It’s an upfront name – or really just another attempt of translating a set of ideals into a word that associates itself with taking a leap, charging head on with little regard to either the gains or the losses. A high risk attempt will also incur either high losses or gains. I haven’t heard of the Fearless Audio brand before within the circle of audiophile communities that I’ve been following so it was a surprise when they came barging in releasing a slew of IEMs, or so I thought. Fearless Audio has been doing most of their wallet damaging moves in China and only decided to move out and see what the whole world has to offer or what they can offer. You can check out their full on Fearless Audio Chinese website if you want to dig deeper.
What we have now to realview is the Fearless Audio S6 RUI, their median rendition of how they interpret a $400 IEM, more or less. Linsoul Audio sent the S6 RUI in exchange for an honest take on it, there were no monetary factors involved as well. The Fearless Audio S6 RUI currently retails at $389 for its UIEM version with the transparent series design. A multitude of customization options can be used on the S6 RUI, from making it into a CIEM along with your own choice of faceplate design and shell color choice which could run up to $505. You can check out the revamped and redesigned Linsoul Audio webpage to check out the S6 RUI as well as the whole Fearless Audio lineup.
The Fearless Audio S6 RUI features 6 Balanced Armatures (1 Sonion Dual Bass BA Driver, 1 Knowles and 1 Sonion Midrange Frequency BA Driver and 2 Knowles Treble BA Driver) with 3-way crossover and 2 sound tubes. It is spec’d out with a 20Hz to 20kHz Frequency Response, 113dB/MW Sensitivity, 26dB Passive Noise Reduction and 20 Ohm Impedance. The S6 RUI surely feels like it would be a great-sounding IEM from a relatively new brand and we would be here to see it unfold, for better or for worse. Let’s get this on!
Packaging and Build QualityThe Fearless Audio S6 RUI came in a clean looking cardboard board box which doesn’t show anything on the front except for an outline of a UIEM along with the Fearless Audio logo and branding on the lower left corner and a QR code and product specifications at the back. Inside will reveal the black horizontal hard case and metal ownership card indicating the serial number, maker, date manufactured and factory address. The accessory set of the S6 RUI is a total overkill especially with the ear tips, along with a cable clip and cleaning tool. Here’s a list for the included ear tips:
- 1 pair gray foam ear tips
- 1 pair blue foam ear tips
- 1 pair red foam ear tips
- 1 pair black foam ear tips
- 3 pairs whirlwind ear tips (S, M and L)
- 3 pairs black silicon ear tips (S, M and L)
The Fearless Audio S6 RUI may come in any design depending on the users’ preference but what the common factor would be is that they would all come with a smooth finish and no imperfections as well as bubbles and nicks on its faceplate and shell. The nozzle highlights the 2 sound bores along with the lack of nozzle lip which made tip rolling for the S6 RUI annoying and will oftentimes leave most of the ear tips that I used with it despite the already overkill inclusion of ear tips it comes with. The 2-pin socket is a bit recessed as well and I’m not sure if it’s possible to request a flushed one, Linsoul Audio is very much responsive to queries so feel free to verify if that’s the configuration you’d want. The overall comfort for the S6 RUI’s UIEM version was great and rests well on my ears, isolation is once again top-notch thanks to the UIEM silhouette.
The stock cable that the S6 RUI comes with an 8-core SPC cable which terminates into a 3.5mm plug. The cable is covered in silver and TPU and uses metallic silver hard plastic Y-split and chin slider with the Fearless Audio logo and branding. The cable uses round braids which is loosely assembled attributing to very soft feel of the cable which is even shows flabby portions within the braids. The 2-pin .78mm plug is housed in a metallic silver housing with red and blue line markers as well as an over ear memory wire guide. The 2-pin plugs when plugged into the S6 RUI feels loose and needs only a minor tug for it to detach which isn’t great at all. I tried using the stock cable on other .78mm IEMs and it worked great as well as using different 2-pin .78mm cables on the S6 RUI which also worked great, so it’s just a case of an imperfect match between the S6 RUI and its stock cable. It won’t fall off easily though if that’s what you are worried about. There is also minimal microphonic noise to be observed when using the stock cable on the go.
TonalityFearless Audio opted to release 2 variations for the S6 namely the Rui and the Pro. The S6 Rui is marketed to have a sound with a slight focus on the upper frequency performance. I, myself loves a well-defined upper frequency performance so the S6 Rui tickled my curiosity right when it arrived. I used the stock Medium whirlwind ear tips for the duration of the realview despite it falling victim to the S6 Rui’s lack of a lip nozzle thus resulting in numerous times that the ear tips got stuck on my ears once the S6 RUI is removed. The S6 Rui overall sounded balanced with good coherence between the low-end and the midrange tones and a soft emphasis on the highs which we would get into detail. I used the Sony A46HN music player as well as the Sony CAS-1 desktop system off the MSI GF62-8RE laptop via Foobar2000 v1.4 outputting various FLAC files which would be mentioned along the realview.
LowsThe Fearless Audio S6 Rui is able to give out a low-end performance that would keep you glued to your seat, bass drops are impactful and thumpy. I used Lady Gaga’s Brown Eyes track in 24/44 and while it isn’t fast and nimble, it is still able to deliver a punchy and thick sub bass rumble. The mid bass is weighty and tight, one that accompanies subsequent bass drops to showcase a full-bodied bass delivery. The Fearless Audio S6 Rui is far from being a basshead IEM but the way it handles the low-end cleanly is notable and it’s good that Fearless Audio can achieve this and not overdo just to gain a following.
MidrangeWhile the low-end performance of the S6 Rui hints at a careful control of not overdoing, the midrange performance of the S6 Rui exemplifies a soft and oftentimes tested approach by making sure that it sounds clear and detailed. Norah Jones’ Nightingale track in 24/88 FLAC was rendered articulate and smooth. The lower midrange showed great coherence with the overall midrange tonality by giving a full-bodied presentation but is near being distant-sounding. The upper midrange is controlled well with a hint of being slightly-boosted. The S6 Rui is a good companion for those midrange-centric IEM lovers.
HighsThis is where the gravity is at, the center of attention. The S6 Rui is supposed to be the high frequency performer that Fearless Audio envisions for its S Series of IEMs and there is truth to it, not set in stone but it indeed exhibits an elevated high frequency performance. I used Foster the Peoples’ Doing it for the Money in 16/44 FLAC to test out the highs and it was able to deliver a raspy and crisp treble that is still able to transition into a mellow pace for an eventual open and sweet experience. There is sparkle to be observed as well. While the upper frequency on the S6 Rui is evident, the fatiguing experience is nowhere to be found and so is sibilance. This might not give that wicked treble bite that some craves but at least the S6 Rui doesn’t shy on being bright sounding at times.
Soundstage and ImagingThe Fearless Audio S6 Rui has a depth focused soundstage presentation. It is able to give out a precise imaging experience as well. Instrumental tones and placement are easily discernible. While there is ample left to right and right to left panning to be observed on the S6 Rui, it doesn’t reach a wide sounding ambience. Layering is great and accurate thanks to great detail retrieval performance of the S6 Rui. I wouldn’t be using the S6 Rui for my gaming sessions.
ConclusionThe Fearless Audio S6 Rui tries to do multiple things at a time and while it does some parts exceedingly well like juggling the high frequency gamble of offering treble extension while not being harsh-sounding and hitting just the right amount of midrange body is already enough to make it an already easy to enjoy IEM. It suffers a crucial hit on some areas like the lack of a lip nozzle and the rather loose braiding used on the already fantastic looking cable which continues to its 2pin connection. The accessory set is great and would appease the lip nozzle issue a bit as well as the cable clip. I just hope they do away with the excess ear tips and cable clip and address the weaknesses, as the name says, Fearless.