Review: CustomArt FIBAE 2 – Surprising!

1. Build quality & Comfort

 

The only other acryl monitor in my collection is the CustomArt Ei.3 and comparing the FIBAE 2 to that model it has definitely improved in build quality. If you remember my Ei.3 review, you’ll also remember that I sent back my first Ei.3 set because the build quality was under par. The second set was a whole lot better but there still were some imperfections and this thirds set, is the best so far.

The face plate closing is thin and smooth, the flush connectors are perfectly finished and there are no traces of glue or anything. The inside is also very clean but not as symmetric as some of my other monitors. For some reason some people find this very important so I’m just mentioning that for them. Both the left and right monitor’s canals are on the short side but that’s typical for my ears. They both are perfectly finished and the dual tubes are nicely integrated in the canals. I’m very happy with the build quality of my FIBAE 2 and it’s nice to see Piotr and his team keep on improving their skills.

Compared to my Westone ES80, Noble Kaiser Encore or Vison Ears VE8, there’s still some margin for improvement for what build quality is concerned. I hope Piotr doesn’t take this the wrong way, I rather hope it motivates them to do even better. But seriously, the FIBAE 2’s build quality is pretty darn good, I just love his silicone work more as they’re so perfect.

Comfort wise the FIBAE 2, like any other of my CA monitors, is perfect. My ears have short canals but the fit is great and the seal is unbreakable. I can listen to these monitors for hours nonstop at the office and when I finally take them out, it’s as if nothing was in my ears. It can’t get any better for what comfort is concerned. That of course is the one of the key points of having custom monitors, but believe me this isn’t the case with all the customs in my collection. So all in all a great job from CustomArt.

2. Personalization

Gone are the days of filling out form to personalize your monitors. CustomArt’s shop is now equipped with a monitor building application. For the FIBAE 2 you can find it here: https://thecustomart.com/shop/acrylic-products/fibae-2-acrylic/?

CustomArt allows you to personalize the left and rights differently. For each side you have different options for the shell, the canal and the face plate. You can also have the CustomArt logos left and right for free if you want that (see pics).

The builder tool is very easy to use and it gives you a very good idea of how your finished monitors will look like. You have the choice of a whole bunch of colors and the face plate possibilities are almost endless. My set is finished with a red and brown wood-like face plate and I like it a lot. I didn’t ask for a specific design, but I really dig the end result.

With the online tool it also is possible to upload personal art. Awesome! You can save and upload designs at any time so you can easily compare your different creations to each other before ordering.

If you want to check out the most beautiful CA designs, go to their website here or check out their Facebook page.

3. Cable

Cable-wise I can’t even remember if they came with a stock cable as I never used the stock cable. I have been switching between Effect Audio’s Thor Copper and Leonidas cable as these two cables had the best synergy with the FIBAE 2 to my ears. The last few weeks before the publication of this review I have been using the FIBAE 2 in combination with the EA Horus and while that was the best sounding cable for the FIBAE 2 I don’t see anyone pairing a $1500 USD cable with  a $500USD monitor anytime soon.

The FIBAE 2’s sound should stay unchanged depending on the source used, but I did find the cable to have an impact on the sound. If you’re a believer of cables, like I am, I fully suggest testing different cables with the FIBAE 2.

4. Price & Accessories

The FIBAE 2 is a dual driven custom inear monitor and its price starts are only €475 which makes it very affordable. We’ll get back to the sound later but believe me when I say the FIBAE 2 is a steal at this price.

Besides of course your monitors, you will also get a carton box with on the inside a Peli 1010 case and a more portable small zipper case. Next to that you’ll find a wax picking tool, drying pellet and the typical CA warranty card in the Pelican box.

For €475 Euro that’s a nice set of accessories to get and I don’t think anyone will complain about a lack of extra accessories for this price. Of course the selling price will go up depending on the level of personalization you’re asking for, but for me the FIBAE 2 has a very good price/quality ratio.

5. Customer Service

As said earlier CustomArt now has a monitor building app which reduces the communication with the company. I myself have always been in contact by email and I never used the configurator but Piotr as usual is always quick to reply to questions and suggestions.

I’m convinced CustomArt’s customer service is nothing to worry about, au contraire. And the posts in the different Head-Fi threads also prove this over and over: CustomArt is a please to work with.

Another thing I like is how Piotr, who was a reviewer himself before he started his business, compares the different model’s tonality to each other. He looks at bass, mids, treble, headroom, imaging, depth, warmth and brightness. The overview can be found on his website and the only down side to this is that you can only compare two models at the same time. When you compare the FIBAE 1 and 2 you get a chart like this:

The part on Sound can be found on Page 3 of this review, after the click HERE or the jump below

The part on Sound can be found on Page 3 of this review, after the click HERE or the jump below

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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.

2 Comments

  • Reply October 6, 2017

    Gurtej Virdi

    Excellent review. Been looking at buying my first CIEM, and these are on my list, think you might have just convinced me to get them… By any chance have you heard the ACS Evolve? They are the other CIEM been looking at as they are similarly priced. Time to save up!

  • Reply October 7, 2017

    LLK

    What a very great review! I think there is no better site in terms of ciems alone, well done Lieven!
    But I digress, I would like to get some opinions on whether to get MMCX or Two Pin connections on a CIEM, which one has bigger variety when it comes to aftermarket-cables, which one is more comfortable, which one has a more reliable connection? If someone coule answer all these questions to this ciem noobie then I’d be very thankful!
    Cheers from Germany

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