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FiiO FH5s Pro IEM Review: Hybrid Driver IEMs With Tuning Switches

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FiiO needs no introduction in the HiFi audio scene. Every other month or we can say every other week we have a new product from FiiO being announced in the…
FiiO FH5s Pro-11

FiiO needs no introduction in the HiFi audio scene. Every other month or we can say every other week we have a new product from FiiO being announced in the international market. But it is commendable how FiiO has emerged in the past few years as one of the largest HiFi audio giants from China. Over the past months, they have revamped their entire line-up of products that include new Digital Audio Players, In-Ear Monitors, USB DAC/AMPs, and even Bluetooth DAC/AMPs. They announced an upgrade to their classic FH5 hybrid In-Ear Monitor earlier this year, known as FiiO FH5s. They announced two variants for the FH5s, the standard FH5s, and the FH5s Pro. Both these variants have the same set of accessories and the exact same pair of in-ear monitors, the only difference being the cable. The Pro model came bundled with their premium LC-RC cable with swappable termination plugs.

FiiO FH5s Pro-1

I got a chance to audition the FiiO FH5s courtesy of a friend, I have spent some weeks with the pair now. Today I am gonna share my impressions and review the same with our readers. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Disclaimer:-

I got the FH5s Pro for auditioning and this review from a close friend. I am not paid by FiiO or anyone else to write a positive or negative review on the same, All impressions in this blog are completely my own based on my own usage of the pair. In case you are interested to purchase the FiiO FH5s Pro, you can buy it from the HiFiGo website from here(Link here is affiliated).

I received only the pair of earphones with their cable and carry case and a pair of ear tips, so I will be skipping over the unboxing part and coming directly on to the Design and Build quality of the pair.

Design & Build Quality:-

Having used plenty of FiiO products during my journey as an audiophile, I would like to say Fiio has really upgraded their build quality standards with all these new products. I mean I come from the days when they offered F9 Pro triple driver hybrid IEM in the market with a simple build. They used to look average at the very best but the FH5s here, this pair looks simply magnificent. I mean you hold them and you personally feel that this is a 300-400$ pair in my hand.

FiiO FH5s Pro-2

With a full metallic build, the pair is well-finished and crafted in a shark fin shape design. The cavities have a grill pattern semi-open back design on the face cover with golden edging. On the back, we have three sound tuning switches that allow us to adjust the tuning a bit. In terms of design and build, I must say, the FH5s Pro/FH5s is a very well-built product.

FiiO FH5s Pro-3

Coming to the cable, it looks and feels very good. It has a soft PVC insulation shielding to protect the pair from any noticeable microphonic issues. The cable has a red ring on the right and a blue ring on the left MMCX connector to denote the respective sides. This cable also has a swappable termination plug system like that with the FD5 cable. But this one is softer than the cable I got with FD5.

Fit & Comfort:-

FiiO’s FH5s Pro are among the best fitting IEMs I have used to date. The fit is just blissful. The ergonomics simply match my ear concha pattern or what, I just get a perfectly comfortable fit for me. FiiO FH5s Pro ear shells despite being fully metallic aren’t too heavy, they are pretty comfy for long listening sessions. They cover my entire ear canal, providing me a great level of isolation from the surrounding noises. This allows me to listen to the pair at lower volumes protecting my ears too.

Driving The FiiO FH5s Pro:-

Don’t worry about any high power requirements for the FH5s Pro. The pair runs easily off my smartphone(Samsung S20 Fe). Even with my Hi-Res Player(HiBy RS6), I never had to go above 25-30/100 volume level on mid-gain mode.  If you have concerns about FH5s or FH5s Pro power requirements, let me assure you even a standard smartphone is good enough. Though I always recommend using either a USB DAC/AMP like the Hidizs S3 Pro that I used or anything else or a dedicated hi-res player as with high-res audio signal support, we get better decoding that results in better sound performance.

FiiO FH5s Pro-4

Critical listening for this blog is done using HiBy RS6.

Sound Impressions:-

Energetic, lively, and fun, these three words describe the sound of FH5s Pro very well. One gets a pretty powerful lower-end response with a pretty good texture. Vocals sound a bit leaner(Thin) to my ears, the same can be said for instrument notes. This is my only complaint with the pair. The detail retrieval and resolution with the FH5s Pro are excellent. FH5s Pro has an airy and wide feeling. It maintains good clarity even at loud listening volumes without losing any bit of resolution. The pair has a good sense of energy without it being fatiguing or harsh(with Treble switch off). Overall, I liked the FH5s Pro. It is a solid performer with an excellent presentation of our music. Now some frequency-wise sound description.

FiiO FH5s Pro-9

Lower End/Bass:-

FiiO has always delivered quality bass with their IEMs. In my last interaction with them, the FD5 delivered a soul-soothing bass response. I can say similar words for the lower end of the FH5s Pro here. The pair delivers quality lower-end performance with decently balanced mid-bass and sub-bass regions. None of the two feels overpowering, yet shows their presence with good texture. I remember I was listening to Rasputing by Boney M, and the drum kicks were so precise and were giving perfect slams. The lower end stands out with full authority and excellent presentation with the FH5s Pro.

Tracks Tested:-

>Rasputing by Boney M.

>Dark Knight Theme by Hans Zimmer.

>As we fall by Klergy.

>Bad Guy by Billie Eilish.

>Blue Fear by Armin Van Buuren.

>Instant Crush by Daft Punk.

>Everything by Ella Mai.

FiiO FH5s Pro-6

Midrange/Vocals & Acoustic Instruments:-

Like every time I try new gear, the very first track with the FH5s Pro was Hotel California from the Hell Freeze Over album by Eagles. I can pinpoint every single string being stuck in the very first minute of the track. This is the level of detail and separation with the FH5s Pro. The mid-range presentation is attractive with a smooth and airy feel all around. The takeaway here is that both the acoustic instruments and vocals have a thin, lean body presentation. My personal taste is for thick and lush vocals, which kind of puts me off with the FH5s Pro. Though the pair makes up for it with excellent detailing.

Tracks Tested:-

>Hotel California By Eagles.

>Wasted by Angus & Julia Stone.

>Diamonds by Sam Smith.

>Present by Khalid.

>Faded from the winter by Iron & Wine.

>Speak Softly Love by Yao Si Ting.

>Hey Now by London Grammar.

FiiO FH5s Pro-7

High-Frequencies/Treble:-

Treble region is full of energy and sparkle with the FH5s Pro. It isn’t harsh or fatiguing, the overall presentation is quite lively with this energetic high-frequency response. The pair maintains its crisp resolution in the high-frequencies, electric guitars, Violins have a detailed sound profile. Though I feel treble extension could be improved a bit, Cymbal crashes are crisp, yet could benefit with an extra bit of extension.

Tracks Tested:-

>Lips of an Angel by Hinder.

>Send me an Angel by Infected Mushroom.

>You Make Loving Fun by Fleetwood Mac.

>All Along The Watch Tower by Jimi Hendrix.

>No Surprises by Radiohead.

FiiO FH5s Pro-8

Soundstage & Dynamics:-

I would say FH5s Pro has a pretty wide soundstage, It has a good sense of depth and height too. Though what makes the FH5s Pro’s soundstage special is its airy presentation. It’s like every single instrument and vocalist have got their own space separated from the lot. In terms of dynamics like imaging, layering, the FH5s Pro offers decent performance with no complaints. One can simply recognize different instruments being played on the set.

FiiO FH5s Pro-10

Tuning Switches:-

The pair houses three tuning switches, one for each frequency range(Bass, Mid, Treble). I have played with them a bit, the difference in the output is not drastic with them. Though they affect the frequencies in their own respective manners like the Bass switch when turned on introduces a bit of extra punch in the lower end. The mid-range switch has the least impact on the sound, as it already sounds very airy and smooth in the midrange. The treble switch increases the sparkle when turned on. I personally used it turned off only(As I am sensitive to bright treble).

A Few Final Words:-

Well, this sums it up for the FH5s Pro for me. I loved the pair for its excellent staging, airy presentation, powerful and controlled lower-end response. It complements different genres of music that I listen to including EDM, Hip-Hop, and more. It is also a great set to use for Rock and Metal music as the detail retrieval and impactful slams make it an ideal choice for those genres too. But like every other tech product, the FH5s Pro has its own flaw where it has a thin body for vocals and instruments. Other than that, the pair is a pretty fun pair to have in the collection!!

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