Review: AstroTec AM-90 – Great Quality Low Price

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AstroTec | In-Ear Monitor | $ 34.99

Like many of the manufacturers’ headphones I’ve reviewed, many of you may have never heard of this company. AstroTec is a smaller IEM company that seems to offer a quality IEM at an affordable price. This isn’t too odd for a new company that hasn’t made a huge name for itself. The AM-90s have a unique shape, strong sound, and interesting characteristics.  

Specifications

  • Driver: Balanced Armature
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 15 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 109 dB

In the Box

  • AstroTec AM-90
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Silicone Tips (Black: S/M/L, Grey Hybrid: M)
  • Foam Tip (M)
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Design

The first thing you’ll notice about the AstroTec IEM is that the AM-90 has a very peculiar shape. Conical in nature, the IEMs are shaped like a cone sliced at an angle. The housings are metal with a matted black finish to them that has a beautiful texture, similar to being sandblasted. The silver accents give the IEMs a tad bit of complexity while the transparent cable gives the IEMs another dimension.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

The AM-90 represent a sweeter sound overall with a focus on the vocal regions in the midrange. The bass is very light on its feet with a strong, tight punch and the highs offer ample energy despite being slightly laid back. The AM-90 offer a beautiful sweet presentation.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the bass is very light. It doesn’t seem to dig deep enough, nor have the proper presence in the sub-bass region. This can result in a loss of texturing from time to time. Impacts aren’t as hard hitting as they should be either, instead, they are lighter thumps with a slight body behind them. The punches have a bit of tightness to them, but also a slight body that gives the sense of strength.

The midrange is going to be the focus of these IEMs. Actually though, the midrange is smoother with a light warmth to it. The IEMs do a great job detailing, despite them not being thrown in your face. Upper clarity is strong as well, but could use a bit of improvement despite that. Vocals have ample lushness and depth to them, but reach quite high; quite delicate actually, they never are too powerful or energetic.

The highs are a little subdued on these, but have a focus on the upper treble to give a sense of energy and excitement. The upper ranges aren’t dominant in any sense, rather they are soft, with excellent separation and detailing, but not too much extension. Lower treble snaps don’t hold enough extension or presence really. They can be heard, but don’t punch hard enough.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The AstroTec AM-90 comes with a nice pouch for storage when not in use. The pouch is relatively small and very portable. The pouch itself is made with a nice soft, but thick felt outer layer. It feels very well padded and should protect your IEM well when on the go.

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Metal is the material of choice for the housings of the AstroTec headphones. This isn’t a thin layer either, the metal used on the AM-90 has a nice thickness to them, but still remain light. I have no doubts that these will protect the drivers within. A nice strain relief comes out of each housing as well to help suppress any shorts that may occur.

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Clear, soft plastic coats the cable of the AM-90. Like with many popular IEMs, the thickness of the cable above the y-split is thinner than that below. Either way though, this plastic has a nice spongy consistency to it that also makes it feel firm and strong. It really just feels nice, but also looks very nice as well as you can see the internal twist of the cable inside that gives it a beautiful design.

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If I have any complaints, it would be the headphone jack. It seems a little smaller than many of the other ones. There is a strain relief coming out of it, but it could be a little longer, as well as having a bit more stiffness. It is very flexible though, which can be a good thing. Standard gold plating helps resist corrosion; it’s always nice to have.

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Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

The AM-90 can be worn up or down depending on your preference. This is definitely a plus as many hate wearing them up, while others like myself don’t wear IEMs down. Wearing them down, however, may be a bit looser than you are comfortable with. The conic shape of the IEMs have a center of mass away from the head which may result with them falling out if not fitted properly.

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That said, fitting these properly is important. If fitted properly, and inserted deep enough (like IEMs should), these will have less chance of falling out. AstroTec does offer you plenty of tip choices to ensure a proper fit. They range from 3 sizes of silicone tips, an additional softer hybrid medium sized tip and a medium sized foam tip with replaceable cores.

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Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

These IEMs are actually on the low end of the spectrum concerning price. The AM-90s come in around 35 dollars, which makes them very affordable. The quality they offer is well above what the competition offers at this price range. They come with a design that is soft on the eyes, but isn’t ugly, rather it’s intricate. Great build as well. Again, comfort may be a deal breaker for our active types, but for the price, you really can’t beat the AstroTec AM-90.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

Before now, I’ve read quite a bit about AstroTec, and this model specifically. It’s not going to be the absolute best IEM you’ve hard, but really, for the price, it’s unbeatable. It still offers great sound quality, despite it having a few shortcomings. The AM-90 will still, however, be added to my list of recommendations for users looking for an IEM, but are strapped for cash.

I’d like to thank Raz for the product sample.

Overall Score

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AstroTec AM-90

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Raz for the product sample.
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