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Yamyam's picture
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Fiio X5 - Anybody tried/bought yet?

Hi y'all. Just wondering if anybody has bought the Fiio X5 yet, am poised over the Buy button....am particularly keen to hear about 320Kbps MP3 with it (as that's the bulk of my music) say compared with an iPod Classic.

LP12 / Sonos Connect / Fiio X5 / Audiolab 8200DQ / 8200P / LS50

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RE: Fiio X5 - Anybody tried/bought yet?

Saw nobody had answered this yet. I have one and I wrote this little mini review/ commentary on head fi that might at least partly answer your questions:

 

 

Fiio X5

First a declaration - I'm kind of a lapsed audiophile - I have pretty serious kit in my lounge but definitely got to a point when I felt that enough was enough and I really could not tell the difference between, say, a decently made £30 cable and something costing £200 or more. It never occurred to me to take portable audio that seriously, ambient noise and tiny earphones seemed doomed to make it something to pass the time on trains and aeroplanes rather than something for seriously focussed listening.

 

To that end I've used most apple products and  a sanza clip+. The latter is an extraordinary bargain and seems to be to sound just as good as the former as well as giving you some storage upgrade potential. The fact that its an extraordinary bargain seems to me though to lead to a bit of hyperbole, its great but its not magic, it has a certain clarity and a crisp sort of treble but I was never surprised by the sound. It was fine.

 

Anyway I acquired some Sennheiser Momentums, which I grant you is a curve ball given the previous comments, basically I won an ebay bid a silly price unexpectedly when I was just looking for something that looked good, would not fall out of my ears and would not break in five minutes. Plugging the Momentums into the Clip+ gave me a sense of what might be possible, not an utter transformation but some shafts of detail and involvement that promised more and made me rethink what kind of impact I might reasonably expect from portable audio. Oddly I did not find the same sense of possibilities with my, then, current Apple product which was an ipod mini (this will probably surprise nobody)

 

So my conclusion was that the player did matter, real involvement might be achievable and went on the hunt. My budget and my sense of the conditions I would realistically be using my player in led to an absolute ceiling of £300 (do people take £2000+ players on the train? Do they put it in pockets? Bloody hell!) So I chose the Fiio X5 which arrived a week ago. So here are my observations:

 

a) I do not hear difference in sound quality that I can consistently associated with bit rate (but I have nothing below 320) I do hear differences that I think are to do with mastering.

 

b) A well mastered recording can sound utterly astonishing - amazing levels of detail, tonal accuracy and a lack of congestion even on the nosiest stuff. (WARNING PROG ROCK REFERENCE One particular favourite is Pawn Hearts - for the handful of people who might know what I talking about I can hear everything that's going on in even the most psychotic parts of "plague of lighthouse keepers" and for the first time ever I have heard Robert Fripp's guitar parts)

 

c) The UI still has me confused - I still can't find my way around as quick as I'd like. But I think some of the complaints about it are a little bit overdone. Maybe things are helped in that I have some very long pieces on my twin 64gb cards so I have not broken the track limit.

 

d) When plugged in I can only "see" the card in the first slot - I have found ways around this but I assume the computer should see both - but I had endless problems getting the 64gb formatted to fat32. Currently both cards can be read in the computer if they are in slot one and both cards work fine on the player.

 

e) The Fiio X5 is certainly the best player I have owned, yields a genuine musical involvement quite different from my previous experience with portable audio and the twin card slots and ability to read higher amount storage cards is likely to mean it will serve me well into the future.

 

f) I have no comparison to offer with other "audiophile" players - Ill leave that to others. For me though the feature set alone, even assuming sound were similar across the competitors would make the Fiio the winner. I think if you come straight from Apple with no particular computer skills you might be a bit shocked by the simplicity of the interface but I don't think I should be a deal breaker.

 

 

 

FWIW

 

 

Graham

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RE: Fiio X5 - Anybody tried/bought yet?

Hello

 

i don't have the X5 but I have been using the X3 for about 6mths with a pair of Yamaha EPH-100 and to say I am happy is an understatement. Portable storage/DAC and DAP for a very reasonable price. I use WAV and 64gb card. It sounds great to me. Definitely a step up from I products. Although the UI isn't that of IPod etc, it's easy to use and I believe the X5 is even better. I'd say go for it!

All the best

Regards

Rob

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x5

hi

i bought an x5 within a few days of it being available in the uk, i like having the 2 card slots currently have 2x64gb but have ordered 2x128gb from my memory.com. I find the music playback excellent with a pair of klipsch x1 earphones i use FLAC and wav,the downsides are the weight and size if you are carrying it around.I have also had a ibasso dx50 but the battery only lasted about 2 hours and i felt it was lacking a bit in the timing and the volume was poor at med/high levels, i also have a modded ipod classic but all i based products are very poor next to any of the current crop of hi res players.Battery life on the x5 is very good getting about 8 to 10 hours

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Rob_k wrote:

Rob_k wrote:

Hello

 

i don't have the X5 but I have been using the X3 for about 6mths with a pair of Yamaha EPH-100 and to say I am happy is an understatement. Portable storage/DAC and DAP for a very reasonable price. I use WAV and 64gb card. It sounds great to me. Definitely a step up from I products. Although the UI isn't that of IPod etc, it's easy to use and I believe the X5 is even better. I'd say go for it!

All the best

Regards

Rob

+1 , I have the X3 paired with Sennheiser Momentums and whilst the SQ is step up from my prevous Sony X series it would be a push to say the difference is blatant. The X series was a very good player.

Notable positives include excellent background silence on quiet passages and the ability to drive high impediance headphones to decent sound levels. The Line Out is also excellent compared to the X series. I don't use the DAC feature to date. 

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So good, I then bought...

Thanks all for your comments & thoughts.

OK, so I went for it, and I must say I am very impressed with the X5, one of my concerns was how it was with 320Kbps MP3's and I must say extremely good. I think that CD quality FLACs really shine though. I can't say I have the ear to really notice any difference between CD-quality rips and 24/192 HD though, but maybe that's the production and that I have limited higher-than-CD tracks/albums.

Upgraditis then kicked in and I added the E12, and that certainly added a very positive difference, and also suggests that the quality goes up a notch when using line-out rather than the headphone connection. Headphones I have used are AKG 450s and Shure 535s. For some bizarre reason have not yet tried with my Grado RS2i's (maybe because, for some reason, I tend not to sport those when out and about).

I've not had much chance to test out the co-ax out, but really like having that option.

My overall view is that compared to others, the X5 is value for money and good quality, but with a caveat that while the interface is basic and fine, it's more suited if your usual listening is 'albums at a time' rather than skipping about with playlists and jumping around from track to track (due to multiple presses when resurrecting from 'powersaving mode'). Bearing in mind its weight (especially when coupled with an E12 or similar) I'd suggest it would certainly appeal to the vinyl lovers out there would don't mind a bit of inconvenience (or in fact look forward to the ritual) of "cueing up" up an entire album, sitting back and enjoying the quality music.

LP12 / Sonos Connect / Fiio X5 / Audiolab 8200DQ / 8200P / LS50

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