Fiio FA9 Review

Fiio FA9 Earbuds

Today’s article is a review of the Fiio FA9, a mid-priced audiophile earphone from Chinese company Fiio. It is a multi-driver earphone with monitor styling and an RRP of $499 on launch.

Fiio FA9 Build Quality

The other Fiio earphones we have reviewed have all had full metal bodies and were exceptionally well made. The FA9 takes a different approach to the construction and utilizes the popular resin shell design commonly seen on high-end Chinese earphones released in the past few years.

The build quality is excellent, and the finish level is also very high. The FA9 has an ergonomic blended shape, too, with no sharp edges.

The shells are a translucent acrylic though which you can see the arrangement of the six balanced armature drivers and the 4-way crossover. I love these designs because the geek in me loves seeing the craftsmanship for how these things are put together.

The faceplate is a rhomboid pattern inlay that sits underneath and not on top of the resing layer. It looks charming in person, especially when it catches the light from the right angle. 

The earphones come with standard flush-mounted MMCX connectors that is my personal preference over the dated two pin adapters. I find that I run into problems on the two pin connectors such as bent pinch and sometimes even corrosion of the terminals, which seeps inside the copper inside the housing. MMCX fixes those problems, but you should still exercise caution when attaching the cable to the earphone.

The cable is a high-quality braided design with a silver finish, it has solid splitter and slider sections, and there is no inline microphone. It is terminated with an all-metal right-angle 3.5mm jack plug.

Is the Fiio FA9 comfortable?

Fiio FA9

The configuration of the drivers inside the Fiio FA9 housing dictates the size of the earphone, and I would consider it to be on the large side. People with small ears should look at other options, but those with medium-sized ears and up should have no problem getting a good fit.

Insertion depth is about a medium, and with the included eartips (of which there are plenty), I found it easy to get a good seal and didn’t feel the need to perform this review with aftermarket ear tips.

Do they isolate well?

Yes, these earphones have above average isolation properties. They encompass much of the free space in the outer ear. Additionally, they are densely packed with the drivers on the inside. It leads the Fiio FA9 to offer buyers a significant reduction in how much external noise you can hear when you use them.

The Accessories

The accessories include lots of eartips, 2 cases and a high quality cable

Fiio delivers on the accessories, and other than the absence of a balanced cable option, there is nothing else you would need. Here is a list of the accessories you will get if you buy the Fiio FA9.

  • Five options for eartips in various sizes
  • A cleaning tool and brush
  • A cable tidy
  • A shirt clip
  • One small fabric carry case
  • One medium semi-rigid case

Does the Fiio FA9 sound good?

Fiio FA9

Yes. The Fiio FA9 is the best sounding Fiio earphone to date. I liked the companies FH7 model but felt that it didn’t stand out in a competitive market. These, on the other hand, have excellent tonality. 

I did not mention earlier in the review that these earphones have inbuilt tuning filters. You flight the switches n the top of the housing, which gives you control over the sound. To be clear, this does not offer massive alterations to the sound. It allows you the opportunity to refine it. The core sound is noticeable with whichever setup you choose to employ, but it will enhance certain aspects.

With the setup I chose with slightly enhanced mids and lows and the higher impedance, I was treated to an earphone with exceptional dynamism. They sound special, and you will find yourself getting lost in the music easily.

The bass is hard-hitting deep, and powerful it moves so that I can’t believe there isn’t a micro driver speaker inside them. BA technology has come a long way, and this sort of detailed punch and texture-rich bass works well with anything you throw at it. Soft jazz with a slow and lazy bassline, not a problem; Hard and fast EDM with epic bass also drops possible.

The mids are the best sound area with an energetic presentation combined with excellent clarity and stunning detail retrieval. They are incredibly natural and make vocals sound powerful and emotional. Strings benefit from the speed and the impressive soundstage the earphones create. Only in the upper mids is there just a bit too much emphasis on making them perfect, but then I feel like I’m nitpicking at the price.

Treble is airy and precise. Its sounds are bright but not sibilant.

Fiio FA9: Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I haven’t always been a fan of Fiio. They were one of the first to market in the portable audio world, and they have, in the past, released a lot of products that widely missed the mark. I don’t know if they got some new sound engineers on board, but these earphones sound fantastic.

Build quality and accessories are on point, and the ability to refine the sound via the switch system is just a cherry on top of the cake. 

Audiophile On
Audiophile On is a website dedicated to high-end audio products. With over 15 years as a reviewer, all articles are hand-written by one person to allow the comparison of products. Headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, or DAC's we cover here.

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