[FiiO FD7/FDX] 12mm dynamic driver with its diaphragm using pure beryllium, with an outer-magnet field, up to 1.5 Tesla magnetic flux.
Nov 17, 2021 at 10:39 PM Post #736 of 1,209

AlexFL

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When I made the above post, I was approximately 140ish hours into the break in. Now at 190ish, I re-listened to “Konvict” and the sub bass hits have improved in a very noticeable way. As @PopZeus has stated, any more low end response, may be too much.

Just for grins (while not a true FD7:FDX comparison), I’ll be trying the XinHS, ”Thick 8-core, gold-silver-copper hybrid” cable with the FD7
&
the NiceHCK DarkJade.
I just got FD7 and I have exactly the same feeling about sub bass as you had comparing to my FD5. "Chant" by Nils Frahm is way too cold, my all BA U12T is moving more air. I have just started burn in. How do try deliver sub post 200hrs comparing to FD5? BTW I love the rest of frequency response
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 2:23 AM Post #737 of 1,209

SemiAudiophile

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I honestly can't imagine how much better the FD9 could be. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I'd leave that up to Fiio. Then again, I think I said the same thing about the FD7 (over FD5). 😅

Side note: I haven't really felt the urge to "upgrade" or look for a new IEM since FD7. So I guess this is a good thing? Been living quite happily with the FD7 and U12t as my main go to for my music library which consists of vocals, singer songwriter, acoustic, jazz, indie/classic rock, hip hop, and some electronic/dance. Switching between them depending on my mood or flavor I want for the night. Only flagship IEM that still peaks my interest is the IE900. But those have been out of stock for a while now..
 
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Nov 18, 2021 at 11:01 AM Post #738 of 1,209

drftr

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I honestly can't imagine how much better the FD9 could be. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I'd leave that up to Fiio. Then again, I think I said the same thing about the FD7 (over FD5). 😅

Side note: I haven't really felt the urge to "upgrade" or look for a new IEM since FD7. So I guess this is a good thing? Been living quite happily with the FD7 and U12t as my main go to for my music library which consists of vocals, singer songwriter, acoustic, jazz, indie/classic rock, hip hop, and some electronic/dance. Switching between them depending on my mood or flavor I want for the night. Only flagship IEM that still peaks my interest is the IE900. But those have been out of stock for a while now..
How cold-ish / analytical would you rate the FD7 compared to the U12t?

What happened to your signature? Didn't show up correctly on my tablet though it may be a problem on my side.

drftr
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 2:42 PM Post #739 of 1,209

SemiAudiophile

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How cold-ish / analytical would you rate the FD7 compared to the U12t?

What happened to your signature? Didn't show up correctly on my tablet though it may be a problem on my side.

drftr
I don't find the FD7 cold at all and would describe them as more musical than analytical. Sure they have great technicalities but I don't find it distracting to where I'm focusing on details vs music. It's still about the music/emotion to me. And the textures and timbre help convey that as well.

U12t I would describe as more technical/analytical sounding. But not overly so either. I think they're more source dependent as they are very transparent. For the U12t I prefer a warm/musical source like hip dac or D30 pro for example over the 9038S. I like them on all of them. 9038 sounds very clean, detailed, slightly analytical. Hip dac sounds more musical and relaxing.

U12t is as good as it gets for an all BA set. It's sort of a benchmark in my mind on how an all BA IEM should sound like. Solid 8/8.5 all around in all aspects. Very few to no faults I can think of. From tuning to how it handles BA timbre and bass. Just very well done and refined. And the apex modules allows to adjust the bass tuning as well. I usually stick with MX or M15 though since I'm not a basshead. Great BA technicalities as far as speed, detail, transients. But mids can be on the lean or thin side (depending on your source, cable, module used).

FD7 when I want that natural timbre, rich dynamic sound with good decay and textures. Amazing midrange and detail all around (slightly better than U12t). Listening to FD7 is interesting. It feels very massive and enveloping. Sometimes like I'm transported into a new world with music flowing all around me. Or in a massive stadium/arena.
 
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Nov 18, 2021 at 2:48 PM Post #740 of 1,209

drftr

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I don't find the FD7 cold at all and would describe them as more musical than analytical. Sure they have great technicalities but I don't find it distracting to where I'm focusing on details vs music. It's still about the music/emotion to me. And the textures and timbre help convey that as well.

U12t I would describe as more technical/analytical sounding. But not overly so either. I think they're more source dependent as they are very transparent. For the U12t I prefer a warm/musical source like hip dac or D30 pro for example over the 9038S. I like them on all of them. 9038 sounds very clean, detailed, slightly analytical. Hip dac sounds more musical and relaxing.

U12t is as good as it gets for an all BA set. It's sort of a benchmark in my mind on how an all BA IEM should sound like. Solid 8/8.5 all around in all aspects. Very few to no faults I can think of. From tuning to how it handles BA timbre and bass. Just very well done and refined. And the apex modules allows to adjust the bass tuning as well. I usually stick with MX or M15 though since I'm not a basshead. Great BA technicalities as far as speed, detail, transients. But mids can be on the lean or thin side (depending on your source).

FD7 when I want that natural timbre, rich dynamic sound with good decay and textures. Amazing midrange and detail all around (slightly better than U12t). Listening to FD7 is interesting. It feels very massive and enveloping. Sometimes like I'm transported into a new world with music flowing all around me. Or in a massive stadium/arena.
Tnx much... Was wondering because from reviews I make up the FD7 might be far too rich sounding for me, especially for classical music. But then recently read that there was definitely a hint of coolness all over the spectrum, which may not help acoustic instrument much. And since you had the U12t which is also on my shortlist (currently with 25% off as B-stock) I was curious about your perspective, as always.

drftr
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 2:56 PM Post #741 of 1,209

SemiAudiophile

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Tnx much... Was wondering because from reviews I make up the FD7 might be far too rich sounding for me, especially for classical music. But then recently read that there was definitely a hint of coolness all over the spectrum, which may not help acoustic instrument much. And since you had the U12t which is also on my shortlist (currently with 25% off as B-stock) I was curious about your perspective, as always.

drftr
I'm not sure about classical but they are sublime for acoustic. I use these albums for example as test tracks from other headfiers recommendation.

41LR7tGb3dL.jpg


51cnBGyYosL.jpg
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 3:05 PM Post #742 of 1,209

drftr

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I'm not sure about classical but they are sublime for acoustic. I use these albums for example as test tracks from other headfiers recommendation.

41LR7tGb3dL.jpg


51cnBGyYosL.jpg
It's often with very complex orchestral works with a lot going on at the same time in different instrument groups that I notice whether an IEM can hold up or muddies everything into a thock soup. Cleaner sounding IEMs definitely do have a big plus there,but of course they come with their own limitations. Will have a look/listen at your music suggestions!

drftr
 
Nov 18, 2021 at 7:35 PM Post #743 of 1,209

lgcubana

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Battle of the single DDs
1637282224453.png


For top flight reviews: Link to Head-Fi reviews

Summary: My findings are a little scattered, as I can see all three contenders fulfilling the needs of the many. If you're not doing an A-B-C of the three, you'll be happy grabbing anyone of these single DD offerings. But if you’re a bass head, without an unnecessary loss of detail, the FD5. For clarity and detail, with a slight cut in the low end (vs. the FD5), Fiio FD7. For just on the slightly warm side of neutral, Dunu Zen. In all testing, unless otherwise specified, stock cables (kept away from that debate) and the FD5 has a reversible *filter modification.

That being said, for my bass head proclivity, the clear winner, for day to day is the FD5 (with *DIY filter mod), then FD7, then Zen (running a very close place to 2nd). The Zen only really loses out to the FD7 because the FiiOs have the sound tubes/nozzles. So the FiiO’s have the inherent ability to be dialed in (within boundaries of the DD material’s capabilities) to one’s tastes.

If the FD5 is played in stock form; it would come in 3rd place, for me. As I find the upper response excessively “shiny”/too bright.

In all fairness to the Dunu Zen and the FiiO FD7, *my setup is most probably a contributing factor. As I’m not looking to up my game to FLAC files, on a DAP.



FD5


For the FD5, I still find *my DIY, to be the best solution, for my tastes. As I find the FiiO sound tube(in stock form) to be too overbearing (in the upper registers) and by using two layers of the *sports foam, I was able to alter the FiiO sound tube, to sit between the RHA Bass and Reference filters

The default sound tube (sans my DIY) delivers a brighter signature, than the FD7

The soundstage is wider than the FD7

Oh dat sub bass has a texture & girth that’s just a level (or two) up on both the Zen(-1) & FD7(-2)

The finish makes me aware of when my fingers are oily


FD7

The finish is less slick than the FD5, easier to grip

Vocals are just on the warm side neutral. Most natural of all three



Dunu Zen

The more sensitive of the three. Noise floor can be excessive. Without EQ, I would see the Zens as more of an all-around pleaser, for those that don’t favor either end of the sound spectrum. With PEQ, I can make the Zens closely mimic either the FD5 or FD7.



Songs (were picked to highlight specific frequency ranges):

Michael Jackson, “Ben”, Ultra HD

Tonally, For the vocals, FD7 hands down. Second place is the (DIY) FD5, for it’s added low end. The Zen (being the most sensitive) has a tremendous noise floor. While on the cusp of being fatiguing, the Zens could represent a level of clarity that others could relish.

Toto, “Africa Ultra” Ultra HD

This song helps to accentuate sibilance, in the vocals. Taking into consideration that I have a sensitivity to the 2Khz – 4Khz range, none of the contenders are offensive; which would have me believe that if I were to live on a ramen diet for a couple of months, I would benefit from getting into the lossless echelon.

Pink Floyd, “Time”, Ultra HD

FD5 is more well-rounded, for instrumental play. The mid bass offsets the ringing bells better than the Zen or the FD7. Vocals are a bit thin, when compared to the other two single DDs. EQ is a quick remedy

FD7 more controlled. Vocals on par with the Zen

Zen was much more expansive/wider presentation. Vocals just as good as the FD7

Ying Yang Twins, “Whisper song”, HD

Sub bass, Modified FD5. Hits best and each notes stays long enough to let you know who’s boss

Zen comes in second. A little quicker to let get the foot off of the pedal

FD7 is a contender, but lacks the depth and resonance of 1st & 2nd place.



*Footnotes:

“Tinny”: I know there was debate (on the KZ thread), as to what constitutes “Tinny”. My interpretation, it’s a type of sibilance, where more than just S’s getting a hissing artifact or an unnatural hollow airiness up top.

My setup: Note 20 (Sony LDAC, 96Khz, 24 bit, 660-990Kbps) à Amazon (Ultra High Definition) Music à Qudelix5K (same volume level for all three IEMs) à balanced 2.5mm

MMCX tool, godsend, for cable swapping
1637280465966.png


DIY (reversible) foam mod, FD5. 2 ply for me
5mm cigar punch tool, coffee stirrer and Universal Sports Pre-wrap foam
Foam inserts a to z.jpg


RHA filters fit both the FD5 & FD7. If you'd rather have the nozzles pre-packed with varying amounts of sound dampening material
RHA on the left
RHA vs FD5 filters.jpg

RHA on right
RHA FiiO screens.jpg
 
Last edited:
Nov 19, 2021 at 5:12 AM Post #744 of 1,209

DarKu

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Hey folks, I just posted my written and video review for the FD7. Plenty of sound impressions are included, a full set of measurements and a comparison with my daily drivers (FH7). You can find all that goodness right here.
 
Nov 19, 2021 at 6:30 AM Post #745 of 1,209

Ace Bee

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Battle of the single DDs
1637282224453.png

For top flight reviews: Link to Head-Fi reviews

Summary: My findings are a little scattered, as I can see all three contenders fulfilling the needs of the many. If you're not doing an A-B-C of the three, you'll be happy grabbing anyone of these single DD offerings. But if you’re a bass head, without an unnecessary loss of detail, the FD5. For clarity and detail, with a slight cut in the low end (vs. the FD5), Fiio FD7. For just on the slightly warm side of neutral, Dunu Zen. In all testing, unless otherwise specified, stock cables (kept away from that debate) and the FD5 has a reversible *filter modification.

That being said, for my bass head proclivity, the clear winner, for day to day is the FD5 (with *DIY filter mod), then FD7, then Zen (running a very close place to 2nd). The Zen only really loses out to the FD7 because the FiiOs have the sound tubes/nozzles. So the FiiO’s have the inherent ability to be dialed in (within boundaries of the DD material’s capabilities) to one’s tastes.

If the FD5 is played in stock form; it would come in 3rd place, for me. As I find the upper response excessively “shiny”/too bright.

In all fairness to the Dunu Zen and the FiiO FD7, *my setup is most probably a contributing factor. As I’m not looking to up my game to FLAC files, on a DAP.



FD5


For the FD5, I still find *my DIY, to be the best solution, for my tastes. As I find the FiiO sound tube(in stock form) to be too overbearing (in the upper registers) and by using two layers of the *sports foam, I was able to alter the FiiO sound tube, to sit between the RHA Bass and Reference filters

The default sound tube (sans my DIY) delivers a brighter signature, than the FD7

The soundstage is wider than the FD7

Oh dat sub bass has a texture & girth that’s just a level (or two) up on both the Zen(-1) & FD7(-2)

The finish makes me aware of when my fingers are oily


FD7

The finish is less slick than the FD5, easier to grip

Vocals are just on the warm side neutral. Most natural of all three



Dunu Zen

The more sensitive of the three. Noise floor can be excessive. Without EQ, I would see the Zens as more of an all-around pleaser, for those that don’t favor either end of the sound spectrum. With PEQ, I can make the Zens closely mimic either the FD5 or FD7.



Songs (were picked to highlight specific frequency ranges):

Michael Jackson, “Ben”, Ultra HD

Tonally, For the vocals, FD7 hands down. Second place is the (DIY) FD5, for it’s added low end. The Zen (being the most sensitive) has a tremendous noise floor. While on the cusp of being fatiguing, the Zens could represent a level of clarity that others could relish.

Toto, “Africa Ultra” Ultra HD

This song helps to accentuate sibilance, in the vocals. Taking into consideration that I have a sensitivity to the 2Khz – 4Khz range, none of the contenders are offensive; which would have me believe that if I were to live on a ramen diet for a couple of months, I would benefit from getting into the lossless echelon.

Pink Floyd, “Time”, Ultra HD

FD5 is more well-rounded, for instrumental play. The mid bass offsets the ringing bells better than the Zen or the FD7. Vocals are a bit thin, when compared to the other two single DDs. EQ is a quick remedy

FD7 more controlled. Vocals on par with the Zen

Zen was much more expansive/wider presentation. Vocals just as good as the FD7

Ying Yang Twins, “Whisper song”, HD

Sub bass, Modified FD5. Hits best and each notes stays long enough to let you know who’s boss

Zen comes in second. A little quicker to let get the foot off of the pedal

FD7 is a contender, but lacks the depth and resonance of 1st & 2nd place.



*Footnotes:

“Tinny”: I know there was debate (on the KZ thread), as to what constitutes “Tinny”. My interpretation, it’s a type of sibilance, where more than just S’s getting a hissing artifact or an unnatural hollow airiness up top.

My setup: Note 20 (Sony LDAC, 96Khz, 24 bit, 660-990Kbps) à Amazon (Ultra High Definition) Music à Qudelix5K (same volume level for all three IEMs) à balanced 2.5mm

MMCX tool, godsend, for cable swapping
1637280465966.png

DIY (reversible) foam mod, FD5. 2 ply for me
5mm cigar punch tool, coffee stirrer and Universal Sports Pre-wrap foam
Foam inserts a to z.jpg

RHA filters fit both the FD5 & FD7. If you'd rather have the nozzles pre-packed with varying amounts of sound dampening material
RHA on the left
RHA vs FD5 filters.jpg
RHA on right
RHA FiiO screens.jpg
Hi,
Can you focus a bit more on how the FD7 compare with FD5 regarding soundstage, separation, layering, and details? Which sounds more open?

Thanks
 
Nov 20, 2021 at 6:48 AM Post #747 of 1,209

ldo77

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FD7 recevived.
What a nice package with good case where each iem are protected, and many eartips.
After less than 20 hours of burning, I can feel the potentiel on medium, and especially on male vocal.
Bass yet too bommy but wtih good impact.
Hights sound weel and soundstage not yet as wide as hoped.
... back to burning :wink:
 
Nov 20, 2021 at 9:47 AM Post #748 of 1,209

drftr

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FD7 recevived.
What a nice package with good case where each iem are protected, and many eartips.
After less than 20 hours of burning, I can feel the potentiel on medium, and especially on male vocal.
Bass yet too bommy but wtih good impact.
Hights sound weel and soundstage not yet as wide as hoped.
... back to burning :wink:
Not being a real bass lover (quality over quantity) I'd be happy to read how you think it develops over time. It might be just too much of a good thing for me.

drftr
 
Nov 20, 2021 at 12:53 PM Post #749 of 1,209

lgcubana

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Not being a real bass lover (quality over quantity) I'd be happy to read how you think it develops over time. It might be just too much of a good thing for me.

drftr
I wouldn’t quantify a bass lover (as I am) as someone who just wants gobs of low end. There are nuances to a good low end. Primary of them being a clean attack, with a lack of excessive mid bass bleed; which just makes a muddy mess; which is where I would categorize the FD7. Then there’s the real sub bass hitters like the FD5 and (a shade lighter) the FD3.

if you absolutely abhor low end, then the FD series isn’t going to meet your needs.
 
Nov 20, 2021 at 12:59 PM Post #750 of 1,209

drftr

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I wouldn’t quantify a bass lover (as I am) as someone who just wants gobs of low end. There are nuances to a good low end. Primary of them being a clean attack, with a lack of excessive mid bass bleed; which just makes a muddy mess; which is where I would categorize the FD7. Then there’s the real sub bass hitters like the FD5 and (a shade lighter) the FD3.

if you absolutely abhor low end, then the FD series isn’t going to meet your needs.
I have to make sure I'm understanding you correctly on this: You say the FD7 creates a bit of a muddy mess in the bass, correct? I can understand some genres benefit from a warm low end but for classical music some instrument groups simply become to unclear and I lose all tight and punchy behaviour. That's not something I want. Please let me know if I'm misinterpreting...

drftr
 

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