IEMs that are considered upgrades to Fiio FH3

Hello. So several weeks ago I ordered the Fiio FH3 as my first ever IEM(along with a fiio Q3 to use between my phone and pc) and its an absolute game changer for me as far as audio equipment goes. I’ve always loved over ear headphones and earbuds were always uncomfortable then I came across the concept of IEMs. Took the plunge with the FH3 and im very very impressed with it.

So now I’m wondering when I eventually want to upgrade what would be the next logical leap for these? I’ve read people compare it with the FH5/7 and a lot of reviews seem to say the FH3 might be better sounding than these higher end ones, though im not stuck to Fiio. Looking to spend around $500 tops, possibly up to $1k if you can convince me. I mostly listen to house and techno, occasionally jam rock if that helps with what I want

First off, Welcome to HFguides !! Not exactly a pro here but, I too own the FH3 and enjoy the hell out of them. I have many IEMs and each set I have is really good for the music or device I use it for if that makes sense. From my Blon 03s and my Guideray’s all the way to my personal endgame (at the moment) Campfire Andromeda 2020. I also have the ability to run these stock or balanced with either a mobile setup (Fiio BTR3K and phone or my Hiby R5) or my desktops (Monoprice Liquid platinum, Schiit Bifrost 2 and Asgard 3) All of these options give me choices as to which way I can go to get the sound I want at that particular time if this makes sense. Also to me Headphones and IEMs change sometimes drastically depending on the source and what YOU like sound wise… I tend to lean ever so slightly towards a fun warm sound. My ears are different than yours and vice versa. Do I recommend the Andro’s ? Hell yes but… They are not cheap but well worth it in my mind. Comfort wise I find these just as comfortable as the FH3. Musically I am all over the place from Blues to jazz and Classical to Pink Floyd. Hope this helps a little.

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Yeah that’s one of the big thing for me with IEM’s. I didn’t know they existed before a few months ago. All I knew were earbuds that came with iphones/android phones and maybe airpods or whatever but they always hurt my ear and was never impressed with the sound quality. I’ve been using vmoda M100 crossfades as my main headphones for almost a decade, these I eventually wanna upgrade with something more of a proper set of audiophile headphones but thats years away, for now I’m diving into IEMs. I bought a soundblaster G3 as my first dac/amp just to see what all the fuss was about and it made my vmoda’s sound so much better than what I was used to. Decided to go for the Fiio FH# and Q3 in one go, eventually Ill probably get a pmp but this is great for now. I’m finding myself using the FH3’s more than the my over ears lately, the sound clarity is great and bass is more than I expected from what I thought were just earbuds.

The thing I like with the FH3 is the real deep bass that doesn’t sound like just muddy bass boost that cheap headphones doo, and the bass boost from the Q3 does what I want in that regard as well. Thing with the type of music I listen to, yes it’s EDM, bass heavy but theres a lot of subtle treble action that takes place and the FH3’s hit real nice and crisp. Started hunting down flac files and higher quality audio files/streams and the detail is really great.

So basically I’m wondering what IEM’s take what the FH3 does but ups it a notch or several. Shame I just got into audiophile hobby, I live 45min from NYC and this years CanJam is cancelled, was hoping to just try out some higher end stuff without needing to buy/return or take a leap of faith. I certainly took a leap of faith with the FH3 but was recommended it as a good first intro to IEM’s for someone into EDM. Listening to The String Cheese Incident right now(jam rock) and sounds pretty damn good too

Welcome to HFGF :smiley: there’s a lot of guys on here that can give some good guidance when it comes to lower mid tier IEM’s with a bias towards house, techno and dance genres etc…a couple come to mind the TheiAudio Monarc and the Shuoer EJ07…if you want endgame for those genres then the Z1R or EE LX take some beating :+1:

The thing with the FH3 bass is that you pretty much need to find another iem with beryllium coated (or pure) DD. Thats one of the big factors for that bass you are getting.

I personally wouldn’t overvalue material too much. I am certain that how you tune and what you do with those specific drivers are much more important than just the material alone.

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yes, Tuning is definitely the most important factor.

But that beryllium bass does not seem to be available with other coatings.

Thanks, yeah itll be some time till I take that plunge but I wanna ask around for stuff that makes sense for me in the future and ill do my research as time goes on and I keep asking.

One thing I forgot to mention, out of the box i actually wasnt impressed by the sound of the fh3 with the stock tips, however the box did come with several types and I threw on the bass silicone tips and those were what wow’d me sound wise. The foam tips fit in my ear the most snug and I keep reading people recommend it for bass but I found that while the bass did seem boosted, it had that ‘muddy’ effect where bass is boosted at the expense of quality in mid and high ranges. It’d be nice to find something that fit as nice and snug as the foams but gave me the same sound as the orange/grey silicone tips the fh3 came with. My only complaint with the silicone is I have to sometimes readjust the IEM in my ear to fit in more deep, the large size seems to keep this at a minimum compared to small and medium sized

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Tips are as we’ve all said on here are a make or break when it comes to an IEM sound…most like myself prefer silicon but ultimately it’s down to trial and error and what works for you :smiley:
I was reading a review today I’ll try and dig it out about an IEM and the reviewer was about to right it off as wack, but when he finally got a good seal it was a light and day comparison…and tbh most of us IEM users have had the same experience :+1:

Edit found it…not sure about the review per say :man_shrugging: but it can explain the importance of getting a good seal :+1:

I would. When it comes to bass quality, texture and speed, beryllium or beryllium coated DDs are superior to everything else I’ve heard and the FH3 does this very well. The FD5 is ever better in certain aspects.


Try Spinfits CP100. I’d get the medium and large sizes to begin with. Foam tips are not recommended for critical listening. Also try Final E tips.

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The best IEM on the planet will sound like garbage without a proper seal. It is the most important factor when it comes to IEMs and I feel there are a lot of folks out there that have never even experienced a true complete seal. I can’t get a proper seal with most tips in my collection.

Especially those that come to purchase an IEM from a rec on this site, only with feedback that the IEM sounds completely different than how everyone else hears it. Only to have them come back later on with the revelation that a change to different tips made all the difference in the world!

Personally the same thing happened to me. I got a Tin T2 and it sounded like absolute garbage. I swore off IEMs and couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy them. After a ton of hype on a certain IEM, I gave IEMs another shot only to be blown away by what I was hearing vs headphones (spoiler, it wasn’t the IEM, it was the fact that the included tips would not seal for me, not even close). After that I went on a journey looking for the best tips that work for me. Here’s the thing… You’ll need various tips and different tip sizes for different IEMs. Doing your tip research and trying as many tips as you can will greatly improve your IEM experience with much improved sound and comfort. You just need to find the right combination.


Hello, i own FH3, T2, and a few others.
These are great!
But i wanted to tell something about T2. They need much more power than many thinks.
In fact, the more power you give to T2, the better they sound.
Believe me, they sound absolutly fantastic with a good dac (got tempotec idsd plus), large silicon tips (for me) and a balanced cable (a cheap copper silver plated 8 cores 2.5)! Soundstage, separation, details, tonality, bass!, subbass!, and everything else is stuning (edit: especialy on things like Dire Straits, Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, … 24bits or DSD).
Nothing in common with just a smartphone. And, yes, they need burn in time.
I ordered a balanced cable for FH3 and Starfield as well.

Yeah right off the bat i ordered balanced cables. Is there a difference between 4.4mm and 2.5mm? I went with 4.4mm since it seems more rugged and the Q3 has the option. I take care of my stuff well enough but the 4.4mm seemed like a no brainer for durability to me.

Ill give em a shot for sure. Thanks for the heads up!

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I never tried 4.4, so i can not tell.
Spinfits CP 145 are also good.

These ones are very good too, but no idea what they are, if anyone knows…

Can you take a pic of the bore and do they have dots in as they look like spiral dots?

Might be something basic, but fits really well.

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Cool, not sure but they ain’t Spirals :+1:

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Ordered the type E eartips after reading some reviews that the spinfits reduce the bass a bit and they seem like theyll fit better in my ear, hopefully it goes well.

Another question I have is regarding pmps vs dac/amp+smartphone/pc, I’m currently using the fiio q3 with my fh3’s and im wondering if a pmp will have the same sort of power output that I have with my Q3, and I do want the option of driving something more powerful like over ears. Using m q3 is fine if I’m sitting at work or in a plane but moving around with it is a bit iffy. I do strap on the Q3 to my note 10+ with the rubber bands they give lol, but I’m limited to using only the music app since a lot of the screen becomes obstructed. I’ve been downloading music directly for eventually getting a pmp but also just discovered Tidal for high quality streams which is nice so I’d want something with android OS I suppose.

Like I see the m11 and m11pro and m11pro has the THX certification but not the regular m11, though not sure if it matters in the grand scheme of things.

If you are using local files, I think most people will recommend the Ibasso DX160 over the Fiio M11.