FIIO FH7 CONTEMPLATION: First impression plus Unboxing Video

The FIIO FH7 was launched near a year ago but still got a lot of attention from audiophile even today. Since this time, I kept an eye open to read multiple impressions about those, going from overwhelmingly positive reviews on Headfi to Youtuber hyping to average consumers’ comments on Facebook audio groups. What I conclude from multiple diverse impressions, is that the FH7 unanimously praised for it’s clear, full and lively sound but was considered too bright by very few people which you can’t count me in.

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FIIO do a tremendous tuning job to balance all the 5 drivers of FH7 and offer a cohesive balanced musicality that doesn’t feel coloured in any region, leaning toward what I would call a muscular neutrality with fun thumping bass.  The 13.6mm beryllium coated dynamic driver is very impressive and it’s timbre match the Knowles balanced armature, which has hint of thickness and warmth compared to brighter multi balanced armature I’m used too. The FH7 has a sound full of contrast, going from warmer low and becoming slightly brighter when it climbs to treble, with some extra crispness in upper highs. If you look at it’s frequencies response graph, you will understand that this is neutrally tuned, but the bass is actually more present than the graph could suggest, especially in mid-bass impact.

UNBOXING

As seen in this video, the unboxing experience is from another level with the FH7 and might be the best I ever unbox, even beating pricier IEM like FINAL AUDIO A8000 or HIFIMAN RE2000. They really think about everything to the point of including 2 different carrying case!

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About the cable, it’s a very good 8 cores silver-plated cable. It’s smooth and of very high quality. The jack is particularly impressive. In terms of sound, this cable might explain why some people find the FH7 too bright or lacking in mids presence as it tends to make the sound slightly colder. In fact, the FH7 is cable sensitive as well as source sensitive, they really get injected with the flavor or your audio source. I didn’t enjoy them plugged into my JDS LABS ATOM as I feel the sound lack air and crispness. So, my guess is that FH7 will benefit LOW IMPEDANCE OUTPUT, with both my Xduoo X20 and Ibasso DX90 that have less than 0.1 impedance, the sound is vast, clear, with deep soundstage and edgy definition. I will talk more about cable pairing in my full review, but mixed full copper+silver-plated cable might be the best.

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The FH7 has 3 tuning filters, but ear tips have as much impact and if you included cable too and audio source, this makes a lot of interesting sound flavors to discover! My favorite filters, as well as the one most people prefer, is the stock black one that gives reference sound, it has the tightest bass impact, warmer lusher mids, and more controlled treble. These filters aren’t gimmicking or messy sounding at all, and when you look inside you understand why, in fact, it has 2 filters in the nozzle, one for the balanced armature and a screen mesh upon it. The Extra Treble filter does not have any balanced armature filter, just a mesh, and it makes overall sound more diffuse and sure brighter. Again I will talk more about this in my full review next week.

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CONSTRUCTION is very impressive and I really like the waves on back housing as well as gold contour. It’s sober yet flamboyant if you look closely. The metal housing feel thick and durable and MMCX connector are very well built too and offer a solid secure connection.

So, going back to the OVERALL SOUND, it’s like the supreme all-arounder you were waiting for and it’s true the FH7 can compete with anything under 1000$. Articulation is excellent, the bass attack is fast, weighty and super controled and stays in its place without sounding light or overly distant in the back. In fact, it’s one of the most addictive mid-bass kick I ever heard, every track that needs bass thump gain in dynamic energy. To my ears, the mids are quite full and the transition between bass and lower mids is natural. Male vocal have a good thickness and is tonally very natural while the female vocal is slightly crisper with extra separation. TREBLE dig a lot of details, but I don’t consider the FH7 as analytical earphones, it’s too well balanced for that, the details aren’t thrown at you and high are full, neither artificial or thin.  SOUNDSTAGE has this circular feel to it with a very holographic presentation, it’s not the airiest or wide but sure above average. IMAGING has rich layering and slightly intimate instrument separation, again not with wide airy space between instrument, it’s not a ”hall like” sounding earphones, you’re really in the middle of excitement with the FH7.

Okay, that’s enough for now. Stay tuned for the full review coming soon!!

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