Custom Art Fibae 5

The ~$1K All-rounder

Pros: Good Bass
Good Mids
Good Highs
Good soundstage/Instrument Separation/Imaging

Cons: Mediocre Accessories/packaging
Some Sharpness/Sibilance
Cable is a little microphonic/kinky

Fibae 5 Front.jpg


Up for review today is the Custom Art Fibae 5. I purchased these with a discount from Musicteck ( in exchange for a review. The Fibae 5 (F5 from hereon because that’s annoying to type) is a tri-brid from Custom Art. It has 1x sub-low DD, 2x mid-flat BAs, and two planar magnetic high drivers. That’s a pretty cool setup – you get the excellence of a DD bass, with their unique take on BA mids and the excellence of planars up top, all in a compact and decently priced package. Noice. Most people even prefer the F5 over the F7, which costs a fair amount more but has completely different tech inside it. I’ll cut right to the chase if you don’t feel like reading the whole review – these are my favorite IEMs in the ~$1k price bracket though they do retail just over for $1,099 from Musicteck HERE.

Accessories/Earpads/Eartips (5/10):

This is not luxury packaging like you’ll find on the Ronin, or even the Multiverse Mentor – it’s also not luxury pricing. So yeah, you get a plain cardboard box with a sleeve and inside of that, there’s a neoprene case that’s perfectly functional. Personally, I don’t really need anything more than this, but that doesn’t make it an amazing presentation either. Inside the case are the IEMs inside some foam, a cable, around 4 ear tips – all the same style, and a filter tool. That’s it. So yeah, not a particularly good showing, but it does likely help keep the cost down on these budget-hi-fi IEMs. The packaging is fine, but I’ve seen more complete kits from TRUTHEAR in their $80 HEXA (and their $18 HOLA comes close). At this price, they could do better, at least with the ear tips. I’ll be using my Spinfit W1s as always because they fit basically everything and give me a good fit/seal. 5/10 points here – you can do better CA. As always, I’m using my Spinfit W1 tips since they’re the best I’ve found (You can buy them here if you want a set:

Fibae 5 Case & Accessories.jpg

Cable (8/10):

At least the cable is better than the packaging – they put more money into the cable, which is a good thing. It’s a decently high-quality silver-plated copper cable with 8 cores and 2-pin connectors on one end and a 4.4mm balanced connector on the other end (basically the bare minimum a cable should come with these days in this price range). The downsides to this cable are reasonably high microphonics for a rubber-coated cable, memory retention/kinks, and just an OK fit on the ears. Still, it’s a much better cable than a LOT of other IEMs I’ve reviewed have come with, including some much more expensive IEMs, so kudos for that. 8/10 points here because it’s still one of the nicer cables I’ve seen included with an IEM at any budget.

Build Quality/Comfort (10/10):

Now we’re starting to get into the good stuff. The build quality is excellent here and these feel like they could be thrown into a bag and they’d take a while to get scratched up. Please don’t do that, I’m a firm proponent of taking care of your IEMs, but you could if you didn’t feel like bringing the relatively large case with you. The foil under the acrylic is pretty cool, if a little warped looking, though I’m not a person who would normally choose a purple IEM (hoping they’ll release a different color at some point so I don’t feel like Grimace). Still, the overall feel of these is that they will last a long time.

Yes, these are only a 5-driver setup, so they shouldn’t be as massive as some of the IEMs like the Ronin and Mentor. And…they’re not. These are very comfortable, light, and have an excellent fit. They don’t feel like they’re constantly falling out like those bigger IEMs and you can move your head from side to side without the same feeling occurring. The nozzles are long enough you’ll get a good fit, and while they don’t sit inside my inner ear like the Final A5000, they sit in the outer part quite nicely without any fatigue. Take that Monarch Mk2.

Fibae 5 case.jpg


The closest IEM I have to compare with the F5 right now is my VE Elysium and they’re really not all that similar. Also, the Elysium retails new for double what the F5 retails for. Anyway, you can tell that the F5 has quite a bit of sub and mid-bass, though it looks like the mids drop off a lot. That’s an illusion and if you add the Ronin onto the, you’ll see that the F5 has mids very near the Ronin until around 700 Hz. At that point, the Ronin will peak just a bit more while the Elysium appears to drop off, which is also sort of an illusion in actual listening. Either way, the F5 is very steady throughout the mids. It’s also pretty consistent in the highs as well, though there are quite a few dips and peaks, hopefully, to counter sharpness and sibilance – we’ll see.

F5 Elysium.png

I am powering the Elysium and F5 off of my HiBy RS8 on medium gain around 40/100 volume for the F5 and 50/100 for the Elysium. They both run at about the same power levels. I will be using Tidal Hi-Fi for each song with MQA enabled and both IEMs using the Spinfit W1 tips.

Lows (17/20):

I’m starting off with the Mid-bass/Sub-bass test I’m using David Guetta’s “I’m Good (Blue).” The mid-bass drums in the intro have a TON of impact and body to them – and a tad bit of unwanted reverb bloat. The sub-bass rumble has that breathtaking quality that I love to hear in an IEM but only get with some of the bassiest IEMs. Previously I had called the F5 the Diet-Coke of the Ronin, but that feels incorrect now just solely based upon how much more bass these have. It’s great for EDM, but I’m guessing it’ll cost it points later. 9/10 points for the small amount of extra reverb.

Up next is Demon Hunter’s “I Am A Stone,” which I use to test whether the bass is too strong and overwhelms the mids as that is just as important as how strong/good the bass is. The bass is obviously quite noticeable in this song, but thanks to the relatively pronounced mids of the F5, the bass never really overwhelms the mids completely. There are a couple of points where the bass can become a little too pronounced, but it just never cuts out the mids completely – very impressive for the price of these IEMs. 8/10 points!

Mids (16/20):

Weaving The Fate’s “The Fall” is my test song for clean/dirty guitars and vocals with background instruments to see how clearly the vocals can be heard. The intro guitars on this song are clean and crisp and the detail is good. The dirty guitars that follow sound very good with excellent detail and no muddiness. The downside is that you can’t really hear the cymbals very well until the distorted guitars finish. The drums aren’t all that clear either surprisingly – they’re there, but the guitar definitely drowns them out. The bass guitar can be clearly heard, which is not something every IEM can pull off on this song. The vocals have a broad range and sound excellent, though they can also take precedence over the rest of the instruments. The mids focus is very apparent on this song and it comes off quite nicely at the expense of the highs and some lows. Still, since this is a mids test song and I don’t want to double tap, it’s a 6/6 here.

Staind’s “Something to Remind You” has clean electric guitars and wonderful vocals – this song tests vocal quality and background noise. The lower registers of the vocals here hit a bit muddy, but only for a second. The middle to high vocals are excellent and the guitars sound fantastic – very clean and crisp with a massive presence and body. The bass guitar here can be clearly heard and doesn’t overwhelm the mids despite its forward presence. The vocals are definitely the most forward piece of this song and there is some detail missing on the guitars, mainly in the highs register (fingers moving across the string). So, if you hate that sound, these are the IEM for you! Again, for a mids test song, this is very good, but I’m taking off a point for the lower vocals muddiness 6/7.

To test classical instruments in the mids, I’m using The Piano Guys’ “Code Name Vivaldi.” The intro bass sounds good, if a bit overwhelming to the rest of the instruments, especially the piano. The drums and violins can be clearly heard in the build-up phase where the piano takes more of a forward role. This song sounds good on the F5, but it’s nowhere near the best I’ve heard it. For some reason, it comes across as very 2D on a song that should envelop your entire head in multiple different instruments. The separation isn’t as good as I’d like it either. Some headphones can really make this song sound magical, for some reason the F5 is not one of those headphones. 4/7 here.

Highs (14/20):

To test sibilance on headphones I use Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes. There was definitely some sharpness and sibilance at the beginning of this song that made me cringe. It’s there, but only at certain spots on this song as opposed to throughout the entirety of the song. Not the best, but not the worst. 4/6 points.

Dream Theater’s “The Alien,” is the highs test song I use to see if the cymbals/high-hats/snare drum can be clearly heard and distinguished from the rest of the music (also good for instrument separation.) The cymbals here can be clearly heard on top of the other instruments. It has nothing on the FiR VxV or Multiverse Mentor, but it’s close to the Ronin in highs presence if not highs quality. You’re not going to hear each individual strike and a ton of highs detail here, but it’s far better than a lot of other IEMs or full-size headphones I’ve heard. 5/7 points.

Michelle McLaughlin’s “Across The Burren” is another of my favorite highs/sharpness test songs as it can easily sound painful on some headphones. There is only a touch of sharpness on this song, almost imperceptible and better than the Ronin did. The piano sounds really good, but there is a touch of unwanted reverb here and there depending on the note. 5/7 points here.

Soundstage/Instrument Separation/Imaging (7/10):

I use MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” to test soundstage, instrument separation, and imaging. In this price range, the F5 competes quite well in this category, but can’t compete with TOTL IEMs like the Ronin and Mentor. Still, the soundstage is quite expansive, but it leans almost entirely forward in its presentation – don’t expect to be enveloped in a Mentor-like 3D soundstage. Instrument separation and imaging are both good, but not TOTL. Overall, these earn 7/10 points, which is still quite good in this price range.


The Elysium can’t compete with the F5 on bass, as the F5 has some really impactful and full-bodied bass. The Elysium doesn’t have the bloat the F5 can have though, and they have better detail retrieval. If you’re looking for bass, grab the EXT or F5 over the base Elysium. If you like bass but hate lots of it, the Elysium is a better option. I find that I like both for different reasons. I’d place the F5 equal to or just behind the Elysium with mids – they’re very close overall. The Elysiums have more emotion with classical than the F5s do, so if you’re a classical fan, grab a pair of Elysiums. The Elysiums have a bit better highs than the F5 with more detail and they’re pretty close to the Mentor in that category. They are also a bit more sibilant, so watch for that.

The Elysium comes with MUCH nicer packaging, though the 2.5mm cable is annoying because you’ll have to buy an adapter or a different cable to use it with most modern DAPs/AMPs. Still, the ear tips, case, box, etc. all go as a win to the Elysium without any difficulty. Comfort and fit easily go to the F5 though. Again, it’s hardly fair to be comparing an IEM that costs almost twice as much to the F5, but I have to say it’s amazing that the F5 is so close to one of my Top 5 IEMs and will likely come in right behind the Elysium in my ranking due to coming to close in the mids and highs while having much better bass. That’s impressive and deserves a round of applause for Custom Art.

Fibae 5 Box.jpg


The Custom Art Fibae 5 is legitimately good. It’s not as bassy as something from Fat Freq and doesn’t quite have the highs that the FiR VxV has, but it is easily the best all-rounder near $1k that I’ve ever heard. It has good bass, mids, and highs – even if it’s not the best in any one category, it’s very good in every category. I love the bass quality and quantity, the excellent and forwards mids, and the good if not mind-blowing highs. I can very easily recommend the Fibae 5, and to quote @Rockwell75 “the F5 is fire.”

Headphone Scoring (v3):
Accessories / Earpads / Eartips (10 pts):5​
Cable (10 pts):8​
Build Quality/ Design / Comfort (10 pts):10​
Lows (20 pts):17​
Mids (20 pts):16​
Highs (20 pts):14​
Soundstage / Instrument Separation / Imaging (10 pts):7​

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