FiiO continue to diligently to gain a foothold in the dynamic and ever-changing market headphones. Starting with budget models, the company moved into the top segment, introducing hybrid FH5, followed by chetyrehjadernyj fully reinforcing FA7, which today will be discussed.
Of course, FiiO could take more drivers from Bellsing, roll them in the plastic case and send to compete or KZ, or another Yinyoo. The company decided otherwise and made the headphones on the Knowles drivers. The bass went tremendous by the standards of the armature CI-22955 for MIDs meets “classics” in the face of ED-29689, on the “top” put customizable spartnik SWFK-31736. Case printed on a 3D printer from a medical epoxy, which allowed us to make effective design, but about it below.
Of course, the cost could be low, the same Knowles appreciates their radiators, so the recommended price FA7 is around $ 300. In FiiO said FA7 tuning will be more neutral than the same model FH5, but for some reason changed my mind and reconfigured to another key.
- Radiators: 4 x balanced armature
- Frequency range: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
- Impedance: 23Ω
- Sensitivity: 110 dB/mW
- Maximum power: 100 mW
- Cable: 1.2 m, removable, with MMCX connectors, silver-plated monocrystal copper
- Plug: 3.5 mm TRS
- Weight: 5.3 gr. (one earphone without wire)
Packing and delivery
The box is already familiar for the same FH5, then slightly changed the printing industry, making it more effective, but that’s the basic difference. The packaging is quite large, traditionally made in two layer inside, except the headphones you will find:
- plastic box for storage
- cloth purse organizer with zip closure
- a brush for cleaning headphones
- magnetic wire clamp
- 13 pairs of nozzles of different types. Duplancich pair, 3 pairs of foam tips, 3 sets 3 pairs of silicone ear tips odnoplanovye (“balanced”, “bass” and “accent vocals”)
As you can see, the set of accessories surpasses your wildest wishes.
Design and comfortable wearing
Appearance — definitely one of the main “selling points” of this model. Three-dimensional printing has justified itself by 200%, enabling to create a comfortable thick-walled case of high quality polymer. Traditionally, the industry, the bulk of the corps decided to make it translucent, so the lucky buyer will be able to enjoy the “guts” of the news. Faceplate decorated with interesting three-dimensional effects, which further add to the charm of the model, the choice of a black variant with a longitudinal pattern or in blue and red colors, a bit like cat’s eyes. In the future the appearance of other designs, but this will obviously depend on the success of the model.
Headphones comfortable the fit (at least for me), due to the normal sound channel and ergonomic form they take “their place” at once and without problems. Soundproofing — a little above average, comfort of use — the maximum. Behind-the-ear headphones designed for wearing, put down their cable will not work.
Complete wire exactly-in-exactly repeats the cable from a set of FH5, he is of medium hardness, not prone to hardening in the cold and the more entanglement, the microphone effect is weak. One of the interesting features is the absence of netting, the lower fan-out wires left and right channels run parallel to the plug. On a wire ear-hook there is no memory effect, provides good fixation of the cable behind the ear. MMCX connectors — high-quality, fixed wire securely, but do not require mahawili to detach.
Overall, the build quality of the headphones was excellent, FiiO have realized that housing was a good and released in a similar design onedriver model FA1.
To listen following equipment was used.
- Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP in the role of DAC and amplifier
- Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as the source
- Fidelia in the role of player
- Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, theBit OPUS#2, Astell&Kern, A&ultima SP1000 and the role of other portable players
- Recording high-resolution Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky have The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)
Before listening headphones were heated for 48 hours, changes in the sound. Headphones with radiators with the balanced anchor almost never need to warm up, but I decided to comply with the formalities.
I don’t know why, but FiiO has decided to make this headset emphasis on low frequencies, but the accent is unusual, and very “long”, the rise starts from the bottom and lasts until approximately 300 Hz, after which it starts declining. Because of this, FA7 was very unusual and obviously not “audiophile” tuning (at least in the traditional sense of the term). This emphasis lends itself to some adjustment by changing the ear cushions and cable (same FiiO LC-2.5 C), but still it remains quite visible.
Overall, you have realized that NCH here accented, although armaturnoj save them from turbidity and excessive inflation. Here, of course, there is great depth and a good resolution, and very good textures. Still the advantages of the model include a massive and impressive bass, rare for reinforcement models. Control is nice, but avoid some napoletane bass mid on saturated bass tracks will not work simply because of physics.
MIDs here are very good, if not amount of bass, occasionally interfering to perceive this fact, “middle” FA7 it would be possible to write to the leaders: there are the desired resolution, and the “right” weight, and the right balance between micro-contrast and macro-dynamics. This model is well able to capture the emotions and small nuances of the record, except, of course, saturated bass tracks. In principle, the excess bass in these headphones is well corrected with EQ, like FH5, this model is well responds. Despite this emphasis, the headphone pretty well to build an imaginary scene (a little more medium in depth and medium in width) to transfer the volume record.
Vernacularly range differs from most reinforcement models with no large peaks. This allowed FA7 to play RF not only neutral, but also very natural. At first it seems that the FA7 is not enough aggression in this range, but after some getting used to the lack of “humps” I understand that everything is there, it just is not served “in person”. Overall “top” FA7 happened: the attack and decay are transmitted faster than it should be, but to sound natural, the length is not extraordinary, but good. Looks like FiiO have learned from the past, where they were blamed for the peaks at RF.
Comparison this time I will not paint in detail, these headphones have “his” nature of the submission, so comparisons about “not like” does not make sense. Let me just say about the difference with the FH5. The average frequencies of these models are almost completely the same, the upper frequency FH5 have the more traditionally arranged “peaks” that gives the familiar, though less natural flow. Bass emphasis both headphones have equal strength, but FA7 it extends above the range, so FH5 is more noticeable the deeper layers of bass, and FA7 stand out all the low frequencies entirely.
As with any headphones with pronounced accents, FA7 do not require the top sources, the main thing — that the player good control of frequency response and not the smoothed middle and high frequencies.
If we talk about styles, then everything is as expected: best headphones to listen to what benefits from the emphasis on bass from electronic music, to acoustic jazz, or Vice versa, styles, rich bass. However, it is always a question of tastes of the owner. The recording quality of the model is moderately sensitive, where on 7 points out of 10.
A few traditional tracks as example
ZAZ — Si jamais j’oublie And again I will not be original, this music is very suitable to FA7 manner: a detailed and clean midrange/treble, with the support of accented bass sound impressive and exciting.
Yo-Yo Ma — Gabriel’s Oboe , of course, headphones with accentuated bass often not the best option for the classics, but in this case, “the stars aligned” and the heroes of today’s review, play this track very “tasty”, though not quite neutrally.
Robert Plant — The May Queen since I seem to “adjust the task answer”, here another track, perfectly suitable manner of presenting megadriver from FiiO: effectively accented by the rhythm section, and naturally transferred to plant’s vocals with all its features.
Perhaps if the FiiO is slightly reduced NCH, FA7 would be more “universal” in audiophile terms, but the company decided otherwise and took the unusual taste model, which nevertheless clearly you will find its admirers.