Both of these companies are famous for producing audiophile-grade IEMs at affordable prices. FiiO’s FA7 has been a hot seller for a while now. But Final’s recently released B series is only now starting to gain traction. Since the FA7 and the B2 are both priced at 300 bucks, I thought it would be interesting to compare them in terms of sound quality and build. Actually, to be honest, I can’t promise that it will be particularly interesting. But let’s do it anyway. Which IEM model is a better deal? And which sound signature will most suit your listening tastes? Let’s take a closer look in this Final Audio B2 vs FiiO FA7 Review
Final Audio B2 vs FiiO FA7 Review
Both IEM models use an over-ear wire design. I expected the well-contoured shells of the FA7 to provide a more comfortable fit and better seal than the B2. But, surprisingly, the B2 did just as well in this department. In fact, the B2 sat a little more snugly in my ears; Final Audio advertises the B series as having a custom-like fit, and they have certainly delivered on their promise. But at the end of the day, you’ll find that both IEMs have a great ergonomic design.
The FA7 sports 4 balanced armature drivers, while the B2 employs only a single balanced armature. But as my great aunt Kathy likes to say, more drivers don’t always mean better sound.
Both IEMs have detachable MMCX cables. But the FA7 appears more solid in this respect. The connection areas have more insulation, and the 3.5mm termination has a sturdier looking design. But never judge a cable by its cover.
As for the cable materials, the wire on the FA7 is made from monocrystalline copper-plated silver, which is rather thick compared to Final’s OFC cable. However, Final Audio is known for its high quality build, and I doubt it’s any less reliable. And given that the B2’s housing is made from stainless steel, it may be the winner with respect to longevity.
Finally, I found both IEMs are equally easy to drive. And there was no need to adjust volume when switching between the two models.
You can expect a much punchier, more forward leaning bass from the FA7. And listening to rock and pop-rock tracks, the FA7 provides more warmth. So, if you like a rich low-end, you’ll probably prefer the FA7. That being said, the bass on the B2 is much tighter and more controlled. So, listening to fast tempo tracks, you’ll get a more energetic feel from the B2. It’s also the cleaner sounding IEM. And terms of transparency, the B2 wins hands down. String instruments in this range, for example, were more far more detailed on the B2, presenting more texture and a more realistic timbre overall.
The FA7 presents the more even midrange, while the B2 has a slight emphasis in the higher-mids. So, if you enjoy a very full-bodied rock or pop-rock track, the FA7 will deliver that meaty feel. In contrast, the B2 provides a more dynamic sound, where vocals tend to be more prominent in the mix. And again, in terms of clarity, the B2 provides a higher level of separation, making it seem spotlessly tidy compared to the less disciplined FA7. It’s also hard to ignore the the B2’s faster transient response. Snare drums, for example, have more attack and tightness on the B2, compared to the thicker and more laid back sound of the FA7. At the same time, the B2 also sounds less compressed, bringing out nuances in the snare hits than are not audible on the FA7.
The B2 is more extended in this range than the FA7. So, listening to pop, for example, percussion is crisper and provides a snappier, more vivacious performance. In contrast, the higher peaks on the FA7 sound comparatively rolled off. So, if you’re the kind of audiophile who gets easily fatigued by high frequencies, the FA7 is a safer bet. Also, if you like you female vocals to sound breathy and airy, you’ll probably prefer the execution of the FA7. In contrast, vocals on the B2 sound more weighty with a bit more color.
The FA7 will give you a grander soundstage. It has an extra touch of reverb giving it a more stadium like feel, especially when listening to live recordings. However, perhaps because the separation is better on the B2, instrument placement feels more precise. Small gradations in depth, for instance, are more discernible on the B2.
If you love a thick and fleshy sound with a rich low-end, then you may prefer the FA7. Add to this the FA7’s vast soundstage, and the result is a massive sounding track that works very well for modern genres like pop, hip-hop, rock and electronica. But in terms of pure skill, the B2 has the upper hand. Cleaner, faster and more transparent, the B2 will provide a more vibrant and realistic presentation of your music.
You can find both of these IEMs for the best price here: