Full disclosure: I received an IMR Aten in exchange for my fair and honest opinion, with no expectation of a favourable review. The views expressed are my own, based on my personal sound preferences and taste in music, which may well vary from your own.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. It appears that IMR’s Bob James isn’t insane, because at the third time of asking, he’s created one of the best looking, best sounding dynamic driver IEMs I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
Based on an evolved version of the original R1 and R1 Zenith ‘hybrid’ beryllium and piezo ceramic driver (reviewed here), the new R2 Aten tweaks the design of both earpiece and driver to deliver a consistently excellent performance with almost any genre of music.
It comes as no small relief, too, because the hype surrounding the first two IMR IEMs was, to my ears anyway, overdone. The Zenith, while occasionally hitting the mark, was frequently too harsh in the highs, too boomy in the bass, or too meek if you tried to switch up its filters to correct the obvious ‘errors’. With a refined two-filter system (a bottom filter for bass tuning and a top ‘nozzle’ for treble), the Aten not only gives you more options for adjusting the sound to your liking, but – as you’ll soon read – delivers a far more consistent sound with a much smaller selection of filters than you actually get.
Jump to Page 2 for more on the package and build quality…