Today we review the FiiO JD7, the latest addition to the Jade’s IEM Series from the Chinese brand. A new model available for just $99 USD
Disclaimer: the FiiO JD7 was sent to us free of charge by the brand, in exchange for our honest opinion.
Founded in 2007, FiiO is one of the biggest companies in the audiophile world, thanks to an extensive range of (usually) affordable but (mostly) excellent products. IEM, headphone amps, DACs, and obviously DAPs, they did it all and did it well. So much that when a new player comes out, it usually becomes the benchmark that other brands have to refer to, like the mighty FiiO M17 or the whole new FiiO Q7.
But today, it’s all about IEM. And if last time I reviewed the brand top-of-the-line with the FA7S (full-BA) and FD7 (dynamic), today we are going the opposite way with the JD7, another addition to the Jade’s series. A new model, that follows the JD3 and JH3, sharing the same low/price but high/quality goal.
A quick word about Jade audio
FiiO sent us some references about Jade audio, here is a copy:
“Jade Audio” is a subsidiary brand of FiiO Electronics Technology Co., LTD. It is a stylish, technological, and youth-oriented brand aiming to provide high-quality yet cost-effective audio products with an excellent listening experience for the younger generation all around the world. The entity’s Chinese name is derived from “翡声” (Fei Sheng), meaning “the sound of Jade”. The name “Jade Audio” conveys our mission towards providing consumers with a crisp and pleasant listening experience while maintaining audio fidelity
Design & Build Quality
“Same player shoot again!”
Inspired by the FA7S, the FiiO JD7 looks and feels almost identical to its high-end alternative, featuring the same chassis and design. A big surprise, if you take account of the price difference – the JD7 being 3 times less expensive that its high-end sibling. Yet, if you put them head to head, apart from the size you’d be hard-pressed to see any real difference.
Same rounded shell, equally strong and comfortable. Same cross-pierced faceplate with a blue grill, for semi-open design. Yes, apart from the cable, and the size, those two models are almost indistinguishable visually: a very nice move from the brand.
Unsurprisingly, build quality is top-notch, and if the FiiO JD7 is one of the most affordable IEM the brand has to offer, they don’t feel like a cheap knock-off, far from it. There are no steps, no cracks, no bruises, just one smooth surface all over the shell, and it feels perfectly balanced in the hand.
The shell is made of one solid, 316L stainless-steel body – the same found on luxury watches – that shall withstand the test of time with ease. Even the cable got more attention, compared to the JD3 and JH3. Not only is it detachable, it also sports the same monocrystalline silver-plated copper wires found on the FA7S, with less wires of course.
To be fair, the cable isn’t as good as the one provided with the upper-level: the tangle-free sheath takes more time to untangle, and you don’t get the awesomely useful swappable termination system. But, for the price, it’s hard to complain.
Finally, as the symmetrical design might be misleading for some listeners, the FiiO JD7 cable was given a red/blue coated socket , so you can quickly distinguish which side you’re about to plug.
Again, compared to the JD3 and JH3, the new FiiO JD7 gives completely different vibes. Not semi-custom, but not bullet-like either, those IEMs are – once more – indistinguishable from the FA7S once worn, which means surprisingly comfortable.
Out of the box, I expected those ears to be a tad too big for my use. But, FiiO did its class, and once fitted with the right eartips (small silicone for me) they completely filled my ear holes and didn’t move over time.
Unlike the FDx though, the nozzle cannot be switched for a smaller one, but that never was a problem and, in the long run, the experience was good overall.
Obviously, compared to your usual semi-custom IEM, or even affordable ones like the JH3, comfort is slightly worse and, in my opinion, acrylic semi-custom shaped IEM remains the best option available at the moment, if you don’t want to get full custom. That said, for the price, the JD7 remains a very solid option in this regard, maxing out the capability of stainless-steel shells, thanks to FiiO’s expertise.
Obviously, with a semi-custom design, isolation isn’t the JD7 forte. That said, the design makes them more impervious to outside noises than I expected, especially with the right tips.
They performed well in noisy environments like the train but fell short when it comes to human voices. If someone were to talk relatively loud near you, you’ll fill like a part of the discussion, music magnifying every word they could say.
Still, that’s much better than I expected: once you play your music at a moderate level, the IEM will be able to cover most unwanted noises. That said, compared to the JH3, it’s clear to me that the new one isn’t the winner in this field.
So, time to dive in further!
Page 2: Bundle, specifications
Page 3: Sound Performances