Random Impressions: FiiO FA1 and Ikko OH1


I recently had the chance to borrow the FiiO FA1 and Ikko OH1 and thought I might as well do a little impressions write up on them. From what I can tell, these IEMs aren't too well known but Ikko and certainly FiiO are no strangers to the IEM game. For the FA1, it gets lost in the noise against FiiO's other IEMs with similarly unpronounceable names while the OH1 looks to be overshadowed by its big brother, the OH10. Both of these IEMs are priced at the hyper competitive <$150 market where the FA1 retails for around $100 and the OH1 at $140.

FiiO FA1

The FA1 is a single BA IEM that's 3D printed into a resin-type shell. It's very light and the fit is quite comfortable for me. I get a very good seal which is especially important for the bass response. I'd say that the tuning of it is neutral-ish - there isn't much exaggeration in the lows and the highs do roll off pretty quickly. Tonally, it's acceptable but it does falls short when compared to something like the Moondrop Starfield with its idealized (for better or worse) frequency response, especially in the mids. 

As expected from a single BA IEM, the resolution is a noticeable step up from you generic budget IEMs and does feel rather nimble especially when it comes to tracking with bass guitar lines. The bass is characteristically BA with a punchy rather than boomy bass and a lacking sense of impact but it gets the job done. Overall, BA timbre didn't jump out too obviously for me but when I started fiddling around with EQ I started to really hear it. Soundstage and imaging are nothing to write home about but the FA1 doesn't feel overly closed in. Dynamics are limited and could be better.

The biggest problem with the FA1 is its treble. It's incoherent. There's a very strange timbre to it where the splash of the cymbals just sounds flat out wrong. It's jarring enough to take me out of enjoying music every time I hear it. Which is a shame because other than that, I'd say the FA1 is a decent enough IEM on its own. But as it stands, the FA1 cannot really compete against the rest of the budget market. Unfortunately, from my short impression, the FA1 maintains the same status as all other FiiO gear to me: I can't bring myself to care about it.

Ikko OH1

The Ikko OH1 is a hybrid IEM with a single BA and single DD. With a rather angular shell made out of metal, it has a rather unique look to it. The stock cable is awful. The fit is a little uncomfortable due to its size and is rather shallow. First thoughts on its tuning was that it has a bombastic, BIG sort of sound centered around a committed focus on the subbass. Energetic and fun would be the way to describe it. The OH1's solid sense of dynamics complements the overall sound well here. While the bass isn't the most defined, you can really feel weight of the kick drum with each note. There's plenty of quantity to satisfy that feeling of oomph without being overbearing. However that come at the price of a slight muddiness to the sound. As far as pure DD bass performance goes, it probably ranks among the top for budget IEMs. 

The tuning of the OH1 also focuses heavily on the upper mids which leads to a very forward type of sound. Vocals are placed right front and center. However, the OH1 does lack treble extension as it tapers off quickly starting from the lower treble. While this means the OH1 has a polite treble response, the lack of tonal balance makes you feel squashed for space in the OH1's already middling soundstage. Resolution is in line with its price tag. Instrument separation could use a little more work to give the sound some more breathing room.

The OH1 is a pretty interesting IEM. Its uniqueness comes from its BIG sounding bass response. As such, Ikko OH1 stands out from the many other generic sounding IEMs in the budget segment. From my impressions, I'd recommend it to those looking specifically for sub-bassy IEMs with plenty of vocal forwardness.


  1. Hello sir - It looks like you used a wad of used chewing gum in this review photo. That does not seem very clean and a little revolting to be frank.

    1. Hello thank you for your concern. Rest assured I have sterilized the chewing gum prior to taking any images.


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