FiiO FH5 Quad Driver Hybrid In-Ear Monitors

Rating:
4.75/5,
  1. chupacabra314
    They just get so much right
    Written by chupacabra314
    Published Aug 7, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Design
    Comfort
    Cable
    Balanced and detailed fun sound
    Value for money
    Cons - Blingy color scheme
    Can be too forward for some
    Can be too laid back for some
    Nozzle mesh defeats the purpose of sound ports
    Tip selection could be better
    Disclaimer:
    I purchased the FH5 for personal use with my own money. I didn't participate in the review tour. I'm not affiliated with Fiio in any way. In this review I'll be comparing the FH5 with the Fiio F9Pro and iBasso IT03 (my current benchmark for a U-shaped mid-fi IEM), both of which I've owned and used extensively. My main source is a Hiby R3 and I've been usng them on and off for ~60 hours now.

    What I look for in a IEM:
    I don't consider myself a really discerning listener. In many cases I can't tell between FLAC and 320 MP3, hence I rarely venture beyond the mid-fi market - just makes little financial sense for me.
    My general sound preference is a nice balance between fun and detail - a well extended and mild U-shape, where subbass is a little elevated vs midbass, and the treble's highest peak is at 10kHz. I have small ears, between S and M tip size, depending on insertion depth. To me comfort and design are just as important as sound. My music library includes includes a mix of FLAC and MP3 of classical, jazz, breakbeat, trance, techno, hiphop, pop, hard rock and heavy metal. For a full list of my IEM inventory check my profile.

    Some pics:
    20180807_114912665_iOS.jpg 20180807_114940156_iOS.jpg 20180731_144620332_iOS.jpg 20180731_144623167_iOS.jpg

    Non-sound:
    They are way smaller in real life than the photos would have you believe - as small as the F9Pro, just a different shape. Fit and comfort are as close as you can get to perfect with a universal-fit shell, even with my small ears - slightly better than my F9Pros and much better than the IT03, whose inserion is so deep that the nozzle edges press against my ear canals. The FH5 shells barely stick out of the ear for a very low profile fit. This is partly because of the shallow insertion depth but I have no problems using single flange tips. I actually welcome the shallow insertion depth as I can experiment with a wider variety of tips like double flanges and foams without the shells sticking out of my ears too much - something I rarely achieve with my other IEMs. Another huge pro is that unlike many mid-fi IEMs the nozzles are ridged so the tip fit is nice and secure.

    Speaking of the nozzles the FH5s have 3 separate sound ports for better separation but I'm not convinced the mesh in front of them was a good idea. Sure it protects them from dirt but in my opinion somewhat defeats the purpose of having separate ports, which is why some owners elect to remove it.

    Isolation is very good for a vented IEM. For me it's much better than the F9Pro's and on par with the IT03's, which is my benchmark for good open IEM isolation.

    The cable is simply gorgeous and doesn't tangle easily. It's little heavy for working out but serviceable. It does retain some memory when wrapped for a while but it's not hard to straighten back to shape. The earhooks are pre-formed tubes, not wire, so you have less freedom in shaping them. I don't mind it but I would've liked the tubes a couple of cm shorter. The MMCX connectors are very tight and secure and I love that they are angled and not straight. It takes a bit of effort to rotate them, unlike with my F9Pro, where the right one is really loose. I just hope the cable wont harden or turn green like most transparent sheathing ones do. It's interesting Fiio didn't choose to include a mic or a balanced cable like they did with the F9Pro but I don't mind at all - don't need either of them and this probably kept the price below $300.

    Tip selection is identical to the F9Pro's, with sufficient number of sound enhancing tips. I would've appreciated the inclusion of very wide bore tips for those who want their treble a little more enhanced. My wide-bore shallow-fit Sennheiser tips make the sound signature slightly closer to the F9Pro's. The silicone on Fiio's tips is also a little hard and slippery for my taste. I much prefer using Sony Hybrids when it comes to comfort.

    The included case is a very welcome accessory - same as what's included in the F9Pro but clear. Fits the FH5 perfectly and it's much better than what you get from most other brands in this price range.

    One thing that I personally dislike about the FH5's design is the golden bezel around the faceplates, and the overall glossiness of the finish. They're sexy when they sit on the table but they get too bling-y for me when in the ear. Almost look like cheap jewelry. I much prefer the F9Pro's subtler matte metallic finish. Hopefully in the future we'll see more color options.

    Driving the FH5 is a piece of cake, even with very low power sources. Although their impedance is more than 2x that of the IT03's 8 Ohms, they are the most sensitive IEM I've owned. The 19-Ohm impedance however is not ideal for use with most lower end sources. I get a completely black background from my Hiby R3 on low gain, and directly plugged into my Alienware laptop (Realtek audio chip), but I hear some hiss with my BlueAnt Ribbon bluetooth dongle and my Dell docking station.

    Sound:
    In the sound department my impressions are in line with Brooko's measurements. The FH5 is not a U/V-shaped IEM. It's more laid back than your typical V-shape, but not flat or overly warm. If you're into measurement graphs, like I am, you'll notice it's very close to the updated IEM Harman curve but its treble doesn't roll off steeply after 2 kHz - something I wholeheartedly approve of. I would define their tuning as "smooth, musical and detailed" and it works well with the wide variety of genres I listen to.

    Starting with the sub bass, the rumble is definitely there when called for (on par with the IT03's) and it has substantial extension all the way down to 10 Hz. Midbass drops slightly but is still present and textured, however I find both the F9Pro's and IT03's midbass a little better textured. Because of the elevated mids, the low frequencies often take the back seat, especially on busier tracks like heavy metal. They are back in full strength when playing hip-hop or EDM.

    Mids are much more forward than the IT03's, but even though I generally appreciate slightly recessed mids, I wouldn't call the FH5's mids fatiguing, at least not at low-to-moderate listening levels. Regardless, this mid-forwardness makes the FH5 sound very musical and immersive - the vocals and instruments are articulate and present and don't get lost inbetween the low and high frequencies like they sometimes do with U-shaped IEMs.

    Highs are where I understandably have my doubts. They aren't too rolled off or at all grainy. They are relatively smooth and have presence all the way up to 17kHz (to my hearing). There are three notable peaks - 7kHz, 12.5kHz, and 16kHz - and each peak is around 3dB lower than the previous.
    Unlike some laid back headphones I've tried, "S" sounds don't sound as "SH" and micro-detail and sparkle is there, however cymbal crashes and hihats lack the emphasized sparkle U/V-shaped headphones typically have. This is particularly apparent in tracks where the highs are already recessed. Ideally I would've liked to see another 3-5dB on the second peak, which would increase the sparkle without reaching the piercing levels of the F9Pro. EQing fixes that easily but I prefer not to use EQ if I can.
    The upside is that the highs sound more natural than the sometimes metallic highs of a U-shape, and are much more non-fatiguing for extended listening sessions.

    In a nutshell:
    Design form and function: 8/10 - gorgeous, comfortable, but a bit bling-y, nozzle mesh questionable
    Build quality: 10/10 - top notch; well executed connectors
    Comfort and seal: 8/10 - great comfort even for small ears; good isolation
    Cable: 9/10 - beautiful, comfortable, hard to tangle, a little heavy; earhooks could be better
    Accessories: 8/10 - missing wider bore and softer silicone tips; great carrying case
    Sound: 9/10 - Smooth, musical, fun, and detailed
    Value: 10/10 - Would I recommend them - absolutely, unless you're a treble junkie or a basshead and don't like EQ
    Are they an upgrade over the F9Pro or IT03: Depends. They have a different sound signature. That being said, even if I lean towards U-shaped sound I would still take the FH5 over either the F9Pro or the IT03. The FH5 just get so much right that I'm willing to overlook their small flaws.
  2. DarKu
    FiiO FH5 – The Best so far
    Written by DarKu
    Published Aug 3, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Awesome packaging with a good selection of accessories
    - Quality craftsmanship, fit and finish
    - Great tonal balance between all the frequencies
    - Great depth, good soundstage
    - Impressive bass response
    - Sweet and natural midrange
    - Clear and extended treble without being harsh
    - Lots of air between the notes
    - Strong kick, impressive speed
    - Awesome price for the sound performance we get
    Cons - Soundstage is a bit limited
    - A balanced cable is no longer found in the package
    FiiO never ceases to amaze me, few months ago I was testing their new flagship IEM: the F9, a few months later their new F9 PRO flagship and now they done it again with the FH5. I would not be shocked if at this very moment they are already tinkering with a new flagship IEM, FiiO is on fire and I like that.

    FH5 sets apart from the other IEMs they done in the past, from the moment you unpack them you start to understand they are surely in the big boy category with this one. Unboxing experience was like a much higher priced IEM, I’m glad they are making time into thinking better ways to carefully pack a premium product.

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    Package Contents

    FH5 comes in a nice and quality packaging that actually surprised me a bit; especially the 11 pairs of ear-tips put in a foam sheet that shows exactly how each category of ear-tips will sound, so you no longer need to guess if this enhances the bass, the voices or the treble.

    In total 12 pairs of ear tips are supplied with them, 3 sizes for 4 different categories of ear tips as follows:

    Balanced ear tips (standard black silicone ones), Vocal ear tips (transparent with red sound tube), Memory foam ear tips (black foam ones) and the bass ear tips (black silicone with red sound tube).

    I do prefer the Memory foam ones as they isolate better and sound most neutral to me with just a slight boost in the lows.

    In the package can be also found a big transparent waterproof case and a fabric pouch that I use most of the time when I travel because it’s smaller and easier to carry around.

    [​IMG]

    Technology inside the FH5

    As with later FiiO IEMs, FH5 is entirely made by the FiiO engineers that many times already showed us that they can create quality in-ear monitors such as F9, F9 PRO and FH1.

    FH5 is again a hybrid design that uses 3 balanced armatures to render mids and treble and a powerful dynamic driver to take care of the bass.

    Now here’s the catch: the dynamic driver of FH5 has the same size as the FH1 of 10 mm that was notorious for really good bass response. By Comparison F9 series have a 9.2 mm dynamic driver that did well with bass but not great in some situations.

    To make bass even deeper and more controlled besides the big 10 mm drivers they also developed what they are calling S.TURBO technology that mimics the work of a dedicated subwoofer with a turbine inspired design that really makes wonders with the bass.

    Three bore design (one bore for bass, one for mids and one for treble) is also a novelty for FiiO that is being used in high-end IEMs around the globe.

    [​IMG]

    The shell on first appearance seems much bigger to house all those larger balanced armature drivers including a bigger dynamic one and the S.Turbo subwoofer and again resembles a custom IEM somehow. The shell is machined entirely with CNC technology from blocks of aluminum giving them a premium feel to the touch and to the eyes.

    The cable that is only one in the package is much sturdier and much more resistant than the one found on the F9 series or on FH1. It’s more rigid; it’s thicker and uses high-purity mono-crystalline silver-plated copper (SPC) wire for higher quality signal transfer that minimizes distortion and signal transmission loss for best sound quality possible.

    If you already own a DAP that has a balanced output I highly recommend buying a separate cable such as LC-2.5B (2.5 mm balanced) or the LC-4.4B (4.4 mm balanced) to use it with the FH5, it makes a big positive difference compared to the SE connection.

    [​IMG]

    FH5 to this date are the most sensitive IEMs from FiiO, having an impedance of only 19Ω and a whopping sensitivity of 112 dB per 1 mW they can be powered by pretty much everything that has a headphone jack.

    However there is another catch: because of their very revealing nature and high sensitivity they are pretty picky of the quality and the noise floor of the source. They can reveal hiss and hum of devices you thought have a crystal clear background. For example they hiss a bit with FiiO’s own X5 MKIII, with Sony NW-WM1Z and they hiss more with a Burson Play and with some other desktop headphone amplifiers, be warned about that.

    So my friends, lets get to the most interesting part of the review.

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    Sound Quality

    Well, well, I really was expecting this kind of sound quality from FH5 as they blown me away at the first listen. They are by far the best IEM FiiO designed and can easily outmatch higher priced IEMs from other manufacturers.

    They have deep and layered bass, great mids with clear and vibrant voices, a good treble extension and a great separation of the notes portraying an out of head presentation due to well spread soundstage. Did I catch your attention already?

    I paired FH5 with FiiO’s latest DAP: the M7 that has a very low noise floor and a very black background without traces of noise. M7 also have a very honest and revealing sound so the match was perfect with FH5 and I can easily describe how FH5 are actually sounding.

    At 112dB/mW it was an easy task even for the underpowered M7, so volume was never past 50% almost all the time even on demanding classical pieces.

    The bass response reminded me a bit of F5 and FH1, but this time bass is much more controlled, it goes deep, presenting multiple layers of it and it decays in a natural way, not too fast and not too slow.

    The bass turbine really wakes up the bass on higher quality electronica.

    Daft Punk , Infected Mushroom and The Prodigy was a real treat to listen.

    [​IMG]

    FH5 have a much higher impact and kick into eardrums compared to F9 series and that makes me quite happy of the overall sound signature.

    Lower extremities are not cut this time, for example when listening The Prodigy – Invisible Sun there are few bass notes that makes butterflies in my stomach, a thing that never happened with F9 series.

    I do find the bass not only deep but also very controlled due to its fast rises in dynamics.

    The upper bass notes seems a bit more pronounced than the sub-bas, its especially heard on groovy jazz tracks where double-bass is present.

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    Transition from bass to midrange is done in a natural way so the flow keeps going without stuttering or dips.

    Lower midrange sometimes sounds a bit suppressed by the bass notes, but that is the case only on bassier tracks.

    Overall the voices are clear and have the right amount of vibration; violins and guitars have the needed zing and pitch. Most of the time they sound full but on rare occasions few voices do sound like they are sitting further away from the listener, bass comes forward more often. Upper midrange in my opinion does not have this problem.

    Treble sounds crispy and can bite sometimes, but it’s not bright at all.

    Treble is also airy with lots of air between the notes, cymbals and drums never sound crowded, they always sound like two separate entities.

    [​IMG]

    There might be a slight roll off in the upper treble as it always sounds clear and detailed but never fatiguing which I find to be a bit weird, balanced armatures always sounded a bit fake to me due to sharp trebles but it is not the case with FH5.

    There is a good tonal balanced across all frequencies and I think FiiO really nailed this time with FH5.

    Due to its fast and airy nature, resolution is at a high level, FH5 do sound detailed with a good extraction of small micro-details.

    In this respect there is nothing to reproach about FH5.

    Overall the sound is clean, fast, has good extension, hits hard and lifts your mood, what more can you ask for?

    Soundstage is good but not great, sincerely it is quite hard to make an in-ear monitor that sounds wide and spread with drivers that are sitting millimeters away from your eardrums. I find the depth to be better than the soundstage. I can easily look deeper into the mix with FH5 however the width and height of the stage is limited and cannot compete with an open-back design for example.

    However for an IEM design it is quite impressive as it is.

    [​IMG]

    Comparisons

    FH5 vs F9 PRO

    FH5 have a much better tonal balance with better rendition of bass notes and midrange. Vocals sound meatier and sweater on FH5. Bass also goes lower and has more layers of it. FH5 is more natural sounding, less harsh; you could call it a meatier sound.

    F9 PRO is better in the upper treble where is doesn’t roll off as fast, however for me it becomes a bit fatiguing after some time. FH5 sounds also deeper, portraying a better depth and I can look easier into the mix. With better-layered bass and more presence into midrange and with a higher micro-details extraction the FH5 overall is a better earphone to me.

    FH5 vs FH1

    Ok, I know this is not a fair comparison as FH1 is much cheaper. Also four drivers VS two drivers is not fair as well.

    However the bass response of FH1 almost stands shoulder to shoulder to the one of FH5. FH5 have a better control over the drivers, bass notes on FH1 are looser and sound one-note sometimes, a thing that never happened on FH5.

    The overall sound signature is quite similar, but FH5 has a much better treble response and a more textured midrange. Both sound natural and easy on the ear with no listening fatigue at all.

    Due to much faster sound on FH5, every vibration of the notes is decaying faster showing a better texture of every note. FH5 is crystal clear; FH1 is a bit muddy in comparison. There is no denying it, FH5 is completely on another league, a much higher one.

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    Conclusion

    Great packaging, lots of accessories inside, great design, great craftsmanship and most importantly a great sound, all those words represent the FiiO’s FH5.

    FH5 again raised the bar not only in FiiO’s portfolio but also in affordable high-end IEM market.

    Great sound should not cost a fortune and I thank FiiO for that, this is how it should be done.

    Competition? For now just watch and learn.

    PROS:
    • Awesome packaging with a good selection of accessories
    • Quality craftsmanship, fit and finish
    • Great tonal balance between all the frequencies
    • Great depth, good soundstage
    • Impressive bass response
    • Sweet and natural midrange
    • Clear and extended treble without being harsh
    • Lots of air between the notes
    • Strong kick, impressive speed
    • Awesome price for the sound performance we get
    CONS:
    • Soundstage is a bit limited
    • A balanced cable is no longer found in the package
    Equipment used for review:
    • DAPs: FiiO M7, X5 MKIII, Sony NW-WM1Z
    • DACs: Chord Hugo2, Mojo, Matrix X-Sabre Pro + S/PDIF 2, Burson Play, FiiO Q5
    • Headphone amplifiers: Headamp Gilmore Lite Mk2, HeadAmp Pico Power, Burson Play, Chord Hugo2, Mojo, FiiO Q5
    • Headphones: FiiO FH5, F9 PRO, FH1, Shure SE846, Audeze iSine20, Sennheiser IE80
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      FiiO, snellemin, Dsnuts and 1 other person like this.
  3. Yira
    Affordable High End
    Written by Yira
    Published Jul 31, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Modern features, instrument separation, style and build, high auditory resolving ability for the price.
    Cons - Frequency response can make these headphones not practical for use for some people without access to an EQ.
    Of all the headphones I thought of getting as an upgrade from my previous pair, I did not expect them to be from FiiO.

    I have been disappointed with many headphones for the last few years. Many sound harsh and thin, don’t provide much detail, or don’t fit me. I have used speakers for high resolution listening, but I live in an apartment, so I needed a high end solution that I could also afford. I am very sensitive to sibilance, which is usually the case for cheaper headphones.

    The spec sheet for these headphones, and reported frequency responses from the community would lead you to believe these to have a brash, or tinny sound at first impression.

    The first moment I put these on, they fit perfect. I use the large tips, and have made a spacer to improve the comfort a bit more as pictured. It’s rare that a headphone works for me right out of the box, but these do.
    00369182-3F25-4A48-90DE-F90A33C949FB.jpeg

    The first impression of sound I got was, “wow, these sound like they cost a lot of money!” There was absolutely no sibilance or tinnines. The midrange is forward, but in a way that makes vocals “louder”, and “natural”. It’s like listening to a master project and mixing the vocal channel to be slightly louder. The character of the sound doesn’t t change, it’s just more forward in the mix, without affecting the qualities of the other channels.

    I also listen in a sound treated room, and these headphones reflect that. I personally like the tonality for the kind of music I listen to, but I know it won’t work for everyone. These headphones sound like there is nothing between your eardrum and the drivers. There is no darkness or muffle for me.

    I must point out the most controversial feature that has everyone questioning these headphones. The 2kHz peak. This peak greatly improves the resolving power of the headphones at lower listening levels. If you plan on long listening sessions at lower volumes, these headphones are much more practical as they can make parts of the music more easily discernible. At higher volumes, anything over 86dB, the practicality of this frequency response becomes a detriment. The headphones maintain their resolution and quality at higher levels, but it sounds like it would be too easy to cause hearing damage.

    It’s strange, because this peak could be a technical issue, or it could be a defining feature. These headphones overcome their technical limitation by simply being extremely high resolution and high quality. This frequency response would never pass with using less capable drivers. It does pass here though.
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    Another point to make is how sensitive BA driver headphones can be when changing ear tips. You should never place your finger on the eartip as to cover it making a seal while pressing down to fit the eartip on the stem. There is a picture on the eartips package showing the user to turn the eartip inside out to prevent this mistake. It should be noted that placing foam tips on is more difficult as you have to be careful not to press them on without completely covering the opening.
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    These are absolutely, without doubt, the best sounding headphones/speakers I have ever heard. The fact that they fit properly is a huge plus. I still can’t listen at louder volumes with these, but I have tried an EQ app on my PC. It solved the issue. I used -4dB at 2.1kHz, and -1dB at 1kHz. It did not change the tonality or character of the headphones at all, it just brought down the vocal track.

    These have more resolving power than any speaker I’ve ever heard, and the bass goes lower than any subwoofer I’ve ever heard. I had a moment of rethinking the physics of sound as I tried wrapping my head around what is possible with such a tiny auditory solution.

    For this reason alone, I will just have to accept using an EQ. I am kind of a purist in terms of, “if headphones/speakers absolutely need EQ to be usable, they need to be engineered or built better”. The FiiO FH5 don’t break this idea, they are plenty usable and are still the best thing I’ve ever heard without any EQ. EQ can greatly expand the listening levels and genres of the headphones.

    FiiO, if you see this, pleas make a small MFi lightning to 3.5mm like your i1, but have an app that can reprogram the firmware to allow users to EQ parametric headphones. Example of this feature would be the Jaybird Run. This would give an unbeatable portable listening experience for cost for people with iPhones streaming Apple Music or Spotify.

    Thanks to FiiO, I now have great looking and sounding headphones I can enjoy music with without disturbing my neighbors.

    I listen to Romanian pop, Russian pop,
    K-pop, EDM, Christian pop, vocals, acoustic, and very little country, R&B. I don’t listen to classical, jazz, hip/hop, raggae, classical, classic rock, rock, metal.

    I will list some artists I enjoyed with these. They are not ideal for these headphones specifically, but I hope it will give the idea of what kind of personal listening taste works well with these headphones. I also listen to most Eurovision songs. There is so much more, but this is just a small sample.

    The First Station, Elena Temnikova, Amna, Artik & Asti, TamerlanAlena, Yulianna Karaulova, Vanotek, Andra(Romanian Singer).

    I also want to note that the screen covering the bore has been reported by the community as not affecting the sound if removed. This was a big selling point for me because I have had many pairs of headphones that have this simply fall out rendering the headphones not usable. I expect to use these a lot, and that cover is always the first point of failure in a headphone for me.
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    Final Verdict: highly resolving headphones with excellent instrument separation and control. Be cautious and listen responsibly as it might be easy to cause hearing damage.
      voxie, mhoopes and snellemin like this.
  4. snellemin
    Almost Perfect for me.
    Written by snellemin
    Published Jul 31, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sounds as good as it looks.
    Cons - Stock cable doesn't do these iem's justice.
    IMG_20180729_180939_013.jpg

    Basshead approved, as these can go deep into the subbass region. All the while the mids and highs stay unaffected. By now you know these Hybrids have one woofer and 3 BA’s. The woofer fires into a tube, which filters out the higher frequencies. Thus, no crossover needed and one less thing to worry about.

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    How does it sound? That is hard to describe in words. Other reviewers have described the sound signature very well, compared to how I would describe the FH5.

    I would describe these FH5 like, they are as capable as the JVC SZ2000. Deep subbass, clean mids and highs. Responds very well to EQ, just like the SZ2000. This to me is a big deal, as I like to listen to a wide variety of music with mostly one headphone or IEM that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    The other nice thing about these FH5 are, that you can change the Fiio "In-House" sound with just a simple cheap cable swap. I’ve tried a few and let my son and friends verify that there is a change in sound signature. So, you basically pick the supplied or your own ear tips that work for you and after that just roll cables that are cheap enough on Amazon to experiment with. I personally and my son do not like supplied FIIO cable that comes with the FH5. The cable and connectors look nice, but it is hard and just doesn’t sound “right” for us.

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    So, for me I like plain old copper wires for these FH5. I would choose cheap Mogami copper wires if you can build your own cables. If not, the 20-30-dollar cables on Amazon will do. My son prefers the cheapy 20-dollar 6 core silver plated wires from Amazon. These are the black cables in the picture.

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    Comparison done with;
    Michael Jackson "Wanna be starting something". DSD 2.8

    Fiio Q5 AM3B 4.4, Fiio FH5 w/Fiio foam tips

    6 Core wire copper:

    Vocals are more prominent (more forward) vs the 16-core silver copper mix. Midrange is more distant. Bass levels are the same. Description by the seller: The sound is exquisite, clear, full and round and full of analytical force, be rich, more detailed. Improve bass and mids. Light weight and pliable to ensure that wearing is solid and comfortable.


    8 Core copper:

    Vocals stayed with the midrange. Midrange and vocals complements each other. Bass is same as 6 core copper. (Vocals take a small step back). Description by the seller: This copper upgrade earphone cable increases texture and gains more depth in bass, makes the mids more warmer and sweeter. Gains a bit more brightness in highs. Increases the soundstage.
    I like this when listening to stuff from Phibes.


    16 Core silver-copper mix:

    Vocals and midrange are emphasized (a bit louder) vs 8 core copper. Sound is more Vivid. Description by the seller: Using this 16 core copper and silver hybrid replacement cable, can really aid in definition of the previously overshadowed elements. The cable provides a slight bump in resolution and a noticeable increase in clarity throughout with more extended vocals and clearer layering of instruments. The cable’s separation did provide the impression of a larger soundscape. Detailing and high-hats are enhanced. Soundstage space slightly increased and separation was greatly improved with better resolution of background details.
    I like this cable when listening to stuff like UB40


    6 Core silver-copper (black) wire mix:

    Soundstage is much wider vs the other cables. Back vocals where further back. Depth increased. Description by the seller: This upgrade earphone cable delivers a considerably more defined, articulate bass response through greater linearity and resolution. The greater mid-bass control of the SPC cable forms a cleaner bass presentation that enhances delineation between notes.


    Stock Fiio LC-3.5 B cable:

    Soundstage not as wide as the black cable, but wider than the rest. Depth not as deep as the black wires. Mid to Low is not as prominent as the other cables. Mids to Highs doesn’t really sound balanced. Cable doesn’t do the FH5 justice.


    4 Core copper silver mix, with silver back end:

    Vocals are forward and everything else takes a step back. You feel like you are further away from the stage.


    4 Core copper mix long, with silver back end:

    Midrange is further back. Vocals and bass stood out more.


    4 core copper Mogami with silver back end:

    Everything sounds more aggressive. Soundstage increased, almost as wide as the black wires. Bass has more impact than every other cable.


    Norne audio copper 3.5mm with silver back end:

    Soundstage got wider, but still not as wide as the black wires. Sounds similar to the 8-core copper.

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  5. William1953
    Fiio FH5 impressions
    Written by William1953
    Published Jul 22, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Ideal fit, beautiful deep bass, silky smooth non fatiguing treble
    Cons - No balanced cable supplied
    My Impressions of the Fiio FH5 and what to expect if you are thinking to purchase this IEM

    Very nice packaging as expected these days from Fiio. Build quality is again very impressive. The cable gives great confidence regarding the quality here. Now getting down to what these and all audio gear is about the sound. I have in my collection many headphones the AKG K3003 IEM being one of the best I own. Listening to the AKG and Fiio side by side they are both very clear and have fantastic high frequency response, the bass is also very good on both but there is an extra level of bass to the Fiio FH5 it really makes them stand out, both these IEM’s feature drivers from Knowles. The AKG is a bit fatiguing after a while, the FH5’s are not fatiguing at all I can listen to them for hours without getting the usual muzy head. The comfort of the FH5 IEM’s is fantastic, it only took two changes of ear tips to find a set that makes them disappear in my ears (bass ear tips medium). The Fiio FH5’s is now my go to headphones for every listing sestion . The FH5 fit into the toe tapping category of HIFI equipment and bring a big smile to your face, just look at the picture of Fiio’s Goat below to get the idea.


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      snellemin and FastAndClean like this.
    1. FastAndClean
      Fiio’s Goat looks very happy with the bass response :)
      FastAndClean, Jul 23, 2018
  6. denis1976
    Beautifull inside out
    Written by denis1976
    Published Jul 21, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excelent sound quality
    No microphonics cable
    Looks gorgeous
    Top built quality
    Cons - No balanced cable included
    Hello, first thing that i want to say is thank you, thank you to FIIO for provide me this experience, and for the help they gave me to unblock the FH5 from customs in Portugal, great people make great things and thats the case of FIIO and this FH5 is the proof of that.
    I will pass the technical things because is allready explained in Fiio home page, so there are 3 balanced armature plus dynamic drive...period.
    The package is very good, the IEMS are beautyfull build , top quality, very good cable with no microphonics the fit is very good i sometimes forget that i have them on...just music my friends.
    All the listening where made with my Astell&Kern Ultima sp1000cu.

    The SOUND:

    Well ...this is a mature sound IEM, 90% of my listening where made with the "balanced" tips, i thing that this tips are the most neutral ones, the highs are open with air but not like the F9 or F9Pro , there are no peaks, no aggression, nothing. I could ear it all day long, the mids are neutral with a little of warmth the voices and instruments have a very good dimensional reality , the instruments are layered and voices have flesh, the bass goes deep and has punch , with the "bass" tips you get a little more bass but i thing that with the "balanced" you get a articulation and layering in the bass that is awesome

    The stage is wide and deep


    Lets listen to some music and compare it with the Ibasso IT01 and Final Audio E5000

    First thing is, they are very easy to drive, 60 to 65/150 out of the Ultima in SE is enough for me

    Dead Can Dance "Opium"
    Fiio FH5-dense wide sound stage, organic voice , the sound is all arround you,the scale is great,very good
    Ibasso IT 01-the soundstage is less wide, the instruments are more thin ,the voice is less thick and more artificial, good, fun but not has good has FH5
    Final Audio E5000-the volume needs to be puxed to 100, the sound is organic sweet, the density is like FH5 but is more soft and sweet, very good, here is a mater of taste, i like the 2 very much

    Venke Knutson-I Wonder
    FIIO FH5-great voice reproduction she right in front of me ,good air and acoustic feeling,the strings are perfectly layred, excelent
    Ibasso IT01-Voice with less body more distant, good air but smaller soundstage, everything looks smaller, good
    Final Audio E5000-volume puxed (allways) great sweet voice ,organic it makes into tears...very emotional, less air, more intimate, very good

    Esperanza Spalding -Judas
    FIIO FH5- good punch,layred bass , natural voice reproduction, good rythm, very good
    Ibasso IT 01- good punch ,bass not has layered, voice not has natural, good rythm, good
    Final Audio E5000-punch that blows your head,very layered bass, voice more organic,less rythm, very good

    Soo...Fiio made its best IEM???i can't answer to that, i didn't heard them all, if Fiio made an outstanding IEM?
    Ooohh Yes , yes all the way, five stars to this awesome IEM at a AWESOME price

    Congrats to FIIO ,i will buy ones

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      snellemin, jaekyll, Colors and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. sleepy1der
      I have seen one hack for the FH5. The user removed the wire mesh that covered the hole for the driver output and the sound quality improved massively. I am not saying to do this as it may void your warranty but per what he said it was like night and day.
      sleepy1der, Jul 26, 2018
      Focux likes this.
    3. Focux
      Haha that’s done by HawaiiBadboi on HeadFi/BadGuyGoodAudio reviews
      Focux, Jul 26, 2018
      SystemBooms likes this.
    4. M0N_
      Great review! Have you heard the IT03's, and if you have, how would the FH5's compare with overall detail?
      M0N_, Jul 26, 2018