Review: Fostex TE-07 (smooth and refined)

Firstly I would like to thank Matt at SCV for lending me these IEM's to review, I always try to write honest reviews, I do not believe balanced armature drivers require burn-in, but I did use these for a few days before reviewing to get used to the sound.

Gear Used:
iPod Classic 7G > TE-07 (Comply TX400 Tips)
Dell XPS 15 > Oppo HA-2 > TE-07 (Comply TX400 Tips)


Tech Specs:
Type: Balanced armature
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Impedance: 33 ohm
Sensitivity: 95 (at 1kHz, 1mW)
Maximum Input: 5mW
Plug: 3.5mm, 3P mini plug
Cable Length: 1.2m
Accessories: Spare ear tips (XS, S, M, L) and Leather Carrying Case
MSRP: £209


Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The packaging is very similar to the TE-05, with a black and orange box that has a window on the front showing off the IEM's. The front flap opens to reveal the IEM's held in a foam in tray, with the carry case and tips below. The specifications can be found on the side of the box, and additional information on the back. Sleek and simple packaging, does its job in protecting them whilst also being pleasing to look at.


Build quality I would say is slightly better than the TE-05, the housing feels better machined than the TE-05, and looks a bit better in my opinion. The cable is very soft and comfortable, and is detachable using MMCX connectors, it has very good strain relief but there is no chin slider unfortunately. Overall very good build quality and the detachable cable is a great feature.

Accessories are also good, you get a great leather carry case, but only single flange silicone tips, in XS, S, M and L. I would like to see Comply tips included at this price point, along with a cable clip and also maybe some bi-flange tips.


Comfort, Isolation and Cable noise:
Comfort is great with Comply tips, I couldn't get a good fit with the included silicone tips. I find these to fit best with the cable straight down, and found them to be fine for long listening sessions without discomfort, the housing is smooth and of a good size.

Isolation with Comply tips is perfect for daily commutes, and would even suffice on the odd tube journey or short flight, as these are full sealed IEM's.

Cable noise is present but not a big problem, it is a shame the cable does not have a chin slider, or a cable clip.


Sound:
Split in to the usual categories with a conclusion at the end, these were reviewed with Comply TX400 tips, not the stock tips, this does make a big difference.

Lows: The lows are very fast and precise yet always there to give body to the sound and articulate brilliantly. Bass guitar notes can be easily distinguished and heard, kick drums are precise and have good body yet also very punchy. For a single BA driver they also manage to dig quite deep with no real extension issues, yes they do roll off a little earlier than some dynamic driver IEM's but not hugely so, and it never sounds like you are missing out on any of the music.

Mids: Well the mids are incredibly clear and crisp, they stay well separated from the lows not suffering any bleed or warming. Detail in the mids is also very impressive, and the air between everything is very good. I can hear subtle details easily but they do not hurl detail at you, they also don't suffer from sibilance. The mids sit very nicely in the mix too, just where they should be in the middle, they allow you to enjoy the music with detail but also a soothing sound, not harsh in the slightest.

Highs: The highs do take a back seat somewhat and are not as forward as I would like, they also don't extend very well, but what I do like the the way they are presented. With good positioning and definition, they do not sound splashy like some more budget IEM's do. They may not have the best presence but again this leads to a more relaxing and fatigue free listening experience, but they do have the detail and air.


Soundstage isn't very large, not a lot of out of head experiences. The instrument separation is very good, there is air between everything and all instruments are easily separated.

Overall these are actually quite nice IEM's, the price is reasonable for the quality and features, and the sound comes across as well balanced and non fatiguing. They don't have the widest of soundstage or the most natural of timbre, but they come across as pleasing and enjoyable, perfect for commuters and everyday listeners. I appreciate the refined design and the smooth sound these offer.


Sound Perfection Rating: 7.5/10 (well balanced and non offensive, with a detachable cable and good design)

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