FiiO launches flat-head earphones in the second half of 2022 – FiiO FF3. As a new product line after the discontinuation of EM, the FF series has well filled the gap of FiiO flat-head earphones. I was deeply impressed by the appearance design and sound quality of the “waist drum” of FF3 before, especially the delicate touch and wide sound field performance of the earphone are still fresh in my memory. This time, FiiO has brought the latest flat-head earbuds – FiiO FF5.
FiiO FF5 specs and features:
- 14.2mm large dynamic driver
- 3.5mm/4.4mm audio plugs
- PU gasket + carbon-based diaphragm
- 392 wires silver-plated monorystalline copper cable
- Detachable MMCX cable
- $129 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany or other Amazon countries
Changes of FiiO FF5
The most intuitive change of FiiO FF5 is that the earphone becomes lighter. The shell of earphones is made of CNC aluminum alloy. A single earphone weighs only 3.4g, which is much lighter than the FiiO FF3 when held in the hand. The weight of 3.4g is also very friendly to the ears, and it will not cause fatigue when wearing it for a long time and listening to music.
Another reason for the light weight of the earphone is that the FiiO FF5 adopts a hollow design in the rear cavity of the sound cavity. While reducing the weight of the earphones cavity, the softness and vibration intensity of the earphone diaphragm can be changed by filling the interior with sound-absorbing and damping materials, thereby enhancing the elasticity and rebound speed of low frequencies.
The drivers of earphones are critical to sound performance. FiiO FF5 is equipped with a 14.2mm large dynamic driver. In addition, for the first time, FiiO uses carbon-based materials in the dome part of the dynamic diaphragm, making the diaphragm both thin and hard. The carbon-based diaphragm made of cross-woven fiber filaments has extremely strong tensile strength, and the response from the voice coil to the dome is fast, which can effectively reduce the distortion caused by split vibration. And due to the strong rigidity of the carbon-based diaphragm, the high-frequency performance of FiiO FF5 has good resolution, and the high-frequency hearing is delicate and transparent.
FiiO FF5 has been upgraded to a matching solution with replaceable cables, and the earphone adopts the MMCX bayonet design. The earphone cable can be easily replaced through the quick-release auxiliary tool, which greatly expands the “playability” and satisfies the fun of DIY for enthusiasts. In addition, FiiO FF5 also provides 3.5mm audio plug and 4.4 balanced plug. The 4.4mm balanced plug has better reliability, is more stable when used, and can further release the performance of the earphone.
392 wires total silver-plated monorystalline copper cable
In terms of cable selection, FiiO FF5 is equipped with 4-stranded 392 wires total silver-plated monorystalline copper cable. Although the current material is the same as that of FiiO FF3, the number of wire cores has more than doubled. The advantage of this number of wire cores is that it provides richer expressiveness for the high frequencies of the earphones, and the high frequency sounds clear and delicate.
Song Testing (“Fly High”, “Easy On Me”)
Milet’s voice is very distinctive and highly recognizable. The song “Fly High” showed a very high degree of reproduction on the FiiO FF5, and the ethereal inspiration of Milet’s treble was vividly expressed. There is a good separation between the vocals and the background music, and the lines of the sound are clearly distinguishable. In particular, the cleanliness of the vocals left a deep impression on me, and the low frequency of the music showed rich elasticity.
Needless to say about Adele’s voice, the song “Easy On Me” has already been regarded as a classic by countless music fans. Adele’s iconic treble is extremely delicate and transparent on FiiO FF5, and the human voice is natural and sweet. The song shows very rich details, and the sound is very three-dimensional. The high frequency of the earphones has strong resolution and transparency, especially when some mid-frequency and high-frequency transitions are made, the transient response of the earphones is fast.
In terms of overall listening experience, FiiO FF5 is satisfactory in the mid-to-high frequency performance of music, and the sound is delicate and transparent. In particular, the expressiveness of the human voice is very rich, the sound is very sweet and bright. What is commendable is that FiiO FF5 is very restrained in low-frequency performance, and does not blindly pursue “dynamic and exciting”. The low-frequency elasticity of this earphones is adjusted just right, the low-frequency timbre rebounds well, and the sound is thick and durable.
In order to cater to users, FiiO FF5 specially designed non-slip silicone rings for flat-head earphones in addition to the tuning sponge eartips. Compared with sponge eartips, the non-slip silicone ring has better anti-slip and sealing performance to adapt to different auricle sizes. The non-slip silicone ring can also provide better low-frequency performance, which solves the sound leakage problem of flat-head earphones. However, the non-slip silicone ring has a strong sense of intrusion in wearing, and it is not as comfortable as sponge eartips, and it takes some time to get used to it.
The launch of FiiO FF5 enriches the FiiO FF series product line and fills the gap in the market of FiiO mid-to-high-end flat-head earphones. As one of the few flat-head earphones on the market this year, FiiO FF5 can be said to provide a better choice for HiFi enthusiasts. Based on the FiiO FF3, these earphones provide a more delicate high-frequency performance and a more humanized and comfortable experience.
As in-ear earphones have gradually become mainstream, flat-head earphones have now become a niche product for some audiophiles. It’s getting harder and harder to buy flat-head earphones that sound good these days. FiiO’s current earphone products are mainly in-ear earphones. If you want to experience the charm of flat-head earphones, you can try this FiiO FF5.