Pros: Soundstage, resolution, imaging, isolation
Cons: Rigid cables, Very exclusive process to obtain, Expensive, Sensitive
FitEar has gained a great amount of respect these days, thanks to the venerable FitEar To Go! 334 UIEM. After having owned a TG! 334 I decided to take the plunge into my first custom, the FitEar MH335DW.
The first thing I have to mention is the whole process in obtaining these customs. FitEar is a very exclusive company, and apparently there are only two places where you can have impressions taken from a FitEar-authorized audiologist, their offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Jaben. I was lucky to have been able to get in touch with FitEar directly, months in advance, and secure a nice time to visit their office to get my impressions done. One week later and I drop by again to pick up my brand new FitEar MH335DW Custom In-Ear Monitors.
Of course you're not here for that story, so I'll cut that short and here's my review:
One of the things that you'll notice at first, using the FitEar MH335DWs, is the resolution of the CIEM. It isn't noticeable the first time using them, but after for some time it just dawns on me how much of a voyage I'm going through with my music because of them. Every time I use a FitEar IEM its always a journey of rediscovery of my music. I can't help but listen to the details presented in my music because of them. The soundstage it presents is enveloping, reminding me much of my Sennheiser HD800s (with none of the sibilance). The 3D-ness of the soundstage really brings you into this sense of losing yourself in your music. Listening to tracks like Mary Stalling's "Sunny", Amber Rubarth's "Strive", and even Rage Against the Machine's "Take The Power Back" really show how wide the soundstage of these CIEMs are, and how enveloping the sound is. The mids remain forward, but are more laid-back than the TG! 334s. All in all I can say that the MH335DWs are more transparent than the 334s, but still having a bit of "musical flavor" to make one very happy with one's music.
Another thing people would note is the fact that the "DW" in the name of the CIEM stands for "Double Woofer". Many people (at least of those whom I'd spoken to about these CIEMs) think that this means there's more bass response with aforementioned CIEMs, but that's not really the case. There's a little more bass bump on them than the TG! 334s but the bass is now more controlled on the 335s. One of my friends who owns a TG! 334 also noted that the 000 cables seemed to add a bit of bloat to the bass of the 334s, but with the control of the 335s this isn't the case, making the 000s a no-brainer (albeit expensive) upgrade from the 001 cables the 335s come with. While we're talking about bass, that same friend who has the TG! 334s made me try an "Silicon Sound System Bass Test" on his iBasso HDP-R10. On low gain and at a volume of 200, the MH335DW was able to image (without raising the volume further) bass response from 360 cycles to 10 cycles in one go.
Also as my first pair of CIEMs, the first time I put them in made me notice how "tight" they felt, but not the tight that made me uncomfortable (I was actually waiting for the discomfort, but found none). Isolation was very good, with only minimal noise actually bleeding out and going in. The build quality is very top-notch, as well. Though one thing that people will notice is, just like the TG! 334, the MH335DW is very very sensitive. I've used these with several DAPs and setups since after getting them and I've heard hiss on some of them (The RSA Intruder [almost none], The ALO International [minimal], The Altmann Tera Player [minimal], Continental V3 [heavy hiss]), but on others like the RWAK100 and the headphone out on my MacBook Pro, there's no hiss at all.
I guess my final say has to be this:
This is an endgame CIEM for me, not my last one but I think its a great "final point" in someone's audiophile journey. Its very hard to say if there will be anything that will challenge this, but I'm planning to pick up more CIEMs now, as I've finally entered this stage in my audiophile life, and compare them to this amazing CIEM. I'll say this isn't a "bang-for-buck" CIEM but if you can shell out the cash, time, and voyage to get them done, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I love my FitEar MH335DWs, and I look forward to rediscovering more of my music with them.