Over the years Fiio has gained critical acclaim with its varied selection of IEMs. Sadly I’ve never gotten a chance to listen to a majority of them, but I have got my hands on the new FH5s. It’s one of their more economical options sitting for $259, which puts this IEM in competition with an assortment of other models from the likes of Ikko, Campfire Audio, and Kinera. However, the FH5s seem to offer a ton of cool features to analyze so let’s get into it.
What You Get
- MMCX cable
- Swappable 2.5/3.5/4.4 plugs
- Carrying case HB5
- Bi-flange ear tips (1 pair)
- Vocal ear tips (3 pairs)
- Bass ear tips (3 pairs)
- Balanced ear tips (3 pairs)
- Foam ear tips (3 pairs)
- MMCX assist tool
- Cleaning brush
Look and Feel
I have always liked the style Fiio presents with their IEMs, but the FH5s appear especially state-of-the-art. They immediately stand out with the faceplates silver ring outlining the shape of the IEM, and the grill slits shining through the black outer shell. Its body has a solid look and feel, but at first glance, it could seem a bit intimidating to shove in your ear. Thankfully, the fit of the FH5s is a lot more forgiving with its level of comfortability. The best part about them is their support, which feels secure and non-fatiguing.
There’s a meaty system of drivers within the FH5s’ aluminum housing. Its chamber is constructed using a hybrid of dynamic and balanced armature drivers, two of each. The dynamic drivers are 12mm and 6mm with beryllium plated domes, with the 12mm taking control of the lows, while the 6mm handles the mids. This way, Fiio is hoping for a more coherent response and offers more potential for its frequency response. You also get two balanced armatures made by Knowles, which help produce high frequencies. These drivers are placed the closest to the ear to ensure no fidelity is lost in translation. While the earphones are meticulously tuned to suit many types of listeners, they’ve also added three small switches that enhance the bass, treble or reduce the mids. Lastly, Fiio introduces an IEM with a semi-open design, which I haven’t seen explored before in a pair of earphones. Fiio promises an enhanced soundstage, so let’s see how well they succeed.
So what exactly does a semi-open IEM sound like? It’s definitely one of the widest and most spacious models I’ve heard in this price range. Although I didn’t get much height or great depth out of them, the FH5s is capable of some great separation and articulate imaging. The space between sound elements feels properly airy and provides good clarity to everything within the stereo field. There’s an immersive quality to it that gives the sound signature a grander image, but while also feeling true to the mix.
There’s a considerable bass response coming from the FH5s. You’ll hear some meaty lows with a resonant thickness that should satisfy most listeners. The sub-bass is very generous, offering a good amount of lift. The tonality mostly remains neutral, but using the bass switches creates an even more forward response. Without the switch, the bass sits well separated from the mids and highs for a cleaner and more articulate timbre.
Some of the midrange frequencies have a pleasant kick to them, fulfilling a full and detailed response. Certain instruments hit hard, and peak with a commanding emphasis. I found some of the upper mids to be a little splashy, but it added some good character to the overall timbre without being too overwhelming for the sound signature.
I appreciated the FH5s’ level of brightness. It didn’t feel too smoothed out at all, instead, it adds a layer of shine that brings out the treble just enough to colorize the high frequencies. There’s a crisp resonance to them and they have the ability to jump at you quickly, making for a more engaging listening experience. Although they’ll be a little much for more treble-sensitive listeners, I think they provide a detailed sheen of fidelity that constantly immersed me in the FH5s’ sound signature.
In the sometimes overwhelming IEM market, Fiio has brought forth a truly unique option that helps it stick out from the rest. Their semi-open nature changes things up considerably, as well as their tuning switches and overall style. It confidently showcases its qualities in sound signature and build while sporting a generous price. There’s a lot of variety in the FH5s, with each of its features presenting a suitable listening experience for man casual and audiophile consumers alike.
The Fiio FH5s are available at Audio 46.
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