feliz (ao vivo)
Pixote – Coisas do Amor/Você Pode (ao vivo)
Harmonia do Samba – Molejinho
Sabotage – País da Fome: Homens Animais
Emicida – Rotina
Eminem – Lose Yourself
Filipe Ret – Neurótico de Guerra
The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk – Starboy
Chiclete com Banana – Meia Lua Inteira (Capoeira Larará)
Ara Ketu – Ara Ketu Bom Demais
Banda Eva – Beleza Rara
Filhos de Jorge – Vai Que Cola “Melanina”
Vivaldi – Violin Concerto in E Major, RV 269, No. 1, Spring: I. Allegro
Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act 2: No. 13 Waltz of the Flowers
Mozart – Serenade in G Major, K. 525 “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”: 1. Allegro
Chopin – “Grande valse brillante” in E-Flat Major, Op. 18
GRAPHS BY CRINACLE: