Pros: Clear, good imaging, nice small mobile setup
Cons: Paint wears out quickly, Equalizer sounds a bit digital
Let's get the negative out of the way first... I've owned two products made by Fiio: the E11 and the E17, and both fail to impress me. Maybe it's because I'm just not sensitive enough to hear the real difference, maybe it's the synergy with my other equipment, but I've owned a couple of devices, headphones and stereo equipment and where each and every single one of them had a charm of their own these just don't cut it for me.
The high ratings I've given them however, tell the story of a small pocket-sized device that I took with me to school, in the train, on the bus, my friends even holidays in France! And everywhere it always did what it's supposed to: providing the noise free juices my DT990 required. And it is a clear sounding unit, with a good tone even if it's a little dry. And with a bucketload of extra features the value is pretty good. The only feature that really made me get it was the equalizer (to turn down the bass and treble on my Beyer) and this let me down quite a bit. Turning the treble and bass up and down isn't really smooth and even when I did use it I could never find the sweet spot, it was either just above or under the desired amount. The unit is build like a tank though, and the only minus here is the paint which seems to be a bit thin. I took good care of my E17 and yet the paint on the edges seemed to fade every day. But even then I kind of liked the styling, made me think of when i got my first mp3 players.i
So there you have it, it does everything advertised, but it lacks a bit of character (dare I say musicality?). I sold mine to buy a HRT Microstreamer and haven't regretted it in any way, then again I just wanted a USB dac with a line out and a simple amplifier.