The FiiO FH5 is a high-quality pair of in-ear monitors and they are amazing for listeners who want to listen to music on the go. If you listen to a lot of high-res music then you might want to partner the FH5 with a matching DAC. This would help improve your listening experience.
Finding a matching DAC will take some effort as we need to learn more about the FiiO FH5 sonic characteristics as well as the IEM’s strengths. Still, all these efforts will be worth it.
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Sonic Characteristics and Strengths of FiiO FH5
These are stylish-looking in-ear monitors and they are light weighted as well. You definitely wouldn’t mind taking them out to use during your daily commutes or when you are outdoors. The noise isolation capabilities of the FiiO FH5 are good and it helps you to focus on listening to your music. The sound leakage ain’t bad either and this makes it an ideal headphone to be used inside an office since you won’t disturb your colleagues. Unless you are playing your music loudly then it would be a different story.
Other than the noise isolation capabilities, the level of comfort is also what makes the FiiO FH5 an excellent choice for outdoor use. You can wear them for hours without feeling discomfort. They fit in your ears just right and you can confidently do your daily activities without worrying they might fall off. The FiiO FH5 is easy to drive and you don’t need an additional headphone amplifier. Most smartphones will work just fine with the FH5 in-ear monitors.
What really surprises us will be the sub-bass performance of the FiiO FH5, it has both the ferocity and velocity. The bass performance is powerful and doesn’t sound bloated which is impressive for an IEM. It delivers the lower registers with agility and tightness. The low ends do not overshadow the midrange as well and the mids don’t sound recessed. The midrange reproduction of the FH5 IEM has plenty of details to boot and doesn’t sound overemphasis.
The treble can be a bit too bright for some listeners’ taste. The highs have lively energy but don’t sound overly harsh when pushed. Overall, the music presentation is well-balanced and the sound quality has a bit of coloration, it is still rather accurate though. The soundstage projected by the FiiO FH5 is narrow and intimate. Sometimes, it causes the music delivery to sound congested. This only happens once in a while so all in all, the FiiO FH5 is still well-equipped to handle most music genres.
Stereo imaging and separation of the FiiO FH5 are top-notch for an in-ear monitor in this price range. The FH5 price point is considered modest and is still reachable by most headphone enthusiasts. The fast-paced music handling of the FiiO FH5 does make it very entertaining to listen to and is probably most suited for pop music. They are lenient when it comes to poor recording too. Ultimately, the FiiO FH5 possesses more pros than cons, it will certainly be worth your time to give it an audition. We have listed out the best DACs which you can choose to get and match with your FiiO FH5. You can check them out below.
FiiO FH5 Specifications
- Transducer Principle: Closed-back
- Frequency Range: 15Hz-40kHz
- Sensitivity: 112dB
- Impedance: 19 Ohms
- Weight: 8g (Single Earbud)
Best DACs to match with FiiO FH5
The Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt is one of the best DACs to match with the FiiO FH5. This is a very portable and compact USB DAC which makes it well suited for outdoor use. You can easily carry both the Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt and FiiO FH5 while you are traveling or commuting and listen to your favorite tunes in high resolution. The USB DAC has impeccable music timing and will complement the FH5’s pacing. Dragonfly Cobalt’s wide soundstage will be a welcome sonic trait that will benefit the in-ear monitors.
The Chord Mojo will be another award-winning DAC that will certainly be a worthy match for your FiiO FH5 IEM. It is very compact and you can easily slot the D/A converter into your pocket. The portability of the Mojo is excellent for outdoor use. More importantly, the sound quality of the Chord Mojo is what makes it a top choice. It is able to dig out a massive amount of music details and this will help give us a more detailed music presentation. There is energy in its music delivery too.
If you don’t wish to spend too much money on a DAC then the FiiO E10K USB DAC will be an ideal choice for you. This is an incredibly affordable USB DAC with a built-in amplifier which is more than enough to drive your FiiO FH5 in-ear monitors. It is compact and small and doesn’t take up much desktop space. The FiiO E10K USB DAC does not sound harsh when pushed and its warmish sonic characteristic sits well with the FH5. It is rather difficult to nitpick a DAC with this price point and it will be worth your while to take a look.
For headphone enthusiasts who want the most portable DAC ever designed, the NextDrive Spectra X should definitely be on your list. It is probably the smallest 32-bit DAC ever made and it even has a headphone amplifier built into it. The NextDrive Spectra X uses SABRE 9018Q2C and supports up to 32-bit/384kHz (PCM). This ultra-compact DAC has a clear sound quality and can provide a clean high-resolution music delivery. It is an excellent headphone amp/DAC for outdoor use and will be a suitable match with your FiiO FH5 in-ear monitors.
This DAC has been getting some rave reviews ever since its debut, the iFi Hip-dac2 will be an exceptional choice to pair up with the FiiO FH5. Firstly, it is portable and easy to carry. Secondly, other than supporting high-res audio files, it is also an MQA decoder. The iFi Hip-dac2 is agile and has snappy attacks, providing us with a more lively music presentation. Its enthusiasm will match well with the FiiO FH5 lively treble without making it sound cringe.
The Topping EX5 is an exceptional DAC with a built-in headphone amplifier and would be an ideal partner for the FiiO FH5 IEMs. It has dual ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chips and is capable of MQA full decoding via USB. Topping EX5 also supports DSD512 native and you probably don’t need to upgrade your D/A converter for a long time. This D/A converter has fantastic sound quality, the neutral sonic characteristic and musicality will suit the FiiO FH5 just fine. Not to mention, adding more details and textures throughout the frequency spectrum.
To Sum It Up
The FiiO FH5 in-ear monitors will benefit from a little amplification and you might want to go with DAC with a built-in amp. Before finalizing your decision, you should also have a listen to see if the specific D/A converter which you are interested in, has the sound quality that you’ll like when matched with your FH5s. Do feel free to use this DAC list as a reference when searching for other models/brands. You might want to check out FiiO X5 3rd Gen DAP as it could be more suitable for you and your preferences.