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FiiO EX1 Nanotech Titanium Diaphragm In-Ear Monitors

Rating:
4.15789/5,
  1. ExpatinJapan
    Fiio EX1 is a nice airy earphone best suited for the outside
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Sep 19, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Well built, decent price, sound great and good fit.
    Cons - The vents mean sound leaks, so not ideal for a train or bus commute

    Fiio EX1 Earphones Review - Expatinjapan

     Head Pie  
    [​IMG]
    FiiO EX1 review - expatinjapan.​
     ​
    [​IMG]
     ​


    Build
    The Fiio EX1 is sturdy, solid titanium. Mine are in black and I was sure they were plastic until I tapped my teeth with them. These IEMs aren`t going to get damaged anytime soon.
    The plug is L shaped which will appeal to many users.
    The housing is small enough to sit comfortable within ones ear, the nozzle is on an angle and fits nicely into the ear canal.
    The cable casing is clear and gives it that custom cable look.
    There are some slight micro phonics as they are designed to be worn hanging down.
    The IEMs have eleven vent holes on the inside shell, and one on the outside which leads to leakage when the volume gets turned up, so perhaps not the best choice for those busy commutes.
    Beautiful and solid.

     
    [​IMG]

    Sound
    I tested the FiiO EX1 with the Centrance Hifi-Skyn as they scaled up well with added amplification, ipod touch 6G 128GB using Flacplayer app by Dan Leehr.

    I set the volume at around just over halfway as they don`t need much juice to sound great.
    The FiiO EX1 is a very clear sounding IEM, has a great sound stage, extended highs without ending up being sibilant.
    It is very balanced between the lows, mid and highs, a very coherent sound.
    It has great clarity, detail and imaging is beautiful presenting a spacious almost ethereal sound on some tracks.
    The vents certainly add to the sense of space, the large and wide soundstage.
    I could not find any signs of distortion. They are very fast in terms of response.

     
    [​IMG]



    Fit
    As mentioned in the build section they are designed very well and a comfortable satisfying fit can be had very easily. 
    I sometimes have trouble getting the right fight with IEMs but the FiiO EX1 slipped right in very easily and provided a satisfactory isolation.
    FiiO have been nice enough to include a wide range of tips to suit most peoples ear canal size.

     
    [​IMG]

    Value
    At around $70-$90 on amazon.com they fit within the budget zone for most but the very casual shopper, many readers of Head Pie seem to own IEMs in the $500 - $1000+ area.
    So in that sense, yes they are great value.
    The sound is clear and clean, they look fabulous and are built strong and sturdy.
    Lots of tips and that oh so sexy cable.

     
    [​IMG]

    Overall
    The FiiO EX1 as a cousin to the Dunu Titan is a breath of fresh air. 
    I really enjoyed listening to these whilst going through the review process.
    They are well built, a decent and fair price, sound great and fit very well.
    The only drawback for me is that most of my listening time is spent whilst I am commuting by train so the vents which add to the magic mean I can`t generally use these day by day.
    For the price the sound is wonderful and reminds of some of the satisfaction and joy I had recently listening to Echobox X1, both perform very well within and above their asking price.
    Great pies.


     
    [​IMG]
     ​
     ​
    Thank you to FiiO for providing Head Pie with the EX1 for review.​

    1. Intensecure
      Just a correction, you state that they are "made of titanium", then show the marketing picture that states "duralumin/stainless steel". Titanium would be a very nice feel, wish!
      Intensecure, Jan 29, 2017
  2. kamcok
    One of the best sub$100
    Written by kamcok
    Published Nov 13, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build, Sound, Accessories, Sound Stage
    Cons - No remote, Highs could be tuned better, Not too different from Titan1
    Intro
    Since there are many reviews of both the Dunu Titan1 and the FiiO EX1 I’m not going into too much technical detail or packaging contents of the earphones.
     
    The Titan 1 and the EX1 share a different box, the Dunu looking more premium and costs more but both have completely identical contents.
    The only physical difference between the FiiO and Dunu is that the EX1 has a nicer uniform cable (as opposed to the fabric/rubber hybrid on the Titan) that is less prone to tangling.
    In addition to that the EX1 also has a matte finish as opposed to chrome on the y-splitter and the jack.
    DSC_1539.jpg DSC_1559.jpg
     
     
     
     
    DSC_1541.jpg
    Above: What you get out of the box. All the ear tips and the shirt clip is in the case.
     
     
     
     
    Despite the different finish on the y-splitter and the jack, the earphone housing however, is chrome like the Dunu.
    I would’ve liked to see the housing to also be matte as it would make the IEM more consistent.

    DSC_1552.jpg DSC_1553.jpg
     
     Some logos have changed to FiiO but some footprints of DUNU are still present which shows the obvious fact that Dunu had the original design.
    DSC_1556.jpg DSC_1562.jpg DSC_1554.jpg
     
    Sound & Comparisons
    In general the EX1 is a great sounding earphone that delivers an excellent bang for your buck.
    Compared to its (literally chronologically) older brother the Titan1, the EX1 provides slightly smoother highs to my ears.
    This makes the EX1 more forgiving, and therefore is more suitable for a wider range of genres.
    Other than that, the mid-range, soundstage and the bass sound pretty much identical to my ears.
    This is further supported by the image (courtesy of Brooko on the FiiO EX1 tour forum) which shows more significant difference in the upper range of frequencies in comparison to the lower spectrum.  
    900x900px-LL-c53c876a_Titan1vsEX1Freq.png
     
     
     
     
    Going into further details by comparing to other In-ears, Compared to other Chinese IEMs in its class such as Vsonic VSD3(S) / Hifiman RE-400, the EX1 wins over both (in my opinion).
    Unlike the unnatural and sibilant prone highs of the Vsonic VSD3(S), the EX-1 presents a slightly shimmery top end that isn’t as prone to sibilance.
    It sounds far more natural, but can still be ever so slightly sibilant on some tracks.
    How shimmery is the top end you might ask? Compared to what most refer to their most neutral and flat in the price range, it extends further and has more shimmer than the RE-400, but not to the extent that it’s splashy or harsh (on most tracks).
    In my opinion the RE-400’s highs are simply too dry, hence one of the reason I prefer the EX-1.
     
    The bass is smoother and faster than the VSDs but still reaches quite deep, deeper and in greater quantity than the RE-400 but without muddying the mids.
    It may not satisfy absolute bassheads but should be enough for most.
    Furthermore, depending on the tips being used the bass presentation may present to be thinner / thicker.
     
    In regards to the mids, I’d say it’s almost on par with the RE-400. It’s not as neutral or water clear as the RE-400 but it sounds natural enough that I can’t point any flaw on it.
    Female vocals sound good, male vocals sound good, guitars sound crisp, nothing to complain for here.
    Despite the slight v-shape signature the EX-1 is quite a controlled unit.
    In other words, the bass or highs won’t be in the way when the music doesn’t call for it.
    This, in addition to the above average soundstage, due to the half-in-ear design makes the EX-1 a very well rounded contender in the sub $100 range.
     
    Overall, the EX-1 is a more refined, better controlled and more detailed and in my opinion is simply superior than the VSD3 in almost every way.
    It is also a lot more fun than the RE-400 and is more well-rounded without sacrificing much.
     
    In comparison to more expensive headphones like the CKR9(LTD) the EX1 is outperformed in all parts of the sound quality.
    The two however, in my opinion are in completely different class categories; whereas the EX-1 is more portable, the CKR is more for home use.
    Despite the different sound presentation, the CKR9 (being warmer and bassier) has far better separation, more detail and more spacious sound stage.
    The most noticeable difference is in the bass region, despite presenting in greater quantity, the CKR9 is able to produce a lot more detail and sense of realistic sound placements, without interrupting the mid-range in any way.
    The CKR9 gives users an experience almost like listening to home speakers with a well-tuned separate subwoofer unit.
    The EX1, despite not being able to reach such grade of presentation is still a great earphone for its price.  
     
    In contrary, the CKR9 might not be that much better when the two are compared in a more noisier environment.
    The spaciousness and detail of the CKR9 is something to be appreciated in a quiet environment like the library / at home.
    Take the two on the bus or train and you probably won’t get that much more enjoyment with the CKR9LTD.
    Furthermore, the EX1 is lighter, more portable, fits in a smaller case and has a cable cinch/ chin slider which the CKR9 doesn’t even have!
    So if you’re planning to use the IEM to commute and walk about and what not, the EX1 is probably the one to go for.
    Plus it’s also far cheaper, so if you do end up damaging the IEM your wallet wouldn’t cry as much.
    Overall, the EX-1 is simply outclassed by earphones such as the CKR9 and probably others alike, but considering the individual MSRP of the products the EX-1 fully justifies its asking price and delivers even more.
     
    Comparison Summary
     
    - VS - CKR9LTD
    CKR9 wins in overall sound, looks, premium feel
    Ex 1 wins in portability, comfort, accessories, cheaper
     
    - VS - RE-400
    Ex 1 wins in more fun in sound, build quality, accessories, sound stage
    RE-400 wins in more neutrality
     
    - VS- VSD3(s)
    EX 1 wins in sound overall, build quality, accessories
    Some VSD3 wins in removable cables (some), cheaper, over ear
     
    Who should NOT buy the EX1 ?
    • Already own Titan 1
    • Require a device remote/ microphone
    • Want over-ear fit
    • Already own a higher tier IEM
    • Those who’d rather own 10 Philips SHE3590 :p
     
     
    Recommended for those who :
    1.      1. Need a capable portable daily IEM
    2.      2. Appreciates natural, non-overly boosted bass
    3.      3. Are looking in the sub $100 market
    4.      4. Need extra ear-tips to come in the package
    5.      5. Looking to upgrade from budget earphones
     
     
     
    TLDR
    The EX1 sounds not too different from the Titan1 with smoother highs, making it a more forgiving set of earphones. It has the same housing but better cables and is cheaper.
    One of the best sub $100 entry grade IEM.
     
     
    Apologies for typos/ errors.
    Do point them out if it needs to be corrected
    Thanks for reading :)
    1. Hawaiibadboy
      Nice review. I like the who should and who shouldn't buy opinions. That is actually a smart idea. Nice.
      Hawaiibadboy, Nov 13, 2015
  3. afterstory100
    such a great iems for the price, this is a true open back iem lol
    Written by afterstory100
    Published Oct 29, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - huge airy soundstage, heavenly treble, smooth and punchy bass texture
    Cons - isolation, recessed mid
    first of all i'm sorry for my bad  english
     
    from the first time i saw this iem i fell in love with how good they looks, shiny metal pieces, damn they do looks expensive, even it's case is beautiful
     
    i own some iems for different purposes such as dunu dn 1000, shure se 215, and dbe pr 30 rev iii
    fiio ex 1 is always my number one iem for home use. simply because i really love how great they sounds but they lacks in isolation, so in order to appreciate these iems true potential, use in when you're home, a warm sounding amp is reccomended.
     
    ergonomics : they sit in your ears quite nicely with that angled nozzle, spinfit eartips will provide better fit and better sound. the isolation is bad due to their airy sound they sacrifice the isolation
     
    so how they sounds to my ears?
     
    bass:
    the bass of these iems are quite fast for dynamic, they are quite punchy, not really deep, but for my ears it has a smooth nice texture which kind of unique. i have other iems with great amount of bass such as dunu dn 1000 and shure se 215 but the bass texture of fiio ex 1 is more favorable for me, it has an airy rumble...(i don't know how to describe it) like a true bass speaker, so yeah i love the bass of this iem
     
    mids:
    if this iem has a flaw.. this is it.. a little reccessed mid and has and emphasized upper mid. it makes male voice sounds thin and less powerful, but good for female sound actually
     
    treble:
    this is the best point of fiio ex 1, for me the treble extend really well without being sibilant, just when you think that there will be sibilance you'll hear smooth edge instead, perfect for violin, strings, piano and guitar
     
    i also hear no distortion on loud volume ... great... simply great
  4. Army-Firedawg
    Absolute front runner in the sub $100 category
    Written by Army-Firedawg
    Published Oct 11, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Excellently made, super comfortable, very fun to listen to
    Cons - Slightly recessed mids, cord tangles easily
                                                                        20151010_180247_HDR.jpg
     
     
     
     
        I must first start this by giving a huge thanks to @Joe Bloggs and @FiiO for allowing me to take part in their very FIRST world tour. It’s a huge honor and privilege for me and one I’m tremendously thankful for.
        But what drew me into applying for the EX1 is that I’ve been extremely familiar with Fiio for a few years now in their portable amp. category and have always been impressed per the price. I’ve also heard wonderful things about their DAPs for their price,  so when I heard them making their first IEM I had to give it a shot, so how does it stack up?
     
        20151010_180702_HDR.jpg     20151010_175652_HDR.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The Opening Experience
     
        The initial handshake of the EX1 was alright. Nothing to write home about but nothing to be offput by either. The box is very basic as is the presentation of the product, however a great high note that Fiio did was supply an impressive assortment of ear tips so one shouldn’t have any difficulty finding their perfect size (I however used my personal Comply memory foam for personal & sanitary reasons, these are very early in the rotation and are going to other people). Also I was quite impressed in the quality of the hard carrying case provided, doesn’t feel cheap at all.
     
                                                                                               20151010_174553_HDR.jpg
     
     
    Construction
     
        The build quality, the longevity of a product's life. Being made of an aluminum construction it impressed me, to be sub $100 it floored me. These are very lightweight and despite being aluminum I found no rough or sharp edges but rather found them to be rather smooth. The horn is angled which does wonders for the comfort (to be discussed in the next section) and is sized so most any 3rd party tips will fit.
    The cable reminds me a lot of the Sennheiser IE800’s, being very thin yet confidently strong as well as attractive. A downside however is that this cable loves to tangle up on itself regardless of how well I try and package it. Another downside to the cable. and it’s one I find in every IEM. is the feedback is pretty decent. When I turn my head and the cable brushes something I hear a pretty good bit of noise, but very acceptable in retrospect.
     
     
     
    Comfort
     
        An aspect I feel is slowly going by the wayside to fashion, colors, features and other nonsense. I mostly care about how long can I comfortably enjoy the music being presented to me more than rather or not they look good. So how are the EX1’s? Wonderful. They stay in the ear firmly without any fear of falling out. They’re so light I forget they’re in my ears and are so smooth I barely feel them either. When paired with Comply memory foam the horn fits perfectly in my ear so my longer listening durations of roughly 2 hours went by without any fatigue whatsoever.


                                                                                                20151010_175926_HDR.jpg
     
     
    Sound
     
        The most important part of an audio component (for most people). How does Fiio’s first IEM sound; especially in the sub $100 range which I firmly believe is the most competitive? Well, pretty darned good I do have to say.
        My first and most prominent view of these is that they’re definitely a “fun” IEM to listen to. I can quickly tell they’re not that sonically accurate (regardless of its price point) as it holds a very distinct “V-shape” sound curve with an emphasis on the bass. I don’t find this uncommon for the “fun” sound is what sells in the mainstream market. But what exactly makes me feel this way about the EX1?
     
    Treble
     
        The highs on the EX1 sound nice and clean overall. I feel they portray the artist's voice (namely female) respectably accurate, but, and I’ll use the song “Diva Dance” from the fifth element as an example, when the treble greatly extends to the upper range these peak quite early and don’t recreate the entire experience. This only applies to the upper treble range.
     
    Mids
     
        My personal favorite aspect of audio is the mid range, or vocals for another way to look at it.  Up front I’ll admit I’m not personally a big fan of the “V-shape” sound curve for most often the company will greatly recess the mid range in order to better increase the treble and bass. This to me leaves the audio piece sounding hollow and lacking of a “soul” as I put it.
        Though the EX1 does have some slight recession in the mid range, it wasn’t enough for me to push them away. All in all the the only complaint I had with the mids is the somewhat dullness to them.
     
    Bass
     
        Very quickly found to be the focal point of the EX1, which again ties into the mainstream craze. The bottom end is very punchy and hits hard, even to the sub bass levels. For the price, I can’t really complain at all by the bass response.
    The only downside I will say and it is from an “audiophile's” perspective, but since the bass is working harder to reach the lower notes and forcing them to hit them harder, I find it to be somewhat bloated and artificial.  Nothing huge or major but a note that exists nonetheless.



                                                                                               20151010_175116_HDR.jpg
     

     
    Conclusion
     
        To sum up the Fiio EX1’s, they’re a very fun sounding headphone that I believe is a great way of introducing the mainstream audience into a new product line. The build quality, comfort and even the sound out classes most any other product I’m familiar with in this price range and should absolutely be a frontrunner to someone looking for either a great gift for a friend who’s interested in the field or even for yourself as a casual pair to tap your feet to. Fiio’s price/quality ratio has always made them a front runner in my mind throughout any of their products and their newest offering maintains that consistency.
     
    Till next time my friends, also check out my unboxing video here, and my full video review here
     
    1. hakushondaimao
      Seems we have similar impressions of how these sound. Nice job.
      hakushondaimao, Oct 12, 2015
    2. Army-Firedawg
      Haha I thought the same when I read yours but thank ya friend.
      Army-Firedawg, Oct 13, 2015
  5. pixelsphotopro
    FIIO EX1 if you're looking for good value for your money
    Written by pixelsphotopro
    Published Oct 3, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Channel separation, confort, isolation, Excellent value for the money and much more....
    Cons - Packaging (Because I'm fussy)
    Hi all, I just want to say that it's my first review done on a product but I'm very proud to do it on a FIIO product. Review of the new FIIO EX1 In-ear Monitors. I will use the EX1 with the FIIO X1 alone. I don't consider myself a professional, I'm just a guy who love music and appreciate when the sound is nice to my ears.
     
    Day 1: Let's begin:
     
    Packaging: I was surprised to see the box the EX1 and parts were put in, I do have the FIIO X1, E07K and E12 and the boxes look more high end than the the EX1, the box did not give the protection that I was looking for but was more a regular box that you see all the time but not from FIIO. It's maybe just me who is too fussy about the packaging.
     Parts included: I was really pleased and surprised to see all that is included with the EX1. You do naturally have the EX1, a nice little black box to put the EX1 and all parts together, 9 pairs of ear tips, a clip, a warranty card but if you want the specifications you have to look on the back of the box that you just put in the garbage.
    Now the more serious task, let's listen to music, I will listen to different genres of music to see how versatile the EX1 are.
    Eric Clapton   MY FATHER EYES and others
    Jennifer Warnes  WAY DOWN DEEP
    Luciano Pavarotti  O SOLE MIO and others
    TIESTO and Techno
    As you see, I do listen to many genres of music.
    For the first day it will only play some random music to open them……  Goodnight for now
     
    Day 2: Tonight I feel to party so it will be Techno night, just to let you know that I’m 57 y/o and I love techno….. I was part-time DJ up to 45 y/o, that’s why I love it.
    I did listen to around 2 hours of mix techno style music and one thing I was surprised is the very high frequency are there big time. I did have to use the EQ on my X1 player to give a rest to my ears. The voices were nice to listen, at least to my old DJ abused ears. Bass were also very good, like I used to hear these mixes.
    So for tonight after I did adjust the high frequency it was a wonderful and nostalgic moments of my time behind the tables. It’s not the best music to make a review but still not everyone listen only to classical or quieter music.
     
     
    Day 3: Classical music night with Pavarotti
    This is going to be thought to do a fair review tonight as classical music with a Tenor like Pavarotti it’s sometimes very hard for in-ear monitors to endure and be able to make a nice representation of all the instruments and at the same time keep the voice as it supposed to be.
    What a wonderful evening I had to listen to the best of all time, at least to me: Luciano Pavarotti. His voice was sublime and the instruments were well defined, what I mean is everything was well balance between the instruments and his voice, I don’t know how to say it with frequency terms but to my ears it was WOW, even when he was pushing his voice to the higher level I did not have to lower the highs.
     Only thing that I do have when I listen to the same album with my Grado SR225I is the FIIO EX1 did not gave me the same stage effect, you know when you listen and you think the person is singing in front of you , that was not there for me. And this is one thing that I’m very fussy about. Everything else was so perfect that I did really appreciate my night with the master.
     
    Day 4: Repeat of Pavarotti
    Before listening to Eric Clapton, I did repeat my Pavarotti night and a good chance I did, I was probably tired the other night because this time I did have the scene presence I was looking for, This time he was like in front of me singing with his incredible voice and it was wonderful to have another night, tomorrow I will listen to Eric Clapton and Jennifer Warne’s
    Day 5: Eric Clapton and Jennifer Warne’s
     
    That was so wonderful, that copy of Eric Clapton Unplugged is sublime, it was really as though he was in front of me singing and the scratch of his pick and fingers on the guitar string simply WOW, don’t know how much more I could describe it.
     
    For Jennifer Warne’s the bass at the beginning of Way Down Deep was there and it’s hard to get it properly and I did get it with that song.
    Conclusion: I was pleasantly surprises of listening my different genres of music with the FIIO EX1. I’m not good to explain the frequency but personally I will put a 8/10 on this pair of In ears monitors for quality for your money and same thing 8/10 for the quality of the frequency range, only lose points when the very high were too much with my Techno music.
    Also I have to say that I did have the EX1 shipped to me for free just to be able to do my review without any pressure at all, although I have to ship it to the next person afterwards (also paid for). You also see that this is my first review ever done so my phrasing is not really professional but I do mean what I say and I hope your understand.
    Thank you
    Pixelsphotopro (Daniel Tremblay)
    1. Francki Conniff
      Good Job on the Review... I need to get me a pair as my old IE's are worn out and I only use my Sure SE215's when I cant use my NAD HP50's on the plane. But I want some IE's for home use and I will have to give these a try. Oh and hold on to that HP Touchpad hehe I still use my White 64gb as well :)
      Francki Conniff, Oct 3, 2015
    2. pixelsphotopro
      Thank you and yes I will keep my HP Touchpad as long as it will work, I simply love it and do what I need.
      pixelsphotopro, Oct 5, 2015
  6. WayneWoondirts
    FiiO's dive into the earphone market
    Written by WayneWoondirts
    Published Oct 1, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - wonderful comfort, great soundstage, neutral sound, small galaxy of tips
    Cons - no detachable cable, no isolation
    FiiO EX1 – the non portable portable headphone
     
    PA010440.jpg
     
    Disclaimer:
    I was part of FiiO's worldwide review tour for their first in ear monitor, the EX1. Which is based on the very popular Titan 1 by Dunu. For ten days I could test this IEM.
    Many thanks to Joe Bloggs for organizing yet another tour and for including me again, and also for extending the loaner period!
    Neither do I work for FiiO nor have I any affiliation with them.
     
     
    Introduction:
    As said above, the EX1 is based on Dunu's Titan 1. Dunu and FiiO partnered up for this monitor, and as far as I know the only difference of these two models is the cable. Which got developed by FiiO, they have some experience in making cables, as they have released a few different upgrade cables themselves (for example the RC-HD1 for Sennheisers HD 5X8 series).
    I want to state that I have never been an IEM person because of comfort issues.
     
    Specifications:
     
    Type
    Dynamic (13mm)
    Frequency Response
    20Hz - 30kHz
    Sensitivity
    102db/mW
    Impedance
    16 ohms
    Plug size
    3.5mm, gold plated
    cable length
    1.2m
    Weight
    18g

     
     
    Package and Accessories:
     
    P9250401.jpg P9250402.jpg
     
    Like any other product from FiiO the EX1 also comes in a black and red box. Since I didn't want to damage the box too much I tried to open it gently. So it took quite some time to get the IEMs out. If you don't have to send them to another reviewer I guess you can just rip it open and enjoy them a little faster.
     
    P9250404.jpg P9250405.jpg
     
    The EX1 comes with a transport box, a small galaxy of tips and a shirt clip alongside the authenticity card.
     
    P9250411.jpg
     
    I think it's great to see so many different tips, but I'd love to see some non silicone tips for a change. Why is everyone jumping on that train? They're easy to manage, right, but as far as isolation goes these are horrible. Well, different story.
     
    P9250412.jpg P9250413.jpg
     
    Build:
    The monitors are made of aircraft-grade duralumin, the same material is used in their upcoming X7 I think. They are a little heavy because of that, but nothing to be worried about. The housing has a few holes for an open design. The cable is soldered into the earphone, so no detachable cable. Also it is designed to be worn down only, but it is manageable to wear them upside down if you swap sides (left earphone in right ear and the other way around).
     
    P9250409.jpg PA010448.jpg
     
    P9250410.jpg P9250415.jpg
    P9250407.jpg
    As mentioned before the cable is the main difference between the Dunu and the FiiO. The homepage states that it is a kevlar-strenghened high purity multi strand OFC cable.
    At the end of the cable you'll find a standard right angled 3,5mm TRS plug before which is a silicone cable binder that says 'Dunu Patent'. I didn't know you can put a patent on those things, but the past has shown that basically everything can get patented (hello Apple). The cable binder works well and is a nice touch for storing the earphone, also it works well.
     
    Fit, comfort and isolation:
    With a total of nine tips it won't be hard to get a good fit, for me the pre-applied tips worked like a charm.
    In the introduction I said that I always had comfort issues when it came to in ears. Notice that I said had? Yes, that's right, these are absolutely comfortable and for the first time I was able to wear an in ear monitor for more than an hour. I wore the EX1 while traveling for 3 hours to work, and nothing! Of course I felt them, but they didn't get anything near uncomfortable. These changed my opinion on IEMs. Thank you FiiO/Dunu! It was about time :wink:
    Now for isolation. The title of this review is 'The non portable portable headphone', and here's why: their open design ensures a more natural flow of the soundwaves, but makes it leak sound in and out. So there's basically no real isolation. That makes the EX1 practically unusable for outside actions, at least for me.
     
    Sound:
    At first I used the EX1 with my loaner AK100II, and I was quite surprised as I found them to be missing body and detail, they sounded muffled and boring. So I thought what would they like? Maybe FiiO's earphone likes one of FiiO's DAPs. So I took out my X5ii and voilà. Now the EX1 delivered a very clean and full sound. Who would have thought that these are made for each other :wink:
     
    At first I made the mistake in taking them out for a walk. This is where the above mentioned open design hit me. Every noise made its way to my ears and it was not anything near where I expected them to be. When used inside you can really enjoy it's full potential though.
     
    The EX1 has a good slight V shaped soundstage, a full and vivid body. Its sound is very balanced and natural, with a hint in the bass region. The sound can not be described as warm or bright, it is more of a neutral kind.
    Bass has a good presence and is punchy, treble is crisp and clean while mids are airy and very detailed Male vocals are full and female artists (such as Björk) really shine with these little diamonds.
    They match nearly every genre, but for my taste were best accompanied by female singers.
    Separation could use some improvement in my opinion.
     
    Conclusion:
    The EX1 is a wonderful in ear monitor in sound and comfort. I can enjoy them for hours straight without them ever getting fatiguing or exhausting. But I don't see the point of having in ears that have an open design. The main purpose, at least for me, of an IEM is to be portable. Isolation has one of the bigger roles in this part, and the EX1 has none. When I was traveling by train to work a woman a few meters away from me asked me to turn down the volume even though it wasn't high at all.
     
    For 90$ these are a bargain if you can live with the open design.
     
    Final Words:
    Again a huge thanks to Joe Bloggs and FiiO for making this tour happen! It was my pleasure to review their first earphone.
    Off they go to Ireland.
     
    PA010443.jpg
     
    PA010441.jpg
     
    PA010446.jpg
     
    PA010449.jpg
    1. Hawaiibadboy
      Nice review. I would also describe them as kind of neutral.
      Hawaiibadboy, Oct 1, 2015
    2. JK1
      IEMs with am open design would be great if they are open enough so that someone can hear their surroundings well enough to safely cross traffic intersections when the volume is kept low. It seems like they probably aren't open enough for that though. 
       
      I hope Fiio comes out with some less expensive IEMs, especially ones with a detachable cable that retail for under $50. Open earphones with earhooks would also be interesting. Something that sounds like the Sennheiser MX580 but has ear hooks to keep it in place would be great.
      JK1, Dec 17, 2015
  7. NewbieSteve
    Amazing sound, bad implementation
    Written by NewbieSteve
    Published Oct 14, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - soundstage, highs, neutral and balanced
    Cons - Sound leakage, slightly heavy and can be uncomfortable
    Review:
     
    I had very high expectations before buying the Fiio EX1 AKA Dunu Titan 1. Before owning these I had the Soundmagic E10 and the Sennheiser CX 300 II Bass Enhanced. Afterwards, I bought the E80 and the GR07 as well. When I got the EX1 I immediately slipped on a pair of comply tips T-400 on the EX1 and was overwhelmed. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but I'm happy to tell you that the other reviews are very correct. These sound amazing. I was worried they would be too bass shy compared compared to my other earphones but... I was wrong. The bass hits hard and quick. There isn't much bloat compared to the CX300 II, allowing the midrange and high to be much clearer in contrast. The midrange is not veiled at all, giving vocals a clear and smooth sound. The highs are sparkly yet not fatiguing. The soundstage really excels, giving accurate imaging and a wide sense of depth. While my E10 had good imaging as well, the soundstage is much narrower. This is likely because of the ports on the Fiio EX1 which are open almost like an "open" pair of headphones.

    Now, there are downsides to this implementation, and the reason I had to return these. To me, earphones are suppose to be portable and usable outside. However, due to the open design, they let in a lot of sound. Suddenly, subway rides and office use are a lot louder compared to my other pairs of earbuds. I can't even turn up the volume to my regular listening levels in the office because they leak so much sound. You'd be surprised how much sound these leak because of the open design. If you like the sound signature of these earbuds but want to use them on the go/ in office, then take a look into the Dunu Titan 1ES which is a closed version of these earbuds.
     
    In terms of comfort, these are fine as long as you insert them at an angle. The metal housing is heavy and they can rest on the inner parts of your ear depending on how you insert it. While the edges are not sharp, they do feel uncomfortable after a while if they touch your ear. Don't let the comfort stop you from buying them, because they are very comfortable if you adjust the angle correctly.
     
    TLDR:
     
    Build Quality:
    Fiio EX1 > E80 > GR07 = CX300II > the average earbuds

    Bass Quantity:
    CX300II > E10 > E80 > EX1 = GR07

     
    Bass Quality:
    GR07 > E80 = EX1 > E10 > CX300II 

    Mids:
    E80 > GR07 > EX1 > E10 > CX300II

    Highs:
    EX1 > GR07 > E80 > E10 > CX300II

    Soundstage:
    EX1 > GR07 = E80 > E10 > CX300II

    Isolation:
    E10 = CX300II = E80 =  GR07 > EX1

     
    Comfort:
    E80 = CX300II = E10 > GR07 = EX1

    Value (in my opinion):
    E80 > EX1 = GR07 > E10 > CX300II



    Overall, these sound pretty darn impressive for the price. However, it was not for me since I need the sound isolation for travel and work.
      stalepie likes this.
  8. reihead
    Fiio's first, EXcellent first
    Written by reihead
    Published Feb 27, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great engaging sound, lots of details, value
    Cons - Highs can be a bit harsh, light on bass (can be a pro), not the lightest iem
    Disclaimer
     
    1. I was part of the Fiio EX1 world tour. I had the chance to evaluate the unit for 10 days thanks to Fiio.
    2. I have no affiliation with Fiio in any way.
    3. The following words are my personal opinion, I wasn’t forced to give a favorable review or leaded in any way.
     
    Big thanks to Fiio for allowing me to evaluate the earphones.
     
     
     
    About me
     
    I'm an avid music lover. I'm all about listening music on the go, I have tried several Apple product but never own one. To carry a brick has never been an option for me. Used many Creative players for years. The original Fiio X3 was my first hi-definition portable player.
     
    I don’t consider myself an audiophile, but certainly can appreciate quality and I drive myself to find it with the better value possible. My music taste goes from Jazz, to Industrial, to Rap. My digital library is now mostly flac files but also a lot of lossy mp3 files (224 kbps or more) and some 24bit flac files.
     
    I’m a web developer and app developer for smartphones, technology is part of my life.
     
     
     
    About this review
     
    This review comes after evaluating the earphones for 10 days straight.
    Many files type were used in the evaluation, FLAC, mp3 at different bit rates.
     
     
     
    IMAG1154_r.jpg
     
    First and foremost, let's get the obvious out of the way, the EX1 are based on the Dunu Titan1 iem. I never heard the Dunu's myself, but is well known their IEM are very good.
     
     
     
    Specifications
     
    http://Fiio.net/en/products/43
     
      
     
    Packing and Built
     
    IMAG1114.jpg
     
    Box is fairly simple, the EX1 comes with an excellent number of tips and a small but rigid carrying case.
     
    These iem are solid, from the metal housing (made from fancy duralumin and more common stainless steel) to the cable, there is a great sense of quality, also durability comes to mind, but beware with this assumption given my limited number of days with the earphones.
     
    IMAG1133.jpg
     
    Cable length is 1.20 meters long, the right length for portable use, non detachable, which at this price point is something it should be expected. Microphonics we not tested properly on the go, but during the hours of daily use zero to minimum noise here. If needed the included shirt clip will help keeping the cable under minimum movement.
     
     
     
    Comfort and Isolation
      
    Isolation was average to good once I found the right tip size. I haven't used iem straight down in a while, but found these very comfortable, easy to insert. The metal housing can get cold (winter time!) and the insertion in your ears would be like grabbing a cold can of soda!
     
    I couldn't test how they will fare while walking but given the weight of each ear piece, a good fit would be very important to keep them in place while moving, again, I couldn't jog with these but from experience these wouldn't be a good choice for exercise earphones.
     
    IMAG1127.jpg
     
     
     
    Sound
     
    So how do they sound? Clear, neutral sound leaning towards the warm side comes as first words to describe them. There is a lot of details with this iem, more than I would expect from an earphone at this price level. Certainly enjoyable sound while the amount of details makes them engaging.
     
    Bass is fast and punchy, but I found it a bit light, I believe the reason for this is lack of extension, but I'm being very picky here. No reason to discard these earphones because of the bass.
     
    The warm side to them could be result of the player used, but I found this to be surprising since the highs can be a bit pronounced. This edgy highs occurs sometimes, but when it happens is easily spotted and distracting.
     
    Same as the level of detail, the EX1's soundstage is above average. Very good in use with smartphones, they are easy to drive and will have enough volume to enjoy.
     
    IMAG1117.jpg
     
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    At the publish date of this review (February 2016) the price in the UK is around £50, around 70 US dollars in North America. With Fiio there is a recurrent theme in most of their products: value, the EX1 is no exception, great value.
     
    At this price point, including a remote is probably a good idea, but if that is not a deal breaker and you are looking for a good IEM under 100 US$, definitely the EX1 deserve a good look.
     
     
     
    Other considerations
     
    Only the included stock tips were used.
     
    All testing was done indoors, so please take the isolation comments with a pinch of salt.
     
    Players and smartphone used: Fiio X5 1st gen, HTC One m8, Moto G 1st gen.
     
    To my knowledge this was a retail product and package.
      zanox likes this.
    1. zanox
      I do agree with your review. Upper treble is superbly extended, but the lower treble is edgy. There's a bit metallicness to the treble that i dislike and it's accentuated with some tracks making them sound analytical . Even though the mids are a bit warm, they are neutral most times and pushed back in the presentation. The bass is on the lighter side, but with some tracks the bass just sounds fine. The soundstage and imaging is extremely good for the price.
      The EX1's are great detailed sounding and incredible value for money, but not that musical to my ears.
      zanox, Feb 28, 2016
  9. El Zilcho
    Fiio EX1 - Solid Build, Solid Sound
    Written by El Zilcho
    Published Oct 24, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Clean, Detailed Sound. Well Built. Comfortable. Good Value
    Cons - May Be Bright For Some Tastes.
        Intro
     
    EX1-1.jpg  
    EX1-2.jpg  
     

     
    I received these headphones for evaluation from Fiio.  I was not paid for my review and the headphones were returned after the review period.  
     
    Music can evoke real emotion.  It can be a powerful experience to listen to a good song.  The type of music that stirs you is different for everyone.  Luckily, music is as diverse as its power is universal.  And the variety of headphones available is almost as diverse as the music they are designed to reproduce.
     
    I love music.  But I am a bit of a beginner when it comes to headphones.  I’ve only recently begun to really get into headphones as a way to listen to music more often.  I don’t have the huge stable of headphones that many headphone reviewers have.  I do appreciate good sound, and I hope my thoughts and opinions can help someone considering the EX1 headphones from Fiio.
                
        Sound
     
    EX1-7.jpg  

     
    I listened to the EX1s on my Fiio X5ii, my Denon receiver, my computer and my iPad.  As expected, all were able to provide more than enough volume, with ample headroom to spare.  There were a variety of sources, including Netflix movies, Youtube, lossless, AAC, etc.
     
    The EX1s are brighter than my other headphones (currently: Bose Soundtrue In Ear, Bose QC25, Apple Earpods, Samsung in ear), and those I’ve had previously (Bose AE2, Klipsch Image One).  No detected sibilance, or other problems with the treble, but it’s noticeably more present/forward.  Initially, the extra brightness of the EX1 seemed to make parts of the song sound almost harsh.  However, this was in comparison to my other headphones.  In comparison, my others sounded a bit smoother, but at a cost of some of the perceived detail and airiness which the EX1s have.  
     
    As I listened to the EX1s I quickly got used to the bright sound and they no longer sounded harsh.  I found them to be very clean sounding across the range.  They aren’t fatiguing, nor do they have the undefinable quality (or lack thereof) that some headphones possess which makes me perpetually feel the need to turn the volume down.  I began to appreciate the added detail and clarity of the EX1s.  They are bright, but balanced.  After a while listening to the EX1s I switched back to the Bose Soundtrue and they sounded downright muffled in comparison, rather than smoother.
     
    If the recording/song has hiss, it was slightly more noticeable with the EX1s than my other headphones due to the brighter sound signature and, possibly, greater treble extension.  Not a fault, just an effect of the more forward treble.  I happen to have a few older, hissy songs, and the hiss is a bit more noticeable (along with the rest of the treble) in the EX1s.  That didn’t stop me from enjoying those songs at all, it’s just something that’s more noticeable with a brighter headphone.  It is a small difference, but it’s there.  Also, bear in mind, the vast majority of what I listened to had no hiss, and the background on my X5ii was as inky black as ever with the EX1s.  So any background hiss was definitely not an attribute of the headphones.
                        
    While these phones are brighter than my others, they still have decent bass.  The bass is crisp and defined, hits when it should, and doesn’t bleed into the rest of the song when it shouldn’t.  It is a flat bass response though.  Unlike many of the headphones available today, which tend to have a dB bump in the bass range.
     
    There are songs that do benefit from a little extra bass, but if you have to err on one side or the other, I would say the EX1s are a better choice for me than an overly bass-heavy pair of headphones.  In my opinion, balanced (meaning flat, not boosted) bass won’t ruin a song that would benefit from more bass.  But too much bass can nearly ruin some songs for me.  Again, the EX1s do have bass, but these are not bass-head headphones.  Interestingly, the sub-bass does seem to extend a little further down than on my Bose Soundtrues.  This may be due, in part, to the better seal/isolation.  My Soundtrues do have a warmer sound with a bit more bass overall, but the EX1s have impact when I feel they should.  Songs that have a lot of sub bass surprised me with how powerful the bass sounded in the EX1s.  
     
    The brightness brings a level of clarity and detail I don’t quite get with any of my other headphones.  I have some Samsung in ear headphones (came included with a phone) that are nearly as bright on the top end, but the highs aren’t quite as clear.  The Samsungs have an almost grainy and artificial sound to the highs at times, compared to the EX1s.  I know it’s not a fair comparison.  The Samsungs are cheapos; they are outmatched by the EX1s in every way.
     
    Compared to my Bose QC25s, I would say the QC25s have a bit more upper bass/lower mids, leading to a bit more “fullness” to some songs.  But actual bass “slam” and low end power seems about the same, and the EX1s have a cleaner sound, with easier to pick out detail, particularly in the higher frequencies.
        
    I like the sound of the EX1s.  If you are looking for an in ear headphone with a fairly flat response, and good treble and bass extension, give the EX1s a try.  The sound is clean, clear and while nothing is boosted, nothing is missing either.  
     
        Fit
     
    EX1-4.jpg  

                
    The shallow fit of the EX1 is great for me.  Deeper insertion in-ear headphones become uncomfortable after a while for me.  These have a shallow insertion depth, and the “body” of the earphones just tuck against the back of the ear, holding them in place.
     
    The isolation may not be quite as complete as some others because of this shallow depth, but I’ll give up a little isolation to get long term wear-ability any day.  Comfort wise, at first I’d have still given a slight edge to my Bose Soundtrue In Ears (the EX1s do provide much more isolation than the Soundtrues).  But I got used to them quickly and they basically “disappear” in my ears now.  Comfort for me personally is very good.  They strike a good balance between isolation and comfort.  They isolate much more than my Soundtrues, but are still comfortable for hours.  
     
    The EX1 headphones stay put in my ears much better than I anticipated.  This is particularly surprising since it takes so little effort to insert or remove them.  Even if I shake my head around quite vigorously, they don’t budge.  Fit is a very individual thing, and the experience of others will surely vary.  For me the fit is great.  They do include various silicone tip sizes to match your ear canal as close as possible.  Because the body/housing of the earphones tuck against the ear, there is a chance that with larger ears than mine they wouldn’t hold as securely.  Likewise, with smaller ears they may end up too tight and become uncomfortable.  I don’t know how prevalent these issue would be, since they fit without issue in my ears.
     
    Now that the temps are dropping, the metal body is cold on the ears for a moment when you first put them in.  I imagine if they were left in a car in winter they could cause quite a shock when you pop them in your ears.  Probably not a huge issue for most, but just something I noticed.
     
        Build
     
    EX1-5.jpg  

     
    Build quality is very good.  The metal is smooth and polished, with no rough edges, tool marks or obvious issues that stand out.  The gaps are tight and even and everything seems to suggest quality.  The cord ends with a 90* plug, which is something that could be debated.  I typically prefer a straight plug, but there are situations where a 90 degree is preferable, so I wouldn’t count for or against a straight or 90 degree plug.  There is a bit more cord noise/microphonics than my Bose Sountrues, which is likely due to the increased seal they have rather than any differences in the cord.  This is to be expected, and it’s not too bad. 
     
    There are colored rings around the body of the earphones which add a little flair and help differentiate between right and left.  Right and left are easy to tell apart just as a result of the shape, but the color adds a quick, visual key that will never leave you guessing.  There is also an “R” and “L” etched on each respective earphone.
     
    The cord is reasonably supple and doesn’t cause any unusual annoyances.  The insulation is a more slippery feeling material than what my Bose Soundtrue cord has (it is also very slightly stiffer than the Bose Soundtrue cord).  This makes the EX1 cord a bit less apt to tangle, as the cord doesn’t hang up on itself as readily.  The cord is not detachable, but it does give the impression of being fairly durable.  Nothing about it stands out to make me think it wouldn’t hold up over time.    
     
     
        Conclusion
     
    EX1-6.jpg  

     
    I think a simple way to wrap this up is to say that if I was in the market for some in ear headphones I would feel very comfortable buying the EX1 headphones from Fiio.  They have a fairly flat, balanced sound signature with clean, detailed sound across the range. They have decent isolation and a secure, comfortable fit.  And finally, considering the build quality, included tips and hard case they are a pretty good value for money as well.  
     
    The EX1s are a well rounded pair of earphones.  They may not be for everyone, but no headphone/earphone can claim that honor.
     
    Happy listening.
      Denzea likes this.
  10. yfnt
    EX1 don’t have uncomfortable sound !!
    Written by yfnt
    Published Oct 12, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Neutral balance sound
    Cons - Isolation, need amplifier
    About Me: Hi all, I like FiiO products, and my main system X5 DAP, E12 DIY AMP. I’m glad to review FiiO new product the EX1 In-ear Monitors.
      
    Fit: FiiO EX1 weight is light. I felt really comfortable EX1 fitting. 
     
    Sound
    I used the EX1 with my favorite music in train at commuting time. My first impression, I wonder if the EX1 would be really 16 ohm. So, the EX1 is low volume. I thought  the EX1 sound quality depends on headphone amplifier, my amp is E12 DIY has JRC Muse8920D and TI BUF634.  Sure, the EX1 sound quality is up by headphone amplifier
     
    The EX1 don’t have detail sound, but it has well neutral sound about Bass, Mid and High. And above all, the EX1 don’t have uncomfortable sound !!
     
    My favorite music:
    TRANCE, EDM
    Japanese VOCALOID music
    Japanese Game music
    Japanese Anime music
     
    Conclusion:
    The Ex1 is the best choice under $90. If you enjoy your favorite music for a long time, the EX1 will be really comfortable.  
     
    Final Words:
    I don't have much appropriate English. but I could join FiiO EX1 world tour--open for application now! (1st round member list announced).
    I very thank Joe Bloggs and FiiO which gave a chance of a review.
     
    Thank you !!
      Hawaiibadboy likes this.
    1. Hawaiibadboy
      Bro, your English is great. Nice review!!
      Hawaiibadboy, Oct 13, 2015