Fidue caught my eye with their flagship designs, they are bright, unique looking and had interesting driver set ups such as dynamic and balanced armature hybrids and dual dynamics and I was keen on reviewing one. Instead I ended up with the £16 A31s and although I have owned it a while, I will admit I have been bad and not wrote about it once. The main reason for this is because I just don’t want to listen to it, it isn’t good enough. I have not played around at this price point for a while now but it isn’t me being a snob, its just the performance of the earphone being everything you would expect at the price point. I am all game for surprises, VSonic’s GR06 comes to mind, as does the Sony MH1c and Monoprice 8320, I still own them to this day and I can enjoy listening to them, my jaw still drops at the value and I am excited by what these companies pulled off but I just don’t feel the same about what Fidue have done. It feels more like their hard work may have gone into the flagship designs but they still wanted an easy way to appeal to the lower end side of the market to make some quick money. As you know I do this as a hobby, not a job and when I start not enjoying it, my work rate drops heavily and no one wants that. Fortunately my excitement for measuring IEMs with the Vibro Labs Veritas has given me a chance to bring the A31s to you guys.
One way the Fidue does impress is in size, it is the smallest earphone I own. A non vented (to my eyes) housing hugs the earphone diaphragm (8mm) very closely and is translucent enough to see inside. We have a sound bore for a tip to be attached but that is all there is. It is all plastic but there is little to go wrong with something of this size. The cable used is something I remember from reviewing HiSoundAudio earphones, it is not the most supple but doesn’t really have tangle issues. The included tips included are s/m/l silicones and some dual flanges. While the dual flanges help get the needed depth and some better isolation, they are a little uncomfortable. I also really like the little capsule that is included as a carry case.
I’m Still Measuring
While we had a little set back with the results in my Campfire Audio Lyra review, I still want to continue measuring as I will be able to accumulate a database of Veritas measurements at the very least. Using the Lyra review we can look at limitations of the Vertias, mainly an exaggerated drop off beyond 2kHz but the shame of measurement still looks in tack, it is just a bit disjointed.
Looking at the measurements and we can still find out a bit more about the earphone as as with any measurement, be it from a reference model such as the 711 or a hobbyists DIY set up, a measurement only correlates to sound in some ways and give an understanding on some other details, such as channel matching and roll off.
What we can indeed tell from this is at under 20 quid, Fidue have taken care with the driver matching as it is pretty exceptional. We can also tell even with the slightly exaggerated treble drop off, that these suffer hard when it comes to extending past 6kHz, my ears also found this, the treble extension is abysmal. For the rest of it the bass has a nice bloom to it, these are a warm earphone but I wouldn’t say hugely over done and they have good extension, there is no doubt about that.The midrange also seems in a solid place, lower mids take a little impact off the boosted mid-bass but things seems to take a bit of a leap up in the upper midrange.
Thats just it with these earphones, they are not tragically bad but do nothing to stand out in my mind. The size is cool but on top of that you have a slightly warm but not bass heavy sound with a very dull and rolled off treble. The midrange is OK, the soundstage is OK, the build is OK, the accessories are OK, the earphone is OK (all OKs are at the price). If you aren’t looking to spend much more than £20 on an earphone, don’t get me wrong, you will not be dissapointed with these, nor will you have any problems, but these are not game changing, giant killers or great value.