Earlier I reviewed the Fiil Diva Pro, a project that really kicked off on Kickstarter and is now wrapping the heads of countless fans worldwide. The Fiil Wireless Headphones is a bigger Over-The Ear model, but lacks some of the Diva Pro’s features. Still, at S$299, does the Fiil Wireless deliver any value for your hard-earned dollars?
Build Quality and Design
Available in two flavours (Black and Silver) the Fiil Wireless has a clean and modern design with bold, circular earcups, and a thick headband. It is built out of polycarbonates with an aircraft-grade aluminium frame. I found that the structure is pretty sturdy and elastic, which means that you won’t get any spurious creaking when you flex it. The yoke-arm can fully articulate, and the earcups also snap into place smoothly – courtesy of its high quality joints.
The headphones are fairly lightweight, so it does not cause strain on your neck over long periods of wear. The protein leather and memory foam cushions feel luxuriously soft and plush. All these factors combine into a pair of cans that is pretty comfy to wear! (Though I do wish that the clamp could be looser, for better comfort)
Performance and Features
If there’s one thing I absolutely love about the Fiil Wireless, it’s the amazing battery life! On paper it has a 31 hour battery but when I tested it, it gave me 34 hours of juice at 50% volume! Once depleted, it takes only a couple of hours to charge up to full. If the battery runs out, you can attach the included cord and continue jamming. It comes also with a hard case and a carabiner for convenience. On a side note, the case is quite bulky. I much prefer a flat case which is easier to stow away while travelling!
Fiil Wireless supports Bluetooth version 4.1, apt-X codec for better audio transmission, and NFC for quicker pairing. I found that its Bluetooth connection is fast and reliable. It also has gesture controls and just one button taking care of your bluetooth pairing, play and pause. The Fiil+ App gives you more control over the EQ and other settings like noise cancelling. You can also enjoy pretty good call quality with its built-in handsfree mic.
For its price, the Fiil Wireless sounds detailed, open and balanced! I really enjoyed its tight bass, warm and clear mids and smooth highs. It also had an open soundstage and, due to its warm sound, was more forgiving towards a wide variety of music like Pop, Jazz, Rock or even classical music. I was also quite impressed by its dynamic range, able to reproduce much of the subtlety in my music.
The energetic drums in Bryan Adam’s Rock Ballad ‘Heaven’ sounded tight and underpinned his raspy vocals, tempered by the Fiil Wireless warm signature. Hi-hats and Emily Kokal’s haunting vocals glowed just enough to convey a sense of openness in ‘Keep It Healthy’ by Warpaint, grounded by energetic guitar riffs. There’s a good tight bounce in the bass drops when putting on Brandon Beal’s ‘Twerk It Like Miley’, enough to keep me thumping away till the finalé!
There are some complaints that I have about the sound. With bassy tracks, the Fiil wireless felt slightly muffled, which affected the track separation. It also had a small persistent hiss in the background when playing music. But overall, the headphones were sufficiently musical! While watching videos there were no audio/video sync issues either and I ended up watching whole documentaries with it.
As with the Diva Pro, you can swap between different EQ and 3D processing modes, but it sounds best for me on default settings.
The swipe controls can also toggle between noise-cancelling and MyAudioFilter Mode, which lets some ambience sounds through. Important for that extra level of awareness when crossing the road! But its noise-cancelling is not that powerful to begin with, and it will not cancel noise like the cutting-edge Bose QC35 or the Sony MDR-1000X. It will still be quiet enough to enjoy your music though. I only wish that I can switch the noise-cancelling off from the headphones, instead of having to use the App to do it!
At S$299, I find that it is pretty good value compared to other popular noise-cancellers like the Bose QC35 (S$599) and the Sony MDR-1000X (S$599). Those tend to have much better noise cancelling, better detail reproduction and a cleaner, more airy sound. They may be the best you can buy on the market now, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Fiil Wireless is half the price!
The Fiil Wireless looks great, feels solid and (aside from the slightly tight clamp) is fairly comfortable to wear. It has an app with different EQ features, and they sound quite decent.
However, its noise-cancelling is average at best and there’s slight persistent hiss in the background when playing music. But, let’s be fair. At this price, most headphones do not come with noise cancelling at all! The Fiil Wireless headphones is great value in an overcrowded market, and definitely worth its price tag!
So here’s the final tally:
Build Quality and Design (Wireless Headphones)
- Pros: Clean and modern design. Solid polycarbonate and aluminium build quality. Sturdy and elastic structure. Soft Memory foam cushions. Lightweight design. Available in two colours.
- Cons: Carrying case is fairly bulky. Clamping force is a little too tight.
Score: 6/8 (24.98%)
Performance and Features
- Pros: Great battery life. Has an App with ANR controls and EQ presets. Detailed, open and balanced sound. Warm sound signature that’s forgiving towards most genres of music. Tight bass attack. Connects quickly and reliably with your phone or tablet. No Audio/Video Sync Issues. Noise Cancelling. Handsfree function.
- Cons: Sounds slightly muffled at times with very bassy tracks. Does not have a button to switch off noise cancelling. Slight hiss in the background when playing music. Noise Cancelling is very mild.
Score: 9/13 (23.05%)
- At just S$299, it is pretty good value as compared to the most popular noise-cancelling headphones in the market from Bose or Sony.