Build and Fit
The FH9 IEM feels fabulous in hand, and I think based on the titanium design, it should be a reliable item for extensive usage. The chassis is tooled with a 5-axis CNC machine. So everything is beautiful and complete, and the shells are simply fantastic.
FH9 comes with a high-purity silver cable with 9 branches of 28 wires each, for a total of 224 wires. Each wire is individually isolated. They are braided together in a Litz pattern. The cable feels very high quality with good flexibility and tensile strength.
The FiiO FH9 has an ergonomic 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.
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 nice isolation. You can opt for foams to get more isolation though. SpinFits are also an option if you like those.
The IEM also feels quite comfortable and I did not feel any pressure with it. The isolation is not the best of course, given the semi-open design, but it’s still good. Overall an excellent and very comfortable fit experience.
The FH9 is a very dynamic sounding IEM with good attack and PRaT. It has good texture, resolution, transparency and dynamism. It’s mostly a balanced IEM with a slight bass warmth and punch. It packs good clarity and spaciousness, with a good sense of realism and nice tonality.
Apart from a bit lifted mid-bass, the presentation is close to neutral with no additional lift elsewhere. Unless you utilize the other nozzle filters. The FH9, while being well-balanced, also carries an energetic and dynamic approach with a quick nature. The good thing about the FH9 is that the presentation always feels natural and flowing.
The FH9’s bass is impactful, strong and deep. It’s just a little fat in the mid-bass region. However, it stays under control with good decay and texture. The kick is satisfying to hear, and it would be great especially for bass lovers out there. The texture of the bass is the most impressive part of the FH9. The quickness is right there despite the impactful and somewhat heavy-hitting nature of the bass.
Overall I like what I hear from the FH9 in terms of bass performance. It’s nowhere near a reference-like response, but it’s so much fun with its impact, quickness and texture. It provides musical enjoyment in this particular era.
I like the “balanced” tips best and they extract the most realistic bass presentation from the IEM in my opinion. Bass filters add more weight and lift to the sub-bass region particularly, making the bass meatier and more impactful. It’s not a drastic difference but think of it as an EQ. You have more kick and rumble. I would go with the balanced filters myself since I think the bass filters take away the balance and realism of the IEM.
The FH9 gives very clear mids with good transparency and resolution. The mids sound coherent and it also has good body and note thickness. I would’ve preferred a bit more weight here as well as a bit more musical tone, but it’s still good. Timbre-wise this is quite accurate and realistic, but again, it would’ve been better with a bit more body with the instruments. The mids sometimes come sterile and cold in that regard.
Those aside, I think the FH9 has a very good mid-range with very nice transparency, mid-bass balance, tonality and dynamism. There’s great smoothness and easiness in the mids with good air and separation. From a technical standpoint, the transparency, air, separation and resolution in the mids are excellent. In terms of naturalness and timbre, the FH9 can sometimes sound cold and thin, without too much musicality. However, it technically performs fantastic. If you’re after a very musical mid-range, you can look at other options.