One of the forerunners of the growing trend of the use of fiber-optic cables as a current and future conduit of high-speed AV signal transmission has been the global connectivity company FIBBR.
A number of years ago I reviewed a FIBBR 5-meter run of a fiber-optic HDMI cable that I ran from my AV receiver to my projector. Now several years later that company is introducing its latest product line the Pure3 series of active, fiber-optic HDMI cables.
Validating the products for professional integrators, FIBBR states that its new Ultra High-Speed cables are the first fiber optic products to receive HDMI 2.1 certification from the HDMI Forum through their ability to deliver up to 48Gbps of throughput.
Available in a choice of sizes, the company sent me a pair of 1.5-meter cables, along with a 3-meter cable, and a 5-meter cable to try in my system.
FIBBR Pure3 Active Fiber-Optic HDMI Cables Features and Setup
The active fiber-optic cables provide up to 48Gbps of connectivity to support formats such as 8K at 60Hz, 4K at 120Hz, HDR, and immersive audio formats, including Dolby Atmos.
FIBBR explains the cables incorporate its BendRobust technology that allows the fiber-optic cables to bend up to 180 degrees to enable their installation in a range of system applications. The company points out the Pure3 cables are made with a process that stands out from other manufacturers, and to ensure their long-term reliability, the cables are pre-cut by laser cutting machines.
Going into greater detail about the laser-cutting process, FIBBR says that, unlike traditional cutting tools that leave “oddities” that could lead to signal losses and failure, the laser-cutting methods it uses ensure a smooth cut, which complements the cables’ lifetime warranties.
CE Pro Features:
- FIBBR’s Pure3 8K-HDR active, fiber-optic cables offers up to 48Gbps to support 8K at 60Hz and 4K at 120Hz.
- The Pure3 cables incorporate FIBBR’s BendRobust technology that allows up to 180-degrees of bend radius capabilities
- FIBBR emphasizes that its latest cables have received HDMI 2.1 certification from the HDMI Forum for custom installation applications
- The global connectivity company says the cables are 60% lighter than traditional cables
- Available in a choice of sizes, the cables are laser cut to ensure high levels of reliability
- Pricing for the cables are as follows: 1.5 meters is $199, 2 meters is $219, 3 meters is $239, 5 meters is $249, 10 meters is $309, 12 meters is $349, 15 meters is $379, 20 meters is $439, and 30 meters is $559
Other important features about the Pure3 fiber-optic cables the company continues, is they are 60% lighter than traditional cables. FIBBR notes that one of the major benefits of the cables’ light weight is that unlike heavy cabling products, these cables will not put stress on connections of connected electronics, which can save on a system’s overall wear-and-tear.
Inserting the cables in my system took about 30 minutes, and this included the unpacking and clean up.
As I stated earlier, FIBBR sent me a pair of 1.5-meter cables, along with a 3-meter cable and a 5-meter cable. Hooking up the 1.5-meter cables, I used these products between my Onkyo AV receiver, and my Panasonic UltraHD Blu-ray player and 4K Apple TV.
Concluding setup, I turned the system on just to see if everything was working—and I found everything was functioning normally.
Performance and Final Thoughts
Right off the top, I was thoroughly impressed with the cables. The overall build quality, the lightness of the cables, and the improved image quality the cables delivered were all immediately noticeable.
I am going to make a comparison with the cables that I think fits well. Today in the modern world of live music and guitar specifically, there is no real need for the ear-splitting volumes produced by 100-watt guitar amps, but guys still use them. Why are they used? These powerful amps provide headroom for guitar players that want clean, undistorted sounds that lower power amps cannot provide in many cases.
I view the Pure3 cables in the same way as those 100-watt amplifiers. These cables provide the headroom necessary to deliver pristine signals with today’s content without taxing the capabilities of the products, and they provide some futureproof assurances. In my time with the cables, I think the additional bandwidth the Pure3 cables through their 48Gbps deliver better images than current generation 18Gbps cables because of their throughput headroom.
For the sake of comparison, I tried the Pure3 cables in a mix against my existing cables to see if I could notice any differences, particularly with the FIBBR cable I had replaced, which I was still using.
To be honest, in hindsight I wish I had measured the brightness levels of my before and after comparisons, but I thought the Pure3 cables offered a noticeable perceived improvement in overall picture brightness levels. I also think the dynamics of the images had improved and I got more low-level detail once I had inserted all of the new FIBBR cables into my system.
I’ve been watching broadcast content from the Hopper 3, as well as streaming content with the 4K Apple TV, and 4K discs with the Panasonic UHD player and got excellent sound and video with all three of my sources.
Listening to immersive Dolby Atmos music from my Apple Music account, along with stereo, two-channel music, I also thought the cables delivered a nice level of clarity and dynamics that allowed me to hear the differences in Atmos mixes and overall mastering levels.
Getting back to some video I popped in the Queen Live Aid recreation performance bonus content from the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and seeing this high-quality content confirmed what I had already thought: These cables are conduits to high-performance AV nirvana.
I found the colors were rich and accurate, and the crowd-panning shots of the audience were noise-free. Fine detail like the transparent white finish of Freddie Mercury’s Fender Telecaster with the wood grain showing was really impressive. In fact, that was the first time I have noticed that particular detail about the recreation of Queen’s Live Aid performance and it almost makes me want to buy another Telecaster.
Other 4K UHD disc content such as Deadpool 2 were also just as impressive. In this movie there are a lot of dark scenes and I look for things such as low-level shadow detail, color accuracy and image detail and this movie looked great on all of those fronts.
On streaming content like Netflix’s Fistful of Vengeance I thought the vivid color palette of the movie was apparent, and the bass heavy audio soundtrack were quite involving.
My only nitpicks about the cabling is the diameter is a little bit thicker than the FIBBR cable I had replaced, and I wish the termination ends had the LED signal indicators like the previous generation of FIBBR cables.
Realistically however, my nitpicks aside, these cables offer a high level of performance for a range of media types, the cables are built to last for the long term, and the Pure3 line offers a range of sizes to fit just about any applications. I should add the cables are priced competitively too.
Adding everything up, the FIBBR Pure3 cables are sure to complement any integrator’s array of product solutions.
CE Pro Verdict:
- The packaging of the cables is impressive and that packaging supports the idea that homeowners are purchasing high-performance HDMI certified products
- The Pure3 cables deliver a noticeable upgrade in audio and video performance for today’s media and futureproofing options
- FIBBR’s Pure3 cables are lighter than previous generations of the company’s fiber-optic HDMI cabling products
- There are no legitimate “cons” with these cables, but with that said, the Pure3 cables are slightly thicker than the previous generation FIBBR cables I had in my system, but I will point out they are lighter
- The previous version cables had signal status indicator LEDs in their termination, the Pure3 cables do not. That feature would be a nice option