E7/E9 Reloaded: Andes and Qogir

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Disclaimer: I received free E7K and E9K samples from Fiio. Fiio is also a Headfonia sponsor.

 

The amplifier docking concept introduced in the Fiio E7/E9 pairing has been re-introduced as the E7K/E9K combo. Where the E7K received a facelift that makes it a better looking unit than the predecessor, the E9K’s upgrade is more in the functionalities. What’s important to note is that with the updates, come improvements in sound quality.

I wasn’t so excited about either Fiio when I received the sample units from Fiio. The E7K facelift is nice, but behind that huge glass panel is actually the same tiny LCD found in the original E7. It looks nice, but there are other products that exictes me more than the two Fiios, so I really didn’t talk about them much. During the last few weeks that I’m starting to use them, however, I discovered that these two totally hit the jackpot in terms of sound. I don’t know how Fiio was able to get the sound signature exactly how I like it, but they did. The spacious, warm, full mids & lows I love so much on the Fiio E10 DAC/Amp has been reinvented with better technicalities on the E7K and with better power and impact on the E9K. The E7K & E9K pairing is like the E10 upgraded two levels up.

The E7K by itself is so good I am starting to recommend it over the more expensive E17 (more detailed comparison down below). The E7K/E9K combo, together, forms the best DAC/Amp partnership I know under $300. On one hand I always warn people whenever I recommend people products from Headfonia sponsors (please check on and compare other reviews), but on the other hand I won’t deny that the E7K/E9K blew me away for their smooth clean sound, black background and musicality. I’m truly excited by the sound of these two, even more than the recently released E12 amplifier.

 

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Fiio E7K “Andes”

The improvements that Fiio implemented on the E07 is seriously going to eat into the market of the E10 and the E17. The revenue is ultimately still going into Fiio’s own pocket, but what’s important is how the E07K, available for $89 at Amazon.com, further strengthens Fiio’s dominance in the lucrative $100 USB DAC/Amp market.

The E10 was a huge hit, and both me and Lieven love it. We made lots and lots of recommendations for the E10. With the E07K, however, that recommendation is bound to change as I no longer listen to the E10 after having compared the two. The sound of the E7K is cleaner with less noise, just as smooth, and with a blacker background. Musicality on the E07K sounds just every bit as good as the E10, while the E07K adds a bonus of a better bass control (the E10 has always been a bit loose on the bass).

Likewise with the more expensive E17 ($89 vs $139), I find the E07K makes for a perfectly fine substitute to the E17. Other than the fact that the E17 comes with a more complete set of digital inputs (the addition of Coaxial and Toslink inputs), and higher power output level, I find the sound quality to be comparable. The E17 has a more powerful bass punch and is a bit livelier (or brighter depending on how you look at it) treble, but I don’t really see the E17 being superior in any technicalities. In comparison the E07 is flatter on the treble and does work better for headphone with treble peaks (surprisingly I enjoy the $1,000 IE800 on the E07K far more than on any other amp/sources). My ears do favor darker sound signatures so it’s understandable that I prefer the E07K, but the bottom line is that I’m hearing the same level of technicalities from the two units.

If you’re going to be driving HE-400s and LCD-2s out of these, then the E17 is a better choice due to the more powerful amplifier section, but if dynamics headphone are your game, then there is no need to go with the pricier E17.

 

The Fiio E9K “Qogir”

I never really consult Fiio on how they should tune their audio products, but they really got this one right for my ears. Gone are the thin midrange sound of the old E9, replaced with a much beefier sound with a good midrange and low end body. Treble is smoother and more relaxed, and the sound is overall significantly warmer. On the functionality side, I very much appreciate the integrated power switch that turns on/off the E07K docked on the E09K (thank you for making that happen, Fiio!).

The tonality is a bit to the dark side, the way I like it these days, and the sound is extremely smooth, even smoother than the Schiit Asgard I’ve been recommending as an entry level desktop amp. Docked together with the E7K, it may not look as classy as say a Schiit Asgard, but I would go for the Fiio for the sound quality alone. Not to mention that for roughly $200 you have a pretty potent USB DAC (E07K) thrown in to the package. It also plays well with better quality DACs like the Dacport LX.

With or without the E07, the E9K is still a great amp for the money. So good the E9K is, I can really see it eating into the Schiit Asgard’s market. The Asgard still has the better build quality and overall design IMO, but would I pay $250 more that?

 

End Words

The buzz on these updated Fiios are quite low. Some reasons I can think of: no new technology being introduced, no impressive power output numbers, no ESS Sabre chips being used. Even I seem to unconsciously choose to work on other reviews before finally deciding to do these Fiios.

On the other hand Schiit really knows how to launch products and their new Magni & Modi demonstrates that very well. Even as it is only available in US voltage, non-US enthusiasts are still talking about it, eager to somehow get a copy running for their office desktop set up. Unfortunately the Magni & Modi review was done by Julius in the US and I don’t see myself getting a sample from Schiit, so I can’t throw in a comparison. However I have made references to the Asgard and I hope that provides a rough frame of reference.

Nobody gets excited about a revision of a product released some 2 years ago, especially with all the new products hitting the market these days. Instead of re-releasing the E7/E9, Fiio should’ve created a new product model with the improved circuitry of the E7K/E9K. Maybe an entry level desktop amplifier with a built-in DAC, who knows.

Beneath the flat hype, however, these two are the best sounding Fiio product I’ve reviewed and they are going to be the sound quality to beat under $300.

 

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E7/E9 Reloaded: Andes and Qogir
5 (100%) 1 vote

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156 Comments

  • Reply February 6, 2013

    Andrei Andreev

    These are beatiful products I have to say, and the price tag on the Andes is just too good to pass on.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      Yes Andrei, good sound at an even better price.

  • Reply February 6, 2013

    George Lai

    Agree with your second last paragraph. If they could make the e11 look and sound so much better as an e12, it’s a pity they make the e07k/e09k look so “meh”. Having said that, my PA2V2 looks even uglier, but it sounds heavenly.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      The PA2V2 sounds heavenly indeed!

      • Reply February 10, 2013

        Tim Woodward

        Hi Mike – wonder if you can help, I have a PA2V2 as my very first intro to head-fi (paired with SoundMagic HP100’s) and I am loving the sound quality from my iPhone 4s via LOD cable – but now I want a decent sound from my Macbook too!

        I don’t want tethering to a desk so USB/Battery powering is a must – having read your glowing words on this pairing would they be an upgrade on the PA2V2 alone? Would it better to get a separate DAC and feed the PA2V2? And if you have a minute – do you know how these two together compare with the Arcam rPac?

  • Reply February 6, 2013

    Chris Allen

    Great review, I see why you recommended me to wait for this product review. So many questions answered. 🙂

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      Yes Chris, I think this is a great product and at a great price too.

      • Reply February 7, 2013

        Chris Allen

        I agree. I assume then the E7k’s amplifier would be perfect for the new Sennheiser Momentum headphone. Thanks so much, Mike! 🙂

        • Reply February 8, 2013

          Mike

          Yes it’s great with the Momentum. 🙂

  • Reply February 6, 2013

    Trent_D

    Wow, so you feel the E09’s sound to be roughly equal to that of the Asgards? This might be that entry level SS amp I have been looking for.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      Yes a bit surprising too. Wouldn’t have made that comparison with the old E9.

      • Reply February 7, 2013

        Trent_D

        at $109, that is a pretty amazing deal. Can I ask what headphones you tried with it?

        • Reply February 7, 2013

          Mike

          Fidelio L1 – SUPERB
          Fidelio M1 – Extremely nice
          HD650 – Pretty good
          MS-Pro – One of the better amps I’ve tried the Pro on
          HE-400 – Also one of the better amps I’ve tried the 400 on

          • Reply February 7, 2013

            Trent_D

            sold!

          • Reply February 20, 2013

            Mike

            Sorry that’s supposed to be:

            Fidelio X1 – Superb
            Fidelio L1 – Extremely nice

            I got the model types mixed up.

          • Reply April 8, 2013

            Zack fair

            Is it OK to drive he-400 with the e9k amp? I am asking because the e9k is supposed to have an output impedance of 8 Ohm… and he-400 have an impedance of 35 ohm…

            • Reply April 8, 2013

              Mike

              With the new E7K you shouldn’t have a problem.

        • Reply February 7, 2013

          Mike

          One more thing: it just occurred to me that the E9K actually sounds a lot like the Bottlehead Crack on stock tube. Dark, smooth, clean, black background. The sound is less grainy than the Crack too. Though it doesn’t pair with the HD650 as good as the Crack, but with say the Fidelios the E9K is better.

          • Reply February 7, 2013

            Trent_D

            Although I should say, my stock tubes were rather bright and harsh in the treble.

            • Reply February 8, 2013

              Mike

              Don’t tell me they changed the stock tube…

              • Reply February 8, 2013

                Trent_D

                From my understanding, the stock tube is basically random. Whatever they have handy, so to speak.

          • Reply February 8, 2013

            Isaiah Mackler

            Kind of hoping it will pair better w/ the HD600 than the HD650. From your description, I think it may.

  • Reply February 6, 2013

    Isaiah Mackler

    Would love if any has comparisons between the E09K and the Magni…

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      Isaiah, sorry I don’t have one around here.

      • Reply February 7, 2013

        Isaiah Mackler

        Well, I ordered both, so I’ll have to try myself! 🙂

        • Reply February 7, 2013

          Trent_D

          I found the Magni to be too bright for my taste (I use a dacport lx as my dac, so a darker, warmer dac might help with that). The bass was lacking. You want to hear a HD650 with weak bass, the Magni is a good choice. The Magni also has a very claustrophobic soundstage. I wasn’t a huge fan. In its defense, it did have pretty amazing clarity and separation for the price.

          • Reply February 8, 2013

            Isaiah Mackler

            The plan is actually to use a Magni w/ the HD650 at the office and the 9K at home w/ the HD600. I wouldn’t mind darkening the HD600 a smidgeon and brightening the HD650, though I’m overall in love with both of them.

            • Reply February 8, 2013

              Trent_D

              Obviously, you will want to make up your own mind, but I did not think that the Magni was a good choice driving the HD650. If you want an amp to brighten the HD650, the Valhalla is a better, albeit a more expensive choice. It has nice sparkle in the treble. It has good bass impact as well. The Magni does not. Let us know what you think when you get it.

              • Reply February 8, 2013

                Mike

                From what you said the Magni sounds like a downgraded Asgard.

                • Reply February 8, 2013

                  Trent_D

                  Actually, I think it is more of a downgraded Valhalla in terms of the sound. Very clear. But bright instead of sparkly. A smaller soundstage. And even though the Valhalla doesn’t have tremendous bass body, it is very tight with decent impact. Not so much with the Magni. Although I haven’t heard it, I get the impression it is closest to the O2.

              • Reply February 8, 2013

                Isaiah Mackler

                Getting disturbed about what I’m hearing about the bass impact of the Magni… Sad.

                • Reply February 8, 2013

                  Trent_D

                  Schiit has a good return policy. You have it come, so give it a good two weeks (make sure you at least clear 50 hours with it) and see what you think. Nothing beats your own ears.

              • Reply February 12, 2013

                John123John

                “You want to hear a HD650 with weak bass, the Magni is a good choice”
                LOL

                • Reply February 12, 2013

                  Trent_D

                  I was being a little harsh, but I just didn’t find them a good pairing.

        • Reply February 8, 2013

          Mike

          Nice!

  • Reply February 6, 2013

    Sasmit

    Hi Mike, Does the E9k have a DAC? The information on Fiio website shows a picture of a USB input. Is it any good and what are its specs since they are not listed on the website?

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Trent_D

      No DAC. If you have the E07 docked, the E09 USB port would be the input for the whole package.

      • Reply February 7, 2013

        Sasmit

        thanks Trent

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      What Trent said.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Psycho

    1 user happy with e10 + hd650 pairing here 🙂
    curious to wait for e10 successor now…

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      This IS the E10 successor. 😉

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Mark Ferrosa

    Interesting, better bass control. I’m not happy with the E10+Dt770LE. The bass is so messy.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      Yes both the E10 and the 770LE are loose on bass.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Paolo Mondadori

    How does pairing the E17 with the E9K sound?

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Mike

      Sounds good but I don’t see the need to go the E17 if you’re going to pair it with the E9K. It sounds roughly identical with the E7K pairing, and since you’ll be using the E9K’s amplifier, then may as well go with the E7K.

      Unless you already own the E17.

      • Reply February 7, 2013

        Paolo Mondadori

        Thank you for the response! I actually DO own the E17 🙂

        The “roughly identical” part of your response leaves me a bit curious. If I pair my E17 with the E9K, will I experience this “right for my ears” sound quality? Will the E17 pairing sound roughly better or worse than the E7K pairing? Keep in mind I currently use a pair of M50s.

        • Reply February 8, 2013

          Mike

          I actually felt that the e7k was the better one. Again I just like the e7k tonality better, mainly a smoother treble section.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    tinara

    Hi Mike. First of all, thank you for all yours reviews on headfonia (this is for all the headfonia’s team) ! I’m looking for a Dac/ampli (for a computer connexion)with the possibility of using it like a portable amp on my Sansa Fuze. Is there big differences between the iBasso D-Zero and the Fiio E07K ? Do they are good portable amp, with lithium-ion battery with usb-charging, who can be better choice the d-zero or 07K under 100 $ ?

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Trent_D

      well, Mike, I believe preferred the e10 to the d-zero, and as he liked the e07k better than the e10, I bet he picks the e07k

      • Reply February 8, 2013

        Mike

        Yes if you like the E10 definitely go for the E07K.

  • Reply February 8, 2013

    Sasmit

    Hi Mike, Thanks for reviewing in such great detail so many new amps and DACs recently. I was wondering whether you were planning on making changes to the buyers’ guide part of the website?

    • Reply February 8, 2013

      Mike

      I haven’t planned on doing that since I can barely keep up with my reviewing and answering questions.

      Sorry maybe I should just take off those sections

      • Reply February 8, 2013

        Sasmit

        keep up the good work. thanks for this great resource

  • Reply February 8, 2013

    Jack Knight

    hi mike, is that new e09k better than e12 in term of sound quality?

    • Reply February 8, 2013

      Mike

      Different sound signature. E12 is forward and sparkly. E7k is laid back and smooth.

      • Reply February 8, 2013

        Jack Knight

        i mean e9k, not e7k. and how bout the driving power?

        • Reply February 8, 2013

          Mike

          They’re quite similar but the E07K has less bass body and less driving power.

  • Reply February 8, 2013

    Andre

    Hey Mike first off great review and thank you for putting this up. I recently got both the e07k and e17 Alpen and I got a great deal on the Alpen so after listening to them both I got rid of the e07k because good it definitely was good but the sound, extra power and SPDIF input set it apart for me. Now I can see your point about the price difference but I only paid $20 or so more and there was a obvious difference to me so I stayed with the 17.

    Now I still was looking for a desktop set up and yet again I think you guys may have sold me (thanks again) on the e9k. I was hoping for a nice tube dac/amp combo but this makes a lot more sense plus you said its a warmer amp which is what I loved the most about the tube amp I had so this may be the better option and for the price there is nothing close to the e9k. I’ll still be able to pair the two together right?? The e17/e9k should make a nice match and give me the added kick I need to power my HE-400’s and Future LCD2 rev2 (hopefully soon). Do you have any experience with that pair(e17,e9k) and if so what were your thoughts?

    Thanks again,

    • Reply February 8, 2013

      Mike

      Andre,
      I have done that pairing yes they work. I think it’s a good pairing. If you scroll down to the older comments I have talked bit more on the two.

      • Reply February 10, 2013

        Andre

        Excellent thanks

  • Reply February 10, 2013

    Damon

    So, does the E7K need to be fully charged (or charged for that matter) to work in the E09K? Or does the E09K provide power to the E7K when docked?

    • Reply February 11, 2013

      Mike

      Nope, you don’t need to have it fully charged. The E09K charges the unit docked on top of it (either E7 or E17).

  • Reply February 11, 2013

    John123John

    sonic differences and power outputs of e17 (amp) vs e09k?

    • Reply February 11, 2013

      Mike

      John,
      E09K still more powerful. Sonic differences, the E09K is darker and has more bass body.

  • Reply February 12, 2013

    Pathway

    Hey Mike – how do you feel the E7k compares with the Topping D1 Mark II?

    • Reply February 12, 2013

      Mike

      Different sound signature. The E7K is darker and more laidback, cleaner blacker background. Topping is more lively, better PRaT, better bass impact.

  • Reply February 12, 2013

    Tim Woodward

    Hi Mike – wonder if you can help, I have a PA2V2 as my very first intro to head-fi (paired with SoundMagic HP100’s) and I am loving the sound quality from my iPhone 4s via LOD cable – but now I want a decent sound from my Macbook too!

    I don’t want tethering to a desk so USB/Battery powering is a must – having read your glowing words on this pairing would they be an upgrade on the PA2V2 alone? Would it better to get a separate DAC and feed the PA2V2? And if you have a minute – do you know how these two together compare with the Arcam rPac?

    *posted this right in the depth of the discussions a few days ago so reposted here again hope that’s ok?

    • Reply February 12, 2013

      dalethorn

      I would certainly recommend a mini-DAC/headphone amp like the rPac because of the good sound and the (very important!) convenience of having one box with the computer. When I use a laptop I find the Dragonfly best for convenience since no cables are needed. But, if your research indicates better sound with the E7/E9, then that may override convenience. But I would not recommend a DAC driving the PA2V2, since most of the benefit of the DAC would be lost in the extra connections. Another thing I can’t prove but I think about is components that are better matched by manufacturers, like the synergy between DAC and headphone output inside the rPac, or even between E7/E9, should give better results than trying to marry any particular DAC to the PA2V2.

      • Reply February 13, 2013

        Tim Woodward

        Thanks Mike – I might keep the little PA2V2 for bedside listening then and get myself an rPac (or possibly E7k but presume the Arcam unit will sound better) for the laptop.

        • Reply February 13, 2013

          Mike

          That was not me, but dalethorn, actually. But I second what he said.

      • Reply February 13, 2013

        Mike

        Thanks, Dale.

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Mike

      Yes Tim, please repost if I missed your comment the first time.

  • Reply February 19, 2013

    Sean Higgins

    Forgive me if this question has been answered before (I’ve been digging but didn’t find anything conclusive), but I read your review of the DT770 pros and am intrigued. Now I’m wondering if you know how they pair with the E7k/E9k combo?

    As for what I like, in case it’s pertinent: I’m finding the AKG K550s a little analytical and uninvolving, I think I prefer something a bit warmer and punchier.

    • Reply February 19, 2013

      Mike

      I don’t have the 770AE around to pair with the Fiios, but the 770AE IMO is more musical than the K550.

      • Reply February 19, 2013

        Sean Higgins

        Ahhh—I’ll try it out and see what happens! Thanks, I know answering all these questions must take a lot of time.

        • Reply February 19, 2013

          Mike

          You’re welcome, Sean

          • Reply February 20, 2013

            Piotrek

            Mike, thank you again for a great review on E09K/E07K combo.

            Mike, Sean and others who might find it helpfull – just bought this combo and must say, that it helped my K550 – bass is more present, separation got bit better and soundstage expanded also – overall it’s like AKG’s got “smoother”. Of course, I don’t speak about night and day difference, but change is noticable for sure.

            Let me say, that I’m only an occasional listener to smooth-jazz, but yesterday i spent few hours with those recordings, AKG’s K550 and FIIO combo – there was definately a smile on my face 🙂

            Mike, thank you again for a great review and another top notch recommendation for E09K/E07K combo (K550 were bought under your influence also) – although few weeks ago you recommend me to go with Matrix Portable for K550, after this review i decided to go with FIIO (first of all – for matrix i had to wait in my country until april, second – in your opinion e09k/e07k is best combo under 300$ so i decided to take a plunge).

            Hope i didn’t make a mistake.

            Hoping for your advice, I’ve got a question – you wrote that fiio combo sounds superb with fidelio L1, but how about X1. I’m planning on getting ones soon after i saw your review.

            I wonder also, how do they (X1’s) compare to AKG K550 in terms of sound quality (couldn’t find the answear in the review).

            thank you in advance, Peter.

            • Reply February 20, 2013

              Mike

              Peter,
              I made a mistake on this comment: http://www.headfonia.com/e7e9-reloaded-andes-and-qogir/#comment-805359793
              The X1 is actually SUPERB with the E7K+E9K. The L1 also very nice but I feel the X1 pairing to be better.

              X1 is quite different than the K550. Among the differences:
              – Sound signature. K550 is cleaner, more linear. X1 is more colored, full bass body with airy treble.
              – X1 has better bass punch, PRaT, pace. K550 is more laid back.

              • Reply February 20, 2013

                Piotrek

                Thank you for the answear Mike, so X1’s will be a nice addition then 🙂

                • Reply February 21, 2013

                  Mike

                  You’re welcome.

  • Reply March 14, 2013

    Pkrdlr

    Mike, Would the E7k on its own pair well with Hifiman HE-300 or would I need to add E9k. Thx

  • Reply March 14, 2013

    Jeremy Fisher

    I have these paired with the Philips Fidelio X1s, being fed lossless/24bit files from Audio Engineering’s Fidelia music software on my Mac. Currently listening to Bjork’s Biophilia and it is just wonderful… clear, spacious, beautifully separated, with a lovely warm full bass. Also, Thomas Newman’s score to Skyfall just comes alive with this setup… my previous phones (B&W P5s) didn’t have the same warmth and spaciousness the X1s possess. I’m a happy bunny! Who’d have thought Philips would produce great phones like these?!

    • Reply March 19, 2013

      Mike

      Yes I agree and these Fiios are an amazing combo with the Fidelio X1.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    Papoom Vibhatasilpin

    Hi Mike, Are E09K better than E12?

    • Reply March 20, 2013

      Mike

      I think it’s more refined yes but overall there are differences in sound signature. The E12 more forward where the E9 more laid back

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Puer

    Hi, Mike. I’ve read your other reviews, specifically regarding the E-10, as well as done quite a bit of independent research myself, but I’m still a little unsure about which DAC I should get and I was hoping you could weigh in on the matter: I have a pair of Shure SRH-840s. Fantastic pair of headphones, but they’re currently being powered by my Acer AO722-BZ197 netbook and its soundcard, and while the sound quality isn’t bad I’m looking for something better.

    So what I’m wondering is, would you still recommend the E-10 for a DAC on a budget of ~$60? Or are there other market options that are better now? Everything I’ve read so far seems to be from a year to two years ago, and concerning the E-10 I’ve heard particularly controversial reviews.

    Thanks for you help! I love reading your reviews.

    • Reply March 25, 2013

      Mike

      The E10 is still an incredibly good value DAC. I am not aware if there is anything better for the price.

      • Reply March 25, 2013

        Dave Ulrich

        I guess the e7k is a few bucks more than the e10.

        • Reply March 25, 2013

          Mike

          Yes if he wants to go for the E7K, that’ll be a great idea too

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    Arthuryae

    This may sound really stupid, but does the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3d work as a good DAC?

    • Reply April 8, 2013

      Mike

      The Creative is a sound card and it should have a digital to analog functions, however I am not sure if it’s optimized for audio quality.

  • Reply April 13, 2013

    Calvin Purnomo

    Finally got my E07k! But the DAC part is strange, why is it not bypassing the computer’s volume control, while other DACs do that? Will it compromise the sound quality? I’m using the USB, and using the L7 dock also as Mike suggested me to get the L7.

  • Reply April 28, 2013

    Aditya

    Great Review on this one !

    just curious, how this E7K/E9K pair compare with Dacport LX/Schitt Asgard?

    • Reply April 28, 2013

      Dave Ulrich

      It’s me again, as I also happen to be sitting on an ek9. I don’t have the e7k though. The Asgard has a flatter frequency response and a better soundstage, and a bit sharper. The e9k has a beefier midrange and more bass body, but a little looser. Neither are absolutely ideal for the hd650, but the e9K is AWESOME with the he400. The LX/Asgard will be the better technical pair, but the e7k/e9k will be $300 less

      • Reply April 28, 2013

        Aditya

        ah we meet again Dave 😀

        i just wonder since i’m new to this world.

        behind the E09K it got Pre-Out and Line Out, wonder what the differences between those two?

        from what i learned, the pre out use if you want to pair with the another amp? is that correct? CMIIW

        then what lineout stand for in fiio e09k?

        • Reply April 28, 2013

          Dave Ulrich

          The preamp out is for powered speakers. I assume the line out would be if you wanted to connect it to another amp if you were using it as a dock for the e7k.

          I am listening to the HD650 right now with the e9k, and it sounds like a beefed up cMoy. It doesn’t touch the crack, but it is quite enjoyable. However, Mike did mention that the e9k was superb with the Philips X1. That might be a pairing for you to check out.

          • Reply April 28, 2013

            Aditya

            yep i saw Mike review that was superb with the pihilips X1.

            still narrowing down choices for all-rounder amp.

            found a good deal on dacport LX, maybe i’ll take it.

            • Reply April 28, 2013

              Dave Ulrich

              How much?

              • Reply April 28, 2013

                Aditya

                2nd hand mint condition for $170.
                used for about 8 months.

                take it or leave it?

                • Reply April 28, 2013

                  Dave Ulrich

                  That’s not bad. I got mine new (as a gift) for $200, but it was from a website that was closing them out, for some odd reason. Honestly though. That, the e9k, the X1 and some cables of course might be a really nice all around setup

                  • Reply April 28, 2013

                    Aditya

                    one problem is, X1is difficult to find here.
                    have to bought it from online store like am*z*n.
                    and also considering the custom fee and shipping fee.

                    • April 28, 2013

                      Dave Ulrich

                      good point. You also might want to consider just going with the e7k.e9k. They were made to go together, and the bottom lines isn’t technicalities, but enjoying your music. And I find Fiio to make musical products.

                    • April 28, 2013

                      Aditya

                      yep i agree with that.

                      one reason i’m asking about this pair is because maybe this one will give me a different music presentation in the future, compare to other set-up i, let say if i have Dacport LX + Schiit Asgard / bottlhead crack.

                    • April 28, 2013

                      Dave Ulrich

                      not sure what you mean by that.

                    • April 28, 2013

                      Aditya

                      yeah, saw some review about dacport+asgard that give a very clean sounding

                      and also saw the e07k/eo9k pair that give a warmer musical presentation

                      thats what i mean a different musical presentation between the two pair 😀

                    • April 28, 2013

                      Dave Ulrich

                      The Crack will also give you a clean sound with the LX and the HD650, but it will be cleaner and with a better soundstage. The HD650 comes to life on tubes.

                    • April 28, 2013

                      Aditya

                      oh God, looks like it’s like a “heaven-made” pair when you said it.

                      seriously consider the crack for HD 650, i’ll get one maybe in the near future

  • Reply May 6, 2013

    Apogee

    Saw you mentioned the IE800 in this review, is there going to be a IE800 review coming.
    Also have you tried the hd700 with eo9k.
    Has anyone tried any of the musical fidelity m1 range, either m1 hpa, m1 dac or m1 pwr.
    Thanks.
    Ps where in the world is lieven from?

    • Reply May 6, 2013

      Mike

      IE800, I sort of expected a lot from it, and so when I listened to it I was a bit disappointed. Umm basically all around great IEM with arguably the best dynamic driver in the market. Some issues in the lower treble and that sort of ruined the party for me.

      HD700 with the E07K, I haven’t. Though I can give that a try if you want.
      Musical Fidelity, I can highly recommend the old V3 but the newer M1 line up I haven’t had the chance to audition.

      Lieven is from Belgium.

      • Reply May 6, 2013

        Apogee

        Thanks Mike for the very quick reply. It would be great if you could try the hd700 withh the E07k for me. So do you know one a hd700, ’cause in your lieven’s HD700 impression part you said you wanted to swap your hd800 for a pair. Did that happen? Or are you going to use a sample from the new store?
        Thanks again mike, best rearer interaction of any hifi website ive seen.

        • Reply May 6, 2013

          Mike

          No problem, I got some offers for the trade but they are all out the country and I didn’t want to deal with the shipping.

          Now we have an HD700 demo unit at the store so I can test it with the Fiio and let you know.

          The E09K should have enough power, more than enough. I just need to see if it’s refined enough.

          • Reply May 6, 2013

            Apogee

            One last thing, is there going to be a review of any of these products:
            Sennheiser HDVA600/HDVD800
            Schiit asgard 2
            Audiolab M-DAC
            Schiit miolnir + Gungnir
            Kef headphone range
            Also has anyone here tried the soloist sl with the hd700? Has anyone here heard the M-DAC or musical fidelity m1 hpa.

            • Reply May 7, 2013

              L.

              Sennheiser HDVA600/HDVD800: yes
              Schiit asgard 2: yes
              Audiolab M-DAC: yes, one day
              Schiit miolnir + Gungnir: don’t think so
              Kef headphone range: no idea at all

              • Reply May 7, 2013

                Apogee

                Thanks for the reply L. One more i forgot was the woo audio wa7.
                Did you get the chance to listen to the fiio hd700 mike or are you still really buisy with the new store and everythng.

                • Reply May 7, 2013

                  L.

                  WA7, maybe a guest review. Fiio HD700?

                  • Reply May 7, 2013

                    Apogee

                    Mike said he would listen to the hd700 on the fiio e09k for me.

                    • May 8, 2013

                      Mike

                      Sorry I haven’t had the time… Sorryyy

                    • May 9, 2013

                      Apogee

                      Thats okay, I know you’re busy with the new store and everything.

      • Reply May 7, 2013

        dalethorn

        My IE800 I regard as bright, like the Shure 940 and some of those. So whatever issues the treble has, I don’t know exactly – I just EQ’d it down a little. It’s a strange item, with a narrow but deep soundstage. Hard to explain that. Someone is supposed to be sending me another IEM – Final Audio FI-BA-SS, also a single driver. Should be interesting.

      • Reply July 9, 2013

        Eric Thompson

        hmm really? what were the issues if you don’t mind? I really thought the IE800 was going to be amazing with all the engineering going into it but from what I have heard it is sort of boring sounding?

        I’m interested in a comparo if the Shure 846 walks all over it or not? Although I’m not to happy about this $1000 price point I got my 535’s for $350.

        • Reply July 9, 2013

          dalethorn

          The IE800 isn’t boring, that’s for sure. The sound is unique I think, and awesome in some ways how realistic it makes the presentation – but someone who understands better what is going on should explain whether the IE800 sound is simply more “pure” and free of distortion than other premium IEMs, or if something is just missing.

        • Reply July 11, 2013

          Mike

          I don’t think it’s boring, far from it it has a good old Senn laid back full lows sound with good clarity. I just expected more in terms of technicalities, as like you I’ve been reading a lot about how the IE800’s supposed to be Senn’s IEM with all the technology built into it. Still it’s a great IEM and being based of the dynamic driver, IMO is the one I’d go for $1K and up. I can’t listen to a BA driver now and the AKGK3003 is a mess with the BA/Dynamic mix.

          • Reply July 11, 2013

            Eric Thompson

            You can’t listen to BA earphone’s? Why not?

        • Reply July 11, 2013

          Mike

          Shure 846 vs IE800

          I think by now we all know that it’s super easy to make an IEM with a “perfect” tonal balance using multiple BA configuration. In that sense the SE846 is definitely better than the IE800.

  • Reply June 1, 2013

    bert

    does the FIIO E7K work with a samsung s4?

    Given it’s menu of tasty treats — plus the ability to work with Android devices that support USB host mode (like the popular Samsung Galaxy S and Note lineups and the stellar new HTC One), handy EQ controls, and a pair of headphone outputs just right for sharing with a friend — the E07K should definitely be on your list if you want to explore portable headphone amp/DAC listening.There’s one caveat here, in that the device seems somewhat susceptible to interference from GSM/EDGE/HSPA signals, so you may get some digital hash served up along with your music if you park your phone atop your DAC. If you want a more pristine listening environment, switching over to airplane mode on your device might be a good idea.

    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/traveling-companions-headphone-amps-fiio-ifi-and-miniwatt?page=0,1

  • Reply June 2, 2013

    Dean Lu

    Can you compare this to the e17 with e9k combo?

  • Reply July 6, 2013

    Ming

    is there any other dac/amp combo that you would recommend over the e07k/e09k? Around the same price range. I have an ad900x and is looking for a good dac/amp to pair with. I like my vocals, jazz and cellos

    • Reply July 6, 2013

      Mike

      Topping D2. Please use Google search and you’ll find my review on it. Cheers

      • Reply July 6, 2013

        Ming

        Thanks for the reply.

        Any plans to review the new topping D3? Your review on the D2 made me think you didn’t really like it. Sorry if i interpreted it wrongly.

        • Reply July 6, 2013

          Mike

          Yeah I liked the d20 not the d2.

          • Reply July 6, 2013

            Ming

            But you still like it enough to pick d2 over e7k/e9k combo?

            • Reply July 9, 2013

              Mike

              Sorry for the confusion. TBH I still like the Fiios better. But you were looking for alternatives and I didn’t have any other alternatives at that price bracket.

              • Reply July 9, 2013

                Eric Thompson

                How much more would you have to spend to get something better in all respects than the E7/E9? even if it is just one component? Different DAC into the E9?

                • Reply July 11, 2013

                  Mike

                  Not much, say a Dacport LX into the E9 would already be better than the Fiios.

                  • Reply July 11, 2013

                    Eric Thompson

                    What do you think about a Dacport LX into the Asgard 2? The bi-frost is out of my budget and I need USB making it worse. I wish the Magni/Modi wasn’t a guest review but ohhh well.

                    • July 11, 2013

                      Dave Ulrich

                      I really didn’t care for the Asgard 2/dacport lx pairing. It really was nothing special in the worst possible way. The Asgard 2 does better paired with warmer DACs. A little better with the MS2+ than the LX, but it still isn’t worth it. The Magni is a claustrophobic and bass free.

                      Ohhh, here is a thought. The Dacport LX and the Asgard 2 would come to a total of $500, right? Maybe give ALO’s Pan Am a try. It retails for $500 and is a dac/amp unit.

                    • July 15, 2013

                      Eric Thompson

                      Yeah but you really need than battery making it $700

                    • July 15, 2013

                      Dave Ulrich

                      I suppose. I would still imagine it would outdo the Asgard 2/LX combo, and you could always upgrade it later.

          • Reply July 6, 2013

            Ming

            Would Fiio e12 or e9k pair well with topping d20?

            • Reply July 9, 2013

              Mike

              I felt that the character of the Fiio doesn’t really blend well with the D20 but you could try.

            • Reply July 9, 2013

              Mike

              Sorry just remember Audinst makes a very good DAC for $189 called the HUD MX1.

  • Reply July 9, 2013

    Eric Thompson

    So the E17 is better but not $50 better? I was told than the E07k was brighter but less detailed than the E17 where you seem to think the opposite that the E17 is brighter?

    And really? the E9 is better than the Asgard? really? I was going to get a Asgard 2 but maybe I should just get a E9? It works with the E17 too right?

    • Reply July 11, 2013

      Mike

      Yes the E17 works with the E9K.

      Seriously I think the E07K is the best right now out of all the Fiio DACs.

      • Reply July 11, 2013

        Eric Thompson

        dont the E07k and the E17 have the same DAC? it’s just the opamp that is different?

        • Reply July 11, 2013

          Mike

          Different sound, that’s all I can say without going too long.

  • Reply August 3, 2013

    pdrm360

    Have you had a chance to try a HD700 with the E07K? Thanks!

    • Reply August 3, 2013

      Mike

      Ah Sorry I really haven’t gotten the chance to

  • Reply August 10, 2013

    Antonio Marqués

    For HD650 which would be your choice E9K+E07K or E9K+E17?, i also own AKG550, Superlux hd330, Brainwavz hm5, Senn Hd595, Superlux 668B

    • Reply August 10, 2013

      Mike

      E9K and E7K, I think is a better pairing than E17K and E9K.

  • Reply August 15, 2013

    Apogee

    with the E07K or E17 docked into the E9K can you used the bass and treble adjustments on the E09K/E17 to change the sound coming out of the E9K?

    • Reply August 16, 2013

      Mike

      I don’t remember precisely but I think yes.

  • Reply September 8, 2013

    donunus

    Hi Mike, is the output impedance of the e09k the same as the old e9(9ohms)? Or is that part also lower and improved? I can’t seem to find any specs on these anywhere. The reason I ask is because when paired with something like the highly fluctuating impedance of the Sennheiser hd598 (around 50 to 200 ohms), I wouldn’t want an output impedance higher than 1 ohm unless of course people have confirmed that the e09k and the hd598 are a match made in heaven 🙂

    • Reply September 9, 2013

      Mike

      I really don’t remember the number. If you can’t find it from google, chances are I can’t as well. 🙂
      The E9K is good with the 300Ω senns though. It’s also hard to imagine the output impedance being higher than the HD598.

      • Reply September 9, 2013

        Dave Ulrich

        It’s also good with the low impedance X1 and HE-400.

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