top of page
  • Cheryl Tan

FiiO FW5 Review: Best TWS Option At $150?!

The FiiO FW5 are triple driver true wireless earbuds and they sound really nice, but there are certainly some things that FiiO could have improved on. We have the FiiO FW5 earbuds with us today, and it’s a pretty interesting product at a good price point.


Let’s talk design first, starting with what comes in the box. You get the earbuds and case, of course, but FiiO also provides you with two options for ear tips. One is their own HS18 tips which are supposed to be the “vocal” tips, while you get “balanced” ear tips in S, M and L sizes. We’ll talk about it more in a bit, but aside from that, you also get a charging cable and two cleaning accessories, one that’s simply a brush and one that has a magnetic end as well as a pointed end. And that’s about it, but I’m a fan of brands providing cleaning accessories, especially when the ear tips provided don’t come with a wax filter.

As for the case, it, unfortunately, does feel plasticky and the hinge does feel a bit cheap. The case is also relatively bulky, and I did feel like it created quite a bulge in my jeans pocket. There are four LED lights in front to show the case battery level and indicate charging, along with a USB-C port on the rear. No wireless charging here, which is a shame.

The earbuds themselves do look quite nice. They’re made of plastic, but it doesn’t look cheap. Being that this is a two BA and one dynamic driver unit, it is on the larger side and there’s a vent near the nozzle, although it’s not very noticeable. The design of the faceplate is pretty nice and it does resemble the FD5 and FD7, with metal grills in between the lines. The earbuds also have a white LED light at the bottom to indicate pairing and connection status.

Inside the earbuds, you get a lot of stuff. Two balanced armature drivers and a dynamic driver as I mentioned, but you also get the AK4332 DAC and the Qualcomm QCC5141 chip which supports Bluetooth 5.2 as well as Snapdragon Sound, so if you have a phone that supports it, you could get up to 96kHz 24-bit.


Instead of touch controls, FiiO has gone with two physical buttons on each side for a total of four buttons that all do different things. The “primary” buttons are the ones without the raised dot, and on the left and right sides, the primary button controls play/pause with a single press, pulls up the voice assistant with a double press and long pressing for different amounts of time results in the earbuds turning on, off or declining calls. For the secondary buttons, a single press on the left side lowers the volume while a double press skips tracks backwards. On the right side, a single press raises the volume while a double press skips tracks forwards.

FiiO Control App

Unfortunately, there’s no control customisation here, but I’d still recommend downloading the FiiO Control app. One big issue I have to note here is that for iPhone users, you might have some problems as there seems to be a bug where the app will not let you connect to the earbuds even if the earbuds are connected to your phone and playing music. It just connects and disconnects constantly. No such problem when using an Android phone, though.

You get firmware updates here, a “battery protection” mode which caps charging to 85%, a game mode which lowers latency and when you enter the “music” tab at the bottom, you get so much stuff here. A lowpass filter, channel balance, individual controls for how loud your earbuds are, how loud voice prompts or tones are and how loud calls are. Very nice. What’s even nicer, is the fact that we can long press on the graphic EQ to get a parametric EQ for 32Hz, 64Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz and 16kHz. There’s even a slider here to adjust the gain and Q, which is definitely not something you see very often with true wireless earbuds or at all, really. I am running on v1.26 and, you know, what you see on your app might be different depending on the version and all, but this is what I have. There are also EQ presents, so there’s pop, classical, Harman curve (which is nice) and three custom EQ slots for you to do whatever you want. Sky’s the limit here.

Additionally, on the main menu, you can choose which Bluetooth codecs you want to be used. Say I don’t want AAC or LHDC, I can uncheck those boxes and the earbuds will be forced to use either SBC, aptX or aptX Adaptive. I’m guessing SBC can’t be unchecked since it’s the base codec that the earbuds will default to if none of the others are available, but yeah.

There is no ANC here, which is a pretty big bummer. With the stock HS18 tips, I did find a lot of external noise seeping in, although it was remedied by switching to the balanced tips. FiiO said on their website that they didn’t focus on ANC for these earbuds because they focused on bringing the best possible sound quality and, well, we’ll talk about that later. Also, no ambient mode. I did go through the guide on the app and it said that for the right primary button, a double press would toggle between “leak-through” or ambient mode and normal, but a double press just pulls up the voice assistant for me.

Connectivity & Codec Support

Another quick reminder on connectivity, these run on Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive and LHDC available. I’ve heard FiiO plans to make LDAC available in the future, but as always, don’t make purchase decisions based on what brands promise to make available in the future because it might not always come true. As for multipoint, there’s supposed to be multipoint in the v1.26 update, but I don’t see it anywhere in the app and apparently, there is some super convoluted process to get it to work according to this post I saw on Head-Fi.

I tried it, first connecting to an Android phone, then to my iPhone, but nope, didn’t work. Anyway, it might work for some people and if it does, then great. Just doesn’t work for me. And I think that’s the biggest problem with these earbuds, just the inconsistency of the software. FiiO has done a great job with the hardware and sound, which we’ll talk about in just a bit, but the software is lacking and really needs more work.

Microphone Quality

Mic quality is alright, you get two CVC microphones on each side and they do a decent job in cancelling out background noise.

Sound Quality

Okay, on to sound. Let me save you some time here if you don’t want to sit through everything; these sound really incredible for the price. First off, you do need a bit of burn-in here. Whether you agree with it or not, I personally think the sound opens up slightly after a good amount of use, so yeah. Just generally, the sound is rich and full and I would say, slightly V-shaped with a bit of a boost in the bass and treble.

There is a touch of warmth in the low end, with plenty of rumble and body to the bass. It does hit hard and the attack is rather quick.

As for the mids, it’s ever so slightly recessed with a little bit of bass bleed. Nothing too major, the instruments are nicely separated, the vocals do get a bit of a push forward which I like, and overall, relatively clean, natural-sounding mids here.

The BA driver does a good job when it comes to the treble, with enough energy and openness, although I think the soundstage does help in this regard.

And speaking of the soundstage, wow. It’s incredibly open and wide for a true wireless earbud at this price point. Separation and imaging are good, but can get a bit messy if there are too many instruments. This is rarely the case though, unless you make it a point to listen to very complex pieces. For pop and rock, perfectly fine.

Price & Conclusion

So, who’s this for? I’d say for people who have been buying earbuds in the $100 to $200 range and want something that’s a definite step up in sound quality, this is what you should be looking at. But if you need ANC, this doesn’t have it and you might need to look at something else. But just for sound quality? This is probably one of the best options at US$150 or S$227.

As technology advances and has a greater impact on our lives than ever before, being informed is the only way to keep up.  Through our product reviews and news articles, we want to be able to aid our readers in doing so. All of our reviews are carefully written, offer unique insights and critiques, and provide trustworthy recommendations. Our news stories are sourced from trustworthy sources, fact-checked by our team, and presented with the help of AI to make them easier to comprehend for our readers. If you notice any errors in our product reviews or news stories, please email us at  Your input will be important in ensuring that our articles are accurate for all of our readers.

bottom of page