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Old 11-06-2010, 04:21 PM
da1writer da1writer is offline
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Default Sunrise Audio Earbuds are pretty surprising!

I recently picked up the Sunrise AS-Charm as an upgrade of my Yuin PK3's as I wanted to finally jump on the 150ohm wagon and see what the fuss was all about. I also had my PK3's for over a year and simply wanted to upgrade to the PK1's but the price range ($150) is still a bit steep for me as I'm still a bit budget cautious - I did not want to break the $100 limit. After looking for a while at PK1 reviews, I saw a comment in one of the forums I was in mentioning the Sunrise AS-Charm as rivaling the PK1's at half the price. So I did some research and tried to find as much as I could about the AS-Charm!

Here is Sunrise Audios website:-
http://www.sunrise-audio.com/#

Here are some of the reviews I looked at before I was convinced to grab them!

http://www.inearmatters.net/2010/08/...d-new-day.html
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/0...nes-in-review/
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sunrise/AS-Charm/
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...audio-as-charm

The only place I could find selling them was an International Seller named Bugden Audio, here is the AS-Charm portion of their store.
http://www.bugdenaudio.com/store/Sun...-AS-Charm.html

They sell them for $80 and can be bought in black or white. The kicker is that the seller is from Canada but ships it across the globe for FREE! You can get faster shipping if you contact Ethan directly from Bugden Audio, his rates are:

Small Packets Surface USA (6-12 business days) = FREE SHIPPING
Small Packets Air (4-10 business days) = $3
EMS (3-5 business days) = $15-$20 (depends on where you are at)

Anyway, I received mine today actually (ordered Monday), and will tell you they sound fantastic right out the box. Of course being 150ohm, I have these amped with my Fiio E5 portable AMP (can grab for $18) and no longer have any hiss whatsoever. Also, I will be burning these in for at least 150hrs to get the quality up to higher level than it is right now and give a better review of the earbuds sound quality later. I'll tell you though, the AS-Charm sounds great already and for $80, they are a steal for earbud fans/users!

Here is my unboxing video of it for those who like my vids!

Packaging:
Sunrise AS-Charm is packaged almost like the Yuin series, nicely detailed cardboard box with the exception Yuins are contained inside a wooden box. Instead, the Sunrise AS-Charm is contained with Styrofoam padding - keeping a small black carrying case and 3.5mm to 6.3mm plug adapter safely tucked away. I'll probably never use the adapter as I for one bought the AS-Charms to listen with my Cowon S9 and secondly I don't own an advanced Home Theater system to even utilize it. Now the case housing the earbuds is a nice touch, not matched by any other earbud manufacturer I know (stress again that Yuins are packaged in a wooden box). A mesh like material is on top of a hard casing with the sunrise logo on it and unzipping the case brings the interior to the forfront - with a band on one side to secure the earbuds and the other side has a pouch to secure your extra foam covers for your earbuds. The case is small enough for easy travel and very pocketable, protection for the AS-Charm during travel due to the hard outside material of the case is very nice as well.


Design and Build Quality:
Mentioning earlier about Foam Pads, they are very thick and the ones that came with my AS-Charm was black, not gray like the pics from other websites have shown. There are three that fully cover each earbud for better bass and there are two with the famous donut foams for clearer overall sound. The earbuds themselves are actually near identical to the Yuin earbuds , the logos are of course different but it's the placement thereof that makes them different as well (instead of placing logos on the creases of the earbuds like Yuin in trying to hide how the earbuds are made, Sunrise simply goes directly above the creases). The holes in which the sound comes out the earbuds are different between Sunrise and Yuins as well. I will mention that the cord is a bit shorter on the AS-Charm (1M) than the Yuins (1.2M) but shouldn't be a problem if you are using an amp with an m/m stereo cord. Now they both have two slits on the near top of each [containing foam inside for dampening], rubberized cord, and gold plated jack. This review is about the AS-Charm after all so it's build quality is very high, just don't throw it around like it's something you could easily replace. Gotta mention that the Y-cable is a nice change in regards to the earbuds I've had!


Sound Quality and Testing:
With time, the 50 hour mark has opened up a bit of the drivers to realize that I was in for a treat! For the first time, I thought I'd pop on the donut foams as I always have used the foam pads that completely cover the earbuds. As mentioned, people have told me it allows for an overall clearer sound stage for everything sound wise and I have to agree. Take note that these are my first 150ohm headphones, so I wanted to try alot of things differently than what I'm use to and very new to expressing my thoughts in regards to sound quality. I've only tested these earphones for the first few hours after my initial unboxing and "broke them in" by feeding my S9 Fiio Combo for 3 days through them while I was at work for 60+ hours, so bear with my enthusiasm and reactions as I envelope myself in the saying "Things get better with Time". I will state that I'm a fan of "Modern Rock" and vary in it's different genres along with no language barrier, so those expecting testings like Pink Floyd or Kiss, you'll be disappointed - apologies before hand, but lets get to the testing!

First song tested after the 50hour mark was Sirenia's album "The 13th Floor" with their hit single "The Path to Decay". Reasoning for this was because I wanted to debunk what other reviewer have been saying about woman's vocals being very soft or almost quieter than man's vocals. Ailyn's (the main vocal singer for this album) is very memorizing in the way she sings but nothing in regards to being very quiet - she lets her voice be heard across the song and the earbuds do justice in bringing out the female vocals through start to finish. Unlike my last earbuds (Yuin PK3's), Morten is able to be heard - I can now at least make out what he's growling about.

Veering into what I call "Country Rock" due to the main singer sounding like he was brought up that way, I popped in Nickelback's album "Dark Horse" with their song"Just to Get High". I picked this song to also debunk another thought process by alot of people. Just because these are earbuds, doesn't mean they can't produce some pretty great bass. Some people have the notion that only IEMS or over-the- ear headphones are only able to produce good bass but if you hear songs like this and other bass related songs, you'll be raising an eyebrow with the AS-Charms. "Just to get High" has hard hitting bass from the very get go of the song and then often in the rest of the song. For Bass heads that are expecting rumbling bass down your face, you'll walk away disappointed - I can FEEL the bass a bit in my ears and it's pretty punchy, so it has some presence mind you! I would say that if you don't want an earbud that doesn't have it's bass overpower everything else but still sounds great, AS-Charms baby!

Next Song I tried was my roots from Hawaii - Jake Shimabukuru's album "Dragon" with his hit song... "Dragon". His ukulele in his songs, especially in this one, resonates with every string plucked and instantly pulls your heart strings! The AS-Charms compliments the song as every plucked string is echoed rreally well to the point in making you believe you are in a room slowly being transformed into a tropical paradise. The sound stage is open enough to enjoy and has a slight warm sound signature - something that allows some great pairing with the Cowon S9 and really allows me to enjoy songs like this that no other earbud I've owned!

What nails this out of the park is pretty much every song I tried everything sounds clearer and vibrant to the point that I want to listen to every song I have again just to hear the subtle details I missed before. The Mids are brought out well in alot of songs, songs like "Fatal Design" by Entwine and "Carnival of Rust" by Poets of the Fall are my favorites that have a whole new life to them as I'm now hearing instruments and sound cues that I never heard before unlike my last Earbuds. For those who were wondering the highs are pretty clear as well, Staind's song "Believe" sounds absolutely fantastic now along with The Rasmus' Ten Black Roses, the rising of the instruments at the right time is very exhilarating!

Final Thoughts:
So overall, I think I'll skip the 150hr burn in for now and will use the AS-Charms from here on and toss my PK3's out! Excellent sound quality with a warm sound signature, Vocals are pronounced enough to enjoy - women or men, clear highs and excellent Mids, deep bass beats well enough for the everyday user to not be overwhelmed, and the sound stage is wide enough to hear sound separation and echos just fine. Keeper for me and though my review was very different unlike others - hopefully it's explained enough for you to understand. These are a worthy investment to try out and $80 is still a fantastic price for earbuds that sound like PK1's but is alot better and stands on it's own! A great earbud that only really needs a Fiio E5 to AMP it to a great volume, I highly recommend these to anyone who has some spare cash to try them out, I think you'll be in a surprise like I was! I'm now a huge fan of Sunrise and their AS-Charm and look forward to their next earbuds they may come out with!

Last edited by da1writer; 11-09-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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