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The Official Fiio E9 Thread with Video Unbox-Review - Page 48

post #706 of 752
Originally Posted by DarkAndroid View Post


Yeah its on default, otherwise like you said you wont get any sound from the E7/E9. And I have a regular stock manufacturer onboard sound, its a HP dv-7 and I can imagine the sound chip is probably integrated in the motherboard or something and not possible to replace. Which is why I thought I would hear a big difference in the sound.

But going onto the website you posted, I see there is something they call WASAPI, which is supposed to give application complete control of the sound card and allow them to bypass any Windows OS processing. But I thought there was an option for this under Speakers Properties? "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device" and "Give exclusive mode applications priority". Or is this something different? Well anyway I use iTunes and Foobar2000 and went into the settings of each application and changed the sound output to WASAPI. Dont know if theres any difference, except that in Foobar2k, changing it from DirectSound to WASAPI causes the program to lag about a second anytime you want to play a new track, or pause. Anyway, I'll leave it on WASAPI and take solace in the fact that I've done everything possible to get the best possible sound output from this DAC/amp.

Thanks for your insight Riku.


p.s. There is also a "dither" option on the output settings page of Foobar2000....they say " it adds noise to the audio therefore resulting in better sound quality"....if that makes any sense.  And it should be used with 16 bit sound.....16 bit sound is the highest E7/E9 combo can handle right?

Yep, 48kHz/16bit for the E7. Most music is only available in 16 bit anyway, so unless you're watching Blu-Ray movies or have high-def audio recordings there's nothing to be gained here.


Not all onboard sound is created equally; my laptop and desktop computers both have considerable noise and hiss when using the headphone out. It's very possible that your onboard sound is better than average.


In any case, there's always the E17 to look forward to which will be a huge upgrade over the E7, and will also be compatible with the E9. It's estimated to be released in February, 2012:


post #707 of 752
Originally Posted by DarkAndroid View Post

in other news, my Fiio E7/E9 arrived yesterday i've been using it since with my Sennheiser HD 598 and Shure SRH 940. I can say there is just maybe a slight improvement from my onboard sound but not a big night and day difference as suggested around the forums. So either:


a) my onboard sound is really good to begin with

b) the Sennheiser HD 598 and Shure SRH 940 dont need/dont benefit much from amping

c) the Fiio E7/E9 isnt just quite as good as I expected it to be

or maybe a little bit of all three.....


For me the E9 is the only reason why I'm happy with the purchase....at first I tried the E7 by itself and the sound was pretty much the same with my onboard sound card if not maybe worse, both on my netbook and my HP notebook. I even tried it with my iPod shuffle and it completely muddied the sound, although maybe that would be because I was using it with the headphone jack and not a line out jack since the iPod Shuffle doesnt have one. However with the E7/E9 combo used with my computers, I guess what I notice is that on songs with alot of bass, the bass no longer overshadows the other frequencies since I tend to use a u-shaped curve in my equalizers. I'd be listening to a song that sounded fine and as soon as a bassy part kicked in such as maybe the chorus the mids and vocals would be recessed, but the E7/E9 solves that problem. Also, many people said that the E7/E9 greatly increases sound clarity and sound crispness, but I'm not so sure about that at least for me.

Well at least, using these has made me like my HD 598 again over my SRH 940! Using both of these headphones with the amp really highlights the lack of bass impact on the SRH 940 which makes alot of my music not as fun to listen to since there is alot of pop and hip-hop in my library. And I can always upgrade to a better DAC, since I suspect that may be what is bottlenecking the sound in this case....HRT Streamer II+, I have you in my crosshairs!!! :-D

The E7 is the bottleneck in the combination. I use my DACport LX to fix that issue with my E9. I think I may want to upgrade my amp eventually though although the E9 is more than enough power. Just want more sound signature options with op amp rolling.
post #708 of 752

Here's my two cents. (Edited)


I've now owned the Fiio E7+E9 combination for a couple of weeks.


This isn't quite enough time to give a well considered review of the audio quality which these units are able to deliver.



This will be a somewhat short review and will not focus on the playback quality.


Rather it's a critique of the product, taking a look at the more obvious flaws, which I have found with the E9 amplifier.


There are two of these:


1. The volume potentiometer is out of balance at the lowest volume levels.


For me, this means that when playing at the lowest volume levels, actual sound is only heard on the left channel. 

This is a problem if you're using the amplifier with sensitive headphones, such as my ones (Sennheiser HD595 + Denon AD-H 1100), since these units become loud very quickly, when adjusting the volume upwards.


Having checked up on this, I found out that the lack of balance between stereo channels at low levels is a known issue, and is to be expected with an analogue potentiometer as the one which is used in the E9.


I think fitting this unit with an analogue volume control was a bad decision, as I can understand the issue could have been avoided, had a digital one been utilized instead.


2. The mini-jack (secondary) headphone output is of very low build quality.


Again this is an issue which I've heard other people on the forum complain about.


In my particular case, there seems to be a loose connection somewhere in the unit, since I'm able to hear one of the two stereo channels cutting off when fiddling with the mini-jack, having it plugged in.

Other things I might experience is a static-like noise, when moving the cable running up to the mini jack plug, having no music playing through the headset.


This second point of critique, I think, is far the worst, and really a shame since the rest of the product i such good value for money, without compromising on quality.



If, however you are willing to accept these two (more or less) minor faults as mentioned, you will be greatly pleased with all other aspects of this headphone amplifier.



Edited by soeren - 10/4/11 at 11:18am
post #709 of 752

Noob here


Thinking of buying the E9 for my Beyer DT880's (600 ohms) I will soon be getting a presonus firestudio mobile external soundcard (am a composer)


Will I need the E7 as well? Is it necessary to have the combo?



post #710 of 752
Originally Posted by caddie444 View Post

Noob here


Thinking of buying the E9 for my Beyer DT880's (600 ohms) I will soon be getting a presonus firestudio mobile external soundcard (am a composer)


Will I need the E7 as well? Is it necessary to have the combo?



The E7 is good if you need a DAC with your computer. Otherwise if you will be using a different source to feed the E9 it won't be necessary. Also the E7 is the bottleneck in the chain and there are other better DACs that can help you fully utilize the E9. I use a DACport LX with my E9 and they pair very well together.


post #711 of 752

Why so many good words about FiiO E9?!? In a matter of fact FiiO E9 is a bad sounding equipment not matches to excellence of DT880, K70x, even much more cheaper headphones.

Please read:


post #712 of 752

Because unlike those other amps that a better match with the default opamps, The Fiio E9 is more affordable for those of us who dont have a big bank account. I liked the Fact the Fiio E9 had machined Dip-8 sockets, which was one of my reasons for getting it besides it being a strong affordable amp. I changed the Default OPA2134 OPamps to OPA2111AM's for my DT880 pro 250, When I had my AKG 702s I had LT1364 in the fiio E9.  It Still does a very good job at driving both headphones. As you can tell I did both with the Fiio E9 with the AKG 702 I had first which I sold to get this DT880 pro250. 


If I could afford a Matrix M-Stage , I would have gotten that. I still can't, which another reason if I do ever get enough money for another amp. I not going with Tubes, because the tubes them self are costly. I wouldnt be able to Tube roll like I can with Solid Stage amp. If the Matrix M-Stage was the same price as a Fiio E9 I would had gotten that of course.


Now I do want a M-stage but it gonna take forever to save for it, I do not fancy selling any thing else I using to even afford it.

Edited by genclaymore - 12/21/11 at 5:37pm
post #713 of 752

So tuning by choosing the lesser of evils?

OK, it's playable, affordable, but each of these three op-amps is degrading transparency no matter what you use, and many parts are not replaceable at all like infamous TI TPA, and I can tell you that E9 is way to expensive for its quality.

Edited by borizm - 12/22/11 at 2:37pm
post #714 of 752

Two of the  OPA2134's are used for the rear RCA output's. while the other OPA2134 is used for the Headphone output's. All 3 isn't used together. So when your using the headphone outputs you only using one of the OPA2134. That the one I change when I trying out different op-amps in my collection. Recently I decided to remove all of the OPA2134 while I was putting in a different op-amp since I was at it.   I would had never used 2x OPA2134 with another op-amp if the Fiio E9 used all 3 of them in the headphone output. I would had been changed all 3 of them. I admit if I didnt get hold of the Torx T5's I prolly would had gotten rid of the fiio e9 because of the OPA2134's but then I would be running the AKG 702s I had un-amp would have been eww.


I disagree on the amp costing more then it should. IMO it at a  good price point and is a good amp. But we both will just have to agree to disagree since both our opinions is difference.  I do agree that different headphones work better with the fiio E9 regardless of its power in comparison to other headphones even after a op-amp change.


I do have my eye on the Matrix M-stage besides of it being better amp it also because it's bigger in the inside around the op-amp socket, so i can use the op-amp adapter I have and maybe some OPA-Earth etc down the line. Mainly its a better match for my DT880 pro-250's then the Fiio E9 is,Tho the E9 did a wonderful job with my AKG 702's but only after I changed the OPA2134's out' Other wise it didnt sound right with the amp.    I know the Fiio E9 isnt as good amp in compare to something that cost 3x it price. But Like I mention most people that get the Fiio E9 are those budget only give them that for the option's and are not DIY'ers who could built there own.

Edited by genclaymore - 12/22/11 at 3:56pm
post #715 of 752

But connecting FiiO E9 to anything I have ends up with heavily degraded sound (lack of: details, air, lower bass; lack of instrument positioning, nice 3D music scene become a mess). I couldn't stand it for more than a hour.


Why not try the Breeze Audio E4 from "zoe_tsang" or "best-sell" from ebay?

"best-sell" was selling assembled with chassis and PSU - I think for a price of less than 150 USD. It's high-end or near to high-end.

I have also Beyerdynamic A1 clone - A-class but with op-amps, and sound is also degraded (but not so much degraded as E9 does), no matter what I put in the sockets :( .

Edited by borizm - 12/22/11 at 4:35pm
post #716 of 752

You will get that sound signature if you use the Default OPA2134 op-amp's. I keep mentioning over and over that the Fiio E9 has machine Dip-8 sockets. You can remove all 3 of those OPA2134's. Then put in better op-amp's. Like 3x LME49720's, 3x LME49860NA's, as well as either 3xOPA2107AP or  3xOPA2111KP. You only need 2x if you just using the Fiio E9 with speakers and not the front headphone output's.


All you need is a Torx T5 screw driver to open up the fiio E9 to do it and something you can use to reach inside so you can lift the OPA2134 upwards to remove them. This is basically what I do to roll op-amps.  I Changed the OPA2134 to different op-amps. You just gotta make sure you match the notch on the dip-8 socket to the one on the op-amps. As well as bending the Dip-8 op-amp legs so they are |-| instead of /-\ that they come in the mail as.


I got that same sound signature from the Fiio E9 til I Swap out the op-amps with ones I had in the collection. You don't have to keep using the OPA2134's. In fact the Fiio E9 uses Dip-8 sockets so you can remove the op-amps and replace them with better quality op-amps for your setup.


Once you do this, then you will not have that sound that you don't like just by taking out the OPA2134 and use the OP-amps that I mention. Because the Fiio E9 can be open, it just that you need the Torx T5 to even open it. This basically what I did from not liking the OPA2134PA sound signature.


But at this very monument I have 2x LME 49720NA's in my Fiio E9 for the rear RCA output's and OPA2111AM Metal cap op-amp for the headphone output's. Because I did that, the Fiio E9 has a totally sound signature then what your getting. Which I like more then what it would have sound like with the default OPA2134's. It would had been 2x LT1028ACN8's if The dual to single op-amp adapter I had was done even and not off. So it could fit in the socket.

Edited by genclaymore - 12/22/11 at 4:38pm
post #717 of 752

FiiO E9 was not mine, so I didn't disassembled it, but I have tried those op-amps (except OPA2111 and LME49720) in A1 and other devices and they sounds worst than 30 years old and cheap NE5532 I have in my three Philips CD102 years ago. NE5532, from the other side, is little too bright, hashy, but full of life and details. Strange, very strange indeed (op-amps was from a trusted source - not a fake).

Maybe you too should try NE5532 - at least for a fun?

If you looking for something to play with swapping op-amps, this one is nice and IMHO sonically better than FiiO E9: http://www.ebay.pl/itm/HA1-4Pcs-NE5532-headphone-preamplifier-kit-sc-/200690340405 (not include DIP8 sockets, and need to be assembled and supplied with a 2 X ~12 AC).

Edited by borizm - 12/22/11 at 4:54pm
post #718 of 752

My results are different but then I have 2 other op-amp pairs in my line that combine with the op-amp that I be rolling in the fiio E9.  Muiti op-amps pairs has better results at most times vs using one op-amp with no other quailty op-amp behind it. So I usually be able to tame the brightness of the op-amp with a darker one after it, to get the best of both worlds or maybe a totally different sound signature.  In fact I have used just one op-amp before in the auzentech prelude I had a long time ago, and rolling with one op-amp was a pain. When you wasn't combining it with another or pairs of op-amps.


Oh I didn't know the fiio E9 you had wasn't your's. I kept thinking that you might not knew how to change them in the fiio. But I see I was wrong when you mentioned you was changing them in the fiio A1.

Edited by genclaymore - 12/22/11 at 4:51pm
post #719 of 752

No, in this A1 clone which is called "Breeze Audio E3":

Very nice design, but sound a little disappointing - not match for superior "Breeze Audio E4".

Edited by borizm - 12/22/11 at 5:48pm
post #720 of 752

I use this funny-looking 4 x TDA1543 DAC directly driving DT880 600 ohm for 100% of the time in home:

4 x TDA1543 driving DT880 Premium 600 ohm directly.

and mine Breeze Audio E4 is on the pipeline, because of little lack of control over the headphones (these DACs give only 8 mA) and problems with more complex recordings.

FiiO E9 (stock, unmodified) had its chance to run with it (and with other DACs and CDs I have), but had lost it, few other amps win over it, and this JFET/MOSFET based discrete "Breeze Audio E4" was clearly the best - difference was really huge (like high-end vs hi-fi).

Edited by borizm - 12/23/11 at 1:16am
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