Fender’s first ever IEMs want to turn your ears up to 11

Chris Davies - May 12, 2016, 12:15pm CDT
Fender’s first ever IEMs want to turn your ears up to 11

Fender might be a mainstay in speakers but until now it hasn’t taken the leap to more personal audio. That changes today, however, with the launch of not one but five different sets of IEMs (in-ear monitors), and rather than just big drivers and lots of power, they rely on high-tech magic like 3D printing.

Dubbed the Fender Pro In-Ear Monitors, the range spans pricing from $99.99 through to $499.99.

At the more affordable end there’s the Fender DXA1, with 8.5mm titanium drivers, 14Hz-22kHz frequency response, and 116dB @1mW sensitivity. Although they’re not custom-molded to your ears, Fender says the design should suit 95-percent of wearers, while the silver-plated low-oxygen copper cable is detachable.

$199.99 gets you the FXA2, with larger, 9.25mm drivers with rare earth magnets and 6Hz-23kHz frequency response. They also introduce a “Groove-tuned bass port” which promises better low-end sound.

At $299.99, the FXA5 keeps the bass port but throws in a dual-balanced armature array, 19Hz-21kHz frequency response, and 120dB @1mW sensitivity. The cable design is switched up, too, with square plugs for easier grip.

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Next up, the $399.99 FXA6 IEMs have a single HDBA tweeter, custom 9.25mm rare-earth driver, the bass-port, and a zero-crossover design. The shells are 3D printed – in fact, all of the IEMs bar the entry-level set use 3D printed casings – and the drivers deliver a 6Hz-22kHz frequency range and 109dB @1mW sensitivity.

Finally, the $499.99 FXA7 IEMs boast dual HDBA tweeters, the 9.25mm rare-earth driver, bass port, and zero-crossover design, along with a 6Hz-24kHz frequency response and 110dB @1mW sensitivity.

While they’re not going to fit quite as snuggly as a properly molded, custom set of earphones, Fender argues that its IEMs still do better than most off-the-shelf options out there. That’s down to the 3D printing system, which allows the shells to include “subtle indents and curves” that, the company claims, were worked out and designed in after scanning thousands of different ears.

That means a better fit between the IEMs and the cartilage of your ear.

All five sets are hand-assembled in Nashville at Fender’s shop, and are up for preorder from today.


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