FiiO FH1 Dual Driver Hybrid Review
• Good range of hardware
• Comfortable for long periods of time
• Great price for the sound quality.
• Fiddly when changing over cables.
• In some songs, the bass can be too heavy.
The FiiO FH1’s are my first experience with in-ear headphones manufactured by FiiO. Once I got used to them, I was genuinely impressed by the sound quality and comfort. For the price, they are a great purchase and if you’re looking for a pair of lightweight, in-ear headphones, with an incredibly strong low-end, then continue reading.
Thoughtful & practical packaging
Packaged in a sleek black container, with all the components packaged neatly inside, it’s clear FiiO take pride in their appearance. The box is sturdy, and will undoubtedly keep your headphones safe and in a good condition. At first, I thought they had forgotten the ear tips, however, after lifting a “secret” compartment I found 12 headphone tips neatly concealed. Due to variations in size, the tips should accommodate all ear canal sizes.
Also, the sound quality of the microphone was incredibly clear and also partially blocked out the unwanted noise around me, resulting in a clear conversation from my end.
Redefining comfort for hook earphones
I tend to not like over ear hooks on my headphones as I find them to be somewhat cumbersome. However, the FH1’s really impressed me here and once firmly on, I forgot they were even hooked over my ears. Both earpieces fit comfortably inside the ear, but it’s incredibly important to make sure the right ear-tips are used. Not only will this maximise the comfort, but a well-insulated fit means a clearer listening experience.
Connecting issues and advice
The coloured rings around each earpiece make it very clear which cable should connect to which headphone. One slight problem I found with the connection process was that when removing the cable from the earpieces, a large amount of pressure must be applied.
This is somewhat unnerving as it feels like the cable might snap. After reading various reviews on Amazon, I found that this had happened to some users. Although my experience was straightforward, I’d recommend taking this into account when changing the earpieces to avoid broken earpieces and cables.
More cables, more choices!
FiiO also provides two cable variations – 3.5mm and 2.5mm.
The 2.5mm specialises in providing a greater range of channel separation and detail retrieval within the mix. Whereas the 3.5mm is made more towards the active user who likes to have the option of playing and pausing songs on the go. The extra cable is also a nice touch and shows that FiiO has all consumer groups in mind (From the audiophile to the everyday commuter).
How do they sound?
Overall the sound quality in the FH1’s is fantastic for the price range. Before receiving the product I did some preliminary research and found the online specs for the bass driver. My initial thought was that the bass would easily overpower the mids and highs, however, this turned out to not be the case and a full dynamic range can be heard throughout most songs. Even with the bass booming along in the background.
Ultimately, for the price you pay, the FH1’s sound superb.
Hybrid design, for an increased tonal range
Most headphones can be split into two categories – dynamic drivers & single drivers. Both FH1’s combine a titanium diaphragm driver, which allows for a deep and powerful bass sound. Whilst the other driver, the Knowles 33518, provides the power to the mids and highs. A combination of these two drivers, is probably what allows the bass to not overpower song elements within the mix.
Overall, the FiiO FH1’s provide a clear and high-quality playback experience, whilst also staying comfortable for long periods of time. As mentioned earlier my first impressions weren’t positive, so I really recommend taking your time to get accustomed to the connection process and taking the time to test which earbuds fit best for you.
Compared to higher-end headphones you will hear the difference in sound quality, but for the value and innovation they bring to the table, I would personally say these headphones are underpriced. So, grab a pair whilst you can, before FiiO realise they’ve undervalued one of their products.