FIIL IICON wireless headphones review: Balanced headphones with some usability challenges

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FIIL IICON

The soundstage on these FIIL IICON wireless headphones is fairly balanced, there is a small leaning toward the bass but not heavy.

TA-ratings-90Over-ear headphones are still, by far, my favorite headphones out there. Don’t get me wrong, there are some killer in-ear and on-ear options but I love over-ear headphones. Today, we’re looking at the FIIL IICON wireless headphones with active noise cancellation. We’ve reviewed FIIL headphones in the past and they’ve impressed us. Can the FIIL IICON wireless headphones live up to the previous offerings? Read on for the full FIIL IICON wireless headphones review.

Specifications

The FIIL IICON wireless headphones have the following features and specifications:

  • High-Res Audio certified for accurate playback of every note and every song
  • 3D stereo technology with bass boost
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Up to 33 hours of continuous play between charges + optional wired cable
  • Retentive memory foam over-ear earcups with smart touch, wireless control
  • Aluminum alloy brushed surface for deep, rich color
  • Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology for enhanced sound effects
  • Wireless voice call technology
  • FIIL + APP lets you customize your sound experience and optimize your headphone to your exacting specifications
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 15.8 x 10.6 inches

What’s In The Box

  • FIIL IICON wireless headphones
  • Hardshell case
  • iPhone/iPad cable with inline mic
  • Carabiner for case
  • MicroUSB charging cable
  • Android cable with inline mic
  • Instructions and warranty
FIIL IICON

Nice design.

Design

It’s hard to describe the aesthetic design of the FIIL IICON wireless headphones in one word. I think they’re classy looking with a hipness about them. The FIIL logo on the side and the red banding around the ear cups really give off a trendy vibe but not overtly so. The overall shape and look are just classy and not obtrusive. The aesthetic looks of these headphones are just simply… nice.

The materials used for construction are premium quality plastic and aluminum alloy. Both the plastic and aluminum are a powder coat black color and very attractive. The headband is a soft touch material that’s very comfortable on the head. The ear cups are crafted from “Retentive Memory Foam” and are covered in the same soft touch material as the headband. The ear cups are very soft and comfortable as well. I did feel the tension on the headphones was slightly more than I usually like but I’m sure it will loosen up over time.

Both ear cups swivel and fold up to sit flat on a table easier or fit into the included hard shell case. The hinges appear to be made of metal, which is nice and should last a good long time. The ear cups also have some play to them tilting up and down for a better fit over the ear. There are some really nice design elements that are functional as well.

FIIL IICON

Foldable for easy storage.

The outside of the right ear cup is where you will find your touch control panel. This gives you the ability to gesture swipe for track forward/back and volume up/down, more on that in the Ease of Use section below. On the edge of the right ear cup, you have the headphone jack and the multi-function button. The multi-function allows for the following uses:

  • One-key listening: Short press the MFB to play and pause when connected to Bluetooth.
  • On/Off: Long press MFB until the green/red status light comes on.
  • Automatic reconnection: When Bluetooth device is paired but not connected, a short press of the MFB sends a connection request.
  • Switch ANC on/off: Double press the MFB
  • Call Siri/Google Assistant: When connected to Bluetooth, medium press the MFB for 2 seconds before releasing.
  • Answer and end call: Short press the MFB to answer or hang up when connected to Bluetooth.
  • Reject incoming calls: Medium press the MFB when connected to Bluetooth.

Moving over to the left ear cup, you’ll find the NFC pairing area, MicroUSB port for charging, and status/battery indicator. The headphones come with two separate AUX cables both with inline mics and controls. These work basically like every other inline mic and controls except one is made specifically for iPhones, they are labeled so be sure you unpack the correct one. The included case is really sturdy and well built and adds to the value of this package.

Overall, I think the design is nice here. Nice enough for those who just like a minimal and classy look but with just a slight bit of hip with the materials and the red accent.

FIIL IICON

Headphone jack and Bluetooth/Power.

Ease of Use

Getting connected to Bluetooth is a breeze, simply hold down the power button for five seconds and look for FIIL in your Bluetooth settings. You can also pair with your Android NFC enabled phone which is even faster. The touch controls on the ear cup are another story. While they’re not super difficult to operate, there is a learning curve. I found my gestures weren’t recognized all of the time and it took several swipes to finally get a response. This got slightly better over time but every so often I have to try and get a response.

The included app is super simple as well. Everything you can do in the app you can do on your physical controls. Control the ANC, the volume, sound mode (flat, bass, treble) and control the 3D sound. Overall these headphones aren’t complicated to use but the gesture controls can sometimes be finicky.

Sound

The soundstage on these FIIL IICON wireless headphones is fairly balanced, there is a small leaning toward the bass but not heavy. You do have a minimal EQ in the app but nothing extravagant. You can set it for a brighter sound, flat sound or heavier bass. You can also toggle the active noise canceling (ANC) from the app and this is where you’re going to find some benefits. ANC works well on these headphones, not best in class but good enough. The ANC does a good job of keeping noise out of your environment but doesn’t block everything, which could be a good thing.

I found that vocals were nice and clear and when listening to Pink Floyd, I could hear all the small nuances that are added to many of their songs. Highs and mids were both balanced and bright and the bass just held everything together when it needed it. Overall the sound is great, it’s clear, balanced and well tuned.

FIIL IICON

MicroUSB port.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception is a little better than standard as I was able to get around 80 feet line of sight from the headphones before dropping signal. Call quality wasn’t the greatest. I could hear the callers fairly well but callers said they felt like I was in a tin can sometimes.

Battery Life

FIIL claims up to 33 hours of battery life. Battery life is dependent on how you use your headphones so your times may vary. In my battery tests, I was able to get an average of 32 hours with volume at 60% and the source device right next to the headphones.

Price/Value

The FIIL IICON wireless headphones are priced at $349 USD and that price may be a bit much for some. I think these could command the price tag if the touch controls were refined a bit more. Their sound certainly does fit into the $349 USD price range though. So it will be up to you on if these hold enough value for the asking price.

Wrap Up

In terms of sound, these headphones sound pretty spot on and deliver a nice balanced experience. There are some usability issues with the touch controls but if you never use those then it doesn’t matter.

*We were sent a sample of the FIIL IICON wireless headphones for the purposes of this review.

FIIL IICON wireless

$349.99USD
FIIL IICON wireless
9

Design

9/10

    Ease of Use

    9/10

      Sound

      9/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        9/10

          Battery Life

          10/10

            Price/Value

            9/10

              Nailed it

              • Pleasant design not loud
              • Articulating ear cups
              • Fairly balanced sound stage
              • Battery life is excellent
              • Active noise canceling works well enough

              Needs work

              • Gesture controls aren't always spot on
              • Call quality is just okay, could be better
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