Fiio X1: The $99 DAP

Disclaimer: Fiio is a site advertiser and I did receive this sample for free. It is an official review sample and it has the “Not for sale” text on the back.

 

The X1

The last DAP review I did was of the top of the line Astel&Kern AK120ii and 240. Together they are worth about forty Fiio X1s. In a market where very expensive gear seems to sell like hot apple pie, Fiio decided to go the other way. The X1 is a High Resolution file playing DAP that only costs $99 USD. You will see I will mention that several times in this review but it is very important to keep that small price in mind. Only $99! Am I already saying it is excellent then? Not at all. There is a lot of good and a lot of bad and I will tell you all about it in over 2300 words, just keep reading till the end. The conclusion is important.

“High-Res DAP for the young”, that’s the slogan Fiio launched the X1 with. Don’t you find it’s a weird thing to state? Does it mean that a guy like me who’s in his 30s won’t like the X1? Is there an age limit to buy this thing? Of course there isn’t but it’s still remarkable. Sure they might mostly sell the X1 to younger people with a smaller audio budget and yes it might maybe be tuned more so the young audiophiles like the sound but I just gdon’t get it. But of course, who am I.

The Whole Package

The X1, the little brother of both the X3 and X5, comes in champagne or silver color and uses the Apple like spinning wheel like we saw before in the X5. I really didn’t like the buttons (or lay-out) of the X3 but the X1 is great in terms of usability. The 3.5mm headphone/Line-Out is situated on top of the player, the power and volume buttons are on the left side, the microSD slot on the other side and the main four buttons and turning wheel on the front. A lovely design that is extremely easy to use.

It only weighs 106 grams and measures 96.6 x 57 x 14mm making it smaller than a pack of cigarettes and about the same size as the Cypherlabs Picollo portable amp. The build quality of the X1 is good and it even has an aluminium frame but at the same time the player still feels very plastic like and it just looks on the cheaper side. So the build quality is good but it just shows it is a $99 player and you can’t even blame Fiio for that, especially if you look at what this little player can do: a lot!

The 2” TFT 320 x 240px screen is basically the same as they used in the X3. Coming from the exceptionally good touch screens from the Astel&Kerns and Calyx M that is quite the shock, but it does the job. For $99 I couldn’t expect more. The great part of the X1 is the user interface. Sure it will be hard to beat the interface of the AKs or the Apple iPods but it is getting closer and closer. It even is reasonably pocket friendly: you get the hang of the buttons fairly quick and when the player is in locked mode the volume buttons serve to skip tracks (long push). I’ve been using it a lot and I have nothing to complain about. It’s very well designed.

The (6 color) UI is simple but good and you can browse folders, albums, artists, genres and favorites. It shows album art, has different play modes, offers gapless playback, an EQ with presets and screen and timer settings for sleep mode. I’ve only had the UI hang up on me once but at the most unfortunate time. I was asked to bring my X1 to Canjam Europe and when the guys from Headsound.de fired it up it crashed and it got stuck on the startup screen. There was absolutely no way to shut it down and we had to look for a mini needle to push the reset button on the left between the power and volume buttons. Luckily one smart guy came up with the idea of using the end of a pin (badge) to push it and then all problems were fixed. It hasn’t let me down since. Phew! The X3 user interface isn’t the best, even after the updates. I don’t like the buttons and navigation structure and luckily for us Fiio didn’t use that in the X1. The X1 UI is easy and I enjoy using it, I have no issues at all. You will be using the top right button a lot and while some people actually complained about that I can’’t see the problem with that as it is easy to access and it’s the logical way to work the UI. I’m pretty sure that those who’ve been playing with the X1 for a while can agree with me on that. All in all, Fiio gets excellent points for the UI from me. A job well done.

More Inside Stuff

This High Res player does 192KHz/24. It does not do DSD but for this price I don’t think anyone expected it to do DSD either. It however does APE/FLAC/ALAC/WMA/WAV/MP3/AAC/OGG.

The DAC inside the X1 is the Texas Instruments PCM5142 and the amp used is the ISL28291. I’ll get back to the sound of these in the next chapter. Two weeks ago I told Nathan during the Podcast that a battery life of 10 hours for a DAP is the minimum for me. Any lower than ten and you’re not being serious (yes I’m looking at you Calyx). Fiio uses a 3.7V 1700mAh battery and it charges reasonably fast: a 3 hour charge will easily give you over 10 hours of musical pleasure and that’s just great.

Something you do need to realize is that the X1 doesn’t come with internal memory. If you want it to play songs you will have to buy and insert a microSD card. For the moment it allows cards up to 128GB so most of you won’t be able to put their whole collection on it and to me that’s a small negative point. But you know the drill by now: for this price…

The Fiio Tech guys made the X1 so that you don’t get any on/off pop noises but unfortunately it still is audible. It is not annoying, painful or damaging however and I do have to say it’s a fairly small plop when using IEMs.

Sound on Page 2!

Fiio X1: The $99 DAP
4.1 (81.33%) 45 votes

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

178 Comments

  • Reply September 30, 2014

    George Lai

    What a great effort by Fiio (at $99, Lieven) for on-the-go listening and when you feel like it, to use the Line Out to a quality amp.

    • Reply September 30, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Exactly/ the X1 is great for the price but don’t expect top quality sound, unless you use the LO

      • Reply September 30, 2014

        George Lai

        The non-top quality sound … how would you rate it versus the headphone out on a typical smartphone like the one (Samsung?) that you have? Surely it can’t be that bad.

        • Reply September 30, 2014

          Headfonia_L.

          It has more power. But I’m a big fan of the Samsung S4 headphone out 🙂

      • Reply October 9, 2014

        Ryan Rodriguez

        Hi! Great review and thanks, can you put a quality DAC as well in the chain? Or just an AMP.

        Plan is a cheap transport for my CLAS -DB / CL Duet.

        Hoping to use the x1 ui and bypass the internal dac and amp

        Thanks in advance..

  • Reply September 30, 2014

    dalethorn

    Another step toward world domination. Love their products.

  • Reply September 30, 2014

    Messe

    How is X1’s SQ compared to Colorfly C3? I’m going to buy a DAP. Still confused between X1 and Colorfly C3.

    • Reply September 30, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      I don’t have the C3 here, sorry

      • Reply October 1, 2014

        Andrian Hendrawan

        Ah just about to ask. 🙁

  • Reply September 30, 2014

    Carl A

    Nice review L, entertaining as always and approaching it from all corners really.
    Only omission for me is talking about it with line out to E11K, and not because I have an 11K!
    But because they’re both FiiO, both similarly priced and same size (?)
    Seems logical to see the pairing as a natural combination, based on price mostly. If one cannot afford more for a DAP then it seems reasonable to think that one cannot afford much more for an amp to go with it.
    I have the E11K and use it rarely with my iPod Touch (for various reasons) and probably, if funds allowed, would get the X1 just out of curiosity, but funds don’t allow.
    Often find myself pondering the issue of cost with all this endless stream of new audio products as it can I think be all-too-easy to forget that for a lot of folks, the money simply is not there. Why do I not have the funds, even just for a “lowly” X1? Because I recently bought a pair of the limited “Blue Stone” H6’s, and they were way beyond my budget, as in spending money I didn’t really have to spend on a luxury like that. But for me, they are the most beautiful headphones I have ever seen, so I had a couple of tough decisions to take in order to be able to get a pair.
    Anyway, thankfully I love their sound quality, but spending that much has made certain other “things” difficult, so no X1, much as I’d like to pair it up with my E11K.
    So I was just wondering all the way through the review, wonder how it pairs with 11K ..?
    Now where’s that review for the Fidelio X2?! Lot of folks out there waiting. I know it isn’t technically out yet, but it would be cool for Headfonia to get in first with a reliable review.
    Be well L.

    • Reply September 30, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Thank you Carl. You’re right I could have paired it with the E11K but even while the E11K is a lot better than the E11 it still isn’t a good amp like the Picollo. The last one is playing on a whle other level. I do agree that not everyone has the money to buy that kind of gear.

      That leads to only one conclusion. Is the E11K a good paiting for you and your X1: yes, but the sound quality will be according to the price.

      The X2 will be covered soon, the problem is no one seems to have an X1 for me to borrow…

      • Reply September 30, 2014

        Carl A

        Thanks L.
        I understand, about recognising that the most apt comparison model for the X2 would be against its predecessor but I have a feeling that in this instance the most sought-after comparison for a lot of potential purchasers would be against the L2.
        My thinking here is that in a huge number of L2 reviews what consistently is noted is that reviewers think the L2 is superior in sq to the X1. I know they are not directly comparable but it seems as though with the L2 it was always immediately assumed that it was obviously a leap in quality from the L1, so therefore the more pertinent assessment of it’s abilities (“technical” driver quality and/or musicality) was to compare it to the Philips flagship headphone, the X1.
        And it has been noted many times, from Jude at Head-Fi “down” through many other places, that the L2 is a superior headphone to the X1.
        So, my feeling here is that a lot of folks are going to be most interested in knowing what reviewers that they take note of, think of how the X2 stacks up against the L2.
        What also makes that comparison interesting right now is that in the UK at least, the L2 can be had for around £160 and the X2, when first available, will cost around £300. Big, big difference. Is there that much difference in perceived sq? I’m very interested to know, but not so interested in how it compares to the X1.
        The thing about all the L2 reviews that seemed agreed upon was the quality of the new driver, and that folks then pondered upon what the X2 would be capable of when it too was updated.
        That £300 may or may not plummet downwards in coming months, or even weeks. But if it doesn’t, it is a huge difference to the cost of a pair of L2’s, and it better be a lot more than just removable pads that justify it!
        Just my thoughts, but looking forward immensely to your thoughts in the review.
        By the way, that first paragraph of your FiiO X1 review is fantastic! It sets the stage wonderfully for the rest of the review and really manages in just a few words to give a sense of anticipation to proceedings.
        Take care out there.

      • Reply October 3, 2014

        Patrick

        Do you want to test my X1 L? I have even the orignal package 🙂 Message me per mail if you’re interested. Greetz P. P.s.: Don’t forget to use a other cable then the original!

        • Reply October 3, 2014

          Headfonia_L.

          Where are you located? Thanks for the offer

          • Reply October 3, 2014

            Patrick

            Switzerland – near Zürich, message me per PM for specific information

  • Reply September 30, 2014

    Sputtid

    Could you compare the Fiio to one of the Sansa Clip line? Until now those were the go to choice for budget audiophile sound. The X1 seems like their sole challenger.

    • Reply October 7, 2014

      ohm image

      The Clip is outperformed by the iPod shuffle 512 (2005) quite handily in every metric but background noise. And using the clip is a bloody pain.

      The Fuze isn’t a bad choice. But you are right, the X1 may be the sole challenger in the price range.

      Still, the Clip isn’t the be-all-end-all of price-conscious units unless screen or no screen is factored in as a real metric.

  • Reply October 1, 2014

    Patrick

    Very strange posted a comment on this review :S

    Anyway the X1 will come for work, then caring my e17 and my mobile phone, which I don’t use very often is just wasted. Light, big storage (depends on the SDXC cards we will get in the future – best would be a 256GB storage full of loseless files), good portable use – hell yeah! Good to know that the wheel got a decent update, had the X5 and X3 for a week and there either to big or didn’t have a good feeling. Fiio is just unbeatable in this segement of audio equipment. You get what you get with your money 😉

    • Reply October 6, 2014

      dgtldlnkwnt

      X3 has a really weird layout and sound wise, its a bit better than my Sansa Clip+ but not that much. The convenience, price and sound factors combined make it hard to beat. The Sansa has a more musical sound to me and i really enjoy it with BA IEM/CIEM. The X3 is built like a 20 year old Nokia cell phone and feels just like that in your pocket. I’d rather have a DAP be a bit wider and slimmer. Thats a bit more pocket friendly. I might spring for an X1 because it seems to stay within that same Sansa price/portability/sound category.

      • Reply October 7, 2014

        ohm image

        The X3 is great sounding. But its layout is the shittiest I’ve seen on a player… wait, the Shozy Alien is almost as bad. That said, I much prefer a smaller player and still am hoping for something screenless with the sound of the Alien and the easy control/safety features of the iPod shuffle.

        • Reply October 9, 2014

          Patrick

          you sure about screenless nathan? would go with an ipod classic and soundwise components of a astell kern – price 99$ Possible? Not even in my dreams :S

      • Reply October 9, 2014

        Patrick

        Thanks for your feedback, great to see people responding to posts 😉 Give your thoughts here if you have it! P.

      • Reply October 31, 2014

        Jay

        Had the X3 and have the Sansa Clip Zip+.
        The Clip Zip+ (WITH RockBox) which gives you +/-24 on treble and bass (and configured to your liking) will beat an X3 or X1 on sound. Will test the LineOut of the X1 and see how it comes out…

  • Reply October 1, 2014

    Nickjan Glas

    very interesting device for this price. I myself have the iPod touch 5 for the same kind of use. when using the line out, how would you compare it to an iPod 5 touch in the same manner? and how would you compare the headphone out of these two?

  • Reply October 10, 2014

    Romeo

    I was wondering if there was any major benefit to the DAC in the X3 over the X1. I am planning to use either for the DAC and have a portable amp through a line out. I don’t know if I want to jump all the way in for the X5 and an amp yet. Any thoughts would be great.

    Great review and thanks for explaining about the LO option, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

  • Reply October 10, 2014

    Patrick

    Important question guys! The fiio X5 is in my country for today at 299Chf.- listed instead of 419Chf.- (328USD*1.1factor/239Euro*0.8factor (UVP form amazon: 349USD/ 398Euro) should I buy it or not? Only 11h now to purchase.

    • Reply October 10, 2014

      dalethorn

      $350 seems good. Massdrop in the U.S. has had it even now for $300.

      • Reply October 10, 2014

        Patrick

        419Chf.- is with the today change 350$ ^^ So with 299Chf.- it is approximately 260$ So I think this will be good btw. thx for replying!

    • Reply October 28, 2014

      willy vlyminck

      For 239 Euro, a bargain I guess.

  • Reply October 14, 2014

    Mark R.M. Holmstrand

    Does it have a digital out?

    • Reply October 14, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Did you read that in the review? 😉

      • Reply October 14, 2014

        Mark R.M. Holmstrand

        I asked because the review didn’t say whether it did or didn’t have digital out. Do you know? :/

        • Reply October 14, 2014

          Headfonia_L.

          Mark, if it had a digital out I would have said so in the review 😉
          No, it does not have a digital out , it only costs 99$

          • Reply October 14, 2014

            Mark R.M. Holmstrand

            Ok, so:

            1) your failure to mention whether it did or did not have a digital out should have made it obvious that it did not.

            2) since it only costs $99 on the retail market at full price, we should all assume that it does not have a digital output.

            Am I understanding you correctly, Headfonia_L? I think I get your drift, but please confirm my understanding at this point, Headfonia_L.

            • Reply October 14, 2014

              Mark R.M. Holmstrand

              Actually, I think I’ll just wait to see what the FiiO X7 turns out to be. I like using my FiiO E18 with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Actual high-definition audio tracks sound better on this combination that what you have indicated for the X1. Although you never really auditioned high-resolution tracks during your review, or you just failed to mention that you did or did not.

              • Reply October 14, 2014

                Headfonia_L.

                Of course I listened to hi rez material, do you really think I do reviews based on 128 quality mp3 tracks? 🙂

                Come on guys I can’t put everything in a review, it would have 10000 words. And even then people would still complain in stead of saying something positive.

                Oh and guest account comments created with a fake email just to post immature ramblings will immediately be deleted and banned on IP.

                • Reply October 14, 2014

                  dalethorn

                  Wow! You would think that after all the hundreds of reviews of high-tech gear, that people would know your capability to test things. It’s ironic though – some people want you to put everything possible into a review, but then they don’t read the other reviews because it takes too much time. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Heh.

                  • Reply October 14, 2014

                    Headfonia_L.

                    It can be very frustrating really. Thanks for the support, Dale

                    • October 14, 2014

                      Mark R.M. Holmstrand

                      This is the first review of yours that I have read. I came here because it was the first review I have found on the X1. I didn’t realize that I was supposed to read other reviews you have done as well. Curious requirement IMO.

                    • October 15, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      The X1 is cheap enough that potential customers are easily lulled into expecting everything to be simple and straightforward. My headphone out on my v-moda Verza is also an optical out, but should I ever attempt to use it, my instinct says I shouldn’t expect success right away, if ever. The DAP market is in a big growth phase, and everything I look at has one limitation or another for me. I’m thankful I don’t have to sell these things retail – I couldn’t make any money, because I’d spend $100 of my time selling the device just to make the $40 markup the manufacturer gives me. But hang in there – the answers will come along eventually.

                    • October 15, 2014

                      Headfonia_L.

                      No not really. Imho you should get to know the reviewer first by reading several reviews of gear you know just so you get an idea of the reviewers style. It’s not like an Amazon review here. Of course you dont need to do that but you would get more value out of the review as you would understand certain things better

                    • October 15, 2014

                      Mark R.M. Holmstrand

                      Wow. Amazon is certainly not my standard. I was an original subscriber of TAS back in the early 70s thru the early 2000s. I have subscribed to Sterephile during all of that time as well. I built my first hi-fi in 1963. Your arrogance is off putting. I suppose I will look to other sources for audio reviews.

                    • October 15, 2014

                      Headfonia_L.

                      There’s no arrogance at all, in no way am I trying to come over like that. I’m very serious when I say you should know how a reviewer writes. Just like your Stereophile subscription, after a while you know their personal style and you’ll know so much more from reading their reviews in stead of reading one review one time from a reviewer you didn’t know. There’s nothing wrong with stating that, it’s actually ment to help you. I never said amazon was your standard, I said we are not amazon, quite the difference.

                      Yes its important to get as much info as possible from a review but if I honestly have to repeat what hi rez files I used in a review, I’d go crazy 🙂

                    • October 15, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      Now that’s amazing. I first subscribed to Stereophile circa 1980, and when TAS came along I thought they were arrogant and off-putting. In fact, since working more closely with headphones since early 2011, I’ve found many sources that seem arrogant and off-putting. But, they can’t all be so bad – it’s really a matter of style and the fact that this is a very energetic field now, in headphones and amps etc., and most of the users are high-energy people, so it’s easy to be offended by all that unrefined energy. I wouldn’t worry – it’ll all make sense eventually. Where some large sites feature discussion that can lead you into hundreds of pages of chat that takes hours and days to read through, Headfonia tends to be more concentrated, and sometimes people just speak bluntly and succinctly, and the discussion isn’t always as polished and smooth as if the users took a lot of time to compose their text. No biggie.

                  • Reply October 28, 2014

                    willy vlyminck

                    For the audiophile snobs 99 dollar or Euro is to cheap, to be good, altough I wonder myself how it can be produced so cheap? I think Lieven is right that for this price,you can´t get better even with it´s obvious shortcomings.

                • Reply October 14, 2014

                  Patrick

                  But I like my 128kbits mp3 tracks 🙁 Best quality is still 32kbit mp3, just unmatched in every aspect, saves storage good quality/price value, definitely a great format 😛

  • Reply October 17, 2014

    Jeroen Wijnands

    What I’d like to know and what isn’t really covered in one of the better reviews of this device so far, is how does it stack up against the Clip series? Rant at that what you like but the clip has been the better sub $100 choice for several years. And how about the current phones like the iphone 4 and 5 series and the samsung s4 and s5 because that is what most of the target audience will be packing. Young people use their phones for music and the audiophile on a budget (hm, that does sound contradictory now I write it) will likely have a rockboxed clip or an old ipod-something

    • Reply October 28, 2014

      willy vlyminck

      iPhones are very good sounding but also expensive Jeroen, so I don´t see why the owners of this phones whould be the targeted group customers for the X1, but who cares? if they sound good and are easy to handle they will sell very easy at a wide audience, not everybody is prepared to spend 2400Euro on a DAP even if they could.

      • Reply October 28, 2014

        Jeroen Wijnands

        Well Willy…

        Fiio states that this is a player for the young. Over here the young typically pack top of the range smartphones. If you want a young target audience you’d need to convince those people what the X1 offers.

        • Reply October 28, 2014

          willy vlyminck

          That is right and for the price, there is no real risk to try one, if one looking for better sound.

          • Reply October 28, 2014

            dalethorn

            Phones, like computers that connect to a network, are plagued with interrupts. That’s what they were called in the DOS days, but now we use kinder, gentler words to describe ‘interrupts’. Can I assume that the dedicated DAP has potential for better sound if it’s not polling a network for other things to do?

      • Reply October 28, 2014

        dalethorn

        I just got the iPhone 6-plus, and it’s quite different from the iPhone5 I had, with much greater volume/power, and a bigger or more spacious sound. I’ll need some time to figure out whether it’s really better or they have some tricks inside…

        • Reply October 28, 2014

          willy vlyminck

          I have the iPhone 5s and in combination with my Grado GR10 in ears, I have exellent sound.

    • Reply October 31, 2014

      Jay

      Right now, the Clip Zip+ with Rockbox (which allows me to +24dB the treble and -4dB the bass) sounds better than the X1 with tuned equalizer. Now LineOut through the X1 does seem to sound better, however I am researching my “volume control” options through the LineOut option, which will narrow down to an E06 (unless some has better ideas).

  • Reply October 24, 2014

    Zeon

    I have iPod video, iPod classic and Fiio E10. How X1 sounds compared with them? I don’t know if it is otiose to buy one.

  • Reply October 28, 2014

    willy vlyminck

    I wonder how they can produce it at this price? Slavery labour,,or are some competitors overly expensive without any other reason than sheer profit?

    • Reply October 28, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Well it’s mass produced in CHina. We all know chinese factories….
      Imagine what making a DAP ike this would cost in Germany, Belgium or Holland…

      • Reply October 28, 2014

        willy vlyminck

        I know but the X5 is also produced in China in the same factorie(s), I wonder what causes the price difference, as some say who own all 3 FiiO´s and said there is hardly any difference in sound. From the pictures it seems that the build quality is exellent with the price in mind. I also think of trying one for Hi res recordings,

        • Reply October 28, 2014

          Headfonia_L.

          Oh I have them all and the difference is sound is there, and it’s not minimal.

          For the moment my best price quality DAP is the iBasso DX90

    • Reply November 18, 2014

      CmdrAdobo

      it’s possible to produce at this price. it just some vendors are taking advantage the market with many placebophiles.

  • Reply October 30, 2014

    Jay

    Wow, the equalizer is awful, and set for BASS to the max.
    Maxing out the high frequencies (top three/four?) and bottoming out the lowest 3/4 (of the equalizer) helps a little, not much.
    I asked them if they could add a treble/bass control or allow me to lower the deafening bass equalization, and they emphatically said that they will never do that!
    Which made me think that they had it hardware crippled somehow…
    Until I set the output to line out!
    Disclaimer: The volume will be very loud, so don’t have the headphones in your ears, also it might be very loud for your headphones and damage them.
    Once you set it the output to LineOut and got the headphones close to my ears I really was able to enjoy all my FLAC’s (all resolutions) and even the lower 320Kbps music!!!

    Question:
    – Any easy way to have a volume on the line out (preferred), OR,
    – Recommendations for PASSIVE headphones/devices with volume?
    – Will I have to buy an E06? Wow, they are really crafty…
    – Is anyone working on a third party software for the X1? (RockBox, etc?)

    • Reply October 31, 2014

      dalethorn

      The only reasonably good headphone I had with an analog volume control on the cable was the Phiaton MS430.

      • Reply October 31, 2014

        Jay

        You sure they are analog? Now-a-days all these volume controls are digital only (just send a control signal to your IDevice/Android).

  • Reply October 31, 2014

    Pukpup Travel

    Hi Lieven, with pleasure reading your reviews, I like the personal approach. Question, I have a big collection of MP3 (good rips, like on avg 256kbit), some FLACs (but only 5% of collection), and recently bought Grado earphones (wow, what a difference in sound that already makes). So far I have been using iPods, but I was wondering what the difference will be if I upgrade the iPod to X1, or perhaps other DACs. Will it make a big difference with the MP3 files, I mean difference between iPod and X1, and if you upgrade to even a higher specs than X1, does it make sense with a (good quality) MP3 collection? thanks for a honest answer!

    • Reply October 31, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Hi and thank you.
      What iPod are you using right now? Besides the fact that the X1 plays more file types it wouldn’t necessarily be an improvement. Like I said I the X1 with an external amp using the line out was good. the HEadphone out wasn’t that spectacular. I would rather suggest something like the iBasso DX90 or using a decent Idac/amp like the Theorem, but then you’re in a whole different price level.

    • Reply October 31, 2014

      dalethorn

      When I connect an iPod to a very simple amp like the FiiO E07k or the little PA2V2 I have, it makes an improvement that ranges from subtle to spectacular, using 320k MP3’s I converted from CD WAV rips. What makes that range of difference is how and when you listen. Listen at very late night when noises are way lower, and listen without distractions like Internet, reading books, etc. etc., and the difference is big – better clarity, soundstage, extension. The X3 I had was like using an amp with the iPod, and I assume the X1 should be comparable to that.

      • Reply October 31, 2014

        Jay

        Bass & Treble controls is what makes the difference

        • Reply November 1, 2014

          dalethorn

          Tone controls, or EQ, can give certain *impressions* that aren’t precisely true. For example, increasing treble may give a sense of greater detail, and if the treble is way too low to begin with, you may hear detail you never heard without the treble boost. But big changes in EQ creates big narrow peaks and dips next to the sliders’ center frequencies. Supposedly Parametric equalizers can help, but tuning them precisely isn’t feasible for most users.

          • Reply November 1, 2014

            Jay

            Headphone “impressions” are due to sound. The issue of bass or treble for me fixes 90%-100% of my sound issues. Equalizers (even parametric) should only be used AFTER you raise or lower to your preferred treble/bass settings.

            • Reply November 1, 2014

              dalethorn

              Are you suggesting using bass/treble tone controls *plus* equalization? It’s bad enough to have *any* tone controls in the signal path, but adding both bass/treble adjustments and EQ together (assuming they’re not the same thing) is going to have a really negative effect on sound quality.

              • Reply November 1, 2014

                Jay

                My reply is very clear. Bass and treble controls first which should get 90%-100% of the sound you want, then a parametric equalizer (after looking at the frequency response curve) to touch up what you need.

                • Reply November 1, 2014

                  dalethorn

                  Adding tone controls twice does twice as much damage to the sound. All you need (if any) is the equalizer. On my dalethorn site under photos and also hifi Misc are 52 complete settings for 52 headphones – no bass or treble controls needed.

                  • Reply November 1, 2014

                    Jay

                    What portable player (or not portable) has an included parametric equalizer? Realistically, it will never be added.
                    The Sandisk Clip Zip+ (with RockBox) has a (+/-) 24dB treble/bass setting. This solves 90%-100% of my sound issues.

                    A regular 5 band/7 band equalizer is a joke and particularly in the X1, no matter how extreme the settings (because of the pre-selected frequencies selected/or not selected) makes a small dent in the overall sound.
                    All “hyped” expensive/or not players should have these bass/treble settings (at least). If a $25 player has it, why not more expensive ones?

                    NOW… Regarding the X1… If you work for one of these companies and want to obligate the audiophile to get an external amp (when you don’t need an amp), just to change the treble and bass, and then even those amplifiers (which are not needed) have these arcane 2-3 positions bass settings (which makes you buy 2,3,4,5 different headphones amplifiers TO HEAR WHICH ONE COMES CLOSER, TO YOUR PREFERRED BASS/TREBLE settings…
                    And then you make the X1 only give you good sound through the LineOut setting (just so you buy a headphone amplifier so you can control the volume) is a joke!

                  • Reply November 2, 2014

                    Headfonia_L.

                    Keep it cool guys. Last post deleted. I don’t like being accused of something I’m not

                    • November 2, 2014

                      Jay

                      I didn’t accuse anybody. Maybe you don’t like my opinion?

                  • Reply November 2, 2014

                    Jay

                    I’m repeating myself, but… Adding/using useless equalizer (X1) or -unattainable- parametric equalizer, is your idea. Using bass and treble (since this fixes the majority of sound issues) should be available on all -pseudo- high tech devices. Repeating myself: Even the Sansa Clip Zip (with Rockbox) has a (+-) 24dB tone controls and that fixes all my headphones issues.

  • Reply November 9, 2014

    este87

    Hi Lieven,

    Superb review!:)
    Since u have dx50 and the x1, are u able to do a comparison and which one is better?

    Many thanks!

    • Reply November 9, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      DX50/DX90 review will be up this week. The DX50 beats the X1 on all fronts

      • Reply November 9, 2014

        este87

        Noted on that, thanks! shall wait for the review next week:)

  • Reply November 23, 2014

    Alex Mag

    Ok, what info I got from this review… Astel&Kerns players are better, ibasso DX50 and DX90 are better.
    Know what? BMW is better than Suzuki swift. No need to read interview to know that.
    2300 words about nothing it means author is definitely talanted.
    “Bass unfortunately isn’t the tightest, most detailed or fastest” – what headphones used?

    No info
    What music? No info
    What type of file?
    No info
    Any comparisons with same price range players?
    No
    The review looks like pattern. You can switch brand names in the text. And work is done. Doesn’t matter if it CD players, amplifiers or loudspeakers. Very handy formula is it?

  • Reply November 26, 2014

    Shay

    Hello
    I own the X5 and wish to ask how is it compered to X5 in sound quality ?
    I use it with Sennheiser ie80 mostly

  • Reply November 30, 2014

    RobertP

    Well i have the X1 now for 2 weeks, and learned to appreciate it. To give some perspective, i have not much experience wit HD audio, other than my samsung galaxy S5 with the neutron player ap. So concerning the sound i will limit my responce to it sounds good, but for music with heavy base, or using a headphone that is base positive you definitely need to use the custom EQ to reduce it.

    Concerning, user interface and functionality, well i do have a lot to say, and it not positive at all.
    1- The frace “for young people” is most likely to refer to the very small text on the display, i need a magnifying glass to use the menu’s !!!!
    2- No usb 3 interface in 2014 !!!! Try transferring 64 Gb over usb 2 !!
    3- The interface is very old school and very limited. it reminds me of $10 mp3 players 10 years ago.
    4- No adding to playlist or deleting of folders/albums, this can only be done 1 song a time.
    5- Playlist cannot be named. i try to find the playlists on the SDcard to rename them, but i could not find them. Which is odd because the device has very limited internal memory.
    6- It ha only 1 custom EQ setting. So when switching from headphone to earplugs i have to adjust manualy, witch get very frustrating.
    7-Battery cannot be replaced. Most battery’s of this type do not last longer than 2 years !!

    So , yes it plays flac 16/24 bit a bit better then my galaxy S5 phone (that plays 24bit/192khz flac to), but misses so much functionality compared to that phone (only audio playback speaking), that the X1 probably will be end up in the drawer with overpriced gadgets very soon.

    • Reply November 30, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Thanks for the post.

      The X1 isn’t the best indeed. I suggest looking at the iBasso range

      • Reply March 2, 2015

        Keith Cassinger

        Of course, for about $300 more.

    • Reply March 2, 2015

      Keith Cassinger

      I agree with much of this, but it still is way better than dealing with an ipod. No itunes for me! This is infinitely better still Also, who does 64gb at a time? That’s an insane amount! I have 1, 000 songs and used just barely 4gb.

      • Reply March 2, 2015

        dalethorn

        My lowest-res tracks are about 10 mb per 4-minute track (320k), so 2000 of those add up to 20 gb. But then, 2000 FLACs that are lossless (but just 44k CD rips) add up to 50-60 gb at least. You don’t necessarily need perfect CD rips in most portable use where it’s noisy and bumpy etc., but get to a hotel room or library etc. where it’s really quiet, and then the full quality makes sense.

  • Reply December 3, 2014

    Ivan Škarda

    Hi. I have had the X1 for 3 weeks now and the sound it produces is , in my opinion, a step up from my aged iAudio X5 compared with all sound enhancements switched off and using line out to put the out through my Fiio E12. However, the difference isn´t definately too much.

    One thing I find, however, is that , despite some positive reviews, I don´t actually find much of a difference, if any (perhap in the bass department, but not in the trebles or sound stage), when using the headphone OUT, or connect my headphone using LO and the Fiio E12. This might, however, be my aging ears, yet, I´m dissappointed with the combo.

    Also, since I use the rather bass-heavy Klipsch ImageOne, I can´t be using the preamp anyway since the X1 already provides a lot of bass so I have to use the custom EQ´s low frequencies´setting at the lowest . I would also prefer to have more custom settings on the EQ.

    As for the UI and functionality I agree with Robert below. The display is rather poor and the text tiny so although I don´t have to use a magnifying glass-lol- I do have to take my glasses off to read it. And I agree on the other points Robert is making below.

    So now I´m thinking of returning the X1, selling the E12 preamp and going for the iBasso 50 or even possibly for the 90, but there´s a rather steep price difference. Would the SQ coming from the iBasso 50/90 justify the price ? What do you think ?

    • Reply December 3, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      I think the extra $$ are certainly worth it but I have to say I have doubts in your case as you don’t seem to hear any difference between the headphone out and the Line Out. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but you might not hear the improvements the iBasso (DX90) offers either ad then it would be a useless investment. could you try it before you buy?

      • Reply December 3, 2014

        Ivan Škarda

        Hi and thanks for the quick reply. And yes, I will definately audition the iBasso before I might get one. I´ve been taught a lesson before. One more question, though, is the bass on the iBassso less prominent than on the Fiio ? Thanks

        • Reply December 3, 2014

          Headfonia_L.

          It is a little less yes. But it is better quality

          • Reply December 3, 2014

            Ivan Škarda

            Just a little comment about my ´aging ears ´not being able to tell a significant enough, if any, difference between the line out and headhone out ( no offence taken). Seems like it´s not only me. This comment comes from a recent review over from Head-Fi.” First I decided to take advantage of the headphone output which I preferred to the line for better airiness and stage. Compared to the line seemed even more dynamic!” . http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-x1-ultraportable-hi-res-dap/reviews/12050
            So i really don´t know.

            • Reply December 3, 2014

              dalethorn

              A headphone that’s known for detail, especially IEMs, will make the differences obvious.

            • Reply December 3, 2014

              Headfonia_L.

              With one forum post and no experience in his Bio, I doubt it’s a trustworthy source though 🙂

              • Reply December 3, 2014

                Ivan Škarda

                Yeah, you’re probly right, didn’t check that. It just caught my attention. I realize that it’s most likely my hearing (I’m 54), however hard it is to admit this.:) Or could it also be what Dalethorn suggests,i
                .e. using a different headphone ? I don’t like IEMs,though, but I do own Sennheiser 595 which I hardly ever use because of its anemic bass. Would it fare well in terms of clarity detail and soundstage do you think
                ?

                • Reply December 3, 2014

                  dalethorn

                  The HD595 bass is the opposite of the Klipsch, so can’t even begin a comparison there. If I were boosting the 595 bass, I’d do it very carefully so it doesn’t distort, but it still would probably warm up pretty good with a judicious boost, and still have that Sennheiser detail. There’s little can be done with the Klipsch if you like the level of bass it has. Take a look at the EQ curve I applied to the Image One I had recently:

                  http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Klipsch_Image1ii.jpg

                  • Reply December 4, 2014

                    Ivan Škarda

                    That´s roughly a curve I have applied to the Image One myself. With the X1.
                    I don´t actually like so much bass on the Klipsch-I just happened to have a chance to pick it up a great price without hearing it first. Generally, I am quite happy with the sound, though, using the EQ, of course.
                    Is there an open headphone you would suggest with the bass level somewhere between those two headphones I already have ? With more detail, clarity and better soundstage ?

                    • December 4, 2014

                      dalethorn

                      The Soundmagic HP200, then the Senn HD650. There is not much choice today in open headphones.

                    • December 4, 2014

                      Ivan Škarda

                      Ok,thanks for the tips. But I decided to give IEMs a try after all, what would you suggest then ? Possibly within $ 100-200 price bracket ?

                    • December 4, 2014

                      Headfonia_L.

                      T10i

      • Reply December 3, 2014

        dalethorn

        The Klipsch ImageOne is the bottleneck. I had 2 – one black and one white, and there’s not enough detail to resolve differences in amps.

  • Reply December 16, 2014

    Mohammad Masoumi

    Hi,

    I currently own a fiio e07k. fiio x3 is 100$ more expensive than fiio x1 in my country.

    So here’s my question.should I…

    1.sell my e07k and get a fiio x3

    or

    2.keep the e07k and use it with fiio x1’s line out? (or a better option 3)
    other thoughts:
    my reasons for doing the first:
    it’s an all-in-one device and I will be freed from all those wires. and I won’t need to worry about battery life of two devices.
    my reasons for the second:
    I like the three level gain setting on my E07k and will probably miss it
    yesterday I tried x3 and compared it to my E07k-connected-to-my-laptop-via-USB. when listening to a well recorded flac file(Armin van buuren’s “Pulsar”) with my ATH-m50 and zero equalizer and low gain on both devices, I found that while x3 was tonally more refined, E07k had more bass impact. also I like the three level gain setting on my E07k and will probably miss it. by the way,my Gr07-Classics were broke recently so I’m planning on buying the 17 Ohm dunu dn-2000.

  • Reply December 16, 2014

    Mohammad Masoumi

    Hi,

    I currently own a fiio e07k. fiio x3 is 100$ more expensive than fiio x1 in my country.

    So here’s my question.should I…

    1.sell my e07k and get a fiio x3

    or

    2.keep the e07k and use it with fiio x1’s line out? (or a better option 3)
    other thoughts:
    my reasons for doing the first:
    it’s an all-in-one device so I will be freed from all those wires and I won’t need to worry about battery life of two devices.
    my reasons for the second:
    I like the three level gain setting on my E07k and will probably miss it!

    yesterday I tried x3 and compared it to my E07k-connected-to-my-laptop-via-USB. when listening to a well recorded flac file(Armin van buuren’s “Pulsar”) with my ATH-m50 and zero equalizer and low gain on both devices, I found that x3’s sound was more refined and E07k had more bass impact.
    by the way,my Gr07-Classic-colors were broke recently so I’m planning on buying the 17-Ohm dunu dn-2000(which doesn’t seem to need amplification)

  • Reply December 30, 2014

    Juan Luis Quiroz Guevara

    And in case you can not afford to engage the x1 with Picollo, what would be the best choice between a e11k and JDS Cmoy?

    • Reply December 30, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Depends on the headphone. Both are nice budget amps.

      • Reply December 30, 2014

        Juan Luis Quiroz Guevara

        I use the Momentum On Ear … I think dac pcm5142 take advantage of one of these amplifiers.

  • Reply January 10, 2015

    Vu bui

    Hi,
    I’m currently using ath-a2000x so can I use the line out option instead of the headphone jack from fiio x1.
    And which portable amps shall I pair with the Fiio X1(or shall I wait for the incoming fiio e17k)?

  • Reply January 11, 2015

    Nickjan Glas

    Just ordered one, will take the disadvantages for granted at this price. this just stays addictive.

  • Reply January 27, 2015

    Lady Blabla

    i was almost order the Sony NWZ-A15. but instead i orderd this one. It is 100euro,s cheaper and the design is realy realy beautifull.

    • Reply February 17, 2015

      raeimad

      You could use the other part of your budget to get a good portable amp 🙂

      • Reply March 15, 2015

        Lady Blabla

        Do you have a tip what for amp? Fiio e11k or something?

        • Reply March 16, 2015

          raeimad

          I haven’t tried a lot of portable amps, but my impression on e11k (line out on x1) wasn’t that good. A bit too warm even on neutral eq, feels like it has a tiny bass boost on at all times, if you like warm or bass heavy sound it could work out for you. Or you could try out the JDSLABS CMOY, or even the iBasso D-zero MKII

  • Reply February 11, 2015

    Nickjan Glas

    just started listening, first impressions very good with the line out; better than the Ipod touch with LOD, for me sofar. when everything is fully burnt in, there ll be some extensive listening and comparing all my stuff.

  • Reply March 19, 2015

    willy vlyminck

    Mine is defect after only 3 month, and two month of use 🙁

    • Reply March 19, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Let me know if your seller is making an issue out of it, I’ll check it with Fiio directly

      • Reply March 19, 2015

        willy vlyminck

        It is from the official German FiiO shop. I let you know, will contact them tomorrow. Thx Lieven.

        • Reply March 19, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          Headsound or the MP4 guys? We Belgians have to stick together 😉

          • Reply March 20, 2015

            willy vlyminck

      • Reply March 20, 2015

        willy vlyminck

        Fortunately all is well again, after contacting Fiio Germany, I did get the advice to reset the x1, simply by pushing a needle or something like it in the little hole which you find between the start and volume button. After doing this, I could start up and enjoy the music again. I am shocked as I never expected the sound would be this good.Anybody here who use a 128GB microcard? I am currently using a 64GB card.

        • Reply March 20, 2015

          willy vlyminck

          See the little hole ( to reset)I mentioned before.

          • Reply March 21, 2015

            Headfonia_L.

            I had to use that myself once. Glad all is back in working condition

  • Reply May 26, 2015

    Nickjan Glas

    maybe most will already know, but just in case: discovered fw version 1.3 is out for the x1

  • Reply May 28, 2015

    lenin reddy

    I have sennheiser hd7dj headphones and shure se 215 . what amp should I pair it up with my fiio X1 . fiio e11k or Fiio E07k (- only amp part)

    • Reply May 28, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Could you stretch to E12A? If not the E11K

      • Reply May 28, 2015

        lenin reddy

        Thanx for reply . i will stretch my boudget .What would u suggest in between
        Fiio 12A vs cayin C5 for me

    • Reply May 11, 2016

      Shay Weiss

      Hi
      I wish to ask, I am currently using as my main music source player the Sony Z3 Walkman cell phone, it has a good quality as a music player but not ‘wild’ even if it can play all the formats of music files. I had the X5 once and as far as I remember it was very clean and detailed compered to the X3 that I had also the X3 had a very natural sound not clean as the X5 but delicate sounding I think they use the wolfson chip in the X3 ..
      So, my question is it an upgrade over the sony z3 ? is it close in sound quality to the X3 or the X5 ?

  • Reply July 18, 2015

    Andrew Zhighalov

    Hi, I’m considering bying FiiO X1 and my concern is what amp is it better to get for House of Marley Exodus Harvest and Sony MDR-EX300S. Or maybe it is preferable to get whole new pair of heeadphones?

    • Reply July 18, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      that’s what I would do

      • Reply July 19, 2015

        Andrew Zhighalov

        Thanx for a swift reply, and what headphones within 150 bucks would you advice for a uncunning ear for Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music?

        • Reply July 19, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          For smaller budgets probably Dale knows best but I would go for the DT770 32. Great headphone, great price

          • Reply July 19, 2015

            dalethorn

            The DT770 and Custom One Pro turn up on Massdrop occasionally for that price. Another good headphone in that range is the Yamaha MT220.

            • Reply July 19, 2015

              Andrew Zhighalov

              Thanks, but Yamaha is somewhat over the budget with circa 250 bucks pricet tag.

              • Reply July 20, 2015

                dalethorn

                That’s unfortunate – they were selling regularly on Amazon for around $150. Oh well, wait for a new sale.

                • Reply July 25, 2015

                  Andrew Zhighalov

                  They have horrifying shipment rates to Russia, so I better stick to DT 770.

          • Reply July 19, 2015

            Andrew Zhighalov

            Thank you and what about amplifier? Which one will make the difference?

            • Reply July 19, 2015

              Headfonia_L.

              No amp needed, but if you do absolutely want one, a good budget amp is the dzero (2nd hand) or the Fiio E12

              • Reply July 19, 2015

                Andrew Zhighalov

                Thanks, I just got an impression from the article above that there are some noizes when you use hoeadphone out of FiiO x1, that is why better to connect it amplifier

                • Reply July 19, 2015

                  Headfonia_L.

                  That is only when using inear monitors

                  • Reply July 19, 2015

                    Andrew Zhighalov

                    Great, thanks a lot!

          • Reply July 27, 2015

            Andrew Zhighalov

            Hi again, got those DT770 23 Ohm headphones but for some reason the sound is worse than I had with my HoM onears that cost me 5 times as less. Do you know, per chance I need “heat ’em up” or there’s something I’m doing wrong?

            • Reply July 27, 2015

              dalethorn

              Can you describe the sound you’re getting? And have you tried the headphone with any other source or amp?

              • Reply July 28, 2015

                Andrew Zhighalov

                I’ve used them with my laptop, desktop PC and Walkman NWZ-S754 (haven’t received FiiO X1 yet) and the sound is much dirtier than I expected and ocasionally some cracking sound in the mids and highs emerges in the left channel.Maybe source power output is not enough or they are just faulty.

                • Reply July 28, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  Just faulty. The Beyers are very well made and highly reliable. I hope you bought them new, from a Beyer-authorized dealer.

                  • Reply July 29, 2015

                    Andrew Zhighalov

                    No, that’s where I fucked up, I’ve read lots of reviews, a vast amount of them were positive and none of them mentioned that “cracking” sound. Tomorrow I’m gonna send them for rerlacement. Shame, the first acquaintance with those headphones was far from positive. Hope my impression will dramatically change with new ones). Anyuway, thanks for help!

                    • July 29, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      It’s usually pretty rare to get a bad one from a first-tier dealer, and even the bargain samples are usually pretty good. But most of the faulty headphones come from unauthorized resellers or dealers who have a bad rating.

                    • August 2, 2015

                      Andrew Zhighalov

                      Well, I just thought that they counterfeit “Beats” and was relying on my ever luck, but every bean has its black. The most annoying part starts that it came out I actually had the authorized dealer in my hometown (the one and only in the region) and it sells the same just 8 dollars as expensive. BTW, the headphones I got looked sturdy and genuine, so may be it was just regular flaw,

                    • August 2, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      I had to send my T51p in to Beyer’s repair agent recently, and they did a perfect job – and quick.

                    • August 3, 2015

                      Andrew Zhighalov

                      But their customer service communication is kindda good for nothing. I worte a huge message describing the problem with a suggestion that it might be a factory flaw and what they answered was sort of “maybe, good luck”. Does not look as a germanclass customer care, does it?)

                    • August 3, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      Beyerdynamic acts like a huge government entity that responds only to big rich lobbyists (i.e. corporate customers), so they are very snooty, yes. But if you lurk around their Facebook pages and get in touch with a friendly agent, that could get you “in”.

                    • August 4, 2015

                      Andrew Zhighalov

                      Wow, thanks, never tought of them any oter way than small company doing their Gescheft somewhere in Bayern. Do corporate clients buy lots of headphones?)

                    • August 4, 2015

                      Headfonia_L.

                      They buy conference call systems. We have them at work

                    • August 5, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      Lots of DT770’s and Beyer mics in recording and broadcasting studios.

                    • August 7, 2015

                      Andrew Zhighalov

                      Wow, its like I discovered some years ago that Siemens not only made my first cell phone but also is quite good at manufacturing gas turbines.

                    • August 8, 2015

                      dalethorn

                      Advanced technology means more sharing, more dependencies. Which makes it great for the lawyers, to sort out who owns what.

                    • August 10, 2015

                      Andrew Zhighalov

                      Lawyers now own the world, less in Eastern Europe, more in Western and USA. BTW, received replacement for Bayers, they sound much better=)

            • Reply July 28, 2015

              Headfonia_L.

              I think what you’re experiencing is “real sound”. the DT770 32 is really good sounding, youtr previous headphones might have altered the sound a bit much 😉

              • Reply July 28, 2015

                Andrew Zhighalov

                Yeah ,guess so, but it does not make you shiver with sound. May be you can recommend a song or singer that can help feel the depth of the headphones?

                • Reply July 28, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  Because of the other comment, maybe get a replacement first. Your first impression from the DT770-32 should be it immerses you in sound.

  • Reply August 19, 2015

    DTSxJP

    I have a question, is the amp in the E17K better then the amp in the X1?

    • Reply August 19, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      That’s a tough one. Better I’m not sure, but it probably has more power. I have to admit I hardly ever use the gear after the review

      • Reply August 19, 2015

        DTSxJP

        Oh alright. Is there any amp out there under $100 that has bass controls besides the E11K?

        • Reply August 19, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          Are there amps under $100? Seriously though it’s not my specialty. I’m hoping Dale can help you. For desktop I would recommend the Fiio E10K or even the Ruby from Stoner (and you can use that on the go as well)

          • Reply August 19, 2015

            DTSxJP

            Thanks for the help, cheers!

        • Reply August 19, 2015

          dalethorn

          The E07k is ideal – 1 to 10 bass settings, very small and flat, better sound than E17 (before E17k).

          • Reply August 19, 2015

            DTSxJP

            I really did not like E11K, so I’m hoping the E07K will deliver. Is the amp section in the E07K better than the amp in the Fiio X1?

            • Reply August 20, 2015

              dalethorn

              I had the X1 for a short time, and all I remember for sure is, it wasn’t a lot better or worse. I think the E07k sound is detailed enough for anyone who doesn’t have a $1000 headphone. It’s really good, just not as good as something like a Dragonfly plus Portaphile micro, which would cost $600 or more.

              • Reply August 21, 2015

                DTSxJP

                Hello Dale, since the amp in the E07K is not better then the amp in the X1 I’ll either go with the E12, E17K or JDS Labs CMOYBB. Which amp would you recommend? Also, any recommendations on any full sized headphones under $60 with a neutral sound and bass to pair with the Fiio X1?

                • Reply August 21, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  I love the E12, but it has no DAC, but you knew that… The only cheap headphone that’s close to your description is the Edifier H850.

            • Reply August 20, 2015

              Headfonia_L.

              No.

    • Reply August 19, 2015

      dalethorn

      The E17k amp is OK, but not all that good. It’s a shame when you consider that the DAC is good.

  • Reply November 9, 2015

    Juan Luis Quiroz Guevara

    who Line out is better? x1+amp vs x3+amp…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.