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C435: Balance and Clarity

A Review On: FitEar Private C435 Custom In-Ear Monitors

FitEar Private C435 Custom In-Ear Monitors

Rated # 9 in Custom
See all 3 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Isolation
Value
Purchased on:
Kiats
Posted · 3276 Views · 6 Comments

Pros: Balance, Clarity, Soundstage and hint of Sweet Mids, Great Fit

Cons: Price, Limited Distribution Channels, Limited Resale Value

As nicely explained by Victor in his review of the same CIEM, this is the previous flagship model from FitEar. In fact, unless you are married to the emphasised bass of the MH335DW, this would still be top of the line for anyone looking for a balanced sound. 

 

I have had the C435 since August this year. I ordered on 7th August and delivery was on last week of August. It took just over 2 weeks. I was impressed!

 

Technical details

 

The C435 is a 4 way crossover configuration, 5 drivers (2 highs, 2 mids 1 low woofer) Custom In-Ear Monitor.

 

Initial Impressions during Demo

 

I must confess that Claire from Jaben, Singapore, had suggested this to me when I was first looking for a CIEM. I had fears about acrylic CIEMs after hearing horror stories about bad fits and the discomfit of having acrylic CIEMs. I ended up getting the ACS T1 as my first CIEM because it is silicon and therefore was an easier entry point in terms of comfort.

 

Once I had gotten used to the idea of something embedded into my ear, I tried out Wilson's personal C435 (who owns Jaben). What I will say is that I was gobsmacked: how can such a clear, balanced and complex sound be coming out of a small little bit of acrylic? 

 

As a background, I have practically all the TOTL headphones: LCD 2 & 3, HD800, Beyerdynamic T1, Hifiman HE-500, Fostex TH900, plus all the wooden Grados (save for the PS1000) and most of the Final Audio Design earphones. Hence, you can understand why I was shocked  that an IEM could be so clear, balanced and yet so vivid. It forced to me re-assess the way I thought about CIEMs and IEMs generally.

 

Build Quality

 

The build quality of the Fitear C435 (as with all their CIEMs) is fantastic - beautiful acrylic. The shells are then filled in with acrylic and hence have a hefty solid feel about them. I suspect that this solidness has a position impact on the timbre of the music - the same way that the ACS T1s sounds as it does with its silicon.

 

The only catch with this method of builidng is that I don't think you can go for a reshell. Further, while the connectors that are used are very solid, they are not the common ones which means that you may be more limited in your choice of after-market cables.

 

Comfort and Isolation

 

The C435 is, as with all Fitears, incredibly well fitting. I can pop it in and out with just one hand. And yet when it is in, I don't notice it is there even if I wear it most of the day. 

 

The isolation offered by the C435 is fantastic. I suspect it has to do with the fact that it is solid because the shell has been filled up. I have used it on quite a few flights on both Airbus and Boeing: no issue at all - blocks out more than 95% of the noise. :D

 

Music Genres

 

I have a very wide repertoire of music in my collection: all the way from Tallis Scholars (medieval church music) to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra to Lee Ritenour to Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Stacey Kent, Adele to Chinese pop to Popera to K-pop.

 

What I do like about the C435 is that it handles all these genres without batting an eyelid. While I have heard that if your music is focused on pop or rock music, then you may want to give the C435 a miss. I don't think anyone is saying that the C435 sounds terrible with pop or rock, but rather that it is not optimal - probably the Private 333 or MH334 or TG334 is a better choice. 

 

I can honestly say that I can have my DAPs run on shuffle and not have to worry about the music coming out sounding anything less than stellar. 

 

While the C435 may not make all genres sound spectacular, it will render all of them truly and clearly. It is pretty much transparent and balanced.

 

Sound Quality

 

The C435 is amazingly balanced. The trebles are extended, the mids are just a bit sweet and lush, the bass is nice and tight. And it is incredibly clear with a big soundstage. 

 

If you listen to singers like Alison Krauss, Stacey Kent, Sarah McLachlan, you will appreciate how smooth the C435 is as it can render their voices without a hint of sibilance and oh so clearly. You will be able to hear the voices of angels without wincing.

 

Pairing

 

The C435 is currently still top dog even though I have some very good IEMs and CIEMs.

 

I currently run it with either Toxic Cable's Virus or Crystal Piccolino cable, depending on whether I want to emphasise the lushness of the mids or I want a clean smooth sound. I am still awaiting the arrival of the Toxic Cable Black Widow which I believe will add lushness to the sound.

 

I have no real preference what I run it with: usually it is the HM-901 when I am in the office and the AK120 when I am travelling.

 

Conclusion

 

Whilst I have some other Fitears and some really excellent IEMs, this remains the IEM I reach out for when I need balance and clarity - it is my default IEM. I suspect it will remain so even if I were to get more IEMs or CIEMs.

 

 

 

6 Comments:

"Excellent! Then, this IEM is the one for you. I think you can actually just get your ear impression done at one of Jabens and they may deliver it to you." 
 
i am from Dubai, how will i be able to order these? :/  also i might be between the JH roxxane and these, no one knows which one got better highs/mids , yet the time will tell. 

so any idea how to order these? on nice review btw :3 


 
Ah... Your best bet is when you are passing through Singapore to get your ear impressions done at Jaben. I'm sure it can be arranged, at your cost, for the finished product to be couriered to you in Dubai.

Thanks! Very kind of you. My first attempt.
did you try UM Miracle before? maybe both are close in performance? i mean will call an upgrade or just adding another ciem? :P 
Yes I have. My friend also has a UM Miracle. He calls the C435 the UM Miracle perfected. So, they're similar but there's a discernible gulf. Additionally the UM Miracle is drier In that the mids are not as lush.

I have checked for you. You can pop by Jaben when you pass through Singapore and do your impressions. When done, they'll send it to you. Just tell Claire that Mr Lee had sent you. We had discussed already.
Great review Kiats. Detailed and extremely well written. I too, dream of a 435....one day
Ah... You are too kind, Sid. Let's hope that Abenomics continues and the Yen continues to weaken...
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