FiiO JadeAudio JW1 Review featured image

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 Review

Today, we review the FiiO JadeAudio JW1, which is a unique set of open non-in-ear designed BT5.3-capable True Wireless System earbuds. They are priced at $34.99 SRP. 

Disclaimer: This was sent to us as a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or services. We thank FiiO and JadeAudio for their support.

You can click here to learn more about the FiiO gear we have previously assessed on Headfonics.

Note, that this article follows our current scoring guidelines which you can read in more detail here.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 Review featured image
FiiO JadeAudio JW1 Review
Sure, I wouldn’t say I liked the bass or the treble, nor the weird fit. But the FiiO JadeAudio's JW1’s imaging experience is so good that I will probably still use them for walks and on-the-go exercise jaunts.
Small fixes here and there could make this product exceptionally awesome. It was a great first attempt, and I dearly hope they strive to improve and tweak things because I am interested in how far this can go.
Slide here to add your score on the gear!32 Votes
Excellent soundstage, best in class
Coherent midrange
Lacks bass response
Treble brightness
Reader's Score

FiiO recently launched the JW1, which is a wireless Bluetooth open-ear True Wireless System developed in partnership with or primarily under their Jade Audio brand.

The FiiO JadeAudio lineup has a fresh and new design to offer to the world. Truly, this is one of the weirdest headphones I’ve ever reviewed! Take that as a compliment, though!  

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 tech highlights

Tech Highlights

The Jade Audio brand is a subsidiary of FiiO, which has a business model with an aim of a direct sales goal from the manufacturer to the consumer.

They have been steadily releasing a series of affordable audio gear for a while now with my recent review of the JD7 also listed as part of the family from Jade Audio’s branding. The JW1 thus should be seen as a distinctly different offering from the likes of the FW3 and the FW5 from the FiiO lineup.

The JW1 is a BT5.3 capable TWS or over-ear earbud depending on how you see it with up to 18 hours of battery life, (6 hours per cycle), and is capable of up to SBC or AAC decoding, no aptX or LDAC on offer.

It uses a uniquely designed 14.2mm dynamic driver that is neither inner ear, nor over the ear, more like ear hovering. It’s almost like a bone conductor design, but it doesn’t touch any part of your ear area or your head. It sort of just hovers there just above your ear.

I’ve never experienced a design quite like this before, but I can tell you that I think I love it. I have some gripes, but I’ll talk about those in the comfort section later.

For now, this driver is powerful for being so small. And I mean it. It has it be fiercely potent to push sound waves that are clear and focused from well outside of your ear.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 design

Design & Comfort

This JW1 is one of the most obscure and strange designs in a headphone I’ve ever seen and one that is highly uncommon in the audiophile world.

The unit is entirely plastic, but also has almost no play or give in the ear hook mechanism. What I mean here is that it is very stiff, and you almost must yank and tug your earlobes to get them through the very narrow slit between the driver area and the ear hook.

I get this model is a super-budget product, but I think this area should be more pliable. Instead, it is very taught instead.

They are plenty comfortable when you finally get your lobes through the small area between the driver and the ear hook though. But the JW1 fitting experience is my pick for the most aggravating comfort experience in any earbuds I’ve worn in years.

The reason is not from it hurting or anything like that, as mentioned, plenty lightweight, plenty soft, and rests great on your lobe area!

However, it gently touches your skin in the most sensitive and slight manner that I find myself infinitely trying to make it either touch more snugly to my skin or not at all. And you can’t adjust that, however the fit ends up for you, is how you are stuck with it.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 unboxing

Packaging & Accessories

The JW1 box is small and basic. Just a cardboard box and nothing extra to expect at this price anyway. Inside, you get a really cool carrying case that doubles as the charging unit.

And what I love most is that this design functions the same way as most modern wireless earbuds. When you first open the case, it auto-activated Bluetooth and paired itself.

The case slides down and reveals the earbuds inside, and BT5.3 activates itself, auto-paired to my phone without me even touching anything, and I nod in approval immediately and with a smile. This is what I want to see. Make my life easier and not harder.

The JW1 accessory list is small, just a cable for charging. There are no ear tips for these headphones, they don’t have an in-ear or on-ear design and they are meant to hover just above the skin, or gently touch the entrance to your ear canals.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 case

Sound Impressions


The JW1 low-end offered in these headphones is challenging. Now, while I say that, I understand that there is no seal and no inner ear stability.

The driver floats above the entrance to your canals, so I get it. It can’t push that much bass. But we also cannot ignore that the quality offered is poor quality even at this low budget tier price point.

The purity is subpar with a thinness I have not yet heard in an earbud. Again though, I stress that this driver has no seal and is quite distant from your ear canal, so I get why it cannot push good bass.


The JW1 midrange is not a problem. In fact, quite enjoyable, lush, and very forward and engaging feeling.

The vocals are portrayed in an excellent manner that I very much prefer in my headphone experience. As mentioned already, I tend to actively push the drivers a bit closer, and the sound quality drastically improves the closer they get to my canals.

I am impressed with the quality offered, such a stark contrast to the lower regions below, almost like a laser cutoff between the bass and the midrange.

I enjoy my Jazz and standards in the Big Band genre, so I was shocked and happy to find that this JW1 offers excellent midrange vocals. Everything is vivid, moderately thickened, and not like most budget products out there.

What is here is actively engaging, well set up, enjoyable, and punching nicely above its price point in fidelity and purity.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 speaker


The JW1 treble is very bright, overly impacting, and sharp at times. However, similarly to the midrange, it is still enjoyable, so long as the track is not heavily operating in “bad recording” tonality. Good recording sounds fine, nothing special there.

But the biggest problem is that icy instruments tend to sound extra icy here, as well as highly physical at times. I am not fond of this type of sound, and I find that slower tracks that are more elegantly paced, are where this headphone excels most.

The brightness is just too bright, sometimes. EQ’ing down the top side is almost a requirement for me. But, again, that JW1 driver hovering over my canal instead of resting in it or over it entirely is not ongoing in this design, so it isn’t something I would expect would be lavish in terms of tonal density.

That driver needs to be powerful to push sound through the air and into your ear canal, so I get why it is a physical top side.


While the bass and treble are problematic, the JW1 imaging is excellent. In fact, this is probably the best sound stage in any “IEM” that I’ve ever heard, and it is entirely because the driver isn’t actually inside of or surrounding your canals.

The image is wildly large for such a small driver, immensely aired out, and highly addictive in pristine natural tone and coherency. This is a coherency master and quite impressive.

The design allows for the sound ways to feel like you are actively being enveloped by the music and it is all coming from a natural, non-headphone-like physicality.

Meaning, more speaker-like than headphones, with a very open feel rather than a directive sound wave forced into your eardrums via a sealed physical fit experience.

The JW1 sound stage is superb, top to bottom, left to right, and in the depth of field. The realism in density terms is also excellent. Easily one of the best imaging in a portable budget tier model I’ve ever heard.

Sounds nothing like a normal earbud, or an inner ear model with a good seal. In fact, it sounds impressively open when referenced right next to my $800 Shozy Black Hole, which has excellent imaging properties.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 BT connection

Wireless Performance

The JW1 is Bluetooth and wireless, so it pairs with any source music player or phone. You can EQ it, but it doesn’t respond much at all to anything I try to do to it, so the synergy is quite low with what works best with it.

However, the JW1 themselves are limited severely by their lack of ability to respond to EQ alteration and bass boosting.

It does respond better to treble drops than it does to treble increases. Almost nothing happens when I try to increase the top side, but dropping off the quantity top side does make the experience more tolerable.

FiiO JD7 Review

Select Comparisons

FiiO JD7

This JW1 is audibly superior in imaging across the board, and it isn’t even a fair competition. I’d put the JW1 sound stage against most other IEMs in general and the JW1 would likely win most battles regardless of price, but again, that’s due to the space between your canal and the driver itself being so large.

The fidelity though goes to the JD7 in every manner of speaking, bass, mids, treble. All of that is much better than the JW1 in terms of purity and quality overall.

Comfort though, as much as I find the JW1 to have a weird “something is touching my ear” feeling, I consider the JW1 comfort high tier and more comfortable than the JD7.

FiiO FH11 paired with xDuoo amplifier

FiiO FH11

Not even sure how to really compare most IEMs to this JW1, because the driver and fit design are so wildly different and I don’t have a single other product that has a design like the JW1 to even compare with, so the best I can do is stick to the FiiO lineup and reference the FH11 instead.

While the JW1’s imaging is significantly better than the FH11, it sounds like an open-air tin can produce sound compared to the dense, thick, and plentiful-sounding FH11.

There really is no comparison here in fidelity, of course, the FH11 has a sealed IEM design and the JW1 is entirely unsealed. The JW1 is shouty and physical with treble, whereas the FH11 is mild and comfortably smooth with anything on the top side.

FiiO JadeAudio JW1 box

Our Verdict

Sure, I wouldn’t say I liked the bass or the treble, nor the weird fit. But the JW1’s imaging experience is so good that I will probably still use them for walks and on-the-go exercise jaunts.

It really portrays a special and natural feel to everything. I hope that FiiO and Jade Audio revise and release a more expensive and quality model that fixes the density of tone in the experience.

Fix that, clean up the bass just a bit, drop the treble tuning quantity a few dB and you will have one of the best “IEMs” out there.

I really love this design for what it is capable of, but I also find it stressful in how it rests on my head. I would say either make the driver larger to rest fully on the side of the ear or make it smaller to rest inside the ear canal like a typical resting earbud.

Small fixes here and there could make this product exceptionally awesome. It was a great first attempt, and I dearly hope they strive to improve and tweak things because I am interested in how far this can go.

FiiO JW1 Technical Specifications

  • Driver configuration: 14.2 mm dynamic driver
  • Weight: 9.5 g for each earpiece; 85 g with TWS and case combined
  • Case dimensions: 91.6 mm x 55.6 mm x 28.6 mm
  • Battery: 65 mAh for TWS, 25 mAh for charging case
  • Battery life: single charge 6 hours, with charging case 18 hours
  • Charging time: 1.5 hours for TWS, 1.5 hours for charging case
  • Charging plug: USB Type-C
  • Water-resistant (no IPT rating available)
  • Standby charge: 3 months
  • Bluetooth version: 5.3
  • Bluetooth codec: SBC/AAC
  • Bluetooth range: 10 m

Sharing is caring!