AFUL Explorer 1DD+2BA Hybrid In-Ear Monitors


Brand Introduction:

Aful Acoustics has always targeted a strong and experienced acoustic R&D Team. They have adhered to the simple concept of “Only Real Progress in Technology can bring Tangible benefits to the Consumer”. Four Years Ago, AFUL Acoustics was founded to bring a change to the HiFi Audio industry with class-leading IEMs and Headphones at pocket-friendly prices.

After painstaking research by the team for over two years, Aful Acoustics matured the basic technology in 2020. Ever since then they have got several different technologies such as EnvisionTEC Medical-Grade 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure, 3D Air-Pressure Balanced Relief Technology, etc.

Brand Social Media:

Facebook: AFUL

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFULJP

Products information:

Highlight— 1 DD+ 2 BA IEMs

1、Acoustic Bass Tube and 3D Special-Shaped Resonator

2、Precisely Designed Multi-Layered Electronic Crossover

3、The fusion of Magicone Concept and P Series Concept technologies with 3 units, promising quality sound and comprehensive output.

4、Wide Frequency Response Range

Technology and Sound Characteristics

The integration of P Series and Magic One Technical Concepts

Magicone Concept: 1 driver unit for complete sound representation and magical sound.

P Series Concept: The sound of each unit is precisely integrated to achieve a complete musical experience and Deliver a fuller sound.

Explorer: The fusion of two concepts and technologies with 3 units, promising quality sound and comprehensive output.

Why do we name it Explorer?

Due to the use of a panel themed around the cosmos, exploring the infinite possibilities of the stars, coupled with the unique tuning akin to the Performer series, and the widespread preference among most friends for the name “Explorer,” we have decided to name this IEM Explorer.

Acoustic Bass Tube and 3D Special-Shaped Resonator:-

image1.pdf

Precisely Designed Multi-Layered Electronic Crossover

RLC Network Frequency Division:-

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image3.pdf

Innovative Technology brings excellent frequency response curve

High Damping Air Pressure Balance System:-

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Sound Description

Technological Innovation

All drivers are imperfect, traditional technology has reached the limit of the driver’s own capabilities, and it is difficult to break through to bring substantial sound improvements. AFUL’s latest Explorer creatively combines MagicOne and P series technologies and concepts, achieving a new level of sound with three drivers.

Feature 1: Wide Frequency Response Range:-

A relatively wide frequency response range will make the instrument presentation accurate and realistic. Not only does it express the main channels, but it can also perfectly express the harmonic tone. However many in-ear monitors on the market can only express the main frequency band and cannot present the overtones because their frequency response is not wide enough.

Technology to make it all possible?

The current tuning in the industry is basically changed through very simple circuits or sound paths. However, we used joint modeling of circuits and sound paths(Electronic and physical crossover), and through difficult multi-dimensional complex mathematical calculations, we have overcome many difficulties in the tuning.

Feature 2:Consistent High-End Level Performance:-

P3 has excellent low volume, it does not affect the expression of mid-frequency vocals and musical instruments. The expressiveness of vocals and musical instruments can be achieved at a high level at the same time. These qualities are undoubtedly the qualities of a high-end set.

Feature 3: Easy Driveability:-

P3 does not come from blindly stacking multiple units, it relies on the precise acoustic structure and electronic crossover to bring acoustic correction and deep matching between different drivers. It has a high degree of easy driveability. If you have a good quality Hi-Res audio player, you will realize its better potential, but if you are using a normal decoder or a Bluetooth module or even a smartphone, you can still hear relatively good high-quality sound.

Sound Signature / Sound Characteristics

Lower End: Elastic, Deep Diving:-

  1. Features high-quality dynamic driver unit

  2. With the ultra-long low-frequency acoustic tube, the ultra-low frequency characteristics show better extensions

  3. High damping pressure relief pipe, while removing the ear canal pressure, it makes the low-frequency better textured and responsive.

Vocals:-

Real and Warm, while ensuring a sense of atmosphere and air. It shows well-textured vocals.

High-Frequency:-

Treble area, smoothly extended, ensuring the authenticity of instruments and their overtones.

Easy driveability:-

Very easy to drive, It is recommended that you try it with Bluetooth ear hooks or Bluetooth Decoder. The response will be much better than most IEMs on Bluetooth.

Recommended matching and suitable music:-

It has good adaptability to various front-ends. Suitable for Pop, and also complements Classical symphonies, etc.

Explorer is an entry-level-priced set of IEMs with high-quality sound quality.

Specification

Model: AFUL Explorer

Impedance: 26Ω ±10%

Sensitivity: 108dB/mW

Frequency Response: 10Hz - 30kHz

Cable Length: 1.2m

Driver Configuration: 1 Dynamic Driver + 2 Balanced Armatures

Cable Connector: 2-Pin (0.78mm)

@Ohmboy could we move this to a product page, please?

6 Likes

They need to learn the art of subtle branding rather than pasting AFUL on the faceplate IMO. The exquisite shells are marred by the branding as i see it.

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I couldn’t agree more. Just move the branding to non-visible top or bottom, and get it off the outer-facing sides!

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What do you think is being shown in this image? Which curve is the IEM’s curve or is the IEM’s curve going to end up being the combination of the two?

I don’t know, but it looks like fun. :nerd_face:

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It’s showing pre tuning adjustments. I’ll toss a real graph up when I get it. I think it’s cool they are showing it. But not sure how good it will be.

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This is a sample sent to me from Hifigo. I’m going to try to be as honest as I can, but I do want my biases to come out.
AFUL Explorer

Aliexpress:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005007061750218.html

HiFiGo:

Amazon US:

Amazon JP:

Vs Chopin
A great set, but has issues. This gives you what I think is a better case, cable, and better fit at 80 dollars cheaper. I feel Chopin is a bit overpriced despite being a good set. The mids can come across a bit thin, but if you are a female vocal lover, the Chopin is a nice set. Different tunes, different values, and different user needs. But if I personally think the Explorer would be my recommendation over the Chopin due to price, and sonical qualities being about the same.

Vs P8
More dynamic bass, but P8 is still relevant as it has a lot of details. The tuning is very strong. I think most people given the same price would prefer the Explorer over the P8, not knowing the price.
Vs P5
This is a hard one. Part of me wants to say the P5 is now irrelevant, but I think if you have the P5 maybe you can pass on the Explorer. Yet, part of me likes the Explorer more. I think the Aful 5 is more u shaped, while the Explorer is more of a tactful L shape, to which I don’t find many sets like this save the expensive Jupitier, but that set is nice, yet super expensive.
Vs Magic one
Is more U shaped and it is a presentation that I feel was very hot in 2023 like Supernova, like Monarck mk3, and is a nice tune, but is a bit bright to many ears. I like it, as I think it achieves this tuning at a very good price. For an iem at its price I think it does a lot of great things, and I love it. But is it correct to what I want, no. It’s more of a flex as a company and display that they can do something different. The Explorer is definitely something different, to my ears and preference better.
VS EM6L
Less bright to my ears, better fit, easier to cable swap. To me it’s a better iem. Sonically at least on the same level. But comfort, packaging, and overall presentation of the shell is much better to the Aful to me. Again Simgot em6l is a good recommendation, but the fit for me isn’t there, the cable for me isn’t great, and the all metal shell is bothersome for me personally. To me this gets the recommendation for it.
Vs Pula PA02 and CKLVX
In my opinion these have a nice flat sound signature, but aren’t as nice fitting, and a little boring without the right tonality in the bass. This has this just amazing package and is less money. I see no reason to recommend the Pula PA02 or CKLVX at this time, but if you own these sets I wouldn’t sell them to get he Explorer either. They are still highly relevant and good.

Vs Nova
Nova has great bass as well, but lacks the upper details. Fit is better. Better technicalities. I think the cable is better overall, which adds to comfort. Easier to cable swap as my Nova broke and is on life support. I think the Explorer will last longer and has better air and is a better presentation.
VS Hydro
Smaller, different sound profile, also enjoyable. More neutral and better sense of air in the Explorer. The Hydro is more of a better Dusk, not even close to my ears and cheaper, the Explorer is more of a cheap Jupitier tuning, but it isn’t on the same level as the Jupitier, and if you have the cash the Jupitier is the better set by far. Both are solid values, and I would recommend both. Personally I’d give the Edge to the Explorer, but that won’t take away from my clear recommendation of the Hydro as well. You could get two good iems for the cost of many single iems, and for certain users and cases that is better. The detail in the upper air in Hydro might be better, and the customization of the bass is an increased value. Yet long term comfort, or sleeping in is a concern for the Hydro. Ethically it’s hard for me to recommend KZ/CCA but I also love a comeback kid, both chinese companies but with different values and presentations. KZ shoots a lot of products into the market, Aful doesn’t.
Yet, I would recommend to buy from a retailer that takes returns or a demo first if you can. For normal people who don’t own multiple sets, this could easily be end game.
Conclusion:
So a few things. I love this set, and maybe am biased as I love the fit of the shells, and the brand overall. But this is a great iem to my ears especially for the mainstream tuning. It’s a lot easier to say a 120 dollar set is worth your time than other sets. This has improved bass and other features. You mileage may vary and there are a lot of other sets coming up that are interesting, and I get that. But for a value product, this is extremely impressive to me, and is one of my favorite sets. It checks pretty much every box that I could think with bass, low 5-6k, nice cable, case, comfortable, and best of all, the most affordable Aful yet, and debatably the best. Also to be clear I’m a bit of an Aful fan myself, like if I had to pick my favorite company overall in the iem space it’d be Aful 100%, as I feel they do great work and have few duds. This product is a return home for Aful, and their finest yet, and a bass lover’s dream. Again their other products aren’t bad, but this provides a unique tuning and value that to me is easy to recommend as an iem reviewer.
They just pulled a Simgot, where their newer product is debatably much better than their older products. I don’t just give this a full recommendation, I give this the highest recommendation that I can. It’s a darn near perfect set, and I fully love it. I love it when companies do stuff like this, and I applaud them for listening to feedback. Better case, cable, and sound to my ears.
Graph:
Sound - Final Impressions
This is a very good budget option. Obviously, our opinions are always different, but with many iems I would give hesitant recommendations or weary recommendations. I feel this iem is a solid pick with the few caveats that I’ve mentioned. It has a nice price, and good value proposition.
Recommended EQ: I use Peace APO to EQ on the PC. This EQ is done to my preference. I recently set up a preference curve on My Squig. So for at least iems, I can use my own graphs now. Please feel free to use the measurements as you want… Jaytiss.squig.link
Preamp: -3.9 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20 Hz Gain 0.8 dB Q 0.900
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 42 Hz Gain 0.9 dB Q 1.500
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 93 Hz Gain -0.7 dB Q 2.000
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 220 Hz Gain -1.4 dB Q 1.200
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain -1.4 dB Q 1.900
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2500 Hz Gain 3.6 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 4000 Hz Gain 3.3 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5100 Hz Gain -2.4 dB Q 2.000
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 15000 Hz Gain 2.9 dB Q 1.900
Filter 10: OFF PK Fc 0 Hz Gain 0.0 dB Q 0.000
Gifting/who is it for: I think this is a nice hifi iem to gift to someone, it’s just a nice package that it well fitting and fits good. It’s a handsome shell, good looking cable, that is easily swappable. The case is nice. It’s just a lovely set, and product. I have almost no issues with it and love it, especially at it’s price.

11 Likes

Hey everyone,

I’ve been a long-time reader of this forum, but this is my first post. I recently got my hands on the AFUL Explorer and wanted to share my initial impressions with you all. Here’s a brief overview:

Design & Comfort:

  • Earpieces: Small and lightweight, making them comfortable for extended listening sessions.
  • Ear Tips: Comes with the same ear tips as the MagicOne.

Sound Signature:

  • Overall Sound: Slightly warm or neutral with a bass boost.

  • Bass: Excellent sub-bass rumble with textured bass that’s surprisingly powerful. It even outperforms the bass of the Performer 5.

  • Mid-Range: Detailed with intimate vocals.

  • Treble: Smooth and detailed, similar to the treble found in most AFUL IEMs.

  • Lower Mid-Range: Has a hint of thickness, noticeable in certain songs with heavy bass and vocals (think rap, hip-hop and pop).

Technical Performance:

  • Imaging: Good imaging, maintaining clarity even in busy passages without becoming harsh or sibilant.
  • Soundstage: A bit intimate, but still engaging.
  • Technicalities: Above average, with technical performance better than the MagicOne but not quite on par with the Performer 8.

Overall, the AFUL Explorer is impressive, It’s a solid choice for those looking for an IEM with a slight warmth and bass boost while still delivering good technical performance.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and impressions.

12 Likes

I wonder how the Explorer compares to the Yume and Yume II. I like the Yume 1, tuned very well, but the quality of the drivers (dd and bas) were the Yume’s limitation. The Explorer has no-name drivers?

I did not buy a Yume II, in part, due to the fingerprint/garish faceplate.

2 Likes

I have the Yume Midnight and I find the Explorer to be much more detailed without that 8k peak the Yume Midnight has. I haven’t tried the Yume II. As for the Explorer, the packaging mentions that it uses self-developed wide-frequency balanced armature drivers, which are supposed to be better than the ones in their MagicOne model. I’m not entirely sure what specific drivers are used, but it sounds detailed.

4 Likes

Interesting, anytime I see flatter tuning in the treble I always think Tea, Yume, and Cinno. So I am keeping an eye on the Explorer to see what peoples impressions are.

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How does this IEM compare to the Truthear HEXA (1DD + 3BA; neutral tune)?

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Way different. More bassy. Less sparkle in the air.

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Welcome to HiFiGuides, dude. Don’t be a stranger!

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Welcome @JB6789

@gadgetgod have you tried Explorer?

Is it worth a try?

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Absolutely. They are reminiscent of a mini DaVinci. They have punchy bass with excellent slam, intimate but slightly laid-back vocals, and a relaxed treble. The sound is slightly dark but not overly so. The soundstage is intimate, which enhances the vocal presentation. The mid-range is full and well-presented. Overall, they excel in genres that benefit from this sound signature, making them particularly great for rock and metal music IMO.

3 Likes

Excellent comp. Thanks. So helpful.

Now I’ll put you on the spot: Is the DaVinci worth the extra dough to you compared to the Explorer? I’m very curious about both of these sets and considering them for a future purchase.

Thanks.

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I totally agree. I am most a classic rock and prog rock fan, and they are really good for it.

The bass has impact. Intimate stage with good imaging ( if anything it is lacking depth ). It has glide not the bass tuck tuning, so the mid-bass is still there. I put another hour or so in with the Explorer last night, and am really enjoying them.

4 Likes