May 10, 2020 at 1:09 AM
- May 11, 2013
- Reaction score
H T T
- May 11, 2013
I was interested in the 3100 for the singer-songwriter genre, but I know I would not tolerate the “deep insertion”. I ended up picking up the fiio FA1. Initial impressions of the FA1 are quite positive for the singer/songwriter genre. vocals are rendered “raw”, where flaws, vibrato, and vocal skill or deficiencies are laid bare. Angst and loneliness are very well portrayed.Well, the F3100 have some of the best vocals under $150, IMHO. One of the very few BA earphones that don't exhibit the plasticky BA timbre like most other single/multi-BA stuff (or at least those not using Sony's custom BA or 64Audio's side-firing ones).They're incredibly good sounding with acoustic tracks and singer/songwriter stuff (listening to Ben Howard on them while typing this haha).
Their biggest issue is the bass roll-off post 70Hz or so and very little bass impact. That sort of limits the kind of genres they're suited for. Another issue (though it can also be a feature depending on your POV) is that the sound signature changes depending on deep/shallow fit. I personally find it the best with very deep fit (using tips a size smaller that I usually do and they go right in and disappear). Other than that, the soundstage is surprisingly wide for such a small IEM, and imaging is better than similarly priced Final E4000. They are also the lightest earphones in this price range and comfort is stellar. The cable, while non-detachable, is very sturdy.
Overall, I recommend them if you know what you're getting into and the limitations it has (mostly bass, and a tad power hungry).
Edit: I forgot to add that they're rather source-sensitive. Feed them something slightly warm with 1Vrms out or so and see them sing. On the LG G7 the upper mids sound stringent while on the QP1R it's absolutely fine.
Not to derail the thread away from Final, going from memory of my much-loved Heaven IIIs as well as my E3000 and E2000, Final’s house sound is usually stellar with vocals, portraying vocals with sensitive grandeur. What is your opinion of the F3100 vs the E3000? Do you have any experience with the Heaven series?