Aurisonics Kicker Review
December 30, 2015 Luckbad 24
The long-awaited Aurisonics Bravo series is here. Did they learn from their mistakes and successes of previous generations?
Aurisonics Kicker Description
Extreme bass, no mud. Hear the bass come to life with every detail, texture, and nuance growling through the Kicker.
- In the Box: Deluxe carrying case, SureSeal™ tips, cleaning tool, Kicker, cable
- 3D printed, Digital Hybrid Technology (DHT™) shell results in incredible fit + isolation, with great looking finish. Fits 95% of ears like a custom (Hybrid custom/universal fit derived from thousands of ears scanned… and counting).
- Custom 9.25mm precision rare-earth driver is exceptionally sweet and buttery.
- Groove-tuned™ port results in punchy and articulate bass without ambient noise leaking in.
- Detachable MMCXi™ silver-plated low oxygen copper cable
- Made in Music City: Hand-crafted with pride by our skillful craftsmen in the heart of Music City, Nashville, TN.
- 1 Year Warranty
Aurisonics Kicker Impressions
I unabashedly appreciate what Aurisonics does. They provide IEMs with more bass power than anything I’ve heard in the ASG-2.5. The biggest problems with that earphone are the price and the slightly dark stock sound signature. With EQ, a proper amp, and plenty of money, you can equip yourself with the most capable basshead IEM available.
I hoped Aurisonics would release something more reasonably priced that didn’t need an amp with a more pleasant sound signature. And they did it. The three earphones bassheads are going to want to focus on are the Kicker, Forte, and Harmony. From left to right, you’ll get more treble and clarity along with more cost. The Forte adds a single Balanced Armature Receiver to the Dynamic Driver and the Harmony another still.
I have the Aurisonics Kicker. It’s targeted at those of us who aren’t going to spend a ton on an IEM but who want lots of bass and a pleasant sound signature. It delivers in spades. You get a smooth frequency response without any rough edges and a very pronounced bass that doesn’t encroach on mids. It has impact and depth to spare.
Does it hit as hard as the previously-reviewed ASG-B or ASG-2.5? Not if you have a powerful amp, but it’s actually more bass-heavy if you’re not pushing them to the limit (e.g. with a phone or DAP). Aurisonics uses a 9.25mm driver instead of the 14.2mm driver in the ASG earphones, but it pulls off more bass than I imagined possible from that size of driver. I used to think you needed 10mm+ to get satisfying bass, but Aurisonics works some magic and hits you in the chest with bass.
The Kicker isn’t a cheap IEM, but it’s cheaper than anything of comparable basshead quality from Aurisonics or any other manufacturer I’ve lent my ears.
I’ve heard dozens of basshead earphones, and the Aurisonics Kicker is the one I use on a daily basis. That’s how good it is.
You don’t need an amp to feel the bass, nor does amping gain you a whole lot. This is where some die-hard bassheads might feel it falls short. Frankly, I either use my IEMs directly from my phone if I’m on the go, any time I need good isolation, or as a backup for when I’m hot at work and don’t want to put on my full-size cans. From the phone (a Galaxy S5) without an amp, these sound better than the Sony MDR-XB90EX or Aurisonics ASG-2.5. At my desk with an amp but at lower volume so I don’t damage my hearing from prolonged listening, these sound better than the Sony MDR-XB90ex or Aurisonics ASG-2.5 (especially if you don’t use an equalizer).
Yeah, fightin’ words from someone who has lauded both of the above IEMs as the best basshead earphones money can buy. I’m still in that camp if you’re going to amp them heavily and you use them as your daily driver at higher volumes. For my purposes, the Kicker is perfect.
I recently had to decide between the lovely JVC HA-FX1100 and Aurisonics Kicker. I needed something at work to complement my JVC HP-DX1000 (now JVC HA-DX2000). The JVC HA-FX1100 seemed like a perfect companion. And, don’t get me wrong, it was. They’re glorious in their own right. But there were a few things that drove me to keep the Kickers and kick the JVCs to the curb.
First off, the bass is more impactful out of the Kicker. More importantly, the Aurisonics Kicker isolates quite well. With music at a reasonable volume for prolonged listening, I can pretty much hear nothing from my noisy coworkers. The JVC doesn’t isolate nearly as much. Finally, the Kicker is >$100 cheaper. The JVC HA-FX1100 is back on my “one day I’ll get it again” list, but the Kicker is my preferred IEM and is has been my daily driver for months now.
Have I even talked about the sound? What kind of reviewer am I?
The Aurisonics Kicker combines its enhanced, well-extended bass with pleasing mids and smooth treble. That checks all of the boxes for me. You can listen for hours with a good dose of chest-thumping bass without the fatigue of a v-shaped frequency response, but they still push mids and treble enough that you’ll be engaged in the music. Lush, warm, and musical is a good descriptor of the sonic characteristics of the Aurisonics Kicker.
Couple the sound with its other merits, like removable earpieces with a replaceable cable, excellent isolation, incredible comfort and fit, and reasonable price, and I think Aurisonics has a unicorn of an IEM not just for bassheads, but music lovers in general.
Aurisonics Kicker Specifications
- Frequency Response: 11Hz – 22kHz
- Impedance: 16 Ohm +/- 10% @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 118dB @ 1mW
- Passive Noise Reduction: NRR 22dB
- Color: Gunmetal
- Great bass depth
- Excellent bass impact
- Super smooth sound
- Doesn't need an amp or EQ
- Comfortable, fits like a custom
- Some dislike the stock tips
- Not top tier clarity/detail
- Bass less thunderous than ASG-2.5
- Cord is a bit on the short side
- Not especially inexpensive