Audiosense AQ0 Review: As Warm As Toast

  • V-shaped signature nicely done
  • Great set of accessories
  • Great build quality

  • Mids need more transparency

Audiosense is a Chinese company that specializes in producing in-ear monitors. Their lineup mostly consists of IEMs with full BA setups. Their DT and T series exclusively use BAs, while their AQ series uses a hybrid setup of BA + DD. The only exception is the AQ0, which utilizes a single DD setup. The AQ0 currently retails for 99 USD, and was provided to me at a discounted price by Audiosense in exchange for this review.

Driver unit: 1 9.2mm dynamic
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 101 ± 3 dB
Frequency response range: 20 Hz - 22 kHz

Poco X3 paired with iBasso DC03 and Shanling UA1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The AQ0 comes in a basic rectangular white box. Upon opening, you will see the AQ0 earphones nested on foams, a fabric hard case, and the instruction manual right below it. Inside the case is the cable with a velcro strap, 3 pairs of their GT40S eartips, and another 3 pairs of generic silicone eartips.
The shells are made of 3D printed resin which has a smooth and glossy surface. The faceplates are decorated with abalone flakes, with the left plate having the "AUDIOSENSE" text and the Audiosense logo with the right plate. Below the female MMCX connectors there is a rather huge oval vent, and a smaller but still larger than usual, circular vent near the nozzles. The nozzles have a lip to hold eartips in place, and a metal mesh filter.
The cable is the standard Audiosense 8 core oxygen-free copper which is very soft, lightweight, and tightly braided. The male MMCX connectors are made of plastic with color coded side indicators. The splitter and chin slider are made of metal, while the 3.5mm L-type gold plated plug is made of hard rubber.
Now let's get to the sound.

The lows are the main attraction in the sound of the AQ0. Subbass drops hard and with authority, along with a substantial amount of rumble and an above average decay. Midbass is controlled and placed slightly more forward than the subbass. The thickness in here is just enough and the impact feels less than the subbass.

Overall, the AQ0 provides lows that most bassheads know and love. What I love about it is that the subbass has more presence than the midbass, minimizing the bleed into the other frequencies.

The mids are slightly laid back. Upper and lower mids are presented in a linear manner, with both of them sharing the same weight and position; recessed and moderate in thickness. The level of articulation in here is below average, making voices and some instruments lose a bit in finesse and energy.

Overall, even though the lows does not interfere that much, the mids of the AQ0 still needs some improvements in its transparency to make it really standout in this price range.

The highs are reproduced in a neutral fashion. It is placed right in the middle of the mix, and adds a decent amount of airy feel in each track. Treble reach is slightly above average, with a decay that has a bit of an elevation in its length.

Overall, unlike other IEMs with a V-shaped signature, the highs of the AQ0 is not on the same level as its lows but it holds its ground well. Despite being one-upped by the lows, it is still able to maintain a good level of presence.

Soundstage and Imaging:
The stage has an average expansion, with the width having noticeably more space and expands more than the height. Imaging is good enough, but definitely affected by the below average clarity of the midrange. That being said, the layering and separation of the instruments are still great, although there are some hints of congestion here and there.

The AQ0 has that signature Audiosense build quality, and the pleasantly warm lows that satisfies the basshead in me. What separates the AQ0 from the countless other IEMs with the same signature is that Audiosense shifted the focus to the subbass only instead of boosting both the sub and midbass, resulting in that powerful slam without compromising the mids and highs that much.

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