APS GERMANO ACOUSTIC AEON II REVIEW
AEON 2 has been my secret weapon on all my chart topping successes in the states & internationally since it was released earlier this year. APS Trinity, Klasik & Aeon were my go-to monitors for couple of years that offered me 3 different perspectives (mid field to near field and different tonal perspectived.) I am going to explain why AEON 2 is my new fav..
I am a full time mixer, I mixed around 20-30 songs a month and produced a couple per month on the side. I constantly travel between Asia and New York working on projects with Aeon 2. Size does matters, Aeon has a reasonable small footprint for a self powered nearfield, weighing 34lb each, it is possible to put the pair in a good road case and travel with it by air or in a car. I was able to bring it with me, mixing from studio to studio and listened to it in many different rooms.
First thing that Aeon 2 has impressed me was how consistent it sounds from room to room, it still shows fluctuation in sound due to the room acoustic but it was minimal (e.g. low end and top end changes a bit) and manageable. You just need to play couple of references to learn the room and then get to mix immediately, that’s how much I trusted Aeon 2 after all the traveling. A lot of 3 way speakers or 2 way speakers with heavy low end, their tone tends to change drastically from room to room because they are very room dependent (acoustically dependent). They could sound amazing in 1 room and perform terribly in another room, that makes you wonder what to trust sometimes. That’s not the case with AEON 2, I go straight to work with the default settings and the mixes always translate well, I wasted no time with AEON 2 and deliver great mixes, that’s the advantages of having a pair AEON 2. Hats off to the engineers at APS, they got it all figure out.
Secondly, AEON 2 has something that I found to be very unique. AEON 2 has a very consistent tonal and low end response at any volume. For AEON 2, even at super quiet volume, the clarity and the low end response is unreal (you can dial the perfect 808 sound at bedroom level easily, trust me), that allows you to make the same mixing decision at any level without hesitation. It also allows you to work for an extensive period of time without ear fatigue. With a lot of speakers, at a low volume, you can barely hear the low end. When the overall volume is being raised, the overall tonal response changes and the low end response improved drastically. This makes you wonder what to trust again and finding the sweet spot of those speakers are like hit or miss. The only thing that I would say about AEON 2, is that in an ideal world AEON 2 could be louder, because client likes it…
AEON 2 also has a sound that probably you and I are both familiar. I was trained on yamaha ns-10 and I worked on that for years. The mid range on those was praised after by many. When you compare them side by side with Aeon 2, you will realize they have a lot in common, to me, the over tonal experience is similar especially if it’s set in passive mode for the bass. However, the AEON 2 has improved from it, to me it’s like the 2017 version of NS10. It has extended high and low end, while maintaining a relatively clear and tight midrange. A good midrange response always helps to create a clean mix that translates well on across different system. It has a smoother upper mid range thanks to the higher crossover, therefore it won’t hurt your ears even when you turn it up. The low end is second to none, it has the same DNA that APS are famous for & proud of on their monitor line. It’s tight and clear, and you won’t ever need a subwoofer unless you have low end information that goes to 20hz. I found myself tackling trap music with that low 808 bass easily on them. For a nearfield with this performance, it’s a steal. It might not be that exciting low end that you expect from KRK or old Adams, it’s more the refining & accurate low end like you expect on an ATC. The depth and width on those speakers also reminds me of a great mid range speakers, to me NS10 is a 2D sounding monitors, that gives you a decent frequency response range and decent width. AEON 2 is more of a 3D sounding monitors, not only it has wider frequency response range, and wider sound field, it has more depth to the sound. You can hear the tiniest reverb tail fading or subtle delay repeats, it is a joyful experience to hear that much subtle details in the back. Great for working on subtle effects in the background of your mix. You might worried if Aeon 2 makes everything sounds too good, it doesn’t. It is not tolerant to bad mixes. It is so responsive that it reveals any subtle issues with accuracy within 1db in your mix, it makes you work harder to refine those frequency details in your mixes, you get a better result overall. The transient response is great as well on Aeon 2, not too hyped but not slow. It gives you certain excitement but also an honest representation of your transient. I found myself getting the right compression amount quicker.
Lastly, there are plenty of settings you can modify in the back of AEON 2. I found myself using the factory default most of the time with bass set to active (it goes to 38hz) to cope with modern music with heavy bass. I really appreciate the design and the engineering of AEON 2, that was created from a user (engineers/producers) standpoint which goes hand in hand with the music we listened to on the radio in 2017 and beyond.