FiiO FD5 - 1DD Flagship from FiiO
Feb 14, 2021 at 6:18 AM Post #766 of 1,383

denis1976

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So I just compared my FD5 to my DCA Aeon 2, gotta say they are the best IEMs I heard, but in comparison to the headphone they severely lack detail. Can anyone recommend an IEM similar to the FD5 but with much more detail/resolution?
How many hours you have on the FD5? At first they are not very detailed, but with burn they get better and better, they have great sound, I use the bass silicone tips, but if you like that thin sound with lots of air but with no body I am afraid you must look elsewhere
 
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Feb 14, 2021 at 11:37 AM Post #767 of 1,383

kkugel

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Which tips are you using ?

A wide bore silicone tip would be your best bet, to squeeze out all of the detail that the FD5 has. I’ll defer to others for said tips, as I’m team foam.
Foam and silicon are identical to me in details, foam just has more bass quantity due to better seal.
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 11:42 AM Post #768 of 1,383

kkugel

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How many hours you have on the FD5? At first they are not very detailed, but with burn they get better and better, they have great sound, I use the bass silicone tips, but if you like that thin sound with lots of air but with no body I am afraid you must look elsewhere
I have used them for about 20 hours, but I think the burn-in is mainly brain burn-in. If I listen to them for 2 hours my brain adapts and I think, damn these are detailed. But if I immediately switch to my Aeon 2, there is just SO much more detail to be found.
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 12:58 PM Post #769 of 1,383

nishan99

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I have used them for about 20 hours, but I think the burn-in is mainly brain burn-in. If I listen to them for 2 hours my brain adapts and I think, damn these are detailed. But if I immediately switch to my Aeon 2, there is just SO much more detail to be found.

EQ the v shape out the FD5 and see the true resolving ability of them.

I am not saying they got that high end resolution but they're definitely resolving enough to not feeling I am missing something even after coming back from the Hifiman HE1000se. I would rank them with the Sundara/Elex level of resolution except for the treble, the Sundara trump them all in that area.
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 1:55 PM Post #771 of 1,383

feverfive

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I notice that for a lot of people, when they talk about resolution/detail/etc, really all they're saying is "there's a lotta treble" and not any real technicality of the headphone.
FWIW, I agree. Resolution/detail retrieval is about more than treble response, but I recall during my journey (recovering detail retrieval whore), at some point "bright" ( a pejorative term back in the day) gave way to "detail".

In any event, I say all this while noting that for me, extended treble response is necessary for me to consider gear to provide the requisite resolution/detail retrieval, even as my standards have relaxed significantly over the last decade. I have heard "piercing treble" before, but I am nowhere near as sensitive to it as many seem to be. I sometimes wonder if many commentators have ever attended live shows, their takes on "piercing treble" being such a departure from my experience/preferences.
 
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Feb 14, 2021 at 2:00 PM Post #772 of 1,383

kkugel

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EQ the v shape out the FD5 and see the true resolving ability of them.

I am not saying they got that high end resolution but they're definitely resolving enough to not feeling I am missing something even after coming back from the Hifiman HE1000se. I would rank them with the Sundara/Elex level of resolution except for the treble, the Sundara trump them all in that area.
Ah well I have the Elear too and the Aeon 2 are a big step above them in resolution, might be that. I just love insane detail retrieval haha
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 2:06 PM Post #773 of 1,383

kkugel

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I notice that for a lot of people, when they talk about resolution/detail/etc, really all they're saying is "there's a lotta treble" and not any real technicality of the headphone.
That's absolutely true! I've experienced that while reading Aeon 2 reviews, many people said they severely lack detail. In reality, they are just an extremely dark headphone with (still) insane amounts of detail. It's simply just not that obvious to untrained listeners due to the lack of loud treble.
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 2:06 PM Post #774 of 1,383

nishan99

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Sorry for the side tracking.

Ah well I have the Elear too and the Aeon 2 are a big step above them in resolution, might be that. I just love insane detail retrieval haha

Glad to hear that!. I was always hesitant to buy DCA closed backs because of the questionable technicalities of his earlier headphones.

Now I am seriously thinking to grab the Aeon 2 closed.
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 2:08 PM Post #775 of 1,383

kkugel

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Sorry for the side tracking.



Glad to hear that!. I was always hesitant to buy DCA closed backs because of the questionable technicalities of his earlier headphones.

Now I am seriously thinking to grab the Aeon 2 closed.
I have the open, they seem to sound more natural than the closed. I compared them to Susvaras and Empys and they are like 90% of the Empy minus the crazy emotions the Empys can deliver.

Edit: Still wanted to adress what you said with the earlier models: They removed one side of the magnets to let details pass through better and put folds in the mebrane to enhance flexibility, they are leagues above the version 1.
 
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Feb 14, 2021 at 2:19 PM Post #776 of 1,383

SomeGuyDude

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FWIW, I agree. Resolution/detail retrieval is about more than treble response, but I recall during my journey (recovering detail retrieval whore), at some point "bright" ( a pejorative term back in the day) gave way to "detail".

In any event, I say all this while noting that for me, extended treble response is necessary for me to consider gear to provide the requisite resolution/detail retrieval, even as my standards have relaxed significantly over the last decade. I have heard "piercing treble" before, but I am nowhere near as sensitive to it as many seem to be. I sometimes wonder if many commentators have ever attended live shows, their takes on "piercing treble" being such a departure from my experience/preferences.

It's an odd thing I see a lot. People rave about "detailed" headphones that are just treble cannons and cry about "muddy" headphones where their big sin is nothing but having an elevated bass response.

I'm with you, too. Despite my love of notoriously bassy headphone I also was a fan of stuff like the DT990 or HD700 which are known for having painful treble and it's honestly not that bad. Though I will say that I've struggled to listen to my Philips X3 since I got these just because they do have a bit of an odd treble spike and my ears have lost their acclimation to it lol
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 7:39 PM Post #779 of 1,383

Mlaihk

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How does the FD5 compare to the IT01S and the campfire Vega 2020?
 
Feb 15, 2021 at 1:56 PM Post #780 of 1,383

shampoosuicide

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I’ve been sitting on the FD5 for about a month now, and wanted to share my impressions.

For context, my main IEM of late has been the Sony IER-M9. Prior to that, my primary driver was the Sony XBA-Z5. Other single DD IEMs I’ve owned include the AK T8iE MKII (warmer, darker cousin of the Beyerdynamic Xelento) and the Sony EX1000.

Chain

Spotify Premium on Mac > iFi ZEN DAC Balanced > iFi ZEN CAN Balanced > FiiO FD5

Highlights

+ Unique staging and presentation. Open-sounding, big images, with a large sense of scale. Even width, height, and depth staging proportions.
+ Wonderful combination of tonality and technicalities
+ Very well done (moderately) V-shaped tuning. Evenly emphasised sub- and mid-bass; slightly lifted lower mids; accented upper mids; highlighted upper-treble.
+ Organic, analog tonality
+ Bass that kicks, slams, and grunts, with excellent control
+ Well-extended, airy, articulate, and refined upper-treble
+ Superb dynamics and engagement factor
+ Excellent technicalities all around: speed, imaging, detail, separation
+ Fantastic build and aesthetics
+ Good isolation for a semi-open design
+ Impressive accessory set, including a modular-plug cable, and Final MMCX Assist tool

Preface

I’ll state upfront that I was frankly disappointed when I heard the FD5 out of the box. I really liked the bass (meaty, plenty of slam) and the mids (full, euphonic), but I found its technicalities fairly lacking.

I ran through a bunch of tips—stock Balanced, stock Vocal, Symbio W, Symbio Peel, Acoustune AET07, Azla Sedna—but simply wasn’t hearing the staging, holographic imaging, or resolving capabilities that they had been praised for in reviews.

More specifically, I thought the separation, imaging, and detail were below average for its price point. Muddled sounding, even. Upper-mids/lower treble also tended to display a certain harshness, upper-treble was poorly articulated, diffuse, and splashy, and there was a distinct lack of refinement to the sound as a whole.

On a whim, I tried the SpinFit CP145 tips, and that made a world of a difference. There was the staging and technical capability that I’d read about. Gone was the upper-mid harshness and dissonance between the lower and upper mids. Upper-treble became well-extended, well-articulated, and refined.

Summary

My sonic priorities are pretty well-defined at this stage in the game: bass, soundstage, timbre, dynamism, liveliness. The FD5 checks all these boxes, with fantastic technicalities to boot.

At its price point, the FD5 are exceptional by virtue of their staging and presentation alone. There isn’t the closed-in quality or small images that characterises most IEMs, or the “ants playing in a concert hall” type effect that appears even with IEMs with large stages. This is a big and bold presentation.

Then, there’s its analog tonality. I’ve really only heard two other IEMs that exhibit a similar tone: the Sony EX1000 and the Periodic Be. Both these IEMs, along with the FD5, evoke an unvarnished—though by no means unrefined—vinyl-esque quality. The BLON BL-03 sort of shares this quality too, but not quite as closely. The AK T8iE MKII, despite being a single DD unit, is farther behind still in this regard.

The closest approximation to the tonality and presentation of the FD5 in my estimation would be the Sony EX1000, albeit with a smoother treble and a healthy added dose of bass slam, weight, and grunt. A lovechild of the Sony EX1000 and the Sony XBA-N3, if you would. I do want to caveat here that it's been a while since I've had EX1000, so I won't comment on their relative performance in terms of technicalities.

Of the V-shaped IEMs I’ve owned—AK T8iE MKII, Fearless S8F, Sony XBA-N3—I’d pick the FD5 everyday.

If it isn’t clear at this point, I dig the FD5, and I dig ‘em hard.
 
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