Before start to review, I would like to share technical aspect and package details.
- Headphone type: over-the-ear
- Frequency response: 15Hz-40kHz
- Drive type: 1 dynamic + 2 balanced armature drivers
- Impedance: 28Ω
- Sensitivity: 106dB/mW
- Maximum Input Power: 100mW
- Plug: 3.5mm straight gold-plated stereo jack/ 2.5mm TRRS straight gold0plated stereo jack
- Cord length: 120cm
- Single Earbud Weight: 3.76g
- Detachable cable design: Yes (standard MMCX connector)
· Fiio F9
· 3.5mm single-ended cable with in-line controls
2.5mm balanced cable
· 6 pairs of Silicone ear tips
· Carrying case
Design & Isolation :
When I get the F9, I really liked the design and quality. The workmanship on the body is pretty solid and feels very good. The comfort is decent. The body of the F9 is quite small. It’s kind of Westone-like body and that is very comfortable in design. When you wear it, you do not feel any pressure or pain in the ear. I really liked the package and contents. There are 6 set of tips and it has Pelican style like case solid black case.
F9 comes with silicone tips and that’s provide a good isolation. I think that it has provided sufficient isolation to the outdoors. Also, it has 1 SE cable and 1 balanced cable. Fiio done a really great job. The F9 comes with a replaceable MMCX socket and that feels quite rigid and solid.
If you look at the sound character; F9’s slightly V shaped and mids positioned further backwards. General presentation is energetic and hot treble with upper mid boost. Bass is prominent and tight.
One of the biggest improvements in hybrid design is that the bass is usually noticeable. At F9, it is not a dominant when viewed from the general character. Sub-bass are not very deep, but the overall presentation is sufficient. The bass is tight and good slam. The bass are not hitting from a wide area, it’s hitting more central. As I said before, the amount of bass is not much powerful but you can hear it when it calls.
Quantity of the bass is average. When I compare with my AAW A3H Pro V2, bass is two steps behind. But the F9 tighter and faster. The A3H Pro V2 hitting a much wider range, much deeper and more resolving but A3H PRO 2 slower than F9 and it feels more uncontrolled. F9 is better on sharp and quick passages.
Mids positioned one step backwards to the top and bottom frequencies. The presentation is not in your face. There is a quite distance. The instruments are accompanied by vocals in the middle. Space between instruments pretty good. Clarity and detail level is in this price range quite impressive. Mostly, I listened with my Opus #1 balanced output and every single detail came up clearly. I liked the timbre of stringed instruments. Male and female vocals are above average in terms of transparency.
The overall character of the lower mids a little bit thin. If you love mild, bold mid presentation, F9 is not for you. Also, upper mids a little energetic and sparkling can be harsh a bit in bad recordings.
Trebles are slightly bright, energetic and hot. When I first removed it from to the box, the treble tones came up a little bit harsh. Then I decided to burn-in at least 100 hours. Now, treble is nicely tamed. Cymbals are audible and relatively well separated. Before burn-in, fast passages it caused complications, but after a burn-in it showed seriously relief. There is still a bit of aggression in bad record, but I have not come across a sibilance yet. In terms of resolution is pretty good. But I would recommend to use with warm source (Dap/Dac-Amp)
The soundstage of the F9 is neither very wide nor too narrow. The instruments are doesn’t overlap. Soundstage quite wide enough to make happy many people, and average in depth. The amount of distance between each instrument better than everything I have heard in this price range.
When I consider the price of the F9, package contents, quality of the material, the sense of durability it gives, sound signature and comfort I can easily recommend. I find it to have a pretty great value. Fiio getting better and better.