Pros: Build quality and design, lows, accessories, overall looks
Cons: Mids, jack design, lack of cable cinch
Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 9/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 8.5/10
Sound Quality: 8/10
My final Rating: 9/10
Review Date: February 2016
Review Price: £50
First of all I would like to thank Mark from KS Distribution for sending me the FIDUE A65 (pronounced: Fid-oo). They can be found for £50 on AmazonUK and at $65 on AmazonUSA.
Given I’ve heard quite a few things about FIDUE, I was curious to see how they would sound and compare to some earphones I had around the house. Mainly my all-time favourite under £50 earphones, the Fischer Audio Consonance (which has disappeared off the face of the earth due to being discontinued). I was therefore intrigued to see how they would compare to the FA’s and also to the cheaper SoundMAGIC E10s that can now be found for around £30 and something that’s more expensive, such as the DUNU Titan 1 that can be found for £90.
Here’s my video review of the earphones:
Let’s get to this written review!
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging of the FIDUE A65’s is very sleek and well designed – something of which I could see in a trendy Japanese tech store for example. I should say that it does somewhat remind me of some sort of green or environmental product from the outside!
Within the packaging you’ll find a well presented A65 that comes with the following:
- Silicone eartips (S/M/L)
- Double flange silicone eartips (M)
- Cable tie
- Shirt clip
- A velvet carrying pouch
- Warranty card
The package contents is just what you would expect from a £50 set of earphones, I especially like its carrying pouch, which has a premium-feel to it. To add the cherry on top, it would have been great to receive a set of foam tips within the package.
Overall the package and its contents are great, considering its price tag.
The build quality of the A65s is really something that stood out to me. In comparison to other earphones I’ve reviewed in the under £100 price tag, let alone the under £50 range, the A65s are one of the earphones that really stood out to me.
First of all, let’s talk about its cable. It’s terminated by a straight gold-plated 3.5mm jack. I would have liked to see a right-angled jack here, as through my experience, I’ve found that if you’re not careful with straight 3.5mm jacks, they start to incur disconnection problems (due to the jack loosening up).
Moving up the cool looking copper-esk cable, you’ll find a Y-split, but will unfortunately not find a cable cinch. This is somewhat disappointing, as it really helps with anti-tangling the earphones. Speaking of which, the earphones do get tangled from time to time, and that’s again mainly due to the lack of a cable cinch.
I should also mention its microphonics, where I found them to be decent, albeit not perfect. I found using them straight-down bearable, but preferred using them over-the-ear, where the earphones had no cable noise whatsoever.
Moving on from the Y-Split, you’ll find a one-button remote which works on all major smartphones. On my Android phone, a single click pauses and plays music, double-click goes next and triple-click goes back a song.
As we go to the earphones’ housing, you’ll be able to see a left and right indicator very faintly embossed on the plastic strain relief.It’s nice to see that FIDUE have already identified their own issue and put a small dot on the right-sided strain relief. Furthermore, if that’s not clear indication enough, the in-line mic is on the right-hand side, so over time it becomes second-nature to put the earphone with the in-line mic near it in your right ear.
Finally, before getting into the design section, I would like to say that the actual construction of the earphones’ housing is fantastic. It’s solid, feels durable and better still looks amazing with its brushed copper look.
Overall the build quality is really fantastic and quite simply remarkable given its price. I feel it would have been perfect if it had a cable cinch included and a right-angled jack.
Design, looks, comfort and isolation
The looks and the design of the earphones is really beautiful in my eyes. From the cool-looking cable, to the housing of the earphones, which have the FIDUE logo engraved on their rear-plate. When I first laid my eyes on them, it really reminded me of a better-looking Monster Turbine Pro Copper, which is a beautiful (and heavy!) earphone to wear. The A65s in this respect look fantastic and their intersting triangle-design is well thought out.
The isolation of the earphones is neither amazing nor bad. Given its relatively slightly larger-than-most triangular housing design, the earphones block out a good amount and provide a decent level of passive noise isolation.
The A65s are comfortable, and this is again due to its triangular design, as it sits within your ears quite well. In contrast, I did find the earphones to be slightly heavier than some of the other earphones I’ve come across and that’s due to its metal construction. However, it should be stated that they weren’t overly heavy, just in comparison to something like the SoundMAGIC E10s I found them heavier. Tough, using the earphones over-the-ear does eliminate all sense of weight of the earphones. Also to note, they can be worn both over-the-ear or straight down.
The A65’s sound quality was rather intriguing to hear, as at first I was blown away by the frequencies it could provide, but it’s not until I put myself back into my shoes and compared it to other earphones, that I really noticed that something was missing, or sounded odd. Due to the spacing the drivers have, the A65s have a nice wide soundstage, this is great, but when not done properly can feel like something has been cut-off, and in this case it sounded like the mids had somewhat disappeared. They weren’t pushed back nor recessed, nor completely cut-off, just sounded hollow. I think that’s the best word I could use to describe the A65s – A hollow sound, as if something is there, but at the same time is missing. Very hard to describe. It’s not quite Sennheiser IE7/IE8 distant, nor is it Monster Turbine V-shaped…it’s FIDUE A65?
The lows of the earphones is what I would describe as one of its strongest assets. The sub-bass extends reasonably well, whilst having a good resonance within the earphones’ housing. Meanwhile, the mid-bass has a decent slam, which is also well controlled. This is often hard to find in cheaper earphones, so it’s nice to see nor an over-emphasis in the mid-bass, nor a complete lack of it.
The mids, as described above are somewhat odd. They’re present, but not that well portrayed. I couldn’t say that the earphones are V-shaped, as that’s not the tone they give-off, but there’s certainly something missing in the A65s. This was extremely apparent when I compared it to the FA Consonance and the DUNU TItan 1, where it felt music had just arisen from the dead.
Meanwhile its highs were impressive, with a nice extension in the top-end, whilst not being too sibilant. The sparkle the A65s gave off was perfect to my ears, just right and not overly done. I would say they could have been slightly more refined in the top-end and little more extended, but given its price I can’t complain too much!
Its soundstage is like its bass – impressive. The A65 has a nice wide and deep soundstage, which is quite rare to find in an earphone in its price category. I felt the highs were positively effected by the soundstage, as with a more open sound the highs had more room to breathe and therefore sounded better. Its instrument separation is also very well presented and gives off a nice sense of perception.
Sound Quality Ratings
Conclusion & Closing Thoughts
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the FIDUE A65s. Despite their slightly odd sounding mids, which felt as if they had disappeared , the earphones perform well. Given that the price tag is only £50 and they come with an in-line mic, I find it easy to recommend the earphones to anyone looking for a decent upgrade in sound quality over their cheaper/stock earphones. I would say they’re better than the SoundMAGIC E10s, sit somewhat near to the E80s, but can’t surpass the FA Consonance nor the DUNU Titan 1 earphones. In essence, their price tag is a true reflection of their sound and overall package.
Hope you enjoyed my review!