vs. iBasso IT04 – 500 $
The iBasso IT04 has been one of my favorite picks for 500 $ range. It fits great with a semi-custom shell design, sounds quite neutral and coherent, and it has a very nice stock cable. The FH7 however is built better in my opinion, especially in terms of nozzle filters which are not impeccable on the IT04. FiiO also have bettered the fit, so they’re quite close in terms of that, but the IT04 has the edge.
Sound-wise the IT04 has a leaner presentation. Both have very decent resolution and transparency, but the FH7 sounds very correct in tonality, which is an area that the IT04 lacks sometimes. The FH7 gives both more intimate and dynamic mids as well. The IT04 chooses to provide the mids from some distance. But to me the biggest difference here is the timbre. The IT04 sounds too thin at times, whereas the FH7 performs fuller and tonality-wise more satisfying. Some particular instruments sound lifeless and thin compared to the FH7. To me the FH7 has better extension in treble as well, especially with green nozzles.
vs. FiiO FA7 – 300 $
The FA7 is much warmer, thicker and darker sounding than the FH7. The FH7 is more dynamic, it has more air and space, and it has a distinguishable tonal balance when compared. Sound-wise there’s no competition here, as the FH7 has the advantage in every category, especially in resolution and transparency. However I really like the 3D printed shell of the FA7. It looks so clean and beautiful to me. It also has a better fit in my opinion, which is more secure and flush thanks to its custom-like shape.
vs. Oriveti OH500 – 500 $
The OH500 has an eye-catching design and it looks like sweet candy from distance. The FH7 has a more serious look with the black color dominating the shell. They both have high quality cables but to me the OH500’s cable feels more premium in hand. These IEMs also fit and isolate very well, but the FH7 has dual vents for removing some in-ear pressure from your ears.
Sound-wise the OH500 provides a warmer tone and overall tuning is fuller. They’re both rich sounding IEMs but the FH7 gives a neutral sound compared to the OH500. The timbre on both them is very good, and they have good transparency. However I feel that the FH7 has more resolution, but the OH500’s euphonic signature can steal your heart. The FH7 is brighter and crisper with slightly better separation. I like them both and to me it’s a matter of choice between the two.
I’ve touched upon the differences between the FH5 model in the review lots of times, hence it’s not in this comparison section.
Yes, now we’re talking. The FH7 is the most sophisticated and successful IEM from FiiO, therefore I decided to include it in our Best Universal IEMs recommendation page. In the process I removed the iBasso IT04, as the FH7 costs a little less with better build quality, flexibility and overall better sound.
FiiO have finally managed to create an IEM that sounds correct, coherent and high quality this time around. And with its 450 $ price tag, it’s a wonderful IEM in the Mid-Fi area. I’m sure it will be a fan favorite in this price range soon. Considering the rich package content, build quality, fit and sound, the FH7 deserves great attention in the portable audio market.