IEMs are known for their audio quality and are usually quite expensive. But, many affordable alternatives like FiiO FD3 Vs Moondrop Aria are both pleasant to the ears but won’t break the bank. These IEMs are perfect for casual listeners who want an improved experience, but they don’t sound the same. If you wonder which model to try, let’s see what they can offer below.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What are In-Ear Monitors
- What are FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria
- How is the Design of FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria
- What are the Accessories for FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria
- How are the Comforts with FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria
- How are the Sound Characters of FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria
- FiiO FD3 Vs Moondrop Aria
To capture the sound, you need a microphone, and to listen to the playback, you need a speaker. Speakers vary in size, from the massive ones in a concert venue to the small size in your earbuds and headphones. Like the music genre, we enjoy the most, personal preference matters when it comes to a listening device. One of the most common is earbuds or those with small eartips that go into the ear canal. In professional applications, this device is called an IEM or In-ear Monitor.
Essentially IEMs are a small size of your expensive speakers, so they are typically quite expensive. The components include dynamic, balanced armature, planar magnetic, and electrostatic are used in IEMs. In professional applications, IEMs are very useful for performers. The earbuds help the musician reduce or eliminate the stage volume so they can hear the mix clearer. You can also find them on worship musicians since churches often have numerous acoustic challenges. In addition, the IEM delivers directly to the performer’s ears.
Attaching the monitor to their ears helps them move around freely while never losing the ability to hear their sound, unlike when listening from the speakers. We can generally hear better details than when using traditional monitor speakers. Due to the shape of the IEM that encloses the ear canals, this device is beneficial in removing or isolating outside noise. The unit fits right on the ears, and it is not going to harm or hinder the performer’s mobility or ruin the aesthetic.
|FiiO FD3||Moondrop Aria
|Product Dimensions ||3.94 x 1.97 x 5.91 inches |
|6.46 x 4.17 x 2.44 inches
|Shipping Weight||13.1 ounces ||10.6 ounces
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here
About FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria
While IEMs are very popular among professionals, it is something that casual music listeners can use too. After all, they function like standard earbuds or your AirPods but often can sound better. But, because they are emerging as professional gear, the typical cost for a pair of IEMs can be pretty high than regular earbuds. Nowadays, many good options focus on casual listeners, so they are becoming very affordable.
If you want something to improve the listening experience but don’t want to commit to high-end IEMs, the FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria are two ideal options to consider. These IEMs are some of the best in the budget range or are currently around $100 for a pair. They offer the typical sound character of IEM, which is relatively flat and neutral with good separation. But they don’t sound identical either. In our opinion, Aria has an extended bass range.
None of them are satisfying for bass lovers, but this is best if you dislike a particular frequency overpowering the other. Overall we like the sound character of FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria, which are pretty neutral but not flat, so we can still enjoy some characters from the music we listen to. The comfort is also pleasant on our ears, and we don’t experience any difficulties or issues when wearing the earbuds. However, it is a subject that varies based on the users.
While not completely flat, the FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria are ideal for most people who want an improved experience over their regular earbuds. We prefer the FD3 because it is the more balanced and accurate between the two, especially if you enjoy music that is heavy on vocals and brighter instruments since the mid-range of this IEM is noticeably better than Aria. Read also: Fiio FH7 Vs FH9 here.
FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria Design
Before checking what the FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria can offer, let’s look at the unit first. Both models are very similar in design because they look like most IEMs in the market. The Aria is designed and is made of 3-piece CND carved, and metal injected molded shell. It is matte black and metal in fashion, combined with thin curvy lines over the faceplate. It is almost like a luxury or artisan chocolate from afar, but the build quality is very sturdy.
On the other hand, FD3 has a different approach to appearance by choosing around housing. The shell consists of two parts: the short stem where the vents and terminal are placed and the second is, and the visible round house where the dynamic driver is present. The shell material is an aluminum-magnesium alloy which makes it lighter than Aria. The appearance is elegant, especially with the brand name printed in rose gold featuring 2.5D film-coated glass. It is glossy, lightweight, and durable.
FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria Accessories
One of our favorite parts of IEMs is the accessories because the regular earbuds usually only give you a set of rubber eartips. Both FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria come with a small storage case to safely transport the IEMs. The Aria provides a standard SPC wire with a braided woven casing. The connector itself is a classic 0.78mm dual-pin interface which makes it possible to upgrade if needed. On the other hand, FD gives more in the package.
We are surprised to see the number of accessories this IEM comes with. First, the stock cable is better than Aria as it already uses high purity monocrystalline copper. The connector is color-coded. Second, the cable doesn’t have a PVC sheath to eliminate the possibility of microphonics, thus, making it super quiet when you wear it on the go. While it doesn’t have a sheath, the cable doesn’t tangle easily. In addition, the FD3 also provides an extra pair of sound tubes to alter the sound delivery.
FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria Comfort
When it comes to comfort and fit, both IEMs and headphones are similar. The fit and how the equipment feels on our head or ears are subjective to our body; hence many professionals choose to get custom-made IEMs. Personally, both FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria are comfortable, but FD3 feels lighter on our ears. These earbuds have an open-back design which allows environmental noise to get into the ears when there is no music playing. But, this design also reduces the chance of discomfort for prolonged wear.
As for Aria, the earbuds feel heavier but comfortable since they sit nicely on our ears. The housing shape is different from FD3, and it gives better isolation, including with the standard eartips it comes with. Similar to FD3, the external noise is barely noticeable, which is great to let you enjoy the experience. We found Aria to be very comfortable for hours of listening application.
FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria Sound Characters
Now comes an essential part or the sound character of FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria. The bass area is very similar because the two are not entirely flat or neutral. There seems to be a bit of boosting on the lower frequency to give a more prominent body to the mix. The bass of Aria is more noticeable and extended, probably because its frequency response starts from 5Hz while FD3 is from 10Hz.
However, the tweak doesn’t go into the higher range of Aria, in which it slightly bleeds into the low-mid range of FD3. The mid-range of FD3 is accurate to the mix, meaning it doesn’t particularly emphasize it, so it does not necessarily enhance the vocal range. On the other hand, Aria’s mid-range is uneven because the lower mids are lower than the higher mid. This affects vocals as they sound behind the instruments, especially for deep male vocals; the female vocals sound very good.
The treble area is very similar and is satisfying, but Aria is brighter with plenty of treble extension, so some instruments sound airy and transparent. The FD3 sounds good, but it is more controlled and laid back with a lack of weight. As for the soundstage, the two are naturally broad and very similar, which is noticeable in IEMs around the same price point. But, we find FD3 to have better staging in general because it is more consistent in which Aria may sound narrow for some songs.
FiiO FD3 Vs Moondrop Aria
Both FiiO FD3 and Moondrop Aria are good options for people shopping on a budget. The main difference is design and sound because the design of FD3 makes it less practical for noise isolation. It doesn’t affect the music while playing, but you can still notice the environment noise when not playing anything. The sound quality is slightly better on the FD3 because it is overall more neutral. We also think the separation and soundstage are more reliable, but it doesn’t mean Aria is a bad option as it is also enjoyable to wear and listen to.
- Flagship-level DLC diamond diaphragm, for an amazing, powerful sound: The FD3 headphones benefits from the numerous advantages of FiiO's new dynamic driver. The diaphragm is made of Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) which is both impressively rigid and helps to reduce unneeded distortion yet also surprisingly light, allowing the driver to have excellent transient response. The result is a driver with excellent sound quality and minimal distortion with the added bonus of being ultra-sensitive.
- Flagship-grade acoustic prism, take your breath away: The acoustic prism so effectively used in the flagship FD5 for great sound quality is also featured in the FD3. Like with the FD5, the acoustic prism system brings numerous benefits such as eliminating high frequency standing waves, enhancing overall sound wave diffusion, and even effectively solving the problem of time delay caused by sound wave propagation path in the cavity. This all leads to marvelous sound quality.
- Better sound with semi-open design,makes you less tiring and the sound less forced: The semi-open design of the FD3 based on FiiO's patented technology for balanced air pressure within brings several advantages. Not only does such a design lead to more natural sound, but it also effectively protects your hearing by balancing air pressure within the FD3 leading to less pressure on your eardrums.
- 2.5D film coating glass faceplate The unique celluloid panel is covered with 2.5D film coating glass for a pure yet fresh transparent look. And the aluminum-magnesium alloy of the body makes the FD3 exceptionally light, making it easier and more pleasurable to carry around. And the aluminum-magnesium alloy main body is made in an industrial process combining five-axis CNC processing and hand polishing.
- Aria comes with a replaceable silver-plated cable with a nylon braided surface. It uses a universal 0.78 dual-pin interface. This enables users have options to replace the stock cable to with-mic cable, bluetooth cable or upgrade cable for different scenarios and more fun.
- Aria uses a complex process to create a metal cavity, which is ergonomic while taking into account the aesthetic design, which is as elegant and moving as an art work.
- Aria adopts 10mm diameter dual- cavity magnetic high-performance dynamic driver, and the whole LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) liquid crystal diaphragm to bring excellent transient response and high-resolution sound details.
- The newly designed high-frequency phase Waveguide reduces the distortion caused by high-frequency phase interference, makes the treble response smoother, and the treble more delicate and natural.
The decision is all yours because we may have different preferences. We recommend the FD3 because it sounds more neutral and has a better soundstage. It is slightly more expensive than Aria, but FD3 also gives more in the package, and it has a better cable with physical sound adjustment.