8. FIBAE Comparisons
Because of the typical technology used, the most obvious monitors to compare the FIBAE 7 with, are the other monitors in the FIBAE product line-up. That means we’ll be comparing them to the FIBAE 2, 3, 4 and Black as these are the only ones in our possession at he moment.
The FIBAE 2 probably is the lightest, thinnest sounding one with the most neutral signature. The clarity is really good and you get a clean sound from top to bottom. Body-wise the F3 is lighter and so bass, mids and treble don’t have the body of all the other FIBAE units. FIBAE 2 is a good neutral monitor but once you’re used to better performing 3, 4, Black and 7, it’s tough to go back to the 3. That being said, on it’s own it’s still a strong monitor in it’s price class.
The FIBAE 3 is a silicone custom monitor and it also has a more forward sound compared to the others where the vocals are more upfront. FIBAE 3 has nice body but like the FIBAE 7 it has that special lower mid vs forward upper mids/vocal tuning. Bass is tight and fast but like in the 7 the layering isn’t the strongest point. The lower mids are rich, smooth and very musical. The vocals are energetic and more forward. The treble section is very much like in the FIBAE 7. These two monitors share a lot of similarities but the F3 probably is more neutral and less technically advanced. FIBAE 7 is wider, more spacious, more airy, has better decay, dynamics and is richer in detail. I still really like the FIBAE 3 as well though.
FIBAE BLACK is very different from top to bottom. FIBAE BLACK sounds smoother in the delivery. The BLACK’s bass kick is nice and bass is tight and fast with a great punch in the delivery. Bass goes down low when needed and the layering is really well done, I really love the BLACK’s bass. That being said, the 7’s bass comes in harder. The mids in the BLACK are more even compared to those of the FIBAE 7, and have a nice amount of air and space. They aren’t as clean and clear though. The FIBAE 7 also has that more forward mid + vocal presentation and sounds more aggressive. FIBAE BLACK sounds slower, fuller, smoother but not as detailed. It’s more laid back. The treble on the BLACK is sparkling and energetic and also has an airy presentation.
The FIBAE 4 also has that more intimate feeling and the sound stage width and depth is smaller than that of the FIBAE 7 but better than that of the black. The 4’s mids also aren’t as spacy and airy sounding as in the FIBAE 7 is, so that feeling is enhanced. The level of detail, the staging and dynamics are all good but they’re not at the level of its big brother. The FIBAE 4’s mids sound more even and have great decay and timbre. They’re not as clear and clean as those of the 7 but much more than the BLACK. The 4’s voices (like in the BLACK) are softer, less aggressive, smoother and they sit more in the mids, where they come out more with the 7. The treble in the FIBAE 7 is much clearer and further extended as that of the FIBAE 4. To me the FIBAE 7 is the higher end version of the FIBAE 4, which is really good at its own level. The 4 is the most balanced and linear of both monitors, the 7 is the technical best and clearest, yet most forward sounding.
So far I have liked every single monitor Piotr has created and it’s no different this time. The FIBAE 7 again is a step up from the previous models in all possible ways.
The FIBAE 7 delivers a very specific, unique signature with a good low end, smooth lower mids, more forward vocals, and a sparkling top end. The FIBAE 7 has really great dynamics, staging and stereo image, and that combined with the right amount of body, naturalness and detail retrieval make it a musical, yet special sounding, technically strong monitor.
At this time the FIBAE 3 is featured on our recommended buy list and it will probably be replaced by the FIBAE 4. Following our internal rules, each company can only have 2 models on the best gear list, but there absolutely is a spot reserved for the FIBAE 7. Recommended!