When sound and art collide!
PROS: Excellent craftsmanship and designs, very comfortable UIEM and CIEM fit, sound quality – fun and engaging W-shaped take on reference signature, clarity, resolution and separation, resolving bass with good slam and rumble, forward upper-midrange, instrument definition, upper-treble air and openness, instrument realism, wide holographic soundstage.
CONS: Nitpicking – Exciting but not the most linear treble tuning, mid-treble dip, fuller 250-500Hz lower-midrange adds extra fullness and body to instruments than neutral.
Custom Art was founded in May 2012 in Warsaw by Piotr Granicki, a long-time reviewer of portable audio equipment, Head-Fi member and DIYer. The natural step forward for him was to create his own series of earphones. The company’s foremost philosophy is to deliver the best products possible at the most affordable pricing and delivering this kind of quality requires Custom Art to be excellent at service and sound. As one of the few companies in the world offering custom in-ear monitors in silicone instead of regular acrylic, Custom Art takes advantage of silicone and its soft comfort to allow monitors to be worn for longer periods.
In 2015, the company entered the acrylic CIEM market with the Ei.3, the world’s first 3-way, 3-driver CIEM priced below $300. In August 2015 Custom Art introduced FIBAE technology. The name stands for Flat Impedance Balanced Armature Earphone and is world’s first, revolutionary IEM design providing flat impedance and phase, which solves one of the oldest problem in the audio industry – dependence on output impedance of sound source for correct earphone output. IEMs equipped with FIBAE technology will always perform best from any audio source. First two models (single driver FIBAE 1 and dual-driver FIBAE 2) were released in April 2017.
- Drivers – Dual sub-woofer, single low-mid, dual mid-high, single proprietary high, single proprietary super high.
- Impedance – 12 Ohm @1kHz
- Sensitivity – 122dB @2kHz @0.1V
- 3D-printed waveguide
- Frequency – 10Hz – 21000Hz
- Custom or universal fit
Included in the box.
- FIBAE 7 Unlimited UIEM/CIEM
- Ear tips (in case of UIEM) – SML silicone single flange, 1 double flange
- Cleaning brush
- Warranty card
- Zipper case
- Drying pellet
Build Quality, Fit and Comfort.
CIEM – First and foremost, I must say CustomArt did a spectacular job with the design and fit. The CIEMs fit like a glove and I think TCA really nail the galaxy swirl designs in general. They are some of the best in the industry in my opinion. I wasted no time in choosing the same when Piotr asked for the design I’d like to go for. The CIEMs were made using my 3D scanned ear impression STL files, which is a big plus IMO because not every company accepts them (though a lot of them have started to now). I had asked Piotr about the kind of fit they generally go for in CIEMs – a deeper-snugger ‘pro’ fit or a shallower-easy ‘audiophile’ fit. He replied asking for my preference and let me know that they generally try to shoot for somewhere in the middle but it really depends on the shape of the ear canal. With straight canals, they try for a deep fit, a shallower fit for the more curved canals and can even do a brain scratching fit if someone wants so.
For me, the shells are a reassuringly snug, mid-deep fit that is a good combo of comfort and isolation, which is perfect for casual listening as well as a monitor for my concerts which are generally an hour to 1.5 hours long and noisy AF. F7U isolates extremely well (compared to how a shallow-easy fit would) and I can’t really hear the fan running at full speed in my room with them in.
Universal – The stock design is a looker to say the least! The cuboidal pattern faceplates are finished and lacquered in such a way that they have a very 3D look as the light reflects off the faceplate. The shells are particularly small and are excellently crafted, with an extremely high fit and finish quality. I have a slightly deeper concha and use large tips or the double flange tips for the fit. Overall, the shells allow for an extremely comfortable fit that stays so for hours on the end.
Cable – F7U comes with the Null Audio Arete MKV cable. It’s a 24AWG UPOCC Copper cable, is soft and supple, doesn’t tangle up, is light with hardly any downward pull and enables for a very comfortable wearing experience. All in all, no complaints here.