Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
FiiO FD1 IEMs - Warmer, Thicker, Effect
Pros: + Fun, thick, warm signature,
+ Comfy
+ Very good price
+ Good dynamics for the money
+ Good package
Cons: - Not the most detailed out there
FiiO FD1 IEMs - Warmer, Thicker, Effect


FiiO FD1 is an entry-level IEM priced at 59.99 USD, with a single 10mm dynamic driver, plated with Beryllium, using N50 2-way magnets and celluloid faceplates. Given the price point, it will be compared to Tin Hifi Audio T3 Plus (70 USD), KBEar Robin (55 USD), and HIDIZS MS2 Rainbow (90 USD).


FiiO is that one company everyone knows about, and almost everyone owns a product from, be it an entry-level IEM, some kind of adapter or cable, or even a high quality music player like their FiiO M11 PRO. They have a wide selection of products, each of them with their own strengths, and they are a company that started their journey as a company who cares about your pockets and how much you spend on their products, offering good price / performance ratio for their products. It is generally recommended to purchase FiiO products from trusted sources like Amazon and authorized sellers to get the best warranty and service, and I generally do not recommend purchasing directly from Aliexpress as FiiO has grown quite a bit and they have a huge number of shipments every day, so direct fixes will take a pretty long time, and shipping to China will be fairly pricey for you.


It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with FiiO, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank FiiO for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in FiiO FD1 IEMs find their next music companion.


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:





Like with most of their products, FiiO made the package of FD1 excellent, and they include the IEMs, a beautiful plastic carrying case (same as the one included with F9PRO and forward IEMs), and a huge selection of tips. The cable is also part of the package, as the cable is detachable, and you can replace it with an aftermarket version (not advised given the current price of FD1). The full list of the package includes:

  • FiiO FD3 IEM shells
  • Plastic carrying case - FiiO HB1
  • Cable
  • Foam Tips, two pairs
  • Balanced - Red Silicone tips, three pairs
  • Bass - Black Silicone tips, three pairs
  • Manuals

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

FiiO designed FD1 around the large 10mm dynamic driver, and its N50 Dual Magnetic Circuit IEM, with a beryllium coated diaphragm. Beryllium has high rigidness, but is light and should provide good speed for FD1. The two way double magnet won't transform the dynamic driver of FD1 into a planar magnetic driver, as they are on one side of the driver, but rather adds to the strength of the magnet, giving FD1 in theory more dynamics and control.


The text on FiiO's website includes a lot of words, many of which are a raw translation, but FiiO boasts a lot the fact that you won't get any driver flex on FD1, and that it will be comfortable for long wearing periods, subjectively this being true as it doesn't have flex on the driver, and is fairly comfortable to wear. FD1 is on the larger side, and won't fit those with small ears, but they are very light at just 4.5grams for each shell, and the cable is good with ergonomics. The cable is quite tangle prone though, so use a cable separator to avoid having to untangle it every time you take them out of the pocket.


The plastic shell of FD1 is interesting to look through, if you want to see some IEM technology, and you will notice that the driver has a rather small opening through which the sound actually comes. The 32 OHM impedance helps with noisier sources, and the 109dB of sensitivity mean that you can use FD1 with most entry-level affordable sources, including Shanling UA1, iBasso DC05, HIDIZS DH80, HIFI Walker H2, Maktar Spectra X2, as well as FiiO BTR5 2021, and FiiO UTWS3, with the proper adapters.


The cable of FD1 is detachable, and connected to it via a 2-Pin connector, and it is a High Purity, Single Crystal Copper Wire. The 30-core, four twists, 120-core total cable is a good quality one for the money FD1 sells for, and I wouldn't upgrade it to something else for FD1 in particular, as they pair well together.

Sound Quality

I have used fiiO FD1 with a multitude of sources, from entry level music players such as FiiO M3K, all the way to high-end flagships such as Astell & Kern SE180 and Dethonray DTR1+ Prelude. FD1 generally does not scale much with the source, and using it even with a smartphone is a fun and rewarding experience, the IEM avoiding guilt tripping you to purchase any extras to enjoy it.


The overall signature of FD1 is like that of a mini FiiO FD3, a smooth, full, warm presentation with good clarity and details. The soundstage has more of the focus on width than it has on depth, but the signature of FD1 is fairly smooth and it has a rolled-off top end, making the stage wide in the mids rather than the treble. FD1 is enjoyable for almost all music styles because it comes through as a pretty relaxing IEM without much harshness or fatigue. You would typically call the signature of FD1 Laid Back.

The bass of FD1 is fairly full in quantity, and has a pretty good extension, as low as about 30Hz. It provides a good amount of mid bass and thickness as well, with a full presentation. FD1 has some slight bloom of the lows towards the mids, but the slower speed fares well with its own quantity, giving the impression of a lush and relaxing evening, rather than a peppy or slowed down bass.


The midrange of FD1 is combined well with the bass, and it has a pretty smooth midrange, with a full and thick presentation. The midrange has a good width, and instruments are not mashed together, but fairly well separated, especially for the price point. We have a good amount of lushness and a pretty natural tonality, both male and female voices being ok for the price range. There's a bias towards male voices sounding deeper and female voices sounding a bit darker than they should but this is given by the tonal balance towards a darker signature as FD1 does not have a very strong treble.

The treble of FD1 is smooth and fatigue-free, leading to a pretty easy and light listening experience. There's not much action going in the treble, but the highs are not rolled off entirely, rather gently and slowly, leading to a fairly natural listening experience, albeit a limited one in resolution, by the absence of the treble sparkle.



FiiO FD1 vs Tin Audio T3 Plus (59.99 USD vs 70 USD) - The overall sonic presentation is quite similar between FD1 and T3 Plus, and I generally would recommend picking the one that looks / seems most comfortable to you, but there are some minor differences in sound, in the details, where T3 Plus scales a bit more with the source, and can get more detailed, so if you're using a high end player, or a better source, such as at least a Shanling UA2, T3 Plus is going to provide a slightly better sonic performance. On the other hand, if you purchase the IEM to use with a smartphone, the FD1 will be 10 USD cheaper, but still provide a beautiful sound.

FiiO FD1 vs KBEAR Robin (59.99 USD vs 55 USD) - Robin actually is another IEM with a similar signature to FD1, but slightly less detail and resolution. FD1 is only slightly more expensive, but it provides a good amount of detail and impact, making for a fun, thickish and warm listening experience. The soundstage is also a bit wider on FD1, although both Robin and FD1 have about the same amount of depth and dynamics.

FiiO FD1 vs HIDIZS MS2 Rainbow (59.99 USD vs 90 USD) - MS2 Rainbow is actually physically smaller than FD1 by a small margin, but it has a slightly heavier build. The sound of MS2 Rainbow is actually similar in thickness to FD1, but it has a more sparkly treble that balances the overall signature more, giving a more V-Shaped tuning and more sparkle / detail for the treble. There's no mystery that I'm a bit of a V-Shaped signature lover, so it makes sense that I'm digging MS2 Rainbow, but if you want a smooth top end with a nice bass, FD1 is fun and better priced than MS2 Rainbow.

Value and Conclusion

At the end of the day, the value of FD1 is excellent, and FiiO provides a fairly consistent and high quality package for a fair price. They provide the technology, comfort, lightness and the sonic performance to be competitive in the entry level market, which is no easy feat, considering how aggressively the chifi companies are pricing their best IEMs. FiiO still makes sense in today's market, and their FD1 is still easy to recommend.


If you're looking for a fairly thick and full sound, with a good amount of clarity, and with a smooth treble, FiiO FD1 is comfortable, fun to use and light to wear, so it is a fully recommended IEM at the moment.
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Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Fiio FD1
Pros: Good build quality
Great accessories
Rich, warm and addictive sound signature
Spectacular soundstage
Price to performance ratio
Cons: Bass could not be enough for bass-heads

Fiio FD1 is a budget IEM using a beryllium-plated 10mm dynamic driver. It is priced at 59.99$.


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.

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.


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.


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


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.

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.


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 (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


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.




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.



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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


very nice written and great photos, keep up the good work bro
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Hi There , how this FD1 compared to Tin T4


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

Edit - After the release of the FD3 rating was lowered to 4 stars.


This is a comparative review of both FD1 and FH1s as it originally appeared at 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 after releasing their top tier FA9 iem (review here ) 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€.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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 -

Copyright 2020 - Laskis Petros
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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.
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Hi There , how this FD1 compared to Tin T4
Hi there, unfortunately I have never tested the Tin T4.

Otto Motor

Headphoneus Supremus
FiiO FD1 Review – Faster P*ssycat
Pros: Dynamic sound; big soundstage and headroom; great accessories; value.
Cons: Rather fast decay for a dynamic driver; recessed mids.

The FiiO FD1 is a fast, energetic dynamic-driver earphone with a strong sub-bass, a forward upper midrange, and a well resolving treble. It excels through a huge headroom but cold be a bit more organic sounding and less dynamic.


Driver: 10 mm Beryllium plated dynamic driver unit
Impedance: 32 Ω
Sensitivity: 109 dB/mW
Frequency Range: 10 – 40,000 Hz
Cable/Connector: 0.78 mm 2-pin
Tested at: $70
Product Page:
Purchase Link:


This is another glass half full/half empty situation. You get a lot of technical abilities for your $70. The FiiO FD1 are an attractive choice for people who like a lively, dynamic sound that does not need amplification. They will shine particularly with electronic or rock music and not so much with classical or acoustic music. Because of their elevated sub-bass, they are well suited for the daily commute, as this signature counters the street noise.

On the other hand, the Beryllium coating makes the drivers very fast so that you perceive the dynamics are overdone if you expect natural reproduction: the FiiO FD1 is very punchy (inasmuch as the Tin Hifi T2 Plus is not) and therefore not quite laid back.

Independent of my rant, I kept pulling them out to use on my neighbourhood walks.

Until next time…keep on listening!

Jürgen Kraus signature

You find an INDEX of all our earphone reviews HERE.


The FiiO FD1 was kindly supplied by HifiGo for my analysis. Thank you very much.

Get the FiiO FD1 from HifiGo!

Our generic standard disclaimer.
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Great stuff and I agree they do shine with electronic and livelier music
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Hi There , how this FD1 compared to Tin T4


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Audiophile sound quality, reference with soul, appearance, carry case, staggering value
Cons: none. Literally, none.

I seriously can’t imagine anyone reading by now who hasn’t heard of Fiio.

They started out by bringing audiophile gear to the masses at budget prices, and have continued to increase the quality and diversity of their offerings in the years since.
Having been gaining praise for their flagship level DAPs and upper mid-tier IEMs, they’ve followed this up with almost nonchalant brilliance by introducing the USD $59 FD1.

My sincere thanks to Sunny and the team at Fiio, for providing me with a review unit to keep in exchange for an honest review.


Unboxing, packaging and accessories:

The packaging is exemplary for this price point; it is able to outdo the packaging and accessories of IEMs 5 times its price.

The carrying case is a marvel of design and beauty and the included cable puts to shame the offerings of even some TOTL stock cables.

It’s a dark copper colour, with flawless braiding, classy and understated in appearance.

It comes in 3.5mm only, which I think is a reasonable choice, given the likely listening habits of users at this price point. Of course, Fiio have a range of other aftermarket cables available too. And the appearance of the IEMs themselves, like the cable, is a delight; sophisticated and understated.

The Fit:

They have a very good insertion depth for me personally, and as a roughly medium sized IEM, are very comfortable and I have been able to wear them all day with no discomfort or fatigue.

There’s nothing for me to fault here.

The Sound:

So, as ever, I’m going to start my review with critical listening to a variety of tracks, in order to draw forth impressions of how these IEMs sound with different genres of music.
Listening was done on a Sony WM1Z, on the 3.5mm single-ended output.
For convenience and giving me (and hopefully you) some point of reference, I’ll be using many of the same songs I used in a previous review.

Tanita Tikaram – Little Sister Leaving Town (16-44 FLAC)
This is a song that features a bassline from what sounds like an acoustic double bass; on the right kind of IEM, this is infused with authority and rumble.

There’s a medium amount of rumble and slam here, plenty enough to satisfy, without becoming bloated or overbearing. It’s a very nice balance, I have to say, especially at this price point.

This song also features delicate percussion which dances around the more prominent thumps of the bass and main drum. On some IEMs, that extra percussion can get lost somewhat in the mix, but here the hi-hat, cymbals and all other percussion is distinct, clearly separated and audible.

Then comes the string section; cello and violins sound lush, with a warm timbre.

Similarly, so do the vocals; Tanita Tikaram has an unusually deep and husky voice for a female vocalist, and again, the FD1 presents all of these things in a rich and engaging way
Her vocals are front and centre, slightly forward in the mix.

The Divine Comedy – Tonight We Fly (16-44 FLAC)
A boisterous piece of classical-pop fusion wizardry, this song features clattering drums, fairly rapidly-played classical stringed instruments and the ever-so-refined vocal stylings of Neil Hannon.

The drumbeats have just a hint of slam and impact (they are not mastered strongly in the song to begin with); the FD1 does a good job of differentiating the snare drum from the hi-hats. It does fairly well with the stringed instruments which come in seconds later, but slower transients and slower decay mean that the edges of the notes aren’t as crisp and separated as they could be. Still, the timbre has a nice tinge of warmth and is pleasantly realistic.

Marit Larsen – Faith & Science (16-44 FLAC)
In this song, I’m looking for how the IEM handles thumping percussion, mastered in a modern fashion with impact and prominence.

Good grief!

After the rather neutrally mastered drums on the previous track, this one is like the sonic equivalent of Knight Rider employing the Turbo Boost function.

The FD1 is fantastic here, providing head-shaking slam and impact, leaving me dazedly wondering whether I left my brains with car keys in the fruit bowl in the hallway (note for potential burglars: I don’t have a car. Or indeed a fruit bowl. Donations welcome).

Note that this is in no small part down to the way in which the track is mastered, but still, I’ve heard IEMs still sound anaemic on this track, so it’s quite remarkable what the FD1 can achieve here.

Alanis Morissette – All I really want (24-192 HDTracks FLAC, 2015 Remaster)
This is a pretty dense song, musically speaking, with its thumping drumbeat, guitars and various effects. It can sound a bit stodgy and congested without good gear to open it up and bring clarity and separation. I’m delighted to report back that the FD1 lifts its chin scornfully at such a ‘challenge’ (whilst laughing in the face of danger, naturally)

The soundstage of the FD1, whilst not TOTL huge, is fairly wide and deep. Aided by well-executed separation and imaging, it effortlessly handles all the various instruments here.
This is a track with a lot of little sounds going on in the background; little guitar squeals, wah-wah, vocal echoes, keyboards etc, all in addition to the standard instruments.
The FD1 is able to separate these all out too, and allows me to focus on specific aspects of the song at will.

Buena Vista Social Club – Chan Chan (24-96 HDTracks FLAC)
This song, I have to say, is very similar to the previous one in its complexity.
I think that the FD1 does well here. There’s a lot that can go wrong on this track for an IEM at any level, never mind the entry level.

Sure, compared to $1.5k+ IEMs I’ve heard, the FD1 isn’t presenting the bass, acoustic guitar and other instruments with the same degree of hi-res timbral accuracy, but for an IEM at this price (and frankly, even if it were three times the price), it performs outstandingly well.

Imaging, layering, separation are all technically accomplished and backed up by a slight organic warmth and musicality

CHVRCHES – Leave a trace (24-48 HDTracks FLAC)
Just a quick track to see how this does with a very modern style of pop-rock.
This song is heavy on the synths and driving electronic bass. The FD1 has that organic warmth and balanced and impactful low end which together sound so good with this song, making the notes and rhythm incredibly engaging.

Röyksopp – Monument (T.I.E version, 16-44 FLAC)
Interesting. When I tried this song recently with the $300 DUNU DK-2001, I noticed the crunching synth riff very strongly. Here with the FD1, I’m finding that the drumbeat seems to stand out more, driving the song powerfully forward. That synth riff is crisp, precise and heavily textured. The vocal seems very slightly recessed (this may be in the mastering of the track), but still with captivating timbre.

Gregory Porter – Consequence of love (24-96 HDTracks FLAC)
Lovely warm organic timbre, in part from the mastering of the track itself along with the sound signature of my Sony WM1Z DAP, all the instruments are separated out and I’m impressed by the layering and imaging. Detail retrieval on this high-res track is astonishingly good, and the vocals.. Wow..

Any fan of Gregory Porter (I’m a recent convert after seeing his Tiny Desk concert) will be aware of his gorgeous voice, but it’s remarkable how well the FD1 presents it; the texture and timbre is exceptional for an IEM at this price point; heck, even for an IEM at 4 times its price point.

Gomez – We haven’t turned around (16-44 FLAC)
This song opens with a deep cello flourish, which this IEM presents, again with remarkably faithful and engaging timbre. Similar result with the smoky, gravelly texture of the vocals.

So much detail coming through. A joy.

Extreme – Decadence Dance (24-48 HDTracks FLAC):
This can be a tricky track for even the TOTL IEMs in my collection.

It’s quite dense, with a lot of shrieking, squealing guitars, combined with fairly lightly mastered bass and drums. So it’s easy to end up being presented in a slightly sharp or fatiguing way. I love this song, but for my treble-sensitive hearing, it tends to work best with IEMs that have smooth treble and warmth in the lower mids, along with a thumping low end.

So, preamble aside, the FD1 does.. decently well.
I am not wincing or running for the hills. The separation seems decent, although not so good as with other tracks. The guitars are just, just about kept in check, and the substantial (but well-controlled) low end of the FD1 gives enough meat to the drums and bass to flesh the track out nicely. Oh, the little drum solo just happened. That was epic! Good job FD1 :D

Alison Lau – Handel’s Lascia la spina (24-96 HDTracks):
This classical opera track opens with an intake of breath from the musicians.

On TOTL IEMs especially, this can be clearly and intimately heard; on other IEMs, it can be almost imperceptible. Here with the FD1, it’s audible and a nice touch; not in the league of the big boys (or girls) but again, impressive for the price point.

Another test is where the stringed instruments swoop low from 14-16 seconds into the song. Again, it doesn’t quite capture the all of the depth and richness that can be gotten out of this part, but it does commendably and engagingly well. Also of note is that the vocals are again front and centre, never wince-inducingly sharp (a risk with this track) and they do capture very well all of her vocal acrobatics.

Miles Davis – Blue in Green (24-192 HDTracks FLAC):
Really, I have to take my hat off to the FD1 (note to self: buy a hat); it does so well here.

I’m focusing on the timbre of the brushed percussion, and how well it can be discerned, how it presents the trumpet (any sharpness?) and the timbre of these, along with the bass and piano. It’s just faultlessly done on the FD1; far better than I’d expect of any IEM at this price or indeed at a significantly higher price.


iBasso IT00 (USD $79):

I’m hearing the bass of the IT00 to deeper, with more rumble and impact; the FD1 is tighter and more controlled. The low end of the IT00 is more dense and with a palpable mid-bass lift. There’s a slight V-shape, in contrast to the more reference-style tuning of the FD1.

The mids on the FD1 are comparatively more forward and reference style (but very engaging and rich still); IT00 goes for a more fun and energetic tuning - although still with a touch of that nice shimmer that’s a bit of an iBasso speciality - with a bit less treble presence, extension and sparkle than the FD1.

Overall, I’d say that despite their similar price points, they are rather different IEMs tonally, and each will have its own fans :)


The FD1 offers simply incredible value for money.
It’s thus far the best budget IEM I’ve heard.

The low end is quite fast, tight and without any bloat, but it also has a really satisfying amount of power, slam and rumble when the track calls for it.

The mids are very well done, with a tinge of richness and warmth; engaging and very good at presenting timbre faithfully.

The treble is controlled, smooth, but with excellent presentation of micro details.

Soundstage is above average, and it strikes a very pleasant balance between separation and intimacy.

Technically, it really is astonishingly accomplished for an IEM in the USD $50 - $200 range.

It presents vocals front and centre. It handles both male and female vocals really well; engaging the emotions and bringing out the timbre and texture, especially on rich, gravelly male voices.

The design again is remarkable for this price; I love the golden gleam of the dynamic drivers, coming through the smoky translucent shells. The fit is extremely comfortable.

Again, I’m not prone to hype, but I have found nothing that I could reasonably fault in the FD1, and can only wholeheartedly recommend it as an outstanding choice at an improbably low price point. Fiio, (and for those about to rock), I salute you :)
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Hi There , how this FD1 compared to Tin T4
I've never heard the T4 so I can't compare I'm afraid! But thanks for reading! :)
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Thick lush textured timbre, Clear full-bodied vocal, fast thumping bass, Well balanced, Rich in sounds layers, Fast transient response, Immersive holographic soundstage, Musicality, Bright without being harsh, excellent accessories
Cons: Need minimal amping and right ear tips to sound its best, thick macro-resolution that lack air, roll-off sub-bass, average micro-details retrieval and clarity

SOUND: 8.5/10
VALUE: 8.5/10
FIIO doesn’t need introduction, because they are surely the most know ”Chi-Fi” company out there. This was mostly true for DAP and DAC-AMP before they begin to seriously work on their IEM line up.

One thing sure, the tuning experience they gain with the time begin to bear fruit. While FH7 being the supreme example that they can enter the bigger league and still offer high benefit returns, I think the model I review today is a big step into the single dynamic earphones market.

The FIIO FD1 earphones use a big 10mm beryllium-plated driver as well as a powerful dual magnet that promises a speedy transient response. These type of drivers are rarely if ever found in the sub-100$ earphones market, so my expectation for these was rather high.

It’s a little mysterious to know to what extend beryllium is used, is it the whole diaphragm or just the dome? And what is the other diaphragm material?

One thing sure, the FD1 offers very unique tonality and technicality that I will try to explain to you in this review.

You can buy the FD1 for 60$ on official FIIO Amazon STORE.




AT 60$, I wasn’t expecting a refined package and a generous amount of accessories, but it’s FIIO, and as I learn they can be over the top in generosity sometimes. The packaging is well done with a box with a magnetic door similar to the flagship FH7 presentation. Everything is well presented in the box. What impress here is the quality of accessories, you have a high-end pelican-like protective case that is highly durable and water-resistant, this alone sells around 15$ (HB1 carrying case). You have a very nice 4 cores Lits cable, that looks very sturdy and durable and pair well with FD1 if you want warmer tonality. You have 3 pairs of silicone balanced ear tips, 3 pairs of silicone bass ear tips, and 1 pair of memory foams ear tips. At this price, I can’t ask more and feel quite spoiled.


In terms of CONSTRUCTION, it’s not very impressive and uses the very same plastic housing than FIIO FH1 and JADE AUDIO EA1. The plastic looks a little cheap and fragile, though the backplate celluloid glossy effect is nice. 2pin female connector looks study enough due to the the use of very solid plastic-type. The nozzle is the only metal part.

While in the hands it feels of average quality, in the ears the use of light plastic is a plus fo comfort. The FD1 is very light IEM and not very big for a universal custom. The nozzle is long enough for deep insertion too. I never feel any discomfort even for long listening sessions.



The FD1 are rather easy to drive due to their decently high sensitivity of 109db, but their impedance of 32ohm does take advantage of extra amping power. This is very evident when I compare Ibasso DX90 with and without JDS LAB ATOM amp. One thing that annoys me was how saturated and compressed in layering feel the soundstage of FD1, once I hook it to the ATOM, the soundstage opens quite a lot especially in tallness and deepness which offer a more holographic layering with better sens of instrument placement and more air between separation. To hear the full potential of FD1 beryllium driver, I urge you to try an amp with it.


The FD1 has average isolation, the thin plastic of housing surely explains why it does not passively cancel noise at the normal volume level. Sound leakage is notable, here, it’s surely the front venting upon the big driver that shoots unwanted noise.



OVERALL SOUND is a well balanced V to W tonality, with weighty thumping bass, gently bright mids, and thick crunchy treble. The FD1 is impressive in transient response speed, which inflicts on the overall articulation of the macro-resolution that rarely if ever get congested. Timbre is rather natural with slightly oversaturated texture that does not overly affect transparency. This isn’t what I would call a ‘’Wow effect searcher IEM’’ because it’s more about the nuances in cohesive thickness than details from spiky sharpness. The density of timbre is very impressive in nuance, it’s rich, full and has an amplify naturalness to it. I never heard these timbre technicalities with sub-100$ IEM and I think this is something only beryllium drivers could offer. Please, amp it well so the sound becomes open, otherwise, this timbre talent might become a drawback due to over-compressed layers textures. My revelation happens once amped with my JDS LAB ATOM as stated before.

SOUNDSTAGE is above average, it’s very tall, has good wideness and decent deepness. It sounds out of your head and while not being hall-like in size because of proximity you have with the instrument, it acts like a 180 degree curved panoramic tapestry and is very immersive.

IMAGING finds the sweet spot between sound layers addition and instrument placement. Unlike multi-BA IEM, the background isn’t as clean so you do not have super crisp analytical imaging with dead silence in separation. Instead, it’s a holographic presentation with good positioning that has more space between horizontal instrument placement than sounds layers.

BASS is fast, round, and thumpy with a slight boost in mid-bass so you get extra weight in punch. It isn’t very boosted and will not steal the show neither bleed on the mids. Sub bass extension is rolled off, which affects both rumble and natural extension down to 20hz. Resolution is a little warm but timbre is dense and has a good amount of texture. This is the kind of bass that shows it’s presence when needed, but it isn’t lean, dry or anemic like Moondrop Spaceship or Hifiman RE600 neither. Separation in the lower end isn’t the best, which means sub and kick can feel very stick together sometimes, as well, more their mids in your music, more it will shadow the bass articulation. Still, even if not perfect, I find the bass to have a versatile performance, doing as good with IDM and electronic in general than Pop, soul and R&B, if you aren’t a crazy critical listener, it does sound okay with classical and jazz, only some fast rock track lack upper bass bite for drum kick (sorry metalhead, not for you).

MIDS are lush and brightish, full and thick, greatly textured and forwards in presence. I never heard this type of mids before, perhaps the BQEYZ Spring1 are the closest to it even if sharper in imaging. When I say brightish, don’t get me wrong, its due to the slightly aggressive forwardness, not so much to the timbre or tonality because both piano and vocal doesnt sound unbalanced in harmony. For example, when I listen to the album ‘’About Time’’ by SABRINA CLAUDIO, her vocal tend to sound thin and sibilant, which isn’t the case at all with FD1, it’s lush, full and upfront, not shy and recessed. The FD1 isn’t very recessed in lower mids, and have just a hint of extra upper mids, all well rounded, so both male and female vocal sound great, thick and hyper-realist, with a holographic feel to hit as if density add 3D effect to timbre. This timbre density and texture inflict on transparency, which is just enough and far from being like looking through clean glass, so it can affect layering and imaging with very busy tracks that use a textured instrument like an electric guitar, sax, but again, apart from crazy jazz-rock big band this would never be a drawback and act as a plus cause electric guitar is full, heavy and very lively. Let’s talk about this more in the treble section. If you have an allergy to either thin or recessed mids, the FD1 will certainly be the cure.

TREBLE is more crunchy than crisp, but have a thick snap to it and a rather fast attack and good control, It’s very well balanced with rest of spectrum and doesn’t sound artificial or too forwards, percussions stay in the back, hit hat are very natural while cymbals splash slightly hot even if not messy in decay. Talking about decay, there not a lot of sparkly and decay, it’s tight full highs that give an extra bit and body to snare, electric guitar and violin, do quite well too with acoustic guitar, but not so much with clavichord or harp that would benefit from extra air and sparkle. On the album ‘’Pastrami Bagel social club’’ from jazz-rock band AUTORYNO, the whole presentation is super weighty, hefty and textured, giving intense energic immersivity, electric guitar are lush, thick and grippy, with fantastic attack weight while kick drum is heavy and fast in punch, percussions are hit or miss, well, especially in multiple crash hit which tend to jump at you a little more than other more natural cymbals and percussions. Nonetheless, I really appreciate treble quality, it never sounds metallic and just have enough brilliance, as well, it’s quite fast in articulation.

BASS: 7.5/107.5/10
MIDS: 8.5/108/10
TREBLE: 8/107.5/10
ATTACK-DECAY: 8/108/10




So, these are supposed to use a beryllium plated driver too, let’s see how it compares with FD1!

TONALITY is warmer, more organic with a higher bass boost and rumble.
SOUNDSTAGE is wider, but not as tall and deep.
IMAGING is inferior, making it hard to pin point instruments due to lower clarity.
BASS is warmer, less detailed, more boomy and near texture free. It bleeds more on mids.
MIDS are warmer, smoother and a hint more recessed, vocal is less bright and textured but the overall timbre is a hint more natural, though piano and male vocal sound less full, detailed and realist.
TREBLE is less detailed, less snappy, and thinner, making the percussion more delicate.

All in all, it’s a very boring bassy listen compared to FD1 and the bass veil overly affect clarity and imaging.

VS IBASSO IT00 (80$)

TONALITY is warmer with a more balanced W shape.
SOUNDSTAGE is wider, more panoramic with less well-layered IMAGING.
BASS is more extended in sub bass region, have more slam but looser control and slower attack, as well it isn’t as textured and weighty in thumping.
MIDS are wider, smoother and free of any sibilance, slightly less clear and vivid, with a more breathy approach that can be heard as more natural in timbre. Both male and female vocal has more presence.
TREBLE is leaner, fuller but less detailed and sparkly.

Both having good tonal balance, I would say Musicality go to IT00, while technicalities go to FD1.

VS HISENIOR T2 (80$ in sale)

TONALITY is brighter-crisper, with smoother timbre, better transparency and more neutral tuning.
SOUNDSTAGE is notably deeper and slightly less wide. IMAGING is way better with more precision and accuracy in instrument placement and separation.
BASS is similar, but in a more recessed way, it’s punchy and faster-tighter with clearer separation. It has little less extension and rumble in lower region.
MIDS are crisper with better transparency and more edgy attack, it’s thinner in timbre and vocal are more intimate and centered. Sibilance is less evident too.
TREBLE is more delicate, better balanced, fuller and more analytical. It’s less grainy too.
In term of technicalities, the T2 is leagues ahead, but it sounds slightly colder and vocal might be more appealing with FD1 for lot of people.


How does a 13mm Berylium-plated dynamic driver compare to a 10mm Bio-diaphragm driver? Well, here it’s all about transient response and tonal balance.

SOUNDSTAGE is notably wider and deeper with the MS1, IMAGING too is more accurate and less condensed in layering than FD1. BASS is thicker, fuller, and flatter with the FD1, it has more high bass so the kick sound fuller, as well, it’s better balanced and controlled than the more boomy and resonant low end of MS1. MIDS are fuller but more opaque too with FD1, the male vocal is more bodied than MS1, presentation is more intimate and forwards with FD1 and cleaner due to slower transient response of MS1. TREBLE is again fuller and thicker with more natural tonality and less splashy cymbals, making the MS1 highs sound thin in mid-treble and peaky in the upper region, so you have more micro-details but less texture and nuances with MS1.

All in all, the MS1 sounds more U shape, fun and immersive due to its bigger hall-like soundstage and more boosted bass while FD1 is more neutral and natural in tonality.

VS DUNU LUNA (1700$)

Okay, this can seem an unfair review, but the LUNA uses pure Beryllium driver and when I listen to FD1, the sound signature similarity triggers my curiosity.

TONALITY: Very similar, kinda U shape with extra vocal forwardness and thick textured timbre with enough transparency. The FD1 is just a hint brighter and more forwards in texture. LUNA is smoother and slightly warmer-more organic.
SOUNDSTAGE: Again very similar. FD1 sounds more out of your head, taller and wider, while LUNA is slightly deeper.
IMAGING: LUNA have more transparent layering, so you can dig deeper. FD1 is more spacious and better in precise instrument placement.
BASS: Both these have a thumping kinda rounded bass, with a slightly boomy sub that lack natural extension, still, LUNA extension is more natural and less thick. FD1 is looser but its more weighty and adds more body to male vocal.
MIDS: LUNA have warmer and more transparent mids, it’s better layered but less textured and lively. Vocal is better-rounded, more forwarded and less prompt to tiny sibilance too. FD1 is a little more breathy with vocal, they are thicker and have a wider presence. Piano fuller with FD1.
TREBLE: LUNA is less detailed sounding than FD1 with more relaxed treble and laid back sound, this gives extra edge to definition to FD1 but control isn’t as fast as LUNA. Still, it makes the FD1 more energic in macro-resolution and delivers higher micro-details.

Wow, this comparison surprises me quite a lot and sure confirm how good is the beryllium plated driver of FD1. Sure, the LUNA is slightly faster in transient so you gain extra transparency and layering, as well, balance is more refined, but the biggest difference is in bass quality. In fact, some might prefer the more energic, spacious and detailed sound of FD1!


I’ve never been a big fan of budget-minded FIIO earphones, but the FD1 change the game with its fascinating textured sound that has a hefty bass attack, addictively lush vocal and well balanced, full sounding treble.

The drivers in these are excellent, and I do recognize the beryllium magic which is shown in the effortless transient response of sound layers.

If the Jade Audio EA1 is tuned the same as FD1, it might represent a supreme bargain, but the extra accessories you get with FD1 sure justify the price jump too.

If you are tired of overly V shape IEM, thin timbre, or not full sounding enough earphones and want to enjoy unique holographic lushness and full-bodied textured vocal, I urge you to give FD1 a try because this is the type of sound that grows on you due to its incredible richness.
Outstanding review - you're showing us all how it's done. Nice one.
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Hi There , how this FD1 compared to Tin T4 or the new Reecho sg03


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Tight, textured, well-extended bass – Sibilance control – Comfy, ergonomic shell
Cons: Upper mids can be a touch aggressive – Poor isolation – Upper treble could benefit from more emphasis

Today we’re checking out one of FiiO’s newest releases, the FD1.

The FD1 pull its physical side from the FH1S sharing the same low profile, ergonomic shell with unique celluloid faceplates, 0.78mm 2-pin system, and snazzy cable. Where the FH1S was a 1+1 hybrid, the FD1 rolls with a single dynamic. What sets it apart on the specs sheet is the use of beryllium plating on the diaphragm, tech which is generally reserved for much more expensive products.

I’ve spent nearly a month with the FD1 and have come away quite satisfied with the performance on hand. Let us take a closer look, shall we?


What I Hear The FD1 has a strong low end with a focus on sub-bass over mid-bass. As a result the experience is quite physical with deep notes providing plenty of visceral feedback, though I would like just a hint more midbass emphasis to really dial in that punchiness, and add a smidge more warmth. Still, you can really feel the rumble in the subterranean bass notes on Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”. The piano chords are given a powerful presence too, lingering appropriately and perfectly backing the emotional performance from Elizabeth Fraser. Unlike some other reviewers, I also found this driver quite quick and snappy, easily tackling the rapid bass notes of Sepultura’s “Lobotomy”. Lesser earphones will smear individual hits lending to a very messy and one-note sounding track. The FD1 does a good job retaining clarity start to finish. It’s no slouch in the texture department either. The heavily textured and distorted bass on The Prodigy’s “World On Fire” sounds adequately dirty and low-fi.

The mid-range is pulled back compared to the rest of the frequency range with an upper mid lift that helps it retain presence. Vocals are clear and articulate with only the occasional track running into a mild veil from bass bleed, such as on Felt’s “Whaleface”. I found the presentation here best suited to male vocalists. Female vocalists can sound a little too aggressive at times, particularly those with particularly high pitched voices. K-Pop fans will probably want to heed this warning. While leaning towards a thinner sound, there is enough body to keep the FD1 from sounding lean and overly light. Sibilance is handled very well here. The FD1 doesn’t introduce anything that isn’t already there, and what is there is minimized considerably. This is very evident on Aesop Rock’s “Blood Sandwich” which is quite unforgiving of sibilant earphones. I’d say the FD1 goes toe to toe with the KB EAR Diamond in this aspect, which is very impressive. Timbre is similarly accurate too, though here it is a hint dry vs. the Diamond’s lightness.

Treble out of the FD1 is nice and clean sounding with a well-defined structure to notes. There is none of the splashiness I find common to inexpensive single dynamics present here. This makes listening to King Crimson’s live rendition of “Cat Food” a joy since it is heavy on cymbals that often sound splashy and loose through the wrong earphone. Again the FD1’s snappiness and control shines, with notes decaying quickly. It ensures the FD1 remains coherent and articulate, even when things get busy. My only complaint here is a lack of upper treble emphasis. This leaves the detailed lower treble to carry the upper ranges giving the FD1 it’s slightly dry tonality. There isn’t much sparkle to be found here.

When it comes to sound stage the FD1 again provides a satisfying experience. On Andrea Gabrieli’s “Communion: O sacrum convivium a 5” I get the impression I’m sitting a few rows from the stage. The layered vocals display impressive depth and width, temping me to turn my head to locate vocalists at either end of the procession. I had similar experiences using the FD1 while gaming and could fairly easily track enemies in PUBG as they moved around the house I was camping in, or to track shots of in the distance, helping me avoid combat when unwise to engage. While I find the FD1 to image, layer and separate quite well, I’m keen to try in on a game with truly advanced sound design, such as Hunt: Showdown which used binaural recording to craft it’s intense soundscape.

Overall I quite enjoy the way the FD1 sounds. The v-shaped tune on hand doesn’t do anything particularly new and exciting instead giving you a very competent example of that type of sound to point to. Bass depth is excellent with good control and texture. The slightly recessed mids can be a bit harsh with female vocalists, but sibilance is handled very well and there is plenty of detail on tap. Treble is also well done with great control and speed. There could stand to be a hint more emphasis in the brilliance region, but as is I found the upper ranges detailed and non-fatiguing. The sound stage is also quite good with plenty of depth and width on tap, backed by a layered feel and well separated instruments. Imaging is also decent too making tracking sounds crossing from channel-to-channel a mostly painless experience.

Compared To A Peer (volumes matched with Dayton iMM-6)

FiiO FH1S (85.99 USD): The FD1 has significantly more bass presence, though they both seem to extend similarly well. The FH1s’ low end lacks the punch and weight found on the FD1 leaving it to play a secondary role in the overall signature. Despite the lessened presence, it doesn’t feel any quicker or better controlled, with a similarly good texturing. Mids are more audibly forward on the FH1s with a leaner, less bodied presence, though they feel more spacious and spread out, almost to the point of being echoey. It is reminiscent of turning on a present EQ function. The FD1 sounds considerably more natural with more accurate timbre, though detail takes a step back. The FH1S is also more subject to sibilance and shoutiness, especially on female vocals, making it uncomfortable in instances where the FD1 is fine. Treble out of the FD1 lacks the extension and representation in the brilliance region, though it is cleaner and better controlled. Detail again goes to the FH1S though. Sound stage is notably larger out of the FH1S thanks to vocals that are set further back by default, a leaner note weight, and all that additional treble energy. That said, I prefer the cleaner imaging and instrument separation of the FD1, though it doesn’t sound as well layered.

Overall I think the FD1 is a pretty significant step up from the FH1S. It has a more refined, well-rounded tune without any of the midrange quirks, though those who liked the FH1S’ somewhat laid back bass might feel the FD1 is a bit heavy handed down low.

Shozy Form 1.1 (74.99 USD): The Form 1.1 has more upper treble emphasis providing more sparkle and shimmer than the FD1, though lower treble is comparable if not slightly more prominent on the FD1. Control and general refinement are in the 1.1’s camp. Detail and clarity go to the 1.1 though, in addition to sounding a bit tighter and cleaner on each note. Mids are slightly more forward out of the FD1. They’re more dry though, lacking the warmth and natural timbre of the 1.1, though I’ll give the FD1 a very light edge in terms of vocal detail. Bass out of the Form 1.1 extends well but rolls off before reaching the outstanding depths of the FD1. Balance is shifted towards midbass vs. the FD1’s subbass bias giving them very different presentations. I find the FD1 faster and more visceral with better texture, though the 1.1 has a more even mid/subbass balance leaving it feeling more well-rounded overall. Sound stage is wider and deeper on the FD1 with its generally more spacious feel being helped along by a less intimate vocal presentation. Imaging is similarly good while I find the Form 1.1 slightly more competent when it comes to layering and separating sounds.

Overall I find these two both quite good, though the 1.1s improved timbre quality and generally more balanced sound has me picking it up over the FD1 more often than not.

KB EAR Diamond (79.00 USD): These two I find quite comparable and similarly tuned. Extension from the FD1 is a bit better with a balanced shifted more towards sub-bass compared to the Diamond’s midbass hump that grabs your attention. The FD1 is more textured and punchy leaving the Diamond feeling a hint soft and overly smooth. Grungy textures lack the same animation heard through the FD1. The FD1’s mids are more forward and a bit thicker. Detail is similarly okay on both, with neither really having an upper hand. I also find both a little on the lighter side when it comes to timbre, though the Diamond is a bit ahead here. Neither seem shouty and both do an excellent job minimizing sibilance. Treble out of the FD1 is also slightly more forward and has a grittier texture to it. I prefer the Diamond’s presence/brilliance region balance with feels more even. While the FD1’s presentation is a little tighter and more detailed, I found myself preferring the Diamond’s more laid back, completely non-fatiguing treble. Sound stage goes to the FD1. While its default vocal positioning is closer to the ear, it does a better job tossing effects off into the distance, though depth is similarly presented. The Diamond always feels a bit closed in. This is somewhat beneficial in showing off imaging and separation qualities which edge out the FD1, though it falls behind when it comes to instrument layering.

Overall I find myself enjoying the FD1 more thanks to the additional texture, subbass emphasis, and more spacious presentation.


In The Ear The FD1 uses the same shell as the FH1s before it. The low profile design conforms to the natural shape of the outer ear providing a stable fit that is only helped further by the use of preformed ear guides. Those who have particularly small ears or outer ears with an unusual shape might have troubles wearing the FD1, but for the majority they should provide a comfortable wearing experience.

That’s helped along by the fact they are so light thanks primarily to the use of plastics for the construction. Fit and finish is excellent with tight seams between the inner half of the shell and face plate. The metal nozzles are glued neatly in place without any excess glue having seeped out. The 2-pin ports are slightly raised and about the only area of concern since I have seen numerous images of this style of port cracking. That said, the raise is fairly conservative with thick sidewalls surrounding the actual ports, so I have faith they’ll hold up. One aesthetic touch that FiiO rightly seems proud of is the layered celluloid face plates which are unique from model to model. This is apparently the same material used for guitar picks so durability should be very high.

FiiO always goes the extra yard with their included cables and the FD1’s is no exception. This cable is outstanding for a product under 100 USD, and I would have been plenty happy to see it included with something notably more expensive. The twisted design is thick but very flexible and not so weighty that it tugs at the earphones while you walk. The 90 degree angled jack in one that FiiO has been using for a while now and has ample strain relief in place to protect the cable. The plug also extends slightly to help ensure good fitment with a variety of phone and DAP cases. The FiiO branded metal y-split doesn’t have any strain relief, but with cables of this style and with splits this compact I’ve never found it an issue. Sitting just above the y-split is a compact metal chin cinch that moves with just enough resistance to ensure it stays in place while remaining easy to adjust when needed. Leading up to the 2-pin plugs that angle at ~45 degrees are preformed ear guides. Since FiiO went with shrink wrap instead of the hard plastic some manufacturers use, they remain flexible and soft but stiff enough to keep the cable from bouncing out of place. Another nice touch is the redundant left/right markings. On the inside of each plug is a small letter to denote the channel, while on the base of each plug is a coloured pad; red for right, blue for left. It is always nice when companies go out of their way to add various methods of determining channel. Shows an attention to detail that is sometimes lacking in the industry. The only complaint I have is that the plugs sit flush with the raised ports on the earphone instead of wrapping around them like you’ll see on similar designs from a few other manufacturers. Leaving this out means the pins are more easily damaged, but treat the product with a modicum of care (ex. use the case and don’t simply toss them into a pocket) and you shouldn’t have to worry.

Lastly, the FD1’s isolation is not amazing. I’d put it into the “average to slightly below” camp thanks to the reasonably shallow fit inherent to this particular shell design. There is also ample ventilation through a pinhole in front of the driver, and another cleverly hidden behind the 2-pin ports. On the plus side, wind noise is kept to a minimum which is cool. They’re definitely usable in noisy areas, but you may have to compensate with added volume (less so if you opt for foam tips).


In The Box The FD1 comes in the same magnetically sealed flip-top style box that the FH1S came in before it. On the front is an image of the left earpiece, as well as the usual branding and model information, as well as a Hi-Res Audio logo, set on a black backdrop. The rest of the package contains nothing noteworthy. Flipping back to lid you are greeted by a large manual within which you find information in the correct way to wear the FD1, how to property attach the 2-pin cables, as well as warranty information among other details. Lifting this out you find the FD1 set tightly within a cardboard coated foam insert. The cable is attached and neatly wrapped within a separate enclosure below. There is also a second, smaller cardboard box in which you find the accessories. In all you get:
  • FD1 earphones
  • 0.78mm 4 strand, 120 core, OFC Litz cable
  • HB1 carrying case
  • Small bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Wide bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Memory foam tips (m)
  • Velcro cable tie
In all a very satisfying unboxing experience. The tip selection is good with each style of tips offering a slight variation on the sound signature. They use decent quality materials too, though a little on the stiff side in my opinion. Still, they seal well and should be durable in the long run. The HB1 Pelican-style case looks great and has a rubber seal around the base where the lid rests which should offer some water resistance if you’re the type to take your earphones out in adverse weather or with you on a camping trip.

Final Thoughts The FD1 is a well-rounded earphone that is plenty competitive within it’s segment. It has an attractive, well-designed, comfortable shell with a high quality cable. Included are a wide variety of tips and sizes with a great Pelican-style case, though some might appreciate if FiiO included a smaller, more pocketable option too.

Sound is tuned with a familiar v-shape. Sub-bass steals the show, digging deep and providing plenty of visceral feedback with lots of texture and good control along the way. Mids could stand to be a hint more balanced, lacking emphasis but still a bit harsh with some female vocalists. Sibilance is very well-managed though and mostly absent. Treble is clean and well controlled with good detail, though the focus is clearly on the presence region. There isn’t a ton of sparkle to be had with the FD1, surprising given the reasonably vast staging present.

Unless you’re going in expecting something neutral, I can’t see too many being disappointed with what FiiO has released here.

Thanks for reading!

– B9

Disclaimer A big thanks to Sunny with FiiO for reaching out to see if I would be interested in covering the FD1, and for sending over a sample for review. The thoughts within this review are my subjective impressions based on nearly a month of use. They do not represent FiiO or any other entity. At the time of writing you could pick up the FD1 for 89.99 USD: /

  • Driver: 10mm dynamic with Beryllium-plated diaphragm +N50 magnet
  • Impedance: 32Ω@1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 109dB (1kHz@1mW)
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz~40kHz
  • Cable: 0.78mm 2-pin 4-strand high-purity monocrystalline copper
Gear Used For Testing LG Q70, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams
Listening to ''Let's get physical'' on the FD1: Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Fahmi Misbah Bangsar
Hi There , how this FD1 compared to Tin T4 or the new Reecho sg03


1000+ Head-Fier
Fiio FD1 - A dynamic powerhouse
Pros: Neutral. Built-in pressure valve makes for easy fitting. Inexpensive. Comfortable. Nice extras.
Cons: Can sound harsh when used with weak amps.
Firstly, before anything else, I have to apologise for my excessive wordiness. I can assure you that in person I’m a man of few words - in fact I’m positively antisocial! I have been an enthusiastic headphone user now for many many years and have seen some remarkable advances in this field as time has gone on. In the last couple of years I have kinda focussed on bluetooth audio and have ended up with some very impressive hardware - the Sony WH1000XM2 and WF1000XM3’s, the Lypertek Tevi, the Apple Airpods and the Mavin Air-X in particular. All of these bluetooth headphones impress me with their sound quality and features - so it’s going to be an interesting experience going back to wired IEM’s after using wireless so often recently.

Fiio FD1 Chess Board close up 3.jpg

My current wired IEM’s consist of the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 and Magaosi K3 Pro’s. Playback electronics include the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, AgpTek H1, Acer Chromebook and occasionally the Benjie S5. Additionally I also have the Topping NX2 DAC/Amp and the Nexum Aqua + Bluetooth amplifier. In the past I have owned the Etymotic ER4P, Shure E500 and 1More Triple Driver IEM’s. Most of my music is high-bitrate MP3’s and occasionally some FLAC files. I’m 58 years old - so please take this into account when I talk about sound quality.

Introducing the Fiio FD1
Fiio has a reputation for producing some truly excellent audio equipment. Their MP3 players have an enthusiastic following and their multi-driver IEM’s get a lot of positive comments on this site. I personally haven’t had the chance to try out any of Fiio’s products up to now so I was very keen on trying out the FD1’s. When I first read about the specifications for the FD1 I was somewhat dubious about the single driver - when compared against the might of multiple balanced armature drivers and the many hybrid BA/DD models that are now available within this price point. However my recent experience with the Lypertek Tevis and Sony WF1000XM3’s have made me realise just how good a single dynamic driver can be. I was also somewhat concerned about them using a 10mm driver - having expectations of excessive bass (the Lypertek’s and Sony’s drivers are only 6mm and sound superb). Needless to say, my concerns on both the use of a single dynamic driver and its size turned out to be completely unwarranted.

Fiio FD1 Chess Board close up 6.jpg

The FD1’s are made of an acrylic material - with an opaque backplate (black or blue) and a semi-transparent front which shows some of the inner workings of the headphone. The soundtube has a fairly large bore but appears to be pretty much compatible with most tips. The soundtube itself is a metallic gold and features an impressive looking mesh filter at the tip. The supplied tips fit very tightly - I struggled at first but they’re certainly secure once fitted correctly. These headphones appear to be quite thick but don't really look it once they're in your ears. You can comfortably lay on your side whilst wearing them - this is always something that's welcome as I do a lot of my listening in bed.

Fiio FD1 close up Cable.jpg

The cable is really nice - slightly thicker than those found on most other IEM's but they’re really flexible and don't feel sticky. The braiding is tight and it terminates in a really neat right angled gold-plated jackplug. You are left with the impression that the cable is going to go the distance.

Fiio FD1 close up Cable 4.jpg

One really cool touch was the supplied Fiio branded Pelican-style case - much nicer than the typical pleather pouches normally offered with headphones in this price range. The Fiio’s also come with a range of different tips.

Fiio FD1.jpg

Sound Quality
Before going into the sound quality of these headphones - I feel that it's important to go through something of a preamble first.

Insertion Depth
As a previous owner of the Etymotics ER4P, I was kinda used to somewhat severe insertion depths. Most IEM's don't go as deep as the Ety's and the FD1 is no exception. However, one thing about the Ety's was that it wasn't just about how deep you have to insert them but also ensuring that you equalised the pressure behind them. Failing to do this with the Ety's (and quite a few other IEM's on the market as well), resulted in a thin, somewhat harsh sound character. Once you got the correct degree of 'insertion' the sound really opened up and sounded so much better. The FD1's feature a pressure release valve which pretty much eliminates the need to 'fiddle' around with the earphone in order to get the 'sweet spot'. The only other headphone that I'm aware of that has this feature are the Apple Airpods Pro. With the Fiio FD1 - you just 'plop' them into your ears and that's it - jiggling them around won't make any significant changes to the sound quality (assuming you have a good seal of course).

Fiio FD1 Chess Board close up 4.jpg

The Fiio FD1 offer something that I’ve only found on a couple of in ear monitors - rock solid image stability. The Etymotics offered this - clearly Fiio have done a good job matching drivers. Up front, I have to say, these IEM's sound really REALLY nice. My initial concerns about the potential for excessive bass was completely unfounded. Bass goes really deep and yet maintains resolution - textures from lower notes is resolved just as nicely as the other frequencies. I did notice that the FD1’s sounded slightly ‘bright’ on older recordings - but I suspect this is simply a case of the headphones accurately reproducing the recording without adding any artificial ‘bloom’ to the sound.

Fiio FD1 close up Cable 2.jpg

Another thing I noticed almost immediately was the frequency range from extreme bass to extreme treble was remarkably smooth - no apparent gaps in the frequencies and, for my ears at least, no significant boosting of bass or treble. This is a feature that is always welcome on IEM’s - my Magaosi K3 Pro’s definitely appear to have ‘gaps’ which kinda sound like small satellite speakers paired with a massive subwoofer.

It’s tempting to say that the FD1’s lack the very lowest bass registers but when I tried some of my darker ‘trance’ tracks they deliver bass in spades. The bass is really nice and tight though. They sort of remind me of the fast bass you get on some balanced armature headphones. To sum up - deep, not flabby, detailed and fast.

When I first tried the FD1’s, they were a little ‘shouty’ in the upper mids. This seemed to calm down a little after a couple of hours of listening (although it’s possible my brain did all the burning). The FD1’s certainly can pull details out of my recordings though - I’m genuinely able to hear tiny details (vocallists breathing, additional echos, track layering). They’re perhaps a little ‘strident’ still in the upper mids - this is something I’m normally very sensitive to - but they still sound great to me.

Perhaps slightly reduced compared to the 1More Triple Drivers for example, but they don’t suffer with this. Cymbals perhaps lack some of the metallic ‘sheen’ that can be found with balanced armature drivers, the high details still shine through. I think the best description I can give is that they’re slightly more ‘mellow’ than 1More or Magaosi K3 Pro’s - but this is a sound character I really like.

The Fiio FD1’s are surprisingly dynamic. To me, they share a very similar sound character with the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10’s - that’s high praise in my opinion as I rate them very highly. Faster than I expected, sufficiently sensitive to be driven to very high levels with basic players and phones and not so sensitive that you continually hear line noise either.

Fiio FD1 Chess Board close up.jpg

I'm really impressed with these headphones. They offer a taste of the high-end at a budget price. They're comfortable, sound great and don't require any esoteric hardware to drive them to high levels. Whilst they're not the best for external isolation, they also don't have too much 'thud' when you're walking around with them. Very highly recommended.


The reason why I've given these headphones 4.5 out of 5 is that, whilst representing an excellent way of getting a taste of the high-end of In Ear Monitors, they really do require a player with a strong output to work at their best. I spend most of the time listening to these through either the AgpTEK H1 MP3 player, Topping NX-2 portable DAC/AMP or the rather excellent Nexium AQUA + bluetooth headphone amplifier. All three of these devices feature a much stronger headphone output than what you would normally find on a typical smartphone.


  • Fiio FD1 close up.jpg
    Fiio FD1 close up.jpg
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Otto Motor
Otto Motor
Neutral? Too bassy for that.
I'm now using the foam eartips now as well. I'm pairing these up with the rather excellent Sony Nw-a55 MP3 player I recently purchased and it's a real match made in heaven.

The Sony drives the Fiio very nicely and can go more than loud enough. The player also helps with a little more bass which helps overcome the slight loss from using the foam tips.
I've gone back to a set of silicone tips - gives a little more 'edge' to the sound - me likkeeee!