Sony vs Fiio – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin
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Sony and Fiio are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry that produce high-quality speakers, headphones, soundbars,  subwoofers, and amplifiers. 

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at the sound quality, durability, price, and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points. However, we will compare them as closely as we can. 

Sony products often offer a wide range of features and good sound quality, while Fiio products are known for their high-quality sound and affordability.

Sony and Fiio Comparison Table

CriteriaSonyFiiO
Brand ReputationGlobal brand known for a wide range of consumer electronics, including audio and video products.Respected for producing high-quality audio products, particularly portable audio players and headphone amplifiers.
Sound QualityProduces headphones and audio products with diverse sound signatures, catering to different preferences.Emphasizes high-fidelity sound reproduction, especially in portable audio devices, with a focus on audiophile-grade performance.
Build Quality/DesignOffers a variety of designs, from stylish to ergonomic, with attention to build quality and durability.Known for durable construction and compact designs, particularly in portable audio players and DAC/amplifiers.
Product RangeProvides a broad range of audio products, including headphones, earphones, and speakers, as well as other electronics.Specializes in portable audio players, DACs, and headphone amplifiers for audiophiles and music enthusiasts.
PricingOffers products across various price points, from budget-friendly to high-end premium options.Falls in the mid to high-end price range, reflecting the premium quality and features of their audiophile-grade products.
FeaturesKnown for incorporating advanced technologies, such as noise-canceling and touch controls, in their audio products.Features advanced audio technologies, including high-quality DACs and amplifiers, and focus on portable and audiophile-centric features.

Before we continue, you can check out similar comparisons in the series:

Pros and Cons of Sony:

  • Pros: Known for producing a wide range of audio and video products, including speakers, headphones, and home theater systems. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Sony products tend to be expensive and many would describe them as overpriced. 

Pros and Cons of Fiio:

  • Pros: Known for producing high-quality portable audio products, including headphones, amplifiers, and digital audio players. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
  • Cons: Few issues have been reported for Fiio.

Quick History

Sony Quick History

Sony Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics products incorporated in 1946 by Ibuka Masaru and Morita Akio as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation.

Before this, Ibuka had used his Japanese Precision Instruments Company to supply electronic devices during World War II. He met Morita while they worked for the Imperial Japanese Army as engineers designing heat-seeking missiles during World War II.

sony logo

In 1952, Ibuka made efforts to license the transistor from Bell Laboratories in the US before Morita signed a deal with Western Electric there the following year. The agreement led to the production of the Totsuko’s transistor radios, the Sony’s TR-63, in 1955. In 1958, Sony became the official company name.

The name was derived from the Latin word Sonus which stands for “sound.” Its pocket radios were the company’s most significant success and led to its international brand recognition.

In 1960, Sony Corporation of America was created with headquarters in New York City. Sony then introduced the MD-5, the first all-transistor desktop calculator, in 1964 during the New York World’s Fair, followed by the historic shipping of its first Trinitron color television in 1968.

Sony currently focuses on research and development (R&D), planning, designing, manufacturing, and marketing of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets.

Fiio Quick History

FiiO Electronics Technology Company, Ltd., is a Chinese electronics manufacturing company founded in 2007 that deals in audio equipment. Their products include earphones, audio amplifiers and DACs, portable music players, as well as various accessories. They are currently headquartered in Guangzhou, China.

Sound Quality

Sony Sound Quality

Sony products generally sound good. Compared to other competitors, Sony is a premium brand that takes a lot of time to research and develop its sound systems, making it one of the best-sounding audio products.

The soundbars are feature-loaded, have great surround sound performance, and most of them support Dolby Atmos content. Sony is at the forefront of technology innovation, its sound-loving engineers work tirelessly to maintain the standard of its high-quality Hi-Fi speakers.

Fiio Sound Quality

The sound quality of Fiio devices is of the highest standards, with many audio device reviewers claiming the sound output is much better than the iPod, for example. They possess well-defined mids, really deep bass that’s not too overpowering, and clean, clear treble.

All these combine to give a pure and natural sound with very little background noise.

Fiio headphones and earphones are excellent for listening to music on the go as they offer a good overall balance of sound quality. If you are doing serious audio mixing, then you may need a more serious brand like Beyerdynamic.

Features

Sony Features

Sony is known to manufacture high-quality products. Some of the key features of Sony speakers include:

  • Bluetooth speakers with prolonged battery life
  • Compact designs that make them easily fit in every home or office space
  • High-quality sound

Key features of Sony TVs include:

  • Good picture quality
  • New frame tweeter technology with sound-from-picture reality
  • Two-position stand
  • New Ambient Optimization
  • Hands-free capabilities such as remote control systems for easy management of TV programs
  • Easy connectivity
  • Compatibility with 4K 120fps

Fiio Features

  • Support for digital audio sampled up to 192 kHz with samples of up to 24 bits.
  • Support for lossless audio formats FLAC, ALAC, Monkey’s Audio (APE), WMA Lossless, and WAV
  • Support for the lossy audio formats AAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA.
  • Support for gapless playback and hardware (non-DSP) bass and treble controls.
  • Fiio Music app control
  • Compatible with SBC, AAC, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs.

Build Quality

Sony Build Quality

Sony was initially known for good-quality products. In fact, Sony originally maintained a high market price to compensate for the high build quality despite many customers saying they charged so high.

Most people say that Sony manufactures premium audio products with fantastic sound quality and build.

No company can handle a wide array of products like Sony while maintaining high quality. Sony leads in manufacturing cameras, audio, and mobile phones, among many other products. Besides, they offer a fantastic after-sales service.

sony srsxb2

However, some people note that the build quality they get from Sony is generally bad. This is mainly from customers who buy Sony cameras who say they have had a problem or two with their Sony cameras, and even after Sony fixed them, the situation became worse.

Therefore, whether Sony products are of good build or not remains an opinion whose outcome mainly depends on the type of product and the experience of individual users.

Fiio Build Quality

Fiio devices are constructed from materials that are very durable, yet comfortable and elegant.

Fiio FA7S earphones

The Fiio FA7S earphones are made of medical-grade aluminum body and pure, monocrystalline copper wire for very high efficiency. Other Fiio devices are constructed using similar materials.

Ease of Use

Sony Ease Of Use

Some Sony products are not easy to use. For instance, getting Sony KDL-32EX650 to work is not very easy. Besides, setting up a wireless network takes a long time.

Also, setting up the Bravia KDL-40WD650 (Bravia is a Sony brand) is more complicated despite Sony 43XG7005 being the most intuitive and easy-to-use Sony TV with a quick and responsive menu.

The speakers are however easy to use with the Bluetooth ones easily connecting to your devices to provide on-the-go entertainment.

Fiio Ease of Use

Fiio devices are quite easy to use, with intuitive controls that are easy to master within a short time, even for children.

As an example, the Fiio X1 portable music player has a spin wheel that moves the selected item up or down when rotated. There are also three buttons on the side, one is used to switch on/off the device or put it in sleep mode, while the other two control the volume. These two buttons can also be used to skip or go back a track when the device is in sleep mode.

Cost

Sony Cost

The cost of some Sony products are listed below: 

  • Speakers: $40 – $4000
  • Receivers: $20 – $1000
  • Amplifier: $30 – $500

Fiio Cost

Fiio devices are priced relatively affordably for the sound quality they produce. Similar performance devices from high-end brands typically cost more than twice the price of Fiio devices.

  • Earphones: $20 – $700
  • Amplifiers: $30 – $900
  • Music Players: $430 – $1800

Space Requirements

Sony Space Requirements

Every person wants to maximize their small spaces. This is why every audio manufacturer puts more effort into researching to use of versatile drivers that can deliver high efficiency while reducing the volume of materials used.

Sony products are generally constructed with a compact design and build. They take smaller spaces than other products and will perfectly fit into your small spaces whether you buy a smart TV or home theater system.

Fiio Space Requirements

Fiio devices are typically portable and lightweight. The Fiio X7 portable music player measures 130 × 64 × 16.6 mm (HWD) and weighs 220 g. The larger desktop amplifier and DAC, Fiio K9 Pro measures 200 x 224.5 x 72mm (DWH) and weighs 2.75Kg.

Remote Controls

Sony Remote Controls

Some people report that remotes for Sony KD-55XD8005 TVs, KD49X8309C, KD49XD8077 and KD-55X8508C, among other brands, have occasional problems. The issues are mainly that the remote controls become unresponsive occasionally and have to be troubleshot to continue working.

Sony remote controls are, however, generally excellent and responsive. However, where the remotes show problems, Sony offers quick customer support to ensure you continue using your remote control perfectly to enjoy your TV programs.

Fiio Remote Control

Fiio devices can be remotely controlled via the Fiio Music app. The app, available for both Android and iOS devices, can be used for basic control and other functions like an audio equalizer.

Connectivity Options

Sony Connectivity Options

When it comes to connectivity options, Sony is one of the most evolving brands in the market today. For instance, Sony Bravia (Bravia is a Sony brand) comes with a wide range of connectivity options, from USB to wireless connectivity channels.

Some of the connectivity options supported by different Sony products include:

    • RCA for older products
    • USB ports
    • HDMI ports for digital connectivity
  • Bluetooth
  • Composite video inputs
  • Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity

Fiio Connectivity Options

Fiio devices have several available connectivity options including but not limited to Bluetooth, USB, 2.5/3.5/4.4mm audio jack and coaxial output. Some Fiio devices also come with swappable plugs which allows you to connect the same device to several others.

Power Range

Sony Power Range

Like many audio products in the market, Sony products work perfectly well with the conventional power range of 110 V – 240 V.

They have a shallow standby power consumption, and the TVs are built with a power-saving mode backlight on and off control to help minimize power consumption.

Fiio Power Range

The power range for Fiio devices is usually low since they’re mostly headphone amplifiers and earphones. They generally range between 100mW to 5W. The Fiio K9 Pro has a peak power range of 2.1W.

Frequency Response

Sony Frequency Response

Most Sony audio products deliver within the frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. This frequency range effectively supports a good delivery of audio outputs for both the Sony speakers, subwoofers, and even the Sony TVs.

Fiio Frequency Response

The frequency response range for Fiio devices is low enough for punchy bass and high enough for clear treble. The Fiio K9 Pro ranges from 20Hz – 20KHz. The frequency response of Fiio devices typically lies within 10Hz to 45KHz.

Conclusion

Sony is good for playing jazz sound. The brand is versatile with numerous connectivity options and good build quality. Besides, there are products for all price ranges. Fiio devices, on the other hand, deliver excellent performance at budget prices. The brand is for those who want devices that provide a very high quality-to-price ratio.

 

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin