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After hours of comparisons, I don't see any advantage to using this over your Iphone/laptop jack

A Review On: FiiO E17

FiiO E17

Rated # 1 in Amp/DACs
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Audio Quality
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Quality
Value
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Price paid: $150.00
ag8908
Posted · Updated · 11251 Views · 12 Comments

Pros: None, absolutely none

Cons: Complete useless waste of money

I spent hours carefully listening to numerous songs at 320kbps on my srh940 and brainwavz hm5 on this, my phone, and my laptop. Eventually I stopped trying to find that illusory "benefit" to using this instead of those built-in headphone jacks. After some research, I have learned that a lot of phones come with really good DACs these days (such as Wolfson DACs), as do good laptops and that they also provide good power. If you buy these, do a detailed comparison and if this isn't really doing anything then return it as snake oil. I have personally concluded that this item is imaginary "audiophile" stuff that doesn't have any real advantage over most phones and laptops, and I haven't seen any scientific evidence that proves otherwise. If you identify a specific song, and time in that song, that sounds better on this DAC, please post it in the comments so that we can try it out using spotify or MOG 320kbps streaming. But I couldn't find anything.

Edit: Based on its website, it only delivers " 220 mW@32Ω /> 290 mW@16Ω" which is anemic and pointless for an amplifier. http://www.fiio.net/products/index.aspx?ID=100000014895351&MenuID=105026002 In comparison, the Objective 2 amp (which is not at all a powerful amp) delivers 613 mW at 33Ω http://www.jdslabs.com/products/35/objective2-headphone-amplifier/

In light of the fact that it does nothing (doesn't give you a better DAC, doesn't give you more power), I think it's worth 1/2 star.

12 Comments:

Seems legit.
Well, I sort of felt the same way when I first heard a DAC/AMP. My advice: listen to it for a couple of days, then switch back to your laptop/iPhone. You may come to appreciate the small differences it can make. The differences are small with DACs/AMPs, but they are noticable.
 
You gave it a nearly perfect mark on audio quality, design, quality, and value. Yet a 1/2 star overall?
Also remember that with upgrades in audio equipment, the quality of your source material is going to matter more and more. If you're using 128 kbps mp3s from iTunes, then the benefits of a DAC/amp upgrade are going to be less than if you're using FLAC or other high quality formats. Crap in - crap out.
The job of a DAC is to clean up low bitrate material... but ignoring that, FiiO doesn't exactly make gloriously perfect products, which is probably why you don't hear a difference. My E7 sounded the same as my laptop too, it just gave a <little> bit extra volume. Which actually, is what I needed at the time, but still. 
@JustinBieber
Those ratings are the community average, not the reviewers. Head-Fi changed that a while back and it's annoying as heck to me since I want to read a review and see the reviewer's ratings, not the community.

On the topic of the E7 though, I find the E7 to sound worse than the headphone-out jack of the newer MacBook Pros.
How many hours have you been using the e17?
What kind of music are you listening to?
What file types and bitrates are you listening to as well?
Curious as to why you would say that the e17 isn't that great when all the evidence is opposes what you have said?
lol.
i am also using a entry level amp though not fiio. but i noticed improvement right away. mostly lack of background noise, nice black backgrounds, controlled separate instruments. since you are using high end cans maybe you recieved a counterfiet product.
If you want to hear something different, try an SMSL SD-1955
for easy driven headphones this is indeed the fact, besides, this is the entry level product for portable dac/amp.At least it removed the background noise from y510p's headphone jack
Like JustinBieber above said; try it a couple days (days that you use it offcourse) and then switch back to not using a amp/dac. The difference will be big and you will appreciate the FiiO sound.
Tried a iPad, Samsung S4, motherboard with Realtec and tried with Xonar dgx card.
My FiiO E10 (so not the E17) provided a way better sound than all those sets (and I'm not a audiophile).
 
What I'm saying; give it a change, it will make you love it.
 
And besides, a half star? Seriously?
I considered revising the 1/2 star up, but in light of the fact that it delivers anemic levels of power, I really think this entire product is snake oil. If you need a DAC, your phone/laptop are just as good. If you need power, same thing. 220 mW@32Ω for an amp is pointless.
"You gave it a nearly perfect mark on audio quality, design, quality, and value. Yet a 1/2 star overall?"
 
I am wondering why the harsh rating as well...
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