In FiiO continue to be firmly fixed ondynamic and ever-changing headphone market. Starting with the low-end models, the company moved to the upper segment, presenting hybrid FH5, followed by four-driver FA7, fully reinforced, which will be discussed today.
Of course, FiiO could get more drivers.from Bellsing, roll them into a plastic case and send to compete either with KZ, or with the next Yinyoo. The company decided differently and made headphones on Knowles drivers. The bass went great by the standards of the CI-22955 fittings, the “classics of the genre” in the person of ED-29689 is responsible for the middle frequencies, the customizable SWFK-31736 match was put on the “top”. The cases were printed on medical epoxy resin on a 3D printer, which made it possible to create a spectacular design, but this is slightly lower.
Of course, the cost could not be low, the sameKnowles values its radiators, so the recommended price for a FA7 is about $ 300. In FiiO they said that the FA7 in tuning would be a more neutral model than the same FH5, but for some reason they changed their mind and reconfigured the model in a different way.
- Emitters: 4 × with balanced anchor
- Frequency range: 20 Hz - 40 kHz
- Impedance: 23Ω
- Sensitivity: 110 dB / mW
- Maximum power: 100 mW
- Cable: 1.2 m, interchangeable, with MMCX connectors, silver plated single-crystal copper
- Plug: 3.5 mm TRS
- Weight: 5.3 gr. (one earphone without wire)
Package and Delivery
The box is already familiar for the same FH5, here a littlechanged the printing, making it more spectacular, but this is where the differences end. The packaging is quite large, traditionally made in two "layers", inside, except for the headphones themselves, you will find:
- plastic storage box
- cloth bag organizer with a snake
- headphone brush
- magnetic wire retainer
- 13 pairs of nozzles of different types. A pair of two-flange, 3 pairs of foam nozzles and 3 sets of 3 pairs of single-flange silicone nozzles ("balanced", "bass" and "accentuating vocals")
As you can see, a set of accessories exceeds the wildest wishes.
Design and wearing comfort
Appearance - definitely one of the main "sellingpoints ”of this model. Three-dimensional printing has proven itself by 200%, allowing you to create comfortable thick-walled casing of high-quality polymer. Traditionally for the industry, they decided to make the main part of the buildings translucent, so that the happy buyer will be able to enjoy the "insides" of the novelty. The faceplates are decorated with interesting three-dimensional effects, which added even more charm to the model; there is a black version with a longitudinal pattern to choose from or an option in blue and red colors, a bit reminiscent of reflectors. In the future, the appearance of other designs is possible, but it will obviously depend on the success of the model.
Headphones are comfortable to fit (at leastpersonally for me), thanks to the normal sound guide and ergonomic form, they take “their place” immediately and without problems. Sound insulation is slightly above average, comfort of use is maximum. Headphones are designed for earphone, put them cable down will not work.
Wire bundle repeats cable exactlyfrom the FH5 set, it is of medium hardness, not prone to hardening in the cold and, all the more confusing, the microphone effect is mild. Of the interesting features - the absence of weaving, below the splitter wires of the left and right channels run parallel to the plug itself. There are ears on the wire with no memory effect, ensuring good fixation of the cable behind the ear. MMCX connectors are of high quality, fix the wire securely, but do not require mega-amps to disconnect.
In general, the quality of the headphone assembly turned out to be excellent, FiiO already realized that the cases came out good and released in a similar design the one driver model FA1.
The following equipment was used for listening.
- Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP as a DAC and Amplifier
- Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as a source
- Fidelia as a player
- Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, theBit OPUS # 2, Astell & Kern A & ultima SP1000 and others as portable players
- High-resolution recordings in Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)
Before listening the headphones were warmed up onFor 48 hours, there was no change in sound. Headphones with radiators with a balanced anchor almost never need warm-up, but I decided to follow the formalities.
I really don't know why, but FiiO decided to doThese headphones focus on low frequencies, but the accent is unusual, but rather “long”, the rise starts from the bottom and lasts up to about 300 Hz, after which the decline begins. Because of this, the FA7 turned out to be very unusual in sound and clearly not “audiophile” in tuning (at least in the traditional sense of the term). This emphasis is amenable to some adjustment by changing the ear cushions and cable (the same FiiO LC-2.5C), but still it remains quite noticeable.
In general, you already understand that the bass hereaccented, although the reinforcement saves them from turbidity and excessive bloat. Here, of course, there is a great depth, and a good resolution, and a very good transfer of textures. Another advantage of the model is massiveness and impressiveness of low frequencies, which is rare for reinforcement models. The control is not bad, but to avoid some bass crawling to the middle on saturated low-frequency tracks will not work simply because of physics.
The mids here are very good, if notthe number of low frequencies, which occasionally interfere with the perception of this fact, could be written down as the leader of the FA7: there is the necessary resolution, the “correct” weight, and a good balance between microcontrast and macrodynamics. This model is well able to convey emotions and small nuances of the recording, except, of course, bass-rich tracks. In principle, the excess bass in these headphones is well corrected by the equalizer, like the FH5, this model responds well to it. Despite the accent, the headphones are good at building an imaginary scene (slightly more than average depth and average width) and transmitting the recording volume.
The high frequency range is different frommost reinforcement models lack large peaks. This allowed the FA7 to play HF not only neutral, but also very naturally. At first it seems that FA7 does not have enough aggression in this range, but after some getting used to the absence of “humps” you understand that everything is there, it just does not go straight to the face. In general, the “top” of the FA7 turned out: attacks and fading are transmitted a little faster than it should be, but it sounds natural, the length is not prohibitive, but good. It seems FiiO learned the lessons from the past, in which they were scolded for the peaks at HF.
Comparisons this time I paint in detail notI will, these headphones have "their" character of supply, so comparisons about "not at all like" make no sense. Let me just say the difference with FH5. The average frequencies of these models are almost identical, at the upper frequencies the FH5 has more traditionally placed “peaks”, which gives the usual, though less natural, flow. The bass accent on both headphones has the same “strength”, but in the FA7 it extends higher up the range, so the FH5 has deeper bass layers, and the FA7 stands out for its low frequencies.
Like any headphones with pronounced accents, FA7 does not require top-end sources, the main thing is that the player controls the frequency range well and does not smooth out medium and high frequencies.
If we talk about styles, then everything is expected: It is best to listen in headphones with what benefits from an accent on low frequencies: from electronic music to acoustic jazz, or vice versa, styles that are not saturated with bass. However, it is always a question of the tastes of the owner. The model is moderately sensitive to the quality of the recording, about 7 points out of 10.
Several traditional tracks in the role of example
ZAZ - Si jamais j'oublie And once again I will not be original, such music is very suitable to the style of the FA7: detailed and clean MF / HF, with the support of an accented bass sound spectacular and exciting.
Yo-Yo Ma - Gabriel's Oboe In general, of course, headphones with accented bassmost often not the most suitable option for the classics, but in this case the “stars came together”, and the heroes of today's review play this track very “tasty”, though not quite neutral.
Robert Plant - The May Queen Since I'm here to “customize the task to the answer,”Another track, perfectly suited to the delivery of FiiO multi-drivers: an impressively underlined rhythm section and Planta's naturally transmitted vocal with all its features.
Perhaps, if FiiO reduced LF a little, FA7would have turned out to be more “universal” in audiophile terms, but the company decided otherwise and made an unusual taste model, which nonetheless clearly finds its admirers.