Review: Custom Art FIBAE 7 – Dynamics!

Custom Art Fibae 7

Disclaimer: The Custom Art FIBAE 7 was sent to us free of charge in exchange for our honest opinion in this review. The monitor is a custom one and doesn’t need to be returned. It’s price is €1.100.

 

Custom Art

Our Polish friends in the beginning probably were mostly known for their flag ship model called “Harmony 8.2” but they have been really busy and with the FIBAE series and the successful Massdrop IEM, they have gotten very popular, very quickly. We’ve covered the original Harmony Pro, the Harmony 8.2 and several of the FIBAE IEMS of Custom Art’s product line-up.

For those of you who are new to custom inear monitors we’ll do the short intro: Custom Art is a Polish based company that was founded in May 2012 by Piotr Granicki. Piotr was a reviewer at the time he started his own company and with the experience he had, he was convinced he could make great sounding monitors. The special thing about Custom Art is that they offer the choice between acrylic and soft silicone monitors for several models. Click here to check out the full comparison between silicone and Acrylic.

FIBAE

If you’re not familiar yet with the FIBAE system, keep reading. If you already know what it’s all about, go to the FIBAE 7 chapter below. (This part is taken from a previous review)

So what exactly is FIBAE and does it stand for anything? FIBAE is the abbreviation of Flat Impedance Balanced Armature Earphone and it’s the world’s first In-Ear Monitor design providing flat impedance and phase. By changing Balanced Armature driver character from inductive to resistive Custom Art solved one of the oldest problem in the industry – dependence on output impedance of sound source for correct earphone output. With FIBAE™ technology your earphones will always perform best from any DAP.

So basically it means that the FIBAE monitors in theory will sound almost the same no matter what DAP, phone or amplifier you use. You can find the full information on the FIBAE technology right here on CA’s page and there’s also a dedicated FIBAE thread on Head-Fi. Piotr tells us the following:

In early 2016 we stumbled across an interesting occurrence during work on IEM designs, which prompted us to investigate possible applications for In-Ear Monitoring. We discovered that our design resulted in nearly flat impedance and electrical phase plot of a Balanced Armature driver, reducing dramatically the load for audio amplifiers and providing near-identical response (either frequency or CSD) when switching between sound sources with substantial difference in output impedance. In that moment FIBAE technology was born. In mid-2016 we filed for international patent on our Flat Impedance driver.

FIBAE 7

The FIBAE product line-up has seriously been extended, and you nowadays have a FIBAE 1, FIBAE 2, FIBAE 3, FIBAE 4, FIBAE BLACK, FIBAE 6 and FIBAE 7. How impressive is that! The one we’re looking at today it the FIBAE 7, the reference model of the FIBAE-series for now.

We have actually featured it already in our First look Sunday series here, you might have read this article on the FIBAE 7 already.

The FIBAE seven is available in both a universal as a custom version, the latter being like our review sample. The FIBAE 7’s dedicated web page can be found here: https://thecustomart.com/fibae-7/

FIBAE 7 was created to celebrate 7 years of the Custom Art’s brand. The IEM come as their co-flagship, next to the well-renowned Harmony 8.2. FIBAE 7 incorporates driver modules from across their IEM range to create the most balanced, the most natural and the most exciting IEM they have done so far.

FIBAE 7 logically features seven drivers on each side: Dual Sub-Low, Single Low-Mid, Dual Mid-High, and Two Top-Firing Tweeters. According to The Custom Art, the FIBAE 7 is the epitome of natural sound, delivering even frequency response with immense details without fatigue. But we’ll get back to how it sounds later in this article.

SPECIFICATIONS

– Dual Sub-Low, single Low-Mid, dual Mid-High, single proprietary High, single proprietary Super High
– Two Top-Firing Balanced Armature Drivers
– Flat Impedance technology
– 113dB @1kHz @0.1V
– 5.9 Ohm @1kHz (+-0.75 Ohm 10Hz-20kHz)
– 10Hz-21000Hz (+-20dB into IEC 60318-4 coupler)
– Null Audio Arete OCC Copper cable
– Custom or universal fit

Breakdown

In contrary to a normal review I will use the same breakdown as I always do for my custom inear reviews:

  1. Build quality & Comfort
  2. Personalization
  3. Cable
  4. Price & Accessories
  5. Customer Service
  6. Sound
  7. Source & Cables
  8. Competitors/Comparisons

The article continues on Page Two, after the click here or by using the jumps below

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

6 Comments

  • Reply November 12, 2019

    ERIC BUBERWA

    I am a big fan of music, local on stage performer. I like especially the alternative classic rock and other genres of music and for that matter i am a big fan and user of variety of IEM’s. I am excited to yet try FIBAE 7 because they seem to be a game changer

  • Reply November 13, 2019

    SC

    In your opinion, does the F7 eliminate the rest of the FIBAE lineup i.e. if you have the F7, then there isn’t much use in having any of the others? Or is there still a place for the rest of the lineup? I own the Black (hoping it returns from Custom Art soon from repair/fitting work) and see resell deals pop up now and then for some of the other models. It’s always tempting since Custom Art has a reasonable owner transfer system. Would I benefit from pairing the Black with other FIBAE models or would it be best to hold off for the F7?

    • Reply November 13, 2019

      Lieven

      Is F7 the technical best? Yes, but it also different enough from the other FIBAE models to be complementary. If you can affors having the BLACK/Four as well as the 7, I would certainly do so. If you can only afford one it depends on what signature you like most. The comparisons are in the article. Good luck and thanks for the comment.

      • Reply November 13, 2019

        SC

        Thanks for the reply. I am in the position where I don’t have enough experience to know how to correctly correlate the comparisons to my own ears. So, I keep reading reviews in the hopes one day I’ll get to try things out and better train my ears to understand what’s going on 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll keep my eyes open for the F4 or F7.

  • Reply November 16, 2019

    Baptiste_C

    Hello Lieven,

    I have a serious interest to buying a new custom IEM for music listening (50%), mixing in night club (25%) and playing drums in a jazz band (25%). Also record and mix sometimes. I listen to every genre of music techno, house, jazz, us old school rap, classic, country, pop, rock, and every king of modern commercial production.
    My IEM portfolio is all Earsonics (buy the way I am French) and I have several Fiio sources to feed them.
    I have the ES3 : that I like for their articulate smooth delivery and were my 101 class in decent music listening.
    The custom EM32 : that I adore for their bass and their overall ability to display the body and the soul of the sound in the entire spectrum even at medium volume but I wish for a bit more dynamics.
    And finally the S-EM9 : that I really like for its dynamically detailed sound but at times it sound skinny and a bit too bright for me. It gives me the sensation that I am being pointed at by a flashlight right in the face.

    Therefore the perfect IEMs for me would be a perfect balance between macro and micro details in the sound. And being preferably darker than brighter sounding but displaying descent stereo/staging, dynamics, clarity and transparency without the need to being the best or excelling in all these areas.
    I would love bass that are well extended and tight with a capable sub (but slightly north of neutral in quantity). I would like organic mids (cause despite having a love affair with bass, emotional verve comes from the mids). And finally well extended treble but remaining smooth and never peaky.

    I would like to have an advice to select a European (mainly to avoid import tax) 1100/1200€ max custom IEM. I had in mind the FIBAE 7 and the Earsonics EM64.
    Are other options available out there?

  • Reply November 20, 2019

    Wylfsyn

    I tried FIBAE 4, 6 and & last week on Audio Video Show in Warsaw. I’ve even met Piotr Garlicki in person:) As for my ears FB 6 seduced me with it’s powerful bass, 4 and 7 models were just behind. Mass drop edition just played lows as good, as my Polaris Mk2 from Campfire Audio.
    Note: As Piotr said, every CA IEM can be ordered as universal.

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