Hey, so I have been listening to these beauties for almost 2 months, so I think it would be a good time to post my impressions on them.

I’ll start with a little text teaser alongside some pics in post 2


Fischer Audio is known for their great Audio Eterna IEM, which managed to deliver a “full” sound without compromising much the rest of the spectrum. This time, I’m going to review their open headphones, the FA-011. The Fa-011 have got quite a lot different versions, the ones I have are the light wood version. As I have reviewed the also very good and widely known FA-003, my expectation with these was quite high. Also I would like to find out if Fischer managed to make an open headphone with a broad soundstage, since the closed FA-003 had quite a good soundstage for a closed model. As I said in my former reviews, my primary musical choices are electronic music, dance, drum and bass and some dubstep. So, lets find out what these wooden babies are capable of!

Technical Data Fischer Audio FA-011

ACCCESSORIES 3.5mm to 6.3 converter, Storage Case, 3.5mm extension (3.0 M)
DRIVER Open dynamic drivers


The headphones were delivered inside the Fischer Audio transport case which had a paper “closing” it, that said the type of wood which theheadphones were made (European beech) and it’s color (natural). The paper also has the headphones specifications written in its back, alongside some mentions of them being hand made.

After you “get rid” of the paper, you can find the standard Fischer Audio headphone carrying case, and I think this is a very nice measure that other companies should start using, because by using the transport case as the packaging of the product, you can either save in the cost of packaging and add in an essential extra for any headphone. After you open the zip, you can find the headphones very well cushioned on foam.

All in all, great job in packaging as I had already gave my positive opinion on the review of the FA-003, about the carrying case serving as packaging.


Opening the carrying case, which is itself an accessory, (in my opinion an essential one), we find out the headphones and some plastic bags. Inside the bags we can find a 3.5 to 6.3 mm adapter, which seems very sturdy, and a 3 meter extension cable 3.5mm to 3.5. Overall, quite a nice accessory pack for an headphone, having the essential and they succeed in their function, because they’re all very useful, especially the extension cable since 0.9 m is a really short cable. I don’t blame Fischer for not including additional earpads, since in the FA-003 the standard ones (Pleather) were much better than the backup pair (velour).

Build Quality

Being handmade, I had quite an high expectation for the build quality of these. Like with the FA-003 (which had a ridiculously low weight, allied to a great build quality), they are very well made. Being heavier, mainly due to the wood and metal mesh on the cups, they are still very comfortable due to the fitting system of them. As said before, the weight is concentrated on the cups, while the headband makes an excellent job in distributing the weight. One thing I’d like to stand out is the solidity of the cups, they simply seem that will last for ages (if they get taken care of, because we all know how’s wood). On the side of the mesh of the cups, you can see a metal which has engraved “Master Series” referring to the series theseheadphones belong to, and “FA-011”. You got to be careful though, because the metal will easily get scratches on it. Moving on to the headband, it is comfortable, but doesn’t have much padding, although it has a self-adjusting elastic, one feature that I find really good because I usually have to store the headphones and on the headphones that use the conventional step design, I usually forget the setting and even on those that have markers I usually never find the fit equal, it may be laziness though. The arches that are made above the elastic are made from what seems plastic, while the bridge that connect the cups to the headband is made from metal. Moving on to the cable, I’m sorry to see that Fischer didn’t got within the route of the FA-003, using detachable cables. I know that the FA-011 usually retail for a lower price, but it would be a great touch to have the ability to use your own custom cables, and it would give the set a really cool look, because an headphone with such a build quality, should have cables to match. Also, the included cable, while really good relatively to usual standards, being thick and supporting some stress, it still a bit not as solid as the one in the FA-003. The plug also suffers from the same issue. While having a really nice stress relief, from what I have seen from the FA-003, it would deserve a better 3.5 mm plug. The one included will definitively sustain some heaving pulling, but I think Fischer should have seen the Headphone as a whole, when thinking about build quality. It is not that is bad, maybe it’s just that the awesome set of cups got my stakes really high.

On an overall view of the set, I’d say that what amazes me the most is definitively the wooden cups, because they provide a really nice solid feel to the cans.


The FA-011 are provided with a what it seems, velour like, cloth

earpads, and these are definitively the best to use over extended periods of time, because they will heat up easily. While being useful in the winter, it may be a problem when summer comes. That being said, as I write this review, after 1 hour they start to itch my ears a bit, so I’d say about 2 hours would be the maximum. But now it’s beginning to get hot again, blame it on it. On what concerns to fit, they don’t have a very deep insertion of your ear inside the earpad, but they are circumaural, and I guess even those with big ears won’t have any problems with the fit. The clamping force, due to the elastic headband, doesn’t go on unnoticed, but I think it really helps the headphones to stay in your head well, so it’s a plus. Not the best comfort compared to the lightweight FA-003, but it doesn’t make you want rip of these off your ears. While these were designed for home use, you may need to take a few breaks every once in a while, and then, there should be no problem.

The isolation, these being open headphones, is actually good for the type of headphones and they also don’t leak a lot of noise for open headphones, but still not suitable for libraries at a normal listening volume, at least mine. As said above, these will be used mainly on your home, so having little to none isolation may be an advantage, except in cases like someone is vacuuming the house, for example. The isolation may be also helped by the somewhat higher clamping force.

Summing it up, comfort good, but it may make you take a break every once in a while and a good isolation for an open headphone, but its sound leakage still makes it not suitable for quiet study places.


Source – Rockboxed Sansa Fuze ,  laptop (LG R400), TMN A1 (Huawei Pulse)

Files Used –  256 to 320 kbps and FLAC

Burn-in may have given a better depth to the sound, but nothing worth mentioning (I should have around 100 hours on them), maybe the sound will improve later, but I’ll write with what I have not.

There’s one fact for why I haven’t written this review earlier, and that fact is I don’t have an amplifier. I was trying to postpone it as much as I could to see if I could get my hands on one, but unfortunately I couldn’t. And reviewing these impedance monsters without one will surely prejudice them. So, when I get one, mark my words, that I’ll update this review with the differences of them amped vs unamped.

So I guess, let’s get this started.

As said above, these are impedance monsters, so, to drive them to my normal listening levels, I have to max out the player on rockbox. On the computer, this isn’t an issue, driving them to normal listening levels, but the audio card isn’t the best.

Having come from the fairly neutral (perhaps with a slight lower end emphasis) FA-003, I was expecting the FA-011 to have at least a similar sound signature of it’s pricier, closed brother. But I was wrong, these aren’t nowhere as close to neutral as it’s brother. Let me start it this way, the lower end packs quite a nice rumble, much more than the FA-003. It it’s not a bloated lower end, it just hits you hard, but in songs where it is not requested, it doesn’t show up and ruins the song. It’s just perfect in bass heavy songs, like some liquid dubstep or some hard hitting electro. Also some kinds of rock, those with heavy bass-lines, work like a beauty with these. The lower end also reaches deeper than the FA-003, although the specifications may not say that, and with definition. It allows them to have a fun signature, but those who were looking for something neutral may have to look somewhere else. All in all the lower end of these makes them a head bobbin’ headphone but with quality, because it doesn’t cause a veil over the rest of the spectrum. On what concerns to definition, I think the FA-003 may be tighter, but that may be a consequence of the lack of amplification.

The vocals on these are superb, because in albums where the main focus is in the voices, there’s not much lower end rumbling, allowing the vocals to shine. They are not as present as in the FA-003, due to the more V shaped Sound signature, but when they are requested, they shine. Even on tracks with some bass action, like vocal trance, the voice is delivered faultless. They are pretty much suited for every genre, despite their emphasized bass, because they manage so separate really well the instruments and frequency range.

Now the high end… You can easily hear what Fischer has made in order to balance the headphone’s bass emphasis, especially on rap songs. The cymbals hit hard, perhaps harsh for some, in order to contrast with the lower end, but for me they never get harsh. The treble is definitively more prominent than the FA-003, and I think it extends more, but as said before it could be bothersome for those who don’t like such treble.

Overall, the sound of the set, is a very fun sound V shaped sound signature, with an immense feel of air to it, due to it being open back. Also they have a superb soundstage, that, alongside the rumbling lower end, make soundtracks and movie watching a beauty with these. Alongside the soundstage, you have a pretty nice instrument separation (as good as FA-003) and positional accuracy.

These are the kind of higher end headphones that a basshead should have a listen to witness that it’s really worth to spend a little bit more in order to get that extra quality. They won’t please neutral and analytical music listeners, but these were made for the listener to have fun. Thumping bass kind of fun that is, but even with these characteristics, they can adjust extremely well to every kind of music, despite their sonic characteristics. If you want me to try any specific song on them, feel free to post it below, and I’ll have all the pleasure to write my impressions on it. They are the perfect complementary set of a neutral headphone.

Music worth listening:

–       Anything produced by Dre – Hip hop really has a sweet touch with these, the bass alongside the “exaggerated” treble, really make hip hop a pleasure to listen

–       Money by Pink Floyd – Binaural recordings are great with these, and Pink Floyd is what we all know already. The quick transitions between sides are simply flawless and the vocals are great as well.

–       Doomsday by Nero – Dubstep on its epicness, one great track filled with bass and what it could be a soundtrack to some movie, the bass shakes your head, simply real good with these

These will handle without any kind of problems anything you throw at them.


I went into this review with the FA-003 as a point of comparison. And, from what I have learned from it, I can’t decide which one is superior, since both have pros and cons, and support different sound signatures. The FA-011 is a hit for those who are searching for an headphone with a very broad soundstage, alongside a fun sound (V shaped) that doesn’t compromise and does very well in every genre. Also they have a really solid build quality on the cups, so for the price asked, build quality is a plus.

They are extremely well suited for the genres I hear the most, giving me a more pleasing sound signature than the FA-003, but I think if there’s one thing you can take from this review is this: neither is better than the other, they just complement each other very well, since one is fairly neutral and the other just gives you the sound to relax. So if you want to get the best of both worlds, get the FA-003 and the FA-011.
Fischer managed to establish themselves in the 100-150 $ market with both these headphones, and I take my hat off to them by doing so, because they present us with quite good sets! They just might be betrayed by the limited availability of their products.


Fischer Audio FA-011

Price: Around 150 $

As known, YMMV, as these only reflect my opinion on these.

Also, any tips on how to improve my reviews are welcomed and don’t be afraid and post any doubts you may have on what concerns to the model, I will do my best to try and help you.

Every bit as gorgeous as I expected. I love the ltd. edition wooden box & artwork. I certainly wouldn’t be ashamed setting it up on a bookshelf as a display ornament.. the font/artwork is, again, simply fantastic. Clean, stylish, & artistic without coming across as gaudy or flashy.

The phones/earcups are smaller than I expected (perhaps I should’ve assumed that since they are ‘portable’ after all). More importantly, they’re damn comfortable: perfect clamping force, the cups’ padding isn’t too soft & mushy but not stiff & painful either. In other words, simply perfect as for an on-ear phone. Artwork and craftsmanship on the wood cups is excellent, too. These are truly portable in their slim style & the way they fold up.. yet feel quite sturdy. Not built for a nuclear explosion but if that’s what you’re facing, you got bigger problems than preserving some headphones..lol.

I’ll comment on the sound more extensively as I let these burn in a bit.. but my initial feelings? I love what I’m hearing. One thing I did notice quite quickly was that these are revealing phones in terms of source file quality. Not quite as stark as the 011 but close, IMO. “Garbage In Garbage Out” is fully in effect with the 33/13. Feed them HQ, well recorded music and they will reward you with ear candy.

Given their technical ability & signature, they’d sit quite comfortably in FA’s premier ‘master series’ (alongside the FA-003/002w, 004, 006, 011 & DBA-02). They present a balanced sound that’s firmly on the neutral & natural side of things.. though they’re very musical & engaging. Excellent extension at both ends with every part of the spectrum possessing impressive body, weight, control, & depth. In terms of texture.. they’re not too smooth or too crisp. Not too thin or too thick.. balanced & natural (more than absolute neutrality) in practically every way is what the 33 1/3 seems to be about. Bass has very nice punch & thump but isn’t boosted or bloated. Treble is smooth & natural but possesses just the right sparkle. Those lovely FA mids are thankfully, preserved, too! The mix of neutrality & natural sound reminds me of a fine blend of the 003 & DBA actually.. particularly through the mids. What you don’t have to worry about is any lack of dynamics or note thinness (which the DBA can suffer from) or lack of bass impact (which the 003 can suffer from when unamped) from the 33 1/3.

Per FA, the special APC-02 filter these phones employ (a piece of technology they’ve incorporated into their most premier phones.. i.e. the 002w High Edition) allows the 33 1/3 to be driven easily from portable devices (despite the high impedance ratings). Briefly listening to them from my iPhone (unamped), I’d say FA has definitely delivered with this technology. I’ve got the volume pretty high (~90%) to get the desired listening level (very slightly above average).. but the thing that impressed me most is that they sound quality was damn good straight from my iPhone 4. I’ve listened to many portable-friendly phones that can be driven by DAPs but don’t necessarily sound all that great from them. Despite the iPhone 4 being one of the better, more robust DAPs out there, I often find myself reaching for the Arrow to get the full potential from my phones & IEMs.. With the 33 1/3, I don’t find myself scrambling for the Arrow like I would with some of my other phones (that boast better sensitivity specs, no less). So, kudos to FA for the APC filter.. I hope they continue to use it in their phones in the future. All that being said, these phones certainly benefit from (and take advantage of) a good DAC & amp. Running them through my Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11, the overall improvement & refinement is easily noticeable.

I’ll report back with more sound impressions in a few days.. but I can confidently say the 33 1/3 will (and should) put a legitimate scare in the On-Ear headphone market.. not only in style but in substance (don’t be surprised if Brainwavz ‘copies’ this soon, either.. lol). In terms of sound quality alone, it most definitely deserve to be among the best in the <200-$250 pricepoint.

By ziocomposite

– February, 15, 2012 Posted in: Head-Fi

I’ve been doing more listening with the RPM the last couple of weeks.. they’ve improved slightly (but noticeably) since my initial impressions. OOTB, they were a bit flat & lacking dynamics (at least compared ot how they sound now). At the moment, they’re livelier more open sounding.. music has better depth & clarity too.

I’ll have more to say about the phones in the next few days but it’s late now & I’m not in the mood to type.. I’ll leave you with this teaser, though:

To say I’m impressed with the RPM would be an understatement. These phones have become my among favorite Fischer Audio phones. I like these more than the DBA & 003/002w. They tie with the Silver Bullet & Tandem, in my book. A very impressive feat, IMO.

The RPM isn’t necessarily more technically capable (in some areas) than those other FA phones.. but in terms of sheer enjoyment & compatibility with my ideal sound preference, they hit all the right spots. The RPM’s ability to sound very neutral, natural, and musical at the same time is chief among the reason for my infatuation with them. Their sound signature & texturing reminds me of the UM Miracle in more than a few ways.

By ljokerl

– February, 15, 2012 Posted in: Head-Fi

Fischer Audio Oldskool rpm 33 1/3:

Striking portable woody placed above the Oldskool ’70 in Fischer’s lineup

Build Quality (6.5/10):

The 33 1/3 is a compact supraaural headphone with a flat-folding, collapsible structure. It is very similar in construction to MEElec’s HT-21, seemingly sharing all of the same external bits except for the cups. Like the HT-21, the Oldskool sacrifices some solidity for its light weight and extremely portable design. It features the same thicker-than-average, single-sided cable and 45-degree 3.5mm plug. Aside from the metal inner headband, the only non-plastic part is the wooden insert on the rectangular cups, which features an engraved winged ‘F’ and a stylized model name. The engraving quality is fantastic, which makes the plastic outer structure just a bit disappointing, but the rpm 33 1/3 does hold the honor of being one of the most lightweight headphones in its class as a result.

Comfort (9.5/10):

While the headband pad is identical to that of the HT-21, the earcup padding is of the flat (non-doughnut) variety a-la Sennheiser’s HD238. The pleather and stuffing are extremely soft and the light weight of the headphones makes the thin headband pad a non-issue. Clamping force is very low and the multi-axis folding system allows the 33 1/3 to conform to the wearer’s ears comfortably at all times. The only potential issue is the headband length, which might rule the 33 1/3 out for those with larger heads.

Isolation (5.5/10):

Being a small supraaural headphone, the rpm 33 1/3 is hardly noise-isolating despite the closed-back design. Much of the isolation is traded off for comfort with these. Leakage is still reduced significantly compared to most open sets but they are best used in low noise environments.

Sound (8.5/10):

While the original Fischer Audio Oldskool pursues a crisp and aggressive sound, the 33 1/3 is radically different, offering up a darker, smoother signature. For a tiny on-ear portable with a plasticky outer structure, it sounds remarkably mature and refined. The bass is good – clean and punchy, but not overly aggressive or dominant. The note presentation is on the soft side, resulting in full, rounded bass notes and a smooth, liquid sound. The low end is similar in depth and quantity to that of the AKG Q460, beating out the Phiaton MS300 and lagging just behind the V-Moda M-80. Compared to the Oldskool ’70, the rpm 33 1/3 sounds warmer and fuller, with better bass depth and more realistic note thickness. The Oldskool ’70 sounds a touch quicker and more crisp, but the rpm 33 1/3 is clearly the more natural-sounding of the two.

The midrange is neutral-to-warm, with good detail and a lush, full character. While the bass is punchy, the mids are not at all recessed and barely affected by the low end. The V-Moda M-80 does bleed a touch less but both sets have clean, smooth mids. Like the pricier M-80, the 33 1/3 manages to impress with its clarity and transparency without sacrificing note thickness, as Sennheiser’s HD428 and Superlux’s HD66B tend to do. It also doesn’t push the mids forward to create an illusion of greater detail and presence, again unlike the HD428 and AKG’s Q460. Compared to the Oldskool ’70, the mids of the rpm 33 1/3 are warmer and fuller, maintaining similar detail levels without sounding thin or aggressive and making the ’70 sound grainy and a touch cold in tone.

At the top end, the 33 1/3 is again smooth and refined. The treble is not at all peaky but at the same time doesn’t sound recessed when the headphones are properly driven, offering up a bit more sparkle and air compared to the V-Moda M-80. Treble clarity and detail are on-par with the brighter Oldskool ’70 and ahead of the Phiaton MS300 but the real strength is the realism of the top end, with the 33 1/3 beating all but the M-80 in timbre. The same can be said for the presentation – while the 33 1/3 lacks the imaging and layering of the M-80, it beats most of the competition handily. The sound is a bit laid-back, as expected, but far from overly distant. While the soundstage is not particularly big, it is very well-rounded, revealing just how poor the depth of the Oldskool ’70’s presentation is.

A note on powering the Fischers – despite the high rated impedance, high sensitivity allows them to be driven reasonably with portable players. However, they do scale up quite well and just don’t sound as impressive as they should at lower volumes, leaning towards a darker tonality and a duller, less detailed, and less dynamic sound. Driver by a Cowon J3, the 33 1/3 doesn’t come alive until around 50% of maximum output – quite high compared to most portables and about double that of its lower sibling, the ’70.

Value (8/10):

(MSRP: $129.00, Street Price: N/A) The Fischer Audio Oldskool 33 1/3 is a retro-styled on-ear headphone with a smooth and pleasant sound signature. Admittedly, it is not all things to all people – the 33 1/3 isn’t a rugged, highly isolating DJ headphone. It isn’t a good match for bass junkies or those looking for sparkly, emphasized treble. It isn’t aggressive or analytical. What it is, is an extremely compact and comfortable supraaural designed for casual listening. The sound is clean and detailed, with a slight tilt towards the bass and midrange, and scales well with proper equipment. Its design is unobtrusive and – even with the engravings – unassuming. Keeping in mind that it can sound a touch boring at lower listening volumes, the 33 1/3 is certainly one of the more capable performers in its weight and price class and a great example of what portable Hi-Fi is all about, making it easy to focus on the music and forget the headphones are even there.

Manufacturer Specs:

Frequency Response: 15 – 22,000 Hz
Impedance: 164 Ω
Sensitivity: 114 dB SPL/1mW
Cord: 4ft (1.2m), single-sided; 45º plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: Flat-folding, collapsible

Fischer Audio (à priori rien à voir avec certaines électroniques Hi-Fi d’un autre temps) est semble-t-il une marque russe basée à Saint Petersbourg. Alors qu’elle propose plus d’une centaine de modèles de casques et écouteurs audio, elle commence à peine à faire parler d’elle au niveau international.
Juste avant Noël, elle a lancé une série limitée à quelques centaines de pièces seulement de son casque Oldskool rpm 33 1/3. À travers ce modèle, le client d’œil vintage et au disque vinyle est évident mais avec un style très différent de son que l’on a l’habitude de voir dans les pays occidentaux.


Les spécifications de l’Oldskool rpm 33 1/3

  • Réponse en fréquence : 15 Hz à 22 kHz
  • Sensibilité : 114 dB
  • Impédance : 164 ohms
  • Puissance admissible : 110 mW
  • Longueur du cordon : 1,25 m
  • Coques des oreillettes en bois de “padauk”

Le Fischer Oldskool est commercialisé en Russie à 3 990 roubles, soit l’équivalent de 100 €.







To start this, I would like to greet David from Frogbeats for making this review possible. They are the most known retailer for this Fischer Audio product, so be sure to check out their site.

Fischer Audio is known for their great Audio Eterna IEM, which managed to deliver a “full” sound without compromising much the rest of the spectrum. This time, I’m going to review a closed  circumaural headphone, the FA-003. These are the newer version, which received a facelift from the previous versions. The previous version had quite a high hype on head-fi, so I was really looking forward to hear those, and see if that hype was justified.

As I said in my former reviews, my primary musical choices are electronic music, dance, drum and bass and some dubstep. It is said that the FA-003 are excellent all-rounders due to their relatively flat response, so I’ll try to hear as many types of music as I can.

Technical Data Fischer Audio FA-003

Impedance: 64 Ohm

Cable Length: 2m

Sensitivity: 105dB

Accessories: 3.5mm to 6.3 converter, Replacement ear pads, Storage Case

Frequency Range: 10 – 26500 Hz

Drivers Closed: dynamic drivers


Instead of using a separate packaging to ship the headphones, Fischer Audio chose to use the storage case as the packaging. It was a good idea though, because the headphones are tightly packaged and safe, and it also saves some money that would have gone into the packaging. In the case we can see the Fischer Audio logo in white, contrasting with the black color of the case. The case opens easily with a zip. Inside we can see the headphones neatly packaged with some sponge in order to protect them from some sort of damage throughout the shipping process.


Upon opening the carrying case (aka packaging), which is an accessory itself, inside we can find the headphones, a pair of replacement earpads made from what seems velour and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter that screws on the tip of the 3.5 connector. The mechanism to change the earpads consists of rotating clockwise the earpad and removing it from the driver. After that the earpad has some sort of locking mechanism that you have to remove from the original pad and transfer to the one you want to have. (Will post pics if requested). All in all, it’s quite a good accessory pack for an headphone, having replacement earpads, along with the usual adapter. The big plus here, goes to the carrying case, which is excellent, mainly due to the padding inside. Of course, it isn’t the most portable of the cases, but it’s not to the portable use these headphones are aimed for, so it is completely comprehensible the approach they took on the case. I prefer it that way, so that when travelling, my headphonesfeel comfy.

Build Quality

The first thing you can notice, whilst grabbing them is: “where did all the weight go?”. Judging by the size of the cups and of the materials that presents, I though these would be quite heavy. But no, surprisingly, Fischer Audio managed (or the OEM?) to maintain a quite high build quality, while keeping an acceptable (very acceptable indeed) weight. The cups are made from what it seems some sort of aluminum or metal, which has engraved the name of the series of the headphone, alongside the name, with a silver finish on it, surrounded by quality plastic that is soft to the touch.

The earpads, one pair made from what seems pleather and another from velour, are also well finished and comfortable, alongside the system that permits the use of the different types of earpads. The headband insides are made from metal, whilst the padding is there right on quantity.

Also one great touch is the detachable cables that make possible the use of your own cables, with the length you desire, being the jacks that go into the cups, mono’s. The included detachable cable is one of good quality, being a bit big and heavy, but very sturdy, built to last. The cable is suitable for home use, not portable one since it’s a little bit big. It would be good to see what improvement could be made from custom cables, since it’s not very difficult to change them. The jack on the included cable is 3.5mm, with the possibility of screwing in the 6.3mm jack. The plug is quite big and well finished, and the jack is gold plated.

Overall, I think Fischer Audio made quite a good product when it comes to build quality as the product managed to be well-built, while not having excessive weight, which makes them pleasant to use.


First thing to be said in this chapter is, they need to be wear down, because, when they’re out of the box, they have a somewhat excessive clamping force, that may be tiresome to the user. Luckily, with use, the clamping force fades away, but is always there, so if you don’t like phones with a somehow bit higher than average, clamping force, you might have to look somewhere else (or use velour padswhich help in the comfort).

Now, I found the comfort of these phones something remarkable, this due to their weight and their clamping force (yeah I don’t mind being forced, if it brings something beneficial to it). I can wear these for hours without feeling tired. As they’re light, the clamping force isn’t something that tires you down. Between the pleather and velour earpads, the comfort is better on the velour.

The isolation, this is where the clamping force comes in. Being closed headphones and circumaural, it would be expected that they blocked some sound, that would be normal, but due to their higher clamping force, they block a lot of sound just by simply putting them on your ears. With music, you may have to remove them in order to hear someone calling. That being said, it’s important to remember that these shouldn’t be used in situations where awareness is needed (or if used, with low volumes). I found the isolation to be superior on the pleather pads, than on the velour due to the deeper cup they form around your ear. Also I found the sound better from the pleather when comparing to velour.

Overall, comfort is great, if clamping force is not a worry and isolation is a dream. Moving on to what it matters, the sound of these!


Source – Rockboxed Sansa Clip +,  laptop (LG R400), TMN A1 (Huawei Pulse)

Files Used –  256 to 320 kbps and FLAC

When these arrived, I didn’t managed to put them right away on burning-in and gave them a listen. They come from factory with an already great sound, being the burn-in just a way to get the driver ready for some music listening, as I haven’t found any major sonic differences, before and after burn-in.


My burn-in consists in pink noise along with a playlist that is composed of the songs I usually hear on my daily basis.

I would like to start my analysis on the sound of these, by saying, probably, with an amp, they’ll become even better (my sansa clip is almost on max with them), perhaps Santa will be nice to me and bring an amp, so I could update the review. But now, no amp, direct from source, here we go.

I was expecting a closed headphone, darkish nature, recessed treble, not so much detail, small soundstage, the usual closed headphone sound. The moment I put these on, I was surprised by a huge soundstage (boy I have heard open headphones with less soundstage), a natural sound, bass with texture, great sounding vocals. They don’t deserve the name of closed headphones, because, when it comes to sound, they aren’t.

The lower end of the sound, packs texture and punch, being there when the producer meant, and not when “Oh hi, I’m bass, nice to meet you!” or so to say, there just because people like it. The bass line on the “Queen – Another one bites the dust”, sounds marvelous, progressing alongside the rest of the sound, because it fills the sound without removing something, it gives, but it doesn’t take away. On dubstep, the “wub,wub” parts, also feel great, with the headphones giving quite the rumble (not an excessive one), while not bleeding into the rest of the spectrum. Overall, very controlled bass, which packs texture and amount, while not bleeding into any other area of the sound spectrum.

The mids, also feel like they’re not coming from the normal closed headphone, usually recessed, but instead from an open one. You can hear the voices right where they should, nowhere recessed, and on one quick note, female voices feel absolutely right. For example, “Aurea – Okay, alright”, is one hell of a tune to hear in these. Her voice, along with the instrumental, it’s just so soothing and relaxing. Rock or metal are also very listenable in these, as the vocals from the lead singer, don’t get lost in the middle of the guitar riffs. Another band I found to be very listenable in these, is Linkin Park (I personally love “Faint”). Overall, it deals very well it both kind of vocals, male or female, while having the right amount of distance (if it was meant to be distant, it is).

The higher end sounds right on spot, with the cymbals being crispy, and having that tonality that gives you shrills. They are there, not recessed, not afraid to be heard. With some of that so called “dubstep” (those who know doctor P, know how many piercing highs, his music has), you can feel the highs going along the bass line, for example on doctor p’s – “Big boss” (although this should be called not dubstep, but irritating thing). Overall, the highs are there, and have a good resolution.

The overall sound signature of these, could be characterized as flat. This shouldn’t be a downer to much users though, because, while the sound response is flat, it doesn’t mean  that the sound isn’t musical. It is, and even bassheads, should give these a listen, because this could be a portal to a world where, although the bass is there, is doesn’t overwhelms the rest of the frequencies, and a good starter point for higher end Hi-Fi. The sonic differences between pleather pads and velour ones, is mainly the advantage of a fuller sound, at least on my point of view, on the pleather ones. Rather than that, it is mainly the difference of comfort and isolation.

On sonic qualities, I think these don’t have any disadvantages, and the only way they could be improved, would be an improved micro-detail throughout the spectrum (can only be obtained by far pricierheadphones I think). On their soundstage, it is relevant to say that it is quite large, and their positional accuracy is one of the best I’ve heard. Also the instrument separation is great, I could tell where and how far the instruments are, so this is also good for electro music, as it doesn’t feel like everything was clogged into one track.

Due to this and also for the fact that they isolate, I think these would be quite good for competitive purposes on gaming, due to their soundstage and positional accuracy. At least, on the gaming I’ve made, they were quite good on distinguishing where the footsteps came from. Add a clip-on mic and you have a pro headset.

Music worth listening:

–       Vangelis – Chariots of Fire

The beginning is so soothing that it makes me feel lightweight and relaxed, truly a delight to listen to, on these

–       Deadmau5 – Sofi Needs a Ladder

The perfect song to hear the synergy between female vocals, and hitting electro

–       Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

The song itself, it’s beautiful, but with the soundstage of these, along with the vocals these put out, you’ve got a sound that is capable of reproducing the true value of the song

These are just to mention a few songs, from different styles, to show how good all-rounders these could be. Of course, I could be all day referring songs, but I think they are enough to pass the message.


These have got all it takes to become a staple on entry Hi-Fi. Relatively flat sounding, adequate to multiple sound preferences, an affordable price, sound of an open headphone within all the advantages of a closed one (or disadvantages on what regards to isolation), detachable cables, carrying case, pair of replacement earpads, for a small price (in comparison to similar sounds).

These are perfect to get you started into higher-end or perhaps to make you truly enjoy your sound. They are perfect for you to step up from that old Sony, or Philips headphones you got at your local chain shop. These are what may turn you into an Hi-Fi addict, or simply someone who likes to hear his daily music with quality. For the price they sell, they’re a steal, and perhaps their success will only be stalled by limited distribution. But once you got the opportunity to get your hands (and ears) on one of those, you’ll probably never want to get back to consumer grade headphones, or something that is below the sonic standard of these.

Just remember one thing, these are not spectrum focused headphones, don’t search here for something with emphasis in some part of the spectrum. What you’ll find in this package is natural, musical sound with fine detail. You pay less than what you get and congratulations to Fischer Audio to be capable of presenting such a fine product.




› Frequency range: 10-22000 Hz

› Sensitivity: 106 dB

› Impedance: 32 Om

› Length of a cable: 2.0 M

› Color: Gold/Brown

› Etc: additional velour cushions, 3.5mm to 6.3mm jack adapter, storage case.


Please see my profile for a list of equipment.


On opening the case you find the FA-006, the cable, warranty and some velour cushions. Kudos to Fischer Audio for that added generosity of different cushions!

The feel and look of the FA-006 surprised me. They look and feel a bit cheap but still feel well built. They are also surprisingly light. Just for prep work, I hooked up the FA-006’s on one of my rigs along with my custom test disc and let it be for 48 hours.


Where to start!? Fischer Audio just keeps knocking them out of the park!

The actual FA-006 comes in a case much like that of the FA-003, which, needless to say, is very cool. Kudos to Fischer Audio for deciding to keep this packaging as it is very attractive and functional. How else are you supposed to carry your headphones to Head-Fi meets?!

The actual sound of the FA-006 is very open and sounds like an open headphone design. The isolation is decent. How much isolation you get will depend on the fit. Many people have always wondered if the FA-006 was the closed version of the FA-011 since they look similar. Well, now I know that it is not. In fact, they are polar opposites! The FA-006 has a very balanced, neutral sound without ever being sibilant or much too boomy. If you own a FA-003 or have heard the FA-003, then you know what the FA-006 will sound like. The sound is a baby brother version of the FA-003 without the superior comfort of the FA-003.

The mids are beautifully positioned, front and center right where they should be. Positioning isn’t an issue either as it presents an accurate soundstage. Soundstage depth is very good as is soundstage width. This in turn makes the FA-006 a very holographic sounding headphone. The treble is smooth and moderately extended without being bright or sibilant. The bass is fairly well extended and articulate.

One good example that covers all of the basses above is the track “La Luna” from the binaural album “Up Close” by Ottmar Leibert with Luna Negra. This is one of my go-to test tracks because it has a lot of elements which are difficult to reproduce and only the bestheadphones will make this track shine in all areas. The track starts out with the musicians counting in. This is a true test for accurate midrange. On the FA-006, like on high quality headphones, the voices sound super realistic. You can literally point them out in the room and feel their presence. The next sounds you hear are hand claps followed by some hits on the cajon. The claps are a very tell-tell signal for highs. If they sound stringent or too bright or peaky, the headphones are NOT reproducing it right. The claps should sound realistic with no added hit of peaks or stringent, ear bleeding highs. No surprise here…the claps sounds super realistic and just as good as they sound on the FA-003. Now…the real test on this track in my opinion, is the cajon strikes. The way this was recorded, only the best, most high resolution headphones will display the cajon strikes with proper oomph and detail. There is a surprising amount of low level bass when the palm strikes the middle. The bass is not only deep, but it reverberates within the room and when properly reproduced, it’s jaw dropping good. The FA-006 was not able to reproduce the lowest level of bass, but what it did reproduce was awesome nonetheless. The bass remained punchy, the reverberation was very good and the detail was right up there with headphoneslike the HD-600.  Only a few high end dynamics, some orthodynamics and some electrostats are able to beat the level of the FA-006 with this demo track – however, they all need amps…the FA-006 did not.

The FA-006’s do not require an amp but I would highly recommend you listen to them with an amp. At a recent Southern California meet, some people felt the Heed CanAmp and the FA-006 were quite a synergistic combo. While the volume may be sufficient coming straight out of the Clip+ or an iPod, the authority and presence of the FA-006 only increase when an amp is added in the mix.  If you are a new member or if you don’t have an amp – don’t worry! Even straight out of a DAP like the Clip+, the FA-006 shines. This is one of the main reasons why this should be one of the first headphone purchases all new people here should consider. If you are looking for great neutral sound quality, the FA-006 should be your number 1 priority to try out.

No other headphone will provide this much sound quality in such a package for such an affordable entry level price without the need for an added amplifier or additional modifications to the headphones. Yes my friends, these are that good. These represent such value and such high sound quality that they will be my number one recommendation for entry level headphone purchases from now on. The sound quality is so good, they could also be used as studio monitoring headphones.


Is it the end all, be all? No. However, in my humble opinion, the FA-006 should be THE headphone to buy if you only want to spend $100 or less. I have yet to hear a headphone under $100 that can match the sound quality, let alone exceed the quality of the FA-006 without modifications. If DIY isn’t your thing, then the FA-006 should be on your “must buy” priority list.

The killer, as always, is the price/performance value of the FA-006’s. MSRP is under $90! If someone told me they paid $200 for the FA-006, I wouldn’t have a single reason to doubt them – especially considering the sound quality.  These would make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for friends and family who feel high fidelity is too expensive. With the Fischer Audio FA-006, high fidelity is extremely affordable and with the sound quality these reproduce and the look of the packaging, they will think you spent upwards of $100 to introduce them to high fidelity sound.

If you are looking for a transportable/portable headphone that you can toss around, the FA-006 might just be the ticket as well. They are light enough to take anywhere and cheap enough that if you were to lose them, you wouldn’t be cursing your life away.

The only slightly negative thing I can comment on is the fit. The fit of the FA-006 is not nearly as comfortable as that of the FA-011 much less that of the FA-003. Moreover, if the fit isn’t perfect, sound will tend to leak and you will not get the deep bass the FA-006 can produce. However, for me, this was a minor quibble which was easily resolved by switching to the velour pads.

Overall, the FA-006 is a true value and a perfect example of sound over fashion – the antithesis to the Beats. While the looks might not please everyone and while the feel might not please everyone, the high quality sound is sure to please all who are looking at getting a real high fidelity headphone for a super affordable price. Everyone here should have a pair of these.


Put all of these qualities together and you have what we regard as one of the most compelling mid-priced headphones we have heard in a long time.

Technical specs:
Frequency Response: 11Hz – 27kHz
Sensitivity: 105dB (no reference power level specified)
Impedance: 200 Ohms
Weight: Not specified.
Warranty: One year, parts and labor.

We could probably cite dozens of examples to illustrate the sonic qualities we sketched above, but in hopes of being concise we’ll limit ourselves to just two. To hear both the subtlety and sheer power of the FA-002W on display at the same time, play “Tin Pan Alley” from Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Couldn’t Stand The Weather [Sony Legacy]. On this track Vaughan’s famous backing band Double Trouble provides percussion work that is at once subtle and delicate, yet high in impact, plus rock-solid low-frequency bass guitar support. But most of all, you’ll hear the full range of both Stevie Ray Vaughan’s voice and his famous Fender Stratocaster guitar, which has perhaps never been captured more powerfully or eloquently than on this track.

Listen carefully to the way the Fischer’s handle the sound of the drum kit, and you’ll be floored by how distinctively they present (and effortlessly they differentiate) the voices of each individual drum and cymbal. Where some headphones leave you somewhat in the dark as to how players are managing the dynamics of their instruments, the FA-002W’s show you exactly what is going on. On the bass guitar, the Fischers reveal both the instrument’s sheer depth and weight, while also showing you bassist Tommy Shannon’s deft touch and timing on the fingerboard, which means the right supporting notes always appear at precisely the right moments and with just the right level of emphasis (or de-emphasis, as the situation warrants).

But it is Stevie Ray’s Stratocaster that steals the show, in part because the Fischers are able to show how the instrument can—in the master blues man’s hands—speak with soft, almost subliminal runs of notes and trills at one moment, and then turn on a dime to fairly explode with fierce outbursts of sound in the next moment. In it’s ability to capture stark dynamic contrasts like these, the FA-002W High Edition reminds more than a little of the sound of today’s superb planar magnetic headphones, which are real champs in this area. Sure, most headphones manage to get louder when electric guitars are cranked up, but they don’t always capture the explosive rise in energy and acoustic power as immediately or as effectively as the Fischers do. Given the veritable guitarist’s “master class” that Stevie Ray Vaughan put on in this track, its almost inevitable to fall under the Fischer’s’ spell, so that even if you plan to listen to “Tin Pan Alley” for just a few minutes, you may wind up listening to it from end to end, simply because the sound is addictive and compelling.

Next, let me reference another audiophile favorite that showcases many of the FA-002W’s strengths:

namely, the jazz standard “Bye Bye Blackbird” from Patricia Barber’s Nightclub[Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, SACD]. This is a track that, admittedly, tends to sound very good on most headphones, but what the Fischer’s made be realize all over again is how very intimate and realistic the MFSL/SACD version of this record really is. Literally everything about this recording is not merely good (or even very good), but downright great—as the FA-002W helps you realize. If you listen carefully, which the Fischers certainly invite you to do, you’ll hear distinct variations in touch as Barber’s fingers work across the piano keyboard, subtle variations in finger pressure, attack, and release as Marc Johnson works his magic over the fingerboard of his acoustic bass, and the sure, deft, precise and yet expressive feel that percussionist Adam Nussbaum supplies as he crafts the rhythms that drive the song forward. My point, here, is that you don’t just hear instruments at play, per se, but rather hear the ultra-subtle sonic cues that let you know these performers are listening intently to one another and responding accordingly—together creating a group sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. It takes a very fine headphone to let you hear this kind of group expression, craftsmanship and communication, and it is one of the things separates truly fine headphones from merely good ones.

Most of all, though, listen to the way the Fischers capture the intricacies of phrasing, articulation, enunciation, and tone that Barber brings to her vocal lines in this song. Like many writers, I suppose, I’ve sometimes used the words “smoky” or “sultry” to describe Barber’s voice, but the Fischer’s invite you to make finer distinctions than that—revealing delicate shades of tonality that show why, where, and how Barber shapes her vocals to convey those qualities of “smokiness” or “sultriness.” All of this is perhaps a roundabout way of saying that the Fischer ‘phones have sufficient resolving power and finesse to take you deep within the innermost recesses of recordings to see what really makes the music tick.


Consider this headphone if: 

you want a mid-priced, high performance, closed-back headphone that combines the best sonic elements of both closed-back and open-back designs. Consider this headphone if you like the idea of a headphone that is for the most part accurate, yet never sterile-sounding or overly tightly constrained. This headphone offers extremely good resolution and fine-grained sound for the money, and is—or with the right amp can be—extremely dynamically expressive. In short, one of the best mid-priced high-end ‘phones we’ve heard in a long time.

Look further if: 

you want a relatively light headphone; the FA-002W is comfortable, but a little too hefty for some tastes. Also look further if you aren’t prepared to match this headphone with an amp that can do it justice (the FA-002W tends to sound a bit thin, edgy and somewhat midrange-forward when driven by inadequate amps). Finally, look elsewhere if you prefer to stick with familiar and time-tested brands; Fischer is a comparatively “new kid on the block,” though one we think you’ll want to know better.

Ratings (relative to comparably priced headphones): 
Tonal Balance: 9.5 (somewhat amplifier dependent)
Clarity: 9.5
Dynamics: 10
Comfort/Fit: 10
Sensitivity: 9.5 (but even so, the FA-002W is amplifier sensitive)
Noise Isolation: 9.5
Value: 9.5-10 (though only time will tell if Fischer products deliver the kind of unit-to-unit consistency and quality that are expected in this class)


The Fischer FA-002W is a wonderful debut product, and one that has immediately become one of our favorite dynamic driver-equipped designs in this price class. We hadn’t received the FA-002W at the time we prepared Playback’s recent Editors’ Choice listings for headphones, but if we had it would certainly have won a place on our “Headphones Priced Between $250-$699” list. They’re that good. 

Read original version at AV Guide


Fischer Audio is at it again! Before you discount these headphones as another Fischer Audio plot, please allow me to explain why you might absolutely love them. Be prepared…it’s a long review as I truly want to explain the sound on these as best as I can. Keep in mind that these are strictly my opinions and are based on many hours of listening. Always try to seek out the product yourself and try it before you buy it.

Design: open

Housing: nautural wood

Frequency range: 18-22000 Hz

Sensitivity: 98 dB

Impedance: 160 Om

Input power: 0.4 W

Plug: 3.5mm

Length of a cable: 2.5 M

Cable extension: 3.2 M

Color: athracite/black

Box: carton box

Set: cable extension: 3.2 M


The headphones came packaged in the usual cardboard Fischer Audio box. Nothing fancy except for what is inside. Unlike other times, this time the box came nearly destroyed – as if a soccer team got hold of my package and decided to play a game with it. Thankfully, the headphones were ok. This is a testament as to how good the simple box is at protecting the headphonesduring shipment. I know this is not Fischer Audio’s fault but it is worth mentioning. The box was in such bad shape, I couldn’t even salvage it for storage.

The headphones are another matter all together. Visually, they are stunning to behold. The cups are beautiful and the overall design is very aesthetic and very pleasing. The wife acceptance factor on these is easily rated a 10 out of 10. My wife saw them and for the first time since I have known her, she actually mentioned how beautiful they were. If any audiophile gear can get that kind of praise from my wife…I know it’s a thing of beauty and the FA-011’s certainly are just that…a thing of beauty.

Moreover, the FA-011’s are extremely comfortable…up there with the Sony R-10 or Sony CD-3000 but lighter and comfier. I believe I can wear these for hours upon hours with no fatigue whatsoever. They don’t heat your ears up, probably due to the open design, and they don’t cause any pain on your head due to the super light and comfy headband. I can honestly say that the FA-011’s are the most comfortable headphones I have in my possession at the moment.


For the equipment used, please see my profile. I used the FA-011 with everything I own and even some stuff I don’t.


“Graceland” by Paul Simon – NON-REMASTERED VERSION

“More Of Other Worlds, Other Sounds” by Esquivel

“Inception” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer

“Discoveries” by Gustavo Dudamel

“Moanin’” Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (Analogue Productions SACD)


The sound quality straight out of the box is very good. As always, I decided to let these beauties burn in for at least 48 hours before I started my review. How much the sound changed I can’t really say as the initial listen was less than a minute long.

Now…I love the comfort…I love the looks but I am not truly in love with the sound. Why? Did Fischer Audio fail? NO! Were the headphones bad? NO…absolutely not! So why am I not in love with these beauties? Well…I love a neutral sound signature. That is what I look for in my gear. So let me point this out from the very beginning – THESE ARE NOT NEUTRAL SOUNDING!!! This just might be a godsend for many of you!

Is that bad? NO…. Do they sound bad? NO…absolutely not…

In some way, I feel Fischer Audio is responding carefully to the criticisms it has received from products like the FA-003 and the FA-004. If the FA-003/002W mated with the FA-004 and was raised by the Sony R-10, the result would be the FA-011. For the people who have complained that the FA-004 might be a bit too muddy, the FA-011 resolves that issue perfectly. For the people who feel the FA-003 has no bass impact, the FA-011 resolves that issue perfectly as well. The comfort level, as mentioned before, is up there with the R-10. In other words, the FA-011 sounds mostly like the FA-003 with the bottom end of the FA-004 but tighter and much more emphasized.

What does that mean? Well, for those of you who are familiar with the Senn HD-650 – take the sound of the HD-650 and remove the veil, remove the muddy bass and replace it with deep, tight bass and you have the FA-011.  For those of you familiar with the FA-003 – take the sound of the FA-003 and add a subwoofer and a wee bit of high end and you have the FA-011. Grado fans, take your John Grado model of preference, refine every aspect of the sound, add supreme comfort and add more bass and you have the FA-011.

Despite the emphasized bass, the FA-011 does surprisingly well with most genres. It’s fantastic with rock, most classical pieces, most jazz, hip-hop/rap, electronic and vocals. The obvious characteristic that defines the FA-011 is the deep bass. However, the mids are typical Fischer Audio. Lush, life-like and vivid. Those of you who love the Fischer Audio house sound fear not for the critical mid range remains intact and beautiful as always. Also take note that the high end is tweaked a bit though. I found that the FA-011 sounded too bright at times with improperly mastered recordings and ever so slightly bright with well mastered ones. My guess is that the high end has been tweaked a slight bit to compensate for the huge amount of bass these things can put out.

Another promising feature of these headphones is the huge soundstage. I found that the soundstage is not 100% accurate but boy does it sound amazing. Imagine taking a 180 degree view of the soundstage and spacing it out proportionally to about to about 200-220 degrees. The FA-011 provides a huge soundstage that remains relatively accurate while providing good depth and even a sense of height. Binaural recordings truly shine with these headphones in a way they shine with few other headphones I have heard.

More Sound Specifics….


I found the FA-011 aptly suited for most classical music – especially well mastered and well recorded albums. I played “Danzón No. 2” as played by the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. This piece is very dynamic and it has some very light as well as some very heavy and dynamic parts. The opening theme is light and airy on the FA-011. At 1:14 the bass section comes in and the bottom end is clearly heard on the FA-011. I guess the best description I can find is that instead of being dead center, you have the entire orchestra dead center but the bass section is about 10 feet closer and to the right. For me, it’s not the most accurate presentation but the few people I played it for absolutely LOVED it. Orchestral pieces and chamber pieces were just as impressive. However, the homerun on these were pipe organ recordings. Playing some recordings by Virgil Fox were not just impressive – they were down right jaw dropping.

On the Inception soundtrack the notes were airy and the bass was DEEP. The low end on this soundtrack can really be appreciated with the FA-011’s. The drum hits on Mombasa were low and deep bringing along with them a sense of space and depth. Needless to say, it sounded very impressive. You haven’t heard the low notes on this soundtrack until you hear them with the FA-011!!


The FA-011 is perfectly suited for this genre. Playing “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga was a true pleasure. For those seeking a hi-fi club sound, the FA-011 provides that in spades. Lady Gaga’s vocals just floated above the music as they should and the bass was thumping along making me bop my head while enjoying the song. Truly fun headphones for listening to this genre…be it Lady Gaga, Madonna or Michael Jackson.

Listening to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” is just amazing on the FA-003/FA-002W. With the FA-011, you appreciate another dimension. I kept telling myself “I know this isn’t accuarate…but man, does it sound good!”. From track to track, it just sounded so good – especially the parts that have a prominent bass part or parts where there are drum hits.


Due to the amazing mid-range, the FA-011 does well in jazz as well. Playing “Moanin’” was a delight. The bass was very prominent (a good thing) on the SACD while listening with the FA-011. This is good in this case because the bass is a little weak on this particular mastering of the recording and the FA-011 displayed the great bass playing proudly. Very enjoyable.

On “More Of Other Worlds, Other Sounds” the huge dynamic swings were very impressive and the FA-011 handled every dynamic jump with ease. If you guys need a recording with great sound quality and awesome dynamics, get this recording by Esquivel. On the second track, “Chant To The Night” there is a nice dynamic intro followed by some nice mellow trumpet playing on the left, piano in the middle and the percussion section and chorus on the right. The trumpet sounded very accurate and airy. The piano remained lifelike and the drums on the left exhibited a nice bit of heft which goes missing on most headphones. The bass, while much more prominent than other headphones, didn’t overpower anything and remained pleasant throughout.


I played “Hotel California” from the DCC release mastered by Steve Hoffman. As with the rest, it was very enjoyable. The bass was very prominent but didn’t overshadow any other instrument. A very pleasurable listen.


One word: WOW! I haven’t heard bass thumping like this since I had the HD-650’s! The vocals and rest of the instrumentation on various tracks came across very well but the bass was thumping along better and clearer than at most local clubs. If this is a genre you love, you need to experience your favorite songs with the FA-011!


While not a music genre, I thought I would mention the superb performance of the FA-011 while gaming. Explosions are intense, placement is accurate and the comfort level just makes this the ultimate gaming headphone. I played some Call of Duty for well over 2 hours and my ears didn’t get sweaty, my head wasn’t sore from the headband and the aural intensity of the experience just made it all that more fun! The FA-011, as is, is an awesome gaming headphone! If the FA-011 had an optional headsetmicrophone attachment for voice, I would not hesitate to recommend it as the ultimate gaming headphone. It’s that good!! Fischer Audio…take note. 😉

On most headphones my volume knob rarely goes past the 10 o’clock position. With some headphones, it can get to the 11 o’clock position. With the FA-011 the knob got to 4 o’clock!! The only other headphones to push the knob further were orthodynamic headphones.

Make no mistake, these babies require more power than your average headphone to drive them properly. The more juice you throw at them, the better the dynamics, impact and overall sound will be. If you are considering these for your next purchase and do not own a headphone amp, portable or home, you might want to consider ordering one to power these power hungry babies as listening to these without proper amplification should be a crime. They will still sound very nice but nowhere near the level of performance you will get with proper amplification.

Here is where the rubber meets the road…

The FA-011 is a great headphone but it’s a headphone I can see many having a love/hate relationship with – especially if it’s your only headphone. The bass emphasis and ever so slight treble emphasis are what will cause this. Whenever you emphasize a particular frequency range you also emphasize many problems inherent in those frequencies. Due to bad monitoring and bad mastering, many, many recordings have problems in the bass region and in the high treble region (~10,000 Hz +). If your recordings have these problems, they will be greatly emphasized with the FA-011. The slight bump in the highs will also emphasize any and all signs of hiss in a recording as hiss tends to reign supreme right around 10,000 Hz and when you have a hissy recording that will become even more prominent – it’s no fun.  A perfect example is the RVG version of “Moanin’”. The hiss is very prominent and every trumpet blow produced a thump which made the RVG simply unbearable to listen to. The Hoffman/Gray SACD of the same title, in contrast, was sublime on the FA-011.

This isn’t to say it’s the fault of the FA-011 for placing a bump on certain frequency ranges – quite the opposite. If producers had access to monitors of this quality they might notice the glaring problems in the crap they are making. These problems are noticeable on the FA-003 and FA-002W but they are much more noticeable on the FA-011. This isn’t to put down the FA-011 but you should all be aware that if your music has any problems in the low end or high end, it will show up with a vengeance on the FA-011.

On the other hand, on great recordings or great remasters, the FA-011, like all Fischer Audio headphones I have heard, shine in their own special way. Listening to XRCD’s, Hoffman/Gray SACD’s, Steve Hoffman DCC remasters, MFSL’s, Chesky recordings, Audio Fidelity remasters and my binaural recordings was a true pleasure….like taking a well cooked steak and seasoning it with some flavor.

The rule to follow with the FA-011 is this: CRAP IN – MAJOR CRAP OUT…QUALITY IN – MAJOR QUALITY OUT.

I think the FA-011 might just be the sweet spot in the Fischer Audio line up. I say this because the same people who heard the FA-003, FA-002W and FA-004 absolutely loved the FA-011 but didn’t quite love the others for one reason or another. The FA-011 seems to be pleasing to a wide range of people in my brief experience with them. If you are like an engineering friend of mine, and are a stickler for natural sound and neutrality, then stay away from the FA-011 as your ultimate purchase. If you are like me and can enjoy different types of sound signatures for different genres, the FA-011 should be on your must buy list.

In all honesty, I think that if you have a pair of FA-011’s and FA-003’s, you will have a listening tool for anything and everything in your audio arsenal. It’s no secret that I love the FA-003 and a natural and neutral sound signature. That’s the only reason I don’t absolutely love the FA-011…but hey…that’s what the FA-003 is for!!!

So, to conclude a lengthy review, this is what I honestly opine about these headphones:

I remain in love and married to my FA-003 and FA-002W due to their neutral and natural sound signature. However, the FA-011 makes a very nice mistress. Beautiful looks, amazingly supreme comfort, fantastic soundstage and a great “fun” sound…I can honestly say that I like these very, very, very much…why…you could say that it’s almost like being in love!