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rich51080's picture
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Final Audio Design Adagio III Review

Have had these earphones for 2 days and each time i listen my smile just gets bigger.

I bought them from Hifiheadphones.co.uk..

Right on to the review.

The headphones come solely on their own - no case just the earphones and 3 pairs of tips.

The build quality is fantastic and so far the cable does no suffer from interference.

I got these earphones for £58.99 - B grade as the box was damaged.

Right out of the box the ear phones sounded muddy and the treble was piercing and i was kinda disappointed.so i decided to burn them for a whole night and the sound the next day was so different and very very pleasing.

The bass was deep and powerful with out being in your face. The treble was sparkling and quite bright but very detailed. Midrange was superb - I would go as far to say they are even better then my Westone UM2 which are nearly 5x the price of my Adagios.

These phones do rock,indie and pop very well. Guitars are shredding and you can hear every nuance in the recording as these phones were so detailed. 

Music wise i decided to test them fully with:

Dire Straits - Money for Nothing - The drums are immense at the start - huge soundstage. And when the guitar kicks in boy it's amazing. You can hear every note. It certainly made me tap my feet. The vocals were fantastic too - you can hear Mark Knopfler breathe.

Next song i decided to listen to was

Korn - Faget - Now this song has so many things happening. You can hear every bass note and every guitar strum. I was finding out stuff i never knew existed in the recording. Jonathan Davis's vocals were the highlight - you could hear the emotion/pain in his voice, i was in awe of this recording through these phones. They blew my Westones away and my Etymotic ER-4P's. These phones must be best buy i ever done musically. They really are that good.

I then decided to listen to some R.E.M - Orange Crush.

Oh wow - the bass line on this song is so groovy. you can feel every note and it makes me nod my head as i enjoy the audiable experience. The bass on the Adagio's is the best bass i have heard in any earphones and that include my old Senn's IE8's. Stype's vocal are so forward in the mix and you can hear evrey word and breath.  The midrange is lush and slightly forward but this makes rock music sound awesome. Vocals are non sibilant and bass is rich n warm.

For £69.99 you get a lot of phones for your money and when i compare to my Etymotics and Westones I just sit there thinking wow i got a bargain.

This purchase was originally meant for bus journeys so i dont break my westones/ety's but the sound is so rich, detailed and engaging that i have decided to even wear them for home use.

I would class these as best in ear phones for under £150.00 and can even take on the big players and hold their own.

My Westone's and Ety's have a rival. A rival which is well cheaper.

Bargain buy of the year -Tick.

Rival to the big players - Tick

Highly recommended. But do ensure you burn themin for 8 hours using pink noise and dance music.

 

Hope you enjoyed my mini review.

 

 

 

 

Anonymous
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Very good sir. Not an IEM fan

Very good sir. Not an IEM fan myself but I'm sure plenty are on here. Smile

lastcoyote's picture
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RE: Funny I've just been looking

Funny I've just been looking in to getting some new IEM's in this price range and came across good reviews of these. Should be receiving them tomorrow. I've read that some good burn-in is required so shall be doing this over the weekend. Also read that you can get the best out of them by replacing the stock earbud tips with Sony Hybrid tips. Have you tried this? How do you find the tips that come with these earphones?

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The tips that come with these

The tips that come with these phones are superb- i have had no issues with them regarding sound nor comfort.
The sony tips i believe are near identical to the ones you will receive.

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thanks for the reply. oh ok.

thanks for the reply.
oh ok. well I'll see how I get on with the FAD tips then. may try some others like the Sony Hybrids, or Comply just for comparison. can make quite a difference, good or bad, from my experience.

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RE: Final Audio Design Adagio III Review

ok so I've had these IEM's for a couple of days now.

as rich51080 experienced out of the box they sound muddy. i'd go as far as to say they sounded terrible. all over the place.

I will just add here that I have a bit of a cold at the mo and am wondering if my hearing is being slightly impaired but listening to some old earphones it doesn't really seem like it.

so i left it to do a full 10 hours 'burn in' of mixed music at medium to high volume.

gave them another go and for sure they've improved. slightly more focused now and less muddy....

..however i'm finding that they are really lacking treble sparkle at the moment.  which isn't a good combo with the currently slightly over boomy full bass. midrange is extremely forward sounding. i guess you could say they have a rather 'dry' sound.

instrument seperation is pretty good i have to say. though again it would benefit from a cleaner more sparkly treble. it's like they need a veil lifted off them or something. i've read in reviews these are supposed to be very airy sounding. i couldn't dissagree more. i'd say they lack an airy sound at the moment at least.

so i'm going to have to give these another couple of days of 'burn in' and hope they improve.
hopefully my cold will improve too. though as i say i really don't think my hearing is being impaired by it when listening to my other familiar sounding earphones. we'll have to see.

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RE: Final Audio Design Adagio III Review

Coyote - wait until they have had 60+ hours of burn in. The more i play them the better they sound each time.

I wouldnt call they dry in sound. I find them bordering on the edge of being bright but with amazing detail. Similar to Grado sound to my ears. Natural and uncoloured with a warm bass.

My advice is: put a bass album on repeat loop and leave overnight with the volume just above normal listening levels. This will help tame the bass and open up that beautiful sparkly treble.

I now sold my westones um2 and also my Etymotics cos the Adagios are great.

Stick with them - Takes time to properly burn them in.

I been listening to them each day and to my ears they are getting better and better.

 

 

 

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RE: Final Audio Design Adagio III Review

I almost forgot - The Balanced Air Movement comes to life when properly burnt in. You can feel the bass and it aint muddy Smile Massive soundstage for in ear monitors.

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RE: Final Audio Design Adagio III Review

So here's what I've done. As I wasn't overly happy with my FAD adagio III's but still wanted to believe the rave reviews out there and indeed on here by rich51080, I decided to order another set and return the other pair. I'm so pleased I did as the new set after burning in for 10 hours today are sublime, miles better than the others I'm sending back. To the point were I believe the previous pair had something really quite wrong with them. 

I'm looking forward to even more improvements with more burn in time  Smile

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RE: Final Audio Design Adagio III Review

(Edit: Duplicate post - Deleted)

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