Sound Analysis – Fusion
Note – Fusion and R3’s sound signature changes slightly with different ear tips and fit. It shines exceptionally with some. So, I suggest you tip roll and experiment as the sound can vary between bright to balanced to slightly warm depending on your choice of ear tips. I’ve used both foam ear tips as well as wide bore softer silicone ear tips for the sound analysis.
Fusion has a nice quirky fun tuning which makes songs that you’ve been hearing for a while suddenly become livelier, more engaging and fun. Fusion being a tri-brid has 3 different kinds of drivers and each driver pitches its own character in a very nice way. It is highly resolving, open sounding and dynamic, which makes it highly addictive. I funnily think that it is the best sounding IEM in my collection for Karnivool’s Sound Awake album, which is one of my favourite progressive rock albums. It is as if Fusion was tailor made for that album. Haha.
Let’s dig in deeper to know more…
Bass – Sub-bass has very good extension down low and in fact has more presence than mid-bass. I had gotten so accustomed to mid-bass leading the charge that Fusion sounded the good kinda different to me in the first listen in comparison to other IEMs I was testing. Sub-bass has more character than rumble, though it can rumble pretty well too if a song demands. But character is what wins for me. Mid-bass has good presence too and overdriven bass tones of bands like Karnivool, I Am Giant and Muse sound super crispy and snappy. Bass overall has more lively character than dominating presence. It is well defined, fast, dynamic and even sustains pretty well. For example, bass in Twenty-One Pilots’ Hype’ and Walk the Moon’s ‘Shut Up and Dance’ has very good character, deep sub-bass, crispy mid-bass presence and punch while still staying more fun kinda neutral rather than overpowering.
Mids – The transition from mid-bass to the midrange is very linear. Mids are highly musical, have very natural timbre along with great resolution and clarity. The balance of mids though is pushed a bit behind bass and treble. Midrange body is neutral-ish, though neither too full nor too thin. Upper mids have 2 primary peaks, one around 2.5-3kHz and another one around 5kHz defining the upper midrange character. Vocals are exciting and lively and even background vocals in songs like Coldplay’s Orphans have great resolution and clarity. Drums sound more lively than warm/earthy. Guitars and orchestral instruments have good attack and presence with a neutral body and very lively natural timbre, owing to Fusion’s linear lower mid-range and good shine in the upper mids.
Treble – Fusion’s highlight and USP is surely the Magnetostatic driver. I had only heard of Magnetostatic drivers in theory but had never come across one in action until I got the Fusion. The treble extends very well, is super crisp, open and sparkly (the good kind)! It contributes majorly to make everything sound exciting and livelier. Cymbals sparkle a bit more than neutral, though do not get splashy. Vocals have good rich sparkle and acoustics have that extra zing. The Magnetostatic treble character though is unlike BAs or DDs and so might need some getting used to. Once you adapt to its character, you’ll see how well it integrates into Fusion’s signature. But treble sensitive people should tread with caution (always), since appreciation will depend on preferences and threshold of treble sensitivity. Also, as I stated previously, Fusion’s treble character changes a bit with different ear tips and I highly suggest tip rolling for best results. I initially needed a bit of ear burn in, 5-10 songs maybe. My excitement levels were rising song by song and by the end of my ear burn in period, I was enthused and was already onto checking all my favourite songs and how they were sounding on Fusion. It is now one of my go-to IEMs to listen to music every day.
Soundstage, Imaging and Separation.
Fusion has a nice big, wide and open soundstage. Width and depth both are very good. Imaging is very precise and pinpointing even the quietest instrument in the mix is quite easy. As for separation, Fusion much like Shozy Pola39, shows that great results can be achieved by selecting best drivers for the job and good tuning talent.