• 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

    kicker_package

    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 Bravo Series Details

    Aurisonics Kicker Specifications

    • Frequency Response: 11Hz – 22kHz
    • Impedance: 16 Ohm +/- 10% @ 1kHz
    • Sensitivity: 118dB @ 1mW
    • Passive Noise Reduction: NRR 22dB
    • Color: Gunmetal

    Aurisonics Kicker

    $249
    Aurisonics Kicker
    89

    Bass Impact

    9/10

      Bass Depth

      9/10

        Overall Sound

        9/10

          Build Quality

          9/10

            Reviewer Bias

            9/10

              Pros

              • Great bass depth
              • Excellent bass impact
              • Super smooth sound
              • Doesn't need an amp or EQ
              • Comfortable, fits like a custom

              Cons

              • 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

              Categories: Basshead IEM, Reviews

              Tags: , , ,

              24 thoughts on “Aurisonics Kicker Review

              • A friend says:

                Hey, I was just wondering how the Kicker’s bass compares to the other 2 in it’s line up (Forte and Harmony). Did they have to sacrifice the bass on the others for the clarity and treble?

                • Luckbad says:

                  From what I’ve read, they did not make any real sacrifices to the bass. Instead, they added one (Forte) or two (Harmony) balanced armature receivers in addition to the dynamic driver for additional treble.

                  The bass will be a little more prominent in comparison to other frequencies on the Kicker because its treble is rolled off, so you might perceive the bass as lower if you have to keep the volume down, but the bass is still there.

              • Luckbad says:

                The Monster SuperTips fit. You’ll want to stretch one of the included spacers over the nozzles if you like the tips or they’ll slip off in your ear when you remove the earphone sometimes.

                • A friend says:

                  I apologise for sounding like a complete newbie, but what is a spacer and is it included in the assorted pack of the Monster SuperTips? I’m very new to audio gear.

                  • Luckbad says:

                    Yep it’s in there. It’s a pain in the butt to get them over the nozzle, which is why I would recommend you wait to see if you prefer the SuperTips before putt it on over it. It is a little silicone (or similar) ring that makes the nozzle wider so the tips are more snug.

              • Reader says:

                Are there frequency response graphs available for the kicker?

                • Luckbad says:

                  I was only able to take one measurement of it, and it was right before I had to sell off a bunch of stuff. There were always peaks around 5kHz with the measurement setup I briefly had and I couldn’t iron out what was wrong.

                  Anyway, the answer is “yes.” Ignore the nasty peak, as it’s not there.

                  Aurisonics Kicker Frequency Response

              • SaMaN says:

                hi . . .
                for listen to rock, alternative, and sometimes psychedelic and Electronic
                which is better, kicker or FX850
                sources> DX90 and X3

                • Luckbad says:

                  Tough call. I had the Kicker and JVC FX1100 at the same time. The JVC had a bit more of an open airy sound to it with a little less bass power. The Kicker isolates very well while the JVC isolates very little.

              • SaMaN says:

                Thankful
                Which is better for the style of music that I’m listening?

                • Luckbad says:

                  It depends on your hearing preferences. I would think the Kicker is probably better, though. The JVC is better for classical music.

              • SaMaN says:

                THANK YOU AGAIN
                KICKER IT’S FAST ENOUGH FOR ROCK ? IT’S NOT GET THE HARSH IN MID AND HIGH?
                SORRY MY ENGLISH NOT GOOD

              • Ryan says:

                How would you compare it to T-Duos and Vpulse? And, what is the best option in your opinion if I’m looking for an iem with extended bass and especially subbass, not over the ear, should have a remote, with at least relatively detailed sound?

              • FiB3R says:

                Recently bought a pair of these for £91 / $130 my first ever IEMs / decent earphones. 🙂

                I really didn’t like the tips, but luckily, the tips from a pair of (crap) Xiaomi Piston 2.0 buds fit perfectly, and feel much better.

                I’m wondering if it’s possible to get custom tips made for these, for an even better fit.

                Thanks.

              • Omer says:

                Hi,could you compare Jvc fx850 and Kicker in mid treble and especially bass.İ listen hiphop musics.Thanks

              • ray says:

                These compared to the RHA T20’s?

              • Ed Bellic says:

                Pioneer SE-CX8 vs These !??? I bought Pioneer SE-CX8 and I can not find anything near when it comes to bass and directly connected to cellphone jacks , laptops etc (without amps) !?

              Drop the Bass