Stereocheck Reviews:
FiiO FH11 Review
FiiO FH11 Review
FiiO FH11 Review

FiiO FH11: Absolute balance

FiiO FH11 Review
FiiO FH11
9.5

Hybrid headphones from FiiO have always been one of the most changing and renewing lines of the company. Starting with the legendary FiiO F9, the company’s designers and engineers have constantly developed and improved hybrid headphones, which later received their permanent FH index.

At the moment,  FiiO FH9 is considered the flagship of the hybrid line . Also, in parallel with the FH series from FiiO, there are hybrid headphones developed by the sub-brand Jade Audio. It was among FiiO hybrid headphones that there was the largest number of different models of the brand, which I recommended to pay attention to. After all, in addition to a diverse appearance, these headphones successfully combined technicality and musicality, with certain accents that satisfied many listeners.

FiiO FH11 headphones review
FiiO FH11 headphones review

In the current year, the FiiO company once again offered a new design “Bionic conch”, the first embodiment of which was budget dynamic in-canal headphones  FiiO FD11 . In my opinion, the concept of “Bionic conch” is quite original, because at least the appearance of such headphones exceeds their price. Recently, the “Bionic conch” series was replenished with another representative –  FiiO FH11 in-canal hybrid headphones , which I will tell you about.

Packaging and assembly

The FiiO FH11 comes in a small cardboard box with a super cover. In addition to the title photo of the left headphone and the model index, we have the Hi-Res Audio logo, which has already become the norm even for budget models from FiiO.

FiiO FH11 Packaging and assembly
FiiO FH11 Packaging and assembly

Under the transparent plastic cover in the foam protection are the housings of the right and left headphones. The kit includes a replaceable unbalanced 3.5 mm cable with 2-pin connectors. The cable plug is L-shaped, the ears are formed. The cable has a standard velcro for winding, but does not have a slider. The cable is relatively thin and can get tangled due to the formed ears.

Also, in the kit you can find two sets (Balanced and Bass) of interchangeable nozzles of different sizes and instructions, which are general and do not apply to this model. However, what unfortunately cannot be found in the kit is a case for the headphones . Probably, the days when FiiO equipped even budget models with a wide range of accessories, including a plastic waterproof cover, are a thing of the past.

On this point, the new FH11, apart from an additional set of interchangeable nozzles, is no different from the FD11.

Design and ergonomics

This is another point where the FiiO FH11s are virtually identical to the dynamic FD11s. As mentioned above, FH11 belong to the “Bionic conch” series and look like a sea shell or snail shell. The FiiO company itself describes their design with the phrases “well designed” and “high-end look”. The basis of the FH11 case is a zinc alloy. Since the cases are metal, they have a noticeable weight. Although, at least for me, there were no problems with the effect of the weight of the headphones on comfort during listening.

The FH11 faceplates, like the FD11, have retained a beautiful design with a pattern in the form of either a star or an icicle. The only difference in the design of these models is the dark color of the housings in the FH11. The appearance is really attractive. So, FiiO’s phrases about the design correspond to my impressions of the appearance of these headphones.

At one time, I already noted that, in addition to the in-ear models from FiiO, I am completely satisfied with the ergonomics of the company’s in-canal headphones. The heavy, but small, behind-the-ear housings fit comfortably and securely in my ears. There were no problems when listening.

FiiO FH11
FiiO FH11

Sound

Of course, the FiiO company never hesitates to list all the technological solutions used in their products that can improve the sound. The FH11 uses a custom balanced driver for high frequencies in addition to a dynamic carbon diaphragm driver. A special C-shaped acoustic chamber increases the sound quality in the entire range. On the official website, the sound of the FiiO FH11 is characterized by the words “clean sound, pure rhythm”, which have already appeared in the description of the sound of the FD11.

In general, the sound of the FiiO FH11 can be described as detailed and balanced. Also, for their budget, the headphones have pretty good detail. In my opinion, the stage is somewhat larger in width than in depth. Genre headphones are relatively universal. However, if the focus is more on some kind of electronic dance music, then you can also consider something else. But “live” genres, jazz, rock sound interesting. The good synergy of FH11 is noticeable with “whistles” from FiiO – for a more neutral sound, it is better to choose  FiiO KA3  or  FiiO KA5 . At the same time, simpler  FiiO KA1  and  FiiO KA2  will give a more tasteful sound.

The low frequencies of the FH11 are clear and defined. The bass is perceptible, but for its level, it is high-quality and technical. The midrange sounds clean and transparent. In some compositions, the amplification of the upper midrange can be felt. The headphones play high-frequency sounds brightly and energetically. In general, HF sounds detailed and lively. Perhaps some people may find HF to be sharp.

Comparison

2020 FH1S hybrid headphones still on sale. In some ways, the sound of these models is similar, which is not surprising. But the new FH11 has a better technical implementation. The new FH11 is a small but sure step forward in the direction of audiophile. On the other hand, the previous FH1S, in my opinion, were more mass-oriented.

The FD11 dynamic headphones, which started the “Bionic conch” series, are even compared to the new FH11 by the company itself on the FiiO website. It is indicated that the FD11 are focused on the transmission of vocal and folk genres. FH11 are focused on bass detail and are suitable for rock and pop music. In my opinion, the FH11s are more detailed (remember the additional armature driver), but less natural in the high and mid frequencies, although they have a better defined and cleaner bass than the FD11.

FiiO FH11 specifications:

  • Construction type: intra-channel, wired;
  • Driver type – hybrid: 1 dynamic (10 mm) and 1 armature (custom);
  • Resistance: 24 Ohm;
  • Sensitivity: 111 dB;
  • Frequency range: 20–40000 Hz;
  • Total cable length (2-pin): 1.2 m;
  • Plug: 3.5 mm, L-shaped;
  • Weight of each earphone (without cable): 10 g

Conclusion

With the release of FiiO FH11 headphones, the “Bionic conch” series quickly expanded to two models. At one time, the FH1S and FD1 headphones were as similar as possible to each other in many ways, except for sound. We have the same situation with FH11 and FD11. Beautiful design, interchangeable cable, special geometry of the metal case, balanced sound, budget segment – these are the features that connect FH11 and FD11 to each other. Defined bass, worthy of its price detail in the middle and high frequencies, technicality, musicality – characteristics that are inherent in the FH11. In any case, each new model of headphones from FiiO complicates the choice for the consumer and at the same time expands it.

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