Natural sound, Great resolution, Outstanding workmanship
Loose 2-pin connectors
Masterminded by former reviewer Piotr and hailing from Poland, Customart have achieved international renown for their low cost/high-performance custom in-ears. The company has been catching eyes with their recently announced Fibae line of earphones, that feature a perfectly flat impedance curve. This is not a trait unique to the Fibae earphones, but it is a significant innovation in balanced armature technology; almost all of which tend to be either especially source dependent or prohibitively expensive.
Resultantly, Piotr reasons that the Fibae earphones will have the same sound signature from every source. Though receptive to other factors, they disregard output impedance, placing them among the most versatile in-ears on the market. At present, Customart offer two models, the Fibae 1 and 2 with corresponding driver count. The Fibae 2 is the more vibrant model with a starting price of ~$550 USD, however, it can be optioned higher depending on design. See specifications on Custom Art’s product page here, and read more about their new Fibae flat impedance technology here.
I would like to thank Piotr from Custom Art very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the Fibae 2 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
The shoebox-style packaging that ships with the Fibae 2 does not accurately convey treasure that lies within. Upon lifting the lid, the buyer is greeted by a pelican 1010 hard case containing the earphones and cable.
This is an excellent, albeit somewhat cumbersome case that provides awesome protection during transit and shipping. Custom Art provide a small desiccant capsule to remove moisture from the earphones, a useful addition for stage monitoring and active use. Upon request, Custom Art are also able to return your earmolds should you need them in future.
Though only offered as a custom on Custom Art’s website, the Fibae 2 can be configured as a universal too (though you’ll have to contact Custom Art via e-mail). And, regardless of form, Custom Art’s designs are realised through an excellent manufacturing process that yields some stunning results. Of course, due to the nature of the earphones, they don’t possess the same level of consistency as a mass-produced product. However, in return, the Fibae 2 is almost fully customizable to the buyer’s request.
Custom Art’s customizer is very comprehensive and reasonably flexible; offering the ability to customise nozzle and housing colour in addition to a huge selection of faceplates with the ability to print a user-specified design on top. Piotr also takes custom requests should the freedom offered by the customizer not suit your needs. And besides aesthetics, the earphones can be ordered with a recessed or non-recessed 0.78mm 2-pin plug and in either silicone or acrylic; which alters their wearing and isolating properties.
Once ordered, Custom Art have a quicker turnaround, averaging between 3 and 4 weeks upon receiving the buyer’s earmoulds. Piotr is also exceptionally communicative, providing frequent updates and a very prompt response time. Additionally, the earphones were shipped using FedEx, further reducing turnaround. As far as custom in-ears go, I had a very positive experience; especially considering that some botched earmoulds prompted a refit. The total process took around 6 weeks.
Design & Build –
Many of the following comments will be universal to the majority of custom earphones. However, the level of workmanship demonstrated by the Fibae 2 is among the best I’ve experienced. Though available in a more flexible silicone, acrylic customs are more orthodox and the material I chose to use for my set. My Fibae 2 came smoothly formed with seamless joining around the nozzles and faceplates and rounding to every edge that enhances comfort without sacrificing seal. Their flawless long-term comfort was further established when wearing the earphones during a 12hrs flight from Japan to Australia; during which I experienced no hotspots at all.
Of course, they will feel a little unusual coming from a universal earphone; their unyielding acrylic housings lacking the malleability of silicone/foam tips and losing seal with an open jaw. However, that sensation quickly fades into an almost imperceptible comfort. Moreover, with a deep fit and fully-sealed, ear-filling design, the Fibae 2 also provides terrific noise isolation that exceeded that provided by my Campfire Jupiters; my most isolating universal in-ear. This makes them ideal for travel and commute at the cost of some additional pressure during wear.
As I ordered my set with transparent housings, the two drivers and wiring inside can be observed. The Fibae 2 isn’t silicone filled, but the drivers are firmly cemented and the wiring is neat and organised. The transparent acrylic had a few tiny bubbles, but they never affected comfort or seal as on some older customs I’ve owned. I am concerned that there are no obvious filters protecting the drivers from wax and debris though this never presented any complications during my months of testing.
The Fibae 2 utilises a 0.78mm 2-pin removable cable. I went with a recessed connector for the additional stability that it affords. However, the connectors proved to be my main concern with the Fibae 2. Of note, they are quite loose and the earpieces are prone to detaching when winding the cable up for storage. It’s irksome, but can be partially alleviated by bending the 2-pin connector on the cable to provide some additional tension.
Otherwise, the included cable is a fairly standard affair amongst custom in-ears. It has a tight twist beneath the y-split and a looser braid above it that is less receptive to microphonic noise. The cable is very supple with a smooth texture that routes easily through clothing. The right angle 3.5mm plug feels well-relieved and the memory wire ear guides hold their position reliably (though I still prefer the pre-moulded variety).
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