Fender, maker of legendary guitars, has revealed a new lineup of in-ear headphones. The iconic name and flashy design are going to come at a price, however. With five models ranging from $100-$500, there is no shortage of sticker shock at the high-end for some consumers. The question is, can Fender compete in this space based on merit and not just name? More details below.
These Fender-branded wired in-ear headphones are available in five different models that feature varying degrees of traditional and new technologies. The entire lineup is designed and manufactured in Fender’s Nashville location. Each pair of monitors feature a 8.5mm titanium driver that, according to Fender, generates “crisp treble and deep bass.”
Fender details in its press release an exhaustive process of scanning different ears to find a design that fits 95% of human ears. The higher-end earbuds are 3D-printed using Fender’s Digital Hybrid Technology that takes into account all the different shapes and sizes of human ears, in turn producing an “expensive custom-molded monitor” feel.
The DXA1 is the entry-level model, which retails for $100 and has a frequency response of 14Hz-22kHz. As you would assume, the feature set grows as the price tag rises. The top-of-the-line FXA6 and 7 each have expanded frequency response (between 6Hz and 24kHz) with a greater impedance that is still capable of being driven by a smartphone. Users will also find additional add-ons like 1/8-1/4-inch adapters, acoustic filter earplugs and metallic finishes.
If you’re interested, you’ll want to take a look at the entire lineup as there are slight variances across each model. Time will tell if Fender is able to find a home in the headphone space. This corner of the market is particularly crowded with low-cost bluetooth earbud offerings, established names and other Made in America brands.
Fender is set to release its new Pro In-ear Monitor Series in March of 2016. Each model will ship with a “deluxe” carrying case, an assortment of SureSeal ear-tips, and a cleaning tool. Looking for an alternative in the meantime? We’re big fans of Grado’s GR10e headphones. We positively reviewed this set last spring as a solid alternative to traditional big-names on the market.
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FENDER® ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF FIRST-EVER PRO IN-EAR MONITOR SERIES
Patented technology provides an innovative, immersive listening experience for players at every level
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 20, 2016) – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) introduces a bold and innovative new category entry for 2016 with the launch of Fender Pro In-Ear Monitors (IEM’s). The innovative new product line features a unique patented technology, and is engineered for an immersive listening experience at every price-point.
“The launch of the Fender In-Ear Monitor Series is an exciting step in the expansion of our product offering,” said Jim Ninesling, VP of Fender Amplifiers and Pro Audio.” “Fender is committed to delivering innovative products and services that accompany players at every stage of their musical experience. We believe serious players and discriminating audiophiles alike will appreciate both the design and performance of Fender IEM’s, setting the stage for further additions to this new line in the future.”
Designed and assembled in Nashville, Fender’s Pro In-ear Monitors build on Fender’s legacy of creating great products for live performance and music production. Some of the premium features that the IEMs offer include 3D-printed Digital Hybrid Technology (DHT) ™ housings in the higher-end models that are derived by scanning thousands of ears to create a universal fit. . The DHT shells fit 95 percent of ears like an expensive custom-molded monitor. All models feature custom designed drivers and select models in the series feature a patented Hybrid-Dynamic tuned Balanced Armature Array (HDBA) for a rich, full frequency response with substantial bass and an overall stunning performance.
The 2015 acquisition of Aurisonics, Inc. has allowed Fender to enter this new category with a significant advantage with the use of the company’s technology and engineering capabilities. The 2016 Fender Pro In-Ear Monitor Series will be available in five models. Accompanying each package is a deluxe carrying case, SureSeal™ tips assortment, a cleaning tool and cable and will be available for consumer purchase in March 2016.
The core of the DXA1 in-ear monitor includes a custom 8.5mm titanium micro driver, generating crisp treble and deep bass from 14Hz-22kHz to provide an accurate mix on stage and off. Highly sensitive, these monitors generate 116dB @1mW for crystal-clear, distortion-free audio reproduction, and the 16-ohm +/-10% @1kHz impedance means it can be driven by a smartphone, making it ideal for offstage listening. The 18dB noise reduction rating eliminates interference from ambient noise while simultaneously protecting a listener’s hearing from the strong transients that can occur in a live environment. The DXA1 is housed in a durable low-profile slimline shell that fits in 95 percent of ears and includes a detachable MMCXi™ silver-plated low oxygen cable that offers low signal loss along with square connectors. The model is offered in a translucent gray finish.
The FXA2 includes powerful audio that works especially well for bassists and drummers with a custom 9.25mm precision rare-earth driver with a Groove-tuned™ port. This combination generates crisp treble and enhanced bass response that ranges from 6Hz-23Hz for a precision mix on or off stage. These monitors generate 112dB @1mW for crystal-clear, distortion-free audio with plenty of headroom. Ideal for almost any listening situation with 16-ohm +/-10% @1kHz impedance, the FXA2 can be driven by a smartphone for premium listening experience. Eliminating up to 22dB of ambient noise, the in-ear monitors reduce interference while protecting the listener’s hearing. This model also includes the 3D- DHT shell, the MMCXi cable with square connectors, and is available in metallic blue and metallic black finishes.
The FXA5 in-ear monitor contains a Dual Balanced Armature Array and Groove-tuned™ port, generating transparent audio with a 19Hz-21khz frequency response for punchy bass, rich mids and crisp high end. These monitors generate 120dB @1mW for crystal-clear, distortion-free audio with plenty of headroom to hear everything clearly. Ideal for almost any listening situation with 36-ohm +/-10% @1kHz impedance, the monitors can be driven by a smartphone. Eliminating up to 22dB of ambient noise, the FXA5 reduce interference while simultaneously protecting the listener’s earing from the strong transients that can occur in a live environment. This model also includes the DHT shell that fits 95 percent of ears as well as the detachable MMCXi™ silver-plated low-oxygen cable with square connectors. This model is available in metallic silver and metallic black finishes.
The core of the FXA6 model is the patented combination of a single Hybrid-Dynamic tuned Balanced Armature Array (HDBA) tweeter designed specifically to match a custom 9.25mm precision rare-earth driver and Groove-tuned port. This unique configuration generates transparent audio with punchy bass, rich mids and crisp high end with a frequency response from 6Hz-22kHz. These monitors generate 109dB @1mW for crystal-clear, distortion-free audio. Also ideal for almost any situation with 16-ohm +/-10% @1kHz impedance, it can be driven by a smartphone. Eliminating up to 22dB of ambient noise, they reduce interference while simultaneously protecting the listener’s hearing. This model is available in metallic red and metallic black finishes.
At the heart of the FXA7 in-ear monitor is the HDBA Array. A pair of tweeters is specifically designed to match a custom 9.2mm precision rare-earth driver and Groove-tuned port. This configuration generates transparent audio with a frequency response from 6Hz-24kHz and these monitors generate 110dB @1mW for crystal-clear, distortion-free audio with plenty of headroom. The 16-ohm +/-10% @1kHz impedance can be driven by a smartphone for a premium listening experience. Eliminating up to 22dB of ambient noise, they reduce interference while simultaneously protecting the listener’s hearing. The FXA7 provides the consumer with the 3D-printed DHT shell as well as the SureSeal tips and the detachable MMCXi silver-plated low-oxygen cable. Also included in this model is a 1/8” to 1/4“ adapter and acoustic filter earplugs. This model is offered in metallic gold and metallic black finishes.
For more information and to find a Fender Premium Showcase Dealer, visit www.fender.com.
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