Showing posts with label Head Phones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Head Phones. Show all posts

Headphones or earphones are a peculiar product category, in the sense, that anyone who has a smartphone automatically gets one along with the device. Or at least most smartphones ship earphones in the box. Yet, brands are actively peddling them across various price points. It's a category where you can get the product for as low as Rs 100 and can cost as much as a mid-range smartphone. The real differentiator always has been the quality of sound. There is always a sense of skepticism rather than excitement when a higher-priced earphone lands at our desk for review. Case in point: the Fiio F9. At Rs 7,200, the F9 is certainly targeting people who take their music seriously. Does it deliver the quality at the price it commands? Read our review to find out more:

Design:

The F9 comes in an attractive packaging with a pelican style hard case inside the box where the earphones are neatly placed. You also get six pairs of silicone ear tips - three regular tips and three eQ tips. The eQ tips can be used to enhance the bass response while listening to music. The F9 could divide opinion when it comes to looks as the rippled design on earpieces are striking but some might not find it appealing. The finish is neat and the F9 looks like solid earphones. Fiio says that they have kept ergonomics in mind while designing these particular earphones. These are compact earphones but take a while to get used to in the ear. The shell is comfortable enough and you can sleep with the earphones on without any difficulty - though we wouldn't advice it.

The cables are well-designed and earhooks are soft. The over-the-ear design takes time to get used to but makes it an interesting looking earphone. What's interesting is that the earphones come with two pair of cables - the regular balanced 2.5mm and the unbalanced 3.5mm. Both cables are solid and will last long. The F9 is a triple hybrid driver earphone which gets thumbs up from us in terms of design.


Performance
It's a bit tricky to judge earphones as after a while of using them you do get used to the sound quality. Unless you are using your routine pair of earphones that come with budget smartphones, it's hard to assess the performance. However, when it's an earphone like F9 one can easily spot the differences. Each channel in the F9 has one dynamic and two balanced armature drivers. The cables are non-detachable and Fiio claims that the earphones are capable of a frequency response of up to 40kHZ.





We used the earphones for a vast range of activities - for FLAC files, AppleMusic, YouTube videos. We also listened to a variety of music genres while using the Fiio F9. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is a good song to test the output of your earphones or headphones. On the F9, Freddie Mercury's vocals sound crystal clear. It is a legendary song where decibel levels and tempo keeps on changing. There's piano, guitar riffs and a booming bass which were all handled well by the F9. The bass is powerful and satisfactory but where the F9 shines is the mids. It brings out the vocals quite nicely and at the same time you can hear guitars and percussion instruments perfectly. While listening to hip-hop or electronic music, we found a lot of clarity in the F9. The high frequencies were as good as the mids and another song which we gave a listen to was The Who's Baba O'Riley. There are piano chords, rhythmic guitar, drums and a lovely voice which provides an accurate test of the earphones. Listening to Baba O'Riley on the F9 was fine but we've frankly got better output on other headphones. For instance, the earphones that come bundled - not the earpods -- with iPhones deliver crisp and clear sound quality. The high frequencies delivered similar level of performance as the mids.
mids.



Verdict:
At Rs 7,200, the Fiio F9 aren't really budget earphones and for a good reason. An attractive design and good sound output separates it nicely from the competition. However, we do feel that the price might just deter consumers from buying this pair of earphones. Nevertheless, if you're willing to shell that amount of money, the Fiio F9 is a good option to go for.





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