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

Rating:
4.23529/5,
  1. 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.
     


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    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.
     


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    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.

     


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    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.
     


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    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
  2. DJScope
    Absolutely brilliant: Beauty, Detail and Bass!
    Written by DJScope
    Published Jun 27, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Full and balance sound signature, amazing staging and imaging, beautiful design, mic/remote, super easy to driver.
    Cons - Grabby cable, no neck cinch, remote button is not universal

    Introduction

    I first noticed the Fidue A73 floating around on Penon Audio, and there was very little information on them anywhere, especially Head-Fi. I had to get my hands on them! So I acquired both the A73 and A65. Having previously owned the Fidue A71, I knew that Fidue is no joke. The A71 was great but had some qualities I was not a fan of; I had my fingers crossed that the A73 is going to improve on all front, and well, let’s just say that I was not disappointed.
     

    A little about the Fidue A73

    More info at the Fidue website: http://www.fidue.com/e_products/ Not yet on their website
     
    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

     
     
     

     

    Purchase them here:

    Asia: http://penonaudio.com/FIDUE-A73
    America: http://www.ctcaudio.com/products/fidue-a73-high-performance-hybrid-earphones
    Australia: http://www.noisymotel.com/product.asp?ProductID=892
    Europe: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/fidue-a73-hybrid-monitor-earphones-with-universal-single-button-remote-and-mic.html
    India: http://www.hifinage.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=28&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=124&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=29

     

    FR Graph

    Thanks to Fidue for providing the frequency response graph.
     
    A73curve.png
     
     
     
     
     

    Packaging & Accessories

    The Fidue A73 comes in Fidue style, that is, it’s well presented and has a lot of flashy details on it. Black with the signature Fidue green square with all the juicy details on it. As well as the very nice glossy pattern that wraps around the box. You get a rendering of the Fidue A73s on the front. On the back of the box you get all the info in English, Chinese and German as well as contact info, a serial number and a QR code, and a picture of the jack. Not going to hang around here too long.
     
    Accessories are unfortunately quite scarce. You get 3 pairs of standard silicone tips and one pair of the Fidue double flange tips, which I actually are my favourite tips for quite a while now, but these ones come in a softer opaque grey silicone. With it you get a very nice clam shell carry case, shirt clip and a rubber cable tie, as well as a warranty card. It’s the exact same amount of accessories you get with the A65. I’m quite baffled by this decision. But OK. I hope they saved the money to bring us a more premium product instead. But I do feel like a pair of ear guides and maybe some extra tips or Comply foam tips would’ve been good at this price range.
     

    Design & Comfort

    The Fidue A73 is completely different to their previous A71, and I mean completely. The A71 had a dual dynamic driver setup with was a very unique separate chamber, sort-of a jet style setup where the driver on the back fired around the driver in front. The A73 uses a more traditional dynamic plus balance armature configuration. And not just the configuration is different, they look like completely different products, and I’m really loving what Fidue is doing with their current product line up in terms of looks.
    The A73 carries over the outer shell styling of its big-daddy-o the A83, and I think that its absolutely stunning, and the right direction to go. The top of the shell is cast aluminium that has this really awesome looking ridge styling; kind of looks like a wing. The rest of it is made from a really light, glossy plastic which is see-through red. When you shine a light through it at just the right angle you can see all the guts in all their glory. I personally love this look. Because they’re not just beautiful but they are also super comfortable. The plastic on the ear side is exactly the type of idea that works because it not only looks good but is absolutely 100% practical for its the purpose. Glossy plastic on skin is warm and soft and the shape of it sits perfectly inside my outer ear. The Fidue double flanges fit absolutely perfect in my ear and I’ve been waiting to get my ears on them again as I lost these ear tips from my A71 box and I was very sad because they were my all-time favourites. These new tips are made from a softer rubber/silicone and are grey in colour, as opposed to the black silicone you got with the A71. Great job to the Fidue R&D team, I hope they got themselves a bonus for their splendid work.
     

    Cable, Jack, Splitter & Mic/Remote

    The cable internals are made from hi-end silver plated OFC, though the sleeving is my least favourite part of the A73. The cable itself is a soft silicone or rubber which insulates some round twisted inner core wires. It gives a heat-shrink type of vibe. The cable is very rubbery and “grabby”, by that I mean, they grab everything they drag on; that includes clothes, skin and hair. You do get used to it and it does have a positive and that is they sit very nicely on you head around the ear and don’t move around.  The cable also twists a lot and grabs onto itself making them quite a nightmare to untangle if you didn’t coil them properly when storing them away.
    There is also no neck cinch which is not a huge deal breaker because what I do is just twist the wires around the Y splitter a few times, and bingo! DIY neck cinch!
     
    The jack, Y splitter and the remote. All look quite the same. They’re pretty much an exact copy of the Xiaomi Piston design with the machined groves but it works very nicely and looks fantastic. And yes that’s right, I said remote. There’s a mic and remote on this unit. Halleluiah! Unfortunately it didn’t work with my phone or the FiiO X1, which is a huge sad face for me, but I’m sure it works absolutely fine with other devices especially stuff from Apple.
     

    Isolation

    Isolation here is splendid. I find them hard to use at work because they block everything out, especially when my manager tries to get my attention. But I kid of course, I find this to be a bonus! The Fidue A73 blocks most of the outside noise very adequately and doesn’t leak a lot of sound out despite having 2 ports on each shell. The BA drivers however do blast a lot of high frequency sound out when you don’t have them inserted in your ears. Top marks in this department.
     

    Sound

    We’ve found ourselves in the most important section, and you probably thinking to yourself, “Too many good points, nothing is perfect, they must sound like Schiit”. Oh how wrong you are, my friend. They are absolutely divine! In a few words I would describe them to be: Fun, detailed, punchy, balanced, full, spacious and laidback. They’ve got it all.

    Treble

    Treble is extended but not super elevated. It has this really nice spike in the upper treble that gives it this very open and detailed sound. It never get fatiguing and I can listen to them all day long. The BA driver does a very fine job. There is lots of sparkle and sense of air. It’s very sensitive and can be quite revealing with some recordings. You can hear noise from effects applied on loops you don’t normally hear, and vinyl rips actually sound like you are listening to a really bad vinyl because you hear every single speck of dust the needle runs over. I actually haven’t heard this much detail since the Havi B3 Pro 1 and I actually think that the A73 has just a tiny bit more detail that a dynamic driver just cannot produce.
    There is just a little bit of track induce sibilance is the “S” notes because of the peak on the 10kHz region, but most of the time this is non-existent.

    Mids

    The mids are not the strongest point on the A73 but they’re pretty damn good. Mostly because they mesh so well with the rest of the spectrum. Vocals are place right in from of you, and that’s exactly where they need to be; not behind or far in front, they need to be right in your face, and that’s exactly where they are here. All vocals and acoustics are full and accurate in timbre, not getting dry, grainy, shouty or brash. I wouldn’t call them perfect, but balanced and neutral would be the best way to descript them.

    Bass

    I’d like to start off by giving the dynamic driver a round of applause. The bass is probably my favourite part of the A73. It’s big, it’s full, it’s fast and most importantly it goes down low. Using SineGen to sweep frequencies I can actually hear the drivers pulse at 18Hz and at 24Hz there is a lot of SPL and it feels like I need to pop my ears. It’s all there all the way up to the midrange. Not elevated in the mid bass, but the same level all the way. It hits hard, it rumbles and it complements the mids very nicely, doing all this without masking any of the detail. It’s quite the feat but the A73 has got it right.

    Soundstage & Imaging

    The sound stage is amazing. It’s wide and there is a lot of layering not just left and right but up, down, forward and back. It’s not distant like the Havi B3 Pro 1, and I actually prefer it this way. The B3 Pro 1s give you this really surreal and distant experience like everything is so far away. The A73 keeps that feeling of everything in its place, but without pushing everything away from each other, they keep all the elements together, playing together, in harmony.
     

    Ratings

    As Head-Fi doesn't properly show the ratings, this is how I've scored the Fidue A73:
     
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    Conclusion

    It’s with great sadness I have to say that the Havi B3 Pro 1 is no longer my favourite IEM, and with great joy I’m telling you that the A73 has taken this spot. They are like the B3 Pro 1 but with that awesome punchy bass I always needed to boost with the EQ. They retain that really nice, detailed and laidback treble I absolutely adored on the Havi and made it better. And not just that, they are nearly 3 times easier to drive than the Havi.
    Fidue has made an absolutely splendid and brilliant product here that not only looks amazing and is super practical for its intended use, and but they also achieved an impressive sound signature at this price range. All my hats are off to you Fidue, well done!
     
    Cheers!
     
    [​IMG] 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. kar13
      nice write up DJscope!Absolutely spot on with my own notes!!
      kar13, Aug 1, 2015
    3. DJScope
      Thanks @kar13 great mind think alike, great ears don't lie! :wink:
      DJScope, Sep 21, 2015
    4. harry501501
      Hey there, how do these compare to the Dunu Dn 1000s in terms of resolution and bass?
      harry501501, Jul 24, 2016
  3. Hisoundfi
    Summarized: I have a new favorite earphone! The Fidue A73 Hybrid Monitor Earphones with universal single button remote and microphone.
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published May 30, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Audiophile grade sound, Great soundstage and imaging for an IEM, Good build quality, Ergonomic and easy fit, Awesome price to performance factor,
    Cons - No chin slider? Straight cable? (although neither is a big deal that's the best I could come up with)
    At the time this review was written, the Fidue A73 in ear monitor  was on sale for $149.00 USD on Penon Audio’s website. Here is a link to a listing of their product at the time of the review.
    DSC04601.jpg
     
    http://penonaudio.com/FIDUE-A73
     
    Introduction
    The highlight of my short tenure of writing reviews was covering the Fidue A83. It was my first time experiencing a Fidue in-ear monitor and after using the A83, I knew it wasn’t going to be my last. When the A73 was released I purchased it on the spot, and with absolutely no regrets. The A73 is an in-ear monitor that took the success of the A83 (I gave it five stars) and customer feedback (small issues regarding the fit and sound) and tweaked their tuning, ergonomics and PRICE. They made what is my favorite in-ear monitor to date. Please read more to find out why!
     
    Disclaimer
    The A73 was purchased from Penon Audio. I am in no way affiliated with Fidue or Penon Audio.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
     
    The Package
    DSC04574.jpg DSC04575.jpg
     
     
     
    The A73 was one of those packages that I had to make sure I checked the tracking on my phone several times each day, for no other reason than sheer anticipation. When they arrived, I was greeted with a sharp black and green box much similar to the A83. There was a description of the product and key features, along with a nice picture image of the IEM. The back of the box had specifications in three languages.
     
    Specifications:
    1. Driver: Φ10mm Exclusive Dynamic & Balanced Armature Drivers Frequency
    2. Frenquency Range: 13-27,000 Hz

    3. Sensitivity: 107dB

    4. Max Input Power: 20mW

    5. Distortion: <1%

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

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

    DSC04581.jpg
     
    Accessories:
    1. Silicone eartips (S/M/L)

    2. Double flange silicone eartips
    3. shirt clip
    4. High quality Leather Carrry case

     
    Housings
    The housings are a combination of metal and plastic similar to the A83, but with a more ergonomic shape that better fits my ears. The outside of the housings appears to be metal with a brushed nickel or aluminum finish. The inside of the housing is a transparent crimson/wine colored plastic that reveals the innards of the A73. I find the housings to be very nicely built and very good looking. The hozzle angles out of the inside of the housing and is designed for over the ear fit. All in all its sharp looking, has a sturdy build, an ergonomic design and a great fit.
    DSC04598.jpg
     
    DSC04597.jpg
     
    DSC04587.jpg
     
    DSC04582.jpg
    I think they checked all the boxes on this one...
     
    Cable, Y-split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    The cable is a rubbery transparent gray cable that shows traces of the inside cable cores. It has very little memory and a small amount of spring. It's nowhere near as solid or heavy duty as the A83 cable but it is sleek, discreet and ready for daily use.
     
    The Y-split is a Crimson rubber material coated in a aluminum tubing that displays the Fidue logo. The build is sleek and solid.
     
    The cable jack is a straight plug that uses the same materials as the Y-split. It's a straight plug and seems to be well built and able to withstand the test of time.
     
    Strain Reliefs are a rubber material that is a similar transparent crimson color to the housing. I find the material to be spot on and perfect for strain relief. I don’t see this cable shorting out any time soon.
    DSC04604.jpg
    Boxes for all criteria were checked for this section.
     
    Functionality
    The A73 has a single button remote and microphone that works for both Iphone and Android (very smart) and is located just above the Y-split on the right side. When talking to friends and family, most reported my voice clarity to be at a four on a scale from one to five.
     
    It checks boxes in terms of being just right for features I need, and nothing I don’t.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics
    The over the ear fit is perfect in my opinion. I had no problem getting them to fit. Once situated in my ear, I almost never had to adjust them. Your mileage may vary, and tip selection plays a big part in this, but for me they are one of the best fitting IEMs I’ve ever worn. They aren’t designed to be worn under the ear but it can be done without a problem. However it looks kind of awkward.
    20150530_182246_HDR-2.jpg
     
    Note: The cable didn’t have a chin slider. Although, not necessary, I feel that this is one feature that would have improved the product’s fit.
     
    Sound Review & Materials
    I primarily did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware, and Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for portable use. For desktop I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier for lower impedance products. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs/DACs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I make sure that any gear I tested has has enough time play time for me to be able to confidently describe their sound.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Sound Signature
    I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been a huge fan of hybrid earphones because of their ability to have the bass of a dynamic driver in combination with the details of a balanced armature. As time goes by, this design keeps getting better and better. The A73 is incredible tuning that adds an ever so slight bass lift, warm midrange and treble response that is extended, detailed, crisp and pretty smooth all at the same time. Nothing seems to be over or under done from what I hear. It is a nice combination of power and finesse. It plays all genres of music well. They were especially spectacular for band genres due to their world class separation, timbre and detail. Jazz, Metal, Rock, Classic Rock, and Symphony all sound especially beautiful with these IEMs. I spent a long time listening to both these and the A83 and although the A83 is a more dynamic and entertaining sound, I caught myself reaching for the A73 more often. At the moment I prefer their slightly more linear tuning. Allow me to explain why as I break them down.
     
    Bass
    The A73 bass is slightly boosted, beautifully balanced, fast in attack and not intrusive whatsoever. Bass tones were heard/felt as low as 10Hz and rolled upwards to 130Hz before it topped off. There was no significant drop offs and all tones were relatively close. During music playback it seems very balanced to my ears. There is no part of the bass response that seems to jump out in front of the rest of the tuning.
     
    The bass is forward, present and lush, playing along with the music in good balance, hitting every note pretty flawlessly. When called upon by the track to bring some thump it can also do so just as easily. It is a very versatile bass response. During Daft Punk’s “Doin it Right,” the lowest of low bass notes were perfect in tone and not boomy at all (which is usually the case with most IEMs). During Tei Shi’s “Bassically,” there was a level of depth and speed playing the bass lines that yielded a great sense of space and energy. You get punch, you get rumble, you get speed. No, it’s not fast armature bass but in my opinion it's better. It’s more linear and balanced than most bass forward dynamics and more dynamic and weighted than balanced armatures. I hope that makes sense.
     
    Bass quality, Check...
     
    Midrange
    Midrange is an epic combination of warmth and resolution. I get a sense of forwardness in ranges just above midbass that make vocals pop. I really like how this is done. To my ears, the vocals take center stage on most tracks and that’s how it should be. Voices sounded very natural and forward at the same time. Pianos had great timbre and speed.
     
    The midrange is somewhat similar to the tuning of the Dunu Titan in the sense that they go from very warm and rich in lower midrange to very crisp and slightly dry upper midrange. The word that comes to mind is “shimmer.” They have a certain amount of upper midrange detail and shimmer that nicely compliments that rich lower mid presence. They are never shouty, and you catch every single micro detail with great resolution and accuracy. The balanced armature inside of these are gems. During Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing,” I got lost in picking apart all of the guitars and bass guitars playing at the same time. I think the level of separation on the A73 is world class.
     
    Midrange, Check...
     
    Treble
    Treble is my favorite aspect of the A73 in terms of its sound. Often times when higher end IEMs are released, they have a tweaked treble response with a bump somewhere in the upper mids or treble area. This is done to yield a good sense of top end extension and improve soundstage. This is done at the expense of some listeners not being able to tolerate the spike, or get the impression that the earphone is mild to considerably sibilant. The A73 is unique in the sense that it carries the same amount of extension and detail as higher end stuff, but isn’t forward enough to be harsh. It has very clean and crisp sound and feel. There were no harshly pronunciations of the letter S, and cymbal crashes were crystal clear and on the more mellow side of harsh.  I could listen to this type of treble tuning for hours without it ever getting fatiguing or feeling like it is lacking in any way. It sounds good at any volume. Dare I say it is some of the best treble I’ve ever heard in an IEM? I did, and with no shame!
     
    Treble response, check...
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The A73 sounds very open and airy. The beefy sound from the dynamic driver and very detailed and extended sound of the armature driver creates a huge soundstage for an IEM. Imaging is awesome because of the top notch level of detail and accuracy. Simply put, pop them in your ears, play your favorite tracks, sit back, relax, close your eyes, and you will be whisked away to your favorite songs being performed live just for you. The dynamic and armature driver playing in unison really makes the presentation sound multidimensional.
     
    Soundstage? Imaging? Check...
     
    Comparisons
     
    Fidue A83 ($275 to $325 USD on many sites)
    If the Fidue A83 is the Shaquille O’neal version of in-ear monitors, the A73 is Kobe Bryant model. While the A83 brings power and an aggressive tuning that impresses me every time I listen to it, the A73 has traits that sets it apart from it’s older teammate, making it equally as effective despite the differences in its game plan and approach.
     
    The A83 is more aggressive and forward in just about every auditory aspect. The bass is more robust and has more rumble. The A73 bass is more linear and with more speed. The upper midrange of the A83 is more forward and shouty in comparison to the A73 softer presentation. The treble of this A83 is more up front and some have said it is sibilant. While I don’t think this is the case, they are forward in comparison to the more relaxed and tolerable treble of the A73.
     
    A83 is up front and aggressive, the A73 is more laid back and relaxed, delivering all the details and balance needed for audiophiles to really appreciate it.
     
    The A83 is the entertainer, the A73 is the professor. A83 is the Incredible Hulk, the A73 is Bruce Banner. A83 is Superman, the A73 is Clark Kent. To make this review more fun, please post more analogies in the comment section below! Just keep it clean guys!
     
    So, while the A83 is in the paint throwing elbows, pulling down rebounds and dunking on people, the A73 is weaving in and out of traffic, picking the opposition's pockets and nailing twenty foot fade away jumpers.
     
    If I want to play an action flick with lots of music and explosions, or I’m listening to my favorite Daft Punk album, I’m going A83. This A83 also isn’t leaving the house because of the high price tag!
     
    If I’m going to listen to some AFI or Pink Floyd, or decide to play some acoustic artists, I’m going A73.  I prefer the A73 for long listening sessions, one thing I haven’t touched on is the that the A73 has a much better and more ergonomic fit than the A83. If I’m leaving the house I’m taking these over the A83 because they are sleeker, and half the price (so half the risk) of the A83. Yes, for me the A73 is good enough to reach for instead of the A83 more times than not.
     
    In terms of accessories, A83 takes the prize with its pelican case, airline adapter, ¼ inch plug, and detachable cable. The A73 accessory package is formidable and not lacking in any way, but not on the same level as the A83.
     
    Dunu Titan ($90 to $125 USD on many sites)
    The Titan caught a lot of people off guard with their solid build, and phenomenal resolution and aggressive tuning, turning many people’s attention towards the titanium single driver dynamic.
     
    Simply put, I feel the Titan is outclassed by the A73 at this point, which is saying a lot because I had the Titan ranked second at the time of writing this review (now third out of all of the IEMs I have). The A73 is more extended into sub bass regions and more linear at the same time, making the Titan seem more mid-bass forward and lacking sub-bass extension and soundstage depth. Vocals sound great with the Titan but separation in the midrange was not as good to my ears as the A73. While I preferred the upper midrange of the Titan, overall smoothness, extension and resolution of the A73 treble was more enjoyable to me.
     
    A-B comparisons, I can confidently say that the A73 is more detailed, higher resolution, more sub bass (and more bass overall) and has a bigger soundstage and better imaging. Now, all of you who have the Titan pop them in right now, give them a listen, and apply what I just said. Now, grab your wallets and go to the link at the top of the page and get these A73! HAHA! JKJK...kind of...not really...muahahaha...
     
    Dunu offers a slightly better accessories package. Their case is very nice and Sony like hybrid tips sealed the deal for me.
     
    Titan has a better under the ear fit. The fact that I can go over the ear with the A73 without swapping channels gives them the edge.  
     
    Conclusion
    The A73 checked just about every single box for me. It was a chin slider short of being perfect in my opinion. They took feedback from it’s reviewers and made another epic in-ear monitor. Fidue is quickly becoming my favorite maker of in-ear monitors. They make improvements based off of reviews and customer feedback. That is huge and a big reason why I have already made up my mind to invest in more of their premium products moving forward.

    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. espanarules
      Great Review...
      I'm pretty intrigued with these...I was just about to REbuy the DN-1000 (LOVE THEM), and then this...and then my friend recommended the SONY MDR-EX800ST....
       
      Any input???
      espanarules, Jul 17, 2015
    3. flippant1
      A73 v A83 How does he sound compare?
      Besides the cable, build etc, I have heard one of these two gems and it sounds incredible. Has anyone had the chance to compare the sound between the A73 and A83?
      flippant1, Jul 30, 2015
    4. dw1narso
      Hisoundfi, how is this compared to LZA2? If disregarding the differrent tuning, are they in 5he same class/level?
      dw1narso, Nov 10, 2015
  4. 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
  5. 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.

  6. 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_1480.jpg
     
     
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    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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    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
  7. 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
  8. kar13
    Fidue A73 the new KING OF 150$ iem!
    Written by kar13
    Published Jul 31, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - No iem can match A73 SQ at this price point!
    Cons - Isolation and poor eartip selection

     
    This is not my first review, but it is the first time posting on Head fi.
    About my preferences:
    Qualities I look for in an IEM: Clean detailed treble, good sub bass, forward mids, isolation. Overall tonality leaning towards warmth, but balanced and musical. I am neither a bass head nor do I like analytical and cold signature.
    Price/Performance factor has tremendous weightage and importance for me, which is one of the reasons for this (rather lengthy) review.
     
    This review will also be a comparison of A73'S with GR 07BE.In all songs, the first part consists of A73 followed by comparison with GR 07BE.
     
    Listening Paraphernalia: 24 bit flac tracks, 16 bit flac tracks, desktop with E17 DAC (no eq) using foobar2k.
    Stock Bi-flanges, Monster tri-flanges, Meelectronics tri flanges for A73. Stock single flanges for GR07 BE.
     
    REVIEW :
     
    PACKAGING:
    I don't pay much attention to packaging. Here it is minimalistic and compact.
     
    ACCESSORIES:
    Leather Carrying case, Bi-flanges (1 set), S/M/L single flange ear tip, 1 Shirt Clip
    Fidue could offer a good range of selection of ear tips, which is in greater scrutiny because of the sub-par and cockamamie nozzle design.
     
    SPECIFICATION:
    Drivers: Dual-Driver Hybrid (10mm Exclusive Dynamic Woofer + Balanced Armature Driver)
    SPL: 107dB
    Impedance: 11Ω
    Frequency Response: 13-27,000 Hz
    Distortion: <1%
    Max Input Power: 20mW
    Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated
    Cable: 1.3m Oxygen-Free Copper Cable
    Plug: 3.5mm stereo, gold-plated (MP3, iPod, iPhone & iPad Supported)
     S/N Ratio of Mic: >55db
    Sensitivity of Mic: -42+-3db
     
    BUILD QUALITY:
    The shell has its outer part being metallic with silver colour and the inner part being made out of plastic, dark red in colour. The earphones are a bit heavy and also sturdy compared to GR 07BE.The cable quality is sturdy and good, but could use some memory to it. My main grouse is with the nozzle. The nozzle doesn't have a constriction that can hold the ear tips, especially the wide bore bi flanges in place. They kept getting stuck in the ears. Cabling gives a fair bit of micro phonics, even in over the ear position, and occasionally pops out of place. One can use the crocodile clips to tame the beast that is the cable. Again, Fidue had a lack of foresight for not using detachable cables and cable cinch.
    The strain relief so far seems to be good and the plug is gold coated.
    But overall, the build quality is nice.The mic and remote button is an added bonus.
     
    ISOLATION & COMFORT:
    Coming from the GR 07BE, in which the isolation is above average. If I'm working, I can't generally hear key strokes with GR 07BE on.
    With Fidue A73, the bass vents make the isolation average. This makes it difficult for using it outside home/quiet environment.
    For me secure fit was obtained with Stock bi-flanges, Monster tri flanges, Meelectronics tri flanges. The air vents make the attenuation of higher frequencies impossible. The A73 is also very comfortable and can be used for extended duration without any fatigue. I found Vsonic large ear tips also provide secure and good fit. I hope they work on the isolation in the next iteration.
     
    SOUND:
    Smoke and Mirrors (Gotye) :This track has so many transients and elements to it that 150$ iems  can't reproduce the detailing, imaging and sharp attacks while maintaining the tonality and vocals is a difficult proposition except for the most able ones like A73.Every micro detailing can be alluded to,  along with the position. There is no part of the track that sounds muddled even with the Monster tri flanges. The cymbals, the drums synth at the end of the track are heard clearly and thus the instrument separation is top notch.
    The rumble and the impact of sub-bass is fair to excessive when using Monster tri flanges. With stock bi flanges the airiness and the treble extension alone, put you on the path to heaven.
     
    Dangerous(Michael Jackson):I can't handle the sibilance, hotness and brightness of this track when listening to GR 07BE.It’s a habit of mine to turn the treble down in the EQ with GR 07BE.The A73 handles the cymbals and bass very smoothly like a playa with a hot chick. The tracks of 24 bit recordings which have greater dynamic range compared to lossless CD tracks and the whisperings by MJ are heard clearly throughout the track in the A73's. The high octave "he he" can be made out along with the imaging of his voice, what with the airiness and whatnot.
    The GR 07BE are beaten black and blue by A73 with superior resolution in treble, texturing of bass and vocals.
     
    I’m in Love (Meiko): The track has different textured bass and sub bass fair bit of it being punchy and some of it rumbling. A73's turn out to be jack of all trades. The rumbling of the sub bass is excellent and impact is punchy when needed. The saxophones have a nice rounded yet detailed sound. Her voice has never been this true to life and mellifluous.GR07 loses this round in texture and tonality due to recessed mids.
     
    Warrior (Laura Marling): She might be the next Joni Mitchell. This track has colossal soundstage (albeit artificial) .The A73 has the better width in soundstage compared to GR 07BE and also front-back presence. The vocals are terrific and has good imaging and separation with A73. The GR 07 come close to A73 representation in resolution, but lose big time in tonality.
     
    Sing(Ed Sheeran): A73 makes it possible for you to pluck the acoustic guitar along with the singer closing your eyes can be made out. Without paying attention, you can make out a woman's voice saying "Ah". One can easily make out the v shaped nature of Gr 07BE doing A/B with A73.
    The transparency of the A73 becomes quite clear. A73 's display top class treble extension, and surprisingly the bass is full bodied with superb control down to the sub bass range, conspicuously better than GR 07BE.A day and night difference. The tonality of GR07 takes a huge blow.
     The air around the individual chords are more natural and can be made out easily. Bass and "whoo whoops" in background don't affect the guitar chords and hooks. The decay of the chords is presented nicely being rounded.
     
    Grizzly Bear (Angus & Julia Stone): The micro details and resolution are easily better vis-a-vis GR07BE.The tonality of the brother-sister duo's vocals are oh so fine, one couldn't cut them with a knife. All the inherent vocal nuances are presented perfectly by A73. No complaints here. Overall presentation is terrific in A73 compared to paltry GR 07BE.
    For GR 07, there is glaring lack of texture in bass, vocals. Even the treble is muddy and lacks resolution.
     
    Chemical Reaction (Sucre) - This track has some of the best transients in a track, switching between synths, drums and vocals that I have come across.A73 handles it like a champ. The synth is full bodied, transparent and seems as though it occupies the whole room and really transports you to an amazing universe. The string section is life like, transparent with great attack, and A73 doesn't break a sweat while doing so. It seems effortless.
     
    Currents (Eisley) – Again, a big fan of this band. Check them out to find out what “melodious voice” means. This is the track I would make anyone listen to, if they were to ask me to demonstrate the soundstage of A73.The listener is front and center along with the singer and the magic happens all around him/her with superb precision in imaging of drums. No way does A73 let any detail slip by you. The GR 07BE, in comparison, sound congested and lifeless. The vocals and imaging are mauled to death by GR07BE. The V shaped tuning of the drivers is very palpable.
    Move like You Stole It (ZZ Ward): Everyone has to check out this under rated artist. The way she emphasizes the vowels very in her unique singing style and contain a lot of detail which can make or break a presentation. Her vocals have never sounded better to my ears. The vocals and extension in the upper treble are detailed with A73.
    The sibilance and muddied presentation, with GR07 is very obvious. However, the detailing on GR 07 is good.
     
    Sitting, Waiting, Wishing (Jack Johnson): All I can say is that the meaning of "musicality" is taken to a whole different league by A73.Excellent instrument separation, tonality and imaging. I will not even bother to mention GR 07BE performance against A73, as the latter remains the clear winner.
     
    Take Five (Dave Brubeck): This is one of my favourite jazz tracks, which introduced me to jazz. Tonality of sax, the air around the drums, their speed and impact and imaging are conveyed with finesse. You name it, A73’s got it. The GR07 also do not give up without a fight. The first and only time in this review, perhaps, will I be applauding GR 07.It’s a little bit tougher to pick out a winner, but the resolution of A73 carries it across the finishing line.
     
    My Parties (Dire Straits): This track has true soundstage and none of the artificial software reverb generated ones. The timbre of sax is good. The detailing, resolution and imaging on A 73 will beat Gr 07 single-handedly any day, any time. But, the GR 07 catches up with A73 in tonality.
     
    Heavy Fuel (Dire Straits): It surprises me that a laid back musical iem can reproduce the image of cymbals crashing with such authority and energy in attack with tonality and precision in imaging. The cymbals can awaken you from sleep. It's like A73's are like sleeping giants that can command hotness on demand despite being laid back. They do reproduce the recordings to the truest extent of the source.
    GR 07 will be proud to lose this one, as they give a good tussle to A73 in tonality and texture.
     
    In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins): In addition to the detailing and imaging, the soundstage created by bass drums near the end is superbly authoritative in energy and presence, as though you are in the recording room with Phil Collins.
    GR 07’s sing the same old song of congested treble and recessed mids.
     
    Thank You (Dido): The note presentation of flutes is carried with such liveliness in tonality that it put me to sleep! The superiority of A 73 with GR 07BE is in imaging, tonality and musicality, and come together to put the final nail in the coffin of GR 07BE.  The cymbals are cluttered, congested and lacking resolution in GR 07BE.
     
    New Year's Day (U2): You have to listen to this song to get an idea of the brilliant imaging, layering and soundstage these iem's can present. The GR 07 BE's don't stand a chance in treble and upper midrange. The clarity and imaging, treble extension of A73 is clear as the full moon on a summer night. Top notch overall presentation. Soundstage of A73 is better than GR 07BE in width and have some height in imaging. Again the spoilsport happens to be recessed mids, making GR 07BE less involving and musical. In general, less everything.
     
    Memories (David Guetta): The 3d presentation of this track along with the detailing in the mids and upper treble without any sibilance. The bass doesn't bleed into mids and remains clinically clean, displaying speed and surprisingly with good punch for the A73. The piano reproduction is effortless and notes seem to be presented with life. The GR 07's otoh, are easily sibilant and lack treble and bass resolution, and go down easy without putting up a fight to A73.
     
    ABC'S (K'naan): This a terrific rap track with serious substance, as you would always expect from K'naan. The transients between different textured bass and sub bass is handled excellently, while the vocals are prominent and engaging with the amazing texture.
    The GR 07BE sounds sibilant and congested, compared to A73.
     
    Phoenix by Midnight (Yppah): This is one of my favourite tracks of recent past. The A73's are heavenly for this Electronic genre track, creating an engaging smooth, good tonality immersive 3D soundstage around you. As extolled previously for its micro detailing, it never fails to amaze you with the detailing which is top tier.
    Whereas with GR 07, I wish I never heard this song with them.
     
    Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein (Bollywood Film):
    Film Title Track (RHTDM) - The Mridangum (an Indian percussion instrument) is full bodied, transparent and detailed. The harmonic frequencies of percussion and the texture of male voice, become perspicuous with the A73.The harmonic frequencies determine the timbre of tracks.A73 produces good decay and hence sound very natural.
    With GR 07's, your face cringes to an extent you thought was impossible. They are dismal in resolution & tonality, and high in sibilance.
     
    Zara Zara (RHTDM) - A mesmerizing track. Bombay Jayashree's voice is just plain heavenly. The air around the drums and cymbal crashing can easily be made out. The synth and the flute are produced in a beautiful manner. The reproduction of flute is damn good. One major addition in A73, is the perception of height in the imaging and the width of the soundstage.
    One can make out to a good degree the height and distance of placement of instruments in the track. The transients are like a slithering snake hissing from far left to the right front. The claps do sound a little artificial, presumably due to armature drivers.
    The GR 07’S are nowhere to be seen after being thrashed by A73 in timbre, imaging and vocals.
     
    Dil ko (RHTDM) - Cymbals and upper mid-range is smooth and detailed with mids sounding forward. You can hear the percussion notes being round and detailed. Excellent imaging and soundstage. The tonality of cello is awesome. Also, certain weight is added to acoustic guitar notes, but the timbre of acoustic guitar is what caught my fancy.
    The GR07 lose this round as well.
     
    Such Keh Raha Hai Deewana (RHTDM) - KK's voice is reproduced excellently in A73’S. This track is presented with zero sibilance, extremely smooth and laid back. The texture of the voice deserves a special mention. The higher octaves are produced effortlessly and engrosses the listener completely as though you are in front of him, in the recording room. If you use Monster tri flanges, you can hear the sub bass down to 25 Hz contiguously and scares you pleasantly in its ability to keep the mids transparent and smooth and uncluttered. The string section and piano in the track are present with height and you can pin point the instruments with your hand. Detailing, resolution and imaging are very good. The layering and sub bass extension is better than GR 07BE.The operatic mezzo-soprano voice near the end of the track is immersive and mesmerising.
    The GR 07 are no match for A73.
     
    SUMMARY OF A73 vs. GR07BE:
     
    Compared to GR 07BE, A73 has:
    ·        
    Be    Better vocal reproduction
    ·         Significantly better 3D Soundstage, Imaging and detailing
    ·         No Sibilance
    ·         Forward mids (mids are slightly forward)
    ·         Better Attack and Decay
    ·         Less isolation
    ·         Laid back treble energy and less bright
    ·         Amazing PRaT
     
    The soundstage of GR 07BE is more like a listener struck between 2 walls of close proximity whereas with A73 the listener is in a 3d blob standing away from its centre point.
    The number of times I have used “congested” and “muddy “for GR07BE alone gives out the answer.
     
    If the sound of A73 is a 10, then GR07BE receives a 6 on a scale of 1-10.
     
    SUMMARY OF A73 SIGNATURE:
    With stock bi-flanges the presentation is very airy and sub bass emphasis is present but not in bass head proportions like with monster tri flanges. With Meelec tri-flanges, these open up, but not as much as stock bi-flanges in soundstage and airiness.
    The texture of the vocals deserves a special mention. I have never heard such dulcet reproduction of female and male vocals alike across genres. The micro detailing and texture are top notch.
    You can make out to a good degree the height and distance of placement of instruments in most tracks in relation to the imaging of vocals. In many folk tracks, I could close my eyes and easily point out the height of the instruments, despite their positioning in the soundstage created.
    The layering compounded with superb attack and decay puts you in the room of the recording in many tracks.
     
    The PRaT is seriously amazing. This is another area where A 73 trounces GR07 BE hands down. In my opinion this is one of the main reasons A 73 sounds terrific.
    Sometimes, they are like mini sub woofers in your ears. Whenever need arises it goes boom and slam in your face, without bleeding into the mids, needless to say.
     
    In a sentence: Superb sub-bass and bass, with lush and organic mids, excellent treble extension.
    They tend to be unforgiving of poor mastering or recording.
     
    Presentation of Major Instruments by A73:
     
    Acoustic Guitar: The notes of acoustic end well rounded and each nuance represented without any issue. John Mayer tracks sounds like god
    Electric Guitar: The presentation of electric is toe tapping and is fast and visceral. These puppies can meticulously handle whatever you throw at them. This is the advantage of triple driver configuration. Well, single vs multiple driver configuration is not open to too much of a debate.I guess that’s the advantage of hybrid configuration.
    String section: The nuances of violin, the timbre of cello and the bass impact of double bass. The detailing and imaging on string section in classic compositions despite everything happening is mind blowing due to excellent instrument separation.
    Bass & Drums: The punchiness, impact and speed is just too good to be true. In jazz recordings, the airiness of the drums and subsequently the soundstage it conjures is amazing.
    Pianos: The representation of pianos is tonally accurate and when need arises appropriate weight is added to the notes.
     
    RESPONSE TO EQ:
    Since, the iem’s are easy to drive, they respond to EQ’ing very well. With EQ and proper tips these can be used by both bass-heads and demanding listeners. This speaks volumes about the extension at top and sub-bass without sibilance, unlike GR 07.
    If you use Monster tri flanges, with EQ ing, you can hear the sub bass rumble down to 35Hz-25 Hz and frightens you pleasantly in its ability to keep the mids transparent, smooth, laidback and uncluttered.
    So, one can’t be disappointed with this purchase on whichever spectrum of audiophile category one falls into, unless they dislike musicality and like textbook neutral iem’s.Its very hard to go wrong with these iems
     
     
    PROS:
    Very easy to drive
    Astounding sub bass, in texture, that puts GR 07BE to shame (with Monster tri flange ear tips and EQ),
    Terrific attack and decay
    Great micro detailing and resolution
    Imaging and 3D presentation
    Non-fatiguing and musical, puts the vocals (male and female) front and centre with amazing texture,
    Good for most genres.
    Astounding Price/Performance ratio
     
    CONS:
    The nozzle needs to have a constriction near the end to keep the ear tips from falling out and being stuck in the ear canal, which prevents deep insertion. This a little dangerous as it has happened to me with stock bi-flanges.
    Fidue need to provide good selection of ear tips bi-flange and tri-flanges of wide and narrow bore, that don't slip out of the nozzle easily and get stuck in the ear. This makes it necessary for you to have spare wide bore single flange ear tips or order them. Meelectronics ear tips are a good bet.
     
    MY REMARKS:
    I am rediscovering my music library and constantly hearing things which were hitherto unheard of and unbeknownst to me, as I'm writing. Is this what love feels like? Perhaps! I am transported to heaven when A73 goes in my ears. Lock me up in a cage with A73 in my ears and I can spend an eternity. Maybe an exaggeration, but hope you understand how good these A73's are.
    These are some seriously good iem's with superlative bang for buck.
     Now, I think I have got an inkling of what CIEMS and 800$ iems might feel like because of A73's. Fidue A73 is the S***.Enter the successor to hugely popular GR 07BE.
    Trust me, you will never go back to GR 07BE after you have given A73's a shot. The hype, if any, is definitely worth it. I will be watching out for Fidue with future releases as they seem to have redefined the meaning of "pushing the envelope” with this effort. Kudos to them.
    These are exciting times for an audiophile on budget for the kind of iems you can get for less than 150$. Now Fidue, has one upped and upended the rule of GR 07BE.Ball is clearly in Vsonic’s court. Maybe, the VSD7/9 just might have the answer.
     
     
    DISCLAIMER:
    I am in no way related to Fidue and its owners.
    Being an audiophile, I have an affliction of appreciating quality. I am not unduly showering heaps of praise. These are just THAT good, especially for the price point. Do consider your personal preference and also the eartips used; hence take this review with a grain of salt.
     
    REVIEW PROCESS involved extensive testing spaced across many days, with GR 07 and A73 and comparing notes of many listening sessions to minimize error and be as authentic and descriptive as possible.
    Feel free to point out any mistakes/criticisms.
    If you have made it till here without skipping, thank you for reading. Even otherwise, thank you for reading!
     
    Just want to give a shout out to Hifinage for making Fidue A73 available in India
    1. View previous replies...
    2. kar13
      kar13, Aug 1, 2015
    3. kar13
      @Paulus XII thank you, that was the intention, atleast!
      kar13, Aug 1, 2015
    4. kar13
      kar13, Aug 1, 2015
  9. krishtrinity1
    Fidue a73 Initial impressions
    Written by krishtrinity1
    Published Jul 27, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Audiophile quality,soundstage,treble detail,value for money,build
    Cons - over the ear design maybe hit or miss,constantly readjusting for better fit,well,you can't have everything i suppose
    [​IMG]
     
    My priority when i am buying a audio gear is value for money and Fidue A73 comes in the insane value category,although it is still early to tell if it's the best inear at the price because i just got this earphone.Although what the Fidue lacks in features and some minor hiccups,it more than makes up in audio quality,in my last review i praised the vsonic vsd 5 for it's incredible performance for the money the fidue is almost double the price and even before it's burned in i can say that it easily justifies the price.Will go into more detail in the final review,here are impressions of some of the songs i tested with the Fidue A73
    Played with Jriver media center with wasapi output,Schiit modi DAC and fiio E11 set at two and a half quarter in volume dial.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
     
     
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    [​IMG]
     
     
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Victory song(320 kbps)-Ensiferum
    What better song to test the limits of a earphone than a folk metal song,to me if any earphone can play this song even moderately good they are worth buying,my ath m40x absolutely destroyed this song because it sound so compressed,i enjoyed listening to this song with vsonic vsd 5,it had good sound stage enough to tell where tell the instruments in the song apart and trust me that is greatest compliment i could give it to vsd5,if you have heard this song you will know what i mean.Fidue A73 is on another level compared to vsd 5 any hint of harshness is completely disappeared,instrument seperation is wider,the sub bass is also present but not enough to interfere with the rest of frequency range.Overall i am very impressed with Fidues performance,can't think of even one negative thing to say after hearing the song with the Fidue.
     
     
    Lonely Boy(320kbps)-The Black Keys
    Once again can't find anything negative to say,absolutely wonderful soundstage,vocals are not recessed at all,crystal clear highs,maybe a hint of sibilance but can't say for sure,bass is punchy.I can see the benifit of dual drivers if you listen carefully you can tell the audio is coming from 2 drivers but it just add to the immersion
     
     
     
    MAYDAY!!(320kbps)-Flobots
    At this point i can't concentrate writing this post when i am busy headbobbing to this rock/hip hop song.I can clearly tell where each and every instrument is placed,where the vocals are coming from,the violin is clearly heard from the right doesn't even remotely interfere with the vocals or drums.Think i am going to listen to the entire Flobots album after this post
     
     
     
    I am only Joking(320kbps)-KONGOS
    Absolutely love this band,they only have a few songs to their name by my knowledge but they kick ass.We can clearly tell apart the unique mix of drums and vocals.I am busy head bobbing to complete this so..if you get this earphone you should hear this song.
     
     
     
    [​IMG]
  10. vaibhavp
    Hybrid design benefits.
    Written by vaibhavp
    Published Jul 1, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Intimate lifelike vocals and soundstage, lively and dynamic, grainfree sound
    Cons - soundstage lacks a little depth
    Disclaimer: I would like to thank www.hifinage.com and Fidue for this review sample.I was supposed to keep it for 1 week for evaluation purpose free of charge. I am in no way affiliated to Fidue or www.hifinage.com. I will be writing this review in unbiased way as possible.
     
    To save reader's valuable time, I have structured review a little differently than usual.
     
    So lets see how it sounds:
     
    General: This is first time I am listening to a hybrid design. It comprises of balanced armature and 10 mm woofer dynamic driver. When I had a first listen I was surprised at how crystal clear, completely grain free the sound was. Later when I tried my other dynamic driver earphones, they all had a little grain in their sound. Another aspect I found different from dynamic driver was clean transient response. While listening to Rhythmscape from Bickram Ghosh, its a well recorded disc that has multiple precussion instruments like tabla, drum etc playing against completely black background. Changeover from one instrument to another was very clean on Fidue. I compared it with my dynamic driver earphones/headphones, even my AKG k550 which are technically capable headphones, had some noise. Also the background is completely black on A73.
     
    Bass: Bass is round, dynamic, goes deep, is well textured. It certainly makes its presence felt and is not a bass light iem, from headfi standards. Its punchy and satisfying.
     
    Mids: Mids are crystal clear as are grain free, a bit smooth than detailed, slightly warm and lush.
     
    Treble: Treble is lively, not overly rolled off but is not harsh at all. 
     
    Dynamics: Exceptional for this price range. I found sound to be very lively and dynamic.
     
    Soundstage: Soundstage is intimate, especially vocals are front and center and rather intimate. Other instruments are laid around vocals and are also intimate. One criticism I have is soundstage does not has lot of depth and layering is not as refined as some of my other headphones. 
    Outside of that, if you like me enjoy a rather intimate soundstage than an overly airy one, where you have to squint your eyes to hear any detail, this iem is for you.
     
    Instrument separation: Despite of intimate soundstage, instruments are very well defined and separated. I think intimate soundstage with great separation are one of its biggest strength.
     
    Overall tonality: A very even handed frequency response. Note edges are rounded, which gives them a little warm, lush presentation. Its lively and dynamic, thus not a very laid back sound. Detail presentation is relaxed, its their to hear but is not shoved in you face. 
     
    Comparison with Hifiman RE400:
     
    A73 a step up over RE400. It goes deeper in recordings and brings listener a little more closer to music. Outside of that it boosts a similar neutral frequency response as Re400. It does fixes a couple of shortcomings in RE400, A73's bass goes deeper, is more textured. Also sound is more dynamic.
    Where RE400 beats it is soundstage depth, it has very refined layering in its price class. RE400 has sharper note edges and is on colder side of neutral. While A73 is on warmer side and rounded edges.
     
    A Note on similarity with Sennheiser HD700: When I heard A73 for first time, it instantly reminded me of HD700. I know its unfair to compare two as HD700 was introduced at $1000, but they have some key similarities as far as tonality is concerned. Them being crystal clear grain free sound, even handed frequency response, slightly warm tilt, relaxed detail presentation. Technically A73 can't compete with HD700 but tonally I find similarities. 
     
    Now that the sound part is over I will present some mundane information:
     
    Fit: Included are 4 tips, S, M, L and double flange. Initially I thought it will be hard to achieve seal with just 4 tips, but surprisingly all 4 offered varying degree of seal. None of them was perfect seal but double flange tips gave me best seal and almost full sound potential. 
     
    Isolation: Once music started playing, I had no problem in listening at normal, "at-home" level volumes on my cell phone in metro. So isolation is acceptable.
     
    Build quality: Housing seems to be made of 2 parts, one plastic, one metal that is shaped beautifully. Cable seems to be robust, but is not very flexible. Also its non removable and strain relief, though good, not the best I have seen. If you take good care of them, I am sure they will last you a long time. 
     
    Accessories: It includes 4 tips, shirt clip and a hard zippered carry case. It is also equipped with single button remote that worked perfectly well with my Sony Xperia smartphone. It could be used for play/pause and also taking calls.
     
    Amping: I used Audinst HUD Mini for most of my listening. I also used Sony Xperia SP smartphone. Audinst is mostly neutral sounding dac/amp and has low output impedance so it had no problems in driving them. 
    Since its a hybrid design with 20 ohm impedance, I recommend using sources with less than 1 ohm output impedance for optimum results.
     
    Value and conclusion:
     
    At $150 I thing its well priced. I think as a overall package it offers great value. Though IEM world sees cut throat competition, it does enough to differentiate itself from other dynamic driver offerings and is well worth your consideration.
     
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      DJScope and infer like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. vaibhavp
      OK. thanks.
      vaibhavp, Jul 2, 2015
    3. arijitroy02
      Cool review, bought these from hifinage and got them this Monday! Very happy so far, doing a burn-in for now!
      arijitroy02, Jul 2, 2015
    4. vaibhavp
      awesome. they are a great buy. do share your impressions.
      vaibhavp, Jul 2, 2015