Nov 8, 2016

The Barren FiiO Landscape @ MassDrop

Is there no interest in FiiO products here at MassDrop? My research online @ headfi and other audio-centric sites, indicated that most FiiO products:
  1. Are (usually) superbly well made.
  2. Use fairly high quality internal chips, and
  3. Are reasonably priced, compared to many of it's brethren - across most of it's product line.
FiiO made their mark with DAC's, branched out into DAP's within the last few years, and now have a fairly solid line of audio hardware...
What gives?
The usual suspects keep cropping up across most of the audio-drops here - the same manufacturers (with the same products) with the odd really high-end $$$ drop.
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I don't see MD offering a big enough discount for me to not grab FiiO products from many other vendors (as a US resident, anyway). They could prove me wrong, but that usually tends to be the case for products widely available.

Obviously, it would be nice if people overseas with interest in these products can get them cheaper through MD.
Waah
At this point, I wish I had just bought a DAC/Amp on Amazon (2 day shipping), or even AliExpress (20days) would of had a faster turnaround than MD in this case. Waiting a month for a $25-$30 purchase just isn't worth my time.
There's almost always a FiiO option in all of the polls for items that they have an option in.

Massdrop hasn't done a FiiO drop for quite a while though.

I personally have a couple problems with FiiO. 1, they are stuck on 96/24 on all of their DAC units. I don't think they make one that handles higher sample rates. 2, the amps I have experience with cut off the bass below 30Hz or so.
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Heefty
Doesn't the new x1 work with the K5 whereas the older one doesn't though? That's the main reason I'd want one.
Heefty
Aye, but it would seem the original X1 is compatible with the K5 --
see here: http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-k5-desktop-headphone-amplifier/reviews/15203
Where the K5 is tested with the X1,X3ii,X5ii and X7.
Note:
1) The hifi review is from Feb.2016
2) The X1 2nd gen appears to of been ~Apr.2016
3) The review doesn't refer to the X1 as being a 2nd gen model.

For me I think, (since the most recent research), the sweet spot with the FiiO DAP/DAC line is the X3 2nd generation @ 169.99 (Amazon) vs the X1 @ 99.99. Also of note, the X3,X5,X3ii,X5ii can be used as a DAC (menu-option) all have a settings menu-option for dedicated DAC mode.

See here: http://headphone.guru/fiio-x3-second-generation-review/
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The FiiO X3 II packs some serious punch in the technical specs. It has an Ingenic JZ4760B XBurst 600MHz CPU at the core of its operations. This low-power CPU has advanced audio output options and HD video abilities. FiiO obviously does not use all of its capabilities but the better responsiveness in the unit can be ascertained to be from this CPU and also firmware optimization. In terms of audio chips, it utilizes the highly regarded Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC with Texas Instruments OPA1642/LMH6643 chips. The combination is certainly impressive for a $199 audio player; the CS4398 DAC is used in units up to the thousands of dollars. Indeed, while this is brilliant from a tech perspective, implementation really is the end game and will determine if it sounds good.
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That review compares the X3-ii to FiiO's E12 & E18 DAC's.

At this point, I think I may just skip the E17K DAC, and get a X3ii, which will net me a decent MP3 player, and a portable DAC with a usable interface and a 100pt volume control.


I'm also interested in testing the HeadPhone out from my phone, using an aux-to-usb
https://www.amazon.com/Yuauy-3-5mm-Audio-Female-Converter/dp/B017OXN77S/ref=pd_day0_23_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=R6X8YWMX3ZN069P27QVD
and run the X3's cable into the microUSB to see how that sounds (if at all!) compared to USB OTG.
Or maybe a bluetooth receiver for X3's microUSB.
If neither of those work, that limits the X3 to USB OTG only, which would prevent both devices from charging during use.

It's really too bad there is no line-in on any of FiiO's DAP's... suppose that might muddy the waters too much between DAP and DAC.

EDIT:
It seems like I may have talked myself out of getting an X3 as it would be too inconvenient as a DAC.
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