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FiiO EX1 Nanotech Titanium Diaphragm In-Ear Monitors

  1. originalsnuffy
    FIIO EX1 Appeals to those Favoring a Bright Sonic Signature. Good open soundstage.
    Written by originalsnuffy
    Published Nov 15, 2015
    Pros - Good bass and midrange. Fairly eficient. Good overall sound for price
    Cons - Open design results in sound leakage. Make sure you have the right fit; you may need a larger attachment than you normally us. Bright presentation .
    I have tested the FIIO EX1 as part of the North American Tour.  No compensation was received for this review.
    By now you have seen multiple reviews that reviewed the accessories that come with this unit, its Dunu heritage, etc.  So I will focus on sound signature, fit, and sound leakage.
    In summary, I think that if you are looking for a headphone with a bright sound and is not bass shy, these are worth considering.
    I did find it took larger tips than I am used to in order to get a proper sound signature.  I had to place the units a bit further in to my canal than I found comfortable to get the proper levels of bass.
    When properly fit, the sound signature presented a good level of bass but not bass head worthy, which I think is a good thing.  The midrange is pleasant.  I found the treble a bit overdone, but then again I tend to favor IEM units with a slightly tailed off high end and the EX1 has heightened treble. I did find these to have a nice open soundstage, and instrument clarity was gratifying.
    I was unable to get a good fit with my usual comply tips.  I had pulled them out on the theory that maybe I would not have to insert these units too far in to the ear canal to get full bass, and that they might tamp down the high end a bit.  Unfortunately, that did not work out.
    I enjoy my IEM listening in public places such as airplanes and before going to bed.   These IEM units may not be the best choice for those locations.  The open design does lead to sound bleed.
    These did help out my old FIIO X3 first generation running firmware 3.34b, which tended to be more midrange driven and needed some high end help.  With firmware 3.4 the benefit was reduced, as that sound signature is more balanced. On the oriignal X3, I fiddled with the hardware level eq  and had some success.  I turned the bass up one or two notches and treble down three notches and achieved a somewhat better sound profile to my taste.  On the X3 second gen unit that is no hardware level eq so that did not work.  Note:  I play quite  a bit of hi res material, jazz and classic rock, and so hardware eq is needed in the FIIO line.   And as you may know, the X3 gen two can't provide eq to hi res material.
    I was hoping that the EX1 units would knock the ball out of the park for me based on some early reviews.   Instead, I am looking in to more tunable IEM units and did order one unit on 11-11 called the LZ-A2 which by most accounts is more like the Carbo - Tenores which are my current "go to" units.  The Carbo -Tenore's a comfortable in a sleeping configuration, and do not have leekage.  If your taste
    runs a bit more to the treble forward side you will be rewarded with these units.
    I should mention that I took these to a Minneapolis head-fi gathering.  I would say that more than half of the group was favoring over the ear headphones not in-ear.  But for those who were willing to try out headphones, only one person particularly enhused about the EX1.  This person also noted that they had hearing problems in the high end from a scuba diving accident, so I suspect the sound signature was perfect for their needs.  But it also reinforced my feeling that the sound signature it not going to find universal acclaim, but will find favor with those that favor elevated high end sound profiles.
    . IMG_1609.jpg
      Hawaiibadboy and Peter Hyatt like this.
  2. Hawaiibadboy
    Well built evenly tuned. FiiO EX1
    Written by Hawaiibadboy
    Published Oct 2, 2015
    Pros - Build quality, lots of tips, fairly neutral tuning (good mids)
    Cons - Isolation, Bass is light
    I used 3 tracks only. I have O.C.D and can get lost in music. I prefer stuff I know like the back of my hand for comparing.
    I have listened to these three hundreds and hundreds of times.
    I used the Alpha & Delta AD01 (dual dynamic)  and the Sony xb90ex (single dynamic) for all three songs to compare with the FiiO EX1 (single dynamic)
    All 3 files are .flac 24/192 played from a Note 4 > Cozoy Aegis which played them back at 24/192 using U.A.P.P and no eq

     Earth Wind & Fire - "That's the way of the World"


    Listened to IEM in this order:


    1. Bass - Hard to hear... more than usual however I use elevated bass eq almost always so this could have been my ears adjusting.
    2. Mids - Sounded forward or "loud", vocals were good but horns and studio mixed layers were getting lost as the treble approached.
    3. Highs -  Singers voices in EW&F reach very high and the highs had a glare. The whole song sounded  ( ___/ ) shaped.
    4. Stage - Not wide and not narrow. didn't strike me as a item worth noting except it is
    I assume the freq graph for the Dunu Titan would apply so the response should not sound like so


    1. Bass -Sub-bass and bass clearly elevated but pleasing
    2. Mids - nice but slightly muted or less forward than the EX1
    3. Highs -  Singers voices in EW&F reach very high and the highs had no glare but sounded very smooth, not too detailed which is bad for some. I like smooth highs
    4. Stage - More compact than the EX1


    1. Bass - Less sub-bass than AD01 but more than EX1 which had none. Bass is present and feels true to master
    2. Mids -  sound is natural and has no clear recess and not forward.
    3. Highs -  Sound crisp and detailed.
    4. Stage - Very very large presentation. Unlike AD01 and EX1
    I would take the AD01>xb90ex>EX1
    The sub bass of the AD01 is just so damn nice. The XB is Xtra Bass but without an eq it is not so. The EX1 seems to lack bass.
    The graph of the Titan shows a semi flat region from 10-100Hz which is like a Planar. Very nice for an audiophile I imagine but too much info was simply not there.

    Paused review as some things were off in my mind.
    The EX1 had fantastic mids the night before but were in my face now?
    Decided to alter the order of listening but leave these impressions as they are real.

    Tupac Shakur (2pac)  - "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted"




    1. Bass - sub bass and bass transition to mids very nice.
    2. Mids - slight recess or falling into the treble area but not scooped
    3. Highs -  very nice and smooth. Clearly a type of genre' the AD01 shines at
    4. Stage -  Again, the AD01 is close to being compact but only compared to BA having units


    1. Bass - This track has a lot of bass beyond sub-bass which was again not there but familiar 80Hz hit was there.
    2. Mids -  sounded loud, forward but for this track that is good. What was shouty in the Earth Wind & Fire track is bouncy joy on this track little info gone (dip in freq?)
    3. Highs -  maybe it's the master but the highs sounded great and I know this track inside out and it was bass light but otherwise fine
    4. Stage - Not of note. Track not mixed in a way that sounds wide but holographic ghostly sounding women's voices were hard to catch (late mids?)


    1. Bass - Less sub-bass than AD01 but more than EX1 which had none. Bass is present and feels true to master (same as previous track)
    2. Mids -  sound is natural and has no clear recess and not forward. (same as previous track)
    3. Highs -  Sound crisp and detailed. (same as previous track)
    4. Stage - Very very large presentation. Unlike AD01 and EX1 (same as previous track)
    would take the AD01>xb90ex>EX1.
     So a R&B and a Hip Hop track are better listens at least on a flat eq as the other 2 pair have an elevated bass tuning.
    The xb90ex should dominate this track but without an eq and an amp it does not. AD01 sounds best.


    Crosby Stills Nash & Young - "Helplessly Hoping"




    1. Bass - mostly guitar notes in the bass area and generally not much info here, what is mastered seems fine and no roll off or anything lacking
    2. Mids - sound is nice but appears a bit recessed. I listened to this with the EX1 last night so I know what's going to happen here
    3. Highs -  voices are smooth like butter but rolling off
    4. Stage -  Again, the AD01 is close to being compact


    1. Bass - Not much bass in this track and what is there sounds present and nothing seems lacking in lower guitar chords resonance
    2. Mids -  What was in my face on the Earth wind and Fire track is really nice on this track (first track is vinyl rip....hmmmmmm)
    3. Highs -  The vocals sound really awesome which I heard last night. knew this was coming. Very good recording or just a perfect match for these IEM or both
    4. Stage - Not of note. Track not mixed in a way that sounds outdoor stadium. there is a live version but quality is not great for testing


    1. Bass - Bass is not prominent in track and sound is not better or worse than other two IEM
    2. Mids -  sound is natural and has no clear recess and not forward. (same as previous track (s))
    3. Highs -  sound is nice but not as pleasing as the EX1
    4. Stage -   This track does sound around your head with these IEM.
    would take the EX1>xb90ex>AD01
    Guitar and vocal-centric music seems to be the sweet spot for these IEM and I listen to  a lot of that. Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and the like.
    The AD01 is an excellent set for rock but the clarity in the mids and detail of guitar plucks and pulls is superior on the EX1.

     If I were a Dummy :wink:

    The Fletcher Munson curve
    If you note the dip at 4Khz and look at the Golden Ear curve it is almost a compensation graph. The bump they are placing is almost exactly where in a relative manner the human ear has an issue.
    Assuming that is a pleasant line where the average human ear can hear the most musical information in the most appealing way (Golden Ear curve)...then it doesn't matter if it's your best line. It's mine for this exercise and the other 3 are relative to what I find appealing. I am the black line.
    The EX1 are rising into the audible and are not elevated in the sub bass.
    The AD01 clearly enter audible elevated with a boosted sub-bass .
    The xb90ex are also rising as they require power and eq.
    The EX1 have a mid section that is either ideal or it is slightly forward.
    The Highs of the EX1 have an airy feeling and seem as though the peak is slightly further up the register.
    **click to enlarge**​

    EQ me

    If I were to EQ the EX1...and I did. I'd raise 35-70Hz with 55Hz as the peak of that bass hill  of +5dB with a cut hard down to 250Hz at -2dB. I would also drop 2k a tad and raise 3-4khz and 8Khz in amounts depending on the genre'.



    The reviews on Head-Fi are results in search engine queries. The  # of folks who see these reviews will very often...especially later.. be from non members with little knowledge or care about warm,dry,hot,wet,stage,separation etc.
    Some love pictures others love analogies others love videos and on an on.
    My review is one view.  It's mine. I like bass and I like mids and I like highs. The sound is kind of airy and thin to me. Fit is not great but that's why god made lots of tips. There are lots of tips in this sets package. I think a set of foam Comply would be a really good idea.
     I cannot try 10 songs and keep track honestly in my mind. I can do that with 3.
    I chose 2 bass heavy genre' which is not this IEM's strong point but a world tour is underway and a bass lovers input is a slice of the pie
    If i were to tip roll and eq which is natural for me it would certainly sound better and it's larger driver and vent modding could eclipse the "fun" of the AD01 in all manner but that is a rabbit hole. Stock, no eq....not my thing but much easier to follow if your a reader/listener.
    I will edit and refine the presentation of the review but the general observations will stay. I d not believe in burn in but do believe in brain burn in and don't want that to be a factor.
    Many thanks to @Joe Bloggs for letting a bass lover and person in Japan take part.  FiiO should give you a raise. You help make them look very good.

    C.R.E.A.M.(y)          4 me  n  U

    Gotta  end this with a blast.
    If I have one regret it is that I did not see the enormity, the massive power of this review system sooner. It has been used well and abused well.
    Credibility is the real currency on Head-Fi.  Takes time to build and moments to throw away. Just like in real life. "Joe P. Public" cannot see who is who and even if they could it wouldn't matter if they didn't know exactly what they wanted ....(how many folks know exactly what they want??) ..and to be honest 1/2 the folks doing reviews have not found what they want.
    End game items mean end of game.  I'd be gone and so would they. 
    It's a journey marked by levels of financial investment. Not accurate markings but as good as any.  Are these (FiiO EX1) worth the amount of money at this point along the way? Sure, with a bonus of being backed by a company that will respond to any issue related to the item. I have had my ups and downs with em' but never about value for your money or inquiry and interaction. FiiO is peerless on Head-Fi in that way (10/01/2015)
    The big question is...would I rec these to you? I dunno you..so no.  You come back here saying my rec was off and you mess my cream. No way.
    Are these good IEM? Yes. Well made and tuned relatively neutral and backed by a solid company. So they are good.  3.5
      Brooko, ZMan2k2, gikigill and 9 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hawaiibadboy
      @knorris908  it's a Hawaiianese mash -up 4 sure :)   FiiO e18 is my fave. Gets little love round here but it plugs n plays with the droid and the power is just enough to send SZ into thunder mode. They make good stuff. I am hoping for a basshead capable unit from them in the future.
      Hawaiibadboy, Oct 23, 2015
    3. Luckbad
      Good to see Fiio in IEMs. Hopefully they make a basshead earphone soon!
      Luckbad, Oct 23, 2015
    4. Diego Davila
      Why almost everyone takes the isolation factor as an important thing?. Wasn't this IEM designed to get better soundstage?, therefore would not be suitable for the street.
      Diego Davila, Mar 4, 2016
  3. NewbieSteve
    Amazing sound, bad implementation
    Written by NewbieSteve
    Published Oct 14, 2016
    Pros - soundstage, highs, neutral and balanced
    Cons - Sound leakage, slightly heavy and can be uncomfortable
    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.
    Build Quality:
    Fiio EX1 > E80 > GR07 = CX300II > the average earbuds

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

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

    E80 > GR07 > EX1 > E10 > CX300II

    EX1 > GR07 > E80 > E10 > CX300II

    EX1 > GR07 = E80 > E10 > CX300II

    E10 = CX300II = E80 =  GR07 > EX1

    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.
  4. reihead
    Fiio's first, EXcellent first
    Written by reihead
    Published Feb 27, 2016
    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
    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.
    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.
    Packing and Built
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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
  5. BloodyPenguin
    The Dark Side of the FiiO EX1
    Written by BloodyPenguin
    Published Feb 1, 2016
    Pros - Well Built, Great Hard Case, Fun Sound Signature, Very Comfortable, Good Controlled Lows, Cool Smoothness
    Cons - Slight Drop In The Mids, Black Version Not as Premium Looking as the Silver Version, Highs Can Be Harsh at times
    **Disclaimer - I was provided the EX1 from FiiO in return for an honest review**
                                                 ~ All Photos Taken By Me ~

    The EX1 is FiiO's first stab at producing an IEM. 
    [The Dunu Connection] - The FiiO is based off the Dunu Titan 1. The Dunu name can seen in multiple locations on the FiiO EX1.
    - EX1 IEM
    - Multitude of Eartips
    - User Manual/Warranty Card
    - Hard Case
    - Shirt Clip
    Type:  Dynamic(13mm)
    Frequency response:  20Hz-30kHz
    Sensitivity:  102dB/mW
    Impedance:  16Ω
    Plug size:  3.5mm Gold-plated
    Cord length:  1.2m
    Weight:  18g
    Color:  Black

    The EX1 is built very well with its tough metal housing and soft yet very reassuring cable. Stress reliefs are very well thought out and it seems as though the EX1 could take a beating and keep on going.
    The milled out vents on the housing and on the nozzle are quite nice. You can tell that this is a very well produced earphone.
    Design wise, they look good, but IMO the silver version is a little more premium, as the alternate black color makes the EX1 look like it is made of plastic, until of course you hold it in your hand. I LOVE the Red/Blue trim, I think all IEMs should have this, makes figuring out right/left a breeze, plus it looks cool.
    The cable is a thing of beauty; soft and easy on the eye.  There is a touch of microphonics that can be heard, but is reduced significantly with the use of the shirt clip.
    The EX1 is a smaller IEM and only is half in-ear. For me, that equals a much smaller footprint in my ear canal which is a very good thing. Insertion can take a little getting used to as the housing is not the easiest to get a good grip on, even with my small fingers. Once inserted, I could wear the EX1 for days with great comfort. I think at this point, while I type this, I have had them in my ears for almost 2 hours and I don't mind at all.

    Lows - Listening to [Deadmau5 - Failbait (feat. Cypress Hill)], I notice that even with a song with strong bass that the EX1 handles it with ease and control. Lows are present with a touch of sub-bass and a smooth mid-bass (which I very much like). Bass is never bloated or overwhelming, but also not lacking in anyway. For me, the lows of the EX1 are a highlight and my favorite of their sound signature.
    Mids - Listening to [Beck - Cold Brains], Mr. Hansen's voice is taken back just a bit, I don't want to say recessed, but not just as prominent. I find there to be a relaxed smoothness to the mids, easy listening. Even though vocals might not be as forward as I personally like, I still found quite a lot of enjoyment in the middle frequencies.
    Highs - The upper range can be hit or miss depending on what you are listening to. While playing [Bassnectar - The Matrix] the highs borderline being harsh and are a little rough on the eardrums. Though on the other hand, when I put on [Cat Stevens - Wild World] I was greeted with excellent playback and detail of his guitar strings.
    Isolation - The EX1 is not the best at sound blocking, but for me, it is not a bad thing. There are plenty of IEMs out there that isolate well, but it is nice to have a pair that I can wear and still hear a bit of what is going around me. For example, as I write this review, I am testing the sound signature of the EX1 AND listening to see if our 9 month old has woken up. I am not completely isolated from the world and that is good. I will also say, my wife is also right next to me and she can hear my music which on the other hand might not be the best thing. She just asked me why I am listening to my music so loud, which it not at a high volume. So I guess the isolation or lack there of will either be a plus or minus depending on what use you have for them.
    Soundstage - The rather low isolation, due partly to the abundant vents, has a positive affect on the width of the music. I found there to be good distance between instruments. I did not notice any congestion or narrowing with the EX1. Soundstage is most definitely a highlight of the EX1.
    Smoothness - I wanted to add this extra category for the EX1, to touch on the easy going, non-fatiguing sound signature. It almost seems contradictory when I just posted about how the highs can be harsh, but for most of the time I find there to be a smoothness to the EX1 that is quite wonderful. Right now I am listening to [RÜFÜS / RÜFÜS DU SOL - Blue EP] and each song is silky smooth with the EX1 at the helm, like the two were meant for each other. I think I will just hit repeat and take this album for another ride with the EX1.

    *Overall Thoughts*
    The FiiO EX1 has a lot of personality. It is complex IEM, with a curious sound signature and design features. It makes for a good earphone for review as there is a lot to touch on, as it does not blend in with of the other products out there. From its big soundstage, to its at times harsh highs and very controlled bass, the EX1 will never be called boring.
    The EX1 is a very interesting IEM, it does a lot well, but also has a few places it could see a little improvement. I think with a touch of tuning, the EX1 (2.0?) could really be something special.
    My review should be over now, but I still have the EX1 in my ears and I am honestly really enjoying them, much more than I thought I would when I started this review. The EX1 really do grow on you. The more I listen to the FiiO EX1, the more I like them.
      Raketen and twister6 like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. leovince
      I currently own this but the silver color. All I can say is they sound soooooo nice!
      leovince, Feb 2, 2016
    3. Lifted Andreas
      Very nice review, I'd pick some up but I am way too involved with my OnePlus Icons atm
      Lifted Andreas, Feb 2, 2016
    4. Podster
      Good review BP, the EX1 is a great little iem for the price. Like you having it with the M3, would also be a great pairing with X1:)
      Podster, Feb 4, 2016
  6. fleasbaby
    Logical, tactical approach to entering the IEM market for FiiO
    Written by fleasbaby
    Published Nov 25, 2015
    Pros - Great sound, for a great price
    Cons - Microphonics, tip-rolling, all the things I hate about IEMs basically...
    FiiO continues to rampage through the audiophile market. Maybe rampage is the wrong term. FiiO are more like a fox with a burning brand tied to his tail, sprinting through the wheat fields of audiophilia. 
    Their core mission statement of high quality audio products at humane pricing is popular, and everywhere they touch catches alight. They started with amplifiers, and have an extremely respectable range of units for all tastes at incredibly competitive pricing. Chances are, your first foray into portable audiophilia probably involved a FiiO amp. Mine was an E7. The X3 was their first DAP, and once they had made it through the growing pains of development, release and a lifecycle management the gloves were off in the DAP market for them. The X5, Xii, X5ii came, saw and conquered. Early indicators show that the X7 is about to blow a hole through the high-end market as well. The M3 and M1 are on the cards, and who know what they will do in the super-portable segment.
    And now they are waltzing into the headphone market with an IEM. This time the approach is different. They have partnered with Dunu and taken one of their most successful headphones and re-branded it. Openly as well. This is an understandable strategy. The sub-$100 IEM market is jam-packed with amazing deals at the moment. To attempt to reinvent the wheel would be foolish.
    I volunteered to participate in their global tour. I received no compensation for this, aside from ten days with the tour unit. I am not usually a big fan of IEMS. The deep insertion, cable-noise and excessive isolation I find bothersome. I focus mainly on earbuds and over-ears. My daily drivers are a pair of Pono-balanced VE Zen or my Pono-balanced self-woodied Grado SR60 pinks. I keep a pair of Tpeos Altone 200, Zero Audio Carbo Tenore and VE Dukes (Pono-balanced as well) on hand for those situations in which I cannot get by without isolation. I use a Pono, my work-supplied MacBook Air and a Sansa Clip+ as sources. Occasionally I’ll pull out my old iPod Touch 1G as well. My listening is done primarily at work, in my office, which is closed off. I listen to mostly jazz (from Hard Bop though to Spiritual), left field electronic music (like Four Tet, Flying Lotus, etc, etc) and blues.
    After popping on my usual tips (a pair of clear, double-flange tips that can deal with  my funkily contoured ear-canals) I found the X1 to be not quite as resolving as my Altone 200, but with equivalent bass depth. It was superior to the Zero Audio Carbo Tenore, but not as “fun”. I always find myself keeping the Tenore simply because everyone has those days where they don’t want to hear the Coltrane cut a fart as he starts blowing his solo, they just want to enjoy the track. The X1 didn’t catch the fart :). The Duke beats out the X1 in the treble department. Some might find this a turn-off though. 
    Overall it was nicely placed in the middle. It was the Goldilocks of the bunch. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too hard, not too soft. Juuuuust riiiiiight. And that explains why FiiO chose the X1 as their first foray into headphones. It will most likely pair well with all of their players. It will please the widest audience with a little fun, some accuracy, a durable build and best of all, it cost them nothing to develop. It was Dunu’s brainchild. FiiO’s resources are all tied into developing their DAPs. It is the headphone equivalent of their first DAP, the X3….a tentative, exploratory shot into the field. 
    This leads me to believe we should all be looking out for their next move. Whether it be something they do themselves, or something they partner with someone else on, its likely to be a knockout. 
      Hawaiibadboy and Horton like this.
    1. swannie007
      I have these and love them! They are my go-to earphones and I use them a lot, even though I have numerous earphones. They are just so easy to slip in your ears and are so comfortable and sound great(to my ears). I would recommend them to anyone without hesitation and they certainly offer GREAT value! Cheers.
      swannie007, Nov 26, 2015
  7. kamcok
    One of the best sub$100
    Written by kamcok
    Published Nov 13, 2015
    Pros - Build, Sound, Accessories, Sound Stage
    Cons - No remote, Highs could be tuned better, Not too different from Titan1
    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
    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.  
    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
    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
  8. ezekiel77
    Titan Reloaded, the EXcellent 1
    Written by ezekiel77
    Published Oct 21, 2015
    Pros - Best soundstage in its class, astounding clarity and detail, good bass quality, fun and exciting tuning, solid build quality, great looks and comfort!
    Cons - Mids slightly recessed, borderline sibilant in some tracks, bass quantity a bit lacking, springy cable, poor isolation, sound leak, not for vocalheads
    First off, many thanks and salutations to Joe Bloggs of FiiO for the opportunity to participate in the EX1 review tour. I missed the boat on the Dunu Titan 1 the first time around, because looking like they did I thought they were entry-level IEMs for earbud lovers. Since then they’ve become one of the best-reviewed IEMs in Head-Fi. So naturally, when FiiO released the EX1 (or Titan 1 reloaded), I jumped at the chance to review it. I had a loaner unit for a week before passing it on to the next reviewer. How different are they from the Dunus? Featuring a better cable and a lower price, that’s quite a pitch. The drivers and housings however, are identical.


    Equipment Used:
    Astell & Kern AK100ii
    FiiO EX1
    HiFiMan RE-400
    VSonic GR07 Classic
    Audio Technica ATH-CKR9


    Albums Listened:
    Adele – 21
    Amber Rubarth – Sessions from the 17th Ward
    Diana Krall – When I Look Into Your Eyes
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    Metallica – The Black Album
    Michael Jackson – Thriller
    Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles
    The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over


    Packaging and Accessories

    It’s a functional packaging, that much I can say. Not blingy nor particularly attractive. Open the box up, you get a plastic carrying case, 9 pairs of eartips (from smaller to larger bore at 3 different sizes) and a tie clip. I used the large-sized medium-bore eartips with the red stems for most of the review. Gave me the best comfort and striking looks. Sound differences between the eartips are subtle.


    Design, Build Quality and Cables

    They look great! Like tiny shiny UFOs, with venting! The full metal housing, Y-split and connectors have a solid, reaffirming quality to it, at least when compared to IEMs of similar price. Definitely gives more confidence than my GR07 Classic or RE-400. The housings are made of anodized duralumin and stainless steel. Sounds great doesn’t it? The cables are made from OFC copper, intertwined with Kevlar strands. Again, solid comes to mind. They feel rather springy and rubbery though, and reminds me a LOT of the Ostry KC06 cables. Not particularly fond of it but it’s quality inside.


    Fit, Isolation and Comfort

    Here’s the thing. I’m very used to deep insertion IEMs, and have sort of taken isolation for granted. The EX1 is neither. They are very shallow-fit, and isolate poorly. In a noisy environment like taking the train, you’ll hear many things other than your fine music collection. On the other hand you can probably wear them while driv… I didn’t say that. The noise leak might be a bother too. Because of the numerous vents in each housing, expect people to comment on your music taste. I got more than that. The first night of listening, I didn’t know how bad the sound leak was until my wife gave me a look. She was trying to drift asleep but kept hearing Enter Sandman instead. Comfort however, is top notch. I wear them straight down, and while microphonics might pose a problem, it is easily solved with the tie clip. After a while you won’t even remember wearing earphones. They’re light as a feather.


    Overall Signature
    To me the EX1 is tuned for fun and excitement. It's a slight V-shaped sig whereby the bass and treble are lifted above the mids. But if you ask me, it sounds more swoosh-shaped as the treble boost is more prominent. Definitely more bright than warm. Clarity and soundstage are phenomenal for the price. Overall balance and cohesion is good. The sweep from bass to treble sounds effortless with good air in between. Only in the case of cymbal-heavy tracks, however, does the treble seem isolated from the rest, and the balance is thrown off. Like, what are you doing over there, pal? This happens mostly in rock and metal tracks.

    Well executed. This is bass done tastefully right. I hear a sub-bass boost for that all-important rumble and a very slight lift in the mid-bass. Crucially, there is no bass bloat and the mids are left well alone. It's clean, reasonably fast, and manages a good balance between quality and quantity. Sacrificing just a bit of fun for detail, it isn't as boomy or impactful for bassheads, but enough to get your foot tapping, head bopping. The bass carries the tune very well, like the friendly guy who hands out drinks at a party, making sure everybody has a good time. The most inoffensive part of the sound spectrum, if lacking excitement ever so slightly.

    The mids are slightly recessed. Not very obvious, but in rock tracks the vocals and acoustics get less attention than the cymbals (and they WANT you to hear the cymbals dude!) and bass line. Note articulation is thin, not too engaging but with good detail. I hear a slight boost in the upper mids that increases clarity but can make vocals sound unnatural. This is more obvious in female vocals, and in the upper registers they can sound a bit tinny. Detail is certainly there, but lacks the smooth, syrupy and intimate vocals that I prefer, and the best mid-centered IEMs have. The mids here are content to come in, do their job, and leave the party on time. No after party, no fanfare. Just doin' m'job, sir.

    I'm still on the fence about this one. The treble is upfront, great for trebleheads, but it has a sort of Jekyll/Hyde character about it. On one hand, clarity is extremely good. You hear nearly every nuance and detail of the music. They extend up and far seemingly without effort. Notes are light, thin, fighting fit, and very crispy! They blend well with the rest of the spectrum when I listen to jazz, orchestral, and generally downtempo tracks. Mr Hyde, however, comes a-knocking when I put on some heavy rock. The EX1 pushes the cymbals and hi-hats TO YOUR FACE. They want and CRAVE your attention, and become borderline sibilant and harsh. Try a cymbal-heavy track like Guerrilla Radio and the treble attack becomes all too apparent, separating itself from the rest of the sound spectrum. Coupled with the slightly recessed mids, rock and metal can be tiring, trying listens. Keep the treble in check however, and you're given an amazing time.

    Soundstage and Imaging
    Now this, is more like it! Are you sure these are budget phones? The soundstage is huge! It extends wide (I mean wiiiiiiiiiiide) and deep (deeeeeeeeep) giving each instrument enough space to shine on its own, yet maintaining overall cohesion and never sounding disjointed from each other. Imaging is top-notch as well! If you close your eyes and do that Daredevil thing you can zoom to and focus on a particular instrument/voice, like wandering around a stage. Height, however, I'm not a good judge of. I would think that it's pretty good, there's a 3D-like effect from the imaging, and you can't have that without good height. Just a few inches up and down, don’t expect to hear a piano tinkling from two floors up. So once again, probably the best part of the EX1, is the soundstage and imaging. I have not heard anything come even close to this at sub-$100. Not even sniffing distance.


    HiFiMan RE-400
    The RE-400 has acquired legend status among audiophiles looking for a flat, neutral, reference tuning. Mention any of those words and the RE-400 should get a mention. For me it occupies a place in upper head-fi echelon for one reason, and one reason only. Its magical mids. Smooth, velvety and rich, in effect sounding astoundingly lifelike and intimate. Fire any acoustics, piano and vocals its way, the RE-400 can handle them no problem. The EX1, with its thinner notes, and good clarity, does its job quietly but doesn’t compare at all to the mighty mids of the RE-400. It does however, emerge victorious in all other aspects. The EX1 has tight, clean, impactful bass that has good quality and detail, but might be less quantity than preferred for a basshead. The RE-400 has equally good detail deep into sub-bass level, but seriously lacks impact, and sounds anaemic. For treble, the EX1 is more prominent, exciting and sparkly, with borderline sibilance on cymbal-heavy metal/hard rock tracks. The RE-400 treble is extended but smoothed out, perhaps too smoothed out. Soundstage is a wipeout. The RE-400’s intimate soundstage does not hold a candle to the EX1’s magnificence in width, depth, height and imaging. Overall, the EX1 is the better all-rounder, while the RE-400 shines in mid-centric tracks.

    VSonic GR07 Classic
    The GR07 is my go-to reference budget-fi superstar for the better part of 2 years, for its immaculate balance and neutral-ish tuning. Recently there are a few sub-$100 contenders that take the fight directly to the GR07, including the Ostry KC06 and Havi B3 Pro 1. I have to say the EX1 stands proudly among them. It’s a titanic battle between the two, with no clear winner. Overall the EX1 sounds brighter with more detail. GR07 takes the bass, which I thought had more impact and presence than the cleaner EX1, thanks to its mid-bass lift. GR07’s bass tuning, quality and quantity-wise remains one of my favourite regardless of price or drivers. I prefer the GR07 mids as well. It’s slightly warm, more smoothed out and natural compared to the clear, but slightly recessed EX1 mids. Vocals perform better on the GR07 too. That being said, the EX1 comes roaring back in the treble region, boasting better extension, more clarity and details and surprisingly, less sibilance than the GR07. Better air too? Yup. Which leads to soundstage… not much of a fight. The EX1 completely obliterates the GR07 in width, depth, height, imaging and separation. In the beginning of my head-fi journey I didn’t emphasise soundstage much. But now I hear the stark difference between a flat canvas of sound, and a large reverberating hall of enveloping, musical goodness. The EX1’s soundstage is exemplary for its class. Again, no clear winner. Both are extremely good all-rounders and equally fun. Entirely down to preference.

    Audio Technica ATH-CKR9
    Moving up a bracket, the $150 CKR9 uses dual-dynamic 13mm drivers. They are well-regarded for their realistic, natural, warmer-side-of-neutral tuning. Interestingly the lean and mean EX1 bass makes the CKR9 sound bloated and slow in comparison. Bass detail are equal, but note decay is definitely longer in the CKR9, with a noticeable subbass and midbass boost. This makes for a fun, rumbly, attention-grabbing bass, like how the treble does the headlining for the EX1. Great for some tracks, too heavy-handed in others. An acquired taste, I’m calling this a draw. The CKR9 mids, however, do a great job of being awesomely detailed with a good serving of smoothness and warmth. Notes are thicker, heavier, and more intimate than the EX1. Vocals are slightly forward but sublime, perfect for midheads like me. CKR9 takes this one. The CKR9 treble stretches very high, with a good amount of detail, sparkle and excitement, and the edges smoothed out slightly, never sibilant nor harsh. However it takes a backseat to the rest of the spectrum… while much better than its brother the CKR10, the treble will not be the first thing you notice. Suffice to say, the EX1 shares the same properties with the CKR9, but pushed forward, with more detail and excitement heard but at the risk of sometimes sounding harsh. But overall I prefer the more thrilling (albeit unpredictable) treble of the EX1. Soundstage is where they fight neck and neck. The EX1 has a slightly wider soundstage, but the CKR9 has more depth. Imaging, however, is a landslide victory for the EX1 helped by its light and airy notes giving a better sense of space in between instruments. The slower CKR9 suffers here, but the thicker note articulation pulls you in with its mesmerising, natural tone. It’s the more musical of the two, but the notes flow like rich chocolate syrup as opposed to EX1’s clear, sparkling water. Overall? Both phones have great, balanced sound with different flavours, on opposite sides of neutral. Just goes to show the EX1 can punch above its weight.

    So, just for kicks:
    Bass: GR07 > CKR9 = EX1 > RE-400
    Mids: RE-400 = CKR9 > GR07 > EX1
    Treble: EX1 > CKR9 > GR07 > RE-400
    Soundstage: EX1 > CKR9 > GR07 > RE-400
    Overall: CKR9 > EX1 > GR07 > RE-400


    The week has come and gone, and I’ve been a very happy reviewer of a solid, stellar pair of earphones I might end up buying in the near future. If fun, clarity, detail, and excitement tick your boxes, you’re in for an excellent time. Not to mention the class-leading soundstage which is like no other I’ve heard in this price range. Value for money is no question at all. Just be wary of the below average isolation and sound leak. Other than that there really is not much fault with the EX1, with a great many things to like about it. Job well done, FiiO. Job well done indeed.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. RomanRise
      Nice review.
      So, they are , lets say, low/middle class earphones. Are they worthy to be used with X7? 
      RomanRise, Oct 22, 2015
    3. ezekiel77
      Thanks guys.
      I'm sure they are worthy for the X7. They are among the best in budget-fi earphones. Question is are the X7 ready for them? Lol.
      ezekiel77, Oct 23, 2015
    4. saikat1729
      Very good review indeed. Exactly what I need to replace my 598SE while travelling.
      saikat1729, Jun 1, 2016
  9. yfnt
    EX1 don’t have uncomfortable sound !!
    Written by yfnt
    Published Oct 12, 2015
    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. 
    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:
    Japanese VOCALOID music
    Japanese Game music
    Japanese Anime music
    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
  10. Army-Firedawg
    Absolute front runner in the sub $100 category
    Written by Army-Firedawg
    Published Oct 11, 2015
    Pros - Excellently made, super comfortable, very fun to listen to
    Cons - Slightly recessed mids, cord tangles easily
        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.
        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.
        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.

        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?
        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.
        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.
        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.


        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