review

FiiO FH1S Review V Shaped Sound IEMS with Litz Wire Cable

Friday, July 31, 2020

Compared to most earphones on the market, which are single driver earphones, hybrid IEMS are on a whole different level!
If you've never had the chance to experience music with dual drivers, the FiiO FH1S will be an exciting introduction to the world of dual drivers because of its lower price tag and v shaped sound signature.
The FiiO FH1S have acrylic shells with a transparent finish that lets you see-through the internal components like a piece of glass. Internals include Neodymium (N50) magnets, one Knowles (33518) balanced armature driver and one dynamic driver (13.6mm diameter), making FiiO FH1S a dual driver hybrid IEM.
The FiiO FH1S has Litz cabling, which is made of insulated copper wire strands that are twisted together in a two-strand braid style for tangle resistance.
Aside from the steampunk ascetics, Litz copper wiring is also functional as it performs better, delivering lower frequencies than the magnet/enameled wire used in a lot of wired earphones. The FiiO FH1S Litz cable terminates in a right angled rubberized plug with a gold-plated 3.5mm connector.
Like most dual drivers, the FiiO FH1S dynamic driver handles the bass while the balanced armature driver handles the mid and high frequencies.
The FiiO FH1S dual drivers have a v-shaped tuning that de-emphasizes the midrange while elevating the low and high end. The result is a bass heavy and lively treble sound signature ideal for rap, EDM and similar music genres.
The FiiO FH1S can be easily driven from a smartphone so, you can achieve a good fidelity, thanks to low impedance (26 ohms). The sensitivity rating is 106dB sensitivity. If your phone doesn't have a good DAC/Amp, it's worth getting an external one like the FiiO BTR3k DAC Amplifier.
The front side of the FH1S shell also has clear plastic, although it's not see-through as it integrates a celluloid fascia, which is the same material used in the making of old billiard balls and Ping Pong balls, both of which have a natural ivory color.
The FiiO FH1S fascia comes in different color finishes, including black (pictured), purple and white. The nozzle neck of the earphones is angled and made of brass with a fine metal mesh tip.
Style-wise, the FiiO FH1S have a similar design to the FiiO FA1 IEMS but, instead of using detachable MMCX (micro-miniature coaxial) connectors, the FiiO FH1S use detachable 2-pin angled connectors; hence the FiiO FH1S cannot be worn cable down style. The cabling is curved towards the top section so, the wearing style is around the ear.
Two-pin connectors are typically angled, although they also come with a straight 2-pin and QDC 2-pin configuration, which is recessed so, the pins are hidden and not exposed like with the FiiO FH1S 2-pin connectors. MMCX connectors and 2-pin QDC connectors are less prone to damage but regular 2-pin connectors are much cheaper to buy.
When buying replacement 2-pin cable for the FiiO FH1S, keep in mind the length of the pin. The FiiO FH1S uses 0.78mm 2-pin connectors though, there is also 0.75mm 2-pin connectors. You can also convert the FiiO FH1S to wireless with the FiiO UTWS1 bluetooth module 2-pin version (not included). Another wireless alternative, it's the FB1 aptX earphones.
Being detachable is a neat feature to have on wired IEMS and works well, as long as you don't insert the pins in opposite directions because if you do the drivers can get damaged due to reverse polarity. This risk is not possible with MMCX connector, making this type of connector more advantageous.
The FiiO FH1S shell also features tiny ports (holes), which most earphones typically have to let in air to improve the bass response and overall sound. The FiiO FH1S have two holes per earphone, one on the front of the body and the other below the pin connection ports.
Because of these tiny holes, the FiiO FH1S doesn't have protection against water/dirt ingress; hence the lack of IPX rating. That said, the FiiO FH1S are not intended for exercising, although it's worth keeping in mind should you get caught in rain.
Accessories include ear tips and FiiO's HB1 waterproof protective case, which is made of a polycarbonate plastic and looks very much like a pelican case since the FiiO HB1 case also features a watertight/airtight seal. There is no barometric relief valve though. Pelican containers integrate a relief valve to prevent pressure damage.
Considering most earphones come with a drawstring pouch (if lucky), it is a nice touch that a hard carry-on case is included with the FiiO FH1S IEMS to protect them during transportation. The FiiO HB1 case hinges are also made of durable plastic. The lid has a clear transparent finish with the word FiiO embossed on top, while the bottom section has a grayed out finish. Internally, the case is lined with soft TPU rubber.
The HB1 case weighs 103 grams and measures 12cm long, 8cm wide and 4cm tall (the internal compartment is 3cm tall). Being made of polycarbonate, the case is also heat-retardant and pretty much bullet proof plastic. Poly-carbonate is stronger than ABS plastic, PVC and Acrylic. You can buy the FiiO FH1S on amazon. Check out the FiiO M3 Pro USB C DAC, FiiO F3 earphones and FiiO M5 Digital Audio Player.

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