The Latest Must Have: The Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp -updated-

fiio_e10_07

EDIT 25/09/2014: The New E10K has replaced the E10 from this review: Go here: http://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e10k-classic-reborn/

———————-

The E10 was very easy to like from the very beginning. High quality all metal packaging with an exceptionally well designed volume control (with numbers too!) and all the right interfaces. The finishing of the brushed metal is so good in fact that at first glance the Fiio looks like a typical product from Ray Samuels. Like any gear fresh from the mailbox, what I do is set it up with the simplest system I have around. With the E10, plug in the USB cable in, play a familiar tunes in Itunes, plug a headphone in, and I was immediately listening to the newest DAC from Fiio.

First impression: this thing sounds good. Amazingly good in fact, despite the fact that I just finished the ALO Continental amplifier review less than 24 hours ago. Full mids, good bass, spacious open sound, unoffensive treble. Things are sounding very, very good, and I’m happily nodding my head to the beats of the music. Fiio has really nailed it with this one. Everything sounded right and full sounding. In particular was the bass, which I find very addictive. I had mistakenly switched the bass-boost switch on as I thought that to be the power switch (the E10 automatically powers on as you plug in the USB cable to the back panel). So the thing is running with the bass boost on. You get these punchy, fat, round bass, beat after beat. The bass is not super-articulate compared to say an AMB Labs Mini3, but it’s tight enough for music listening purposes (unless you really want to be picky about it). And the most important thing is that the bass is just fun. Punchy, round, a lot of fun. Turn off the bass boost and you get extra clarity in the bass section, but with the HD25-1, I just like it with the bass boost on. The midrange is just nice and full sounding. No complaints there, really. It’s not ALO Continental – level midrange, but for $80 it better be not ALO Continental level midrange.

The thing with the E10 (and I think I’ve said it before) is that it just sounds good. The TE2077 + WM8740 + AD8397 combination has just enough technicalities to resolve a typical mainstream recording, but the musicality is just amazing. I never felt the E10 to be lacking musicality at the slightest bit.

Excellent build quality all around.

 

Gain selector on the back.

 

Front faceplate.

 

Back faceplate.

 

Size comparison with the Fiio E7. The E10 is slightly thicker.

 

Continue to the next page…

The Latest Must Have: The Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp -updated-
4 (80%) 3 votes

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614 Comments

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    merrom

    Cool. When will it be released on market?

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      October, I think?

      • Reply September 19, 2011

        Yuwei Wang

        Very nice review. Gonna get one to use at work

        • Reply September 20, 2011

          Holden4th

          So would using the E10 as a DAC via analogue out into the E9 mean that the amp section of the E10 was no longer functional ?

          • Reply September 20, 2011

            Anonymous

            Yes, that’s correct.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Dhani Nugraha

    Mike, I’d like to confirm that during my (very) brief stint with the E10, I was able to get it working at 24/96 over USB with my MacBook. 🙂

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Really?

      Thanks for the info. I’ll try it without the USB hub then.

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes it works now. Bypassed the USB hub I was using.

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Dhani Nugraha

        USB hubs can be problematic at times 🙂

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Anonymous

    Question: PA2v2 or E10 or CMoy when paired with an ATH-M50 with SRH840 earpads (tweaked EQ to balance out heightened mids and lowered bass, feel free to flame).

    I mainly listen to Metal, some Techno, Classical and various Game/Movie Sountracks

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      I’d go with the PA2V2 mainly due to the speed in the bass.

      For classical and Game soundtracks, the JDSLabs would be a tad better. But I’d still go with the PA2V2 since you listen to Metal.

      • Reply September 19, 2011

        Anonymous

        PA2v2 it is then 😀

        Thanks for the advice. Eventually I’ll probably get the JDSLabs CMoy as well, but not now 🙂

        • Reply September 19, 2011

          Anonymous

          Awesome!

          • Reply September 19, 2011

            Andrew Prasetyo Jo

            IMO, PA2V2 is a better amp than JDSLabs CMoy. I own both, but PA2V2 is more “forgiving” for your non-HD tracks.

          • Reply September 21, 2011

            Anonymous

            Its a long road to upgrade your entire collection of poorly encoded MP3s to poorly mastered FLACs 😛 I’m about 65% there

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Sennman-25

    Thanks for yet another insightful review. How does the E10 compare to HRT MS2?

    Thanks,
    Sennman-25

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Obviously the MS2 is still the better DAC.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Alvin

    Could the E10 be used with the E9?

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      You can, through the analog out.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    FiiO

    Thanks for the great photos, Mike is the best photographer.

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks! 

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    SC

    I wonder how the E10 sounds vs the E7+E9 using low impedance headphones since the E10’s  output impedance is below 1 ohm while the E9 is 43 ohm on the mini and 10 ohm on 1/4. From what I understand, the 10 ohm will easily affect the sound signature for any low impedance cans like 32 ohm.  I am looking to get a E10 to compare against the E7+E9 but I’d like to know your thoughts

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      I will try to compare that and let you know..

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Mick

    What type of music would you pair this with?

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think it works great with many many different stuff, Mick. Read the review?

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Donunus

    By the way, I also just reviewed the FiiO d3 and its one awesome DAC for the price. In fact, I am replacing the e7 with it for my E9 since the extra sharpness of the e7s dac section is eliminated when using the d3 with the e9 instead. I now really want to get this e10 too. FiiO has been impressing the heck out of me recently 🙂

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Really neeed to get that D3 been hearing so much about them.

      Sent from my mobile device, apologize for any spelling mistakes.

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      deanreed

      Hey Donunus, Love to read your review of the D3 – where can I find it?

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Anonymous

        Just found Donunus’ review: http://headfonics.com/2011/09/fiio-d3-dac-its-a-keeper/

        Don, feel free to post it next time, I don’t mind. 😉

        • Reply September 22, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hey Thanks Mike 🙂 We should so some combo reviews sometime haha.. or maybe that Pan-Asian Jam someone mentioned before! 🙂

          • Reply September 23, 2011

            Anonymous

            I know we really should have a big gathering one day. Perhaps I’ll try to visit you guys over there. 🙂

            • Reply September 23, 2011

              Anonymous

              You should come to our local end of year bash, KenJam 2011 on Dec 4th 2011 🙂

              • Reply September 23, 2011

                Anonymous

                I’ll check out AirAsia for cheap tickets. 🙂 In Manila?

                • Reply September 23, 2011

                  Anonymous

                  Yup in Manila – just use my email and let me know if your coming and I can sort you out with accom and directions etc 🙂

                  • Reply September 23, 2011

                    Anonymous

                    Thanks Marcus!

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Choi

    Mike, soundstage wise, does the audinst sounds better? and overall SQ, which one would you choose? mx1 or e10? (probably e10)?

    Thanks

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Soundstage wise the Audinst is better, overall SQ the Audinst as well. But i think the Fiio has a better toe tapping factor.

      Sent from my mobile device, apologize for any spelling mistakes.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Syakir Zainol

    Mike, as always, this and the JDSLabs? How do they compare?

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      JDSLabs slightly more spacious and smoother. Fiio punchier bass, more fun, and it comes with a 24/96 DAC! 

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Guest

    oh with a review as good as this i’ll probably order the E10 lol then few months down the road I probably want the audinst  again..

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Who knows, maybe if the Fiio is really good then you dont’ need to get the Audinst. 🙂 

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Guest

    good write up as usual 🙂

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks!

      • Reply September 19, 2011

        Guest

        re-reading your article again has me sold on E10. I can sense your excitement and your enjoyment of the E10 in your review. Look forward to more reviews like this 🙂

        • Reply September 20, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks!

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Eskimoo

    as i read this article, FiiO had really nice product! 
     24/96 nowadays only achieved by original audiophile recording right?

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Sorry? Original audiophile recording? 

      You can check http://www.hdtracks.com or Bower Wilkins society of sound for 25/96 files. 

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Hejsan!

    How does this compare to the Yulong U100? I’m currently using the Yulong with my Fostex t50rp and Fischers Fa-011. The yulong is a bit bright/trebleheavy with the fa-011 but have good synergy with the fostex t50rp.

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      The Yulong has better technicalities, but if you find the Yulong to be too bright for the FA011 then the E10 would be better in that sense. For the Fostex, yes I agree the Yulong is probably going to be a better match.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Sennman-25

    Hey mike, I was originally goin for this setup to hook up to netbook CMOY->HRT MS2->HD-25, but since cash is kinda of tight. I wanna get the Fiio E10 first because I won’t have anything to use the CMOY with(I was gonna buy it first then MS2 later on). The Fiio E10 seems like a better option because i could use it as an interim dac until MS2. Good idea? Srry 4 long post.

    Thanks!

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes I think that’s a great idea. In fact the E10 is so much fun that I won’t find myself missing the MS2 (though it is still the better DAC).

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Mistalava

    Mentioning Fiio and RSA in the same breath, even as a passing comment is ludicrous.

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Orta03

      Why?  Is it so ridiculous that this 80 dollar DAC/amp combo can produce sound that is  just as enjoyable as one of Ray’s amps?  The E10 my not have the technicalities of Ray’s amps, but when it comes to musical enjoyment, the E10 doesn’t seem to far behind.  And isn’t musical enjoyment what this hobby is all about? 🙂

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Benedict Brown

    How does the E10 hold up as a pure DAC? Paired with something relatively high-end, what kind of level does it reach in terms of other products? I ask since this would probably be my most likely long-term use for the E10.

    Thanks.

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Benedict,
      What is relatively high end? Say the CEntrance DACport or the HRT Music Streamer II+ or Cambridge DACmagic, there is no comparison.
      Basically I think the price range reflects the level of technicalities, except that I don’t think the E10 really fits as an $80 DAC in technicalities but more around ~$120. The Audinst comes in at $180, the DACport and HRT and DACmagic at around $300-$400, and so on.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    MedStudent

    Great review! So excited as this is going to be my first amp ever and first plunge into the audiophile world. Quick question: what is the Low/High gain selector on the back do? When there is already a volume knob, why is there L/H gain settings too? Please excuse my ignorance!  

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      The Low/High gain determines the range of volume control loudness that the volume knob has.
      For instance, using simple numbers:
      Low gain: 1-10 on the loudness scale
      High gain: 11-20 on the loudness scale

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    MedStudent

    I’m also a regular on the djtechtools.com forums. I posted a thread comparing low-end amps to pro DJ audio interfaces (http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37095) Any thoughts? I won’t be using this for DJ’ing. My headphone jack on my laptop is busted so that’s how I stumbled across this idea of using an amp!! Any thoughts? Thanks so much for all your reviews. You’ve been tremendously helpful 🙂

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Rohan,
      I really have no experience with DJ gear, but I think you can give the Fiio a try, at least to replace the headphone jack on your laptop.
      I’ve came across an entry level USB DAC unit from Behringer that is based on the PCM2702 chipset. Based on the chip alone, this Fiio is much superior, so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Dan Z

    I’ve had the E7 for a while now. I did enjoy it a good amount but I felt the bass left a bit to be desired for more bass heavy tracks. On top of that I read you previous review on the Audio Technica Pro700 Mk2 and it got me thinking on getting a pair to use for Trance and Dubstep tracks in place of my ATH M-50. Now I’m thinking I should just replace my E7 and go for the E10. Or should I sill go for the headphones as well?

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Dan,
      If you feel the bass to be lacking (and I agree the M-50 is too weak for Trance or Dubstep), the Pro700 Mk2 will make the bigger difference. But on top of that the E10 will also add in even more punch to the mix.

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Dan Z

        Hmm I’ll keep that in mind, thanks for the reply, and as always awesome job with the review!

        • Reply September 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          You’re welcome Dan.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    MedStudent

    Also any news on release date and where we could purchase this (USA) ? 

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      FiiO

      I think Micca will be the first agents in US who sell E10.  and the first batch of E10 will be available after 15 – 20 days.

      • Reply September 20, 2011

        MedStudent

        awesome thanks. where do we stay tuned to find out when they’re available?

        • Reply September 20, 2011

          Anonymous

          You can probably enlist in some sort of a newsletter if Micca has one.

      • Reply September 20, 2011

        Anonymous

        Thanks, Fiio.

        Any links?

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think around October, and since Amazon.com has been carrying Fiio products for a while, I assume they’ll have the E10 too when it comes out.

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Jonah

    Hey, I’m just wondering how the E10 compares with something like the HRT Music Streamer II as a DAC. By the way, can you use this as a DAC only and connect  it to another amp?

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Viet

    Hello Mike, 

    Been following your articles for quite a long time and you has just made those gears so grand, so “right” until the next article is published. I really want to pull the trigger on something that i wont be regret a week after or so :)I mainly listening to Rap (Eminem), RnB, some Pop and mainstream as well. I prefer round, tight,  punchy bass and i wonder if this E10 is right for that duty. I’m using a HD 25 for those genres and HD 595 for stuff like Enya. Besides that, shoud I go for the Audinst amp-HP for portability purpose? 

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Viet,
      I apologize for doing that, and it’s not like something I do intentionally. The thing is, I don’t think there is a perfect, peak of the summit product that we can get and be done with it. Take the Iphone 4 for instance, it is the best Iphone ever, until Iphone 5 comes out. So, yea I’m sorry if I do that.
      As for your music I think the E10 is very good for what you’re listening to. Obvously it’s not going to work on batteries, so you gotta think what you really need to get here.

      • Reply September 20, 2011

        Viet

        Thank you very much Mike,
        Even though I haven’t really pulled the trigger on anything, I still enjoy your writing a lot. I know it’s hard for you when things tend to get better and better nowadays. I’d rather have you and your honest review here than nothing at all 😀 
        Just keep up the good work, Mike 

        • Reply September 20, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks, Viet. Readers like you keep this site going.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    Alan

    Great review.  I can’t wait to get one.

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Alan.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    David Winarso

    Mike, are you sure that the USB receiver is TE2077? Not TE7022?

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      It was probably a mis-type, David.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    Jedkoh

    Hi Mike, would like to ask compare to E11, how does the E10 fare? Right now I am using a Govibe standalone DAC with E11 and I wonder whether this E10 can not only give similar fun sound as E11 but also better instrument separation…..I’m using it mainly for jungle/drum and bass, jazz, p funk that kind of genre…

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Someone took my E11 and so I’m unable to compare the two at the moment. 

      I think the E11’s amp is ultimately more powerful as it is able to drive the Hifiman HE-500’s big magnets with plenty of punch. However if you’re using relatively modern dynamics headphone which normally isn’t that current demanding, then the E10’s one box solution would give you better soundstage, instrument separation, clearer signal due to the shorter signal path.

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      I’ve added a comparison to the E11. 

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    Randius

    Does it give any benefit to pair the E10 with E11? How does  the amp section on E10 fare against that on the E11?

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      copy and pasted from below:
      Someone took my E11 and so I’m unable to compare the two at the moment. I think the E11’s amp is ultimately more powerful as it is able to drive the Hifiman HE-500’s big magnets with plenty of punch. However if you’re using relatively modern dynamics headphone which normally isn’t that current demanding, then the E10’s one box solution would give you better soundstage, instrument separation, clearer signal due to the shorter signal path.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    ellenico

    I’m wondering how this compares to NuForce uDac2  … 

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      I just updated the article with a comparison to the uDAC 2 and the Fiio E7/E9 combo. 

  • […] – there are some great looking images of the E10. Check out what we mean by reading the full review here. “this thing sounds good. Amazingly good in fact, despite the fact that I just finished the […]

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    MedStudent

    Mike, thank you so much for your replies. It is amazing to see how you put your heart and soul into this website and even interact with all the readers in the comments section. Thanks for all your insight. 

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      You’re welcome, Rohan.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    HK-47

    Since it seems that the E7 DAC is limiting the E7-E9 combo, have you tried running the E10 line out to the E9?

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes actually I have. Here is what I found: The sound was more spacious and again, I also like how it’s easier to get loud volume levels with the E9. Dynamics was also better with the E9’s amplifier. One thing suffer though, that is the midrange body was a little hollow, and the frequency transition from bass-mid-treble is not as smooth as I hear out of the E10. So while certain things were nice with the E9, ultimately I think the E10 won me over one more time.

      • Reply September 20, 2011

        HK-47

        Thanks! I’m leaning towards getting one of these when it comes out.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    Donunus

    The culprit in your descriptions of the e7/e9 combo is the e7 dac section. Try the e9 with the FiiO D3 and the thin sharp sound goes away! I am using the e9 at low gain with the hd600s and the d3 as a DAC going into its rear input and the combo is GREAT! I wish you could compare the E10 to the D3/E9 combo if ever you get the D3.

    • Reply September 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes I should ask them for the D3.

      What chipset is the D3 based on? WM8805?

      • Reply September 20, 2011

        Donunus

        probably not. I think the wolfson is used as a SPDIF receiver and the dac is a cirrus logic. I hear no hollowness to the sound with this combo right now with the e9. Maybe the E10s line out is weak making the hollow sound with the e9?

      • Reply September 20, 2011

        Donunus

        Oh, of course the high gain setting adds hollowness to the sound of the e9 regardless of the dac used.

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        FiiO

        WM8805+CS4344

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    idunnosoSTFU

    Which one is better? The FiiO E10 or iBasso D-Zero?

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Don’t know about that since I’m still waiting to get the D-Zero. 

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    Alf

    No batteries inside???

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, no batteries.

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      FiiO

      E10 is designed for home use. you can wait our new DAC&AMP, E17, which also support 96/24 from USB and 192/24 from coax/optical . almost the same DAC and amp with E10. 

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Alfani_gun_02

        When e17 comes?
        Cant wait

        • Reply September 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Same question here, when will the E17 come?

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Jian Ming Lee

        but when will e17 be out? end of this year, possible?

        • Reply September 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Feb 2012 according to Fiio (just a few post down)

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Guest

        Sorry, I just wanted to confirm whether the E10 do 192/24 from coax/optical for sure ? you only mentioned E17.

        • Reply September 21, 2011

          FiiO

          E10 does not support 192/24, but E17 will support 192/24 from coax and optical input. but 96/24 only when USB in.

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Donunus

        What I’m waiting for is a full on desktop DAC/AMP from FiiO that uses wall power and will compete with the $1000+ crowd. I am imagining at least 5 watts of power and a refined sound. It will have SPDIF and USB inputs as well as a few RCA inputs plus balanced and single ended line outs for using as a pure DAC, then a preamp output all for around $500 or less hehehe

        • Reply September 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes there is a Fiio for every budget.

          • Reply September 21, 2011

            Donunus

            I’m just waiting for the more audiophile desktop model like what I wrote because I have faith that FiiO can actually make a real giant killer!

            • Reply September 21, 2011

              Anonymous

              Yes the only question is would they.

  • Reply September 20, 2011

    Rodrigo Pita

    Since I don’t have enough money to buy a nice Dac + Schiit Asgard + Taxes = +- $1000.00 in Brazil, I’ll get the Fiio E10 when its avaible. Reading your text, I think it will pair really nice with my JH5, JH13 and Denon D5000. I think the E10 will be able to smooth the high frequences of the JH13 and D5000 and improve the mids at the same time. And for $80.00 I think it is worth a try. =) Thank You Mike

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      That sounds like a good plan, Rodrigo. 

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    Johan Ullman

    Great review as always! Did you ever try it with the Shure SRH940? 

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      No, unfortunately no SRH940 at the moment. 

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    David

    Are the differences between the E10 and the Audinst worth the extra $100? Looking for an amp/dac for my HD25-1.

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      I wrote about how the two compares on the article. As to whether the difference is worth it, I think only you can decide. 

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    Wyffels

    How do you like this versus the Yulong u100?

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well the Yulong U100 is technically the better DAC. But the E10 is small, runs from USB power, does 24/96 with my Mac without fuss, and the sound is warmer and fuller. So, depends on your priorities I guess.

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    Ben

    Do you think the E10 would pair well with Triplefi 10s?

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      I personally don’t think the TF10s need an amp, but if you want to play music from your computer and don’t have a good headphone out, then yes I think it’ll pair well with the E10.

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Ben

        Sounds good :], I was planning to use it more as a dac then an amp

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      FiiO

      We will release recable  for UE TF10, used Oyaide’s cable . LOL

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Anonymous

        Amazing.

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    Ray

    How does it compare to the E11 in terms of amplification and SQ?

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    Scytus

    How does it compare to the M-Stage?

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      M-Stage? Is that even a serious question?

      • Reply September 22, 2011

        Hejsan!

        Much worse than the m-stage then?

        • Reply September 22, 2011

          Anonymous

          No I mean the M-Stage is a $200-$300 big desktop amp with much higher power levels than the E10 and you’re asking for a comparison between the two.

  • Reply September 21, 2011

    Anonymous

    I’ve added a comparison to the E11. 

    • Reply September 21, 2011

      Jedkoh

      Thank you so much for the comments and esp. to your latest comparison using the E11. Nonetheless I will also seek the chance to audition out the E10 to fully grasp the difference…

      TQ once again for your wonderful work! 

      • Reply September 21, 2011

        Anonymous

        You’re welcome!

      • Reply September 22, 2011

        Mike

        waiiiit…..i listen to pretty much the whole spectrum of music, so you’re saying e11 is better for some (hip hop, pop, dubstep) and e10 for others (jazz, classical, etc)…..and does that mean they are pretty much equal in level or does e10 outshine it overall?

        any idea what the output impedance is for the e10 (I hope its not too high for my soon to arrive denon d2000’s) and is the e11 really more powerful than e10 (I ask for my hd600’s)? How much more transperancy for e11 and do you think it’ll (generally) always be noticeable improvement with laptops (my headphone jack output seems to be pretty good, don’t really hear much dry signal or hiss)?

        • Reply September 22, 2011

          Anonymous

          Mike,
          The E10 works great for many different music including your hip hop. What I’m saying is that if someone decide to add the E11 to the mix, he will get a better bass. That’s not saying that the E10’s bass is weak but rather you can have some sort of a boost in the bass with the E11. Whereas if you listen to Jazz or Classical where you don’t really need a punchy bass, it would be better to just stick with the E10 since you get better transparency.
          Output impedance: should be okay for the D2000 since I’ve used it with the JH5 which is even lower. Power for HD600: yes
          With laptops: use the E10 it should be better than your laptop.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    xxhaxx

    Since the E10 has an USB -> S/PDIF convert I can connect my laptop to the E10->DAC->AMP-> Headphone?

    If I were to connect it in the following manner (above) it should work

    • Reply September 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes it should work.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    Jalla

    How would the e10 pair with alessandro ms1? I have the fiio e7 and wondering if I should consider upgrading.

    • Reply September 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      I would recommend that upgrade yes.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    Alphonse Clemente

    Finally, an inexpensive desktop dac. Thanks for the good news.

    • Reply September 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      You’re welcome, Alphonse.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    pkonik

    The question is: does this work under Linux (Ubuntu in my case)?

    I was going to buy Audinst but it’s only windows-compatible, awww.

    • Reply September 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Don’t have Ubuntu to test it on.

      The Audinst HUD-MX1 works with OSX as well.

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Guest

      i think you were confusing it with the yulong U100 that pairs well only with windows

      • Reply September 23, 2011

        Anonymous

        Good point, yea perhaps he meant the Yulong U100.

        • Reply September 23, 2011

          pkonik

          Yeah, you’re right, probably. The volume level of the one I’m thinking about can be controlled only through the software. But nevermind.
          Still, I’d like to know whether E10 will work with Linux. Anyone?

          • Reply September 24, 2011

            Anonymous

            Sorry I used to have an ubuntu netbook but someone’s installed windows over it and I haven’t restore it back to Ubuntu so I can’t check (I lost the power adapter to that laptop).

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    N00bality

    I have been thinking about buying some HD598’s. Would the Fiio E10 be a good pairing?

    • Reply September 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes it would.

      • Reply September 22, 2011

        N00bality

        Sweet! Thanks for the fast reply.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    Kimmy_69_rokz

    would it benefit ed8 out of a pc?

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    Kimmy_69_rokz

    I’m sorry I meant like would it be worth getting for the ED8? I’m currently using just an iPod but want an improvement thx

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Oh yes, definitely. Definitely better than the iPod.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    Jordan

    how about pairing this E10 DAC part with E9 amping section? is it going to be better than E10 itself?

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Good question Jordan.

      I copy and pasted this from another question:

      Yes actually I have. Here is what I found: The sound was more spacious and again, I also like how it’s easier to get loud volume levels with the E9. Dynamics was also better with the E9’s amplifier. One thing suffer though, that is the midrange body was a little hollow, and the frequency transition from bass-mid-treble is not as smooth as I hear out of the E10. So while certain things were nice with the E9, ultimately I think the E10 won me over one more time.

      • Reply September 23, 2011

        Jordan

        so, in your opinion isn’t E10 as standalone DAC+AMP is better than collaborating E10 DAC section with E9 Amping section? hm…. Interesting and thx for the answer 🙂

        • Reply September 24, 2011

          Anonymous

          No please don’t take it like that. As I’ve said certain things are better through the E9, but with my personal preference, I just happen to like the E10 better.

  • Reply September 22, 2011

    1amp

    have u tried e10 with iPad with camera connection kit? I probably draws too much current?

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Sorry that’s one thing I haven’t tried since I don’t have the camera connection kit around.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    Eddie Liang

    i have audio technica esw9 and shure se115 iems. Im thinking about getting an amp solely to pair with my laptop, would the fiio e10 be a good fit?

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes sure.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    1amp

    headfonia, what do you do for living to have time to reply to all our Qs?! 🙂

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      I know, you guys really should stop asking so many questions. 🙂

      • Reply September 23, 2011

        Guest

        lol I wonder how many people are E10 converts aftre reading your e10 article.

        cheap, good, stamp of appoval from Mike..

        • Reply September 23, 2011

          Anonymous

          I should try being a salesman selling private jets to billionaires. Probably do pretty well.

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      Photography is my day job but I am not a very busy photographer so I get plenty of time to answer questions such as yours. 😉

      • Reply September 23, 2011

        HK-47

        Ah, so that explains why the photos on your reviews always look great.

        • Reply September 24, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yea, I got to use good lighting equipment so that helps a lot with making the photos here.

        • Reply June 27, 2012

          Cola Bear

          I agree, the pics look great here.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    nick

    Question: My actual setup is PC onboard audio to Shure SRH840. Should I get the E10 (DAC + Amp) or a CmoyBB (no DAC)? What do you think? Thanks in advance!

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      I would get the E10 since your source is a PC. Using a mini-mini connection from the PC’s output to the CmoyBB is not such a good idea.

      • Reply September 23, 2011

        nick

        Ok, thanks a lot!

        • Reply September 24, 2011

          Anonymous

          A little clarification. I’m not saying that all onboard audios are bad (hence me recommending the E10 over the Cmoy). I guess in my experience the headphone out from a PC tend to be loose and easily loses a channel (or two) and in this sense a USB connection is more robust.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    Chloe

    Mike, ath-ad900 with e10, will it work? or will it be too much for the e10?

    Just interested since e10 has bass boost, and people been saying the ad900 lack bass, so thinking that might fix the issue, what do you think?

    • Reply September 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      It should be okay.. the AD900 is not too critical of the source.

      As for the bass, it should help a little, but still the AD900 is never a bass heavy headphone to begin with.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    berger

    hi Mike, would fiio E10 enhance the performace of my HD25-1-II?to what extent?
    because for me, the cans’ bass is just not enough

    • Reply September 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      The Fiio’s bass is nice, but I have a feeling you’ll be better off with using another headphone like the Audio Technica Pro700 Mk2. 

      http://www.headfonia.com/bass-to-the-power-of-two-pro700-mk2/

      • Reply September 26, 2011

        berger

        rather than buying a new bassy cans, say Pro700 Mk2, I prefer having an affordable DAC/headamp that can really improve bass of my existing HD25-1-II. would this fii0 e10 be an answer?
        i listen to punk-rock with HD25-1-II, yet sometimes i spend hours listening to R&B. that’s why i need DAC/headamp (could be standalone) that can make my cans a bit flexible for 2 different genres. please advise.

        • Reply September 27, 2011

          Anonymous

          Well in that case then, yes, go ahead and try the E10. I think it would make a fitting gear to get you that 2 genres in 1 headphone.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    Yh

    hey mike! how does this compare to the tiny tube dac? i have a ms-1000 (alessandro ms-1 with alumod) and am considering a dac…. hmm…

    • Reply September 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think the Tiny Tube DAC is probably still one step ahead of the E10 due to the tube in the output stage. The E10 after all is still a solid state. However, I think both the Tiny Tube and the E10 would do a good pairing with the MS1000. 

      Now, tonality wise:
      If you feel that midrange is very important then go with the Tiny Tube. 
      If you feel that midrange and lows are important then go with the E10. The E10’s mids are not as good as the Tiny Tube (actually also the treble section), but the bass section is weightier than the Tiny Tube. 

      • Reply September 24, 2011

        Yh

        whoo! thanks for the comprehensive and concise reply! what about the highs? i prefer clarity in the highs 🙂 

        • Reply September 24, 2011

          Anonymous

          You’ll get clearer highs with the Tiny Tube.

          • Reply September 24, 2011

            Yh

            alrite man! thanks for the heads up 🙂

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    Fiio E10

    […] […]

  • Reply September 24, 2011

    SC

    Will you be posting any pictures of the insides?

    • Reply September 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      I dont plan to..do you need one? It’s probably going to be just a bunch of tiny SMD components.

      Sent from my mobile device, apologize for any spelling mistakes.

      • Reply September 25, 2011

        SC

        Just curious that’s all.

        Oh and also, is the line out always active? Does it still work with a headphone plugged into the 3.5mm output in front? For the E9 a load into the headphone outputs would disable the line out

  • Reply September 24, 2011

    Stef

    Mike, do you think the e10 will be a good dac for asgard? i’m gonna pair both of them with ad-900 do you think it’s a good combo or not? or just the e10 will be enough?

    Thanks

    • Reply September 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      If you are going to pair it with the Asgard then it may be better to use a stand alone DAC like the HRT MS2, MS2+ or the DACport LX.
      The E10 would do a fine job driving the AD-900, but obviously the Asgard + Stand alone DAC would be better.

      • Reply September 25, 2011

        Stef

        Mike, do you think the ms2+asgard would be a good pair for ad-900? or would it be overkill? should i just go with the audinst instead?

  • Reply September 25, 2011

    Kjm1839

    Hi there. I was wondering if this DAC/amp combo can be used with a pair of speakers (AV40 specifically) using the line out. It does seem to be marketed as product for a headphone which has be slightly worried.

  • Reply September 25, 2011

    Guest

    Sorry if I missed it in your article, but what is your testing setup? Can I expect the E10 to work out of the box on a Mac running Lion?

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Eskimoo

    hi nice review

    can you confirm which onboard sound that “isn’t always bad”?
    yes, no doubt on specs paper and lab test onboard give good result of THD, and perhaps technicality, like 24bit/192Khz they said!

    as i knew onboards offer only cheap solution (rely on simple design and single chip solution), without good circuitry, good caps, good design, good components, even good filtering, etc.
    they designed for speaker output, yes usually we buy active (built-in amp) speakers nowadays.
    so bad input somewhat ‘corrected’ with inside amp. and speakers not that revealing compared to headphone.but for direct headphone, its not even have good headphone out design.
    correct me if im wrong

    but really, can some realteks on PC or ADI chip macbooks can beat cheap DAC which cost like FiiO on musicality performance (transparancy, separation, detail, etc)?
    looking for price and size I really doubt ’bout your claim .

    • Reply September 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      I don’t know, I’ve never really do a comparison review so I don’t think I can answer that question.
      The problem I seem to be having with laptop headphone outs is that after a while the 3.5mm jack would start losing contact and I would often get the sound only in one channel. That’s why I very much prefer a separate DAC/amp solution.

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Guest

    hi Mike, question on the Dacport LX, how would you describe the PRaT factor on that? thanks again for replying.

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Dookie182

    hey mike,
    could you make a quick comparaison between fiio E10 and centrance dacmini, aiming to pair it with the hd25-1 II and mostly listen to rock, pop, hardcore music.
    I’m suspecting you’ll bet better technicalities from the dacmini (frequency extensions, articulation, blacker background, instument separation) but the E10 might have fuller mids and bass and maybe a deeper soundstage.
    I own the dacmini and pretty much like it but kind of feel it is a little thin… and lack guts.
    your point of view is welcome
    kindest regards.

    • Reply September 27, 2011

      Guest

       so you mean that the dacmini is not a good dac to enjoy music from? I wonder how is the dacport lx like too..

      • Reply September 27, 2011

        Anonymous

        The DACport LX to my ears is warmer, more relaxed, easier on the ears than the DACmini.

    • Reply September 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well the DACmini is a $800 box if you know what I mean.

      But I can relate to what you’re saying, and yes tonally the E10 is warmer and fuller and has more body on the lows (though bass impact is still better on the DACmini — obviously).
      It’s a bit weird though, recommending an $80 solution to someone who’s currently using a $800 box..

  • Reply September 27, 2011

    Cc Cc

    would the e10 match with the shure srh940 and srh840?

    thanks!

    • Reply September 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, better on the 940 and okay on the 840.

      • Reply September 29, 2011

        Cc Cc

        ok thanks!!

  • Reply September 27, 2011

    Larry

    I doubt the FiiO E10 would sound better through speakers than the  Topping D2 dac or the Zero Dac.

  • […] The Latest Must Have: The Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp -updated- | Headfonia […]

  • Reply September 27, 2011

    Guest

    i pre-ordered the E10 after numerous readings, do you think I should also get a Pa2v2 to pair it up too ?

    thanks for helping with making the E10 decision.

    • Reply September 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Usually I would wait until the gear arrives first, then listen to it and decide afterwards if anything is missing.

    • Reply September 27, 2011

      Kjm1839

      Do you think the e10 will be crap for speakers? Maybe I should cancel my order…

      • Reply September 27, 2011

        Kjm1839

        Whoops. Meant to reply to Larry’s comment down there.

        • Reply September 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          Whoops on my part too.. didn’t see this comment when I replied.

      • Reply September 28, 2011

        Anonymous

        Why would it be crap for speakers? I think it should be fine unless you’re talking about high end multi-thousand dollars speakers.

  • Reply September 27, 2011

    silver

    Hi! I’ve plan to buy a Sennheiser HD558 (or maybe HD598..), but now I use an iPod Touch as source…

    The question is: is the DAC of the E10 better of the DAC of the iPod?
    And the HD558+E10 isn’t too dark or warm for you?

    Obviously i’ll use the E10 as Desktop source, i don’t care about portability…

    Thanks! And sorry for my english, I’m italian… 🙂

    • Reply September 28, 2011

      silver

      I listen Jazz, Classical… a bit of Rock… generally acoustic music…

    • Reply September 28, 2011

      silver

      ehm… there’s no one?

      • Reply September 28, 2011

        Anonymous

        Sorry I missed your question the first time around.

        1. Yes the DAC of the E10 is better.
        2. HD558 + E10 no I don’t think it’s too dark.

        No problem, I wish I can speak Italian. 😉

        • Reply September 28, 2011

          silver

          Thanks!!! 😀

          this E10 seems a godsend… 🙂

        • Reply November 15, 2011

          silver

          Hi Mike! 

          I bought the 598 and now it’s plug into my iPod… WOWW!!!!!! 😀
          With my old Akg K44 I have never heard music before.. Great soundstage, great balance, great comfort! :)I’ve paid just 140€… ;)Waiting for my Fiio E10… Thanks!!!!

          • Reply November 16, 2011

            Anonymous

            Glad to hear that! 🙂

  • Reply September 28, 2011

    Michael

    How’s the channel balance on the E10 paired with your JH5Pro?

    I returned the U100 because the 1st three steps of forty, excluding step zero, had an imbalance and the range on its dial with IEMs was not very far even with bringing down the Windows Volume to 5 of 100, without any hint of distortion mind you. The U100 lacks a low impedance switch but on the E10 you’re only using a 4th of the dial, how many steps is that? if you can tell there are steps that is.

    (I had also been auditioning fullsize cans with the U100 but those too were returned, tried to make what I had work)

    • Reply September 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hey yahoo@yahoo.com, nice email address! 😉

      The U100’s gain would’ve been too high for an IEM I think. Didn’t I say that in the review? The E10 works much better for that purpose. With any analog volume control there will always be a slight amount of imbalance at the very low levels, hence that’s what the gain switch is for. Switch it to low gain and you’ll have good channel balance for the volume range that you’ll be using with the IEM.
      I used the JH5 which is the most sensitive IEM I’ve heard, far more sensitive than the majority of universal IEMs, so if you’re using a universal you should get even better results.

      • Reply September 28, 2011

        Michael

        mp4nation has their 2nd pre-order scheduled to be delivered early November, guess I’ll save up and wait n see if anything else comes out of the woodwork.

        • Reply September 29, 2011

          Anonymous

          Okay. Yes, see if anything else comes up.

  • Reply September 28, 2011

    Anonymous

    I can’t decide between this and the ibasso d-zero … they’re both price so competitively

    • Reply September 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      A D-Zero review is coming up really soon.

  • Reply September 28, 2011

    HK-47

    I forgot to ask, do you think the E10 would work well (or at least do a decent job) with the HD600? I’m looking to build an affordable, all-around setup for both music (rock, jazz, etc.) and movies. But I’m on a limited budget, and I don’t have the space for a proper desktop amp in my tiny apartment.

    • Reply September 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      It’ll do the job. As for how well it’ll do the job well as you say it’s a budget solution.

      • Reply September 28, 2011

        HK-47

        I guess it’ll have to do until I have the budget (and the space) for a desktop setup. Though hopefully it’ll be decent enough to keep upgraditis at bay for a while. Thanks! 

  • Reply September 28, 2011

    Sebastian

    Hi Mike, nice review. Would the line out output be un upgrade from my notebook lino out connecting the U-10 to audioengine A5 powered speakers?

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Guest

    mike..could you compare it to the hrt music streamer ii???

    • Reply September 29, 2011

      Anonymous

      Lol. Simple comparison.

      HRT MS2: Pure DAC. Better DAC.
      E10: DAC&Amp in one box. Inferior DAC, but you can plug your headphones right to it.

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Jian Ming Lee

    hi there…i heard the e10’s release date has been postponed…it’s on head-fi forum …just for ur info XD

    • Reply September 29, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Jian Ming.

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Johan Ullman

    Would be nice to compare this one to the HRT HeadStreamer that’s coming out.
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/572751/hrt-headstreamer-usb-dac-amp

    • Reply September 29, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes we have been a long time fan of HRT DACs and I am hoping to get one unit to review as well.

      • Reply September 29, 2011

        Johan Ullman

        Yeah, hope so too! Always looking forward to your reviews!

        • Reply September 30, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks, Johan!

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Anonymous

    I wonder how this compares with the Hifiman HM-101. Do you have any plans to post some impressions about the HM-101?

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      I will do once I get the HM-101 which at the moment is still being mailed to me.

    • Reply October 1, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes I am listening to the HM-101 now but I don’t think I’m quite ready to write anything about it yet.

  • […] to go with the built in headphone out of the E10 to maintain maximum transparency levels. Source: The Latest Must Have: The Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp -updated- | Headfonia Share| Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3| i5-2500 | Kingston HyperX 1600mhz 2*4GB| Razor […]

  • Reply October 1, 2011

    Cc Cc

    will the e10 push the bass of the srh940, so that it has as good bass as the srh840 and so it will be the ultimate shure headphone?

    • Reply October 1, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well it will help with the bass but audio is not quite like 1+1=2.

      • Reply October 9, 2011

        USCdeacon

        if only it were that easy right? 😛

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    fangzhou

    will a Fischer FA-003 sounds better with the E10?

    • Reply October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      It should, depending on what you’re using now.

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    Mick

    Would this pair well with the ATH M50? Or would you recommend the PA2V2 or JDSLabs cMoy (without DAC).

    • Reply October 9, 2011

      USCdeacon

      I’m wondering the same thing.  My current setup is MBpro–>nuForce udac (1st gen) –> ATH M50s and I think it sounds great (as long as I’m listening to lossless files, as the M50s are pretty revealing of compression imho).  

      Wondering if a bump up to the E10 will be worth it or maybe I should take a bigger jump to the EX10.  I’m a post-grad student so every dollar matters! (I shouldn’t be on this site or head-fi… fiscally dangerous :P).

      • Reply October 10, 2011

        Anonymous

        Okay answered above, and be careful with your wallet 🙂 

    • Reply October 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think the M50 would work well with either of them, the PA2V2, JDSLabs Cmoy or the E10. 

      The nice thing about the E10, if you don’t need to use it as a portable is that you don’t have to worry about battery life. 

      Although in that sense then the Ibasso D-Zero is even better since if you are using it as a desktop DAC/Amp it takes power from the USB, but you can also take it out and use it as a portable amp. BUT sound wise I think the D-Zero lacks the vocal presence that you get on the E10 and that’s something that the M-50 would benefit from. 

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    Omz

    Is this comparable to the iBasso D4 or that is a different class? Thanks

    • Reply October 5, 2011

      Anonymous

      The D4 is supposed to be a more refined DAC, and though it’s been a while since I listened to one, I think the D4 is still ahead of the D-Zero in DAC performance.

      • Reply October 5, 2011

        Omz

        I meant in comparison to the E10 not the D-Zero, as an amp/dac combo. Thanks!

        • Reply October 6, 2011

          Anonymous

          Two totally different products, don’t you think? I can’t even begin to think where to start the comparison. One is big and one is small?

  • Reply October 11, 2011

    Anonymous

    Great review, and seems like FiiO announced the e10 today 😉

    I just have one  question: “Soundstage, however is more spacious and more open on the E7-E9 combo, though the soundstage depth is better on the E10.”between e10 or e9, which amp i would use for Gaming/Movie ? what’s better with these ? I can’t afford the e7-e9 combo, so, what you recommend ?  The DAC in e10 improves the soundstage ?sorry for my bad english 😉

  • Reply October 11, 2011

    cdrg

    Will the E10 be a good match for the Sennheiser HD650? I want to buy a cheap and portable dac/amp  for my laptop and I know that the HD650 are very picky (because of its sound signature and amplification power).

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Aaron1006

    Would the E10 be powerful enough to drive Akg K702? Also how do you think it would pair with the SRH940’s?

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Aaron1006

    Would the E10 be powerful enough to drive Akg K702? Also how do you think it would pair with the SRH940’s?

    • Reply October 12, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes it works with both the HD800 and the T1, so I think it would drive the K702.
      It also should work well with the SRH-940 as the E10 is quite warm sounding.

    • Reply October 12, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes it works with both the HD800 and the T1, so I think it would drive the K702.
      It also should work well with the SRH-940 as the E10 is quite warm sounding.

      • Reply October 22, 2011

        FiiO

        haha, it is the first FiiO amp which had been described as warm sounding. 

  • Reply October 13, 2011

    Zenmidy

    Does the e10 pair well with superlux 668B 😀

  • Reply October 13, 2011

    Zenmidy

    Does the e10 pair well with superlux 668B 😀

  • Reply October 13, 2011

    DodgersKings323

    Wonderful! I think i’ll get this over the Audinst 🙂

  • Reply October 15, 2011

    Richard

    Is it possible to use this amp along with a Windows 7 based system?

    • Reply October 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Richard,
      Sorry I haven’t tried it with a Windows 7. I think you should be able to.

      • Reply October 20, 2011

        Richard

        I wrote Fiio and asked them directly, here’s their answer: “Yes, E10 can support with windows 7,windows xp,macbook,and it can work with iPad under firmware 4.3.5” Sounds good (not the English skills but the OS support).

        • Reply October 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Sounds good, Richard.

    • Reply October 22, 2011

      FiiO

      sure it support

  • Reply October 21, 2011

    SJC

    For grado headphones, this clearly sounds better than E7+E9 combo. Sold them right after I got and heard the E10

    • Reply October 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks!
      So the first batch of the E10 are out on the market now? 

      Actually the E10 sounds better than the E7/E9 for a lot of headphones. I have a few friends come to compare the E10 with the D-Zero and they unanimously agree that the E10 is the more musical one of the two. 

      • Reply October 21, 2011

        Lieven V

        I received my E10 today and I have to agree: great product!

      • Reply October 22, 2011

        Donunus

        Try the D3/E9 combo on high gain Mike. I would be really surprised if the E10 can still compete. In fact, I’ll buy one on the spot if you can say that the E10 is still better. I am using the HD600 and the AKG K141 mk2 with the same settings in gain and the sound is great! By the way, you should try the AKG K141. They slauuuughter the hd25-1 hehehe. They sound similar to a grado using TTVJ Flats without the leftover harshness in fact they have a senn smoothness mixed with their impactful sound and no coloration like the hd25 🙂

        • Reply October 22, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks, Donunus. I really need to give the D3 a try and I will.

          As for the K141, they are fun phones, better than the K240 series in my opinion. I listened to the 600 ohms model a while ago and was impressed by it. The pace, however, is not exactly as fast as the HD25-1, and they are also less upfront. But I agree that the K141s are nice.

          • Reply October 22, 2011

            Donunus

            I have the 55ohm ones and I find the pace to be as good as grados and what I remember with the hd25-1s except these have no cuppy colorations whatsoever like the slight cup honkiness that plagues the hd25-1 IMO

            • Reply October 24, 2011

              Anonymous

              Alright, yes the K141 isn’t that common so I really don’t have that much experience with them.

        • Reply October 25, 2011

          Donunus

          By the way, about the E9 being compared to the E10 I just want to say that since I am using an external dac instead of the e7 being docked on the unit that the interconnects matter quite a bit in their performance. With the e7, the e9 was bright and a little hollow sounding, with the d3 and cheap interconnects, the highs and overall sound is smoother but some hollowness is left. With my DIY Pro Co cables, it sounds like a different amp with the same house sound. Detail and precision is highly improved. I Kid you not! I will be getting some e10s soon so I will finally get to see what the fuss is all about. 

          Now one question Mike, have you tried using different USB cables on the e10? Since it is not an async dac, I think that too will matter in the overall performance. With my e7/e9 combo before, using a $10  belkin gold USB cable removed some veil in the sound when compared to the stock usb cord.

  • Reply October 26, 2011

    macro

    How well do you think the E10 could drive a Beyer DT880 600 ohm?

    • Reply October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Macro,
      Shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve used the E10 with the Beyer T1 (also 600 ohms) and Senn HD800 (300 ohms)

  • Reply October 26, 2011

    Wondering guest

    How is the dac SQ of the e10 vs hrt streamer (any of them)? are they comparable or is it unfair at the price point

    • Reply October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      The HRTs are still the better DAC.

  • Reply October 26, 2011

    Tobias Andersson

    Hi, I´m looking for an amp with low output impedance for my Denon d2000s. Do you have any numbers for the E10? I know the E7 is under 1 ohm which would be perfect and then again the E9 might be a bit too high. If the E10 would have the same output impedance as the E/ i think the E10 would be a better choice?

    • Reply October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Tobias,
      The OI of the E10 is about 0.3 Ohms. And yes I think it’s a better choice than the E7 aside from the ability to use it as a portable amp.

    • Reply October 28, 2011

      Donunus

      I would recommend the E10 over the E9 for the denons too. All the low impedance cans I tried just didn’t sound that good with the E9s for me. Among the headphones I’ve tried on them, only my 300 ohm HD600s vibe with the E9s. 

      • Reply October 28, 2011

        Donunus

        Oh, and the e7s would be totally outclassed by the E10

        • Reply October 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          Totally agree with you there, Donunus.

  • Reply October 26, 2011

    Tobias Andersson

    Sorry i meant the E7 and not E/ like in my post below.

  • Reply October 27, 2011

    Guest

    my E10 finally arrived !!! Listening to it with hd25 is just so gratifying, with bass boost on you’re in heaven.  Everything is just as Mike puts it in the review, toe-tapping PRaT for sure, thanks Mike and FiiO.

    word of note though, when I first listened to it, sounded very muddy and closed but after 24hrs butn-in, everything is just like how Mike puts it. just WOW. lol don’t know if it can get any better with the Audinst now or should I itch to get something more interesting 🙂

    • Reply October 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      LOL glad you like it.

      The Audinst is better technically, but sound signature wise I thin the E10 is more fun.

  • Reply October 27, 2011

    Guest

    sorry for the silliness, quick question thought, how do I use this high gain and low gain? with Hd25, with high gain, the headphone sounds much clearer than in low gain ? any guidelines? thanks much!

    • Reply October 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well the gain selector is used to give you an appropriate range for volume control. High gain will let you go louder, while low gain is better suited for IEMs.

      • Reply October 27, 2011

        Lieven V

        So far with all headphones I tried with it, I didn’t like the high gain setting. Anyone else?

        • Reply October 28, 2011

          Donunus

          Unlike the Burson HA160D where I highly preferred low gain , the E10 just doesn’t have the volume I need at low gain. In fact, even with the thousand dollar Burson HA160D, I was playing most of my music near full volume at low gain hehehe

  • Reply October 27, 2011

    Donunus

    Just got some E10s. One word.  Awesome! 

    • Reply October 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Nice.
      Everybody is starting to get their E10s.

    • Reply October 27, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hey you should do a mini-review to the D3. Curious to see how the two compares.

      • Reply October 28, 2011

        Donunus

        I have a short comparison of the e10 and D3 in here http://headfonics.com/2011/10/fiio-e10-review-a-lot-of-boxes-have-been-ticked/

        My D3 Review is here
        http://headfonics.com/2011/09/fiio-d3-dac-its-a-keeper/

        • Reply October 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          Nice, I will read it later.

      • Reply October 28, 2011

        Donunus

        Oh by the way, I wasn’t clear on whether the D3 or E10 was better as a DAC on the review since they were very close to each other and the impact of changing the cables on the D3 made more of a difference than the gap between the sound of both DACs. I’ll wait until I have the same diy cables to comment on which is actually the better dac among the two. As for now, the D3 is better but I have a feeling that the e10 will overlap it a little once my mini cables are here.

  • Reply October 28, 2011

    Leigh Bardsley

    Just ordered an e10 for use with my ATH-M50s at work. I’m wondering if I could use it at home as well between my pc and 70’s Kenwood amp for better sound (currently running off onboard sound)?

    Thanks for the compelling review!

  • Reply October 28, 2011

    Phil Reece

    Mike, nice review.  How does the E10 compare with the Dr. DAC Nano?

    • Reply October 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Phil,
      Sorry haven’t heard the Dr. DAC NAno for a long time.

      • Reply October 28, 2011

        Phil Reece

        I couldn’t remember if you still had the Nano or not.  Thanks.  I might just have to swing for one of these anyway.

        • Reply October 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yea, sorry about that Phil.

  • Reply November 2, 2011

    Bargh

    The E10 and E11 have the same amp……

  • Reply November 3, 2011

    Steve

    Hi headfonia,
    Please help me decide between Fiio E10 vs JDSLabs Cmoy.
    Which one has better SQ playing same music on PC connected to E10 vs JDSLabs Cmoy connected via LOD on Ipod/touch/classic?
    I listen to R&B, jazz, classical, rock.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply November 3, 2011

      Anonymous

      I would get the E10 for its USB DAC which the JDSLabs doesn’t have.

      The JDSLabs however has a very nice amp, smoother and more spacious than the E10. For R&B and Rock the E10’s amp has a better punch and pace though.
      Looks like more points for the E10.

  • Reply November 6, 2011

    Jsitthi

    Hey Headfonia,
    My girlfriend just ordered a T50p and I was wondering if this E10 would compliment them well. She would be using a MacBook Air > Fiio E10 > T50p.

    Thanks.

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      I don’t really know her audio gear background and experiences, and so I can’t really say. But she can give it a try. I love the E10 with my Macbook Air.

      • Reply November 24, 2011

        VAl

        Has anyone tested this with the ipad or ipad 2 via the camera connection kit?

        • Reply November 24, 2011

          Lieven V

          I will do that tonight. It was on my to do list but I keep forgetting

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      I don’t really know her audio gear background and experiences, and so I can’t really say. But she can give it a try. I love the E10 with my Macbook Air.

  • Reply November 6, 2011

    Jsitthi

    Hey Headfonia,
    My girlfriend just ordered a T50p and I was wondering if this E10 would compliment them well. She would be using a MacBook Air > Fiio E10 > T50p.

    Thanks.

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Kanon

    Hello, Mike

    Could you recommend an external soundcard or DAC below $200 (plugged into laptop) for Genelec 8020 level speakers?

    Does DAC provide better sound quality than soundcard at the same price level? I heard that soundcard is actually better DAC sub $200.

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Kanon

    Hello, Mike

    Could you recommend an external soundcard or DAC below $200 (plugged into laptop) for Genelec 8020 level speakers?

    Does DAC provide better sound quality than soundcard at the same price level? I heard that soundcard is actually better DAC sub $200.

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Kanon,
      I do my reviews on headphone based systems, so I can’t comment on the Genelec. But as a general rule of thumb a good DAC would still be a good DAC regardless the output is headphones or speakers.
      What kind of an output do you need to drive the Genelec? The HRT MS2 has been one of my favorite DACs. http://www.headfonia.com/the-hrt-music-streamer-ii-asynchronous-2496-for-149-95/
      Let me know what you think on that.

      And on the soundcards, two things, one is that they won’t work for your laptop, and two I think as in most cases we have to do some comparisons first before I can say anything about them.

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Kanon,
      I do my reviews on headphone based systems, so I can’t comment on the Genelec. But as a general rule of thumb a good DAC would still be a good DAC regardless the output is headphones or speakers.
      What kind of an output do you need to drive the Genelec? The HRT MS2 has been one of my favorite DACs. http://www.headfonia.com/the-hrt-music-streamer-ii-asynchronous-2496-for-149-95/
      Let me know what you think on that.

      And on the soundcards, two things, one is that they won’t work for your laptop, and two I think as in most cases we have to do some comparisons first before I can say anything about them.

      • Reply November 7, 2011

        Kanon

        WOW, I know I should check with you first. Would you say that MS2 is a huge step above Fiio’s E-serires and other $100 DAC you have reviewed lately?

        I was talking about external soundcard like Asus Essence STX, Musiland Monitor 03, can you comment on any of the these compared to MS?

      • Reply November 7, 2011

        Kanon

        WOW, I know I should check with you first. Would you say that MS2 is a huge step above Fiio’s E-serires and other $100 DAC you have reviewed lately?

        I was talking about external soundcard like Asus Essence STX, Musiland Monitor 03, can you comment on any of the these compared to MS?

        • Reply November 7, 2011

          Kanon

          I can find MS2 in Australia for $199, to your knowledge still the best option for speakers (I don’t use headphones anymore)?

        • Reply November 7, 2011

          Kanon

          I can find MS2 in Australia for $199, to your knowledge still the best option for speakers (I don’t use headphones anymore)?

          • Reply November 8, 2011

            Kanon

            Oh, another thing, do I have install driver on MS2, or is it plug and play?  I read somewhere that MS2 support Itune, does it not support other software like foobar/movies/video games?

          • Reply November 8, 2011

            Kanon

            Oh, another thing, do I have install driver on MS2, or is it plug and play?  I read somewhere that MS2 support Itune, does it not support other software like foobar/movies/video games?

          • Reply November 8, 2011

            Kanon

            Sorry Mike, a final question, my speaker has balanced port, is it better to connect it with a DAC that support balanced output like HUD-MX1, would it sound better than MS2 even though MS2 is a better DAC?

            Thanks.

          • Reply November 8, 2011

            Kanon

            Sorry Mike, a final question, my speaker has balanced port, is it better to connect it with a DAC that support balanced output like HUD-MX1, would it sound better than MS2 even though MS2 is a better DAC?

            Thanks.

          • Reply November 9, 2011

            Anonymous

            I can’t say if that’s gonna be the best thing ever since there are just too many other products that does the same thing and I’ve yet to compare the MS2 to everything out there. 😉 

          • Reply November 9, 2011

            Anonymous

            The MS2 is plug and play, no driver required. 

            As for the balanced port, it’s not absolutely necessary. If your speaker doesn’t have an RCA input (monitoring speakers usually only comes with only XLR), one of the thing you need to get is an RCA to XLR interconnect cable. 

            A higher resolution DAC will always be a higher resolution DAC regardless of the RCA/XLR connection it uses.

        • Reply November 9, 2011

          Anonymous

          Sorry for taking so long to reply to your questions, Kanon. 

          I haven’t done a review on the Essence STX (in fact have never auditioned it) so I can’t comment. Likewise on the Musiland, but I did a review on the Musiland 02 and the most interesting thing about it is the upsampler. The actual DAC section is just okay and subpar from the HRT MS2.

          http://www.headfonia.com/musiland-02-24192-for-120/

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Kanon

    I listen to classical music mainly, so eye on big deep soundstage.

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Kanon

    I listen to classical music mainly, so eye on big deep soundstage.

  • Reply November 10, 2011

    Patrick Wong

    Just got my Fiio E10 and it a great little unit for the money. The review was  excellent and made the purchase that much easier. Only two minor  complaints about the unit, first is so light  that if you have plug a headphones  with a heavy cord it does not sit well on the desk top. My other complaint  is  that has anyone notice that if you use an iPhone 3.5mm plug, like the one from shure , it does not fit the jack properly.   If you put all the way in the signals fades, I had to pull it out a bit to get full volume. Work fine with the normal Shure  cable, does any know a fix ?

    • Reply November 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      Sounds good, Patrick.

      The unit is indeed a little on the light side isn’t it. Perhaps they can make it to something like the Nuforce uDAC, if I remember the uDAC is slightly heavier and sits better.
      As for the Iphone plug, from my understanding all 3.5mm plugs (even with microphone connectors) should follow the same standards, but sometimes manufacturers do get it wrong. I’ll ask Fiio and see if they have a solution to it.

    • Reply November 10, 2011

      FiiO

      For the first question, it can be solved by a double-sided tape, them you can stick E10 on your desktop.

      For the second question, we do notice this question, it is because the iphone’s definition of the headphone socket is 1, L, 2, R, 3, Gnd, 4, MIC/inline control. so it is not a standard design as NOKIA, SAMSUNG and others, So you have to pull out the jack a little so the Ground (pin 3 ) can connect the Ground of the headphone out socket.

  • Reply November 17, 2011

    guest

    i have a headroom bithead…. i kinda wanna sell it and get this…
    what do you think?

    • Reply November 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hmm… I have the bithead too. Let me do some quick listening comparison tomorrow and get back to you.

  • Reply November 18, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Mike, have you seen the new HRT Headstreamer?  It looks like  a top notch product with their proven DAC technology.  Wonder, how it would compare to the E10…

  • Reply November 18, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Mike, do you think these DAC/AMP units are a match for desktop amps as far as SQ, etc?  Particularly for lower impedance phones like Grados, IEMs, HE-300, etc.?

  • Reply November 18, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Sorry for piece meal quetsions – how does it compare to the Centrance Dacport in absolute terms but also especially at 1/5 the price?  Thank you.

  • Reply November 23, 2011

    yoyoma

    would like to know more about how it sounds on hd 558/598 series

    heard due to low impedence there is little difference between amped and unamped for the above phones.

    is this the case with Fiio e10 ?

    Thanks

  • Reply November 25, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Preliminary impressions (no burn in – just a couple of hours out the box) Sounds good – more spacious, clear and resolving than the Fiio E10 (E10 is slightly warmer, muddier and narrower sounding).  The lack of volume knob is a bit cumbersome/tricky but itdoes have volume control through the PC/MAC system volume.  Upside to this is that there is no channel imbalance.  Not sure if it is the same but the DAC section is quite on par with the HRT Streamer II (isolation stage has been removed but it’s hardly audible – listening environment is less than ideal quiet).  Has enough juice for Grado’s and IEMs. Have not tested it with harder to drive headphones yet.  Size is about the same thickness diameter as the HRT Music Streamer II but less than half long with slightly wider than the body face plates.  Better than uDac-2 as well.  No longer have the Dacport for a direct comparison but at less than half the price it is quite good to say the least.

    • Reply November 25, 2011

      Bulmanxxi

      This is the HRT Headstreamer compared to the Fiio E10.  The HRT Headstreamer is better IMO.

      • Reply November 26, 2011

        Mike

        I think the Headstreamer would be better too.. how much did you get it for?

        • Reply November 28, 2011

          Bulmanxxi

          MSRP is $139 but if you talk to the dealers you might get a bit of a break…  I would not use it for a line out though – only as a stand alone amp/dac.  It lacks the isolation stage of the HRT Music Streamers so the Music Streamers with a separate amp would still sound better.  But for a portable all in one solution at a reasonable price it is probably the best in the price range.

          • Reply November 28, 2011

            Mike

            Yes I think so too. Just a matter of time of when I’m going to get the Headstreamer.

  • Reply November 27, 2011

    Chris

    Hey Mike, love this review!  You made the FiiO e10 to be a must-buy, and it certainly looks like it!  A few question (s) about it paired with a few headphones.

    Do you think you could jot down a few thoughts on the FiiO e10 with the Senn HD598, Senn HD 580/600, Senn HD 800, and other headphones, like the Grado SR80i and the HifiMan HE-300.  I would really to upgrade my good ‘ol Sennheiser HD 280 Pro with something more comfortable and a bit more forward.

    Thanks and much appreciated,

    Chris

    • Reply November 28, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks. Forgive me but I have to make this brief:

      Fiio E10 with:
      HD598 – Good.
      HD580, 600 – Okay, they need more powerful amps.
      HD800 – Okay, need a more refined source/amp.
      SR80i – Should be awesome. I love the SR325is with the E10.
      HE-300 – Okay. Need more powerful amps.

      Hope tha helps. 🙂

  • Reply November 27, 2011

    Donunus

    I just want to say that the E10 is fantabulous with Grados!  I have never ever heard the 325i sounding this good before. Maybe its the extra low bass on the e10, maybe its the smooth mids and highs, whatever it is… it has turned me from hating the 325i using bowls to loving them to a point that I want to buy a pair right now

    • Reply November 28, 2011

      Mike

      E10 + Grados = Awesome.

      I totally agree on the the whole low bass, smooth mids and highs, especially the lower mid body on the E10. The whole sound just match very well with Grados.

  • Reply November 27, 2011

    Mmettle

    ive got a fiio 10, the sound is amazing from my computer but i didnt realise it couldnt be charged and used portably with an mp3 player. anyone know how to do this?

    • Reply November 27, 2011

      Lieven V

      You can’t. this is  a pc only device.

    • Reply November 28, 2011

      Mike

      Yes you can’t use it with an MP3 player. It is designed only for USB computer use.

      • Reply December 3, 2011

        yangcanggih.com

        Hi Mike,

        Can you recommend other products similar to Fiio 10 that also supports MP3 players? Thanks.

        • Reply December 3, 2011

          Rūdolfs Putniņš

          Fostex HP-P1 and Cypher Labs AlgoRythm Solo can process the digital signal from most iDevices, however these are not really E10 price range. Not to mention that not that many MP3 player actually support digital data output for an external DAC to handle. Also keep in mind all the extra logistics for a three piece (trans)portable stack.

          Even if I could somehow justify getting these items to accompany a transducer of according finesse, one must always keep in mind that while on the go circumstances for listening are less than ideal. Only high quality custom IEM’s will provide the isolation so that you might be able to appreciate the hard work the DAC is doing. Not to mention that while walking around your whole body is microphonic, you will feel hear your own footsteps through your skeleton.

          For a transportable rig a three piece stack might do, but you will have three separate electrical cells to baby and recharge. In other words- I fail to see the utility of a three piece rig. I’d rather fight with the clumsy UI of an audiophile DAP. 

          • Reply December 3, 2011

            Mike

            Thanks for the excellent write up, Rudolfs.

            Currently my portable rig is a plain HM-602 and the SE215. You really should listen to this one day, Rudolfs.

        • Reply December 3, 2011

          Mike

  • Reply November 28, 2011

    Andy Rams

    Thanks! This really solves the dilemma I had: portable or desktop DAC+amp, but if the E10 is really that much better than the E7, I’m just gonna go get the E10

  • Reply December 2, 2011

    Comagpidity

    Mike, I dont feel like writing a long emotional comment after reading your quality and much needed comparisons cause i have too much work to do right now (telling myself that its the right choice, and ordering)… but after a few days of reading, searching, bla hbla hblah what people do when trying to figure out stuff that they cant audition my head was hurting bad. Actually this morning 1 am ish, i cancelled my order for my uDAC 2, wondering if a E7 + E9 would do me better since i could go portable.. then finding the E10 etc. All in all let me sum it up what I feel right now- my head would be completely shaven if i needed to shave it for you to show me a review written about quality products by quality person. 
    Shanks!! 

    • Reply December 2, 2011

      Mike

      Thanks man. 🙂

      • Reply December 3, 2011

        Comagpidity

        Any thoughts by the way on teh above mentioned set up(s)?

  • Reply December 2, 2011

    Comagpidity

    Hey mike, I understand that this almost everybody is using it as a headphone amp, but however i want to use the DAC function for-> Mac (FLAC files of course) -> E10 -> Audioengine A5 speakers. These speakers are powered, with built in amp. 
    What do you think? I was originally going to get a uDAC 2. But cancelled (as mentioned below :P) 
    Again i was just about to purchase it but then my head stop hurting for a bit and new question arises

    • Reply December 2, 2011

      Mike

      Hi,
      If you want to have volume control via the DAC, the Fiio E10 won’t do that for you as the line out at the back is fixed. You can however control the volume via Itunes.
      If you want to have volume control on the DAC, then the Audinst HUD-MX1 is the one that has that feature. http://www.headfonia.com/audinst-hud-mx1-dac/

      • Reply December 2, 2011

        Comagpidity

        I think my question was more along the lines of if there will be a good gain in sound quality with the A5 powered speakers + E10. 
        But you raised an interesting point that i didnt know:
        1. Volume Pot will not work with line out at the back, however if my speakers have a volume knob then that should work right?
        2. Volume pot will work with headphone jack?

        • Reply December 2, 2011

          Mike

          1. Yes. You can control the volume from the A5.
          2. Yes, the volume pot controls the headphone jack.

          • Reply December 2, 2011

            Comagpidity

            So will it improve the sound from the speakers, I am worried because people are mostly using it as a headphone amp. Will it be suitable with the A5s. (sorry for pestering Mike)

            • Reply December 2, 2011

              Mike

              What are you using as a source at the moment?

      • Reply December 2, 2011

        Comagpidity

        (reply to comment under (: ) my source is a Macbook pro, i might not be using itunes as a music player as i heard its not as good with FLAC files. 
        Can i reiterate between my two (so far) choices? 
        First setup: macbook Pro (via usb) > E10, giving me amp for phones and hopefully (as you will recommend, my A5s/other powered speakers) via  3.5mm jack out to 3.5 mm jack in on the >AudioEngine A5 

        Second setup: macbook Pro (via usb) > MS2 RCA to 3.5 mm > 1) A5s OR 2) FiiO E6 (portable ability) 
        what are your thoughts!

        • Reply December 3, 2011

          Mike

          The MS2 will give you a better DAC than the Fiio E10, but personally the E6 at the end is not too ideal. I would opt to go with the E10 for headphone listening rather than MS2 + E6.

  • Reply December 2, 2011

    Comagpidity

    • Reply December 2, 2011

      Mike

      Yes, we should have a unit sometimes in Dec/Jan.

  • Reply December 4, 2011

    Gabriel Flores

    Hi there Mike, EXCELLENT Review 🙂 I have the 250 ohm DT990Pros for gaming but i want to use it for my computer’s music and I find the bass a little lacking since I’m a basshead, should i get the E10 or E11 too for best bass in trance, dubstep etc?  

    Oh and I should not even bother with a sound card right? 

    Thanks!

  • Reply December 7, 2011

    Cheesyravioli

    Hi,

    I was wondering if the E10 is an upgrade over my current laptop soundcard, HP Beats IDT High Definition Audio Codec…the headphones that I’m using are the Shure SRH840.  Thanks.

    • Reply December 7, 2011

      Mike

      I can’t be sure since I’ll have to listen to your laptop in order to do that, but I have a good feeling the E10 will be an improvement. It’s a very good product.

  • Reply December 8, 2011

    Luis Trujillo

    Hi Mike, what do you think about pairing the E10(as a DAC) with the CmoyBB (as an AMP)? I’m just about to pull the triger on the E10 since I need a DAC.  just thinking on some litle scalability for the future.. 

    My headfones are HD555 by the way if that matters.

    • Reply December 8, 2011

      Mike

      You can do that, but I think for the HD555 the E10 should suffice.

      With the HD558/598 however you get better scalability (in terms of the headphone) and the CmoyBB should be an improvement then.

  • Reply December 9, 2011

    lcamtai

    Hi Mike! I am a newcomer to this hi-fi area and I read your recommendation list post and Fiio E10 post. My budget is about $250, I will definitely buy Fiio E10 but what about a good headphone? Should I buy Audio-Technica ATH-M50 or Sennheiser HD 558. What is your idea about these two headphone? Closed or Open Headphone is not a problem for me.

    By the way, I usually listen to instrument, newage, pop, R&B, love song or something like that. I do not like rap or rock so could you please help me to choose the appropriate headphone?

    Thank you so much!

  • Reply December 10, 2011

    ramon miranda

    how does it pair, as amp and dac, with an beyerdynamic dt990 250ohms and with an Denon D2000? Have someone tried?

  • Reply December 12, 2011

    Macauley

    Would love for it to be an async DAC

    • Reply December 19, 2011

      Bulmanxxi

      Check out HRT Headstreamer

  • Reply December 21, 2011

    Zaid Saleem

    would the e10 be able to drive the hd650 fine, if not what would you recommend in the sub 150 price range

    • Reply December 21, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Zaid, 
      The E10 has plenty of power reserve for the HD650. I’m waiting to receive the HRT HeadStreamer which also looks like a good device (I have good impressions with HRT DACs). It would be selling for $140, if you want to wait until the end of January I should be able to give a comparison. 

      http://www.tweekgeek.com/hrt-headstreamer/

      • Reply December 31, 2011

        JC Arroyo

        Looking forward for that comparison. I own a two headphones: ATH-M50s and a HD555. I might buy a Denon AH-D2000 soon. I have been using my headphones without an amp and I’m really curious.

  • Reply December 22, 2011

    Andrew

    Fairly set on the AKG 242HD as my next phones. Which amp would you pair with it – E10, MX1 or wait and see how they compare with the Headstreamer?

    Thanks

    • Reply December 22, 2011

      Mike

      Either the E10 or the Audinst should be great — the Audinst being technically better. Or you can also wait for the Headstreamer review, but maybe it’s still one month away.

  • Reply December 24, 2011

    Tyler

    Hi Mike,

    I got a good deal on some Denon AH-D7000’s so I went ahead and got them, but now I’m looking for a good DAC/AMP. Do you think the E10 is suitable enough? I’ve heard people were happy with the D7000’s and the E7/E9 combo, and it sounds like you are more fond with the E10 than the combo.

    I’m new to this, but it seems odd that an $80 DAC/AMP would do justice to the headphones, when everyone else suggests $250+ amps.

    Thoughts? I could do up to ~$400 if you have _better_ suggestions, even though you like the E10.
    Thanks!

    • Reply December 24, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Tyler, 
      You have a pair of really nice headphones there. If you can do up to $400, go with the Schiit Asgard ($250) and HRT MS2 ($150). 

      • Reply December 25, 2011

        Tyler

        Thanks! Does that mean the HRT MS2 is a clear improvement over the E7? Or were you just switching the DAC in order to get RCA inputs for the Asgard?

        • Reply December 26, 2011

          Mike

          The HRT is a clear improvement.

  • Reply December 25, 2011

    Syrk

    Sort of off topic, but would you say the dr150 is better than the hd595 and is it below or above the 558/598?

    Thanks

    • Reply December 26, 2011

      Mike

      Still below the HD5XX series overall.

      • Reply December 27, 2011

        Syrk

        by a little or a lot?

        • Reply December 27, 2011

          Mike

          Technically they are not quite as good as the HD558/598, but sound signature wise the Goldrings are better IMO.

          • Reply December 27, 2011

            Syrk

            Awesome, that’s a relief. I bought a pair of dr150’s after reading that they sounded better than the 5xx series.

  • Reply December 28, 2011

    Syrk

    I can get a used like new udac2 for 65 or a new e10 for 80. Is the e10 sound that much better? Which would you go for at these prices?

    Thanks again

    • Reply December 28, 2011

      Mike

      Syrk,
      I’ve made a comparison between the uDAC2 and the E10 on the article. Please refer to it.

  • Reply December 30, 2011

    Adam

    Hello Mike,
    I’ve got AKG k240 Studio (55Ω) and I’m using it right now with Xonar D1. Sound is quite good, but I just feel that AKGs can perform better.
    What would you choose: FiiO E10 (300PLN) or Audiotrak Prodigy Cube (400PLN)?I’d like to use 2.0 speakers in future with DAC.Greetings from Poland!

    • Reply December 30, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Adam,
      In what aspect do you think the K240 studio can be improved on? From my experience it’s not really the hard to drive type.

      • Reply December 30, 2011

        Adam

        I could talk about it all day long, but there’s a language barrier 🙁

        In my opinion bass is a bit distorted (when comparing to Creative Aurvana Live). I also find high freqs a little lacking. There’s not much improvement in scene… It’s only marginally wider than it was on CAL. My friend’s Superlux HD668Bs perform better than my cans.
        In few months time I’ll have to sell my PC and buy a laptop. That means I must get rid of my Xonar D1 anyway…
        On polish audio forums they recommended me FiiO E10 and Audiotrak Prodigy Cube. Then I found you review and it was very nice to read. I’m almost sure that I’m getting E10, but there’s still that Prodigy Cube…
        Which one would you choose? I listen mainly to 70’s/80’s rock (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Metallica and so on)

        • Reply December 30, 2011

          Mike

          Adam,
          I think what you need is a new headphone. It’s going to be hard to get the K240 to sound the way you expect it to sound only by changing around amplifier combinations. The Prodigy Cube is most probably better than the E10, but still I think you need a new headphone. If you like the HD668B then go ahead with it. For your rock bands, try the HD660 Superlux. I think it’s more fitting, but it’s harder to find than the HD668B. http://www.headfonia.com/the-new-superluxes-are-good-the-hd330-hd440-and-the-hd660/

          • Reply December 31, 2011

            Adam

            Well, maybe I expect too much from these AKGs.
            I think I’ll get the Prodigy Cube and see how it performs.

            I appreciate your help. Thanks once more.
            Have a nice New Year’s Eve!

  • Reply December 30, 2011

    Mohammed

    Hi Mike, I got a Sennheiser 448, aim really  disappointed with it, i usually play bass lounge and hiphop jazz music, plays very good, but the audio is very low too. When i turn it up, I hear click sounds. Is that normal? 

    Would it help if i bought the amp ? I loved your review, i really want to buy it, sounds cheap to 🙂  

    • Reply December 30, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Mohammed,
      What sort of a click sound? Do you mean distortions?

      • Reply December 30, 2011

        Mohammed

        Ya, when the bass is strong and the music is loud, there is a click sound in every loud part of the music. Its not constant though, but only when the bass is high in some part of the music. and only when the music is loud, it might be distortions, I am feeling that my headphone can’t take that much bass. 

        • Reply December 31, 2011

          Mike

          Hi Mohammed,
          If it only happens on loud bass parts, then that sounds like distortions.

  • Reply December 31, 2011

    Giorgio

    I Bought One acouple of days ago… What can say… nice and portable.
    I very like the build construction, but I can say that it just “sounds good”, not “tremendously good”. It’s good for a consumer product, but not comparable to higher end equipment.

    I have my Apogee Duet 2 and the difference is like night and day. Problems with Fiio is the very low noise, but the little noise is there… apogee rme echo audio do not have any noise. Then channels are not so separated and the armonic distorsion I hear is within the bass section and the voice.

    Can’t say bad, but I would say pay attention to the review above and consider it just a “consumer product”. Expectations may be unreached if compared with more professional equipment

    • Reply August 14, 2012

      Bill Stockstill

      ROFLOL. Come on dude. A $50 DAC/Amp vs a $600 one. It sure as hell better sound better. I doubt it sounds 10x better though.

  • Reply January 4, 2012

    Shane Revis

    Hi Mike,

    I have a few questions about the E10.

    Does a DAC bypass the soundcard of a laptop?

    What is the coaxial/line out used for?

    Is the USB cord all that I need in order to use this?

    Is the amp section as good as a Cmoy?

    • Reply January 5, 2012

      Jason

      Does a DAC bypass the soundcard of a laptop?

          Yes, it does not use the sound card to process anything, the digital data is sent from whatever software you’re using to play directly to the device.

      What is the coaxial/line out used for?

          I imagine you could use it to send the output digitally to separate DAC (like a home receiver) if you don’t already have this type of output on your computer (i.e. most laptops). I think this is included more for convenience, but there are cheaper units that do ONLY this if that is what you would need it for exclusively.

      Is the USB cord all that I need in order to use this?

          Correct, the USB cord is INCLUDED (hidden below the plastic piece in the box). It is really just plug n’ play (assuming you tell our OS to use it as the output).

      Is the amp section as good as a Cmoy?

          I have not used the Cmoy before, but the amp seems very good to me. I plan on getting a cmoy to use with my iPhone, so will hook it up to the line out of the E10 to compare when I do get it.

      • Reply January 5, 2012

        Mike

        Thanks for answering that for me Jason.

        The amplifier section is good, but not as good as the JDSLabs Cmoy. The Cmoy is really an underrated amp, I think mainly due to the name, but in reality it’s a very good amplifier.

  • Reply January 4, 2012

    Shane Revis

    Oh, could you also tell me 24/96 means, and how to use it?

    Thank you!

    • Reply January 5, 2012

      Mike

      Shane,
      24 is the bit depth of the digital data
      96 is the sample rate of the digital data

      You don’t use 24/96, it’s simply a measure of the level of quality or resolution that the digital file you’re playing has. To play 24/96 files you need 24/96 capable DAC.

    • Reply January 7, 2012

      Jason

      In addition to Mike’s explanation below, I wanted to add that the CDs you buy are 16/44:

      16 bits per sample
      44.1 kHz sample rate

      So you won’t be able to take advantage of the 24/96 unless you download higher quality audio files than what you might have on CD. Also, DVD-Audio discs can have 24/96 audio tracks.

      • Reply January 7, 2012

        Mike

        Jason is right. Thanks, Jason.

  • Reply January 8, 2012

    James L.

    Nice reviews, Mike! I am trying to get better sound from my desktop computer. At the same sub-$100 price range, is it better for me to buy an audio card or a USB unit like this E10? I usually use a pair of Shure E2c IEMs, but might be upgrading to an Audio Technica M-50 or Sennheiser HD-280Pro.

    • Reply January 9, 2012

      Mike

      HI James,
      I don’t have too much experience with USB audio cards, but USB seems to be the more versatile option, and the E10 has been very popular so I suggest you give it a try.

      • Reply January 11, 2012

        James L.

        Actually I meant traditional audio cards (PCI interface) that you have to plug into the motherboard. There have been some very compelling offerings in recent years (the Asus Xonar line comes to mind) and some have really good components (like Burr Brown DACs, replaceable op-amps).

        • Reply January 12, 2012

          Mike

          Yes those PCI sound cards. I realize that they have been improving the quality of those, but yes unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to review even one of them. I think the convenience of USB makes it the easier choice, but you’re right some of them comes with very good components.

          • Reply January 14, 2012

            James L.

            Thanks for the advice Mike. I am going to try out the E-10 and the iBasso D-Zero. By the way, I just bought a pair of Sennheiser PX-200 II to replace my Shure E2c IEMs. Will it be a good match for the E-10 or D-Zero?

  • Reply January 10, 2012

    Alex

    Hi Mike, thanks for the great review, and please forgive the newbie question. If I’m plugging an iPod into my MacBook via the USB charging cable (and then connecting the E10 via another USB port), and listening to tracks located on my iPod, will the music on my iPod be decoded by the E10’s DAC? Or the Macbook’s? Will the increase in sound quality be comparable to listening to files on the Macbook’s hard drive? Thanks so much! 

    • Reply January 10, 2012

      Mike

      Alex,
      With that set up you should be listening through the E10’s DAC. As long as you’re playing the music from Itunes. Sound quality differences would be very slight almost non noticeable.

  • Reply January 10, 2012

    Melbinco

    Hi thanks for the review. was wondering what is the size of the headphone jack for the E10. thanks

    cheers

    • Reply January 10, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Melbinco,
      It’s 3.5mm.

  • Reply January 11, 2012

    Ryan

    compared to iBasso D-Zero, which one is better Mike? i am going to switch to this DAC from a Creative X-Fi 5.1 Pro . or maybe there is a recommendation for sub $150 which is easy to find at Indonesia? hahaha

  • Reply January 12, 2012

    dL

    Mike,

    Do you recommend a E10+E9 combo or just stick with a E10?

    • Reply January 12, 2012

      Mike

      dL
      Personally I’m not a big fan of the E9 sound, and I prefer the sound of the E10 by itself. 

      • Reply January 12, 2012

        Ryan

        I Bought it at KK today :p , after reviewing your +1 for the E10 ‘fun’ factor 🙂 , thank you mike 🙂 . will be pairing this with my HA20 🙂

        • Reply January 12, 2012

          Mike

          Awesome, hope you like it. What’s a HA20?

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Jonathan Palmer

    Hi Mike thanks for the great review, I just have a few questions as this is all a bit confusing to me. I’m looking at this FiiO E10 as a possible upgrade to my desktop set-up. Currently I am using a fairly new dell laptop with a Creative Xfi Go Pro! external usb sound card, as an improvement over the terrible built in sound card, However recently I have acquired a Denon UD-M31 CD player mini system with accompanying Denon speakers, So I am using a 3.5mm to RCA cable running from he External sound card output to the input on the cd amplifier. I would like to know whether a noticeable improvement would be found by replacing the relatively low end external sound card I am currently using with this e10 reviewed here, or because I am running it through the Denon amplifier does that make anything that is plugged in between the laptop and the amplifier redundant? Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense but I’m not entirely sure what I should be asking….  Thanks!

    • Reply January 16, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Jonathan,
      In theory, if the DAC on the Creative Xfi is worse than the Fiio E10’s, then you would get a better sound. However I have no experience with the Xfi and so I don’t know if the DAC inside it is inferior to the E10’s.
      No having either the Xfi or the E10 between your laptop and the Denon amp is not redundant since the Xfi/E10 would serve as a DAC which the Denon amp doesn’t have.
      Please read the FAQ #6 for an explanation on what a DAC is: http://www.headfonia.com/faq/

      • Reply January 17, 2012

        Jonathan Palmer

        Hi Mike thanks for the reply, I do now understand what a DAC is and does! I’ve been reading up and it does seem like the Xfi soundcard is perhaps more geared towards gaming than for music and seeing as I do little-no gaming on my set-up but listen to music constantly I think I’ll upgrade to the E10. One last question (hopefully), if I was to get the E10 which of the outputs should I be using for the best results when running it through my Denon amplifier? The Coaxial out or the regular line out?

        • Reply January 17, 2012

          Mike

          Jonathan,
          In that case you would need to use the regular line out. The Coaxial out would only work if you are sending the signal to another DAC, not an amplifier.

  • Reply January 17, 2012

    Yu Kom

    hi mike,
    it seems to be easy to open the box. do you know what kinds of chips are in?

    • Reply January 21, 2012

      Mike

      I think it’s a WM8740 DAC, AD8397 amp and Tenor 7022 USB receiver. 

      • Reply January 26, 2012

        Yu Kom

        thanks! mike

  • Reply January 17, 2012

    Viralite

    How about the combination of FiiO E10 and Sennheiser HD 598?
    Is it any good?

    I upgraded from ATH M50, and I felt HD 598 lacks the warmth and mellow sound of M50.
    Other than E10, could you give me $50-$200 AMP/DAC alternatives?

  • Reply January 20, 2012

    Aria Gorba

    Hi! Is there any way that a portable MP3 / FLAC player to be hooked up to the E10?

    • Reply January 21, 2012

      Mike

      No, not in a practical and straightforward way. 

      • Reply January 21, 2012

        Luis Trujillo

        just curious, what would be the unpractical non straightforward way?

        • Reply January 21, 2012

          Mike

          DAP > Laptop > E10

          So if you really want to you can use the E10 portably. DAP on left pocket, laptop on backpack, E10 on right pocket.
          Good eh? 😉

          • Reply January 21, 2012

            Luis Trujillo

            LOL I thought you were goin to talk about some serious hardware mod to bypass the DAC on E10 + usb battery to use it as an amp only or somehow bypass the DAC/Amp section on the player and rout the digital signal to E10 DAC + a usb battery..

            wich by the way I have no idea if its possible but would be cool.

            • Reply January 21, 2012

              Mike

              Yea I know. 🙂

          • Reply January 22, 2012

            Aria Gorba

            LOL! I guess I have to go with either the E7 or the E11 then. Thanks, Mike!

  • Reply January 22, 2012

    Paul Wang

    Mike, how would you compare this to the JLD lab cmoy? 

    • Reply January 23, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Paul,
      The E10 is a USB DAC/Amp. The JDSLabs is a pure amplifier. The amplifier on the JDS is better, but other than that they’re two different devices.

      • Reply January 25, 2012

        Djevoultion

        Hey Mike do you still have the E10 and CmoyBB on hand? 

        I was curious aswell so ended up buying the cmoy (from fred), uses same components as cmoy from JDS but had him install a variable bass boost. 

        I just recieved it this morning, been listening to it for the last couple hours, but at the moment I find the E10’s amp section to be superior  (although the cmoy hasn’t been burned in)

        • Reply January 26, 2012

          Mike

          Really?

          That’s because you didn’t buy the JDSLabs’ version! Just kidding. Yes I still have them I’ll try to listen to both of them again and let you know.

          • Reply January 26, 2012

            Djevoultion

            The JDS Version uses a single OPA2227, the cmoy I got has a dual OPA 2227, so I’m assuming if anything it should be better than the JDS Version 🙂

            Rest of the Specs  can be found http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Cmoy-Headphone-Amplifier-OPA2227-Super-Bass-Boost-mp3-Wintergreen-Altoids-/200692653263?pt=AU_Electronics_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=item2eba36dccf#ht_2534wt_1145

          • Reply January 26, 2012

            Mike

            Lol, the “dual OPA2227” actually refer to the fact that the OPA2227 is a dual-channel opamp. I don’t think the amplifier actually has two OPA2227 chips. 

          • Reply January 26, 2012

            Djevoultion

            Your right!  I just checked  😀 My mistake – read it on face value  (I don’t know all the technical terms :/ ).

            The cmoy’s been playing music all day – sound has improved. 

          • Reply January 27, 2012

            Mike

            Dj, 
            I’ve just checked between the E10 and the JDSLabs Cmoy amp section and the Cmoy is noticeably better. Better impact, bigger and smoother sound. 

          • Reply January 27, 2012

            Djevoultion

            I agree the cmoy has a more spacious sound going for it – but I’m finding the E10’s amp to have better detail  – maybe its because its a closer sound? or different OPA? 

            Do you think the gain makes a difference (the cmoy I have has a gain of 2) But I can change the gain to 6? 

            • Reply January 27, 2012

              Mike

              Well my Cmoy comes with the same OPA2227 that yours have too. I think detail level is mostly the same, it’s just that the E10 has slightly more treble.
              I think the gain is very low at 2, usually it’s a little higher perhaps around 6. Some opamps don’t work that well in low gain — though I’m not sure what the exact specs of the OPA2227 is.

          • Reply January 27, 2012

            Djevoultion

            I was talking about the Different OPA between E10 and the cmoy 🙂 – I will try the higher gain and report back

      • Reply January 29, 2012

        Paul Wang

        Thank you, I was just wondering about the amp

  • Reply January 23, 2012

    [pacman]

    Is this good for gaming?

    • Reply January 23, 2012

      Mike

      Sorry didn’t try it for gaming.

    • Reply January 25, 2012

      Djevoultion

      Yes its great for gaming with BB on. I use it on a regular basis. 

  • Reply January 28, 2012

    Cuthbert

    I’m looking for my first DAC/AMP and I’m considering to get the FiiO E10 or the E17, but I’m not quite sure which is the right one for me.
    I’m going to use it at home paired with some Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 205 Ohm.So I won’t really need the portable features of a E17.I don’t like the idea of having buttons to adjust the volume (I don’t know how their handling feels, maybe it feels great), but would appreciate the better sound and the bass boost and tremble controls.But because it will be my first DAC/AMP, I wouldn’t mind spending only 80$ instead of 150$, on the other hand: if i hadn’t found your (updated) reviews i’d probably bought a U-DAC 2 for 120$, so 150$ ain’t a deal breaker.My question:Which of the mentioned DAC/AMPs would you recommand for somebody as his first DAC/AMP ?Thank you!tl;dr:first DAC/AMP -> Which one would you recommand: E10 or E17?

    • Reply January 28, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Cuthbert,
      If you have no need for the E17’s portable amp function, may be better to go with the E10 to save some money. Both the E10 and the E17 are great for first time DACs.

  • Reply February 1, 2012

    David Ferrari Modesto

    Nice review you got here, answered most of my questions. But, the 96kbps limitation will be a problem? (or i got it wrong?) I mean, I have a lot of FLACs and 192~320kbps files here, will I be unable to hear theses files with a “full” quality?Thanks!

    • Reply February 1, 2012

      Rumpole Bailey

      You’ve confused sample rate with bit rate.

      • Reply February 2, 2012

        Mike

        Rumpole Bailey is right. David, your FLACs are 192 to 320 kbps, most probably at 44.1kHz sample rate. The Fiio is able to support up to 96kHz sample rate which is already higher than CD quality (CD is at 44.1)

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Bryan

     Mike,

    First I want to say thank you for this write up. It was a pleasure to read, and it helped me dive into the DAC and headphone amp world. I purchased a FiiO E10 after reading this review and others on Amazon. I must say I am quite happy with what I bought for $81. The sound is a heck of a lot clearer and purer than what I was getting out of my AuzenTech sound card (headphones plugged into 3.5mm jack). I haven’t done any A/B’ing yet, but I will.

    I think this just might kick my butt in gear to re-rip my MP3 library at a higher bite rate/different format. Is there a non-proprietary lossless file format that works with iTunes? Or perhaps another media player software is in order.

    Either way…this makes me want to step up my headphone of choice. Round and round we go, eh? Currently I have a pair of ATH-A700’s, and I like them for their signature, but I would like to try something with better resolution. I’ve wanted to try a pair of the Senn HD 500 series or the AT ATH-M50 headphones, but considering what I’ve read about Grados with the E10, perhaps an SR125i is in order. Thoughts?

    • Reply February 4, 2012

      Mike

      Bryan,
      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the sound.

      You can use either WAV or AIFF, both of them are non proprietary and are lossless. Personally, I think WAV and AIFF are too large for most use except for super-critical stuff and I’ve been using mostly FLAC or ALAC. FLAC doesn’t work with Itunes but is open source, while ALAC works with Itunes but only works with Apple i-Devices. What OS are you using?
      Better resolution headphone, the M-50 and the SR125i are good but I won’t say better resolution than the A700. You can try the Senn HD598, but the signature is quite different than your current A700s.

      • Reply February 11, 2012

        Anonymous

        ALAC is also open source and works with iTunes and much more than just apple iDevices.

        • Reply February 11, 2012

          Mike

          Thanks, they did make that into open source recently.

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Anonymous

    I bought an E10 on the strength of this and one other review, the way I
    read it the E10 could power higher impedance phones; with everything set
    to max my HD650s are pretty quiet. No great problem as I don’t intend
    to use at home, and it seems “OK” with my PX100 (mk1) on laptop and work
    PC – all the same… 

    • Reply February 4, 2012

      Mike

      Have you checked on the volume level on the OS / Audio Player?

      • Reply February 4, 2012

        Anonymous

         Ooops!
        I usually listen with Kernel streaming on Essence STX which bypasses system volume control. Hard to imagine I work on computers. I just stuck it in to try, have no intention of using thus. Now plenty of volume – thanks for getting me to check the basics.

        • Reply February 4, 2012

          Mike

          Alright, good to hear that!

    • Reply February 4, 2012

      Mike

      I’m listening to the HD800 with the E10 right now, no problem.

  • Reply February 7, 2012

    Sifisdndsk

    2011…

    Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. I…

  • Reply February 14, 2012

    Chris Allen

    Hey Mike, so are both the E10’s built-in amp and the E11 relatively on par with each other, just with the bass on the E11 being more punchy and controlled?

    • Reply February 15, 2012

      Mike

      Chris,
      The E11’s amp is much better.

      • Reply February 15, 2012

        Chris Allen

         Lol, okay then, thanks!  I wasn’t sure to post that question until I checked your E17 review.  Thanks though! 🙂

        • Reply February 15, 2012

          Mike

          You’re welcome, Chris.

  • Reply February 18, 2012

    Yap Tien En

    Hi! Mike,

    Since E10 has a line out, what do you think if I pair E10 with E9?
    Will this combo sounds better than E7-E9?

    Thanks! 

    • Reply February 18, 2012

      Mike

      Power and dynamics is better with the E9, but I don’t like the sound of the E9. 

      • Reply December 4, 2012

        ReanimatoR

        Ok Mike, but this is not the straight answer to this question :). I have the same problem here: E7 or E10 via line out – which one of them will be a better partner for E9 in terms of overall sound quality and, let’s say, main goal to achieve as much “complete” sound as possible (for example under AKG K550)? Thanks in advance.

        • Reply December 4, 2012

          Trent_D

          Why just not use the e10? The K550 is easy to drive.

          • Reply December 4, 2012

            ReanimatoR

            Thanks Trent_D for reply :). Yes, you’re right and I know E10 alone is enough for them but drive is not the case here – K550 was only for example of (I believe) very neutral headphones with quite vulnerable soundstage for any source-related changes, we can pick up any other but to keep that certain neutrality in mind.

            I’m just looking for proper company for E9 and I am somehow forced to choose between E10 and E7 as a DAC – that’s why I am so persistent about it (sorry) and asking if E9 is lacking this and that, then E10 can somehow cover it better than E7? Which one of this two will be the most suitable for E9’s TPA6120A2 in order to create the most balanced picture of sound altogether?

            • Reply December 5, 2012

              Trent_D

              Well, the e10 is the better dac over the e7. As to synergy, I can’t say. Sorry.

              • Reply December 5, 2012

                ReanimatoR

                That’s ok :), this is also some useful information for me. Thanks for your help so far.

  • Reply February 23, 2012

    Zac Caslin

    Hi Mike, 

    Just received the E10 and I am having problems with the headphone jack cutting out when I move around or if the headphone cable gets moved a little bit. Just checking to see if this effected you, or if you have herd of any problems. 

    Thanks.

    • Reply February 23, 2012

      Luis Trujillo

      It’s a known problem that should had been corrected already if your E10 has the gold plated connectors.

      if your headphones use an adapter (6.5mm>3.5mm) you could try with another adapter or one with a cable between the two ends just in case is a weight issue. if it’s not that and the connector on the E10 is lose you may want to return it.

      just my 2 cents. 

      • Reply February 23, 2012

        Zac Caslin

        Thanks for the help. I checked the headphone port and it in silver in color so i’m thinking it’s just loose.

      • Reply February 23, 2012

        Mike

        Yes, what he said.

    • Reply February 23, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Zac,
      There are some issues with some of the batches, and yes unfortunately some people also reported the headphone jack losing contact when you move them around. I didn’t have that issue, probably also because I got a pre-production unit. But on the latest version supposedly they have corrected the issue. Where did you get the E10 from? Perhaps talk to them for an exchange to the newer batch?

  • Reply March 23, 2012

    Rūdolfs Putniņš

    Got my second batch E10 today. At first I was a bit cautious as the difference was not that evident but when really listened in… A must have for anyone who likes to have good sound conveniently and for a fair price.

    The only minor quibble could be the headphone jack, seemed a bit stiff and awkward.

  • Reply April 6, 2012

    Papoom Vibhatasilpin

    Hi Mike. I’d been looking for an usb dac for a week but after i read this review i order E10. Now i’m very happy with it. Thanks for a great review.

  • Reply April 7, 2012

    JohnPhester

    Hey Mike, your site is just awsome! – I am looking for a DAC as replacement for my internal sound card on my laptop – do you have any suggestions for me next to the E10 on the same budget? The high tunes sound really bad on my laptop. I’ve tested the Cmoy, but this  will of course just change the signals comming out from the internal soundcard instead of a real DAC.
    You’re always doing such great review, this site is one of the few I really trust when it comes to the question of high quality. Keep up the great work!

    • Reply April 7, 2012

      Mike

      HI John,
      What about the HRT Music Streamer II? It’s $149 and I’ve always recommended it to people looking for a good DAC for $100-$200, just one step up from the E10.
      I’m assuming of course you will be pairing the DAC with a separate amp cause the MS2 doesn’t come with an amp.

  • Reply April 14, 2012

    Chris Allen

    How does the Fiio E10’s amp compare with the JDS Labs CMoY?  I understand the CMoY is better, but how does it compare to the E10’s amp?  I find myself enjoying the E10’s amp, but at times crave for more so I considering either the JDS Labs CMoY or Fiio E11 with the E10 serving as the DAC.

    • Reply April 14, 2012

      Mike

      Well the Cmoy is better, specifically you’ll get better bass impact, dynamics, more soundstage.

      • Reply April 15, 2012

        Chris Allen

         Is the sound nice and warm like the E10’s amp?

        • Reply April 16, 2012

          Mike

          Yes the sound is nice and warm, much nicer than the E10’s amp.

      • Reply April 16, 2012

        Don Vittorio Sierra

         Its also dependent on the headphone used because with low impedance cans, the cmoy hardly has any power. turn the volume knob up and you are guaranteed to hear some bad distortion with low impedance cans.

  • e10 or e7 for portable everyday use with pc and cellphone ?

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      Trent_D

       If you need a portable amp for the phone, which cant use the DAC, the e7.  The e10 has better sound, so if you can do without the portable amp, it is better.  OR, you could get the e17, which is like a better sounding e10 that can be used as a portable amp.

      • Reply April 27, 2012

        L.

        Pay attention that the E10 ao are usb only

    • Reply April 27, 2012

      Mike

      Yes, what Trent_D says.

  • Reply April 28, 2012

    L.

    It’s not suppposed to work on your iphone, just on a pc. You would need something like the CLAS + an amp or the Fostex for your iphone.

  • Reply May 5, 2012

    royschach

    Hi Mike,

    First off great site–I check it constantly. Quick question: if I use another amp on the line-out with the E10, will the bass-boost/gain still work? 

    • Reply May 7, 2012

      Mike

      I will have to check on that and get back to you, but I don’t think it does.

      • Reply May 8, 2012

        royschach

        Thanks, keep up the great work

    • Reply May 7, 2012

      L.

       When using the LO, the Bass boost will not work, like the volume

      • Reply May 8, 2012

        royschach

        Thanks! This site is awesome

      • Reply May 8, 2012

        Mike

        Thanks, L.

  • Reply May 17, 2012

    Mark Ma

    Hey guys idk where to ask this but…
    my computer ONLY has usb 3.0 ports, will this make the dac not compatible?

  • Reply May 17, 2012

    Mark Ma

    I heard there was a headphone jack problem on these. Have they been fixed?

    • Reply May 17, 2012

      L.

      Hi Mark, yes it has been fixed. This was only on some early models. My last batch model is perfect.

  • Reply June 8, 2012

    Herb Williams Jr.

    I just received mine today…plugged it into my usb port and nothing happened. Am I missing something??

    • Reply June 21, 2012

      L.

      still not working?

  • Reply June 21, 2012

    SoundEskimoo

    Will this thing perform adequately for HD650?

    • Reply June 21, 2012

      L.

      Has been answered several times before. Yes it does, but of course full desktop system will make your HD650 sound remarkably better

      • Reply June 21, 2012

        SoundEskimoo

        What is minimum recommendation desktop amp for HD650? thanks

        • Reply June 21, 2012

          L.

          Depends on your budget. I’d say an OTL amp if you want to get the best out of it

          • Reply June 22, 2012

            SoundEskimoo

            I see

        • Reply June 21, 2012

          Mike

          The E10 will do. How do you define “minimum”?

          • Reply June 21, 2012

            L.

            Yes, or theE10 if you want to keep it low budget, I used to have the combo and enjoyed it at the office. At home, I would still go OTL 🙂

      • Reply June 22, 2012

        SoundEskimoo

        I’m aware portable vs desktop capability, simply power supply already different. Thus result also different. Is there any portable with enough oomph (Adaptor powered)? This should give more power than USB powered.
        What kind of desktop amp for beginner?

  • Reply June 29, 2012

    Stephen Loke

    Hey Mike,

    Would you recomend this for IEM?

    Thanks

  • Reply July 26, 2012

    Elzafir Habsjah

    Hi Mike,
    I’m considering a DAC+Amp for home use to go with my Samson SR850 and Superlux HD661. I’ve read almost all of your DAC+Amp review, but still can’t decide the best amp for under $100.

    I need it for my PC, so I don’t need portability, unless the portable is better than the desktop amp (like the E17 vs E10. But the E17 is unfortunately over my budget).

    So in your opinion, which is the best sub-$100 DAC+Amp (or DAC+Amp combination for also under 100 bucks) to drive Samson SR850 and Superlux HD661?

    I’m considering the FiiO E10, E7, HiFiMan Express HM01, iBasso D-Zero, and the likes (anything under $100).

    On a side note, I’m planning to buy the M-Audio Fast Track audio interface for my recording needs. Should I just use it for DAC and get a separate (sub-$100) amp? Would it be a better setup vs the best sub-$100 DAC+Amp?

    • Reply July 26, 2012

      Mike

      Replied on the other thread.

  • Reply July 28, 2012

    Brian Xiao

    Mike, do you prefer the E10 or the new Audinst hud mini? Thanks!

    • Reply July 28, 2012

      Mike

      I think the HUD Mini, but without the stock opamp. The stock opamp is no good imo and I’m trying to talk Audinst into shipping the Mini with the OPA2227.

  • Reply August 10, 2012

    Brian Werner

    Mike and L. pardon my ignorance here but is the coaxial out on the E10 a better signal than the 3.5mm line out? I have a desktop amp coming and was trying to figure out my cable game plan. I was assuming I’d get a mini to dual RCA for the amp but was curious if the coaxial output is a better or higher resolution line out to use with a desktop…. Suggestions anyone?

    • Reply August 10, 2012

      Mike

      Brian,
      The coaxial outs a digital signal, so unless you have an amp with a built-in DAC you won’t be able to use that to connect to your amp.
      The 3.5mm line out is an analog signal, so yes you can use it to connect to your amp.

      • Reply August 20, 2012

        Brian Werner

        Just want to make sure i understand the functionality of this option. if iwant to pass thru to a non usb dac like the teradak chameleon, moodlab concept or schiit bifrost nonusb that uses coax and toslink…. all i have to do is go coax to the bigger dac from the fiio? the fiio will do handshaking with the usb hub to gain access to the pc digital? if that is the case i am even more stoked on this e10!

        • Reply August 20, 2012

          Mike

          Yes, Brian. The E10 will do the handshaking with the USB and outputs the signal as a coaxial that you can then hook up to the other non USB DACs. The Fiio in this case will only serve as an USB > S/PDIF converter, not a DAC.

  • Reply October 18, 2012

    Pkrdlr

    Hi Mike, Would the fiio e10 be overkill for ath-m50 via laptop with classical and rock or would you recommend a similar priced portable amp/dac?.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Mark Ferrosa

      I have both: headphones and dac. M50 isn’t the best choice for rock. For classical I think that’s ok. I prefer Dt770 pro 80 for rock.

      • Reply October 18, 2012

        Mike

        What Mark said. The M50 for rock isn’t the best. The DT770 80Ω would be better.

    • Reply October 18, 2012

      Mike

      Sure,
      The Fiio E10 would be better than using the laptop’s headphone out. I don’t think it’s an overkill.

  • Reply October 22, 2012

    Mathias Herrmann

    What’s the next best alternative that’s a little bit cheaper, for 50 Ohm headphones? (Somewhat exceeding my maximum-maximum budget.) Not the E11, please, the idea of letting it run on batteries exclusively is simply nuts. (And its name is so confusing that my distate of it is even greater.)

  • […] E10. About $60 This does Digital to Analog conversion AND USB to Digital Coax. Headphone amp too.The Latest Must Have: The Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp -updated- | Headfonia Musica Fidelity VLINK. About $99 Not a DAC. USB in, Optical or Coax Digital out. Musical Fidelity […]

  • Reply December 22, 2012

    fsgb80v7cbwe

    So cool…

    The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available…

  • […] Kembali jualan jadi nih, kali ini mau jual Fiio e10 Dac/amp, si mungil yg bikin suara cukup menarik untuk Dac eksternal, untuk entry level Dac price/performance nya cukup bagus, worth untuk harga di bawah 80$, pembelian agustus 2012 jadi masih ada garansi sampe agustus 2013, untuk review bisa cek di ini http://www.headfonia.com/the-latest-…10-usb-dacamp/ […]

  • Reply March 16, 2013

    Tomislav Todorov

    Hello Mike, do you think that the new HRT Microstreamer is worth double the price of E10. My headphones are TMA-1 and Sennheiser IE8 and I want usb powered ampdac that is as small as possible and that have enough power to drive my headphones. 200$ is my upper limit.

    • Reply March 16, 2013

      dalethorn

      I don’t know if anyone is going to be able to compare those 2 amps directly. I have the Microstreamer and the FiiO E17 and the Microstreamer will give much better results with the more “airy” headphones. I think the IE8 would reveal those differences very well, but I don’t think the TMA-1 would. From the mids on down, you might get as good or better results with the E10 and the TMA-1.

    • Reply March 19, 2013

      Mike

      I have yet to listen to the new HRT, so I can’t comment on that. However looking at your headphones, I do know that the HRT micro streamer would be a better match than the Fiio.

  • Reply March 16, 2013

    Tomislav Todorov

    Thanks for the replay dalethorn. I’ll try to give more clues about what I’m looking for. When I’m listening to rock music with vocals I find my TMA-1 loud enough directly from my laptop jack, in terms of quality it’s ok I even find it too bright for my taste and do some eq so I don’t think I’m into “airy” headphones. My complains come when I want to listen to bass heavy electronic music and I like to listen that kind of music really loud and not only hear but feel the bass.I’m even planning to buy Pro700 MK2 because I want something darker with more bass than the TMA-1 just for electronic music. The power of my laptop is insufficient for this purpose so right now I’m using Mackie Blackjack usb audio interface. The headphone amp is very loud but above one particular level it becomes to distort badly, maybe this is because it has 25ohms output impedance which is to high for my low impedance headphones (I read that it should be 8 times lower than the output impedance of the phones). So I am looking for usb powered dac/amp which is smaller than the Mackie, it is as loud with hard hitting bass but without distorting. As for listening to rock music I find the loudness and quality sufficient directly form my laptop.

    • Reply March 16, 2013

      dalethorn

      The USB-powered DACs will not work for you according to this description. The distortion you heard is not likely due to impedance, it’s due to lack of power. An impedance mismatch would more likely just make the bass mushy. You may find a USB-powered DAC/amp that goes loud without obvious distortion, via soft clipping. But soft clipping just limits the volume so hard clipping doesn’t occur.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Calvin Purnomo

    Is it possible to use this little fellow as a standalone DAC? Since I’m planning on hooking it up on my bright-ish SSMH, in order to give it a little warmer feeling? Or is it automatically bypassing the volume when used on line out? Thanks!

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      Mike

      I don’t remember precisely if it bypasses the volume control, but I think it does since I’ve used it as a stand alone DAC before.

      Your other choice is to go with the e07k, but you need to get an additional line out adapter from Fiio to get a pure line level signal from it.

      I think they’ll pair well with the ssmh.

      • Reply April 3, 2013

        Calvin Purnomo

        Ah yes, thanks for the reminder! Didn’t realized that there is newer affordable fiio DAC+amp combo!

        comparing those two (E10 vs E07k) which one to go? I suppose E07k should be a refined one since it’s newer?

      • Reply April 3, 2013

        L.

        I can confirm the LO bypasses the volume control, I use it like that in my living room

        • Reply April 3, 2013

          Calvin Purnomo

          Does the E07k also do the same when used on LO? The so called L7 Adapter is still needed eh? or The L7 is just for active speaker use?

          • Reply April 3, 2013

            Mike

            I don’t remember the specs that well, I think you still need the L7

            • Reply April 4, 2013

              Calvin Purnomo

              Ah, just did some reading a bit, yes apparently I need the L7. I thought the 3.5mm port near the usb port is the Line Out. It’s the Line In!
              Pretty curious design, E07k has 2 headphone out port, while not having 3.5mm Line Out.

              Anyway, putting the need of adapter aside, E07k is the one to buy instead of the older E10?

              • Reply April 4, 2013

                Mike

                Well the E10 is going to be cheaper, I think. The 07K is better, you should read the review, I believe I talked a little bit about it to the E10 and E17.

                • Reply April 4, 2013

                  Calvin Purnomo

                  I’m sold already on E07k. Been able to get it for good price. Will try it as a amp first I guess, while waiting for the L7 adapter. I suppose maximum volume (0db) output from headphone out is almost the same as the line out? Or is it “processed” a lot from the circuitry?

                  • Reply April 4, 2013

                    Mike

                    I can lend you an L7 if you want to swing by Jaben STC

                    • April 9, 2013

                      Calvin Purnomo

                      my E07k and L7 just arrived! I’ll test it right after I got home. Anyway, just noticed from the spec, that E07k isn’t optimal to drive my 250Ω Beyer 880, it’s slightly out of its optimal impedance rate (16Ω – 150Ω). Is it really okay?

                      Although I’m planning on using it as standalone DAC for my SSMH anyway..

                    • April 9, 2013

                      Mike

                      You should be okay. I’ve used with the 300Ω Senns.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Digo

    Hello Mike.
    Could you recommend me a DAC up to $ 200 for hi-fi system – Q Acoustics Q2050i and Yamaha A-S500. My goal is to improve the sound quality.I will listening a electronic music (house, deep house, tech house). I would greatly appreciate for your help

    • Reply April 8, 2013

      Mike

      Hi Digo,
      Mostly all the DACs reviewed here should give an improved sound quality.

  • Reply April 17, 2013

    Ashur

    The USB receiver chip should be TE7022 not TE2077 ^^

    • Reply April 20, 2013

      Mike

      Thank you for the correction, Ashur.

  • Reply May 16, 2013

    Ludo

    I have a MacBook Pro (early 2011 version) and a Beyer DT 880 (250 ohm). Am I going to see a difference with this E10 ? Or not ? Thanks.

    • Reply May 17, 2013

      Mike

      Ludo,
      Usually the on board sound card is not that good. How do you find the sound of the 880 to be with the macbook?

  • Reply May 21, 2013

    Crax

    Hello Mike, I am looking for a ideal USB DAC to drive my Shure SE535. I
    understand I don’t need it to be very powerful because SE535 are highly
    sensitive, but I want it to have no background noise at low volumes. My
    HP Probook is dreadful at this. I’ve been looking at Fiio E07K, E10, E17
    and just don’t know which one would be the best in terms of SQ. Can you
    help me, please? I’m also open to different options with a maximum
    price of 200$.

    • Reply May 22, 2013

      Mike

      Please go with the 07K it has an extremely black background.

      • Reply May 22, 2013

        Crax

        Thank you very much for your answer.

        • Reply May 23, 2013

          Mike

          You’re welcome

          • Reply April 7, 2014

            scaalp

            I not agree with this advice, the background is not black with se535 and a Fio E07k

  • Reply May 29, 2013

    Rinfinite

    I’m thinking of getting the E10 for my Sennheiser HD518 but I don’t know if I’ll get any improvement. They sound great using the Encore ENMA DAC http://www.encore-usa.com/ph/product/ENMAB-8CM which seems to drive them fairly well, 35% volume is borderline deafening already.

    • Reply May 30, 2013

      Mike

      Alright I really can’t say if you’ll get an improvement too as I don’t know what the Encore sounds like.

  • Reply June 28, 2013

    TheAnimator

    Does anyone know if this works with windows 8?

    • Reply June 28, 2013

      L.

      I can’t test it but I suppose it does

  • Reply August 15, 2013

    Apogee

    I really want Fiio to release a E010K with a better dac, more power and a 1/4inch headphone output.

    • Reply August 15, 2013

      Dave Ulrich

      isn’t that the e17?

  • Reply December 2, 2013

    John Junior

    Hi, I found a pretty great deal for Fiio E10 and at the same time great deal for Ibasso D2+ Boa. Headphone is HD600, FA-003, Senn Amperior but for portable use I think I’ll be with Amperior most of the time.Wonder if I should get FiiO E10 or D2+ Boa.

    And can FiiO use as a standalone amp for Note 2?

    • Reply December 3, 2013

      Mike

      Well the Fiio E10 doesn’t run on battery, you need to get it hooked to the USB port for power so it looks like the D2+. I’m not too familiar with that model but that was one of the more popular IBasso models in the old days, before Ibasso started releasing new amps every few months.

      • Reply December 3, 2013

        John Junior

        Alright sir. Thank you. After all the consideration, I get FiiO X3 because someone just sell me for about $120 and they can be use like E17. I hope the battery won’t let me down after few month usage.

  • Reply January 15, 2014

    ciptadi s

    Hi Mike which one you would personally choose, fiio e10 or topping d20?

    • Reply January 15, 2014

      Mike

      Technically the D20 is better. I just don’t like the sound very much. And I like the E10’s USB-powered simple set up.

      • Reply January 15, 2014

        ciptadi s

        Great! Thanks Mike..

  • Reply April 19, 2014

    meh

    u didnt really clarify the e11 vs e10 part, is mostly the bass the different from the both?

    • Reply April 19, 2014

      L.

      I find the E10 the more fun one. The E11 I actually never use

      • Reply April 30, 2014

        meh

        tested it(e11), yea the bass is rather loose to my liking, separation is below par(IMO), and slight loose/distortion on some highs, the others are okay
        *pair with dt880

        i dont think i going to keep the e11 for long xDD

      • Reply May 9, 2014

        meh

        can i know wat cable u use in this review, is it the stock fiio cable that included or custom cable?

        • Reply May 9, 2014

          L.

          Stock Fiio usb cable

          • Reply May 9, 2014

            meh

            after few month reading here, i just realize that there were post about burn-in,low-high gain,cable etc..
            i think u should put the link of those in the recommendation part(maybe..)

            • Reply May 9, 2014

              L.

              if you find me all the info I will add it 😉

              • Reply May 9, 2014

                meh

                at least the current page is good enuf, it keep thing simple and more as a guideline

  • Reply September 19, 2014

    DecimationPro

    I’m happily nodding my head to the beats of the music… as long as they were not Beats Audio I am happy ;)… I will be buying this for my HD598’s, good review, thanks for it!

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