Fiio JH5 Review


In this article we’re looking at the FiiO JH5, the latest hybrid IEM from FiiO’s sister’s brand, Jade Audio, sold for just $89 USD.


Disclaimer: The FiiO JH5 were sent to us free of charge, for the purpose of this review.

About FiiO

Established in 2007, FiiO has become a powerhouse in the audiophile realm, offering an impressive line-up of affordable and high-quality products. From IEMs, headphone amps, DACs, to DAPs, FiiO has consistently delivered top-notch devices, setting benchmarks for other brands to follow like the FiiO M17, the mighty FiiO Q7, or the everlasting E10K, which has remained on the market for more than a decade now.

An unceasing saga of success, propelled not only by a steady flow of high-end devices but also by the introduction of smart, budget-friendly products. Their latest series of USB DAC/Amps is a prime example—compact dongle-sized gadgets that hark back to the venerable FiiO E5 and E3, first revealed over a decade ago. An expansive range that includes the delightful FiiO KA3, the formidable FiiO KA5, the diminutive FiiO KA1 and KA2, and the whole new KA13 we had the chance to listen to a few weeks before.


An extensive range of products that never seems to run out, as the brand continues to expand its lineup month after month. Like today, with the FiiO JH5, a 4-BA + 1DD hybrid IEM, spiritual successor of the FiiO FH5 and FH7, albeit the price. A new reference? Time to find out.

A quick word about Jade audio

Once more, this new product fits in the brands Jade Audio sub-category. A sub-brand advertised as a new quality/price queen. But I’ll let the brand’s marketing team explain that for me:

“Jade Audio” is a subsidiary brand of FiiO Electronics Technology Co., LTD. It is a stylish, technological, and youth-oriented brand aiming to provide high-quality yet cost-effective audio products with an excellent listening experience for the younger generation all around the world. The entity’s Chinese name is derived from “翡声” (Fei Sheng), meaning “the sound of Jade”. The name “Jade Audio” conveys our mission towards providing consumers with a crisp and pleasant listening experience while maintaining audio fidelity

As a matter of fact, there are now more and more Jade Audio devices such as:

  • FiiO KA1 : a DAC/Amp with a single ES9281AC Pro chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA2 : a DAC/Amp with a dual CS43131 chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA3 : a DAC/Amp with a single ES9038Q2M Pro chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA5 : a DAC/Amp with a dual CS43198 chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA13 : a DAC/Amp with a dual CS43131 chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO FF3 : a new-gen earbud with a 14.2mm large dynamic driver (reviewed)
  • FiiO FF5 : same but different earbud with a 14.2mm large dynamic driver (reviewed)
  • FiiO Q11 : a portable DAC/AMP with a battery, replacing the Q3 (reviewed)
  • FiiO JW1 : a new-gen earbud, wireless (reviewed)
  • FiiO JH5 : an hybrid IEM packing 1 DD and 4BA (today’s review)

Design & Build Quality


Visually, the FiiO JH5 isn’t a big surprise, following the FHx design through and through – which is a great thing if you ask me.

In fact, I even tend to prefer the look of the new model, whose Zinc alloy faceplate blends perfectly into the 3D printed acrylic shell. A design that appears almost “classical” nowadays, but was all the fuss a few years ago – god bless cheap, efficient 3D printers allowing that

A design choice that I find quite interesting, bringing the JH5 aesthetically closer to the FHx, than the previous JH3, exchanging the molded shell for a printed one, translucent nonetheless. So much so that, from afar, you’d be hard pressed to distinguish that new model from its premium FiiO counterparts like the FA9 or the FX15.


Build quality

As usual with FiiO, build quality remains impressive, even more if you take account of the price.

Sure, the acrylic doesn’t feel as nice as the one use on premium in-ear, but that’s clearly me nit-picking as no one will ever make head to head comparison with a sub-$100 IEM, and a plus-$1000 one… at least not on this aspect.

In terms of build, it’s – as expected – perfect and the JH5 showed no cracks, no bruises or gap, even around the faceplate, where you could find a tiny lid on the JH3. Same goes for the aluminium vent, located on the back of the shell, which was tightly integrated, and the dust cover covering the nozzle. Nozzle that’s now made of acrylic, whereas the lower model enjoyed a metallic one, for better or for worse.

Once more, FiiO saved the MMCX ports for its classical series, leaving the Jade Audio ones with 2-pin sockets, which… isn’t a bad thing after all, even if I still prefer the versatility of micro-BNC ports. On top of that, the default cable fared much better than I expected, so yeah, you got a run for your money.

Let’s see how they wear now.



As expected, with a semi-custom design and lightweight shell, the FiiO JH5 is a breeze to wear.

Enjoying FiiO’s latest generation of their own semi-custom design, this new model – combined with the right tips – completely filled my ears, but didn’t feel cumbersome either. Again, thanks to their sem-custom shell, they were able to match much premium models, like my Nostalgia Audio Camelot, and even surpass classical in-ears like the Hifiman Svanar.

The only issue I could point out was the 2-pin socket, which doesn’t rotate like the MMCX one, but apart from that, there isn’t much to complain about: the cable doesn’t transmit microphonics, the tips are numerous, and even long listening sessions didn’t put any strain on my ears.


Like most semi-custom IEM, the FiiO JH5 offers strong isolation from unwanted noises.

Be it railroad sounds, subway closing-doors siren, or the usual talking “brouhaha” heard in crowded places, the IEM managed to dampen it quite swiftly. I use a mechanical keyboard at the office, and once I plugged those IEM and played some music at low volume, the “click” completely disappeared.

Of course, if you want the best isolation, you better get some foam tips like the Comply, which will completely fill your ears.

So, time to check the specs!



10mm carbon-based dynamic driver + 4 custom BA drivers

Even if the FiiO JH5 is an entry-level IEM, that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the same features found in upper models.

Made from “carefully chosen” materials, the 10mm dynamic driver features a dual cavity setup, allowing for damping control systems in both the inner and outer chambers to precisely control the air flow. A design resulting in reduced distortion, extend bass and quicker response. 

In addition to that, the driver has been further tweaked, now integrating their second generation of carbon based driver, advertised as 9x stronger than steel, but four times lighter than the beryllium. A feature enhanced by FiiOs latest asymmetrical magnetic circuit, greatly increasing the field density around the voice coil, for reinforced power and improved transient response.

Last but not least, the JH5 also packs no less than four balanced armature drivers – blended in two structure – allowing the IEM to produce ultra-high frequencies with ease, even with low-powered source. FiiO also explained how they chose those specific drivers so they could be able to match the frequency response of the dynamic driver, to have a resonance peak at 2.8kHz, which is supposed to be a resonance frequency formed by the shape of the human ear, says FiiO.


Independent driver chambers + negative feedback enhancement

Packing five drivers, the FiiO JH5 appears to be a three way in-ear, with three independent chambers, each dedicated to handle a specific set of frequencies : low, mid, high. 

A setup old as the world, but now magnified by modern technology, each pipe being directly printed in the shell to ensure the best performances, and the lowest distortion. FiiO even advertise their self-developed acoustic pipe as “free of distortion and sibilance”.

On top of that, the JH5 also comes with a new system, advertised as “Negative feedback enhancement”. How it works? The system guides the low-frequency sound waved that were emitted from the rear of the driver, to the front of the driver, reducing the air pressure, while keeping the same level of bass. A feature designed to reduce the “closed” sensation of wearing in-ears.

All of that to stay as close as possible to the Harman curve target(!). Let’s check the bundle now.


Bundle and Accessories

Inside the box

Like the JH3, the FiiO JH5 doesn’t come with an extensive bundle, but FiiO being FiiO, some accessories appeared quite interesting. In the box you’ll find:

  • the FiiO JH5
  • a 0.78mm 2-pin cable made of 392 wires of silver-plated copper
  • 3 pairs of silicon balanced ear tips
  • 3 pairs of silicon bass ear tips
  • and, most of all, the new HB11 storage case

Why most of all? Because this new case enjoys a Lego pattern on the outer side, allowing you to plug compatible accessories and… Lego – and I do love them. That said, as said in the description, this more of a storage case, than a travel case, its sheer size making it a bit cumbersome on a daily basis.

Additional accessories

Being a classical in-ear, there are many accessories that you could add to your JH5:

  • a DAC/AMP, or a DAP, to get better performances on the go. It could be something as simple as ddHiFi TC35, or FiiO’s latest dongle USB-DAC
  • a Bluetooth receiver, if you want to embrace the TWS life, FiiO and iFi offering numerous options
  • a upgrade cable, even something simple, but with a balanced output to match your balanced source


Full specs

  • Model: FiiO JH5
  • Type : Hybrid IEM
  • Drivers : 1x 10mm carbon like driver / 2x mid/high balanced armature / 2x ultra-high frequency balanced armature
  • Socket: 2-Pin
  • Cable: 4 strands, 392 silver plated copper wires – 3.5mm straight-shaped jack
  • Shell: 3D printed resin shell + liquid zinc alloy faceplate
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40 KHz
  • Impedance: 13 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 111dB
  • Sound Isolation (up to): 30 dB
  • Cable length: 120 cm 
  • Weight: 7.6g (per ear without the cable)
  • Price : $89

The article continues on Page two, after the click here, or after the jump

Page 1: About the brand, design and build quality
Page 2: Sound performance

4.5/5 - (4 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

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