The new FiiO FW3 is a HiFi TWS product rarely seen in the same price range. It combines an independent DAC, professionally-tuned acoustic components, and a high-end Bluetooth chip in one, allowing TWS users to feel high-quality HiFi music from data conversion, transmission, and sound performance.
The new FW3 features an efficient AKM DAC chip the AK4332. This high-performance chip features a signal-to-noise ratio as high as 106dB, a distortion rate as low as -96dB, and a dynamic range of up to 102 dB.
Thanks to the high-end dual-DSP, dual-core CPU QCC5141 Bluetooth chip, the FW3 features exceptionally stable Bluetooth audio, and general operation FW3 is Snapdragon Sound certified, ensuring good sound quality.
The FW3 supports low-latency gaming mode, which is available by enabling the FiiO Music App. The gaming mode significantly lowers the transmission latency to less than 100ms, quickly responds to every action in the game, and instantly locks on the location of the target.
Through FiiO Control App the FW3 features a 10-band parametric EQ, and for each band, you can customize the center frequency, level, and Q/bandwidth of the center frequency. You can DIY a set of “music filters” down to your exact taste.
We may call the FW3 the little brother of the FW5. They share the same audio architecture except for driver configuration and the used material. FW5 has 1DD+2BA hybrid driver structure whereas FW3 comes with one 10mm carbon-based dynamic driver.
HiFi audio architecture
The FW3 is the only TWS Bluetooth earbuds with HiFi audio architecture in this price range, which simply means that it follows the practice of DAC and headphone amplifiers.
– HD Bluetooth transmission
– Independent DAC decoding
– Built-in analog gain and headphone amp circuit
Audio processing details
Since the FW3 applies a DAC/AMP audio architecture, it is precise in processing audio signals.
1 – Volume adjustment and memory
Connect the FW3 through Bluetooth to a front end (like mobile phones). It is suggested to set the volume of the front end to the maximum level to ensure that the Bluetooth digital audio dynamics will not be lost. Control the volume of the earbud through its physical button to acquire appropriate sounds. In this way, the volume after decoding is adjusted, so the audio signal and noise will be reduced at the same time, which greatly ensures sound fidelity. After operating in this way, the FW3 will automatically remember the current volume, and synchronize the volume of both the front end and earbuds the next time it is turned on and connected, which can ensure the comfort of the output amplitude.
2– Diversified sound adjustment
Thanks to the AK4332’s powerful features, the FW3 is thoughtfully designed with several audio expansion options.
Left and right channel balance: very useful for some users who have differences in hearing between left and right ears.
Filter selection: You can fine-tune the sound performance according to the type of music and personal preferences, such as switching between sharp roll-off and short delay slow roll-off filters to adapt to vocal-orientated tracks with bright rhythms.
3 – Parametric Equalization (PEQ)
The R&D team deeply explored the DSP function of QCC5141 and opened up the 10-band PEQ adjustment, where users can customize the EQ curves of 10 different frequency bands through FiiO control, such as bandwidth, gain, and slope. It is extremely friendly for personalized sound effects, such as precise settings for subwoofer enhancement, thick vocals, and lazy blues. After adjustment, you can save the preferred settings on the shortcut page.
1 – Freely choose between different Bluetooth codecs
The FW3 keeps the FiiO-developed function where we can choose the Bluetooth codec we prefer. Users can choose to connect or not to connect to a certain Bluetooth codec according to their preferences and device compatibility. For example, a certain phone uses aptX Adaptive by default, but if you want to experience LHDC, you can directly disable aptX Adaptive on the list without having to operate it manually on the mobile phone. It is extremely convenient. LDAC is also supported after the latest firmware update.
2 – HiFi-level game mode
In addition to enjoying high-quality music, the FW3 can also be applied to catch up on TV series and play games. For this kind of scenario where latency is more demanding, you just need to enable the “Game Mode” in the FiiO control App.
The FW3 has excellent sound quality even in the game mode, still HiFi enough. It is also because the audio signal in this mode is amplified by the DAC, which lengthens the audio link more than that of common TWS. Therefore, the latency can be achieved within 100ms.
I would like to thank FiiO for providing me with the review sample of the FiiO FW3 TWS.
The FiiO FW3 features a dynamic, clean, and fun sound signature. The TWS showcases a balanced signature with an emphasis on bass and treble, with superior technical capability.
The bass is dynamic, fast, and impactful, making the listening experience particularly enjoyable for bass-dominant genres. The texture of the bass is impressive for this price bracket, and the performance of the 10mmmm custom driver is surprisingly quite good. The FW3 offers plenty of bass that enhances the dynamism and rumble sensation without bleeding into any other region.
The midrange is clean and neutral, with a slight dip around the lower mids. This dip enhances the spaciousness and airiness of the presentation, allowing instruments to play without the feeling of compression or congestion. The midrange tonality is good, with instruments having an adequate amount of note weight. The guitars sound clean, and the vocals are articulate and clear. The upper mids are energetic, vivid, and have good expansion. Hi-hats and cymbals sound crisp, without any sharpness. Using wider stem tips with harder material improves upper-mid resolution even further.
The treble reaches the top octave without any shrillness, feeling expansive and clean. The treble resolution is impressive for the price, and it feels energetic, just like the upper midrange, without any unwanted peaks. The FiiO FW3 is a great all-rounder, with its fairly balanced presentation and fun signature, it plays well with many genres, including metal and rock tracks with multiple instruments on stage.
The FiiO FW3 handles congestion well, thanks to its impressive layering and wide staging. Its imaging is also impressive with great positioning of instruments on stage. The width of the stage is great, the depth is also impressive but less so than the width. They both are impressive for a TWS though, and quite ahead compared to the rivals in the same price bracket. The FW3’s instruments separation is quite good, allowing for easy pinpointing of individual instruments, even in complex passages. Achieving this level of performance in this price bracket is no small feat, so hats off to the engineers at FiiO who are responsible for this impressive tuning.
First time ever I am using a TWS as my daily driver IEM. The base sound performance is good enough but what’s more fun is the PEQ feature of the FW3. Meaning that you can transform the sound close to many IEMs using the squig.link’s EQ data. This is much more fun than I expected it to be thanks to the amazing UI of the FiiO App. And FW3 is very capable of transforming into any model that I wanted to test. It’s like having many IEMs in one form. If you are into a pure wireless music experience give it a try.