FIDUE A83 review
It is very nice and refreshing to see a triple-hybrid IEM tuned differently to the more generic v-shaped sound like most of the current hybrids. As we all know, the majority of the current mid-tier hybrid universals are tuned with v-shaped signature (except maybe DN2k).
Some people might call this boring, but I call this refreshing. It is not as energetic as Altone200 or H-300 for example, but I personally prefer A83, especially for longer listening session and to take with you when you are travelling, as it is comfortable and non-fatiguing. In fact, amongst all the mid-tier universal hybrid in the market at the moment, A83 is one of my favourite, alongside Dunu DN-2000.
Priced at AUD$399/USD$350, it certainly sits at the top end of the mid-tier universal IEM’s, given the uniqueness of the sound, I do think the price is spot on, fully reflect the value and the ability of this unit, and not to mention, there are no hybrid universal in the market at the moment that are tuned towards natural.
The Fidue A83 is a treble head dream and with the right match (DAP or amp) bassheads will find enough satisfaction in the bass extension and detail. Tonally the Fidue A83 is neutral to bright with a slightly forward treble that after around 50 hours burn in becomes nicely controlled fast and very articulate. The extension on the A83 is superb with plenty of width and an almost ethereal feel to the top end. The slightly forward treble has a peak in and around 7-8k but rarely does it result in any excessive sibilance or harshness unless there is a poor recording being played back or a poor source player. There is a fantastic amount of transparency in the upper mids and lower treble particularly and detail does shine though with ease with the right settings.
The mids of the A83 are perhaps a little less forgiving of bad vocal recordings with the upper mids tending to display a little sibilance in female vocals if the source or recording is a poor fit. Though they are not as full as I would like they are neither recessed nor veiled and nor do they suffer from any excessive bass bleed. In fact it is quite even and smooth though not as full and rich as I tend to prefer. Top marks though to the A83′s mid range clarity. There is nothing claustrophobic or congested in the mid range so whilst the A83 can easily offer above par separation and accurate imaging there lacks just a little bit of body from time to time on the likes of rock and male vocals to really grab me by the throat. I would not call it monitor like either. The mids are not sterile in any shape or form, just more suited for detail lovers.
There is also a very slight elevation in the bass response with a presentation that is more about support and coherence than anything overpowering or slamming. It is fast, tight and snappy yet full and detailed with no bleeding into the mids or any excessive bloom. This is a quality but controlled dynamic driver implementation. It was not stuck in there to purely satisfy the bassheads. The guys at Fidue definitely had a concept of the sound signature they wanted and the type of bass they wanted in that mix.