It has been a week since I experienced FiiO FH15. In my opinion, this earbuds is more mature in sound tuning. It has a wider adaptability to music types in the three dimensions of high, middle and low frequencies. The playability has also been further improved (such as replaceable tuning filter design, various styles of eartips, etc).
FiiO FH15 specs and features:
- 3 Knowles BA driver+1 dynamic driver
- 10mm carbon-based diaphragm dynamic driver
- 152 wires silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable
- replaceable tuning filter design
- 3.5mm/4.4mm swappable plug
- $230 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany or other Amazon countries
01/ Accessories and Design
The packing box of FiiO FH15 includes eartips of various styles (vocal eartips, equalization eartips, low frequency eartips, sponge eartips…and FiiO HS18 eartips), 3 pairs of replaceable tuning filters, waterproof storage case, MMCX quick release tools, cleaning sticks and more.
In terms of appearance, the design of FiiO FH15 is inspired by the Chinese “dragon scale” element. Under the light, it has a 3D texture texture, and the hand feel is also very delicate, and the workmanship is good. Whether it looks good or not is up to everyone to judge for themselves. In addition, the FiiO FH15 is quite comfortable to wear. In my case, the fit of earbuds to the pinna is very good. As long as you choose the right earbuds, comfort is no problem.
The earphone cable of FiiO FH15 adopts 152 wires silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable, and the outside is made of PU material, and the texture of the cable is good. In addition, the MMCX pin of the earphone supports interchangeable plug design, and the package includes 3.5mm and 4.4mm plugs.
02/ Sound Quality of FiiO FH15
In terms of acoustic architecture, FiiO FH15 is based on FiiO FH5 as the sound blue version, equipped with a 10mm carbon-based diaphragm dynamic driver and a custom mid-frequency Knowles ED armature driver. The high-frequency part is equipped with 2 Knowles RAD armature drivers with high resonance frequency, which FiiO claims can greatly improve the transparency of the sound.
FiiO FH15 also adds a replaceable tuning filter design. There are 3 pairs of replaceable tuning filters as standard, which are balanced, low frequency enhanced and high frequency delicate. Interestingly, the default installation of FiiO FH15 is not the balanced tuning filter, but the high-frequency tuning filter. In my opinion, this kind of sound customization allows users to choose their favorite taste from different sound styles, which is more playable.
I personally prefer the sound of the low-frequency tuning filter, and the high-frequency tuning filter is still a bit irritating. With a low-frequency tuning filter, it can bring a more warm sense of hearing, and the low frequency will not be too much. It is very suitable for me who usually likes to listen to pop, blues, and rock.
In terms of parameters, the impedance of FiiO FH15 is 16Ω and the sensitivity is 112dB. It is no problem to drive it directly with a music player or even a mobile phone. Of course, if conditions permit, it is definitely best to use the music player.
I use the FiiO M11S as the audio source device, and the sound of this music player is relatively balanced. In addition, the transparency and resolution of high frequencies are further improved compared to FiiO M9. The mid-frequency is relatively warm and can retain the “taste” of the earbuds itself, so it is very suitable for trial listening with FiiO FH15.
Using it with FiiO M11S, I found that the sound style of FiiO FH15 is quite different from that of FiiO FH5. In the past, the low frequency of FiiO FH5 was relatively thick, while the mid-high frequency was relatively dull, so it is very suitable for listening to pop, hip-hop and rock with Fiio FH5. And this is the common tuning method of many non-HiFi headphones manufacturers, and there is nothing wrong with it.
But when it comes to FiiO FH15, the changes are quite big. FiiO said that it has received feedback from many users-hoping for stronger high-frequency resolution and brighter sound performance, which can better adapt to multiple music styles. Therefore, FiiO FH15 follows the above principles from sound tuning to unit selection and matching.
In terms of hearing, the tuning direction of FiiO FH15 is more balanced. The high frequency is cleaner and more transparent, the low frequency is not so surging, and the sound details are much more delicate than those of FiiO FH5. I think this is the most obvious improvement of FiiO FH15, and this sound style should be more popular with audiophiles.
As mentioned earlier, the FiiO FH15 is relatively easy to drive, and players like the FiiO M11S can release its sound very well. For the song part, according to the previous audition tracks, let’s start with Karen Mok’s “外面的世界”. It can be clearly heard that the piano is full of energy, and it delicately reproduces the changes in the strength of the player’s fingers, making the whole song sound more flavorful.
Similar feelings are also very contagious when listening to the songs “Easy On Me” and “Thinking Out Loud”. The separation between vocals and instruments is very layered, making the originally lyrical songs more vitality.
Generally speaking, the overall sound style of FiiO FH15 is balanced and natural, and the flexible low frequency and warm human voice have also brought a lot of improvement in the sense of hearing. For me, I prefer the sound with low-frequency tuning filter, the sound is more mellow. However, this combination will attenuate the high frequency of earbuds to a certain extent, and the brightness of the sound will be lacking. It depends on the individual’s preference for sound.
Compared with the FiiO FH5 four years ago, the FiiO FH15 can be said to have delivered a satisfactory answer. Both in industrial design and sound tuning are more and more mature. The replaceable tuning filter design of FiiO FH15 and its versatility in sound performance better meet the listening needs of audiophiles. After some experience, I dare not say that FiiO FH15 is the best hybrid driver earphone under $250, but I dare say that it is an earphone that you can definitely choose at this price.