Review: FiiO FH1 – All About The Tone

FiiO FH1
Disclaimer: The FiiO FH1 was sent me from FiiO directly as a review sample. The current price of this model is 74,99$. This review won't be very very detailed, as I've reviewed the F9 & F9 Pro already so there's no need to keeping it long. You can always feel free to ask your questions and state your opinions on the comments section.

INTRO

Looks like FiiO are not only interested in releasing IEMs, but also in diversifying them to appeal to larger crowds with different price levels. I think this model, the FiiO FH1, is a result of that strategy. At the same time I also think that their starter of this new series – the F9 – is slowly becoming somewhat obsolete. That’s obviously not pretty for early F9 owners, but that’s only my opinion.

Manufacturers releasing IEMs with 1 or 2 drivers is very common lately, and the FH1 is no exception. This one has 1 larger Dynamic driver + 1 Balanced Armature driver, instead of the 1+2 setup of the F9 Series. But, the BA driver is also Knowles branded, like the F9 Pro. So that means we’ll have somewhat similar quality & control of the F9 Pro. Also, it has its own distinguishing features, such as a slightly bigger dynamic bass driver and unique nozzle design. So this IEM maybe is the cheapest of the three, but it’s definitely no slouch. Let’s focus on that in the sound section though.

DESIGN & BUILD

The FiiO FH1 has the same shape as the F9 Series, but the housing is now different for both looks & material. It now has a silver elliptic frame -which looks very cool- and its made from plastic material this time around. Downgrading from full aluminum to plastic is of course not great, but I saw many IEMs made from ABS material while having much higher price brackets than the FH1. Therefore, this is not something that I can criticize, especially when this one has a lower price than the other two.

And I have to say, the housing doesn’t feel cheap in any way, and it has its own advantages like the reduced weight to have a more comfortable fit. The blue colored version looks to me the coolest, but I got a black variant to review. Compared to the F9 models, this one brings a fresh look to the table. This is all about personal taste of course but I like all these IEMs from FiiO looks-wise. Good job.

FiiO FH1

FiiO FH1

FIT

The fit and isolation is the same as the F9 and the F9 Pro. This housing shape and design is sufficient for a nice and good isolating fit, which was proven many times in the past from different brands as well. I tend to use foam tips for a snug fit and good amount of isolation. Silicone doesn’t do very good for me with these IEMs. The process of finding the best fit is always going to be a personal matter though.

CONTENT

FiiO supplies several tips with the package but it doesn’t contain the foam tips I mentioned above. Only the F9 Pro model comes with those. Even so, it’s understandable based on the lower price level. It also doesn’t have the small zipper bag which comes supplied with the F9 Pro. Actually the package is exactly the same as with the original F9: One stock cable with mic and in line controls, one 2.5mm balanced cable which sounds better than the stock cable, 6 pairs of ear tips and the carrying case which I loved from the start.

USAGE

The small improvements made on the F9 Pro are also included here: Cables have red & blue colors around the connectors and the earpieces have L&R marks which are easy to see.

An addition to the FH1 is that the inside parts of the earpieces also have blue & red colors for matching the cables with the IEMs. Pretty nice for making things easier. The stock cable works very well with smartphones, and overall the IEMs are very easy to work with.

FiiO FH1

FiiO FH1

NOZZLE

Now the new thing here is the nozzle itself. The material chosen for the nozzle is brass, which is not a regular material we see with IEMs. Certain brands used this material before, but FiiO decided to use it exclusively for the nozzle. Also, they thought using the BA driver inside the nozzle is a good idea. Let me quote them from the product page:

To achieve the highest sound quality possible, we put the Knowles balanced armature inside the sound tube (to minimize its distance to ear) made of brass (with its higher density than aluminum). All of this results in a natural, yet effortless sound.

I’ll evaluate the sound shortly, but this brass nozzle looks just beautiful and gives quite a premium look. Especially with the blue version it looks very stylish.

VIDEO

For all three latest models from FiiO, you can check out my video post below if you haven’t seen it yet. I’ve talked about all three models and their differences in terms of looks and design. Sorry in advance for the focusing, it was a one-off problem and it won’t happen again.

Continue to PAGE 2 for sound impressions

Review: FiiO FH1 – All About The Tone
3.9 (77.22%) 36 votes

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As a lover of personal audio, Berkhan always seeks perfection in his reviews. He chooses a simplistic expression of sound at all times, and tries to maintain his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes the photography wins, and sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside. Either way, he will always do his best.

35 Comments

  • Reply February 10, 2018

    dale thorn

    Good to have a detailed informative review at this price point.

    • Reply February 10, 2018

      Berkhan

      Thank you Dale.

    • Reply March 27, 2018

      Juan

      Hi,I’m currently using the Mee audio M6 Pro,it is worth to changed to the fh1?

      • Reply March 27, 2018

        Berkhan

        I don’t think so. I never listened to the M6 Pro but if you’re going to change your earphones, it would be better to select a higher level one.

    • Reply April 14, 2018

      ALBERTO MARTINEZ

      Fantastic review, I always think this last one can’t be improved but you do it one after the other.

      I am waiting for the coming HiBy R3 DAP. My around $100 shortlist to pair with this device is composed of iBasso IT01, FiiO FH1 and Brainwavz B200.

      I will use the selected one connected to the 2.5mm TRRS balanced output, playing Tidal and listening 70’s classical and progressive rock and jazz guitar. Which one do you recommend?

      I could ride budget to $150 if there is other model really worth.
      Thanks and congrats.

      • Reply April 16, 2018

        Berkhan

        Hi,

        I never listened the Brainwavz one, but between FH1 and IT01 I would recomment the IT01 most definitely.

        And thank you too.

        • Reply April 19, 2018

          ALBERTO MARTINEZ

          Thanks for recommendation, I will go with IT01. Only one last thing, which MMCX balanced 2.5mm TRRS cable do you recommend for IT01, as it’s not included as stock?
          Cheers

          • Reply April 19, 2018

            Berkhan

            I can’t recommend a specific cable for that, you should do a research and pick one

  • Reply February 11, 2018

    Omer

    Thanks for the review!
    Do you have any guess on how well the Shanling M2s should pair with the FH1 considering its fairly high output impedance of 4.8Ω?

    • Reply February 12, 2018

      Berkhan

      I think the M3S would be a much better pair.

  • Reply February 12, 2018

    Sk

    Hi, very nice comprehensive review. I’m using RHA MA750 and wanna change it bcz i don’t like its fit. Can you compare it with FH1, or have any suggestions for my next purchase.

    • Reply February 12, 2018

      Berkhan

      Thanks.

      Don’t know about the RHA I’m afraid. It’s not in my possession.

      • Reply February 12, 2018

        Darryl

        A couple of weeks or so ago, I left a comment on the video, wondering if the FH1 is enough of an upgrade from the Fiio EX1 2nd generation to consider purchasing. Have you compared them? Thanks.

        • Reply February 12, 2018

          Berkhan

          No I haven’t, but considering these models are best from FiiO yet, FH1 should be much better than the EX1 mk2.

          • Reply February 13, 2018

            Darryl

            Thanks for the reply. Now that Amazon has the blue version in stock, I might give it a try.

  • Reply February 15, 2018

    Andres

    These or the Massdrop Nuforce EDC 3? Regardless of the price 25$ price difference which would you choose?

    • Reply February 15, 2018

      Berkhan

      Different reviewers unfortunately. I don’t have the Nuforce.

      • Reply February 16, 2018

        Andres

        Ah, no problem. Thanks for responding

  • Reply February 15, 2018

    Trelag

    Thanks for the review! I just wanted to ask if you’re able to compare the FH1 with the Fiio F5 as well? There’s currently around $15 price difference between the two.

    • Reply February 15, 2018

      Berkhan

      No idea, I don’t have the F5.

  • Reply February 15, 2018

    DR.ALİ

    Thank you for nice review. I am realy enjoying while I was reading.

    I will buy this earphone in near future but I don’t have any music player without my phone (Xiaomi Mi5).

    I don’t know maybe I won’t use portable music player. Maybe I have a desire. Therefore I don’t want to buy expensive DAP. I was thinking to buy Cayin N5ii but now I thing to buy a amplifier for my mobile phone with Fiio FH1. I will listen to music on Spotify or Tidal.

    Do you suggest an amplifier or N5ii? If your answer is a amplifier which one?

    Thank you…

    • Reply February 16, 2018

      Berkhan

      Hi. Thank you for that.

      I would always recommend a dedicated DAP. Using an amp with the phone is not the best portable solution for me. I would definitely recommend the N5II to you, as it’s one of the best price / performance players around.

      No need to have an amp with the N5II.

  • Reply March 8, 2018

    Ricardo Pinheiro

    How you think it will sound with the Cayin N3? I have a tinaudio T2 and wanted to upgrade. You can also compare these with the ibasso t01?

    • Reply March 9, 2018

      Berkhan

      IT01 has a better fit and ergonomics. Sound wise IT01 has better treble, better resolution and separation and better tonal balance. Sound stage is almost the same.

      FH1 would be very good with the N3, they’ll make a nice pair. But I can definitely recommend the IT01 a little more and I’ll go in detail in its review of course.

  • Reply March 11, 2018

    HUGO SILVA

    hello friend, I am in doubt between Fiio F9 PRO and Fiio FH1. In the case of POP music like Demi Lovato, Rita Ora, Dua Lipa, which one would suit the best or would both perform well this style? Many thanks for the answers.

    • Reply March 11, 2018

      Berkhan

      I recommend the FH1 for pop music.

  • Reply March 12, 2018

    Madhur Verma

    Hi!
    Can you tell me if the FH1 would be a good match with the Astell & Kern AK70?
    I currently own a pair of Klipsch X4i, however I’m looking to upgrade and these seem to be a good buy in the <100$ range.
    Thanks!

    • Reply March 13, 2018

      Berkhan

      If you have the AK70, I recommend to raise your budget and go for a little more premium IEM.

      But, the new iBasso IT01 is excellent for 100$. I recommend that one. As for FH1, yes, it’ll sound very nice with it but for AK70 you can try to get better IEMs.

      Maybe IT03?

      • Reply March 13, 2018

        Madhur Verma

        Thanks for responding! I was trying to get something below the $200 range, but I will certainly consider the iBasso recommendation.

  • Reply March 21, 2018

    Reggie

    Hi all, How about Fiio FH1 VS. Vsonic GR07 (37 anniversary or Classic)?

    • Reply March 22, 2018

      Berkhan

      Hard to say really. I listened the GR07 years ago. I wouldn’t compare with such a distant memory.

  • Reply April 19, 2018

    Durga Prasad

    Hi Sir, I have Sony xb50ap. that is good for me. Bass & Sound clarity. But FH1 is how much better than the sony?
    pls reply me..
    Thanks..

  • Reply April 19, 2018

    Durga Prasad

    my DAP is Fiio X1.
    thanks

  • Reply April 23, 2018

    Franky

    Hi, it is worth to upgrade to these earphones from the akg that comes with the galaxy s8?

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