Review: FiiO FH5 – The Apex

FiiO FH5

After the Picture Sunday post, we finally take a detailed look at the FiiO FH5, the company’s most serious In Ear Monitor to date.


Disclaimer: The FiiO FH5 was sent to me by the company itself for this review. The price of the FH5 is 260$ at this time. The Sony WM1A Walkman is the source used for sound evaluation. 


For some reason, the IEMs from FiiO weren’t able to give me what I expected from them. I need to admit, they certainly did a good job from the price/performance standpoint. We even have a pair of their IEMs in our Universal IEM Recommendations Page. So don’t get me wrong here, but in terms of sound quality, there was room for improvement.

I’m a guy who gets too demanding sometimes and who is hard to satisfy. Yet, not delivering the utmost sound quality was quite understandable for me when I think about FiiO. They were simply a DAP and DAC/Amp manufacturer when they started it all. Therefore, their aggressive expansion in the IEM market is still something new.

The FH5

This is FiiO’s new hybrid in ear monitor, which aims to bring some fresh design and ergonomics to their IEM line up. The configuration consists of 3 Knowles BA drivers with an addition of a 10mm dynamic driver for bass. It’s certainly an exciting product for FiiO and budget IEMs overall.

I like this model simply because it proves to us that FiiO takes the IEM business very serious. Their know-how is still growing, their ambition is quite obvious and they want to transform themselves into a very good IEM manufacturer. If they keep their motivation at this level, I think the results will be great. One such great outcome could be the upcoming FH7 model, which will be their actual flagship when it is released.

FiiO FH5

FiiO FH5


This is a new and quite different box than the ones that came with FiiO’s previous models. Now the box is much bigger, indicating the product’s assertion. Inside you get the same carrying case which now has a transparent cover, and eleven pairs of tips. You get both foam and silicone types in case you’re wondering. The tips are presented beautifully and they affect the sound in different ways.

That’s why the tips are indicated as “bass”, “vocal” and “balanced”. The fourth types are the foam tips indicated as “memory foam”, but there’s no sound indication for them. We know from experience though; foams generally reduce the bass and create a more relaxed sound with taming down the treble. The tips are easily recognizable since they all have different colors. Once you memorize their color you know which is which.

You also get a carrying pouch and a cleaning tool.


The new FiiO FH5 has a very unconventional design to say the least. We have seen that “wavy” look on the face plates before with the F9 Seriesbut this is still a distinctive design language by FiiO.

To be honest, the F9 models remind me of some other products from another manufacturer, but the FH5 is quite original in its looks. Besides the face plate, there is a golden frame surrounding the top which gives the IEM a classy look.

FiiO FH5

FiiO FH5


FiiO got this one right. The IEM feels very robust in hand, and I think it should be a reliable item for extensive usage. The whole body is made from an aluminum-magnesium alloy. The face plates are closed with multiple screws inside. The chassis is tooled with a 5-axis CNC machine. So everything is beautiful and complete, and you can clearly see and feel the difference between the FH5 and FiiO’s previous offerings.

The cable is named as “LC-3.5B” and you can purchase it separately if you want. It’s quite thick and sturdy but not very practical to me. It’s not as flexible as I would have liked, and it feels a notch heavier, compared to their other cables. The cable is made from silver plated copper wires and they’re coated with a transparent TPU material.

I really liked the build of the 3.5 mm L – type jack and the overall build of the cable, but maybe they could’ve used a thinner and more flexible one. Yet, it’s still a tremendously durable cable, at least that’s how it looks to me.


The FiiO FH5 has a great shape for most ears out there. It’s quite round, like the previous models, but the difference is that this design provides a fuller fit. The fit is more complete and ergonomic for a Universal IEM. It’s not fiddly anymore, it instead sits flush in your ears and it feels much more secure.

FiiO FH5

FiiO FH5

The supplied tips work very well. I chose the silicone ones, despite me usually liking the foam tips more. That’s because the IEM fits very well and I don’t have to use the foam tips to get a flush & secure fit. The silicone tips do the trick and they’re enough to give you a nice isolation. You can opt for foams to get more isolation though.

The IEM also feels quite comfortable and I did not feel any pressure with it. The isolation is not the best but still good.

The review continues on PAGE 2 with sound impressions

4/5 - (76 votes)

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. 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 favourite Jazz recordings.


  • Reply November 21, 2018

    Long time listener

    This doesn’t make much sense to me:

    “The lower mids are slightly recessed while the upper mids are quite accentuated [… ] instruments sound a little warm and slightly dark…”

    How on earth do you get instruments that sound warm and dark with an upper midrange that is highly accentuated? I’ve never heard that before. An accentuated upper midrange tends to make everything sound uncomfortably bright and hard.

    • Reply November 21, 2018



      Brightness and emphasis are not the same thing.

  • Reply November 24, 2018


    Hi Sir, I need some advice for oriolus forsteni or fh5, if i use phone as my source, which will u pick?

    • Reply November 24, 2018



      • Reply November 27, 2018


        Thank you =) waiting for ibasso it01s and it04w review.

  • Reply December 12, 2018


    Thanks for a great review! Been using the Final e5000 for several months now and have been looking for an additional pair that could be a little brighter at the high end. This could be it… I must have gone through a dozen FH5 reviews and they all seem consistently positive. I enjoy reading to your interpretations of your experience with each of your reviews.

  • Reply December 13, 2018


    Hi there! I’m considering the several earphones. I’m looking for something that provides intimate soundstage, punchy bass and more importantly a fun and engaging sound. My main genres are pop, acoustics and rap.
    1) Fiio Fh5
    2) BGVP dm6
    3) Oriolus finschi


    • Reply December 14, 2018


      Sounds like the FH5 will suit you well. I haven’t listened to the Finschi yet but people who have say that it’s very good. I don’t know about the DM6.

  • Reply December 25, 2018


    Hi there! Would you recommend the Fiio Fh5 or Shozy BG ?

  • Reply December 25, 2018


    BG 🙂

  • Reply December 27, 2018

    Marco Angel De La Torre Camacho

    Hi here!
    have you tried to remove the protective mesh, some says it balances the sound more in the mids and highs

  • Reply January 8, 2019

    Michael Hoopes

    I actually had to use the L bass tips due to the FH5’s shallow insertion depth; they were the only tips wide enough to maintain a seal with my ears. I also increased the insertion depth by adding 1.5 mm section o-rings (McMaster-Carr dash number 117N141) at the base of the nozzle. I generally use EQ, so I was able to decrease some of that mid-bass warmth and the upper-midrange peak. And yes, the extension is still there, but it doesn’t sound unnatural to me.

    • Reply January 9, 2019


      Good for you. If you balanced it out via EQ, there shouldn’t be much of a problem.

  • Reply February 3, 2019

    juan luis Quiroz guevara

    How compared with the oriolus forsteni and the new finschi?

    Juan Luis.

  • Reply February 8, 2019


    Hi, are these a suitable upgrade if I really enjoyed 1Mores quad driver?

  • Reply May 10, 2019


    Hi, I’ve been looking for some new earphone ever since I lost my Shure SE215 and I’ve been eyeing FiiO FH5.

    I was pretty happy with how the SE215 sound, except on the less powerful bass it offered, which is pretty understandable why.

    I would ask if FiiO FH5 would probably satisfied me looking at my sound preference. I wish i can audition it somewhere but i can’t.

    If not, is there any other iem recommended?

    • Reply June 3, 2019


      If you like the SE215 than you’ll love the FH5.

  • Reply February 24, 2020


    I live in Istanbul, and my FiiO FH5 is broke down. Do you have any idea how I can make it repaired. Thank you for you help.

    • Reply February 25, 2020


      Hi Bülent,

      I’ve sent you an e-mail for this.

  • Reply May 12, 2020


    I’m using Ibasso IT-01 and i like them but i want to upgrade do you think FH5 is a good choice for mostly rap and edm?

  • Reply November 8, 2022

    BOUGARD David

    Bonjour Berkhan,

    Tout d’abords merci pour vos analyses toujours complètes. J’ai la chance d’obtenir le HIDIZS ap80 pro X spécial édition. J’hésite maintenant entre plusieurs IEM : Voici ma sélection (Je recherche surtout la restitution fidèle de l’auteur, en sachant que mes fichiers sont du DSD, dsf, Flac 24/192)…..
    Hidizs MD4
    Sennheiser IE 300
    FiiO FH5
    FIIO FD5
    FiiO FA7S
    …. Ou alors une suggestion ? (Pas plus de 300 EUROS)

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