Custom Art, a polish company founded in 2012 by Piotr Granicki, always focussed in making excellent custom IEMs ranging from the FIBAE1 (their entry-level single driver CIEM) to the flagship Harmony 8.2, delivering excellent performance at a wide range of price,starting from 300 euros for the former and reaching around 1100 euros for the latter. FIBAE (Flat Impedance Balanced Armature Earphone) is their new family of CIEMs, with top of the notch technologies aiming at an ambitious target: to maintain their sound signature in any scenario, regardless of the source they are paired with. So far there are five members of this family, with an increasing number of drivers: FIBAE 1, 2, 3, 4, and BLACK, the ones I will review today. Like the FIBAE 1, the FIBAE BLACK features a single Flat Impedance Balanced Armature, but they developed a new design, called Pressure Optimizing Design, that should improve the sound even further.

I would like to thank Piotr for this example unit. I received the custom model, which sports a 3D printed acrylic shell based on my ear impressions.

Price and data sheet:

At the moment the price for the FIBAE Black starts at 450 euros, but the final price can vary if a more sophisticated design is chosen.


  • Single proprietary Balanced Armature

  • 108.5dB @1kHz @0.1V

  • 5.2 Ohm@1kHz (+- 0.8 Ohm 10Hz-20kHz)

  • Frequency range: 10Hz-16000Hz

  • Pressure Optimizing Design and 3D Printed acrylic shell

  • Custom or Universal fits are available

PACKAGING: as usual, sparce. The CIEMs arrived in the same, simple cardboard box of any other FIBAE IEM, logoless but with a clean look. Inside we find the essentials of CIEM ownership:

  • Peli 1010 case that stored the CIEM during the shipment. Sturdy but hard to carry around

  • One black zipper case, smaller than the Peli one and more portable

  • Cleaning tools ( wax remove scraper)

  • Warranty card/manual with useful tips and a greeting from the company

If the universal shape is chosen, 4 pairs of silicone ear tips are included.


DESIGN: As the name suggests, those CIEM are a little piece of art. The build is flawless, the shell (made entirely with 3D printing technology) feels sturdy and firm, and while the body itself isn’t customizable (it has to remain black, unlike the other FIBAE’s bodies), the faceplate can host almost any pattern. The website already presents a lot of possible plates, but if you feel unsatisfied, you can actually contact Piotr and ask for a more unique style, like my shattered glass reflective one. They will help you design the perfect IEM. You can even upload a photo and use it as a faceplate.

The detachable cable is an improvement over their old, grey one: now it’s a SPC cable wrapped in a transparent PVC insulation, and feels more premium and sturdier, but the flexibility is sacrificed in favour of robustness. The plug is the same 2-pin 0.78mm connector, so it is easy to change and upgrade. The seal, of course, is excellent: they fit my ears like a pair of gloves. The noise isolation is so awesome that the first time I used them during my daily commute, I felt like I was wearing my sony wh1000xm3 with the ANC set to maximum. Even with a perfect pair of ear tips, my FIBAE 3 were never able to isolate that much. Comfort is also great, but in order to reach that perfect seal, they put a little more pressure on my auditory canal than the universal model.

SOUND: The FIBAE Black are a neutral-warmish, pretty fun IEM with an excellent bass, musical and extremely controlled midrange, and a smooth treble with no sibilance at all. They deliver a sound that will never feel fatiguing or sibilant.

I’m quite treble-sensitive, so I really appreciated the controlled highs, while I enjoyed the fun, deep bass. I listen to a lot of different music, and they excelled with every genre. A small, simple and yet exhaustive graph is available on their website, that sum up pretty accurately the overall sound of the IEM.

Lows are deep, with a good extension and a warm feel, always under control. Subbass is fairly present but never boomy. The midbass is again warm and soft, without bumps of any kind. It adds a touch of fun to this pair of quite neutral IEMs without interfering too much with the upper frequencies. Percussion instruments are amazingly musical and emphasised, and so are other instruments like bass guitar. This makes them good with genres such EDM and hip-hop but also rock and especially orchestral music, which I love. Bass is never dry or too present, and pretty fast too.

Midrange is transparent and warm, with a good texture. Vocals are detailed and thick, with a pleasantly warm and fun presentation. I especially enjoyed deep male vocals, which never felt heavy or mudded. Choirs were also amazing. The upper range is extremely soft and smooth, never sibilant or sharp.

The upper midrange and the treble are a bit laid-back, and while I totally enjoyed the absence of any kind of hissing or harshness, treble-heads might want to look for something with a bit of more spark on the higher end. Upper midrange is again smooth and fast, with a great transparency and precision, and a roll-off in the treble area that delivers a relaxed sound. The extension is quite short, and the upper treble lacks a bit of airiness, but in general it is still detailed and relaxed.

The soundstage is huge in depth but could be slightly better in the width, while separation and positioning are excellent for this price range. They were capable of reproducing any genre of music, ranging from EDM to Orchestral songs, without any problem. Again, like the FIBAE 3, the sound signature remained consistent with any source I paired them with, scaling nicely with better sources but delivering a pleasant experience even when hooked to a phone.

fibae_pietro_0032CA FIBAE BLACK vs CA FIBAE 3:

Both have a deep, controlled bass, but the BLACK one is slightly more emphasized. Midbass and mids are warmer and more present on the BLACK, while the 3 have a brighter sound and especially a much more forward presence of the treble, with a deeper extension that adds a touch of airiness. Soundstage is pretty similar and good in both IEMs, with a bit more of depth on the BLACK, while I found the 3 to be more precise, detailed and less forgiving with low-quality files.

CONCLUSIONS: This is my first pair of CIEMs, and I’m still amazed by the isolation they can offer. Add the pleasing single FIBAE driver that don’t necessarily aims to extreme precision and critical listening, but offers a musical, entertaining, warm and fun experience even when paired with a phone and fed with files from Spotify. This is the perfect pair of IEM to travel with, capable of adapting to any taste or genre, never fatiguing or boring, with excellent isolation and great comfort. But while I found the forgiving treble a strong pro, it may not suit treble-heads or someone looking for a sparky sound, to whom I suggest the FIBAE 3, that are more treble-oriented. In the end, the BLACK are NOT a reference IEM in any means. Instead, when I tried them for the first time, I felt like they asked me something: is “extreme precision” really what we are seeking for? Do we have to give our complete attention to the listening, not to enjoy it but to search for any little flaw? Or I want to have a pleasing experience, with a fun sound, coherent and natural, with smooth highs, rumbling but precise bass, forward and warm mids? If you are seeking for extreme precision and critical listening, or sparky treble, then try something else. But if what you want is a fun experience, to accompany you through voyages or moments of relax, you just found your perfect companion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s