Review: FiiO FH7 – Now We’re Talkin’

Treble

The treble sounds well articulated for the price, which is brighter than the FH5 overall. Though, it’s not edgy or aggressive in any way, even forgiving sometimes. I wouldn’t say this is an extremely detailed and supreme treble performance, but it has good air and extension compared to the FH5.

Once again, FiiO have gone with a different route compared to the FH5. The FH7 is crisper and more open in treble, with good sparkle and detail. I found the positioning of the treble very good in the stage with good realism and definition. Overall the treble is precise (not like new electrostatic drivers in TOTL range of course) and nicely pronounced. I can say it’s not that forgiving like the FH5, which necessitates a good quality source.

Technical Performance

The most obvious features of the FH7 in terms of technical achievement are the tonality, resolution, transparency and separation, compared to the previous model. It has a nicely rounded soundstage as well, which feels like a conference room. It doesn’t have great width or depth, but to me it’s ideal and reasonable for the price level. One could wish a little wider stage, but it’s still pretty good as it is.

However the FH7 certainly feels more open and airy to the FH5, which creates a better stereo image. It’s easier to pick out the instruments and vocals as a result. The background is blacker and the elements are sharper overall. The FH7 has good layering as well. The sound has very good texture and resolution.

FiiO FH7

Filters

As I mentioned, the FH7 has 3 types of nozzle filters to use. These don’t make a massive difference in response to me, but I will mention them shortly:

The already attached nozzles are black, which are the standard “reference” sound filters. I personally liked this presentation the most, and preferred to use the FH7 with these filters. However, you can use the red filters if you seek a warmer and full bodied sound, especially if you liked the FH5 model. The sound becomes a little less bright and the lows have a bit more kick.

The green filters add more definition and air to the treble area, which works well for Classical and Jazz recordings. I especially liked to hear those cymbals with Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue album, so if you’re a Jazz fan, you probably will like the green ones. Yet, the treble is not piercing with these filters so that’s very good. Other frequencies are not affected.

The reference nozzles, like I said, have the best balance in terms of reference sound. But FiiO have done this filter solution very well. The filters don’t have a huge effect in sound. It’s almost like studio monitors. Remember the switches behind those speakers? Yes, these nozzles work just like that in my opinion. They’re there just for fine tuning for your genres and preferences.

Tips

The tips affect the overall sound as well, and it works just like it was with the FH5. You have bass, vocal and balanced tips together with bi-flange and foams. You also have spinfit tips which don’t affect the sound to me really. But your experience with these tips may vary, since the seal changes with everyone’s ears. If you don’t get a good seal, you might not get a good bass response which can affect your judgement about the tips in the package.

FiiO FH7

Bass tips give more rumble to the low end, and slightly roll off the treble area. Vocal tips perform the same in terms of bass as the balanced tips, but the mids are a bit more forward and accentuated, especially in upper area, which sounds more intimate. However, physically I got the best seal with these tips since they’re more flush fitting. But from the sound standpoint, my choice is the balanced tips. The vocal tips add some brightness in the lower treble area as well, which sounds unnecessary to my ears.

Foam tips affect the sound in a traditional way. The sound becomes a little more forgiving and slightly darker with treble becoming a little softer. Of course, the seal and isolation is better and you may reach a good bass response because of that.

The review continues on PAGE 4 by clicking here using the page numbers below

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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists the same. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favorite Jazz recordings.

25 Comments

  • Reply August 15, 2019

    Dennis_Hawks

    Great review of very good sounding earphones!
    I myself am using the green filters and JVC Spiral Dots++ ML size and FiiO X7MkI+AM3.
    Need to buy the balanced cable FiiO 2.5D.

  • Reply August 16, 2019

    Törehan Türel

    Hi Berkhan,
    You didnot mention bass perfomance comparisons with it04 and OH500. Can you compare?

    • Reply August 16, 2019

      Berkhan

      The FH7 has better bass than the IT04 since it has a better midbass performance. The OH500 is very good in that regard but the FH7 is slightly leaner whereas the OH500 has a fuller bass with more authority.

  • Reply August 16, 2019

    Noel

    Hello,
    Would you be able to give a comparison between this and Fearless S8Fs?
    Thank you!

    • Reply August 18, 2019

      Berkhan

      I don’t have the S8F, sorry.

  • Reply August 19, 2019

    LLK

    May I just in my humble opinion state that Berkhan’s writing has improved so so much in the time he has been writing for headfonia? This was honestly one tasteful read!
    This site has always been my most trusted review site and its great when you guys finally review headphones I secretly want to buy. Like you guys are the reason why I got a well-informed headstart into the audio game ( and because I never will have money for drugs or alcohol :p ) and its just reviews like these that are going to cost me another 500 quid even though strictly speaking I dont need them.
    Thanks again for this great review!

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Berkhan

      Many thanks for your kind words. We’re trying our best to improve in each article and it’s good to see people recognizing that.

      Well, for 450$, this is one bloody good IEM.

  • Reply August 21, 2019

    Dilip vishwanath

    Can u compare the s8f and the fh7 ,dont know which to get ? I’ll be upgrading from the beyerdynamic dx160ie

  • Reply September 10, 2019

    Johann

    heavily considering upgrading to this, it04 or dm7 from it01s. Which one would you recommend pairing with a fiio m11?

  • Reply September 22, 2019

    Al F

    Nothing sounds mid-fi about these and as a matter they sound better than some $1000+ IEMs.

  • Reply October 12, 2019

    Dilip Vishwanath

    hi,will i get good performance out of mobile phones like the s9+ or should i get a dap ??,can u tell how much of a difference would i expect?

    • Reply March 6, 2020

      Alex

      Difficult to say. On S8 with bass filters FH7 offers quite good performance. Don’t know about s9+.

      But only on good dac+amp you get from FH7 the most. I use Shanling M5s (good bass and resolution – sound is slow but deep and clean) and considering Fiio Q5 or M11 ( they are more engaging and dynamic) . You can always upgrade later.

  • Reply June 9, 2020

    Maarten

    Is it worth it to get Fiio’s LC-4.4D upgradecable or would you recommend others (also using the WM1a as a source)?

    • Reply June 10, 2020

      Berkhan

      It’s up to you to decide if you want to spend money on a cable. Try it and see if it makes a difference for you.

  • Reply June 26, 2020

    Mike

    Man your review seems nice but please cut the crap.

    We all should have read the website.

    Personally what I want to read is what isn’t on the website.

    If you have to make a college essay that needs to be a certain amount of words minimum… at least make the important part in bulk or stand out. I literally skipped 80% of your text and I’m sure I missed some good info hidden in “rambling” for lack of better words.

    • Reply June 26, 2020

      Berkhan

      I’m sorry, what?

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Lieven

      Reading, it’s not for everyone I guess…

  • Reply November 19, 2020

    Peter

    would like to ask you for advice 😉 read few reviews from you and the question is 🙂 – Fh7/DK-3001 pro/DK-4001? any advice here? music listened to – mainly d’n’b, hip-hop, rock…..and another one, which one works best with smartphones pairing? i have also another 2 separate players, just asking to know…thanks

    • Reply November 23, 2020

      Berkhan

      I’m afraid I don’t know the other IEMs you mentioned.

  • Reply February 4, 2021

    Justin

    Regarding the sound field comparison between Fh7 and Fd5, could you please provide some comments? Currently, I own and really enjoy Fh7 with LC-RE cable listened by using DX160. However, I am looking for the other IEM which has wider soundstage similar to Xelento can be used for listening
    symphony. Do you suggest to spend extra money to buy Fd5? Thanks for your professional reviews and comments.

    • Reply February 16, 2021

      Berkhan

      Hello Justin. Unfortunely I’ve never tried the FD5 but Nano published his review so you can rely on that.

      I can recommend the Shozy Black Hole for symphony listening myself.

  • Reply February 16, 2021

    Michael Mariñas

    hi, i would to thank you guys for giving great reviews. i always read your articles first. im torn between fiio iems fh7,fa9 and fd5. all scored 4.1 in your readers scores. im more of a all rounder music person with a hint of bass. rock,pop, acoustic, rnb, techno. can you reco me a good choice between the 3? thank you and keep up the good work guys.

    • Reply February 16, 2021

      Berkhan

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the kind words. As the above comment, I can’t comment on the FD5, but I think for you favorite genres the FH7 is a very good choice.

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