Fiio FD1 is a budget IEM using a beryllium-plated 10mm dynamic driver. It is priced at 59.99$.
Sound quality for the price
I like Fiio’s consistent approach to the packaging of their products. Even tho these are 59.00$ budget IEMs it doesnt show by the box. It has a minimalistic graphic and is pretty well made.
Inside you’ll find the FD1 IEM, a great hard case and a set of eartips. Nothing super flashy, but quite generous and functional. The case is very secure and you won’t have to worry about your new in-ears being destroyed when thrown into a bag.
In terms of the build quality these are nothing special. But when was the last time that you saw budget IEM which really stand out from it’s competition in this regard?
Indeed, the budget market, just like smartphones is really starting to look like a war of clones. It’s not a bad thing obviously, as these are made very well and i cannot find a single thing to criticise. Fiio FD1 are well made, and that’s it.
As for the cable, it is braided, has an angled 3.5mm jack and is pretty comfortable to use.
The most important thing is the connectors…Fiio finally switched these faulty mmcx connectors to 2-pin ones. Don’t get me wrong, i really like the mmcx, but it has to be quality connectors, not the one that Fiio has been using for a couple of years now. That’s why i call it a big step up.
If there is a thing that Fiio has mastered over the years, it’s their IEMs comfort. Once again FD1 is a lightweight, very well shaped and in result – a superbly comfortable earphone. I don’t know if this is the case with my ears, but Fiio’s IEMs are the closest thing to custom in-ear monitor’s i’ve used, and im not talking just about the FD1 – FA9, FA1, FA7, FH1s etc are among those.
Fiio FD1 has a sound signature that is my personal favorite, or very close to it. It’s slightly warm, lush and full, with great extension on top and well controlled bass. Also, one thing about it’s sound quality is absolutely astonishing for the price, but more about it below.
The bass is not dominating, but it’s well polished, controlled and rich. One thing worth mentioning is that if you’re a basshead, these will not satisfy you. For some this will be surely too bass-light, but i find it quite neutral and just enough for most genres i listen to.
The amount of details in the low frequencies is very good for this price range, it lacks subbass, but it’s understandable looking at the rest of the spectrum.
The midrange is the star of the show here. I’ve never heard such a beautiful, rich, thick and airy vocals in this price range. It has a lovely timbre for male vocalists that is purely addictive and satisfying. It is not the best detailed midrange in the game, but it is surely very enjoyable and natural sounding. For acoustic and jazz music this is a truly spectacular IEM.
The treble is very smooth and neutral throughout the whole range. I haven’t heard a slight sibilance whatsoever, no matter how hard i tried or how badly mastered music i’ve played through these. It is filled with details and airiness, but in a very gentle, sophisticated and smooth way. It is a perfect example of greatly polished driver implementation, as FD1 simply sounds like Fiio have put many hours of listening into them to deliver a very coherent and well thought product.
Well, i said that the midrange is a star of the show, right? It is, but it’s still not the best thing about the FD1. It’s soundstage is just ridiculously good for 59.99$.
When i burnt these in i started my listening sessions with my favorite test tracks. Exploring the sound of the FD1 through Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Lunatic Soul was great, as this is really my cup of tea in terms of sound signature.
But when i’ve played Space Oddity by David Bowie (2015 remaster Master on Tidal) my first thoughts were – no, that can’t be right….wait, what? I know the soundstage of this specific song very well, as i test it with every single piece of equipment that i test.
So, what was the reason for me being so suprised? Simply put – everything about the soundstage of these 59.99$ earphones.
It is very wide, has a fantastic depth and great imaging. Instrument’s are very easy to distinquish and are well placed on this big and airy scene. The vocal is placed in front of you. It is by far the best soundstage in this price range i’ve ever heard. Wow.
Last thing worth mentioning – it’s a bit suprising to me, considering the sound signature, but FD1 are quite source dependant, so make sure to plug them into quality audio player or a good DAC for the best experience.
Fiio FD1 is my new favorite IEM in the 60$ (and even higher) price range. It is well built, packs nice accessories and offers a fantastic ergonomy. Whats most important tho, is that these sound just phenomenal – rich, warm, lush and natural, without any sharpness or being overly dark. And yea, it’s soundstage is just class-leading. This is the easiest recommendation in the history of Ear Fidelity and it’s well worth it.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Fiio FH1s, Lime Ears Aether R, Noble Khan, Rha MA750, Cayin YB04, Final E3000
- Sources– Samsung S8+, Cayin N5ii, Fiio M11, Fiio M5, iFi iDAC2, Topping DX3PRO