Fischer Audio Paradigm v.3 Review

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Fischer Audio Paradigm v3
Reviewed Jan 2012

Details: angled-nozzle earphone from FA
MSRP: $58 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $55 from fischer-products.eu
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 106 dB | Freq: 6-25k Hz | Cable: 4.1′ 45º-plug
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (2/5) – Single-flange (2 sizes) and bi-flange silicone tips; soft carrying pouch
Build Quality (4/5) – The construction of the Paradigm v.3 is similar to that of the similarly-priced Consonance. The housings are plastic but seem to be put together well. The nozzle filters are metal and the strain reliefs are sturdy yet flexible all around. The nylon-sheathed cables are somewhat tangle-prone
Isolation (2.5/5) – Large, vented housings prevent deep insertion but isolation is still decent
Microphonics (2.5/5) – Quite bothersome when worn cord-down and cable-up wear is made difficult by the driver bulge and angled-nozzle housings
Comfort (4/5) – The housings are lightweight but large and fit more like the half-in-ear FA-788 model than slimmer angled-nozzle sets such as the JVC FX500 and Denon C710. Sizeable housing diameter also prevents deep insertion and may make them slightly uncomfortable for those with smaller outer ears

Sound (7.2/10) – The Fischer Audio Paradigm v.3 takes on a fairly well-balanced sound signature, contrasting sharply with the more v-shaped Consonance and the more mid-forward Jazz. The bass has decent depth and good punch – the Paradigm is not constantly bass-heavy as the Consonance tends to be but is more than capable of belting out low notes when necessary. Impact is generally similar to the Jazz and while the Paradigm does have similarly average detail levels, its superior dynamics and bass control result in a more realistic low end.

The midrange of the Paradigm v.3 is clearer and less forward than that of the Jazz but is by no means recessed or distant. The mids are crisp and well-defined, with the Paradigm being quicker and more resolving. With its lesser bass depth, slightly thinner note presentation, and minimal bloat, the Paradigm also lacks the warmth of the Jazz, sounding more neutral and closer to the similarly-priced Ceramique.

The treble is fairly detailed and has some sparkle. It is not as smooth as that of the Ceramique, instead boasting some unevenness reminiscent of the Consonance and Soundmagic’s E10. Top-end extension is average and the Paradigm sounds a touch dark next to the Ceramique. The presentation is fairly average as well – the soundstage is not as large as that of the Jazz even though the Paradigm tends to sound more laid-back on the whole and instrument separation is quite good. Layering, however, isn’t particularly impressive and the Paradigm can’t quite match the more versatile 3-D imaging of the Consonance.

Value (7.5/10) – The Paradigm v.3 is yet another impressive mid-range earphone from Fischer, combining a balanced sound signature with a comfortable form factor and well thought-out build. Those who require high isolation or tend to be active while wearing earphones may want to look for a deeper-fitting earphone that can be worn cable-up more easily but on the whole the Paradigm is a worthy all-rounder.

Pros: Comfortable and well-built; balanced and capable sound
Cons: Tough to wear over-the-ear; microphonics can be annoying

 


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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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