Review: Fearless Audio S10 Genie – Forward, March

The treble section flows a little better from the mids than the bass to the mids. Treble – again – is clear, clean, precise and detailed. It doesn’t extend very far though and the layering isn’t the best but the spaciousness, speed and energy levels are spot on. The lower treble section is also still somewhat more forward sounding, but this doesn’t really bother me and it actually makes electronic music sound really great and energetic.

Sound – Conclusion

The Fearless Audio S10 Genie is a very special monitor. It does some things really well like the clean and clear presentation, the precision, detail and speed. At the same time however the separation is very strong and the vocals are forward and can become sharp.

I can’t agree with Fearless that the vocals are warm sounding at all, to me it’s more the opposite. You might like this typical vocal forward presentation, so take that into account when reading my assessment. I do have to admit that it sounds very nice when listening to electronic music where there are no vocals. Of course for some the S10 Genie for this type of music might not have enough bass body and impact, but that’s another story.

I have tried different copper cables with this monitor, and while they do present the S10 Genie with more body, they don’t change the forward vocal presentation. There’s only so much a cable can do. You do get a bigger “effect” by changing sources, as they will give you more/less body and impact and softer/sharper vocals and upper mid frequencies. More about this below.

Fearless Audio Comparisons

All of the other Fearless Audio monitors unfortunately have been reviewed by Nano, so it’s very hard for me to compare these to its family. I will pass on the S10 Genie to Nano after this review, so that he can compare it to the other Fearless IEMs and add his findings in this review.

Portable sources

The smooth sounding Luxury & Precision DAPs keep the vocals in check and you get a slightly softer vocal and upper mid presentation. Sure the vocals are still forward, but they’ve been smoothened out somewhat. The vocals will be always forward and thinner though.

With the HiBy Music R6 PRO you get the most body and impact, and the decay is really nice. The extension is also good with this DAP, especially in the mids section. Bass has the biggest impact and body overall is most present with the R6 PRO. The vocals are still forward sounding, not much we can change about that, but they like in the L&P DAPs, sound softer.

The S10 Genie and AK SP1000 combo isn’t one I wouldn’t immediately recommend because of the lighter presentation of the SP1K. It doesn’t have the body, bass and smoother vocals to make the S10 Genie sound its best.

The Cayin N6ii with the new DAC module isn’t a good match with the S10 Genie as it seems to bring out the worst in the Genie with the lightest body, impact and the sharpest vocals. The original module the N6ii comes with is fuller sounding, delivering a sound more like that of the R6 PRO and that for me is the module to go for with the N6ii in this case. In general I prefer the new module over the old one though (review soon-ish).

In short, I recommend using the S10 Genie with a full sounding source with good bass, and a softer, smoother mid/vocal presentation. That for me will make the S10 Genie sound best.

Conclusion

The Fearless Audio S10 Genie has left me with mixed feelings simply because the typical tuning isn’t my personal thing. The S10 Genie however does several things really well like detail, cleanness, precision, speed and energy.

Depending on the tracks and source used this forward characteristic can change and you can either make it stronger or soften it down, but forward is something the vocals will always be.

If you like the forward neutral tuning (especially great for electronic music imo) then you will probably love how the S10 Genie presents music. The Fearless Audio S10 Genie has a very specific tuning, so don’t expect his to be a great all-round monitor. This really is one to get if you’re seeking a more neutral, vocally forward presentation. And some of you for sure will want exactly that.

 

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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.

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