Fir Audio is one of the few exclusively high-end IEM brands and so far, I’ve been a fan of what they have to offer. I recently checked out the Radon 6, which proved itself as a top tier IEM. The next step up, and the most prestigious model from the line is the Xenon 6, which goes for the price of $3,899. Is it really the best they have?
What You Get
- Braided Black 1.2m IEM cable with 4.4mm jack
- Hard Leather Case
- 3 Pairs Silicone Ear Tips
- 3 Pairs Foam Ear Tips
- ATOM XS Interchangeable Modules
- IEM Cleaning Tool
- ATOM Module Tool
- FiR Audio “Space Force” Patch
- Warranty Card
- User Guide
Look & Feel
Everything about the build of the Xenon 6 is almost identical to the Radon 6. Its shape and sapphire crystal front plate have similar styles, except the outside shell piece is painted gold. This is one of the most eye-catching designs for an IEM that I’ve seen. Not just because of the gold finish, but the construction of it just seems extremely refined. It’s an elegant construction that feels durable and precisely crafted. In terms of comfort, there is some awkwardness, but it’s a good size that never takes up too much space.
The Xenon 6 uses many of the same technology that exists in the Radon 6, such as Kinetic Bass conduction, Atom venting system and Open Acoustic drivers. In the Xenon 6, you get one dynamic driver and 5 balanced armatures, all of which releagte different ranges of frequency through the signal flow.
I’ve been impressed with what I’ve heard from Fir Audio so far in terms of sound, but the soundstage on their IEMs never quite blow me away. Its always wide, and everything is placed where it should be. There’s no issue here, but in this price range I’ve heard some immaculate holographic imaging. It’s okay that Fir Audio doesn’t go for that type of response, and I can still find ways to appreciate and enjoy its performance. The Xenon 6 is much of the same soundstage and imaging that I’ve become used to testing out other IEMs from this line. However, the Xenon 6 goes great lengths to expand the depth of the imaging, and heighten the spaciousness of the soundstage. The headspace is much bigger here, and offers a grander scale than other IEMs from this series. You feel the sound expand past the shell, and for the first time, the soundstage appears more like a bubble than a linear stereo spectrum. Sounds have precise placement, but they don’t feel confined to that space. It’s an out-of-your-head response that has tall instruments and effects that can whip around you effortlessly. There is still a hard line that keeps the sound elements from expressing distanc, but more dimension is shown on the Xenon 6 than on other models I’ve heard from Fir so far.
If you’re looking for a bass with power, then the Xenon 6 might be one of the ultimate picks. These lows have a ton of drive, and express a lot of detail in a multitude of ways. The frequencies themselves aren’t even that thick, but there is so much detail packed into the bass that is forms this massive body of tone. The sub-bass has a clear presence, as it adds smooth vibration that crawls up quickly, leading the mid-bass to pack the punch. This gives form and exceptional impact to the bass response, and it’s consistently gripping, even with lower energy tracks that don’t necessarily call for it. While the bass has a ton of weight and power, it’s also controlled in a way that feels tight and organized. However, when listening to tracks that come at you with a wall of sound, the bass usually takes center stage, and it wants you to concentrate on it the most out of any other region of frequency.
Most of the midrange response here is dominated by the low-mids. It’s made clear that there is a bit of a dip in the center frequencies, but it doesn’t cause any instance of fog or messiness. Everything is presented clearly, but there is also a warm that pulls a lot of the weight here. There’s still a ton of detail to be has across the board, including some expressing and transparent vocal responses. You get a good amount of room, but there isn’t as much breathable space in the mids as other high-end IEMs. None of the instruments ever feel like they’re too far in the background, but notes don’t have feature much individuality. It’s mostly all volume and drive, and for some genre’s of music, that’s enough to satisfy.
The highs don’t get as much drive as the rest of the sound signature, but is still capable of exquisite detail. It has a definitive roll-off, but the Xenon 6 doesn’t try to overcompensate with forceful brightness. It lets the highs appear naturally in the mix, and they add some subtle texture as well. There’s a sprinkly quality to the frequencies that don’t pop out, but still add height and detail to the sound signature. If there was more of a layer of shine, then these highs could be very colorful, but the Xenon 6 keeps them focused and clear for the most part.
There’s a lot to love about the Xenon 6, but it’s a very particular sounding IEM. Bassheads will love it, and the soundstage is the best that Fir Audio has offered so far. However, if you prefer more detail in the midrange, then you might not enjoy its more dominant lows. For its premium price, the Xenon 6 gives you enough to chew on, and its build is quite exquisite.
The Fir Audio Xenon 6 is available at here.