Fiio FD5


Headphoneus Supremus
Fiio FD5 - Fancy, Open, Tactile
Pros: + Wide and open soundstage
+ Fun bass
+ An interesting sense of tactility to the sound
Cons: - Average resolution
- Slightly blurry imaging
- Tuning can sound harsh and artificial
Welcome to another rapid-fire review where I share impressions of audio gear as fast as possible. Today, we talk about my (ex-)darling, Fiio FD5.


  • I purchase this unit on my own. I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Fiio. This unit costs me AUD $460.
  • You should treat this review as the subjective impressions of an audio geek rather than an “objective truth” about the IEM. Your experience with any IEM would change depending on your DAC/AMP, music library, ear tips, and listening volume.
  • I rate IEMs by A/B testing them against a few benchmark IEMs, regardless of price point. This approach ensures the consistency of the ratings in my ranking list. It means that if two IEMs score the same, they perform more or less similar.
  • I believe that great IEMs are the ones that can achieve multiple difficult things simultaneously: (1) high resolution (meaning lines of music are crisp, clear, easy to follow and full of texture), (2) 3D soundstage with a strong sense of depth, (3) bold and natural bass with a physical rumble, (4) natural timbre, (5) relaxing and comfortable tonality.
  • Ranking list and measurement database can be found on my IEM review blog.


  • Driver: 12mm Beryllium-coated DLC diaphragm
  • Connector Type: MMCX
  • Impedance: 32ohms
  • Sensitivity: 109dB@1mW

Non-sound aspects​

Luxurious! FD5 was the first high-end IEM that I ever held in my hands. Boy, oh boy, it made a strong impression. Everything about this IEM screams “expensive”, from the fancy packaging to the leather case, the braided cable with interchangeable plugs, to the IEMs themselves.

The earpieces are heavy chunks of stainless steel. The cable is also chunky and heavy. Luckily, I have no discomfort even when I wear FD5 for many hours. The open-back design helps to reduce the pressure in the ears to create a comfortable wearing experience. The drawback is that FD5 does not isolate noise well.

How it sounds​

Tonality: 3/5 - Average​


Looking at different reviews on the Internet, you will find two opposite perceptions of FD5 tuning. One side hails FD5 for its close adherence to Harman In-ear Target, making it a superbly tuned IEM. The other side considers FD5 a mediocre, generic V-shaped tuned IEM.

Both sides are correct. FD5 does express some characteristics of Harman-tuned IEM, primarily the ear-gain compensation from 1kHz and the rolled-off treble. This tuning highlights midrange elements, particularly vocals, and pushes them closer to you while pulling the band further into the background.

At the same time, FD5 is “generic V-shaped” because it boosts the midbass and lower-midrange (150 to 250Hz region) to intensify the “boom boom” sound. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a few extra bass punches. However, FD5 cannot control the bass very well, so a sense of “mud” spreads over the midrange, impacting its clarity. A cut at 250Hz could have helped deal with this issue.

Another problem with FD5 is the “cat ears” shape in the upper midrange and treble, characterised by the twin peaks at 2.5kHz and 5.5kHz. These peaks sharpen the sound, particularly vocals and note attacks, such as guitar picks or sticks hitting drums, to create the illusion of clarity. However, too much sharpening makes the sound artificial and harsh. These peaks also mask the details around 3kHz. As a result, something always feels missing in the midrange of FD5.

Tuning gimmicks: FD5 includes an extra set of thin nozzles (Etymotic size) to reduce the upper frequencies. Unfortunately, none of the supplied tips works well with these narrow nozzles. Even with suitable tips from Etymotic or Westone, these nozzles still do not sound good, as they silence the treble too much, making FD5 dull.

Percussion rendering and bass: 4/5 - Good​

Good, but it could be better.

The tuning of FD5 makes drums very punchy. Bass attacks are sharp and snappy with a unique tactile feeling, like air pushed against your ears.

However, I always feel drums lack body with FD5 because there is not much rumble to accompany the “boom” sound. The lack of sub-bass is quite apparent when I compare FD5 with sub-bass-focused IEMs such as Blessing 2 or my FH3.

Resolution: 3/5 - Average​

I can accept the mid-bass-focused rendering. I can even tolerate the cat ears tuning.

However, I cannot turn a blind eye to the (lack of) resolution of FD5.

FD5’s resolution is not poor. It’s not good, either. As I mentioned above, the lack of control over the bass casts a “veil” or “mud” over the midrange of FD5, making everything a little bit less separated and overly smoothened. The presentation here lacks refinement.

The cat ears tuning can improve the clarity of the elements at the centre of the soundstage. However, when you shift your attention to details, such as backing vocals at the sides of the stage, you will see that they are blurry and barely intelligible. This kind of resolution is a far cry from the infamous Blessing 2, which retails at the same price as FD5.

Soundstage imaging: 4/5 - Good​

Soundstage imaging is a bright spot of FD5’s performance. The open-back design helps FD5 project a wide, open soundstage free of the sonic wall. As a result, orchestral music sounds large and epic with these IEMs.

The drawback of FD5’s soundstage lies in its slightly blurry imaging. Simply put, instruments feel like hazy blobs coming from various directions on the soundstage. This haziness prevents FD5 from projecting an impressive “3D” soundstage where instruments pop up at different distances and layering up from closer to further away. I suspect this limitation is related to the average resolution.


This review is a farewell to an old friend. As I rarely use FD5, it has been sent off to another owner who is head over heels for it and couldn’t stop listening to it. If you consider FD5, I highly recommend an audition before bringing one home. It might just be the perfect IEM for you.


  • Wide and open soundstage
  • Fun bass
  • An interesting sense of tactility to the sound

  • Average resolution
  • Slightly blurry imaging
  • Tuning can sound harsh and artificial
Thanks for the succinct review. They look great!
This is the best FD5 review I've seen!

My thoughts on the FD5 are pretty much the same except I think the FD5 has somewhat above average resolution even though it doesn't hold a candle to the B2 Dusk.

Worth picking up during Black Friday? I would say no unless you dig mainstream V-shape.

I think this is a decent IEM to start with but I'm willing to bet most people will drop the FD5 once they have enough listening experience.


100+ Head-Fier
FIIO FD5 - The new flagship & new soundstage king
Pros: + Great soundstage both in terms of width & depth
+ Great bass both in quality & extension
+Natural tuning
+ Good imaging (narrow tube)
+ Interchangeable sound tubes
+ Excellent build quality
+ Good cable with interchangeable plugs
+ Nice carrying case
+ Great value for the price
Cons: - The default Wide Tube
- Falls short on the refinement of TOTL units
- Very few ear tips options for the Narrow tube
FIIO FD5 - The New Flagship & Soundstage King



I have bought this IEM with my own hard earned money and no one has paid me anything or supplied me with any review unit. So, everything mentioned in this review are purely my own based on my experiences with the IEM.


The FiiO FD5 is a new flagship single 12mm beryllium-coated dynamic driver universal IEM featuring interchangeable sound tubes. It is priced at $299.99
Fiio has had a long adventurous journey into hybrid IEMs such as: FH3, FH5, FH7 and FA9 and had reasonable success specially with FH7.
Now it seems that they are back to basics with single Dynamic driver in their brand new flagship the FD5



Drivers: 12mm Beryllium-coated diamond-like carbon Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 32 Ω
Sensitivity: 109 dB/mW
Frequency Range: 10 – 40 kHz
Cable/Connector: 120cm MMCX
Price: $299


The Sound Tubes - Interchangeable​

The FD5 comes with interchangeable output nozzles and FiiO includes 2 sets. The stock nozzle is approximately 4.5mm which is a common size. The second nozzle is thinner and looks like a 2.5mm size which is not a common size.

My impression moving forward on the sound signature is mainly with the narrow sound tube as that gives much better tonality with rich texture and better imaging & Timbre. Clarity also improved quite a bit with the narrow one... but details on those coming later.

The Package:

The package is great for the price can almost rival those of $1000 price ranges...


Lifting the first layer of foam, another floor is being revealed, home to the rest of the accessories. On the right there is a smaller box that houses a cleaning brush, a pair of interchangeable sound tubes, a yellow MMCX clip that will help you remove the cable much easier and two interchangeable headphone jacks: a 2.5mm balanced and a 4.4mm balanced one. FiiO did really kill three birds with one stone, as the included cable has 3 interchangeable audio jacks and that is probably the best idea they came up with.

On the left you’ll find a bigger ear tip collection split into 5 categories, as follows

  • Balanced ear tips (3 pairs of S, M and L – the standard white silicone ones)
  • Vocal ear tips (3 pairs of S, M and L – the white silicone ones with red inner tubes)
  • Bass ear tips (3 pairs of S, M and L – the grey silicone ones with a red inner tube)
  • Tri-Flange ear tips (2 pairs of S and L – the longest white silicone ones)
  • Memory foam tips (2 pairs in M size only – the black foam sticky ones)

An impressive packaging no doubt, but even more impressive was seeing the number of accessories laying inside. FD5 is covering all my needs, including 4.4mm and 2.5mm balanced connections.


Design & Build Quality:

Looks are always subjective, but I think these are just great-looking IEMs. Maybe the best amongst FiiO IEMs till date. Its shell is made out of polished stainless steel, a bit heavier than many others but that gives some confidence on the product being high-quality. The FD5 comes with semi-open design & if you closely inspect the outer cover, you can spot some tiny holes in it. The IEM shell does also have a small hole in it, that will remove the air pressure between your ear canal and the IEM body, for a much better comfort long term.



Although a bit on the heavier side, I found them comfortable for longer hours of listening and never felt too heavy on the ears.


Story of the Narrow tube & Ear-tips:

Amongst the interchangeable tubes that the FD5 comes with, I found the Narrow tube to be more musical and significantly better in terms of sound.
Hence, the full sound impression is based on the narrow tube only. However, that comes with a problem... very few ear tips fit the narrow tube.

Hence, the story of ear tips begins... comparison of the few that actually fit the narrow tube are below....


The ear tips I had used are...
  • Shure silicon tips
  • Spinfit CP800
  • Final Audio Transparent red
Amongst the above 3 tips, I found that the shure somehow turns down the bass quite a bit while enhancing mids & highs. In the Final E series one I found the mids to be a tad bit less prominent than the Spinfit CP800 one. Hence, I preferred the CP800 for the overall better sound.


Items used for this review:


Tracks used for this review:

Dire Straits – Telegraph Road (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
INXS – Need you Tonight (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
Mark Knopfler – The ragpicker's dream (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven (Acoustic Live at MTV) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
Lost Frequencies – Crazy (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
Don McLean - American Pie (24bit/192kHz)
The Chainsmokers – Something Just like this (24bit/48kHz)
Smith & Thell - Goliath (24bit/48kHz)
Owl City - Fireflies (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
Dolores o' Diordan – Ordinary Day (24bit/96kHz)
Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend (24bit/96kHz)
The Doors – Spanish Caravan (24bit/96kHz)
REM - Losing my Religion (24bit/88.2kHz)
Mumford & Sons – There will be time (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
Ronan Keating – When you say Nothing At All (Flac 24bit/48kHz)

Source of Sound & DAC/AMP:

The Hiby R6 and IFI Hipdac had been used mostly.
Source of music has been QOBUZ for most cases.


Let's now talk about the quality of Sound....

Sound signature
It's interesting to see that FiiO used the IE 2017 Harman Curve as a reference, tuning their FD5 as close to it as possible, here is a picture FiiO posted on their website. I found the tuning to be mildly V shaped... but more on the neutral side.


These initially sounded clean, undistorted and easy going. There was a feeling of smoothness and liquidity that cannot be found on hybrid or all-armature IEMs. After listening to multi-driver IEMs for a few months and then switching to FD5, the immediate feeling is that every sound is coming precisely at the same time, from the same spot in a natural and undistorted way. Bass felt quite airy and textured, the soundstage was impressively well-spread, with a perfect positioning of every notes around me. There was plenty of air around those notes, the sound (weirdly enough) wasn’t exactly inside my head, creating a nice 3D image around me.


Bass felt quite airy and textured, but also heavy weight and muscular. There is good extension and depth to the bass. Every instrument sounds natural and there is good depth in the bass also. There isn’t a super long trail in the bass, bass notes are not overlapping with midrange and the rest of the FR always felt precise, defined and clear sounding. To some degree I find them even more detailed compared to multi-driver IEMs. There is always a raw and unpolished feeling with some particular Chi-Fi IEMs, but there is nothing of that in here, not even a footprint. FD5 are smooth, quite gentle with the right music, very polished and controlled even at much higher levels.


Midrange felt great specially for instruments like Guitar - the sound is just rich & full of texture. Piano went down and decayed naturally, violins had a longer vibration, and was great sounding. Human voices are happening exactly in this region and sometimes I wanted to boost their presence so I could be carried away by their singing.


It is pretty cool experiencing cymbals and bells in a very clear and defined way, there is more bite in there with some very occasional mild sharpness. The only bad thing I can say about its treble, is that its intensity was higher than usual. However, I can’t find excessive ringing with them, there is no distortion, there is no bloat or a lack of refinement, nothing of that in here. Treble is boosted in the most sensitive part of our hearing; some might like that and some might not. I like the treble personally and do not find it fatiguing in any way.


Soundstage is amongst the strongest traits when it comes to the FD5. It is huge, with great depth and layering. When I moved to other regular IEMs, it wasn’t as grand and open, as if the windows towards music were half shut, or half opened if you are an optimist. I strongly believe that the soundstage of FD5 is one of its best traits

Imaging & Timbre:

The FD5 produces a good amount of the microdetails and nuances present in recordings. I think it is one of their best qualities. Layering is done well and it gives the user a decent amount of directional information and placement. Imaging and timbre further shines with the use of upgrade cables with silver litz copper cables.

Comparisons :

FIIO FH7 : The FH7 being the most successful amongst Fiio flagships is a hybrid IEM. It comes with 4BA+1DD architecture. The FD5 on the other hand comes with a single DD. Though technically these are not comparable - My comparison here is more of a flagship against another and both coming from Fiio.
I have owned the FH7 for a few months now and it had been amongst my favorite IEMs till the FD5 came in. While the Balanced Armatures of the FH& produces clean & detailed sound... it misses on some of the 3D part of the timbre that we can get from the DD sound of the FD5. The bass is more textured... the mids have more body in the FD5. Overall I'd prefer the FD5 over FH7 any day.

Conclusion :

I have found the FD5 to be very pleasant sounding specially with the narrow tube. Sound-wise it's quite a beast and can beat IEMs that costs twice the price within a heartbeat. It is by far the best flagship IEM released by Fiio till date.



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500+ Head-Fier
The Reigning ~$300 Heavyweight to Beat Even in 2022
Pros: + Unique staging and presentation. Open-sounding, airy, expansive, large images.
+ Refined, lightly V-shaped tuning. Evenly emphasised sub- and mid-bass; mildly accented upper mids; highlighted treble
+ Bass that kicks deep and hard, with excellent control, speed, and texture
+ Superb dynamics and engagement factor
+ Good technicalities all around: speed, imaging, detail, separation
+ Fantastic build and aesthetics
+ Good isolation for a semi-open design
+ Impressive accessory set, including a modular-plug cable, and Final MMCX Assist tool
+ Good value, taking into account sound quality, build, design, and accessory set
Cons: - Highly tip-dependent; stock tips do not produce the best sound
- Requires some experimenting with third-party tips (and cables, if you believe that stuff) to attenuate its lower-treble peak
A 1.5 Year Revisit

[ Updated 19 September 2022 ]

I remember the first time I picked up the FD5 (I would go on to own them three more times) in January of 2021 after reading the glowing early impressions of them. I was sorely overwhelmed on my first listen, until I discovered how tip-dependent they were, and after shuffling through an assortment of tips, finally discovering their sheer wonder with the SpinFit CP145.

At the time, I wrote a brief initial review of the FD5, mostly expressing my revelry, as one does in the early honeymoon stages. Fast forward to the third-quarter of 2022, and over a dozen IEMs later, including more expensive units as the Moondrop Variations, UM MEST, Sony IER-M9, and ThieAudio Clairvoyance, I thought I would do a proper revisit and head-to-head comparison with other popular competitors to the FD5 I’ve owned in the intervening time.

This review will cover comparisons with the following:
  • Moondrop Blessing 2: Dusk [ 1DD 4BA ] — $329
  • Unique Melody 3DT — [ 3DD ] — $319
  • Sony XBA-N3AP — [ 1DD 1BA ] — $300 [ Discontinued ]
  • JVC HA-FDX1 — [ 1DD ] — $280
The comparisons with the Dusk and 3DT were done directly, whereas my notes for the XBA-N3 are largely from memory (I’ve owned the N3 thrice now). Finally, the notes on the FDX1 were made in direct comparison with the UM 3DT, so make the appropriate extrapolations as you will.

Unique Melody 3DT

  • The FD5 is distinctly more spacious and expansive staging-wise, with a far more open and airy presentation, and a greater sense of scale. By comparison, the 3DT’s staging dimensions are just about average, with a more conventionally intimate, closed-in IEM presentation
  • Tonally, the FD5 is relatively more linear, with a mild U-shaped tuning, and a more polite, mid-centric presentation. The 3DT, on the other hand, is unapologetically lively, bold, energetic, vivid, with a slightly aggressive L-shaped tuning.
  • Timbral accuracy and dynamism are quite simply superb on the 3DT. This is one of their defining qualities for me, and they easily surpass the FD5 in this regard, with the FD5 sounding relatively soft and smoothed-over. When it comes to the depiction of acoustic instruments, the 3DT stands out with a remarkable realism, vividness, and textural nuance.
  • Tonal density is also appreciably greater on the 3DT, lending it a greater sense of realism with acoustic music.
  • Clarity and detail retrieval are relatively similar between the FD5 and 3DT, with an edge to the FD5.
  • Transparency and separation, however, are distinctly superior on the FD5, due perhaps in part to its semi-vented design.
  • Bass displays distinctly greater density, vigour, and slam on the 3DT, whereas the FD5’s bass has a relatively more polite, softer, and more rounded quality
  • Treble on the FD5 is smoother, more even, with a more delicate quality, and displays distinctly greater air and extension. The 3DT has a noticeable lower-treble peak that lends it the appearance of greater clarity, but it doesn’t quite extend as high as the FD5, and has a harder, edgier quality.
  • Mids are appreciably fuller, more linear, and more open sounding on the FD5, whereas the 3DT’s mids are noticeably leaner, with a slightly recessed lower-midrange, and a greater upper-midrange emphasis

Moondrop Blessing 2: Dusk

  • As with the 3DT comparison, staging is distinctly more spacious and expansive on the FD5, with a much more airy and open presentation. By comparison, staging on the Dusk is more forward and more involving, with a more conventionally closed-in IEM presentation.
  • Tonally, the Dusk might be described as slightly thick bass-boosted neutral, whereas the FD5 presents a crisper, lighter, mildly U-shaped tuning
  • Note weight is noticeably shallower on the FD5 (although this is tip-dependent), with a relatively leaner and drier quality, whereas the Dusk displays appreciably greater tonal density.
  • Bass on the FD5 is distinctly tauter, more textured, more agile, with a greater sense of tactility. As has been well-documented, the bass on the Dusk lacks a certain dynamism, elasticity, and tactility, with a relatively dry quality.
  • Transient response is distinctly quicker on the FD5, sounding a tad muted or lopped-off on the Dusk, relatively speaking
  • There’s distinctly greater snap, bite, and attack on the FD5
  • Treble extension is noticeably superior on the FD5, with a pleasingly delicate, airy quality
  • Macro- and micro-dynamics are appreciably, if not distinctly, superior on the FD5. Again, as has been documented elsewhere, the Dusk still sounds relatively downwards-compressed. The FD5 simply comes across as being far more effortless and expressive.
  • In terms of technicalities, I would say say that the FD5 is noticeably more resolving


  • Soundstage is distinctly wider, more spacious, and expansive on the FD5
  • Presentation is distinctly airier and more open on the FD5
  • Tonally, the N3 is smooth, warm, and bassy, whereas the FD5 showcases a mildly U-shaped profile
  • Note weight is appreciably thicker and denser on the N3
  • Bass is distinctly weightier, more vigorous, more robust, and more impactful on the N3. However, the FD5’s bass is more agile, textured, defined, and less prominent.
  • Mids are thicker and fuller-bodied on the N3, being more linear, open, and expressive sounding on the FD5
  • Mid- and upper-treble have noticeably greater presence on the FD5, with greater air and extension, whereas the N3 sounds relatively darker and smoothed-off up top
  • The FD5 displays distinctly superior micro-dynamics, contrast, and textural nuance, whereas the N3 sounds relatively smoothed-over, as noted by @crinacle in his ranking list
  • Technicalities, in terms of clarity, detail retrieval, and separation, are distinctly superior on the FD5.

JVC HA-FDX1 ( compared to Unique Melody 3DT)

  • The 3DT is leaner, cleaner, and more precise sounding
  • The 3DT displays greater treble extension and articulacy
  • The 3DT displays greater bass presence, impact, and definition
  • The 3DT displays greater clarity, resolution, and transparency
  • The 3DT sounds relatively V-shaped in comparison to the FDX1
  • The 3DT displays greater macro- and micro-dynamics
  • The 3DT offers distinctly superior isolation
  • The 3DT is undoubtedly the superior technical performer, and easily at least a tier above the FDX1
  • The FDX1 still suffers from somewhat shouty upper-mids
  • The FDX1 is warmer, smoother, and fuller-bodied
  • The FDX1 displays a more a more organic, atmospheric presentation

Comment on the Sony MH755

Curiously, of the IEMs I currently own, the FD5 is most reminiscent to my ears of the cult dollar-bin classic, the Sony MH755, but with a more masterful tuning and technical performance that far surpasses the latter. It dials down the decidedly boosted sub-bass of MH755, and shifts the broader lower-treble peak on MH755 a little closer to the mid-treble with a narrower band. For those looking for the upgrade to the MH755 with a more mature tuning, the FD5, at least for me, fits the bill.


Suffice to say, the FD5 is my favourite IEM of the Dusk, 3DT, XBA-N3, and FDX1. They are easily the most technically competent performers of the lot as a whole, with a tuning that deftly toes the line between palatability, engagement, and fun. The N3 is a close contender for subjective fun and engagement factor and close too to my ideal tuning, but it lacks that bit of lower- to mid-treble energy, and while its bass is incredibly fun, it can also be a tad intrusive on certain recordings. Technically, the N3 has also begun to show its age. The 3DT remains a compelling option for its unique timbre, vivid presentation, and visceral energy. As for the Dusk... well, if you're after a palatable, agreeable tuning, with decent technicalities, and a listen that doesn't stand out in any particular way, good or bad, I imagine that might be your cup of tea.


Initial review

[ 16 February 2021 ]

I’ve been sitting on the FD5 for about a month now, and wanted to share my impressions.

For context, my main IEM of late has been the Sony IER-M9. Prior to that, my primary driver was the Sony XBA-Z5. Other single DD IEMs I’ve owned include the AK T8iE MKII (warmer, darker cousin of the Beyerdynamic Xelento) and the Sony EX1000.


Spotify Premium on Mac > iFi ZEN DAC Balanced > iFi ZEN CAN Balanced > FiiO FD5


I’ll state upfront that I was frankly disappointed when I heard the FD5 out of the box. I really liked the bass (meaty, plenty of slam) and the mids (full, euphonic), but I found its technicalities fairly lacking.

I ran through a bunch of tips—stock Balanced, stock Vocal, Symbio W, Symbio Peel, Acoustune AET07, Azla Sedna—but simply wasn’t hearing the staging, holographic imaging, or resolving capabilities that they had been praised for in reviews.

More specifically, I thought the separation, imaging, and detail were below average for its price point. Muddled and congested sounding, even. Upper-mids/lower treble also tended to display a certain harshness, upper-treble was poorly articulated, diffuse, and splashy, and there was a distinct lack of refinement to the sound as a whole.

On a whim, I tried the SpinFit CP145 tips, and that made a world of a difference. There was the staging and technical capability that I’d read about. Gone was the upper-mid harshness and dissonance between the lower and upper mids. Upper-treble became well-extended, well-articulated, and refined.


My sonic priorities are fairly defined: bass, soundstage, timbre, dynamism, liveliness. The FD5 checks all these boxes, with fantastic technicalities to boot.

At its price point, the FD5 are exceptional by virtue of their staging and presentation alone. There isn’t the closed-in quality or small images that characterises most IEMs, or the “ants playing in a concert hall” type effect that appears even with IEMs with large stages. This is an open, airy, and expansive presentation.

The closest approximation to the tonality and presentation of the FD5 in my estimation would be the Sony EX1000, albeit with a smoother, more refined treble, and a healthy added dose of bass slam, weight, and grunt. A lovechild of the Sony EX1000 and the Sony XBA-N3, if you would. I do want to caveat here that it's been a while since I've had EX1000, so I won't comment on their relative performance in terms of technicalities.

Of the V-shaped IEMs I’ve owned—AK T8iE MKII, Fearless S8F, Sony XBA-N3—I’d pick the FD5 everyday.

If it isn’t clear at this point, I dig the FD5, and I dig ‘em hard.
Last edited:
@Fat Larry Hi there, I've never owned the Xelento, so I'm afraid I can't offer a comparison here.

@mgw01 Hello! I have both the CP100 and CP145. Your estimation is right indeed - the narrower bore of the CP100 fits more snugly on the FD5. However, and speaking subjectively here, I find the tonal response and technicalities to be superior with the CP145. I did have an issue with the CP145 slipping off on one side, but fixed that by sticking some Blu Tack around the sides of the nozzle, then slipping the tips over them.
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@shampoosuicide you should try out the narrow tube with Spinfit CP800 if you haven't already


Reviewer at hxosplus
Less is more...
Pros: - Natural and high musical tuning
- Great bass extension and quality
- Wide soundstage
- Precise imagining
- Interchangeable sound tube in two sizes
- Excellent build quality
- Stainless steel construction
- High end cable with interchangeable plugs
- Luxury carrying case
- Five different kinds of ear tips
Cons: - A bit heavy
- May not fit well small ear cavities
- Medium noise attenuation
- Not as comfortable as anatomically shaped iems
The FD5 was kindly provided by FiiO and is still under their ownership.
This is my honest and subjective evaluation of it.

The retail price is €300 and you can get it from


After a long and adventurous journey into multi driver iems - hybrid or not - including the much acclaimed FH3 , FH7 and FA9 , FiiO is back to where it all began.
Six years ago the EX1 was their first iem , a single dynamic driver design as is the case with their brand new flagship the FD5



Technology inside

Say hello to FD5, a single dynamic driver iem with a large 12mm diameter.
Size is not all that matters and this big boy packs some heavy technology and innovation inside.

The diaphragm is beryllium coated combined with diamond like carbon coating (DLC) in order to make full use of the physical rigidity and flexibility of the materials to reduce unneeded vibration and properly damp the sound for improved quality.

In order to address the issues that come with time delay between different sound waves , an acoustic prism was specifically developed for the FD5.
This was inspired by technology used into high end tweeters.

By installing a conical device close to the front end of the diaphragm the designers were able to control how sound waves travel into the tube and eliminate standing waves plus enhancing sound diffusion.

A "volcanic field" was added to the rear of the FD5 in order to reduce low frequency standing waves and distortion.
The FD5 also adopts semi open design which relieves air pressure inside the ear leading to longer listening sessions.

As we can see FiiO used high end technology in order to fully exploit the single drivers most important feature which is the one point source radiation of the sound waves.

Build quality and comfort

The shells are well made from robust stainless steel that not only looks striking and beautiful but additionally helps to reduce the harmonic distortion of sound inside the FD5.
The overall impression is that they definitely feel and look more premium than the price would suggest.


The curved cylindrical design was cleverly adopted in order to enhance fit and to greatly reduce unwanted resonances and reflection of the sound waves inside the body.

But steel as we know is a heavy material and as that each ear piece weighs a whole 11gr.
According to this the FD5 is quite heavy especially when compared to aluminium or 3D printed iem like the FA9 and can become a little fatiguing after a prolonged time of use.
Anyway this wasn't a deal breaker for us because we always take small breaks after an hour or so of continuous use in order to protect our hearing.


Overall fit is good and comfortable but don't expect custom like anatomical fit.
Due to the generic cylindrical shape some users may experience difficulty to properly fit them especially if they have a deep cavity or a smallish inner ear.

Although the FD5 is a semi open design passive noise control was above average and we have successfully used in noisy environments.
Still it will not isolate like some custom like closed back iems do.

The FD5 features interchangeable sound tubes in small and large sizes to best fit our ears.
The large one will fit most ears and results into a balanced sound signature while the small one can be combined with the triple flange ear tips in order to fit smaller ears and additionally enhance the bass reproduction.



The cable is of very high quality and if it was branded it would probably sell more or less at the FD5 asking price.

We are very grateful that FiiO is paying attention to reviewers and customer feedback.
This is quite like the cable that was used with the EM5 earbud and back then when we reviewed it we wished that FiiO would adopt it in all future flagship earphones.


Our wish was granted and the FD5 is equipped with such a cable in a slightly different form.
It is detachable with an expanded MMCX connector at the earpiece end and an interchangeable audio straight plug at the other end.
The plug is easily swapped and we get 3.5mm , 2.5mm and 4.4mm variants to fit all use cases without the need of an adapter.



High purity monocrystalline silver plated copper is used in eight strands with 19 wires per strand.
Litz type 2 structure is adopted where each wire is individually insulated.


Cable length is 1.20m and the handling experience is very satisfying with low microphonics and tangle free use.


FiiO is always generous when it comes with the supplied accessories so except the cable and the extra sound tubes we get bass , vocal and balanced ear tips in three sizes each.


Additionally we will find extra foam and triple flange ear tips in two sizes plus the Final Audio MMCX extraction tool and a small cleaning brush.
The brand new premium and high quality HB5 carrying case is included.


Sound impressions

The FD5 with an impedance of 32Ω and a high sensitivity of 109dB/mW is very easy to drive but it will not pick up internal noise.

We have tested the FD5 with various devices such as the FiiO BTR3K , BTR5 , Q3 , Q5S TC , M11PRO , the EarMen Sparrow and Eagle , SoundMAGIC A30 and Zoorlo Ztella among others.
The burn in process is beneficial to the FD5 and we would suggest at least 80-100 hours in order to reach the intended sound signature.

The FD5 while it is very enjoyable from entry level sources it scales incredibly well and can do justice even to high end partners so we wouldn't be hesitant to use our best gear with it.
We have greatly enjoyed it with the FiiO Q5s TC and EarMen Sparrow.

Sound impressions to follow are with the balanced ear tips and the large sound tube.

The overall sound signature is very balanced with excellent timbre and an even , natural and very musical tonality.
One striking aspect is in the sound projection and the way that it feels integrated and homogenized.
Music sounds as a true whole and it doesn't feel like split into several frequency bands as is the case with a lot of multi driver iems.
The FD5 feels very clear and undistorted even when pressed hard to very loud listening volumes.


Bass is the star of the show not because it is accentuated or emphasized but rather for the high quality characteristics.
Low notes are extended down to the sub bass region without any significant roll off.

Quantity is of equal loudness to the rest of the frequencies and as natural as it can get.
Many people that are not used to proper bass levels may initially perceive it as too much but in the long run they will discover that this is the correct bass amount that an earphone should have in order to be balanced according to the equal loudness curves.
If we would like to criticize the bass quantity from a puristic point of view then yes it could be toned just a touch lower to be perfect and of better proportion to the lower mids.

The large and rigid driver can move plenty of air and still recover very fast.
As a result we get an impactful , full bodied bass response that is speedy with great dynamics and excellent control.
Texture is vibrant and visceral with great detail and ample layering.
We can distinguish every drum beat and hammer stroke, even the kind of string bowing or the most silent pizzicato.
Reverberation and echo are very well reproduced and add greatly to the overall sense of reality.
In other words this is one striking performer and among the best we have ever tested.

Transition to the mids is linear without significant mid bass bloat but some times upper bass can feel a little foggy compared for example to the FH3.

The middle section is slightly restrained but not recessed.
The tuning follows the Harman Target response curve but it does not sound overly V shaped or hollow.
Voices and other instruments are centered on the mix without being highlighted or drawn far away.
Timbre is correct and everything sounds lively and engaging with a well rounded and full body.
Clarity is amazing and we can hear every single breath of the singers or their lips whispering the notes.

Higher frequencies are well extended and crispy without being fatiguing or sibilant and timbre is retained very natural.
The presentation is clear and vibrant with very satisfying micro detail levels.
The FD5 is not an analytical or overly detailed earphone but is not lacking in this department.
It is just not oriented in monitoring duties and the fine nuances are presented as an integrated part of the whole musical experience rather than being solely highlighted.
The best part is that the high frequency notes are equally full bodied as the rest of the spectrum and never sound lean or light.
Transient response is moderately fast and time decay is spot on timing with all the notes naturally fading into the recording space that is persuasively recreated.

Talking about space the FD5 can draw a wide and large soundscape which is projected just a little outside our head.
There is enough room for all the instruments to shine with good accuracy across the left to the right axis but depth layering is restrained and unfortunately we don't get that three dimensional effect.


Minor sound tweaking can be done with the supplied ear tips and the small sound tube.
We haven't experimented extendenly because the small tube must be used with the triple flange ear tips that we find them very uncomfortable.
Anyway the few times we tested we felt that the large size tube was much more to our liking.
The various other ear tips are worth testing because they really offer some fine tuning without altering the general character of the sound signature.

At the end

Well what an irony.
FiiO have managed to exceed our expectations and beat their own multi driver flagships with a single dynamic driver iem.
It is obvious that for our individual tastes and hearing perception the FiiO FD5 is not only the best tuned and more mature FiiO iem till now but one of the best we have ever tested.
The FiiO FD5 is the definition of the proverbial phrase "less is more" and a lesson in design and proper implementation.
You don't need to have a dozen of various drivers and complex uber high tech crossovers as long as you are able to be innovative and carefully design around a single quality component.
And FiiO R&D team have managed exactly that elevating simplicity to a whole next level.
The FD5 is a thoughtfully created and tuned iem which is highly enjoyable with all kinds of music without drawing attention to itself.
So to sum up if you value very natural timbre and tonality and you prefer listening rather than analyzing to your music then the FD5 is made for you.
Sit back and enjoy , satisfaction guaranteed.

Test playlist -

Copyright - Laskis Petros 2021.
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Thank you!
If you need MQA then you have to go with the Sparrow because the Q5S TC doesn't support MQA.
Sound wise and functionality I give Q5S TC the edge.
Anybody can compare both FD5 to FD7? Thanks
I have done a couple of times somewhere in the threads but don't remember where.
Anyway, FD5 is slightly more V shaped, a touch more sub and mid bass and a bit more emphasized upper mid range and treble.
Mids are essentially the same.
FD5 is more fun and FD7 more reference and tonally correct for classical.
Also FD7 just a little more refined and open sounding.
Choice is mostly related to your favorite music.


Headphoneus Supremus
FD5, flagship dynamic earphones from Fiio
Pros: Flagship level packaging. Great accessories variety, excellent well thought out premium square case with shell divider liners to hold your FD5, 2ndary nozzle for a different sound. All solid metal build with a chrome finish, excellent modern looks in a traditional barrel shaped semi open housing. 8 core silver plated monocrystalline modular cable which comes with 3 different terminations for use with a variety of sources. Highly transparent cable. Mild V shaped musical harmonish sound tuning with more sub bass, lower mids, and enhanced treble frequencies. Large surround like circular stage with a frontal clean detailed sound presentation.
Cons: Frontal projecting highly detailed sound using a highly resolving monocrystalline cable does not match well with a highly resolving neutral source. Warm sources recommended. Unforgiving of poorly mastered tracks.
Fiio FD5
Dynamic earphones have seen a resurgence and Fiio is not a company to stand idle while others are exploring and reimagining the tried and true dynamic in ear monitors. Don’t know how long the FD5 has been in the development but I can tell they have saved their best for last. The end of 2020 sees new advancing designs for our hobby and today the FD5 is something new from Fiio that brings a new sound and a cutting edge design.

I would like to thank Sunny of Fiio for the opportunity to hear and evaluate their new FD5 earphones. The sample was provided for review purposes. You can order a set for you from their aliexpress page here.

Our hobby is all about advancing established designs because let's be honest, if you're not advancing where are you going with that? The modern dynamic designs are using better coatings and materials that promise even better sonics. The birth of the FD5 is perhaps due to the need for better. Utilizing rigid composite materials and coatings that produce quicker transients, better detail, better imaging, better timbre and ultimately a better sound. The FD5 sees a combination of materials being used on the transducer that uses a DLC or diamond like carbon material coated with Beryllium. What is more common would be the use of one material or the other but certainly not both on the same driver. This brings some unique properties to the very capable 12mm drivers of the FD5. Fiio went a few steps further. In looking at the design they incorporated an all new stainless steel housing that is roughly medium cylindrical in size. Inside the housing the driver mounted for what is called a rear volcanic field system, perhaps an ode to rear firing sub woofer designs, and a baffle in front of the driver called an acoustic prism, in a semi open shell.

The prism on the front of the driver is more commonly used in speaker technology and now we see a miniature version placed in front of the very cable 12mm driver of the FD5. What does all this RnD and the use of a new hybrid type dynamic driver do for the sound?.

When you get the FD5 you will know it is substantial because the box is big. A bigger box means it is housing some substantial accessories and that is what you're getting with the FD5. I have bought flagship earphones that don't have the accessories package that comes with the FD5. Being touted as Fiios flagship dynamic earphones. Usually when we are talking about flagships, one would expect a much higher price tag.

I will give huge props to Fiio for not cutting any corners for accessories and giving the consumer a flagship worthy accessories package. The included tip selection is excellent, something you would expect for a flagship the tip selection sees 3 types of silicones labelled balanced, vocal and bass, triple flange tips to use with the narrow bored nozzle and dual set of foam tips on top of that.
The included well thought out case is higher end in looks and form, comfortably able to include the FD5 the cables, some of the modular connectors, and several sets of tips if need be. The case has included separators for each of the earphones. This is worth mentioning as this will prevent the earphones from banging against each other. Well thought out here.
Then there is the monocrystalline silver coated 8 core modular cable which comes in single ended and is easily able to switch out the connector for any type of termination to use on your players. This level of cable is again something you would see in a much more pricer offering and we get that with the FD5. The quality of the cable is boutique in quality and shows a very highly transparent nature to the cables, as a pack in cable a bit unexpected but definitely a plus.

The shells of the FD5 are made of solid stainless steel finished in chrome. Shiny with a back faceplate that has a very nicely done modern artistic look to the venting. I don’t know if anyone will be able to argue that the FD5 is not a looker. One of the better modern designs used in a traditional cylindrical form but very clean and substantial in looks. My only real worry here is if you're not careful when storing these, I can see these shells denting or blemishing when being a bit casual with them. No clanking folks, take care of your shiny earphones, use the included case and you will be fine. I bet they can take a fall or a hit to the shells just fine but who wants blemishes in their nice shiny chrome plated ear pieces.

Due to the metal content on the shells they are a bit weighty at 11 grams but are not like slugs in your ears. The only downside to an all metal housing is, they are a bit cold in winter mornings when throwing them in your ears for the first time. Otherwise excellent build on the FD5s. Fiio included a very nice tool to make sure you're taking out your cables in the correct manner, something they got from Final Audio the tool of 2020.
Though all you have to do is use your fingernails to do the same thing. Nice throw in regardless. If you keep your nails short that is where this tool will be useful.

Sound analysis was done using a variety of daps and amps. Fiio M15, Shanling M6pro, M5s, M3s, Ibasso DX160, Sony ZX300, Cayin N5ii, Ibasso PB3, IFI Black Label.
Listening to the FD5 on open box was interesting. The sound scope was large, dimensional, frontal, airy and had the type of sound you get lost in. I knew the sound was on point and I had to explore more the sound on the FD5. I wanted to take my time getting to know the sonics and what Fiio has done to make them sound like they do. The FD5 promises a lot of tech to make them sound how they are and for me they do stand apart from your average dynamic earphone.
What stood out for me right away was a grand presentation in stage and air with a high degree of definition and dynamics across the board.
Earphone definition is a bit different than something you would hear from speakers or any other method of audio hearing. It is those immediate bits of micro and macro details played out in a dimensional field inside your head. The stage of the FD5 is larger and wider than most in ears with an even spread of the 3 parts of the sound field cohesiveness you would expect from a single dynamic, the height and depth of sonics are just as tall and deep as the sound is wide making for a unique more circular type head stage but grander in scope. The impressive head stage and air that the sound has is due to the nicely vented design of the FD5 and in doing so, head stage and the sound the FD5 projects is bigger and also due to the design a bit more frontal sounding than most. Sound is airy which adds an element of coloration to the sonics but one that is enjoyable. The new prism baffle that was made for the FD5 claims to reduce phase mismatches for more accurate imaging. A tech used in higher end floor speakers. Whatever it does, imaging is another aspect that is at the forefront of the sound design.

The FD5 images a lot like a multi BA set, coming off of a review I recently did with 8 BAs in the housing. It is astounding the FD5 matches that set, imaging per imaging. That musical imaging comes to you in a 3 dimensional manor and not on a flat plane of sound like your traditional earphone sound. Highly resolving with gobs of detail I had to fully grasp just how technically proficient the FD5 is. It is one of the cleanest, snappiest and speediest sounding earphones I have ever heard. Instrument separation is also at a very high level. Again going back to the comparison with multi BA sets. The FD5 will go toe to toe with any highly resolving set with excellent instrument timbres and separation with even a better sense of air and space to your music.

What separates the FD5 from your average single dynamic earphone is its sense of layering that happens to be the strong suit of the FD5. Stage being larger its sense of layering in space is one of the best I have heard. Easily able to hear frontal mid and backgrounds of any well recorded track. If your music was recorded in space. You're gonna hear that space. Layering is amazing on the FD5.

Carbon based dynamics seems to have quicker speedier transients and the FD5 clearly has that speed and agility for sound that comes at you in a multi layered dimensional manor. It is one of the better earphones that surrounds you with your music. Nothing flat or average about the sound projected from these drivers FD5 is using a very capable high resolution driver.

The cable the FD5 comes with is highly resolving. I would say is very close to what a pure silver cable does, it is better than a majority of thrown in cables I have seen with just about any earphone. Fiio wants you to hear all them little details and nuances of your music with the highly resolving ability of the FD5, which also comes with one of the most resolving cables. The cable seems to be a customized modular version of their LC-4.4C cables made to enhance the details for the FD5. The catch is, the sound can become a bit edgy on rock and EDM tracks with a lot of crash symbols and synth highs which will test your treble sensibilities. I do notice that your sources will come into play here as well. Highly resolving neutrally tuned sources will add to the definition factor of the FD5. I do notice warm sources matches better with the FD5.
Before you say fatigue. Fiio threw in a large variety of tips including a set of foams for a reason. If you feel the full monty detail can be a bit too much for your sensitive young ears, try the included foams and also try your best resolving copper cables. You will be surprised how much you can tweak the stock sound of the FD5 with tips and cables to your liking.
Fiio threw in a 2nd nozzle. If the stock highly detailed sound was not enough there is a 2nd nozzle that effectively changes the sound profile to a more mid to bass focused IEM. Brings down the treble emphasis which now skews the sound toward the mids and bass. The issue with the bass nozzle is that while this is an effective way to bring yet another version of sonics on the FD5. This version using a skinnier nozzle effectively lessens the height and depth which also has an effect on the dimensional character and that air. The sound is now more traditional and sounds more closed in as a result. Similar in character going from an open can to a closed one. Headphone guys know what I am talking about here. A better way to do this is by using the same stock wider nozzle and just throwing in an extra mesh filter in front of the nozzle to bring down a bit of the highs. I own several earphones that use this method to change sound balancing and seems to be more effective vs this narrow 2ndary nozzle without neutering what makes the FD5 special, that air that stage.
Sound balancing for the FD5 is a mild V shape frequency with one of the best extended bass and treble ends I can think of for single dynamic earphones. Each part of the sound spectrum has that detail. Bass has very good authority and here is where I am hearing that beryllium coating comes into play. Bass has an elasticity and reach that not all dynamics can portray. The highly resolving character of the dynamic driver can be clearly heard. There is not a bass note that will not come with authority and tightness.

Speed is another factor that I found the bass end to be excellent with, DLC drivers have one of the speediest bass for dynamics and then you combine that beryllium coating low reaching rumble. You get an outstanding bass ability and presence. Mids to the treble end shows the brunt of that technical ability I went over previously and for vocal lovers these earphones do vocals justice with an enveloping stage and air that not too many earphones can do. The FD5 does have a bit of a harmonish tuning to it with more sub bass, lower mids and more upper trebles. Sound balancing is well done but a bit more skewed toward the upper registers of sound which brings with it a lot of clarity with that sense of air. Treble is clean but is clearly extended into the 16khz region and beyond.
That warm full bass end balances the tonality of the frontal treble notes but I do notice crash symbols and in general highlighted notes in the upper registers comes in clear as a bell and I don’t know if it is due to the new prism baffle placed in front of the driver but sound projects a bit more forward than your standard earphones which could be a potential issue for some.

Mid bands is where the music lives and here again the overall tonality is cleaner side of sonics due to the extended treble bands having influence. Add in that lovely deep tall and wide dimensional stage a highly detailed presentation and you got something that is very immersive in sound. Lower mids is elevated some vs your standard harmon balancing and in doing so music has good weight, the perfect body and presence here and the balancing is for the most part done very well.

Treble here is the name of the game. Treble can make or break an IEM sound tuning. Not enough treble and the sound becomes lifeless, muted, dull in nature. The opposite introduces high levels of detail, clarity, a chiseled sound and that high end sheen and sparkle. A bit too much can cause ear fatigue. Fiio has a history of tuning the treble end to be that fine line of presence and extension and in enhancing the treble range in a highly resolving earphone. We get detail in spades but that comes at a cost. I found myself exclusively using the foam tips to take a bit off the edge of the high notes. This works great but I also found myself lowering the volume to listen for longer periods of time due to just how much resolving character the FD5 has. This is a good thing for me actually since I can appreciate the fine details of the FD5 without the need to blast the volume. That cohesion from a single driver makes the overall tonality very clean, precise and detailed in all regions of sound but I will admit treble balancing is more optimal from the narrow bass nozzle vs the stock one for longer listening sessions.
New technology in new earphones will bring immediate attention among enthusiasts for a product from a well established manufacturer. Fiio is always at the cutting edge in design in moving forward our audio hobby. FD5 sees a new direction for the tried and true Dynamic earphone. The solid all metal build is substantial in hand and the sound has the detail and presentation to match the stunning looks. Going above and beyond when it comes to accessories, you can clearly tell they put a lot of thought and effort into the entire package.

The sound of the FD5 is ultimately what matters and here we have a very capable, highly resolving sound with a larger airy stage that is difficult for earphones to produce. A technically superb earphone with a look that achieves much higher production values than what the FD5 actually costs. Fiio did really well with these. To get the best results of the FD5, I was told by Fiio to burn in the driver for 100 hours. The reviewed set has 200. Once you dial down the tips and a good warmer source to match up with the FD5. It is one of the most enjoyable listens I have heard all year. Thanks goes out to Fiio and to all my friends at Headfi..

I hope 2021 sees the end of the Pandemic. Happy new year and happy listening always.
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Excellent review! :)
Could you write your small comparison of the FD5 vs. KB-EAR Believe (1 DD beryllium driver) ???
I apologize, I thought you have the Believe.
Many thanks for the link too.

Consequence: I have to buy the FD5 too ...


Member of the Trade: RikuBuds
Pros: Bass quality/quantity
Vocal quality (male and female)
Treble quality
Highly technical DD
Huge soundstage
Excellent imaging/instrument separation
Extremely detailed
Excellent timbre
Build quality
Modular cable
No pressure build up due to vents
Cons: Bass-boost config is worse in quality across the entire range
A bit heavy
Fatiguing during long sessions

EDIT 2021-07-11: demoted the rating from 5/5 to 4/5 due to diminshing returns thanks to the GS Audio GD3A.

EDIT 2022-01-14: demoted the rating from 4/5 to 3/5 due to the CCA CRA.

: I received this review unit from Fiio. Thank you very much

Price: 320 usd


Frequency response: 10Hz ~ 40kHz

Sensitivity: 109dB@1mW

Impedance: 32Ω@1KHz

Max input power: 100mW

Unit weight: about 11g



Tuning nozzle (balanced and bass boost)

Cleaning tool

Final Audio MMCX Assist tool

Modular cable (2.5/4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm SE)

S/M/L foam tips

S/M/L bass silicone tips

S/M/L vocal silicone tips

S/M/L balanced silicone tips

S/L triple flange silicone tips

Pleather carry case


Cable: A very high quality thinner than average, 8 core SPC cable that is modular with interchangeable plugs (3.5 mm SE and 2.5/4.4mm Balanced). The plugs themselves are very short and looks like a normal plug. The modular design itself still needs some work as it isn’t very intuitive (the markings on how to align the plugs is on the “inside” of the metal part on the cable itself) on how to detach/attach the different plugs.




Build: Made out of stainless steel, quite heavy and feels solid. There is a lip on the nozzle for the tips. L/R is marked on the body with a very small text but is also marked in blue/red color on the opposite side of the mmcx connection. The vents should make it so that no one will be bothered by any pressure build up because there is none (for met at least), but the vents don’t change the sound as dramatic as it does on for example the Sony EX800ST, so they are more for pressure alleviation rather than sound.

Fit: Fit is good and is deeper than average, shouldn’t be a problem for most except the smallest ears.

Comfort: Comfort is just ok. It is pretty heavy and covers my entire ear, it would have been better for me if it were a bit smaller in size.

Isolation: Above average, it covers my entire ear and that helps it despite the vents on the faceplate.

Balanced config:

Ibasso DX160 (low gain, volume around 30), Sony EP-EX11 tips L, Stock cable 4.4mm

Lows: Bass is very fun due to the quantity (high mid and sub quantity) but very clean due to the speed and tightness. Quality is excellent with extension and texture.

Mid-bass: Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), good quantity but clean due to the speed/tightness and texture is good. The (02:55-03:01) section with the chopper could be cleaner and more hearable.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), quantity is very good and it is fun, but still very clean. Tightness and speed are good as well and texture is very good.

Sub-bass: Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), very good extension and quite a lot of rumble but still very clean. Punch quantity is also very high and is fast/tight and well textured.

Will Sparks – Sick like that (03:08-03:22), quantity is good. Speed and tightness are good and texture is very impressive.

Mids: Very well-balanced male/female vocals that are very natural with the tonality. Very clean and detailed as well and no bleed from the bass. Not recessed nor forward so it suits a lot of tracks/genres.

Female-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), very good tonality and very clean and detailed as well so it is very natural. Not forward nor recessed vocals.

Yuki Hayashi – MightU (01:58-02:55), good tonality but vocals would be better if it were a bit brighter and a bit more forward. Very clean and detailed though.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), a tiny bit shouty but with good tonality, very natural.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Crescent (02:07-02:26), not shouty or sharp here either.

Male-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), very good tonality and is very clean and detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), excellent tonality so it is very natural. Detailed and clean as well.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), a tiny bit sharp electric guitar but good tonality and details.

Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), good tonality but somewhat shouty.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality, details and timbre are very good, but not so much texture. Violin tonality could be brighter but has good details, timbre and texture.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), good tonality, clean and detailed.

Soundstage: Excellent soundstage in both width but also depth.

Tonality: Very good tonality that doesn’t lean towards warmth or brightness, it is in between and can adjust itself based on the track which makes it very versatile. U-shaped.

Details: A lot of details and it does it without the need of a treble boost.

Instrument Separation: Separation as well as imaging are also excellent, a very technical iem.

Songs that highlight the IEM:

Good genres:
Trance, EDM, OST, acoustic, rock, metal, Pop, Kpop, Jpop

Bad genres: none in my library, very versatile


IEM: Tanchjim Oxygen, Final Audio Type E tips LL, Tri Through cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower and rumbles more on the FD5. Punch quantity is also higher on the FD5 as well as more textured. A bit tighter and faster on the Oxygen.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), Similar speed and tightness, but more quantity and textured on the FD5.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), a bit more quantity and texture on the FD5. But similar speed and tightness.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), tonality is a bit better on the Oxygen due to it being brighter. But timbre is better on the FD5 while details and clarity are similar.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), a tiny bit shouty on both.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), better tonality on the FD5 but similarly detailed. A bit cleaner and thinner sounding on the Oxygen due to less bass quantity and more treble quantity.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), a bit sharper electric guitar on the Oxygen.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), better cello tonality, texture, timbre and details on the FD5 while they are similarly clean. Violin tonality and texture are a bit better on the Oxygen while details are similar but extends higher on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), better tonality on the FD5 while details and clarity are similar.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), soundstage is bigger in both width and depth on the FD5 but mostly with the depth while width is only a little bit bigger. Details and instrument separation are similar while imaging is a bit better on the Oxygen but timbre is better on the FD5.

Overall: Both of them are very high-quality single DD iems. In a nutshell, the FD5 is a more fun and musical sound with a U-shaped sound, while the Oxygen is more analytical and more “boring”, bright neutral signature.

IEM: Sony MDR-EX800ST (EQ), Final Audio Type E tips LL, stock cable 3.5mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower on the FD5 but similar rumble quantity. Punch quantity is similar but much tighter, faster and textured on the FD5. Sounds bloated and unclean on the EX800ST in comparison.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), similar quantity but much cleaner due to the speed and tightness being much better on the FD5, texture is also much better.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), a bit more quantity on the EX800ST. But very bloated and unclean in comparison to the FD5. The EX800ST is out of its league with the bass.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), much higher quality on the FD5, cleaner, more detailed, better timbre and tonality.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), Similar tonality but much cleaner and more detailed on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), a bit better tonality on the EX800ST due to the warmth. But much cleaner and more detailed on the FD5 while the EX800ST is a bit grainy as well.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), electric guitars are sharper on the FD5 but is recessed on the EX800ST.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality and texture are similar, but cleaner, more detailed and better timbre on the FD5. Violin tonality, texture, details and timbre are better as well as treble extension on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), Similar tonality but much cleaner and more detailed on the FD5.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), soundstage bigger in both depth and width on the FD5. Timbre, instrument separation, imaging and details are also better on the FD5.

Overall: The FD5 is in another league. I also don’t rec the EX800ST without EQ.

IEM: Fiio FH3, Final Audio Type E tips LL, Faaeal Litz copper cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Extension is similar but rumbles more on the FH3. Punch quantity is similar but tighter and faster on the FD5 while texture is similar. Much cleaner on the FD5 and makes the FH3 somewhat bloaty (very impressive, as I would never call the FH3 bloaty).

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), a bit more quantity on the FH3 with similar texture. Faster and tighter on the FD5 while it is cleaner as well, but not as fun as on the FH3.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), a bit more quantity on the FH3 with similar texture. But much faster and tighter on the FD5.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), more forward vocals on the FH3. But better timbre, tonality, details and clarity on the FD5, much more natural on the FD5. Makes the FH3 sounds somewhat weird (or “honky” as others call it).

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), more forward vocals on the FH3 but more relaxing on the FD5 and better tonality and timbre.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), much better timbre and tonality on the FD5 more detailed and cleaner as well. Makes the FH3 sounds somewhat weird (or “honky” as others call it).

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), a bit sharper electric guitar on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello timbre, tonality and details are better on the FD5 while texture is similar. Violin timbre, tonality and details are better on the FD5 while texture is similar. Better treble extension on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), better tonality on the FD5 but more forward vocals on the FH3. Cleaner and more detailed on the FD5.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Soundstage is wider and deeper on the FD5. Details, timbre, instrument separation and imaging are better on the FD5.

Overall: The FH3 is more fun and bass quality is on the same level (but better on the FD5) while everything else is higher quality on the FD5. The FH3 does have more forward vocals though and is a bit easier to drive and bassheads will probably like it more.

IEM: LZ A7 (Pop-Red), Final Audio Type E tips LL, Faaeal Litz copper cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extension is similar but rumbles more on the A7. Punch quantity is a bit higher on the A7 while it is a bit faster and tighter on the FD5. Texture is better on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), Similar speed, tightness and texture while quantity is a bit higher on the A7.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), a tiny bit more quantity on the A7 while it is faster, tighter and more textured on the FD5.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), a bit more natural on the FD5 but more detailed on the A7. Similar tonality.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), better tonality on the A7 and a bit more relaxing too.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), similar tonality but cleaner and more natural on the FD5. A bit more detailed on the A7 though.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), more natural on the FD5 but has sharp electric guitars while the A7 does not.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello texture, details and tonality are better on the A7 while timbre is a bit better on the FD5. Violin timbre, tonality, details and treble extension are better on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), better tonality and cleaner on the FD5.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Very similar soundstage (airer on the FD5 though) but better imaging, instrument separation and timbre on the FD5. Details are similar.

Overall: 2 highly competent iems with equal technicalities. I say if you want a more fun and relaxing iem the A7 is better (more bass quantity and lesser treble quantity) while if you want the most natural and cleanest sound the FD5 is better although it does get a bit fatiguing during long sessions. You can’t really go wrong with either, so it’s a win either way.

IEM: LZ A7 (pop-gold), Final Audio Type E tips LL, Faaeal Litz copper cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extension and rumble are similar. Punch quantity is a bit higher on the FD5 while it is also faster, tighter and more textured.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), punch quantity is a bit higher on the FD5. Tightness and speed are similar but better texture on the FD5.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), quantity is a bit higher on the FD5. Speed and tightness are similar but better texture on the FD5.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), a tiny bit brighter tonality on the A7 (better). Similar details and clarity but timbre is better on the FD5.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), both are a bit sharp but better tonality on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), similar tonality but a bit better on the FD5 (warmer). Details and clarity are very similar but timbre is better on the FD5 so it sounds more natural.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), similarly sharp but more natural on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cellos tonality and timbre are better on the FD5, while texture and details are better on the A7. Violin timbre is better on the FD5 while tonality, details and treble extension are similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), more natural and cleaner on the FD5.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), very similar soundstage (airier on the FD5 though) while details, instrument separation and imaging are also very similar. Timbre Is better on the FD5.

Overall: Very similar sound profile (both U-shaped) but the FD5 is better because of its airier and more natural sound.

IEM: Urbanfun ISS014 (beryllium version), Acoustune AET08 tips L, ISN S4 cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower on the FD5 while rumble is similar. Punch quantity is also very similar but is faster, tighter and more textured on the FD5. FD5 sounds cleaner as well but is very similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), similar quantity, but a bit faster, tighter and more textured on the FD5.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), similar quantity but faster, tighter while texture is similar.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), better tonality, details, clarity and more forward vocals on the FD5.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), very similar tonality but is cleaner and less sharp on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), very similar tonality but cleaner, more detailed and more forward vocals on the FD5.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), better tonality and less sharp on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello tonality is similar but more detailed, clarity, texture and better timbre on the FD5. Violin tonality, details, clarity, texture, timbre and treble extension are better on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), similar tonality but more forward vocals, cleaner and more detailed on the FD5.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Soundstage is much bigger on the FD5 (especially depth). Details, instrument separation, imaging and timbre are also better as well.

Overall: The FD5 is a true upgrade to the ISS014 that is doing the same sound profile except that the FD5 doesn’t have recessed vocals which the ISS014 has in comparison. I don’t recommend the ISS014 anyway (due to QC and driver uncertainty) but for those that have the ISS014 (beryllium version) and is looking for an upgrade, the FD5 will be that.

IEM: Moondrop Blessing 2, Spinfits CP145 tips L, Faaeal litz copper cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extension and rumbles a lot more on the FD5. Punch quantity is also a lot higher on the FD5. A bit faster and tighter on the B2 while texture is much better on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), a bit faster and tighter on the B2 but lacking a lot of quantity and texture, sounds much more natural on the FD5.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), more quantity on the FD5 similar speed but a bit tighter on the B2 while texture is better on the FD5.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), vocal tonality is a bit better on the B2 but the instruments are much more natural (better tonality/timbre) on the FD5 due to them being too bright and thin on the B2. Details and clarity are similar.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), better tonality and less shouty on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), much better tonality and timbre on the FD5. Unnatural on the B2.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), sharper electric guitars on the B2 and too bright tonality with missing bass (quantity).

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello timbre, tonality and details are better on the FD5. Similar violin tonality but better timbre, texture and details on the FD5.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), better tonality on the FD5 but a bit cleaner on the B2.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), soundstage is bigger on the FD5 in depth mostly but also a bit in width. Instrument separation and imaging are similar (B2´s technicalities gets boosted due to the tuning = less bass and more treble quantity) while details are a bit better on the FD5. Timbre is much more natural on the FD5, a lot of BA timbre in the B2.

Overall: FD5 is much more natural than the B2 and while the technicalities are close it is because the B2 has less bass and more treble quantity, which will give it a boost in the technicalities. If you want a thinner and more analytical sound, I recommend the Tanchjim Oxygen over the B2 as the B2 sounds very unnatural with the BA timbre and very low bass quantity.

Bass Boost: The bass boost tuning nozzle is just a reduction in treble quantity and it also sounds worse in quality across the range so I don’t really recommend that config. This is however with the Sony EP-EX11 tips as the stock triple flange doesn’t work for me (in terms of fit and comfort).

Conclusion: Fiio has done it again after the FH3, here is another successfully tuned and highly technical single DD and is taking over the Tanchjim Oxygen as my nr 1 single DD iem. If you value a natural and technical sound, this is something I will recommend to you. But if you are unsure on what you like, then the LZ A7 will be a safer recommendation. Thanks for reading.




Cable source:

Sony MDR-EX800ST EQ simulating the XBA-N3:

Low-shelf: 200hz, Q: 0.65, gain: 3.0db

Low-shelf: 120hz, Q: 1, gain: 4.5db

peak eq: 550hz, Q: 1.5, gain: -2.0db

peak eq: 3800hz, Q: 2.3, gain: 5.0db

peak eq: 5500hz, Q: 3.0, gain: -3.0db

high-shelf: 10 500hz, Q: 1.1, gain: 8.0db

Preamp: -8.0db

Reference/test songs:
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Hi I now purchased the Fiio FD5 , i hesitated between Moondrop Blessing 2 or FD5 but i want the biggest soundstage in IEM like Campfire Andromeda. In the past i had the Andromeda but i sold them, hopefully the FD5 will reach it in soundstage. You think FD5 is superior vs the Blessing 2 ?
@sebiambrus No questions about it. No idea how big the soundstage compares against the andromeda, but it is the biggest soundstage in an iem that I have heard currently.