Fiil Diva wireless headphones review

fiil-diva-reviewThe Fiil Diva are some very cool-looking headphones which are available through Kickstarter. I am very privileged to have a set to review.

Yes, Apple has ditched the headphone socket, as has some currently China-only Android phones. This could be the future of smart devices but, unless you’re prepared to dongle-up, getting the best out of your portable audio is going to rely even more heavily on their tech.

Battery life, control and wireless audio quality are things that are peculiar to Bluetooth headphones.

There is also the issue of getting all of that in to a set that looks good and doesn’t weigh heavily on your noggin.

Has the FIIL Diva managed all, or even some of that?

FIIL Diva design

The headphones certainly have a premium air about them, and that starts with the packaging.

A classy white box is wrapped in a similarly white, sleeve that only features what it has to.

fiil-diva-bundleThe Diva headphones comes packaged inside a hard traveling case stamped with the logo of the company. I have to say that the choice of typeface makes it look more like “Fiii.”

The name is also on each side of the Diva which glows a soft white when the device is on.

fiil-diva-illuminatedWhen the lighting effect is off, the logo still looks good in a metallic silver hue.

The set I was sent to review, as you can see, are white. It’s a really clean, nice white too. The grey vents on the earpieces are grey and are sandwiched between a textured aluminium section that holds the controls, mics and hinges and a chromed ring around the earpads.

fiil-diva-padsThe Diva’s earcups are about two inches in diameter. The headband can be adjusted about an inch to accommodate larger skulls.

The ear cups and headband are lined with soft leather. This continues the premium look and feel of these cans. Not only that but, unlike pleather, these don’t give you sweaty lobes.

fiil-diva-controlsThe right ear cup has a multifunction button that turns the headphones on and off, controls music playback and will also activate a voice telling you the current battery level.

There’s a little toggle switch next to it that controls the special ‘My AudioFiilter’ mode. This can allow more of your environment in so you know what’s going on around you.

You also get a 3.5mm jack port so you can use the Diva as wired headphones.

But there’s something else. Some more controls, but you can’t see them. The right ear cup has touch controls.

FIIL Diva performance

Controls

Let’s talk about those touch controls I mentioned.

This rather neat sounding idea allows you to control music playback via a series of finger swipes on the right ear cup.

fiil-divaUp and down will raise or lower the volume; right and left will skip tracks.

This takes quite a bit of practice and I felt that my swipes worked best when I started right at the edge and go right the way across for it to register.

Later on, I could more-or-less manage shorter swipes so I guess my accuracy was improving.

FIIL+ app

To unlock even more, you can and should download the FIIL+ app for iOS or Android.

fiil-app-introThe app gives you important info such as battery life for playback and standby hours. Other headphone apps I have seen offers similar.

fiil-diva-manualIt also has an instruction manual for how to access the various modes, turning the logo lights on and off, and all that other good stuff.

Burn and battery

The FIIL, however, are the first ones that I have seen that has a ‘burn in’ function.

fiil-diva-burn-inThis plays pink noise at various volume levels for 8 hours to imitate use. The characteristics of headphones, as well as other items of Hi-Fi gear, change as they get used. The burn in process speeds this up.

fiil-batteryThe Diva’s battery is excellent. When fully charged the app shows over 30 hours of music playback. Once I had got half way through the week, the headphones still showed more than a third of its charge was left.

3D sound and MAF

This natty, but mostly pointless in my point of view, feature simulates the experience of listening to music in different-sized rooms. This adds a bit of reverb basically.

fiil-diva-3d-soundThe biggest of these is “Hall” so, think empty concert hall. It’s fun but, as I said, unless you want to add some false spatial sounds to your tunes, not something I can see being used that often.

fiil-diva-mafThe ‘My AudioFiilter’ (MAF) has Open, Moni and NC modes. Using the app helps you be sure what you’ve selected as, just using the button, the female voice states the mode… in Chinese.

These are most useful, especially as NC is Noise Cancelling.

The Windy mode filters out wind noise and this also works quite well.

FIIL Diva sound quality

Standard music playback is bright and crisp, and I found myself noticing details I often miss on other headsets. The reproduction seemed quite level, perhaps with the mids pushed a little forward.

I eventually ignored those odd modes completely and stuck with the standard settings.

fiil-diva-eqThe EQ is handy of you want to ramp up the bass end though.

As usual, I have put a variety of music through these. Everything has come through well defined, clear and punchy.

fiil-diva-detailIt makes such a nice change to test Bluetooth headphones that aren’t tuned to deliver banging bass.

Bass is there, and it is taught and direct. The mids a clear with vocals cutting through nicely. The highs come through crisp without any shimmer or harshness.

FIIL Diva convenience

As previously mentioned, the Diva fold up at both ends to either slip in to a bag or in to its travel case. The hinges seem to be very sturdy too!

This is not the extent of its handiness though.

fiil-diva-foldedYes, the touch controls are neat but these also have motion-sensing capabilities.

“But, motion sensing?” I hear you ask.

Well, you see, when you take the headphones off, the music pauses. Guess what, when you put them back on the music resumes. This also works when you’re watching videos on your tablet or phone.

I really like this idea. Walk in to a coffee shop and slip your headphones around your neck to chat with the Barista, without missing any of your music. Brilliant!

I found that this worked really well.

FIIL Diva review conclusion

Everything about these headphones both look and feel quality. I love the design, and the little additional bits such as the app and the motion sensing are the icing on the cake.

Sound quality is great and not the usual ‘urban’ bass heaviness or ‘tuned to be exciting’ you usually get.

fiil-diva-headphonesThe only slight drawback is that all the voice notifications are in Chinese. True, I am slowly learning what Bluetooth connected or disconnected sounds like but this hasn’t prevented me from enjoying the headphones.

FIIL Diva price and availability

The FIIL Diva is available through Kickstarter currently at $149 (£114-ish) which is 25% of their retail price. The campaign is looking really good as it stands at $131,843 of their pledged $50.000 goal.

FIIL also has a Pro version which boasts 4GB of on-board storage, “Hi-Fi quality sound”, and more. Those are available for a $199 pledge.

 

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