🔶 FiiO Audio FT5

This is the official thread for the FiiO FT5

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Type: Over Ear
  • Amp needed: Yes
  • Open Back 90mm Planar

:red_circle: FiiO Link


Z Reviews…

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Got these Friday night at 7:30PM. Latest I ever got headphones.

Anyway, the unboxing is fun. Lots of toys included.

Right off the bat I went with the stock pads, the suedes. Since the stock cable looks to be dual mono 3.5mm, I used my dual 3.5mm mono cable from my Nectar Sound Ambrosia’s.
The sound was not great. It sounded muffled or veiled right out of the box. And the overwhelming feeling was, “Man are these dark!”
Almost like the Nectar Sound Bee’s.

My initial panic reaction was that I bought them from Amazon and I could return them. :grin:

Then I sat back thought about it for a second. First off I change headphones every week and sometimes the change over is not smooth. Some sound signatures are so opposite that the change is Very jarring.

So, I switched to the stock cable with XLR connector over the 4.4mm end. I didn’t notice a big change though. Then I changed pads to the leatherettes. This seemed to sharpen the sound a bit.

My preferred amp for planar’s is my iFi. I also realized that I had the bass boost set on the mid setting, much too high for a bassy headphone. And they are bassy.

Now with those changes made I was warming up to my new buddies. The chain is is Schiit BF2 to iFi amp to FT5’s, via stock cable with XLR connector. From 3:00 to 9:00 I was enjoying the music. I went through the Beatles Red album, Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s new album, Crosses’ new album and Ash Grunwald’s last two albums.

My initial reactions were:

  1. They are Very bassy. Of course toning down the bass boost helped a lot. :grin:

  2. The mids are indeed a bit recessed, although this became less of an issue as the day went on and I adjusted to the sound.

  3. The treble is not at all prominent. These are dark headphones.

  4. While they are a little heavy, that is probably because they are mostly (all?) metal and have many magnets. But very comfortable for me.

I was very underwhelmed to start but by late afternoon, I didn’t want to take them off and didn’t until 9:00PM. I am very pumped about trying these out today with some of my favourite rock and jazz albums.
So far, it’s looking like a nice pick-up, but it will be at least a week until I have a good idea about them. Especially with “shiny new toy syndrome”. :laughing:

Lots of pad swapping, cable swapping and music to try out this week!


Sounds… Intriguing.
I do have the FT3s, and I like them, but I like the promise (and design of the FT5) more? Maybe…

Anyway, I doodled and 3d printed a pad adapter so i could pad swap with any circular pad out there.
Can send you the file, just tell me what diameter you need.

Thanks for the offer, but I don’t have access to a 3D printer. I am pretty happy with the pleather pads, but I will also try the suedes again.

Enjoying them today. Playing some jazz and they are reminding me of better iBasso SR2’s. Lots of bass and soft treble.


Interesting, i just popped open my iBasso SR2 today to mellow out with them at work.

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There are 3d printing services if you need to get something printed.

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Thanks, but have never felt the need, so far.

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Compare to Ananda?

I have never heard the Ananda, but I will say an emphatic no. I have often heard Ananda’s, especially the Nano’s described as somewhat to very bright.
You will never hear the word bright used in relation to the FT5’s. More like bassy, lush or dark.

I have been using the FT5’s daily since Saturday and I really am enjoying the sound.

Today I did some cable rolling. I used my Hart 3.5mm dual mono cable, my Hart 3.5mm dual stereo cable and the stock cable. With the Hart cables I get a great sound with everything coming out nicely. Bass is booming and the mids sound great, if a bit recessed.

With the stock cable there was one weird occurence: With White Flag by Dido, at the start of the song the sound is going from side to side. With the stock cable it just sounds like each side goes up and down in volume. With the Hart cables it sounds like it is going from one ear and through my head to the other. I know it sounds weird, but I find the effect cool and that is why I keep it in my test list. It is more of a headphone testing thing as I never use stock cables, and I guess this is why. I will be sticking with the Hart cables.

I also tried rolling the pads again. I put on the suede pads and they are definitely bassier. But it is a broad, sloppy kind of bass. And the recessed mids are more noticeable. I won’t be using these again.

So, now I am sure on the accessories and will keep going with leatherette pads and Hart cables. While these aren’t blowing away my favourite headphones, they do have a nice, full sound.

Amp wise, I have decided that I prefer one notch of bass boost on the iFi. I tried them on the Schiit Valhalla 2 and was NOT at all impressed.

So, BF2 with XLR to iFi Pro iCAN (with one notch of bass boost and two notches of 3D sound effects) and then Hart cable to the FT5’s.
New rock, classic Rock and horn jazz all sounds awesome.

Comparison wise, the closest I can think of is my iBasso SR2’s, except that the mids on the FT5’s are not at all forward. But that thick bass and “muted/soft” treble makes the jazz just as enjoyable as the SR2’s. There are no piercing highs when the players are wailing to the max.
I find that the Grado’s and the Focal’s excel at horn jazz, but they can be a little bright. I can’t imagine anyone ever using the word bright in relation to these headphones.

I will keep using these right through the weekend and keep exploring my music collection. I think the next big test for these will be when I put them back on after a few runs with other headphones. My first impressions were not that great, right off the bat. But sometimes a headphone change over can be a little jarring depending on the models involved.

Bottom line: I am really enjoying these headphones. Nice sound for not a lot of money. :star_struck:


Thanks for the ongoing review :wink:

Gotta ask, what is your favorite headphone?

Best overall is probably the Focal Clear OG. Then the Grado GH2’s, HiFiman HE6se V2’s and the Senn HD660S2’s.


So i got my FT5 a few days, and after a bit of burn to be on the safe side here are my thoughs and impressions

Bottom line first - I really like them :smile:
The FT5 is a very enjoyable headphone both in terms of comfort and in terms of sound, with a really nice accessory package.

So lets dig down a bit more…

Sound and amplification
The FT5 is fairly easy to drive especially for a planar, i manged to fully power them with all of my desktop stuff on low gain and even manged to run them on my Muse M4 (using the 4.4mm).

As far as Sound, I focused on different setups using only the stock cable
Neutral - SMSL SU-9 + Topping A90D
Warm - IFI Zen DAC + Zen Can
Hybrid - Topping D10S + Loxji P20
Mobile - Muse M4 Via LDAC from my phone

In term of overall sound, im a fan of the FT5. I very much enjoyed the sound, its a fairly warm dark that favors the low end, but its still retains a good amount of detail, mids are fairly fully bodied though in some song a little laid back, the treble is subdued but i think its part of the charm of this headphone practically when you look at a look of other planars ( For example the Hifiman Xs)

In terms of amplification i’d say i prefer the more neutral (SMSL SU9 + Topping A90D), over the warmer sounding IFI or the Hybrid stack, since it is already a rather full bodied and warm headphone, the more neutral amplification seems to make it shine more, the bass was tighter and mids felt richer.

As far as the pads, i tend to agree with @ShaneD that using the PU leather are clearer and more controlled, that being said I found of the suede pads more “fun” and found them somewhat more immersive. The PU leather do win out in the end but to me its not as much clear cut and you can certainly use both - which makes me wonder if maybe there is a 3rd option that balances both…

Build and comfort
Overall excellent, the construction feels extremely solid, and despite being a rather heavy set they are comfortable, the headband helps out a lot, the clamp was a tad too much but after a little stretch it was much better. Im also a big fan of the 3.5mm jacks located on the rear part of the headphone compared to the bottom.

The only grip i have is there is a small clicking noise on the right side when i grab it by the yoke (tried to tight the screws - its not it) but its very minor and it doesn’t feel loose

Packaging and accessories
The packing is nice nothing too fancy, but is nice - what is very impressive are the accessories you get “focal-like” case made of leather, a cloth bag, a cable with interchangeable heads + 3.5mm or 4.4 + a very nice looking 4.4mm to XLR adapter + 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter.

Personally i really like the cable, its a fabric that’s not too soft to easily tangle but not too stiff that it makes it awkward to use. The interchangeable heads are a very welcomed addition i hope it become standard for all headphone at this price point


Nice write-up! Mostly agreed, except that I prefer the Hart Audio cables as I use the modular system. I can see some people liking the suede pads, but not for me.
Today I put on the polar opposites and while I love my Grado GH2’s, they are the opposite in every way. :grin:

I used my FT5’s for nine straight days. Quite happy with them.

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I tend to keep my Hart cables saved for my sennheisers mostly since there arent many decent cable for them.

I have a Hart cable for every headphone, except of course the Grado’s.

These are available from Apos Audio for $359. It’s from Apos’ Certified Program (refurbished gear that Apos Audio guarantees looks and works like new; free shipping)

note: this is an affiliate link. if you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small commission (at no extra charge!)

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