[FiiO FH7] Flagship 5-Driver (1DD + 4BAs) Hybrid In-Ear Monitors, Knowles DFK + SWFK Composite BA Drivers, 13.6mm Beryllium DD Driver
Dec 20, 2019 at 8:09 PM Post #1,456 of 1,809

Funk-O-Meter

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@addicted2music I would think either you've not found the right tips for your ears, or you just don't like the bit of "sizzly" top end in the FH7's. Also, make sure you've tried the red filters. I personally DO NOT believe in burn-in with BA drivers.


Just got my FH7's today and here's a quick opinion from a professional audio engineer:


These sound very good! Finally, I can say that about a reasonably priced IEM! Fairly balanced in tonality with all frequency bands well represented but for some added low bass and a noticeable bump the 8-10khz range that adds a bit of sizzle. I'm fine with this HF bump in general and it's only obvious when listening to a bright recording. The red filters do tame that a little, but only a little. I haven't found it harsh or problematic yet, but if you're real sensitive to sizzly treble you *may* not love these. Coherence is not great with these as is almost always the case with multi-driver IEM's due to engineers having few options for aligning drivers physically or with DSP. That's just the state of the art. These do as good a job as almost any at mitigating these issues and it makes me curious as to what type of crossover and filter networks they've engineered in.

As soon as I listened to these for a short while I tried to compare them to my FH-5's and instantly took the 5's out and boxed them up for resale. The 5's in comparison are noticeably mid and upper-mid forward in character and the high frequencies fall off quickly after 7khz or so. I can't go back. These make most all my other IEM's sound like they came with a Happy Meal. They even hold their own against my full-size cans.

The FH-7's are my new benchmark for a good sounding, durable IEM at a reasonable price. Up from where the FH-7 is priced, you'll start to quickly get diminishing returns for your investment. There may be something that performs as good at a lower price, but I'm not familiar with it yet. Anyone know of anything?


Edit: I just wanted to say I dig the filter design on these. While the difference from red to black is very subtle, the difference between red and green (which is actually no filter but just the screen) is noticeable. Examining the nozzle I discovered that the output port of the HF BA driver is RIGHT in the end of the nozzle and I admire how Fiio designed these little threaded filters that screw down covering only the output nozzle of the HF BA driver nozzle. Well done!
 
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Dec 21, 2019 at 12:05 AM Post #1,457 of 1,809

salla45

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@addicted2music

As soon as I listened to these for a short while I tried to compare them to my FH-5's and instantly took the 5's out and boxed them up for resale. The 5's in comparison are noticeably mid and upper-mid forward in character and the high frequencies fall off quickly after 7khz or so. I can't go back. These make most all my other IEM's sound like they came with a Happy Meal. They even hold their own against my full-size cans.

Good summary overall, but this part resonated with me completely. I've not sold my FH5's keeping them for backup, but certainly relegated to becoming "a curio from the past, picked up along the way to audio nirvana" :gs1000smile:

The bit about standing head to head with full-sized cans too... I have Beyerdynamic T1s which are so revealing, it's unreal, but the FH7 are almost there and compete on space and layering and are better on timbre, yes better. The T1s can sound a bit overetched even. I find myself listening to them interchangeably, which is great.

Hope you will enjoy yours as much as I have done over the last 6 months or so and will comment further on your findings. Eg comparisons with other cans, further comparisons with FH5 which people love to read :)
 
Dec 21, 2019 at 1:53 PM Post #1,460 of 1,809

Dts Bard

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I bought the FH7’s back when they were first released. I had some issues at first with bass response and sibilants but was able to fix this by using foam tips as well as some other adjustments. After living with them for months I had no choice but to sell them. I wanted so bad for them to be what I was looking for but ultimately I had to do too much to make them sound close to what I like and the FH5’s already did this without the need for inconvenient foam tips or certain cables. After not touching my FH5’s for a couple months I decided to go back and do some caparisons. It turned out that to my ears, the FH5 just connected to an iPod classic sounded better and more enjoyable than the FH7’s with an external dac/amp. So regrettably I sold them and am now confident in my FH5’s to give me the experience I want.

I do believe that the issues I have with them are solely due to my hearing and sensitivity to sibilants. The sound stage is wonderful and the bass response is tight, they just didn’t agree with my ears and my listening habits.
 
Dec 21, 2019 at 3:16 PM Post #1,461 of 1,809

Bobo33

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I bought the FH7’s back when they were first released. I had some issues at first with bass response and sibilants but was able to fix this by using foam tips as well as some other adjustments. After living with them for months I had no choice but to sell them. I wanted so bad for them to be what I was looking for but ultimately I had to do too much to make them sound close to what I like and the FH5’s already did this without the need for inconvenient foam tips or certain cables. After not touching my FH5’s for a couple months I decided to go back and do some caparisons. It turned out that to my ears, the FH5 just connected to an iPod classic sounded better and more enjoyable than the FH7’s with an external dac/amp. So regrettably I sold them and am now confident in my FH5’s to give me the experience I want.

I do believe that the issues I have with them are solely due to my hearing and sensitivity to sibilants. The sound stage is wonderful and the bass response is tight, they just didn’t agree with my ears and my listening habits.


I like sincere reports like yours, to much hype on forums confuses people like crap.
I had FH7 from a cousin to try them and i was dissapointed or maybe i was expecting to much from an IEM.I listen with my cans, V-Moda crossfade and FH7 can't touch them.Yes it has more treble and a little louder mids but i was expecting from them to be really superior to V-Moda.For 200€ cans, V-Moda eats FH7 alive.Superior stage, really big bass, no tips to change, no cable to change.
Maybe with time when FH7 will have more "burn in" i will try them again even if this burn in its only for the dinamic driver, right?couse BA's dont have that.
Well, live and learn.At least in this hobby its more like “my ears agaist your ears”.You can argue a man`s taste.
 
Dec 21, 2019 at 3:47 PM Post #1,462 of 1,809

Funk-O-Meter

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Well, yeah that's not even apples to oranges. It's more like apples to a transmission rebuild kit for a 72' Pinto hatchback! The V-Moda is a modern bassy, full size can with a big dynamic driver and the FH-7 is a 5 driver hybrid IEM attempting to please the audio obsessed listener who's willing to pay half a grand for a set of stupid little earphones. I don't blame you for being disappointed! You should have seen my face back in 2003 when I got my first set of CIEM's for stage use that sounded like $%^& for $850!

Also, I think the industry doesn't really do a good job of managing expectations where IEM's are concerned. IEM's are going to have a different sound and also be more expensive. All in all, I'd say IEM's don't sound as good as full-size cans until you start spending real money on them. And it doesn't say that on the box when you buy them.

The engineering and limitations involved in designing and building a really good sounding IEM look to be significantly more challenging to me than a set of full-size headphones. Until recently there were only two companies even making BA drivers. And not only were they expensive but the technology doesn't even lend itself well to reproducing full-range music. Thus all the complicated multi-driver designs. Impedance curves make things even more challenging. Trying to get a BA driver to extend up to the 10khz area is difficult. What's worse, you can't fit the usual electronic components in a tiny IEM housing that you would usually use to make filter and crossover networks so companies have had to design new ways of achieving what is otherwise easily accomplished.

But at the end of the day, the convenience of IEM's over full-sized cans means they're here to stay. And, I'm happy to say they're way cheaper than they used to be.
 
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Dec 21, 2019 at 11:40 PM Post #1,463 of 1,809

addicted2music

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I like sincere reports like yours, to much hype on forums confuses people like crap.
I had FH7 from a cousin to try them and i was dissapointed or maybe i was expecting to much from an IEM.I listen with my cans, V-Moda crossfade and FH7 can't touch them.Yes it has more treble and a little louder mids but i was expecting from them to be really superior to V-Moda.For 200€ cans, V-Moda eats FH7 alive.Superior stage, really big bass, no tips to change, no cable to change.
Maybe with time when FH7 will have more "burn in" i will try them again even if this burn in its only for the dinamic driver, right?couse BA's dont have that.
Well, live and learn.At least in this hobby its more like “my ears agaist your ears”.You can argue a man`s taste.
I have the HD 650 that is superior than the your V-modas. It's not fair to compare a full size headphone against an iem, but the FH7 beats my 650s in resolution and texture. Some people find it hard to perceive higher resolution, but with good recordings, it becomes apparent.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 12:42 AM Post #1,464 of 1,809

Scblacksunshine

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I find it hilarious you think the V moda is better than the FH7. I guess sound is very subjective and to each its own. I am sure you will find plenty of people that also prefer Beats over FH7 as well given the heavy bass and heavy emphasis on V shape generally. Here's my take, I have the HD800s and Audeze Mobius and FH7 can hold its own against HD800s. Certain tracks I prefer one over the other and FH7 is to my ears overall better than the Audeze. So for all those that think FH7 can't compare against full cans, think again. Honestly, if FH7 isn't sold by FIIOs but another American or European IEM specialists, it can easily be asking for $1k and above pricing without flinching. In this hobby, its too easy to tie asking price with quality or technicality.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 5:30 AM Post #1,465 of 1,809

Colors

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I owned the FH7 for awhile, and here’s what I remembered:

Pros
- excellent value
- nice shimmer in the mid-upper treble
- good soundstage
- amazing comfortable fit
- good accessories package
- probably one of the nicest stock cables

Cons
- sounded a bit weak in the mid-bass (lacked punch)
- lacked coherency and imaging
- isolation was not the best (sadly)

For the retail price tho, good value for a multi hybrid.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 8:43 AM Post #1,466 of 1,809

JaZZ

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I had FH7 from a cousin to try them and i was dissapointed or maybe i was expecting too much from an IEM.I listen with my cans, V-Moda Crossfade, and FH7 can't touch them.Yes it has more treble and a little louder mids but i was expecting from them to be really superior to V-Moda.For 200€ cans, V-Moda eats FH7 alive.Superior stage, really big bass, no tips to change, no cable to change.
«Taste» is the keyword here – as it isn't debatable. On the other hand you could have worded your statement more neutral and less biased by your own sonic ideal. Have a look at the real world:

V-Moda Crossfade M-100 FR.JPG


«A Basshead's Delight» is the title on top of Inner Fidelity's review of the V-Moda Crossfade M-100. The frequency response clearly shows that it isn't a headphone for friends of a neutral sound, but one that provides a «fun» sound – if a heavy bass accentuation is what your ears want. Harmonic distortion is rather high for a hi-fi headphone, but that certainly isn't what the V-Moda aspires to be.

It looks even worse on this graph...

V-Moda Crossfade M-100 FR (DIY-Audio-Heaven).JPG


...from the review on DIY-Audio-Heaven.

The FH7 will certainly sound bright and thin in comparison, as it is tuned for a rather neutral sound with a passably flat frequency response.

Well, I for one equalize it to enhance the flatness, and that way it rivals my other favorite costing CHF 1400, that's CHF 900 more: the Campfire Atlas. My preference constantly fluctuates between the two.

When it comes to the comparison with full-size headphones – which is hard to do, given the different concepts and soundstages – I sometimes find its sound superior to everything else. But that can happen with every single pair within the top class of my collection.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 2:31 PM Post #1,467 of 1,809

Funk-O-Meter

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@JaZZ

Curious what your thoughts are on the FH-7 vs the Andromeda or the 846. I was considering trying the SE846 as well, but It didn't seem as though it sounds that much different/better than the FH-7
 
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Dec 22, 2019 at 2:53 PM Post #1,468 of 1,809

Bobo33

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«Taste» is the keyword here – as it isn't debatable. On the other hand you could have worded your statement more neutral and less biased by your own sonic ideal. Have a look at the real world:



«A Basshead's Delight» is the title on top of Inner Fidelity's review of the V-Moda Crossfade M-100. The frequency response clearly shows that it isn't a headphone for friends of a neutral sound, but one that provides a «fun» sound – if a heavy bass accentuation is what your ears want. Harmonic distortion is rather high for a hi-fi headphone, but that certainly isn't what the V-Moda aspires to be.

It looks even worse on this graph...



...from the review on DIY-Audio-Heaven.

The FH7 will certainly sound bright and thin in comparison, as it is tuned for a rather neutral sound with a passably flat frequency response.

Well, I for one equalize it to enhance the flatness, and that way it rivals my other favorite costing CHF 1400, that's CHF 900 more: the Campfire Atlas. My preference constantly fluctuates between the two.

When it comes to the comparison with full-size headphones – which is hard to do, given the different concepts and soundstages – I sometimes find its sound superior to everything else. But that can happen with every single pair within the top class of my collection.


Thanks for your professional aproach and graph`s.You can say TASTE
uppercase letters.And i am a basshead, yes i am.For me, read this, FOR ME FH7 are really “light” on bass.Its there but not enauf for me.I never use equalizer either.
My cans are V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2.I did not typed the entire name because the point was moke like "some headphones i have" agaist FH7.I personally consider V-Moda "decent" headphones, nothing extraordinary.
I guess they sound the same as M-100.Maybe.I don`t like to make assumptions until i personal hear them.Soo.. #addicted2music you listen to V-Moda to say they are inferior to HD650??This is audio world and better specs or bigger price says nothing.As graph's also.Go to Audiosensse T800 thread and read how people swear they beat Campfire Andromeda's.Maybe they do.Its not fair to compare 300$IEM's with 1500$IEM's, is it?But so many variables and so many overrated products out there.
I also have a friend ho swear his Iphone 7 sound way better than my ibasso dx150.But you know ..its an “iphoner” and arguing with him its like arguing with feminists.
My point was that after listened V-Moda for 2 years and trying FH7 i wanned to be left mouth open, you know, wowed.But no.Then even if they are good, they don't serve me.Also if i lift volume up they begin to distort or to say more 'profesional', they sound harsh on treble and bass.With my can's i can go until my ears hurt and they sound cristal clear.Strange thing, yes?
Yes its hard to compare cans to IEM but if 500$can't beat some 250$headphones, what its the point?
For this reason,some are "expert users” now.By mistake.They fall for hype, buy, try, not liking, trading thread, sell then again from start.Money spend, experience gained.This very forum should help.

Well..
What i really really like about FH7? After some minutes in my ear they just dissapear.I can not fell them anymore.I just hear the sound.
Now that its super comfort to me.Only for that thing alone i want IEM's.But if i pay 500$ i am expecting more.An important note is they should be good for every day listener not only audiophile one.If they sound really good but only with DSD, MQA or 24bit flac files, then they don't serve anyone.The "normal" people. :wink:
Would you agree?I know many return IEM's for this reason.They have a phone, some mp3 and some flac's on it, spend some money on good no cheap IEM's but we all know it will not sound "good".
So if i will buy FH7 the solution would be .. equalize until i like them?Change tips an cable until i like them?Or in other words ..spend money, spend money.
Why we like music??Whhyyyyyyy .. :)))
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 6:28 PM Post #1,469 of 1,809

JaZZ

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@JaZZ

Curious what your thoughts are on the FH-7 vs the Andromeda or the 846. I was considering trying the SE846 as well, but It didn't seem as though it sounds that much different/better than the FH-7
Among the three I prefer the FH7. It has the blackest, deepest bass of all and a musical crispness in mids and treble. Most neutral tonal balance of the three (sans EQ). The SE846's bass also reaches deep down, it just doesn't provide exaclty the same authority and sounds slightly muddier. Mids and highs are clear and smooth, the treble is rather smooth than crisp, but I liked it from the start despite the arguable early drop-off, as it has an organic realism in it. The Andromeda is the sparkle king, the treble sounds very clear and extended, bordering on exaggeration, at least at the upper end. It's a distinct «high-end» sound which has found a lot of friends, also in myself, but I've begun to somewhat withdraw from it, as it isn't organic enough for my taste, not realistic (crisp) enough with some recordings, rather cool than warm. Midrange and bass are very clear and fast as well, but from ~120 Hz downward the amplitude response gently drops off. Not a big deal with a capable equalizer, but unfortunately my FiiO players' lowest EQ frequency band is 31 Hz, which makes for some handicap in comparison to the contenders. In terms of soundstage they are close: 1. Andromeda, 2. FH7, 3. SE846.

Now my above description refers to the sound with optimal equalizing. If you're not into it, I may not be a reliable source of information, as I'm not used to them in their raw factory state anymore. I guess the ranking would persist, although the (mid)bass-emphasized Atlas could be at risk.

Nevertheless, here's my subjective ranking:
1. FH7 + Atlas
2. Andromeda
3. SE846

The SE846 needs to be equipped with a better cable (e.g. FiiO LS-3.5D or ALO Reference 8) to get on a similar level (already respected in the ranking).
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 11:06 PM Post #1,470 of 1,809

Marco Angel

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@JaZZ

Curious what your thoughts are on the FH-7 vs the Andromeda or the 846. I was considering trying the SE846 as well, but It didn't seem as though it sounds that much different/better than the FH-7
If you can, try the se846 with a balanced cable and a very good dav amp. They are picky on the source. But once well feed, they sound awesome from subbass to treble, the only thing they don't have is a super hi res extension beyond 20khz. Also one thing they do astonishingly well is how they present every note, as easy as every instrument I have heard, just sound as they are and super realistic, I have only heard something similar in my speaker setup.
 

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