Earsquake Fish

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Earsquake Fish 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Sep 2010

 

Details: Bass-heavy earphone oriented at PSP users
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $15)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: N/A | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.3’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (1/5) – Medium single-flange silicone tips (2 colors)
Build Quality (2.5/5) – The housings of the Fish are just as plasticky as those of the cheaper CRO but the cable is thicker and far more rubbery. The cord cinch actually works and there is some strain relief to be found on the y-split but aside from that the Fish still feels like a $15 earphone
Isolation (2.5/5) – Quite decent for a vented dynamic
Microphonics (4/5) – Very low when worn cable-down, nonexistent cable-up
Comfort (3.5/5) – The shells are quite light and the long stems don’t lead to any problems with over-the-ear fitment but the housings are not rounded at the front like those of the CRO. As a result, the Fish fits more like the average straight-barrel in-ear

Sound (3/10) – Though the Fish was not designed for music, it would be unfair for me to make a special exception for the earphones and stray from my usual review regimen. That said, the Fish clearly works better for films or games than it does for music. As advertised, the earphones are quite bassy, with a low end that tends towards ‘rumbly’ rather than ‘punchy’ and better low end extension than the other Earsquake models. Sadly, while quite appropriate for movies and gaming, the low end weight of the Fish makes it sound muffled when used for music. The earphones are quite a bit smoother than the CRO as a result, which covers up their other shortcomings somewhat. Still, the mids are recessed, sometimes overshadowed by the upper bass, and generally a little too thick and slow for my taste. Tonally, the Fish are warm but not excessively so. The treble is quite smooth compared to the CRO but not as prominent or extended. In terms of presentation, the Fish sounds distant and has a tunnel-like soundstage, with some left-right separation but not much else in the way of imaging or positioning.

Value (6.5/10) – The Earsquake Fish was designed with a purpose in mind, and that purpose was not music listening. As a result, it holds little interest for me. Those who do game on the move may find a good match with the Fish as ‘gaming’ IEMs are a rare crop. Fit, microphonics, and build quality are all fine for the price though I wish Earsquake included the full 3-size tip set with these. The sound is thick and bassy and the presentation is spacious but distant overall – on par with many of the mainstream cheap-o earphones but not nearly as good as some of my budget hi-fi champs. If music is your game and bucketloads of bass don’t hold much appeal, buy the SHA instead.

Pros: Lightweight and comfortable, good isolation, low microphonics, smooth sound, lots of bass
Cons: Lots of bass, lacks in clarity & resolution, stock tips in only 1 size


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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