Fit, Comfort and Isolation
The S10 inside body is shaped a little like a human ear, so in theory it should fit a lot of people very well. As said, the units are rather small but because of the typical shape, the body sticks out of the ear somewhat.
That being said, the S10 is comfortable with both the silicone as well as the supplied foam tips for short listening periods. After a few hours, these for my ears start to hurt so I can’t recommend them for long listening sessions. For your ears that might be very different however. Isolation-wise these in theory have a 26dB noise reduction, but in reality it doesn’t sound like that at all.
If you have small ear canals these because of the thickness of the universal canal, might not optimally fit your ears, so if you have “small” ears, you better try out the universal fit first.
Sound – Intro
It was quite hard for me to find the good tips for this IEM, both in type as size. I usually end up using foam tips with most universal IEMs, but with the S10 Genie those really didn’t have a positive impact on the bass. I ended up using the Spinfit-like blue medium tips that came supplied with the unit, as they deliver the best comfort, bass and most natural voices.
The impressions on sound are done with these blue silicone tips, check out the pictures to see what they look like.
According to Fearless the S10 Genie enhances the ultra-low frequency band as well as the vocals. Next to that you’re supposed to get a wide sound stage, a higher level of detail and a more “luxury” sound overall, whatever that last one is supposed to mean.
Fearless states the S10 Genie sounds harmonious but that’s a point I have some issues with. Sure I mostly tend to listen to very high end custom monitors but the S10 Genie to me doesn’t always sound very coherent and it can overly separate frequencies, bass, mids, vocals and treble depending on the source used. There isn’t always a smooth flow from lows too highs and at this price level, there should be.
The company also states the vocals sound warm, but I can’t confirm that part based on my sample’s tuning. I do agree with them that the vocals are clear, precise and forward sounding.
Let’s dive in deeper.
Sound – General
The sound stage is good but not spectacular. The width is better than its depth and layering is not the strongest point of this monitor.
What you do get is a crystal clear and clean sound, good precision, detail and excellent speed. Tonality-wise the S10 Genie is neutrally tuned overall. The biggest focus is on the mids and more precisely the upper mids and vocals. Body-wise the S10 Genie is lighter everywhere and the vocals are forward sounding. To me they’re often a little too upfront and not natural sounding enough, though that depends on the source/DAP you’re using. If you’re into more forward, sharper vocals you will love this typical tuning. For my taste they can become peaky with several sources and tracks and so that’s how I’d best describe their character from my point of view.
The extension in the lows, mids and high is limited, while the decay is very short. This is one very tight, fast, precise and clear sounding monitor with a strong focus on vocals. It’s not for everyone.
Sound – Classics
Bass is lighter and doesn’t have big impact. The delivery is neutral and it body-wise is smaller. Bass is tight and fast and has a good kick but it’s all about mid bass here. The S10 Genie doesn’t really reach down low to the sub bass part and so the depth and layering are not really present here.
The separation from the bass and mids is clean and immediate. As said I don’t hear a smooth flow with this monitor, which is quite surprising. The mids are fast, clean, precise and detailed but the depth and layering aren’t really there. The mids at the same time do sound natural and have the right amount of air and a spacious presentation, that I have to give to them. The separation again is very sharp but it’s less of an issue for me in the midrange.
The vocals are definitely special, as Fearless admits. They in my opinion are not warm as they say, but they can sound sharp and forward to the point where they no longer sound realistic or natural. Depending on the track and player used the forwardness and sharpness gets stronger or softer. You either like or don’t like this typical presentation and it somewhat can be influenced (softer/sharper)by changing source, but it will always be forward. It’s pretty clear how I feel about it in general though I sometimes get pleasantly surprised with some tracks. That being said, if the vocals in a monitor for 95% of the time “annoy” you, then the monitor isn’t the one for you. So for sure this isn’t my kind of sound, but you might absolutely adore it.
The part on sound continues on page three, just click here: https://www.headfonia.com/fearless-s10-genie-review/3