August 8, 2022

Those that comply with FiiO’s product growth will understand how a lot it has grown by way of genuine R&D in its earphones. The most recent technology of earphones from FiiO in the previous couple of years has distinctive options such because the semi-open design which presents a wider soundstage, CNC machined shells as an alternative of plastic for sturdiness and aesthetics, and exterior interchangeable filters to permit sound customization to call just a few.

The FH9 is the newest hybrid IEM from FiiO that could be a conglomerate of the most effective of what the corporate has to supply. However can it really prime the rating as the most effective earphones from the Guangzhou primarily based Hello-Fi firm? Let’s dive in to search out out.

On first encounter, the FH9 is sort of a sight to behold. As a substitute of a sophisticated resin shell, which is typical of IEMs, the brand new FiiO flagship earphones have a satin metallic end. This differs even from earlier IEMs from the corporate, just like the FD5 and FD7 which have been polished chrome steel. Machined utilizing CNC out of Titanium, the low sheen steel end is each industrial and polished, and can hopefully set a brand new pattern for future FiiO earphones. The whole physique of the FH9 is so properly machined, the parting traces on the shells are so exactly crafted, that you’d see however by no means really feel it in opposition to the delicate pores and skin within the ear.

The face of the FH9 consists of triple grills that look nearly like claw marks, which once more has that industrial but polished aesthetic about it. Identical to the FD7, these grills aren’t merely for appears to be like, however play an essential function because the semi-open sound vents, which is instrumental to shaping the extensive soundstage and clear sound of the FH9.

Meticulous to a T, FiiO contains braided cables with the FH9 that has angled elbows MMCX connectors that use the very same end because the shell, giving the general earphone a coherent and polished look, to not point out a powerful and sturdy exterior.

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7 drivers inside (Picture: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

7-Driver Hybrid Association per Earpiece

What units the FH9 aside from the opposite top-tier FiiO earphones is that it has 7 drivers in whole in every ear – 6 Knowles balanced armatures (BA) and 1 in-house dynamic driver. It is price noting that the dynamic driver (DD) within the array has a DLC (diamond like carbon) diaphragm, that are stiffer and due to this fact extra responsive and fewer distorted than typical DDs. What’s extra, FiiO determined to pack a 13.6 mm diaphragm, which is an excellent greater driver than the FD7, FiiO’s flagship dynamic driver earphone.

Sound filters on the tip of the sound tube are interchangeable (Picture: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

A signature FiiO design is the interchangeable sound filters, which historically are positioned proper inside the shell, in entrance of every BA unit to filter out harsh frequencies. By innovatively putting the BA drivers proper on the tip of the sound tube, the filter can now be accessed externally, opening customization prospects for its person.

FiiO contains 3 pairs of filters, which basically filters out excessive vary frequencies leading to three sound traits: treble, balanced and bass. Personally I choose the balanced filter paired with DACs that use the ESS chips which have a sharper treble response, or the treble filters when utilizing the hotter sound AKM chips. In every of the pairing, the traits steadiness out the DAC/Amp used properly, proving the flexibility of the FH9.

The FH9 used with the FiiO UTWS5 Bluetooth receivers may be equalized much more (Picture: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Wonderful Tunability

Regardless of the hybrid association, FiiO went for fairly a ‘flat’ response, and didn’t over intensify the bass on default. Nevertheless, due to the multi-driver association, it signifies that the FH9 may be equalized to spice up frequency ranges in an remoted and correct approach.

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One other change price noting is the removing of the bodily toggles for equalization (Which was nonetheless current on the FH5s). This can be a private win for me, as I a lot choose a digital EQ that may be visualized and tweaked.

It goes with out saying that with the DD masking the decrease finish, the FH9 can produce an unbelievable extension on the low-end that might fulfill any bass-heads on the market. The 13.6mm DLC diaphragm driver is ready to deal with any quantity of bass that I throw at it. Utilizing the FiiO M11 Plus ESS, coupled with PowerAmp participant, and maxing out the Bass booster, the FH9 can produce an obscene quantity of bass and sub-bass – with none trace of distortion. Comparatively, utilizing the FA7s, the BA drivers held till round 80% and began distorting at 90% – whereas the bass is just not as impactful as what the DD is producing.

The grills on the faceplate are additionally sound vents (Picture: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Semi-open Design

I have been a fan of FiiO’s semi-open design on their earphones because the launch of the FH5s. For earbuds that extremely rely on an excellent silicone tip seal, it often finally ends up struggling in two areas: discomfort from the strain buildup within the ears, and a narrower soundstage. With the semi-open design, FiiO resolves each of those points, which is identical case that may be discovered within the FH9.

The pure and punchy bass of the dynamic driver along with the semi-open design leads to glorious holographic imaging, but highly effective presence. Because of the pretty flat response of the FH9, I discovered that it fits most music genres, however particularly shines with bass heavy music.

Though with the semi-open design, there may be nearly no strain buildup within the ear canal, the FH9 leaks minimal sound. In contrast to typical open again headphones that sound like mini-speakers to the wearer’s environment, these earphones retain your privateness and are perfect for journey.

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Wealthy care package deal (Picture: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Wealthy Care Package deal

FiiO has raised the bar a lot previously releases of earphones, {that a} wealthy care package deal is a given, and the FH9 is not any exception. In whole a whopping 30 ideas are included, starting from FiiO’s in-house silicone ideas, Bi-flange ideas, foam ideas, and two pairs of SpinFit ideas – a favourite among the many audiophile group. With this many ideas to select from, you are assured to search out the right match.

Aside from the array of ideas, there are the interchangeable 2.5 mm and 4.4 mm balanced jacks, a cleansing device, magnetic cable organizer, carrying case and FiiO’s chrome steel MMCX plug remover. With the FH9 you may ensure that while not having to spend additional for third-party equipment, you may be getting the most effective efficiency out of them proper out of the field.

The most effective of what FiiO has to supply is a showcase of nice innovation (Picture: IBTimes / Jeff Li)

Last Verdict

FiiO has taken the audiophile group for fairly a experience, and it feels just like the journey is simply getting began as the corporate continues to come back out with new improvements and enhancements with every new product. The FH9 is the newest iteration after an extended line of IEMs from the corporate, and it speaks volumes of all of the analysis and growth that has been invested, and it evidently paid off leading to a really succesful pair of earphones that excels in holographic imaging and highly effective bass manufacturing.

The sturdiness of the strong titanium case, semi-open again design that’s comfy however would not leak sound makes these headphones splendid to journey earphones. We’re awarding the FiiO FH9 with the IBTimes Really helpful Badge.

Sam is a manufacturing engineer turned tech author who focuses on in search of out devices that enhances productiveness whereas nonetheless wanting sharp. This can be a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes evaluate collection on devices for Enterprise Vacationers.