FiiO F9, F9Pro: Detachable MMCX connector,Hi-Res Audio Certified,2.5mmTRRS/3.5mm audio cable

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  1. sjb57
    Indeed, the power of contentment. Long may it last.
  2. Runding99
    Hey George,

    Hoping to pick your brain as i know you have experience with both the F9 and F9pro. I often find myself gravitating towards the F9's and they have become my daily drivers. To tell you the truth, I'm surprised with how much I've enjoyed them after pairing them with the Fiio X7 via balanced output as it has seemed to have tamed the harshness out of them.

    I have started to wonder if it's worth the upgrade to shell out another $140 for the pro versions. I'm not into re-selling stuff so the original F9's will most likely be shelved or only used for workouts, etc. Would you jump at the upgrade if you were in my shoes or are the improvements too marginal for costs involved?

    Thanks soooo much.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  3. Brooko Contributor
    From my review ;


    We can make this one pretty short. As far as build and design goes, they are practically identical – size material etc. The cosmetic changes introduced on the Pro are pretty good – knurling on the cable socket housing, colour coding for L/R, different angle on the cable exit (friendlier to after-market cables), and of course the Pro has the very good carry pouch and also the extra tip selection. Both have similar isolation (reasonable for a hybrid) and both are extremely comfortable.

    Of course the real difference is with the change of BA dual driver (F9 Pro utilises a Knowles dual BA set-up). As you'll see from the graph, the bass remains identical, and the tuning is practically the same except for the Pro having just a touch more upper midrange, and the lower treble peak being pushed back a little. The sound is very, very similar – with the F9 Pro having a subtly more engaging mid-range, and a little less troubling lower treble peak. The interesting test for me was using a splitter, and listening to the left ear-piece of the F9 original with right ear-piece of the F9 Pro. The differences were noticeable for about the first 30 seconds, and then as my ears adjusted, I may as well have been listening to a single stereo pair.

    Is the upgrade worth it? For the extra accessories, the minor design changes, and the subtle changes to sound – I think it is. But don't expect a big change. If I had the original F9 and was happy with it, I'd probably pass on the Pro. But if you're looking to get a little closer to perfection on a budget, the F9 Pro is definitely on my recommended list!

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    FiiO and Ahmad313 like this.
  4. dsrk
    I read your review already but, thanks again for posting this in the thread.
  5. Dobrescu George
    It is absolutely worth the difference and the effort.

    I have finished writing my draft to my F9 review, and have given them to my brother, while I kept the F9pro to myself, to actually listen to them, and mind you, I also have other IEMs to listen to, so F9Pro just is just really fun.

    There is no doubt about it, the difference in detail, resolution and vividness is big enough to make F9pro quite impressive. The soundstage is considerably wider on F9Pro, and the very instrument definition is better.

    I am most sensitive to soundstage in general, both width and depth, and F9Pro really really solves that by being quite better in both aspects.

    Kindly mind this, F9Pro is similar in tuning to F9, but it is the same tuning done much better. This doesn't mean that F9 is any less good, it just means that F9Pro is an improvement over a solid IEM, both are great, F9Pro is almost double the price of F9, and it is absolutely worth double the price, there's no doubt about it.

    Oh yes, about the more accessories, I have personally thrown away the pink tips, the black ones, the foamies and the black transparent ones, only red-transparent are kept, so my tip needs are very much satisfied with both F9 and F9Pro, but F9Pro also comes with a grey pouch which is just too lovely!
    Liviu Nicolof likes this.
  6. Hawaiibadboy Contributor
    I think the gap between them is being overstated...a lot. Maybe that is the reason for the post? Just a guess? For non members who are wondering if they should buy the F9 PRO after already buying the F9 and they are not rolling in money....EQ the originals I like the FH1 best but the F9 is a single EQ adjust away from being identical like the graph shows. The talk about bass being better on one or other is ......mmmm

    FH1 is pretty sweet.
    Liviu Nicolof and Brooko like this.
  7. PlantsmanTX
    It's interesting to comapre this with the graphs you did of the F9 with Spiral Dot and Comply tips.
  8. Brooko Contributor
    Yep - tips can make a big difference - as can insertion angle and insertion depth.
    Suneerat likes this.
  9. Brooko Contributor
    Precisely - thanks Chris.

    The reason for posting was in reply to Runding 99’s inquiry. The differences are not huge (mainly cosmetic) and I know will tend to be overstated by some. I just wanted to give a balanced view before the hype kicked in.
    Hawaiibadboy likes this.
  10. chupacabra314
    I got my F9 Pro's today and I've been listening for about two hours. First impressions are very positive.

    Among the things I love is the housing design and comfort, especially the angle on the nozzle. It's rare that you see such an extreme angle and is exactly what my ear canals need. The sound punches way above the price point. I'm happy to report the 7 kHz peak is not as extreme as a lot of reviews out there make it out to be and I only sense sibilance on rare occasions on busier tracks. I'm much more sensitive at 8 kHz which is slightly recessed here - another plus. I like how much the treble extends well after the second peak at about 9.2 kHz. The rest of the frequency range seems pretty well balanced and there is enough sub-bass to satisfy all but bassheads. Overall kudos to Fiio on the sound - for me it strikes a very good balance between fun and analytical.

    The negatives for me are the mmcx connectors and the 3.5 mm cable. Straight out of the box the right mmcx connector is really loose so I frequently lose the connection with the Fiio cables and all other cables that I tried. It's bad enough that I'm thinking about returning or exchanging them. Also the connectors are not compatible with Westone's and iBasso's recessed plugs. Although I like the earhooks, the Pro's 3.5 mm cable is not braided and feels pretty flimsy - a choice that doesn't make sense in a product labeled as a "Pro" version. Not all of us have (or want) sources with balanced out so why punish us with an inferior cable?
  11. Runding99
    Thanks to everyone for the help on this subject.

    Sounds like the improvements are subtle but worth it (at least to me). I've fallen in love with the F9's so much that I'll bite the bullet as soon as the Holidays are over in getting the F9pros. I'll use the original F9's for running or working outside. :) The added accessories are much appreciated as many of you have pointed out. The balanced cables themselves are worth a chunk of investment it seems.

    You guys rock!
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  12. FactoryStock
  13. New Fiio Owner

    Hi, I know it is off topic, however, I have just seen your Miter video where you say they are real leather cases, have they upgraded them?

    They are all listed as PU Synthetic Leather, that is why I did not get one for my Fiio as it offered me no benefit over the original case.
  14. big45-70

    I received my pair of F9’s this morning and I have some observations.

    The form factor and build quality are very good. This is the first pair of iem’s that I have ever had that did it require foam tips for a good seal. The comfort is great and these will be coming with me when I travel overseas for a couple months in Jan.

    The sound is good, but over hyped quite a bit in this thread. The spike is there and it requires EQ to listen to at a moderately high level. Softer listening levels it’s fine.

    As for best in its price range, it’s a hard no. I would take the pinnacle PX all day long, however I can drive these just fine off my phone. The main reason they are coming with me.

    They are good, the fit for me is actually unrivalled and the sound I would say is acceptable for there price, but does require EQ and there are better options at the moment in the same price range.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
    Liviu Nicolof likes this.
  15. FYLegend
    Just got these, was able to price-match at London Drugs as Headphone Bar is selling these for 130$ Canadian. A few days ago headphone bar only had red but now that they have black London Drugs allows the price match.

    What I'm not really sure is why Fiio calls the hybrid tips "bass" while the other ones standard. It seems to me like the regular tips give a more bassy sound, at least in the midbass. The hybrid tips have maybe a tad more sub-bass though the highs seem more hotter and more sibilant. I've seen some comments saying these trounce the 1More Triple Drivers but I will need to do a comparison, but it seems these aren't quite as resolving (the 1Mores amplify pretty much any subtle distortion found in the track, which can be a downside for music listening).
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