Fiio FT5 Measurements & Official Discussion

This is the place to discuss all things Fiio FT5:

Fiio were kind enough to send it over for me to check out. I did a live stream on them here, and also posted some measurements in a different thread for a comparison but figured it deserves its own dedicated thread for people to chime in on.

Here are the measurements:

B&K 5128: Leather Pads



B&K 5128: Suede



Not much difference between the two pads but subjectively I preferred the suede pads.

GRAS: vs Harman

:point_right: :point_right: :point_right:The following metrics are usually not perceptually relevant and mainly indicate whether or not the headphones are well-functioning :point_left: :point_left: :point_left:

THD @ 105dB (1khz)

Excess Group Delay (if we need to care about time domain information like CSD)

Driver resonance frequency & driver damping:

EQ (leather):


EQ Result (leather):

There are quite a few fine-grained features in the treble that will need to be adjusted by ear, since positional variation shifts things around a bit. But this should be a good start. It sounds much better with this EQ applied.

My general thoughts on this one:

  • I find it very well built, reasonably comfortable - the pads sort of just hug your head, it’s nice.
  • Tuning is definitely on the strange side of things. It’s got a lot of warmth and lower mid bloat that obscures a lot of the rest of the clarity. The dip in the mids on its own isn’t that bad but the contrast with the lower mids is extreme. So it’s simultaneously thick, hollow, yet peaky and harmonically imbalanced presentation overall.
  • Good performance for all other metrics. Low harmonic distortion, minimal driver damping, low resonance frequency (imperfect seal won’t kill all the bass), no weird issues with excess GD to note. Just odd tonality.
  • Subjectively, for whatever reason this sounds quite compressed to my ear. I actually recommend this one for anyone wanting to study this quality, whether it’s a function of frequency response or something else.

Having EQs (specifically for FT5) from others would be helpful.

I did create my own tuning for FT5, but mainly to mitigate my DAC’s lack of power and the (somehow) overwhelming bass. While the results are quite satisfying, I’m afraid the upper frequencies still needs more tweaking.

If you don’t mind, I’d like EQ for leather pads as well (which I mainly use).

Thanks in advance.

1 Like

Been a while since I’ve seen a proper “warm bloat + bright peaky” headphone. Looks like a missed attempt from FiiO.

1 Like

I’ve updated it with an EQ for the leather pads. Let me know how that sounds.

1 Like

@Resolve Thanks for sharing! I’ve tried the EQ several times, and it does enhance some clarity especially vocals. That said, I still feel the mid-bass too dominating. The overall sound is also muddy and dampened. Do you think it’s a matter of preference or could it be DAC issue? (I use iBasso DC03 Pro, btw; only 3.5mm, sadly.)

@Fc-Construct Its default tuning is definitely weird. At first, I blamed solely on the DAC, but the more I EQ-ed it, the more it sounds like a proper $450 headphone (not feeling there yet, though). This FT5 is very well built and attractive, but not something I would recommend easily (to the ones who don’t EQ/tweak stuff).

I also encountered this review below (a negative one, for once in a while). Somehow, I agree with their criticism regarding sound balance, but saying “technical performance being average” I wasn’t able to respond since FT5 is literally my first over-ear headphone. What do you guys think?

Yeah you could add another filter there to take down the midbass a bit.

I haven’t heard the FT5 but I’m not suuuuper surprised by that comment about being average. Most headphones are average :slight_smile:

I’m curious - what made you pick up the FT5 as your first headphone? I’d say most people start either with the Sennheiser or HiFiMan stuff.


@Resolve Appreciate the advice. I actually did that on my custom EQ, but reducing the mid-bass by more than 5dB doesn’t feel normal (and somehow it sounds better to my ears).

@Fc-Construct Haha, yeah, maybe being average doesn’t really tell much.

I was looking for an over-ear headphone that is durable and includes many accessories. Having just entered the audiophile realm, owning one without a case and other plugs doesn’t seem like a good idea. The FT5, which comes with a hard case and modular plugs, ticked almost every box on my checklist.

The other contenders were Hifiman Sundara and Moondrop Para. Albeit $150 cheaper, they don’t offer the same completeness and longevity as FiiO’s lineups.

Honestly, I could buy another one from different brand just to be able to make a comparison, but this time a better DAC comes first.

1 Like

With the FT5 - I loved the build quality and the accessories.

Since it was a first attempt at a planar by FiiO I probably was a little easy on them in my review, specifically I think FiiO decided not to goto the Hifiman Planar sound (maybe like the Moondrop Para) and went for something different with that mid-bass boost - but I did recommend some simple EQ within my review to bring it back closer to Harman - if you want to check it out =>

Since doing the review I got myself a KB501X soft pinna and measured my FT5 again -

I would agree with @Resolve comments that it needs EQ


Thanks, Jerome. I’d actually taken an opportunity to read your review before the decision to purchase. It was informative, but I should’ve paid more attention on your EQ Recommendation part.

Turns out the EQ that I’ve been developing quite resembles the one on your article, except for the treble (≥8kHz; I increased them instead). I might be unconsciously targeting a brighter sound than Harman, but your recommendation still convinced me that it’s normal to adjust frequency by more than ±5dB.

On another note, I will definitely check out your measurement graph.

Cool, I am a big fan of EQ - 10 years ago or so, I used to help out on xda-developer building custom Android ROM specifically so I could add the system wide EQ tool ‘Viper4Android’ - but back then there was not allot of good measurements and mostly I did this for IEM’s, for headphones I mainly a Sennheiser fan back then.

One thing that I have learned in the past few years is it is very difficult (possible impossible) to use someone else ‘fine’ treble EQ recommendations for headphones. Everyone measurement rig and process is different, HRTF is different and unit variations cause a different shape to the treble region especially. So given the there was an uneven treble with the FT5 I just lowered the treble region (to be on safe side). But as @Resolve will no doubt confirm the BK-5128 does promise more accurate measurements.

1 Like

My FT5’s are in rotation this week. I like these. I use them on my “planar amp”, the iFi Pro iCAN. With bass boost and some 3D sound effects, I find these very nice. Super easy to drive. I can’t get out of low gain and can’t get past 9:00 unless I am listening to some old tunes.

I just traded my 109 Pro’s for an old set of Arya’s. Next week will be planar week as I compare the FT5’s to Arya’s and HE6se V2’s. :+1:


@Jerome_O_Flaherty I took your advice regarding BK-5128 being more accurate. Turns out I’ve already been referring to that from Squiglink — specifically this one below:

I did use your measurement graph for a while and it did make FT5 sound less “balanced”. However, it also made me notice how too bright my custom FR target was (when I went back to VSG’s), so I addressed that in response.

Days after tuning to various songs, it felt like I just found the sweet spot of my listening experience. Even with $50 DAC, the dynamics are fleshed out nicely. I intend to share my EQ and FR target as soon as I get a hands-on with a more proper DAC. (wink)

Btw, I’m happy that you mentioned Viper4Android, because it’s my very first venture toward audio EQ (in 2017). It was quite cumbersome to use, but it made me realize how serious I am when it comes to listening to music. Nowadays, I use Wavelet and AutoEq to fine-tune my gears, yet I still remember those moments of tinkering with Viper4Android so vividly.

@ShaneD Glancing at their prices, they both seem to outclass FT5. Regardless, I’m looking forward to your impressions.

The HE6se V2’s have been a favourite for a few years. I always wanted to try the Arya’s, but they were too expensive.

Curious to compare.

Be very careful about using squiglink to EQ, there are all kinds of nonstandard targets and nonstandard rigs being used there, and there’s nothing that prevents people from comparing 5128 data to 711 targets, which are categorically incompatible. 5128 data needs to stay with 5128 targets, and 711 data needs to stay with 711 targets. Otherwise you’ll end up with really weird results.


@Resolve Glad you mentioned that. Tons of experiments led me (unconsciously) to stop tinkering FRs with targets across different sources, and your statement affirms it.

Finally, my new DAC has arrived. Behold, it’s FiiO Q15. :rocket:

This DAC is definitely a major step-up from iBasso DC03Pro in terms of power and versatility (Q15 has bluetooth and desktop mode). I’m still gonna keep DC03Pro for my IEMs. Now, with power issue having been resolved, it’s time to bring FiiO FT5 to its full potential.

I already promised to share my EQ, so here we go with a bit of storytelling.

First, I used Crinacle 2023 Adjusted as a target base since it already works well with my IEM. I would also recommend it to anyone who prioritizes treble and still having enough bass to keep the beat going. Obviously, the target is not compatible with headphones, so I attempted to modify it and make a lot of revisions (which took almost a month).

Having created more than 40 revisions, here is the one that I always go back to:

Filter Type Frequency (Hz) Gain (dB) Q
Peaking 80 -8 0.2
Peaking 800 -3 0.2
Peaking 8000 6 0.2
Peaking 20000 -1 0.2

Crinacle 2023 Adjusted ➞ (FiiO FT5)

Then, I accessed AutoEQ app and upload both FT5 frequency response (from VSG) and the modified target to obtain both graphic & parametric EQ values. These are the numbers, as well as the graph comparing it with EQ applied to my IEM:

Filter Type Frequency (Hz) Gain (dB) Q
Peaking 61 -4.2 1.28
Peaking 98 -1.0 2.74
Peaking 313 -8.9 0.31
Peaking 414 -1.5 2.07
Peaking 546 3.1 5.70
Peaking 744 -1.8 2.64
Peaking 1246 6.8 0.47
Peaking 4434 2.3 1.85
Peaking 5435 -0.8 5.21
High shelf 5293 9.8 0.51

MEDRIVIA - FiiO FT5 (Parametric EQ)

It is basically flipping the bass and treble in strength. The EQ seems too drastic, but somehow, it makes the sound way more balanced to me. The EQ gives enough air for every instrument including vocals to have the best exhibition together with this headphone. Also, there is no evidence of treble sharpness.

With many hours of listening to various songs, here is my verdict about FiiO FT5:

● With a better DAC in possession, I can say that FT5 is truly in need of EQ.
● Compared to my IEMs, FT5 sounded a bit too smooth to my liking.
● The soundstage is quite limited/cramped for an open-back headphone.

That concludes what I believe is gonna hold back people from buying this headphone. However, FT5 does deliver excellent details and dynamics with great bass quality. It’s definitely worth the price.

Note: Well, this is a long post. I hope you guys are not overwhelmed, since ultimately I’m just sharing my experience. Here comes my wish to read your story or experience with this headphone as well.

1 Like

In case the EQ values from my previous post are hard to follow, I made the simplified version with slightly reduced treble. From my experience, it resembles the first version very closely.

Filter Type Frequency (Hz) Gain (dB) Q
Peaking 50 -3 0.5
Peaking 300 -8 0.3
Peaking 1500 6 0.5
High shelf 5000 8 0.5

MEDRIVIA - FiiO FT5 v2 (Parametric EQ)

In addition to being nicer to look at, now you can use this EQ as a simple base and tweak it with your own preferences. Also, the great thing about parametric EQ is that if you’re more of a bass-head, you can simply turn off the first filter item (50Hz) and your headphone will deliver more bass.

Let me know if you have anything else to share.


After a few weeks I am completely in love with the Arya’s. May well replace the HE6se V2’s.
I like the FT5’s, but they are not in the same league.

Well, looking at price difference I guess it’s not surprising. That said, I read more reviews regarding FT5 (particularly from Headphonesty and T3); I somehow can sympathize that FT5 struggles to represent the whole spectrum very accurately (or at least to what I desire). The bass isn’t really that punchy and the treble is too laid back or smooth.

I haven’t tried any other headphone, but I could say FT5 is less ”audiophile” than what is suggested from the price point. For beginners like me, though, I still find it quite technical and enjoyable.

I’m also interested in HiFiMan’s lineup (the most likely candidate is Ananda Nano), but I need to allocate my finance to somewhere else until next year.

1 Like