In celebration of FIIL opening up their Amazon store to Europe and the UK, we are going to take a look at one of the Chinese Rock stars brands older products, the simply named Wireless model. This differs from the newer Diva models by providing an over the ear fit, which simply for personal comfort I am a bigger fan of. While being older it still features a lot of the same cool stuff the latest Kickstarted FIIL products have and can be purchased for £189.99 via Amazon UK! While this is indeed a good year older than the other FIIL stuff I have reviewed, as their over the ear model with the most bells and whistles, I think it still remains pretty relevant.
Keeping it Clean
Proudly branded by the Hi-Res Audio emblem, the simple packaging is short of frills when it comes to internal presentation. In this regard it is very much adrift from the new wireless version of the u-Jays. It does, however, include everything you need to get going with this Bluetooth touting can. We have a moulded carry pouch that the headphones neatly fold up into and you even get a carbine clip to hang it from your bag should you wish. On top of that, you get a little mesh pouch that sticks inside using velcro. You can store some of the included cables in here.
While this is a headphone that will give you around 30 hours of wireless playback. Carrying around a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable is hardly an inconvenience and should you run out of juice you can keep going as long as you wish. You can actually get more hours of playback should you turn one of the two active noise cancelling modes off but I personally like to make the most of what this headphone offers. This only comes with cables that feature remote/mic units but to make sure that these headphones will be compatible with your current and future smart devices, it comes with an IOS and Android ready wire. You also get a micro-USB cable that handles charging duties.
Styling clearly was an inspiration for the newer Diva models. I have the all black unit with the red highlights, if you desire redder, there is an option for that. The FIIL logos that are bold on the perfectly circular ear cups have the option to illuminate, although I am a bit too modest for that. It is an all plastic construction and the headband does have a creak to it when you apply a little pressure. I also find the finish to take on fingerprints quite apparently and not really want to let them wipe off. It is not quite as polished as the Diva’s are…. I wish it had a bit more heft and solidity to it.
Luckily, it does still have some of its own trick up its sleeves. The swivelling ear cups would be one, the thick protein leather cushions another. The ear pads are actually amazing, they fully surround my fair sized ears and are deep enough to offer up a roomy space for my lobes to breath. I say deep enough, they aren’t like your home use Mr Speakers Ether Flow or Focal Elear in this regard, but accommodating enough for a portable can. The cups even articulate a little to make sure they align with your ears the right way.
Keeping it Cool
One of the reasons I am a big FIIL fan is their more futuristic use of tech, using the Bluetooth connection to your phone lets you operate their in-house app, FIIL+. This hub gives you information about the headphone, instructions, and access to its ANC, EQ and 3D Sound options. The app is just one way to control what is going on with the earphones as the right ear cup is actually a touch-sensitive panel, allowing swipes to skip tracks and adjust the volume on the fly.
Of the aforementioned settings, the EQ and 3D Sound are nothing to get excited about, the EQ is basic (but works) and the 3D Sound is not worth using in my experience. The ANC, on the other hand, comes with three modes. Monitor, off and ANC. Off is self-explanatory but monitor mode actually works the opposite to as you would expect from an ANC headphone. It amplifies vocal frequencies in your surroundings, so I could hear my families conversation in the room down, and even birds chirping outdoors. The actual active mode designated simply for blocking out the ambient noise was a little less functional. It hardly displayed any effect, compared to the Diva range that was stellar at separating the rest of the world from my music. Not only did it not isolate much better than when it was turned off but I also found it made a lot whirring noises and even randomly cut out of whatever ANC setting I had it in. I would say they need to improve this moving forward but because I am reviewing in the wrong order, I know they have done just that.
You can do simpler stuff on these as well. There is a microphone on the headphone itself should you want to use this for hands-free phone calls and pairing is a very painless process.
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