Review: FiiO FW5

Focused on True Wireless Hi-Fi

The FiiO FW5 audio quality makes up for the lack of ANC

Nowadays, it is not common to find true wireless earbuds without an active noise-cancelling function. The FiiO FW5 does not come with ANC, as they want to focus on sound quality, being the first true wireless earphones fully developed by FiiO. It is among the first to integrate a high-end Qualcomm QCC5141 Bluetooth chip, high-performance AK4332 independent DAC, and a meticulously designed audio circuit, which all contribute to elevated quality without breaking the bank.

To deliver a cohesive sound, FW5 features a large 10mm dynamic driver made of DLC diaphragm and PU gasket, designed by the same engineers that are responsible for the FH9 flagship wired headphones. Two high-frequency Balanced Armature drivers are positioned in the sound tube near the ear to deliver the audio characteristics of the FW5 which is an airy, detailed treble. The bass is lean, disciplined, and at the same time intense, but the upper frequency remains the strength and focus of FW5. Instrumental genres like jazz and classical are delightful, while modern genres demanding more raw bass might not sound as satisfying. High-quality wireless audio is transmitted over QCC5141 with dual DSP and supports high-res codecs like LHDC, aptX Adaptive, and Snapdragon Sound.

The companion smartphone app, FiiO Control, offers adjustments like L-R balance, independent headphone volume level, call volume, and even the tone prompt volume. It also lets you choose a lowpass filter, a premium DAC chip feature which should not be unfamiliar to digital amplifier enthusiasts. However, EQ adjustment is not available, and certainly a conscious choice from FiiO to minimise unnecessary audio signal distortion.

(note to editor: remove this paragraph if not enough space) The FW5 comes with two physical buttons on each ear instead of touch controls to prevent accidental touches, but I ended up getting the controls mixed up: the primary button is identical on both earbuds, while the secondary button also has similar controls to the primary. Despite spotting a breathable mesh on the faceplate, the FW5 is IPX4 rated for water protection with all the openings covered with water-resistant sound-permeable cotton.

Rating: 4/5
We Say: FiiO puts audio quality above all others, and the FW5 is clearly one of the leading true wireless earbuds for this price.


Technical Specifications
Drivers 1x 10mm Dynamic 2x Knowles Balanced Armature
Frequency Response 20 – 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity 108dB/mW(@1kHz)
Signal-to-noise ratio 106dB
Impedance 32 ohms(@1kHz)
Battery Life 7h (earbuds), additional 14h (charging case)
Dimensions 68.4 x 43.9 x 32.3 mm
Weight 6.4g (earbuds), 57.2g (total)