Saturday, 5 February 2011
Brief: Fischer Audio’s top of the line IEM.
Price: The only price I could find was CA$160 roughly £103.
Specification: 20-20000 Hz 108 dB 43 Ohm 60 mW
Accessories: 3 pairs of tips and little baggy type case.
Build Quality: Quite good, the cable feels great but I really do wish they has a strain relief on them. Theirs small size makes you want to pull them out by the cable and that’s a sure way to kill kings.
Isolation: Excellent, right up there with Shure and Westone.
Comfort/Fit: Excellent. As with pretty much everything that takes Shure Olives they are pretty effortless to get a good seal. They do sit quite deep which is fine with me but if you don’t like that then take note. Again having Olives on they were perfectly comfortable.
Aesthetics: Distinctive more than anything else, the black and white cable and the blue and clear buds. I do rather like it.
Sound: First impressions were, oh wow!!! The drama!!! The Treble!!! The forwardness!!! The hyper clarity!!! The DBA-02 makes a fantastic first impression. It’s not by chance either; it’s very much tuned to be extremely forward and dramatic sounding. I can really see why when this came to Head-Fi it was a bit of a sensation. The tuning and intense forwardness of the treble gives the impression of incredible, hyper detailed and spectacular treble. The trouble is the more time you spend with it you begin to find that the treble isn’t actually as good as it pretends it is. The treble has incredible forwardness particularly in the lower and mid treble but falls off a cliff in the truly high range. It reminds me a lot of the Triple.Fi 10 and its “digital” treble. The aggressiveness of the lower and mid treble also I found rather tiring on my ears. It really skirts the edge of becoming sibilant but never outright ear stabbing you like the UE700 does constantly. Compared to the excellent Q-Jays the DBA-02 does give you a tiny bit more detail but I found the more airy and less savage treble on the Jays was something I could listen to and enjoy for far longer. In the mids the DBA is great with a dramatic and forward presentation that is beautifully dry and clear. So it’s not the most emotive or rich mid range they are very enjoyable. The detail they offer is superb. In the lows the DBA’s I felt lack somewhat. The quantity is very much behind the mids and all that treble, all that forward, aggressive treble. I found myself turning on the bass boost on the XM5 and every time I switched it off it never lasted more than a few minutes (or seconds) before it was back on. Once boosted the bass is a little monotone, very tight and very punchy which actually again reminded me of the Triple.Fi 10. It all sounds a little unnatural. While it’s good the Q-Jays are better textured and extended.
I may have some complaints but I cannot deny the DBA-02 is a spectacular sounding cacophony of drama and treble. In small doses it is stupendously fun and engaging. It constantly just wants more of everything and to make everything go faster! If the DBA was a car it would be a hot hatch with a dozen turbo’s. Either you will adore the spectacle and drama it provides or it will wear you out quick smart.
Value: Head to head with the Q-Jays I’d take the Jays but the DBA is a wondrous treble extravaganza. If you want drama, excitement, a superfast, snappy, trebly IEM then the DBA is an exceedingly fine choice. A very fine choice indeed.
Pro’s: WAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! SCREAM IF YOU WANNA GO FASTER!!!
Con’s: See Pro’s. It doesn’t suit slow stuff and you may tire of the excitement.