Before I start I should remark to take into consideration the price level of these Fiio IEMs. To remind you again, FiiO F1 and F3 will only cost you $40USD in total. But I’m telling you, you will be surprised if you ever get to hear these: both these are delivering a performance that exceeds the price level .
A lighter voice coil makes for faster transients and better overall sound quality. This exactly describes the Japanese copper-clad aluminum utilized, which allows to present a transformative listening experience by clearly bringing forth even the subtlest of details within the music.
Both are good in their own way and they carry a different mentality to music. There are some apparent differences and I’m going to start with the F1. This is one hell of a coherent earphone for just $15 USD. It is my favorite of both IEMs. Why? Well, it’s warm, dark and easy going. It has good bass and mids and while treble is somewhat behind, I don’t think that anyone will care. As long as it gives those upfront and lovely mids, I actually don’t mind at all. It produces sweet tones and smoothness as far as I’m concerned and I can live with some some missing treble response. As you can understand the F1 is the sweet choice of the new earphones from FiiO. Additionally, it has a great fit with those 45º angled nozzles.
The Fiio F3 is technically better but with a more v-shaped sound and much more accentuated treble response, the opposite of the F1’s rolled of treble. Bass is strong, hits quick and recovers very well. Mids are more on the backside the whole time and the highs have serious articulation for the price. Overall a great treble performance from this little IEM and I didn’t expect that to be honest. If you love a v-shape sound you will fall in love with this for just $25 USD. Particularly if you listen to EDM, as dance music sounds so much fun with the F3.
To make some comparison between both I should say that the F1 is more for Jazz, instrumental music and vocally strong music types with some mid focus. The F3, as I explained, is more for energetic sound such as trance, EDM or pop. The lows are more midbass focused on the F1 compared to strong subbass of the F3. The F1 has fuller and darker mids with a really good tonality, but the F3 tops it with that beautiful treble response that I really admire technically. In comparison F1’s treble is far more back than the F3’s. Both FiiO F1 and F3 has good positioning but it’s a littler better on F3.
On technical aspects the F3 is more successful having better resolution overall. Micro details are apparent with the F3 compared to the F1 which sometimes sucks out those details with its musical sounding mentality. Staging is another point that I loved on both of them since I think soundstage is amazing for these prices. Marvelous job by Fiio right there. Driving them is easy but the F3 needs a little more power, yet there’s nothing to worry about as it’s still easy to drive.
I know this review is quite shorter than my usual articles but I think these new earphones speak for themselves. Just get them and listen. You will be shocked of the sound quality. What are you going to lose anyway? $40 dollars? That’s basically nothing in today’s market and I really believe you can’t get better than this for the price with the exception of the VE Monk as these are the best budget earbuds I’ve ever listened to. I’m really happy to see Fiio to be so spot-on with their new products. FiiO F1 and F3 have the portability and durability for an active lifestyle, good comfort and more importantly, great sound.