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FiiO’s $100 FW3 True Wireless Earbuds Feature 24/96 Snapdragon Certification

Can the $100 FiiO FW3 TWS Earbuds dominate the entry-level category? Based on their recent track record, these might be ones to consider below $200.

FiiO FW3 True Wireless Earbuds next to charging case

Summer is here and anyone who thought it was going to be quiet on the wireless earbud or headphone front is about to discover that manufacturers are concerned about momentum going into Q4. FiiO has been extremely aggressive so far in 2023 introducing a rather wide range of new headphones and amplifiers. The new FW3 wireless earbuds appear to offer excellent codec support and we are impressed with the industrial design.

The $100 USD retail price feels extremely low considering all of the features and pedigree of the manufacturer. FiiO has already proven that it can build category-leading IEMs below $200 and it will be very interesting to see if they have created something that can best everything below that price point in the true wireless category.

FiiO FW3 True Wireless Earbuds above charging case

The new FW3 True Wireless Earbuds build upon the success of an award-winning range of portable audio equipment from FiiO. ​ 

Featuring a high-performance AK4332 DAC and Qualcomm’s latest QCC5141 Bluetooth chipset, the FW3 deliver Bluetooth version 5.2 connectivity with a wide range of codec supported, including: LDAC, LHDC, aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC and SBC.

FiiO has also equipped the FW3 with a 10-band PEQ function allowing the users to tune the output more to their liking.

Over the years, FiiO has gained expertise in designing high-quality In-Ear Monitor Headphones and Digital Audio Players. Featuring a 10mm carbon-based dynamic driver unit, the FiiO audio engineering team have designed the FW3 to compete with the best TWS earbuds from Sony, Apple, and Bowers & Wilkins and we suspect based on our experience with their other IEMs — these might be one to strongly consider in 2023.

FiiO FW3 True Wireless Earbuds inner view

The FiiO FW3 True Wireless Earbuds are Snapdragon Sound certified. Whether listening to music, gaming, or making voice and video calls, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound guarantees an excellent level of HD audio quality, together with low-latency. Enabled by accessing the settings within the companion FiiO Music app for iOS and Android, the FW3 supports Low-latency Gaming Mode which significantly lowers the transmission latency to less than 100ms. 

In addition to the Low-latency Gaming Mode, the FiiO Music app gives access to the following advanced settings for the FW3:

  • 10-band Parametric EQ settings. Allows for easy, precise EQ adjustments dependent upon individual listening taste.
  • Manual Bluetooth Codec Selection. Allows you to choose the codec you wish the FW3 to utilise as the default.
  • Left/Right Channel Balance Adjustment
  • Lowpass Filter Mode Selection. Incorporating the audio expertise found on their range of DAPs, such as the M15S, the FW3 allows the user to personalise their listening by choosing from one of four Lowpass Filter modes: Steep Drop, Slow Drop, Short Delay Steep Drop, Short Delay Slow Drop.
FiiO FW3 True Wireless Earbud Tips

Specifications

Driver Type10mm Dynamic Carbon-based Diaphragm 
DACAK4332
Bluetooth ChipsetQualcomm QCC5141
Bluetooth Version5.2
Bluetooth Protocols SupportedA2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Codecs SupportedSBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive, LHDC, LDAC
Maximum Sampling Rate96kHz / 24bit
Impedance 32Ω @1kHz
Sensitivity106dB/mW (@1kHz)
Frequency Response20Hz-20kHz
Earbuds Button ControlsPower On/Power Off
Pause/Play/Previous Track/Next Track
Volume Up/Volume Down
Answer Call/End Call/Reject Call
Activate Voice Assistant 
Additional Features
(Accessed via FiiO Control App) ​ 
Equalizer Settings (EQ & PEQ)
Low Latency Game Mode (<100ms)
Manual Bluetooth Codec Selection
L/R Channel Balance Adjustment
Lowpass Filter Mode Selection (4 Modes)
Battery Capacity65mAh (Earbuds)
380mAh (Charging Case)
Charge Time (To Capacity)1hr (Earbuds)
1hr 40min (Charging Case)
Battery Life21hrs (7hrs Earbuds + 14hrs Charging Case)
Dimensions28.4 x 22.9 x 22.6mm (Earbuds)
68.4 x 43.9 x 32.5 mm (Charging Case)
Weight6.2 g × 2 (Earbuds)44.8g (Charging Case)
57.2g (Earbuds in Charging Case)

The FW3 feature four physical buttons — two on each earbud — which allow for easy, tactile control. As well as being able to Play/Pause/Select Next Track/Select Previous Track, users can adjust the volume up and down, Answer/End/Reject an incoming call, and activate their mobile device voice assistant. 

The FiiO FW3 deliver a battery life of up to 21 hours. The earbuds offer a total of 7 hours from a full charge, with an additional 14 hours from the supplied charging case.

Supplied with 3 sets of Silicon Eartips (S/M/L), 3 sets of Balanced Eartips (S/M/L), and USB Charging Cable, the FiiO FW3 are available now for $99.99 at Amazon (£95 / €110).

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For more information: fiio.com/FW3

Related reading: FiiO’s R7 Network Player Will Also Drive High-End Headphones & Active Loudspeakers

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Virgil

    July 10, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    Currently selling for $70 on Amazon (same price I paid for pre-order from AliExpress), excellent value to performance ratio for sound quality (tough sell at full price if you want more features). Did not like the included tips (using Azla Crystals on mine), just received LDAC via firmware (beta right now and buggy), like the buttons instead of touch controls.

    • Ian White

      July 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

      That was quick.

      Best,

      Ian White

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