Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced: Ready to Dual
Today we are going to be checking out a fairly unique earphone. Fischer Audio’s Dubliz Enhanced utilizes a dual-diaphragm system, mating a forward firing 8mm diaphragm with a rear-firing 10mm diaphragm into one driver unit.
It’s the third and most recent in their Dubliz line, upgraded and updated. While I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to the past two Dubliz models, the Enhanced has been tuned with improved sub-bass performance, adding more punch and extension without sacrificing detail. Instead of offering two versions of the Dubliz, one with a mic and one without, Fischer Audio enhanced the design with removable cables allowing you to swap between a mobile cable with a built in mic and remote, and the purist option which forgoes such luxuries.
With a new tune and new features without the associated hike in price one would expect from an updated product, the Dubliz Enhanced is a pretty strong offering in the sub-150 USD category. Let’s look at why, shall we?
The Dubliz Enhanced was provided free of charge in exchange for a fair and impartial review. A big thank you to Royston with Fischer Audio Asia for the sample. The views and thoughts within are my own, and do not represent Fischer Audio or any other entity.
The Dubliz Enhanced retailed for 109.00 USD at the time of this review. You can check out the Dubliz Enhanced here.
My Gear and I:
I’m a 30 year old professional working for what is currently the largest luxury hotel chain on the planet. I have a background in Psychology which probably explains my somewhat dry writing style. My entry into the world of portable audio was due primarily to a lack of space for a full-sized stereo system during my university years, and truly began with the venerable JVC HA-FXT90. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI’s multi-earphone review thread, reviews from other established reviewers, and thus being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own.
Fast forward a couple years and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to write about products for wonderful companies like RHA, Accutone, ADVANCED, NarMoo, Mixcder, Brainwavz, Meze and many more. I don’t do it for money or free stuff, but because this is my hobby and I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to a product that makes them happy, I’ll consider that a job well done and payment enough.
Gear used for testing was a Shanling M1, HTC One M1, Topping NX1 portable amplifier paired with an XDuoo X3 (Rockbox), and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with a Creative SoundBlaster Recon3D usb amp. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even mid-range response, and reduced mid-bass, though lately I’ve been enjoying more mellow and relaxed products with a bass tilt. My favorite in-ears, the Echobox Finder X1[i] with grey filters installed and the Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced are good examples of my preferred signatures.
Packaging and Accessories:
Here’s an unboxing video if you don’t feel like reading;
The Dubliz Enhanced’s packaging shares a similar design philosophy to the Omega Spark’s which I recently covered, though with additional layers and maturity to the unboxing experience. The front contains some basic product info, model number (FE-511), and a glossy image of the Dubliz Enhanced that shows off the updated removable cable with in-line mic. To the right is a list of accessories;
– two removable cables
– single flange silicone tips in s/m/l
– one pair of dual-flange tips
– one pair of premium foam tips
– hard carrying case
– cable clip (not noted on the box, but one is included)
To the rear of the package you’re provided a description of how their DDT (Dual-Diaphragm Transducer) technology works;
“The driver unit contains two membranes, each working in their own bands. The frontal is mainly responsible for middle and high frequencies, which the rear membrane is responsible for the mid-low frequencies and bass. The result is a great reduction in distortions and improves response time.“
Also noted are the specifications in four languages; English, German, French, and Russian. Here they are in English;
– Driver: DDT 8mm + 10mm single dynamic
– Frequency range: 18-22000 Hz
– Sensitivity: 101 dB
– Impedance: 34 Ohm
– Maximum power input: 65 mW
– Cable: 1.2 m Kevlar Cable
Opening the package from the bottom you find a small plastic tray which houses the carrying case in which all the cables and other accessories are stored. No sign of the earpieces though. To get to those you need to slide off the well-disguised outer sheath which reveals another feature list and flap embossed with the product name and model number. Flip back the flap and you find the Dubliz Enhanced’s earpieces safely stored in a separate foam cutout. I was surprised to find that the pre-installed medium sized tips have color-coded cores (red for right, blue for left), as this handy feature doesn’t carry over to the rest of the tip selection.
The overall unboxing experience is quite pleasant with a unique setup and comprehensive accessory kit. The hard case in particular is fantastic, able to carry the earphones and all accessories with room to spare while still being slim enough to fit comfortably in a back pocket.
Build, Comfort, and Isolation:
The Dubliz Enhanced both looks and feels like a quality piece of equipment with the knurling giving you plenty of grip for inserting and removing the ear pieces. The aluminum housings have shown themselves oddly resistant to scuffs and scratches, and despite being a little long and on the heavy side, fit securely in place.
The included cables are on the thin side but still feel quite durable. The sheath is stiff and dense, but is still decently flexible. Memory is a bit of a problem though, as even after a couple months the waviness from being first unboxed remains. Microphonics are certainly present when wearing the Dubliz Enhanced cable-down but are mostly alleviated when wearing them cable-up. Strain relief is really only in place at the excellent, super compact, 90 degree angled jack.
When I reached out to Fischer Audio to find out what prompted their decision to go with DC over MMCX, reliability was noted as a primary concern. In my experience, MMCX equipped earphones tend to run into connection related issues after a pretty limited number of detachments. Not the case with DC so this was a wise choice in my opinion, even if there are fewer aftermarket options for those looking to upgrade from the stock cables.
They also noted that the Dubliz Enhanced was using a proprietary DC system which I expected would be an issue for those that enjoy trying out various cable with their earphones. You will be pleased to know that I’ve tried a variety of DC cables with the Dubliz Enhanced, including those from the QKZ W1 Pro, Somic MH415, and KZ R3. They all worked just fine. If you somehow manage to ruin the included cables or simply want to try something else, there are alternatives as Fischer Audio does not currently sell their own replacements or upgraded options.
Once you’ve chosen the right tip, and found out whether a cable up or down orientation works best for you, the Dubliz Enhanced is quite comfortable. The knurling is rounded off where it touches your ears, preventing any discomfort, and the weight is balanced in a way that prevents the rear of the housing from tugging while in motion.
Isolation on the Dubliz Enhanced is slightly above-average for a dynamic-based earphone. I can still hear myself typing, outside voices, tires from nearby cars, and other various noises, but they are significantly dulled.
Overall I really enjoy the look and feel of the Dubliz Enhanced. They feel extremely dense and tough, using quality materials everywhere. Comfort is pretty good too, despite the weight.
Tips: The stock tips sound fine and work well, but I wanted something a bit softer and more comfortable. JVC’s regular single flange tips that come with a wide number of models (FXT90, FX1X, FX3X, FR201, etc.) pair beautifully with the Dubliz Enhanced. I found the slightly wider opening balanced out the sound slightly, reducing their mid-bass quantity and upping the lower-treble regions.
Amping: The Dubliz Enhanced is very easy to drive, but I found myself enjoying them more either amped or through a cleaner, brighter source. Straight out of the XDuoo X3 they sounded overly dark and thick, an issue resolved by adding the Topping NX1 into the chain. The Shanling M1 is quite powerful with a sound that is thinner and more open than the XDuoo. It paired perfectly with the Dubliz Enhanced giving them some extra detail in the upper ranges. My HTC One M8 struck a nice balance between the X3 and M1. I recommend pairing the Dubliz Enhanced with a powerful sounce that has a slightly brighter, thinner presentation.
Out of the box the Dubliz Enhanced was a beautiful listen. They graced my ears with a warm, smooth sound that reminded me of the first time I heard the thinksound On2. There was nothing in particular that stood out as amazing or lacking, instead providing me a detailed, balanced, and coherent listen that seemed to work wonderfully with all my favorite test tracks. As time went on and the hours racked up, I came to appreciate their subtle ability to pull out plenty of detail in a way that wasn’t overwhelming, and place it within a deceptively large sound stage.
Despite being capable of pulling off some serious low end grunt, the Dubliz Enhanced can show delicacy and restraint as evident on Steely Dan’s “Do It Again”. The bass lines are subtle, nimbly following along in the background. Change things up with EL-P’s “Tougher Colder” and out comes Thor’s Hammer smashing your eardrums with hard hits and lingering rumbles. So visceral, so good.
What makes the Dubliz Enhanced even better is that it’s mid-range is forward and prominent. Even on the most bass-heavy tracks vocals stand out and shine with a natural and detailed presentation. On Big Grams’ “Born to Shine” and, especially “Run For Your Life” (love this song), the contrasting performances of Big Boi’s rapping and Sarah Barthel’s seductive crooning draw you in and involve you deeply. Listen alongside the accompanying Adult Swim video and it’s quite the trippy experience.
Things are just as impressive with classic rock artists Pink Floyd and Supertramp. The Dubliz’s balanced signature kills it with this genre giving bass guitars just the right amount of crunch and kick, vocals just the right presence, and without sacrificing anything in the upper ranges.
Their treble may at first seem recessed, but after becoming more accustomed to their presentation I found the Dubliz Enhanced simply avoids the trap of boosting treble to increase wow factor, and exaggerate detail. They can shimmer and sparkle with the same clarity and precision as many balanced armature units I’ve tried, backed with a natural timbre and decay.
Their sound stage is unexpectedly large, able to portray a pretty massive sense of space for an in-ear. They fall short of the Havi B3 Pro 1 in raw size, but not by much, while portreying greater depth. Imaging and layering qualities are even more precise as well, showing an uncanny sense of accuracy. This makes them a ton of fun if pairing with video games that rely on audio queues either for immersion, like Dirt Rally, or competition, such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
The Dubliz Enhanced is one of the best sounding single driver (sort of?) dynamic earphones I’ve heard. The dual-diaphragms work well together sounding very natural, weighty, and coherent with good extension and balance. Their detailed presentation is supported by a robust soundstage with excellent laying and separation. I really couldn’t expect much more from an earphone at this price range.
Select Comparisons: Because there are so many I’ve moved those to the very end, after test tracks.
The Dubliz Enhanced has been a breath of fresh air. It’s unique driver tech and warm yet detailed signature has been a nice departure from the mostly bright and bassy gear I’ve been hearing as of late.
Normally I would end with some highlighted areas of improvement, but I really don’t think Fischer Audio needs to change anything about them. Okay, I suppose they could include a cable with a softer, more plush sheath, or toss in some higher quality tips, but none of that is necessary.
For now, these will proudly join the list of my current favorite earphones, those being the FLC 8S, JVC HA-FXH30, Echobox Finder X1[i], BeB 1200EX, and the Havi B3 Pro II.
Thanks for reading and a huge thanks once again to Fischer Audio for the opportunity to check out the fantastic piece of dual-diaphragm goodness that is the Dubliz Enhanced.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Aesop Rock – Saturn Missiles
Big Grams – Born to Shine
Big Grams – Run For Your Life
BT – The Antikythera Mechanism
The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes)
Daft Punk – Touch
Gramatik – Bluestep (Album Version)
Incubus – 2nd/3rd/4th Movements of the Odyssey
Infected Mushroom – Deeply Disturbed
Infected Mushroom – The Legend of the Black Shawarma
Jessie J – Bang Bang
Kiesza – Hideaway
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Pink Floyd – Money
Run The Jewels – Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)
Skindred – Death to all Spies
Supertramp – Rudy
Steely Dan – Do It Again
The Prodigy – Get Your Fight On
Witcher 2 Official Soundtrack
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Accutone Pavo (79.99 USD): The Pavo’s dual-driver setup has a thinner, lighter, and less natural presentation than that of the Dubliz Enhanced, coming at you with some additional brightness and less overall refinement. It’s mid-bass has a more presence which is highlighted somewhat by less low end extension. The Dubliz Enhanced’s treble is notably smoother and lacking the occasional grain felt in the Pavo, but it’s also missing the upper end shimmer and sparkle of the Pavo.
Despite the Pavo’s lighter, more airy sound, the Fischer Audio’s driver setup has greater depth and height to it’s sound field. Sounds move around your head with a noticeably greater impression of distance. Layering and separation on the Dubliz Enhanced is also more pronounced with effects coming at you from more precise locations.
Despite the Pavo’s additional brightness, often a tricky way of making it seem like an earphone is more detailed that it really is, it picks out no more detail in tracks than the Dubliz Enhanced. Not an issue, as both as quite nice in this aspect.
NarMoo S1 (64.99 USD): Another dual-driver, though NarMoo’s S1 has been around for a while. Similar to impressions against the Pavo, the Dubliz Enhanced is the smoother, warmer earphone with additional body and refinement to it’s presentation. It is better balanced through the entire frequency range, especially in the mid-bass regions where the S1 has a notable dip that really sticks out like a sore thumb with more modern, electronic-biased genres.
The S1’s treble is notably more prominent than on the Dubliz Enhanced. Additionally, it comes across slightly loose and metallic beside the Dubliz Enhanced’s more fluid, organic presentation. This impression carries in through the mid-range where Fischer Audio’s dualie carries more weight and realism.
The S1’s sound stage gives a great sense of front to back space, but lacks the side-to-side presence and depth of the Dubliz Enhanced giving off a less dynamic, flat impression.
NarMoo W1M (49.99 USD): I truly think the W1M is criminally underrated in it’s price range, giving listeners a unique, mid-range focused signature from it’s dual-dynamic setup. That said, while I enjoy them quite a bit they do end up feeling somewhat lacklustre beside the Dubliz Enhanced.
They are similar tonally and in the thickness of their note presentation, though the W1M places a mild veil over everything reducing overall clarity. The Dubliz Enhanced shows off improved extension at either end and improved balance throughout. The W1M emphasizes a non-fatiguing, mid- focused sound with rolled off bass and treble that gives up energy to the Dubliz Enhanced at the extremes.
The W1M also sounds smaller and somewhat restrained. It’s weaker imaging, layering, and separation qualities lead to the W1M feeling a touch claustrophobic on busy tracks that the Dubliz Enhanced has absolutely no issues with, such as King Crimson’s ‘Starless and Bible Black’.
Audbos K3 (119.00 USD): Unlike the others in this comparison the K3 is a triple driver hybrid, and a good one at that. It competes very well with the Dubliz Enhanced as they perform on the same level, but each with their own unique tuning. I’d give the edge to the Dubliz Enhanced due to it’s more realistic presentation that permits it greater versatility across genres.
While I don’t consider the K3 to be a v-shaped earphone with a recessed mid-range, beside the Dubliz Enhanced it could be mistaken as such with it’s big bass and sparkly high end. It’s treble is more detailed than the Dubliz Enhanced, but also less clean and tight. It sounds mildly splashy and unnatural, exaggerated on low quality material where the Dubliz Enhanced is more forgiving.
The K3’s bass presentation was nice, but I felt it was lacking in a couple areas.The Dubliz Enhanced confirmed my suspicions. While it’s bass is less prominent, it has better impact and texture with a more even mid-/sub-bass balance.
The K3’s mid-range presents you with a touch more detail and slightly improved clarity, but this isn’t really noticeable unless a/b’ing the two. The Dubliz Enhanced’s more forward and natural presentation really steals the show.
Overall detail retrieval between the two is quite close, with the K3 taking the edge, most notably in the upper frequencies where the Dubliz Enhanced lacks emphasis. This skewed emphasis and additional information makes the K3 slightly fatiguing whereas the Dubliz Enhanced is fine for long listening sessions.
Imaging on both is pretty accurate, smoothly transitioning effect from channel to channel and everything inbetween. I didn’t notice any significant difference in layering and separation qualities which are above average on both units, though I did enjoy the Dubliz Enhanced’s more spacious sound stage.
Brainwavz B150 (109.00 USD): Brainwavz’s B150, part of their newest lineup of balanced armature (BA) earphones, really impressed with how well-rounded and dynamic it’s sound was from a single BA. Their warm, lush presentation issued authoritative bass reminiscent of a dynamic driver while retaining the vivacious mids and snappiness expected from a BA.
Listening to them back to back with the Dubliz Enhanced, the B150 sounds less open and detailed, slightly veiled actually, and with a heftier mid-bass hump. Bass extension on the B150 lack the sub-bass umph (expected from a BA), while it’s upper end is confined more to the lower treble areas, lacking the same sparkle and shimmer. The Dubliz Enhanced has a significantly larger sound stage too, helping it move sound sound more naturally with improved layering and staging.
As nice as the B150 is, the Dubliz Enhanced sounds much more impressive on a technically level. This comes at the expense of comfort. The B150 is significantly lighter and more ergonomic with a softer, more manageable cable that’s only worrisome above the y-split where it becomes uncomfortably thin.
Blue Ever Blue Model 1200EX (130.00 USD): The 1200EX has a notably thinner, lighter presentation than the Dubliz Enhanced, emphasizing some excellent detail retrieval and a stellar mid-range along with a prominent upper range. It caters to those that want a more typical “audiophile” sound.
The Dubliz Enhanced’s dialed down treble emphasis and warmer, bassier presentation is more natural and realistic sounding to my ears. It doesn’t give up much in the way of raw performance and is easier on the ears, being less fatiguing over long listening periods. I find myself listening more to the music than the earphone when using the Dubliz Enhanced.
They are similarly above-average in terms of soundstage, but I’ll give the 1200EX the edge in imaging and separation, qualities aided by their less weighty sound. The 1200EX has an even more forward mid-range, but it comes across a touch cold compared to the Dubliz’s more natural, warmer sound.
These earphones compliment each other beautifully offering up very different but equally capable signatures.
JVC HA-FXT90 (discontinued): The FXT90 was my first real glimpse at a portable hi-fi sound and I still think they’re a good buy if you can find a legit pair. Compared to the Dubliz Enhanced the FXT90’s treble is a little cold and harsh containing those typical JVC treble peaks that can cause discomfort to more treble-sensitive listeners, though pairing them with foam tips helps immensly. The Dubliz Enhanced is much more forgiving in the top end regardless.
The Dubliz Enhanced is also a little bassier, with much improved sub-bass extension to balance out the mid-bass hump that sticks out on the FXT90. It’s mid-range is also smoother but just as detailed as the JVC dualie, but I prefer the JVC’s slightly harder, edgier sound, even if it’s a touch on the thin side. Both earphones have a similar sound stage presentation with the Dubliz Enhanced throwing effects a greater distance from your ears.
I certainly prefer the Dubliz Enhanced overall, but the way the FXT90 handles classic rock is blissfully entertaining.
Accutone Gemini HD (129.00 USD): The Gemini HD’s 8mm beryllium drivers with the Blue (clarity) filters installed are the best match for the Dubliz Enhanced. However, even in their most treble-heavy configuration the Gemini HD lack the upper end energy of the Dubliz Enhanced. Since the blue filter dials down bass quantity, you give up some of that low end extension which the Dubliz excels at. Throwing on the red (bass) filter brings that back, but also makes the Gemini HD’s bass presentation sloppy and loose, and rolls the treble way too early.
The Gemini HD’s creamy presentation gives up a fair bit of detail to Fischer Audio’s dual-diaphragms, most apparent in the mid-range where the Gemini feels quite soft. They both have spacious sound stages though, with the Dubliz Enhanced making better use of it through more accomplished separation and layering qualities.