I bought these with the enter purpose of never buying another headphone at this price range. ($599) I sold some stuff, was ready to purchase for full retail price, and Drop swooped in for $100 less. After a four week wait, they arrived early. oh boy was I surprised. (Note from the future: apparently they are now $499 on Amazon and other retailers.)
I un-boxed them, put them on, plugged the 4.4mm cable into my Q5s (it comes with a 3.5mm dongle, pig tail?) and had fun. God the sound is amazing, the sound stage is wide, and they leak quite a bit. So, how do they sound?
Treble is nice, accurate and clean. I never thought finger snaps could be so crystal clear on a headphone! Mid range is all there in its full glory, nothing to be missed here! The bass, oh the bass. If you have high gain, use it for the bass. The Aiva love extra power, my Q5s loves these on high gain, low gain is alright. The bass is tight, refined, and not earth shattering. If you place a pair of 12" subs in a car on full power, the glass vibrates. If you place the Aiva's on full power, you get a tight recessed bass. Bass heads may be disappointed, everyone else will love these. While EDM and Rap are not for these cans, any other genre is fantastic on these headphones. Hell, I even game with these just to hear the soundtracks perfected by what ever these headphones are doing.
Sporting a metal headband and plush comfortable pads, the wood (I think) makes these headphones a bit hefty. Not to say it affects your listening, but the weight can feel like a bit much until you get used to it. The weight is worth it. The copper cable is perfect length for table top or portable use, but the open back design isn't suited for loud environments or being right next to a fan...
Listening to Rock, I was moved by acoustics and well recorded/well mastered heavy rock. Using TIDAL (not paid for by anyone, I swear) I bumped though the ages I've been alive. Starting in the 90's, "Hitchin' a Ride" by Green Day sounds tight, mid range heavy, and clear. I mean, it sounds like I'm in a small room and they are playing in front of me on 2" amplifiers and there are drummers on either side of my head. The further you get to today ("Novocaine" by 10 Years) and find more complex music, the accuracy becomes more and more apparent. My test for most headphones consists of one song, "Amaranth" by Nightwish. The chorus is full of strings, chimes, guitars, bass, drums, and two people singing vocals. I hold three versions of this song/album: DSD, FLAC, and the original press of the CD. The HD650's do not allow the strings to be heard clearly and muddle the bass with the vocals. With the Aiva's, I can pick out every single instrument, person singing, and place them in the sound stage. I wish I could say the same about other headphones...
Listening to classical and jazz music is amazing. Listing to Mozart "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (is not nighttime music) shows some amazing sound stage. I feel like the tuba is within 5 feet, while the strings are further away singing to me softly. Then BOOM. Everything is in my face! They don't make music like this anymore. I choose "Bilie's Bounce" by Charlie Parker for jazz. While the recording is from a live performance, I can't help but stop to enjoy what these headphones are doing. They are warmish when listening to a warm recording (most jazz is warm sounding I believe because of the recording equipment of the time) and when I say -ish, its almost like the Avia's are trying to be accurate and cool it down. But it does a good job of trying to keep the sound warm.
The long and the short? Short version: yes, except tubes. Long version: These are some seriously endgame worthy headphones, if you want accuracy and clean. If you want the headphone that can do it all, these are close with the exception of warmth and tubes. Still, these may be my endgame. Can't wait to see if I can find a better pair for under this price tag.
(The headphones, my TIDAL subscription, and what is written was all paid for by me. I was not paid for any of this. I just wanted to spread the love. Picture taken from Drop.com)