Pros: An excellent alternative to the computer user wanting something different to an internal sound card!
Cons: No cons because it does exactly what I want it do and some!
I was looking for a new sound card after I was left wanting with my 3 year old Creative XFI Music.
I was doing alot of reading about other various sound cards like the Asus St/Creative XFI but wasn't satisfied with the research.
Then I started to see what other alternatives there was so I was reading up on external dacs/amps.
I stumbled on to something, something that I never really heard about especially within my computer circles. Fiio is a company supposedly makes decent sound for a decent price. So I read on.
So Fiio had me hooked and I was really interested, I was trying to find out more about these things. I wanted to know if there was anyone out there who could tell me if they went in this direction and was satisfied.
I couldn't find much that I could relate to, so I took the plunge!
I ordered mine through ebay, a local supplier had literally just come in.
In the two day wait I was still reading up on the Fiio E17 and admittedly still nervous at my purchase.
On the second day of ordering I had come home from work and found a package on the kitchen table, nerves were gone and a sea of excitement washed over me like it was my birthday or like christmas!
I took my time unboxing it and took a deep breath and installed the Fiio.
With everything connected I switched on my PC and waited for Windows to load.
Still abit nervous I stared at the screen as windows booted up, then there it was...'Windows detects new device, installing drivers'...omg 'will it?!'...'Device successfully installed, Fiio E17 detected!'. Houston we have lift off!
I was very happy that even such a little step as windows detecting it and installed without having to go online to grab a driver or stick in a CD made me sure and proud of this product!
Ok, so I change my settings for the computer to use the Fiio and now it was time to see what this little black box can do! Just before playing any music I thought 'Will this sound any better than my Xtreme Music', I mean the XFI Xtreme was a great card right?
Well all I can say was OMFG! I played FLAC version of Whitney Houston 'I have nothing'. I remember I was saying comments (Out loud) 'The sound is amzaing', 'It's so clear!'.
I was absolutely engulfed in the music, it wasn't hiding or lacking in anyway it was right there pouring through my AT AD700's like liquid, saucy, hot fudge carmel sundee.
I just felt great after my first sitting with the Fiio, it met the expectations of what had read and most importantly it met my expectations. I was blowin away by the Fiio and I made me think what the hell have I been doing all this time with a Creative XFI Xtreme, I mean seriously I was really getting angry at Creative for hyping up and releasing these 'poor' sound cards. But then i realized I was be angry at myself for perhaps not looking outside the square abit, I mean if everyone stopped buying Creative and bought something else then maybe Creative might go back to the drawing board and build something really decent. Anyway I digress.
Last point I want to put out there to any PC owner who was in the same position as me. Yes I game with this thing! And you know what? It does it well and I don't miss the Xtreme Music at all! I never used the CMSS 3d function and I mainly ran the thing in 'Entertainment' mode. The Fiio sounds fantastic in games and I have not had one single crash or sound problem with it! I was really surprised when I first played BF3 that the sound was awesome, twice as better than the Xtreme Music!
Ok that is it for me, I've had the Fiio for over a month now and it has settled in fine! The second night I had it, I pulled out the Xtreme Music and 'Dismantled' all Creatives bloatware crap/drivers. Sound wise my sound system/PC is complete! Search is over!