Review: FiiO FH7 – Now We’re Talkin’

Comparisons

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 FA7300 $

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.

FiiO FH7

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.

Conclusion

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.

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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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