Fischer Audio Consonance Review

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Fischer Audio Consonance
Reviewed Oct 2011

Details: Bass-heavy mid-range earphone from Fischer Audio
MSRP: est. $64 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $51 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1’ 45º-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock bi-flanges; stock single-flanges; generic bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange (5 sizes), bi-flange, and tri-flange silicone tips; hard plastic carrying case
Build Quality (4/5) – The lightweight shells of the Consonance are plastic but seem like they will hold together well. The nozzle filters are metal and the strain reliefs are sturdy and yet flexible all around. As with the pricier Tandem model, the nylon-sheathed cables are somewhat tangle-prone
Isolation (3/5) – The Consonance is vented at the rear and can’t be inserted too deeply due to the large housings but still manages good isolation for a dynamic-driver earphone
Microphonics (3/5) – Bothersome when worn cord-down; good when worn cable-up. The lack of a shirt clip does not help
Comfort (4/5) – The straight-barrel housings are on the large side but the Consonance is lightweight and sounds fine with a shallow fit

Sound (7.6/10) – At the heart of the Consonance is bass, and plenty of it. In terms of low-end power the Consonance is similar to the famed Eterna. It is deep and powerful, elevated most in the mid-bass region and providing tons of impact on demand. Like that of the Eterna, the bass of the Consonance is neither the quickest nor most resolving but it is immensely enjoyable. There is slightly more mid-range bleed compared to the Eterna and a warmer overall sound. The Consonance also sounds a tad thicker and yet the midrange still remains fairly detailed and clean-sounding. The Eterna, as well as the thinner-sounding HiSound Crystal and Beyerdynamic DTX 101 iE, all have the clarity of the Consonance beat by a hair but the latter two haven’t got as much bass to contend with. The Eterna, meanwhile, sounds a bit less lush and liquid than the Consonance.

The overall sound profile of the Consonance is slightly v-shaped, with a lot of bass lift and some treble emphasis. The Eterna is flatter through the mids and treble but lacks the sparkle of the newer model. Sparkle is a two-edged sword, however, and the Consonance is slightly more prone to harshness than the Eterna. In terms of presentation, the Consonance manages good width and very decent depth. Despite a tendency to be the warmer and more intimate counterpart to the more open-sounding and refined Eterna, the Consonance can almost match the soundstage size of the older model. It easily beats the Beyerdynamic DTX 101 iE in soundstaging proficiency and offers better front-to-rear and top-to-bottom space than the HiSound Crystal. Imaging is decent and instruments are well separated and properly layered. The high efficiency of the Consonance doesn’t hurt, either, and it’s not a picky earphone when it comes to sources. This is fun, carefree sound at its very best.

Value (8.5/10) – The Fischer Audio Consonance combines booming bass, warm mids, and a touch of top-end sparkle for a powerful, lively sound capable of competing with the renowned Eterna. The more conventional form factor of the Consonance, complete with a lightweight but durable shell and a soft, albeit microphonic, nylon cable makes them friendlier towards a larger portion of IEM users and the inclusion of a hard carrying case – a first for any Fischer model to fall into my hands – is very welcome (though the cable management system can be a bit time-consuming). All in all, the Consonance runs in the same vein as the Eterna and Panasonic HJE900 – fun first, accuracy second. The amazing thing is that by today’s standards, it is merely a very good earphone. Several years ago, this would have been a world beater at the asking price.

Pros: fun, bassy sound signature with few shortfalls
Cons: tangle-prone cable; microphonic when worn cord-down


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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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