FiiO FT5

General Information

FiiO FT5 is a planar magnetic headphone with the following specifications:
* **Driver Size:** 90mm planar magnetic
* **Diaphragm Thickness:** 6um
* **Impedance:** 36Ω
* **Sensitivity:** 110dB/rms (@1kHz), 96dB/mW (@1kHz)
* **Frequency Response:** 7Hz-40k

Latest reviews

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
FiiO FT5 Impressions
Pros: + Balanced and musical
+ Two different sound signatures
+ Plenty of well defined bass
+ Lack of distortion
+ Excellent clarity
+ Natural timbre
+ Wide soundstage
+ Comfortable
+ Premium and well made
+ High quality modular cable
+ Accessory pack
Cons: - A little heavy
- Resolution and refinement can be improved
- Not the most impactful bass
- Flat soundstage
The FiiO FT5 is a full sized, open back planar magnetic headphone with a 90mm large-sized driver unit. This driver adopts a 6um ultra-thin diaphragm with a precisely crafted micron-plated aluminum silver alloy voice coil. The driver is produced using a nanoscale-level coating process for enhanced sound reproduction.

Technical specifications

Non Audio stuff

There is no plastic used in the FiiO FT5, the whole frame, the headband and the ear-cups are made from aluminum - magnesium alloy. The self-adjusting headband has an extra leatherette floating strap for better comfort.

The outer appearance of the FT5 is classic yet modern, it is more classy and luxurious looking than the FiiO FT3.

The FiiO FT5 is one of the best made and well constructed headphones, no matter the price.

The ear-pads of the FiiO FT5 have a larger inner diameter than that of the FiiO FT3 so they are much more roomy and comfortable. The weight of the FiiO FT5 is 456g and it gets evenly distributed thanks to the well designed headband. Additionally, the ear-cups have a 3-axis swiveling mechanism that allows them to freely rotate.

The overall feeling is that of a comfortable headphone that doesn't exercise much clamping force and is suitable for extended listening sessions. The only downside is that air circulation is not that great so the ears can become a little hot after a while.

The headphone comes with two types of ear-pads that are used to fine tune the sound. Suede and protein leather ear-pads. Pad swapping is easily done. The pleather pads are slightly more comfortable.

The FiiO FT5 comes with high quality, detachable cable with dual 3.5mm interface on the headphone side and interchangeable plugs. The package includes 3.5mm and 4.4mm plugs plus 6.35mm and 4-pin XLR adapters.

Except for the premium cable and the two different types of earpads, the FiiO FT5 is also equipped with a luxurious, leather storage case and a velvet carrying bag.

IMG_20240110_153345-wm-56502_watermarked.jpg


Audio stuff

With a 36Ω of impedance and a high sensitivity of 110dB/1Vrms@1kHz, the FiiO FT5 can be powered effortlessly by portable players and USB DACs but it also scales very well with desktop gear.

Taking the pleather pads as the reference point, the FiiO FT5 has a tuning with an extended low-end that is followed by a mildly subdued mid-range and present but non intrusive treble. Swapping to the suede pads will shift the tonal balance towards “V”-shape with a more prominent mid-bass while the rest of the frequency band remains pretty much unaffected.

The pleather pads offer a reference-style approach to the tuning of the low-end with very satisfying sub-bass extension and a bass that is just a little emphasized up to the lower mid-range. The bass is crystal clear and well defined with excellent transparency and layering. There is no hint of cup reverb or distortion, the bass is tight and controlled with fast recovery and natural decay. The texture is weighty and full bodied, almost visceral and the only thing that holds the performance a little back is the relative lack of physical impact and punchiness, at least when compared to the FT3 350Ω or more expensive planar headphones.

Despite some recession in the mid-range, the presentation is quite realistic with a mostly natural timbre, both when listening to vocal or instrumental music. This is not the headphone to use if you like prominent vocals because they do get pushed slightly back of the foreground. The texture is weighty and full bodied, the FT5 is a spacious and full sounding headphone while it is as resolving and refined as someone would expect from the category.

You can use the pleather pads to get extra transparency and definition, at the expense of body weight, or choose the suedes to add a touch of warmness and make the mid-range sound a bit fuller and more organic at the cost of clarity and definition.

The higher frequencies are bold, energetic and luminous sounding but without significant sharpness or harshness. The pleather pads will add greater transparency and extension to the treble, they will make it sound a touch crispier and more sparkling, maybe a tad bright, while the suedes will offer a smoother and more agreeable tuning with less sharpness.

Resolution is very satisfying for the category and so is the overall technical performance and the detail retrieval. The FiiO FT5 is not the most analytical and brilliant sounding headphone nor the most refined in the treble but it stands out for its natural timbre and the minimum amount of treble artificiality.

The sound of the FiiO FT5 is very cohesive, the notes appear with the same amount of thickness, all the way from the low-end to the treble, and they decay with the same speed.

The soundstage is exceptionally wide and spacious with excellent panning in the horizontal axis and surprisingly precise imaging that compares with more expensive headphones. Unfortunately the same can't be said of the depth which is lacking in layering, the soundstage is rather flat without much holography and grandness, while the listener feels as if sitting quite close to the performers.

The FiiO FT5 is a versatile and adaptable headphone that is suitable for listening to all kinds of music. You can use the pleather pads for more critical applications, when tonal accuracy, transparency and precision are desired or switch to the suede pads when you are in the mood for more fun and leisure moments or seek enhanced bass and
extra warmness.

Family business

The FT3 350Ω has deeper sub-bass extension and the most neutral tuning. Slightly bright and a bit clinical with a monitor-like character, is the most technical, transparent and crystal clear sounding of the bunch, with the most impactful bass but also drier and not as full bodied as the other two.

The FiiO FT3 32Ω has a smoother treble, a touch warmer mid-bass, authoritative bass and more present mids, a combination that makes it an excellent all-rounder headphone that is slightly lacking in resolution and refinement when compared to the FT5. The FT3 32Ω is a little more impactful and dynamic sounding in the bass but not that well defined and controlled as the FT5.

Both versions of the FT3 do not sound as wide and expanded as the FT5 but they compensate with deeper layering and a grander, more holographic soundstage.

Vs HIFIMAN Edition XS

The overall low-end response is very similar on both headphones but the Edition XS is tuned with less emphasis in the mid-bass and lower mid-range areas. The tuning of the XS is more neutral but with slightly recessed mids and a brighter treble. The Edition XS is a bit more transparent and clean sounding with better technicalities in the bass when it comes to definition and layering. It is also a tad faster and more controlled than the FT5 but not as impactful and dynamic while it is also drier and not as weighty or full bodied.

Vs HIFIMAN Sundara
The HIFIMAN Sundara has a more neutral, almost linear, bass tuning and considerably more present mids than the FT5 but is also brighter sounding. It is crispier and more energetic than the FT5 with better overall technicalities in the low-end but also drier, not as visceral and less impactful.

Conclusion
The FT5 is FiiO's first planar magnetic headphone and is a great one. Premium looking and exceptionally well made, it offers excellent sonic performance with very competitive technicalities at an affordable price, while it comes with one of the best accessory bundles in the market, no matter the price.

The FT5 is already more sophisticated and maturer sounding than its younger brothers. FiiO is progressing really fast, with great leaps ahead, in such a way to make us wonder what the near future holds for this innovative company.

The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

A More inclusive version of this review is available in my website.
Last edited:
Ichos
Ichos
Oh, i am always listening in a dedicated room so sometimes i am not sure about the sound leakage.
Shane D
Shane D
Not me. My lazy boy in the living room is sound central. :L3000:
  • Like
Reactions: Ichos
Ichos

Trance_Gott

Headphoneus Supremus
FiiO’s first planar magnetic headphone
Pros: Great build quality and design
Cable comes with 4 interchangeable adapters
Warm and organic sound with good technicalities
Punchy bass
Very comfortable
Cons: Ear pads could be a little too small for larger ears
The FT5 is the first planar magnetic headphone from FiiO. Based on the FT headphone platform with which FiiO previously built dynamic headphones with the FT3 model, the latest model now uses a different type of driver. The platform itself with the construction of the headband, head cushion and adjustment mechanism has been incorporated from the previous development. The FT5 costs 500 USD and uses large 90mm planar magnetic drivers with a total of 20 N52 neodymium magnets. An ultra-thin 6 micrometer diaphragm is used. This thickness was chosen through various tests as it was found to give the best balance of sound quality with high reliability.

DSC_0069.JPG


FiiO has opted for a metal construction here, as this can withstand the vibrations of the massive 90mm drivers better than plastic. With its 36 ohms and 110dB sensitivity, it can be used with a DAP without any problems. However, it requires a little more power than an FT3 with 32 ohms.

The scope of delivery includes a brown carrying case, a cloth bag, a second pair of ear pads made of artificial leather, instructions and a connection cable with 4 different adapters (6.35mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm, 4 pin XLR). The cable is the same as the one supplied with the FT3. It is 1.5m long and consists of 392 silver-plated, monocrystalline copper with a diameter of 23 AWG. It is very flexible and looks good quality. What I like more and more is the use of the screw-on adapters, which make it possible to use the cable for different purposes. You are not restricted to balanced or unbalanced, but can screw on a different adapter in a matter of seconds.

As with the FT3, the workmanship is once again first class. I even like the design of the outer shells on the FT5 and the connector housings used here even better. Everything looks a bit more valuable. As with the FT3, comfort is just as good and listening to the FT5 for hours on end is no problem. Nothing pinches, the contact pressure is perfect for my taste. The ear pads have an inner diameter similar to the Focal Utopia. More than enough for my ears. If you have large ears, it might be a little tight.

DSC_0070.JPG

DSC_0071.JPG


I use my stationary chain consisting of Topping D90SE and Niimbus US4 with 4-pin XLR as a playing partner for the FT5. I use the FT5 on the iBasso DX320 MAX Ti with a 4.4 mm Pentaconn. As I said, the FT5 is easy to drive, so I usually only use gain level 1 on the iBasso. For music with a little more dynamic range, I sometimes use gain level 2. The FT5 scales with more power. On the Niimbus it sounds with even more fullness and detail as well as a slightly stronger bass range. I will first describe the sound when using the velour pads and later the difference when using the artificial leather pads.

DSC_0072.JPG


Tonally, the FT5 is a step warmer than the FT3. In fact, it reminds me strongly of the Rosson Audio RAD-0. There is a slight roll-off in the treble, which makes for a very silky sound and prevents sibilants from the outset.

In the bass range, it plays more controlled than the FT3 with more presence in the mid-bass range than the low bass range. In the latter, it doesn't go quite as low as the FT3. On the other hand, it is slightly punchier. Switching to the leather pads results in a slightly different picture in the bass range. It becomes faster and has more volume in the low bass range. On the other hand, it no longer punches quite as hard in the mid-bass range.

In the mids, the sound is always full-bodied with a vocal range that is slightly offset to the rear compared to the FT3. The latter sounds more spacious. However, the FT5's instrument separation is somewhat sharper.

The treble is as smooth as butter and at no time do you hear any sharpness, as is the case with the FT3 at higher volumes. You can hear high levels with the FT5, and I mean really very high levels, without anything distorting or drifting off into the annoying. I can't do that with an FT3. With the leather pads, the treble gains a little more definition. In general, the FT5 plays a little more lively, cleaner and faster. The only thing I like better with the velour pads are the slightly fuller mids, which become thinner with the leather pads. Overall, however, I prefer the leather pads.

With the FT5, FiiO has created its very first planar magnetic and, in my opinion, the result is more than successful! For 500 USD you get a warm and very musically tuned headphone that delivers a great technical performance in this price range. If you don't like bright headphones and aren't looking for an acoustic magnifying glass, but rather headphones that deliver a warm, smooth and organic sound at a technically high level with great workmanship, you should give the FT5 a listen!
Shane D
Shane D
So, they are recessed?
Trance_Gott
Trance_Gott
Minimal recessed not much.
phara0hseye
phara0hseye
I like the commentary on the sonic signature as they are played from low listening, to being more driven, on to being pushed. With headphones and source pairings this is a critical transition of consideration as the DAP or AMP may change character as it is driven and the headphones paired with those devices react to these changes. Additionally, the sound of the headphones can change when driven to different loads in and of themselves.

I’d certainly like a bit more on the gain level listening experience.l changes.

jeromeoflaherty

New Head-Fier
An all round premium experience from FiiO with their new Planar FT5 headphone
Pros: Lovely unboxing with a premium carrying case
Excellent accessories especially the cable and adapters and extra set of earpads
Very easy to drive
Rugged build - this was built to last
U shaped sound with a warm extended bass - providing a luxurious sound signature
Cons: Earpads are on the medium size (so might not fit larger ears)
Extended bass muddies the overall sound leading to lack of details
Soundstage and imaging limited compared to competition at this price.

FT5 Review​

FiiO have been on a roll this year with a huge range of product offerings and they have already released some quality headphones with the FT3, but with the FT5 this marks a significant audiophile step up, into the world of planar magnetic headphones, a segment of the industry traditionally dominated by brands like HIFIMAN, DCA, Meze and of course Audeze.

So with the FT5, priced at an $449, this firmly puts FiiO into the competitive mid-fi planar segment against some well regarded HifiMan planars like Sundara and Edition XS and some recent Moondrop offerings like the Venus and the Para.

Fiio-ft5.jpg


So the questions is did they succeed? Let’s delve into the specifics of this review.

Note: FiiO kindly provided me with the FT5 for review purposes.

Whats in the box​

When you purchase the FiiO FT5, you’re not just getting a pair of high-quality headphones, but also a comprehensive package that ensures you have everything needed to enjoy a premium audio experience.
IMG_9072 Medium.jpeg


Once you open the box you are greeted with a cloth cover - giving a nice premium anticipation to what is contained within:
IMG_9073 Medium.jpeg


Here’s a detailed overview of what’s included in the box:

Faux Leather Storage Case:​

The next thing you are greeted with is a well-built and aesthetically pleasing case is provided for storing and transporting the headphones. My wife thought this whole unboxing experience was worthy of a high end luxury hangbag.
IMG_9074 Medium.jpeg


The case is designed to accommodate all the plugs neatly. So I can imagine this packaging will make for a very impressive gift.
IMG_9075 Medium.jpeg


The Cable and its connectors:​

The provided cable is a high quality 1.5m long 23AWG gauge cable. It’s sturdy and features soft parts around the plugs for excellent durability. The cable immediately make me understand part of what FiiO were aiming for with this headphone, basically a rugged design that can withstand significant usage. While I love the sound of my other planars, their accessories and build quality is not as premium as what FiiO are offering here.

A key feature of the cable and comes with interchangeable connectors, with a unscrew mechanism allowing you to switch between 3.5mm or 4.4mm connections.

For example:
IMG_9094 Medium.jpeg


Noticed how you cleverly unscrew the 3.5mm connector:
IMG_9095 Medium.jpeg


You alight the arrow inside the adapter next to the 4 pins and you align this with the grove on which ever connector you want to swap.
IMG_9096 Medium.jpeg


And then you screw in the 4.4mm balanced connector:
IMG_9097 Medium.jpeg


One thing of note with the cable is that while FiiO provide balanced adapters as connectors to the source end of the cable, the dual 3.5mm ends are single ended so it’s not a fully balanced cable, as you can see in this photo:
IMG_9099 Medium.jpeg


But I did test the FT5 with fully balanced cables so you can easily swap to a fully balanced cable if you so wish.

XLR Converter:​

I thought a lovely touch was the inclusion of a XLR connector:
IMG_9098 Medium.jpeg


With the inclusion of all these connectors, users have the flexibility to connect to almost any amplifier or audio source and the convenience of a portable and protective storage solution all housed nicely within the premium carrying case.

Two Sets of Earpads:​

FiiO includes two sets of earpads with the FT5. One set is made of suede, while the other is made of protein leather.
IMG_9083 Medium.jpeg


IMG_9084 Medium.jpeg
I have large ears and the cup sizes were just large enough to encase my ears with the protein leather and are fractionally larger and deeper than the suede. I imagine there will be some people where these are not large enough, and certainly when compared to the egg shape Hifiman earpads these earpads are on the small side.

But even comparing the sizes with some of the oval shared Hifiman earpads while they are similar in shape they are slightly smaller than the hifiman:
Comparison EarCups.jpeg


While I liked both earpads, for comfort and a slightly deeper sound signature, I preferred the leather. The Suede were touching the inside of my ears which would definitely affect the sound signature but I can imagine the suede earpads will be some peoples favourites.

The Headphone:​

And so to the centerpiece of the package, these are the flagship open-back 90mm planar magnetic driver headphones from FiiO.

Here are the specifications:

  • Driver Size: 90mm planar magnetic
  • Diaphragm Thickness: 6um
  • Impedance: 36Ω
  • Sensitivity: 110dB/rms (@1kHz), 96dB/mW (@1kHz)
  • Frequency Response: 7Hz-40kHz
  • Max Power Input: 2000mW
  • Cable: 1.5m, 392 wires of high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline copper
  • Connectivity: Dual 3.5mm plugs with swappable audio plugs
The open-back grilles, fashioned in a turbine-like pattern:

IMG_9100 Medium.jpeg


Fit, Comfort and Feel​

While the earpads fit might be a problem for those with larger ears, I did find, for me, that the leather pads where extremely comfortable for hours of use and FiiO included some nice design touches to make the headphone suitable for a wide range of head profiles.

Here’s a closer look at the features of the headphone:

Swivel Mechanism and Suspension:​

The FT5 headphones feature a well-designed swivel mechanism that enhances their flexibility and fit. This feature allows the ear cups to adjust naturally to the shape and angle of your head, providing a more personalized and comfortable fit. The swivel mechanism contributes significantly to the ease of wear, especially during prolonged listening sessions. Here are 2 photos showing the extremes of the swivel mechanism but also showing the flexibilty of the suspension.
IMG_9102 Medium.jpeg
IMG_9103 Medium.jpeg


The suspension mechanism distributes the weight well across your head, so a good choice to faciliate longer listening sessions. This design provides good adaptability to different shaped heads and peoples preferences.

Weight:​

Despite their robust build, the FT5 headphones maintain a manageable weight of 456 grams, thanks to the use of lightweight materials in their construction. It looks heavier than it feels when you are wearing it.
The choice of magnesium alloy for the frame strikes an ideal balance between durability and lightness, ensuring that the headphones don’t become a burden during extended use.

Construction:​

The rugged external construction of the FT5 greatly helps the durability and solid feel of the headphone. I would have no problem “throwing” this headphone in a bag for a long trip unlike most of my other planar’s where I am always worried that the “open” nature of the design means they are fragile.

Overall, the FiiO FT5 stands out for its comfortable fit and feel, thanks to the thoughtful design elements such as the swivel mechanism, lightweight construction, and earpad options. These features work in harmony to provide an enjoyable and fatigue-free listening experience, even for extended periods.

Listening and Sound impressions​

The FiiO FT5 headphones, particularly when paired with the protein leather pads, offer a distinct sound quality that can be best described as warm with a U-shaped sound signature. This characterization refers to a slight emphasis on the lower (bass) and higher (treble) frequencies, while maintaining a satisfactory representation of the midrange.

Warm and U-Shaped Sound:​

The use of protein leather pads on the FT5 accentuates a warm tonality, enriching the listening experience with a fuller extended bass. This U-shape tuning makes for an engaging listening experience, particularly for genres that benefit from a more pronounced low-end and a lively treble. However, the midrange, while slightly recessed, still retains enough presence to keep vocals and instruments clear and distinct.

That said I do believe the ideal headphone is not only has its own distinct ‘fun’ sound signature but one that can easily be adapted with a few EQ filters to a much more balanced ‘detailed’ sound. I will present my EQ settings and the logic behind them later in this review.

Bass Response​

FiiO have gone for a broad bass sound remincent of some high end Meze planars like the Empyrean but the subbass on the FT5 doesn’t go as deep especially below 30hz. That said it a full wide bass response, some people will not like the enhanced mid-bass and lower midrange regions but these are easily EQ to taste as you will see and I appreciate that FiiO wanted to do something different, providing a “rich sounding” rather than the typical ’neutral sound signature’. It means some tracks like Portisheads Roads had just a little too much bass with this tuning but with most rocks tracks e.g. AC/DC or the new Rolling Stones album, I found the sound fun and engaging.

Midrange​

The lower midrange on the FT5 (as I mentioned above) is emphasised but the upper midrange is scouped out, providing that U-Shaped sound. This specifically was the one area where I felt I needed some EQ especially in vocal heavily tracks but this tuning is becoming much more popular as a ‘warm luxurixous sound’ and when I get to some Frequency Response comparisons later you will see some very similar frequency response from very expensive and well known headphones.

It was an interesting decision by FiiO to not follow the harman / neutral sound signature that the majority of headphones at this price point follow but go for a rich “more expensive” sound, possible in the knowledge that their customers might already have a more ’neutral’ sounding headphones (like FiiO FT3) and want something a little different.

Treble​

I found treble excellently balanced with the bass in that U-shaped sound. For me there was no sibiliance but that midbass extension does mask some of the treble detail you should expect and once I started to play around with EQ and lowered the midbass region I also slightly tweaked treble region to match.

Soundstage and Imaging​

I found the soundstage good with the FT5 but not massive like the Hifiman Edition XS. That said songs classic binarual recordings like Earth Drum or Horikawa’s Bubbles had excellent width.

With imaging, I found that without EQ some of the detailed treble that provides that ‘pin precise’ imaging within the soundstage was masked by that midbass extension. But once I applied some EQ that detail and then subsequently that accuracy to the imaging was restored. Songs like Tools ‘Chocolate Chip Trip’ had excellent distinction between instruments as the percussive parts were floating around the soundstage.

Adaptability to EQ (Warm or detailed sound - it’s your choice):​

As I mentioned above the FT5 sound signature is great for some genres of music with its warm and engaging sound. The FT5 as with most planars are highly responsive to equalization due to the low distoration. This is especially true with the FT5 as it is incredible easy to drive. Even with EQ requiring a few DB of headroom a dongle as basic as the Apple Dongle still had significant head room for those wanting to listen very loud.

Over the past two weeks of alternating between EQ settings and no EQ, it has become evident that these headphones can be easily adjusted to approach a more balanced sound signature. With EQ the FT5 is versatile for a variety of listening tastes, but it is by no means necessary to apply EQ as I loved the warm luxurious sound on a significant amount of my audio test tracks and favourite artists. Whether you’re aiming for a flatter response or wish to accentuate certain frequencies, the FT5 responds well to these adjustments without losing its inherent sound characteristics.

FT5 Measurements​

Note: These graphs are based on RAW measurements from a BK-5128 - Fiio provided the raw data but I have only use some of
the data provided as there is a limited set of BK-5128 data on other planars to compare the FT5 with and as of this review still not new BK-5128 “Harman Curve”.

Frequency Response​

First - the RAW Left and Right channel at 96db and 104db taken with the Suede earpads - I do not have BK-5128 measurements of the Protein Leather pads but I will present some third party measurements of both pads a little later.
FT5-ChannelAt96_104.png
These subtle differences where due to different placements when taking the measurements. I noticed while listening to a sweep (which I always do to verify EQ with my own personal HRTF) that the treble peaks where slightly different with the suede ear pads on my head, so as every I think about care should be taken EQ blindly from a chart especially beyond 8Khz (where subtle placement differences can make large differences in FR).

Note: I also noticed that the large drop off at 400Hz was not as deep as it appears in this measurement so I went for a smoother EQ when lowering this mid-bass peak.

Here is a brief comparison of one of these channels with a Hifiman Sundara and compared with FiiO recently released FT3 (note these alternative measurements are only for illustration purposes):
FR-Comparison.png
You can see from this comparison the extended bass response up to 400Hz and that dip in the 1.5K region. The treble region is mostly very smooth and as you can see the FT5 avoids the hifiman treble peaks.

Distortion​

Distortion is good even at 104db so no worries about EQ and plenty of dynamic range:
ft5-distortion.jpg


FR Comparisons​

I do believe that FiiO was going for something of a premium sound from the FT5 and were heavily imspired by some premium sounding planars. To illustrate this check out these measurements I borrored from VSG Squig.link:
FT5-VSG-Comparison.jpg


EQ Recommendation​

As I mentioned in the subjective section, there is a rich “warm” but slightly muffled (lacking in detail) default sound signature - some minor eq tweaks can really bring out the best in the FT5 and have the ability to A/B switch between this EQ and the default sound signature was a very reveling experience while listening to my favourite tracks:

FT5-EQ-Recommendation.jpg


Preamp:-4.2 dB
Filter 1:ON PKFc 400 HzGain -6.7 dB
Filter 2:ON PKFc 1200 HzGain 6.8 dB
Filter 3:ON PKFc 4808 HzGain 3 dB
Filter 4:ON PKFc 8800 HzGain -2.9 dB
Filter 1 is the main one to lower that mid bass entension. Filter 2 and 3 are to raise the dip in the midrange (filling in the U-Shape) Filter 4 is totally optional but I decided to slightly lower the treble

Also I did play with a sub-bass filter for a few days but I ultimately felt it wasn’t needed - but you may want to add one to your own tastes.

Source Pairing​

Put simply these are the easist to drive set of planars I have. Without EQ even just using the Apple Dongle I barely needed to goto 50% to get a deep satisifying sound at very high volume. With EQ applied I did have to increase the volumen to roughly 70% but I still had lots of headroom. With that as the base level you can be confident that it will sound great on any of your equipment.

I was mainly listening with my FiiO K7 and a Schiit Midgard both of which had so much more power than the FT5 needed and happily drove it at low gain settings, while working I also used my Macbook Pro’s headphone Jack and again even with EQ I was barely at 50% volume when listening at comfortable levels.

Rating​

I gave the FT5 an overall rating of 4 its price while very reasonable for such a high quality product is expensive and while I loved the sound signature especially with the leather earpads, I feel it more limited sound stage compared to say the Hifiman Edition XS means that it is less appealing as first choose Headphone. I actually think it makes the perfect second planar, because it is much better built and more rugged and can be driven by mobile and has a beautiful carrying case it is a perfect travel planar.

Summary​

So with the FT5 FiiO have created an impressive first entry into the premium planar headphone segment. The packaging and quality of the accessories are amazing at this price point. I was especially impressed how easy to drive the FT5 for a planar even with a basic dongle. But I was a little disappointed with the soundstage and imaging and thought the rich bass was masking some of the treble details that lots of users crave. For users that want a harman like neutral sound, I believe the very simple EQ recommendations I presented above will provide an extra dimension to the sound should they require it.

Overall it is a strong recommendation especically for those who like a complete premium package and are happy to do a little EQ.
  • Like
Reactions: yvfed1 and voja
Syan25
Syan25
Thanks for the reply
jeromeoflaherty
jeromeoflaherty
@marekm many apologies for not replying sooner - so I am measuring them as follows:

Suede pads: 64mm x 54mm
Pleather pads: 68mm x 50mm

For comparison I am measuring the Hifiman Sundara pads as:
61mm x 61mm

For me they are just about wide enough
  • Like
Reactions: marekm
marekm
marekm
Not so bad. I plan to borrow a pair next week. All will be clear :)

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Back
Top