Though best known for their sources, Fiio have augmented their new devices with a line of accompanying in-ear earphones that each offer sensational value at several conservative price points. I’ve personally reviewed them all, from the humble F1 to the excellent EX1 and F5. And, through aggressive pricing and partnership with audio guru Dunu, none have failed to impress with excellent price/performance ratios combined with build quality that belies their meagre asking price. The F9 is the latest extension of Fiio’s F-series in-ears and perhaps the most technically impressive to date.
Featuring a triple hybrid driver configuration, it represents a considerable step up from the Fiio’s single dynamic driver based models. In addition, the F9 retains the removable cable of the F5 but trades its shallow semi-open form factor for a meticulously sculpted monitor style housing. Combined with a balanced cable from factory, the F9 is without a doubt, Fiio’s best built and best sounding in-ear to date but also their most expensive at $100 USD. Let’s see how the F9 competes in a price range teeming with excellence.
*Of note, Fiio have released several variants of the F9. Initial batches of the F9 had tighter MMCX connectors and smooth cable connectors where newer batches have ridged connectors and slightly looser connectors. The new batches also have a larger angle between the connectors and housing which enables cables with wider connectors to be used. Fiio have also released the F9 SE which is acoustically identical but has a fixed 3.5mm cable. A higher priced Pro model with revised armature drivers is in the works and will be released at a later date.
I would like to thank Sunny from Fiio very much for her quick communication and for providing me with the F9 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
It’s almost unbelievable how far Fiio has come since their first iems. The F9 is very professionally packaged with attractive renders and a very fully featured accessory set. Inside the box is Fiio’s excellent pelican style hard case that contains the earpieces and 6 pairs of silicone ear tips. The tips are quite interesting, there are 3 pairs of regular tips and 3 eQ tips that enhance the bass response, similar to that employed by the Simgot EN700 Bass.
During listening, I found them to provide very noticeable tonal adjustments with the red tips offering my most preferred sound. A small box just above contains two cables, a regular 3.5mm cable with a 3-button smart remote and a very nice braided 2.5mm cable for use with a balanced source. It’s a nice inclusion that is very uncommon at this price point and the inclusion of a remote cable is thoughtful for those that intend to use the F9 with a smart device.
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