Details: Entry level wooden earphone from Fischer Audio
Current Price: $27 from gd-audiobase.com (MSRP: $29) (discontinued)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 98 dB | Freq: 26-22k Hz | Cable: 4.1’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Sony Hybrid
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear
Accessories (1.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and shirt clip
Build Quality (2.5/5) – Like the wooden earphones from Woodees and Thinksound, the shell of the Daleth is split into two parts – the driver chamber, finished in reddish-looking wood, and a metal front bit with a slim, filterless nozzle. The rubbery cable is thin and has a bit of memory character. Though the strain relief on the L-plug is quite beefy, the other strain reliefs are made of hard plastics. A sliding cable cinch is nowhere to be found and mild driver flex is present on insertion
Isolation (2.5/5) – The slim nozzles contribute to fairly decent isolation but the stock tips are too flimsy to seal well
Microphonics (3/5) – Very noticeable when worn cable-down; fine otherwise
Comfort (3.5/5) – The slim housings and long nozzles of the Daleth allow for comfortable insertion but the stock tips could be better
Sound (5/10) – The sound signature of the Fischer Audio Daleth is, if nothing else, unique and ambient. The bass is nothing special – less extended and a bit less controlled than that of the pricier wooden earphones from Thinksound and Woodees but not offensive in any major way. Most of the impact comes from the slight mid-bass lift but the Daleth is nowhere near as muddy as the bassier Skullcandy Holua. There is less bleed and less warmth than with the Holua and the mids are less veiled. However, the Daleth has a strange way of presenting music – though the vocals are clear and nicely-centered, there seems to be no point source in the soundstage from which they originate. The resulting sound is enveloping and yet strangely lacking in focus – veiled, but without a drop in clarity. The best I can do to describe it is say that it lacks crispness and sounds a tiny bit ‘smeared’ and too soft of note.
There is a bit of emphasis on the upper mids and lower treble – not so much as to limit the smoothness of the earphones but enough to balance out the tone – the Daleth is only slightly warmer than neutral and noticeably cooler than most of my other wooden earphones. For the most part the treble is not lacking in clarity or detail but, like the midrange, could stand to be crisper. On the upside, the Daleth does have a fairly ‘large’ sound, which is made extremely obvious via juxtaposition with the intimate-sounding Holua. Despite the above-average soundstage size, the Daleth tends to cluster elements closer to the center. There’s no doubt that it can portray distance well, but much of the time it refuses to. The layering and positioning of the Daleth really don’t compete well with higher-end models either. All in all, “big but vague” describes the presentation of the Daleth quite well – for the money it is a fairly impressive performer and, potentially, a good match for vocal-centric music. However, its unique voicing will make the signature hit-or-miss with listeners.
Value (6.5/10) – The Fischer Audio Daleth is a decent entry-level earphone with a number of caveats. Its sound, slightly mid-centric and lacking crispness, won’t please everyone but offers up a good enough performance for the asking price. The accessory pack, build quality, and microphonics all leave a bit to be desired as well. All in all, the Daleth is hardly hi-fi but there are far poorer ways to spend $30, especially if the cosmetics of the earphone are to one’s liking. Those looking for solid build quality and an easier-to-digest sound signature may want to check out the Fischer Audio TS-9002 instead of the Daleth.
Pros: Comfortable; well-balanced for a wooden earphone
Cons: Mild driver flex, thin and tangle-prone cabling