Firstly I would like to thank Michael at Fidue for sending me this sample, I always try to write honest reviews. These received over 50hrs of burn-in, no big differences were noted.
iPod Classic 7G > A73 (Westone tips)
Dell XPS 15 > Oppo HA-2 > A73 (Westone tips)
· Driver: Φ10mm Exclusive Dynamic & Balanced Armature Drivers Frequency
· Frenquency Range: 13-27,000 Hz
· Sensitivity: 107dB
· Max Input Power: 20mW
· Distortion: <1%
· Plug: 3.5mm stereo, gold-plated (MP3, iPod, iPhone & iPad Supported)
· Cable: 1.3 m
· Sensitivity of Mic: -42+-3db
· S/N Ratio of Mic: ＞55db
· MSRP: £89.99
Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
Packaging is fairly simple with a picture of the IEM's on the front and specs and info on the front and side. The box is thick card and nicely finished, inside this everything is held well in place in a foam insert, with the IEM's on show and the cable tucked in to the carry case. The tips are held in the foam and everything is well presented but also well protected. Overall nice simply packaging, that looks the part too, nothing over the top.
Accessories are ok, you get a semi hard clamshell case, a cable clip, and tips. (S, M and L) in single flange, and also a set of medium bi-flanges. I would have liked to see some Comply tips, and maybe some triple flange tips, or even the bi-flanges in other sizes. But not a bad selection of accessories.
Build quality is good, I like the cable it is not too thick but feels like it is built to last. It has no memory wire which is a plus in my opinion, the jack is straight with good strain relief, the y-split is equally good, the mic uses the same style as the jack and y-split and looks great without being bulky. The housing is plastic but feels well built and providing you take relatively good care of these, I can see them lasting a long time.
(Please note only the tips on the left are stock, the rest are Westone and Comply)
Comfort, Isolation, Cable noise and Driver flex:
Comfort is good once you find the right tips, for me I didn't like the stock tips, they were a little too stiff and didn't fit me very well. One problem is the nozzle has no ridge so you have to make sure the tips you pick for these fit snugly on the nozzle. In the end I settled on some tips from the Westone UM Pro series, I picked the S long tips and got a comfortable fit with them, without changing the sound from stock. After finding the right tips I found these to be comfortable, the cable sits nicely behind your ear, but the nozzle on the IEM's still isn't right for me, they end up sticking out of my ear too much. But overall I find them comfortable, but I'm so used to Comply and Custom IEM's that silicone irritates after a while. Most people won't find this to be a problem.
Isolation is good, plenty for most daily commutes and they would be fine on an aircraft too. They won't block out as much as a fully sealed IEM, but they do block out enough for most uses.
Cable noise is not a problem as the cable goes behind your ear, but there is no chin slider due to the microphone, again as cable noise is not a problem, this isn't a big issue.
Driver flex is not an issue for me, none experienced when inserting, occasionally I will hear a tiny bit when pushing them in further once inserted.
Split in to the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.
The lows dig deep when called for but are very precise and controlled. Bass guitar lines are articulate but excellently controlled with no excess bleed or prolonged decay. Bass drums have good control, the punch is there and backed up with body. The lows keep up with faster rock easily and the sound never sound clinical or thin. The lows don't affect the mids, and everything is well separated, you can feel the sub-bass when it comes out.
The mids are a tad recessed but they come through without warmth from the lows. They cut through with great clarity and also air, you can hear subtle details in singers vocals easily but the tone is also very good lending its hand to all genres. I would even say the mids sound a little thin and lack a bit of body to make them sound more natural and full. They are still good for casual listening, but I would prefer them to be somewhat more upfront. There is a tiny hint of
The highs are good, nice and crisp with good extension and cymbals crash nicely, these have a slight v-shaped sound signature. They are well placed and never over the top, but they do lack a little micro detail and also sometimes do sound a little subdued. But overall they add the sparkle and excitement without going over the top.
Soundstage is good, not huge but has good air and accuracy,
The instrument separation is good also, everything is separated and controlled.
Conclusion: I really like the design, they are very well made but the angle of the nozzle is still not right for me. They isolate and are comfortable, the sound is balanced but slightly v shaped. They have a fun and engaging sound, the lows could be a little more controlled, the mids and high could be brought a little more forward, but as a general on the go IEM it does well. It keeps you engaged and focused on the music. For the price there are lots of IEM's you can choose from, but these should be on your shortlist if you are looking for detailed yet engaging sound.
Sound Perfection Rating: 8/10 (v-shaped fun listening)