You don’t have to be a musician to be familiar with the Fender name. It’s appeared on guitars and amps used by musicians of countless genres. Now the name is going to be appearing somewhere else — your ears.
Yesterday the company announced a new line of in-ear headphones dubbed the Fender In-Ear Monitor Series. Ranging in price from $100 to $500, the five-model lineup seems to be aimed at musicians and other audio professionals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also function as your personal in-ears as well.
“The launch of the Fender In-Ear Monitor Series is an exciting step in the expansion of our product offering,” Fender’s Jim Ninesling said in the announcement. “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.
Instead of starting from scratch, Fender is using technology and engineering know-how acquired in its 2015 purchase of Aurisonics. Every model in the line features SureSeal tips, a cleaning tool, and a deluxe carrying case. The higher-end models feature 3D-printed Digital Hybrid Technology (DHT) shells, which Fender says “fit 95 percent of ears like an expensive custom-molded monitor.”
The top-of-the-line FXA7 sells for $500 and features dual Hybrid-Dynamic-tuned Balanced Armature Array (HDBA) drivers alongside a custom 9.25mm precision rare-earth driver, and a claimed frequency range of 6Hz to 24kHz. The $400 FXA6 trades down to a single balanced armature driver, but keeps the rare-earth driver, and provides a frequency range that is still impressive at a claimed 6Hz to 22kHz. For $300, the FXA5 offers dual balanced armatures and a claimed frequency response of 19Hz to 21kHz.
Looking at the (comparatively) more affordable options, the FXA2 sells for $200, still offers the 9.25mm rare-earth driver as well as the same bass port and DHT shell offered in the above models, and has a frequency range of 6Hz to 23kHz. Finally, for $100, the DXA1 drops the rare-earth driver and DHT shell, opting for a 8.5mm titanium micro driver, with a claimed frequency response of 14Hz to 22kHz.
Each model has its own specific purpose — the FXA2 is aimed at drummers and bass players, for example — so see the Fender website for more details. The entire line will be available for purchase in March.