The INTUAURA brand might be unfamiliar to many, but our team, dedicated to discovering hidden gems for Indian audiophiles, stumbled upon it during numerous HiFi exhibitions. Hailing from China, INTUAURA has, in the past year, produced a few remarkable in-ear monitors. In today's review, we delve into the INTUAURA Plume Dynamic Driver In-ear monitors.
Design and Build Quality:
The INTUAURA Plume's faceplate showcases a captivating black and sparkly silver wave pattern design. On the right faceplate, there's a metal logo and the word "LUNA," while the left side features only the brand logo. The inner shell, crafted from semi-transparent black high-quality resin material, adds to its elegance. The cable, made from durable high-quality materials, provides a premium feel. Overall, the design exudes class, and the build quality is exceptional.
Comfort and Fit:
Having handled various resin IEMs, the inner shell design of the INTUAURA Plume stood out, providing a snug fit and optimal isolation. Upon receiving the IEM and cable, I opted for my personal Divinus Velvet Eartips. The shell's lightweight nature, coupled with outstanding fit and comfort, positions the INTUAURA Plume as an excellent choice for IEM enthusiasts.
I embarked on my auditory journey with the INTUAURA Plume, connecting it to both the stock 3.5mm audio jack cable and devices like the Sony NW-ZX707 and HiBy Digital M300 Android lossless digital audio player. Unsure of what to anticipate in terms of sound output, I was immediately captivated within the first 2-3 minutes by the INTUAURA Plume's astonishing performance. At a price point of Rs.14,990, the single DD setup left me pleasantly surprised, and after two weeks of immersive use, I am confident that INTUAURA is poised to make waves in the global audiophile community.
Delving into the sound quality, the INTUAURA Plume's bass resonates with power and impact, while the midrange delivers a thick, clean, and natural sound. The treble is characterized by intricate details, musicality, and a realistic quality. The soundstage, though intimate, coupled with decent imaging, enhances the overall auditory experience.
Bass: The INTUAURA Plume boasts a powerful yet clean sub-bass-focused low end. The bass presence is substantial without being overwhelming, striking a perfect balance between quality and quantity. While not designed for hardcore bass enthusiasts, it offers a compelling blend for those seeking a powerful and well-balanced bass experience.
Midrange: The midrange exhibits perfect body and weight, avoiding an overpowering sensation from the bass and highs. Maintaining a natural tonality, the INTUAURA Plume is versatile, delivering smooth and effortless vocals suitable for both male and female voices. Even in complex tracks, each singer's vocals remain distinct, showcasing impressive clarity. Considering its price point, the midrange delivery of the INTUAURA Plume stands out.
Treble: The detailed highs prompt self-questioning about the single-driver nature of these in-ear earphones. The treble is endowed with energy and thickness, maintaining smoothness across various music genres. The sparkling and holographic table presentation adds an enjoyable dimension to the listening experience. Notably, there is an absence of sharpness and harshness in the treble section, reflecting the meticulous effort invested, akin to the outstanding midrange.
Soundstage & Imaging: The soundstage, while not expansively wide, creates an around-the-head intimate stage. Decent imaging allows for an easy perception of the music's direction, contributing to an immersive auditory adventure.
Value and Competition:
Priced at Rs.15,000 in India, the INTUAURA Plume occupies a unique position, considering the limited options for single dynamic driver (DD) in-ear monitors (IEMs) in this price range. In a head-to-head comparison, I tested the INTUAURA Plume against the Sennheiser IE 200, which, during sale events, is available at half the price but still presents robust competition to most single DD IEMs in its category.
INTUAURA Plume vs. Sennheiser IE 200:
Having personally used the IE 200 for an extended period, I am well-acquainted with its merits. A/B testing revealed substantial differences, with the INTUAURA Plume exhibiting a thicker sound profile compared to the IE 200's more delicate tonality. In the bass realm, the INTUAURA Plume showcased greater power, while both IEMs excelled in the midrange, though the IE 200's midrange felt thinner compared to the INTUAURA Plume's richer tonal quality. In the treble section, the INTUAURA Plume demonstrated an ability to produce detailed nuances, rendering a more holographic sound compared to the IE 200.
Soundstage-wise, the IE 200 offered a wider spatial experience than the more intimately staged INTUAURA Plume. Imaging capabilities were relatively comparable between the two in-ear headphones. Additionally, I observed that the INTUAURA Plume is more easily driven than the Sennheiser IE 200.
In simpler terms, if the Sennheiser IE 200 is available around the Rs. 8,990 price point and your budget aligns with or is below Rs. 10,000, then the IE 200 is a suitable choice. On the other hand, if your budget extends to the range of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000, the INTUAURA Plume IEM emerges as the preferred option, offering a compelling combination of price and performance.
Pros and Cons:
|Sets a new standard for midrange single DD
|Easy to drive
|Very comfortable design
|Warm, thick, and addictive sound
|Powerful but controlled bass
|Realistic midrange with excellent clarity
|Detailed, musical, and holographic treble
|Value for money product