Sound stage-wise the FIBAE 7 is wide and deep, and you get a nice 3D presentation. CA says that this model has an improved headroom, and though I can’t comment about the previous version, it’s obvious that the 7U has good staging and stereo imaging. It’s not the widest sounding IEM on the market, but it does a good job at that.
What Custom Art has done is remarkable, especially in terms of decay, clarity and positioning. As said the depth, layering and width are good but it’s not the most extended, layered monitor on the market. The separation, timbre and decay however are very nice and if you hook the FIBAE 7U up to a higher-end source such as the SE180 from Astell&Kern (SEM4), it will impress in this regard.
The FIBAE 7U from top to bottom shows perfect detail, great speed and excellent dynamics. What I’m most impressed with is the micro-detail performance and clarity overall. The IEM is very coherent and I can’t stress the control and speed qualities enough. It’s a highly technical monitor indeed.
Great Decay, Detail and Transparency
Bass has enough body and impact and sub-bass will be present when called upon. It’s not light but it’s not at bass head levels either. However, the bass is tight with great impact and definition. Most importantly, it’s very fast and comes delivered with a good punch. Bass certainly isn’t what we call full neutral, it’s more bodied, musical and foot tapping. Bass goes down quite well. The sub-bass presentation depends a bit on the source you’re using it with but it is very much there.
The only negative point about the 7U is the treble response. Yes, it’s fantastically detailed and flawlessly extended with excellent articulation. However, what you think about that treble would depend on your preferences. The 7U’s treble is lifted and the top-end could be a bit aggressive with certain sources, like the old but gold Lotoo Paw Gold.
The treble is a bit sharp at times, so I would’ve liked a smoother presentation here. However, if you’re a treble head, this performance is perfect because you’ll have amazing clarity and transparency in the treble. I guess CA has improved the treble response but it’s on the edge for the lovers of smooth and silky sound.
The mids have a nice sense of air and come with excellent separation and impressive decay. The lower mids sound natural and have a hint of smoothness and warmth. The mids have good separation, excellent dynamics and are rich in detail. The mids also have the best layering compared to bass and treble.
With the FIBAE technology, the type of source used only has a limited impact on the monitor’s sound signature. You can still notice and listen to the impact different sources have on the sound, but the signature stays unchanged. What the FIBAE 7U will do however is make you hear everything the source is sending to it. So the better the source, the stronger the 7U performs regarding detail, extension and dynamism.
Yet, I recommend musical sources, preferably the ones using AKM chips, not the ESS ones. The treble of the 7U is tricky, and I experienced the best presentation with DAPs using AKM DACs. So yes, FIBAE tech makes the IEM less sensitive to source matching, but you still need to match it with a proper and complementary source to get the best out of it.