The FiiO FW3 is the new model of True Wireless (TWS) headphones released by FiiO, a company renowned for its audio products. The previous model, the FiiO FW5, was well-received for its impressive sound quality. However, the it faced some criticism due to the absence of active noise cancellation and the use of a plastic case, which may have been considered less premium for a flagship model.
The standout feature of the FiiO FW3 is its newly developed 10mm diameter Carbon-Based Dynamic Driver. This driver is designed to deliver excellent sound quality, providing a captivating audio experience for music enthusiasts. To further enhance the audio performance, the FW3 incorporates a fully integrated HiFi DAC and Amplifier Design, powered by Asahi Kasei’s AK4332 DAC chipset. This combination ensures accurate and high-resolution audio reproduction.
With the FiiO FW3, the company seeks to build upon the success of the FW5 while addressing some of the earlier model’s shortcomings. Although the FW3 does not introduce groundbreaking technologies, it manages to incorporate most of the successful features from its older sibling while also offering a more affordable price point.
FiiO FW3: Video Review
|10mm Carbon-Based Dome Diaphragm Dynamic
|106 dB/mW (at 1 kHz)
|Asahi Kasei AK4332
|Battery capacity earpiece
|Battery capacity box
|Battery Life Earphone
|about 6.5 – 7 Hours (with aptX Codec)
|Battery Life Box
|about 14 Hours
|approx 1.4 hours
|68.4 x 43.9 x 33.3 mm
|28.4 x 22.9 x 22.6 mm
|approx 6g (single earphone) / approx 45g
The FiiO FW3 comes packaged in a compact square-shaped box, showcasing the company’s fresh branding design for its latest products.
Upon opening the box, users will find the FiiO FW5 TWS Earphones carefully nestled within.
To ensure a comfortable and secure fit for various users, the box includes a total of three pairs of FiiO HS18 Silicone Ear Tips in different sizes (S/M/L). Among these, one pair comes pre-installed on the earphones. Additionally, the package includes three pairs of Balanced Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L).
Also, users will find a charging case, a USB Type-C charging cable, a user manual and a warranty card.
Overall, the package includes all the necessary accessories to ensure users can enjoy the FiiO FW3 to its fullest potential.
The FiiO FW3 comes with a charging box made of frosted plastic material, giving it a sleek and modern appearance. The rounded shape of the box adds to its aesthetic appeal. Despite its compact size, the charging box feels robust and well-built. It weighs only 45g, making it lightweight and easy to carry around. With dimensions of 68.4 x 43.9 x 32.5 mm, the charging box is designed to fit comfortably into a small pocket, making it convenient for users on the go.
On the top of the charging box, the FiiO brand logo is elegantly displayed in black color, adding a touch of sophistication to the overall design. The front of the charging case features four power status lights that indicate the remaining battery level, whether the lid is open or closed, or when the case is charging.
The rear side of the charging box houses the USB Type-C charging port, which allows for quick and efficient charging. The hinge mechanism is robust, ensuring the lid stays securely closed when not in use.
Upon opening the charging case, users are greeted with seats and male connectors for the TWS earphones. The seats have magnetic surfaces, ensuring a secure connection for charging and preventing any accidental dropouts of the earbuds.
The FiiO FW3 earbuds themselves are lightweight, well-crafted, and precisely assembled with well-controlled edge gaps. The front of each earpiece features an esthetically pleasing faceplate with a semi-open back design. Behind the faceplate, there is a small LED status indicator, providing helpful visual cues to the user.
On the top of each earpiece, there are two multifunctional buttons. One button is dedicated to controlling volume, tracks, reset functions, and more. The second button serves various purposes, including power on/off, activating voice assistance, answering calls, and more. The buttons are designed to have a tactile feel and prevent false touches, ensuring smooth and effortless control of the earphones.
The FiiO FW3, however, does not support in-ear detection, meaning it won’t automatically pause music when the earbuds are removed from the ears. Despite this, the buttons are user-friendly, and the larger contact area reduces the chances of accidental taps, allowing for easier and more convenient operation.
Near the sound nozzle of each earpiece, there is a small opening that houses the 10mm diameter Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver unit. Additionally, the L (Left) and R (Right) markings and three metal connectors are also present for easy and quick identification and connection.
The FiiO FW3 earbuds weigh a mere 6.1g each, and the soft silicone ear tips further enhance comfort during prolonged use. With such a lightweight and comfortable design, users can enjoy their music without any discomfort, making the FiiO FW3 an excellent choice for extended listening sessions.
The FiiO FW3 makes the pairing process effortless, similar to its predecessor, the FW5. To initiate the pairing mode, all you need to do is take the earbuds out of the charging case. Once removed, the earphones will automatically enter the pairing mode, ready to connect with your desired device. This user-friendly pairing method eliminates the need for complex setup procedures and allows for quick and convenient connections.
The FiiO FW3 excels in both transmission stability and call quality, providing users with a seamless wireless audio experience. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 technology and support for LHDC, SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive codecs, the FW3 ensures a reliable and high-quality connection with compatible devices. For users with Qualcomm chip mobile phones that support Snapdragon Sound, a convenient prompt “Device support Snapdragon Sound” appears on the phone after connecting via Bluetooth, affirming the advanced audio capabilities of the earbuds.
One of the standout features of the FiiO FW3 is its support for multipoint connection, allowing users to simultaneously connect two Bluetooth devices. This is particularly useful for those who want to switch between their phone and another device, such as a tablet or laptop, without the hassle of repeatedly pairing and unpairing.
To enhance call quality, the FW3 incorporates CVC noise reduction technology in conjunction with aptX-Voice provided by Snapdragon Sound. This combination effectively minimizes background noise, wind noise, and environmental disturbances, ensuring crystal-clear communication during phone calls.
The FiiO Control APP complements the FW3 with a plethora of customizable settings, making it a powerful tool for users to fine-tune their listening experience. Within the app, users can control various functions such as turning the indicator light on/off, enabling charging protection, selecting audio codecs, and adjusting volume settings for different aspects, including earbud volume, prompt volume, and call volume.
The charging protection feature is especially noteworthy as it helps prolong the battery life by halting charging when the earbuds reach 80% capacity. This practice reduces the number of charging cycles, contributing to the longevity of the battery.
Through the FiiO Control APP, users can also choose their preferred audio codec, allowing them to optimize their connection stability even in challenging environments. Thanks to the FW3’s built-in independent audio architecture, the earbuds default to a lower volume when connected via Bluetooth. Users can conveniently adjust the volume manually within the app to suit their listening preferences.
FiiO FW3: Sound quality
The FiiO FW3 impresses with its lush and mildly warm tonality, providing an enjoyable and musical listening experience. The earphones offer a well-balanced sound signature with tight and controlled bass, clean and smooth midrange, and moderately bright treble. These characteristics contribute to a pleasing audio presentation that caters to a wide range of music genres and preferences.
The bass response of the FW3 is well-executed, thanks to the capable 10mm Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver unit. The sub-bass region showcases adequate depth and extension, adding a satisfying low-end punch to the overall sound. The controlled bass ensures that it doesn’t overpower the other frequency ranges, maintaining a balanced and enjoyable listening experience.
Moving on to the midrange, the FiiO FW3 delivers a smooth and full-bodied character, making it ideal for extended listening sessions. The midrange exhibits transparency and airiness, which benefits the clarity of complex musical passages. Instruments and vocals are rendered with good detail retrieval, enhancing the overall listening experience and allowing users to appreciate the nuances in their favorite tracks.
In the treble range, the FiiO FW3 continues to shine with a clean, fluid, and smooth presentation. The upper midrange to lower treble transitions are well-controlled, even during moments when instruments are played with higher levels of distortion. The quantity, intensity, and sharpness of this area are well-tuned, resulting in a good grade of separation speed and control, especially when compared to other TWS earphones.
The soundstage of the FiiO FW3 is commendable, providing a relative airy presentation with precise instrument and vocal separation. The depth and width of the stage meet expectations for a TWS earphone in this price range, adding to the immersive and engaging listening experience.
Overall, the FiiO FW3 excels in delivering a pleasing audio performance, combining lush and warm tonality with controlled bass, smooth midrange, and clean treble. The earphones offer an excellent option for music lovers who seek a balanced and musical sound signature, making them suitable for extended listening sessions on the go.
The FiiO FW3 comes equipped with a game mode feature that can be activated through the FiiO Control App. This mode is designed to reduce sound delay, making it more suitable for gaming purposes. While it may not match the performance of specialized gaming earbuds or e-sports earphones, it still offers a satisfactory gaming experience for casual players.
The FiiO FW3 allows users to control the sound delay within 100ms when the game mode is enabled. This reduction in latency enhances the responsiveness of audio cues during gaming sessions, providing a more immersive and enjoyable gameplay experience.
In order to verify the effectiveness of the game mode, multiple tests were conducted using the Latency Test App. With the game mode turned on, the measured latency of the FiiO FW3 was found to be around 102 ms, indicating that it does indeed deliver on the promise of reduced sound delay for gaming purposes. When the game mode is turned off, the latency increases to approximately 137 ms, which is still reasonably acceptable for general use but may be noticeable in more fast-paced gaming scenarios.
Furthermore, the FiiO FW3 performs admirably when used for other multimedia activities, such as watching videos. The earphones maintain flawless sound and picture synchronization on both Android and iPhone devices, providing users with an enjoyable audiovisual experience.
The FiiO FW3 features a charging case with a battery capacity of 380mAh, providing ample power to recharge the earbuds multiple times. Each individual earbud is equipped with a 65mAh battery, contributing to its standalone battery life. The earbuds can deliver up to 7 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, which is decent but not exceptional compared to some other TWS earbuds on the market.
The total battery life of the FiiO FW3, including the charging case’s capacity for recharges, amounts to 21 hours. While this is a respectable duration, it falls within the range of ordinary TWS earbuds in terms of battery performance. Some competing models boast longer total battery life, which may be a consideration for users who prioritize extended usage without frequent recharging.
Unfortunately, the FiiO FW3 does not support wireless charging, which may be considered a drawback for users who prefer the convenience of wireless charging pads or other wireless charging solutions. Instead, users need to rely on the provided USB Type-C charging cable to recharge the charging case.
FiiO FW3: Conclusion
The FiiO FW3 is a compelling option in the True Wireless Earphones (TWS) market, offering a blend of impressive audio performance and convenient features. The earphones deliver a lush and mildly warm tonality, with tight and controlled bass, clean and musical midrange, and a moderately bright treble. The 10mm Carbon-Based Diaphragm Dynamic Driver unit ensures a well-adjusted and capable bass response, adding depth and extension to the sub-bass region.
The earphones exhibit excellent transmission stability and call quality, thanks to Bluetooth 5.2 support and compatibility with various codecs, including LHDC, SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive. The incorporation of CVC noise reduction technology and aptX-Voice provided by Snapdragon Sound further enhances call clarity and effectively isolates wind and environmental noise.
Additionally, the FiiO Control App complements the FW3 with a range of customizable settings, such as indicator light control, charging protection, audio codec selection, and volume adjustments. The charging protection feature optimizes battery life by halting charging at 80%, while the volume settings provide greater control over sound levels.
For gaming enthusiasts, the FW3’s game mode reduces sound delay to enhance the gaming experience.
While the FW3 lacks wireless charging support, its performance in audio quality and various features makes it a strong contender in its price range. Overall, the FiiO FW3 provides an enjoyable and versatile listening experience, making it an excellent choice for music enthusiasts and casual gamers who value audio performance and user-friendly features.