I had a chance to spend some time with the Fiio’s new FH5 ($260) and FH7 ($450) IEMs. Playing through the FiiO flagship M11 player, of course (pinky finger up). The build quality and aesthetics are outstanding. Some of the much pricier IEMs felt cheaper on the fingertips. Hell, I would probably just buy these on looks alone.

Enjoying some Viva la Vida by Coldplay, and the differences between the two IEMs were clear. I did swap out the silver cable for the copper one.

The FH7 has a nice balance of delicacy and punch. It’s tuned more neutral with a slight touch of warmth. The FH5 is meatier and has a more natural tone to my ears. Lots of textures, especially with violins and bells in that recording. It’s definitely not as clean, quiet, or resolving as the FH7, but it’s sweeter and more grounded. The FH7 does image and separate far better, however. It sounds more like a “HiFi” IEM.

The layering and delineation capabilities of the FH7 are undeniable and makes it more “audiophile.” But the tonal character of the FH5 is going to be considered more “musical” by many ears. At $260…I must say it’s a superb value.