FiiO FD3/FD3 Pro Single Dynamic Driver Iems with a detachable cable

General Information

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Key features of the FD3/FD3 Pro include:

*Flagship-level DLC diamond diaphragm

*Front acoustic prism

*Semi-open acoustic design
* Interchangeable sound tubes

*2.5D film coating glass faceplate

*Quality swappable cable



To find out more about the FD3/FD3 Pro, please visit the product page on https://www.fiio.com/fd3

Latest reviews

asifur

100+ Head-Fier
FiiO FD3 PRO : A hit or miss
Pros: + Premium Build
+ Good staging
+ Interchangeable cable system
+ Interchangeable nozzles
+ Good Accessories
Cons: - Lacking the details in sub-bass
- Midrange is recessed and lacks details
- The nozzles tend to change treble only
- Gets quite sibilant with the Treble Nozzle
FiiO FD3 PRO : A hit or miss!


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Summary & Objective:

The FiiO FD3 is a budget range IEM introduced by FiiO after their very successful FD5. the FD3 Pro features single dynamic driver with interchangeable nozzles and promises versatile musical experience. It comes with a price tag of $139.

Disclaimer:

This unit was sent by @FiiO for the purpose of an honest review.
Everything mentioned in this review are purely my own based on my experiences with the IEM.

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Introduction:

The FiiO FD3 Pro is a single Dynamic driver based IEM featuring interchangeable nozzles and a good cable with interchangeable plugs.
The FiiO FD3 is priced at $139.

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Specifications:

The FiiO FD3 Pro comes with $139price tag and the specifications are as below:

https://www.fiio.com/fd3

  • Powerful 12mm Dynamic Driver With DLC Diamond Diaphragm
  • Strong 1.5T Magnetic Flux
  • 6-Series Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy Cavities
  • FiiO’s Patented Air Pressure Relief Technology
  • Interchangeable Ear Nozzle
  • High-Purity Cable

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NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SOUND....
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Items Used for this Review:

DAC/AMP:
Cayin RU6 R2R Dongle
DAP/Source : @Shanling M3X, Cayin N6 Mk2 with R01 motherboard
Streaming Source: QOBUZ

Ear Tips:
I have tried FiiO FD3 PRO with many different ear-tips and had found the @SpinFit Eartip CP100+ and FINAL E series Transparent ear-tips to be the most comfortable fit in my case.

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Tracks Used:
The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews...


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FiiO FD3 PRO Sound Impressions in Short:

The Nozzles:


Though FiiO claims that the bass nozzle improves bass and the Treble Nozzle improves Treble, but in reality what the nozzles do is decrease or increase Treble.
While using the treble nozzle, I have found the treble to be quite peaky and harsh and hence I have used the bass nozzle throughout the review.

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The BASS:

The Bass on the FD3 PRO has very prominent mid-bass with powerful slam but it clearly misses out on the details of the sub-bass region. In tracks like : "Anna R. Chie (Remastered) - Konstantin Wecker" and "Dreams (2001 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac" you can really feel the the lack in bass response in the sub bass regions.

The MIDS:

Owing to the overwhelming mid-bass experience, some of the bass on the FD3 PRO also tends to bleed into the midrange. The midrange is recessed and though textured lacks details. Instruments sounded natural. In tracks like: "Anchor - Trace Bundy" and "Ruby Tuesday - Franco Battiato" you seem to miss out on the desired experience of the midrange quite a bit.

The TREBLE:

Treble is non-fatiguing with the bass nozzle. But, it gets very harsh and peaky with the treble nozzle. Cymbals sound natural and tracks like “Chocolate Chip Trip – Tool” sounded very peaky with the Treble nozzle. However, with the bass nozzle they are quite bearable.


STAGING & SEPARATION:

The Staging is where it felt like FD3 PRO can beat the competition. The staging has good width, height and depth and just felt great in most tracks. Tracks like: “ She Don't Know – Melody Gardot” or “Bohemian Rhapsody (live aid) – Queen” sound good & enjoyable. Separation however seemed average is below par

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Conclusion :

Given all the newly launched great performing IEMs in the $100 range, the FiiO FD3 PRO leaves quite a bit to be desired. It may be suitable for EDm, Hip-Hop or Electronic genres but not really suitable for all. But people who like a boomy bass (bassheads) may appreciate it much.

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
FIIO FD3 PRO Review: Headbanging energic fun!
Pros: -Fun energic gently bright V shape
-headbanging thumpy bass
-dense timbre
-good notes weight
-cohesive tonality
-wide and tall soundstage
-nice male vocal
-modular cable included
Cons: -average tecnicalities
-average resolution and transparency
-bordeline shouty in rare occasion
-rolled off bass and treble
-lack of air and sparkle on top
-very tight mmcx connector
-very tight modular cable connector
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TONALITY: 7.8/10
TECHNICALITIES: 7.2/10
CONSTRUCTION: 8.2/10
SOUND VALUE: 7.6/10

FIIO
are a well know and respected company with a very big products catalogue. They begin with portable AMP and fastly grown into an IEM company as well as DAP and DAC-AMP maker in all price range possible.
Today I will review their FIIO FD3 PRO, which is the same IEM as FD3 but with an extra modular cable. It use a 12mm DLC (diamond like coated) diaphragm dynamic driver with intercheagable nozzle filter and is priced 140$.
As a big fan of single dynamic driver, especially DLC, let see in this review if it deliver good sound for it’s price.

CONSTRUCTION​

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As always, FIIO impress with packaging content and the elegant presentation. We are spoil quite alot with wide range of accessories wich include superb pelican like protective case, 10 pairs of eartips including silicone and memory foam one and the much expected modular cable with it’s 3 different jacks (2.5 and 4.4 BAL and 3.5SE). I’m always impress by what we get for our money with FIIO!

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Again, it’s very rare that FIIO offer poor craftmanship and in fact, it seem they work harder than ever to offer sturdy durability yet keeping the beautifull design approach. FD3 is very beautifull IEM that doesn’t feel cheap at all, it’s all metal with very eye catching double glass back plate. The care for details is on high level here and merit applause. MMCX connector are all metal and very very thigh, to the point it can be confusing how to easily disconnect it. Thats a plus and cons at same time here but not an issue, just be carefull.While the housing is on the thick side, it’s very comfortable and will likely fit any ears shape. Unlike some other IEM with changeable nozzle filter, this one doesn’t get loose easily, which is a plus too.

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Now for the upgraded cable, having a modular cable included with an affordable IEM is something very rare and this cable like the IEM seem ultra sturdy. Unlike Dunu that include a modular cable with it’S DK-2001, FIIO did include 3 type of jacks and not just one, so you’re all cover for supreme cable versatility. If i can nit pick something, it will be about how we connect the jacks, since you need to push it very thigh and their no direction help, as well, you need to screw it and I think it’s a bit of a burden. All in all, this is an excellent 8-strand 152-core Litz structure silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable that improve both sound and practicality.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS​

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TO NOTE: FD3 have 2 nozzle filters, stock one is balanced tuning while black one add extra treble and upper mids and fake clarity but doesn’t extend the highs or make them more sparkly, snappy or airy. Since I don’t like black filter and feel it become agressive bright, slightly sibilant and a bit unbalanced, this review is all about red filter but black filter sure add more treble energy and bite which might please treble head.

TONALITY is a well balanced and energic warmish W shape signature, with thumpy boosted mid bass, thick mids with fowards presence and upper mids and treble boost mostly focus on texture richness and high harmonic presence boost.

TIMBRE is gently bright, with condensed texture and good density, timbral balance is cohesive in a opaque way and transparency is rather non-existent.

BASS is all about weighty thumping and round heavy punch, with fast yet vibrant and thick rumble. It’s a very fun bass, with great physicality to it that had head banging excitment to bassy track. Focus is on mid bass hit, not on presence nor on definition, so if your searching clean linear extension, the FD3 is more about euphonic guilty pleasure here, so don’t expect fast ultra controlled bass neither. Warm in definition, brightish in texture and thick in body, the low end is greasy and lazy, yet higly entertaining and not overly bleedy, it’s a big hit of chunk, not very flexible in articulation as some sub line will lack this organic fluidity and acoustic bass will feel slapped instead of offering a natural resonance. Still, rumble is there and very thick and heavy, near head shaking when need, just not fully extensible in sustain-release. Think about a big sub with damping at it’s front to avoid all things in the room to shake and fall.

MIDS sit between brightish and lush, and are slightly recessed compared to mid bass and mid treble. Still, they tend to extract well both male and female vocal, male vocal being a bit more fowards and full bodied. Instrument have good texture, yet can be a bit blurry in clean definition and leaner in dynamic than higher range one. Imaging capacity isn’t the best for the mid range since their some bass bleed which benefit male vocal by adding body, as well as cello, but make busy track less accurate too. Back to female vocal, with black filter they can be sibilance, while red filter tame this but can make them sometime shouty. Energic lushness, with dense yet a bit opaque timbre and overall pleasant vocal presentation and good note weight, the mids might lack attack-sustain-release finess but still procure good musicality and full bodied experience.

TREBLE is where the FD3 puzzle me a bit, as well as it’s overall technical performance. Those are bright energic highs with softed edge in upper mids as well as brilliance region. FD3 isn’t a crisp sounding IEM, more of a crunchy one that show its speed and control limit when you go energic busy track like jazz rock band Elephant9 underline, cymbals are hint splashy but with scooped extension so it’s doesn’t feel overly harsh. Electric guitar sound nice, and with the fact bass is thumpy and male vocal pretty good, i guess FD3 will do well for lot of rock band. Violin too have nice abrasiveness and fullness, with dense body which make it realist and appealing. Extension of treble is a bit roll off, so sparkle and especially natural resonance are minimal. Timbral balance can be a bit erratic too, due to some micro-details extraction more sharply fowarded than other. All in all, those aren’t bad highs but not the most refined.

TECHNICALITIES are average and on par with similarly priced IEM like NFaudio NM2+. Attack speed is not the fastest, control lack sustain-release articulation and snap, resolution is a bit blurry-fuzzy, and extension of both end cut short.

SOUNDSTAGE is above average in term of wideness and tallness, but not very deep. It’s a big wall of sound that surround you in stereo mode.

IMAGING is rather poor especially with anything complex or bassy. Instrument separation lack well define space, positioning is very hard to achieve and layers tend to mix togheter in a thick opaque and saturated way, making the result slightly holographic but in a messy way.

COMPARISONS​

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VS BQEYZ AUTUMN (1DD-160$)

Tonal balance is a bit similar with those two, but FD3 is notably more boosted in mid bass and overall more V shape and bassy in it’s presentation with less well separeted bass and more fowards and energic presentation. Bass of Autumn is cleaner, better extended, more flexible and higher in definition and transparency, yet not as physical and weighty and immature than FD3. Mids are more open with the Autumn, more transparent and smooth with a timbre that is more organic and natural too. Highs are softer and more rolled off with Autumn, yet less grainy and better controlled and balanced than FD3 too. Both lack sparkle and decay and air in treble. Soundstage is about same wideness but taller and deeper with Autumn. Imaging is notably superior than FD3, especially in sound layers separation which feel opaquely compressed with FD3.
All in all, it seem to me that BQEYZ Autumn is superior in both technical performance ,like attack speed and control and harmonic distortion, as well as tonal balance which is more cohesive, relaxed and natural. Construction is more comfortable too and tuning module way better both in design and tonal tweak result.

VS MOONDROP ARIA (1x LCP DD-80$)

Thos 2 aren’t similar at all, the Aria being more U shape, colder and more neutral in it’s balance too. What hit first is how cleaner and more detailed sound the Aria, in a delicate, non agressive way compared to more energic V brightish shape of FD3. Mid range is cleaner and fuller in presence, more detailed and transparent yet not as thick and textured in timbre as FD3. Female vocal are more fowards, with better timbral balance, but male vocal are thinner yet again more clean-lean. Bass is more extended and linear with the Aria, less punchy but with cleaner rumble and more natural resonance as well as less mids bleed. Treble too, is notably more extended, crisper and sparklier. Yet, electric guitar will sound scooped with Aria and not with FD3. Highs are more abresive and agressive with FD3,while more organic liquid and brilliant with Aria. Everything technical is notably better with the Aria, which have faster more controlled attack and snap, better transparency and higher resolution, way better imaging and wider deeper soundstage.
Tough the Moondrop Aria feel from another league to my ears in both technicalities and tonal balance, its cold mature tonality (with sub bass twist) might not be as appealing as more energic and fun V shape of FD3.

CONCLUSION​

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The FIIO catalogue widen up with the FD3 and offer a more mainstream yet energic and fun soundsignature that is easy to love and will even perhaps blown away fans of rock due to it’s rich texture emphasis and thumpy physical bass experience.
While no master of technicalities nor the most refined and polished sounding IEM, at around 100$, the whole package you get sure offer great value.
FIIO craftmanship sure is from another league than it’s rival in this price range, and promise long durability.
If you are tired of too lean, cold, clinical or thin sounding IEM, the lush and energic bassy tonality of the FD3 will surely charm you with it’s musical immediacy that is everything but boring, yet cohesive in it’s balance. As well, if you need even brigther presentation, the extra tuning filter will deliver you this extra treble bite.
FIIO FD3 is an headbanging fun ride that will please a wide range of audio enthusiast.

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PS: I wanna thanks FIIO for sending me this review sample after my request as well as for being an audio company that accep critical listening review. I am not affiliated, sponsor or compensate with money for this review work. As always, those are my 100% honnest subjective sounds impressions.

You can order FIIO FD3 PRO for 140$ here:
https://www.linsoul.com/products/fiio-fd3-fd3-pro?variant=40683328241819


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For more audio review, please give a read to my No Borders Audiophile site HERE.

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
FiiO FD3 IEMs - Budget Sparks
Pros: + Sonic Ability
+ Price / Performance Ratio
+ Cable Quality
+ Package Contents
+ Soundstage size for the price
+ Resolution and Detail for the price
+ Overall build quality
Cons: - At the price point not much to say negatively about them
FiiO FD3 IEMs - Budget Sparks

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Priced at 109 USD, FiiO FD3 is a universal IEM with a large 12mm single DLC dynamic driver and a semi open design. It will be compared to iBasso iT01X (120 USD), Tin Audio T5 (130 USD), IKKO OH1 Meteor (140 USD).






Introduction

After the commercial success they had with FD5, FiiO decided to try and bring some of that magic to those who are more budget oriented, and this is how FD3 took place. FiiO is a high-end company designing products in China, and their offer is wide, ranging from Bluetooth receivers, DAPs, IEMs, Headphones and more. They are known for being literally the most sold audio company in the entire world, so for best support and warranty it is fully recommended to use Amazon and local sellers.

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 FD3 Earphones find their next music companion.



Packaging

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

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The package of FD3 is really impressive, considering the pocket-friendly price point, and they come with a FiiO high-end carrying case, and multiple tips. I think it is best to layer the information vertically, since they have such a rich package:
  • Vocal Ear Tips
  • Two pairs of Foam Ear Tips
  • Three Pairs of Silicone Balanced Ear Tips (One Already Installed)
  • Three Pairs of Silicone Vocal Ear Tips
  • Three Pairs of Silicone Bass Ear Tips
  • Cleaning tool
  • Sound Tubes
  • FiiO Key for taking out the MMCX connectors.


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

Physically, FD3 is on the slightly larger side, but fairly light at 7 grams per unit, with a large acoustic chamber to accommodate the large 12mm dynamic driver, which features a high 1.5 Tesla magnetic flux. The coating for the driver membrane is FiiO's DLC or Diamond Like Carbon material. The part near the connector is a semi-open vent that helps alleviate driver flex, and provides a wider, more open sound. Less pressure on your ear drums would theoretically mean less bass, but not in this case, and it just means that FD3 is not fatiguing. The Acoustic Prism inherited from FD5 is fantastic at being a diffuser, and a passive filter, as we'll see in the Sonic Quality part of today's review.

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FiiO IEMs are always really well made, with no errors in the design, all edges match perfectly, there is no extra glue sticking from anywhere, and they are made with absolute precision. The design is also pretty cool, with a colorful faceplate, a golden ring around it, and a metallic shell. Metallic shells usually provide less distortions and better control. The 120 Cm cable is enough for most folks, and the over-the-ear wearing style is plenty comfy for all users.

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FD3 is really comfortable, despite their size, having a smooth inner part, and a nice cable. The cable is slightly tangle prone, but it does not conduct any microphonic noise, being a pleasure to use and to have with FD3. Given their 32 OHMs of impedance, along with the 111dB/mW of SPL, you would expect them to be easy to drive, and they are. I am running them at high volumes at only 90/150 on Astell & Kern SE180, and they sound really engaging.

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FD3 does not isolate very much from the outside noise, having an open design, and a passive noise isolation between 10 and 15 dB of passive noise isolation. We have very low leakage though, and I was unable to annoy my girlfriend with loud death metal, even though she was just 2 meters away from me, and I was listening at a deafening 110dB level.



Sound Quality

I have used a multitude of sources for reviewing FiiO FD3, including FiiO's own M11 Pro Music Player, but also Hiby R3PRO, iBasso DX160, Astell & Kern SE180, and FiiO BTR5 MK2. FD3 is fairly easy to drive and doesn't require much in terms of source, but they will scale nicely with a better source. You can hear some of the magic that was present in FD5 with FD3, especially in the way FD3 is quite holographic and dynamic, engaging and punchy. FD3 sounds excellent at all volume levels, with no particular preference to being listened to loud, medium or quiet. I've been listening to FD3 for about two months before writing this full written review, and letting them do some burn-in, to offer them a fair chance to shine.

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The overall signature can be described as open, dynamic, vivid, engaging, clean, crisp, V-Shaped towards balanced, detailed and fun to listen to. When I was reviewing Earsonics ONYX, I noticed a really interesting presentation that has tons of textures, but presents them smoothly so that they are never fatiguing, and all music is harshness-free and enjoyable. The same can be said about the way FD3 presents music, there are lots of textures and they have good resolution, but they never get harsh, fatiguing, sibilant or metallic. The sonic character is quite wet, which means that some sounds can be on the splashy side, but they are always enjoyable and never dry or congested. FD3 can be described as fluid sounding. All of those features can be noticed in the graphs available when measuring fD3, both on FiiO's own website, as well as other third party measurements.

The bass of FD3 is deep, full and hits deeply. The bass has most of its energy around between 35 Hz and 50Hz, having a very satisfying thumpy sound to it. The bass is full and lush, and the whole bass area is enhanced enough to give sound good substance and warmth. You could say that the bass bleeds a bit in the midrange and colors it, giving voices some extra thickness and extra weight to certain music instruments, a presentation that works beautifully with Classical, Orchestra, EDM, Dubstep, Pop, Metal and Rock. FD3 is remarkably good with pretty much any music style, and I wouldn't say that they lag behind with any style, even Rap and Grind sounding fun and even addictive with them. The bass speed is natural leaning slow, which has a very natural presentation for rock, emo and acoustic music, but can feel a touch slow with extremely quick synthetic music.

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The midrange of fD3 is very wide and holographic, with excellent depth as well. FD3 is a master of instrument separation and detail, along with stereo imaging, providing a really good presentation of guitars. Many years ago, the CEO of FiiO asked me about the music I was using their DAPs with, which at that point was Closure in Moscow and Dance Gavin Dance, both bands sounding amazing on FD3, especially when it comes to the overall detail they have. FD3 has a beautiful voice for both male and female voices, and for the price point they are a real best buy. There is a specific dip in the midrange, followed by a peak in the upper midrange that gives music energy and good overall detail, but which can sound unnatural with rock in particular, turning some cymbals hot. For example, Amidst The Grave's Demons - The Swimmer sounds exactly as it should, open, wide, full and delivers good energy, dynamics and punchiness. But songs like All Time Low - A Love Like War have a hotter upper midrange and a dip in the mids where Vic Fuentes voice is a bit pushed back, and the cymbals are pushed slightly forward.

The treble of FD3 is clean, extends nicely as high as about 14kHz, after which it rolls off smoothly. They have strong treble energy, but manage to deliver a wet character treble that's fatigue free, which can be slightly splashy at times. I still am going to recommend FD3 with most music, and at this price point they are fairly natural, most music sounding exactly as it should, open, dynamic, engaging and vivid. FD3 is musical with guitars, and has good staging, but also has a ballsy bottom end that adds impact and punch to music. Basically, the 110 USD price point defeats and replaces FiiO F9 PRO quite effectively, and is very competitive for the levels of detail and clarity it offers. FD3 has exceptionally low distortions for the price range, and can be used at extremely loud volumes without distorting.



Comparisons

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FiiO FD3 IEMS vs IKKO OH1 Meteor (110 USD vs 140 USD) - Meteor is the first basshead IEM I am comparing the FD3 to, and this comparison is actually quite easy, because FD3 has more detail, and more resolution, as well as a slightly more comfortable fit and design than OH1 Meteor. The actual sound is more peppy in the treble on FD3, which has more sparkle and air, while Meteor sounds more smooth and rolled off in the treble. The Meteor also has more bass quantity, where FD3 is more fluid. Stage is wider on the Meteor, which is a fairly wide sounding IEM. Detail is better on FD3 which has more overall details.

FiiO FD3 IEMS vs iBasso IT01X (110 USD vs 120 USD) - The Basshead IEM in IT01X stands fair ground against FD3, but the sonic differences between them are slightly lower than the design differences. IT01X is physically smaller than FD3, and has a thicker default cable than FD3. The sonics reflect the size differences, and FD3 does sound larger, has a wider soundstage, more instrument separation, and a more holographic presentation. The overall bass presentation is deeper and has more depth on It01X, but it sounds more natural on FD3, which has a more natural balance between midrange, bass and treble. Both IEMs are slightly V-Shaped, and if you need more isolation, IT01X will provide it, while if you price soundstage width more, and can afford to have some noise enter your listening experience, FD3 is wider.

FiiO FD3 IEMS vs Tin Audio T5 (110 USD vs 130 USD) - We have two very different IEMs here, and where I liked the T3 Plus a lot, the T5 is still bright and has some of that Chifi harshness I keep mentioning in some of my reviews, but still they have plenty of detail, and a good price / performance ratio. The comfort is equal between the two, with a slight edge going to FiiO for their excellent rounded inner part on FD3. The passive noise isolation is stronger on T5. FD3 has more detail, better imaging and more instrument separation, but slightly less detail than T5. T5 sounds more detailed, but also more harsh and can be fatiguing at times, having a more dry signature, where FD3 is smoother, more fluid and less fatiguing.



Value and Conclusion

At the price of 110 USD, FD3 has pretty much the best package, along with one of the best details and resolutions I've heard to date. I like it when companies try to lower the price for a certain quality, as it helps increase the quality we'll be getting later down the line, and it helps us, music lovers, have more fun along the way.

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FD3 is a good example of a budget IEM done really well, with a good build quality, good cable, good fit, and a detailed, fun, engaging sound that's punchy and dynamic.

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At the end of today's review, if you want a clean, detailed and crisp sound with good dynamics and details, if you like V-Shaped signatures and if you want a good FiiO product with excellent price / performance ratio, FiiO FD3 is a fully recommended purchase.
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