Pros: Modern Design, Durable constructions, Plush Earpads, Fun Sound, Abundance of Features
Cons: Language in Firmware needs updating, Sensor (touch and earpad) needs to be more sensitive, Monitor Mode not very useful
The Fiil Diva headphone is probably one of the most intuitive headphones south of $200. They have features that make them almost 3-4 headphones in one, currently they can be had for about $129 on Kickstarter before their official release, and will retail for $149.
I want to thank Fiil for sending me a prototype model of the Diva before the official release (I would imagine that the official version would have English voice prompts) Currently, the version I have only has Mandarin and Cantonese voice prompt in the PIIL smartphone app or the prompts can be turned off completely. (A good way to brush up my Cantonese, I guess).
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They come with:
- A well made protective hard-shell carrying case (moulded to fit the headphones)
- 1 audio cable
- 1 USB Cable
Overall: 8/10- I wish for the inclusion of a smartphone remote cable (1 button would be nice) and a pouch on the inside of the moulded headphone case (between the earcups perhaps?) to hold the cables).
The Diva is intuitive and rich with features that can appeal to a wide range of users. The headphones are equipped with both touch sensitive and physical buttons media controls on the right earcup, along with a wide variety of settings available on the included free FiiL app (available on both App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android).
With Bluetooth 4.1, I was able to get slightly over 30 feet in complete open space, with about 15-20 metres with walls present.
Using the MAF (My AudioFiilter) features in the FiiL app, gives access a wide variety of settings from wireless, noise cancelling (also ambient noise aware).
The great thing is that the MAF features can be accessed even WITHOUT the smartphone app as well, (when tested on my Macbook), using the toggle switch on the right earcup.
First and foremost, these can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth and wired (without battery), with the inclusion of a detachable 3.5mm- 3.5mm user replaceable audio cable.
Noise Cancelling or NC mode:
Effectively dim the ambient noise, to a stated 28dB (which I think is a bit of stretch). It does works but a far cry from the Bose Quietcomfort series.
Amplifying the higher (and lower??) frequencies allowing for better awareness of the surrounding area, thus making them basically a pair of open headphones.
Similarly with the open mode, but it filters out some noise allow the voices to slightly be more emphasized, allowing for conversing with others, even with the headphones on.
(I’m lukewarm about this feature, because I’m not sure what situations would you turn on this feature just to talk to others with the headphones on. (perhaps in the cold winter months?) It’d be much easier to take off the headphones.
Intended use is for windy areas, from blasting air conditioner or fan in the background, to a windy day outside. (I felt personally this feature could’ve been easily integrated in the noise-cancelling feature).
All of the following features are or can be combined with the different MAF presets to tailor fit the sound profile to each user.
The 3D sound gives the impression of listening in a larger room, from a “living room”, “theatre”, and a large “hall”. Giving the user a nice level of customization, with their current music library, however it sounds like it gave the music an artificial sense of space and sounded distant. (I left this off)
As an added inclusion, an simple EQ feature was included allowing for increased bass or treble, allowing for the changes to be monitored in real time.
The headphones also feature a smart sensor, which pauses the music when the user takes off the headphones (which takes a second longer then expected, but does work effectively each time). (only when powered)
The music resume when put back on (its very fast in this regard), regardless of the music app used. This feature makes the “Monitor mode” obsolete.
But oddly, when music was paused on my macbook, as I took off the headphones it resumed again. Not sure why this is though.
A light up Fiil Logo on each earcup for fun in the dark!
Used to increase the intelligibly for phone conferences. (Which I found just satisfactory for phone calls).
Touch Senstive Controls ( on the right earcup)
Used to control Media Playback. Swipe forward to skip, Swipe back to rewind, Swipe up and down to control volume. I found this feature works better using multiple fingers rather then just 1. This feature is a bit finicky, and sometimes needs an extra flick to register. Click the bluetooth button to pause music
An easily accessible companion app has a battery indicator feature indicating the percentage and real time of the remaining battery (when used wirelessly).
They headphones are rated to have over 30 hours of battery life. I have not had to recharge the headphones in over 5 days of light usage. Also, the app keeps track on the battery life of the headphones in real time without having to plug them in.
For better storage and greater portability
Streamlined, modern and sleek. I had the glossy white and silver version, and pairs well with my macbook pro, superbly gender neutral. The Diva’s looks like they belong on runway, they are slim fitting and unobtrusive on the head, (especially with all the buttons at the rear and out of sight).
The Diva’s feature a nice mixture of metals and nice polymer (plastic). Commonly stressed areas (hinges, headband adjustments) are reinforced heavily with metal, without looking bulky. The earcups slide and pivot based on friction (no notches), to adjust to the user’s head size.
I think Fiil did a very nice job consider the amount of technology utilized in the headphones. The weight is very evenly distributed throughout the headphones (along with ample padding on the headband), preventing hotspots. The soft, plush, adjusting memory foam earpads, lightly hug your head and ears, enough for a stable seal.
When used without any electronics on, the headphones are fairly average for an on-ear headphone. As mentioned above, the “Open” feature allows for more ambient noise to be heard, and the “Noise cancelling” does the opposite in cancelling external noise (and does an adequate job).
I was not expecting the seeing the “High Res Audio” sticker on the box, and this immediately raised my eyebrows, as well as my expectations.
The Diva’s are forward and euphoric. They have a merry bass bump, that sounds pleasing and fun when playing pop music. With slightly forward upper mids, voices come through well through the energetic bass line.
Bass: Punchy albeit just slightly thick, with a nice sense of dynamism to beats . The bass texture is more punchy then tactile, but far from offensive and bloated. Nicely balanced as a portable headphone.
Midrange: The lower mids and the upper mids are slightly forward, enough to help increasing lyric intelligibly but avoids from sounding sharp or piercing at louder volumes, and enough to prevent them from sounding veiled.
Treble: Good Detail with a nice snap that works well with electronic-eques music.
The sounds changes just slightly with the NC on, with a slight hiss and a slight bass bump
Quick Comparison with the Sennheiser Amperior
The Amperiors have considerably more aggressive treble that can sound papery and dry in comparison. While the Amperiors’ bass is tighter and more defined, it lacks the same impact the Diva’s convey.
Quick Comparison with the Beats Solo2
Bass wise, they are more inline with each other, however the Solo2s is still chunkier and deeper. However, the upside of the Diva’s lies with the treble, sounding more open and less congested then the Solo2.
I think FiiL Tech has done a great job in constructing a really nice portable headphone. They easily covered the design, comfort and even the sound aspect.
Plus the accompanied FiiL app is also very intuitive and easy to use. (Still waiting for the English version in the update though).
The Bluetooth and technology in them is quite impressive, though some of the features I felt is a bit gimmicky (Monitor mode). Some feedback I have:
1) Tweak the sensitive of the touch sensors on the right earcup
2) Increase the sensitivity of the sensor (there is a slight lag when pausing the music, when the headphones are removed from the head). Also, Fiil should work on the firmware that ensures that the sensor only works for pausing music (when the headphones are removed) and resuming ONLY with the headphones on the head.
Overall: 50.5/60= 84.1%