The selection of eartips is crucial to any universal in-ear monitors and will affect the sound, especially the bass impact which depends on the seal. Due to a large opening of my earcanals, I usually go for the largest size eartips to get a better seal. Also, please keep in mind, eartips impressions are subjective and will be based on anatomy of my ears.
Stock foam – mid-forward sounds presentation, a neutral bass with textured sub-bass rumble and light mid-bass punch, close to neutral lower mids, brighter more forward upper mids, crisp, airy, non-fatigue treble.
Stock grey silicone (balanced) – thinner upper mids and more emphasis on “s” in lower treble.
Stock black core silicone (bass) – a little more sub-bass rumble and more lower treble emphasis with sibilance under control, though lower treble still being vivid.
Stock red core silicone (vocals) – more lower treble emphasis which bring back “s” accentuation. Vocal’s rendition here is actually not bad, but sibilance was present, especially with poorly recorded tracks. These were my least favorite eartips.
Symbio F foam tips – still mid-forward sound sig with a neutral bass, though I do hear a touch more sub-bass rumble, more neutral lower mids, more revealing-natural upper mids, and bright, energetic treble. I always find Symbio F like a crossover between foams and silicone tips.
Comply TSX foam tips – a more balanced and natural sounding sig with bass coming up in both quality and quantity; slightly north of neutral, mids gaining some lower body to give them a more natural tonality, and treble’s 6kHz peak going down, giving upper frequencies a more natural tonality. There is a little trade-off since you lose some air in treble extension, but the treble sounded more natural than with any other eartips. I also noticed the volume went down and I had to raise it up by a few clicks.
With an exception of foam eartips, everything else I tried made Fantasy sound too vivid in the upper frequencies, even other popular aftermarket silicone eartips. Thus, I decided to stick with foamies.
Cable pair up.
I’m aware that some people don’t believe in cables and have very strong opinion about it. It’s not my intent to change those minds. Instead, I’m just sharing what I hear during my testing. What makes sense to me, a metal wire is a material with physical properties of resistivity, conductivity, purity, and unique geometry, all of which put together act as a filter between your source and headphones. Variations of these physical properties can affect the conductivity of analog signal, resulting in a sound change, from a subtle to a more noticeable level. If the talk about cables upsets you, please skip this section. Otherwise, enjoy these short impressions.
Stock to DITA OSLO – there is a touch more rumble and a little more treble sparkle which creates a perception of the sound being more balanced rather than mid-forward.
Stock to PWA No 10 – sounds very similar to a stock cable.
Stock to PlusSound TriCopper – I hear upper mids being a little bit smoother and lower treble peak being just slightly attenuated down. You have to listen very close and carefully to pick up these differences.
Stock to EA Cleopatra – the only difference I hear here is a slightly wider soundstage and a little more revealing tonality.
Overall, eartips rolling had a more noticeable impact on the sound change than cable rolling here. Personally, I decided to stick with a stock cable, and if I need to use a balanced source, I will probably switch to PWA No 10.