Starting at the Top and Staying at the Top
As a follow-up to their M Series and Five x Five tours, the Gen2 Frontier Series tour is highly anticipated and expected to be spectacular. Given the skill level of Bogdan Belonozhko, the founder as proven by the incredible success of his M Series, when he creates a new flagship, and updated lineup, there is little doubt the results will live up to the expectations. However, what does this mean for the industry, just how high can we raise the bar for a CIEM? This is what we will find out for ourselves on this tour.
While there is a number of new technologies being introduced, perhaps the most exciting is the new kinetic bass. This new technology leverages bone conduction to create a more tactile bass that you can not only hear, but feel in your bones. This is created by a large 10mm dynamic driver that faces the outside of the IEM shell transmitting the vibration directly to the ear cartilage and surrounding area for a more immersive sound with “increased dimension and an off-the-charts low-frequency extension. I cannot wait to hear/feel that. 🙂
Fir Audio Tour Kit
We have arranged for a tour kit to hear the new lineup. These are not full retail boxes so we can ship them economically. This is obviously the universal format, however, they are also available in custom-fit designs as well.
Tour Kit Contents
- Kenon 6: $3899 – Equipped with 4 balanced armature drivers, a 10mm dynamic driver for lows, fed into a Kinetic Bass port. Tied together by an electrostatic driver that elevates the track’s finer details. Lifelike resolution, unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.
- Krypton 5: $2999 -Outfitted with 4 balanced armature drivers, a 10mm dynamic driver for lows, fed into FiR Audio’s Kinetic Bass port.
- Neon 4: $2299 – Equipped with 3 balanced armature drivers, a 10mm dynamic driver for lows, fed into FiR Audio’s Kinetic Bass port.
Fir Audio Tour Kickoff Video
Tour Kit Pictures
Barra’s Quick Initial Impressions
The best part of managing tours is getting to hear all the great gear for myself. Here are some brief impressions from what I have heard so far between the tasks required to set up this tour:
- Xenon 6: $3899 – The Xenon 6 is clearly above the pack in exotic performance territory. It has a “high-end tube amp” sound signature with huge amounts of ambience and euphonics that is quite an experience by itself. However, the new bone conduction technology adds a new dimension to the sound that takes it a level above. While warm in tone and feel, there is a detailed clarity that makes it audiophile in nature and an extra dimension to that detail that a while to realize just how much it adds. This is an IEM that everyone should hear.
- Krypton 5: $2999 – The 5 doesn’t have the ESTs like its bigger brother so it has more of a traditional BA treble sound with clearer edges and more shimmer. While the bass and the kinetic bass tech is the same, the kinetic port is slightly smaller bringing out more mids and treble and opens up the sound stage a bit.
- Neon 4: $2299 – Again, the 4 has the same BA treble as the 5 and less bass than the 6, but there is a simplicity to the sound that makes the 4 a very enjoyable listen. I can see the 4 becoming very popular based on the price to performance ratio which is stellar. The mids also seem more forward for those that are mids first fans.
Overall, this family is stellar like the M line before it. They all share that same 10mm kinetic bass driver which adds a huge new dynamic to the performance that you have to hear to understand. The big differentiator in this lineup is between the 6 which has the EST treble and the other two which have the traditional BA treble. Just to add, I am very much enjoying my custom Xe6 vs. the universal as it has that additional fit/seal that adds a larger helping of that new kinetic sound dimension. It is a touch more euphonic and addicting to me.
Rules and Responsibilities
Most of our tours are offering 7-day auditions which you are required to ship out to the next participant on day 8. Yes, you pay the shipping to the next participant, but we organize into logistically friendly orders to minimize the shipping expense.
The tour membership rules and responsibilities are described here. The key idea is that we must be communicative to participate and to keep the tour moving and interesting. It is our responsibility to follow these rules and to ensure the ability to ship out on day 8 when our turn is over.
- New Member Address Verification: THERE IS NO NEED TO VERIFY ADDRESSES ON ESTABLISHED “US TOURS” or “US TOURS REVIEWER” MEMBERS – ONLY NEW “MEMBERS”. If the participant’s status shows “Member” and is indicated on the participant list, then please wait to ship until I verify the shipping address by responding to the provided address that we are verified and good to go.
Signing up for the Tour
To sign up for the tour, you must be a verified tour member and have joined our new AUDIOTIERs platform. The membership qualifications and requirements are described here if you are not already a member. Whether a HEADFI tour member needs to transfer their membership to the new platform or you are a new member looking to apply for tour membership, please follow the instructions in the GETTING STARTED box below. We are now accepting applications from both US and Canadian citizens.
Tour Signups for Verified Members: If you would like to be part of this tour, please feel free to post your request in the comments below.
Reviewers First Tour: This is a REVIEWERS GO FIRST TOUR, so if you would like to skip to the front of the line, please note that you would like to be a full reviewer in the request as in the sample below:
Sample Signup Request: I live in Anthem, AZ and would like to participate in the tour. I agree to follow the terms of the tour. I have emailed my required ID verification documentation to billb@AudioTiers.com. AS A FULL REVIEWER, PLEASE MOVE ME TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE.
Tour Participant Logistics
We have two tour kits to minimize wait and are offering 7-days auditions to each participant. This logistics list is updated as I can to show you were we are in the order with each participant bolded to signify that they received the kit. This is where you will find the next two participants to contact when you receive the kit.
Signup Period: During our signup period, we collect the initial participants and provide them with a logistically friendly portion of the tour. This is the lowest cost portion in terms of shipping. Once this closes, we move to the latecomer portion.
Latecomer Period: Latecomers are welcome to the tour on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will continue taking latecomer requests until we run out of participants or the manufacturer asks us to end the tour.
Fir Audio US Tour Logistics
- @Barra – Anthem, AZ
- REVIEWER: ngoshawk – Warrensburg, MO
- REVIEWER: ike – elizabethtown, KY
- REVIEWER: Solstice15 – Rochester, NY
- REVIEWER: kubig123 – NYC
- REVIEWER: csglinux – LA, CA
- REVIEWER: HifiHawaii808 – Honolulu, HI
- masahito29 – Wahiawa, HI (member)
- blotmouse – Seattle, WA (member)
- >>>hamhamhamsta – Santa Ana, CA
- rwelles – Florence, OR
- hypermuteki – Las Vegas, NV
- circa – Denver, CO
- fiacogarcia – Fort Collins, CO
- kadinh – Amarillo, TX
- uthood – Dallas, TX
- Rio1969 – Richmond, TX (member)
- Towa – Nashville, TN
- mashuto – Sterling, VA (member)
- kdestremps28 – North Grafton, MA (member)
- Garney – Melrose, MA (member)
- android – Lynnwood, WA
- Infoseeker – Canton, MI (member)
- rantng – NYC
- Tybot – Albuquerque, NM
- Blueshound24 – Sioux Falls, SD
- barra – Anthem, AZ