7th Acoustics Proxima Review

7th Acoustics is a small-time Indonesian based company that makes in-ear monitor products that I actually had not heard of until "Precogvision" sent me their products to try out, as part of the 7th Acoustics tour. He had recently reviewed the SuperNova and picked it as one of his favorite IEMs of 2022, and then let me have a chance to hear that along with the product I'll review in this article - the Proxima.

The Proxima is a single balanced armature IEM that, from my impressions, stretches the single BA to its limits and improves upon the Etymotic line-up with similar but BETTER tuning. This IEM is priced around $110 USD from what I've heard, and will be one that neutral-tuning listeners will enjoy quite a bit.

The shell design is a simple and small translucent dark-gray colored shell with very deep and small bores that fit extremely well in my ears. They have long nozzles for a universal IEM, but they aren't as invasive and deep as what you'd find in the Etymotic series, where the insertion can be quite intimidating when you are first trying them. 

The cable fitting is of the 2-pin variety, and they cable that came in this demo set was a simple black braided cable that was lightweight and easy to handle. It also came in a black round metal tin that isn't too unique with more premium IEMs. For being a small brand that doesn't market itself heavily and doesn't mass produce internationally, a price point this low is quite nice.

Sound Impressions

The Proxima, as I already spoiled above, takes the basic Etymotic tuning and adds more to it and cuts down on areas that some may find glaring, veiled, or lacking. For those unfamiliar, I'd say this IEM is a perfect neutral tuning. The bass is through the mids are fairly flat and smooth, with a smooth rise towards the upper-midrange and treble, with a smooth descent in the upper treble that still extends decently and this presents an overall smooth and clean sound with no real emphasis anywhere in the frequency range.

It's the perfect neutral monitor. 

Technicality-wise, I do find it has some deficiencies when compared to higher-tier IEMs and also just average to its priced competition in this $100 bracket. 

Resolution on this IEM is just average. It doesn't have a crispness to transient edges that I'd expect, and the soundstage is small and narrow. It's definitely intimate, and not dissimilar with the Etymotic single BA line. I found the soundstage and depth to be on-par with my Etymotic ER3XR. When listening to Slowdive's Sugar for a Pill, I thought it sounded rather lackluster in the technical department, despite tuning being decent.

It does perform better on piano jazz and bluegrass music. I enjoyed using this with Bill Laurence's live recording at Ronnie Scott's nightclub. The Proxima also worked well with the acoustic bluegrass songs from Crooked Still. In these scenarios, it does seem that I enjoyed the Proxima more with unplugged acoustic music, and less with amplified electric guitars and busier tracks. 


Just a few weeks back, I had written a review on the Hidition T1 Gaming IEM. It also featured a single BA driver, and has a similar neutral tuning, but does vary a little bit in its presentation and design. The T1 is also very small, but looks more like a traditional shaped IEM with medium length nozzle. It's less intimidating to put in. It also comes with a cable with a boom-mic which is quite unique and makes it a gaming headset, however you can swap out for a normal audio cable with mmcx connectors.

The tunings are similar but do differ in both bass and treble elevations. The bass on the T1 is slightly elevated, though in actual listening, it doesn't necessarily come across that way. That's because the T1 is also brighter, with more treble than the Proxima. This ends up with a relatively similar bass response in terms of how I hear it, but with a slightly brighter and more dynamic sound coming out of the T1. 

I also found the T1 to have quite a good size in soundstage and top notch imaging -- which was not something I was actually expecting out of the tuning or single BA driver set. In many ways, I found the T1 to be a better overall IEM in both tuning and technical performance, but some may find it a tad lean, and may prefer the warmer Proxima. (Note -- this is relatively speaking)

The Etymotic ER3XR, on the other hand, sounds warmer and darker than the Proxima, with similar soundstage. The XR series boosts bass slightly, and is closer to that of the T1, but because all the Etymotic IEMs lack elevated upper treble, they do come across a little dark and veiled. In this case, some may prefer this more muted and darker sound, at the cost of a slightly nasaly upper-midrange. The Proxima is more balanced overall, and extends better.

Final Thoughts

This is a nicely tuned IEM and the fit is wonderful. For being a boutique brand, the pricing is really great. While it may not be for everyone, I do think those looking for a neutral reference IEM at a low budget cost will be happy with listening to this Proxima set. 

I'll be reviewing the 7th Acoustics Supernova after this, which is their 6BA flagship, another IEM that I am quite impressed with.

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