Here I am with you presenting a collaboration IEM: Akros Erasmus. A lot of you might already know Akros a.k.a. Antonio Teixeira. For those who don’t know; he is a reviewer and a bellowed community member who makes in depth reviews of IEMs, always comparing them with numerous competitors. He has a huge collection and I hope one day he shares his graph library.
Manufacturer of these IEMs is another well-known cable and accessory maker XINHS. They have a few IEMs themselves and if memory serves right, they released OG Erasmus about a year ago or maybe more.
For Akros Erasmus, they have an unusual business model for distributing. If you are interested in buying a pair, you need to reach Akros himself. He tests every unit individually and handles shipment too. So you can be assured of any QC issues, just don’t expect any fancy packaging.
- Great Clarity
- Relaxed Tonality
- Great Cohesion
- Good Cable and Tips
- Great Build Quality
- Great Isolation
- Light Impact
- Relaxed Tone Makes It Lack Dynamism A Bit
- Narrowish Soundstage
Without boring you too much, I don’t necessarily have a sound preference. I tend to enjoy different sound profiles as long as they do well at what they intend to do. I’m not very sensitive to treble so I can enjoy the most notoriously bright headphones, however I’m somewhat sensitive to upper mids area. Please keep these in mind. Akros Erasmus is bought by Mobile Audiophile directly from Akros. Other IEMs mentioned is bought by my own money. If a unit I reviewed is given or loaned to me in the future, I will say so here.
Build, Comfort and Trivia
Build quality of Akros Erasmus is great. It has a 1 DD 2 BA configuration. You can see internals clearly through transparent resin shell. Unfortunately, shells are very big for my ears. You see I have smallish ears with a narrow ear canal. I haven’t found a hybrid, let alone tribrid, that would fit my ears nicely and these are no exception. Akros stick out my ears a lot. However, they seal and isolate outside noises exceptionally. Shells have two tuning switches and one small vent on each side. I think that vent does its job barely since I haven’t noticed a driver flex but they still vacuum when putting them on and off my ears.
Akros Erasmus come with a nice fabric wrapped cable. I liked the cable but for my testing I used mostly my 4.4 mm balanced cables. They also come with a variety of tips including black wide bore ones and one of my favorites 07 (acoustune, kbear, 7hz etc.) tips.
I don’t have the exact specifications of Akros Erasmus but they are very easy to drive. However, balanced armatures are usually affected by damping factor a lot so you need to be aware of your device’s output impedance.
First, I need to clarify tuning and tip selections for review of Akros Erasmus. Default tuning 00 suited me the best because it uplifts bass and upper mids and lower treble a little. 10 lowers the bass a bit so mids come forward a little more. 01 lowers the upper mids and lower treble so bass becomes a bit more prominent. 11 flattens the entire frequency response making the IEMs even more relaxing but it was my least favorite. These configurations just make a slight difference but they are there nevertheless.
About the tips, for my taste, I found that upper mids were a little too relaxed and wide bore tips served me better instead of 07 tips. Stock wide bore tips were too short so they didn’t quite work for me so I used 7hz black H07 tips which are sticky and have wider bores than the rest of H07 tips. Of course, your mileage may and probably will vary.
Akros Erasmus is light on its feet. There is sufficient subbass but midbass and impact might not be enough for genres like EDM and Hip Hop. They are not like Crinacle tuned subbass focused IEMs, no. But bass slowly glides into the mids. Comparison may give more context about this aspect.
Mids are clean and natural. Erasmus one of the few IEMs that do justice to both female and male vocals equally. The slowly reducing bass gives a touch of warmth and body to lower mids. In the upper mids, with my preferred tuning and tips, female vocals shine without being overbearing and shouty. I haven’t noticed any guitar, piano or such staying too back or coming too front.
Relaxed tonality of Erasmus might make you crank up the volume sometimes and they are up to the task. They don’t become harsh, shouty or sibilant easily.
Like the rest of the frequency response Treble on Erasmus was just right and even. It doesn’t have the sparkle and dynamism that usual harmanl-ike tuned IEMs have. These are tuned to be relaxing. But I haven’t noticed they are lacking in treble either. I put on 7hz Timeless for a while just to recalibrate myself. And indeed, Timeless was very fatiguing. I felt grated after a few songs. Before that I was listening to Erasmus for hours and have never felt such thing.
What I loved about Akros Erasmus was its clarity. Although you may call them dark IEMs, everything was so clear and vivid. This is the aspect of Focal Clears so you can take it as a compliment of highest level.
Although Akros Erasmus are decently resolving IEMs you may not hear every detail because of the tonality. Still no part of the frequency response is more forward than the other and masking is minimum.
Soundstage on Erasmus is not particularly wide. It could have been airier or if it didn’t seal that well soundstage could be perceived a little bit wider. But all those things impact the intended tonality so let’s leave it at that. I’m not a soundstage simp either anyway. Imaging is decent but I felt if the soundstage was a little bit wider, it could have helped pinpoint imaging more.
Akros Erasmus vs. BQEYZ Autumn
I chose Autumn not because I thought they are direct competitors, but because Autumns are one of my favorite IEMs and I don’t keep Hybrids. Autumns are 200$ MSRP, much more expensive than Erasmus. Though you need to contact Akros for the price of them.
Autumn was a little harder to drive than Erasmus so I had to try and volume match everytime I changed IEMs. Subbass quantity was similar on both but Autumn has noticeably more midbass and impact.
Mids and lower mids on Autumns sounded warmer and fuller. Erasmus compared to Autumns, sounded leaner. You may take is as less or no bleed from bass to mids on Erasmus. Male vocals more more up front on Autumns and have a richer and more emotional tone. Upper mids and lower treble is shouty and a little harsh on Autumns. Unless you listen J-pop, you are safe but otherwise it can get really fatiguing. For that, Erasmus all the way.
Autumn rolls off in the upper treble and cymbal details get lost sometimes. Erasmus although not really an energetic pair, don’t roll off and sound more even.
Akros Erasmus is light on its feet. Transience is fast, you can clearly hear beginning and ending of every note clearly. Autumn has more lingering notes and melding. Clarity mostly similar but Erasmus edges out. Seperation of instruments is also better on Erasmus.
Soundstage is wider on Autumn. Erasmus has an average maybe a little below average sound stage to my ears. Imaging is good, but could have been better if the soundstage was a little wider. Wider soundstage on Autumn helps pinpoint imaging more. Both have natural timbre but being a single DD and having a warm tonality, I like Autumns timbre a little bit more.
I don’t know how well I conveyed my feelings about Akros Erasmus so let me summarize. I liked Erasmus a lot. Their tuning is not my favorite. I like engaging and dynamic headphones and iems more. But they don’t intend to be engaging, they are tuned to be relaxing. I definitely felt that. That clarity without being bright is something that is not easily achieved. I really wanted to keep them. They are quite different from the mostly Harmanish tuned IEMs those invaded the market nowadays. However, they didn’t fit my ears. If they did and I could sleep with them in my ears I definitely would.
In this review I tried to be as honest as possible but still, take everything you read with a grain of salt. You can also read Mahir’s take of Erasmus. And if you liked what you read and are looking for a relaxing IEMs, contact Akros to see your options to purchase a pair.