Many of you have seen or read our report on the visit to ACS, and how impressed we are with their innovations and ideas that are pushing the industry further as well as the company ethos and passion. Well this follows on from that in a way, as we wanted to do a small article about one of their new ideas that isn’t an earphone or anything related to actually creating sound. The ACS Revivo is what I want to talk to you about.
I just want to clarify that this isn’t so much a review; it’s simply a product that I think all in ear monitor lovers and users should be aware of, irrespective of their budget and gear. So what is it?
This little box is a “portable rechargeable electronic device designed to remove the harmful moisture and bacteria that can penetrate into any electronic devices worn in the ears”. And don’t think that this is just a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist because both Sonny and I have experienced the effects moisture can have on audio products and they are not good. A boasted 10 DAYS battery got me interested too, it all sounds brilliant.
These examples purely show how moisture IS a problem in our hobby. Sonny had an issue with his M-Fidelity SA-43 customs in the fact that during shipping condensation got into the CIEM and I had a very weak sounding channel, so much so that it was nearly inaudible it is no secret that balanced armature receivers are very sensitive. This unit is perfect when you have just received an earphone for drying them out and ensuring they are dried before any damage occurs and ensures the lifespan of the product. Another occurrence of this was with the Aurasound Heada, which was so damp when straight out of the box upon arrival, which can be hugely damaging to internal components for obvious reasons. Obviously we cant put a full size headphone amp in the Revivo but condensation and dampness when international shipping is a real threat. Instead we took it into the warm and dried the exterior before plugging it in but it sounded horrible for a few hours, however once it warmed and dried out everything was good.
The point is though that moisture can be a huge problem in audio and your ear is a moist environment, if you think about it you realise what this could be doing to the gizmos that are just a few millimetres away up the sound bores. Circuitry could corrode; components can be damaged over time etc. This product eliminates this issue. Not just this though, it’s also warm and bacteria can thrive in these conditions. They really need to be cleaned and to be honest I can’t be bothered to get a cloth and a touch of antibacterial liquid and clean the IEM after each use and I’m sure nobody really can but in reality, this should be done when you stop and think about it.
The Lazy Solution:
Ok so inside this very discrete little box is a high-speed fan, which has the job of circulating the air inside the Revivo to help capture moisture via the silica gel desiccant sachet. This is a much better way of removing moisture as the air is actively circulated which prevents moisture from simply sitting within the earphone and not actually just sit there unaffected. The bacteria issue is completely destroyed by Titanium dioxide and UV reactions generate hydroxyl radicals and negative oxygen ions to both sterilise and sanitise the devices. Don’t ask me the specific chemistry on this, I have no idea, but it is a similar technology to that used in self-cleaning glass, which has proved to be very effective.
Program cycles can be set anywhere from 3 to 30 hours to ensure moisture and hygiene issues become a thing of the past. To use the device you sit the IEMs into the case, I have done with the cable but I know Sonny has removed the cables and put a couple of monitors in at a time. You then seal the case shut and press the on button. If you leave it after one beep you will get a 3 hour cycle and after each use, this is how I use it. You can increase the cycle by three hours for each click and at 10 clicks you reach the full 30 hour cycle.
Now I will never be that guy who will say “the sound was just so much better!” for a product like this because it isn’t, that’s not what it’s for. It is a quality preservation product as far as I am concerned. The examples I explained earlier were simply to outline that moisture really is something that can become a problem and hygiene is something that everyone wants to keep tip top…. hopefully and in our line of work any sort of ear infection or problem is far from ideal as that can prevent us from listening and reviewing.
One problem. It’s that I’m getting two, 3 hour cycles per silica sachet. That is, unfortunately, not good enough. Now I think we were pre warned that as our units are pre-production the sachets aren’t lasting as long as they are planned too and by release should be lasting much longer. You can also put them in a little bag for them to last longer. The sachet uses paper as opposed to cardboard as the filter to increase absorption, which I get but it just isn’t long enough. They are in development though, so I am hopeful. One sachet is provided and to buy a further ten is £5, worth knowing.
Now being lucky enough to own multiple IEM’s and CIEM’s I would be over the moon with a larger box to maybe fit three or so earphones that would be great but Sonny and myself appreciate that it’s not necessarily a commercial product, but you never know.
If our praise for the item is not enough then maybe Ultimate Ears being impressed may just finish it off. UE are actually in talks with ACS about rebranding and selling the product themselves too. It’s really a fantastic product in my opinion and gives me peace of mind that all of my earphones are clean and as dry as possible so they will last. At a penny under £40 I think it’s great and truly a no brainer if you have a universal or custom in-ear monitor that you love and what to keep it going strong.
I like it, it gives me confidence that my favourite earphones are going to last. Look after your gear guys and gals; this gives you an easy convenient and relatively low cost way to do so. What more do you want?