Revelations Become Balance - Fischer Amps Rapture IEMs Review

by - June 11, 2020

Revelations Become Balance - Fischer Amps Rapture IEMs Review



Fischer AMPs is an IEM or In-Ear Monitor made by Fischer AMPs in Germany, Europe. They are currently sold for 450 EURO or 450 USD, depending on where you live. This means that they will get compared to other pro-level IEMs, like The Custom Art Fibae Black, but also with IMR R2 Aten, a very potent multi-signature IEM, and with FiiO FH7, a very prominent IEM priced at 420 USD. The pairing list will include iBasso DX160, FiiO M11, and Shanling M2X





Introduction

Fischer Amps are actually an old established company, which has been creating music tools for over 20 years to this point. This being said, they aren't quite as known as other companies, because they focused on the music production and recording scene for the past twenty years, only recently their products having been discovered as very prompt, and good-sounding for their price, and enjoyable for music listening too. This being said, if you want to get a better look at their product offer, Fischer AMPs has a wide selection of IEM / Earphone AMPs, custom IEMs, and also percussion and drummer accessories. They provide good warranty, standard with the European Laws. 

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Fischer AMPs, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank Fischer AMPs for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with Fischer AMPs Rapture. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Fischer AMPs Rapture find their next music companion. 



About me

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html



Packaging

First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:









The package for the Rapture is not quite as typical for an IEM as that of FiiO FA7, or even Dunu DK-4001, this time we have something that looks a bit like a worker's toolkit, and indeed, those IEMs were made to act like the tools for a worker, but not a handy installer for home appliances, but rather for workers in the audio industry. 

You receive a nice package, which includes some nice stickers, a handy carrying case, tips, a single-ended cable, a cleaning tool, and a shirt clip. 

Other than this, there's nothing else, but while the carrying case looks a bit silly at first (the plastic one), it has enough space for a DAP, and offers excellent protection for the IEMs. 

For those who like to be sleek, the textured hard carrying case will do just fine. 



What to look for when purchasing a high-end In-Ear Monitor

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

The Rapture is a plastic IEM, fully made of plastic, but with a very nice aesthetic to it. I've been using it for a few months, and haven't been able to break it in any way. This being said, I do think that the plastic offers a nice light weight to it, and they are very ergonomic, just as expected from a company that normally makes customs. 



In fact, despite being universal IEMs, the rapture is handcrafted in germany, and Fischer AMPs is a nice company when it comes to the quality of their IEMs. 

The Rapture relies on a 4-driver design, with all-BA drivers, but with one crossover that dedicates two drivers to bass, one for the mids, and one for the treble. This is much more than Fibae Black has, which is just one BA driver, and even something like that Final B3 has less drivers than the Rapture. 

The comfort is great, but there is void, as there's not enough venting. This means that the isolation is excellent, and you can expect about 20 dB to 25 dB of passive noise isolation, enough to use the Rapture even for live performances. 

The sensitivity is pretty high, between 112 and 118 dB, depending on the frequency. I admire the effort from Fischer AMPs, offering the sensitivity and impedance across different frequencies, but it may confuse newcomers, which may actually push away some potential customers. 



The default cable is pretty poor, and any 2-Pin replacement will sound better and feel better ergonomically, something like Dunu HULK being a huge upgrade, but it is quite pricey for Rapture, considering their 450 USD price. I would suggest investing in a replacement cable, as it will offer better detail, clarity, a more vivid and less veiled sound. 

Rapture is extremely easy to drive, and is moderate in picking up hiss, so something like Hiby R6 is not recommended at all, but they should work fairly well with most other DAPs, even with tiny, ultra-portable DAPs like HIDIZS AP80.



Sound Quality

I am fairly enthusiastic about the sonic performance of the Rapture, they have great detail, and in the Etymotic Style, but without the inconvenience of the poor comfort (Ety never felt comfy to my ears), and with a considerably better bass reproduction. 



If you're used to using professional, or monitoring IEMs, you won't be amazed to hear this, but the rapture, as well as the FA-4E-XB, are both pretty mid forward, but Rapture is the better sounding one of the two. This doesn't necessarily mean that it is the more detailed of the two right away, but it surely has the more natural overall tonality and midrange. Compared to FiiO FH7 which was truly neutral, but which had a sparkly treble, the Rapture has a similar overall presentation, but with a smoother treble, that will make recording and listening to music for long periods of time easier on your ears. The bass is also less in quantity when compared to FH7 from FiiO, so it ends up sounding quite mid-forward, with a natural to slightly intimate soundstage, with a sound that is precise, snappy, but also a bit dry and not the most romantic. 

The bass of the Rapture is still more in quantity and has a warmer presentation than the FA-4E-XB, which feels like the most precise IEM out there, besides Etymotic ER4XR. The bass of the rapture has a longer, more natural decay, but it is still quicker than Fiio FH7. This gives a feeling of detail, and especially for hearing precise percussion, and for hearing the most detail you can at the 500 USD price range, from your setup, the Rapture plays the bass as precisely as it can. The tech inside is based on an all-BA setup, and the Rapture has that typical "BA" sound, which some companies managed to ignore and avoid, for example FiiO when tuning their FA7. Bass extension is actually great, and especially with foam tips, you can hear it going as low as 30 Hz, which means that there's virtually no roll off in the bass. You can call me impressed by the technical performance, and if you want this type of linearity, it is going to suit you well. 

The midrange is the central element of the sound though, and where the bass can be complained about for being too little in quantity, and the treble is pretty smooth and slightly rolled off, the midrange is forward, has excellent presence, but doesn't sound nasal or congested. Rather, it is a very textured, detailed type of midrange, with excellent detail and width, and although with ER4XR from Etymotic, I couldn't hear much of a soundstage, I can hear it with the Rapture. The stage doesn't go much beyond what I would call natural, so no Crosszone CZ-1 type of soundstage, but it is comparable, but still smaller than Accoustune HS1650CU, and comparable with HIFIMAN RE2000 Silver. There's no trace of fatigue even after many hours of listening, and I could enjoy sweet female vocals, as well as deeper, well-bodied male voices for long periods of time. 



The treble is a bit less interesting, because although it has a fair amount of energy, it lacks the extension the bass has, and it rolls off around 15 kHz, and the energy up to that point isn't quite as high as the energy of the midrange. This means that even poorly mastered recordings sound good, and you can never get tired of the Rapture, but this also makes not quite ideal for mastering, because you literally won't hear if your recording is getting shouty or sibilant, and I can recommend a more revealing headphone more, like an Ultrasone Signature Studio, if you're doing that type of job. Fortunately, this makes Rapture excellent for usage in a live performance, also for usage in music production, and any other step besides mastering. 

The dynamics are really good, happily, for 500 USD, but Rapture has little headroom, so you can't really EQ them very much without losing some definition and clarity and getting them out of phase. Constructions made of all-BA drivers tend to suffer a bit from this issue, and you're guaranteed to have an easier time with dynamic drivers, if you like EQ'ing. This being said, almost all monitoring and performance IEMs are made of all-BA setups. 



Portable Usage

Fischer AMPs includes foam tips, which increase the passive noise isolation even more, for their Rapture IEMs, but this makes them slightly too isolating for my tastes, and although they are fun for an experience, they aren't ideal for taking a walk, since you could run into trouble and not be aware. 



The drive factor is good, they are easy to drive, but they like a better source, I would suggest using them with a FiiO M11, or iBasso DX160 at least, if you want to get great results, although I was fairly happy with a Shanling M2X, HIDIZS AP80, and even with an iFi xDSD connected to a smartphone. 

The cable is not ideal, it is a bit thin, can get tangled, but it is the typical cable for professional IEMs because it is easy to hide, and for a performing artist that's a must. They will sing better with a cable like Dunu Hulk, but it won't be possible to hide that one during a live performance, compared to their default cable. 



Youtube Video 

Fischer AMPs Rapture IEMs Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKuDPP2Hg7A



Comparisons 

The comparison list includes IEMs from the same price range, with Fibae Black being a direct competitor also from Europe, but also with IMR R2 Aten, the IEM with many signatures, and FiiO FH7, which can't miss if we're reviewing an IEM from this price range. 



Fischer AMPs Rapture vs FiiO FH7 (450 USD vs 420 USD) - The package is better, more modern, and more elegant for FiiO FH7. This being said, besides FH7 having a larger number of tips, and a better carrying case, or at least a more fancy one, the package is comparable in terms of contents. The fit is slightly better for rapture, thanks to a smaller body and construction. The overall isolation is better for Rapture, with more passive noise isolation. The overall sound is brighter, with a warmer bass, with more bass quantity, for FiiO FH7, with a larger, both wider and deeper soundstage, and with more overall detail in the presentation. Rapture sounds more linear, has a smoother treble, and where FH7 is more detailed in general, Rapture makes details easier on the ear, they don't necessarily have more detail, but they are easier to listen to, despite being very detailed. The bass is quick, and there's a good amount of resolution in both. FH7 is slightly more dynamic in general, but the Rapture has a good edge on textures, especially on guitar riffs where it presents more texture. 

Fischer AMPs Rapture vs TheCustomArt Fibae Black (450 USD vs 500 USD) - Fibae Black is clearly warmer, smoother and darker than the Rapture. The comfort is better for the Rapture, thanks to a smaller body and construction, and the overall package is also better for the rapture, Fibae Black having a similar cable and case, although Rapture has, for the same price, a larger selection of tips, and a more fancy outer package. The overall sound has a quicker bass for Rapture, where Fibae Black has a slower, yet more bass. The midrange is more natural on the Rapture, where it is thicker, heavier, but more musical too for Fibae Black. The treble has a similar presentation for both, with similar levels of texture and presence, although the Rapture has a slightly more revealing and detailed treble. Fibae Black has less headroom, and reacts poorly to very loud volumes, where the Rapture can be taken quite loud, and has a really nice amount of headroom left, where Fibae Black cannot really take more than 1 dB of EQ in total, having just one BA driver. 

Fischer AMPs Rapture vs IMR R2 Aten (450 USD vs 500 USD) - IMR R2 Aten is what a pretty high-quality strongly V-Shaped IEM sounds like, and it does have a better overall package than the rapture. It even comes with two cables, and it has a better selection of tips, not to mention the tuning accessories. The comfort is slightly better for the Rapture, thanks to a very slightly more ergonomic design, and a lighter IEM body. The overall dynamics are better for R2 Aten, and it has far more headroom, but the default tuning is aggressively V-Shaped with a very strong bass, a very strong treble, and with a recessed midrange. By direct comparison, Rapture feels considerably more natural, especially in the mids, although it has far less treble and impact. From the two, if you price voices and vocals, I would go with the Rapture, while if you enjoy a more sparkly sound, and a strong bass, and especially if you prefer EDM and Electronic over mid-centric and voice-driven music, the R2 Aten should be the logical choice. 



Recommended Pairings

The pairings list includes sources that are priced either similarly, or in good value compared to the Rapture, as using a source like iBasso DX220, or Opus #2 can give them a better sound, but the source is a bit too expensive and the amount with which Rapture scales is less evident after you cross a certain price threshold for the source. 



Fischer AMPs Rapture + Shanling M2X (450 USD + 220 USD) - M2X is probably the least expensive source I would use for the Rapture, as it is a nice balance of price, performance and usability. There are cheaper sources, but which aren't quite as practical, and there are other ergonomic entry-level sources, like FiiO M6, but starting with M2X you get a good feeling of the true resolution and potential of the Rapture. M2X has a softer, more splashy treble, combined with a slightly thick and strong bass, and with a slightly softer, musical treble presentation. This pairs exceptionally well with the Rapture, to give them slightly more bass, more air and sparkle, and to make them more even, overall leading to a more natural, cleaner presentation, which simply sounds very natural. 

Fischer AMPs Rapture + iBasso DX160 (450 USD + 400 USD) - DX160 has a sweeter, more natural sound, but compared to entry-level sources, it shows excellent levels of clarity, detail and impact, which makes Rapture sound more vivid, colorful, and gives them better overall impact and dynamics. This works well for all music styles, and although it doesn't make the treble stronger, which is pretty needed for the Rapture to be a bit more engaging, DX160 is great for making the sweetest result, at a pretty balanced price. 

Fischer AMPs Rapture + FiiO M11 (450 USD + 400 USD) - M11 has a slightly odd presentation, with a bit of a digital glare and extra sparkle in the treble, but this works really well for Rapture, as it gives them more sparkle, it makes them more engaging, and improves their detail. The soundstage of M11 is also really wide, and FiiO made one of the fastest, smoothest-running DAPs on the market with their M11, which pairs well with the rapture, if you want a balanced, hassle-free experience. 



Value and Conclusion

The value of the Rapture is pretty great, and although they aren't quite as popular as other IEMs, and have a less complete package, they still are very competitive in terms of price/performance. In fact, they are one of the best built IEMs, and they do come with everything you can require. 



I wish more manufacturers would include both a SE and a Balanced cable with their IEMs, like FiiO used to do with their F9 PRO, or to include a cable with an adapter like iBasso IT01S, but happily the cable of the Rapture is easily replaceable, and in their overall build, they don't have any weaker links. 

This means that the comfort, build and overall IEM is made nicely, even hand made in Germany, so you can expect the best quality there is in Germany, when going with Fischer AMPs products. Lots of passive noise isolation too, and out of the two IEMs, the Rapture and the FA-4E-XB, the Rapture is the one that sounds more natural, being easier to recommend for music listening too. 



The sound is what I would call linear, but with slight bumps in the bass, so the midrange is warm, the bass is linear, and neutral, and it has a quick speed, and everything is really detailed. The treble is on the smoother end, and it has a natural to slightly intimate soundstage, but not a pinhole one, making the Rapture work well for those who love a tasty midrange presentation. 



At the end of this review, if you're looking for a mid-centric IEM that really does everything Etymotic ER4XR does, but with much better comfort, a similar level of passive noise isolation, but with a more natural sound, better bass performance, and a more natural midrange, the Fischer AMPs Rapture is pretty what you're looking for. Even if you're a performing artist, or if you want to purchase it to use during recording, you should check out the Rapture, as it is pretty widely available in Europe, and you can order from many stores and take advantage of the friendly terms and conditions, so you are able to return it if it doesn't work quite so well for you. 



Full Playlist used for this review


While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy. 


Youtube Playlist


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_cjBXGmwSHSdGcwuc_bKbBDGHL4QvYBu


Tidal Playlist


https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b


Song List


Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date

Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage 
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead 
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir 
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us 
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong 
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw 
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare 
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop  
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source 
Fall Out Boy - Immortals 
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate 
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe 
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly 
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet


I hope my review is helpful to you!





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