Some more specs:
Dimension: 128 * 16.5 * 64 mm
Screen: 3.97 inch 800*480 full touch IPS
Input/Output interface: Micro SD slot X 1
Build in Memory: 32 GB .
Wifi/Bluetooth: 802.11g/b/n, Not APT-X.
DAC chip: ESS9018 X 1, ESS9018 includes 8 channels DAC so it doesn’t need 2 DAC chips. L/R both are quad DAC
Output power : 100mW/32 ohms, 200mW/16 ohms ( Stock IEM module ).
Weight: 220g ( With IEM module )
Output impedance: < 1 ohms
Crosstalk: > 72dB ( PO ), > 110dB ( LO )
Output level: 1.5V ( LO )
In the looks department I can safely say that the Fiio X7, design wise, is the first Fiio DAP I actually like. Saying I “like it” actually isn’t doing it justice, the Fiio X7 is simply gorgeous. I have to admit it isn’t the smallest size and weight wise (128 * 16.5 * 64 mm for 220g) but the X7 looks sexy, slick and classy all at the same time. Looks are a personal thing though but to me the X7 can easily be put next to AK, L&P, Cayin (not the N6) and iBasso units. I’ve in fact had several colleagues asking me if it was my new phone and where they could get one.
The X7’s build quality is very good and right up there with the best. As a matter of fact it takes Fiio quite a while to make just one unit: 160 minutes to cut out of the aluminum block (CNC machining), 80 minutes for color anodizing, 100 minutes for buttons machining and 50 minutes for the amplifier module machining. Phew! First thing you notice when holding the X7 are the soft edges, the symmetric button layout and the slightly lifted 3.97 inch full touch TFT screen (480 x 800). The lifted screen makes the X7 look special but I wouldn’t recommend dropping it (screen first). In fact I always use Fiio’s proprietary leather case when on the go.
On the left side of the player you’ll find the volume buttons and the lock screen switch while the buttons on the right side of the player have to be used to skip tracks and play/pause. On the left side you’ll also find the microSD slot. The Coax Out is on top as the Headphone Out, like in most DAPs nowadays, is on the bottom. The advantage of the symmetric buttons is the ease of use but then again it isn’t always as easy to differentiate left from right in the dark or when the player is in your pocket. In one of the next firmware it actually should be possible to reprogram the button settings (like the L&P L5pro partially offers). I also have to mention the buttons are light to the touch and I have had many involuntary track switches happen to me with the X7 in my back pocket.
On the front, right under the screen, you’ll find Fiio’s pulsating blue light which shows you the player is “active”. When using the leather case however, this light unfortunately can’t be seen. The only “design thing” I don’t like is the fact that the amplifier modules don’t have the same color. AM1’s color is identical to the X7’s but AM2’s grey is very different from the original. Luckily it isn’t visible when using the superb leather case. The case, made by Fiio itself, is quite nice and it fits the player perfectly. I’d say it’s about the same quality as the AK cases but the L&P case, to me, still is the best. Overall, I’m very happy with the design choices Fiio made.
On Head-Fi there are rumors already a new version of the X7 with more internal storage and some updated internals. No idea if those rumors hold any truth but Fiio, with the “SG” versions of the X3 and X5, has proven before they like releasing new versions. Personally I think it’s rather unlikely this will happen anytime soon (besides maybe a version with more internal memory) as not even all the X7’s amp modules have been released.
Firmware/ User Interface
Fiio’s new X7 runs on … Android. Yay! It actually comes with 2 specific modes: Pure Music in which only the basic/core DAP functions are available & the Android mode where a whole lot more apps are available for download such as Spotify, Tidal and so many more. Because the X7 runs on Android it is highly configurable and going over all the possible features is as good as impossible. This review focuses on the normal usability/features of the X7 when using Fiio’s Pure Music mode, using Fiio’s proprietary music app on FW 1.8. I personally find the Pure Mode to sound a little better than the Android mode but that is extremely hard to prove.
In Android mode, as explained, you can install other apps either via Fiio’s own app approved store or by transferring APK files directly on the X7. Some of these apps are: ES FileExplorer, Onkyo HF player, Joox, Poweramp, Rockbox, Tidal, Spotify, Neutron and Swiftkey. I’m sure many more will follow over the next months.
Sound and more after the CLICK