FiiO at Audio46
FiiO FT5 Open Back Planar Magnetic Headphones
Product SKU: FT5
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- Large 90mm planar magnetic driver
- 6um ultra-thin diaphragm
- Micron-plated aluminum-silver alloy coils
- 20 neodymium magnets per driver
- High sensitivity and easy-to-power
- Lightweight magnesium-aluminum alloy construction
- Open-backed design
- 4 types of audio plugs
- 2 types of earpads
Fully sized and fully square, Large 90mm planar magnetic driver
The FIIO FT5 employs an outstanding large 90mm planar magnetic driver. Compared to a traditional dynamic driver, a planar magnetic driver converts sound energy to sound waves in a more balanced way, by vibrating in a much more even way. The vibrations are distributed across the entire driver diaphragm and there is little distortion caused by the rigidity of the diaphragm material. Thus, the FIIO FT5 can truly and accurately express audio signals, faithfully reproducing every last note and truly providing you with lossless hi-fi sound.
Discover micron-level manufacturing and technology
Planar magnetic drivers are in between dynamic and electrostatic headphones. Like dynamic headphones, there is a sort of coil on the planar driver. Similar to electrostatic headphones, the diaphragm is a special kind of thin, micron-level film. The FT5 is 28nm chip-scale processed, leading to an approximately 6μm thick diaphragm. These characteristics of the planar driver make it possible to create a headphone that is not only highly detailed but also easy to power.
The FT5 is FIIO's first set of planar magnetic headphones, providing intense energy to your sound like a thunderstorm.
As thin as a cicada's wing, zen-like 6μm ultra-thin diaphragm
When designing the FIIO FT5, the development team did not simply blindly chase bigger (or smaller) numbers - rather, everything was designed to achieve strict sound performance targets. We found that a diaphragm that is too thin can easily cause the coils attached to the diaphragm to fall off, leaving users with unusable headphones. Thus, after extensive testing, the FIIO development team determined that a 6μm* thickness was the ideal balance between sound performance and reliability.
For the diaphragm itself, the FIIO development team evaluated various materials for use such as PET, PEI, and PAR, and conducted comprehensive tests on dynamics, conversion efficiency, reliability, resolution, etc. Based on the acoustic goal and overall evacuation, the development team settled on using PAR for the diaphragm, which is the backbone of not only the FT5's excellent dynamics and highly detailed sound but also the rich bass not typically found in planar magnetic headphones.
Thinking about acoustics in a microscopic world, Micron-plated aluminum-silver alloy coils
In a flat driver diaphragm with a printed coil, almost all of the weight is concentrated on the metal-coated coils. During the development of the FT5, the R&D engineers not only needed to consider how the coils would interact with the 6μm thin diaphragm but also the density and conductivity of the coils themselves. Having examined and tested various commonly used materials* to plate planar coils, FIIO engineers determined that the lighter aluminum alloy material was best for the coils. Also, they determined that mixing in silver metal would enhance the conductivity of the coils, making the driver easier to power without sacrificing the high-frequency detail and rich sound characteristic of good planar magnetic drivers.
*Note: Density ranking of materials commonly used for plating planar coils: aluminum-titanium-copper<silver<gold
Nanoscale diaphragm coating process
High-end sound that's truly audible. The coils of the FT5's driver are printed onto the diaphragm using high-end technology from the semiconductor industry, ensuring that not only the thickness of the coils are more consistent, but that the weight of the coils is more evenly distributed resulting in more consistent diaphragms ultimately for more accurate sound.
20 neodymium magnets per driver [The way to balance]
Partly to ensure greater wearing comfort, 11 magnets are placed on the inside of the FT5's planar magnetic driver and 9 magnets are placed on the outside - leading to 20 magnets per channel and 40 in total for the entire headphone. The balanced placement of magnets allows the aluminum alloy coils to be evenly distributed in the magnetic field. It also allows the driver diaphragm to be balanced between the forces of the inner and outer magnets, guaranteeing consistent movement of the driver and thus reduced distortion, for higher fidelity sound.
[The power of balance]
The FT5 employs N52 neodymium magnets with magnetic density up to 1.5T to provide the strong forces needed to drive the large planar magnetic driver. These magnets are placed parallel to the coils on the driver, allowing for the coils to be evenly distributed among the magnetic field to maximize the headphone driving force and bring out the full potential of the planar magnetic driver.
Lightweight magnesium-aluminum alloy construction
The design of a planar magnetic driver includes the number of magnets to be used and how they are stacked, with more magnets meaning greater weight. Thus, the materials used to construct the outer shell of a planar magnetic headphone
must be carefully chosen to balance both sound quality and weight. The FIIO FT5 features a magnesium-aluminum alloy construction. Thanks to magnesium aluminum alloy being only 64% as dense as that aluminum alloy, the FT5 can be made to be much lighter in weight for long yet comfortable listening sessions.
Always walking in the "Golden Hall," High sensitivity and easy-to-power
Traditionally, planar magnetic headphones have featured low sensitivity, leading many users of such headphones to employ beefy desktop audio gear to drive them to their full potential. Planar magnetic headphones traditionally cannot be sufficiently listened to during travel.
But the FT5 is not like a traditional planar magnetic headphone. Thanks to 20 neodymium magnets with a high magnetic density of up to 1.5T, 6μm thin diaphragm, and nano-level aluminum alloy coating technology, the FT5's driver is both light and strong, allowing for a high sensitivity of 110dB/1Vrms@1kHz i.e. 96dB/mW@1kHz. This allows the FT5 to be easily driven even by portable players, letting you experience a "Golden Hall" of sound no matter where you go.
Better functioning metal construction
The FIIO development team when creating the design of the FT5 gave special consideration to the large vibrations the massive 90mm planar magnetic driver generates. Thus, the FT5 is made of metal, which much better resists vibrations generated by the driver from music such as those generated when playing back bass-heavy tracks than a plastic enclosure would.
Symphonic poetry begins here, Open-backed design
To achieve its great sound, the FT5 features a large 90mm planar magnetic driver with 20 magnets on a single side of each driver. To further reach its maximum potential, the FT5 also contains a specially designed open-backed acoustic structure. The rear of the driver housing is carefully designed to act as a sound wave baffle to isolate the sound waves in the front and rear of the driver housing. The grille of the FT5 is scientifically designed to control and precisely accelerate the airflow when the driver is moving. This not only allows the FT5 to have treble resolution unmatched by dynamic driver headphones but also allows it to have a vast soundstage to better immerse you in the symphony.
Conversation with an engineer
"In a dynamic driver, the voice coil vibrates which vibrates the entire diaphragm to make sound. However, in doing so it is easy to produce uneven vibrations across different parts of the diaphragm and thus leads to distortion when producing higher frequencies. The diaphragm of a planar magnetic driver is a large flat surface, with coils spread throughout and being moved by a uniform magnetic field. Thus, unlike a dynamic driver, sound from a planar magnetic driver is produced by a more even movement across the entire diaphragm, leading to less uneven vibrations across different parts and thus reduced distortion.
The principle of how planar magnetic drivers generate sound is closest to that of electrostatic drivers. Compared to dynamic drivers, the biggest advantage of planar magnetic drivers is their excellent high-frequency performance, thanks to the driver's extremely thin diaphragm. With the FT5's only 6um thick driver diaphragm being driven by many parallel magnets, its planar magnetic driver is extremely responsive and dynamic, providing a truly satisfying level of detail."
Chief Engineer of FIIO IEMS R&D Centre
Professional design to move you, Excellent full-range phase coherence
The FIIO FT5 is a planar magnetic headphone, with the coils of its planar driver spread throughout the diaphragm. Unlike dynamic drivers which vibrate at certain points, when the planar driver vibrates the entire diaphragm surface vibrates. This leads to more synchronized movement across the entire driver and thus better phase distortion compared to dynamic drivers. Through simulations and analysis of a large amount of experimental data, the coils of the FT5's planar driver are optimally placed to ensure an evenly distributed magnetic field for consistent phase performance across all frequencies, for a clear and real listening experience.
Following your heart without restraints, 3-axis swiveling design
The FT5 inherits the excellent 3-axis swiveling design used on other FT series
of headphones. This allows the earcups to freely rotate and attach to your head no matter the angle or size of your head, for improved quality and better seal.
Good sound, from good materials, 392 wires of high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable
The FT5 comes with a 1.5m cable made of 392 wires of silver-plated monocrystalline copper, each wire with a diameter of 24AWG. The copper wires help to give a solid and highly detailed sound, fully transmitting lossless sound directly to you.
Widely compatible, 4 interchangeable audio plugs included
The FT5 comes with 4 swappable audio plugs:
- 3.5mm/4.4mm interchangeable plugs
- 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter
- 4.4mm to XLR-4 balanced adapter
*Interchangeable audio plug patent licensed from FABRILOUS.
IN THE BOX
- 3.5mm interchangeable plug
- 4.4mm interchangeable plug (pre-installed at factory)
- 6.35mm male to 3.5mm female adapter
- XLR-4 male to 4.4mm female balanced adapter
- Leather storage case
- Velvet bag
- Protein leather earpads 1 pair
- Suede earpads 1 pair (pre-installed at factory)
- Headphone cable
- User manual
- Headphone type: Open planar magnetic headphones
- Frequency response: 7Hz-40kHz
- Driver type: 90mm planar magnetic
- Driver material: PAR diaphragm + aluminum alloy coils
- Impedance: 36Ω
- 110dB/rms (@1kHz)
- 96dB/mW (@1kHz)
- Max power input: 2000mW
- Weight: About 456g (excluding cable)
- Earpad pressure: 4.0N±0.3N
- Cable length: About 1.5m
- Cable material: 392 wires of high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline copper
- Cable connector: Dual 3.5mm plugs on headphone end, with swappable audio plugs