Disclaimer: This is a Picture Sunday post, representing a very first impression of a particular gear. Check out our recent Picture Sunday articles HERE. I received The M-Fidelity SA-50 from the manufacturer directly for reviewing.
THE NEW SA-50
This is the M-Fidelity SA-50, the flagship Custom In Ear Monitor from the Norwegian company. You’ve probably heard about this brand with their previous flagship model, the SA-43, which has 2 switches on its face plate for altering the sound. Well, this one doesn’t have any of that. It instead has 5 BA drivers in a 4-way system and you only have one type of sound unlike the SA-43.
I told you before that I’ve been on the lookout for Custom IEM manufacturers outside the zone of the “marketing giants”. I don’t say this in a bad manner though, they’re successful and deserve to be known in the audiophile world. But there are some hidden companies around, with very good CIEMs for the money. One of them was P-EAR-S and I’m glad that I provided some exposure for them.
Alf Middlethon runs the operation at M-Fidelty, and has a swift communication like most of the CIEM makers out there. He has some quite unique features and solutions up in his sleeve, and it’s always nice to see different techniques about creating Custom In Ears.
M-Fidelity offers a silicone filling option for example, for providing the best isolation. You can even mistakenly assume these CIEMs have silicone shells when you look at them from a distance. Another different looking thing is the sound tubes, which are white and probably made from a different material that I don’t know yet. I will surely ask Alf about these.
One last thing (and I really liked this one) is the wax filters at the end of the dual bores. I think filters are very critical with CIEMs, especially if your ears produce some wax. The different thing about these is that they can be removed and changed with a tool provided in the package. So if they get filled after some time, you can just change them with the tool. This I think is a great solution from Alf.
Sound-wise it’s very early of course to exert a conclusive opinion about the whole sound. But for now what I can say is that the SA-50 is a reference type of CIEM with a linear and controlled bass, crisp and high resolution mids and very well extended, accentuated treble response. The sound stage is ideal and studio-like, separation is very good and it sounds very very transparent.
What I realized though is that the M-Fidelity SA-50 definitely needs a great source and files to shine. Otherwise it would be just a matter of time to find it far from the best at the high-end field. So the owners of this CIEM should be careful and pick a high quality source to pair it with.
The detailed review will be online soon. Let me finish with other gear I have before focusing on this different, yet very good & reference CIEM. Thank you for reading and have a great lazy Sunday.