Yesterday, I was asked by Musica Acoustics to shoot a new earphone, the FitEar ToGo! 111. The 111 is the ToGo! 334′s younger sibling. It was released sometime in the summer in Japan and has had very few legit sales channels abroad. This version is spread with a Musica Acoustics label. Evidently, Jaben have their own label. You can pick it up from Musica for 645$. From what I understand, it is the same as the regular ToGo! 111. Correct me if I’m wrong.
While setting up my studio I decided on some preparatory listening. And after the shoot (evidently I have to return these on Monday), I kept listening. I’ve now got about 7 hours and 9 albums on the 111, and I’m prepared to say:
This is Trance.
Bass is oh so tight, so beautifully fast. Mids are flat, staid, and never get in the way. Highs are extended, but not peaky. Space is wide, though not continentally so and separation is top notch for a single driver earphone. The 111 is an Etymotic ER4 done perfectly. There is no plastic resonance or thick overhang anywhere, no screech, no pain. Trancing out to the 111 is as refreshing as using shampoo for the first time after a week of canoeing in July. Refreshing.
It gets on splendidly with vocal, jazz, the piano works of Nick Cave, and surprisingly, with perfect fit, with Classified’s raps. Its bass, being lean and tight, isn’t fun enough for hard IDM artists such as Anodyne Industries, Kasunagi, or thick American hip hop. And, being sensitive, it picks up a good amount of hiss from any source.
But after quite a few hours, I am almost ready to dub the 111 my favourite single driver earphone. Almost. I’ll be reviewing my current favourite, the Grado GR8 next week. Bass is harder hitting with the Grado, and more organic, but apart from that, the better overall coherence and space of the 111 is plum ear estate. Not sure yet if I will or will not do a review. Prices need to come down first.
NOTE: about the large and ugly watermark: TMA have been ripped off by verbatim copycats in China and Russia several times. Recently, however, Audiophilia.com, a Canadian website, ripped off the FitEar 334 main image from TMA by cropping out the discreetly placed watermark. I raged about it on Twitter, sent an angry email, and waited. They fixed it later by using FitEar’s image – exactly what they should have done in the first place. They had myriad legit pictures to use, but they deliberately chose to steal TouchMyApps’ image. Their action was not a mistake. They never replied to my email, never apologised, never acknowledged their wrong. I’ve heard nothing on Twitter, either. I don’t expect to. I will continue to shoot and review, but TMA will be more careful. We have to be: the internet is full of cheap-arse freeloading website scum like Audiophilia.com.