Audio Ehhiku may not be a familiar name to most readers, but allow me to introduce you to this hidden gem from Asia. Behind Audio Ehhiku is a one-man army—a freelance audio engineer (Li Sheng) who has built a commendable reputation in the in-ear monitor community across Asia. Committed to crafting each earpiece by hand in small batches, he strives for innovation in the realm of in-ear monitors, implementing unique tuning strategies with the latest driver technology.
In today's review blog, we delve into the Audio Ehhiku, launched earlier this year, featuring a distinctive driver configuration: 3 dynamic drivers and 4 balanced armatures housed in a beautiful medical-grade UV resin shell. Having used this IEM for the past 5-6 months, I bring you my insights based on extensive long-term use.
II. Design and Build Quality
The faceplate of the Audio Ehhiku boasts a uniquely captivating glittery burgundy and white color pattern, while the inner shell maintains a standard black color. Notably, there's no branding or brand name on the IEM. The stock cable proves to be suitable for regular use, although it lacks ear-hook guides. Overall, the build quality aligns with standards observed in other IEMs within this price range.
III. Comfort and Fit
Surprisingly, the Audio Ehhiku features a medium-sized shell, a pleasant surprise considering its given driver configuration. Expecting a larger shell size, akin to ThieAudio IEMs, I found the medium size more comfortable for extended listening sessions. The shell fits perfectly in my ear, providing a snug fit and enhanced isolation.
IV. Sound Quality
Audio Ehhiku is effortlessly driven straight from a phone or laptop, yet its performance reaches new heights with the addition of an external DAC & Amplifier. Personally, I predominantly used the Audio Ehhiku with the Questyle M15 DAC, Sony NW-ZX707, and NW-A306 player. While the provided eartips are satisfactory, I found the SpinFit W1 to be a more fitting choice.
"Whenever I listen to Audio Ehhiku, I feel like I am using IEMs from the ThieAudio Monarch series."
This might sound like a bold statement, but those familiar with ThieAudio products share a similar sentiment after experiencing the Audio Ehhiku.
The Audio Ehhiku presents a musical sound, offering a rich and grand sound presentation. The bass is not only powerful but also provides a tangible, physical sensation without overshadowing other frequencies. The midrange is textured, thicker, and clean, producing vocals that are both captivating and separated, with a natural tonality. The treble, though slightly lacking in detailed precision, delivers a satisfying, smooth, and layered musical presentation. The overall sound is holographic, accompanied by a wide soundstage that immerses you in a grand orchestral experience anytime, anywhere.
Bass - The 3 dynamic driver setup promises a bass experience on the next level for its price. The grand, powerful, and physical bass, particularly in the sub-bass, avoids fatigue and maintains excellent clarity even on complex bass tracks. It feels like having a mini woofer in your head, producing head-filling and immersive bass.
Midrange - Despite the powerful bass, the midrange is not overshadowed. Vocals are thick, textured, and clean, with no sibilance in female vocals. The separation of voices is commendable, creating a mesmerizing voice presentation that feels like the main lead singer is centered, with background singers positioned behind.
Treble - The treble is smooth and musical, with a slightly reduced emphasis on detailed precision. Nevertheless, it provides a satisfying, airy, and holographic presentation, creating a sense that instruments are playing around and far from your head.
Soundstage & Imaging - The soundstage is wide, occasionally feeling intimate due to the thick sound presentation. Imaging and layering, however, are commendable.
V. Value and Competition
Priced at Rs.16499 in India, the Audio Ehhiku faces competition from the Moondrop Kato and Aful Perfomer 5 within the same price range.
Audio Ehhiku VS Moondrop Kato: The Moondrop Kato, a popular in-ear monitor since its launch, offers a leaner sound compared to the Audio Ehhiku. It lacks the physicality and bright energy present in the Audio Ehhiku. The bass on the Kato may feel weaker, and the midrange is thicker with a more pronounced presence in the Audio Ehhiku. In the treble section, the Kato excels in details. While the soundstage and headroom are more substantial on the Moondrop Kato, the Audio Ehhiku distinguishes itself by delivering a more musical and grand sound presentation.
Audio Ehhiku VS Aful Performer 5: The Aful Performer 5, a personal favorite alongside the Audio Ehhiku, offers a different flavor. The Performer 5 (P5) leans towards a darker and more detailed sound compared to the Audio Ehhiku. P5 focuses on a detailed and analytical sound, whereas the Audio Ehhiku emphasizes a more musical experience. In the bass section, the Audio Ehhiku delivers a more powerful and richer bass than the P5. The midrange presents a significant difference in vocal weight, with the Audio Ehhiku offering more weight while the P5 leans towards a leaner sound. Although the treble is more detailed on the P5, it lacks the musical experience found in the Audio Ehhiku. The soundstage is slightly wider on the P5, and it features a slightly smaller shell size compared to the Audio Ehhiku.
VI. Pros and Cons
|Outstanding bass delivery
|Treble is average in detail
|Thick, textured, and clean vocals
|Modular cable could be better
|Holographic sound presentation
|Beautiful and eye-catching faceplate
The Audio Ehhiku emerges as a unique and standout in-ear monitor within the Rs.20,000/- price range. In my opinion, it stands as one of the best musical IEMs available in the market, offering a sound quality that surpasses its price. If you're in the market in search of a musical IEM that immerses you in a rich and grand sonic experience, the Audio Ehhiku is my top recommendation within the Rs.30,000/- price range.
While it may not boast the most intricate technical details or an abundance of nuances, the satisfaction delivered by the Audio Ehhiku is unparalleled. When you put on the Audio Ehhiku, it transports you into an orchestral world, where the sounds become more physical and real. I encourage you to try out this hidden gem.
Credit is due to the individual behind this product, who has done a fantastic job. Having sold his IEMs for over two years, we have yet to receive any warranty claims, a testament to the product's durability and quality.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review on the Audio Ehhiku. I want to clarify that these views are entirely my own, and I aim not to hype the Audio Ehhiku earphones but to showcase one of the best-hidden or unheard products to our audience. In a market flooded with brands, some, like Audio Ehhiku, may lack the bandwidth to showcase their work to the world. At The Audio Store, we take on the responsibility of discovering such well-sounding IEMs and making them available in India.
For any inquiries or assistance, feel free to reach out through the comments or WhatsApp. If you haven't followed our WhatsApp channel yet, do so for more updates related to personal audiophile products, our reviews, and unboxing clips. Once again, thank you, and happy listening!