Pros - Clarity, Soundstage performance & Guarantee of quality on product
Cons - Huge price tag to match the absolute quality, Zero resale value & Limited distribution channel
This review is based on the demo set at Jaben Singapore, which I have demoed extensively no less than 3 times.
Though fit is pretty good, but as perfect fit is not achieved, I shall not be commenting much on the bass of C435.
FitEar is a household name in Japan, though they fast gaining popularity in Singapore.
TG334 has been a rather big revelation here in Singapore, hence bringing more attention to their line of customs here.
Quality wise, FitEar is almost peerless. The finish on every product that leave Suyama San's lab is immaculate.
Be it customs or universals, each and every (C)IEM is of such high quality, it sets the bar for others in the industry to follow.
However, potential buyers need to be aware that there is no resale value for FitEar customs, as they fill the inside of the shell with acrylic.
This process, however, ensures that all FitEar customs have that solid and premium feel.
I personally own an UM Miracle and have always feel that the sound quality of 435 is Miracle if it was perfected.
For me, both share a similar kind of signature.
Hence, I'd would be writing this review of 435 and comparing it to Miracle (in italics).
Bass is tight and impactful, though missing slightly in quantity. Miracle is like the above description, except 435 has the better quality in texture.
Mid range is extremely clear, and listening to 435, it's like looking out of a open window with no glass in between what one is seeing. Besides the extreme clarity in mid range, Suyama San has added a spoonful of honey into the mids. Not too much, just enough to sweeten the mid range so that it sounds slightly sweet. This makes 435 so listenable with vocals based tracks, especially female vocals. Some say Miracle has a recessed mid range; I've always disagree. To me, Miracle's mid range is just so clear, one does not hear other flavour on it; but I do concede that the mid range of Miracle is slightly dry. Miracle's mid range is clear, but 435's is even clearer. The slight sweetness to the vocals just makes 435 a much better CIEM here.
435 has a very extended and extremely smooth treble. How Suyama San managed to tune the treble to be so extended, without sounding sibilant is quite beyond me. Combining the above with an amazingly spacious sound, 435 has one of the best treble I've ever laid ears upon. For me, Miracle's forte has always been its treble and soundstage performance. Miracle has very a pretty extended treble that's very smooth. It's also pretty open and spacious sounding. But, 435 easily resets the bar higher here. Keyword is EASILY. Unbelievable.
435 still has a final trick up its sleeve. Its soundstage performance is simply unbelievable. For an IEM, 435 has an extraordinarily wide soundstage, with excellent depth to match. There's a slight out of the head kind of feel for me, even on a demo. Miracle has a soundstage performance that is both wide and deep for an IEM, which I personally enjoy and feel that is one of Miracle's forte. However, (again!), 435 manages to reset the bar with ease; managing to sound both wider and deeper.
435 performs best for Jazz, Classical and the slower paced vocals music. If you listen to these genres of music, 435 has to be on your shortlist if money is not an issue.
The clarity, vocals presentation, treble and soundstage performance is amazing.
However, if you listen to a lot of Pop, Rock or mainstream music, 435 is probably not for you. You might be better off looking at Private 333 or MH335DW.
More gratification to be had there.
Personally, for me right now at this point, 435 is the summit of my IEM audio journey.
It's the best CIEM I've heard in my time till now, and one of the very best CIEM that your money can buy.
I simply can't pay a higher compliment to Suyama San and his team than this.
Pros - Balance, Clarity, Soundstage and hint of Sweet Mids, Great Fit
Cons - Price, Limited Distribution Channels, Limited Resale Value
As nicely explained by Victor in his review of the same CIEM, this is the previous flagship model from FitEar. In fact, unless you are married to the emphasised bass of the MH335DW, this would still be top of the line for anyone looking for a balanced sound.
I have had the C435 since August this year. I ordered on 7th August and delivery was on last week of August. It took just over 2 weeks. I was impressed!
The C435 is a 4 way crossover configuration, 5 drivers (2 highs, 2 mids 1 low woofer) Custom In-Ear Monitor.
Initial Impressions during Demo
I must confess that Claire from Jaben, Singapore, had suggested this to me when I was first looking for a CIEM. I had fears about acrylic CIEMs after hearing horror stories about bad fits and the discomfit of having acrylic CIEMs. I ended up getting the ACS T1 as my first CIEM because it is silicon and therefore was an easier entry point in terms of comfort.
Once I had gotten used to the idea of something embedded into my ear, I tried out Wilson's personal C435 (who owns Jaben). What I will say is that I was gobsmacked: how can such a clear, balanced and complex sound be coming out of a small little bit of acrylic?
As a background, I have practically all the TOTL headphones: LCD 2 & 3, HD800, Beyerdynamic T1, Hifiman HE-500, Fostex TH900, plus all the wooden Grados (save for the PS1000) and most of the Final Audio Design earphones. Hence, you can understand why I was shocked that an IEM could be so clear, balanced and yet so vivid. It forced to me re-assess the way I thought about CIEMs and IEMs generally.
The build quality of the Fitear C435 (as with all their CIEMs) is fantastic - beautiful acrylic. The shells are then filled in with acrylic and hence have a hefty solid feel about them. I suspect that this solidness has a position impact on the timbre of the music - the same way that the ACS T1s sounds as it does with its silicon.
The only catch with this method of builidng is that I don't think you can go for a reshell. Further, while the connectors that are used are very solid, they are not the common ones which means that you may be more limited in your choice of after-market cables.
Comfort and Isolation
The C435 is, as with all Fitears, incredibly well fitting. I can pop it in and out with just one hand. And yet when it is in, I don't notice it is there even if I wear it most of the day.
The isolation offered by the C435 is fantastic. I suspect it has to do with the fact that it is solid because the shell has been filled up. I have used it on quite a few flights on both Airbus and Boeing: no issue at all - blocks out more than 95% of the noise.
I have a very wide repertoire of music in my collection: all the way from Tallis Scholars (medieval church music) to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra to Lee Ritenour to Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Stacey Kent, Adele to Chinese pop to Popera to K-pop.
What I do like about the C435 is that it handles all these genres without batting an eyelid. While I have heard that if your music is focused on pop or rock music, then you may want to give the C435 a miss. I don't think anyone is saying that the C435 sounds terrible with pop or rock, but rather that it is not optimal - probably the Private 333 or MH334 or TG334 is a better choice.
I can honestly say that I can have my DAPs run on shuffle and not have to worry about the music coming out sounding anything less than stellar.
While the C435 may not make all genres sound spectacular, it will render all of them truly and clearly. It is pretty much transparent and balanced.
The C435 is amazingly balanced. The trebles are extended, the mids are just a bit sweet and lush, the bass is nice and tight. And it is incredibly clear with a big soundstage.
If you listen to singers like Alison Krauss, Stacey Kent, Sarah McLachlan, you will appreciate how smooth the C435 is as it can render their voices without a hint of sibilance and oh so clearly. You will be able to hear the voices of angels without wincing.
The C435 is currently still top dog even though I have some very good IEMs and CIEMs.
I currently run it with either Toxic Cable's Virus or Crystal Piccolino cable, depending on whether I want to emphasise the lushness of the mids or I want a clean smooth sound. I am still awaiting the arrival of the Toxic Cable Black Widow which I believe will add lushness to the sound.
I have no real preference what I run it with: usually it is the HM-901 when I am in the office and the AK120 when I am travelling.
Whilst I have some other Fitears and some really excellent IEMs, this remains the IEM I reach out for when I need balance and clarity - it is my default IEM. I suspect it will remain so even if I were to get more IEMs or CIEMs.
Pros - Amazing Soundstage, Clarity, Zero-sibiliance, One of a kind sound, Significantly short waiting time.
Cons - Exclusive process to obtain, Price
This is the veteran ex-flagship model from FitEar／須山補聴器 before the Mitsuharu Harada series (MH335DW) was released recently. The C435 is a 4 way crossover configuration, 5 drivers (2 highs, 2 mids 1 low woofer) Custom In-Ear Monitor.
I had my C435 for nearly 3 months now. The waiting period to obtain them was significantly short of 3 weeks.
I knew of this pair of custom through a friend of mine. I wasn't convinced on how good my friend claimed it to be, therefore I decided to head down to Jaben for an audition session for it.
As a guy who loves his treble. The first listening impressions of the C435 was absolutely unbelievable and unreal. How could a pair of earphones have such clarity and soundstage with absolutely NO sibilance? I was literally auditioning it for nearly 3 hours straight in Jaben. I literally spent nearly 2 weeks procrastinating before pulling the trigger.
As Jaben is the only exclusive official retailer I could get a pair of C435 on hands in my country. The awesomeness comes in a giant price tag. It is priced almost 2x of "some" TOTL custom iems, but nearly $80USD cheaper of their current flagship the new MH335DW.
If one would could define this beast, It would be "Clarity". Love clarity & vocals but have low sibilance tolerability? Live to listen to the sweet vivid voice of your favorite singers, this will be the ultimate bliss you desire. I would say that the C435 is a more of a Vocal emphasized custom IEM. But don't get me wrong, the lush mids and quality bass is equality smooth. The soundstage is extremely wide and airy.
Personally I am someone who doesn't like too 'fun' or 'warm' sounding bass like the MH335DW & I do not listen to a lot of bass strong music. If you are someone who solely listens to rock/mainstream pop, I will not recommend these to you. The C435 goes extremely well with Ballad and audiophile records.
I actually got a pair of TG334 2 months after I received my C435. Nevertheless, comparing the run-time for both my C435 and TG334. It would be in a ratio 80:20. You really can't get enough of the smooth forward treble of the C435. It is literally an addiction for a treblehead like myself.
I have paired it with a TWag V3 for fitear and personally I didn't like how they sound together.
Currently I am using my C435 with a 001 cable (Don't ask me why not aftermarket cables, so far it sounds best sonically to me. I am someone who cares less about material, and more of the sound) and an AK120. It is the perfect combination to me.
I have an upcoming 000 cable and some Toxic cables which have not arrived yet. Looking forward for cable rolling for my C435 and TG334.
As stated as the title - Clarity You Can't Imagine