Oh, FiiO...How they woo me with their great value for money DACs and players. FiiO’s IEMs also tend to be good deals, and I’m rarely disappointed with the quality of their sound. Now, enter FiiO’s prettiest IEM of all time. If the FA7 sounds even half as good as it looks, I’ll be happy camper. So, will these buds be sure winners? Or will FiiO underwhelm our ears and ruin my day? Let’s find out in this FiiO FA7 Earphones Review.
FiiO FA7 Review & Specs
IN the BOX
I haven’t worn a better fitting pair of IEMs in a long time. They slip in super easy. That’s what she said. And while the sound isolation is good, it’s also a uniquely comfortable fit for an earphone with a memory wire. In fact, the ergonomic design of the FA7’s shells may be the best I’ve ever tested.
The FA7 sports four Knowles balanced armature drivers with a four-way crossover. One BA for the lows, one for the mids and two for the higher frequencies.
But can we talk about the shells again? If you’re allergic to peanuts and everything else under the sun, the FA7 might be the perfect IEM for you. Boasting a skin-friendly resin, these antimicrobial buds are actually medically certified by doctor types at the EU. And unlike my transparent iPhone case that is now yellow, the see-through FA7 is apparently resistant to discoloration. So, there’s no question that, in terms of comfort and aesthetics, FiiO has hit it out of the ballpark.
You’ll also get a nice sturdy cable with MMCX connectors. The copper-plated silver wire has a super solid 3.5mm jack, and the MMCX connectors are well-insulated and easy to detach.
Overall Impressions: Lush and easy listening.
The low-end is generous enough to do justice to pop. But it’s not a particularly tight sound. In fact, the bass may border on lazy at times. And the low end slightly creeps into the higher frequencies, making for a cloudy mix when listening to certain rock tracks. But there’s warmth and richness there as well, which will please folks with a taste for meaty sound.
A pretty even and present midrange. But again, the low mids are a little upstaged by the bass frequencies. Still, you’ll get a full bodied feel when listening to big choruses, while vocals in the upper mids sit slightly forward. Clarity is decent once you reach the upper midrange, but there’s a softness by which the FA7 handles instruments. So, listening to acoustic guitars, for example, you won’t get crystal sounding picks. Rather, it’s a slightly more veiled feel that rounds the edges a bit and fattens the instrument. This makes for a lush and pleasing sound, but perhaps at the expense of optimal separation.
Listening to strings in this range, FiiO seems to have gone with smoothness over transparency. Again, there’s a roll-off, which makes these buds very easy to listen to at the highest registers. But I was missing a little brightness and crispness in percussion in this range. Like the low frequencies, the highs lack a little discipline, falling short of that snappy sound that’s created from a fast transient response and slight high frequency extension.
The FA7 conveys a good sense of depth and has a nice amount of spaciousness overall. But imaging feels a little less than precise, perhaps because it’s not the cleanest or most well-separated sound profile on the planet. Still, you will get a feeling of dimension, though it won’t seem like a thoroughly 3D experience. And to be honest, I don’t think you can expect much more from an IEM at this price point.
If you’re just entering the audio world, these buds are a good place to start. And it’s a good choice for those who listen to music for long stretches of time. The FA7 also fits like a glove and has detachable MMCX connectors, so you can experiment with cables. But if you’re a seasoned audiophile looking for an outrageously good deal that only companies like FiiO can offer, you may be slightly disappointed. In fact, maybe I’m only disappointed because FiiO tends to blow me away with their sound quality for the price. Today, I only felt a gentle breeze.