Compendium updated February 26th, 2021.
The FiiO FH5, with their four drivers and three sound tubes, are an engineering phenom that undermine the legitimacy of IEMs that are double the price. Anyone looking to graduate from the budget-fi world of TIN T2s and Blon BL03s should check these out. But don't just take our word for it.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From Headphonesty's review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on December 16th, 2019:
- »Stellar, musical tuning
- »Natural and coherent signature
- »Good accessory set and tip selection
- »Sterling build quality
- »Divine comfort
- »Quality stock cable
- »Intimate soundstage
- »Congestion in complicated tracks
- »Balanced cable is a separate purchase
- »Short nozzles and fidgety fit
- »Below average isolation
"The greatest strength of the FH5 lies in its united tuning. Taken together the signature simply sings, and you forgive any shortcoming it might have. I’ve thrown rock (not rocks), jazz, soul, EDM, pop and folk at it, and FH5 handles them magnificently as a coherent juggernaut. There are weaknesses, for example upper bass wouldn’t last 5 seconds in a fistfight, but the musical experience that FH5 provides easily compensates for them.
"At this price level, inevitably you start harbouring expectations, almost like returns to an investment. The FH5 has enough charm to win me, and possibly many others, over. It stands toe to toe with any and all hybrids in its price range, and in my opinion is among the best-tuned. The evergreens like DN-2000J, FLC8S and LZ-A4 better take notice, this division just got spicier."
From Headfonics' review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on August 8th, 2018:
"It would be a bit of a captain obvious statement to say the FH5 is the best IEM FiiO has released to date. It clearly in a different league than the F9 Pro and F5 entry-level models and the much higher price logically suggests that also."
"For now, FiiO has set out their marker again with the FH5. It is a fantastic value for what you get, looks great, and fits very comfortably. Most importantly this is a very good hybrid driver IEM, ideally suited to modern rock and pop, which, in the end, is what it’s all about really."
From SoundGuys’ review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on August 8th, 2019:
- Great build quality
- Sound quality is perfect for everyday use
- MMCX connectors
- Comfortable to wear
- The design might not be for everyone
"They might not be great for anyone who is going to be doing any kind of serious audio mixing, but that's not who the FiiO FH5 is for. If you're the kind of person that likes to listen to great quality music on your commutes or in the office, these are for you."
From Headfonia’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on January 1st, 2021:
"The guys at FiiO know how to improve themselves in this very crowded IEM market. They get better with each new product release, and they have finally presented a product which can be regarded as a serious in ear for audiophiles. They can still iron out some things, such as the mid bass deficiency, overall transparency level and treble extension.
"This is blatantly FiiO’s best earphone they ever created. I still think there’s much more to come though. The new FH7 model is on its way with very nice design details as well. FiiO definitely takes this business seriously. They’ll try to provide even better value to this market, which would of course be very desirable for enthusiasts like us."
"I’m already looking forward to the FH7."
From Audiophile-Heaven’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on January 26th, 2021:
"FiiO FH5 sells for about 260USD at the moment, making it one of the most affordable entries in the 300USD IEM range. Of course, with a sound like the one it has, it can even stand its ground against some of the 500USD IEMs out there, not to mention even more expensive flagships."
"The sonic signature is most impressive, and something we probably need to emphasize more is the detail and clarity of FH5. Those have the detail to be priced at 300USD, and even more, having a really great imaging and instrument separation / layering. The signature is an unusual W-shaped signature, with the sub-bass and the bass being enhanced, the lower midrange being a bit recessed, the main midrange being enhanced compared to the lower midrange, and with the upper midrange being recessed once again, to come to an enhanced treble, which extends until about 10-12kHz. The treble texture is smooth and creamy, so it won’t offend anyone, while the midrange is very nicely textured and provides a nice juicy feeling for guitars and other instruments.
"The only thing we would write off as a caution is that FH5 has an intimate and personal soundstage, so personal that you feel like you’re sitting in the same room as the singer while they perform, thing which works really well with certain music, like metal, but doesn’t work quite as well with symphonic, as it would be complicated to take an entire orchestra in the same room as you."
"At the end of our review, we’d like to note that if you’re looking for a really balanced sound, with a good imaging, really good layering, impressive soundstage depth, good dynamics and impact, with great detail and clarity, and with an excellent overall emotion, and an intimate staging, FiiO FH5 makes a really compelling entry, and it offers all of those at a really affordable price, 260USD being a really fair tag for the qualities FH5 provides."
From Currawong’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on October 12th, 2018:
"If I had a recommended list, I'd put them on it."
"The main criteria for me is, would I pick these up and listen to them? And the answer is yes!"
From ZReviews’ review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on October 22nd, 2018:
"They're good enough to be like, 'Why are they--' *gives an at a loss gesture*. I got nothing else to say."
"Are they neutral? No. They've got a bit of a bass boost."
From The Headphone List’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on October 18th, 2018:
"Pros – Pleasantly balanced presentation – nice all-rounder, Well-detailed, Excellent construction quality
"Cons – Somewhat slow bass, 4KHz dip can make some vocals sound truncated
"Verdict – The FH5 is a versatile IEM that provides is a rare W-shaped signature realised through impressive technicals at a reasonable price."
From Headphone Guru’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on December 11th, 2018:
"Overall, this is an IEM that I enjoy quite a bit. That little bit of hardness in the presence region can be bothersome on some songs, but most of the time I don’t notice it at all.
"Because this one has some rather strong coloration in the midrange, I give it a bit of a conditional recommendation. It’s not going to be for everyone. But for those who want a more intense presentation that combines a big, full-bodied and warm sound with a strong sense of presence and an intimate overall feel, you are going to really love this IEM. It will put you very close to the music without feeling congested and the bang-for-buck value on it is really quite jaw dropping. You get a very complete package and excellent ergonomics to go with a really, really likeable sound. If that sound like something that fits for you, definitely give this one a listen."
From LinusTechTips' review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on December 2nd, 2019:
"I thoroughly believe the FiiO FH5 is going to be my ultimate in-ear monitors, for the price it is unbelievable how good they sound. Take with salt, as I have only tried a handful of audio equipment, with the FiiO FH5 easily topping all of them, and in every department.
"Having originally bought these for Korean pop where songs tend to be on the fun and saturated side with enhanced highs and mids, I'm proud to say that I am in love with the FiiO FH5's bass and low-end reproduction. The FiiO FH5 is so good at the low-end and it's all thanks to the single dyanmic driver as it handles the responsibilities encompassing the low-end.
"The mids and highs are just as clear, vibrant, crisp, and detailed as well, there hasn't been a time when I'm listening to a song and the vocals haven't shone brightly. The mids are greatly separated and allows for amazing instrumentation separation on the FiiO FH5.
"I am completely satisfied with dropping $250 on the FiiO FH5, and actually from the unboxing and addtional accesories, not to mention the aesthetics, I would've thought these retailed for so much more. These in-ear monitors are amazing at balancing the lows, mids, and highs, and I suppose that's exactly what makes these my personal favorite in-ear monitor, and probably the best in-ear monitors I will ever get the chance to use in my entire life."
From Audio46’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on August 9th, 2018:
"The FH5 is well worth the price tag. Few IEM’s can produce this level of clean detail and speed for 260 bucks. If your priority is a very evenly balanced headphone, the FH5 might not be for you. But if you’re a sucker for detail and separation, you’re going to love these. Pop fans, these buds are made for you too."
From Audio Key Reviews’ review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on July 2nd, 2020:
"What the FiiO FH5 ($259) will do is beguile and engage with its natural, analog-like musicality, its rendering of copious detail, its coherency, prodigious bass (when called for), and its excellent layering and positioning. And while it is not perfect, when has $259 (in an IEM) ever bought perfection?
"At one time the FH5 represented FiiO’s statement IEM. It is easy to hear why. The FiiO FH5 is a music lover’s IEM that also brings detail enough to enchant, possibly, even the audio professional (or, at least, that professional in his/her off hours). Very highly recommended! Hazzah for us all!
"There appears to be a trend with regard to the IEMs that we have set out to review and those that have been sent to us for review—they have performed far above their MSRP designation. There were, however, a couple of exceptions that will be sent back to their manufacturers and go forever unmentioned on this review website."
From POC Network’s review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on March 21st, 2019:
"These in-ear headphones provide and outstanding range to them, that can be customized by both what you use to drive them with as well as which of the many ears tips you choose to crown them with. Between being able to tune them into your own personal preferences, to the ability to swap out the cable with any other MMCX solution, you get a lot of customization out of these. They sound really good no matter how you tune things in, and they sound amazing when paired to the right amps. Their build is top-quality both buds and cable, and should last an incredibly long time if you take care of them. You don’t always get a full experience with the lows depending on what you have driving them, so it does take some tweaking and pairing to get it just right if you need heavier lows. They are also expensive, which means these aren’t for your average consumer. However, for the serious listener or audiophile who knows what they want and has the right gear to pair them with, these are a great find."
From Moonstar Reviews’ review of the FiiO FH5 IEM, first published on October 9th, 2018:
"It was a real joy to review the Fiio FH5 which has me even more curious about future products of this company. The FH5 is an eye-catching IEM with its beautiful shell design and robust craftsmanship. But this would not be enough if it doesn’t have had a good sound such as it looks like, and YES the Fiio FH5 is a big success and a upgrade over the F9 and F9 Pro. It is even able to compete with IEM’s that have a higher price label.
"Pros and Cons:
- + Build Quality
- + Accessories (especially the tips selection)
- + Wonderful Lively Presentation
- + Musical Tuning
- + Very Forgiving
- + Cable Quality
- – Soundstage could be slightly wider
- – Upper Treble Roll-Off"
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.