Layla Aion by Astell & Kern Preview

The Layla Aion. The Aion is the latest collaboration from Jerry Harvey and Astell & Kern.  The Aion is a Universal IEM and is the latest design of a classic IEM, the original JH Layla. The original Layla was a 12 BA driver beast with an elaborate crossover system which made it the pinnacle of audiophile IEM’s. I owned it and was super proud to have it in my possession, until I actually tried to listen to it. I would say Layla and I had a love/hate relationship, with love equating to maybe 1% of the time.

The fit was huge and heavy and I never could obtain a seal. I found my self fiddling with it constantly to find my happy place, but that happy place was never found. The sound was not good either because I could never obtain a seal, thus giving the signature sharp edges to the treble and zero bass extension. I affectionately referred to the Layla as my Frankenstein bolts. I forget what I paid for them but I do know it was the most I had ever paid for an IEM. Needless to say I was having a serious case of buyer’s remorse.

Enter the Aion. Why do you ask would I venture down the Layla path again? The Aion has had a major design improvement the new shell is much more ergonomic and fits the shape of the ear. There are other design changes, which I will dive into during a full review. At this point they have milked all they can from the Layla and its drivers and crossovers. This heavyweight comes in at a whopping $3500. It is a huge price for minimal change, but look at them! More to come!

On a side note, I really want to thank Bloom Audio. Andrew is a super guy that prides himself in service and integrity. Hit Andrew up for a discount, he is super easy to deal with.