This review was done by comparison with my current iems - Ultimate Ears UE700, Sennheiser MX980, Earsonic SM3 and Grado SR325is, based only from the gears that ive tried and auditioned in our meets such as the Monster Turbine Pro Copper, Sennheiser ie8, Meelectronic M6, Soundmagic Pl50, Ultimate Ears MF220, Hifiman Rezero, Westone UM3X and Monster Diddy Beats. My past iems include the Ortofon EQ7, Panasonic HJE900, Moshi's Vortex iem and the Yuin PK2.
This is just my personal opinion and point of view. It may changed from time to time. I just wanted to share what i feel about an iem. I will update this more with more info and changes if something or if anything comes up. Take this as a pinch of salt. YMMV.
In The Beginning:.
in the beginning, there was an ie8.
i named this thread "FX700: the KING of DYNAMIC UNIVERSALS".
i believe, this title belonged to the Sennheiser IE8 before.
When i first join this community, this was the flavor of the month for so many months...
even before the qjays, the miles davis, and the fx700 came.
Now, this title belong to the right iem...
The JVC HA-FX700.
the fx700 is an iem that is oozing with elegancy.
from the chosen birch wood for the body, which changes color in direct light from black to dark red glossy glow, to the gold ring that holds phone and the cord, from its unique open backed design, gold color grilles at the back, something like a touch of glam overall. something that uplifts your soul. different than the usual and it gives you a feeling of exclusivity.
most iems ive reviewed in the past are made of aluminum (ortos eq7), plastics (ue700/sm3/yuin pk2) the others is zirconia (pannys hje900) or a steel (vortex, mx980).
but this time...its a wood.
BASS. in HIGH DEFINITION.
let's talk about buzz. bass.
well to be straight, its the best bass that ive heard in an iem. ever wonder why? from my reviews in the past, i gave the pannys the best defined bass. very deep that sometimes the iem is already vibrating, no more sound. i thought it was the best bass with a good definition. but all was in the past.
now, the fx700s bass wins the crown of the best bass in dynamic iem that ive heard.
in comparison to the fx700, the bass of pannys sounded hollow, ill defined, unnaturally done and lacks definition and texture of a real bass.
a bass that is so strong, natural, powerful, and well defined.
the ortofon (single moving BA), the SM3 (3 driver, 3 way crossover) has a BA kind of bass, but the ortos sound almost like a dynamic. all of this iem when compared to the fx700, will give you a kind of an artificially done bass.
THEY DONT CARE ABOUT US. Michael Jackson.
Here, youll hear how the bass is done in a right way. Fx700 will show you that way. It will make you feel like youve been fooled all along on how much bass was really missing in your music when you listen to a BA driver iems. Im really dissapointed myself when i heard how much bass was supposedly there in this track, that the BA cant produce even the half of it.
in Sm3, the sound is tamed. relaxed. No extremes. No energy that will keep you moving. It sounded hollow next to the fx700.
The SM3 sounded so gentle to my ears. While the fx700 is full of brute force and energy, all in a good way.
but overall, something lacking is not good. if you read my review and comparison of sm3 and ortofon eq7, i really like the eq7 more due to its HIGH presentation. its convincingly alive and upbeat. while the sm3 is lacking some inspiration, some kicks in the highs to make you move.
The SM3 is a very detailed iem. But how about the fx700? Well, upon doing a head to head comparison in a certain track, i conclude that what the SM3 can do, can be done also by the fx700.
where the BA is stronger can be beaten by a dynamic. You think that the sm3 and any BA iems is a master of details? Youre wrong. Im hearing more forward details in the fx700 than in the SM3.
The mids detail in the SM3 is gentle and boring... everybody might agree. but to some extent it is also good in its own way. its useful in times when you want just the mild music in your ears. time when you want to relax, good for times when you want peace...you and your music.
The sm3 wont hit you with punches like what the fx700 can do. The mids detail on the Fx700 is more alive, along with a strong presentation of bass is a clear, sibilant-free highs.
the vocal may not be as forward as the sm3's but, the overall presentation of voice and instrument is right and spot on. it is more dynamic in quality, more real and almost tangible, you can almost feel that defined bass.
in the dictionary, the timbre is:
timbre |ˈtambər; ˈtä n brə|
the character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity : trumpet mutes with different timbres | a voice high in pitch but rich in timbre.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from French, from medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon ‘drum.’
When you got to listen to the Panasonic HJE900 and the FX700, youll hear what a good timbre sound. the sm3 may be good in the tones of a piano and strings, but the fx700 is a lot better.
to me, a timbre is realism. something that makes the music natural. If you strum a guitar, you should really hear that guitar, the wooden body, the vibration of the strings, and the echo of the sound that moves with the instrument and along in the air.
The sound of drums is just isnt true on the SM3. But the voice is where this iem shined like i said. still the smoothness and liquidness cant be matched by the fx700.
the ortofon may also be good in vocals and pianos, and to some extent, strings. the ue700 may be also good for vocals, with a 3d soundstage, a lively feel overall in presentation but this two, and add there the sm3, would sound unnatural next to the fx700.
the pannys is also a good dynamic iem with a good timbre. i heard excellent strums of guitar, pianos, a real sound of cello, a cry of a violin, the hard hit of wooden stick to drums...any instruments, you name it, the panasonic can reproduce it.
But what really made me sell the pannys was its highs. it is sibilant in nature. it is extreme. it sounded excessive to me. its too much for my ears.
you may hear it at some certain tracks, but still, it kills the experience, the fun, the moment of enjoyment. its just really annoying in the long run... and disturbing.
comparing the fx700 to the pannys, think of all the pannys goodness, without those extreme fatiguing highs. its the fx700.
here, i will apply something too much is not good. the extremity of highs that the pannys presented is really disturbing...and killed my enjoyment.
DYNAMICS. DYNAMICS. OTHER DYNAMICS.
i have the vortex iem before by moshi. a dynamic. ive heard a lot of dynamic iems before, including the ie8, the copper, the diddybeats, the metrofi220...etc.
most of this iems are tuned to the fun side. smooth. sweet. big sounding bass. all unnatural. they are never close to the sound of the fx700's bass. they may sound enjoyable, but in reality, it is far from natural.
cons, well, to be honest, its the cords length. its too short. its bothersome. i think, this iem is designed in a specific people only - the JAPANESE. it would really be helpful and more friendly to everyone if they made this on regular length like all the other iems in the market. why did they have to cut it short? and throw in the accessories an extension cord?
another thing is the build. well, its just me. and i think, its also a con. this iem is really made of birch wood. is this lasting? i do not know. this is my first time to have this kind of iem. doesnt this break when it fall? can it outlast the life of most iems that are made of steel? plastics? or aluminums? well, lets see....
ill update this more when this iem is still intact within 5-10 years of regular use.
I want to talk about the BASS.
everyone might ask:
how was the bass on this iem. is it good. the answer is definitely YES. is it too much? NO. it would be if you came from BA iems in many years. Is it distorted in High volume? NO. is it fatiguing? No. Is the bass on this iem excessive? NO.
is it really too much?
To me, NO. I am no basshead. I came from ue700, the sm3, the MX980, the ortofon eq7... im more into we call detailfreak. But i believe, the fx700 can give you more details than a BA iems. specially in the lower frequency.
if you want something too much, its the panasonic hje900. extreme highs.
if you want something lacking, its the sm3.
but how about if you have the chance to have something that is RIGHT?
would it be a real fun? something that doesnt fool you, that would not sound just convincing but very TRUE.
and that's the FX700.
In The End.
In no time, i believe the fx700 can reign as the best universal in dynamic. i once named the SM3 - the darklord of all universal. well, now, it is almost dethroned, it will be renamed the DARKLORD OF ALL BA UNIVERSALS. Because the truth is, BA's cannot conquer the dynamics.
theres been magic to most iems. they tuned to be likable. no matter what brand, no matter what design, most of them sounded unnaturally true. most ba's have the power to define space, soundstage, making most vocals upfront (ue700/sm3) and some dynamics, like the hje900 have a unbelievable deep bass, some have bigger bass (ie8, vortex) that helps to make the sound big.
some where tuned to be intimate. to sound captivating. to sound too much. to sound excessive. to sound shining. to sound according to their liking...on what most companies think would really be the selling point of an iem. something unrealistic compared to the honest sound of the recording or performance.
but nothing, is really close to the fx700.
WOODEN KING indeed, of DYNAMIC Universal iems.
....in the end, there is the fx700.