FIIL CC2 Bluetooth 5.2 AAC Semi-in-ear TWS

General Information

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Brand: FIIL
Model: CC2
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.2
Transmission distance: >10 meters
Bluetooth audio decoding: ACC, SBC
Mic: Yes
ENC Noise Reduction: 20dB+
Single battery life: >5 hours
Extra battery life of the charging box: >27 hours
Battery capacity: earplugs (~30mah), charging box (500mah, 3.7V)
Charging time*: earphone about 50 minutes, charging box 2 hours (wired)
Fast Charge: Yes - 5min/1hour
Weight: 4g
Speaker size: 13.1mm customized titanium diaphragm
Speaker frequency response: 15Hz~22kHz (BT)
Speaker sensitivity: 123 dB SPL@1mW
Speaker distortion: <0.5% @110dBSPL, 1KHz
Box: FIIL CC2 true wireless bluetooth headset Convenient charging box/Type-C charging cable/Quick Operation Guide/Instruction Manual

Latest reviews

regancipher

100+ Head-Fier
FIIL have done it again with a solid, albeit funny looking, semi-in-ear
Pros: Function, Sound quality, Call Quality, Battery Life
Cons: App Support, Windows Support
How I review:

Sound Quality


Subjective and objective assessments. I listen to a few key tracks, some FLAC, some bad quality mp3's, streaming services, audio books and tracks I know have been so badly produced they will probably clip the top or the bottom end. Usually I listen to one album in particular on FLAC as a reference class, and also Andre Rieu's Bolero, which again I also know inside out and has sufficient orchestral content for me to discern separation and sound stage.

I then test a few key variables such as FR and Spectral Flatness using an acoustic mic setup and a few different programs on my PC running Windows 10, which are not perfect but the results give me something to reference against. I may elaborate further with additional checks which are pointed out where applicable. I usually also check what's going on with the codecs using Bluetooth Tweaker.

I test on a Poco X3, Apple Iphone 8 and Windows. Mostly I'm reviewing bluetooth headphones so no need for any complexities. If there is an app, I'll test firstly how intuitive it is, and secondly review the EQ settings. If none are available, I'll use Wavelet and customise the EQ to try and get my signature sound, and also test how they perform with certain presets.

I do this just for confirmation of what I'm hearing. I'm not Scarbir, I'm not The Sound Guys. I have a demanding day job, study, and have three kids, so no long essays in these reviews.

I test using:

Stock tips
Spinfit Silicones
Tronsmart Apollo Bold tips (which seem to fit me perfectly)

INAIRS foam tips (where appropriate)
ikko i-planet foam tips (where appropriate)

Microphone Quality

I conduct a few different tests, as follows:

Indoor, static, silence
Indoor, static, ambient noise 40-60 dB-A
Indoor, static, high frequency ambient noise
Indoor, static, low frequency ambient noise

All of the above but moving
All of the above moving away from the receiver

Outdoor, static, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, moving, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, under a nearby railway bridge where lorries pass through
Outdoor, in the wind and rain when possible

On Zoom or Microsoft Teams
On IOS (Iphone 8)
On Android (POCO X3)
On Windows 10

All are recorded for 1-3 minutes for future comparisons. I look for voice clarity, voice clarity among noise and glitches, suppression, naturalness and consistency.

Where possible, I ask my kids to also test to see what sounds the CvC or MEMS compression method is really trying to stifle, and whether it succeeds

ANC (where applicable)

As per the call quality tests, I usually test the ANC at the same time, looking for low and high frequency performance. I simulate white noise, use a fan, then take them down to a railway bridge. PNI is also attributed and scored where applicable. Ambient mode is also tested, and particularly important for earbuds designed for exercise.

I suffer from vertigo, jawache and migraines when the ANC is really strong, so I will highlight this where applicable. To date no earbuds have induced this from the ANC alone and the last headphones to do so were the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Comfort

I use earbuds in four activities - calls, exercise, commute and relaxing. All three are taken into consideration to try to find the use-case, as finding the perfect earbud is, lets face it, probably never going to happen.

For fitness I am looking for the ability to stay in the ear, for commuter / home office use they would need good all-day comfort, and for relaxing they ideally need to pass the pillow test and stay in overnight, and at the very least provide comfort for prolonged use.

Connectivity

I find most perform almost identically, but do the usual walk test, especially around congested 2,4ghz wifi areas, putting as many barriers as I can in the way to . I leave a router on 40MHz just in case it messes with it, why the hell not?! When possible I would take them out and see how they perform in the pocket.

Other Features

Wireless charging, long battery life, a feature rich app, intuitive controls, good codec support, dual-mode and multiple latency modes are amongst the attributes that get the high scores.

REVIEW

Brand: FIIL
Model: CC2
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.2
Transmission distance: >10 meters
Bluetooth audio decoding: ACC, SBC
Mic: Yes
ENC Noise Reduction: 20dB+
Single battery life: >5 hours
Extra battery life of the charging box: >27 hours
Battery capacity: earplugs (~30mah), charging box (500mah, 3.7V)
Charging time*: earphone about 50 minutes, charging box 2 hours (wired)
Fast Charge: Yes - 5min/1hour
Weight: 4g
Speaker size: 13.1mm customized titanium diaphragm
Speaker frequency response: 15Hz~22kHz (BT)
Speaker sensitivity: 123 dB SPL@1mW
Speaker distortion: <0.5% @110dBSPL, 1KHz

Includes:

1 x pair wireless earbuds
1 x battery charge case
1 x Type-C USB charging cable
1 x User manual, quick guide, warranty card

Real Life Experience

The FIIL CC were a market-leading semi-in-ear stem-based earbud released in early 2020, utilising the Airoha 1536 chipset for low latency without paying Qualcomm for the use of their chipset or the licensing to support apt-x.

The marketing material focused very much on the German design - mostly, earbuds of this type are rounded and with soft edges. Not FIIL. The CC was rectangular, blocky and a striking gun metal colour.

Where they really excelled was, in the same way as the Galaxy Buds Live, using their form factor to their advantage. With decent drivers and a well-tuned sound signature, they were one of the first to move away from the v-shape within the chifi tws segment and the instrument separation as a result was noticeably better than the likes of the Soundpeats Truebuds and QCY T7.

The mic quality was also very decent, albeit somewhat robotic at times, so it would be intriguing to see how FIIL reacted and whether they would improve upon these limitations.

The Unboxing - 8/10

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The presentation of the buds is very much aligned to FIIL's previous releases, the T1XS and T1 Pro.

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The key features are, as always, explained graphically and in text. The CC2's headline features are Bluetooth 5.2, a huge increase in battery life of over 14 hours, with single use moving from 3 to 5 hours, and the charge case now offering an additional 27 hours charge as opposed to 12.


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Unboxing is always a consistent process, but like with the T1 Pro, it appears these are focused on the Chinese market. The quick guide is in both English and Chinese, but the manual is solely in Chinese. Still, you can work out more or less what to do.

FIIL also promote the FIIL + app, although they needn't bother - it still isn't working as it should outside of China. However, you can find a deprecated version of the app which gives you some support, which I host here:

https://tinyurl.com/fiilapks

This at least allows you to change the control scheme - which you will need - more on that later.

The Case - 8/10

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With its gun-metallic finish, the CC2 case certainly feels the part.

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Compared with the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80 and SoundPeats TrueAir2, you can see that it is certainly girthier, with a depth of 19mm. That said, it is only 5cm tall and 44g, making it ideally portable.

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Unfortunately, I have on several occasions managed to get the earbuds stuck the wrong way in the case, and it takes a bit of force to remove them. The open design is also not handbag or pocket friendly - it can accumulate a fair bit of unwanted material in the bottom, so be sure to give it a blow from time to time.

When the buds are charging in the case, the tops light up:

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When the buds and case are charging, you get an extra light:

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This minimalist approach is rather bauhaus and not especially helpful knowing how much charge you have, but seems to be becoming increasingly in vogue again, with Taotronics doing the same with the TT-BH80.

The Ergonomics - 8/10, Build Quality - 9/10

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The CC2 is exactly 4 cm in length, making it fairly average when compared with most stem-based earbuds out there.

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As you can see above, the element which sits in your ear is larger than most, and this makes for a secure fit, so again, these pass the shake test reasonably well.

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Each bud weighs just over 4g - not the lightest, but also not especially heavy, although the weight displacement can result in them falling out if you tip your head too far sideways. For normal use they are fine, but I wouldn't recommend exercising with them.

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Now one attribute that cannot be overstated enough is the design. Whilst it will polarise opinion - Scarbir seemed to like it, my kids think they're ugly - they do allow for very easy adjustment without initiating the touch controls. This is one of the main problems with most semi-in-ear buds, and many in-ear too.

With my buds live, I turn the feature off altogether, and with the TrueAir2, it's the only blot on the copybook of a superb set of earbuds. So FIIL have got it bang on - use your thumb and index finger, and adjustment is trouble free. Marvellous.

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As I said, the square shape will polarise opinion - looks mean little to me when it comes to earbuds, but if it's important to you, then know what you're getting.

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The area that enters your ear contours a bit steeper than, for example, the SoundPeats TrueAir2, and again, this will impact upon how comfortable and secure you find the fit. For me, it works well, as it brings the sound a little closer to me ear canals and seems to aid in restricting background noise better than most of this ilk.

Importantly the battery connectors are on the base, which, whilst it avoids contact with your skin - great for those with allergies - does mean you will have to keep an eye on the case for any obstructions preventing charge.

Audio Quality - 8/10 (for the price), 8/10 (raw score)

At around £45, the CC2 are double the price of the SoundPeats TrueAir 2 and half the price of the Galaxy Buds Live (if you're lucky).

First observation is that they go extremely loud. Encouragingly, this is also without distortion, which is a sure sign the drivers have been well adapted.

I tested these straight after the TaoTronics 80 and it was very clear that the bass is elevated somewhat and the trebles less rolled off. There is little sibilance and it takes quite a bit to get them to sound harsh. 'Weak' by Skunk Anansie managed to test them, but provided you can work your way around the Chinese app, you can adjust the EQ, to which they respond fairly well.

Call Quality - Indoors - 7.5/10, Outdoors - 8/10

One of the products headline features is the environmental noise cancellation, and strangely, I found them to perform better outdoors than indoors.

Indoors, whilst your voice is clear enough, it doesn't sound especially natural. Your voice is loud though, almost distorting, and this is extremely useful outdoors where it compresses much of the background noise reasonably well and only applies a little compression to your voice.

Calling is easily achievable with the FIIL CC2, but your voice will sound a bit robotic - very much like the original CC.

Controls & Other Features - 9/10

Controls, once adjusted through the app, are straightforward.

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Notice that volume control isn't possible in simple mode. This is a big problem, because windows doesn't appear to respond to any changes in volume through the OS - you are piped through sound at maximum volume.

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Once you switch to the more complex mode, signified by a slide button and a 'joypad' icon, it allows you to triple tap in order to reduce and increase the volume, and this makes life much easier, as the rectangular shape makes touch control a joy to use, with little latency in actions.

On the subject of latency, like the FIIL T1 Pro, it is achieved through playing around with codecs. By adjusting the bitpool in SBC and removing elements of the AAC implementation, FIIL have managed to retain sound quality and reduce latency spectacularly, with the supported AAC bitrate comparable to Apt-X.

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This shows when watching videos and gaming, and there are additional modes in the app to reduce latency further.

Battery Life - 7/10

Whilst the CC2 advertise 5 hours of playtime, after a few weeks of use I had 28% battery remaining after just over 2 and a half hours use, so I would expect around 3-4 hours to be the norm. This is still perfectly respectable by semi in ear standards, especially as the case gives 5 full charges and it does support quick charge.

Final Comments

In a crowded market, FIIL have taken an already decent product and polished it further, improving the battery life, and marginally improving calls. Now supporting Bluetooth 5.2, you get an element of future-proofing from the buds, and as all-rounders they perform well, providing solid sound quality, good call quality and excellent build quality.

The lack of support through the Global app is frustrating, and hopefully this is something FIIL can build on in the future, as it would add some sheen to a solid set of buds.

Price Weighted Score: 86%

Raw Score: 85%

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