Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Faulty bass boost in my FiiO E7?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Faulty bass boost in my FiiO E7?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I usually just have my E7 docked on my E9 so the bass boost functionality has been un-abused thus far. Earlier today I decided to use the E7 by itself and wanted to boost some bass on my hip-hop music. And what did I get? Distortion. And I was only on level 1. Levels 2 and 3 sounded absolutely craptacular. BTW, this is from listening on my laptop with the E7 as the DAC. Programs I tried were foobar+WASAPI and PotPlayer+ReClock. Both had the same distortion problems. 

 

There was something definitely wrong because my FiiO E5 w/bass boost sounded very good. E7 should at least be on par.

 

But I did not give up hope on my E7. The next logical thing to test out was Aux In. So I plugged in my little Sony Walkman MP3 player, tried out the different bass levels on the E7 and, to my surprise, NO distortion! Even on level 3 there wasn't any (well maybe some).

 

So right now I'm thinking, "That's weird." I don't see why I would only get distortion when using the DAC of the E7. Perhaps there are shielding issues in my unit? My unit is straight up faulty? Can any other FiiO E7 users chime in?

post #2 of 32

distortion in the music itself revealed by the better dac section on the e7 perhaps. try running some low hz test tone files to see if they distort.

post #3 of 32

It it only distorts with certain music but not with others, then it probably is loudness war related, which is very common for hip-hop and rap music. The music is mastered at the absolute limited of the dynamic range allowed for the music, and easily distorted when the source output is high (which is the case in E7, at line-level) plus a little EQ (boss boost in this case). The same file often appears fine (and usually bass strong and full) at weaker source. The is the 'effect' of loudness war, so music can sound particularly good at common mp3 player.

post #4 of 32

I've never had disortion with my E7 and bass boost, check you don't have any software eqs or effects on.

post #5 of 32

E7 with bassboost DOES sound very good. Chances of it being faulty is quite low. Fiios quality control is pretty good. Check your files.

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagasaki_Kid View Post

distortion in the music itself revealed by the better dac section on the e7 perhaps. try running some low hz test tone files to see if they distort.

 

I know that it's not distortion in the music itself. When I listen with bass boost off the music sounds perfect. 

I tried out some tones from here: (http://homerecording.about.com/od/homestudiobasics/a/test_tones.htm) and they sounded fine with bass boost off. When  I bumped it up to level 1 I got a completely different noise. It sounded higher and was very buzzy.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

It it only distorts with certain music but not with others, then it probably is loudness war related, which is very common for hip-hop and rap music. The music is mastered at the absolute limited of the dynamic range allowed for the music, and easily distorted when the source output is high (which is the case in E7, at line-level) plus a little EQ (boss boost in this case). The same file often appears fine (and usually bass strong and full) at weaker source. The is the 'effect' of loudness war, so music can sound particularly good at common mp3 player.


I found that it distorts with any music that has low tones. I adjusted the volume in foobar to be lower (I usually have it all the way up) and turned up the volume on the E7 to compensate. There was actually a lot less distortion! But I'm not so sure this 'loudness war' effect is what's happening.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JRG1990 View Post

I've never had disortion with my E7 and bass boost, check you don't have any software eqs or effects on.


I've disable every eq and effects I could find on both foobar and PotPlayer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymordos View Post

E7 with bassboost DOES sound very good. Chances of it being faulty is quite low. Fiios quality control is pretty good. Check your files.


My files seem to be okay. They sound completely fine as long as bass boost is at 0. 

Concerning build quality, I should mention that my OLED screen (inside) is actually slightly crooked relative to the external body and the view window. I know this wouldn't affect SQ directly but maybe it speaks for the overall build quality of my particular unit; not perfect.

post #7 of 32

Does the distortion still persist when you listen to "normal" music with the bassboost on? Normal as in music that is not all bass and nothing else. Such as some pop, rock or classical. If the problem goes away with many other songs, then there is a problem with your files/music. If the problem doesn't go away, then the problem lies in your E7. And you might need to get a replacement.

 

We shouldn't really boost bass that is already maxed out in the music, because that would lead to inevitable distortion.

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpage View Post

Does the distortion still persist when you listen to "normal" music with the bassboost on? Normal as in music that is not all bass and nothing else. Such as some pop, rock or classical. If the problem goes away with many other songs, then there is a problem with your files/music. If the problem doesn't go away, then the problem lies in your E7. And you might need to get a replacement.

 

We shouldn't really boost bass that is already maxed out in the music, because that would lead to inevitable distortion.


I was hard pressed to hear distortion in "normal" music with bass boost on. Couldn't really hear any in classical. But I can hear it in pop/dance songs since bass usually goes pretty low on those. 

So if it is in fact the song itself, how come when I listen to the same song on my MP3 Walkman I don't get any distortion? I guess it is because of the different file type (MP3 on the Walkman instead of FLAC) and that it's not 'line level' like it is from the computer? 

 

Can other E7 owners out there please try out some hip-hop music on their computers (E7 as DAC and amp) and see if they get distortion with their bass boost settings on?

post #9 of 32

Since this is Foobar and Windows - what driver does Foobar using (ASIO / default)? If you are setting it on ASIO with anything higher than 16bit / 44.1kHz, it could induce distortion. Also, did you try other software player, like WMP? Last but not least, Vista and Wondows 7 default sound driver has EQ effect build-in, called 'Enhancements' (it is in the 'speaker properties' under 'Playback Devices' in your volume control). You'll need to disable it.

post #10 of 32

It's really hard to say whether the distortion is the normal distortion due to the boost or it's a faulty sort of distortion.  I will go home to try some Beyonce, Spears, and Eminem with BB. Since these songs are already very bassy, I usually wouldn't use BB lvl 2-3. I used to like level 0, but now I prefer level 1 with minimum changes to the other frequencies but with sub-woofer bass for movies and music. So I never go pass level 1.

 

You might want to try resetting E7, reinstalling a clean driver, using WASAPI as the device (download plugin for foobar2000). (Yeah, also try other players as ClieOS said)

 

If you have a chance, you can record the distortion for us to listen.

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Since this is Foobar and Windows - what driver does Foobar using (ASIO / default)? If you are setting it on ASIO with anything higher than 16bit / 44.1kHz, it could induce distortion. Also, did you try other software player, like WMP? Last but not least, Vista and Wondows 7 default sound driver has EQ effect build-in, called 'Enhancements' (it is in the 'speaker properties' under 'Playback Devices' in your volume control). You'll need to disable it.


My output is WASAPI: FiiO. I've kept it at 16 bit and not to scale anything. I tried WMP and I get the same distortion. I disabled all effects and such in the Windows Properties. Thanks for the suggestions, though. Actually I think I know what the cause of the distortion is. Continue to read below...

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpage View Post

It's really hard to say whether the distortion is the normal distortion due to the boost or it's a faulty sort of distortion.  I will go home to try some Beyonce, Spears, and Eminem with BB. Since these songs are already very bassy, I usually wouldn't use BB lvl 2-3. I used to like level 0, but now I prefer level 1 with minimum changes to the other frequencies but with sub-woofer bass for movies and music. So I never go pass level 1.

 

You might want to try resetting E7, reinstalling a clean driver, using WASAPI as the device (download plugin for foobar2000). (Yeah, also try other players as ClieOS said)

 

If you have a chance, you can record the distortion for us to listen.



Thanks, I appreciate you going to test out the music. I don't see myself going pass level 1 either. The bass boost on the E5 was perfect IMO, and level one is most similar to that. I've already reset my device. Also I'm already using WASAPI and have been using WASAPI.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hey guys, I'm pretty sure I know what the cause of the distortion is. It seems to be the "loudness war" effect as mentioned by ClieOS above. Since I'm listening at line level output, the boost in bass can't help but to distort at that level. I tweaked with the in-software volume control in both foobar and PotPlayer and made it around 75%-80%. At this point I can use the bass boost feature w/o any of the previous distortion issues! I'm glad I got this sorted and so it looks like I won't have to go through the trouble of returning my unit. Even so I still think I will end up maxing the volume on both foobar and PotPlayer and forgo the bass boost altogether. But knowing that my bass boost is NOT faulty will give me peace of mind. 

 

kingpage, I would still like feedback after you do your test listen, though. 

post #12 of 32

I always have my foobar2000 or wmp maxed out on volume (be it a DAP or computer media player, I have heard we should max out the volume for the source). Use E7's volume control is the best. (well the volume bar for E7 on the computer does not work)

 

It's great that you fixed the issue. Do you have examples of (well known) songs that had the problem? So I can check it out myself when I get home in few hours.

 

So at what levels volume(on the computer) did it distort before you tried 75%-80%?

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpage View Post

I always have my foobar2000 or wmp maxed out on volume (be it a DAP or computer media player, I have heard we should max out the volume for the source). Use E7's volume control is the best. (well the volume bar for E7 on the computer does not work)

 

It's great that you fixed the issue. Do you have examples of (well known) songs that had the problem? So I can check it out myself when I get home in few hours.

 

So at what levels volume(on the computer) did it distort before you tried 75%-80%?


Well I was listening to Kanye and Kid Cudi. Specifically I was listening to All of the Lights and Mr. Rager from each artist respectively. Some other songs I tried that had distortion were Blood Bank by Bon Iver (which surprised me since it's indie-folk, but the intro has lows to it) and Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk <-- I didn't hear too much distortion with this one actually; the bass doesn't go low enough. 

 

But really, any song that pushes low frequencies should cause the distortion if you have the source volume maxed out and have bass boost active on the E7. Well at least it SHOULD, if it's the case that my E7 is not faulty. If you report back with different findings then I will have to face palm myself.

post #14 of 32

I tried some real bass heavy tracks with BB lvl 3 on, even though I wasn't used to it and found it weird, there wasn't any obvious distortion. I have foobar2000 volume at 0dB (max) and 25 on my E7.

post #15 of 32

If you're on Win Vista or Win 7 try this, lower the windows volume slider to as low as possible and use other volume controls (on E7) to adjust it to your needs. I noticed this when I upgraded to Win 7 that if the vol slider in the taskbar is set too high it will distort bass with some DAC/amp configurations at least, lowering it will provide cleaner output.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Headphone Amps
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Faulty bass boost in my FiiO E7?