FiiO FA19 Review

 

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Design & Build Quality

Shell

In contrast to the previous FA7S, the FiiO FA19 ditched the full-metal body for a DLP 3D printed shell, following the trend set up by the FX15.

Some will prefer that, other will miss the stainless-steel conception, but as for the FX15, this kind of shell offered more latitude to the brand in terms of internal arrangement – especially regarding the lows, but more on that later.

Personally, if I became accustomed with steel/aluminium bodied IEM over the past years, I still do prefer acrylic models in terms of comfort, the lightness and softness of the material befitting my ears a little better usually. That’s also true when I hold them in my hand, the elongated shape and “seamless” texture giving me more grip to hold them.

For a flagship, this isn’t a flamboyant looking IEM as you’d have expected, especially compared to the FD7 and FA7S before, that really set apart by their design already. But, upon closer inspection, candid eyes may be able to spot some nice features indicating the FA19 positioning: intricate faceplate, uplifted MMCX port, silver vent and… lots and lots of balanced drivers.

So, not my favorite design but, one of FiiO’s finest creation as we’ll see in a minute.

Build quality

Considering the price, the FiiO FA19 build quality had to be perfect. Good news, the brand almost never failed us in this regard, and this new model is to be praised, again.

First and foremost, like all acrylic IEM nowadays, the FA19 offers a seamless body, even under careful inspection – something where 3D printed made wonders – helped by a thick layer of resin all across the ears. It’s a subtle sensation, giving substance to the whole in-ear, and most of people may not be sensitive to that, but I’m.

Same goes for the MMCX port, superbly incorporated inside the body, and the nozzle which was also directly printed, and not added after as that’s usually the case. Next to it, you can also spot a small grill made to release some sound pressure and, just below, you’ll see all of the drivers, neatly packed together, in true audiophile fashion.

Last but not least, FiiO gifted the FA19 with a silverly faceplate, displaying a fascinating array of… lines/roads? I can’t really put my mind of what’s that’s supposed to mean, but in real life, it does look kind of cool so I’ll put that as a good point.

So far so good, so let’s see how they fit.

Comfort

In the ears

Clearly, there’s no better way than acrylic for IEM, at least in terms of comfort.

Combining top of the line 3D printing, a semi-custom shape and high-end tips, the FiiO FA19 fitted my ears perfectly and almost match my CIEM on the long run. The nozzle was perfectly designed, with a small lid designed to avoid tips fall-off, and wearing them on and off was just a matter of twist and lock.

The cable is a little thick to my taste, but honestly that’s just me nit-picking and thanks to its superior build quality, it followed the curvature of my ears perfectly well. Obviously, compared to the FF5 and FA7S, the comfort is on a completely different level – for the best – and even though the FA19 can’t compete with them in terms of durability, if comfort is your main concern, there’s no debate.

Isolation

Obviously, with a closed-back design, thick shell and solid tips, isolation is excellent on the FiiO FA19. They’ll properly block most of the sound coming from the outside, and even offer stronger performances compared to active noise-cancellation IEMs – like the AirPods Pro 2 or Gemini 2 – against high-pitched sound.

I mostly used the SpinFit tips, but if you want the sound-proof performances, use the FiiO HS18 provided (foam tips) and you should be good in almost every situation. I used them daily for the past days, on crowed trains and subways, and was never disappointed.

Time to check the specs!

The article continues on Page three, after the click here

Page 1: About the brand

Page 2: Comfort, usage

Page 3: Specifications, Bundle

Page 4: Sound Performance

4.6/5 - (28 votes)
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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

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