Pros: flexible usage, android integration, sound level and quality, size & weight
Cons: additional device (carry, change)
FIIO E18 on Amazon.fr: 159,00€
FIIO L9 Cable on Amazon.fr: 18,13€
TIP: 1st buy the E18, take it to the Phone shop, try the devices they sell.
Many modern high-end phones support it without extra software, BUT MANY DO NOT support Audio USB OTG!!
Check the list on the FIIO website + try on the phones you would consider.
Kit, so you know where I come from:
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 250 Ohm
AKG K551 38 Ohm
Pioneer DJE-2000 in-ear's
iPod Classic 160GB
FIIO E18 Amp/DAC for Android, PC and Mac (in combination with Samsung Galaxy 5S) + 30pin L-Cable for my iPod
(I use the FIIO E18 as USB OTG DAC + Amp on the Samsung S5)
In my PC, ASUS Xonar Xence (can drive up to 600 Ohm without problem)
Logitec Z5500 Speakers via SPDIF
We all know about the iDevice music scene, for Android we get a bit less news I have the impression.
Hence my write-up ...
My Android Setup, in detail:
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- 128 GB microSD
- FIIO E18 (via USB OTG, DAC + AMP)
- PowerAmp Pro app for listening
- iSyncr (bought full version), this has a PC and Android part/module.
- iTunes + other + Loss-less CD conversions + FLAC Downloads
The FIIO E18 in different combinations:
Great device, bought through Amazon.
Use with Galaxy S5:
I attached the E18 to my Galaxy using Velcro. I tried the rubber bands, but they hinder the usage of the large screen.
The Velcro also allows me the quickly put together my small stack and disassemble it when needed.
The E18 is connected with the USB OTG cables that came with the device (2 cables in the package).
I find the sound very clear, no parasites from the phone.
A very neutral sound, and very nice amp. The E18 drivers all my headsets with pleasure, from the 250 Ohm Beyerdynamic to the 38 Ohm AKG K551.
The E18 has a great battery life. Not once i had to recharge during the day. Easily runs for 2 or even 3 working days for me.
Aside from being a nice compact Amp/DAC I can also use the E18 to recharge my Samsung should the need arise.
For playback I use PowerAmp Pro (payed version, 2.99€),
This is a great software, easy navigation and features, many, many skins for the people that like that. (I got a nice "metal" skin, simple and clean)
It scans through my 3000 songs in a few seconds, so no hassle. Album art etc are nicely presented.
The EQ allows for tuning to your own taste, it allows for small changes and tuning to the headset, music or your personal liking.
There are also quite a number of preset EQ settings, something i found usefull to quick-check results and for testing settings, a reset button brings it all back.
Or, with the EQ on/off button, leave the settings but disable/enable the EQ.
Once tuned as you prefer the EQ profiles can be saved for later reuse and you can create a EQ for every headset/situation.
It is also possible to save the EQ settings to a specific album/song should you wish that.
To sync to music to my Samsung I use iSyncr (payed version, 3.99€),
This software is of high quality, easy to use. It has a PC module and a module for your device.
You can synch over USB and/or over WIFI (and your internal LAN, it finds your PC).
iSyncr can sync the music, playlists, broadcasts, podcats etc from your iTunes lib and from other locations.
You can even sync more then 1 itunes store ... sometimes handy.
iSyncr can sync on a schedule (like every 1 hour) or on manual command.
Stream to Media Devices, I use BubbleUPNP (payed version, 3.49€),
This software allows me to stream to any media device over WIFI. I have a LG Media player that is UPNP and that is connected to my HiFi chain.
Simply select the source, that can be the phone itself, my NAS, my PC with FooBar 2000;
Then set the destination, again my phone, or PC or the LG Media player.
The volume rocker on the phone then controls the volume of the destination player.
Total cost for all this great software: 3.49€ + 3.99€ + 2.99€ .... all bases covered for 10.47€!!
Use with Laptop:
Here again I can listen to all my music in top quality, using any of my headsets.
Same device, same simple installation, plug in to a USB port and I have a high quality DAC and Amp.
On the PC and on my laptop I use the Foobar 2000 software (+ installed ASIO driver).
I can use the same Velcro to stick the E18 to the back of my laptop screen.
Use with my iPod Classic:
Using the FIIO L9 30pin L-Cable I can use the E18 as AMP for my iPod.
Combining the stack ... you guested it ... using the Velcro!! :-)