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Fidue A73 Hybrid Monitor Earphones with universal single button remote and...

Fidue A73 Hybrid Monitor Earphones with universal single button remote and microphone

Rating:
4.23529/5,
  • Fidue A73 Hybrid Monitor Earphones with universal single button remote and microphone

    Specifications:
    Driver: Φ10mm Exclusive Dynamic & Balanced Armature Drivers Frequency
    Frenquency Range: 13-27,000 Hz

    Sensitivity: 107dB

    Max Input Power: 20mW

    Distortion: <1%

    Plug: 3.5mm stereo, gold-plated (MP3, iPod, iPhone & iPad Supported)

    Cable: 1.3 m
    Sensitivity of Mic: -42+-3db
    S/N Ratio of Mic: >55db


    Accessories:
    Silicone eartips (S/M/L)

    Double flange silicone eartips
    shirt clip
    High quality Leather Carrry case

Recent Reviews

  1. DynamikeB
    Great hybrid earphone, the best I tried so far, awesome detail retrieval!
    Written by DynamikeB
    Published Dec 4, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Lightweight and solid construction, awesome detail retrieval + fun sound, balance and imaging
    Cons - Some may find treble aggressive, tip dependent
    A73-Fidue.jpg
     
    http://www.fidue.com/content/view?brand=fidue_en&item=81&core=news
     
    Fidue have been active for some years now and they seem to have release great quality products / earphones.  Personally, I have tested two of their models:  the A71 and the A73.  I will review the latter here.  The Fidue A73 is a solid offering in the 120.00-150.00 price range and the “Reference Level” classification by Fidue is right on.
     
    About me:
    I am an avid fan of music (many style, but a lot of rock) and headphones/earphones.  I am not an audiophile, but I have a quest to find the best headphone/earphone for my tastes and I like to test new gear a lot.  I owned / tried more than 120 headphones / earphones so my ears are pretty trained, even though I am not a graph fan or as qualified as other more technical listeners.  I rely on my ears, my gut and my pleasure to move forward.  I just hope to help other people find nice gems that will suit their taste and their budget.  Enjoy!
     
    --
     
    I read really good reviews on the A73, so I decided to give it a go when I saw a nice deal.  I had high expectations for this hybrid / dual driver earphone, and I was / am not disappointed.  Up to now, after about 60-70 hours of burn in, listening and some tip rolling, I can say that these are a keeper, and probably my favorite so far.  And I tried a lot, and got rid of most of them…  It’s a solid iem that delivers a lot for the price.
     
    IMG_20161204_080919.jpg
    IMG_20161204_081000.jpg
    IMG_20161204_081150.jpg
     
    IMG_20161204_081230.jpg
     
    Specs
    ·         Drivers : Armature & 10 mm Dynamic
    ·         Rated Impedance : 20 Ω
    ·         Frequency Range : 13 Hz ~ 27,000 kHz
    ·         Sensitivity : 107 dB
    ·         Rated Input Power : 20 mW
    ·         Plug : 3.5 mm, Gold-Plated
    ·         Cable : 1.3 m Silver-plated OFC cable
    ·         Built-in universal mic and remote
    Accessories
    ·         Fidue hard shell carrying case
    ·         3 sets of Silicone Ear Tips (S M L)
    ·         1 set of Silicone Ear Tips – double flange
    ·         1 Shirt Clip
    ·         1 ear hook
     
     
    IMG_20161204_081401.jpg
     
     
    The A73 comes in the hard and classy Fidue black box where you can see the green Fidue logo and the picture of the earphone itself.  Box is nice Premium quality and all is well packed and clean.  Fits with the price range and more.  Basic accessories, but efficient and pro presentation.
     
    Built:
    1. Housings:  The housings are fairly small and comfortable (smaller and more comfy than Shure SE215 and Westone 1 and W40, for example) and are made from the fusion of silver aluminium (on the outside) and hard transparent deep red (on the inside).  A really nice touch, stylish and classy looking.  They are solid, sturdy.
    2. Cable:  The cable has standard good thickness, with good strain-reliefs.  It does not tangle easily (or at all) and provides basically no microphonics since the A73 is meant to be worn over the ear.  Great quality as it is a 108 Core hi-end silver-plated OFC cable.
     
     
    Functionality
     
    The A73 is equipped with a microphone and remote that provides clear phone calls option with most devices, and audio player + volume control.
     
    Ergonomics / Fit / Microphonics / Isolation
     
    The housings are on the small size and lightweight, so easy to insert and really comfortable.   They are meant to be worn over the ear, which I prefer.    Isolation is ok, depends on the tips I use, but they are not really for deep insertion, so isolation is not their strongest point, but I don’t need them to be.  Still, my work is noisy (open space and a lot of people) and I don’t really hear anything when they are plugged in.
     
    Sound Review
     
    I tested the Fidue A73 with my iPod Classic 160gb unamped, and then amped with the Fiio A3.   Also, I tested it on my Asus laptop amplified with the Nuforce U-DAC 3.
     
    I usually test the earphones activating the shuffle on my iPod so I hear a variety of music that can go from Diana Krall to Rage Against the Machine, as well as from Depeche Mode to In Flames.
     
    The A73 are pretty easy to drive out of any device, but like/prefer the little upgrade in sound provided by the Fiio A3 (and with the bass boost activated).
     
    The A73 sound lively with a very nice detailed sound that benefit from the dual drivers.  The dynamic driver presents a nice wide but balanced bass and the balanced armature driver gives the presentation a cutting egde precise blend of highs and mids.  I would say it’s slightly U-shaped, but not by much, and the detail retrieval is awesome.  One of the best I have heard so far. 
     
    They required some serious tip rolling for me to find the right sound.  I ended up using the medium stock silicon Brainwavz tips.  JVC Medium Spiral Dots were ok, but it seems the highs were more piercing and I was having a hard time listening to them in the morning (when my ears are not awaken yet) or at night (when tired).  With the Brainwavz tips, it cuts just slightly the highs and bump the lows a bit, keeping the midrange intact and it hits the sweet spot for me.
     
    Stereo imaging is really good, and instrument separation is awesome.  Soundstage is really nice.  I would say wide, but not that deep.
     
    Lows / Mids / Treble
     
    Bass hits pretty deep but it’s not invasive.  I find it to be nicely balanced between the sub and mid bass.  Unamped, it’s pretty good, but most of the times, I discovered I like to switch on the bass boost on the Fiio A3 to give it some additional body.  As mentioned, bass is not invasive on other frequencies, but it gives a nice warmth to the ensemble that I miss on some higher end iems (like the Westone W40).  It’s precise and fast enough.
     
    Midrange is detailed and clear, just a tad below bass and treble.  The amount of detail is impressive and vocals sound clear, clearer than most iems I tried up to now.  Clarity is present on all types of recordings and styles.
     
    The treble extension is impressive and helps provide an awesome precision.  Impressive, but for people sensitive to surgical precision treble, you may want to tame these with tip rolling or EQ.    It could be fatiguing, but once I found my sweet spot with the right eartips and set up, the A73 are my top go to iems for critical and fun listening.
     
    Comparisons
     
    Fidue A73 vs Fidue A71
     
    The A71 is the « little brother » of the A73, in terms of price range.  Except for the brand, I don’t find much similarities between both.  The A71 is more impactful, with mid bass and mids up front, and a more recessed, but still detailed treble.  They have a nice construction, but A73 is better, more comfortable.  Both are meant to be worn over the ear, but A73 wins on all fronts:  Comfort, ease of use, sound quality, etc.  A71 was a nice try, but I never was able to appreciate any of it, even though I would understand why people would really like it.  Not my type of impactful sound.  I prefer the more balance + detail + fun (with great bass) sound of the A73.
     
    Fidue A73 vs LZ A2S
     
    Working both with dual drivers, one dynamic and one balanced armature, these delivers a good fight in their respective price range, but A73 shows why Fidue is getting known as a strong and steady quality brand, and why it costs a few bucks (or sometimes twice the price) more to get an efficient high quality product.  I like the A2S sound, it has a nice warmth to hit, a bit hollow though, but the detailing and precision of the A73 is just way up there.
     
    Fidue A73 vs RHA MA750
     
    Comparison between these two great iems, in the same price range, is interesting.  I really like the RHA MA750:  Tough build, easy to use and wear over the ear, great warm sound.  They have similarities, but there was something a bit off with the MA750.  Mid-high frequencies?  They are both great iems in the 120-150 price range, but I find the A73 more precise, subtle, and providing better and more even level of precision.  Probably the dual drivers that gives the A73 the edge to be superior.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    Through all the earphones I tried and used, the Fidue A73 keep coming on top of my list.  I appreciate a lot of earphones, like a lot, but love only a few and the A73 is one of them.  Great job from the Fidue team for such a great quality product overall.
     
    In the price range, IMHO, I think they deliver as promised.   They offer great (awesome!) value and quality.
     
    They are comfy enough to relax and even sleep with them, but I also use them to walk, run or train without problem.  Great versatile earphones.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. DynamikeB
      I agree.  Bass is great.  Right in its place.  And yes, all this is IMHO as usual, but what a great one that fits most, if not all musical style I throw at it!
      DynamikeB, Dec 8, 2016
    3. alexandros a
      Forgot to tell you man...
      Spinfits are the best tips i ve tried so far with A73 SpinFit CP800-L
      If you have a chance to try those you will be amazed...Due to dipper insertion those provide a big difference to high and low frequencies enhancement
      alexandros a, Dec 9, 2016
    4. DynamikeB
      Thanks alexandros a.  I will look into these tips as well.  I am always on the look out to get the best out of my listening experience.  Regards!
      DynamikeB, Dec 9, 2016
  2. frederickchr
    One of the best crisp sounding
    Written by frederickchr
    Published Jun 11, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Superb sound quality, fitting, Imaging, build quality
    Cons - No chin slider (same with old batch of A83)
    FIDUE A73 REVIEW

    Firstly I would like to thank Michael Lin from FIDUE for giving me this sample to review. I am not affiliated with any people inside FIDUE so this is not on promotion purpose. This is a full product (not a pre production), so it’s full of its accessories and final packaging. This review is done after having over 50hrs of burn-in and small changes were noted. Usually balances armatures are not prone to burn-in, but it might have worked to either my subjective assessment and to the driver.

     

    This review is a full subjective assessment which might differ one another. My Favorite IEMs are the lineups of Final Audio Design Heaven series and I also enjoy other IEMs as my daily driver. Those IEMs are Ultimate Ears 700, Shure 215 SPE, JH5 CIEM, and big brother of A73, A83.

     
    Here’s the tech specification of FIDUE A73

    Driver : Dual hybrid (10mm Exclusive Woofer Dynamic + single BA)

    Frequency : 13-27,000 Hz

    Impedance : 20 Ohm

    Sensitivity : 107dB

    Max input power : 20mW

    Distortion : <1%

    Plug : 3.5mm stereo, Gold plated

    Cable length : 1.3m

    Sensitivity of mic : -42 +- 3dB

    S/N ratio of mic : >55dB

     
    BUILD QUALITY:

    At first these may not seem like they're well built especially the plastic housing part. It’s combination between plastic and metal with brushed nickel or aluminum finish. After longer period of use, this IEM feels solid and the cable quality is good. Designs are always a preference thing, but in my opinion these looks nice.

     

    FITTING

    This IEM gives very comfortable fitting. It’s easily worn and get the best fitting although it must be worn over ear. Once it’s plugged on ear, it’s hardly for normal use to get the IEM to loose from your ear (I tried to shake my head tho, and it’s not moving). It differs with the A83 which is hard to get the right fit, depends on the eartips used and somehow A83 is uncomfortable, at least for my ears.

     

    ISOLATION

    Same with other Hybrid IEMs, this A73 have vent for the dynamic driver which will somehow reduce the isolation.

     

    ACCESSORIES

    Leather case, 3 pairs of eartips SML, 1 pair biflange eartips, shirtclip.

     

    SOUND

    At first chance of trying this A73 (unburnt), the thought that came out was “seriously? It can easily outperform any IEMs Sub 200$”. The presentation of the sound is somehow can be said: CRISP. From low end until the high frequency it feels so crispy with slightly boosted in treble. Compared to A83, it feels more calm, not as aggressive as A83, but somehow the soundsig of A73 has more fun.

     
    Here’s the song that I usually use to compare HeadGears, and also the songs that I listen everyday might be similar to these genre:

    Assimilation - Olivia Ong

    Somewhere - Jackie Evancho Ft. Barbra Streisand

    Angel - Jackie Evancho

    Great Big Storm - Nate Ruess

    Some Nights - Fun

    What I Did For Love - Josh Groban

    American Eulogy - Green Day

    Ink - Coldplay

    Austin - Blake Shelton

     
    LOWS:

    The Bass, especially from the dynamic driver can bring enough quantity without overboomy. It can be brought into the fast paced bass and has great attack and impact. The presentation of the bass is forward, present, and lush without overwhelming the other part.

    In one thought: very accurate bass

     

    MIDS:

    What I expect from IEM with balance armature driver is sophisticated mids. And it is what A73 brings and presents. The mids, especially vocal, brings a bodied sound signature with clear impression. It is somehow rich in the low-mid and a little dry in the upper-mid. Maybe for some, it will be too droughty. The mids dont come across as lush as some high end IEMs ($500<), but still presents clean and clear, vocals both male and female are detailed, pianos and guitars still have power and crunch, acoustic guitars have great body and decay. The separation is world class and the detail is superb.

     
    HIGHS

    For bright sound signature lovers, this A73 will be your favourite. The presentation of the highs is very extend and sparky. After 50 hours of burn in, there is no presence of sibilance. High part also oftenly used by people to compare the resolution and detail of a head gear. The detail of the highs is even better than the lows and mids, as I said that it brings crispy impression. It’s not just crispy, but every detail and every instrumental in the music can be presented clearly and accurate. Although from my explanation it might seems that the highs can be too harsh and can be fatiguing for us, the fact is there is no harsh at all in letter S. I can say that it’s one of the best highs that I ever use.


     
    CONCLUSION

    + : Superb sound quality, fitting, Imaging, build quality

    - : No chin slider (same with old batch of A83)

    Overall, FIDUE brings new level in Sub $200. Any other manufacturer can hardly beat this IEM especially if they try to use the same sound signature. The soundstage also airy and brings top notch imaging. One last thing: FIDUE A73 is one of the best for me in the price range of under $500. About my experience about this product, FIDUE give a very good service to the customer and brings change to the product based on what customers want.

  3. angelo898
    great value
    Written by angelo898
    Published Dec 6, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - great sound
    Cons - little negatives about this, but the aesthetics are probably the biggest negative for this IEM, showing how little negatives there are.
    Fidue A73: just pure value
    I received the fidues in October as part of the Australian tour. Despite life having caught up with me because I evidently was not able to escape quickly enough, I did manage to take pictures and make several notes on this before handing them back. I tried this for a week or 2, while also letting other people who happened to hang out with me try them out. After a short road trip where my friend used this IEM for a few days, he loved the IEMs so much that he ended up purchasing the fidue A73. Do note that I received the a65 as well, but wasn’t as impressed with them since they didn’t have as much highs as I liked.
    A little about me
    Personally, I am a person who tends to gravitate to high end equipment, but have recently started looking at the low-mid end segments of the IEM world, since I have come to the conclusion that I have had my head stuck up in the clouds for too long. While I love trying new equipment, the equipment I end up buying tends to be little. This might be due to my lack of a decent income, or because I have very high standards, honestly I am not sure. However, one thing I am very sure of, since I have a rather limited budget, whatever I tend to buy or recommend are things I love, instead of hyping the regular item. While I believe sound quality to be extremely important, I also highly value ergonomics, and love things that look beautiful as well.
    Ergonomics
    I personally feel that fidue did a great job in terms of designing this IEM. While not perfect, it really is very good for the price.
    Starting off with the shape of the Fidue A73, I personally like the obvious over-ear shape of the iem, along with the lack of memory wire on this. Having no memory wire built into the IEM allowed for an unimpeded experience when putting on or taking off the IEM, which is something I loved. The relatively smooth wire also allowed for long uses without any discomfort in my ear or on the ear, while the shape allowed the IEM to easily stick inside my ears, which seems to be a problem for me for certain IEMs which aren’t shaped very ergonomically. This IEM falling out issue has been a huge problem for me, forcing me to end up not being able to use the Fitear range of IEMs, as well as the a65, for long periods of time since they would just fall out randomly.  The y split on the A73 is also a very beautiful custom made one, instead of some of the cheap rubber shrink tubes that are common among smaller companies nowadays.
    However, there were several other features I disliked. Despite being very ergonomic overall, I was disappointed that there was no chin slider built into the IEM. I am assuming that it was a design choice to sacrifice this to make space for the microphone remote, since having both would make the user look a bit funny, but since I don’t use that feature, I would just like to point that out. The unit also features a very nice overmold and good strain relief on the various weak points on its cable instead of having a removable cable. This is both a good thing and a bad thing since non-removable cables allow for the user to not worry about swapping cables, and is quite common among low-mid end IEMs, but I am very clumsy and that is definitely an issue for me.  The ear tips are also quite hard, and are not something I would use if I were to buy this IEM.
    Several users have pointed out that the straight plug is an issue, but I personally feel that it is not a big deal and is something that is quite common in all types of IEMs, from cheap to expensive.
    Sound
    A relatively recent trend that I am seeing is low-mid tier IEMs are starting to become genre masters, while high end IEMs are starting to venture into excelling in certain types of music, while being adequate in others. This is something I wholly support, since it can easily be assumed that high end IEM purchasers have enough disposable income to purchase multiple great IEMs, allowing them to have a good balanced set.
    The Fidue A73 follows this trend with its hybrid design. This means that it possesses the bass of a dynamic driver, in combination with the details that balanced armature drivers have. The tuning that the A73 has adds onto this with a very slight bass lift, warm mids and smooth, crisp highs. Not much seems to be overdone to my ears. Since it is inoffensive in various segments of sound, it plays well with all genres of music. Let me break this down in further detail.
    Treble
    Treble for this IEM is not super elevated. There appears to be a nice spike in upper treble that gives the appearance of an open and detailed sound. The spike is a small one, since the A73 is not fatiguing in any sense of the word, allowing the use of it for long hours without needing to stop. There is also no sibilance detected, with no harsh sounds relating to the letter S or cymbal crashes.
    Mids
    The midrange is something I found to be of particular interest, with a nice combination of warmth and resolution. There is a sense that the upper midrange is brought forward, giving a sense that vocals are put in the Center stage on most of the tracks I tried. This made the voices sound very natural and beautiful. This is coming from a person who owns a Noble Audio K10, which has one of the most beautiful mids that I have ever heard (while it is not on the same level as the K10, the fidue A73 is very good indeed).
    Bass
    The bass on the A73 is quite nice indeed. This is probably due to the dynamic driver that is contained in the A73. The bass I heard was forward and present, in good balance with the music that was played with no problems with speed, while also not having any problems with being slow. 
    Imaging
    The A73 is an open sounding IEM. I did not feel very out of place with this IEM, despite being used to the soundstage that my higher end IEMs usually presented. This is probably due in part to the way the highs are tuned.
    Scaling
    I tried this IEM with several sources, namely the iPhone 6+, the Calyx M, the Resonessence Labs Concero HP and the Cozoy Aegis (with computer and iPhone). I personally felt that the A73 excelled as a portable audio source. I thought the pairing with the iPhone 6+ was good, but lacked a bit amplification. Adding the Cozoy Aegis to the equation aided this by quite a bit by giving the needed amplification into the fidue A73. The Calyx M pushed this even further, with its good DAC. However, it didn’t seem to scale any further than this. It must be said that at that point, the effects of diminishing returns have set in long ago, and most of the target market of this IEM would probably not be investing into gear past the budget of the Cozoy Aegis, which meant that it was more than adequate.
    Packaging
    The packaging on this IEM was pretty good, with a box, some normal silicone eartips (S/M/L), a set of double flange eartips, a removable shirt clip and a hard carrying case. This, in my opinion, is adequate, but quite sparse. Personally, I would get some aftermarket eartips for this IEM, which would be a cheap upgrade that would probably be easy for most users (my friend who ended up buying this IEM prefers foam tips with this).
    Looks
    This IEM seems to have been made to look iconic. With its red and grey colour scheme, it is slightly different from the usual black and/or silver that is commonplace in the IEM world. However, some people would find this cheap and not classy like what the silver and/or black scheme tends to invoke. Additionally, I personally felt that the A73’s plastic housing was not cut particularly accurately and this contributes to the slightly cheap look of this IEM.
    DSC04753.jpg
     
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    Conclusion
    In conclusion, I came out of this tour being thoroughly impressed by this IEM. This was one of the few revelations that I’ve had in the audio world, where a low or mid –tier IEM or source has impressed me thoroughly. The last time I have felt this was the Hifiman RE400, which had quite the amazing reputation. I can thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is looking for an IEM in this budget. With the price, it is also quite the entry into the audio world and the fact that I didn’t influence my friend in his decision made the abilities of the fidue quite amazing indeed. 
      Hisoundfi and DJScope like this.
    1. DJScope
      Thanks for joining the tour, mate!
      DJScope, Dec 6, 2015
    2. Sethivict
      Nice review mate
      Sethivict, Dec 7, 2015
  4. H20Fidelity
    A73 - Mainstream Meets Audiophile
    Written by H20Fidelity
    Published Nov 7, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent sound for the money, soundstage width, tonality, detail (great for detail lovers)
    Cons - Lack of accessories, cable needs improvement
              a73fixpic.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    I remember a time around a year ago I reviewed Fidue’s A83 hybrid IEM, it remains still today a great earphone I use literally every day, its earned a large amount of respect on Head-Fi and especially from me personally. Fast forward to today we’re here again with Fidue’s A73 - 2 way hybrid. A little different in driver count  being x1 dynamic driver for the bass combined with x1 balanced armature controlling the mids and treble. The price cheaper, but again I find nearly that same price to performance ratio found on A83.
     
    Fidue are a Chinese company who came from no-where about a year ago, they simply arrived on the scene with a few earphones (one of them being the A83) and caused a right storm for several. I have read numerous reviews who rate Fidue products as some of the best value for money out there, just like that, basically from no-where. Especially when dealing with Chinese IEM makers who have no choice but to make their products excel among the vast competition you're often in for a treat and that certainly applies here.
     
    Price: $149 USD from Penon Audio (and other selected retailers)
     
    Purchase Link: http://penonaudio.com/FIDUE-A73
     
    Specs:

     
    Frequency response
     
    13 - 27,000 Hz
    Impedance
     
    20 Ohm
    Sensitivity
     
    107 dB
    Plug
     
    Gold Plated 3.5 mm (1/8”) Straight
    Cable Length
     
    1.3 m
    Speaker diameter
     
    10mm Dynamic Driver Woofer & BA Tweeter
    Maximum Input Current
     
    20 mW
    Sensitivity of Mic
     
    -42 (±3) dB
    S/N Ratio of Mic
     
    55 dB

     
     
     
    Packaging:
     
     
    A73 arrives enclosed inside a laminated cardboard box, the usual suspect of earphone packaging. The colors are what we’ve come to know from Fidue being a jet black and fluoro green color scheme. Written on the packaging is a little information how Fidue have had 20 years of development experience, the name “Benny Tan” is also mentioned a lot as being the Chief engineer of their products.
     
    I quite like the black/green packaging it has a nice curve to the eye standing out from the crowd,  also there are some specifications in many languages written on the rear of the boxing. When opening the box you’re greeted by a black velvet type material, the earphones semi-embedded inside which you must pull away from the top layered insert. 
     
     
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    IMG_1495.jpg
     
     
     
    Accessories:
     
    Inside the carry case Included with your new earphones are a selection of tips, a cable clip, a set of ear guides and capsule shaped (hard) carry case. The case is great for sticking in your pocket or throwing into your bag. I highly doubt any damage will be done to your A73 earphones either using it.. Not the most of accessories included however the Fidue branded case is a nice touch.
     
     
    What you get:
     
     
    1. 3 pairs of single flange silicon tips (S/M/L)
    2. 1 pair of dual flange silicon tips
    3. 1  Fidue branded Carry Case
    4. 1 set of ear guides (2 pieces)
    5. Cable Clip
     
     
    IMG_1490.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Build / Design:
     
    The housing on A73 are entirely plastic design worn (over the ear), they also have an interesting color scheme which may or may not sit well with an individual. From my experience with Fidue A83 they're a company who go for eye-catching color schemes, a little 'bling' if you will, I guess it makes their products unique and stand out from the crowd. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the gold faceplates on A83 I don’t mind the silver faceplates on their A73. The other half of the shells is a wine red or 'deep red color', there is a left and right marking in white on each ear piece and if you look very closely a small port (airway) for the dynamic driver  Area's like the faceplates have some waved pattern on them to give some texture and depth, they remind me of something I can't put my finger on, maybe the curves in sea-shell found along the beach.
     
    The cable is not the best I’ve seen, its rather rubbery, plasticky and holds some memory, a sign of cost cutting, but it does the job and remains behaved well enough. I guess in some respect it gives you incentive of upgrading to their A83 model which has a beautiful braided silver plated cable stock. There's an inline one-button remote control (mic) included and the strain reliefs all seem quite sturdy from the jack to the housing entrance. The 3.5mm jack is a 4 pole connection, but don't worry, it works with any MP3 player I've tried.
     
     
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    IMG_1483.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Fit / Isolation / Comfort:
     
    Speaking about the fit I have a wonderful time with A73 personally, the shells fitted (with stock tips) quite flush to my outer ear and seal well, they’re also quite comfortable for me, I hardly need to adjust them once inserted and A73 stays in place. One of the problems with Fidue A83 was the nozzle length, it was quite short and limiting the insertion depth for many people so this has been corrected on the cheaper model (and) after A83, good to see. The insertion isn't the deepest, they kind of sit on the inner surface of your ear canal however mange to block out a decent amount of noise. I wouldn’t give flying stars for how much outdoor havic they can isolate but its more than suitable for my standards.
     
     
    IMG_1499.jpg
     
     
    Sound Quality:
     
    Sources used:
     
    1. Hum Pervasion
    2. iBasso DX50
    3. FiiO X3II
    4. Pono Player
     
     
    Files: FLAC 16/44
     
     
     
    Tonality:
     
    A73 leans on the ‘slightly’ warm side, warm with a touch of smoothness, it however, has no problem pushing quite a thick amount detail over the top. I think Fidue have gone for the right tonality because its semi-mainstream meets audiophile, in that its not overly vibrant or fatiguing yet still quite active around the mid-range and treble regions to express revealing detail.
     
     
    Bass:
     
    The bass is forward, quite a bit in mid-bass which pushes out a fair quanitiy of impact catering well to EDM genres, it doesn’t however seem to hinder the presentation too much when listening to acoustic tracks but occasionally  may show its face a little. If you’re looking for a balanced IEM Fidue A73 isn’t what you’re after, you must remember the term ‘mainstream meets audiophile’ in that the signature is quite fun and happy around the low end.
     
     
    Mid-range:
     
    From the bass up to the mids we then take that transition to ‘audiophile’. That hint of warm tonality is present yet the mids remain quite clean and capable in separation, far more than other IEMs in its price range should be. There’s a specific quantity of detail which especially pushes out with vocals and most instruments. Quite a lot more detail found on any other $150 IEMs I’ve tried in the past. It’s the slightly forward mid-range, that great amount of ‘audiophile presence’ and revealing detail which wins the hearts of many A73 owners.
     
     
    Treble:
     
    The highs are again back to a semi-mainstream approach, a little smooth and rolled yet tuned in way they’re never absent. You can just tell the people behind tuning A73 (Benny Tan the engineer of A73) has some experience. Its not the most extended treble but never harsh, never sibilant and always showing ‘just enough' to match from the upper mid-range onwards. A nice balance.
     
     
    Soundstage:
     
    A73’s soundstage makes me disappointed with my A83, because I paid a lot more for Fidue A83 yet the cheaper model has wider staging. The width left / right is expansive giving instruments room to breath and image within, a real 'stand out' point of the presentation. Overall when you combine this staging with the detail, the punchy bass you have a really nice presentation stacking up to more expensive earphones.
     
     
    Conclusion:
     
    What Fidue have accomplished for the $150 bracket is admirable, I like to relate once again that term, ‘mainstream meets audiophile, in that Fidue have gone for a unique signature which will cater to both the everyday consumer and any serious listener’s. Its not every day you come across such value in sound quality for your money either, yet Fidue just like their A83 last year did it again. If I wanted A73 improved I’d obviously like to see a detachable cable version but with improved cable material stock, some more tips to jazz up the accessories and they’re pretty much done.
     
    I’m very interested in the companies future products because time has proven (and short time at that) Fidue make earphones with sound signatures where many people to be. I say keep bringing the good products we’ll keep listening and giving them the attention they deserve.
     
    I’d like to thank Fidue for the sample.

    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hisoundfi
      Great job m'man, glad you're hearing what I am with the A73. Cheers, great review!
      Hisoundfi, Nov 7, 2015
    3. H20Fidelity
      H20Fidelity, Nov 7, 2015
    4. Lohb
      Great review....A73 vs LZ A2.....Go !
      Lohb, Nov 8, 2015
  5. mellowjamie
    Great sounding IEM for first timers
    Written by mellowjamie
    Published Nov 6, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Soundstage, detail, warmth, bass
    Cons - Not the most interesting looking, poor accessories
    I bought these IEMs to go with my new FiiO X5ii. Thanks to the guys at hifiheadphones.co.uk for their advice and quick delivery.
     
    I also had the RHA T10 delivered at the same time, so it was interesting to compare a hybrid IEM with a single dynamic driver earphone.
     
    Packaging 7/10
    Outside: A matt board box with spot UV
    Inside: Form product holders
    Apple all but revolutionised how we perceive electronics packaging, regardless of what they were packing inside their boxes. The Fidue packaging is on a par with FiiO's - functional and Far Eastern. It gets the job done, but a lot more effort could be put into improving the customer journey with this aspect.
     
    Accessories 5/10
    A S/M/L silicone tips, a very small carry case, M double flange silicone tips, ear guides, cable clip.
    In comparison to the accessory laden RHA T10 that I also have, Fidue have let themselves down in this area. The RHAs have a lovely soft case and more tips than you could hope for (arguably this is because the RHA T10 are more difficult to get a good fit so the tips are needed). I'd like to have seen a better case that this, but I can forgive based on the other merits of these IEMs.
     
    Fit - 8/10
    Out of the box they fit nicely. This was without the ear guides or messing with tips. I changed the tips to the small size and fitted the ear guides and they fitted even better. They also didn't change their sound based on the tips, which was interesting after my experience of the RHA T10.
     
    I was surprised not to see any foam tips, but I'm told that the Comply T-200 tips work with these IEMs should you not like the included silicon tips.
     
    Comfort - 8/10
    Once they're in, you don't really know. I wear glasses, so you can feel them touching the glasses, but it's definitely not a deal breaker, and I suspect that anyone who wears over the ear IEMs with glasses will encounter some issues.
     
    Isolation - 8/10
    Well I wear them at work and can't hear anyone talking. Which is a good thing. They do a good job, for universal IEMs, of isolating.
     
    Microphonics - 7/10
    The myth that over the ear means no microphonics just isn't true - there's some noise, but nothing too bad.
     
    Design - 5/10
    As someone with a design background, man these things are ugly. A side by comparison with some of the more attractive IEMs available from the likes of RockJaw, DUNU, RHA, Westone and Aursonics, the Fidues look a bit, well, "meh". I'm not a fan of burgundy, and the grey makes the look unfinished. The nice touches are the metal Y joint and plug but again, the RHA T10 is just so much nicer to look at and touch. A real shame. I'll call these "utilitarian" in appearance. 
     
    Overall Sound First Impressions - 9/10
    Wow. After the just above average packaging, moderate accessory pack and "meh" design, I knew something had to impress - just as well then it's the sound. The second I started listening to them and went through my usual list of tracks that I use to gauge equipment I found myself just enjoying the music rather than critiquing the earphones. They're not perfect, and for £90 I wouldn't expect them to be, but they are pretty close for the cash.
     
    Detail - 8/10
    There's oodles of detail coming from the Fidues. It might be a cliche, but I found new subtleties in my music that I hadn't heard before, and thanks to the soundstage (more on this later) I was hearing stuff I'd heard before but in different places. There's just so much more information in the music now, whether that be breathing, guitar strums, symbols, subtle electronic noises - it's just there in so many layers. The word I'd use is "revealing".
     
    Soundstage - 8/10
    Again, a big surprise. I was expecting a bit of width, but understanding that these are closed IEMs I wasn't expecting miracles. Instead there is both a width and depth to the soundstage that is extremely entertaining. Massive Attack's Teardrop had me mesmerised. 
     
    Bass - 9/10
    The A73's party piece, if it has one, is it's bass. This is not bass-head bass, this is tight, controlled, musical bass. There is an ever-so-slight roll off in sub bass in Daft Punk's Lose Yourself to Dance but nothing that I could notice and these things go low. It never feels too much, it never feels slow and it's never at the expense of the rest of the frequencies. It's a lovely, warm, textured bass that just makes the music enjoyable.
     
    Mids - 8/10
    The A73 is an all round performer, and it's the mids which are slightly less capable that the bass or treble. There's an ever so slight "V" shape to the sound, and the mids are recessed just a little. Having said that, it's such a warm sound signature that it isn't detrimental to the overall sound of the earphones - the treble isn't overly bright so it's not like the mids go missing in action. They're there, and they're not obvious and in your face, but they are wonderfully textured and make male vocals a joy to listen to. Ed Sheernan's vocals in Photograph are smooth and layered, also mesmerising.  
     
    Treble - 9/10
    Smooth and detailed. Never fatiguing or bright. May not be to everyone's taste, but I like to hear the details without feeling like my eardrums are being pierced, and the A73s don't disappoint here. Carol Decker's vocals in T'Pau's Secret Garden can be extremely bright and painful, but the A73s manage to smooth over the highs whilst still providing sparkle. 
     
    Noise Floor - 6/10
    Well look, they're IEMs. They have a relatively high noise floor. The FiiO X5ii does a reasonable job of keeping it to a minimum, but listening to say Spotify on a MacBook using a FiiO E11k it's still quite high. It's not *too* high - but you can hear it. For those who like hiss free music, these probably aren't the boys, unless you're happy looking for an IEM amp to reduce this.
     
    Overall - 9/10
    Very happy. Lovely sound that is just enjoyable. I'd not call them reference, nor are they consumer. They sit somewhere between - just thoroughly musical IEMs that need looking into if you're in this budget.
      DJScope and HiFiChris like this.
    1. DJScope
      Nice review. Just a little head-up, driver don't have a "noise floor" as they don't produce noise themselves. What you mean is "sensitivity", or how susceptible they are to low level noise.
      DJScope, Nov 6, 2015
    2. mellowjamie
      Thanks for the heads up. :)
      mellowjamie, Nov 7, 2015
    3. sharam
      so which would u prefer, the rha t10 or the fedue a73,im planning to get either one,i prefer a lil more bass 
      sharam, May 16, 2016
  6. suman134
    Not my cup of tea.
    Written by suman134
    Published Oct 6, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Details, Mid range clarity. Build quality.
    Cons - Fluffy bass, some elevation it the upper mid and Lower highs. Should come with a pair of Comply.

    INTRO:-
     
     Since last year, Fidue a Chinese earphone manufacturer has been raising its head with some hard to look through earphones. They have close to 10-12 earphones but a triple driver hybrid, Dual BA single dynamic earphone A83 grabbed everyone’s attention and was received well by reviewers and users. Inspired by its success Fidue introduced a dual hybrid earphone A73, which I will review here. It come in a single color and is priced $149 or rs10k plus in India, it has been received well by reviewers, I will find out if it’s a good fit for my taste or not when I will pit it against DUNU- Ttan-1 and Brainwavz R3.
     
     Let me clear that this is my first Fidue earphone. And if you don’t know, Fidue stands for:-
    F - Fidelity Natural original voice of high fidelity.
    I - Inspired the resonance of soul.
    D - Durable Long-lived quality.
    U - Unique the unique design.
    E - Enjoyable enjoy happily.
     Let’s get started!!
     
     Before that I would like to thank HiFinage for doing this Indian review tour.
     Here is the link to the page.
     http://www.hifinage.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=124&category_id=28&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=29

     
    IMG_20150909_110822.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_110852.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_110939.jpg

      ACCESSORIES ERGONOMICS AND MISCELLANEOUS:-
     
    Now this package is really simple. Just 4 pairs of tips, S/M/L single flange and a Biflange tips. I would have liked it if there were a pair comply tip for every reviewer. There is a nice looking zipper case with Fidue written on it. There is a cable clip thankfully, nothing fancy. Earphone does look nice, red inside and silver outside, I like it.
     And about ergonomics, it’s a mixed bag for me, I didn’t enjoy its thick and bulky size, not as ergonomic as AN-16 for sure, its wasn’t so comfy even when compared to dual drivers earphones like ath-im70 or R3, you can wear AN-16 or R3 cable down too, this you can’t.
     Splitter is pleasantly small thankfully. I like those cables too, thick enough, strong and supple too, are not bouncy. Build quality is good for an earphone at this price, outer shells are metal and inner side is made of plastic, sadly stress relievers are not supple but serves its purpose of protecting the cable, but i didnt like that straight 3.5mm jack.
     Isolation is good for this over ear type fitting, microphonics is not bothering too. Use the cable clip to keep the wire in place.

    IMG_20150909_111148.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_111235_HDR.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_111537.jpg

      REMOTE AND MIC:-
     This earphone comes with a universal one button MIC unit which works with apple and android phones flawlessly. Thankfully its button is protruding enough and easier to operate unlike Piston 3, whose remote unit is difficult to get a hold of. A73 has nice clarity. Person on the other end had no problem hearing me. In comparison MIC clarity is better than most earphones.
     Operating is as usual for one button remotes, single press picks and ends calls. If not on a call, single press will play music and another press will pause it, double and triple press results into skipping tracks forward and backward respectively. Easy and simple to operate, sadly you can’t control the volume from remote.
       Lets see how this earphone sounds.

    IMG_20150909_112220.jpg

       SOUND QUALITY:-
     
     Now the setup is a dual driver hybrid, a dynamic driver takes care of its bass department and a BA driver takes care of its mid range and high frequencies. It’s a bassy sounding earphone, with some elevation in its upper mids or say lower highs. The signature is warm and dark. Slightly V shaped when compared to R3 or q-jays with big bass and leaner mid range.
     I used the whole Capital cities and Clean Bandits latest album with some Eminem tracks, some Bullet for my valentine with some James blunt songs. Tips were stock single flange large ones. These did sounded better with Brainwavz Triple flange tips, wide bore tips and shure tips but I won’t be accessing its sound with them as they don’t come out of the box.
     I burned this earphone for Close to 50hrs as it was already burned by other tour participants.
     Let’s start with LOWS:-
      This bass has nice body and rumble but it’s not the type of bass I like, it’s obviously elevated, its muddy and decay is slow until I used decored shure tips, but we are on stock tips here. Fidue won’t ship with shure tips will they? Not a comply pair, leave shures alone, it’s not bad but not for those who don’t like slow fluffy kind of bass. What I liked is that bass is detailed, and will give a nice listening experience to those who like this type of bass. It goes boom and stays there, moves air, shows muscle power with rumble and slam too.
     As I mentioned earlier, bass lacks speed and aren’t precise enough doesn’t matter what tips you use. Sadly it lacks some sub bass presence and bass slightly of bleeds into the mids, even a $30 earphone like Brainwavz Jive does better here with their Comply tips!!
     Man, I hate this bass. Simple, coming from Jive, A151p 2nd gen and q-jays, this bass simply lacks control, details is good and that is the reason why I wont stop myself recommending it to those who like big bass.
     MID RANGE:-
     Now this is the best aspect of this earphone, if have ever read my review you know that I love mids, and this earphone is really nice with mids. Nicely detailed, has some body to it, doesn’t sound lean like A151p 2nd gen. I loved its instrument clarity and precision here, its really good.
     Vocals are really nice, clear and engaging, male vocals sound meaty and good, female vocals sound better and more focused. Notes are on the thicker side, imaging and presentation is really nice. Retrieval of micro details is 2nd to none in its price bracket. But for clarity and pure engagement of mid range, SHE9850 beats it.
     Clear, detailed and cohesive will sum this mid. I like this type of mid range.
     Stage has better height and width but lacks depth when compared to RE-400 and is clearly smaller than Titan-1 in every aspect, still better than XBA-H1, E50 and XBA-c10.
     HIGHS:-
     First thing first highs lack energy that I lived with my pair of titan-1. Lacks some extension too, Fidue should add a bit more energy and extension. Thankfully details and clarity are not much lost.  Layering, separation, instrument placement are class really nice.
     Sadly there is sone lower high elevation, which makes some instruments sound more prominent and slightly bothering too. Thankfully some foam tips will bring it slightly down.
     I would have liked some more clarity which Titan-1 posses, still its better than XBA-H1, CKX-9 and similar to UE-600, which too lacks some extension.
     When against RE-400 these earphones lack some precision and sonicality. Not to mention that RE-400 has better extension.

       BRIEF COMPARISONS:-
     
     VS Titan-1:- Titan 1 has lesser amount of rumble but has enough and doesn’t lose control, has far better decay and clarity, details is better too. Mids are slightly more recessed but really well with micro details and clarity, sounds sweet!! Highs are the best you will find on an earphone in this price range, sparky, energetic and lively, seriously detailed.
     Stage is bigger too, ergonomics is nice but isolation is bad. Lacks MIC.
     Keep no doubt, Titan-1 is the better one.
    VS R3:- R3 is the most balanced one of these 3, bass is slow but still faster than A73, details and everything else is similar, thankfully don’t bleed at all. Mids are really balanced and detailed but lacks some bite, sounds slightly soft. Both male and female vocals lack some depth sadly. Thus makes it the most inoffensive sounding earphone of the lot. Highs have good extension and have plenty of details, don’t lack energy too.
     Sound stage is bigger, better depth, height and width, isolation is similar, has a better cable and sit is more secure. Sensitivity is slightly low.
     R3 slightly edges past the A73, doesn’t have a MIC though.

    IMG_20150909_111636.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_111648.jpg

     CONCLUSION:-
     
    There wasn’t a wow effect, but it was nice with foam tips, I hope it had one out of the box. To be precise, it’s not an earphone for guys like me who don’t want that much of bass and life highs, bass lovers will like this earphone more. Thankfully mids do saves the day as highs too were not impressive.
     MIC is a good addition and makes it stand out of competition with a feature not much seen on earphones at this price. Clarity is really nice too.
     There are not many earphones with mic and has clarity like this, those who like to use their mobile device more than their PMP should prefer this over others like Titan-1 or R3.
     But for self proclaimed purists like me, this is not the preferred earphone in its price range.
     Thanks for reading.
     Cheers have a nice time, enjoy!!

    IMG_20150909_111725.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_111956.jpg
     
    IMG_20150909_112339.jpg
     
    IMG_20150911_110838.jpg
     

    1. View previous replies...
    2. suman134
      Thanks mate, i was kind of harsh at this, i was genuinely not impressed by A73, and didnt wanted to sound even more harsh by saying " i dont understand what the hype was about" as i know there are people who love bassy earphones.
       
      And Nope, I have the H1 and the word is that A1 is not different enough so i didnt went for the A1.
      suman134, Oct 7, 2015
    3. vaibhavp
      well, i dont get hype around any iem that i tried, be it hifiman re400 or havi b3. 
       
      all of them are great iems at their respective price points, and thats about it. same is true A73 as well. 
      vaibhavp, Oct 7, 2015
    4. suman134
      Thats what i am saying.
      suman134, Oct 7, 2015
  7. Brooko
    Fidue A73 – Conflicting emotions / mixed feelings
    Written by Brooko
    Published Sep 19, 2015
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Good quality build, ergonomic fit, clarity, imaging and soundstage, extension, mid-range
    Cons - No lip on nozzle, sibilant peak at 9kHz, bass slightly too warm, uneven treble, poor accessory range
    A7323.jpg
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

    INTRODUCTION

    This is the fourth Fidue product I’ve been fortunate to review, and the second hybrid IEM after reviewing their flagship A83. This time the A73 is a single dynamic and single balanced armature. I’d been looking forward to this particular IEM, mainly due to my expectations from past models, and also due to the numbering scheme. I reviewed their A81 TOTL single dynamic driver, and came away very impressed with its overall performance despite being too bassy for my own preferences. Next came their A71 (dual dynamic) which unfortunately for me was far too bassy – and really didn’t have a lot of standout properties (sonically or otherwise). The A83 is their flagship triple hybrid, and I was highly impressed with almost everything about it – especially the tuning (more balance and better detail).  So following the progression (numbering), I was hoping that the A73 would be tuned similarly to the A83.
     
    My thanks go to Vic (djvkool) for facilitating the review samples, and also to Michael Lin from Fidue for giving us the chance to review their products.
     
    For those who aren’t aware, Fidue Acoustics is a Chinese earphone company founded by Benny Tan (who has more than 20 years design experience – developing earphones for other global branded companies).  The name Fidue is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range
    1. Fidelity
    2. Inspiration
    3. Durability
    4. Uniqueness
    5. Enjoyment.
     
    Fidue’s product catalogue to date has included mainly dynamic driver models ranging from the sub $50 bracket, all the way to their current triple driver hybrid A83 flagship.
     
    The A73’s arrived almost 5 weeks ago, and while I haven’t been using them every day (you’ll see why as you read further), I have used them as much as possible to get used to the signature so I could post a fair review.
    It has been an interesting experience as there are some parts of the A73 I like very much, but there are others (which many people may love) that I find not to my ideal tuning, and others that leave me scratching my head a bit as to what Fiude were thinking. I have genuine mixed feelings about them – hence the review title.
     
    DISCLAIMER
     
    I was provided the Fidue A73 as a review unit from Fidue. I am in no way affiliated with Fidue - and this review is my honest opinion of the A73.
     
    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.   (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
     
    I'm a 48 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile – I just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up.  I vary my listening from portables (Fiio X5ii, X3ii, LP5 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD).  I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5ii/X3ii > HP, or PC > E17K > HP.  My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1, Sennheiser HD600, and AKG K553.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and at the moment it has mainly been with the Dunu DN-2000J and Trinity Delta (although this is likely to change with newly arrived Adel U6, Jays q-Jays and Alclair Curve2). A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
     
    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences.  I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.
     
    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent.  I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue.  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line).
     
    I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’.  I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 48, my hearing is less than perfect.
     
    For the purposes of this review - I used the Fidue A73 straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, X3ii, and also X3ii + E17K.  In the time I have spent with the A73, I have noticed quite a big change in overall sonics – but I am pretty sure this is simply me becoming more used to the signature of the A73 as I use them more often (brain burn-in).
     
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
     

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES          
     
    A7301.jpg A7302.jpg A7303.jpg
    Front of the retail box
    Rear of the retail box
    Inside the box - foam mold

     

    The A73 arrived in Fidue’s normal attractive green and black packaging – but this time in a 2 piece box and lid arrangement.  The box is medium sized 180 x 110 x 45mm. The box is essentially the same size and layout as their A71 – and has an image and main descriptive points on the front of the box, and specifications on the rear.
     
    A7304.jpg A7305.jpg A7306.jpg
    Carry case, A73 and accessories 
    The A73 and carry case
    The carry case

     
    Removing the lid reveals cut-out hard foam (on top of softer foam padding) with the Fidue A73 nestled safely inside the provided cut-outs.  There is also a small zippered carry case, ear guides, a shirt clip, IEM tips and a single warranty document / QC card.
     
    The carry case is oval, about 90mm long, 65mm wide and 30mm deep. It has a semi rigid exterior, with padding on the inside, and should be sturdy enough to provide protection, whilst remaining small enough to comfortably fit into a front shirt or pants pocket. It’s a perfect for the A73, and has an inner webbed pocket for spare tips.
     
    A7307.jpg A7308.jpg A7309.jpg
    Accessories - ear hooks my not be Fidues
    Tips in profile
    The A73 with cable nicely tied up

     

    The accessory pack includes 3 pairs (S,M,L) single flange silicone tips, and 1 pair of dual flange silicone tips.  I was a little disappointed in the overall tip selection – especially as there was no foam tip included.
     
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
     
    (From Fidue’s Packaging)
    Type
    Dual driver inner ear monitor
    Drivers
    10mm dynamic driver and single balanced armature
    Frequency Range
    13 Hz – 27 Khz
    Impedance
    Not stated
    Sensitivity
    107 dB
    Max Input Power
    20 mW
    Distortion
    <1%
    Plug
    3.5mm gold plated, 4 pole
    Cable
    1.3m silver-plated copper, fixed – with microphone and single button
    Weight
    19g
    IEM Shell
    2 piece molded plastic shell and faceplate

     
    FREQUENCY GRAPH
     
    The graph below is generated by a new measuring system I’m trialling – using the Vibro Veritas and ARTA software.  I don’t have the calibration 100% correct yet – but the graphs I am getting are relatively close to Innerfidelity’s raw data (on other earphones), and I think are “close enough” to get a reasonable idea of the frequency response for the A73. Over time I am hoping to build a pre-set compensation curve so that I can get the graphs more consistent with Tyll’s curves.
     
    A73FreqGraph.png
     
    What I’m hearing though is:
    1. Elevated bass response over neutral with good extension
    2. Warm and slightly forward mid-range
    3. Some energy in the upper mids and an unfortunate 9kHz peak which does tend toward sibilance.
     
    BUILD QUALITY
     
    The Fidue A73 has a molded shell designed to be worn with the cable over the ear, and the body of the A73 sitting inside the outer ear – similar to a Shure or custom type design. When I’m wearing mine, the shell sits relatively flat against my concha with the nozzle protruding on an angle into the ear.  As stated in the specifications, the shell is a molded plastic (deep red colour) which is very smooth and seamless, with an attractive faceplate (designed to look metallic).  The A73 is approx. 18mm long and 14mm deep at its widest point.  It is approx. 10mm from the faceplate to the base of the nozzle, and the nozzle itself extends approx. 7-8mm from base to tip. The nozzle has a mesh filter built in, is angled, and is completely smooth (no lip).  Because of this tips slide right off (more often than not lodged in your ear), and the number of tips you can use with the A73 is severely limited.  This is a huge design flaw, and I’m really puzzled as to why they would have introduced this.
     
    A7310.jpg A7311.jpg A7312.jpg
    Inside view - note small vent adjacent to nozzle
    Good build quality and quite seamless join
    Rear port and strain relief

     

    There are two ports / vents for the dynamic driver (and presumably tuning) – one adjacent to the nozzle, and one at the rear of the A73 (at the join between body and face plate).
     
    The cable is silver-plated copper with a synthetic rubber sheath which is a little grippy, but not overly microphonic – especially worn over ear. It does appear quite well made, and although it was a little unruly when taking photos, generally stays out of the way when wearing. There is no chin slider (mainly due to the microphone / control unit), but the added shirt clip should also help with cable management.  My pair also came with over ear hooks – or at least I think they did.  I’m not 100% sure anymore – and I’m wondering if I managed to somehow mix a pair of hooks in before I took the photos.  If I have, I apologise in advance.
     
    A7313.jpg A7318.jpg A7317.jpg
    Face plate
    A83 and A73 - no lip on nozzle!
    The smooth nozzle

     

    The Y split is a nice metallic tube with “Fidue” printed on it.  It looks elegant, and has good strain relief at both ends.  There is also good strain relief at the microphone / control unit, IEM exit and the 3.5mm straight gold plated 4 pole jack. Fidue also included a snap on cable tidy / tie – which works pretty well, but can come off if bumped.
     
    From the right earpiece there is a combined mic and single button control device (1 click pause/play, 2 fast clicks track +1, 3 fast clicks, track -1). This hangs (when worn over ear) just above my shirt collar.  The microphone is a good one for phone calls and in my testing voice came through loud and clear. The control button was unrecognised by the Fiio X1 and X3 (I regard this as more of a Fiio issue than Fidue), but worked well with the iPhone 5S.  My one issue was that the control was really fiddly to use though – simply because it is cylindrical. Trying to multiple press the button often ended up with the control rotating in my hands, and turning into a single click.  In the end it got frustrating so I stopped using it.  A flat control unit would have been the much smarter choice.
     
    A7325.jpg A7326.jpg A7327.jpg
    Jack and cable tie
    Y split
    Cylindrical control and mic

     

    Overall the build quality is a good standard for the cost – but there is one major (nozzle lip) and one minor (cable control) design flaw.  Mixed feelings.
     
    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
     
    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well.  I initially tried the included large silicone tips, and whilst they fit OK, I was unable to maintain a seal. The same happened with the dual flanges. From there I was forced to go to my tip collection. I tried my Comply tips, and T400s pretty much slid off (no lip on the nozzle), as did spiral dots, DUNUs dual flanges, Ostry tips, and even my Sony Isolation tips haven’t been consistent. Spinfits did stay on but I had issues getting a seal with them as well.  Eventually I managed to find a relatively new pair of Sony Isolation tips, and so far they’ve stayed on – but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve fished tips out of my ears. It is a fairly major design flaw – and baffling because I haven’t seen it on any of their other IEMs (which I’ve tested).  Anyway – with the Sony tips I got a good seal.
     
    A7314.jpg A7315.jpg A7316.jpg
    Sony Isolation tips finally works
    Ostry tips didn't stay on, Spinfits did
    Dunu dual flange and Spiral Dots were both too loose

     

    The angle of the nozzles is very good (better than the A83), and comfort for me is extremely good. They don’t extend past my outer ear, and sleeping with them in would be easy.
     
    Isolation with a good insertion and correct seal was average for an IEM, mainly due to the 2 ports. With music playing, most ambient noise is well and truly filtered out.  They wouldn’t be my choice for a long haul flight, but probably OK for general public transport.
     
    So very comfortable, reasonable isolation, good fit – but tricky, and limited in choice because of the nozzle. Mixed feelings.
     
    SOUND QUALITY
     
    The following is what I hear from the Fidue A73.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).  Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X3ii as source, E17K (not needed but it helps with battery life with the X3ii and I like the volume control), no EQ, and Sony Isolation tips.
     
    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
     
    Thoughts on General Signature
    If I was to describe the signature in a few words – I’d choose the words “warm”, “clear” and “occasionally peaky”.
     
    I’m finding the Fidue A73 to be a very difficult IEM to try and categorise. On one hand there is a beautiful midrange, with good body and really good with female vocals.  On the other hand, the bass can be bordering on too warm at times, and there is some unevenness (doesn’t appear often) I’d estimate at around 4-7 kHz, and a quite hot spike at around 8-9 kHz which really sparks sibilance if it’s present in the music.
     
    I wouldn’t call the A73 a dark earphone – but it is certainly warm.
     
    Overall Detail / Clarity
    My go to tracks are Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.
     
    Both tracks are very good with the A73, and although my preference would be for a little less bass guitar dominance – the A73 was able to deliver a very coherent, smooth (for the most part) and very enjoyable rendition with good dynamics, detail retrieval and transition. Guitar and vocals were both very good – and the one issue I’d have with “Sultans” was a little excessive heat in some cymbal hits, and tiny bit of masking with the bass guitar.  Overall though – very good, and definitely enjoyable.
     
    Sound-stage & Imaging
    Up first was Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”, simply because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.
     
    It’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor.  The stage is often quite small / close – with an average impression of space.  The Fidue A73 has a reasonable stage size with this track (at the outer edge of my head space), and there is very good directional imaging. It isn’t expansive (few IEMs are in my experience), but it was realisitic.
     
    Switching to Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” and the Fidue A73 gave the first hint that it would be quite good with female vocals.  Not quite as sweet as some of my other IEMs, but really enjoyable, and having wonderful presentation of both piano and cello. Imaging is really good once again – but for this track, the staging is a little more intimate.
     
    In this track, the applause at the end is so well presented that with some headphones (HD600) I can actually close my eyes and imagine myself in the crowd.  With the A73, the applause doesn’t take me into the audience, and I feel more of an observer than a participant.
     
    The last track I usually use for testing staging is Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain”.  The opening few bars were extremely promising until I got to the vocals, and then the sibilance hit – and it was like needles.  I had to stop.  This is a test track I normally enjoy – not this time.
     
    Bass Quality and Quantity
    Fidue’s A83 was really good with bass impact and aggression whilst retaining clarity – so I was looking forward to similar from the A73.  “Muddy Waters” by Mark Lanegan is a track that I usually use to test impact and also bass bleed. The A73 was really good – striking a perfect balance between impact, and detail, and although the bass is normally more than I’d like, I found it really enjoyable.  Mark’s vocals were really clear with good texture. My one small critique would be that very occasionally the thump would slightly mask some of the mid-range – but all-in-all I really enjoyed the presentation.
     
    Lorde’s Royals was next (sub-bass test), and the A73 was effortless in its delivery. Ella’s vocals were again very clear, and I do think that bass lovers will enjoy this presentation.
     
    Female Vocals
    60-65% of my music revolves around female vocals – be it jazz, pop, rock, electronic, or even opera.  I’m an unabashed fan.  For me the sign of a successful IEM is how successfully it conveys emotion and timbre with my female vocalists. The A73 has proven to be quite versatile up to now – would it continue?
     
    First up was Agnes Obel – as some of her recordings can become quite strident or shouty if the mids aren’t quite right.  With the A73, the euphonics are there, and overall I have no real complaint with the vocals – but this time instead of the cello adding some beautiful contrast, I found it a bit overly warm. A lot of IEMs struggle with this track – so it’s not a real slight on the A73 – just something to note. London Grammar was next, and this time the overall sonic presentation as much better. Great vocals, good balance and a really nice overall coherence.
     
    I then proceeded to play a medley of other tracks from artists including Christina Perri, Gabriella Cilmi (the track Safer was stunning), Florence and the Machine, Feist and Norah Jones (very smooth). A stand-out was Leanne La Havas – as good as I have heard with other IEMs – but again bordering on sibilant. The A73 definitely does female vocals extremely well – a little warmer than I’m used to, but also quite enjoyable.
     
    Male Vocals
    Kicking off with 3 Doors Down “Away from the Sun”, and the vocal presentation is really very good – deep, with good timbre. Some of the upper end detail is a little subdued, but bass is enjoyable, and dynamics are overall enjoyable.  With Breaking Benjamin’s “Diary of Jane” there was the tendency for the drivers to be overwhelmed with really complex music – a wall of sound presentation, and it would be fair to say I didn’t enjoy faster music as much with the A73 as I did with acoustic. I can’t help feeling this is probably my preference at play – as with some rock, I was simply finding the warmth of the bass a little too much. But the A73 definitely do male vocals well – and this was readily apparent with my litmus test – Pearl Jam. Vedders vocals were glorious and the PJ tracks were an ideal vehicle to show the strengths of the A73.  Good detail throughout as well.
     
    Genre Specific Notes
    Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list:  http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.  Once again these are short subjective impressions.
     
    Alt Rock – Unfortunately not a big fan – tended to be a little too dark and some of the minute details were lost.  Especially apparent in PF’s Money. Porcupine Tree was pretty good though – although again, I’d prefer a little more contrast.
     
    Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – Jazz was generally good, although the double bass could get a little boomy at times.  Brass was very smooth.  Cymbal detail was pretty good. Blues was also very enjoyable – though I did miss some of the really sharp crunch of Bonamassa’s guitar riffs. His vocals were great though.
     
    Rap / Trance / Electronic – Very good hard hitting bass and mostly clear vocals. Little Dragon was particularly good – but I could see myself getting a little fatigued if I listened for too long. Again bass lovers will really enjoy the A73 for this type of music.  For me – it’s better in small doses.
     
    Pop / Indie. Sadly my first choice for this was Adele – and it was a sibilant and uneven mess at times. I know this is poor mastering, but at the same time, other IEMs don’t trigger sibilance the way the A73 does.  With Coldplay it was some of the unevenness in the treble – not bad, but not perfect. Indie was a lot better (Band of Horses), and Wildlight was fantastic – and better if the bass was dialled back just a little.
     
    Classical / Opera – Surprisingly very good with standouts including solo piano and Lakme’s Flower Duet with Netrebko and Garanca.
     
    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
     
    The Fidue A73 is easily powered straight out of the portable devices I have, and I haven’t experienced any issues with any source I’ve used.  As a reference with a typical rock track (Seether’s Immortality from One Cold Night), I’m at around 28-30/120 on the X311, and I wouldn’t want to go much higher.  With the iPhone 5S  it would be around 4-5 click, so around 30% volume.  There was no obvious advantages in sonics if using EQ.
     
    RESPONSE TO EQ?
     
    My first aim was to remove the sibilance, so I dropped the 8 kHz meter to -6dB (on the X3ii), and then also gave the bass a slow roll-off from around 250 Hz down.  The result was much more pleasing for my tastes, and I was able to play Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain” without cringing. The A73 responds reasonably well to EQ.  I’m just still puzzled why the peak is there in the first place.
     
    QUICK COMPARISON OTHER IEMS
     
    A7321.jpg
     
    This is completely subjective and mainly to give my thoughts on comparable IEMs.  For something different I chose the track “Don’t Leave Home” by Sola Rosa (an NZ funk band). I tried to use the same tips (Sony Isolation) with all Iems and volume match using and SPL meter and test tones to level the playing field.
     
    A73 ($150) vs Dunu Titan ($90-135)
    Both are built well with care and attention to details. I’d give the nod to Titan thought for avoiding A73’s design flaws.  Titan has better balance, cleaner and clearer sound.  A73 has more bass impact and warmth.  Titan has better dynamic contrast and sound staging. A73 has better isolation.  Both are good IEMs but unless you need the isolation or crave a much warmer signature, the Titan beats the A73 hands down IMO (it’s not close).

     
    A73DeltaTitan.png
     
    A73 ($150) vs Trinity Delta ($140)
    Again both have very good build and the only issue is again the nozzles. The Delta has better overall build though (materials) and a wonderful cable.  Sonically they are closer than they are different. Both are quite clear with the A73 being a little thicker and warmer in the mid-range,a nd the Delta being a little cleaner and leaner. I actually think the A73 might have the better bass overall as the Delta can occasionally get a little boomy.  The Delta has better staging, imaging, and also isolation (for my preferences).  If you prefer a warmer thicker sound – you may like the A73 more – or for a leaner cleaner sound, the Delta.  My preference = Delta.
     
    A73 ($150) vs DN-1000 ($175-180)
    This time both have the same issues with the smooth nozzles, but again both have very good builds otherwise.  Comfort is much better with the A73 due to the ergonomic fit. I think the DN-1000 has the better staging and imaging, and also slightly better isolation.  The DN1000 has a more balanced frequency response, with better bass extension and sub-bass. It is a little leaner comparatively in the mid-range. Both are very clear. The A73 is a little warmer, a little thicker, and much boomier overall in the bass (I like the DN-1000s cleaner bass presentation a lot more). Again this one comes down to preference.  If you like a warmer, thicker, presentation, the A73 may suit well.  If I had my choice, I would spend a little more and buy the DUNU.
     
    A73A83DN1000.png
     
    A73 vs A83
    This is simply a comparison, as it’s unfair to rate based on value. Both have good build quality – with the A73 having its nozzle design issue and the A83 having its cable issues. The A83 has substantially better sound stage, imaging, and isolation.  I give comfort to the A73 though – it really is an improvement on the A83 as long as you can find a suitable tip.
     
    A7319.jpg A7320.jpg A73A83FreqGraph.png
    A83 vs A73
    A 83 vs A73
    Graphs A83 vs A73

     

    Comparatively the two IEMs have similar overall bass, but it varies in overall quantity comparative to mid-range, and I guess this is what disappointed me with the A73.  I was hoping for similar to the A83, and got a warmer sound more similar to what I remember from the A71.  The A83 is more balanced, clearer, cleaner, more engaging.  The A73 comparatively is warmer, thicker, and sounds slow and sluggish next to its older brother.  Both have a similar treble peak – but the A83’s is closer to the 10 kHz mark, and doesn’t trigger sibilance for me, where the A73 definitely does.
     
    CSD PLOTS
     
    I’ve included some of these for the first time, after discovering that the Veritas and ARTA can quite handily produce these. I was primarily looking for any evidence of slow decay or ringing that might have been causing some of the issues with occasional jangly treble issues with female vocals (I think Vince may have mentioned it in his review of the A73).  What I found was quite a few resonant peaks from 4-10K which were a lot more apparent than the likes of the Titan’s CSD.  I need to do more research on this to learn how to interpret them correctly.
     
    A73Waterfall.png TitanWaterfall.png CurveWaterfall.png
    CSD A73
    CSD DUNU Titan
    CSD Alclair Curve

     

    But I leave you with the CSD from a very recent arrival – the Alclair Curve (2nd gen) – which I measured today “because I could”.  You can see how much cleaner the plot is.  The Curve is a dual BA – but about $100 dearer than the A73. It is clean and clear, with a stellar build, good bass response, superior isolation and is one of the most comfortable IEMs I’ve had the pleasure of wearing. But the plot was the telling part for me – and I wonder if this is where some of the A73’s issues lie.
     

    FIDUE A73 - SUMMARY

    When I first listened to these, I really didn’t like the A73 from first listen.  I thought they were too warm, and the treble peak was just plain annoying.  Over time, as I got used to them, I came to appreciate their very good mid-range, and I can understand why a lot of people really like them.
     
    But for me personally they present a lot of mixed feelings.  Their build and comfort is very good, yet they are so hard to find tips for because of the nozzle fail.  They have a very good mid-range, but they have sibilant peaks. They have warm smooth bass which is very good for some music, but (for my tastes) overpowers other music. 
     
    The A73 could suit:
    1. Fans of Rap, Pop and EDM who like a warm and slightly bass heavy presentation
    2. People who prefer a warmer signature while retaining clarity
     
    The A73 may not suit anyone who looks for:
    1. Good balance across the frequency
    2. Smooth and sibilance free treble
     
    The question is now how to grade this.  It doesn’t suit my personal tastes – but I can see where others would like it. But it has some very real flaws including design issues and a pretty bad sibilant peak. Putting my own preferences aside (if it were based solely on my tastes, I’d give it a 2.5 at best), I’ll stick with a 3.
     
    My thanks once again to Michael and Vic for allowing me the opportunity to review the A73.
     
    RECOMMENDATIONS TO FIDUE
     
    I’d love to see you do a dual BA and return the A83 type signature.  And please correct the nozzle.
     
    A7324.jpg
    1. View previous replies...
    2. KC33
      Maybe I'm a bit partial to these because I've never had an in ear fit me so well. Just being able to fall asleep with these is a joy. I do have to remember to set the play through folders so after Bill Evans I don't get woken up by Black Sabbath. Ozzie can be a bit scary in the middle of the night.  :)  
      KC33, Sep 20, 2015
    3. maira
      I think the review is a mix of personal taste as you stated (no offence!) and a harsh and digital sounding source (Fiio) .
      maira, Feb 17, 2016
    4. Brooko
      Well I'd like to think by now that with my experience reviewing I can look past my own personal preferences and view things as objectively as possible, but it is true that I personally thought they were too warm and thick (a trait I do not like). Couple that with an obvious sibilant peak - the measurements show it clearly - and a mid-range that overtime I find too toward, and you get (to me) a fairly confused overall tonality. And the X3ii is not harsh (again I've heard quite a few sources over the last few years) and especially not when coupled with the extremely neutral E17K.
      Brooko, Feb 17, 2016
  8. HiFiChris
    The Best of two Worlds
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Sep 18, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - well-made sounding, bass body, resolution, value, no microphonics, very fast and arid dynamic bass transducer, fit
    Cons - no chin slider
    Preamble:

    Before I start with my actual review, I want to thank Fidue and especially Michael Lin for providing me with a sample of the A73 in exchange for my honest opinion.
    Please note that I am not affiliated with Fidue in any way.

    Benny Tan, Fidue’s chief engineer, has got more than 20 years of experience in developing and producing premium headphones and has already designed several products for some famous brands in the past, so says the text on the back of the A73’s packaging.
    That the team around Benny Tan and Fidue are no rookies in the audio industry becomes obvious when one starts listening to their products, such as the A73, but I’ll get more detailed further below in my review that also features some comparisons with dynamic and Balanced Armature earphones in about (more or less) the same price range.


    Technical Specifications:

    Driver: 10 mm Exclusive Woofer Dynamic & Balanced Armature Drivers
    Frequency Range: 13 – 27000 Hz
    Impedance: 20 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 107 dB
    Max. Input Power: 20 mW
    Distortion: <1 %
    Plug: 3.5 mm stereo, gold-plated
    Cable: 1.3 m
    Sensitivity of Mic.: -42 +/-3 dB
    S/N Ratio of Mic.: > 55 dB


    About hybrid In-Ears:

    As you can read from the technical specifications, the A73 is a little different from most In-Ears and doesn’t only use dynamic or Balanced Armature transducers, but combines both in one shell.

    Most In-Ears use dynamic transducers for audio playback which have the advantage of covering the whole audible spectrum and achieving a strong bass emphasis without much effort. Valuable dynamic drivers are often said to have a more bodied and musical bass that has a more soft impact and decay and lacks of the analytical character that BA transducers are known for. On the downside, in contrast to headphones with other driver principles, dynamic transducers often have a lower resolution.
    Higher-priced and professional IEMs mostly use Balanced Armature transducers, which usually have got a higher resolution than dynamic drivers, are faster, more precise and have got the better high-level stability, which is important for stage musicians that often require higher than average listening levels. On the downside, it is quite hard to cover the whole audible spectrum with just a single BA transducer and strongly emphasised bass is only possible with multiple or big drivers. Some people also find In-Ears with BA transducers to sound too analytical, clinical or cold (in several active years in a German audio community where I wrote multiple reviews, gave dozens of purchase advice and help, from time to time I heard people that got into BA earphones for the first time using these attributes for describing BA earphones, especially their lower frequencies).

    Hybrid IEMs unite the positive aspects of both driver principles and use one dynamic transducer for lows reproduction and at least one BA driver for covering mids and highs, wherefore the often as “musical” described bass character remains and the BA transducer adds resolution and precision to the mids and highs – and that’s what the A73 does with its technology. It is addressed to those people who perceive the clinically-fast character of BA transducers as unnatural, but want to keep the mids’ and highs’ resolution, speed and precision.


    Delivery Content:

    The A73 comes in a black cardboard box with a picture of the “illuminated” In-Ears on the front. On its right half are the model and manufacturer name including a short description with white text on green background, which I find unique and refreshing. The green colour, together with the “F” in Fidue that looks like a branch with two leaves, brings up associations of harmony, calmness and relationship with nature – but that was enough association for today. J
    Moreover, there is a chequered black pattern that gets visible in direct light and consists of the Fidue F and black squares above the Fidue logo on the front. The green band from the front continues on the bottom and has got the brief description from the front translated into Chinese and German, with the slogan “Original sound, beautifully voiced!” with Benny Tan’s printed signature beneath.
    On the back, there’s a picture of the four-pin 3.5 mm connector, a QR code with the serial number overhead and the technical specifications with a brief description of the company and Benny Tan on the right.

    Inside are the In-Ears, four pairs of silicone eartips (three pairs that differ in size and one pair of double-flange tips; the medium single-flange tips are already installed on the A73), a sturdy small zipper case, a shirt clip with the white Fidue logo on it, an unnecessary silicone cable tie (rolling it up with the fingers is in my opinion faster and better), a set of black silicone ear-guides and finally something that seems to be a warranty card.
     


    P1020599.jpg   P1020600.jpg
     
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    P1020604.jpg   P1020605.jpg
     
    P1020608.jpg   P1020616.jpg
     
    P1020618.jpg   P1020620.jpg
     

     


    Build Quality:

    The IEMs’ bodies are halfway made of matte-silver painted structured metal and halfway of semi-transparent red plastic, seem sturdy and have each got two vents. The straight connector, the y-split and the remote control are all made of finely grooved metal cylinders and have got red rubbery strain reliefs. Strain relief on the IEMs’ shells is also of superb quality and red, too.
    The sturdy premium tangle-free cable is very flexible and of greyish semi-transparent nature, wherefore the copper and silver coloured wires can be seen.
    Except for two small dust inclusions underneath the paint of the left shell, there are no flaws in the very well and sturdily built IEMs I received.
     


    P1020609.jpg   P1020610.jpg
     
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    P1020633.jpg   P1020635.jpg
     




    Comfort, Isolation:

    The Fidue A73 is intended to be worn with the cables over the ears, which is also my preferred method, as it improves fit, seal and comfort and drastically reduces microphonics. In this case, I don’t hear any microphonics at all, which speaks for the good cable.
    As there is no memory wire close to the IEMs’ bodies, two silicone ear guides come included, and I also use them, just like with my Phonak Audéo PFE 132, because the cable then also stays in place when I lay down. With the ear guides are installed, the IEMs barely fit into the case (there is not really any more space left then) and I have to roll them up tighter, but it is possible; without the silicone ear guides, they fit in easily.
    Because the IEMs have got an ergonomic shape and are worn around the ears, comfort is very good and the weight isn’t really high although the shells are halfway made of metal. The only thing that I miss is a chin slider, but I guess they didn’t include it because of the remote control.

    As the IEMs have each got two vents, isolation isn’t as good as with fully-closed competitors, but still clearly upper mediocrity.

     


    P1020637.jpg   P1020638.jpg
     




    In-Line Remote Control, Microphone:

    The single button in-line remote control works smoothly and without any flaws with all devices that support a microphone and remote control. The Button’s pressure point is rather high, but it is still easy to operate and not too stiff.

    Microphone’s speech quality is above average, with correct and realistic yet somewhat muffled voices, which can be tuned to sound clearer by turning the microphone towards one’s face.
     


    P1020632.jpg   P1020634.jpg
     




    Sound:

    The A73 received at least 50 hours of burn-in before I started critical listening (just in case that it has an effect).
    Source devices I tested with were my iBasso DX90 and the LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100; music material covered many genres and different speeds; files were stored as FLACs and MP3s (320 kBps cbr).

    Tonality:

    A73’s tonality is generally a warmer v-shape, meaning it has got an emphasised bass and emphasised highs, but in contrast to a classical v-shaped sound signature which mainly concentrates on sub-bass, the Fidue has got an evenly emphasised low range with just a slight subbass roll-off and doesn't have a sibilant treble (to my ears).

    Compared to a mostly flat In-Ear monitor, the A73’s low range is evenly emphasised by about 7 dB, also including a (lesser) emphasis of the lower middle ground tone area, wherefore the IEM gains a moderately warm character in the lows.
    Transition from ground tone into bass is superb and even and doesn’t bleed into the mids.

    Midrange is tonality-wise pretty much correct in my ears, although high voices are probably just a slight tad brighter than they should be. Despite the engaging moderate v-shaped tonality, I wouldn’t really call mids recessed.

    Presence area around 2 kHz is a bit recessed, then level evenly increases again, with a peak at 8 kHz that I could locate with a sine generator, but it is not overly present and not harsh - it is just a bit above the ground-line and therefore A73 has got a rather warmer v-shaped tonality. Treble extension is quite good and although a BA transducer is used, there is not much roll-off in the super highs, with audible subtle sparkle above 10 kHz and still enough level at 14 kHz.

    Luckily, the dynamic transducer’s potential of creating a bloated bass with ease wasn’t abused but well-tuned to gain a present low range that is full-bodied, but not exaggerated and great for doing sports, low listening levels and traveling where loud outside noise masks the lows.

    Sound in general is very coherent and the transition from the dynamic bass to the BA mid-high driver is even, smooth and unobtrusive.

    Resolution:

    The A73’s dynamic drivers’ bass is of the dry and punchy kind and totally free of any softness, bloat or sponginess, but is very precise and has got a dry and solid impact without losing the musical and dynamic body that is typical for dynamic transducers.
    In one evaluation, I read that somebody found the Fidue’s bass to be too dry and arid, but I think it is just perfect as it is in this configuration, as the A73 has got a smooth and unobtrusive transition between the dynamic and BA transducer that would probably have got lost if they decided to tune the bass softer.
    I just come out to say that privately, I am not the biggest fan of dynamic transducers for In-Ears and not many of them are convincing me, but the Fidue is one of the few In-Ears with (at least one) dynamic transducer where I have no criticism regarding bass quality.

    Typically for a BA transducer, mids and highs are high resolving, precise, fast and unveil tiny details with ease.
    Highs are very precise, differentiated and airy, although cymbals sound slightly metallic and unnatural due to the peak in the upper treble, but it’s not that bad at all.
    To my surprise, despite the (but more or less of moderate nature) peak, highs are never harsh, annoying or unpleasing, which is due to the pretty good resolution.

    The harmonic, coherent and engaging sound paired with the high resolution is just a lot of fun and very satisfying while listening with the A73.

    Soundstage:

    Soundstage is neither extremely wide nor extremely narrow, but in my ears somewhat wider than average.
    Spatial depth is present but of lesser amount than with some other dynamic and BA earphones (although not all BA earphones have got spatial depth). Layering in depth is precise, although some more expensive multi-driver IEMs (if they have got spatial depth) have got the slightly finer separation of single instruments in their depth layer.
    Instrument separation is, typical for earphones with BA transducers, on a high level, wherefore single tones and instruments are sharply separated from each other and have got a precisely defined place on the imaginary stage.


    In Comparison with other In-Ears:

    RHA T20 (Reference Filter: The Fidue’s bass is more arid, faster and has got less level and the better transition from bass to ground tone area. The RHA’s mids are more present, but the Fidue has got the better mids and highs resolution, unveiling more micro details. The RHA’s soundstage has got the wider and deeper expansion, but the A73’s instrument separation is superior and generates the better space between single instruments and sound elements.
    Victory of the Fidue.

    Shure SE425: The Shure is definitely the more neutral-ish sounding IEM out of the two and, due to its BA transducer for the lows, has got a faster and more arid impact, but lacks body compared to the Fidue. The Shure’s mids’ and lower highs’ resolution is better, but its upper highs sound unnatural and compressed due to the early treble roll-off, wherefore the Fidue has got the better upper highs and also the much better treble extension. The Fidue’s soundstage is wider, although the Shure has got slightly more depth. Instrument separation is just a tad better on the Shure’s side.
    Tie, more or less.

    Phonak Audéo PFE 132: The Fidue has got way less subbass roll-off and the better treble extension. The Fidue’s overall resolution is clearly superior, although the Phonak isn’t bad for a single-BA IEM. I never found the PFE 132’s soundstage to be successful, as it isn’t really coherent in my ears and has got gaps on both sides with unnatural sounding spatial depth. The Fidue’s soundstage is much better and coherent, and the A73 also has got the better instrument separation – the Phonak is a good single-driver BA earphone, but not more and gets easily beaten by the Fidue.
    Obvious victory of the Fidue.

    Etymotic ER-4S: That’s a little unfair, as I find the ER-4S to be probably the best single-BA earphone ever that even beats some dual-drivers. Sure, both differ pretty much in terms of tonality, as the ER-4S was tuned to have a reference-like approach with as flat as possible sound. ER-4S’s resolution is in my ears superior, but the Ety also beats some other, more expensive dual-drivers. Bad or mediocre recordings sound like cr@p with the Etymotic, as it has got an extremely analytical and revealing character, wherefore the Fidue sounds much better with mediocre recordings due to its less analytical character.
    The Ety’s soundstage is in my ears close to perfection with a very balanced width to depth ratio and a good instrument separation, although the A73 comes surprisingly close. The Fidue’s sensitivity is clearly higher, wherefore it requires less power to be driven, but is also extremely hiss-revealing, wherefore it requires a proper source with black background to unveil its full potential.
    Victory of the Etymotic (but it is overall my favourite IEM anyway).

    Fischer Amps FA-3E: This comparison is a little unfair, as the FA is much more expensive and has got a 2.5 way configuration, but the Fidue didn’t lack that much behind.
    FA-3E’s sound signature is more neutral, though it has also got a treble peak in the upper highs. The FA’s resolution is higher. Soundstage expansion is about the same with both IEMs, although the FA-3E has got the better instrument separation and therefore also the better perception of layering, wherefore its soundstage’s spatial expansion sounds deeper (although it isn’t). The Fidue has got the better bass body and you won’t like the FA-3E if you want that lows’ body of a dynamic driver (the v-shaped FA-4E XB has got a more “dynamic” bass body, but I will leave it out of comparison as it is a quad-driver IEM with three-way configuration).
    Victory of the (obviously more expensive) Fischer Amps.

    Summarised, I see the Fidue clearly above the Phonak, above the RHA and partly above the Shure, but below the Etymotic and Fischer Amps, but both are more expensive, too.
    The Fidue has got a great full-bodied, non-exaggerated, fast and arid low range with sparkly and high resolving mids and treble and great coherency and is just a hell of joyful IEM to listen to. It unites the best aspects of dynamic and Balanced Armature drivers and offers a great value for the money.


    Conclusion:

    The Fidue A73 could utterly convince me – it’s got the full-bodied bass characteristic of a dynamic transducer which is fortunately very arid, quick and controlled without any negative flavour, paired with the speed, clarity, air and resolution of the mids/treble BA driver. The overall package of sound, joy of playing and fun doesn’t really have any flaws. The only things that could be minorly criticised are the lack of a chin slider and a due to its peak slightly unnatural upper treble characteristic, but some other IEMs in my collection, also more expensive ones, have all in all got more flaws in their overall presentation/package, so it’s not really what I’d consider as criticism.
    Price-performance ratio is just superb and I think that it is extremely hard to find another IEM for the same price with the same technical level and the overall package and presentation, combined with the fun and joy of playing and with a bass that is strong and beefy, but not exaggerated.
    That said, I could honestly not find anything I didn’t like about the A73.

    Well done, Fidue!
      DJScope and triplew like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. HiFiChris
      @Brooko

      When I read some other reviews, I also noticed that they somehow differed in terms of perception of the A73's sounding, but I've just written down what I heard, with the IEMs in my ear canals. Being connected to sources with a low output impedance, I did multiple sine sweeps and compared them to my UERM and ER-4S (as the latter has the flatter highs, except for the emphasis in the lower highs/presence area), and that's just how they sound in my ears.
      It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes my perception of an IEM deviates from other enthusiasts. In this case, what I have written about the highs is plainly what I perceived in this case. As you will most likely know yourself, the angle and insertion depth sometimes have got a huge influence, and my tests with the Carbo Tenore earlier that year in a German community were a good example for it (regular depth: v-shaped, very deep insertion: warm sound with recessed highs). I'd consider myself experienced enough to know what I write about my own perception, as I have been one of the top-tear reviewers and purchase advisor in a large German headphone/audio community, receiving only positive feedback.

      As there no issues detected by me in my ear canals, I genuinely gave the A73 5 stars.

      I hope to jump into making IEM measurements myself in the near future when the VibroLabs Veritas arrives, maybe you have also heard of it. Imho a very interesting approach.
      HiFiChris, Sep 19, 2015
    3. Brooko
      Yep it's what I'm using now Chris (the Veritas).  Combined with the ARTA software, it is brilliant for the hobbyist objectivist :)
       
      And I seem to be the minority in my impressions of the A73 - but again my thoughts on the 5 star relate to things like the ringing in upper-mids / lower treble, peak at 9 kHz (sibilance), and the fact that there is no lip on the nozzle (almost no-one seems to have pointed that little gem out yet).
      Brooko, Sep 19, 2015
    4. HiFiChris
      @Brooko

      Ah, that's neat. :) Do you know if adding an HRTF compensation to the graphs is possible with the Veritas and ARTA?

      Well, I find the "peak" (which is, in my ears, by the way at pretty much exactly 8 kHz) to be of lesser amount than on the Triple.Fi 10 or Fischer Amps FA-4E XB or UERM. But then again, perception often differs and I've eve come across people that heard sibilance on the Westone 4R, InEar StageDiver SD-2 (okay, there is some sort of peak in the upper highs, but it is still below ground line) or Knowledge Zenith ATE.

      Indeed, there is no lip on the nozzle, but I honestly don't even consider it as a flaw and haven't even noticed it (and actually don't care as long as the tips stay on without moving or getting lost in the ear canals).
      Looking forward to reading your review though.
      HiFiChris, Sep 19, 2015
  9. fnkcow
    Fidue A73 the 1DD + 1BA Hybrid
    Written by fnkcow
    Published Sep 8, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Price, easy to drive, in-line mic & remote
    Cons - Tip-dependent, hot treble, poor tip selection, need earguides, cable is tangle-prone, lacks a chin slider, average isolation
    IMG_20150828_122238a_cr.jpg
     
    Disclaimer
     
    This unit was in my possession for about one week as part of the local tour. I'd like to thank @DJScope for organizing and including me in this tour.
     
    I listen at relatively high volume level, so my impressions will be based on this. Please be aware that there might be variations in impressions at different volume and issues present on different volume level may/may not exist on this product.
     
    Package

    - A73 with in-line mic & remote cable
    - Assorted silicon tips
    - Clamshell case
    - Shirt clip

     
    Usability
     
    The A73 earpiece is outer half metal whereas inner half plastic. The cable is very springy and rubbery, and very tangle-prone. It tends to get caught onto the shirt whenever there is contact and thank goodness for the shirt clip to reduce this issue and microphonics somewhat. Fit gets tricky as wearing them over the ears, the cable is hard to stay put. I'd have preferred the presence of a chin slider and earguides to be included for easier management of the cable. Also, the fit tends to be shallower than the average IEMs and I needed to get other tips instead of the limited stock ones to get a decent fit. Isolation is average and outer noise will subside once music starts playing. The in-line remote's button is very stiff and hard to press. It is a single button, press once to Play/Pause/Call, press twice to skip to next track, and press thrice to go back to previous track. Phone call quality was okay. 
     
    Sound Impressions
     
    Drive-ability: 
    The A73 is very easy to drive with my phone and Cayin N6.
     
    Sound:
     
    Overall the A73 is well-tuned with a balanced fun sound signature. Sub-bass has decent extension and nice rumbling texture, slightly enhanced mid-bass bump has good speed and impact with no bleed into the lower mids for a musical and lively head-bobbing experience. Mids have enough thickness and weight with decent details for dynamism. Highs have good extension but this is also where I had issues. The treble peak vary somewhat depending on the choice of tips and insertion depth. Even though I managed to bring it down after some tip-rolling, the hot treble still exists for me and sounds harsh. Soundstage is wide with good depth. This presents a good placement of instruments.
     
    Comparison to other IEMs
     
    vs Fidue A65: 
    A65's bass is slower and thicker, yet does not have the same authority as A73. A65's mids are lesser detailed and sounded thinner. Treble is smoother but lacking in airiness and details compared to the A73. A65 has a smaller and more intimate soundstage. A65 has a laidback signature whereas A73 is livelier.
     
    vs Ostry KC06A:
    KC06A has more subbass extension, mid-bass impact and bass detail. Lower mids are thinner with forward upper mids and come across as a brighter signature with grainier raw energy. Treble is crispier yet does not have hot treble like A73. KC06A's soundstage is flat in comparison.
     
    vs Yamaha EPH-100:
    EPH-100 has slightly more subbass extension and thicker midbass with slower decay, but lacks in mid-bass impact. The treble roll-off of EPH-100 is no contest to the A73. Overall EPH-100 has a thicker and darker signature across the board as compared to A73, which gives a sense of laidback smoothness compared to the much more musical A73.
     
    vs FLC Technology FLC8:
    FLC8 has more subbass extension but less mid-bass quantity, with similar bass authority. Thinner lower mids, with forward and brighter upper mids with more raw energy. Better treble extension and airiness. Soundstage is similar in width but FLC8 is more holographic. 
     
    Ratings & Conclusion
     
    As Head-Fi shows overall ratings for the audio gear instead of my own, here is a snapshot of what I have rated:
     
    2015-09-08_214051a_cra.png
     
    For someone looking for a relatively inexpensive IEM that offers a hybrid experience, the Fidue A73 is recommendable for those looking for a musical and lively sound signature. Those who are sensitive to sibilance and treble peaks need to audition first before purchasing. 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. DJScope
      Looks like Im not very sensitive in the 8-9k region, because I found them very laidback in the whole treble range, but without any of the treble taken out. I guess I more sensitive in the upper mids/lower treble more than anything.
      DJScope, Sep 8, 2015
    3. Hisoundfi
      I'm going to agree with @DJScope I didn't hear sibilance. It was extended but not sibilant to my ears. I do agree though, tip rolling can significantly alter the sound of the A73. I had tips that made these sound almost bloated and rolled off, and others that gave them a V-signature and everything in between. Nice review friend.
      Hisoundfi, Sep 8, 2015
    4. fnkcow
      Yeah YMMV individually and also tip-dependent, insertion depth and angle etc. Thanks for commenting @DJScope and @Hisoundfi
      fnkcow, Sep 9, 2015
  10. T.R.A.N.C.E.
    Energetic and big hitting
    Written by T.R.A.N.C.E.
    Published Sep 5, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Keeps all frequencies in check while providing large scale sound
    Cons - Will be a bit overly bombastic for some people, not for mellow music or relaxing.
    I will mainly be comparing to A65.
     
    Build of these is excellent, but not quite as nice as A65 due to the half plastic housing. It is of very high quality though, it shouldn't affect durability.
     
    The bass hits way harder than A65, but is also faster compared to the slower thicker bass of the A65, It's a tie for me, I like some aspects of both bass performances, my ideal bass would be right in the middle of both styles. The mids on A73 are clearer and better separated than A65, but also thinner, male vocals sound better on A65 while female vocals sound better on A73. The treble of A73 is more detailed and better separated than A65, I prefer treble of A73. The sound stage of A73 is also bigger and airier than A65.
     
    Overall a good number of improvements in A73, but A73 also has an overall bombastic sound, while A65 is more mellow, so it will come down to preferences imo.
      DJScope likes this.
    1. DJScope
      Great stuff!
      DJScope, Sep 5, 2015

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