If you're looking for a highly engaging comfortable IEM with excellent craftsmanship, with punchy, quick and dense bass for a superb sense of rhytm, full bodied mids with bite and emotional vocals as well as energetic and well extended treble then at this price point the Insects Awaken is a no brainer in my opinion!
- Quick, clean and punchy mid bass for a very engaging rhythmic experience
- Full bodied mids with good bite along with very emotional vocals
- Energetic yet smooth treble with excellent extension
- Average but coherent soundstage with precise imaging
- Scales up very well with better sources and cables
- Limited sub bass extension and presence
- Average isolation
Product Page : https://penonaudio.com/reecho-insects-awaken.html
Price : 329$
Fit, Build & Isolation
The Reecho Audio Insects Awaken was quite a surprise in term of build. I must say I didn’t expect this level of craftsmanship.
Like their Spring and Summer models, it does feature the same hand-painted shells. The pattern ressembles the feather of peacock, slightly blue and gold embedded in black and green. Reecho say “It’s a blueprint of the world and nature, which indeed lives up to the name Insects Awaken”. What a strange name by the way and I am still unsure at how Reecho came up with it honestly (a peacock is not an insect, is it?). Anyway, I was very much impressed at how good the hand painted shells look and the pictures don”t really do it justice :
The shell is according to Reecho made with german imported 3D printed resin (Egger®) and Reecho says the shape is based on real ear canal data. The fit certainly support the claim of ergonomics and I found them really comfortable to wear for a universal, not unlike the superb Dunu SA6 (which feel more sturdy and premium to be honest, but that’s only logical given their respective pricing). Isolation is fair but nothing to rave about either, the resin shell is of good quality but also lightweight contrary to the weighter and more premium Dunu DA6 it doesn’t isolate as much.
The stock cable is a decent 8 core silver-plated cable and comes with a 3.5 termination.
Before I had the opportunity to review the Insects Awaken I honestly hadn’t heard of Reecho at all and I didn’t find much information to go on to add to the review as there doesn’t seem to be an official website with a company history. I can only say that Insects Awaken is the latest IEM from the Spring series,
The Insects Awaken features 4 balanced armatures, more specifically 30017 and 32873 Knowles Balanced Armature. Reecho is claiming it uses an AI acoustic algorithm system and a drivers database to record the signature of each kind of driver and develop the Insects Awaken accordingly. They simply input the driver configuration and leave the rest to the computer that calculates the 3D printed matched acoustic filter and equalizer circuit.
How does this technology translates, I was dubious but let us judge this with our own ears!
From the very first listen I must say I was positively surprised by the Reecho Insects Awaken. This is a mature and coherent tuning that instantly caught my attention : excellent BA mid bass packing some interesting punch, full bodied and lively mids and engaging treble. Soundstage is fair but with a highly coherent image and above average depth. Timbre is very natural and realistic although a touch north of neutral for a very pleasing listen. Low level detail is astonishingly good as well the Insects Awaken surprised me there as this is usually not something of note aside from the upper price tier.
Let’s dive further!
This was the first surprise with the Insects Awaken : a dense, punchy and fast mid bass that infuses a great sense of rhythm and I caugt myself remembering my first listen of Jomo’s classic the Flamenco no less! Insects Awaken might feature decent sub bass presence and only fair extension but it certainly makes up for it by an exceptional mid bass at this price point.
Insect Awaken draws you into rhythm so easily with its dense and quick punch and note seems to spur quickly out of nowhere with a clean, quick decay but does so with surprising density which emphasizes the punches further. Lucy Dixon “Stormy weather” is a very good test tracks with the accompanying Stomp band percussions that go “snap-snap-snap” all along the seductive a capella performance from Lucy. I was really quite impressed at Reecho Insects Awaken on this track.
Some much more expensive IEMs fail at providing a similar rhythmic engagement and I found myself toe tapping there no less! Okvsho’s “Algoriddim” worked wonders as well with the quick rhythmic pace and generally speaking I was so engaged by quick paced tracks on the Insects Awaken. Klangkuenstler “Man on the Moon” was also such a track for example. Call me impressed.
The Insects Awaken midrange is a seductive one with a full but not overly so lower mids and a smooth liquid midrange that still has some engaging bite. Reecho found a nice balance here and one that’s not that easy to pull off. This makes the Insects Awaken very versatile and able to do a variety of genres in a very pleasing way but also with strong technicalities to boot.
The lower mids strike a nice balance of being full with well sized instruments while not erring into a congested territory. Double bass enjoys the mid bass density that the Insects Awaken and there is a nice continuum to the lower mids making for some very satisfying heft and body as well as rich timbres.
Upper mids similarly strike again a nice balance of sufficient bite to provide engagement while never being agressive as my usual Hank Levy’s “Whiplash” or Miles Davis “So What” tests can confirm. I really enjoyed Insects Awaken on Jazz for example Carlos Henriquez “Cuchifrito” is a good testimony to both the fullness of instruments like double bass and the engaging upper mids bite on the brass instruments.
Last but not least, I really enjoy the vocals on the Insects Awaken, both male and female reflecting the nice balance found both in the lower and upper mids tuning. Vocal positioning is a tad forward emphasizing the performer a bit and vocals are both clear and highly engaging. Again, I must say the Insects Awaken is quite the performer at this price point. In Hollydays “Sensible”, you can sense the frayed emotions in Elise Preys voice. Really as good as I have heard it – I had goosebumps and not many IEMs can do this. Same goes for Juliette Armanet soulful “L’accident” and Freya Ridings incredible voice on “Lost without you”. I honestly didn’t expect this coming into this review.
The Insects Awaken treble is really consistent with its bass and mids : it’s very balanced and coherent. There is good lower treble energy that make for an engaging listen and the upper treble is well extended and natural.
The lower treble section has excellent energy, and the electric guitar riffs in soulful Spin Doctors “So bad” was so yummy to my ears. This was less apparent in the piano intro of The Hot Sardines “Comes love (l’amour s’en fout)” but I believe it’s related to the average note weight there and it’s always something I am looking for on piano tracks. Jack Johnson “Staple it together” cavaco keyboard was a more satisfying experience and it was a very engaging portrayal of that track with a highly rhythmic treble. In a more delicate style, Houston Person “Gone Again”, Steve Nelson vibraphone was really enjoyable.
The upper treble section is well extended and I really was quite impressed at tracks like Slacks “Saint South” or Jeenge ‘Infected Mushrooms” both exhibiting minute details in a very refined manner. Insects Awaken is a resolving IEM with good air.
I am always on the lookout for gems in the mid tier segment, as it’s quite an interesting market tier where manufacturer can experiment a bit more than the lower tier where competition is so fierce and the upper one where the customer base is not going to forgive anything. Reecho Insects Awaken certainly belongs to the nice surprises in this segment, just like LZ A7 I recently reviewed.
As I have said before, driver count and or technology used can only account for part of what makes an IEM. Tuning is of the essence still even if some techs have their own singular strength well tuned BA driven IEMs sure show they can hold their own. Reecho Insects Awaken is a 4 BA IEM : that’s so very common. Sure, but it’s tuning and performance is certainly not common at this price point. As I wrote above there is a lot that remind me of the classic Jomo Flamenco and I know it’s a bold claim as it was one of the very successful flagship of the past but the Insects Awaken is definitely not very far behind and that’s a huge surprise that only shows how much the market has grown and evolved.
If you’re looking for a highly engaging comfortable IEM with excellent craftsmanship, with punchy, quick and dense bass for a superb sense of rhytm, full bodied mids with bite and emotional vocals as well as energetic and well extended treble then at this price point the Insects Awaken is a no brainer in my opinion!
I spent approximately 30 hours with the Reecho Insects Awaken, listening on iBasso DX160 and DX300 using the stock cable and Penon OSG upgrade cable.
Thanks to Reecho for providing a review unit of the Insects Awaken. As usual, this review is my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favorable review.
- Driver: Knowles 30017 composite unit, 2 Knowles 32873
- Cavity material: Egger® imported resin inverted mold cavity, pure hand drawing
- Cable: Reecho 2pin 0.78mm silver-plated upgrade cable
- Frequency response: 15Hz-40kHz
- Impedance: 13Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB