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FiiO FD5 Review (IEM)

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 14 7.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 48 25.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 129 67.2%

  • Total voters
    192

Blorg

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Dec 16, 2020
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@Garrincha OK, to clarify my original post on this, I did sit down with both IEMs in front of me, and swapped back and forth, and then gave my perception of the differences, which to me were very obvious, particularly the excess mid-bass on the FD5. You said at the time you couldn't hear the difference but I strongly got the impression that you were talking from an entirely theoretical perspective, that you didn't think from the graph that you would be able to hear the difference, not that you actually sat down and tried listening to them to test this.

Could you actually try that, and report the results? If you genuinely think after doing that that you cannot tell the difference between these IEMs, fair enough. All the other stuff about what if you were able to apply identical EQ is orthogonal to the original question which was a straight up comparison of the two IEMs stock.

I would actually be interested, if you sit down and listen to them, whether you do find them utterly indiscernible. The FD5 is more sensitive than the Timeless so you'll need to adjust the volume between them. Easiest way of doing this is if you have two DACs but if you figure out roughly your two levels you can swap between those quickly.

If you come back and say you tried, and you genuinely cannot hear any difference between any of these IEMs, fair enough, and that's an interesting point. But I don't get the impression you have even sat down to listen to them together. We are not talking about gaps of weeks of months here, if you have both IEMs right now, I'm talking about sitting down and swapping between them.
 

Garrincha

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
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I don't know if this is common knowledge, but I was playing around with some frequency response tools and found this:
Frequency response Blon BL-03 vs Fiio FD5 narrow nozzle (noch ähnlicher!).png
 

Garrincha

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So at least with the small nozzle the sound is virtually identical to the Blon BL-03, which even has less heavy oscillations in the high treble. The Blon costs $25. This is amazing. Sure, the acessories, cable, tips, pouch etc. are far from luxurious. But the IEM in itself sounds as good as the $299 Fiio FD5. Distortion is also very low, thus both should react equally well to EQ (the Blon even a bit better due to the lesser oscilations at high frequencies). So I more and more come to doubt if more money really can bring better sound (not to talk about the >$1000 IEMs).
 
Last edited:

Ambient384

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Joined
Mar 20, 2022
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For $299, I'd say this IEM was quite the engineering wonders, especially with the exceptionally low distortion and clean group delay.

And this looks like a joke in comparison.
Wonder if the High THD from using 12 BA drivers causing issues since this higher than the worst case ER4XR which peak at 1.8% at 1KHz.
 

Garrincha

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Update on this, linked post details what I got. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../iem-cable-without-stiffened-ear-hooks.34940/

Regarding wearing upside down, some thoughts:

1. Insertion with same tips is shallower so less bass bloom- but seal remains decent (tested with the seal test- invaluable when tip rolling! https://asiaudio.com/pages/audio-seal-test). I use far less reduction in that 200hz area this way up, sounds far more natural

2. Fit (for my ears) works well- stay put when sat at a desk with the rear edge tucked behind that bit of cartilage above your ear lobe- - but there is a hard edge there that might cause many a hot spot after a bit of wear- but I prefer to a less secure over ear fit. They are now more like very good ear buds than IEMs -which suits me fine.View attachment 213749
Maybe you should get the Blon BL-03, as shown (https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/fiio-fd5-review-iem.32578/post-1235890) the FR is almost identical and these IEMs are very cheap ($ 25 from AliEpress), smaller and rounder. I updated with Azla SednaEarfir Xelastic tips, another cable and it is then all very nice. The seal is perfect and they almost melt in my ears, no discomfort whatsoever, sometimes I'm almost forgetting that I wear them. Obviously one can use EQ to come close to the Harman curve, but the non-EQed sound characteristic is also quite enjoyable IMO, close to the USound target curve.

 
Last edited:

Kevbaz

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Sep 22, 2021
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For those in the UK, where is the best place to buy these. They look available on Amazon.co.uk also.
Cheers
Kev
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
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Aug 29, 2019
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For those in the UK, where is the best place to buy these. They look available on Amazon.co.uk also.
Cheers
Kev
Amazon.co.uk
There you'll have the easiest time sending it back, should you want/have to.
 
Last edited:

Emlin

Senior Member
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Jul 8, 2018
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Amazon.co.uk
You'll have the easiest time sending it back, should you want/have to.
I went with the used, very good ones for £240. The box had slight damage but contents were perfect. The same seller has another.
 

Kevbaz

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Amazon.co.uk
There you'll have the easiest time sending it back, should you want/have to.
Cool thanks, looks like the Amazon seller is an authorised one from FiiO website which is reassuring. Just ordered a pair to try out, need something small and compact but still with good sound so hopefully these should be good. I love the Harman target based headphones so hopefully these will be good also, even if needing a little EQ.
Cheers
Kev
 

Emlin

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Jul 8, 2018
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Cool thanks, looks like the Amazon seller is an authorised one from FiiO website which is reassuring. Just ordered a pair to try out, need something small and compact but still with good sound so hopefully these should be good. I love the Harman target based headphones so hopefully these will be good also, even if needing a little EQ.
Cheers
Kev
I don't think you'll be disappointed...
 

staticV3

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I love the Harman target based headphones so hopefully these will be good also
I found Harman's in-ear target to not be a good match for the headphone target.
OE2018 sounds neutral to me. IE2019v2 is harsh and shouty. Too much 3-8k.
Harman IE2019v2 vs personal IEM target.png
 

Kevbaz

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I found Harman's in-ear target to not be a good match for the headphone target.
OE2018 sounds neutral to me. IE2019v2 is harsh and shouty. Too much 3-8k.
To be honest I don’t think I’ve heard the IEM Harman target yet, only over ear headphones like Dan Clark and AKG K371 all of which I really like.
I have a pair of JBL wireless IEMs which I really like, but not sure if they match the target or not.
Looking forward to trying these out, I’ve not used FiiO gear before.
Cheers
Kev
 

Blorg

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Dec 16, 2020
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@Kevbaz Amir's EQ works well on these. They are a little too bloated in the bass and uneven and sharp in the upper mids/lower treble, it reduces the bass bloat and smooths over the upper mids a bit.

I agree with @staticV3 as to not finding Harman ideal for IEMs, I do EQ to Harman for over-ears but it's just a little too shouty in the ear gain region. This is very evident on these, unfortunately, they are quite sharp stock before EQ. Amir's EQ doesn't reduce that, but it does smooth it over, which helps a lot.

I also usually prefer *a little* more mid-bass, I tend to prefer either Oratory1990's target (he doesn't have the FD5) or IEF neutral plus a bass shelf. Although I do have quite a few IEMs that are a good match for Harman bass stock, like the Moondrop Variations, and it sounds great just like that.
 

Kevbaz

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@Kevbaz Amir's EQ works well on these. They are a little too bloated in the bass and uneven and sharp in the upper mids/lower treble, it reduces the bass bloat and smooths over the upper mids a bit.

I agree with @staticV3 as to not finding Harman ideal for IEMs, I do EQ to Harman for over-ears but it's just a little too shouty in the ear gain region. This is very evident on these, unfortunately, they are quite sharp stock before EQ. Amir's EQ doesn't reduce that, but it does smooth it over, which helps a lot.

I also usually prefer *a little* more mid-bass, I tend to prefer either Oratory1990's target (he doesn't have the FD5) or IEF neutral plus a bass shelf. Although I do have quite a few IEMs that are a good match for Harman bass stock, like the Moondrop Variations, and it sounds great just like that.
I’m planning to connect them initially to my RME DAC and play around with EQ, I will start with Amir’s EQ and work from there. The low distortion looks impressive so should sound very clean. I will report back my thoughts once I’ve had a few days to listen to the
 

Kevbaz

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@amirm did you use your RME ADI 2 DAC to listen to these. If so did you use the IEM headphone out of the RME or the standard one.
Kind regards
Kev
 

pierrefermat1

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Sep 26, 2021
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I bought these after read the review, they are enjoyable for music but I find the bass way too heavy for gaming and makes explosions way too pronounced and hard to discern footsteps. Any recommendations on EQ that might help with this?
 

Jimbob54

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I bought these after read the review, they are enjoyable for music but I find the bass way too heavy for gaming and makes explosions way too pronounced and hard to discern footsteps. Any recommendations on EQ that might help with this?
Have a look in the first couple of pages for @Maiky76 eq for these. He gets the bass about right.
 
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