Translate

Fidue SIRIUS: "Starships are meant to fly..." - [Review] 🇬🇧

Prolog:

Die deutsche Version meines Fidue A91 SIRIUS Reviews ist hier abrufbar: http://kopfhoerer-lounge.blogspot.com/2016/07/Fidue-SIRIUS.html


Preamble:

Benny Tan, Fidue’s chief engineer, has got more than 20 years of experience in developing and producing premium headphones and has already designed several products for some famous brands in the past. That the team with the people around Benny Tan and Fidue does not consist of rookies in the audio industry becomes obvious when one starts listening to their products – having had the honour, opportunity and pleasure to review their hybrid dual-driver A73, dynamic single titanium-driver A65 and UPQ Q-music QE80 triple-driver (which is an OEM version of the A83 by Fidue for UPQ) in-ears, I can thoroughly say that each of them totally convinced me and that I really like respectively even love all of them and find them incredibly musical as well as fun to listen to (each in their own way) without neglecting core strengths like control and resolution.



Development does never stop and now the time has come for Fidue (http://fidue.com/brand/view?brand=fidue_en) to release a new product that will be nothing less than a flagship that has been precisely developed and tuned within the past two years. Being a hybrid in-ear again, equipped with four Balanced Armature and one dynamic drivers, their pinnacle of recent development that is called “SIRIUS” (after the constellation) will be Fidue’s pride. While it does not come cheap at an international price of US$899, its price is however still set below what some other manufacturers are charging for their flagship products, giving the steadily continuing price increments that are happening in the audio scene in the past few and recent years.

And you can believe me: I have had very high expectations for the SIRIUS. In the course of this review, I will find out whether the SIRIUS delivered or not.


Before I go on, I want to take the time to give out a hearty thanks to Fidue and their Michael for this opportunity and for sending me a sample of the SIRIUS free of charge for the purpose of an honest, unbiased evaluation and review.


Technical Specifications:

Price: $899/¥5678
Drivers: 5 (4x BA, 1x dynamic)
Frequency Response: 4 – 45000 Hz
Impedance: 20 Ohms
Sensitivity: 113 dB
Maximum Input Power: 30 mW
Cable: 2.5 mm TRRS balanced (including 2 adapters: 3.5 mm TRRS balanced and 3.5 mm TRS single-ended)



About Hybrid In-Ears:

As you can read from the technical specifications and mentioned multiple times in the preamble, the Fidue SIRIUS is a little different from most In-Ears and doesn’t only use dynamic or Balanced Armature transducers, but combines both in one shell.

Most In-Ears use dynamic transducers for audio playback which have the advantage of covering the whole audible spectrum and achieving a strong bass emphasis without much effort. Valuable dynamic drivers are often said to have a more bodied and musical bass that has a more soft impact and decay and lacks of the analytical character that BA transducers are known for. On the downside, in contrast to headphones with other driver principles, dynamic transducers often have a lower resolution.

Higher-priced and professional IEMs mostly use Balanced Armature transducers, which usually have got a higher resolution than dynamic drivers, are faster, more precise and have got the better high-level stability, which is important for stage musicians that often require higher than average listening levels. On the downside, it is quite hard to cover the whole audible spectrum with just a single BA transducer and strongly emphasised bass is only possible with multiple or big drivers. Some people also find In-Ears with BA transducers to sound too analytical, clinical or cold (in several active years in a German audio community where I wrote multiple reviews, gave dozens of purchase advice and help, from time to time I heard people that got into BA earphones for the first time using these attributes for describing BA earphones, especially their lower frequencies).

Hybrid IEMs unite the positive aspects of both driver principles and use one dynamic transducer for lows reproduction and at least one BA driver for covering mids and highs, wherefore the often as “musical” described bass character remains and the BA transducers add resolution and precision to the mids and highs – and that’s what the Fidue SIRIUS does with its technology. It is addressed to those people who perceive the clinically-fast character of BA transducers as unnatural, but want to keep the mids’ and highs’ resolution, speed and precision while having the musicality of the dynamic driver.


Delivery Content:

What I expected was a nice unboxing experience along with beautiful, valuable content.












And that is just what I got.
In contrast to Fidue’s lower-tier models’ packages, the SIRIUS’ is more square-shaped and is a chest that is made of black pleather (truth to be told, I was quite unsure whether it was real leather or pleather, but one layer on the inside revealed that it had to be pleather) that is covered by a black paper sleeve with white text on a green background, following Fidue’s well-known package design. The text does not only give information about the technical specifications in three languages (English, Chinese and German) but also general information about the in-ears and tells the buyer why the name “SIRIUS” was chosen (it is a quite interesting read, so check it out).
Removing the sleeve (which is quite difficult because of how tight it fits, and getting it back on is not any easy either), one is greeted by a silver “Fidue” and “SIRIUS” logo on the chest’s lid. Once it is flipped open, we directly get to see the detached in-ear bodies as well as four sizes of silicone tips that are attached on a separate panel.
This layer that is pleather-plated, too, can be taken out. On its back, the two cable adapters (2.5 mm TRRS to 3.5 mm TRS as well as 2.5 mm TRRS to 3.5 mm TRRS) can be taken out with the help of a blue stripe.
Below this layer is a nice manual with pictures as well as instructions, as well as a warranty card.
Last but not least, one will find a beautiful carrying case that contains a pair of Comply Foam tips, the normal 2.5 mm Balanced cable, an airplane adaptor, a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adaptor as well as a strange looking metal plate along with a pin that turn out to be for detaching the MMCX cables and cleaning the in-ears.


Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

What I expected was a beautiful pair of in-ears with flawless build quality and a sturdy appearance.



The in-ears are made of two pieces (all metal) and feature Fidue’s unique three-dimensional scale design that however looks a little different to the A73’s and A83’s, to separate them visually. It is nothing but beautiful and has got a Fidue logo on the faceplate, as well as a shiny silver edge around the scales.
Through the protective mesh in front of the nozzle, three sound bores for the five drivers that are aligned in a five-way acoustic design can be seen.



As you might have noticed, the in-ears’ cable connectors are threaded which is because a locking MMCX mechanism was used (nonetheless every normal aftermarket MMCX cable can be used with the SIRIUS and the SIRIUS’ cable can be used with in-ears that have normal MMCX sockets as well). The counterpart is on the cable and screws in tightly so the MMCX connectors won’t turn (the SIRIUS’ MMCX connector and locking mechanism is one of the very few I personally trust in). And what is really nice is that the threaded collars are coloured, so it is super easy to immediately tell the correct side.
The cable is quite thick and fabric-coated, which looks nice but will very likely fray over time and also soak sweat and body fluids – you already see that I am not a fan of fabric-coated cables in general despite their beautiful appearance and I also would have personally preferred a cable with twisted/braided litzes although the SIRIUS’ fabric appears sturdier than that used with some other headphones and quite surprisingly, the cable is very flexible.
Apart from directly at the MMCX connectors, strain relief is really good. The y-split says “A91”, which is the internal designation of the SIRIUS. And very conveniently, Fidue’s flagship in-ear’s cable has got a cable cinch (chin-slider), which is really nice to see being finally implemented.
The 2.5 mm connector has got a Fidue logo and very conveniently, both cable adapters have got a small description (e.g. “2.5mm TRRS to 3.5mm TRS”), which might come in handy.



You might be probably wondering why the plugs have got a silver shimmer instead of the commonly seen gold. This is because Fidue decided to use rhodium-plated connectors instead of your everyday gold ones (if that does not scream “flagship feature” all over the place…).



The round carrying case is made of metal and quite large as well as heavy, but that is okay as the SIRIUS is not your everyday city car but more like a luxury sedan that is large and heavy as well.
The lid features a really nice Fidue engraving and the container is bolstered on the inside so the in-ears won’t get additional scratches over time.
A little drawback however is that the adapters have to be detached for storage, else the in-ears won’t fit inside (let’s hope this won’t lead to a connection issue over time).


Comfort, Isolation:

What I expected was an in-ear that is comfortable and easy to insert and wear with a good over-the-ear fit (well, that’s usually no wizardry with my large and in-ear-friendly ears).



Well, this is where the SIRIUS disappointed me to some degree (using the stock tips). It is indeed on the quite large size, so having larger than average ears does come in very beneficial. In my ears, there is also still some space left and the A91 is somewhat smaller than my UERM custom fit in-ear monitors (but just slightly).
What I somewhat dislike and what causes some fiddling until I achieve a good seal are however the short nozzles. My ears are not only on the larger side but also quite deep. And for me, the SIRIUS would definitely benefit from longer nozzles, as it takes some time until I get an ideal seal (quite similar to my ATH-IM03). And although the fit is then not really uncomfortable, the edgy lower parts of the in-ears’ bodies’ exteriors touch my ears in my conchas and cause some sub-par discomfort which could have been avoided by somewhat more rounded edges on the outer side/faceplate and longer nozzles.
So it is about as uncomfortable as my IM03 and somewhat longer nozzles would have been very beneficial for people like me who have deep ears (people with not as deep ears should not be facing problems as the edgy part shouldn’t touch their conchas).
Using aftermarket tips might help with this, but I would have personally preferred a longer nozzle due to my “not a single aftermarket part/modification” philosophy when it comes to headphones.



With the guide-less and memory wire lacking cable design along with the MMCX connectors with threaded locking mechanism, it is theoretically possible to easily wear the SIRIUS with the cables down if one is into that kind of stuff.
But usually in the higher price range and professional sector, the cables are worn around the ears, which is also how the SIRIUS was most likely intended to be worn and how I am wearing it, like the vast majority of my in-ears. And due to the threaded locking collar of the MMCX cable, the connectors don’t rotate and the SIRIUS’ connectors are among the very few MMCX connections that I very personally also trust on the long run.
Microphonics are by the way extremely little and close to nothing.

Exterior noise isolation is rather on the weaker to average side compared to completely closed body in-ears, but that was what I kind of expected due to the vented hybrid design.


Sound:

For listening, I used the Luxury & Precision L3 in balanced mode and the iBasso DX90, DX80 as well as the LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100 and last but not least Leckerton UHA-6S.MKII in single-ended mode.
For critical listening and comparisons to other in-ears, I used my DX90 and the Geek Out IEM 100.



Although I am no burn-in believer with headphones, I burnt the A91 SIRIUS in for over 200 hours with noise as well as sine and music signals before I even started critical listening, just to be on the safe side.

For listening below, I used the largest size of the included silicone tips.

Tonality:

I surely had no idea how the SIRIUS was tuned, but a few presumed sound signature characteristics I had in mind were a smooth, musical and slightly warmed-up bottom end with a sparkling yet not overdone treble, an even and coherent sound along with some musicality and fun without neglecting class and maturity.

And it turned out that I was not too much off with my assumption although it turned out much more balanced than I expected – what I am hearing is a very moderate elevation in the bass that is however so far from being overdone and just slightly north of neutral, relatively balanced, and reaches quite deep but loses a little quantity in the lowest registers of the sub-bass. So there is enough sub-bass and it is there when called upon, but it is not the extroverted star of the show and takes a small step back compared to the upper bass and midbass. Upper bass has got a nice kick to it, with some slight smoothness and warmth in the lower root that however ebbs away quite soon so there is no spillage into the lower mids and no unnecessary added warmth in the rest of the root – just enough to make the low end appear musical yet not too smooth or warm.
The mids’ timbre is pretty neutral in my ears, with vocals sounding realistic and not coloured. Because of an emphasis in the lower treble, mids’ overtones have a slight upwards shift without tending to the coloured side in my ears though – it just adds some air without making the timbre shift to the unnatural side. Speaking about timbre, pianos and trumpets or saxophones don’t really sound altered but quite natural to me, as opposed to the UPQ Q-music QE80 (OEM of the Fidue A83) that shifts trumpets a little to the thinner side or the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 where vocals’ overtones are on the slightly brighter side as well but where trumpets sound more like a squeaking noise.
The treble is somewhat more on the brighter side, with an even rising quantity from the lower to upper treble. I would not be surprised if there is some sort of countervailing dip in-between, as there is no edginess or unevenness and the treble is not obtrusive although it is somewhat emphasised, but I’ll find that out quite short when I do my sweeps. Air and extension past 10 kHz seem to be quite good and there is some nice subtle sparkle in the super treble past 10 kHz.
What kind of amazes me similar to the Q-music QE80 is that although the upper end is on the brighter side of neutral, it lacks sharpness or edginess and sounds coherent as well as easily tolerable. It is not yet as harmonious as the Etymotic ER-4S’s treble which is probably the most even treble I have come across but among the in-ears with a brighter upper end tuning, it definitely belongs to those with a very coherent and annoying-free character.
So overall, I would say the SIRIUS falls into the category of a slightly w-shaped in-ear that is very balanced sounding overall and slightly leans more towards the brighter side without being annoying at all.

Bass quantity by the way depends on how much the small vent is covered up by one’s ears. In my ears, it is not covered by that much, so it gives just the necessary amount of boost in the low-end so that the sound does not become boring but has a nice texture and musicality to it. Depending on your ear anatomy, the bass can be either more present or a little leaner. If you are into modding, you can of course also perform a tape mod to close the small vent in order to achieve more low-end quantity and impact.
Further below when I perform the sine sweeps, listen to noise and determine by how much certain frequency bands are boosted and by how much, I will be able to tell the bass quantity the SIRIUS has in my ears. My guess would be around 4 to 5 dB compared to a very flat in-ear like the ER-4S and probably 2 compared to the UERM.

So overall, one can definitely recognise some of Fidue’s hybrid in-ears’ house sound in the SIRIUS which has however matured, having less bass quantity than the A73 and UPQ QE80 in my ears, with less warmth in the lows, less root warmth and better extension towards the lowest sub-bass. Overall, it seems like the A83/QE80 was taken as base for the SIRIUS which was however tuned for a more balanced and mature, less fun tonality, with a more realistic timbre in the lower treble and less sibilance although I already didn’t have complaints at all with the QE80.
So yeah, it is quite a flagship-worthy tonality with an excellent balance between maturity, musicality and moderate fun.

Moving on to what I hear with the sine sweeps, noise and EQ counter-checking: from about 450 Hz down, the lows’ emphasis starts climbing, reaching the climax with being ca. 5 dB north of neutral compared to a completely flat in-ear at about 200 Hz, which is kept upright down to 35 Hz from where on it rolls somewhat off towards 20 Hz. This gives the sound some non-overdone impact and enough bottom end and lower root warmth not to sound sterile.
From 1.3 kHz on, level starts increasing up to 7.6 kHz where the treble emphasis’s climax is located at. From there on, it takes a slight step back without becoming dark at all and reaches up high past 17 kHz. Surprisingly, in contrast to what I assumed earlier, I am hearing no dip in the middle highs around 4 to 6 kHz, and the treble is still easily bearable, which is also because I don’t hear any peaks or dips in the highs, just a very even upwards slope.

Resolution:

Before having even received the in-ear or listened to it once, I expected a well-rounded and controlled bottom end with quick attack and slightly slower decay to create a nice, musical body while maintaining a good level of crispness and speed, along with a detailed midrange and treble without any harshness or annoyance.

What I got was mostly what I expected – hybrid flagship-like performance.
The bottom end is excellently controlled and quite quick and nimble. And it is not any soft at all although typical for the dynamic driver, attack and decay are not as quick as with most BA drivers (on a second note though, it beats some back-vented BA in-ears in terms of bass aridness, sounding less soft and better controlled). Contrary to what I expected, the attack has about the same speed as the decay and lacks a very slight bit behind the FLC8s’ dynamic driver’s speed, but what the SIRIUS still has got is some addictive yet not overwhelming at all bass body and tactility, which is the main reason why many people love a dynamic driver for the lows. And oh yes, the SIRIUS does such a great job down there, finding just the right balance between speed, body and control. It just handles fast Metal as well as Electronic music with great control as well as ease and has still got that dynamic driver’s body. On another note, I wouldn’t be much surprised if one of the five acoustic ways also contains a BA driver for the lows in addition to the dynamic drivers, as the bottom end is pretty clean and fast while still having that really nice body.
Moving to the mids, they are nicely textured and detailed, revealing small variances of the singers or multiple layers with an easy-going and smooth, highly detailed character. Because of the upwards slope in the treble, there is a little more of a favour of female vocals because of the more up-front overtones, but male vocals are no less detailed and layered.
Treble is excellent as well and although it is a little more on the bright side, it becomes never annoying and single notes are cleanly as well as precisely separated from each other.
Overall sound is highly dynamic and realistic, with really good fine detail retrieval.

And of course, everything sounds very coherent. I know there is still more possible resolution when going up in price, but one has to spend noticeably over $1000, close to 2000, to get a comparatively small sound quality increment when put in relation to the price (keep in mind that the higher we go in price, the more the law of diminishing returns kicks in).

Soundstage:

I was expecting an open, holographic soundstage with good layering and authenticity.

The imaginary soundstage is indeed large, spacious and well-rounded. It is not as large as for example the UE18 Pro’s and not super wide, but very well rendered and rounded with precise instrument placement as well as really good separation, so the imaginary room is very tidy without instruments bleeding into each other what enforces the impression of a really nice and large appearing soundstage.
Overall, sounds are well detached and appear more to be all around the head.
Picking out the position of single notes, instruments or singers works pretty well and the soundstage has got a good forward-projection and sounds overall pretty realistic and – what I find most important – authentic, what so many in-ears in a lower price range do not achieve to the same extent. There is indeed some really nice air around instruments and notes.

Mission accomplished, the SIRIUS fulfils my expectations regarding sound.

---------

In Comparison with other In-Ears:



UPQ Q-music QE80 (OEM Version of the Fidue A83):
As mentioned above, the SIRIUS seems like the more mature and grown-up version of the QE80.
The UPQ has got more bass quantity which is also warmer and shines a bit more into the root, giving a creamier and richer low-end. The QE80’s upper mids are somewhat more on the brighter side, along with the lower treble, making trumpets and pianos sound a bit brighter than they are (it’s just a small complaint though) – here, the SIRIUS appears more realistic. Moving on in the treble, the SIRIUS is somewhat less bright despite the QE80 having a narrow dip in the middle highs (which is only audible with sine sweeps though).
When it is about detail retrieval, the SIRIUS is definitely an upgrade: while the QE80 has got the more present body, it comes at the cost of speed and control in comparison with fast music, so the SIRIUS has got the better controlled and quicker bottom end. The SIRIUS’ mids are also better layered and textured, with the higher minute detail retrieval. In the treble, there is no major difference but the SIRIUS also appears slightly better separated despite being less bright.
The SIRIUS’ soundstage is somewhat wider while both have almost identical depth (the SIRIUS has a little more depth though). The SIRIUS’ soundstage is however better layered, textured and separated, with more precision and air between instruments, wherefore it sounds more authentic.
So yes, the SIRIUS is an upgrade to the QE80/A83 on the technical side and also more balanced sounding. Nonetheless, I still love the QE80 for its fun yet smooth and even/harmonious tuning.

FLC Technology FLC8s (red – grey – gunmetal   Filters):
The SIRIUS has got somewhat less bass quantity but a bit more warmth in the root. In the mids, both are quite comparable although the FLC8s is a little more forward here. In the treble, the SIRIUS is the somewhat brighter in-ear, especially in the middle treble where the FLC8s has got a dip.
The FLC8s’ bass has got the somewhat quicker attack while both have similar decay, control and precision in the lows. The SIRIUS on the other hand has got the more addictive and nicer body.
The FLC8s’ mids are more detailed and liquid, even more than my UERMs’, so here it even outperforms the SIRIUS by a little.
In the treble however, the SIRIUS sounds more realistic around 10 kHz and reveals more details, seems a bit more easy-going overall.
The SIRIUS’ soundstage is somewhat wider and deeper but not by much. The Fidue’s stage also appears a little better placed and authentic, while both have very comparable and precise separation.
Overall, both are quite close when directly compared. Here and there however, the SIRIUS is somewhat better albeit the FLC has got the more liquid mids.

DUNI DN-2002:
The DN-2002 has got the more forward bass in my ears but somewhat less sub-bass extension, however especially more root and upper bass quantity. The DUNU’s (especially lower) mids are somewhat more on the warmer and thicker side.
Both in-ears have got very comparable bass quality as well as control, and even the body is very comparable although the DUNU’s is more forward because of its higher bass quantity.
Moving on to the midrange, the Fidue’s appears slightly more detailed. It is a super close decision though.
In the treble, the SIRIUS is somewhat more easy-going and has got the more refined upper treble – again, it is a more or less close decision.
Going on to the soundstage, both in-ears have got comparable size but the SIRIUS generates some more air between instruments and therefore has the even somewhat more precise imaging.

Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors:
The UERM, while not being as flat as the Etymotic ER-4S when doing sine sweeps and listening to
noise signals (as well as music), is still an overall very neutral in-ear.
Comparing the two, the SIRIUS has got somewhat more bottom end but really just a little. In the mids, both are comparable however in the upper midrange/lower treble, the Fidue has got the somewhat brighter overtones while both have got a relatively identical midrange timbre in my ears.
In the middle treble, the UERM has got somewhat less quantity. Moving to the upper treble below 10 kHz, the Fidue is a little brighter, but around 10 kHz, the UERM has got more quantity because this is where it has got its peak.
With its BA driver, the UE has got the somewhat quicker bass attack and decay and little better control, however it is surprising that the Fidue comes really close but has that typical dynamic driver body (nonetheless with excellent control and quality).
In the mids, both have got quite comparable details.
In the treble, the UE is a bit more detailed and better with craving out minute details and rendering them well. In the upper treble around 10 kHz, the SIRIUS is however a bit more authentic as well as realistically sounding (the upper treble has always been something where I felt the UERM could be a little more realistic, which is however criticism on a high level).
In terms of soundstage, the UERM scales a little better depending on the recording and has got more width as well as a bit more depth. Both create comparable air between instruments but the UE’s soundstage appears a little better controlled with fast recordings (supposedly because of the different woofers).
Overall, the UERM is still the somewhat more authentic in-ear, but the SIRIUS comes extremely close in most categories and has got the even somewhat more realistic appearing upper treble around 10 kHz to my ears.

Shure SE846 (white Treble Filters):
The Shure has got more sub-bass and a sub-bass emphasis. The SIRIUS has also got slightly less midbass and upper bass quantity and is therefore a little tamer in the lows and more balanced sounding (but then again, as written somewhere above, bass quantity will depend on how close the vents are to one’s ears). The Shure’s mids are somewhat more forward and a wee bit dark sounding to my ears. The SIRIUS has got the more even treble and especially better extension – above 8 kHz, the Shure is quite rapidly rolling off what causes cymbal crashes to sound somewhat cut-off.
In the bass and mids, both are really well comparable when it is about resolution. With its dynamic driver, the Fidue has got more bass body presence whereas the SE846 has got a very slightly better attack and control. Moving on to the treble however, the SIRIUS does not only sound more realistic (despite sounding brighter) and has got the superior extension but is also more detailed where the SE846 sounds a bit blunt in comparison.
In terms of soundstage, the Shure’s is a bit more on the smaller side compared to other $1k in-ears and CIEMs but no less precise, authentic and three-dimensional. While the SIRIUS’ soundstage is somewhat wider and deeper than the Shure’s, both have got pretty much identical authenticity, separation as well as air between instruments and appear similarly holographic.
If it wasn’t for the Shure’s somewhat sub-average treble, both in-ears would have been more similar than different (despite the different sound signature approach) on the technical side, but because of the upper end, I would definitely give the edge to the SIRIUS when directly comparing both.


Conclusion:

I expected a flagship sound quality from the Fidue SIRIUS and this is exactly what I got.
The sound is excellent and definitely flagship-worthy. It feels like a more mature version of the A83/Q-music QE80 however it retains their musicality and has got Fidue’s unmistakable house sound that is however definitely more balanced.
Not much surprising and coming from Fidue, it does an excellent job of sounding relaxed yet somewhat bright and musical, but also very detailed and excellently controlled. It also does a great job of sounding moderately fun and musical although it does not drift away to sounding artificial or unnatural.
From the tuning to resolution, bass control and body, down to the spacious and well-placed and -separated, authentic soundstage, there is little not to like about the SIRIUS (as long as one is not into a warm and tendentially dark sound signature).
So Fidue’s aim was to create a flagship-worthy hybrid in-ear and that is what they exactly did with the SIRIUS – great tuning job, Mr. Benny Tan!



Where I however definitely see room for improvement is the design/functionality – the nozzle is quite short and might make it quite difficult for people with deeper ears to get an easy and immediate seal (I for example need some adjustment and fiddling until seal is good and as it should be) and the edgy lower section of the outer half/faceplate might also cause some discomfort (that’s what it does for me; more rounded outer edges and corners as with the UPQ Q-music QE80/Fidue A83 would have been much better if one is required to insert the SIRIUS deep in one’s ears – a workaround for those two fit/comfort issues could also be using aftermarket tips with a longer stem that might mostly resolve the issues). And although the cloth-coated cable is better than usual cables of that sort, it is still likely to fray over time and I think a braided/twisted cable as standard would have been better (in my humble opinion).

So while sound is excellent, comfort could be quite a lot better for me and for those who have large however deep ears, too.


With my usual 70% sound (97/100) to 30% quality/fit/comfort (in my ears with the stock tips) weighting, I come to a conclusion of 84.7% or 4.235 out of 5 stars.