FiiO FA1 – Review

FiiO FA1

 FiiO FA1

| Knowles Balanced Armature |





🎧 We are reviewing the FiiO FA1, a single balanced armature earphone from the brand.

Despite a market pushing for insane amount of drivers and various hybrid configurations, FiiO decided to approach the design of the FiiO FA1 with a different style: a single driver.

In fact, the FiiO FA1 features a single balanced armature per earpiece and is the second model from the brand that has a pure balanced armature configuration (being the FiiO FA7 the first one).

The specific balanced armature inside the FiiO FA1 is a high quality, Knowles ED-33357 model. This is also the first time that this Knowles balanced armature is seen inside any FiiO earphone.

The housings of the FiiO FA1 have been 3D printed and customly designed. Each earpiece is translucent and has a form factor inherited from the FiiO FA7 – a model with a housing’s design that provides outstanding comfort.

The cable of the FiiO FA1 is detachable, with MMCX connectors and a helix, rubberized design. Each MMCX connector end has a colored ring that eases the process of identifying the right and left side (blue=left, red=right)

The cable bifurcation section, strainer ring and MMCX connector sections are made of metal while the L-shaped 3.5mm jack has a rear metal cap and a main rubberized body.

You can buy the FiiO FA1 in 2 options:

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FiiO FA1 Review

Tests & Scores


W

Weight

FiiO FA1 weight in Ounces and FiiO FA1 weight in grams.

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A

Accessories & Packaging

The FiiO FA1 unboxing results in the detachable MMCX cable, a waterproof hard carrying case, a silicone cable organized, a cleaning brush and 6 pair of eartips of 2 types. FiiO says that 3 of these pairs are optimized for bass while the other 3 pairs are optimized for balanced sound.

Everything comes inside a white packaging with a book-like opening system and a clean, minimal design.

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B

Bass & Sub Bass

The FiiO FA1 bass is fairly punchy but not very deep. Their lower end is rolled-off and will not provide an intense response for EDM tracks but will grant a clean, non-boosted bass that will never get out of control nor step over the sound signature.

We would not rate them as an overly shallow earphone but listeners will well-notice that their sub-bass will not get as deep as many other consumer earphones.

Usually, budget models tend to be tuned for the general consumer that enjoys bassy sound, the FiiO FA1 is a budget model from the brand but has aimed for a totally opposite sound signature. To avoid confusion it is fair to highlight that this is not a basshead earphone – we can, even, safely say that this is not a bassy earphone. As so, listeners looking for intense bass, crazy-deep sub-bass or a bass-centered sound signature should look elsewhere; for example, check the headphones in our Top Fun Sounding Earphones Chart or our Best Basshead Earphones Chart.

Applying an EQ, a considerable amount of sub-bass can be filled-in but do not expect massive results.

gramophone-256607.75/10

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FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

M

Mids & Vocals

The FiiO FA1 mids have super clean mids with absolutely no mid-bass bleed, nor any kind of lower mids congestion – this is helped by their controlled bass tuning.

Despite this, their midrange does not sound thin nor cold, with male vocals that sound sufficiently full and well-represented.

Higher mids are very crisp and clear, with a nearly forward tuning. Due to this, the FA1 might show some harshy peaks, depending on each track and volume setting.

Overall, the midrange of the FiiO FA1 will be a delight to listeners looking for clean mids that do not suffer from bass congestion and who also enjoy spicy vocals.

With an EQ, their harshy peaks can be sedated without loosing too much of their characteristic sound – we do not consider that they need much more “re-tuning” than this.

gramophone-256608.5/10

FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

H

Highs & Treble

The FiiO FA1 highs have a very bright profile with some detail and open sound.

This bright sound signature also translates into an earphone tuned with aggressive highs and treble but that can show piercing and sibilant peaks.

An EQ can reveal their true potential to resolve detail with highly-noticeable results and can be also used to adjust their fatiguing peaks.

gramophone-256607.75/10

FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

SL

Sound Leak

The sound leaking out of the FiiO FA1 is fairly less than on many average earphones but will be hearable in libraries and while listening to music at elevated volume settings.

gramophone-256607.5/10

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FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

SI

Sound Isolation

The sound isolation provided by the FiiO FA1 is very strong with a capability to isolate from the environment way above normal headphones.

gramophone-256608.5/10

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FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

C

Comfort

The housings of the FiiO FA1 combine several features that make them an extraordinarily comfortable earphone to wear.

To start with, the FiiO FA1 vs FiiO FA7 have a highly-similar form factor and shape of their earpieces, with the FiiO FA1 being thinner and even achieving a flush fit with the ears.

The second fact that adds up to their comfort is their extremely light-weighted earpieces weighting approx. 4.5 grams.

gramophone-256609.5/10

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FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

EQ

Response to Equalization

The response to EQ of the FiiO FA1 was substantial on highs (mostly on detail) and showed good results filtering out some of their harsh peaks in their midrange.

gramophone-256607.5/10

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Scores Scores

FiiO FA1 Scores

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Frequency Response (raw)

FiiO FA1 Frequency Response Curve

FiiO FA1 frequency response curve
FiiO FA1 frequency response curve

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FiiO FA1 Technical Specifications

Specifications

Type Balanced Armature
Driver Unit ED-33357
Sensitivity 111dB/mW
Power Capacity 100mW
Impedance 15 ohms
Frequency Response 20-20,000Hz
Balanced Armature Knowles
Drivers 1
Cord Y-type
Cord Length 1.2m
Plug Stereo mini plug
Weight Approx. 9g
Supplied Accessories 6x Earphone tips; waterproof case; brush; cable organizer

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FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1
FiiO FA1

FAQ

FiiO FA1 FAQ

How many drivers does the FiiO FA1 have?

The FiiO FA1 is a single driver headphone. Which means that the FiiO FA1 has 1 driver per side.

What type of headphone is the FiiO FA1?

The FiiO FA1 is an in-ear headphone.

The FiiO FA1 is an open, semi-open or closed back headphone?

The FiiO FA1 is a closed back headphone.

 Does the FiiO FA1 have a microphone?

The FiiO FA1 does not have a microphone and a remote.

What is the price of the FiiO FA1?

You can check the most up-to-date price of the FiiO FA1 by following THIS LINK.

Where can I buy the FiiO FA1?

You can buy the FiiO FA1 HERE

Which FiiO FA1 colors are available?

The colors available for the FiiO FA1 are: blue/red, gray

What cable do the FiiO FA1 have?

The FiiO FA1 have a detachable, Y-type cable.

What cable connection does the FiiO FA1 have?

The FiiO FA1 cable connection has a MMCX interface.

Are there replacement cables for the FiiO FA1 ?

The FiiO FA1 cables can be replaced with compatible MMCX replacement cables.

Are there upgrade cables for the FiiO FA1 ?

The FiiO FA1 uses MMCX cables which are very popular standard cables. You can buy any cable with an MMCX connector to upgrade the cable.

Does the FiiO FA1 have Bluetooth / The FiiO FA1 is a wireless headphone?

The FiiO FA1 does not have Bluetooth but you can buy Bluetooth cables to make the FiiO FA1 Bluetooth-enabled headphones. Or you can buy adapters such as the FiiO BTR3 to make it wireless Bluetooth.

Is the FiiO FA1 compatible with Apple devices?

The FiiO FA1 is fully compatible with Apple devices.

Is the FiiO FA1 compatible with Android devices?

The FiiO FA1 is fully compatible with Android devices.
Other products from the brand reviewed by ThePhonograph
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Photos
DISCLAIMER
We highly discourage anyone from trying to apply our testings to your own earphones, the risk of damaging or permanently breaking your iems is absolutely probable to happen. With our standardized equalization and amplification tests we push the limits of the earphones to the extreme. If anyway you decide to do so, we cannot be held responsible of the damage done to your equipment. Do it at your own risk.

FiiO FA1

8.3

SCORE

8.3/10


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