Akoustyx S6 Review
Akoustyx S6 Review
Akoustyx LLC is an American company based in San Jose, California with an assembly faculty in Nashville, Tennessee. The company released a number of In-Ear Monitors including the R1 (R-100, R-110, R-115 & R-120) and R2 Series (R-210 & -220) that are all equipped with Balanced Armature Drivers.
The S6 is the first member of the S Series that is features a Custom Planar-Magnetic Driver with front & rear magnets that is located inside a Titanium-Oxide coated lightweight aluminum-alloy & polycarbonate monitor housing.
I would like to Akoustyx LLC for preparing the S6 Planar IEM for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Akoustyx LLC or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about these products.
Price & Avability:
The actual price for the Akoustyx S6 is 175.00 US$ (dropped from 249 US$). More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package & Accessories:
The Akoustyx S6 came inside a rectangular small blue box with the Akoustyx brand logo on the top that was wrapped with a cardboard that shows the product illustration and some product brandings.
The box of contains the following items/accessories:
- 1x pair of Akoustyx S6 Planar Driver In-Ear Monitor
- 1x Detachable cable with MMCX connectors
- 4x pairs of Single Flange Silicone Ear Tips (S, M, L)
- 1x pair of Double Flange Silicone Ear Tips
- 3x pairs of EarLock® Ear hooks (S, M, L
- 1x Neoprene padded storage/carry case
- 1x Print Material
The package of the Akoustyx S6 IEM comes with a pretty rich set of non allergenic silicone ear tips and foam tips in different sizes.
What I really like are Akoustyx’s fitting customization kit that are called EarLock® retention-interface, which is a sort of Ear Hook specially designed fort the cylindered shape of the S6.
The Neoprene padded carry case is the same that came with the R-210 & R-220 that I have reviewed before.
Design & Build Quality:
The Akoustyx S6 is a pretty small and lightweight In-Ear Monitor with a cylindered shape, which has a housing combination of Titanium-Oxide coated lightweight aluminum-alloy & polycarbonate material.
The monitors do sport the brand logo and Left/Right indicators on their surface.
On the front of each monitor is a short sound nozzle with a filter on the top to prevent the insertion of dust and ear-wax.
The nozzle is a bit short but the little spout that surrounds it makes it possible to use the S6 with the majority of ear tips on the market.
The rear part made from semi transparent polycarbonate features the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) female connector that has a fairly tight fit.
Each monitor has a color indicator that is located between the Aluminum and Polycarbonate part.
The design is maybe not eye-catching and the overall build quality is not the finest, but at the end the monitors to meet my expectation from a product at this price level.
The Akoustyx S6 is equipped with a detachable made from Oxygen-Free Monocrystalline grade copper material that features Titanium-Kevlar insulation, which makes I very durable. However, the cable is stiff and shows a remarkable level of microphonics (the phenomenon where certain components in electronic devices transform mechanical vibrations into an unwanted electrical signal) that was especially audible on the go.
The cable has a total length of 1.2 meters (4.0 ft) and sports MMCX connectors. The MMCX connectors are protected with a plastic housing. What I don’t like about them is that the Left/Right markings are quite visible.
The gold plated 3.5mm (TRS) single ended headphone jack has an L angled profiled and is protected by the same plastic housing.
Comfort & Isolation:
The Akoustyx S6 has a pretty small and lightweight monitor housing with a cylinder shape that fits pretty well when I use them with the EarLock® ear hooks that are included to the package. The noise isolation on the other hand is on an average level, which is efficient enough for the use in relative noisy environments such like a bus or train or train.
- Model : S6
- Type : In-Ear Universal Fit
- Transducer : Planar Magnet Magnets Neodymium N50 (Front & Rear)
- Freq. Resp. : 10Hz – 44 kHz
- Impedance : 18Ω @ 1 kHz
- Sensitivity : 108dB
- Connectors : MMCX Gen-2 (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connectors
- Cable : Titanium Kevlar mono crystalline OFC (Oxygen Free Copper)
- Length : 1.2M (4.0ft)
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : Akoustyx S6
- DAC/DAP : FiiO M11 Plus ESS Sabre, HiBy R6 GEN III, Ikko ITM03
Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama “Party Favor Remix” (Deezer HiFi)
- Christian Reindl (Lucie Paradise) – Cernunnos (Spotify)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Deezer HiFi)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The Akoustyx S6 is equipped with a custom Planar-Magnetic Driver with front & rear magnets that shows a relative bright tonality. The bass stands out with is fast and controlled response. The midrange is pretty detailed, clear and airy. The treble range on the other hand shows a decent level of speed, resolution and extension, but sounds also a bit dry for my taste.
This review has been written after a burn-in of about 60 hours. I have used the stock silicone ear tips. My impressions below are mainly based on pairings with sources like the FiiO M11 Plus ESS, iBasso DX170 and HiBy R6 GEN III and Ikko ITM03.
Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage & Imaging:
The lower frequency region of the Akoustyx S6 shows an excellent level of speed, decay and extension from the subbass up to the midbbas area thanks to the Planar Magnetic Driver unit. It is pretty textured, nicely layered and controlled, while the depth and intensity is on an adequate level.
The subbass region of the Akoustyx S6 is produced with an efficient sense of depth and rumble that is pretty enough for many genres, while it wont satisfy if you listen to a lot of electronic based music. The midbass region offers a moderate grade of impact and fullness, which doesn’t shows any negative conditions such like a midbass hump or muddiness. The Akoustyx S6has a lightly pronounced, controlled and fast midbass reproduction. I would wish just a bit more slam/impact while listen to electronic music, while the sense of authority is excellent.
The Akoustyx S6 has a pretty transparent and lively midrange presentation with focal point in the upper midrange register that is noticeably more highlighted compared to the lower midrange area. Instruments do sound a bit dry and unnatural especially at higher volume level that is even more audible with a neutral source like the Ikko ITM03.
The lower midrange sounds pretty clear and relative uncolored, while it is missing some depth and fullness when I listen to male voices or to acoustic guitars and violas. The upper midrange is very detailed and offers a decent level of clarity. However, it is a bit to spicy that makes female vocals and instruments such like violins, pianos or cymbals do sound bright/shouty and somewhat unnatural that I couldn’t change with tips rolling.
The Akoustyx S6has a fairly energetic treble tuning that has an audile boost in the lower treble register, created with a peak around the 5 kHz region. The treble range shows a good level of presence and extension, while it has similar issues like the upper midrange register.
The transitions between the upper midrange and lower treble (presence) are a bit aggressive for my taste that can be particularly tamed with the foam tips. The upper treble region sound quite detailed and shows a good sense of airiness, while it has a bit too much sparkle when I do listen to soprano voices or to percussions.
The Akoustyx S6 offers a pretty suitable soundstage atmosphere for a fairly precise instrument placement. The soundstage is pretty airy and spacious, while the depth and widenss is on an average level.
The Akoustyx S6 is a pretty interesting Planar Magnetic Driver IEM that is quite successful in terms fit, comfort and technical performance of the sound. The bass is fast and controlled thanks to the planar magnetic driver, the overall sense of clarity and resolution is also a big plus point. However, there’s a silver lining! If the Akoustyx team tackles these timbre and sibilance issues head-on in their next iteration, they could easily transform the next S6 into a must-have for discerning audiophiles.
Pros & Cons:
- + Technical Performance
- + Bass Speed & Authority
- + Overall Clarity & Resolution
- + Fit & Comfort
- + Good Set of Accessories
- – Some timber issues with certain instruments and female voices
- – Average Soundstage Performance
- – Cable that is stiff and prone to Microphonic effects
Thank you for the Read!