Current testing methodology is v1.2
May 3, 2018
3.98 x 2.91 x 1.3 in
I got the FAAEAL FMS for around $13 (shipping not included, and price may vary depending on your location) at AliExpress.
In this article, we’ll tackle whether the FAAEAL FMS is worth scoring or just another IEM that we’ll talk about for a bit and forget about later on. Let’s get to it!
Substantial bass and a comfortable fit for the price.
The FAAEAL FMS is a hybrid balanced armature and dynamic driver IEM from FAAEAL. It’s a decent pair of IEMs because of its affordable price and not-so-overwhelming sound signature.
Using the FMS for weeks didn’t disappoint me, considering its price. It’s lightweight, has mediocre noise canceling, and has a very neutral sound signature with a bit of an elevated bass section.
- Driver: Hybrid Balanced Armature with Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm Line Type
- Cable Length: 1.2m
- Frequency: 20 – 40,000Hz
- Impedance: 10Ω
- Sensitivity: 106db
What’s in the Box?
- FAAEAL FMS earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- 3 x pairs of silicone ear tips
Stuff I like
- Good price-to-performance ratio
- Neat design
- Deep sub-bass
- Comfortable fit
Stuff I like less
- Cable noise
- Leaking of sound
- Recessed highs
I was intrigued with the FAAEAL FMS because of its simple design and its resemblance to the KZ ZST. I immediately ordered it because overseas shipping here in our country takes ages.
When it arrived on my doorstep, I noticed that the packaging was light and almost felt like the box had no earphones.
The FMS came with a simple side-loading box with the black and white image of the earphones featured on the front and the specifications on the back.
I was disappointed with the inclusions as they were only extra ear tips and nothing else.
Before discussing the sound quality of the FAAEAL FMS, let’s talk about its build quality and how long it would last me with regular usage.
The see-through resin shell looks solid enough to withstand months to years of usage. I also dropped it many times, which caused minimal scratches but didn’t affect the sound quality.
Meanwhile, the cable feels and looks cheap, plus it makes a static noise whenever I move a lot.
The ear hooks were malleable and bent on the opposite side when I received them, which confused me about which one was left and which was right.
These issues made me replace the cable with that of a different IEM and this seemed to solve the problem. My listening experience became much more comfortable.
Fit and Comfort
I think this is the best thing the FAAEAL FMS offers – its perfect fit and comfortability for the wearer.
The FMS is so light that you won’t feel any discomfort even after hours of usage, but you might want to replace the included cable.
As mentioned earlier, the cable isn’t that good, and it makes a lot of noises with sudden movements. I also don’t recommend the bendable ear hooks.
The FAAEAL FMS came with pre-installed ear tips in the size medium which fit my ears perfectly.
The provided silicone ear tips have grooves that don’t affect the listening experience. I think the grooves are for aesthetics and weren’t designed to affect the sound quality.
In addition, swapping out the ear tips for the larger ones resulted in a better sub-bass effect in my ears. But I’d change them back to medium-sized ones if I just want a casual listening session.
Overall, the FAAEAL FMS gave me a perfect fit and I find myself using them more often even after writing this review.
The FAAEAL FMS has a neutral sound signature to a V-shaped sound signature which is something I’d expect from budget sets and I was correct.
The treble sounds like a typical budget IEM with a small amount of extension. The mid-section is recessed, which makes the vocals and the instrumentals sound neglected. Meanwhile, the bass is suitable for bass-heavy genres.
FMS’s soundstage is so poor that I won’t recommend it for gaming. However, it can be common for earphones to have mediocre or poor soundstage because of how they’re designed.
If you want a superb soundstage, then nothing beats a good pair of headphones. On the other hand, the noise cancelation is much better than I expected.
The FMS struggles to block low-frequency noises but does well with mid-range noises like people talking in the background. It also does an excellent job with high-frequency noises.
The FAAEAL FMS has hybrid drivers that do all the work in the bass section. It has substantial power and good detail retrieval but could be better.
The sub-bass gives a good amount of thump that contributes significantly to bass-heavy music or genres.
The mid-bass adds a nice flavor to the overall bass, gives the bass guitar its groove, and presents the kick drum punch it provides in the recording.
The upper bass gives the whole bass section a good amount of warmth. Sometimes I find the upper bass overemphasized, which makes the bass section muddy.
The midrange of the FAAEAL FMS is good, but there’s still room for improvement.
The mids are recessed, pushing the instrumentals and vocals on the back while emphasizing the highs and the lows in the mix.
However, the vocals aren’t muffled or veiled, even though they’re recessed. The mids still have their details and a good amount of clarity.
Overall, the mid-section is average and but it’s not made for in-depth listening.
The treble accuracy of the FAAEAL is good and has a lot of details. It’s also worth noting that the treble response is uneven. The overemphasis on the low treble gives the mix too much detail and brightness, which some listeners may find harsh.
In addition, the mid-treble has piercing sounds or sibilance, especially in some bright genres.
Every user has different experiences with treble – some are treble-sensitive, and some aren’t, so listening experiences may vary.
I listened to some songs using the FAAEAL FMS to see how it works with different genres. Here are the tracks that I used and my findings:
- Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (Soft Rock) – The recessed mids gave warmth to the Rhodes piano in the intro, and this set the mood of the song. Billy Joel’s voice sounded nice as the echoes and reverb were clearly heard. Some sibilance was noticeable with the S and T sounds and this may be harsh to some users. The shaker’s part of the drum kit was somewhat overpowering the other sections. Lastly, the details on the sax solo made my listening experience uncomfortable.
- Feel Special by TWICE (K-Pop) – There’s so much happening with this song, but it didn’t stop me from digging into the details and criticizing how FAAEAL FMS performed with this song. I kept my volume at a safe level because it was too loud for my ears and maybe because K-pop songs were made to sound energetic and upbeat. The vocals in this song were emphasized by this IEM, and the S and T sound caused sibilance. The bass response struggled because of the busy bass section. However, it still gave power and energy.
- Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day (Punk / Rock) – The acoustic guitar plucking at the beginning kept its relevance but it didn’t overpower Billy Joe Armstrong’s raspy vocals. There was a good separation between the heavy instruments and the vocals, which was a plus because I still wanted to understand what the vocalist was singing. Some crash cymbals were too loud for my ears, making me turn the volume down.
Overall, I think the FAAEAL FMS is suitable for heavy songs.
The performance of the FAAEAL FMS gave its price justice, but we know that most IEMs have their ups and downs.
For under $15, FAAEAL did a great job manufacturing an IEM with a smooth design, perfect fit, and powerful bass. However, the mids and the highs are somewhat lacking and need better tuning.
Despite its shortcomings, I still believe the FAAEAL FMS is worth the price and didn’t disappoint me.
Shaik, a college student, part-time musician, and proud fur parent. Currently pursuing his degree in architecture.
As a part-time musician, Shaik enjoys expressing his self creatively through music. Whether it's writing original songs or performing covers, music is a significant part of Shaik's life
This post was last updated on 2023-12-04 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.