Fiio has returned with another reasonably priced in-ear earphone that seeks to once again challenge our perception of value. Though similar in both price and design, the F5 sits above the EX1 2nd Gen in Fiio’s earphone line-up. And though the original EX1 was essentially a rebranded Dunu Titan 1, speculation has it that the F earphones are unique, designed in-house with assistance from Dunu producing some stellar results. With two removable MMCX cables, an ergonomic design and a sound crafted in conjunction with audio expert Dunu, the F5 provides a sensational feature set, clearly more comprehensive than lower models and even similarly priced models from other manufacturers; their sub $80 asking price (exact RRP not yet confirmed) is just the icing on the cake. Let’s see how the F5 stacks up to some similarly priced class leaders and if the F5 brings enough improvement over the already quite exemplary EX1 2nd Gen to warrant the increase in price.
I would like to thank Fiio very much for contacting me and providing me with the F5 for review. There is no monetary incentive for a positive review and despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my analysis. All words are my own, I do no allow external editing or manipulation.
The F5’s packaging instantly denotes their higher status over the F1 and F3 with low-key renders, specs and features along with an authenticity sticker (though I have yet to see any fake products pop up on the market).
Within lies a solid box that slides open to reveal an imitation pelican case and smaller box containing two cables, one with a 3-button smartphone remote and one with a 2.5mm balanced connector. At the very bottom, Fiio have included some papers detailing warranty and further specifications.
Opening up the included hard case reveals the earphones securely fit within a foam plate and the various silicone ear tips presented within a very aesthetically pleasing layout. Fiio include two types of tips, some firmer tips with coloured soundtubes and softer all-black tips which provide a slightly warmer sound. Personally, I prefer the Sony Hybrid style tips included with the EX1 2nd gen though the coloured tips included with the F5 are more acoustically transparent and provide a comfortable seal.
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