Ready to ditch your Apple earbuds? The FiiO F5 In-Ear Monitors could be the next right step.

Apple’s earbuds are generally serviceable, but when compared to the FiiO F5, they come off as tinny, thin, and not comfy. At about twice the price of those standard issue in-ear monitors, lies the anteroom to the realm of the audiophile.

The F5’s offer good isolation with the included silicone tips in three sizes: small, medium and large. Once the right size is chosen the resulting fit allows the bass to really resonate.

Let’s get the Specifications out of the way:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic 13.6mm
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 40kHz
  • Sensitivity 102dB/mW
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Single Ended Plug: 3.5mm gold plated stereo (CTIA)
  • Balanced Plug: 2.5mm TRRS straight gold-plated
  • Cord Length: 1.2m
  • Weight: 21g

The MMCX connectors at the end of the audio cable might take some getting used to, as they do not screw on, but snap into place.

MMCX connector example
MMCX connector

The titanium drivers are housed in aluminium which reduces the weight to a mere 21 grams while increasing durability. By acutely angling the cant of the unit, the F5’s silicone tips get a snug, yet forgiving fit, thus they can be worn for much longer with less discomfort.

Interoperability with iOS and Android is provided via the 3.5 mm cable, with controls that can be toggled to either favor one format or the other. Those coming from lowborn consumer grade earbuds will get the most use from this configuration.

iOS and Android Switch
iOS and Android Switch


The balanced 2.5 mm tipped cable is what propels us to the first rung on the audiophile ladder.

2.5 mm Connector
2.5mm Connector

A waterproof case is included, to hold the buds, the extra cable, etc; a nice touch considering that cases that contain the typical earbuds offer no practical use subsequent the initial unwrapping.

Waterproof Case
Waterproof Case

We can say the following about the sound signature: The high-frequencies reach a lofty 40kHz, double that of the typical consumer grade in-ear monitor. The middle frequencies are well sculpted; the lows are refined but detailed.

For a paultry two times the cost of plebeian consumer grade earbuds, the FiiO’s F5 In-Ear Monitors opens the foyer to the lounge of aural splendour.