Every now and then you find a cute and interesting pair of earbuds that you feel drawn to try out. I’d never heard of AZLA before this review. But the small, eggshell white earbuds with silicone casing is eye-catching. Let’s see what this little company can deliver with their unique and vintage-like $50 ASE-500 earbuds.
What’s in the Box?
AZLA ASE-500 Earbuds
35.mm to USB-C Adapter
USB-A to USC-C Adapter
Look and Feel
One of my favorite aspects of the ASE-500 is the fit. These earbuds have to be some of the most comfortable I have ever worn. The ASE-500 employs a soft and flexible silicone material around the shells. The ergonomic shape of the earbuds along with the smooth material make for a super snug and forgiving fit.The cream white shells (available in black too) suggests a retro feel, and the unique “mid-century” design certainly sets them apart from other options in this price range.
The ASE-500 sports a 7.5mm dynamic driver. With an impedance of 16 Ohms, I had no problem driving these earphones from my phone. If you have an Android, the USB-C adapter is available. But if you’re an iPhone user, you’ll need an adapter for the cable’s 3.5mm termination.
The stage feels more intimate than it does expansive. For the most part, instruments stand close on the stereo field. Still, some amount of depth is apparent, and imaging is precise on the vertical axis. So, although it may not be a thoroughly 3D experience, it does have enough angle and color to make for an immersive listen.
Although the bass gives some tight impact, the overall low-end response is not overly emphasized, and instead falls towards the more moderate end of the spectrum. The sub-bass frequencies are also less than visceral. That being said, the neutral-leaning low-end response helps to convey a very natural and uncolored instrument, making classical music, in particular, a highly engaging listen in this range.
There is some emphasis in the high midrange, bringing vocals forward and creating a lively and dynamic balance, rather than a lush and full-bodied one. Still that naturalness and lightness in the presentation of instruments makes for an intimate and lifelike performance. The profile is also clean in this range, giving tidy definition to guitars and percussion.
There’s a crispness in the highs rather than a sparkle. The peaks are smooth and there’s a little roll-off, making it just a little too dark to shine. On the flip side, this range is super easy on the ears, while still adding vibrancy to the mix.
It’s tough finding great resolution at this price. But the ASE-500 delivers in terms of how natural, intimate and lively it sounds. Also, I rarely center my reviews around fit, but they are damn comfy. And given the cool vintage vibe of the earbuds, the ASE-500 is perfect for audiophiles looking for something unique and wallet-friendly.
You can buy the AZLA ASE-500 at Audio 46.
- Type: In-Ear
- Sensitivity: 96dB SPL/mW
- Frequency range: 10Hz~20kHz
- Cable length: 1.5m
- Driver: 5.7mm Dynamic Driver
- Impedance: 16Ω at 1kHz
- Weight: 18g
- Materials: Unit(Silicone), Cable(NON-PVC, TPE)