Details: Wooden IEM from Fischer Audio
MSRP: approx. $55
Current Price: $50 from fischer-products.eu
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 106 dB | Freq: 5-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Generic bi-flanges, stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear
Accessories (2/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and soft carrying pouch
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The large wooden housings of the FA-977 are trimmed in gold, as are the y-split and I-plug. The brown cable is plasticky and of average thickness, with no cable cinch and hard plastic strain reliefs. Mild driver flex is present
Isolation (3/5) – Large housings prevent deep insertion but isolation is easily above average
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Can be bothersome when worn cord-down but lower than with Fischer’s cloth cord. Low when worn cord-up
Comfort (3/5) – Straight-barrel housings are lightweight but surprisingly large. Sizeable diameter prevents deep insertion and may make them uncomfortable for those with smaller outer ears.
Sound (6.4/10) – Quite possibly the most unique of Fischer’s mid-tier models, the Jazz provides a forward yet spacious sound that works surprisingly well when taken as a total package. The bass has decent depth and good impact, lagging only a little behind the Sunrise i100 on both counts. It is punchy but not particularly tight or crisp – mediocre resolution leaves the low end somewhat muddy and ill-defined. Other than the mediocre control, the bass is pleasant – punchy, full, and smooth. Bass depth is average – the pricier Consonance model offers significantly more sub-bass in addition to better detail and texture.
The mids of the Jazz are smooth and prominent. Vocals are forward, balancing well with the impactful low end, and the tone is warm overall. Clarity and detail again suffer due to the mediocre resolution – all of the higher-end Fischer models I’ve tried are superior to the Jazz in this regard. The Ceramique especially sounds much cleaner and more refined, though it lacks some of the fullness of the Jazz. The similarly-priced Brainwavz M2 also offers up better clarity while the cheaper Sunrise i100 falls behind only a little.
The treble transition is smooth and the top end is laid back in comparison to the midrange. The Jazz does a good job of cutting out sibilance but sounds just a hair dark compared to the Ceramique. It also lacks energy with cymbals compared to the Consonance or even the Paradigm v.3. The presentation is wide and spacious despite the forward midrange. The earphones sound airy and open – more so than a Brainwavz M2, for example – but suffer from mediocre dynamics and average separation. The similarly-priced Paradigm v.3 has a smaller soundstage but easily surpasses the separation of the Jazz.
Value (7/10) – With dozens of wooden earphones on the market, Fischer Audio’s FA-977 Jazz stands out mostly with its sound signature, combining a fairly large soundstage with intimate, forward mids and hard-hitting but not overbearing bass response. Competitors with this type of sound signature are few and far between, making the Jazz a good buy for some, but those who are not looking for this particular signature may want to pay a bit more for a Paradigm v.3 or Consonance instead.
Pros: Unique mid-forward sound with good bass punch
Cons: Large housings; Clarity and detail not as impressive as with other Fischer IEMs