Pros: Soundstage; Clarity; Clear and precise treble; Spectacular Bass response; smooth midrange; Extremely comfortable; In-line mic
Cons: Very cheap looking; Microphonics (cable noise when walking); Basic packaging, nothing exciting in the box
Sometimes in life, things kinda catch you by surprise when you least expect it and this is exactly what I found with the Fischer Audio Consonance Earphone.
When I purchased my KEF M200s, I thought this would be for life; these were most accurate sounding IEMs I had heard to date. However, there was a downside like with most things in life and that was the comfort with the rubber arm folds that hold the IEM in place. For someone who wears glasses, this became a major irritant due to the discomfort it caused.
Recently, opportunity knocked where a good friend of mine said he had purchase 2 x Fischer Audio Consonance IEMs in the Amazon Christmas sale for about £30 each ($50) instead of the normal price (£89 / $150). However, he doesn't like IEMs so I purchased a pair off him.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from these but was willing to give them a try, and boy was I glad I did!
Out of the box:
Out of the box, the Consonance's look very basic and not every exciting, they come with the usual standard 3 x silicone ear tips of different sizes, a little pouch (like a perfume bag!) and documentation. So far, looks pretty cheap offering, certainly doesn't look promising in terms of unboxing a worthy competitor to my M200s!
Fit & Design:
The Consonance's are very small and the driver housing is made out of plastic. They are very light and look like they couldn't punch a fly! The cable is made out of braided cloth and remind me of the RHA MA350i and MA450i's. The silicone tips are your usual fare, nothing exciting but the important thing is given the size of the IEMs the fit shouldn't be a problem.
I know with most IEM's people struggle to get a decent fit, I too have experienced this in the past. However, I had no problem at all getting a decent fit. To get the best out of IEM's, it is absolutely vital to get a decent fit otherwise the sound will be compromised where the bass / treble sound will be impaired.
These earphones are extremely comfortable, I can wear these for hours on end without any discomfort whatsoever. They are even more comfortable with the Comply tips, and because they are small they sit perfectly in the ear canal without protruding. They are also extremely light, so you will forget they are there.
Score: 8.5/10 (with silicone tips) 10/10 (with Comply Foam Tips)
These earphones isolate pretty well, again depends on how good a fit you can get, but I have used them on subway commutes and they block out a lot of noise. It also depends on what type of music you listen to, for instance if listening to some soft music then you will experience some passive noise but overall very decent.
Straight out the box the sound wasn't pleasant, but there again I had been used to listening to pair of £150 / $250 IEM's. The bass was muddy, treble lacked sparkle and the mid range muffled.
They needed a burn-in period, I would say after 10-20 hours these bad boys started to open. I also decided to use an alternative pair of tips, Comply T500s. That's when these cheap looking IEMs came to life and started to sound like a pair of £150 / $250 ones!
The bass is one of the focal points of the Consonance with its strong impact and really good depth, they have a nice texture with a good full sound to them. Not bloated, just right!
They have the classic consumer V-shaped mids but they still have a good amount of detail to them. I don't think they're as recessed as some other V-shaped IEM's and vocals are not too distant sounding on these either. The mids have a smooth presentation and is extremely fun IEM to listen to.
The highs have a great bit of sparkle to them and they are extremely crisp, even fact probably the most satisfying I have heard to date!. Detailing is excellent, far better than its price range suggests.
The soundstage is very good for an IEM under $80. Its has good width and depth, instrument separation is good along with decent imaging though again more expensive IEM's will give you better imaging and separation but the Consonance is very good in its price range.
These IEMs are good with most genres of music, although they are more geared towards electronic dance music, rock / pop and hip-hop. They can sound a tad too bright on some classical and jazz recordings but not in a fatiguing way. But for everything else they sound exciting, bright and punchy without losing clarity or precision.
These are a MUST buy for people who want a decent sound from their earphones. If you are lucky, you can still pick these up for as little as £30 / $50, but I would even be willing to pay full value for these.
There are only a couple of issues with the cable noise and cheap looks but soundwise these IEMs punch well above their weight and can compete with much more expensive earphones. I would also recommend buying some Comply Foam tips which will be a vast improvement over the stock silicone tips.
Comparing these with other IEMs, in my opinion they completely trounce the competition within the same price range (Sennheisers CX300i, CX500i, the similar designed RHA MA350i and MA450ii which both have a very high sibilance rating) and can also compete with some other IEMs in a higher price bracket (B&O A8 for one). They are probably not as precise as the KEF M200s and Shure SE215s, but they certainly give them a run for their money.