I’ve mentioned the compact structure of the S12 above and this is key for its overall fit experience. Indeed the IEM fits really good, with a low profile look for a 12 driver IEM. The nozzles are deep enough to achieve a flush fit with good isolation. You can also adjust the position of the supplied tips for a deeper insertion.
Isolation is one of the best I’ve experienced among universal monitors with foam tips, which you can’t find in the package. Fearless only provides silicone tips with several sizes instead. The tips have very good quality and they stick to the nozzle tightly. I really liked these tips but it would’ve been nice to have some foams as well. But there’s no problem regarding the fit of the S12.
The IEM arrives in a white box with a text saying “classic never ends”. When you open up the package you’re welcomed with an envelope with Chinese letters. The envelop contains some user instructions and some forms to fill in Chinese.
Under the envelope you find the carrying case which is really nice and at least different from other brands. The case has a light blue color and a nice smooth surface. The lid is magnetic therefore very convenient to open and close. However the magnet is not very strong and when you hold the case upside down, the lid can open with moderate force. This can cause the IEM to drop so be aware. Other than that, the case is simply elegant and genuine.
Tip-wise this is not the richest content. There aren’t any foam tips supplied, and you only have 4 pairs of silicone tips. The tips have really good quality but I would’ve liked to have more pairs in this case.
The Fearless HyperS12 sounds very clean, somewhat thin but energetic at the same time, emphasizing vocals and instruments in its presentation. The main thing with the S12 is its good sound-stage and instrument separation, which are both achieved at a high level with a competitive price tag.
Bass is very tight and quite fast in the S12, which affects its overall presentation in a positive way. You don’t hear much quantity in the mid-bass region and I think it puts more weight in the sub-bass section instead. This particular nature has advantages and disadvantages depending on your favorite genres.
The fact that it has a high level of control, good decay and quickness is a real plus, but the mid-bass section is not quite apparent on many occasions, which creates a thinner sound than I would’ve liked. This makes the S12 a genre-specific IEM since it doesn’t have that required texture and note size with Jazz, Pop, RnB and similar types of music.
The good thing is that the S12 separates its bass from mids sharply, so the mid section is not affected. Again, its quick decay and overall control is very good. The texture is missing to some degree when you compare it to TOTL monitors but the resolution is good. It has good impact, kick but doesn’t have much rumble. So overall I can smoothly say that this is not an IEM for bass lovers.
The HyperS12 has very clean mids with good resolution and transparency. Especially the vocals shine beautifully with great clarity. The mids have good detail as well, so you can hear every nuance with the instruments and vocals. So the S12 doesn’t suffer from anything in the resolution & transparency part, apart from being slightly behind of the TOTL range.
However, things are not great when it comes to tonality. The note size is small, and the timbre is somewhat weak and tinny. Furthermore, as I’ve remarked, the IEM doesn’t have great body in the mid-bass section. As a result, the notes don’t have that foundation to sound lively and you don’t have great tonality. That’s why I believe this IEM is genre-specific. You can have fun when listening to vocal oriented music, but if you want to hear a nice guitar tone or saxophone, there are better choices.
When you pair the S12 with a warm and organic sounding source, such as the original Hugo, the situation betters, but it’s still not the best choice if you’re sensitive to timbre like me. Clarity, detail, cleanness and resolution are all good with the S12, but it misses out in timbre which is quite important in my book.
In terms of presentation, the vocals are slightly in your face and that makes the S12 a good companion for vocal-heavy music.