Want to compare it with other ears? Voila :
Fearless S8F: the S8F gets two extra drivers, and gives a lot more bump in the lower end. It sounds very different, with thicker lows and less engaging voices, but there is that “je-ne-sais-quoi” dragging me toward them, even now.
FiiO FH7: head to head, the FA9 delivers more micro-details at the same volume level. I find them more refined, more poised, and also deeper. Above all, the FA9 sounds more technical and the FH7 gutsier, I prefer the FA9 this time.
Shanling ME700: two sides of the same coin if you were to ask. I found the ME700 better for the highs, and the FA9 better for the mids. Both are excellent, punching way above their price-tag, but ultimately, you’ll have to make a choice, when I don’t (yes I kept both)
The FiiO FA9 is the best IEM in their catalog.
Think of it as the perfect blend of the FH7 and the FA7, but better: the sound stage is amazing, mids are great and all of that is neatly packed inside a cool 3D-Printed box of wonder. Going fully-balanced really did the job and that is one of the best options in this price range.
As one of the greatest IEMs from FiiO, the FA9 has to battle against the Shanling ME700 or the Fearless S8F. If the latter remains undisputed on bass, the battle is much tighter between FiiO and Shanling.
If you favor the mids: get the FA9, FiiO’s done an amazing job on this aspect, even if you were to compare that one with IEM twice the price. If you prefer meticulous highs: get the ME700, as I found it sharper overtime.
That said, if you have a FiiO DAP, just get the FA9, it’s simply the best choice with it.