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The FitEar CIEM Impressions Thread - Page 171

post #2551 of 3623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukalop View Post

So I can get them? If I go to Jaben?

 

Not all Jaben though.

Only their bigger branches such as Singapore, HK as they have staff here that are trained to take ear impression for FitEar ciem.

post #2552 of 3623
I'm getting the slight impression fitear is racist. Or am I wrong?
post #2553 of 3623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukalop View Post

I'm getting the slight impression fitear is racist. Or am I wrong?


What? Why?

post #2554 of 3623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukalop View Post

I'm getting the slight impression fitear is racist. Or am I wrong?

Although I'd like to make the assumption that Japan is very nationalistic, I feel that statements like these might delve into sensitive matter. I think its best to stay away from subjects like these.
post #2555 of 3623
For one they don't ship anywhere outside of Japan. You have to be a Japanese resident to get impressions done directly from them. They have an exclusive CIEM only for Japanese residents because they prise it too much to be used by foreigners. Their website is only viewable in Japanese. Not even all Jaben stores will accept my impressions. Then to top it all off you need to stay in Japan ages before they will complete the final product. Seems legit *facepalm*
post #2556 of 3623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukalop View Post

For one they don't ship anywhere outside of Japan. You have to be a Japanese resident to get impressions done directly from them. They have an exclusive CIEM only for Japanese residents because they prise it too much to be used by foreigners. Their website is only viewable in Japanese. Not even all Jaben stores will accept my impressions. Then to top it all off you need to stay in Japan ages before they will complete the final product. Seems legit *facepalm*


You have been in this thread for a while and keep on asking questions etc.

 

At this point this is conclusion? FitEar is racist? Well, I guess you better move on and find some other company to get high end ciems, if you want one of them so much. If you are in The UK, go for European brands, we also have wonderful ciem makers.

 

As for FitEars, they have their reasons to keep their business like that. For example if they sold me a ciem, with wrong impressions taken by Belgian audiologist, there would be a lot of struggle to get the correct fit, at the end I might even end up complaining about them. Also, in case if I need to send the ciem back to them, it is Japan, basically other side of the world. Short story, in order to keep their customer service as perfect as possible, they reduced their business web apparently, which I am fine it, pretty much every customer is satisfied to the end.

 

The solution is simple, you don't like FitEar's policies and attitude? Go get Spiral Ear or CustomArt or EarSonics or some other brand. As far as I know Suyama-san doesn't hold a gun against your head and force you try to get one of his ciems. As a European, I gave up buying FitEar ciem, I am only interested in their universals one.

post #2557 of 3623
I am an Englishman living in Hong Kong and own fitear customs.......doesn't seem to fit the racist comment. Other headfiers I have met are also not Japanese that own their customs.

Just because we are living in a global market place does not mean every business has to be part of the global market. I like the slightly exclusivity of fitear products.......but then I would as I am lucky to have moved to a country that makes them obtainable. smily_headphones1.gif

I believe there are lots of non Japanese that have them purchased straight from fitear themselves. They just ask that you are a resident (for the period of the build i presume is enough). And need someone that can communicate in Japanese.
post #2558 of 3623
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrys30 View Post



I believe there are lots of non Japanese that have them purchased straight from fitear themselves. They just ask that you are a resident (for the period of the build i presume is enough). And need someone that can communicate in Japanese.

Yea, though you have to be careful about that. I know a head-fier who went to Japan and came back empty handed even though he had a resident friend to help. I wish I could remember his user... but sadly I do not. He could talk about his experience.

Most resellers in Japan now tend to redirect people towards Jabens/foreign resellers. At least that's what I've heard.


Edited by EveTan - 4/3/14 at 4:05pm
post #2559 of 3623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukalop View Post

For one they don't ship anywhere outside of Japan. You have to be a Japanese resident to get impressions done directly from them. They have an exclusive CIEM only for Japanese residents because they prise it too much to be used by foreigners. Their website is only viewable in Japanese. Not even all Jaben stores will accept my impressions. Then to top it all off you need to stay in Japan ages before they will complete the final product. Seems legit *facepalm*
Invitation to treat, then offer, then acceptance. Google it.
post #2560 of 3623
I wouldn't call them racist but typical Japanese attitudes of everything Japanese first. Obviously such strong urge to serve everything Japanese first won't do much harm for a (relatively) small outfit like Fitear, but it has done much harm for their industrial Giants.

For decades, the big Japanese firms would introduce their latest technology and products locally first years before what they sell to what they term as Aliens (gaijins) and that was kind of self destructive in a global world of ours.

I have quite a number of Japanese friends and once I mentioned quite enthusiastically that I lobe a branded chocolate on sale in Singapore. He quite proudly proclaimed that if it is available outside Japan, it's probably inferior.

Japanese is a very proud nation, while there is a sense of national pride or even a general feeling of Japanese superiority, you can call it racist but it is probably not their intention and I try not to read too much into it.

As a personal rule, I just buy and use what I like. This aspect of Japanese culture can be unpalatable but they can at times still convince you that they are still the nicest people in the world.
post #2561 of 3623
I think you should audition the other European brands before checking out FitEar.
Even so, you can get a pair of universals off the secondary market to get a feel of the build quality, sq, etc - its more practical that way.
Brands like SpiralEar, Tralucent, JH are no slouch either.
post #2562 of 3623

Japanese business ethics have been the subject of debate for many decades, and you can find many sociological studies on both sides that look at the question and come to different conclusions. It's a complex subject.

 

Personally, I think FitEar has legit reasons for their business strategy. Keeping things local makes dealing with customer support much easier on their end, and in means they can keep better tabs on their output. I get the sense Suyama-san is quite meticulous in everything he does, something many would call a Japanese trait, though I'd point out stereotypes can work both ways and aren't just negative (and "meticulous" can easily descend into negativity by becoming "anal"). Also keep in mind Suyama-san has a very well established philosophy for how he feels customs should be made and how ear impressions should be taken. I have to think there's something to this, as FitEar CIEMs are---to this day---the best fitting, most comfortable earphones I've owned. That being said, after discovering what it was, the special method for taking ear impressions seems pretty easy for people not trained by Suyama-san himself to do. In fact the end result was basically the same as every other pair of impressions I've taken, which leads me to believe that the superior comfort and fit comes from their higher tolerances and more shallow fit. However my ear canals are a little unusual, so for other people there might be a bigger difference between methods of taking the impressions.

 

I'll say this: I can sympathize with the frustrations of people in the West when it comes to the accessibility of FitEar's CIEMs. Especially given that they have one of the best products in terms of fit and finish in the industry (Jerry Harvey Audio simply does not compare for me in that sense). In this day of globalization, we expect to be able to buy anything we want so long as we have enough money. I think to an extent, Suyama-san never really intended FitEar to be a global business however. Or maybe he did and is something of an evil genius? Either way, the universals are FitEar's way of testing the waters for foreign sales. Now that they've seen how successful they are, perhaps they'll reconsider their policies. It wasn't that long ago that Jaben became an official distributor in other countries, and even then it was because Suyama-san knew the owner of Jaben personally, so I think he's just a very cautious individual and likes taking things slowly when it comes to business expansion.

 

Now, the Monet is undeniably a product of nationalistic pride. It's made specifically to listen to Japanese anime soundtracks from the 70s (before it became a global phenomena), and you can only buy it if you're a Japanese citizen. That seems a little much to me. Similarly, if a US company made some CIEMs with bald eagles and the flag on the faceplates and called it "The Patriot" and refused to sell it to other countries, I'd consider that a bit much too. The closest example I can think of in the audiophile realm was early Grado, but they've since changed their business model somewhat.

 

Racist though? I don't think so. For instance if a white guy came in and showed that he lived in Japan, I'd be shocked if FitEar refused to sell a Monet to him. People from other countries who have met Suyama-san personally all say he is very kind to them.

 

It does happen in the Japanese business world from time to time, but I don't think this is an instance of it.


Edited by MuppetFace - 4/3/14 at 10:15pm
post #2563 of 3623
I met Suyama-san at a recent show. Very nice bloke.

Aside from the big players with a somewhat global presence (JH Audio, UE), I think most of the CIEM manufacturers are geographically limited in some sense. I live in Singapore which has Jaben and Null-Audio, so finding demo units and having impressions done for brands like FitEar and Canal Works isn't that hard, as long as I'm willing to pay the mark-up. But if I wanted something from one of the niche EU manufacturers like Spiral Ear, I'd most probably have to buy blind without experiencing a demo. I'd also have to get their guidelines for impressions, do it at my own audiologist and mail them to Poland, and even then I'm not sure what methods to use for payment.

Plus, with the recent explosion in demand for CIEMs, even the big players seem to be having trouble keeping up with orders (hello Roxanne), so it makes sense for the smaller players, regardless of where they're based, to be cautious of expansion, especially if they take pride in their product quality.

Just my 2 cents.
....
Edited by kurochin - 4/3/14 at 11:12pm
post #2564 of 3623

JH Audio, when compared with UE or Westone, is still a relatively small sized company. That's why they got some difficulties when handling large global orders like the Roxanne.

 

I think similar arguments applied to Fitear also. I felt JP companies usually want to maintain their qualities, customer satisfactions and brand name, rather than earning more profits. This is good for their customers, but may not be good to the company...

post #2565 of 3623
I would like to address my previous comment. I mistakenly interpreted fitear in the wrong way, and whilst was not claiming they were racist, was concerned over their limited availability for which I made an assumption that in my mind I could see as the only valid reason. In fact I now appreciate them as a company since I have a better understanding of their merits. In retrospect I should not have assumed and apologise if I offended any of you. As the moderator pointed out this information has already been discussed which I could have searched for.

Now that I have divulged this information that I was unaware of, I would much prefer the exclusivity and guaranteed quality control of a limited company to one such as JH that branches out with unacceptable quality (as I have so heard reports of). It makes sense to build your brand name for being notoriously reliable and of high quality. I have much respect for Suyama-San and his meticulous attention to detail.

I have heard in many cases people reporting that their JH's have smudges on them, the cables discolour after a mere weak, pins breaking, terrible fit, holes in both the casing and housing of the CIEMs, cracks in the bore holes/acrylic casing in addition to ridiculously long waiting times which exceed 8 months in most cases and up to a year with a select few. I find it preposterous to say the least, how these other manufacturers can take so long and not inspect their product quality. Either that or they just cannot be asked and don't care about there customers, in which regards fitear is and JH are complete polar opposites.

I have never heard of such a monstrosity with fitear and doubt I ever will, which is why if you have been observing my posts on this forum I am obsessed about the quality of the product. After hearing that fitear uses stronger pin connectors and fills their shells which although depletes resale value ensures durability, it definitely looks like fitear for me as my attitudes have changed towards the Japanese manufacturer.

Once again, I apologise for my ignorance. When disputing an issue I have in future will make sure I do my research before making any bold claims or suggestions. I appreciate all of your feedback on the matter and hope we can still discuss things down the line and that your opinion towards me is not too dismissive.
Edited by Lukalop - 4/4/14 at 9:17am
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