This is my first experience with AAW, though I’d heard great things about the brand. So, I was curious to see what they could do with their flagship IEM, the Canary. And I have to say, these buds have serious charisma. Let’s explore what sets the Canary apart from the rest of the high-performance pack in this AAW Canary In-Ear Monitor Review.
AAW Canary In-Ear Monitor Review
Though the shell size is rather large on the Canary, the light weight and smooth contours of the buds make them comfortable to wear for long periods of listening. The memory wire also keeps its elasticity, making it unnecessary to mould the cable around your ears every time you put them on.
We’ve got a freqload of drivers, here; two dynamic drivers power the lows, while 4 balanced armatures drive the mids and higher frequencies. AAW has also shoved in 2 electrostatic super tweeters, which make the highs sound oh so sweet.
The Canary takes a little more power to drive than some other IEMs I’ve compared it to. Just to gauge how much juice it needed, I hooked it up to my iPhone, and playing tracks at 70-80% volume was more than sufficient. But for the review, I used the cutesy putesy FiiO Q1 Mark II, and I had to push it closer to full volume (with low gain).
The frequency range is a wide 5 -100 kHz. So, if you have a dog or a pet whale who likes music, the Canary is suitable choice.
The Canary sports a 48″ Symphonym Hakone Silver/Copper Cable. This 2-pin cable looks super solid, and the connector not only feels sturdy, it’s blingin’. But the Canary is not just a pretty face. So, let’s talk sound.
Overall Impressions: Bold and powerful with sweeping mids. Distinct.
These buds are perfect for folks who like a somewhat heavy low-end. Though you can’t call the Canary a bass-head’s IEM, the bass has a meaty quality that gives tons of dry punch to pop music and a juicy thickness to big rock songs. Though the sub frequencies aren’t yuge, there was enough extension to do justice to hip-hop. And moving onto jazz, the fat lows gave double bass a rich and sumptuous flavor.
The broadness of the low end is complimented by the present and evenly balanced mids. The low mids are given fair play, bringing a sweeping grandness that covers the entire spectrum of sound in this range. In fact, I’ve rarely experienced such an all encompassing sound from a pair of IEMs. Vocals sit tastefully within the mix, and you won’t experience any harsh or emphasized upper mids. And listening to cellos, the Canary conveyed a majestic and absolute presentation of the instrument, highlighting the energetic stateliness of this IEM’s sound profile.
Nice transparency in the highs, though that solid feel remains. And listening to pop again, percussion instruments lean on the weightier side, providing more impact and a little less sparkle than an IEM with more extended highs, like the Noble Audio Khan, for example. That being said, that slightly dampened sound profile offers a powerful energy. It’s also easy listening, and those who are easily disturbed by pronounced high frequencies should find these buds to be a good option.
Though the Canary doesn’t have the most spacious soundstage I’ve heard in this price range, the imaging is precise and the sense of depth is probably what’s most impressive in terms of dimension.
If you’re looking for a rich and bold signature that gives massive sound to your tracks, then the unapologetic Canary is a fantastic choice, albeit a pricey one. Often, I’ll hear a high performance headphone that checks all the boxes in terms of skill but leaves me with little impression of the IEMs character. Well, the Canary certainly has personality, and even audiophiles who own everything will find these buds to be a unique and memorable addition to their repertoire.
The full five skulls for this overachiever.