7th Acoustics Supernova Review

The Supernova is a flagship in-ear monitor product from Indonesian boutique maker, 7th Acoustics. This product comes in at a small $750 USD price tag for a flagship, and has a total of 6-BA drivers in a nicely laid out package. The unit was sent to me by another review, Theo of Precogvision and Headphones.com fame, as part of a 7th Acoustics tour. 

I had just published a review of the Proxima the other day, which is a neutral reference budget IEM from 7th Acoustics. This one is their top of the line model and takes the neutral tuning and adds a small bass shelf that puts it into my preferred territory, and matches it up directly with my beloved Hidition Viento "B" CIEM.

The Supernova comes in a taller round tin container than the Proxima, with a screw-on top. While this is secure and a nice touch, the metal screwing on metal can be grating at times, but not a big deal. 

The Supernova comes with a very high-quality CEMA cable that I absolutely adore. It is a copper-colored braided cable with large 4.4mm pentaconn connectors on the source side, and 2-pin connectors on the IEM side. The 4.4mm connector has a striped gold and chrome/silver look that I really enjoy and matches the similarly styled Y-splitter.

7th Acoustics went with a very traditional universal IEM fit with a rounded triangular shape and a medium length nozzle. It's an easy fit for me and is very comfortable. The front faceplate has their logo above an abalone design. The one this unit came with is a blue/green look, but there are many other color options available on the company's Facebook page.

Sound Impressions

As stated earlier, the Supernova adopts a balanced and mild U-Shaped tuning that is very well aligned to my target preferences. This has a small bass shelf that downward slopes into the mids, and a gentle rise in the upper-treble and a very smooth and extended treble range. The Supernova has a neutral-relaxing signature with added low-end warmth.

The sound signature of the Supernova is easy to comment on. It's good. I enjoy the balance throughout the frequency response, and the smooth sound that comes with it. It does not have any disjointed transitions, and is very coherent in general. I don't have a lot of to complain about in the tonality choices made here.

On the technical side, I also have little to complain about, especially at its relatively low $750 price tag, which falls many times lower than other brand flagships. Its even lower-priced than my Hidition Viento, and is going to compare well with the Thieaudio Monarch MK2 and Clairvoyance.

The Supernova has pretty good resolution. It doesn't exert all the minute details that I sometimes hear on the Empire Odin or the Unique Melody MEST, but I also don't feel like notes are smeared, and transients are overly rounded. In fact, I actually am a little surprised at how sharp notes can sound sometimes, however, knowing that this is an all-BA set makes a bit of sense. 

Sound separation and soundstage in general is medium to wide for in-ears. I never felt the intimate and sometimes very forward and small sound of the Proxima, and there's plenty of space between instruments that makes listening to big orchestral pieces here sound decently grand. The Supernova also does a good job of providing depth, but it's not the best I've heard.

Comparison to the Hidition Viento B

When I first looked at the FR curve for the 7th Acoustics Supernova, I immediately thought of the Hidition Viento-B, my daily-driver CIEM. And measurements-wise, they are quite similar as shown above here. But they do differ a bit in overall sound performance.

First off, I find the Viento to be surprisingly warmer, but also a tad brighter. The warmer part was a bit surprising, based on the graph, but it could also be due to the totally perfect fit of a custom-fit versus a universal-fit of the Supernova.

The Supernova has a more quick response with crisper edges and a little more definition to certain notes. That's not to say it is more resolving than the Viento, it just means that the Viento has a longer decay and sustain-ability, which does not sound as exacting. Which is more natural? That's tough to say. I think the Viento comes across a little more natural, but the Supernova comes across more clean and technical in this aspect, with also a slightly wider soundstage in my listening.

In some ways, the Supernova is a more up-to-date Viento-B, and that's a good thing in my viewpoint, as again, the Viento is my ideal IEM, though sometimes seeing its age in the technical ability versus newer flagships. Both are also strong in coherency, and that is perhaps where I find the Viento a little better, but it really is a toss-up. Some people may not like the smooth sound of both of these, but I'd ask, why not? 

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