Alvon - Founder of AVARA CUSTOM
«Portable audio industry is not a “foreign” things for our daily lives»
According to Alvon, founder of AVARA CUSTOM, every Indonesian owns or has owned at least one pair of headphones in his life, at least in terms of sales figures, even if it was "only" the inserts to the mobile phone or MP3 player.
This is no random insight, as Alvon is not only an avid audiophile, but also the founder of Jaben Indonesia and has been in the headphone retail business for over a decade (2009).
Accordingly, he also saw a market for custom IEMs in Indonesia, which differed from the "big" manufacturers mainly in terms of pricing policy.
It bothered him that there was no viable alternative to the expensive options offered by US or Japanese manufacturers.
So what if he could produce CIEMs in the same standard quality (as well-known international manufacturers), but handmade in Indonesia to ensure lower production costs and faster delivery times for the local market?
AVARA CUSTOM was born!
AVARA NEO with personalized faceplate
With its current line-up, AVARA's AV1Lite is indeed the most affordable custom IEM (1*BA) available worldwide (starting at $99). It doesn't matter whether in a universal design, with earmoulds, or individually custom-made according to ear impressions.
There are even cheaper, customisable options, for example with the AVARA NEO (1*DD & 1*BA), which is only available as a UIEM version, but gives the customer the possibility to freely develop their own external appearance, starting at $40.
The individual adaptation of the design is done via the IEM-Builder on the AVARA website.
«Looking at the happy faces and gratitude of the owners when they accept the Custom IEM of their dream (which they never dream of having it with the price tag of US or Japan made Custom IEM), this is priceless feeling for me.»
So how can a Custom-IEM be so cheap and on top technically (KNOWLES/SONION), as well as haptically on a comparable level to better known companies, like ULTIMATE EARS, or VISION EARS, even if AVARA does not develop its own drivers?
In this context, one should not ignore something very decisive.
The idea behind AVARA is to make CIEMs available to the Indonesian market and to produce them locally as well. In Indonesia, the average gross income per year is 3.251 € (2018). In Germany, for example, it is just under 40.000 €.
For an Indonesian, the cheapest CIEM from AVARA is therefore still half a month's salary on average, which in turn would reflect the exemplary ratio between a company from the USA or Japan and its customers. With this background, AVARA's products are certainly a bargain for some, but not for all.
«...it encourages me to keep going to push the boundaries, for the sake to let the world know that someday Indonesia might not be known only for its beautiful people or Island of Gods (Bali), but also for a true passionate and driven young brand who has the courage to change the face of Custom IEM world not just in Indonesia but on other parts of the world.»
It is to Alvon's credit that he does not call for international prices in his committed endeavor to sell his products beyond the Indonesian border, but shows that an idea, dedication and modesty can also come before profit.
«my friends thought I was crazy spending 400 SGD (1 SGD = 0,64 €) just for earphones only »
CEO - AVARA CUSTOM
If you ask Alvon for his personal favorite from his product range, this is the AV3 with 3 Balanced Armature drivers. Soundwise, the tuning was based on the Westone UM3x / UM30Pro, which reminds him of his college days. He also describes the AV3 as the most musical and versatile CIEM, which is not only suitable for the stage, but also convinces in everyday use with audiophile qualities.
AVARA AV3 as UIEM with my C-EAR logo
In the end, AVARA must and wants to measure itself against the "big ones" in terms of sound. For this purpose Alvon kindly produced the NEO and AV3 individually as UIEM for me and sent them to me for review purposes. If AVARA can keep what it promises you will read soon. Let us be surprised!
(David Hahn) ________________________________________________________________________________________
David Hahn - CHI-FIEAR
Wednesday, 20 May 2020