The package is almost the same as with the original F series with a few differences. There’s just one 3,5mm cable this time. The FH1 had one 3,5mm and one 2,5mm BAL cables. The cable however has higher quality now with pure copper material. It’s a nice upgrade.
You get a waterproof carrying case too, which is now a standard thing with FiiO IEMs. There are several tips for you to get the best fit, and one pair of them are foams. The FH1 didn’t have any foam tips so I found this inclusion very nice.
The original FH1 was already a nice monitor for the money, just like the other models in FiiO’s range. It was a warm and full-bodied IEM, giving a punchy and impactful bass, a good amount of mids that were good in tonality, and somewhat laid back highs.
The FiiO FH1S on the other hand has a much-improved performance over the predecessor in terms of sound. And when you consider that the FH1 is more expensive than this model, it looks like a no-brainer. The FH1 costs 75 $ whereas the FH1S costs 60 $.
With the FH1S you have a better bass response, better resolution, good tonality, more energy, and a much greater treble response. I liked the fact that FiiO didn’t go with a price increase with this model. It’s wonderful to see the price reduction together with the improved sound presentation. Let’s dig deeper.
The FH1S has a good bass response with the rumble and kick down low. The FH1’s bass was more focused on the mid-bass region, but now you have more and better sub-bass performance. It feels very nice to hear this kind of extended bass performance with a good decay.
The bass is very quick as well for the price, and recovery is quite satisfying even with fast-paced songs. The mid-bass part is a bit shyer and it stays mostly flat compared to sub-bass. This allows the IEM to present a clean-cut sound and making it very likable in terms of mid-transition.
The bass texture is missing when you compare it to higher-end IEMs which is only natural. Lows feel a bit congested and trapped as well, so it feels like a very small and boxy room sometimes. Also, the bass doesn’t have a great resolution either. Its impact is very satisfying though, especially for the price. That indeed is the first striking feature of this IEM upon first listen.
The FH1 had lush and thick vocals and instruments, and that creates a less bright, warmer sound character overall. The FH1S though has a much more energetic and forward sound signature. So the FH1S is somewhat electrifying and the FH1 is somewhat romantic and monotone in comparison.
The controlled and flat mid-bass allows a great transition into the mids and the FH1S takes advantage of that abundantly. Mids have good space and air as a result. The transparency in this part is pretty good and it has a great resolution as well. The tonality is very nice but sometimes a bit tinny compared to the FH1. It reminded me of the IT01‘s tuning in terms of timbre. But the FH1S is slightly better in that regard nonetheless.
The FH1S has the potential to sound great with a DAP that has a good mid-range performance. The resolution and transparency are on a very good level. This is a very nice feature to have with such a tiny price point of course. All in all, I liked the tone, separation, and control of the mids in the FH1S. It made me more satisfied than the FH1.
The most striking and significant thing when I first listened to the FH1S was its treble performance. This area is a huge improvement over the original model and I tell you; it’s a better treble performance by far. You get a great extension, articulation, and transparency in highs, and to me that Knowles driver works wonders.
Highs have great thinness/thickness balance with a nice timbre. The extension is wonderful to hear from this sub-100$ IEM. Highs don’t stick and they’re quite articulated. There’s a good spaciousness here as well with a good amount of air. Highs separate themselves from mids nicely. I simply can’t any flaws in the treble performance here considering the price tag.
Knowing this is the same BA driver that the FH1 utilized, it is a fantastic improvement from the tuning standpoint. Usually, the treble performances of these kinds of sub-100$ IEMs are underwhelming, but not so with the FH1S.
The review concludes on PAGE 3 with technical performance & comparisons.