Today we finally take a detailed look at the FiiO FH7, the company’s new flagship In Ear Monitor.
To be frank, when it comes to price/performance, it’s hard to beat FiiO. It has been a company which helped many audiophiles to improve in their hobby and that includes me. However, when I review their IEMs, either something is missing or something is too much. Have they got the job done this time? We will find out very soon.
FiiO doesn’t need an introduction. Everybody knows them. You don’t? Then you can go to FiiO’s website here. They now produce almost everything when it comes to portable audio. They want to be competitive in every field they’re operating, and I personally respect their work. To be honest, it has been one of the few companies which hasn’t driven up their prices to Mount Rushmore.
They even released a new Bluetooth Headphone which is named EH3NC. So they’re in the BT Noise Cancelling game now as well. I bet that headphone will again have a lower price than the competitors. I’m sure we will be hearing a lot about the EH3NC quite soon.
The FiiO FH7 is the new flagship hybrid IEM from FiiO. It contains 4 Balanced Armature Drivers and 1 Dynamic Driver inside. The configuration and the technology behind the FH7 is similar to the previous FH5. However, every little detail is improved with the FH7 including the acoustic design, the cable and the drivers.
The dynamic driver in the FH5 was a 10mm polymer nanocomposite, which is now replaced by a 13,6mm beryllium coated driver. FiiO continues to use Knowles BAs for the other frequencies and they’re quite transparent about it. You can find what exact drivers were used in their product page here. With this new model, FiiO targets an even better sound and I will get to that shortly.
FiiO retains the classic packaging and the content for the FH7 with a few extras. The box and shape is exactly the same, but you now get additional nozzle filters (more on that later), SpinFit and Bi-Flange tips. Those are the additional supplements that FiiO provides you with the FH7.
There’s one more difference though and that’s the carrying case. To be truthful, that plastic carrying case was getting old with FiiO IEMs. But this time FiiO have come up with a whole new case with a premium, “personal touch” feeling. The case is made from leather (not sure if it’s genuine) and it opens and closes beautifully with magnets. There’s plenty of room inside to fit your IEM, and a small compartment for other small accessories. It’s a nice, fresh and stylish solution from FiiO which finally gives a high quality feeling.
FiiO continues to use their “wave” design language with their new FH7 and I admit it looks pretty cool. I pretty much like FiiO designs recently and this one is no exception. They use the same pattern in all of their earphones now and that helps them to create a distinctive look. It’s easy to recognize any FiiO IEM from other brands nowadays and I think that’s a good thing.
Making big waves from tiny ripples
In the design, there are two different aspects though and one of them is the MMCX sockets. With the FH7 the sockets are moved outwards with an external body part surrounding them. As a result you have elevated connection areas, which can be beneficial for some in terms of fit. This may have something to do with the space requirement inside the shells.
Another aspect is the nozzles. The FH7 has replaceable nozzle filters for different sound signatures and you have 3 different types to use. The nozzles are also a little longer with the FH7, further enhancing the fit. I found this change thoughtful as it provides a more secure and flush fit.
The cable is also improved with a new 8-wire structure and it also feels better than the FH5 cable. The unflexible nature was the point that I criticized about the cable in the previous model. It’s good to see FiiO improved this aspect as well.
Once again, FiiO has created the chassis with a 5-axis CNC machine with 21 different steps. A final sandblasting and hand polishing is performed to give the shells their final look. The whole chassis forms with aluminum & magnesium, and they’re brought together perfectly with a great assembly process. The result is smooth, rigid and seamless.
There’s nothing short in terms of build quality, except the nozzles. It’s just my guess, but the screwable nozzle concept can cause some problems in the long run if you like to change them back and forth. I don’t think this can happen easily, but to me this design choice might accompany some risks as well. Other than that, the IEM feels rock solid just like the FH5.