Fischer Audio DBA-02 MKII Review
These received over 50hrs of burn-in, but as usual with balanced armatures, no changes were noted.
iPod Classic 7G (rockboxed) > Fischer Audio DBA-02 MKII (using small Shure olive tips)
iPod Classic 7G (rockboxed) > Fiio L3 > JDS Labs C421 (AD8620) > Fischer Audio DBA-02 MKII (using small Shure olive tips)
Frequency Range – 20 - 24000 Hz
Sensitivity – 108dB
Impedance - 43Ω
Max power input – 60mw
Cable Length – 1.3m
Jack – 3.5mm
Packaging is very attractive, being a squarish box, quite heavy in weight actually, with a picture of the IEM’s on the front, specs on the back. Out of this box slides and inner tray which holds the IEM’s in a foam cutout, with the carry case below and tips underneath, with an instruction leaflet too. A very well presented package, with lots of accessories included.
Lots of accessories are included, a very nice hard clamshell case, ear guides which feel great but I don’t use them, a cable clip and lots of tips: normal single flange (S, M and L), isolating single flanges (extra foam ring inside) (S, M and L), a pair of triple flanges and 2 pairs of translucent silicone tips (M only). A great package and enough tips for all likes and sizes, the tips are all super soft and high quality.
Build quality is very good, the housing is very small which helps with ergonomics, being smooth to touch high quality plastic housing, they are very light as well. The cable is square, not flat or round, which is different, but doesn’t tangle easily and feels very sturdy. The jack is straight, which is not as good as L shaped most of the time, but still feels like it should take some abuse, the y-split is metal and looks and feels great, no chin slider though I’m afraid. The nozzle is of the smaller diameter, which means Shure olive tips and the likes fit perfectly.
Comfort is great, the body is very small and light, so they work great for deep insertion, and you don’t feel them once in, I think the comfort of these is great, but the cable being square does not stay behind your ear without the ear guides as easily. I ended up using Shure foam tips, as I prefer foam tips, but with all the included tips, you will be certain to find one that fits you fine.
Isolation depends on insertion depth, deeply inserted they isolate brilliantly, as much as Etymotics in my opinion. Shallow insertions still provides enough isolation for most circumstances. Also the isolation depends on tips, with the Shure olives the isolation is great, with normal single flange silicone tips the isolation is not as good.
Microphonics are pretty nonexistent as the cable goes behind the ear, so no problems here, nor driver flex as they are balanced armature.
Split into the 3 usual categories, then a conclusion
Hits with nice punch and very accurately. The bass is well articulated, and separated, the bass never bleeds into the mids, with extension being very good, even during dubstep you can hear the sub-bass rumble. I think the bass is placed perfectly, not lacking in quantity and the accurate quality is superb. Even listening to electronica the bass sounds great, and I do not feel it lacking in anything.
Clean, clear and crisp. Very detailed, and slightly dry in presentation, vocals sound very natural, and guitars crunch with power and authority, but they are not mid forward. All being very well separated and controlled, never sounding peaky or harsh, with only a hint of sibilance in the upper mids. The mids never get drowned out by the highs presence and the bass punch.
Excellent clarity and presentation, but may be bright by some peoples standard. These have great precision and clarity in the highs, with cymbal crashes sounding very realistic and extension being great. These are slightly tiped towards the treble region, with some saying they are bright, but I think that they are pretty balanced and all the frequency range complement each other perfectly, as you have the sub-bass rumble being audible, with cymbal crashes going off and vocals still cutting through the mix very clearly.
Soundstage, Imaging and Instrument Separation:
The soundstage is quite impressive actually, sounding very naturally spacial with every instrument in its rightful place.
Imaging is also well done, without sounding detached.
Instrument separation is excellent, these have great speed and accuracy, with air around all the instruments.
Well, what can I say, this TWFK dual driver IEM is great, balanced and detailed but not analytical, the sound is not at all thin, and just sounds very natural with tonal balance only being slightly thin. Bass rumbles, mids cut through and sound beautiful, and the highs shimmer and shine with brilliance.
Vs Rockit Sounds R50:
Another TWFK driver IEM, the DBA-02 MKII is much lusher sounding, with better bass extension, and the highs are not as harsh. The R50 sounds thin and a little harsh in comparison, and the build quality is much better on the DBA-02 MKII
Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3)
Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3)
Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)
Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC)
Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC)Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC)
Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC)
The XX – Crystalised (FLAC)
Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC)
The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3)A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3)
Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Spring Allegro (ALAC)
Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3)
Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3)
Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC)
We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3)
Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3)
Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC)
Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)