FiiO FH7


New Head-Fier
Fiio FH7 a Flagship 3-in-1 IEM Unlike Any Other
Pros: Deep and impactful bass
Extremely detailed
One of the widest soundstages of any IEMs I've owned
Sound is customizable via swappable filters
Superb and beautiful construction
Many tips and accessories included
Cons: Housing is a tad heavy

Make take some time to tune to your preference

Large - fit may not be for everyone

Expensive for new buyers
Read this review as it appeared on Headphonist.

The Fiio FH7 is the cream of the crop IEM for a Chinese hifi manufacturer that needs no introduction.

Still, we’ll give them one. Since springing to life in 2007, Fiio has long-since made a name for itself in the HiFi community by creating fantastic product offerings since its infancy. I’d even go as far as saying that it helped to make the hobby affordable for many who would have otherwise written it off as “just expensive headphone stuff”.

Recently, Fiio has started concentrating its efforts away from just portable Amps and DACs and more towards those little speakers that deliver sounds to your ears. Its latest flagship offering, the FH7, is a lesson for all other earphone manufacturers: watch out.

First Impressions
From the second I unwrapped the FH7 for their time in front of my camera, I knew I had to listen to them. The premium construction, elegant feel, and box full of accessories was extremely impressive.

After snapping some photos, I sat down at my desk to begin editing and placed the IEMs into my ear – and I was blown away. The fullness, the clarity, the extension… these will be the endgame IEM for many, many people.

When you know, you know. And soon you will too.


Fit and Finish
Meet the TriShell. That’s Fiio’s name for the seemingly oceanic-inspired design of the IEM’s all-metal structure. Its tri-pointed shape contours perfectly with the human ear and fits comfortably nested in the canal. Top it off with some foam tips and you’ll have near-perfect sealing with comfort to match.

Make no mistake, the Fiio FH7 has an extremely premium feel, as it should. The body and face are both machined from an aluminum magnesium alloy and has some heft. The top of its shell has a very familiar wave-like pattern similar to its little brother, the FH5. Both the face and body are anodized in a matte black finish with a polished rose gold ring to break up the monotony.

Two short silver nozzles are planted into your ears and feel to be an appropriate length to keep the IEM planted without being obtrusive. At the very end of the nozzles are swappable filters which give the IEM an advantage over the competition (and is something which we will get into a bit later).

A color-coded MMCX connector rises from the shell onto a short pedestal where the cable will connect. Perhaps it is moved further from the shell to add comfort or make room for the five drivers which sit inside each earphone.


The Fiio FH7 comes pre-packaged with a beautifully braided 8-core Litz cable that measures out to be just under four feet long and is extremely beefy. In fact, its thickness also helps to prevent the cable from developing any memory when sitting in storage and keeps tangles at bay.

Its jacket is pellucid, revealing the silver coated copper stands woven within each core. An aluminum y-split barrel sits about chest height with a matching adjustment slider.

Like the MMCX connectors on the IEMs, the male-end on the cable is color matched with a red or blue collar, making it easy to differentiate orientation before placing it into your ear.

Termination is done with a reinforced right-angle 3.5mm TRS jack and is unbalanced.



Fiio knocked it out of the park with the packaging. The FH7s are beautifully nested inside a book-like enclosure that sits in the soft touch outer shell.

When opening the cover, you’re immediately greeted with the earphones hooked up to their corresponding cables. In the bottom right sits the small capsule which holds the swappable filters, and a small Apple-like tag at the bottom indicates that there is more to be seen underneath.

Tug on ticket and reveal an entire layer of extra. A plethora of tips to choose from, two cases (a beautiful sprung and magnetized stationary faux-leather blue case, plus a portable soft case stuffed inside), a small cleaning brush, and a cable organizer.


^^ These measurements were taken with the red o-ring filters, more on this later.

If there are your first wired IEMs purchased for more than $200, you’re in for a treat. The FH7 packs an extremely impressive amount of sound into these tiny little earphones, and I can’t wait to tell you what to expect.

Lows are beautifully punch and clean. The detail is incredible and the messy sub-bass of the FH5 is tamed without sacrificing on hard-hitting lows.

Bass is fast and responsive. It moves from sub-bass to mid-bass, and even lower-mids with extreme precision, though extension leaves just a little bit to be desired with some deep-dipping EDM tracks – See: Dodge & Fuski’s Bring it Back (Genre: Dubstep, EDM).

It’s evident that Fiio tuned the dynamic driver even further than its predecessor. Fiio says that it is able to make such deep-hitting lows by using a proprietary design technology it calls “S.Turbo v2.0”. Like the FH5, the FH7 was designed with an internal system of turbine-inspired tubes to improve low-end response and enhance detail. Ultimately this filters out unnecessary mids and highs so that the dynamic driver is able to handoff that workload to the BA drivers.

Moving on to the mids; a small bit of warmth can be observed when listening, but don’t expect the FH7 to be like listening to your favorite track with a tube amp. Instead, Fiio seems to have chosen to focus on clarity. Details of tracks that I hadn’t picked up with other headphones became evident and separated from the monotony that is a track mix.

I’m waging that this has something to do with the balanced armature drivers being responsible for delivering more mid-range sound than the dynamic driver.

Speaking of the BA drivers, we’ll move onto the highs. As I mentioned earlier, clarity appears to be a huge point that Fiio designed these earphones around. The highs are no exception, coming through crisp, clear, and detailed.

That’s not to say that they’re overly bright and sibilant either. The FH7 isn’t tack-sharp to the point that it’s fatiguing, but being able to pinpoint specific notes and instruments is a huge plus that these achieve with ease.

Here’s where it gets interesting – the sounds I described above? Those can change, and quite easily thanks to Fiio’s included swappable filters.


Nested nearly inside a small capsule are two extra sets of filters, each with a different colored o-ring to designate its purpose.

  • Black: Reference (Balanced)
  • Green: Detailed treble
  • Red: Dynamic bass
Equipped on the unit by default are the reference filters, but by swapping on any of the others, you’ll have an entirely different listening experience – seriously.

When testing out the Fiio FH7, I was able to place a different filter in each ear and was amazed that this wasn’t just a gimmick. Simply pop off a tip and unscrew the filter from the nozzle to expose one of the balanced armature drivers underneath. Once a new filter is installed, the sound signature of the IEM changes drastically.

How can an IEM so customizable and fulfilling be priced into a sub-$500 price bracket?

And to top it all off, Fiio includes an additional six different types of tips in the box (15 pairs in total), each one with its intended use case written right on the packaging. That means if your ears prefere silicone, use them. If you like the sealing nature of foam, those are included as well. And if you’re one of the many people in the world who like SpinFit tips, three pairs are included as well.

Each of these can also fine-tune the listening experience to make it even more customizable. In total, there are 18 different listening experiences in one single box. That’s a hell of a lot of value if you ask me.

Most IEMs that you’ll listen to will display the same pattern of a slightly enlarged soundstage that is wider than it is deep.

The FH7? Not so much.

Well-rounded is more than just a term to describe the performance, it’s also proper to describe the nice even “ball” that the FH7 produces – even sound across all axes.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re nothing like a set of good open back headphones, but close your eyes while listening to Venetian Snare’s Öngyilkos Vasárnap (Genre: IDM, DnB) and you’re able to feel instrumentation and sounds creep in every direction at varying points.

Clarity and Detail

Fiio has clearly put an emphasis on tuning the FH7 for exceptional clarity. This is likely due to the way that its dynamic driver sits nestled behind all other sounds thanks to the turbine-inspired channels that acoustically filter out mids and highs.

Separation of different instruments and tones are easy to make out. The scratching of a pen on paper, the sound as a finger slides across a heavy gauged guitar string – all of this is finely textured and audible.

Hear What I Hear

As always, you can listen to the Spotify playlist we use to test all of our headphones here.

Portability, Comfort, and Use
I haven’t found a single use where I couldn’t enjoy the Fiio FH7s. They’re more than competent performers at the office and keep me from getting strange looks when wearing large over-ear cans.

Commuting or hitting the gym? No problem. The included foam tips don’t just provide superior sound isolation, they also keep the IEMs planted in your ears.

Comfort is a non-issue, as these are quite easy to wear for extended periods of time without fit, weight, or music-induced fatigue.

Nerd Notes
  • Drivers: Hybrid
    • 1x 13.6mm beryllium dynamic driver
    • 4x Knowles balanced armature drivers
  • Style: In-Ear, Wrap-Around
  • Weight: 0.3oz (per side, without cables) (8.15g)
  • Sensitivity: 111 dB
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Plug: MMCX (Detachable)
  • Cable: 4-foot (1.2m), 8-wire braided, terminated with a right-angle 3.5mm connector
Final Thoughts

Fiio did a great thing by introducing the world to the FH7. These IEMs are more than anyone could ask for in the sub $500 range and sound incredible.

The customizable nature of the FH7 make them absolutely worth the asking price – if you don’t like the stock sound, simply swap out a filter and tips to completely change the signature.

I would personally pit these against the Campfire Audio Andromeda in terms of sound quality for less than half the price.

Where to Buy
At the time of writing, the Fiio FH7 are available on Amazon for $449.

Should you buy?
Folks, this is it. I've listened to dozens of IEMs both cheap and expensive, and these have been the first to truly spoil the magic of in-ear listening for me. If you buy only one set of high-end IEMs, let it be these.



Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Versatile tuning with diversify tonal balance possibilities, extremely well balanced (with reference filter), unboring neutrality, natural timbre, bass quality, both male and female vocal sound great, rich nuanced treble, clear and accurate, sturdy construction, beautiful design, generous accessories, can beat pricier IEM.
Cons: Stock cable tends to make the sound colder, brighter and thinner, Housing is big and heavy, more tuning filter would have been nice, soundstage is just average with the included ear tips
FIIO FH7 REVIEW: The End Game Wonder


SOUND: 9.5/10
VALUE: 9/10
FIIO is the best know Chi-Fi company and they’ve been around for more than 10 years.
Founded in 2007 by creating the first ultra-portable amplifier (E serie), they never stop pushing the boundaries of portable audio gear. At first, they concentrate their effort on creating budget-minded portable audiophile gear like tiny AMP or DAC-AMP and logically begin to create DAP too.

This wasn’t enough so they jump into audiophile earphones territory too, but they weren’t the only Chi-Fi company now and competition sure was harder than DAP or DAC-AMP world. Nonetheless, they proved to be very capable to engineer great sounding IEM, especially with hybrid models like F9 PRO that got good reception among audio enthusiasts.
Just lately they seem to try to compete with high-end audiophile IEM by making their hands into multi balanced armature iem like the FA7 quad-BA or hybrid multi drivers IEM like FH5 and FH7. Both FA7 and FH5 are still budget-friendly for the quality of drivers and material used, but the FH7 being their flagship model, the price takes a jump at around 450$.

At this mid-tier price, FIIO enters the real high-end world were critical audiophiles expect top of the line tuning. You can’t fool anybody in this price segment, especially when your company is known to deliver high-value products.
The FH7 uses a very big 13.6mm Berylium driver with 4 Knowles balanced armature, as well it has a changeable nozzle filter to tune the sound by adding treble or bass. This is seriously TOTL promise, but will this big dynamic drivers will ruin everything delivering an immature bassy sound? Absolutely not. FIIO tune the FH7 to be ultimate all-arounder End Game earphones and let me tell you they sure achieve the goal of delivering a near neutral sound with perfect balance.

But does it justify the 450$ price tag? Let’s give you a hint: more my review is long to write, more it mean I enjoy listening to the IEM. My FH7 review is the longest I ever wrote.

Earpiece DesignIn-Ear (Intra-Aural)
Earpiece Connection / Wearing StyleWired
Driver TypeDynamic, Balanced Armature
Driver Size0.54″ / 13.6 mm
Impedance16 Ohm
Frequency Response5 Hz to 40 kHz (Wired)
Sensitivity111 dB at 1 mW
Maximum Power Handling100 mW



When you present your product as flagship, it should have an impressive presentation with great care to details so the full purchase experience feels respectful towards the consumer reception. FIIO sure gives a lot of effort to achieve a luxurious product experience and the whole UNBOXING process shows it well. The FH7 boxing is classy, sober, and practical. It comes in a big box that has a cardboard door to open. When opened, the IEM are beautifully presented and star of the show. At their side, you have the little sound filter carrying case with descriptive of their tuning. When you pull off the first package cover, the presentation is again well done with a very informative ear tips display (and holder) that have nothing less than 14 different pairs of ear tips, including real Spinfit, bi-fangle, silicone and memory foam with description under it like Vocal, Balanced, Bass so you know how it will affect the sound, this is a very welcome display! The included carrying case is very fancy too, made of real leather and with enough space in it to include an extra cable or another IEM or…well, another carrying case as included with the FH7. Yep, the number of accessories is near over-kill, but I would have preferred an extra balanced cable than an extra carrying case. Or a cable with a changeable jack. Anyway, we are already very spoiled with FH7 accessories.





The FIIO FH7 are very elegant looking earphones with carefully crafted housing made of extremely sturdy aerospace aluminum-magnesium alloy. The body has a good weight to it but it is still light for its rather big size. The sandblasting finish isn’t prompt to easy scratching, which is very important for IEM of this price and another proof of care to durability from FIIO. This is full of alloy housing without any plastic path. All parts are perfectly fitted and their no sign of craftsmanship issue. The backplate have curvy ripples that make an interesting light effect and is pleasant to touch, as well, it gives a little grip for IEM placement in your ears. The golden alloy contour of the back is shinny and very appealing to the eye. The mmcx connectors are embedded solidly into the body without any fragile part that can affect durability. The nozzle is full metal and nozzle filter feels solidly screw when used, without any loose part as it can happen with cheaper built. All in all, the FH7 has awesome built that surpass what you can expect in this price range.
The body is quite big and will perhaps not fit very small ears, but the angled long nozzle should permit an easy and comfortable fit for the vast majority of humans anatomy. Due to its consequent weight, it’s mandatory to use a cable with ear hook so their no risk the earphones slip off your ears.


The included cable does have an ear hook for good reason, and when I try other cables without any, it not completely fall off my ears but has a less secure fit and was a little shaky. The quality of the cable is impressive and look very durable. It’s an 8 strands silver-plated cable with solid mmcx connectors and L metal jack. Wearing this cable, I never encounter any discomfort issue with the FH7 even after more than 3 hours of constant use.


The FH7 are very easy to drive, they have an impedance of 16ohm and high sensitivity of 111db. The fact impedance isn’t too low makes them not overly sensitive to audio source but I still find them to sound crisper with low impedance output. Strangely, they pair better with clear DAP or DAC-AMP that deliver reference type of sound with high dynamic and black background. Both my Ibasso DX90 and Xduoo X20 sound excellent with the FH7, but too powerful amp can warm tonality and affect overall resolution.


Passive noise cancelation is quite good and you will hear only your music even if listening at low volume. Due to top housing venting hole, it have some noise leakage but nothing intense.


The FH7 are very sensitive to the different type of cable used. It mostly affect timbre and to less extend tonality, which means it affects transparency, resolution and soundstage as well. This is subtle sound difference because overall tonality stays the same, but for trained ears, going from full silver-plated cable to full copper do offer a very audible different sound color.

STOCK 8strands 19cores Silver-plated copper cable is great and enlights the technicalities of the FH7, it offers the clearer, sharper, and more transparent sound. This mean it offer the brighter tonality and thinner timbre too. This do extend soundstage deepness as well and you have more micro-details, but the highs feel the more metallic and overall sound is colder. I didn’t fall in love with the FH7 with stock cable.

AUDIOSENSE 8strands 19cores 6N crystal copper cable offers the warmer and thicker timbre, with slight bass and mids boost. The tonality is the more natural and gone is the extra emphasis on treble. Highs seem fuller and less edgy. Transparency is less good due to more opaque timbre, so soundstage is less deep but gains a bit of wideness. Vocal sounds more present and lusher. I really like this cable for extra romantic musicality.

NICEHCK 16strands Mixed Copper and Silver-plated cable is perhaps the best of both worlds. Sure, construction is not the best especially due to rather loose MMCX connector but it offers the biggest tallest soundstage with nearly similar deepness than FIIO cable. Timbre is thicker and more natural but with enough transparency to keep a great layering. Treble is crisper than full copper cable but not too bright or cold. Vocal are less thin and dry than the stock cable.

FINAL AUDIO 4 strands High purity OFC silver plated cable is very similar sounding to stock cable but with a more aggressive dynamic and attack and brighter upper highs. Soundstage feels slightly deeper and vocal more upfront. Bass is tamed a bit. It offers the sharpest tonality. You got bonus sibilance in vocal too. It’s my least favorite cable pairing.



It should have been called sub-bass boost, as this filter tends to boost sub-bass rumble and presence, making overall bass and lower mids warmer and mid bass less punchy and well defined. Here we have a more boomy bass with more resonance, this warm whole tonality by veiling it a little when bass occurs. Clarity is less sharp and soundstage less deep. Male vocal can gain in presence and fullness, as well as low register instruments like the acoustic bass, Basson or organ can be more forwarded. TREBLE seem a bit more relaxed too. Good for slow jazz and some pop, but technically inferior to the 2 other filters.

The best tonal balance of all filters, and the favorite of everyone (including myself) from what I read. The soundstage is the wider-deeper. Imaging is accurate from low to ultra highs. Bass is controlled, punchy, and full-bodied with excellent separation. MIDS are full, crisp and precise. TREBLE is vivid, natural, and not overly bright. Neutral with a hint of extra dynamic.

Yep, we got a nice highs to boost here, from about 5khz to 10khz. Brighter it is, but this might be a blessing for the treble head that wanna taste all micro details and instrument textures of FH7. Highs are airier with longer resonance, they are pushed forwards and tend to stole mid-range presence a bit. It’s still well balanced and not overly peaky, but not as well balanced as Reference filter. With very busy tracks the highs can feel shouty sometimes too. I tend to use this for instrumental music like folk, classical quartet, some indie.



The FH7 does not love high impedance output, so they will sound the best with DAP or DAC-AMP that have lower than 0.1ohm. To take full advantage of the high resolution they can offer, your audio source should have the blackest background possible and not be too bright, grainy or aggressive.

XDUOO X20 sounds great with the FH7 but with the stock cable, it can be a little too cold and thin, the soundstage isn’t as holographic as with more dynamic audio source.

When hooked to JDS LABS ATOM, the sound became slightly warmer-thicker and less precise in the attack, soundstage gain in wideness but lack clear deepness of X20 output.

IBASSO DX90 is a great pairing, it tends to add some bass weight and offer ultra-crisp imaging and add nice edge to the definition without making it sound harsh. Treble is more vivid and sparkly too.

FIIO BTR5 thickens the sound and adds nuance to the textures of timbre, it do not sound as transparent as X20 or DX90 but offers a more natural tonality.

TEMPOTEC SONATA HD PRO improves soundstage deepness even more but make the sound a little more neutral and calm bass impact. The treble seems more delicate and airy, slightly more metallic and sparkly. It’s an odd pairing.



Gear used for testing: Ibasso DX90, Xduoo X20, Xduoo X3, Tempotec Sonata HD Pro and some amps like Xduoo XD-05plus and JDS LABS ATOM.

THE OVERALL SOUND SIGNATURE of the FH7 can be considered as unboring neutrality with nicely balanced W shape tonality, fast well-rounded bass, forwards mids, and upper mids and upper treble for extra crispness. Timbre is on the warm side even if the treble adds a hint of brightness, both dynamic driver and Knowles armature are smooth and thick sounding while the BA used for upper highs have more bite, it’s still not particularly aggressive. Again, it must be noted that LOT of sound tweaking is possible with the FH7, which I will explore more, but for this full sound review, I use the Reference Filter with (not included) 6N copper Litz cable and SPINFIT Silicone ear tips which tend to offer the more balanced and punchy signature. If you look at the Frequencies Response graph of FH7 you might be worried about bass quantity, but don’t be because it’s among best bass performance I heard in sub-1000$ IEM category. Low-end control is exceptional, and while sub-bass is thick and very present it does not swallow the mid-bass punch wich is extremely well rounded and punchy. Mids are forwards, with natural tonality and great transparency, it’s lush and quite thick too, especially for male vocal, while female is crisper. The treble is full, you don’t have a strange boost in any region that can create unbalance and due to extra highs sharpness, the FH7 delivers plenty of micro-details, still, not in a trebly or metallic way.


EAR TIPS changes the sound even more than Sound Filters and this is mostly due to how it affects bass response or soundstage. The more the nozzle end is near your eardrums more the sound is forwards and bright, especially is the nozzle hole of ear tips is small. With small wide bore eartips, like the BASS one, the sound is wider and more U shape, it tends to push forwards sub-bass and warm mid-bass and lower mids a bit as well as affecting deepness of imaging negatively. The FLC 8 silicone ear tips I use the most offer a sound that finds its place between BALANCED & BI-FLANGE ear tips, it’s more open than Balanced and less ”tunnel-like” than BI-Flange. The SPINFIT is my second favorite signature as it tend to enlighten mid-bass weight and punch.

SOUNDSTAGE is very wide and out of your head with a nice holographic feel, it’s taller than deeper too. This type of spatiality is circular and around your head, not frontal. With the FH7 you are in the middle of the music, not in front of a stage or in a hall.

IMAGING have excellent layering and above-average separation, but space between instrument isn’t widest one. We aren’t in crisp analytical balanced armature territory here, more into transparent layers of sound that keep their logical placement into the soundstage axis. For example, bass and mids highs tend to stay in the backs of mids, micro details and high range instruments like violin are easier to spot precisely than saxophone or piano which stay in the middle with more intimacy with other instruments. To note that both imaging and soundstage are connected and ear tips can drastically improve their rendering by not boosting the lower or mid-bass, flatter is the bass, the cleaner is imaging and soundstage.

THE BASS, while not being to Basshead level like the more V shape FH5, is sure far from bass shy. In fact, for once, you got both quantity and quality to the very same level, it’s just a hint boosted but not as much as mid-range so it acts like a foundation instead of an overly forwarded presence. With its very authoritative mid-bass punch that is perfectly rounded, weighty and most of all well controlled and lean thick sub-bass, your in for a very versatile bass performance that offers pristine articulation and control. The low end has a well-think hierarchy where both sub bassline and mid-bass kick can play at the same time without mixing awkwardly due to impressive layering. Yep, the FH7 is slightly bassy, it’s not a flat, dry lean bass that some can expect from a neutrally tuned IEM, and again, ear tips can either push forward sub or mid-bass. Timbre is smooth and nuanced with just the right amount of texture so it sounds natural, it will not extract texture or grain that isn’t there which could affect its transparency. The extension is thigh without a lot of resonance or decay, so if you search for boosted rumble the FH7 doesn’t do that, instead if offer thick sub line that stays in the back of the track but are easily audible even with a weighty kick coming in. For example, in ”Song for spirit flight” by electronic artist REJOICER, we can take the measure of how much the bass waken up when it’s asked for, the synth sub line is juicy, rich and muscular and when the big kick comes in, the slam is very weighty and energic, the kick stays in its place and doesn’t interfere with the rest of sound and the voice is transparent and airy as intended in the recording, what impress is how well separated synth and kick are from rest of sounds. FIIO really nail the right bass balance with this FH7 and I might think it’s among the most addictive bass performance I heard up to date whatever price range, both sub, and mid-bass is superbly sculpted, one having natural extension while the other is perfectly rounded punch, the fact sub-bass stay behind kick make it able to be extremely well-articulated with near no bass bleed into mid-bass prooving to have a very fast transient response, sounding more like 2 micro-dynamic drivers than a single DD, something when an IEM is punchy it’s either too forward in texture with thin timbre or too warm with overly thick and sloppy impact, here you have it all: resolution, rounded impact, and control. This type of bass is utterly versatile, cello sound full and natural while subline are clear and articulate, and kick has fast slam. Any music style will have the right amount of bass liveliness, should it be IDM for fast well resolve juicy kick, RAP for thigh rumble and clear vocal, classical for full cello or organ, rock for the fast kick that does not warm the guitar…as said: Anything!

THE MID RANGE is crisp and full, the lower mids aren’t too recessed and upper mids aren’t too peaky, it’s balanced and very clear without being overly bright. Male vocal has full-bodied presentation while the female one is lush and clear with vivid presence, if any sibilance occurs, it’s mostly due to the recording but the stock cable does tend to thin and brighten female vocal. For example, Sabrina Claudio tends to have bright recorded vocal while Agnes Obel or even rapper like IAMDDB show lusher vocal without any problem in timbre or tonality. The definition is rather smooth, with just enough edge to fully extract the details in a natural way, you don’t have lipsy vocal or too scratchy violin presentation, it’s lush and accurate. What impresses a lot is how well articulated in precise separation the whole mid-range is, for example, the whole album ”KING’S BALLADS” by GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW can sound like total shouty crumpled mess with most IEM, either because they are too bright, too bassy or cannot deal with over saturated mastering that is rather experimental and have plenty of crash cymbals and strange bass line, the FH7 show how he can extract the mids cleanly without forgetting about both bass and treble resolution and impact, he voice sound wide and full with excellent transparency that permit to hear every detail of the song, the bass stay in the back and do not veil here voice. You keep the sens of deepness in mids due to excellent layering and crisp imaging, with FH7 you never got any congestion even with busiest tracks.

THE TREBLE is full, extremely well controlled with a hint of extra sparkle on top. Even if it’s not the most airy or sparkly upper highs, the micro-details are easily heard without sounding too aggressive. As I’m not ”good treble” sensitive, I like to have sharp clarity on top and the FH7 delivers that effortlessly. No metallic or grainy highs timbre with the FH7, it’s just a hint bright to give enough bite to percussion, snares, electric or acoustic guitar, and violin. Violin shows that FH7 aren’t harsh sounding as the tonality is natural and full, the attack is impressively fast and well-controlled with an edgy definition that still keeps sens of naturalness in tonality. The FH7 makes it for a coherent, revealing presentation with plenty of sound info in highs range that benefits both macro and micro resolution, the instrument are clear and full, sharply define within the accurate imaging while microsound, details, and texture are perfectly balanced with rest of tonality. Sounds are perfectly sculpted and each of their individuality can be heard. This is pure heaven for critical listeners that love to crave rendering richness of their music because the treble is excellent in both technicality and tonal balance, feeling natural and on par with the rest of the spectrum and not overly colored or pushed forwards. The track ”KAMELSNURR” from GEIR SUNDSTOL show how well balanced and highly resolved is the treble region, with lots of other IEM it sounds overly bassy or metallic, sometimes it’s the background texture that is to push forward, but with the FH7 everything sounds highly realist, articulate and musical, the guitar playing has a good thickness, natural texture, and confident control. None of the instruments or sound stole the show of others, so you travel freely into the soundscape without distraction. Highs have a sense of weight, they aren’t delicate and thin but holographic and calmly authoritative. FIIO tuned the treble with an extreme refinement that avoids any artificiality, coldness, or dryness, is highly controlled and accurate in projection, and will never become redundant in its presentation like too analytical or sharp sounding iem can do.

BASS: 7.5/109/10
MIDS: 8/108.5/10
TREBLE: 8.5/109/10
ATTACK-DECAY: 8/108.5/10



The B1 is a hybrid too, but it only has one dynamic and balanced armature driver. Though the construction is more impressive and sturdy, its more prompt to scratch too and less comfortable for long wear. As well, the B1 is notably harder to drive than FH7.
Overall tonality is warmer and more natural than FH7. The soundstage is more intimate and less holographic. Imaging is notably inferior both in layering and spatial instrument placement which lacks space and can feel overly congested. BASS is slower, warmer and less controlled, it warm and thicker the mids which are more upfront making the vocal take the first seat and overshadow other instruments. Sub and kick aren’t well separated like the FH7 and mid-bass punch is less impactful. TREBLE isn’t as crisp and balanced as FH7 and does not offer high accuracy. An instrument like the piano sound fuller with B1, vocal while less clear are more pleasant too, but the whole resolution is hollow and the sound lack the energic fun of FH7.
All in all, the B1 has a more romantic laid-back warm musicality but is inferior in term of technicalities, attack, and control, making the FH7 more versatile, resolving and accurate.

The T800 uses 8 Knowles Balanced armature per side and one would think that the FH7 would be more bassy due to its dynamic driver but it isn’t the case as the T800 is way more V shape. The construction is excellent, using full resin body, but it use bigger housing than FH7, making the fit somewhat problematic and very ear tips dependant (for both sound and fit). As well, the T800 is more capricious about pairing and can sound very weak with too high impedance output source.
SOUNDSTAGE is wider, taller, and more holographic, but not as deep as the FH7. IMAGING is rather similar, but less accurate in placement, as well, the bass tends to bleed on lower mids and affect instrument separation in low and mid-range. BASS is more boosted, near bass head level with a big slam, it’s boomier and less well separated than the FH7 more realist bass presentation. Overall clarity and resolution are crisper with FH7. Mids are thicker and more opaque with T800, female vocal are more forward too but lower mids is less full and warmer due to bass bleed. Mid-range articulation is more refined with the FH7, but slightly colder too, especially for the vocal. Still, male vocal are clearer with more natural tonality. TREBLE is crunchy with the T800, thicker and less extended. FH7 offers more sparkle decay and more articulate highs. T800 offers a more muscular and forwards sound that is less neutral and balanced than FH7.
If your a bass head that prefers quantity over quality, the T800 is a more entertaining listen and sure offer tremendous holographic sound, but if you search for more realist tonality and more refined neutral sound with more bass quality than quantity, the FH7 is sure better balanced and technically superior.


The Flagship Penta sure have a more appealing construction and better comfort, which it’s his highlight. In the other hand, the cable isn’t as good as FH7.
In term of sound, one would think that the FH7 is the more expensive IEM due to more refined and balanced tuning, higher resolution and faster attack.
TONALITY is more V shape with warmer low and mids and brighter mid-treble. SOUNDSTAGE is more intimate, both in wideness and cruelly lack deepness compared to FH7. IMAGING is messy and unprecise, due to more forward sound and can even get to congestion with busy tracks. BASS is slower, warmer, and boomier with a lack of natural extension than the leaner and more articulated bass response of FH7. MIDS are more artificially forwarded, more recessed in lower mids and drier in texture, it isn’t as crisp and full as the FH7. The vocal feels more intimate and thinner with less balanced tonality. TREBLE is more splashy and grainy, lacking in attack bite and accuracy that FH7 offers effortlessly. FH7 offers more micro-details and haven’t upper highs roll off like the Penta. The transient response of both dynamic and balanced armatures drivers is slower and less cohesive than FH7.
All in all, even at more than double the price, the Penta feel sub-par in term of both technicalities and tonalities compared to more neutral and clear sounding FH7.

Now, these two offer a pretty similar tonality leaning towards neutral clarity.
In fact, the B3 is even flatter sounding than FH7, so the tuning is less energic and fun than FH7. B3 is a very serious sounding IEM and it’s incredible what it can offer with only 2 balanced armature per side.
SOUNDSTAGE is more intimate but slightly deeper. IMAGING isn’t as crisp and well defined as FH7 but layering seems even more transparent and space between instrument cleaner when bass occurs. BASS is where it just can’t compete with FH7 natural extension, it roll-off in the lower sub-region and feels thinner and brighter, still, it can offer more slam than FH7, but with less good definition and weight, kinda shouty slam we could say. MIDS are brighter and less full than FH7, vocal are a little more recessed and thin and articulation isn’t as crisp as FH7. TREBLE is more balanced than FH7 and offers a more realist cohesion with the rest of the spectrum, it does not have an extra crispness in upper treble like FH7 so micro-details are there but not as sharp and sparkly. Both have similar technicalities apart from bass and overall clarity which is more vivid and energic with FH7.
To my ears, these 2 are in the same league, with excellent tonal balance and fast transient response, the FH7 feel like a B3 with extra fun due to more energic bass and highs. Still, the more edgy definition of FH7 makes them more spectacular to listen to, and the weightier bass permits a more versatile listen.

VS FIIO FA9 (500$)
The FA9 is the new flagship multi BA earphones from FIIO, it use 6 Knowles drivers and a tuneable switch. Construction is resin plastic, and housing is smaller and lighter, so it’s more comfortable than FH7.
SOUNDSTAGE is more intimate in both wideness and deepness, the IMAGING has better transparency and layering but instrument separation isn’t as wide and easy to spot than FH7. BASS is lighter, slightly faster, and a hint more textured, mid-bass isn’t as punchy and weighty and lower extension lack naturalness and fullness of FH7. MIDS are slightly more forwards, but more intimate too, they are smoother, thinner and airier, not as edgy and full as the FH7 which have more upper mids presence bite. The TREBLE is more delicate and transparent, it will please the treble sensitive people but I personally prefer the more dynamic highs of FH7.
All in all, the FA9 offers a flatter and even more neutral sound than FH7, making them nearer to a warmed up DF target while the FH7 is nearer to brighten up Harman target. It’s a less fun, more mature sounding IEM than FH7.



I will tell you a secret here: I’ve never been a fan of FIIO earphones I tried before, which are the whole F serie, sure, I find the F5 and F9PRO pretty decent, but until price drop, I didn’t think they were competitive in their price range. So, yeah, my expectations weres ironically high due to 500$ price range. I wasn’t a believer in FIIO tuning capabilities until I finally try the FH7: these are seriously well-tuned earphones that stand apart of sub-1000$ IEM in term of perfect balance, the fullness of timbre and effortless resolution.

What happens? How can a company know for DAP and portable AMPS can jump into high-end earphones and deliver such accurate tonality? And they even permit you to tune this tonal balance into a more V or W iem…making it the most versatile IEM I ever owned.
Please FIIO, keep the tuner of FH7 in your team, and use the phenomenal dynamic driver with other IEM you make! This bass is just perfect and so is all rest of the audio spectrum! You did it, finding the sweet spot between neutrality and authority, and it’s an incredible accomplishment that justifies the 450$ price tag. Pure audiophile joy that will never bore you neither satiate you.

If you search for a versatile End Game earphones that don’t cost the price of a yacht, deliver dynamic technicality and balanced tonality, have weighty natural bass, crisply articulated and versatile mids, and vividly natural treble, the FIIO FH7 might just be the winner you were looking for.

(for more honnest audio reviews, please give a look to my BLOG)

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Pros: + Easy to drive
+ Better comfort than predecessor
+ Excellent dynamics, lots of headroom, awesome resolution
+ Transparency is also top notch
+ Good package, lots of tips, and great default cable
Cons: - Passive Noise isolation isn't very good
- Reveals sibilance a lot in recordings
- Reveals mastering issues a lot
- Neutral character doesn't work if you want a typical V-Shaped sound
The Shooting Star Returns - FiiO FH7 IEMs and LC-2.5D Silver Cable Review

FiiO FH7 is the current flagship IEM from FiiO, priced at 450 USD, making it a direct competitor for a few other IEMs like IMR R2 Aten, FiiO FA7, Final Audio B3, iBasso IT04, and TheCustomArt Fibae Black. Pairings will include iBasso DX220, FiiO M11, and FiiO Q5s. There's a lot of FiiO in this article, but all of it has a high price/performance ratio, so it'll all be interesting. For the 110 USD LC 2.5 D, the pairings will include FiiO FA7, Shozy CP, Final Audio B1, Final E5000, Dunu DK-4001, Campfire Atlas.


For those of you who haven't read my latest article about FiiO Q5s, I wrote a pretty detailed opening piece, where I explain a few things about FiiO. The short version is that you'll get outstanding support from FiiO, constant firmware updates, and good overall build quality for their products, but purchasing from their agents and local sellers is always better because you have the convenience of getting that nice warranty sorted out earlier. Local agents usually swap any product with an issue for a new one, and do so in minutes, so you won't have to worry about a thing when going with FiiO.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with FiiO. I'd like to thank FiiO for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with FiiO FH7. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in FiiO FH7 find their next music companion.

About me


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

Happily, we're dealing with a proper FiiO package here, so you don't have to worry about half assed jobs, or packages that feel cheap and not interesting here. Instead, with FH7, we have one of the most complete, best arranged, most high-end looking packages in the IEM world. Even Sennheiser can't compete with their IE800, HD660S or others, who feel a bit amateur compared to how nicely FiiO packages their products.

As far as direct competitors go, I can see why Final Audio receives a lot of love with IEMs like the B series, which include B1, B2, and B3. I'll be honest with you, though, although Final audio has that magical touch with their Japanese packages, they still lack some of the extras that FiiO includes with their IEMs.

Indeed, with FH7 you can find a Huge selection of tips, with explanations about how each affects the sound. There are also two carrying cases, one that's made of leather and is a hard carrying case meant to protect FH7 during transportation, and one which is made of a textile material, and is the same as the one found on FiiO Jade EA3. There's a little tool that holds all the filters as well, because FH7 has interchangeable sonic filters which change its sound.

The package for the LC-2.5D cable is also nice, although it being a cable means that it doesn't really require or come with a lot of extras. The cable is balanced, and in 2.5mm size, so you will need something like FiiO M9, Shanling M2X or a DAP/ source that has a Balanced output to use it.

It is also an MMCX cable, so IEMS that rely on the standard MMCX connector, like Campfire Atlas, iBasso IT01S or Dunu DK-4001 should work best.

Etymotic ER4XR, which also has an MMCX connector, but which is uniquely shaped, won't work with any aftermarket cables.

What to look for when purchasing a high-end In-Ear Monitor

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

There's a lot to keep in mind when going with FiiO, and a strong point is build quality. Back in 2010, they used to make portable amplifiers that would last a few years, but now they make IEMs, Earphones, Headphones and even flagship DAPs that can last even longer.

The shell of FH7 is made of a CNC aluminium-magnesium alloy, similar to the one found on FH5. This makes them both ultra-resistant, but also light, for a comfortable wear. The toning is black now, compared to FH5, which was a silvery color. The MMCX connectors have a colored ring, RED for the right earpiece, and Blue for the left earpiece. The same can be said about the cable, so you quickly know which is the left and which is the right piece.

The comfort is improved, compared to the comfort of FH5, with a longer nozzle, and with a more natural angle, so even if you hadn't had the best comfort with that one, FH7 should be pretty comfy.

The filters are threaded, and they may be the main reason FiiO's IEMs now have a better comfort, as they needed more space to accommodate the filters, but not only they improved comfort, but those filters let you customise the sound of FH 7, in a Bass, Reference and a Treble adjustment.

There's no driver flex, as FiiO has a Dual Venting design, where they eliminate the flex from both the front and the back of the driver, and we're talking about the dynamic driver here, because FH7 is a 5-Drivers design, with a Dynamic + BA configuration.

The cable is still based on the MMCX connector, but it is one of the best on the market, and if you know that I had an issue with DK-3001 from Dunu and their MMCX connectors, you don't have to worry, FiiO integrated a high-quality connector, just like Dunu did with their DK-4001 and DK-3001 PRO. The cable conducts no microphonic noise, and is flexible, so you don't have to worry about it hardening up even during a full blown winter. This being said, there are two rubber guides that help fix the cable better, but thankfully, there are no hard guides, like the ones found on Unique Melody Martians, which weren't exactly the most comfy around. Soft ear guides are always better than the hard counterparts. Clear Tune Monitors VS-4, and Dita Truth uses the same soft ear guide that works well.

I'm really happy to see Spinfit, Foam Tips, and a selection of silicone that affect the sound included with FH7, it shows that FiiO care about how good the package is for a large number of people, not just how well they work for those who get a good comfort with their initial fit selection. The thinking here is that I personally get the best fit with Spinfit tips, rather than comply, but some people prefer foamies, and it is always best for a company to include them all.

The isolation is average, due to the vented design, and the leakage is minimal, because the vents are small enough to not have a huge impact on how much FH7 leaks. They could be blasted full-volume in a library without anyone knowing, but if you wear them on a crowded street, you will need to have your volume set at medium to have some enjoyment.

The filters are color coded, and they do the following

Red - Dynamics and Bass Emphasis
Black - Balanced and Reference Tuning
Green - Detail and Treble Emphasis

As FH7 comes with Black out of the box, it is the one I use the most with them, and the one I reference the most when describing them.

Sound Quality

You could say that there are three different signatures to FH7, given the three sonic filters, and there's also the large selection of tips, which gives them a huge flexibility, but there is a core signature of FH7, which is quite different from that of FH7, so there's no direct linearity, owners of FH5 having both FH7, and FA7 as upgrade options, depending on what side of FH5 they liked more.

FH7 sounds considerably more refined, more resolving, more detailed, and brighter than FH5. The additional treble driver, and the larger 13mm Be driver offers more contrast, and more dynamics than FH5 as well, also providing a considerably larger soundstage with more air.

The bass of FH7 hits deeper, with more impact than that of FH5, and there's also better layering and texture with FH7, but FH7 is not bassier than FH5, actually having less bass, being neutral for the most part. This is interesting, as most FiiO IEMs had had a tuning to themselves, like F9PRO being moderately V-Shaped, FH5 being mid-centric, thick, with a bass emphasis, and FA7 being a straight-forward thicc, bassy, warm and intriguing IEM. The beauty here is that the bass is deep, impactful, but leaves enough space for the mids, which are forward and detailed, and there's also the treble, forward, sparkly and full of detail, to compliment the rest of the signature.

The bass is deep, impactful, but neutral in quantity, very similar to Dunu's DK-4001, although I reckon FH7 has slightly less than that. There's a whole new level of bass detail and texture compared to FH5, and it is on par with other high-end monitors that have a neutral sound, reminding me of the way Unique Melody Martian had a really great bass, despite having a very neutral-bright signature as well. Control is a good word here, because the bass doesn't appear unless really called for. There's a slight sub-100Hz elevation that gives instruments some weight, so that it doesn't sound congested or weightless / thin.

The midrange is gentle, with the lower mids area having a slight dip, and with the rising happening again around 1.4kHz towards 2.5kHz. There's a peak around 1.5kHz, so the midrange is fairly forward, in quantity, but different from the vocal intimacy and power FH5 used to have. The different tuning of the treble towards bright also makes FH7 sound considerably more airy, with more space and more textured than FH5. FH5 is far more forgiving, especially with poorly recorded albums, so you may not want to upgrade, unless you're ready to see what the true version of your music sounds like, under a tiny microscope.

The treble is energetic, forward, but also coherent. It isn't especially spikey, like IT-04, nor too wet, like IE800 from Sennheiser, but rather a natural type of treble, with fairly good texture, body and clean tonality. The bumps happen around 5.5kHz all the way to 7.5kHz, and there's another bump in between 8 and 12 kHz. This makes it quite balanced, and compared to FH5, it sounds considerably more airy, more open and brighter.

The width of the stage is better than it was on FH5, which is the main IEM you're probably considering upgrading from, and the height of the stage is also considerably better. Since the percussion feels a bit more forward on FH7, you don't feel like everything is pushed away from you, and you're sitting at the center, but you get a great sense of layering, and you hear instruments playing both forward, near you, and some playing in the background, creating a beautiful imaging that works really well with all music types, from atmosphering and progressive, all the way to EDM and Dubstep.

Portable Usage

FH7 is fairly easy to drive, even easier than FA7, which is all-BA, and especially since you may pump more volume in FA7 to hear more treble, FH7 will generally be quieter than it.

Indeed, this is a big point of the tuning, FH7 can be enjoyed at both loud volumes, and quietly, in a silent room.

There's also the fact that FH7 comes with a fairly high-end cable, but there's that FiiO LC-2.5D Silver Cable, which has even better ergonomics, is even sleeker, and has a beautiful overall sound, with even better detail, better clarity and more treble sparkle / air than the default cable.

That LC-2.5D cable is actually an excellent upgrade for many IEMs, but the best pairings for it were with FiiO FA7, Dunu DK-4001, Campfire Atlas, Final Audio B1, Final Audio E5000, and Shozy CP.

There's also the fact that with FH7, you can pair it with a Bluetooth dongle and be done for a long time in terms of sources, so something like BTR5, or BTR3 would make a lot of sense if you're going for FH7.

If you're looking at the driving part, a FiiO M5, or a Shanling M2X will do the job, if you want to stay on a budget, but if you want to hear the true resolution and details that FH7 can provide, a FiiO M11, iBasso dX220 + AMP 9, or an Opus #2 would fare much better.

Now, this is a secret, but I actually paired FH7 with Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and with Audio-GD Master 19 as well, and the results were phenomenal. But this was the moment when I discovered that FH7 is fairly sensitive to hiss as well.

This may have eluded others, because it ain't the most sensitive out there, with but the DAC+ from Mytek, it was pretty easy to hear, and even easier with Hiby's R6, which has a really high output impedance.

Youtube Video

FiiO FH7 Video Review:

FiiO LC-2.5D Video Review:


This is one of those comparisons that's really rich, because there's just a lot to compare the FH7 to. Starting with FiiO's own FA7, then following with IMR R2 Aten, Final Audio B3, iBasso's IT04, and finally with TheCustomART Fibae Black, there's a fierce competition in this price range, and if FH7 manages to hold its ground, it is set to make history in the hearts of music lovers.

FiiO FH7 vs FiiO FA7 - Starting with the obvious, you're curious to know whether you need an H or an A in this situation, as FiiO F A 7, and F H 7 sound pretty different and make really good upgrade paths from the same FH5. If you have something that's multi-signature like FLC 8N, you don't have to worry, you can always go for something like the FA 7, if you wanted a bassy sound, or FH 7 if you wanted a neutral-ish sound. Back to the comparison at hand, FH7 has similar comfort to FA7, although the build is different, and FA7 is an all-BA, while FH7 is a hybrid design. Despie this, FH7 is the neutral one, while FA7 the bassy and warm one. FA7 offers considerably better isolation, thanks to its lack of venting, as only FH7 needs one for the Dynamic Driver. FA7 doesn't have a filter system, and you can't really change its sound that much, as it doesn't like a lot of EQ either. I personally like the sound of FH7 considerably more, as it is more balanced, with FA7 being much thicker, colored, and having a smaller stage, with less detail and less dynamics. FH7 is more engaging, has more refinement.

FiiO FH7 vs IMR R2 Aten - R2 Aten has a different design, with considerably less passive noise isolation, but also a more configurable sound, as it comes with more filters, and with two sets of filters this time, so there's a larger number of combinations possible, and more total tunings you can achieve with it. This being said, if there were some things that the two had in common, those are the comfort, which is pretty great on both IEMs. The package is better on FH7, more elegant, and feels considerably more like a properly set IEM, with all the bells and whistles you could need. This being said, the sound is dominated by the bass, R2 Aten having less air in the treble, and FH7 having more refinement, more clarity and more depth, regardless of the combination of filters you're running on either. FH7 can take more EQ, and there's more headroom, but both are easy to drive, and both scale similarly, so a FiiO Q5s would suffice for both.

FiiO FH7 vs Final Audio B3 - Final Audio B3 is one of the IEMs that's less talked about, but it is the most direct competitor to FH7, as it has a fairly similar signature, but a different design, and comes from a company that follows an entirely different philosophy from FiiO. The package is clearly better on FH7, and there's simply more extra included with it, but if you're a fan of Japanese Aesthetics, you'll love the simple, yet premium feeling of B3. The comfort is better on FH7, but there's a similar level of comfort and isolation between them. The sound comes close in terms of tuning, and this is why I brought up the B3, and not the B1, which was closer in both pricing and overall design to FH7's idea of being the flagship from FiiO, but B3 is tuned to be slightly warmer, and to have slightly more bass. The key difference here is headroom, B3 is something you either like, or you don't. It doesn't adapt well to EQ, and it has so little headroom, that you can't really listen to it very loud without some distortions coming up. By comparison, you can crank FH7 much louder without distortions, you can tune FH7 using the Filters, and they take some good amounts of EQ, thanks to their large headroom. The stage is deeper on FH7, but similarly wide on both.

FiiO FH7 vs iBasso IT 04 - You start seeing the differences from the packaging, but you get both a Single Ended and a Balanced cable in one with IT04. The comfort is much better on FH7, because IT04 has a dynamic driver, but has driver flex, as the vent doesn't work very well. I am getting an odd comfort with IT04, but I loved the sound, which was very ethereal, with a very neutral bass, but still more sub-bass emphasis. There's more control on FH7, and FH7 is a bit warmer in the mid bass, where the tonality of IT04 is downright cold. There's a fuller sound on FH7, but not a much fuller sound, and both are fairly on the thinner end of the spectrum, compared to FA7. Both can show the sibilance, if it was alreadt in the record, but neither isn't harsh, and both sound pretty sweet in general.

FiiO FH7 vs The Custom ART Fibae Black - Fibae Black would have been a much more fair competitor to FiiO's FA7 rather than FH7, because it features a similar concept, and a similar tuning. The comfort is better on FH7, with a more ergonomic design, Fibae Blac not having vents, so having a void going on. There is more headroom with FH7, and if you don't like Fibae Blac, you can't EQ it, and what's actually a bit more concerning is that you can't bring it very loud, as it starts to distort when driven really loud. The signature is pretty much at different ends of the spectrum, with Fibae Black being a thick, dark, bassy IEM with a really natural tonality, and a good sense of imaging, although within a limited space. By comparison, FH7 is straightforward, huge in staging, has much better treble performance, a more neutral sound, but with less bass emphasis. There's a considerably better detail on FH7, and a more refined sound as well.

Recommended Pairings

There'll be two parts here, one where I pair FH7 with a number of DAPs, like FiiO M11, iBasso DX229, or DX 220 + AMP 9, and also also FiiO's Q5s, a newly released DAC/AMP that's pretty interesting. But, since this is a review of the LC-2.5D cable, I'll add a few words about how that one pairs with a few IEMS, including FiiO FA7, Final Audio B1, Shozy CP, Final Audio E5000, Dunu DK-4001 and Campfire Atlas. Ara Ara, that's quite a lot, so let's get down to it.

FiiO FH7 + FiiO M11 - A full FiiO pair, with FH7 and M11 is what you need, if you want to be set with a simple, yet effective setup. M11 has a smooth OS and UI, has plenty of power for FH7, has a very effective EQ. M11 is also a happy DAP for price/performance ratio, and it has both a Balanced and a Single Ended Output. There's enough power for larger headphones as well, and there's even Bluetooth, with all the fancy codecs, so you're pretty bullet proof with M11.

FiiO FH7 + iBasso DX220 (AMP 9) - DX220 is another DAP that you'll be set with after you get, unless you want to wait out for DX220 MAX, which will be soon on the market, and which I will be reviewing soon. There's also a DX150 from iBasso which uses the same modules as DX220, and DX 200, and there is a DX160 out there that has stellar performance for its price. Back to DX220, it is one of the most recommended DAPs in the entire world, thanks to its really high-quality hardware, with enough RAM, a fast CPU, and the modular design, allowing it work with virtually every headphone out there that's driveable from a portable. The logic here is that HE6SE from HIFIMAN isn't really driveable from a portable, but there is stuff out there, like HIFIMAN Arya, which is hard to drive, but DX220 can do without a hassle. With FH7, when having AMP9 installed, DX220 manages to give you a really sweet midrange, with a sweeter treble, and a slightly warmer sound than most other pairings. IF you want something that is more correct and provides a more reference tuning, DX220 comes with AMP1 by default, and that provides a very neutral performance.

FiiO FH7 + FiiO Q5s - FiiO Q5s is that DAC/AMP you wish for, when you want to use your smartphone as a source. It is better than the original Q5, and a good alternative to iFi's xDSD, and the Earmen TR-AMP. If you have other IEMS and Headphones as well, Q5s will prove to be a good friend, because it has both a Balanced output, and a Single Ended output. The sound is detailed, crisp, clear and has a natural tonality. Everything is warmer, less revealing of sibilance, and more musical than most other sources.

FiiO LC-2.5D + FiiO FA7 - FiiO FA7 is one of the IEMs that takes the most advantage from having the LC 2.5 D because, you get a brighter overall tuning, as the silver in LC25D will sprinkle some extra treble, and take away some of the bass in most IEMs. This is especially benefic to FA7, which was thicc and bass-heavy, as it results in a more balanced overall tuning. FA7 lacks a large headroom for proper EQ, so the cable is a good way to improve their sound without distorting it.

FiiO LC-2.5D + Shozy CP - Shozy CP already came with a great cable, but I discovered that adding FiiO's LC 25 D made things much better, because it added to the already pretty great sound of CP, by making it more sparkly. CP didn't have a lot of treble to begin with, but adding some with a cable, as it doesn't take EQ very well, due to lack of headroom, and using LC-2.5D brought the entire sound to a whole new level.

FiiO LC-2.5D + Final Audio B1 - Final Audio B1 didn't lack treble, but air and soundstage, and this is where LC25D came in handy, because it adds some air, and gives more space for the instruments to breath with B1. The same trick can't be done in EQ, unless you're using a very specific parametric EQ, with variable Q factor, so if you're not one to like to mingle and tinker, LC-2.5D is a great way to turn an already interesting IEM into something even better.

FiiO LC-2.5D + Final E5000 - E5000 is a pretty one-track IEM, with a really hard to drive nature, needing real power even from the Burson Play to sound loud, but being able to take enough power, and stay clear, that for the most part you could easily EQ it if you wanted to change it. If there's anything that E5000 has, it is headroom. At the same time, if you weren't a fan of the Final original cable, because it was not very flexible, you will be happy to hear that LC-2.5D is more flexible, and besides the improved ergonomics also makes the sound of E5000 thinner, gives them a more balanced presentation, allowing for more sparkle in the treble, and for more excitement to be felt.

FiiO LC-2.5D + Dunu DK-4001 - DK-4001 was great, but it was a bit gentle, and a bit vague. This being said, it did not lack treble, and its cable was already great, with its modular design, so you may wonder what does it have to do with FiiO's cables, but in all honesty, Dunu's own cable is thick, and the Dunu cable is even thicker, which made me wonder how would DK-4001 feel like if they had a thinner, more ergonomic cable. You lose that cable modularity, and have to settle on a size, either LC-2.5D, LC-3.5D or LC-4.5D, which are basically the 2.5mm Balanced, 3.5mm Single Ended, and 4.4mm Balanced versions of the same cable. After you do that, you get better ergonomics, a more open, more airy sound, and what's actually surprising is that FiiO's cable made Dunu more dynamic, more precise, and took away some of their strong character, making them more versatile, working much better for rock and metal.

FiiO LC-2.5D + Campfire Atlas - Campfire Atlas already comes with a Silver cable, and a pretty high-quality one at that, which is ended in a 3.5mm Single Ended jack, and which is very flexible and very practical. The main reason I'd go for LC-2.5D is that it allows you to connect Atlas to a balanced output, and most DAPs like M11, and even some DAC/ AMPs like Q5s will sound considerably more balanced, wider and brighter from a balanced output. This isn't always the case, but it is the case more often than not. When testing with M11, connecting Atlas to the Balanced output did improve the performance, because Atlas has a huge bass, and having a slightly brighter overall tuning and less bass made the sound easier to listen to, with a larger variety of music. Sadly, this did not solve the driver flex, but it did make my entire experience with Atlas better.

Value and Conclusion

The value of FH7 is pretty great, and for the performance it doesn't cost quite that much. Of course, no 450 USD IEM is going to be as great of a value as a 300 USD Pair, like the FLC 8N, but FH7 manages to have a much better sound, and overall, it is one of the most detailed, most clear, and most crisp IEM you can find in the 450 USD price. I could go as far as to say that you probably can't find an IEM to bear FH7 if you want a neutral, clear, crisp sound, with a large stage and with a good kick for imaging. When it comes to FiiO's LC-2.5D cable, it costs 110 USD at the moment of making this review, so you're going to get great value, if pairing it with the right IEMs.

The package has always been great with FiiO, and with two carrying cases, an exceptional cable, and with a huge selection of tips. FH7 does not disappoint. With a build quality that would make anyone say wow, metallic shells, and with a comfort that hugely outcomforts the FH5, you could say it is an upgrade in every way possible.

The only part that can't be a direct upgrade is the sound, because FH7 goes for a totally different tuning that FiiO's previous IEMs, now having a neutral signature, with just a slight emphasis in the bass and with a good amount of sparkle in the treble. If resolution, refinement and soundstage are your things, you should totally keep in mind that FH7 even manages to change its signature if you need it to sound slightly different, thanks to its filters.

Before the end of this review, FiiO FH7 is getting featured in Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame, for being one of the most detailed, clear, clean, and resolute IEMS in the 450USD price area, and for having a great comfort, awesome aesthetics, and excellent build quality, even managing to take down the previous FiiO best, the FH5.

At the end of this review, if you need an upgrade from your current IEM, and if you're rocking a nice midrange set, you should totally consider getting FiiO FH7, and if you already have FH5, don't forget to read the sonic impressions, because the signature of FH7 is more resolute, wider, but also more neutral, and with less bass and mid emphasis than FH5.

Also, if you're in need of a Silver cable, you can always look into the FiiO LC-2.5D, and especially if you already have an IEM that has a good synergy and matching with it, you should have a lot of fun using it, thanks to its great ergonomics and design.

Full Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist

Tidal Playlist

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet

I hope my review is helpful to you!


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Reviewer at Headphonesty
Pros: Exemplary packaging and accessories
- Eye-catching design
- Excellent build quality
- Comfortable fit
- High quality stock cable
- Switchable filters add flexibility
- Neutral, coherent all-rounder signature
- Brilliant bass tuning
- Energetic and detailed mids and treble
- Large soundstage with good imaging
Cons: Expensive
- Shells on the larger side, might affect fit
- Subpar isolation
- Grainy and emotionally distant mids
- The odd sibilance
- Only minor improvements over FH5
Through the years, we watched as fledgling company FiiO grow from seed to sprout to splendour. Today we look at their finest earphones, the FH7, another touchstone in their meteoric rise as one of the go-to brands in portable audio.

I grew up on a steady diet of rice, ramen, and kung fu movies. Like any good Jacky Chan flick, the protagonist has to go through increasingly arduous tasks and opponents before saving the village/getting the girl/winning battle of the bands. The payoff is meeting the final boss and delivering sweet, eternal justice via the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

Without exaggerating, FiiO are the wunderkinds of portable Hi-Fi. Entering the in-ear monitor (IEM) market via rehashed Dunu earphones in 2015 (check out my ancient review), they’ve gone from strength to strength, perfecting the craft of manufacturing their own IEMs to great response. The FH5 remains my benchmark for $300 IEMs until today.


Nowt to do with Brit flair, but I love the colors, guv'nor.

FiiO were basically throwing their henchmen IEMs at me before the ultimate showdown. In what is my sixth FiiO in-ear review, the mighty FH7 awaits at the top of the mountain. Positioned a tier above FH5, FiiO’s fascinating, flamboyant flagship is a hybrid monitor combining 4 Knowles balanced armatures (BAs) and a delicious-sounding 13.6mm beryllium-coated dynamic driver (DD).

Not content with having the most drivers in a FiiO IEM to date, the FH7 has other tricks up its sleeve. New to FiiO are changeable sound filters, to alter the sound signature when the mood hits. The S.Turbo sound tubes make a return, acoustically-tuned to coax more performance out of the DD. FiiO says they were inspired by turbine designs, but I say it looks like the snail from Turbo.

The housing boasts a full metal shell, dubbed the TriShell, a rigid 3-point structure that reduces resonance and distortion. Add to that an all-new complex crossover design, improved stock cable, Hi-Res Audio certification, and you can see why the FH7 is armed to the hilt and ready to rumble.

The FH7 ventures out of the $300-and-below comfort zone and is their priciest IEM yet. It is currently available from Amazon. I would like to thank Sunny of FiiO for the review sample, and her patience in making this review possible.

This review was first featured in Headphonesty.

Equipment Used:

  1. Sony NW-WM1A “K” Modded, FW 2.0
  1. FiiO FH7
  2. FiiO FA7
  3. FiiO FH5
  1. Amber Rubarth – Sessions From The 17th Ward
  2. Diana Krall – When I Look Into Your Eyes
  3. Ed Sheeran – Divide
  4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  5. Journey – The Essential
  6. Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
  7. Moby – Play
  8. Taylor Swift – Reputation
  9. Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair
  10. Toto – Greatest Hits: 40 Trips Around The Sun


The annual “March of the Ear Tips” got off to a great start despite poor weather.

Packaging and Accessories

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, just flex it. FiiO’s finest IEMs share nearly identical packaging and accessory set with the FH5 and FA7, with just a few updates to hit home its flagship, “I’m better than you, nyeh nyeh” status. First off, the amount of ear tips provided are staggering. A total of 15 pairs are at your perusal headlined by the SpinFit CP145. You’re sure to find one that suits you best.

The carry case is also updated. This time around you get the FiiO HB3, a synthetic leather case in smart peacock blue. A semi-hard case with velveteen lining and a magnetic clasp, it provides ample room and protection for the FH7. The most notable inclusion is a capsule housing the FH7’s sound filter system, screw-on color-coded dampeners applied at the nozzles to fine-tune your preferred signature.

Here’s a rundown of the accessory set, and it’s quite a mouthful.
  • FiiO LC-3.5C cable
  • FiiO HB3 case
  • 3 pairs sound filters (black, green, red) with capsule case
  • 3 pairs SpinFit CP145 ear tips (S,M,L)
  • 3 pairs Balanced silicone ear tips (S,M,L)
  • 3 pairs Vocal silicone ear tips (S,M,L)
  • 3 pairs Bass silicone ear tips (S,M,L)
  • 2 pairs foam ear tips (M)
  • 1 pair double-flange silicone ear tips (M)
  • Cloth pouch
  • Cleaning brush
  • Cable organizer
This is simply one of the most remarkable and complete accessory sets I’ve seen. FiiO really went for the jugular in this one, including everything plus two kitchen sinks. I tip my hat to you, if I had one.


The summer workout regime resulted in a tan, bigger muscles and a longer, um, appendage.

Design and Build Quality

Beauty is in the eye of the tiger. What? Risin’ up and back on the street, FH7 takes the existing FH5 design and imparts further wisdom and fine-tuning. The housing is once again built with CNC-machined aerospace-grade aluminium-magnesium alloy to impress your mates. The shells are now slightly bigger to fit more drivers, while the nozzles are longer, addressing an age-old complaint about FH5’s poor fit.

The FH7’s faceplate features a wave motif, which according to marketing, implies ferocity and dominance, showing you who’s boss. The result is a striking, captivating design decked out in black and gold, the color combo of winners. The build quality is unmistakably impressive too, with a rigidity that can withstand the rigors of daily usage, and a stunningly smooth finish you can hold and admire for hours. FiiO habitually excels in design and build quality, and the FH7 is a fitting testament to the fact.


Hang on, is that an ovary on the box?


The stock cable provided with the FH7 is actually the LC-3.5C, the single-ended 3.5mm version of the LC-4.4C that I have covered in my FA7 review. It’s a lovingly-made 8-wire silver-plated copper cable with good ergonomics and sound properties, and is already a competent enough cable to pair with the FH7 without having a formal FOMO attack.

However, if one day the itch to get something new overwhelms you (and it’s a very, very familiar feeling), do consider what FiiO considers its next upgrade, the LC-D series. Sunny was kind enough to send me the LC-4.4D balanced cable to be used with my Sony audio player.

The LC-4.4D is proudly made with 4 strands of monocrystalline pure silver, chosen for its high electrical and thermal conductivity. Also because it looks cool. Each strand consists of 7 bundles of 8 Litz silver wires insulated by DuPont sheaths. Litz is a wiring pattern that distributes current equally among the wires, reducing resistance. Theoretically, less resistance translates to better conductivity and sound quality.

The LC-4.4D is well-built and pleasing to the eye. The gentle shimmer of the silver wires and matte silver Y-split and 4.4mm jack go well together, while the color-coded MMCX connectors is a helpful touch. The cable is soft and flexible and makes for easy handling. The only thing I didn’t enjoy about the cable is the loose braiding in places, which messes up the brilliant aesthetics of the cable.

As for sound quality, the LC-4.4D conveys an excellent black background, in a faithful rendition of “Tarry, Tarry Night”. Thanks to the solid, clean blackground (sic), details jump out from across the spectrum, compared to the stock LC-3.5C cable. Bass is tighter and more controlled while treble sounds less grainy when switching back and forth.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade in terms of sound is the bigger soundstage and better imaging accuracy. The LC-4.4D accommodates a coherent, effortless sound, while handling complex passages with great aplomb. Available on Amazon, it’s one of the cheapest pure silver cables I’ve had the pleasure of trying, and an easy recommendation.


The waves are making you sleepy… now give me your wallet.

Fit, Isolation and Comfort

I’m not a fan of sticking metal objects into orifices, but after the FH5 I became a convert. The FH7, albeit with a bigger shell, fits comfortably, with its sleek, smooth edges and contours caressing my inner ears as I slid them in. Being all-metal they’re quite bulky, and for the FH7 to sit and seal properly, you’d need the right tips to do the job. Otherwise you’d be jammin’ until the break of dawn like Stevie Wonder.

Before we talk about tweaking FH7’s sound via ear tips, they have to sit in your ears first. The double-flange ear tips did the job best for me. While not the most pleasing in terms of looks (God I wanted so much to like the SpinFits), they provided a very safe and secure seal, evoking a level of comfort akin to rolling around in a field of fluffy rabbits.

Regrettably, sound isolation is below average, because of two vents on each earpiece. The vents, as explained by FiiO, attempt to relieve air pressure buildup in the eardrums, granting better listening comfort. In real world use, you can’t take the FH7 on your daily commute, because the outside noise distracts from the listening experience.


These tiny microphones make excellent spy accessories. Available in 3 colors!

Sound Quality

You know how there are three Jokers, apparently? Me neither. The FH7 does, however, come with three filters to fine tune your sound signature. Add that to the myriad of tips given, and the ability to change cables. Depending on perspective, you have either a dream or nightmare scenario when deciding on your final FH7 sound. Minimalism, this is not.

Overall Sound SIgnature

The FH7, like many first-timer flagships, has neutrality in its blood, with equal emphasis on bass, mids and treble. The bass slams powerfully, but cleans up after itself hurriedly. The mids are detail-focused, with a tinge of brightness due to a rise in the upper mids. The treble is smack in the middle of Sparkleland. The end result is an energetic, all-rounder signature that fits most sonic palettes.

The sound filters aren’t for show, and they do alter the sound signature. The filters introduce dampening effects, but the base signature is largely intact, sort of like Heidi Klum in different Halloween costumes. The red bass-focused filter attenuates the treble and introduces a calmer, smoother signature; while the green treble-focused filter does the opposite by reducing sub-bass thump.

My favourite is the black balanced filter, which has sub-bass and treble in optimum amounts, while sounding fun and transparent at the same time. It’s all of the sound quality with no obvious compromise, and will be the signature I write about in this review.

Critical listening was done after 100 hours of burn-in, balancing between priming the dynamic driver and holding off beryllium poisoning. I kid, I kid. Burn-in resulted in a darker background, with the core signature intact. I believe I’m immune to beryllium compounds too. The main review rig is Sony’s NW-WM1A Walkman, using the LC-4.4D cable and stock double-flange ear tips.


Two earpieces ventured to the wild outdoors. Only one survived to tell the tale.


The beryllium-plated dynamic driver sort of markets itself with garish neon lights. The light and rigid metal is famed for its flexibility and ability to reproduce a quick and taut bass, and is often name-dropped in mega-expensive headphones like the Focal Utopia. If you want to make an audiophile sit up, shout in his ears “beryllium drivers!”

While I’m not claiming that you can recreate the Focal Utopia experience here, FH7’s bass is pleasingly implemented. The sub-bass is hearty and full, with impressive extension down low, and a head-rattling thump. Note attacks are on-point, with a visceral rumble and clean decay, showcasing impressive discipline amidst the fun.

Into the midbass, notes sound grand, full and natural, with a precise and realistic tone. Best of all, impact and slam are plentiful. It has a more lingering decay than the sub-bass, so snare drums and bass guitars have more meat on their bones. The entire bass spectrum is highlighted by incredible background cleanness, lending some spectacular dynamics. Like fitting into skinny jeans from your teenage years, the bass experience is just tight, tight, tight.


Sometimes you breathe into a mirror before wiping it to create the impression that there is a difference before and after cleaning. Such trickery is not needed in the FH7, which, like a good spray of Windex, provides a clear window into the mids. These mids are articulate, with a proud emphasis on detail and transparency.

Notes do have good thickness to them, while texture is readily palpable from attack to decay. The lower mids are neutral in note size and tone, with a steady rise as we move towards the upper mids. Female vocals and brass instruments sound their best, while strings and pianos perform just above the passing mark in terms of realism and engagement level.

The mids will never be accused of lacking air or details, but I wish for better musical flow, smoothness and soul in exchange for all that detail. They tend to be grainy too, and this makes it hard to get emotionally involved, while disturbing some sensitive ears. At worst, the timbre has a shiny, metallic tinge, with a bright skew. Technically astute yes, but the soullessness of the mids might be a deal-breaker for some.


In ancient Rome, the finest IEMs are put on a pedestal and fed grapes.


Ironically, the treble shines with the same attributes that made the mids falter. A bright, exciting tone, well-defined notes, a magnitude of air and details galore bring the treble to a higher plane, figuratively. It’s a given that FH7 wants to wow you with technical adroitness above all else, and sure enough the treble here is spectacularly extended with massive reach.

Notes ring clear and true, undeniably bringing you ever so close to the source of the music. Here, the metallic timbre bothered me less because, well a lot of treble-centric instruments have metal in them anyway! Cymbals, bells, hi-hats and the first 30 seconds of Pink Floyd’s Time sound suitably vibrant and alive, even life-threatening.

Of course, with all this treble excitement, there is always the odd sibilance or two. The FH7 can be revealing in less friendly ways, and the treble gets tizzy and hot. The bass-centric red filter provides an easy fix for this, but for me, the default treble is like an addictive drug I don’t want to wean out of. Be wary, since what’s rewarding for one is perilous for another.


We might have overdressed for board games night again!

Soundstage and Imaging

FiiO’s IEMs always gave me the impression that they will go the extra mile for tuning excellence, but take a relaxed step back when it comes to soundstage and imaging capability. The FH5 and FA7 were noted for having, well, not so notable stage sizes and average separation/imaging. It’s far from bad, just unremarkable.

You can’t have an epic boss battle in an enclosed space, so the FH7 is an encouraging step in the correct direction. This is the most expansive (and expensive lol) IEM I’ve heard from them yet, with very good width and depth, and some height thrown in. Instruments and vocals diffuse out in front and around you in a realistic, from-the-front-row manner.

I think I’ve harped on all review about the elegantly dark background, which leads to better-heard transients, and here, imaging supremacy. Every element of the music is clearly and cleanly demarcated, with enough room to shine, and air to breathe. This is one sequel worth waiting for, unlike the new Star Wars stuff. FiiO really tried their darndest here.


The feeling you get when you visit a hipster cafe that looks like every other hipster cafe.


FiiO FA7

To put it nicely, they’re too dissimilar to be compared, because of divergent signatures. FA7 appeals to the warm, thick and brothy chicken soup lover in us, while FH7 is sparkling water. Different foods for different moods. Getting back to audio lingo, FH7 is an all-rounder with a neutral signature, while FA7 is a warm IEM best suited for slow-tempo tracks, more a genre specialist.

Although tonally rich and beautiful, FA7’s massively-elevated midbass and lower mids are tenacious enough to engulf the entire spectrum, leading to a congested, overwhelming listen when tackling faster tracks and EDM. The FA7 mids edge out the FH7 in tone and timbre, but if we compare the technical attributes of both, the FH7 pulls ahead effortlessly.

The FH7 features better extension both ends, with a leaner, tighter bass, more articulate mids and brighter, well-textured treble. Details are better conveyed while separation and layering are a tier above, at least. The FH7 accomplishes this while maintaining balance and coherence throughout, with plenty of fuel left in the tank or getting back to food analogies, plenty of food left in the fridge.

Unless your entire catalogue of music consists of Diana Krall, Holly Cole and their ilk, the FH7 is a far better bet as a more competent and pleasing IEM.


Don’t mate with the zebra, he’s bad news.

FiiO FH5

The FH5 was released as a statement of intent from FiiO, that they were ready to play with the big boys in the IEM sphere. A few years later, I would say it is mission accomplished, because FH5 is still whispered when people ask for mid-tier IEM suggestions. I still recommend them as my favourites below $300.

No longer an up-and-coming company, FiiO are now expected to deliver great products all day everyday. The heir-apparent FH7 is positioned as a direct upgrade to the FH5, although at a significantly higher price tag. The obvious question, then, is should you get the FH7 if you already own the FH5? Let’s find out.

Not surprisingly, their signatures are similar, with a few slight differences. For those complaining that the FH5 had too much sub-bass and scooped-out midbass/lower mids, you have reason to rejoice. The FH7 is better balanced in the bass regions and does not lack any way in punch. Notes hit faster and cleaner, with surgical precision and no bleed (good for both audio and surgeries).

The mids sound nearly alike for both FH5 and FH7, in that they are both technically competent, a bit grainy, and found wanting in euphony and emotion. The treble for FH7 is crisper and more textural, with better definition and sparkle from attack to decay. It can get sibilant (unless you use the red filters), so tread with caution.

The FH7 performs like a FH5 with more polish. The good thing is FH5 is already an accomplished IEM to begin with, so we’re not just polishing turds here. The FH7 betters the FH5 in detail levels, soundstage size, layering ability, imaging accuracy and dynamism. You can hear the extra resolution (and dollars) in note texture, and the immaculately black background.

So to the casual fan, no, I don’t think existing FH5 owners need the upgrade. But for audiophile junkies like you and I, hell yeah, sell the FH5 and don’t look back. The FH7 has enough firepower to address all your sonic wants and needs. Long live the new king!


FiiO’s fabulous, formidable flagship feels funky fresh.

Final Words

Traditionally, IEMs price tiers were easy. Budget-fi was $100 and below, the heated mid-tier battleground was at $300 thereabouts, while the holy grail of summit-fi starts from $1000. The $500 price tier was no-man’s-land, too expensive to be value for money, and too cheap for high rollers to consider. I’m offended too lol.

Today, established mid-fi Chinese brands like iBasso and Fearless Audio are refining their products and dipping their toes into this “upper mid-fi” category, daring their followers to take a leap of faith with them and well, spend more. Hopefully we get to see true innovation instead of yet another cash grab exercise.

FiiO’s FH7 too shines a bacon, I mean beacon, for others to follow in this price range. What makes the FH7 so special is its exciting, all-rounder tuning guided by two tenets. They are, to extract the most intricate detail possible, and to provide an unfettered fun factor. The FH7 gives every genre a good go and for all intents and purposes, succeeds.

With years of experience behind them, FiiO has fine-tuned their craft to deliver what is probably the total package. There’s nothing to fault in the build, cable and accessories, but vitally, the sound quality is up there as well. The FH7 is certainly their finest IEM to date. With steady, experienced hands manning FiiO’s ship, their best is yet to come.


No DD, no DICE
Pros: >
Excellent build, comfort and fit.
Finely balanced sound with tunable filters.
Refined and resolving.
Best value IEM under $1000.
Cons: >
No balanced cable a missed opportunity.
High frequency artefacts in some female vocals.
Shallow fit not for everyone.
The FH7 is FiiO’s new flagship in-ear monitor, combining the best of the various technologies we’ve seen in their previous IEMs with a new filter system that lets you tweak the final sound to your preference.

At $495 the FH7 is also FiiO’s most expensive IEM – twice the price of the FH5. But unlike most flagships that exhibit only incremental improvements over their predecessors, the FH7’s performance not only justifies its price, it represents even better value for money on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Frankly, the combination of FiiO’s M11 and FH7 is close enough to the quality of my (significantly more expensive) desktop head-fi system – with the added convenience of portability and isolation – that I find myself using it more and more, and the desktop rig less and less.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes the FH7, in my opinion, the most complete and compelling IEM that FiiO has released to date.

The whole shebang

The FH7 takes the FH5’s already generous package and impressively crams even more into the box.

Set into custom foam cut-outs, the familiar wave-like CNC-machined aluminium earpieces are presented like jewelry, attached to the eight-core LC-3.5C silver-plated copper cable – a separately released upgrade option for the FH5 which now comes standard with the FH7.

Below the IEMs you’ll find a smaller foam block dotted with a large selection of ear tips, including a triple set of SpinFit tips, medium-sized double-flange tips, and the same vocal, balanced, bass and foam tips first seen with the FH5 and FA7.

FH7_01.jpg FH7_06.jpg

Also included in the box is a new faux-leather flip case that replaces the Pelican-like case of the FH5 and FA7 – a refined finishing touch for a premium IEM like the FH7. While not waterproof or shockproof, the new case is much larger, lined with soft material to protect the earpieces from scratches, and includes a mesh pouch for extra tips or other accessories.

The small material pouch is still there, which fits neatly inside the leatherette case should you want extra protection. The bundle also includes a convenient shirt clip and cleaning brush. I keep the earpieces zipped up in the soft pouch with the still-attached cable folded loose inside the larger case. That way the earpieces are protected from the cable and its metal splitter and connector, and also from any other accessories I sometimes put inside the box.

If I had to nitpick, I’m not convinced that the new cable is actually better than the four-core LC-3.5B cable that accompanied the FH5. In fact, I’ve already swapped out the stock FH7 cable for the balanced version of the FH5 cable (LC-2.5B). I also think the lack of a stock balanced cable is an unfortunate oversight and missed opportunity for an IEM at this price point, in particular given that it’s been designed with FiiO’s range of mid- to high-end DAPs in mind, all of which feature balanced outputs. Add to that the fact that the FH7 clearly sounds better balanced, and it’s a curious omission indeed.

FH7_09.jpg FH7_10.jpg FH7_07.jpg

Built to fit

I’ve always been partial to all-metal IEMs. While some modern plastics – the FA7’s injection-moulded shells comes to mind – are indeed very good, metal simply feels more premium and is also cooler to the touch.

The FH7’s shells are larger than the FH5’s. The hand-polished finish and understated rose-gold rim exudes quality. The wave patterns give them a streamlined appearance, though I worry that any rough handling will chip the fine anodized finish. If you’re prone to throwing your IEMs unprotected into a bag or pocket, I’d caution against doing that with the FH7.

Like other FiiOs, the FH7 uses the MMCX connector and an over-the-ear design to make the earpieces easier to fit and comfortable to wear for long stretches. Switching cables is not always easy with MMCX as the connectors tend to be a very tight fit, and the FH7 is no different. It takes some effort to hold the connector at just the right angle and disconnect with a significant amount of force. Only time will tell if the FH7’s connectors are strong enough to hold up to repeated cable swaps.

Missing cable issues aside, the quality of all the components that make up the FH7 package is unquestionably top-tier – likely every bit as good, or better, than those included with kilobuck IEMs.


Tweak and tune

The most significant addition to the FH7’s design is the new filter system, made up of a series of three anodized and colour-coded filters that screw in (very smoothly I must say) to the end of the metal nozzle of each earpiece. I’ll discuss the specifics of the filters and how they work to affect the sound later in this review, but for now it’s enough to say that the addition of filters is a boon to what is already a feature-packed product.

One of the less-noted but equally important benefits of the new filters is the additional 1mm or so of length they add to the FH7’s nozzle. This is not insignificant; the biggest criticism by far of the FH5 was its ultra-shallow fit which, combined with a thicker-than-usual nozzle girth, made it difficult for many to get a good seal, even with larger ear tips. And without a good seal, the sound quality of any IEM degrades considerably.

The extra length and slightly narrower nozzle of the FH7 almost completely correct this issue while retaining much of the noteworthy comfort of the FH5. I say ‘almost’ because the FH7 is still unmistakably a shallow-insert design compared to many other IEMs that tend to reach deeper into the ear canal. I find the FH7 is both more comfortable and more compatible with various ear tips than the FH5, and as such I find it far easier to get a good seal, and is for me the most comfortable IEM I’ve worn to date.

That comfort does vary with your choice of ear tips, however. As with the FH5, I find that JVC’s Spiral Dot tips are both the most comfortable and best sounding choice for the FH7. The longer nozzle of the FH7 does have one drawback with the Spiral Dots, which are themselves a very shallow design – they sit too far back. Spiral Dots use a series of indented dots (hence the name) to smooth out the sound waves coming through the IEM nozzle, but with the FH7, only one row of dots is left exposed.

The solution I found is one that was pioneered by some FH5 users that wanted a deeper insertion – a small rubber O-ring that acts as a spacer. You’ll want an O-ring of about 5.5mm inside diameter and 0.5mm to 0.8mm thickness, and if like me you struggle to source some locally, they’re widely available on Amazon and other online retailers.

With the spacer in place, the Spiral Dot tips have ample breathing room for the ‘dots’ to do their thing. The extra distance between the front of the tip and the nozzle grille also reduces the chance of ear wax finding its way into the sound ports.

FH7_17.jpg FH7_18.jpg

Sound impressions

If you prefer foam to silicone tips, I recommend you try Dekoni Audio Bulletz, which I find more comfortable and better sounding than the more popular (and more expensive) Comply tips. You may also find a suitable pairing with one of the many tips FiiO includes with the FH7 – all of which are excellent quality, though none of which quite matched the quality and comfort of Spiral Dots.

Building on the design cues and clever bass porting first seen in the FH5, the FH7 combines a larger (13.6mm) beryllium coated dynamic driver with four custom Knowles balanced armatures, and an improved acoustic design to deliver a sound more refined and resolving than all of FiiO’s previous IEMs.

Rated at 16-ohm impedance with a sensitivity of 111 dB/mW, the FH7 is easy enough to drive, but mostly immune to hum or hiss when used with a powerful amp or DAP. Paired with the M11, I could hear no audible hiss even in high-gain and the volume maxed out. With an extremely powerful desktop amp you may start hearing faint hiss at high volume levels. Should that be the case, a simple tweak like the addition of an ifi IEMatch in the chain reduces noise floor back to inaudible levels.

Coming from a warmer, bassier IEM like the FH5, my first impression of the FH7’s sound profile was closer to neutral, bordering on bright. You wouldn’t think so, given the increased size and better materials of the FH7’s dynamic driver, but FiiO has obviously opted for a more ‘reference’ sound, sacrificing some of the FH5’s heft and dynamics for extra speed and control. The addition of a ‘super tweeter’ ultra-high frequency BA driver has also added more resolution to the mix, notably improving the clarity and detail retrieval of predecessors. This does come at the possible cost of some high-frequency stridency, as we’ll discover later.

Interestingly, FiiO’s new filter system lets you dial in (or out) the amount of high-frequency information by blocking (red filter), partially blocking (black filter) or leaving open (green filter) the sound path from the super-tweeter, which is placed front and centre of the nozzle opening. In other words, the filters don’t directly affect the low or mid frequencies at all; rather, they attenuate the highs and in so doing give the other frequencies more or less emphasis in the mix.

The filter system mostly works well, although the changes it makes are subtle compared to a more involved filter system that found in IMR’s Zenith or new Aten IEMs. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your sound preferences. The filters alone won’t suddenly turn the neutral-tuned FH7 into a warm and dark IEM, even with the red (bass) filter in place; nor will it do much to the placement of the mids. Many users actually prefer the fully open green filter, which maximises the FH7’s excellent treble extension and air. The filters are thus useful in tweaking nuances of sound, but less so in terms of changing the overall character of the IEM.

To get a better understanding of how the FH7’s sound in real-world conditions, I ran them through a long set of test tracks and albums over the course of the past month. All of these tests were done with the M11 using a balanced cable, Spiral Dot tips, and lossless FLAC files (both standard and high-res).



You’d think with a substantially larger dynamic driver (13.6mm in the FH7 vs 10mm in the FH5) that the FH7 would be a bass monster. Well it is, in a way, but not in the way you’d think. The bass has actually been tuned downin quantity compared to the FH5, as a quick glance at the frequency graphs of both IEMs demonstrates. But what the graphs don’t tell you is how much more detailed, extended, and textured the bass has become. What the FH7 lacks in sheer scale, it more than compensates for in speed and resolve.

Like the FH5, the FH7 won’t add bass where there is none in the track. When called for, the FH7 delivers bass that is tight, punchy and lightning-fast, with a natural decay that lingers just long enough for you to feel it. It won’t rattle your jaw, but it will tickle your ears, and for a more refined and less fatiguing listen, that’s just about perfect to my ears.

If it’s chest-pounding bass you’re after, there are probably better IEMs out there for you. This is audiophile-grade bass that gives strings their weight and drums their texture without overpowering the mix in any way, but also not shying away from it.

Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ is one of my go-to bass-laden albums. With some IEMs – especially those tuned with a steep V – the bass can become a bit too loose, but the FH7 has it tamed like a housecat. The steady bassline that comes in at the 20-second mark on the foot-tapping track ‘Doin’ It Right’ has just enough palpable weight to lay a solid foundation without taking anything away from the higher frequencies (which are actually the emphasis of the track).

But don’t mistake this tight-fist control for meekness. Lorde’s ‘Royals’ lets you know in seconds if your IEMs can deliver a good dollop of bass when required, and the FH7 delivers with aplomb.

All that said, the bass is very well balanced. It underpins the music, sets the pace, then gets out of the way. The gorgeous bass notes in the intro to Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘The Way I Am’ are full of rich, weighty texture, but as soon as the vocals begin, the bass takes a back seat, falling back respectfully into the mix. With hardly any mid bass bleed, the FH7 gives the midrange a clear, crisp stage on which to shine, and that is perhaps its most impressive quality.


This was one area where I really wanted the FH7 to improve over the FH5, and fortunately, I was not disappointed. Whereas the FH5 has an annoying upper midrange peak that could make female vocals a little forward and ultimately piercing, the FH7 pulls the mids back a few notches while adding a not-insignificant amount of additional detail. As a result, both male and female vocal are rendered beautifully, without any errant dips or peaks.

Having said that, the FH7’s overall brighter signature also extends to the mids, and while vocals and instruments that fall into the midrange band are full of nuance, they can also sound a touch cold, depending on the recording. I don’t want to call them thin, because that’s not what I’m hearing, but the mids certainly aren’t as full bodied as they are with some warmer, more mid-centric IEMs like Meze’s Rai Penta, for example. This is less a case of weight and more a case of character – picture a ‘drier’ Brut Champagne, rather than a ‘wetter’ Rose Champagne.

When I listen to Norah Jones sing ‘Come Away With Me’, I’m not getting the same buttery, smoky vocal presentation I’m used to, but rather a more neutral, airier, more intricate performance.

Recently though I’ve been finding some (but not all) higher pitched female vocals aren’t sounding quite as smooth as I’d like them to. The problem is I’m not sure if this is an issue with any of the midrange drivers or the ultra-high BA drivers, though I suspect the latter. I mention it here because I’m only hearing this subtle ‘ghosting’ on a small sample of female vocals, of which the recordings are pristine and sound perfect with other gear (almost every track on Norah Jones’s ‘Come Away With Me’ is a case in point). It’s something that requires more attention, but nine times out of ten won’t be an issue for most listeners.


Even if some of the treble drivers are indeed responsible for the vocal artefacts mentioned above, the FH7’s overall treble presentation is very much on point. FiiO clearly went to town with the treble on this IEM, making it immediately more extended and sparkling than the FH5’s slightly rolled treble.

I’m normally quite treble sensitive, easily irritated by peaky highs, but the FH7’s brighter character doesn’t make them harsh in the least. If anything, the treble is among the smoothest I’ve heard in an IEM. So many IEMs shoot for extended treble in the hope of adding extra detail – and fail miserably. The FH7 just about pulls it off, perhaps not as well as a class-leading treble-centric IEM like the Andromeda, but close enough to make the price difference between the two academic.

When listening to brighter recordings, like def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’, I often find myself turning the volume down to avoid some of the high hats and cymbal splashes, and as far as possible avoid the sibilance in the vocals. With the FH7 I find myself turning the volume up, so painless are the highs. The FH7 seems to have a firm grip on the highs to the point where they never overpower the mix, even though they might dominate the track.

This is a good thing, especially if you like energy (and even some grit) in your electric guitars. Joe Satriani’s masterful ‘Always With Me, Always With You’ is expertly rendered here, reaching the highest highs without ever making me wince. Timbre is excellent too, with the guitars sounding full and realistic. Sting instruments are likewise a joy to listen to with the FH7’s, and Max Richter’s recomposed version of Vivaldi’s ‘Winter 1’ from ‘The Four Seasons’ is both engaging and utterly believable. The detail in the strings on that track is actually astonishing, as is the way the FH7 is able to balance the highs of the strings with the lows of the bass, and everything in-between.

I’m still undecided about giving the FH7’s treble full voice by using the green filter or, as I’m doing now, keeping it slightly in check with the red. I’m still leaning towards the latter, mostly because I’m generally a fan of warmer over brighter, and with a transparent source like the M11, the FH7’s need a bit of help not to tip the scales. Switching to a pure copper cable is also something I’ve considered doing, given copper’s reputation for a warmer sound balance, and I’ll report back here should that experiment prove successful.


Imaging, stage and separation

Whereas the FH5 is one of the most open sounding IEMs I’ve heard, the FH7 is even more so. It presents a natural, spacious stage, with ample ability to fool your brain into thinking some sounds are coming from way outside the space between your ears. It’s definitely not the widest stage I’ve heard, nor the deepest, but it won’t leave you wanting in either axis.

More complex tracks, like the crescendo to Daft Punk’s ‘Giorgio by Moroder’, are deftly handled, not quite as well as some higher end IEMs known for their spacious separation and control, like 64Audio’s U12t, but at less than 25 per cent the cost, that’s not too surprising. The FH7 is far closer in its presentation and separation to the likes of Andromeda and Solaris, even though the far more expensive Campfires probably have the edge in overall balance and resolution, but again, given the gulf in price, the slight compromise is well worth it, and astounding to think how capable the FH7 is at its price point relative to these more expensive IEMs.

Stereo imaging is always precise, notably using Pink Floyd’s supremely-mastered version of ‘Time’ from the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ as a reference. The ping, tick and chime of every clock is rendered precisely in its own space, and the nimble balance the FH7 displays across the frequency range lets you follow each clock as if you’re in the room with them. Anyone who knows this track also knows how it can trip up even some very good full-size headphones that cost more than the FH7, so to hear it performed so capably in an IEM is impressive to say the least.


Closing thoughts

The FiiO FH7 is the culmination of a steady evolution of the company’s in-ear monitors, and sets a new bar for features and quality in its price bracket. It follows the success of FiiO’s two previous IEMs, the hybrid FH5 and all-BA FA7, but kicks up the performance of both by several notches.

While the overall sound is balanced, bordering on neutral, the FH7 still knows how to deliver visceral bass when required, sublime (albeit dry) mids, and smoothly extended treble with plenty of air. It presents a clear, direct, surprisingly detailed and very refined sound, with a punch that packs a wallop. The versatility makes it equally at home with modern pop and rock as it is with vocal jazz and classical orchestras.

I suspect there may be something amiss somewhere between the mids and highs that adds a high-frequency shadow to some female vocals, but that could also be a factor of source, tip choice, cable or even my own hearing. That I don’t hear it with other IEMs, however, suggests the FH7 is not quite as silky as it could be.

Minor sonic quibbles aside, FiiO has once again upped the bar on value when it comes to their higher-end products, pricing them in and among mid-tiered competitors with features and quality that belie their cost. The FH7 is no different, and I can honestly say that if you enjoy the sound signature, you’ll struggle to find another IEM that can do what the FH7 can do, is built as well, and ships with so many quality accessories for the same price.
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Denis Iastrebov
Denis Iastrebov
Excellent review! Thanks a lot!
Expertly written, engaging and informative. I’ve been tracking impressions in the FH7 thread, but this review will likely get me to pull the trigger for use with my M11. Well done!


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Powerful and lively signature, great build quality, excellent comfort, generous selection of accessories, great synergy with LC-2.5D upgrade cable
Cons: Treble brightness, coherency not the best with stock cable, upgrade cable makes a notable difference
FiiO FH7 - LC-2.5D

I would like to thank FiiO for providing me with the FH7 IEMs and LC-2.5D balanced cable in exchange for my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favourable review.

  • Drivers: 1 x Dynamic + 4 x Balanced Armature
  • Frequency response: 5Hz - 40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 111dB/mW
  • Impedance: 16Ω(@1kHz)
  • Price: US$449.99

  • Wires: 4-wire cable
  • Material: sterling silver Litz
  • Connectors: MMCX
  • Termination: 2.5mm balanced
  • Price: US$99.99


Back in March of this year FiiO made a splash by announcing 7 new products on one day during its 2019 Spring Launch Event held in Guangzhou, China. These were their new flagship Q5s Bluetooth portable DAC/Amp, the AM3D headphone amp module, the AM3.5PRO (China only) headphone amp module, the M5 micro DAP (similar to the Shanling M0), the M11 Open Android-based DAP that I will also be reviewing, and the FH7 IEMs and LC-2.5/3.5/4.4D cable that I will be reviewing here. A whole selection of interesting products and FiiO made no secret of the fact that this was just the start of what will for them be an exciting year with several more new products in the pipeline.

Although FiiO has earned a reputation for developing products that offer great performance at an affordable price point, it seems that they are now ready to push that value-driven philosophy to a higher segment as well and the FH7 are another step up from FiiO's previously released hybrid flagship IEMs, the FH5 (US$299). Hybrid IEMs have become increasingly popular and with that the designs have also become increasingly complex, but FiiO made more of an evolutionary step by going from a 10mm to a 13.6mm dynamic driver and from 3 to 4 balanced armatures. Also added to the FH7 is a filter system to allow three different tuning options to better fit personal preferences.

The FH7 come in a massive box that is by far the biggest I have seen for a pair of IEMs. [Insert your compensation-joke of choice here.] Beyond the size it follows the trend of a black box covered by a sleeve, which gives a nice classy presentation when opened up. FiiO opted here for a layered approach with in the top layer only the IEMs and the small tube for the filters on display. Underneath a layer with a proverbial buffet of tips to choose from, which I think is great because tips can make a real difference in terms of fit and sound. There is something here for everyone: foam, SpinFit, Final, double flange, etc, etc. Pick your favourite! Also included is a leather hard case of the sort I have seen popping up more frequently in recent times and I really like them. Very convenient and pretty to boot! Surprisingly, inside I found another soft case for on the go, which I personally do not use, but will no doubt be very useful for others. Further a cleaning tool, a magnetic cable organiser and a small booklet with warranty information (etc) in it.





Overall, I like what FiiO did here. The FH7 come with a healthy selection of accessories that make sense and I especially appreciate the huge selection of tips. I almost always have issues getting a good fit and am often glad that I already have a large collection of tips, but not everyone will have that and so including those is a really considerate choice by FiiO.

Build quality and fit
The shells of the FH7 are made from a CNC'd aluminium-magnesium alloy and it feels excellent. I love this sort of build quality. The shells are quite light, but feel really solid and I would happily stuff them in a pocket or leave them lying around without worries, which is not something I can say of all my IEMs. I feel compelled to baby some of my most expensive IEMs because they feel fragile, not so with the FH7.

FiiO describes the styling as 'avant-garde style', but I will say that I am personally leaning more towards describing it as art deco style. Of course I haven't the faintest clue about art, so don't take my word for it, but the wavy pattern and the contrast between the black and the copper invoked that association with me. (I can just see the lead designer at FiiO sniffing at me and with a snooty tone commenting... "What an utter philistine!")




The FH7 of course also have the filter system and in my experience this can be a bit of a weak point. I have previously owned IEMs where the filters had poor threading and after playing around with them too much, I ended up with filters that would barely thread in place. FiiO however have done an excellent job with these and even though I have exchanged them frequently, I am confident in how they thread in place. I still would not recommended switching them five times a day, but I think most people will find their preferred filter and stick to that anyway.

While I might have mentioned that I appreciate the large selection of tips that FiiO included because I usually have trouble getting a good fit, I did not really need them for the FH7. The fit was excellent straight out of the box. The FH7 sit flush in my ears and are very comfortable to wear for long sessions. I certainly rate these among the most comfortable and easy to fit IEMs I have tried.

FiiO also included an 8-wire stock cable that is comfortable, has good ergonomics without any noticeable microphonics. It does have quite sturdy pre-bent ear guides, but even with my glasses I did not really have any issues with the cable at all. Of course later in this review I will also discuss the LC-2.5D aftermarket cable that FiiO sent along, which is a 4-wire pure silver cable that could make for an interesting upgrade.

All listening was done with the Cowon Plenue 2 and FiiO M11 from the SE out (stock cable) and 2.5mm balanced out (LC-2.5D).

Before going into the presentation, I would like to draw attention to the filters that FiiO included with the FH7 because I think something is going on there that is well worth noting. FiiO include three filters with the FH7 that provide a slightly different tuning: Bass Boost, Reference Sound, and High Boost. When the FH7 arrived the Reference Sound filters were installed.



-Reference Sound (black)-
I personally do not quite rate this as a reference sound. The bass is quite strong with plenty of body, although it does not overpower the mids. The mids themselves feel perhaps a hint back to create a slight U-shaped signature. The treble is quite sparkly and has a sharpness to it, giving a brightness that might be a bit much for more treble sensitive people. [Raises hand.]

-Bass Boost (red)-
To my ears the bass is not boosted as such, but it feels like the filter attenuates the treble to become more laid-back and give the signature an overall warmer feel. The bass itself becomes more prominent to add more excitement, but without becoming too bloated and while maintaining a brighter overall feel that can still be a bit too bright for some.

-High Boost (green)-
When I first listened to the FH7 with the Reference Sound filters I found it a touch too bright and a little fatiguing because I am somewhat treble sensitive, so the High Boost filters felt like they would be the stuff of nightmares. Of course being a reviewer I knew I had to risk life and limb for the benefit of my readers, who no doubt counted on me to sacrifice my wellbeing in order to provide a comprehensive review. So I installed the High Boost filters and, as sweat started dripping over my forehead, put in the FH7 and pressed 'play'... Wait? What?! Did I install the wrong filters? Nope! But... But... The treble... It is smooth.

I do not know what the filters do precisely, but the High Boost filters are completely open, where the other two sets have inserts that appear to act as a vent. I have read suggestions that those might mask the treble drivers, but whatever it is, I think they affect the treble adversely and the only way to appreciate the FH7's treble is to go for the open 'High Boost' filters. These don't actually boost the highs, but allow them to flow freely, more evenly. The overall signature is still on the brighter side, but (at least for me) easier to deal with, even compared to the Bass Boost filters. The bass is still plenty powerful, but now sits more linear with the mids.

Because of the, in my opinion, better quality treble with the High Boost filters, my impressions will all be with those filters. I have also tried a variety of tips and I ended up using the silicone tips that were already installed, the medium 'balanced' tips.

The FH7 with High Boost filters have a neutral-bright signature, but with a dynamic bass that can come up with great authority so you never feel like there is anything lacking in that department. The sound is far from thin and yet the FH7 manage to create quite a spacious and airy sound. The thicker notes do mean that the FH7's separation is not the best I have come across, as I feel the FH7 tend to get a little congested in the midrange with complex and layered classical music. The stage has great depth, but lacks the width to separate the thick notes well enough in such pieces. It works better with band-based music where the stage gets filled up with music, while individual instruments are still easy to pick out.

Imaging is not the most clearly defined/stable I have heard. There is a slight fuzziness to notes so they don't contrast as clearly against the otherwise black background. Like is often the case with hybrid IEMs, cohesion seems less than optimal as well. It might seem like I am being very critical here, but at this price point there is some stiff competition where I feel these technical aspects are done better. In terms of detail retrieval I think the FH7 on the other hand do very well and the holographic stage often tingles with details everywhere.

The bass of the FH7 is quite powerful and thick sounding with a dynamic character where in sections of the music without bass it is completely absent, but when the bass does kick in it is certainly not something you are likely to miss. I very often listen to Caro Emerald and love tracks such as Back It Up for the delicious double bass that accompanies her voice and in this track the FH7, even with the High Boost filters, present that double bass as thick and lush. It is quite dominant in the signature and as such adds to the musicality of the FH7.

The bass can dig quite deep and provides a delicious rumble when asked for, something my inner bass head can appreciate. It is the sort of bass that can resonate throughout my head to give that wonderful 'brain massage' feel I enjoy when listening to down tempo EDM. A track like Massive Attack's Angel also works great with the FH7 and shows off what the FH7's bass is capable of. My only point of criticism is that it does not have the tightest impact or the most detail, which does surprise me a little considering that the dynamic driver is a pretty big one.

Owing to the brighter tonality of the FH7, I find that the midrange is not the most natural or accurate sounding and instead leans more towards the articulate side, bringing excitement to compliment the powerful bass and lively treble. As such I find that the FH7 do (relatively speaking) better with energetic music such as rock or metal than with more nuanced music such as classical where the tone is a much more integral part of the emotion in the music. The FH7 feel lively and energetic, and reward you for feeding them the right type of music.

Vocals sit in a neutral position, neither too forward, nor so far back that you need a search party to find Agnes Obel among the instruments. The FH7 might in some cases feel like they favour female vocals over male, again due to the brighter tonality, but they also have a trick up their sleeve with growling male vocals such as David Draimain of Disturbed. Yeah, play some Disturbed and you will quickly learn that the FH7 do growling male vocal pretty well. This is in my opinion another indication that the FH7 are tuned for popular and energetic types of music.

As indicated when I addressed the different filters, the FH7 perform best in the treble with the High Boost filters, which are the most even/smooth. They are however not entirely smooth and there is definitely a bit of brightness to the treble that might not work for everyone. It depends a lot on the type of music you listen to, but with a lot of high notes being played by instruments such as violins or brass sections, it can feel a little too bright. It can also be noticeable with vocals where I feel the treble can cause some brittleness in, for instance, the voice of Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes (known simply as Aurora). Aurora's voice has a natural brightness that can at times be quite emphasised by the FH7, such as in the track Running With The Wolves. However, when I switch to soprano Elin Manahan-Thomas that brittleness disappears and everything, while bright, is wonderfully smooth. Based on this I would say that the FH7's treble can be quite unforgiving at times, but with the right music also a joy for people who love treble.

The treble in general is, as I said, a little on the brighter side and not the most natural sounding, but does extend well and adds plenty of sparkle without being pushed into the foreground like I have heard with some IEMs. Cymbals sit right where I would want them while still being easy to pick out. For more treble tolerant people this will work very well and I am sure there are plenty of people who will appreciate what FiiO have achieved here.


The LC-2.5D is a 4-wire, pure silver cable that comes with MMCX connectors and a 2.5mm TRRS balanced termination, but can also be had with a 3.5mm Single Ended (LC-3.5D) or 4.4mm balanced (LC-4.4D) termination. It comes in a simple white box without any notable extras.

Side-by-side with the stock cable of the FH7 the differences are obvious. The stock cable is an 8-wire that uses a thinner gauge so it is only a little bit thicker than the LC-2.5D. In terms of ergonomics the stock cable was already very good, but the LC-2.5D is even more supple and due to the thinner ear guides provides more comfort around the ears. Certain things remain the same, such as the connectors, termination and y-split/slider. These components are a really good quality to begin with and I can see why FiiO used them for their upgrade cable as well. The 2.5mm balanced termination is a right-angled one and that is something I have not seen very often. I think that a lot of people will appreciate this.




I know that aftermarket cables are always a controversial topic and for those who do not think that cables can make a difference to the sound it can still be an interesting option purely for the improved ergonomics and the possibility of a balanced termination.

In terms of sound I find a few notable differences with the FH7 (again with the High Boost filters). First and foremost I hear a tighter, more impactful bass that has better detail coming through. It is not just that it feels like there is more control over the bass, but it also sits more coherently in the signature. The bass is less dominant and while this might reduce the musicality a little, gives a better balance for classical music. The stage also extends in width and, more importantly, does not have the same tendency to congestion with complex and layered classical music. In fact, the FH7 do classical music really well with the LC-2.5D. The tighter bass also means a bit less warmth to the signature and yet I find that the treble is once again slightly smoother, something that I find quite noticeable with (for instance) Aurora. It is of course still bright, but not a brightness that I personally have that many problems with. Pairing this with a more relaxed source such as my AK70 even gives a really nice result.

This also made me curious about switching back to the Bass Boost filters to see if the treble would end up more laid-back with the additional warmth of the bass. The result was really good in my opinion and it felt like everything came together perfectly. Pretty much every bit of criticism I have had before faded away and the FH7 started to excel, encouraging my toes to tap and my bum to shake. The bass was delicious, with impact and detail, more natural and controlled than before. More importantly coherency was improved and imaging more stable to a point where everything just felt right. A powerful signature with great clarity, detail and a sparkly treble that felt more natural. There was still a hint of brightness, but well within my own personal tolerances.

-Custom Art FIBAE Black-
I mentioned previously that there is some stiff competition at this price point and the Custom Art FIBAE Black readily spring to mind as among the most notable. These single BA driver IEMs offer outstanding performance at their price of €450. In terms of technical performance they are a step ahead of the FH7 with an extremely coherent signature and rock solid imaging. The signature of the Black is more natural and laid-back. Their bass is more agile and punchy, but does not get the level of rumble that the FH7 are capable of. The mids of the Black feel more airy/spacious and are very natural and accurate sounding, where the FH7 have a more articulate midrange. The treble is where these two differ the most with the Black going for a laid-back treble with a polite sparkle to it and the FH7 of course are going for the brighter and livelier treble.

Build quality on both is excellent, but completely different. Where the FH7 go for a standard universal shell made of an aluminium-magnesium alloy, the Black are offered in universal and custom shells where both can be customised to personal tastes. Of course this will take time and so the FH7 offer instant audiophile gratification because you can take them off the shelf at a local retailer.

-TP Audio Aurora-
The TP Audio Aurora come in a bit cheaper at $350 and offer quite a different proposition, but much like the FIBAE Black, the Aurora offer the FH7 some stiff competition. The Aurora are very accurate sounding single BA driver IEMs with a more neutral tonality compared to FIBAE Black. As such the Aurora come nowhere near the FH7 in terms of bass. The main difference is in the mids where the Aurora excel in the faithful reproduction of instruments, compared to the articulate FH7. Vocals can sound tangibly realistic with the Aurora, something the FH7 can't really compete with. In return, the Aurora can't come close to the treble of the FH7. The Aurora have quite a rolled off treble by comparison and even I can find them lacking in sparkle at times.

Once again the Aurora is offered in both universal and custom form. Although customisation options are not quite as extensive as with Custom Art, there are still more options to choose from than the single option for the FH7, which is nonetheless very pretty art deco style ("Philistine!"). I personally get an excellent fit with the universal Aurora, possibly the best out of all my universal IEMs, and the FH7 come very close to that.

The FiiO FH7 are interesting hybrid IEMs with an energetic signature that does carry a warning for people who are more treble sensitive. The bass is powerful, the mids are exciting and articulate, and the treble is lively and bright. This can be a bit too bright, but the FH7 include different filters to change the signature slightly. Surprisingly, the High Boost filters offer the smoothest treble response. The FH7 have great build quality and comfort, and come with an excellent selection of accessories. The LC-2.5D upgrade cable is a great match for the FH7. It has better ergonomics, is offered in a variety of terminations and the synergy with the FH7 is outstanding. In my opinion the LC-2.5D allows the FH7 to show off their full potential and is definitely an upgrade worth considering.
@KC33 Thanks! Glad it helped you to get the most out of your IEMs. :)
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Thanks for the review. Is the fit the same as the FH5 or slightly deeper?


New Head-Fier
Pros: Excellent bass depth and full-range clarity
Build quality is top tier
Very good for the price
Cons: Heavy and bulky, may not fit everyone
Not the widest soundstage

I purchased these for personal use and am not affiliated with any company. I'm not being paid by anyone for this write-up. I wish I was being paid for this writeup.

I've tried these and the Campfire Andromedas, plus a few others at Headphone Bar, a physical store in Vancouver. If you’re local, I highly recommend you check it out.

I should clarify these are my personal opinions only and everyone has different tastes, different ears, and different opinions. With that said, my personal opinion is tantamount to absolute truth. And, in my opinion, the Fiio FH7s are superior to the Campfire Andromedas in most areas and overall. Bring out the pitchforks.

Songs/albums I've tried, in no order:

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk

Discovery by Daft Punk

The College Dropout by Kanye West

Eldorado by E.L.O.

Heart of Gold by Neil Young

GKMC by Kendrick Lamar

DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar

TPAB by Kendrick Lamar

Oceanborn by Nightwish

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Hotel California by the Eagles

Demon Days by Gorillaz

Mezzanine by Massive Attack

2112 by Rush

some random metal songs

Leave Home by the Ramones

The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars by David Bowie

Greatest Hits by Queen

Art Angels by Grimes

Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe

Grace by Jeff Buckley

I'm not gonna analyze every song/track, just a reference to what I listen to. Pretty sure I missed a bunch. I haven't listened to every track on the albums I've mentioned (yet).

  • Basics
The Fiio FH7s are a 4BA 1DD hybrid universal IEM with MMCX cables. 13.6mm beryllium-coated dynamic driver, 2 Knowles BAs for mids, 2 Knowles BAs for highs. MSRP 450 USD.

  • Build Quality
Built from an aluminum-magnesium alloy, they feel like a tank. Quite heavy and bulky too. Not too much to speak of, simple and elegant with a clean aesthetic but if you have small ears this might pose a problem. I've tried the FA7s as well and those definitely fit me better, but couldn't hold a candle next to the FH7s in terms of sound. I felt like the Andromedas were built just a tiny bit better, but honestly that could just be the industrial aesthetic giving that impression. The Andros were more comfy for my ears though, just due to sheer size.

The included cable is very nice, 8 braided and sparkly with a solid connector. But I wish it had memory wire in the loops like the Shure SE-series. These just have a plastic guide that forms around the ears. I know many people dislike memory wire but personally I found it to be a big help.

  • Packaging/Accessories
Honestly go look at a more professional review, they laid out everything you get with the IEMs. An absurd number of tips, a really premium case, and a soft, tiny, portable case inside like a matryoshka doll. The smaller case can just barely fit the FH7s and ES100s.

They also have 3 sets of nozzle filters that come in an adorable little cylinder you can use to modify the sound, and the eartips themselves modify the sound as well.

  • Isolation
I'd give these a 8/10 with the single-flange tips, 8.5/10 with the foam and double-flange ones. Above average but nothing crazy. As a reference I'd say the Shure SE-series with included Shure olives are 10/10, practically earplugs and a generic silicone-tip IEM is around 6/10. Isolation is mainly based off the tip but I think the sheer size of these do help in that regard. I'm sure CIEMs can go higher but I've never tried them myself.

  • Sound
I will say that I don't necessarily have a "preferred" sound signature, and have found a variety to be enjoyable. What I dislike, however, are "strong V-shaped," "no treble," and "extra bass" headphones/iems. Wouldn't call myself too treble sensitive but I've owned the Klipsch HP-3s for about a week and those were pretty harsh sounding. I loved my HD650s but the LCD2C (classic not closed) sounded pretty bad to me, especially while directly comparing to LCD2Fs. I also disliked bass-centric IEMs like IE80s and Campfire Atlas. While great for hip-hop and certain electronic, they just sound... "off" with many genres of rock and metal.

Speaking of "off", the Focal Elears have this weird quality in the treble that I can only describe as ****y unnatural on an otherwise a superb headphone.

Anyways, the sound signature of the FH7s are...? I don't really know what to call them. I never felt that the midrange was recessed. But balanced/neutral isn't quite right either, the bass is kicking. Treble has presence. Maybe harman-neutral is the correct term. The best term I can use is "proper," as in, they sound righteous. I'll go more in depth:

  • Lows
This is where that 13.6mm dynamic driver really pulls through. For those without a frame of reference, 10mm is considered large, and anything beyond that is known as "yuge" drivers for IEMs. Extension down to subbass is perfect, and a bit emphasized. Not overwhelming in any way, but what's far more impressive is how clean the rest of the spectrum remains even with the bass. This was the main flaw I could find in the Andros, that the subbass didn't extend like the FH7s and the midbass is quite dense, bleeding into the mids.

I've tried another hybrid IEM, the AAW A3H. Those were tuned to be much more modest in terms of bass, and I question why even go for a hybrid design? My previous pair was the FLC8, a 2BA 1DD hybrid, and those had excellent bass response as well. Eventually the dynamic driver died on me and here I am. Also tried a bass-centric CF Audio IEM (Atlas) and the bass on that is certainly more, but sounded too thicc for anything aside from HH/electronic.

I'm startying to buy the hype behind Beryllium-coated drivers. Some manufacturers like Audio-Technica uses "diamond-like carbon" coated drivers on some of their headphones and I believe they serve the same purpose: to give the driver the resilience necessary to be punchy and not bloated. For example, the kickdrums in Raining Blood by Slayer is crisp as hell, and doesn't become muddled into a thick bassline.

But when it gets overemphasized hiphop sub-bass, like in "Humble" or "Money Trees" by Kendrick, man these can deliver like no other. The 3rd bass line from "Doin' it right" is more felt than heard, and it is most definitely felt here. I'm being redundant at this point but even with overpowering bass the rest of the spectrum remains crisp and not distorted.

BA IEMs may have bass in terms of volume, but that impact, slam, the "oomph," so to speak, cannot be matched. As a comparison, the Andros had lower sub-bass as expected, but I felt the mid-bass to be higher in quantity (not sure about quality) over the FH7s.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm a basshead in denial and/or these are basshead IEMs in disguise. I'm not and they're not. But using EQ to bump up the low end a few decibels can certainly change that.

  • Mids
The mids are mids presented in a way that sounds natural, cohesive, and neither forward nor recessed. I think this is why the headphones sound great with practically everything I've listened to, excellent to poorly recorded/mastered tracks. They are plenty detailed but not in a hack way (boosted upper mid/lower treble) so even poorly mastered songs don't sound egregious.

Quick rant: I respect a musician's artistic imperative to intentionally use outdated gear and inferior techniques make "lo-fi" music. Don't get me wrong, I still hate you for it (Jack White, you son of a bitch). But when done well, like the White Stripes, it can add a rustic charm. What I really have a problem with is just crappy mastering by bands trying to get their CDs just a bit louder than others (I think the greatest achievement of the music streaming era is that artists aren't incentivized to compress the crap out of their tracks anymore). Enter the 36 Chambers and old school HH in general too. On some sound systems this sounds terrible but on the FH7s I have no complaints.

Complexity is handled well. Instrument separation is superb, and at no point did I hear any bleeding/blending. Instruments sound realistic and one of very few IEMs that represent string timbre properly. Electronic tracks had this definitive nature that sounded much cleaner than other IEM I've tried. With that said, more simple, vocal-focused tracks by Norah Jones or Jeff Buckley sound divine.

As an aside, after extended listening I can sorta see why the Andromedas are hyped as the second coming of Christ. They have this holographic quality and timbre that is special, so to speak. But would I take that quality over the rest of the advantages of the FH7s? No. Not to mention they are more than double the price.

  • Treble
The highs are high presented as slightly more forward than neutral. What's noteworthy is the airyness and soundstage of this IEM. It's not artifically wide like my AKGs but impressively wide, especially for a non-openback. Snares/hi hats are crisp and splashy. Cymbals shimmer properly. I suppose you could describe it as bright, but I've not felt harshness on treble-heavy tracks such as "Reckoner" by Radiohead or Melodrama by Lorde (that whole album sweet lord).

The cymbals on "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac sound absolutely gorgeous, from the impact to the end of resonance. But that track tends to sound good on most setups, just by nature of how it was recorded. I think a better test for treble are electronic songs.

Art Angels by Grimes is IMO a good mix of pop and obnoxiousness. And just how balanced (not flat, but cohesive) the whole spectrum sounds is truly impressive.

I can't really tell if these were brighter or darker than the Andros in treble, nor can I say one is objectively better. Both were superb in this area IMO, but some would be adverse to this kind of treble.

  • Closing Thoughts
FH7s sound sublime with anything I throw at it, but I'm not sure I could call it a jack of all trades. That phrase implies master of none, which I think is categorically incorrect. If I had to pick 1 genre, I'd say it works best with electronic and alternative rock. But that is probably just my personal taste.

I didn't rate any specific part /10 because I can't say "oh this headphone has 10/10 mids" and compare something else to it, at least not objectively.

I love the little ring of blue and red for L/R near the connector, should be on standard on every IEM.

I wish it included a shorter cable to use with the ES100, or a balanced cable. But those are niche needs and even more expensive ones often don't include extra cables.

For its price (MSRP 450 USD) I think the Fiio FH7 is a steal. Is it better than the Sennheiser Orpheus or the 64 Audio A18t? Probably not, but I haven't heard them (Senny and 64 Audio pls send me a pair I'll pay for shipping).

If these and Andros were the same price, I'd still pick these. I wouldn't pay Andromeda prices for either though.

Testing was done using my Note 9 3.5 output, ES100 2x current mode using LDAC, and a Dragonfly Red while in the store. Quality wise DFR>Note 9=?ES100. The DFR sounds better, enough to make me regret selling mine but not enough to make me give up the wireless aspect of the ES100. Sounds pretty good out of my Note 9. (Andros sounded like trash out of my Note 9 though, heard they were picky with sources.)

One thing I learned later is that with silicone tips wind turbulence is very loud.

Can we truly say that any headphone over ~300 are a "good value" for regular people? Regular as in those who don't spend hours reading audio reviews? Well, I like to think so. But diminishing returns are absolutely a thing; LCD4s are not 4x or 2x the sound quality of the LCD2s. The greatest value is the jump from no headphones to cheap trash ones that make some kind of sound. Yet people spend hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands on setups for a reason: to enhance their enjoyment of music (and to flex on plebs). If that's what makes you happy, then more power to you. With that said, 450 is nowhere near TOTL prices and I have no reservations recommending this product.

I think people over-analyze graphs, sure they provide a basic outline but they are no substitute for a listening test. Think sizes for clothing or shoes, no substitute for trying them in person.

This was way longer than I originally intended, so I hope you at least enjoyed reading it and it helps you decide whether to purchase these or not.

Lemme know if this review was helpful, and constructive criticism is always appreciated.

TL;DR: Fiio FH7s are incredible, I like them more than Andros. Well-engineered and well-built. Excellent for the price.


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Great review, I really enjoy your writing style!
Excellent review, we need reviews like this very simple and helpful.
Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. But I would appreciate some constructive criticism; I've only gotten positive feedback both here and on r/headphones where I posted this originally.