When it comes to flagship IEMs, FiiO adopted a Tick-Tock model to keep a high interest in both their hybrid and all-balanced armatures IEMs, but instead of shrinking their size year after year, FiiO is making them bigger, better and packed with extra goodies. Learn how your comment data is processed. Mid-bass and midrange are not affected at all by this switch and I’m really glad to see that. Visually, the ear differs from the FH1 and FA1 again. Bi-Flange ear tip (a single M sized pair) Etymotic users know them very well. Natural sounding and armature-based IEMs should never be in the same sentence, but here we are with something completely different that will forever alter my preconceptions about armature-based IEMs. This switch is simply a life saver. All in all, with the right tuning (S1 On or OFF, S2 Off, S3 Off), FA9 are not that far off from my linearity curve and are sounding quite balanced in terms of frequency response with only a few dips in the lower treble that can be overlooked. Overall, I recorded a low THD, among the best spectral decay and waterfall and quite a linear frequency response by disabling the bass limiter. FiiO FA9 Universal IEM Review Introduction: Fiio is a Chinese HiFi brand that was established in 2007 and has experience in researching and developing countless portable music products of different types, and sells FiiO-branded products through sales agents worldwide. Vocal ear tips (3 pairs of S, M and L – the white silicone ones with a red inner tube). Sub-bass in the stock form is missing a lot of intensity and I’m simply unable to hear the sub-bass layers that I’m normally spotting in my electronic music. First things first.......let's get the entry right. Fiio EH3NC Again, Berkhan gave us his good word: “ The guys at FiiO know how to improve themselves in this very crowded IEM market. When it comes to measurements, my best friend is still the Benchmark HPA4 as it is as linear as headphone amplifiers could go and I used both the Matrix Element X and the Audiobyte HydraVox as the main DACs. Memory foam tips (2 pairs in M size only – the black foam sticky ones) Here’s another free tip on how to improve your FA9: presuming you already followed my first tip, insert the memory foam tips and that’s it! You get four drivers, and a slightly different sound signature, compared to the FH7 and FH5. FiiO FA9 Universal IEM Review. The latest model features six Knowles balanced armature driver units on each side with 3D printed skin-friendly resin shells. The FiiO F9 Pro sits right in the middle of the catalog. They both have a top-notch build quality, but FH7 uses a metal housing with a matte black paint which I really like. My particular pair came with the medium sized Spin-Fit pre-applied on them. More about this very soon. The FA9 is their new armature only flagship with some features that help set it apart from other products in the price range, like the use of all-Knowles armatures (one of which was custom designed for FiiO), a unique 80.6mm long sound tube, and an electronic tuning system via three switches built into the rear of … I like that you need to apply quite some force to attach and detach the cable. I consider that FiiO opened a pandora box with this one as I’m sure there is a setting that works better for each one of you, I’m eager to test all those switches for myself so let’s do some music listening. Upon opening the last matte-black box, I was greeted by the IEMs themselves with a see-through body and with a sparkly face-plate that is attracting a lot of attention. FiiO have slowly been advancing into the high-end market with their products encroaching onto new price brackets. I bet you do; these are for you then. And, steadily, they up their game. FH7 is smaller in size as it carries less drivers and slightly less tech inside it. This is precisely why, I strongly recommend putting switch no.3 in the Off position, unleashing the kraken in that region and unlocking the sub-bass to its fullest potential. Some people don’t like the short cycles in terms of product releases, but seeing a com… Even after more than 10 years of experience, Berkhan reviewed it a few years ago now, praising FiiO for: “ Great fit and good isolation, good content, nice build, and design, all together in a sub-100 package. It looks a lot like the FH5, sharing the same shell just in a different color tone, with more drivers and different tuning. The FiiO FA9 is the company’s brand new flagship monitor featuring 6 BA drivers per side and unique switchable sound signatures. Sadly, they don’t work for me, my ear-holes are not that large (Yet!) In terms of sound performance, FH7 was a real eye-opener for me back then, as it even outperformed some >$1000 IEMs that I’ve tried, including a custom pair of IEMs. My Video Review: Is FiiO ever sleeping at night? FH7 was by a hair less impressive in there, a bit hollow sounding too and was losing a bit of texture and detail in that region. My 5-year old Lenovo Thinkpad went from garbage to completely silent with movies and shows, my tablet and smartphone are now extra quiet and all my desktop headphone amplifiers are suddenly IEM friendly. The sheer number of products they release on a monthly basis is staggering. When it comes to treble, FA9 is simply one of the finest IEMs I’ve experienced so far, past 3 kHz and FA9 is simply fabulous, even past top-octave there is plenty of information in there, lots of driver movement which FA7 simply doesn’t have. Of course, you can match between them according to your music, to your source, to your mood in that particular day and to your musical preference. I’m already expecting some extra details past 16 KHz and I’m quite curious what MiniDSP EARS will say about that too. If FH7 is mighty fine in there, FA9 is simply perfect. This is Fiios latest flagship model as it attempts to expand its product line into the upper end of the audiophile earphone market. It hits hard in there and moves a bigger amount of air too. First of all, it is not changing anything in the frequency response so whatever setting you choose, it will alter only the impedance and the sensitivity of the IEMs, nothing more. We reviewed the, BLOG: The Fav Album Of…. I’ve measured them only by using the memory foam ear-tips as all other ear-tips would not offer a perfect seal, completely destroying the bass performance. . The FiiO FD1 is another new IEM, neither hybrid nor balanced, it’s a pure dynamic driver, and that’s quite rare nowadays. Disclaimer: the FiiO FA9 was sent to us, free of charge, by FiiO in exchange for our honest opinion. Check back for my next Monday review and I'll include a reference or two for you :…, Disclaimer: the FiiO FA9 was sent to us, free of charge, by FiiO in exchange for our honest opinion. The shell is made of aluminum, the bundle is quite extensive, and the sound should fit almost every demand, in this price range. Total Harmonic Distortion at 85 dB of volume stays at a very respectable 0.63% which is very low considering it is an all armature driver, only the bass region exceeds 1% of distortion by a very small margin. What FiiO is trying to tell is that is should resist a lot of abuse, it is very slippery so inserting them in and out is very easy to do and their size and shape is very consistent unit after unit. FiiO FA9 Review The FA9 is an impressive upgrade on the FA7, no doubt about that. In terms of accessories and packaging both are more alike that different, FH7 is coming with a metal pill that houses interchangeable sound filters and FA9 comes with a flat screwdriver that helps you adjust those switches up and down, everything else is absolutely identical, including the number of ear-tips and the cable quality. When it comes to treble performance, I consider FA9 a better headphone, it lacks that peak and it is considerably more extended sounding in the top octave. As usual, a higher model number, means there are more drivers inside, a new cross-over design, a bigger shell and a higher number of accessories. There is possibly a drop in the lower treble region that completely scares the brightness away. Reviews. Be the first to review “Fiio FA9” Cancel reply. The shell is filled completely with resin, so their internals will not bounce around how I’ve seen on some custom monitors. Roses are red and violets are blue compared to their former flagships FH7? There is a ton of great sounding portable DAPs that are plagued by a noisy headphone output, most of the desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones are also far from perfect when it comes to IEM pairings. In all honesty, I find the default Off position mighty fine sounding and the treble performance of FA9 in its stock form is one if its stronger points. Disabling the bass limiter, I’m getting this reading, this is what I’m talking about. The nozzle depth is at about 5mm in length, so again lots of Comply, Spin-Fit and other ear-tip brands will work with these no problem. Sony NW-WM1A “K” Modded, FW 2.0; IEMs. FiiO went with an attractive price point of $499.99 for their flagship IEM and I’m really curious how they stack-up against their own FH7 genre masters IEMs that I’m using for more than a year now. It is a bit more defined and slightly elevated for an all-armature IEM, but it is pleasing to experience all that fullness and warmth in such a small shell. It is kind of interesting seeing that besides high frequencies, FiiO is taking extra care of the ultra-high frequencies as well or top octave as I am calling it. So, in reality the bass switch in Off position is not working as a bass boost, but it simply lets those drivers do its job without nothing standing in its way.