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NEW REVIEW: Final Audio Piano Forte II

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

PC130122.JPG

(snipped from jaben forums )

 

Type: Dynamic Type
Driver Monomer: 15.5 mmφ
Sensitivity: 108dB/mW
Resistance: 16Ω
Length of Soft Cord: 1.4m
Weight: 13g
Model: Fl-DC1550M1-BR(Brown)
FI-DC1550M1-BL(Blue)

 

$75-100US

 

A few weeks ago I was perusing the forums here on head fi when I came across a topic about these new Final Audio Headphones.  Linked to jaben.net, I started reading up and became intrigued.  Being an earbud man,not the inner ear style.I began investigating and asking questions, finally I decided to purchase mid last week the day they were released.  

 

Lets keep this short

 

-Soundstage is massive, bigger than the Mx980 in terms of tallness but about the same as the mx880 in width, it is very forward and much more enjoyable, and VERY NATURAL sounding that is both very tall and very wide, 

-Depth in stage is unlike any earbuds Ive ever heard of this style, its sublime.  Separation is amazing.

-Vocals are ASTOUNDING and bar none the best ive EVER heard in any style earbud.

-Presentation is dry, its very airy sounding with loads of space between everything.  It is not as colored as the PK1, but its also nowhere near as neutral as the MX980

-Comfort is pretty good and if you can snip a tiny hole on a set of unused pads, do it.  It helps a little.  They stood in place all day.  I worked out with them, hitting a punching bag with kicks and punches and it didn't budge in the slightest.  

-It is bass light, sorry fellas it doesnt have anywhere near the level of bass the mx880 or 980 have.  Its very airy and thin.

-Highs and mids are clear and natural sounding and unlike any bud of this style I've ever tried.  

-They are easily driven by a clip or fuze, no amp needed but im sure it would improve even more with one

-Not as punchy or sparkled as the pk1, but not at all lacking.

 

Overall, its an amazing set of earbuds.  Im beyond impressed and I will not be rebuying my beloved MX980s.  I much prefer this sound and presentation over the mx980 BY A LARGE FACTOR!   They are not as clean as the mx980 though.  Build quality is on the same level as the Mx580, it feels very similar.  The stage is beyond impressive.  Im stunned, its not that far away from the mx980, its definitely on par with the mx880 and exceeds it in a few areas, and lacks in a few compared to it as well.  I enjoy this set much more than the Mx980s as well as the new sunrise Charms and the OK1.  

 

 

9.5/10  Amazing set, if it had a little more bass, id quit my job and go sell this set on the street to people and make insane money once word spreads that they sound this great


Edited by swbf2cheater - 12/14/10 at 1:48pm
post #2 of 34

lol!

 

What a happy costumer to Final Audio, I wonder how you will feel when you hear one of the 1000+ USD IEM they sell, lol!

 

When you say bass light does it lack bass? or it gives you the right amount? Have you heard the hd600? The level of bass in hd600 is enough for me.

 

On the as-charm did you try the best fit with them?

 

I had the mx880 which were great when pressed with my fingers and very thin when in normal fit in my ears (bad fit)

I have now the as-charm which has a bit better fit but needs the fingers too. I also have the AT CM700 which is really great but again I don't get the best fit just for putting them on. 

 

The piano forte design seems to solve this issue with the tube ending. But if it has the tube ending and still lack bass, It may not be that good!

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Its hard to speak for your ears and how they would fit you :P  I had the same problem with the mx880 and 980, I found myself pushing them into my ears more just to enjoy them a little more.  You dont need to do that with these Fortes.  I think you will enjoy that fit much more than the sennheisers.  I've had the Hd600s yes, and no the Fortes dont have anywhere near as much.  They have a lot less bass as the MX880.  

 

I am not a bass head, so I love the hell out of them.  They sound NOTHING like what I expected them to.  The stage is so natural sounding and very different from the mx880 and 980.  The Fortes have a giant box shaped stage ( very tall and very wide ), the mx880 and 980 have a giant rectangle shaped stage laying on its longest end ( wide and short )

 

I am deeply saddened that this model will not gain the popularity it deserves.  Only a few people seem interested and I need to get Joker a set of these for review to get the name out there.

 

 

 


Edited by swbf2cheater - 12/14/10 at 5:15pm
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

Its hard to speak for your ears and how they would fit you :P  I had the same problem with the mx880 and 980, I found myself pushing them into my ears more just to enjoy them a little more.  You dont need to do that with these Fortes.  I think you will enjoy that fit much more than the sennheisers.  I've had the Hd600s yes, and no the Fortes dont have anywhere near as much.  They have a lot less bass as the MX880.  

 

I am not a bass head, so I love the hell out of them.  They sound NOTHING like what I expected them to.  The stage is so natural sounding and very different from the mx880 and 980.  The Fortes have a giant box shaped stage ( very tall and very wide ), the mx880 and 980 have a giant rectangle shaped stage laying on its longest end ( wide and short )

 

I am deeply saddened that this model will not gain the popularity it deserves.  Only a few people seem interested and I need to get Joker a set of these for review to get the name out there.

 

 

 


hey i bought one too. cant wait to get them

post #5 of 34

How do these compare to the Fischer Audio Silver Bullet? I know these are earbuds and those IEM's but still would be interesting to hear

post #6 of 34

Where can I get a pair of these?

post #7 of 34

This looks interesting. I am a proud member of team earbud-fi as well. I tried the PK1s but was not impressed so I sold them. I would like to try another pair of earbuds that will impress me. You say they have good vocals, and that is a point in their favor.

post #8 of 34

When you say, lacking in bass, does it lack in bass similar to the DBA-02's?

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 

*weird double post with a self quote, sorry haha not sure what the hell happened there heh'


Edited by swbf2cheater - 12/15/10 at 3:07am
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 

Edit: sorry for the double post, something happened with my Chrome.  

 

Also another edit:  They really scale up well just like the Mx980s do.  So, I think I have to retract what I said earlier in that they dont need an amp.  I think they do.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Daanish View Post

How do these compare to the Fischer Audio Silver Bullet? I know these are earbuds and those IEM's but still would be interesting to hear


I really loved my Bullets a lot.  When it comes to IEMs I always get a euphoric feels, an unnatural feeling of audio coming into my ears.  Maybe thats because there is something wedged inside my ears and it bothers me a lot, but I always found all my IEMs to have a similar style of staging and the only word I can use to describe them is unnatural.  While the SBs have amazing clarity and bass power, I feel the Final Audios definitely are not as clear sounding, but have a much more enjoyable staging presence.  It's not really fair to compare with true inner ear models ( even though I find the Fortes better than the OK1 with inner ear tips being used ).  The SBs have qualities the Forte doesnt have, and the Fortes have qualities the SBs do not have ( along with the Sennheiser MX880 and 980, the Sunrise and the Yuins, same story. )  These Fortes are much more comfortable, and do not sound like IEMS. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterControversy View Post

Where can I get a pair of these?


www.musicaacoustics.com as well as ebay

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeGoodman View Post

This looks interesting. I am a proud member of team earbud-fi as well. I tried the PK1s but was not impressed so I sold them. I would like to try another pair of earbuds that will impress me. You say they have good vocals, and that is a point in their favor.


Team earbud! *highfive  The vocals on this set are, at least in comparison to most IEMs ( inner ear and regular buds of similar pricing ) great.  They are very natural sounding and as I said above, I do not get that eww something is in my ear feeling as well as the "unnatural staging" most iems produce.  Presentation is very Sansa Fuze/Clip Stock earbuds but on steroids.  Its cleaner and more impacting and forward. I didn't like the Pk1, the only Yuin I ever actually used was the OK1 with inner ear tips.  The bass feels like the AD700s, thin and not impacting.



Quote:
Originally Posted by yellojello View Post

When you say, lacking in bass, does it lack in bass similar to the DBA-02's?


The DBAs had a lot more bass.  The Fortes are not INNER EAR type buds.  They are hanging style with a tiny nozzle that just barely enters your ear.  Its very small and unnoticeable and the DBA02s are much nicer obviously, they are also much more expensive and inner ear style.  I loved the mx980 and 880 but some of its qualities I really disliked, the same went for the pk1 and ok1....some things i adored, some things I hated.   For me, these Fortes have what I was looking for.  A natural sounding experience that is airy and bass light.  Its really unfair to compare inner ear like the DBA with non inner ear buds.  The Fischer Audios are much better in every way, but in my opinion I enjoy the presentation of the Piano Fortes a lot more.  Thats just me though.  They aren't super special in terms of clarity like the Mx980 are, but they have a much more enjoyable musical experience in my opinion.  

 

-good depth in field and layering in the music in the forward stage 

-decent sound clarity

-bass light

-responds well to amping ( tested a buddies handbuilt portable amp, sounded great and sounds noticeably different from my Speakers to just the clip alone, Im getting a headsix soon, so I'll report back asap )

-a fit that wont budge even if you shake your head violently.

-perfect cord length 

-both wide and tall stage, very different from the PK and Ok series ( sadly nowhere near as sparkled as the Pk1 )

-responds very well to EQ, dropping the mids off on my Clip created a nicer experience for classical

-plays everything equally as good

 

not so good if

 

-you enjoy bass more than anything

-want sonic accuracy or pinpointing ( nothing even comes close to the MX980 in that respect )

-Sparkle factor a'la PK1, which I guess means is fun coloration

 

I cut a very tiny hole off the center of some unused pads and stretched the hole over the nozzle to get a clean and precise fit over it.  It worked great and makes them a bit more enjoyable to wear, I prefer this over the feeling of the plastic of the housing resting on my ears.

PC140124.JPG


Edited by swbf2cheater - 12/15/10 at 6:06am
post #11 of 34

Thanks for the update. Definitely something to look into when I want some good buds. I can always count on you to give me the lowdown on new (and not so new) earbuds. Their soundstaging and the ability to still hear the outside world is what really makes me like them. And of course nothing is in my ear. That doesn't bother me that much, but the isolation does.

post #12 of 34

i wont say its lacking in bass, its rather the lack of isolation of the earbuds (well earbuds dont isolate well as IEMs) as i do feel piano forte II got nice bass for an earbud....

but what i love about this buds is the piano sounds so alive and soulful.... or could be my darn imagination lol!

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by G3n0c|d3 View Post

i wont say its lacking in bass, its rather the lack of isolation of the earbuds (well earbuds dont isolate well as IEMs) as i do feel piano forte II got nice bass for an earbud....

but what i love about this buds is the piano sounds so alive and soulful.... or could be my darn imagination lol!



EVERYTHING sounds so alive and soulful through earbuds. They rock. If I wasn't interested in acquiring a few more full size headphones, I would be getting a good pair of earbuds. There was a pair of Blox TM5 in the for sale forum a few days ago, I don't know if it is still there. They have a reputation for amazing bass. Some Russian member did a review with those and other earbuds and they won. He said they had great soundstaging as well. 

post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 

^ I liked the Blox Tm5, but not that much :P

 

I shouldn't have said the forte crushed the charm, that was an untrue statement made because I was excited.  Its a sidestep, its more natural sounding, and with a much more lively and centered stage experience.  Stage height is bigger on the Forte.  After really thinking about it, they are equals.  I just enjoyed the forte presentation a lot more.  But in terms of quality, I think they are similar.  So, I apologize for my ignorance on the Forte review.  Most of my family and friends enjoyed the Charm more, but I enjoyed the forte more.  Its a preference thing.

 

Ranked by audio quality only with heavy testing on a good amp.  Unamped, this list changes drastically.

 

-Sennheiser MX980 ( large gap )> Sunrise Charm ( super amped ) OK1 with inner ear tips > Sennheiser MX880 > Mylar Hr1 > Piano Forte II/Sunrise Charm > Blox TM5 > PK1 > Sennheiser MX580 >Mylar Hr2 > Ok2 > Ok3 > Pk2 > Pk3

 

Unamped direct from a sansa clip or fuze

 

-Sennheiser Mx980 > Sennheiser MX880 > Pk1 > Tm5 > Piano Forte II > Mylar Hr1 > Sunrise Charms >  Sennheiser Mx580 > Mylar Hr2 > Ok1 >  Pk2/OK2 > Ok3/Pk3 > 

 

Overall the Mx980 is untouchable and will remain so until this certain set comes out very soon which I cannot speak of as I am sworn to secrecy over it.  But look for my review on it coming soon sometime at the end of December or early January.  The "large gap" after the mx980 could be filled by this newcomer :)

 

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 34

I had the mx880 and it wasn't better than charm even out of my fuze. But perception with earphones changes a lot with different ears, so...

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