A special thanks to Oscar Stewart and Sound Perfection Reviews for allowing us to share this review on our blog. To read the full, unedited review, please visit Sound Perfection Reviews. Now let’s Cut the Crap and hear what these IEMs are all about.
Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
Fidue’s packaging is very well done, neatly presenting the A63 in-ear monitors (IEMs) in a high quality box. The an outer sleeve lists the model number and specifications, and when removed, reveals a very good-looking box with a magnetic flap that opens to access the headphones that are very securely held in foam. Under this foam you will find the included accessories: A soft carry pouch and various silicone tips (S, M and L in single flange, and S and M bi-flanges). Hard cases are my preference, but the case included is really good and I don't find the A63 package missing anything, unless you enjoy using a cable clip.
These are well-build IEMs, with a lightweight metal housing and a great finish. The cable is a twisted configuration with a shiny coating protecting the wires. I really like this kind of cable as it is soft and flexible, yet strong and should hold up fine over time. The Y-split and gold-plated jack both have textured metal barrels and provide excellent strain relief, which is flexible but not flimsy.
Comfort, Isolation, Driver Flex and Cable Noise
I’ve read claims that the A63 is uncomfortable. I disagree partly. Yes, the housing is not the smoothest or most round, but I do not find any discomfort even when inserted fairly deep in the ear with the bi-flanges. So, your mileage may vary, but I personally found these to be very comfortable with their lightweight housing and soft, easy-to-manage cable (I wore these mainly with the cable over the ear to eliminate any cable noise).
Isolation is fairly standard for a vented IEM, not blocking out moderately loud sounds, but enough for most daily activities. Driver flex is not a problem. Cable noise is present if you wear the cable straight down, but when worn over the ear, no such problems arise.
The A63 lows are full-bodied and articulate. They have great extension and yet have good control, never congested or bloated. Yes, there is a tiny bit of bleed into the mids, which gives them a little extra body. The mids are still wonderfully portrayed and detailed. While the lows have a little more presence than the mids and highs, this makes the A63 non-fatiguing and sound great when there is outside noise. While the lows are not the fastest in attack or recovery, they still keep up with moderately fast music. Sometimes there is a little boom (resonance) from certain mid bass frequencies, but nothing major.
The mids is where the A63 shines compared to quite a few other budget options. They aren’t recessed to any extent and have great detail. They are also well separated, with good timbre. Male vocals never sounded too lush, and female vocals always stood out, but neither sounded congested by the other frequencies. Acoustic guitars have good body, and there was plenty of power and authority with rock. I can say that Mumford & Sons sounds great, because these don't become congested, everything can be heard, with the body from the kick drums and double bass, twang of the banjo and vocals all shining through. Only a small hint of sibilance can be detected.
The highs aren’t a complete fail, but the A63 doesn’t excel here. The highs do have some presence, but fall slightly behind the mids and lows. I do however like the extension and detail in the highs. They don’t become splashy like quite a few other similarly priced IEMs. The highs really depend on the music, too. As with Funeral for a Friend, at the beginning the highs are very crisp and detailed, then take a bit of a back seat and come out again in the chorus; from what I can hear, they have a bit of a dip where top hats are tapped, yet cymbal crashes shine through. So, overall, the highs are good, but could do with a small boost (Rockbox treble boost 3 fixes most of the problems without making them fatiguing).
The A63’s soundstage is not overly wide but is airy and well layered. Instrument separation is very good, and imaging is also fine.
Overall, the Fidue A63 is a great budget IEM with an enjoyable and well-balanced sound. In terms of detail, the A63 is great and easily competes with the competition; the Brainwavz M5 has better highs, but these have better body; the Dunu offerings sound a little darker; and the SoundMAGIC E30 is a little better balanced but not as full-bodied. These are well-built, sound good, are great for a throw-around IEM, and for around $55 you can’t go wrong.
Sound Perfection Rating: 8/10
Test Rigs: iPod Classic 160gb (rockboxed) > Fidue A63 (bi-flange tips); Fiio X3 > Silver interconnect > JDS Labs C5D > Fidue A63 (bi-flange tips)
Tracks Used: Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3); Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3); Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC); Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC); Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC); Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC); Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC); The XX – Crystalised (FLAC); Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC); Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC); The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3); A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3); Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3); Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3); Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC); We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3); Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3); Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC); Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)
Driver: 8 mm Driver with Titanium Composites
Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
Plug: 3.5mm mini stereo, gold-plated
Cable: 1.2 m
Accessories: Silicone Tips (Small, Medium, Large), Carry Case