FiiO FW3 TWS IEM Review
FiiO FW3 TWS IEM Review
The FW3 is FiiO’s latest TWS (True Wireless) earphone that is equipped with a newly developed 10mm diameter Carbon-Based Dynamic Driver, which is a Diaphragm material 9 times stronger than steel and ¼ lighter than beryllium. The FW3 features a fully integrated HiFi DAC and Amplifier Design that is powered with Asahi Kasei’s AK4332 DAC chipset. The FW3 comes with Qualcomm’s QC5141 Bluetooth SoC that supports the new Snapdragon LHDC audio codec.
I would like to thank FiiO for providing me the FW3 TWS Earphone for review purposes. I am not affiliated with FiiO beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price for the FiiO FW3 TWS Earphone is 84.99 US$ (discounted from 99.99 US$). More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package & Accessories:
The FiiO FW3 came inside a relative small square shaped box that reflects the company’s new branding design for their latest products.
This box contains the following items/accessories;
- 1x pair of FiiO FW5 TWS Earphones
- 3x pairs of FiiO HS18 Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L) “1x pair came pre-installed”
- 3x pairs of Balanced Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L)
- 1x Charging Case
- 1x USB Type-C Charging Cable
- 1x Print Material (User Manual, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card)
Design & Build Quality:
The FiiO FW3 shares the same design shape and design with its bigger brother the FW5, which comes with pretty impressive looking faceplate design that has been inspired by the previously FD5 and FD7 In-Ear Monitors. The FW3 feels more lightweight and bit plastickier compared to the FW5 in order to reduce the costs that has mainly invested in to the quite impressive tech components inside the earphones.
The FiiO FW3 is available in 2 color options, which are the one in white and the one in light grey like my review unit. However, the one in white color is not available at the moment.
Each of the earpieces is equipped with a 10mm diameter Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver that is integrated in to a miniaturized HiFi DAC and Amplifier design.
On the front of the FiiO FW3 has a very esthetic looking faceplate that sports a semi open back design, which has a small LED status indicator behind it.
On the top of each ear piece are two multifunctional buttons, one that is dedicated for volume, track, reset, etc. while the second one stands for power on/off, activation of voice assistance, call answer, etc.
The inner surface of each earpiece utilizes a slightly angles sound nozzle with a fine woven metal mesh on the top that prevents the insertion of dust and ear wax.
Near the sound nozzle is a small opening for the 10mm diameter Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver unit. Here area also the L (Left) or R (Right) markings and 3 metal connectors.
At the bottom and the top of each earpiece is a dual microphone setup that features Qualcomm’s latest cVc Noise-Cancelling Microphone Technology.
The FW3 shows a decent build quality same like all previous products I have tested of the company.
Charging Case & Battery Life:
The FW3 has a pretty small and lightweight (approx 45g) charging box made from plastic material in the same light grey color like the shell of the earphones. The box has dimensions of 68.4*43.9*32.5 mm and shows a rounded shape so that it fits easily in to a small pocket. On the top of the charging box is the FiiO brand logo in black color.
The front surface of the box sports four small LED status indicators and a small recession that makes it easier to open it with one hand.
At the bottom of the charging box are the FiiO brand logo, some specifications and industrial certifications of the TWS earphones.
The rear side of the charging box sports the USB Type-C charging port and a pretty robust hinge mechanism.
When you open the case you will see the seats, male connectors and L (Left) and R (Right) markings for the TWS monitors.
These seats have a magnetic surface to ensure a tight/save connection for the charging process and to avoid any drop out of the monitors.
The built-in battery of the box has a total capacity of approx 380mAh, which means up to +14 hours when fully charged. The earphones on the other hand do come with a 65mAh large built-in battery, which offers up to 7 hours of battery life on a single charge, If you use it aptX codec that is pretty fine.
Fit, Comfort & Isolation:
The FiiO FW3 is a TWS Earphone that has an average size, which is a bit larger compared to ultra slim product on the market. However the long nozzle design and the use of lightweight materials (each earpiece weights just 6grams) makes it quite comfortable for on the go. The FW3 does not come with features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) or Ambient Sound, while the passive noise isolation is on an efficient level, sufficient enough for the use in relative noisy environments such like a bus or train.
- Model : FW3
- Driver Configuration : 10mm dia. Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response : 20-20kHz
- Sensitivity : 106dB/mW (@ 1 kHz)
- Impedance : 32Ω±20% (@ 1 kHz)
- DAC : Asahi Kasei AK4332
- DAC Signal to Noise Ratio : 106dB/mW (@ 1 kHz)
- BT SoC : Qualcomm QCC5141
- Bluetooth Version : BT 5.2
- BT Codec’s : SBC/AAC/AptX/AptX Adaptive/LHDC
- Transmission distance : approx. 10mt
- Battery capacity earpiece : 65mAh
- Battery capacity box : 380mAh
- Battery Life Earphone : about 6.5 – 7 Hours (with aptX Codec)
- Battery Life Box : about 14 Hours
- Charging Time : approx 1.4 hours
- Charging Connector Type : USB Type-C
- Charger dimensions : approx 68.4*43.9*33.3 mm
- Earphone dimensions : approx 28.4*22.9*22.6 mm
- Weight : approx 6g (single earphone) / approx 45g charging box
Pairing, Signal Strength & Call Quality:
The pairing process of the FiiO FW3 is pretty easy same like with the FW5. You have just to put out the monitors from the charging case and it will automatically go in to pairing mode.
The FW3 offers a decent performance in terms of Bluetooth connection stability. The average stabile distance is approx. 10 meters same like many other products on the market.
The FiiO FW3 offers a decent voice transmissions that is fairly clear when paired with my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, thanks to its Dual Microphone setup that supports Qualcomm’s latest cVc Noise-Cancelling Microphone Technology.
AK4332 Independent DAC Chip:
The FiiO FW3 is equipped with an independent AK4332 DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) chip of the company Asahi Kasei (AKM) same like the FW5 that supports AKM’s VELVET SOUND Technology. The AK4332 chip achieves a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of up to 106 dB, a distortion of 0.0016% and a Dynamic Range (DNR) of up to 102 dB.
Qualcomm QCC 5141 BT SoC:
FiiO FW3 features the QCC5141 Bluetooth signal receiver chip by Qualcomm, which brings major performance upgrades over the previous generation CR8675 or QCC3020 SoC in terms of connectivity and stability. The QCC5141 offers a decent Bluetooth audio transmission thanks to its dual-DSP and dual-core architecture. In addition, the FW3 is Snapdragon Sound-certified, which is another major improvement in terms Hi-Res Audio Transmitting.
FiiO Control APP:
The FiiO FW3 is compatible with the FiiO Control application that you can download from the Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. This application is a quite useful tool to fine adjust and update Wireless & Wired products of the company. You can access a 10-band Parametric Equalizer (PEQ), which is a nice addition.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- TWS IEM’s : FiiO FW3
- Paired Sources : FiiO M11 Plus ESS, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away
- Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom
- Sting – Englishman in New York
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On
- Elton John – Rocket Man
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
- Sting – Englishman in New York
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lovers
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Seasons”
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River
- Gogo Penguin – Raven
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage
- Metallica – Sad but True
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone
- Slayer – Angel of Death
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain
- Lorde – Royal Massive Attack – Angel
- Toutant – Rebirth
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood
- Daft Punk (feat. Panda Bear) – Doin’ it Right
- Massive Attack – Angel
- Bear McCreary – Valkyries (Gof of War)
- Muse – The Handler
- Twerl – Lishu
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles
The FiiO FW3 has a pretty lush and mildly warm sounding tonality, which shows a good adjusted V shaped sound signature. The bass is tight and controlled, while the midrange sounds clean, pretty smooth and musical. The treble range on the other hand is moderately bright and is produced with a good sense of control and resolution for a TWS earphone.
Please note that the FiiO FW3 review has been written after a burn-in process of about 35 – 40 hours. My sound impressions below are mainly based on pairings with BT sources like the FiiO M11 Plus ESS and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon Version). I have used the stock FiiO HS18 Silicone Ear Tips.
Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage:
The subbass region of the FW3 is produced with an adequate sense of depth and extension thanks to well adjusted and pretty capable 10mm Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver unit. Songs like Really Slow Motion’s “Deadwood”, Massive Attack’s “Angel” or Lorde’s “Royals” are created with a good level of rumble especially in TWS standards. The subbass decay is on a moderate level, while it sound fairly controlled in this area.
The midbass area of the FiiO FW3 is shown in a fairly strong, impactful and musical manner that I have enjoyed while listen to instruments such like a bass guitar, trumpet and or to percussions. The midbass tuning of the FW3 makes it also quite suitable for genres like Epic, Electronic, Pop and Rock music.
The FiiO FW3 has a relative smooth, full bodied and pretty musical midrange character, which makes it ideal for longer listening periods on the go. The midrange shows in general a pretty transparent and airy atmosphere, which is an advantage while listen to complex passages. The detail retrieval of instruments and vocals is pretty good for a TWS earphone.
The lower midrange of the FW3 shows a decent grade of body and fullness, which is a remarkable plus point while listen to male voices or to instruments such like a acoustic guitar, viola or trumpet. The upper midrange on the other hand has an audible grade of coloration. This area is able to produce a good amount of clarity, air and intensity, while it is also successful when it comes to the control. Female vocals do sound lush, lively and emotional, while violins and pianos do have a good grade of presence.
The FiiO FW3 shows a clean, fluid and smooth treble experience from the presence up to the brilliance. The transitions from the upper midrange towards the lower treble register are in general pretty controlled, especially in moments when instruments are played with highe level of distortion.
The upper treble range is mildly highlighted, which is able to produce an efficient sense of air and sparkle, while the extension is on a sufficient level. The quantity, intensity and sharpness of this area are pretty well tuned and shows in general a good grade separation speed and control in TWS standards.
The soundstage of the FiiO FW3 is relative airy and offers a fairly precise separation of the instruments and vocals. The depth and wideness of the stage is on an adequate level that meets my expectation from a TWS earphone at this price level.
The FiiO FW3 is a solid product with lots of Tech inside it that offers an excellent True Wireless sound experience for its price with it pretty musical sound profile. The FW3 features a fully integrated HiFi DAC and Amplifier Design that is powered with Asahi Kasei’s AK4332 DAC chipset and comes with Qualcomm’s new QC5141 Bluetooth SoC that supports the Snapdragon LHDC audio codec, which is a great addition. Moreover, it has a decent battery life and shows a stabile connection up to 10 meters with very low latency levels.
Pros & Cons:
- + Solid True Wireless Sound Experience (especially for the price)
- + Beautiful Faceplate Design
- + Very stabile Bluetooth connection up to 10meters & Low Latency
- + Above Average Battery Life
- + FiiO APP control (10 Band PEQ, OTA Updates, etc.)
- + Snapdragon LHDC audio codec support
- + Decent Value for your Money
- – No Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) or Ambient Sound Mode
- – No LDAC codec support at the moment (but working in progress)
- – All Plastic Design
Thank you for the Read!