General Information

FiiO's newest beryllium driver single DD set
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rev92

100+ Head-Fier
Fiio FD1
Pros: Good build quality
Great accessories
Comfort
Rich, warm and addictive sound signature
Spectacular soundstage
Price to performance ratio
Cons: Bass could not be enough for bass-heads
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Fiio FD1 is a budget IEM using a beryllium-plated 10mm dynamic driver. It is priced at 59.99$.

Packaging

I like Fiio’s consistent approach to the packaging of their products. Even tho these are 59.00$ budget IEMs it doesnt show by the box. It has a minimalistic graphic and is pretty well made.

Inside you’ll find the FD1 IEM, a great hard case and a set of eartips. Nothing super flashy, but quite generous and functional. The case is very secure and you won’t have to worry about your new in-ears being destroyed when thrown into a bag.

Build quality

In terms of the build quality these are nothing special. But when was the last time that you saw budget IEM which really stand out from it’s competition in this regard?
Indeed, the budget market, just like smartphones is really starting to look like a war of clones. It’s not a bad thing obviously, as these are made very well and i cannot find a single thing to criticise. Fiio FD1 are well made, and that’s it.

As for the cable, it is braided, has an angled 3.5mm jack and is pretty comfortable to use.
The most important thing is the connectors…Fiio finally switched these faulty mmcx connectors to 2-pin ones. Don’t get me wrong, i really like the mmcx, but it has to be quality connectors, not the one that Fiio has been using for a couple of years now. That’s why i call it a big step up.

Comfort
If there is a thing that Fiio has mastered over the years, it’s their IEMs comfort. Once again FD1 is a lightweight, very well shaped and in result – a superbly comfortable earphone. I don’t know if this is the case with my ears, but Fiio’s IEMs are the closest thing to custom in-ear monitor’s i’ve used, and im not talking just about the FD1 – FA9, FA1, FA7, FH1s etc are among those.

Sound


Fiio FD1 has a sound signature that is my personal favorite, or very close to it. It’s slightly warm, lush and full, with great extension on top and well controlled bass. Also, one thing about it’s sound quality is absolutely astonishing for the price, but more about it below.


The bass is not dominating, but it’s well polished, controlled and rich. One thing worth mentioning is that if you’re a basshead, these will not satisfy you. For some this will be surely too bass-light, but i find it quite neutral and just enough for most genres i listen to.
The amount of details in the low frequencies is very good for this price range, it lacks subbass, but it’s understandable looking at the rest of the spectrum.


The midrange is the star of the show here. I’ve never heard such a beautiful, rich, thick and airy vocals in this price range. It has a lovely timbre for male vocalists that is purely addictive and satisfying. It is not the best detailed midrange in the game, but it is surely very enjoyable and natural sounding. For acoustic and jazz music this is a truly spectacular IEM.

The treble is very smooth and neutral throughout the whole range. I haven’t heard a slight sibilance whatsoever, no matter how hard i tried or how badly mastered music i’ve played through these. It is filled with details and airiness, but in a very gentle, sophisticated and smooth way. It is a perfect example of greatly polished driver implementation, as FD1 simply sounds like Fiio have put many hours of listening into them to deliver a very coherent and well thought product.

Well, i said that the midrange is a star of the show, right? It is, but it’s still not the best thing about the FD1. It’s soundstage is just ridiculously good for 59.99$.

When i burnt these in i started my listening sessions with my favorite test tracks. Exploring the sound of the FD1 through Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Lunatic Soul was great, as this is really my cup of tea in terms of sound signature.

But when i’ve played Space Oddity by David Bowie (2015 remaster Master on Tidal) my first thoughts were – no, that can’t be right….wait, what? I know the soundstage of this specific song very well, as i test it with every single piece of equipment that i test.
So, what was the reason for me being so suprised? Simply put – everything about the soundstage of these 59.99$ earphones.

It is very wide, has a fantastic depth and great imaging. Instrument’s are very easy to distinquish and are well placed on this big and airy scene. The vocal is placed in front of you. It is by far the best soundstage in this price range i’ve ever heard. Wow.

Last thing worth mentioning – it’s a bit suprising to me, considering the sound signature, but FD1 are quite source dependant, so make sure to plug them into quality audio player or a good DAC for the best experience.

Summary

Fiio FD1 is my new favorite IEM in the 60$ (and even higher) price range. It is well built, packs nice accessories and offers a fantastic ergonomy. Whats most important tho, is that these sound just phenomenal – rich, warm, lush and natural, without any sharpness or being overly dark. And yea, it’s soundstage is just class-leading. This is the easiest recommendation in the history of Ear Fidelity and it’s well worth it.

Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:

  • Headphones – Fiio FH1s, Lime Ears Aether R, Noble Khan, Rha MA750, Cayin YB04, Final E3000
  • Sources– Samsung S8+, Cayin N5ii, Fiio M11, Fiio M5, iFi iDAC2, Topping DX3PRO

EuphoniousMedia

New Head-Fier
FiiO FD1 - The Budget Soundstage King !
Pros: Amazing sound for its price range.
Big and spacious soundstage.
Addictive timbre.
Great stock cable.
Nice set of accessories, and ear tips.
Cons: Not for bass-heads
More color options could be added.
Introduction:

FiiO, a brand well known in the audiophile community and space, launched two new sub 80$ In-ear monitors later this summer. FH1s and FD1. Both of them share the same shell, same box and accessories set, but the technicalities differ. FD1 has a single dynamic driver of 10mm which is beryllium plated while FH1s comes with a 13.6mm dynamic driver with Knowles 33518 BA.

Disclaimer:

The review was tested at 80$ and all the judgement was made keeping the exact same price in mind. We're not responsible for any price change that might alter this review.

The item was purchased from fiio.co.in (Indian region) from our own money. This is not a comparison between FD1 and FH1s, this is a standalone FD1 review.

Purchasable link:

FiiO Indian Store
FiiO Global Store

Specifications:

Spec Sheet_FiiO FD1


Unboxing and accessories:


Unboxing has always been great with FiiO, they provide plenty of accessories and a good packaging experience. Same goes with this model, you are provided with a box that opens sideways magnetically, after opening the box you’ll see IEMs sitting in foam securely. Just below that you have a box in which you’re provided the FiiO waterproof case, 7 pairs of tips including foam tips and long bore silicone tips.

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Cable:

Cable that comes with the box is a 3.5mm unbalanced cable, which is absolutely fair at this price point. It is a 2 pin (0.78) dark copper cable with thicc braiding and a chin slider with FiiO branding on it. The chin slider is functional and the cable is flawless. Since the IEMs have detachable cable, you can always purchase a balanced cable from FiiO if needed. Cable is a 10/10 at this price point and some of TOTL IEMs don’t even come with a cable of this quality. The only thing that I could point out was 2 pin connectors can be of better quality, but again it’s nitpicking at this point.

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Case:

Case is a FiiO branded waterproof carry case with diamond-like cutting beneath the surface. It looks really impressive and serves the purpose. It’s an amazing box and one of the best boxes we’ve seen a manufacturer provide. Pairs perfectly with your IEMs.

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IEM Quality and fit:

FD1, at the time of writing this review comes in only 2 colors. Black and blue, which we feel is quite less and should come up with our favorite color, purple. It has a celluloid faceplate on top, which means every FD1 will have a different pattern. A sweet touch from FiiO’s side, the IEMs are made of acrylic. Edges are smooth and feel durable in hand. There are 2 vent holes for pressure relief. They weigh in at only 9 grams(approx), which means they are not putting a lot of weight on your ear. They are comfortable for long usage but they do stick out a little because the IEMs are thicc. All in all, great job done by FiiO for build quality.

Sound Isolation:

Since they are made up of acrylic they do not completely block outside noise. Sound isolation is decent with right pair of tips and pressure relief holes to provide non fatiguing sound.

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The Driveability and Sources used:

FD1 is perhaps very easy to drive. One can plug it in a phone and call it a day. Although, with right amping it might help open up the soundstage. You don't have to fuss a lot for amping these as they sound great with any source.
Sources used are:
  • Shanling M0
  • Pioneer XDP-100R
  • iBasso DX120
The Sound:

Bass:


At the time of review we tested the FiiO FD1 with Shanling M0 and after listening to great hours we came to a conclusion that FD1 is not a bassy pair, in fact to some it may sound less bassy. Speaking of low end it lacks the low end rumble that is present in Blon BlO3 (which is a pair considered specifically for low end), however it has very punchy and fast bass which has tonality in it that which fills the spectrum.

Mids:

It is very well understood by the characteristics shown by FD1 that it is not bass heavy which means it really has space for the mids to shine. Talking about the upper mid presence it has a lot and due this it feels very airy and spacious in vocals, but a drawback of this is that sometimes it may seem a bit harsh in the representation of female vocals as the upper mid presence is bit more as per our liking. Coming to the lower mids FD1 is perfectly balanced giving the voice of the artist the heft that is required to perfectly represent the soundstage. To put in perspective anybody seeking a pair under 80$ for vocals should really consider this as in our span of testing various IEMs, till date we have never heard a product under 80$ handle mid and soundstage this good.

Treble:

FiiO FD1 no matter how hard you try to drive them, we never heard a slightest hint of sibilance whatsoever, higher treble range rolls of at the right position and moreover the treble is not sharp and biting rather it is smooth and linear which portrays a dominance in lower range of treble as compared to Higher range which is not crisp in nature, however we would have liked some spark and crispness added so that details would also come forward like the ways mids do in this pair.

Soundstage:

The main USP according to us is soundstage. FD1 does a phenomenal job of recreating the stage before the listener, again highlighting the price which is under 80$ it outperforms our expectation and rivalry. Soundstage is so wide that it actually gives you an immersive experience of extreme caliber which is shocking and scary but in a good sense, there were many tracks in which we experienced certain nuances for the first time and that is where these shine. The soundstage extends in length but due to lack in low end reproduction of bass, the depth of the presentation seems to take a hit but not so much to ruin the grand experience.

Imaging:

The position of instruments is projected to the listener perfectly and accurately, If eyes closed one can pick the positioning of the instruments effortlessly and it almost feels like 3 dimensional which is a very big thing to accomplish in this price segment. They are so good in imaging that it reflected the same in games, playing Valorant and CS.GO. The player positioning was accurate and on point.

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Reference track:

  • Johnny Cash - “ Hurt ” For male vocals, space and details.
  • Crooked Still - “ Little Sadie ” For imaging and female vocals.
  • The Rolling Stones - “ Sympathy for the Devil ” For Soundstage and treble.
  • Mac Miller - “ Nikes on my Feet “ For bass and decay speed.
  • Chuck Berry - “ Maybellene” For Separation in old recordings.

Rated:

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FastAndClean
FastAndClean
very nice written and great photos, keep up the good work bro
EuphoniousMedia

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
FiiO FD1 & FH1s - A twin's tale
Pros: - Sound quality well above it's price point
- Great custom like fit
- Low weight
- Detachable cable
- Carrying case
- Large selection of ear tips
Cons: For the price nothing at all
FiiO FD1 & FH1s - A twin's tale

Introduction

This is a comparative review of both FD1 and FH1s as it originally appeared at www.hxosplus.gr and now translated for Headfi.
The FD1 sample was kindly provided by FiiO and is still under their ownership.
The FH1s was a loaner from their Greek distributor.

You can get it from FiiO.eu

FiiO after releasing their top tier FA9 iem (review here https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/fiio-fa9.24424/review/24076/ ) have returned at last to the category that they know perhaps the best of all, that of the entry level value for money iems.
And it does so by presenting us at the same time not with one but with two brand new iems the FD1 and the FH1s with the exact same low selling price of about 75€.
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FD1

The FD1 is a single dynamic driver iem featuring a 10mm beryllium plated unit with a N50 dual magnetic circuit that delivers 55% stronger magnetic field than traditional designs resulting in an energetic bass performance and an even full transient performance.
Beryllium is four times harder than steel and ¾ lighter than titanium resulting in a better sense of movement and power.
The FD1 is designed with a gold plated aluminum alloy retaining ring and sound tube providing stable cavity for the audible unit.
The FD1 has an impedance of 32 Ohm with a sensitivity of 109dB and a weight of 4.5g per unit.

FH1s

The FH1s is the evolution of the older FH1, a new dual driver hybrid iem with a larger dynamic 13.6mm unit for the low frequencies and a Knowles 33518 balanced armature unit for the middle and high frequencies.
The diaphragm of the dynamic unit is made of bio polymer material while the high frequency unit is placed closer to the ear canal which reduces high frequency loss and improves treble extension.
The BA driver play it's higher frequencies through a brass sound tube which reduces unwanted resonances.
The impedance of the FH1s is 26 Ohm with a sensitivity of 106db while the weight is 4.3gr per unit.
IMG_20200709_180737394_HDR.jpg


Sharing the same DNA

And the differences between the two models practically stop here since they share the rest of their features.
Firstly the patented precisely tuned pressure balancing system that equalizes the air pressure between the front and the back of the body greatly enhancing the soundstage and reducing ear fatigue while listening.
Secondly they share exactly the same body and appearance and the only way to distinguish them is the FiiO logo which in FD1 is gold while in FH1s it is silver.
The construction material is layered celluloid, which allows for a precision finish with a custom like fit and low weight.
Thanks to the randomness of the layering procedure every faceplate made has it's on unique appearance.
Both earphones feature the same detachable 2 pin cable made of 120 strands of high purity monocrystalline copper in litz braiding.
The quality is really impressive and we wonder how FiiO has managed to put such a cable at this asking price.
Equally impressive are the accessories included with a hard carrying case and seven pairs of ear tips including a memory foam one.
IMG_20200709_181814458.jpg

Sound

The similarities continue in the sound as well as the two earphones have the same overall tuning.
The sound is slightly warm and tonally balanced with a very pleasant signature suitable for continuous listening.
As with FA9 FiiO gladly have opted for a more musical approach favoring natural sound and timbre instead of an analytical and sterile presentation.
Bass extends quite well and can reach low notes without exaggerating or overlapping the rest of the frequency spectrum.
Quality is very satisfying with fast performance and adequate layering even during bussy passages.
Transition to the mids is great without midbass bloat
The middle area is slightly forward helping voices and related instruments sound lifelike with presence but without unwanted coloring.
The highs are crispy rendering details with a very physical manner never sounding analytical or harsh.
Decay is good and instrument timbre is quite natural for the price point.
Clarity is excellent and distortion is kept low even at higher volumes.
The headstage is very enjoyable with enough width and instrument separation but don't expect 3D layering or pinpoint accuracy although it is more than enough for the category.
Dynamic performance is very acceptable and both iems can cope with ease with large symphonic works
Fit and comfort are excellent almost custom like and aided by the low weight both iems are suitable for extended listening sessions.
Cable is tangle free , easy to use and without microphonic noise.

Different temperament

So far the performance is extremely good in both models but let's dig now at the small differences that will make for the final choice.
The FD1 stands out with ease at the low frequencies with more energy higher quality and quantity while being clearly more dynamic better layered and full bodied.
In the middle range the performance is generally the same but the FH1s is sounding a bit fuller and more forward.
The FH1s is the better performer regarding detail retrieval and is offering a more airy presentation with finer nuances.
Transient response is a little bit faster as is the decay of higher pitched instruments with the side effect of a little artificial sound.
Headstage is just a bit more accurate with better instrument placement and a sense of extra breath but some users may find it a little bit dry for their tastes.
The differences we are talking here are small but enough to define two separate personalities with the same tonal identity.
IMG_20200709_180614437_HDR.jpg

At the end

FiiO's FD1 and FH1s are the same blooded twin brothers who share DNA but with two different temperaments.
Both are excellent performers in every way reaching well above their price point and are offered in a fully loaded package without anything missing.
They are one of the best values on the market right now, a top offer from FiiO in the introductory category and unreservedly recommended for a blind folded purchase.
FiiO has redefined the category raising the bar too high writing the rules from the beginning and clearly stating that low on budget doesn't mean in any way low on performance.
Just excellent.

The test playlist - http://open.qobuz.com/playlist/5669033

Copyright 2020 - Laskis Petros
Last edited:
CT007
CT007
Copyright?
Ichos
Ichos
Yeah , I am the sole owner of my written review.
You are not allowed to repost , copy etc without my permission.
Journalist rights you know?
There are a lot of people out there that copy paste other people's hard efforts.
This is a reviewer with a name and not somebody hidden behind a nickname.

Comments

DeepSpaceus

New Head-Fier
Have had the FD1 for a week now. Overall, not impressed. The harshness of the sound is a valid criticism, even after burn-in. It does have decent bass (using Azla SednaEarfit silicone tips). The mids are a little recessed but not bad and the soundstage is good. But the big fail is with the highs which are very grainy and splashy with no extension or detail. I have other Berillium driver IEMs like the similarly priced Urbanfun YBF-ISS014 as well as the more expensive Periodic Audio BE and both sound much better than the FD1. Was hoping the FD1 would be a good no hassle "beater" IEM for the price, but they didn't make it. At the same time I got the FD1 I also got the new Tin HiFi T2 Plus. While the Tin HiFi is not perfect, it is a much better balanced IEM with better detail than the FD1. The bass is a little less than the FD1 but not bad. So, the Tin HiFi is my new beater.
 

baskingshark

Headphoneus Supremus
Thank you @DeepSpaceus for the input, I'll give it a miss then! Not a fan of harsh treble/upper mids.

Reviews seem polarizing for this set, but I guess we all have different hearing health, different sources, different treble preferences and play music at different volumes (Fletcher Munson curve), so this may explain the varying opinions on the harshness.
 

DeepSpaceus

New Head-Fier
The Starfields are better IMHO. The only thing that perhaps the FiiO do somewhat better is the bass. Not more, just a little better texture. But the Starfields to me are superior in just about everything else. They are not the end-all, but for a few bucks more I wold pick the Starfields.

Good options around the same price of the Starfields are the ThieAudio Legacy 3 (gears model) and the Reecho & Peacock Spring. To be fair compared to the single DD of the FiiO and the Moondrop the L3 has one DD and two BAs while the Spring has 2 DD and one BA. But if you are addicted to this hobby like me then the extra ~$50 for any of these three more expensive IEMs is worth the difference. My personal favorite of all these is the Spring.

I have a love hate relationship with the FiiO FD1. I really like the bass and the soundstage, but the harsh upper mids and highs kind of ruin it for me with many songs. I have even heard sibilance with voices in a couple of songs, and others have also heard this, so I'm not crazy :)

For reference, I have used the mentioned IEMs with LG V40 Quad DAC Phone, Hiby R5 DAP, Earman TR/AMP, Topping DX 3, Schiit Vali 2 Tube Hybrid, RME ADI-2 DAC fs, and Drop + THX AAA 789 amp. My sources are FLAC, DSD, and Tidal HiFi/MQA. I have a headphone test playlist of about 100 songs that covers Rock and Classic Rock, EDM/Ambient/Future Pop, Pop from all decades, Hip Hop/Rap, Jazz/Fusion Jazz, Classical orchestral/chamber, Alternative/Folk/Acoustic/Bluegrass. And yes, I like all of these genres :)
 
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