Fiio FW5 review: These are the best-sounding wireless earbuds I’ve used yet

    Fiio is among the most recognizable manufacturers on the planet of high-res audio, and whereas its transportable DACs and IEMs are extremely regarded, the model hasn’t made a dent within the wi-fi earbuds class. That’s altering with the introduction of the FW5; Fiio has dabbled on this section earlier than, however the FW5 is a ground-up overhaul of the UTWS5, and it features a host of recent options in addition to higher connectivity and new drivers.The finest wi-fi earbuds are made by the likes of Bose, Sony, Samsung, Jabra, Google, and different mainstream audio manufacturers, and whereas Fiio is decidedly the underdog right here, it has a wealthy heritage in fanatic audio because of its IEMs, and it is aware of learn how to tune earbuds to ship the very best sound.As a outcome, Fiio did issues a little bit in another way with the FW5; these earbuds have bodily buttons (4 in complete), three drivers in every ear, higher battery life than most wi-fi earbuds I’ve used, and a singular design that is extra in keeping with the model’s IEMs. If you have tried different wi-fi earbuds and weren’t thrilled by the sound, it is best to take into account giving the FW5 a go — I’m not exaggerating after I say that these are the best-sounding wi-fi earbuds round. Fiio FW5: Price and availability(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Fiio unveiled the FW5 on the finish of December, and the earbuds are actually out there globally. In North America, you will get your fingers on the FW5 at Amazon for $119, $30 off their retail value. You’ll additionally discover the earbuds at most main audio retailers, and all Fiio distributors around the globe.Fiio bundles a variety of equipment with its earbuds, and that is true for the FW5 as nicely. You get a number of silicone ear ideas in small, medium, and huge sizes, and there is additionally a pair of balanced ear ideas that provide a barely completely different sound. There’s additionally a cleansing brush that can be utilized for the sound nozzle and the ear ideas, and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable.Today’s finest Fiio FW5 offersFiio FW5: Design and construct high quality(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The FW5 makes use of Fiio’s newest packaging, so meaning you get a fairly giant case with the charging case, earbuds, and all of the related equipment bundled inside. Now, the case is not notably fascinating, and the design feels strictly utilitarian — there isn’t any branding or fascinating design thrives, and you will simply discover the Fiio emblem and regulatory labels on the underside.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)But open the case and you will find some of the unique-looking wi-fi earbuds available in the market as we speak. The FW5 carries the identical design aesthetic as Fiio’s wired IEMs, and that is smart because the model is thought to make use of the identical tooling for varied merchandise to avoid wasting manufacturing prices — just like the K5 Pro and K7.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The earbuds have a darkish gray end that appears fairly good, and so they have the same mesh construction because the FD5 with silver accents that widens on the prime and narrows on the backside, and this does an excellent job in giving the earbuds character. There’s an LED on every earbud that offers you a visible indicator of pairing standing, and the general construct high quality is fabulous.Image 1 of 4(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Another distinctive characteristic on the FW5 is the match; the earbuds have an elongated design with an angled sound tube that nuzzles in your ear, and many of the weight of the earbud rests in your outer ear cavity, so that they’re snug to put on for prolonged durations. Each earbud weighs simply 6.4g and has a 65mAh battery, and the case is available in at 44.4g and has a 380mAh battery.While the case would not have as placing a design because the earbuds, it manages to do an excellent job holding the FW5 securely by way of magnets. There are LEDs on the entrance that point out the cost degree, and whereas there isn’t any wi-fi charging or quick charging, you get USB-C on the again.Fiio FW5: Features(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Continuing with the variations, the FW5 eschew gesture controls for bodily buttons, and you will find two on every earbud. There’s a raised indent on one button that permits you to differentiate between the 2, and these can be utilized for controlling music playback, receiving calls, powering the buds on or off, and invoking Google Assistant.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The controls aren’t configurable, and I might have appreciated the power to customise the settings by way of the Fiio Control app. The app permits you to allow a low-latency recreation mode, set channel stability, manually choose a Bluetooth codec, change idle power-off time, and select between a low go filter. The finest characteristic is a 10-band EQ that permits you to tweak the sound stability of the FW5 to a level that you simply simply do not get on every other wi-fi earbuds.Rounding out the options, Fiio Control additionally affords a battery safety mode that does not cost the battery on every earbud past 85%; that is carried out to extend battery longevity. The FW5 additionally manages to ship IPX4 water resistance, and that turns out to be useful throughout exercises.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)As for battery life, I simply bought near the seven-hour determine that Fiio touts on its web site, and that is over the AptX codec. That’s greater than the Nothing Ear (2) and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and the FW5 is definitely among the many finest on this explicit class. The case has sufficient energy to cost the earbuds twice over, so that you get a complete of 21 hours of music playback earlier than it is advisable to cost the case.Charging the case takes over 100 minutes, and there isn’t any quick charging right here; the earbuds take beneath an hour to completely cost. You miss out on wi-fi charging as nicely, and whereas the battery life is stellar, Fiio must perform a little higher on the charging tech, as a result of the case maxes out at 5W.And as I’m speaking about issues that could possibly be improved, the most important omission on the FW5 is ANC. The earbuds type a good seal and also you get passive isolation in that regard, however there isn’t any ANC by any means right here. That’s a letdown contemplating what these earbuds provide in different areas, however it’s clear that this wasn’t a precedence for Fiio at this time limit, and we might see the mode launched in a future iteration.Fiio FW5: Sound high quality(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)I’ve used too many wi-fi earbuds to depend over the past 5 years, starting from funds Xiaomi fashions that retail for beneath $30 to high-end Sennheiser and Sony earbuds. The FW5 completely demolishes each different product on this class with regards to sound high quality; the imaging and soundstage that you simply get right here is nearer to a wired IEM than a wi-fi product.Lots of that has to do with the truth that the FW5 makes use of a standalone AKM AK4332 DAC that handles audio decoding as an alternative of the built-in Bluetooth DAC, and this makes an enormous distinction within the sound high quality. Each earbud has a 10mm dynamic driver joined by two Knowles balanced armature drivers, and it options Qualcomm’s high-end QCC5141 Bluetooth {hardware}. As it makes use of the total suite of Qualcomm audio applied sciences, the FW5 will get the Snapdragon Sound label.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)You get Bluetooth 5.2, and all of the wi-fi codecs you possibly can ask for; there’s SBC, AAC, AptX, AptX Adaptive, and LHDC. Thanks to the standalone DAC, you get 96KHz/24-bit native playback, and I’ve been utilizing the FW5 for almost six months and had zero points with Bluetooth connectivity. I bought a powerful sign as much as 35 toes, and I paired the buds with a number of telephones, together with the likes of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Pixel 7 Pro, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro.The sound high quality itself is phenomenal. The FW5 delivers a totally participating bass with a very good quantity of rumble and vibrancy, and the sub-bass frequencies have a variety of element. The mids have a pure tuning with good timbre for the vocals, and nice instrument separation. If you are utilizing a telephone that has an AptX codec, you will hear particulars that you simply beforehand missed.The treble has good extension and vary, and also you get a way of airiness with none harshness to the sound. The largest energy of the FW5 is the soundstage; you get a large and interesting soundstage that is extra in keeping with conventional IEMs than wi-fi earbuds, and it makes listening to all kinds of genres extremely fulfilling.Fiio FW5: The competitors(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)I like what Nothing did with the Ear (2), and the fascinating design mixed with the tuning makes the earbuds a sensible choice on this class. They do not sound as vibrant because the FW5 and the battery would not final wherever as lengthy, and the gesture controls are nonetheless finicky at occasions. But you get wonderful noise isolation, and the design is a bit more pocketable.Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are among the many finest wi-fi earbuds, and so they ship nice sound high quality and have a number of extras that turn out to be useful for those who use a Samsung telephone. The match is not fairly as snug because the FW5, and you do not get the power to customise the sound to such an extent, however in order for you a mainstream selection, they’re as protected a wager as you will get today.Fiio FW5: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)You can purchase this if:You need the best-sounding wi-fi earbudsYou want a refined sound signature with wonderful bassYou desire a huge soundstageYou want bodily controls on the earbudYou need long-lasting battery lifeYou should not purchase this if:You need all of the extrasYou want quick chargingYou desire a case that costs wirelesslyFiio nailed the fundamentals with the FW5. The wi-fi earbuds have a singular design, are snug to put on, and last more than their fast rivals. I usually do not like gesture controls, so the truth that these earbuds have bodily buttons is an enormous win in my use case. The finest characteristic is the sound; with a extremely participating sound and huge soundstage, the FW5 sounds higher than every other wi-fi earbuds I’ve used up to now.Sure, it is lacking out on a number of extras, and the earbuds take a very long time to cost. But for those who do not want ANC and are as an alternative searching for earbuds that ship the very best sound, the FW5 is a simple advice.

    Today’s finest Fiio FW5 offers
    The FW5 sounds higher than simply about each different wi-fi earbuds I’ve used up to now, and that is all the way down to the tuning and drivers onboard. 

    Fiio FW5: Price Comparison

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