Fiio EX1 2nd Gen

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  1. Jojaonthebeat
    Can you please help me making my next purchase? Can anyone give me a comparison between Fiio EX1 2nd gen and Havi B3 Pro 1 in terms of soundstage, clarity, quality and quantity of bass? I've read a lot from other people saying that both of them have an out of the head soundstage, headphone-like experience. Let's say I'm gonna watch a movie with it, will it sound like I'm inside a theater and which one of them can replicate that? I also prefer hearing all drum parts like hi-hats, bass drum and the tom-toms with great detail like matt mcguire's drum covers. Which of them will you prefer to me?
    BrunoC likes this.
  2. Ingo

    Just bought these. Take these comments with a grain of salt because I have not been able to hook them up to a high-quality source and they will be paired with my Samsung GS7 for work, mainly.

    I'm a bit surprised by the sound. From the descriptions I've read these should NOT be bass-heavy/boomy but I think that's they're driving characteristic, for me. They are a bit recessed in the mids and pretty nice highs but definitely not crazy definition.

    Long ago I had several IEMs and many times the sound they provided for me didn't match what others described. I had the Sony MDR-EX71, Shure E2, E3, E4, UE 2 driver universals, and Etymotic ER-4S. The Ultimate Ears and Etymotics were my favorites.

    Some of the cause of the differences between what I hear and others hear with the same IEMs is the size of my ears:

    IEMs just sit far deeper in my ears than most folks.

    So far, I like the sound of the EX-1 II's well enough that I think they'll be perfect for my main use of playing music from my phone (poweramp, Amazon Music, Spotify, podcasts, etc.). I'm temporarily living in an apartment while we search for a house and my home audio gear is mostly packed away. When we get settled in I may come back and give an impression of what these sound like from some better gear.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  3. Havre
    Are you able to get a good fit with any of the tips that came with it? Quite a few to choose from, but they were all too small for me. The "thickest" ones were OK for sound, but not very comfortable. Bought some memory foam tips which helped me personally a lot. Now the sound is as it should be and so much more comfortable.

    Without the right tips they sound a bit weak, but I agree with you when you get a better seal the bass is quite strong. I wouldn't call them "boomy" though (as in very bass heavy).
  4. Ingo
    I'm lucky with the shape of my ear canals. I can get a seal with practically ANY tips. I used to use trimmed Etymotic tri-flange tips on my Shure, Ety, and UE IEMS.

    I should have waited a few days to comment. Either they broke in a bit or my ears got used to them. They have balanced out a bit and I'd say there's still a slight smiley face response but it is certainly pleasant and there's no major deficiencies.

    I'm blown away for $60 and I'm just using my Samsung GS7 for now. I may purchase a compatible Fiio DAC to pair with my phone. Any suggestions for that? Maybe just an amp like the Mont Blanc. I decidedly could use some more headroom for these than the GS7 provides.
  5. justgotlucky123
    I can't find comparisons of the 2nd gen ex1 to other iems. Can somebody compare this to the dunu titan 3 and 5 or other sub 150 dollar iem?
  6. Amiinn
    I just bought one of these. Imo they sound amazing very good detail but for me the main problem is sound leaking. I do not mind hearing some outside noise but with the half of the vol of my pc all of my colleagues were telling me to turn it down. Does any of you have the same probelm? Is there any way to reduce this leakage perhaps with different tips? If not, do you know any other headphone that match these ones but with better sound isolation?
  7. danimoca
    I have the first generation and can say the same thing about the leaking. It's in their design. They're open IEM's.
  8. Hifihedgehog
    I currently own the EX-1 2nd Gen and having owned the EX-1 1st Gen and the Titan 5, I can safely say they are a substantial progression over the entire Titan line. The amount of tireless, careful tuning alone that went into the midrange is readily apparent. The EX-1 1st Gen, as fantastic of a first that they were, sounds a bit recessed, incoherent, and synthetic. The Titan 5, while it was an improvement, straddled a tiny bit too far on the warm side of neutrality. The EX-1 2nd Gen has better presence, tonality and dimension in the midrange in than any earphone I have demoed besides the DUNU DK-3001. Apart from the fantastic midrange, the EX-1 2nd Gen carefully tightens up the bass and makes the treble transition a bit smoother, still retaining the soaring topmost sparkle of the 1st Gen model. It kind of reminds me of the DN-2000J I briefly owned except it has better upper treble reach, is more open sounding, and has a more comfortable ergonomic fit. In other words, I would call it superior--a bold claim, to be sure--to the more expensive DN-2000J. But the fun does not stop there: I would also argue it performs better than even many open-backed headphones, including the classic teutonic triple, the DT 880, Q701, and HD600. Irregardless of price or performance, the EX-1 2nd Gen is your best bang-for-your-buck earphone on the market.
  9. chickenmoon
    I find the first gen better tuned than the 2nd gen which I don't like, it's darker but not in a good way IMO.
  10. justgotlucky123
    That's good to know. Thanks for your detailed impression. However, I'm confused between ex1 2nd gen and final audio design e3000. I can't try each before buying so I need to be careful. One caveat, I think the bass on the ex1 2nd gen might be lacking for me. I'm not a basshead but i like the bass on fidue a65, fidue a73 or the full sized sennheiser momentum over-ear 1st gen which are definitely not bass-light nor bass-heavy. They have kind of slightly elevated bass which is not over bearing. From what I read, the one thing I want from the ex1 is the soundstage which I found out to be huge for its price.
  11. Hifihedgehog
    Interesting. The 1st Gen actually sounds darker to me since the bass is less refined, and the midrange is less prominent. The 1st Gen model also has a peak in the treble that is readily apparent in listening side by side with the 2nd Gen unit, but the 1st Gen's treble ends up being less refined, less detailed, though just as extended. As a result, the overall impression ends up being that the 2nd Gen sounds dynamic and the 1st Gen sounds restrained.
  12. Hifihedgehog
    Let me put it this way: I recently had the Momentum On-Ear and Over-Ear on extended loan and I greatly prefer the EX1 2nd Gen over either. That was the same conclusion of several family members as well. One of those family members is particular about bass, especially if it is not enough. He did not really care for the EX1 1st Gen much, but when he first heard the EX1 2nd Gen, he immediately purchased them. I think the overall sense of great coherency and naturalness is why he liked them so much more.
  13. chickenmoon
    To me 2nd gen feels like 1st gen with an added upper bass/lower mid hump I find quite distasteful. I feel it just breaks this leanness that makes the Titan 1/EX1 1st gen so good and so special.
  14. Hifihedgehog
    I have found in my personal experience that modifying headphones is generally more detrimental than beneficial. For example, you can do a sticker bass mod on the Q701, and while this does help them sound more dynamic by increasing the deep bass, the distortion floor rises and, as a result, low level detail and clarity suffer. I am of the firm opinion that the stock number of holes on the EX-1/Titan 1 is the optimal configuration. The reason is that Dunu Titan 3 and 5 had less holes and, while the sound response improved, the distortion floor increased dramatically and this gave the lower-end EX1/Titan 1 the upper hand in blackness and detail retrieval. I think the better way to improve sound is for the company who has an intimate knowledge of their design functionality to do it and for them to start with the driver geometry and build before adjusting other variables.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  15. Hifihedgehog
    That is strange to say the least and the exact opposite of what my ears are telling me. I would call the bass in the EX1 1st Gen more intrusive, along the lines of what this user found.
    For a time, I had access to two separate pairs of EX1 2nd Gen (my own and a family member's), and both showed the same improvement in the bass: tighter and more finely well-integrated. So I am relatively certain there is no unit variation coming into play unless your unit is an anomaly from the production line. The other possibility is the fact that because the bass is tighter, you are hearing more dynamics and detail in the bass that you never heard before (greater dynamic range comes, in part, as a result when the entire frequency range is more properly aligned) and being exposed to all this newfound information may be overwhelming at first to you. (A counterexample: with the HD 800 I had on extended loan over the summer, I could hear problems in the bass response but it was clearly recording specific, not the headphones at fault.) The end result is the EX1's more neutral and natural sound and more linear treble response improves image specificity by a fair margin. This means that when I listen to vocals and instruments, I can more easily pinpoint them and I can more easily discern their texture, form and proportion on the 2nd Gen than the 1st Gen. In my experience, the EX1 2nd Gen retains the low-level detail and soundstaging capabilities of the 1st Gen while being a substantial improvement in frequency response over the 1st Gen model, which, in turn, reaps the full benefits of the driver's detail retrieval and soundstaging potential.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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