FiiO FD5 - 1DD Flagship from FiiO
Jan 5, 2021 at 9:17 AM Post #362 of 1,495

davidmolliere

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So... I have received @iFi audio Zen Can amp today and let me tell you out of R8 balanced to balanced out of Zen Can the FD5 scale very well with more headroom (Zen CAN shares its OPAMP with the revered Pro iCAN btw). The Zen Can is a smooth amp and it definitely helps the FD5. More power is always good for bass and the FD5 is not exception although it's easy to drive proper power provides additional authority and power in the bass department. But the highs also benefit from it with further extension.

IMG_2331.JPG


I'll write up a new section in my review, the FD5 scales up further yet in terms of bass, highs, headroom and soundstage.
 
Jan 5, 2021 at 9:31 AM Post #363 of 1,495

FiiO Kang

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It's pretty good, not as good as iems without vents at all (all BA iems) but very good. The vents don't really affect sound leakage/isolation much at all and is more for pressure alleviation.
You are right. Don't worry about Noice Cancelation and Sound Leake.
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com support@fiio.com
Jan 5, 2021 at 9:40 AM Post #364 of 1,495

FiiO Kang

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Could you share links, to some of the Asian reviews ?

I would be curious to see how impressions differ from western ears.
You need to translate it yourself, haha.
https://www.fiio.com/fd5_reviews
These are media reviews.

If you look at Chinese Weibo, you can also see a lot of users sharing.
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com support@fiio.com
Jan 5, 2021 at 10:08 AM Post #366 of 1,495

Ra97oR

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Just ordered a pair, just to try out. Can't wait.
 
Jan 6, 2021 at 12:02 AM Post #369 of 1,495

Nabillion_786

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I am absolutely loving these right now, omdz do they sound amazing! That airy stage is something to behold that has taken me by surprise and I have got used to them already. When watching any content I feel like I'm actually surrounded by the atmosphere. Just do not watch any intense war scenes or you might end up exploding in your pants. 😁

I know a lot of people will hate me for this but this iem sounds better after a couple of days use already. It seems like the sound has slightly opened up and I'm hearing a slightly more speedier driver then I remember from day one. I'm not saying it's burn in but what I know is that I feel a bit more different about them right now. I would give these a straight perfect score if the sound had a bit more meat to them so vocals get even more emotions. They already sound powerful due to the big driver in use but sound quite lean to my ears at the same time.

Also, I am currently looking at a set of filters that seem to resemble the other smaller nozzle tube but allow bigger eartips to fit. They are the rock jaw Alfa genus V2 filters but I don't think you can buy them separately so I have just emailed them. I only have a pair of them left but sadly in different variants (bass filter and treble filter). When I tried them last night I liked what I was hearing because even though some of that stage was sacrificed the vocals sounded more delicious conveying even more emotions. It is a good trade off if you ask me especially considering that colossal stage to begin with. No detail loss either just a bit of air and slightly less expansion all around.
 
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Jan 6, 2021 at 1:56 AM Post #370 of 1,495

fusionramjet

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Anybody compare these to the IER-Z1R? Awesome soundstage and bass (and the beautiful metal build)... :)
 
Jan 6, 2021 at 2:04 AM Post #371 of 1,495

SBranson

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So... I have received @iFi audio Zen Can amp today and let me tell you out of R8 balanced to balanced out of Zen Can the FD5 scale very well with more headroom (Zen CAN shares its OPAMP with the revered Pro iCAN btw). The Zen Can is a smooth amp and it definitely helps the FD5. More power is always good for bass and the FD5 is not exception although it's easy to drive proper power provides additional authority and power in the bass department. But the highs also benefit from it with further extension.

IMG_2331.JPG

I'll write up a new section in my review, the FD5 scales up further yet in terms of bass, highs, headroom and soundstage.

What balanced cable are you using from the R8 to the Zen Can? I bought a rather inexpensive one from Hart and it just killed the dynamics compared to SE in through the 3.5mm to RCA (Audioquest Golden Gate) that I'm using from my AK240 to my Zen Can.
I know, this is supposed to be the FD5 thread.. sorry for the slight detour.
 
Jan 6, 2021 at 3:10 AM Post #372 of 1,495

davidmolliere

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What balanced cable are you using from the R8 to the Zen Can? I bought a rather inexpensive one from Hart and it just killed the dynamics compared to SE in through the 3.5mm to RCA (Audioquest Golden Gate) that I'm using from my AK240 to my Zen Can.
I know, this is supposed to be the FD5 thread.. sorry for the slight detour.

Using iFi Audio interconnect 4.4 : https://ifi-audio.com/products/4-4mm-to-4-4mm-cable/
Build is superb it's around 80€

4.4mm to 4.4mm Cable by iFi audio | An audiophile grade interconnect for your balanced compone...png
 
Jan 6, 2021 at 3:17 AM Post #373 of 1,495

SBranson

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Jan 6, 2021 at 3:20 AM Post #374 of 1,495

davidmolliere

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Thanks. I was going to buy that but it's so short. Maybe I will after all and just figure it out.

Actually it's much longer than most interconnect (300 mm or 11.8") beware the terminations are huge :)
 
Jan 6, 2021 at 7:57 AM Post #375 of 1,495

davidmolliere

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I added my comparisons to ISN H40 and Meze Rai Solo to my FD5 review on my blog, Penon Orb is upcoming but I am now distracted by the Shanling M8 I just received :p


ISN H40
If you've read my ISN H40 review but also most reviews and impressions you know ISN H40 is one of the kings of the price segment and the best value for money I reviewed last year along with Penon Orb. The H40 is a warm, engaging, fun and punchy IEM with a huge soundstage and good resolution. It's certainly the contender for the FD5 in terms of soundstage and bass.

Soundstage wise the H40 is a very good performer, this is a huge soundstage with a coherent image and remarkably wide but more importantly unusually tall and deep stage. But the FD5 is just in another league yet and that's only fair given its semi open nature. Stage size is yet bigger reaching elite levels but the image is more precise thanks to much better separation. There is simply more space around instruments and on top of it resolution is higher on the FD5.

Bass. This is the showdown you've been waiting for. The H40 boasts massive bass presence with very good sub bass extension but the FD5 goes lower. It has a more physical presence than the FD5 but that was to be expected given the closed nature of the H40 versus the semi open FD5. On the flipside the FD5 is in another league in term of control but also it has a significantly faster bass and is able to keep up with faster paced music. The H40 has good control but the FD5 is just sublime there and both sub and mid bass are cleaner. The H40 has a bit of a more “romantic” bass, with a softer attack and a bit longer decay. The H40 has richer textures, but the FD5 offers more detail there.

The H40 mids are probably the main differentiator with the FD5. The ISN H40 midrange is full bodied, with strong lower mids foundation that definitely give it a significant warmer tilt. The upper mids while not recessed are a bit dipped and lack a bit of bite but then rise again to provide good sizzle on cymbals and crispness to snare drums. The FD5 have much leaner lower mids and more bite, making it a brighter proposition. The H40 is smoother, thicker and mellower while the FD5 is more open, articulate with better separation.

Treble wise the H40 extension is fairly decent and there is good upper treble presence, providing air and refinement to the treble presentation with nice overtones. The lower treble avoids sensitive areas while providing good energy, in fact a bit more than the FD5 and also the note weight is greater on the H40 making the lower treble both more energetic and articulate. The FD5 on the other hand is much more extended and the upper treble has more presence which makes the FD5 more open, airy and with more precise imaging as well as significantly more resolving.

Meze Rai Solo
The Solo is a natural comparison to the FD5 as it’s a dynamic, in the same price segment. If you’ve read my Rai Solo review you know it’s a clear, energetic, open sounding IEM. The Solo has superb brushed stainless steel build that feels more sturdy than the FD5 as contrary to the FD5 who only has stainless steel on the faceplate, the Solo is full steel. Brushed steel is also much less prone to scratching, the FD5 are more shiny but also more fragile as hinted by the shell divider on the FD5 carry case.

But let’s get down to sound. For the sake of the comparison I used the FD5 cable and the same tips on both units. The first thing that struck me is how bigger the soundstage of the FD5 is compared to the Solo. Not that the Solo is narrow or small, just the FD5 has a much bigger stage in all direction but height and depth are just so much bigger on the FD5. The Solo sounds almost intimate by comparison.

The Solo has well textured, highly detailed bass with a fair sub bass extension but it lacks physicality and for a dynamic is a bit disappointing. It’s more of a reference bass, in your head rather than in your gut. The FD5 on the other hand packs very good sub bass extension with a lot of power and control. It has similar level of detail but much more presence in the sub bass but also mid bass. The FD5 has a better sense of rhythm, more slam and toe tapping factor.

The Solo’s mids are clear, articulate with very good separation and air, timbre is accurate and the presentation is forward. Lower mids are not thin, but do take a back seat to the more prominent upper mids. Although it’s a similar philosophy, the FD5 has a less pronounced tilt towards upper mids and the Solo has yet more bite and is therefore the brighter of the two. Again the FD5 has more separation and articulation by way of its immense soundstage and will be better suited for larger ensembles.

The Solo’s treble is definitely key to its signature, it has very good extension and provides good air and very nice resolution as well as great energy. This is one key difference to the FD5, lower treble energy is greater on the Solo providing more excitement but also notes have more weight and I felt the Solo did a better job on piano tracks. On the flipside the FD5 has more upper treble presence but also is more extended. There is more air and resolution is one step up. The FD5 retrieves more detail and its transients are faster although the Solo is no slouch.

Overall the FD5 is more balanced than the Solo, for starters its bass presence alone gives it a better pace, rhythm and timing than the Solo but it also balances the upper mids and treble. The FD5 is more grounded and physical. The Solo invites a more analytical less engaging listen bass wise. The FD5 midrange is fuller, with more lower mids presence and less prominent upper mids as well as less forward vocals providing more stage depth. Treble wise the Solo is more energetic and engaging but also more fatiguing of the two. The FD5 is more relaxed but also more refined.
 
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