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IMR Acoustics PRO Dark Matter (God Particle) – Universal Utopia Sounds 

IMR Acoustics PRO Dark Matter (God Particle) – Universal Utopia Sounds 

IMR Acoustics PRO Dark Matter is an IEM priced at about 700 GBP or Great Britain Pounds, or about 910 USD, handmade by pros for pros, with two drivers, one dynamic and one bone conduction in its design. Given their price point, Dark Matter resides in the territory of flagships, and will be compared to other high-end flagships, including Unique Melody MEXT (1100 USD), Fir Audio VxV (999 USD), Rhapsodio Zombie (2000 USD), Lime Ears Aether R (1400 USD), Oriveti OV800 (999 USD), and Campfire Dorado 2020 (1100 USD). 

 

Introduction

IMR Acoustics is a company from the UK with a long history behind now, having developed the first and best IEMs with tuning options in the entire world. They started from the bottom, as every company does, but quickly climbed and rose to popularity as their products generally offer good tuning options, excellent detail levels, and reliable build quality for the money asked. Dark Matter is an IEM from their PRO series, coming with an improved package, better default cables, and a more unique aesthetic than the IMR Acoustic OZAR and IMR Acoustics ELAN that I reviewed in the past. IMR Acoustics also trusts their products enough to offer more than the typical Chifi warranty of one year, and even more than most European companies offer, which is two years, offering an actual 3 years of full warranty coverage for IMR Dark Matter. 

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with IMR Acoustics, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank IMR Acoustics for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in IMR Acoustics Dark Matter (God Particle) Customizable IEMs find their next music companion. 

 

Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3GHkQ0Z

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/3GHW3di

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3m3jDI5

 

Packaging

First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:

We’re always spoiled by IMR Acoustics and their packages, Dark Matter being no exception. Usually when you see a writing like Cable (2.5mm / 3.5mm / 4.4mm), you imagine that you can chose between them, but IMR Acoustics knows that you want them all, so Dark Matter comes with three cables from the get go at the price I’m reviewing it at. You could get a single cable, turning the price to 580 GBP, or about 710 USD, giving it an even better value. This means that each default cable costs about 100 USD, which is fair for a high quality cable. The package includes all the extras you could need to fine tune, use and enjoy Dark Matter:

  • IMR Acoustics Dark Matter IEMs
  • 2.5mm Balanced Cable
  • 3.5mm Single Ended
  • 4.4mm Balanced Cable
  • Genuine Leather Case
  • 8 Acoustics Nozzles
  • 6 Acoustics Dampers
  • 6.35mm adapter
  • Huge selection of tips, 14 tips, 3 styles, including foam. 

 

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

When unboxing the package of Dark Matter, it really feels like the company is aimed at professionals, as it includes the bare needed to run and enjoy Dark Matter, but everything is also presented professionally, with minimal advertising and maximum contents for the package. The same can be said about the IEMS, they are not the most flashy ones out there, but they have superb build quality, being made of metal, having a black + Gold color, with golden accents and a clear, well outlined branding on the faceplate. The new version doesn’t offer options to be tuned between open and closed designs, but this is not an issue as most folks always kept their IEMS closed. 

We have a unique driver configuration of a single 11mm dynamic driver with ADLC coating, and 6mm CNT bone conduction motors. This means that the best overall comfort and sonic experience will be found with sticky Xelastec Azla Sedna Earfit tips. Those are not included in the package, but I recommend considering getting a pair, since those generally offer the best coupling between the ear and the bone conduction drivers, leading to the best sound in general. 

At the technical level, IMR Acoustics uses CNC machining for the chassis of Dark Matter, with anodized coating for best durability. The IEMs are made of aluminum for the lowest weight possible, and the IEMS are hand assembled, with precise driver matching. The drivers are dynamic drivers, with a Carbon Nanotube substrate, coated with an amorphous, diamond-like coating, for the best strength and speed for the sound of Dark Matter. They are accompanied by a bone conduction motor, which increases the sub low extension and impact. The company promises that Dark Matter or the God Particle IEM is perfect for those who need the highest level of bass paired with an ultra clear midrange. 

With 2-Pin detachable cables, you ought to know that Dark Matter has no microphonic while being worn, and that the default cable has a more relaxed fit than most cables I’ve seen to date, having a softer, more comfortable sheathe and outer surface. The impedance of Dark Matter is rather low, at 35 OHMs, but it is high enough that you generally don’t hear any hissing or output impedance noise with most sources. The jacks are all gold plated, for all of the cables, and the adjusting mechanism works perfectly well for them, with a simple to install threaded design. 

Subjectively, Dark Matter is comfortable, has a medium size, leaning towards large, but has a natural bore angle, along with a natural bore length. The fit is generally for shallow insertion, with good overall passive noise isolation, although there is ventilation, compared to only-Balanced Armature designs that do not need any vents. The leakage is low enough to blast metal and rap with no fear or others looking down on your music tastes. Dark Matter is easily driveable from most portable sources, including ddHIFI TC44C, Questyle M15, Tempotec Sonata HDII, Hiby FC5, Khadas Tone2 PRO, and even Shanling UA2. Questyle M15 and Palab M1 Mini are two sources that do show hissing with Dark Matter, so I would recommend trying to stick with portable music players that are known to have lower output impedance, like iBasso DX300, Lotoo PAW 6000 or Astell & Kern SE180

 

Sound Quality

The overall sonic quality of Dark Matter is superb, and despite their higher price point, they stand really well to the current market. The bass is super deep, lush and clean, Dark Matter has superb detail and clarity too, and with a wide soundstage, excellent instrument separation, and superb dynamics. Dark Matter has a smoother treble, and it prefers brighter, sparklier sources, such as Questyle M15, and FiiO M11 PRO, rather than smoother and darker sources such as Palab M1 Mini. The overall sonics are superb for the price paid, and if you’re one who loves bass, Dark Matter will make a lot of sense to you. I really insist that you should try to acquire Azla Xelastec tips for Dark Matter, as they tend to improve both the bass response, but also the treble and overall clarity, allowing it to shine at its best, although the sticky nature of Xelastec tips makes them less comfortable, especially long term, compared to the default tips Dark Matter comes with. Although Dark Matter comes with a really high quality selection of cables, the one I had the best experience with, sonically, is the W16 Ag from STE, which brightens and opens up the sound of Dark Matter, giving them more sparkle and a brighter presentation. 

The bass of Dark Matter is surely a central element on why you’d go for it, but it doesn’t stand out as overpowering or submitting their entire sound. Quite on the contrary, Dark Matter has a super well thought sound, where the bass is indeed, large, deep and heavy, with superb extension down to the lowest octaves, superb fullness and a lush presentation, and a ton of substance. The bass can color the midrange sometimes, but only slightly, as it adds weight, substance and a bit of thickness to the mids, giving male voices as well as most instruments a really clean and realistic presentation. The trick here is that the bass, while a central element to the sound of Dark Matter, is not overpowering in any way, and can be said to be one of the cleanest, most controlled bass I’ve heard in an IEM to date. The super nice part is that although Dark Matter has a heavy presentation, the bass doesn’t destroy the clarity or the detail, and it has a natural speed, never feeling slow, bloated or like it lags behind the other sonic elements of Dark Matter. It could be said that Dark Matter has the quantity to satisfy most bassheads, and the quality to satisfy diehard audiophiles. Dark Matter has a bass that starts at exactly 20 Hz, and extends to those subsonic depths with utmost passion and precision, from where it grows and keeps a high amount of energy and joyful delivery all the way throughout the low end frequencies, and up to the lower midrange. 

The midrange inherits some darker coloration from the high amounts of bass present in Dark Matter, but the midrange is a unique thing on its own, with superb clarity and precision, as Dark Matter is one of the most detailed IEMS you can find for the money, having superb resolution and a way of presenting textures that’s detailed but non fatiguing. The secret to its superb sonics is that Dark Matter is actually inheriting weight from the bass, so the sound is never dry or thin, nor fatiguing to the ear. This allows you to hear all the intricate details in music, and Dark Matter has a huge soundstage, which creates the space needed for those musical notes to develop properly. Even better, Dark Matter has a top notch instrument separation, and the sound is generally well separated, detailed and clean, despite being heavy and having a punchy presentation. Dark Matter sounds open, and it sounds emotional, especially for female voices and violins, pianos and sadder songs, where, despite being a basshead IEM, it has a nuanced presentation with a really emotional tone. The secret is that the upper midrange and lower treble have a slight peak here which helps increase the overall presence of all instruments that bear presence in those frequency ranges, and female voices as well. Dark Matter has a sweeter main midrange presentation too, which extends to the treble. 

The treble of Dark Matter is smooth, well balanced, and has a smooth roll off towards the upper end. You generally don’t really feel the top part of the treble missing, as Dark Matter has plenty of air and space between instruments and it never feels strained or narrow, but especially with rock and metal, the treble has a smoother presentation with lower main and upper treble than the lower treble levels. This makes Dark Matter very easy to listen to and enjoy, and a really non fatiguing IEM, with super good overall control, even at the loudest volumes imaginable. I’m saying this using the most V-Shaped presentation Dark Matter can offer, as I want to hear the raw potency of the driver inside, and not a filtered sound with Dark Matter. IT is always fun to see what’s the best an IEM has to offer, and with Dark Matter you can increase or decrease the bass above what I’ve said above, bring the midrange closer to the listener, or even pull it further away, and you can smooth up the treble, including the upper midrnage and lower treble, you can basically fine tune it every way you want, except for increasing the treble, which sounds fairly natural towards smooth even at the brightest setting. 

The filters are quite effective at tuning Dark Matter, and you can instantly hear what they’re doing, at either increasing or decreasing the bass, offering passive acoustic filtering, as well as tuning via changing the bore shape and size, which changes the acoustic properties of the ear-iem pairing when using Dark Matter. As expected, it is also fairly sensitive to tip rolling, as well as source rolling, so Dark Matter will be superb for those who’re looking at fine tuning and tinkering, and it is not exactly the kind of IEM you purchase once and use without thinking, you need to take the time to fine tune it. This being said, just like overclocking a computer CPU / GPU, or doing gym, the results are always worth the effort, as you get a personalized presentation that suits your own tastes, and listening to Dark Matter is exceptionally satisfying when you get things going. The same happens with IMR Acoustics Ozar and Elan, other IEMS recently released by the company with tuning filters. 

 

Comparisons 

IMR Dark Matter vs Lime Ears Aether R (910 USD vs 1400 USD) – The comfort of Aether R is undeniably good, but the package is impressive as well, making Aether R and Dark Matter mostly equal in package and comfort, except for the cables, which are of a better quality on the Dark Matter. The sensitivity to source is comparable, although Aether R is slightly more source sensitive and will hiss easier, have more distortion with a poor source, and have less clarity if the source isn’t good. The sonic presentation is somewhat similar, with both Aether R and Dark Matter having a full, impactful and deep presentation, but with the midrange being smoother and more lush on Dark Matter, and the treble also being smoother and more lush on Dark Matter. By comparison, Aether R is brighter, can be shoutier and resolve certain details a bit more, at the cost of being less musical and more harsh with poorly recorded music. If you’re more easily fatigued, I would recommend going for Dark MAtter, as it has better price / performance ratio, being less expensive than Aether R whil;st providing pretty much the same overall quality. 

IMR Dark Matter vs Unique Melody MEXT (910 USD vs 1100 USD) – Two IEMS with excellent quality and price / performance ratio are always fun to compare, and this is the case here too, with Dark matter being a bassier, warmer, thicker, chuggier presentation, with a much fuller bottom end. The comfort is actually comparable, Unique Melody has a slightly larger size for the IEMs, but they come with better tips (Azla Xelastec), and Unique Melody has a better default cable you can go for, it is less springy and sits better on my ears. The drive factor is similar, both are about equally sensitive to hiss, and both are good for long periods of usage. The presentation is extremely different, Unique Melody foes for a neutral tuning plus a stronger, heavier bottom end, a good amount of thickness and impact, plus good detail and resolution, and a fairly sparkly treble that edges on being fatiguing, depending on the track and volume. Unique Melody MEXT is best listened at either medium or low volumes, as it can become a bit more shouty at higher volumes. Dark Matter is much fuller, deeper, more satisfying in the lows, has a more natural presentation to voices, with a stronger impact in the drums, more soundstage width, which is aided by the stronger bass, and dark matter has a good amount of sub bass and mid bass. The biggest differences are that Dark Matter has more mid bass, and more bass in total, less treble, has a smoother treble character, and a somewhat wider soundstage, at the cost of having less instrument separation and having a more blended instrument presentation compared to MEXT.

IMR Dark Matter vs Fir Audio VxV (910 USD vs 999 USD) – VxV is still one of my favorite IEMS for a natural, clean and detailed sound, but there are some key differences between Dark Matter and VxV, especially in the overall presentation. The comfort is similar, they are about the same size, and they are both ergonomically designed, but the package of Dark Matter is considerably richer, with more extras, more accessories, better default cables, and a better carrying case. The overall sound is considerably heavier, thicker and more bassy on Dark Matter, with a richer low end, better overall impact and also a bit more treble emphasis. Dark Matter can be tuned to sound just like VxV in overall tuning, but here I’m describing the default signature, the most V-Shaped one, which is the raw potential of the driver. VxV remains a bit more natural and flatter, with less emphasis on both lows and highs, with a more balanced sound, but for most music I prefer the richer, more punchy and dynamic sound of Dark Matter. Dark Matter can be more fatiguing, but if you don’t take them super loud, they are just more musical and engaging, more emotional. The trick here is simple: if you listen quite loud, VxV may be better, especially for long periods of listening, while Dark Matter is more V-Shaped, so it can get more engaging at lower volumes. Details are comparable between them, soundstage is about the same, Dark Matter has a slightly better instrument separation. Dark Matter can present a better value due to the better package and

IMR Dark Matter vs Rhapsodio Zombie (910 USD vs 2000 USD) – Zombie is a really high-end basshead IEM with Summit-Fi aspirations, but the comfort is much better on Dark Matter, which has a smaller body that fits my ears much better, and which has no driver flex. Zombies always have driver flex, and it can become quite disturbing since it happens even if you just move your head slightly. DArk Matter also wins in terms of package, as it has a much better package from the factory, and it is configurable, if you’re not happy with the default settings. The overall build quality is also a bit better on Dark Matter, compared to the zombies. The sonic performance is actually comparable, with Dark Matter being more sensitive to source hiss, which is a bit disappointing, but it sounds more open, more detailed and cleaner compared to the Zombies. The overall resolution is better on Dark Matter, which is able to reproduce details in the treble, cymbal crashes and voices much better and more naturally. The overall driver speed is also slightly higher on dark matter, which makes it more resolving with most music too. Especially given the difference in pricing, it is hard to not recommend Dark Matter more, especially if you’re a basshead who wants the most clean and clear sound you can go for. 

IMR Dark Matter vs Campfire Dorado 2020 (910 USD vs 1100 USD) – We have a heated situation here, as Dorado2020 is pretty good on its own, staging fair ground against Dark Matter. The price is similar enough to compare them, but for the price, Dark MAtter comes with three cables, while at a higher price, Dorado 2020 comes with just one single ended cable. The package is also more impressive on Dark Matter if you plan on tuning your IEM, while Dorado 2020 can be used as it comes from the factory. In terms of comfort, Dorado 2020 is smaller physically than Dark Matter but has a deeper fit that can be uncomfortable for some, depending on the ear canal shape and size. The default cable coils tighter around the ear with Dorado 2020. The overall passive noise isolation is slightly higher with Dorado 2020, but it has more hissing with high output impedance sources, being harder to match with entry-level sources. In sonics, we have a similar, yet pretty different signature between Dorado2020 and Dark Matter. Dorado 2020 is more V-shaped and has a thinner sound, with a quicker bass response, while Dark Matter is heavier, slower, but also more punchy and impactful. The level of love you have for bass and a rich low end will be the level of love you have for Dark Matter, the more you enjoy a rich, lush deep bass, the more you’ll love Dark Matter. 

IMR Dark Matter vs Oriveti OV800 (910 USD vs 999 USD) – This has to be the hardest comparison in today’s review, because OV800 is an IEM I noted as a personal favorite. The shape and ergonomics are slightly smaller, and this more comfy on OV800, which actually comes with the Azla Xelastec Sedna Earfit tips, that I used for reviewing Dark Matter. We have a less interesting cable in the package of OV800, and it is tunable, but much less so than Dark Matter. The overall sonnics are very different though, with OV800 being a neutral, analytica sounding IEM with super good resolution, detail and clarity, but a much brighter / more neutral tuning than Dark Matter, which has a much bolder and stronger bottom end, and which has more substance to its low end. If you want an analytical sounding IEM with a fair bottom end extension, but a neutral presentation OV800 is great, while if you price the bottom end impact, depth and warmth, Dark Matter offers that to a beautiful extreme, without losing focus of its clarity and detail. 

 

Value and Conclusion

At the end of the day, we can say for sure that IMR Acoustics PRO offers excellent value with their Dark Matter or God Particle IEM, a basshead delight that will satisfy both those who enjoy explosive lows, but also those who love to have extreme levels of details and clarity. There’s even more, as the company has rich packages, and even offers the option of purchasing a simplified variant of their IEM, with just one cable, even the 4.4mm Balanced one, for about 200 USD, less, making Dark Matter an even better value than their 910 USD default price point. 

Before the end of today’s review, I have to give IMR Acoustics PRO Dark Matter a seat in Audiophile-Heaven’s Hall Of Fame, for being a truly interesting, impressive and versatile IEM with superb build quality, excellent overall design, as well as a bold, daring sonic presentation with superb bass. 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a Basshead IEM that can be tuned with filters, and which has a super detailed, clean, and dynamic sound, but with a bold and strong bass, IMR Acoustics PRO Dark Matter (God Particle) is a perfect choice at its current 910 USD price point. 

 

Specifications

  • 11mm Wide band dynamic CNT ADLC Dynamic + 6mm CNT conduction motors
  • 8 acoustic audio nozzles + 6 acoustic dampers
  • 2 Pin detachable OFC braided cable (3.5mm/2.5mm balanced/4.4mm balanced)
  • Frequency response: 8- 45000Hz
  • Impedance: 35 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 100 +/- 3DB
  • 24ct Gold plated 3.5mm Jack
  • 35mm Adapter
  • New portable case
  • Carry case for all equipment
  • Huge selection of ear tips for the perfect fit
  • 3 Year warranty

 

Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/3GHkQ0Z

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/3GHW3di

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3m3jDI5

 



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Full Playlist used for this review

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_cjBXGmwSHSdGcwuc_bKbBDGHL4QvYBu

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5 Comments

  1. […] a totally unique design. They will be compared to other upper midrange / high end IEMs, including IMR Acoustics PRO Dark Matter (900 USD), Oriveti OV800 (999 USD), Dethonray Tender 1 Planar IEMs (639 USD) and Campfire Holocene […]

  2. Mikail

    Bro, you’re right, the bass is so dope! Keep up!

  3. Francisco

    Really well written and good photos! I ordered a pair, looking forward to hear them bass!

  4. dharmasteve

    The Dark Matter is a very special IEM. Maybe the best quality bass I’ve heard…..and the mids are delicious too. They make music sound better by far. Very accurate review

    1. George Dobrescu

      Always really happy to help!

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George Dobrescu

George Dobrescu

Hello, and welcome to Audiophile-Heaven! I am George, the Creator of Audiophile-Heaven, and I love music! I will be sharing insights and comparisons of audio products with you. I invite you to join me in the exciting journey of discovering joy through music!!

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