Firstly I would like to thank Fidue and Advanced MP3 Players for sending me this sample for review, I will write as honest a review possible, these received over 50hrs of burn-in, no real differences were noted.
iPod Classic 7G > Silver LOD > JDS Labs C5D > A83
Dell XPS 15 > JDS Labs C5D > A83
· Drivers: 2 balanced + Φ10m dynamic
· Frequency Response : 9-31kHz
· Impedance: 11 Ohm
· Sensitivity: 104dB
· THD : <1%
· Connector ：3.5mm stereo gold-plated
· Cable ： 1.3m audiophile Silver-plated copper wire
· MSRP: $350
Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
Packaging is the Fidue green and black style card box, with a picture of the IEM's on the front and information on the back. The packaging is eye catching due to the colour scheme, and looks great, the top opens and inside you will find the IEM's in their storage case, held between 2 pieces of foam. All the tips are also held in the foam. Well protected and good looking packaging.
Accessories are plentiful, you get a great pelican style hard case to protect them when they are in your bag, plenty of tips (S, M and L single flange) (M and L bi-flange) (M Comply tips) and also a 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter and airplane adapter. Great amount of accessories.
Build quality is good overall, the housing is plastic but feels substantial and helps keep weight down, the detachable cable is good, it uses the MMXC style connector which I have never had any problems with. The cable is a highlight, it is incredible, I love the braided look and the top section is covered in flexible rubber coating, and there is a small section of memory wire also. The connector is angled, which make it more comfortable, the 3.5mm jack and y-split both have very good strain relief. I really do like the cable, especially since it is silver plate copper as stock.
Comfort, Isolation, Cable noise and driver flex:
Comfort is good, it took me a while to find the most comfortable tip and insertion style, I ended up using my trusty Comply tips and I can now listen to them with no pain
Isolation is fine for general usage and would hold up fine for plane usage too, the housing does have a vent however, so they won't isolate quite as well as a full closed IEM.
Cable noise is present and the is no chin slider to tighten the slack, but it is not a huge problem and once you have the memory cable properly moulded, it is not a big problem.
Driver flex is not bad, there is slight flex when you push them whilst they are properly inserted, but whilst inserting I have no issues with driver flex.
The lows are very thick and a little slow sometimes, but they have great body. They really add a lot of body and warmth to the sound, they lend their hand to any genre, and really excel when pumping out the big bass of techno/electronica. They punch hard and extend low, but don't dominate the overall sound, keeping separate from the mids and not muddying them. I do like the lows on these, as they are articulate and dynamic, however they are not as fast/tight and detailed as BA lows, it is personal preference.
The mids fair well with all vocals, and never sound offensive. I would say they sit just behind the lows in presentation, but do not sound recessed or veiled. I cannot detect any sibilance in the upper mids, and they are just very enjoyable, with no major dips or peaks. Guitars have grunt, vocals are clean and detailed, the mids really don't do anything wrong. I really enjoy listening to vocals on these, as they have a very clear presentation, they don't really add any flavour to the mids, they present them as they should be.
Well the highs in my opinion could use a little more presence and sparkle, but this could lead to listening fatigue, so as they are they strike a good balance between presence and non-fatiguing listening. They have detail and extension but sometimes lack a little sparkle and sound a little dull sometimes, it is also track dependent, when listening to Diana Krall for example you can hear every tap of a cymbal, but when listening to some rock tracks, the highs seem to get overshadowed by the mids and lows.
Soundstage is good, nice and airy presentation with a wide soundstage, nothing sounds congested.
Instrument separation is also good, due to the airy presentation.
Conclusion: I do like these IEM's, the design could be tweaked to make the fit a bit better, but the sound is very good, this is a good hybrid IEM for the price, the build quality is good, and the sound has the benefits of a dynamic driver whilst retaining the clarity of a BA driver without any harshness. You get deep and impactful lows that don't overpower the mids, mids that are present, clear and inoffensive, and highs that albeit a little dull, still shine through and present good detail. The sound isn't the most coherent, but it is fun and easy to listen to. A good buy in my opinion.
Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10
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