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.
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.
· 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
· 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.