This sort of article is something that I can’t believe I have not done already! A comparison between a universal and custom version of the same model, that is! You probably remember my review of the Heir Audio 10.A, I loved it then and I love it now, easily one of my preferred custom in ear monitors, if not my favourite. Shortly after the release of said custom version, Heir decided to expand their universal line up with a corresponding 10 driver model, the IEM 10.0! Obviously the most contrasting factor is that this is a universal fit model, shareable with your friends and the fit being tip dependent. The IEM 10.0 comes in two flavours, the standard version ($1119) and + version ($1199) meaning both are considerably cheaper than the $1399 custom fit incarnation. Heir are also great for doing offers, sadly you will have just missed the Easter deal when reading this but I am sure another will pop up soon! Black Friday is always great for Heir customers.
10 Drivers Small
Coming in the classic Heir packaging with the addition of a range of silicone and foam tips, out of the box everything is very similar to what the 10.A provided. In fact coming into this review if you have not already been through my original 10.A article you really should take the time to do so now.
Heir do an interesting job of the included tips, supplying two varieties of silicone models that seal very differently and in doing so, really alter the sound. I much prefer the blue bored version that has a built in bore separator, which would work for two bored earphone but is a bit wasted on these with three bores. You also get a dual flange but sadly no foam if they are to your liking. I also like the fact you get a big protective otter box for super storage and then a much sleeker pouch for on the go or putting these in your pocket.
Obviously with the custom version you get all sorts of design options, something Heir are known for being at the top of the market for it! but with the 10.0 you get a fixed design. When I say fixed design it is a set faceplate option in the burgundy style they decided on after months of debate. If you do want one a bit more unique then you can pay the extra for the + version and choose your own faceplate option from a plethora but the smoked shell stays. Even if you stick to the standard, it will of course still be unique as the patterns naturally differ. When they were prototyping they did do an amber shell with chunks of gold floating around that I loved so its shame you cant opt for whatever you desire with the + upgrade.
I remember when a universal fit earphone with 4 balanced armature drivers was a big deal but since the driver wars you can get up to 14 without being too special. With the increase in drive units though the term universal fit is thrown around quite loosely now and if you watch Josh try and fit a JH Siren Series model in his tiny ears you will know exactly what I mean. Lots of drivers obviously take space and is why for most models going custom is the best option but somehow Heir have managed to keep this fairly well sized. Don’t quote me but I am pretty sure it is the same shell as the IEM 8.0 which always impressed for very same thing. The earphones have a very small surface area and really aren’t even that deep considering. I think they are stunning on top of that as well, hopefully the pictures do them justice.
They haven’t just made them small either because the fit is awesome. I don’t like the firmer red core tips but with the blue core or some dual flanges they curve nice and deep into your ear and get a great seal. Everything I said with the IEM 8.0 applies here, with the only small niggle being the concha lock rubbing a bit but maybe just maybe it is not as raised with these. Naturally as with this style IEM they isolate great as well.
While I love the looks the build is shy of what Campfire Audio are doing with their aluminium use. Heir stick to what always was the standard in acrylic and while it feels thick at the end of the day it is just plastic and comes with the obvious limitations such as don’t even think about dropping them on a hard surface. The cable is Heirs Magnus 1 model which I have documented already in this IEM 8.0 review.
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Go to Page 3 for Measurements