FiiO FA7S Six Balanced Armature IEM Review

January 31, 2023 § Leave a comment

Rather than relying on a single driver to manage the entire frequency range, the FA7s divides it between six distinct balanced-armature drivers. This is intended to permit a quicker, more precise, and more detailed performance. From my understanding, The low- and high-frequency drivers are off the shelf from Knowles, while the mid-frequency one is a custom model designed solely for FiiO.

Dividing the frequency range between six drivers is not a simple task. If not done correctly, it may lead to an unnatural overlap of certain frequencies, as the drivers usually produce higher and lower frequencies than their assigned range.



December 13, 2022 § Leave a comment

As for ergonomics, fit and isolation, of course, it would be unreasonable to expect custom in-ear monitor isolation, but the Mezzo LE is the most eartips-dependant of the flagships I experienced. It probably has something to do with the physical and acoustic properties of the piezo driver, but different tips with various bore widths considerably alter the sound signature for the good or bad, depending on the tips. The white tips that come with the Mezzo LE increase the amount of bass, while the gray and foam tips result in a more spacious presentation.

Based on my experience, I got the most satisfactory results with tips that minimize the distance from the earphone to your eardrum, which is why I decided on after-market double-flange tips. Anyhow, I believe the crowning touch to look for here is the bore width.


November 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

The Westone Audio Mach 80 provides impressive passive isolation thanks to its shape and optimized tips. Naturally, the included foam ear tips provide more isolation compared to the silicone tips, but I didn’t feel the need for more isolation as it was already excellent. Foam tips may be more suitable for on-stage and outdoor use.

To summarize this section in one sentence; the Mach 80 offers an improved design and an improved material quality compared to the previous generation, while not compromising on the comfort we all love and got used to.

Grado SR325x Review

November 8, 2022 § Leave a comment

The SR325x’s open-backed design means that they’re wonderfully expressive dynamically, and lows are agile and tuneful, but there’s still not the outright weight and low-end punch of closed headphone designs. The SR325x can sound a little bass-light in comparison to such products, though we’re happy to make that sacrifice given the many benefits of the open-design approach.

We switch to Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club set and love the Grados’ ability to convey the texture and attitude in her voice. The excellent insight generates a lovely sense of atmosphere and we find ourselves getting lost in the music rather than focusing on analysing the SR325x’s performance. The newfound sense of refinement makes it easier to relax when listening too.

Astell&Kern Odyssey IEMs Review

November 6, 2022 § Leave a comment


November 1, 2022 § Leave a comment

There are a lot of ear-tips inside, a total of 16 pairs. 2 of them are foams, and 2 more pairs are bi-flange tips. There are additional 9 pairs of silicone tips which are divided into “bass”, “vocal” and “balanced”. On top of all that, you get SpinFit tips for the flagship hybrid IEM. These weren’t present with the lower range FH5s model.

The tips are easily recognizable since they all have different colours. Once you memorize their colour you know which is which. Overall FiiO has covered the accessory part very well and you have absolutely everything you need inside. You even have an MMCX tool for making the detachable cable easier to work. Great attention to detail. Overall this is excellent packaging with a great presentation.

Earphone Planar Wars (Timeless 7Hz /Shuoer S12 /Raptgo Hook X)

October 18, 2022 § Leave a comment


October 6, 2022 § Leave a comment

The mids of the Moonlight sound dynamic, coherent, and engaging. The Moonlight is very successful at conveying emotion and more importantly, it does not sacrifice resolution and clarity while doing so like many other IEMs on the market. The vocals are clean, and articulate with a good note weight. Habanot Nechama’s “Ever” is a great benchmark, the Moonlight’s presentation feels balanced with all ranges having a clean, detailed, and dynamic output.

The tonality of the instruments feels accurate, and the imaging and stereo separation is wonderful. The tonality of the guitar sounds very realistic, neutral, and natural. The upper midrange is delightfully tuned, it is not sharp or overly energetic. It carries a great amount of detail and extension while staying out of sibilance. Upper mids are resolving, clean and natural. Hi-hats do not feel brittle, etched, or strident. The Moonlight is very impressive, but it definitely needs a proper source despite its 8-ohm sensitivity value.


September 27, 2022 § Leave a comment

For a little under eight years, I have contended that the Noble Katana is one of the finest-sounding headphones made only outdone by the best of the over-the-ear Electrostatic headphones in airiness and detail, and the best over-the-ear Planar headphones in terms of bottom-end. Now, Noble Audio have outdone themselves with the Viking Ragnar. I can only think of a couple of price-no-object over-the-ear headphones that can stand up to the Ragnar sonically, in terms of speed, tonal balance, dynamic range, musicality, and soundstage, and none that surpass it. To my ears, it is simply the best IEM available, and among the very finest headphones period. And for those who prefer a little thump in their bottom end, there are the black foam eartips.


September 20, 2022 § Leave a comment

The nozzles of the Magma have no etching so tip-rolling is somewhat problematic. You need tips that are narrower than the regular wide tips (e.g. SpiralDots) you normally use but still won’t cover the sound bores. Those are hard to come by and I’ve had some trouble finding aftermarket tips for it. Luckily, the included tips are quite good and I’ve had an absolutely fantastic time with the Magma during my testing phase. I’m just throwing you some extra information in case you decide to use the Magma as the daily driver.

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