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simple fiio e7/e9 question

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

So, after some research, I have decided to buy Sennheiser 650's and the fiio E7/E9 combo as my first delve into audiophile bliss.  A big part of the decision was based on the fact that the closest thing I've owned to audiophile cans was the old version of what I think were PX 200's?  The on ear phones from sennheiser with the battery powered amp in the cord.  They were the greatest set of headphones I ever owned.  So I trust sennheiser's quality.  Any comments as to alternatives are appreciated.  My question about the E7/E9 combo is this: if the E7 is both a DAC and Amp, and the E9 is only an amp, is the purpose of the E9 simply a much higher power amp?  I figure I will use the E7 in the gym with iphone, and the combo with the desktop, then possibly just the E9 alone when listening to vinyl.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 41

What are your preferred genres to listen to? The HD650 is a pretty big jump to go to from "nothing." 

 

As for the E7/E9, the E7 is a DAC only when docked through the E9, the amp portion is no longer used. The E9 has no DAC, but it's a more powerful amp than the E7. Many people praise the combo for the price. It can drive most headphones just fine, especially until you can afford a more expensive one. When using the E7 as a portable amp make sure that you buy an LOD for it for the cleanest possible signal. The FiiO L3 LOD is cheap and effective.

post #3 of 41

Depends on which iPhone you are using (and how busy you are), you *might* want to consider using "airplane mode" on the iPhone when docking to the LOD. From my own experience, the E7 is VERY susceptible to EMI/RFI from the iPhone. As such, I seldom use it as a portable (until I find a suitable splitter/LOD that would allow me to take calls. I'll be open to DIY suggestions for this one too. Possibly another story for another regarding this.)

 

I'm currently on the HD600 to the E7/E9. It's not bad for what it does (or what you pay for). However, I find that there is a mild channel imbalance issue with lower volumes (left channel slightly louder than right channel) on my setup. I find that my tastes have also shifted slightly from music to more of movies/animation ever since I got the E7/E9, though. But I guess YMMV.

 

For vinyl, listening, I would recommend you look at other amps. Note too that the E9 will not take RCA inputs (the RCA ports you see on its back are for line out only, possibly from the E7 DAC's signal).

post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thanks much.  That's pretty well what I had figured.  Good to know that the RCA on the E9 is "out".  That seems odd.  Is that for use as a speaker amp I suppose?  That means the USB is the only real "line in" to use with the E7 DAC combo, or would the 3.5mm work just as well? 

I know the 650's a big first buy, but I know Sennheiser=Quality and the only other I've really considered is the Denon 2000's which are selling for only about $30 less on Amazon.  I'm the type that would buy a 500 series and constantly be thinking, "How much better are the 650's?"  I'd go 800 if I had the cash. 

I'm deployed with the military right now, so my iphone is always on airplane mode anyways, thanks for the info on that though.  I did also have the LOD in my shopping cart.  Thanks!

post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by USArmyRecon View Post

Thanks much.  That's pretty well what I had figured.  Good to know that the RCA on the E9 is "out".  That seems odd.  Is that for use as a speaker amp I suppose?  That means the USB is the only real "line in" to use with the E7 DAC combo, or would the 3.5mm work just as well?

 

 

I believe it's so the e9 can act as a preamp. Hooking it up via the 3.5mm jack would bypass the functionality of the dac.  You're correct in thinking USB is your only form of input that takes advantage of the pair.

post #6 of 41

Re: 3.5mm as line-in

Sure, I don't see any reason why you can't run a line-in via the 3.5mm port at the back. All the portable amps on the market do this with 3.5mm ports.

 

E7 is a portable DAC & amp, but to use the DAC function you will need to connect it via USB. This means you could use it directly with a computer, or indirectly with a computer by docking the E7 into the E9 and connecting the computer to the E9 by USB.

post #7 of 41

Hmmm. Perhaps to clear things up a little.

 

The E9 would also allow a line-in feed on the rear but this is via a 3.5mm jack (when this is in use, it overrides the USB input). Bacause all cables are directional, you will find that decent quality Y-cables are usually J2P rather than P2J. If you're not too picky on quality, you can go ahead and use this input (otherwise, suitable converters and custom cable runs are needed). The reason I brought up this issue was because you've mentioned an additional input in the form of vinyl. With analog signals so delicate on those, I really won't want you to compromise too much on the quality side of things.

 

With regards to the RCA line outs on the E9, it's not meant to be used as a pre-out (the E9 has its own dedicated pre-out in the form of a 3.5mm rear jack). It's meant to be used as a "true" line out from the E7/E9 combo when it is used as a USB DAC. The cheaper (and smaller) L7 also does this (albeit via a 3.5mm jack). Not sure how much of a compromise is that going to be sound wise, though!

 

The E7 is really not a fantastic product is used as a standalone device, IMO. So for your portable setup, you *might* want to consider rigging up maybe a cheap CMOY or other entry amps (sites like Head-fi and Headfonia are a good place to start on these). I personally find that the E7 comes into its own only when paired with the E9 and with the E7 used as a DAC only. Note too that with the Fiio L7 circulating on the market, your options with regards to amplification are not all restricted to the E9 either.

 

Just out of curiosity, are you going to use this setup mainly at the base/in camp or when you're out on deployment?

post #8 of 41

I also want to comment that the e9 and hd650 is a nice match together. The synergy is great! I'm not sure you can do better than the e7/e9 combo for the 650s unless you spend a lot more money.

post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 

What I'm thinking is I will be using the E7 in the gym with iphone (really an ipod touch considering no use as a phone here) LOD, and sennheiser's adidas sports headphones.  So considering the quality of headphone isn't going to be hi-fi in the gym anyways, I'm not super concerned about the E7 stand alone performance there.  I doubt I will have much use for it as a portable outside of the gym.  Perhaps some sort of setup in the car when I get back home?  Hadn't really thought of that until just now.  The 650's and E7/9 combo will be for my laptop back in the barracks (movies, games, AND music).  Won't be rocking out when I go out on actual missions unfortunately.  While there are definitely ppl who do it, as a scout it's just a little too dangerous.  I have to remain constantly aware of every aspect of my surroundings. 

post #10 of 41

Hehehe....yeah, I was actually beginning to worry about maintaining a good sense of noise discipline (not forgetting to mention, light discipline too - given the display of the E7 itself). The gym thing with the E7 should be alright, I think. The entry level offering (not the HD25) is a rather decent sounding pair of headphones too (for the money!).

 

From my (limited) experience with the amount of background noise at army barracks (unless you have a private office/bunk), you might want to reconsider bringing that setup to work. It's not because the E7/E9 would be inadequate, but rather, the HD650, being open-back phones, will leak sound both ways - in and out - of the system. If you used them in a quiet/home environment instead, you would find it a lot more rewarding than it would be in a noisy environment. Note also the issue about theft and missing items.

 

But of course, if you think your barracks are a suitable environment to use the setup, by all means do so. In fact, one benefit I think of right away with the E7/E9 setup is that if your barracks already have some kind of a projector and/or PA sound system, you can even use it to play movies for the rest of your mates off your laptop. It's that versatile.

 

Nevertheless, have fun with the setup and also don't forget to give us a sitrep after you get it! smily_headphones1.gif

post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post
E7 is a portable DAC & amp, but to use the DAC function you will need to connect it via USB. This means you could use it directly with a computer, or indirectly with a computer by docking the E7 into the E9 and connecting the computer to the E9 by USB.


So you be able to use the DAC function if you were to connect the E7 to a source through a USB and connect it to the line out of the E9 through the headphone jack, right?

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppelganger View Post





So you be able to use the DAC function if you were to connect the E7 to a source through a USB and connect it to the line out of the E9 through the headphone jack, right?


Let me see if I read you right. You want to do this:

 

PC --(via USB)--> E7 --(via E7's headphone out)--> E9's line IN

 

My question to you would be: why on earth are you not simply plugging the E7 into the E9 as it was designed to?

e1b4160b_e7e9.jpg

 

post #13 of 41

I only get sound out of the right channel when I have the E7 docked, and the only reason that I can think of for this is that the dock connector is messed up. I don't want to spend time away from my E9 by sending it for repairs, but I I'm trying to figure out if the E7 is worth selling. So does that work or would I have to get an L7? I don't know if it's a dumb question or not, since most people don't seem to have this problem.

 

My bad if I'm shifting this thread too much towards my own question 


Edited by Doppelganger - 7/27/11 at 9:45pm
post #14 of 41

No don't worry about your questions, they're still very much on topic.

 

Wish I could help you more, but I really am not sure how the L7 works and all that, so I can only give some general advice:

If the dock connection seems to be the problem, it could be the E7 or the E9; don't rule out the E7 being the problem. I think the chain you suggest would work (it would be connecting the E7 and E9 as if they were not meant to be docked together), and there's no reason why you shouldn't just try it out at zero cost.

post #15 of 41

well after I saw the resolution that the E7 can play I decided not to buy it... 16bit/48kHz too low nowadays!

I bought the E9i so that I can dock my iPhone (when i get it :) analogically when I want, and use the 3,5mm line in to connect the amp to my dacs!!

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