| 13.6mm Beryllium Driver | 4x Knowles Balanced Armature | 3x Sound Filters | S. Turbo |
? FiiO FH7, the flagship penta-driver, hybrid in-ear monitor from FiiO.
The FiiO FH7 features four balanced armature drivers, 13.6mm dynamic drivers with Beryllium diaphragm and FiiO’s S.TURBO V2.0 acoustic design.
All 4 balanced armatures drivers inside each earpiece are made by Knowles (the most reputable manufacturer of balanced armature drivers). To be more specific, the exact Knowles models inside the FiiO FH7 are the Knowles SWFK-31736 (premium BA built for highs and treble frequencies) and a Knowles DFK custom driver that was specially build for FiiO – the Knowles DFK driver is a custom driver based on the highly popular Knowles 30017.
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On this penta driver configuration inside the FiiO FH7, the 13.6mm DD acts as a dedicated low frequency driver, the Knowles DFK takes care of the midrange response and the Knowles SWFK-31736 is responsible of reproducing the upper end of the audio spectrum.
The earpieces are made of aerospace-grade aluminum, which results in a extremely robust and durable build that will surely withstand any abuse without showing a single hint of falling apart.
The cable included with the FiiO FH7 is a 8 strands, high-purity Litz monocrystalline copper-plated silver with 152 wires.
Moreover, the cable of the FiiO FH7 has MMCX connectors that grant a solid and stable connection, besides compatibility with any MMCX cable.
FiiO has done an excellent job upgrading the cable on the FiiO FH7 vs FiiO FA7. The FA7 was quite a premium cable but tended to remain “curvy/wavy” shaped, instead, the new cable bundled with the FH7 has substantially improved, with a sort of triple-helix design, a more rubberized finish and lower microphonics.
Tech-spec wise, the FiiO FH7 has a maximum power capacity of 100mW and a extremely wide frequency response ranging from 5Hz up to 40000Hz, a low impedance of 16 ohm and 111dB/mW of sensitivity.
Fortunately, the brand conserved the phenomenal L-plug seen on the FiiO FA7, with the same industrial design and extremely robust metal build.
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FiiO FH7 Review
Tests & Scores
FiiO FH7 weight in Ounces and FiiO FH7 weight in grams.
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Accessories & Packaging
The FiiO FH7 unboxing results in an amazing variety and high quality accessories, including: a gorgeous leather case, a soft pouch (like seen on the FiiO FA7), the detachable MMCX cable, a brush, a magnetic strainer, 3 pair of audio filters, a metal case for the filters and 15 pair of eartips of which 3 pair are single flange silicone, 1 pair is bi-flange, 2 pair of memory foam, 3 pair for vocals, 3 pair for bass and 3 pair of SpinFit eartips (the exact model included is the SpinFit CP145).
The FH7 comes inside a fairly large, serious looking packaging with a matte-black finish and a clean design. The main cover of the packaging slides out, while the main packaging inside has a side opening design (like a book) which contains the whole unit and accessories in foam protected cutouts.
Bass & Sub Bass
The FiiO FH7, with it’s huge 13.6mm dedicated Beryllium dynamic driver and the patented S.Turbo acoustic design, are able to provide mid-bass that will never lack punch and sub-bass capable of getting as deep as needed by any track and genre.
A disclaimer for bassheads, this is not an over-boosted nor sub-bass-only sounding earphone.
In addition to this, it is worth noting that mid-bass exhibits a clean and tight personality with a sort of “drier” sound with nearly no bounciness.
At the same time, their lowest end can get nicely deep, yet without drowning it’s sound signature, resulting in an rich but non-bloated bass that cuts off where it should.
Most in-ear monitors models fail at balancing their bass response, falling either into an over-boosted and invasive bass or in a shallow, thin, anemic response that gets masked as “refined bass” by manufacturers. The FiiO FH7 does not suffer from none of these problems, with an excellent bass balance that can be full when requested and fast when needed.
If wanted, the FiiO FH7 can be pushed for crazy deep sub-bass with an intense EQ aimed to this and they will respond very well.
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Mids & Vocals
The FiiO FH7 have warm mids but to a degree that results in a full and intimate sound instead of an overdone one.
Their vocals are alive, never getting recessed or laid back but neither getting too aggressive nor risking of becoming boxy or strident – 85% of the time they will not show any mid-bass bleed, the remaining 15% will show a marginal amount that will not be as invasive as to congest their lower and middle mids.
Higher mids are somewhat “spicier” than their lower mids, making them crisp but not harsh and adding a crystal clear sensation to female vocals. Nonetheless, the FH7’s higher mids remain free of harshness.
Truly, the FiiO FH7 does not need any EQ retuning in their midrange, yet they can be fine tuned with any sound preference approach (warmer, colder, cleaner, busier, crispier, smoother) and they will efficiently respond. Our recommendation, do not boost their upper mids nor middle mids to avoid adding harshness.
Highs & Treble
The Knowles balanced armature drivers inside the FiiO FH7 do an excellent job retrieving and resolving detail.
Furthermore, their highs are bright and open right out of the box without needing any user’s intervention nor re tuning with equalization.
As a point of reference, their highs follow a coherent sound personality with their midrange, with a clean and clear sound that is spicy but not forward.
The, overall, highs and treble approach of the FiiO FH7 will result in a great match to listeners looking for bright and detailed sound, that does not become excruciatingly fatiguing – any sibilant and piercing peak that showed up during our soundtests were within a tolerable range.
An EQ can provide a jaw dropping increase of their detail retrieval and remarkable opening up of their overall highs and treble with a fairly contained amount over the empowering of any fatiguing peaks.
FiiO FH7 sound filters
If at this point you are wondering why we did not mention their sound characteristics with every sound filter bundled with the FiiO FH7; we did not perceived nor measured any extensively drastic difference by swapping the filters
Instead, we noticed a subtle brightening of their highs with the “highs filter” and a slightly less emphasized highs end with the “bass filter”.
If you want to get crazy and play around, the most drastic sound difference was noticeable without any filter in place.
DISCLAIMER: the FiiO FH7 is designed to be, always, used with one of the 3 pair of filters in place; for the health of your unit we do not recommend to use the FiiO FH7 without filters. Using the FiiO FH7 without filters could damage or completely break the earphone.
The sound leaking out of the FiiO FH7 is lower than on most average headphones, allowing a wider margin to crank up the volume of your listening sessions before they become too hearable by nearby people.
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The sound isolation provided by the FiiO FH7 is much more efficient than on many average earphones. Strong isolation will be immediately felt while wearing them and absolute isolation will be easily reached by dialing up the volume.
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The earpieces of the FiiO FH7 have curved edges and nearly flush fit. Average-sized ears will found outstanding comfort and fit, people with very small ears might find them fitting tighter and precise (maybe marginally too much for people with ears smaller than average).
FiiO took a whole opposite design approach when building the FiiO FH7 vs FiiO FA7, being the FiiO FH7 a heavy-duty model build with aerospace-grade aluminum instead of the light weighted resin on the FA7 – this does not make either better than the other one, they are just different. One clear improvement on the FiiO FH7 is the non-slippery housing’s finish (in comparison to the FA7).
The new cable is also softer, more malleable and provides better anti-tangling capabilities with, also, substantially lower microphonics.
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Response to Equalization
The response to EQ of the FiiO FH7 provided pronounced retuning of their baseline sound, being able to custom tune their midrange, empower their mid and sub-bass and outstandingly add detail and airiness to their highs and treble.
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FiiO FH7 Frequency Response Curve
FiiO FH7 Frequency Response Curve with sound filters
turquoise= no filters; violet= highs filter; green= stock; blue= bass filter
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FiiO FH7 Technical Specifications
|Driver Unit||4x Knowles + Beryllium DD|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||15x Earphone tips; soft pouch; leather case; brush; strainer; 3x audio filters|
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FiiO FH7 Scores
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