FiiO FF3 Review – Earbuds That Sounds Like an IEM
FiiO has come up with a brand new set of earbuds, the FiiO FF3. Featuring a unique drum-shaped design. FiiO has equipped the FF3 with a large and potent 14.2mm dynamic driver unit. Built with high-quality material such as a beryllium-plated dome and PU gasket diaphragm. FiiO FF3 comes as a complete package with three different types of foam covers and a high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable with interchangeable termination plugs.
FiiO has taken the design and shape of the musical instrument “Drum” to give a unique shape to the shells of FF3. It has an all-new bass cavity. FiiO claims, that this unique shape more effectively brings out the texture of bass notes as well as accurately reproduces the timber.
FiiO has also fitted a bass-enhancing acoustic tube within the drum-like housing of FF3. This tube extends the airflow path, increases air damping, and improves sound damping to lower the resonance point of the pair. This new design fully utilizes the resonances inside the cavity to enhance the bass definition. Spoiler alert, these are not just marketing claims, more on that later.
FiiO FF3 comes with a large 14.2mm dynamic driver. This driver uses a Beryllium-plated dome and PU gasket structure. The FF3’s dynamic driver features an ultra-fine copper-clad Daikoku voice coil. With only a diameter of 0.033mm, the Daikoku voice coil is lightweight and helps to reduce the overall weight of the dynamic driver, allowing it to move faster and further improve treble resolution.
The FF3 comes with a high-purity silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable that uses 152 wire cores. The cable has German TPU cable sheathing. The FF3 features an all-aluminum twist-lock swappable plug design, allowing you to change between 3.5/4.4 mm plugs.
The FF3 comes standard with 3 types of sponge filters for different kinds of sound – bass-enhancing, balanced, and transparent treble-focused.
What’s in the box
- Drum-shaped cavity design.
- 316L stainless steel polished bass-enhancing acoustic flute design.
- Large 14.2mm dynamic driver.
- Beryllium-plated Dome structure+PU gasket diaphragm.
- Imported Daikoku voice coil.
- High-purity silver-plated single-crystal copper cable.
- Swappable termination plug system.
- Powerful bass response.
- Impedance: 45Ω.
- Frequency response range: 20Hz-20kHz.
- Sensitivity: 105dB.
- Max input power: 100mW.
- Termination plugs: 3.5mm/4.4mm.
- Cable length: 120cm approximately.
- Weight: 31 grams.
I would like to thank Fiio for providing me with the review sample of FF3 Earbuds (no affiliate link).
The FiiO FF3 needs power and it scales well with better/cleaner power with better equipment/sources, so be aware of that. I used Tempotec’s new V6 AKM DAP for testing.
The foam tips provide an interesting way to tune the FF3 to your sonic preference. The ‘Bass’ foam filters give a more mid-bass forward presentation for an overall warmer tone. The ‘Crisp’ filter isn’t so much of a filter as it is a rim to provide ‘grip’ to hold the driver in your ear and let the FF3’s 14.2mm driver deliver unimpeded treble information right into your ear, which it does so at the expense of some bass weight. ‘Balanced’ is unsurprisingly a mix of the two, and it’s the filter I used.
The FF3 has a well-balanced sound signature. It is a spacious and roomy-sounding earbud with good dynamics, coherency, and resolution.
The weakest frequency range on any earbuds, speaking of quantity. But the FF3 wowed me with its bass performance. The best lows that I experienced with any earbuds, ever. The bass-enhancing acoustic tube seems to be paid off, the FF3 produces an amazing bass response.
FiiO FF3 delivers a very natural and breathy bass, it is nicely balanced in terms of definition and control. The FiiO FF3 gives you the bass whenever you need it but always keeps it under control. You have sufficient rumble, good texture, and a well-delivered definition.
I honestly haven’t seen this kind of bass quality and well-controlled delivery from an earbuds-style earphone. Fiio hit the sweet spot with the bass in the FF3, and additionally, the lower frequencies have excellent resolution, detail, and texture. The mid-bass and sub-bass balance is excellent, and the transition from mid-bass to mid-range is well organized and smooth. Overall, I couldn’t find any weakness in the bass performance of the FiiO FF3, regarding its form factor of course. This thing sounds like an IEM in the name of bass performance, on the balanced sounding side, of course, don’t expect any kind of bass-head level.
The mid-range feels slightly diffused, but only very slightly. Apart from that, the mid-range is silky smooth with fantastic timbre quality for the price. The FiiO FF3 sounds definitive, transparent, and very detailed in the mid-range, giving you a very musical experience but with excellent resolution and micro details.
The tonality aspect of the FiiO FF3 is its most impressive part, but its dynamism and quickness never fall behind either. You have very good dynamism together with great detail retrieval and transparency.
You might prefer a closer mid-range with more attack and aggressiveness, for the sake of overall energy and emotion. But FiiO FF3 delivers the mid-range so effortlessly and spacious, that it creates a very natural tonality. That’s the thing I liked the most overall.
High frequencies are well extended with great detail ability and most importantly, with great articulation. It personally got me by surprise, as I didn’t expect it to deliver this level of separation. But the treble has great energy but also great balance and smoothness.
Also, the timbre here is very well done just like the mid-range, with good enough thickness in the cymbals but they’re not too thick, it’s just the right balance with a life-like feel. The treble is well defined and open with a spacious approach, but never aggressive. Highs are very transparent and resolving, and they have great stage positioning, separated from mids very well. Overall it’s a very realistic and well-defined treble performance which is impressive.
The sound stage is one of the strongest parts of the FiiO FF3 without a doubt. Especially in terms of width. Separation-wise things are very good, you get excellent stereo imaging and positioning with very good sharpness and focus. The FF3 is good on details, and also very good in terms of overall resolution and transparency. It has great micro detail ability and realistic timbre.
The FiiO FF3 achieves an impressive sound performance with deep-hitting bass response, excellent treble energy, natural timbre, and a spacious soundstage. It also provides very good clarity for vocals and instruments. It sounds like an IEM but in the earbuds style and looks gorgeous.