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FiiO E6 - story of the tiny amp continues... (w/ review on 1st page) - Page 31

post #451 of 533

I have no idea that my e6 would still be alive after 2 yrs of daily use. :) Amazingly battery life still the same or maybe just dipped a little. :)

post #452 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

Here is the new chapter for the story about FiiO's tiny amps' line-up: E6 has been in development for over a year now and ready to be launched months ago. But due to the respect for Westone, which has decided to bundle the new E6 with some of their IEM, the launch is delayed till 25th of August. Yes, the end of this month, so that Westone will have enough time to finish up the bundle pack on their end.

 

Anyway, I have had this little marvel for a few weeks now and I can't begin to tell you how impressed I am. Will it beats E11? No. But will it out-do E5 several times over? Hell yes. For those who think E5 is nothing but toy, this is where FiiO is trying to prove to you how serious a tiny amp that cost much less than a decent meal can go. I haven't had the time to review it just yet, but rest assured  the review will come. Here are some pictures for you to look at, and I'll answer any question as long as it is not overly complicated.

 


[UPDATE] FiiO E6 Review - 25th AUG, 2011.

 

E6-01.jpg

 

Tech Prelude

So E6 is using the same set of opamps as the E7, does they sound just the same?  Well, yes and no. Yes is that the general sound signature of E6 is still consistent to other FiiO’s amps, clear and mostly transparent. No is that the actual design of the circuit has been changed. As told, E6 utilizes a different power circuit to provide true +/- power for the opamp to improve the performance instead of the old charge-pump design on E7.  Well, I am not an electronic engineer so don’t ask me about the detail. All I can say is the E6 does sound better than E7 – and I will leave the detail for later.

 

SPEC

Spec is mostly the same as E5 / E7..

 

Output Power: 150mW (16Ω); 16mW (300Ω)
Headphone Impedance Range: 16 Ω ~ 300 Ω
SNR: ≥95dB (A weighted)
Distortion: <0.009% (10mW)
Frequency Range: 10Hz ~ 100kHz
Power Supply: Internal rechargeable Li-ion battery
Recharging: USB 5V DC 500mA
Size: 41mm x 40.2mm x 8mm
Weight: 16g

 

E6-02.jpg

 

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality

As you can see on the picture, the packaging is similar to FiiO’s own E1. Blister pack isn’t my favorite but I guess one can’t be choosy on a $30 amp. Accessories wise, there is an USB cable for charging, two 3.5mm-to-3.5mm interconnecting cables (one L-to-L  three inches and one straight-to-straight 2.5 feet), and two transparent back clip. The back clip will fit into the triangular opening on the E6 and it is very secure. Also, the back clip is made out of polycarbonate and it is extremely strong (for a clip of this size). Just so you know, polycarbonate is the same stuff Mythbuster use for their blast shield most of the time. In case you do manage to break one, there is an extra clip waiting.

 

E6-03.jpg

 

E6-04.jpg

 

While the E6 does look a little cheap since it is all made out of plastic and extremely light (16g), the overall build quality, as you can expect from FiiO, is quite decent. The whole housing is glued tight and nothing is loose, including the shiny triangular slot that holds the back clip. The volume buttons feel really solid, so is the power/ EQ / hold switch.

 

One of the tests I have done is on electromagnetic Interference – basically it is the same cellphone test I have done on my E5 review. I placed the amp very close to my cellphone then I made a quick call to myself to check any RF interference. To my surprise, E6 is dead silent the whole time, not even when it was placed next to the cellphone.

 

Overall, I am pleased.  While metal housing is classier, it really is the interference that I thought will be problematic for E6. Yet E6 is able to prove it is better than E5 in that regard.

 

E6-05.jpg

Digital volume control on the side.

 

E6-06.jpg

 

Battery Life

The listed battery life is 10 hours, which is the same as E5. Though I didn’t actually do a battery drain test, I did use it for over 6 hours or so between each recharge. I think the actual run time will depend largely how you use the amp, but 8~10 hours seems perfectly achievable to me.

 

Gain and Hiss

The old E5 has a gain of 5dB (3dB is double in signal), the new E6 is said to be 2.8dB higher than E5. For the RMAA test I did, the result indicate roughly a 3dB difference between E5 and E6, so that confirms the increased gain of 2.8dB – which totals the E6 gain to about 8dB. What that means is E6 can get really loud if you want it too. However, there available power is still limited by the opamp in use, so don’t expect E6 to out shine E11 in that regard. I have tested E6 on 150 ohm IEM like the RE262 and ER4S to low impedance IEM down to 16 ohm UE200. The results are all very decent. It might not able to sound as good as $100+ amp, but the performance is admirable for such a small device.

 

Hiss is an issue to E5 when it comes to loud volume. Basically the amp (E5) stays well-behave when it is in low volume. But hiss starts to increase once the volume is set to over half of the total volume. The reason is how E5 increases its volume - it is done by increasing the gain (which is different from the common method of limiting input signal like in cmoy). The downside of gain adjusted volume is that gain increment also means the internal noise will increase as well, and that is what causes E5 to hiss when the volume is up. On E6, the volume is also controlled with gain so hiss does exist. The good news is the hiss level is about half as much as E5 and like E5, only occurs when you set the volume to very high. What that means is, as long as you have a decent level of input, you shouldn’t find hiss a problem on E6.

 

E6-07.jpg

Pushing the power switch up for 3 seconds to turn the amp on/off. Push it once when the amp is on to switch between different EQ. Push the power switch down to lock the volume setting (hold).

 

E6-08.jpg

Blue light is the power on indicator (turns red when charging). Red dot shows the amp is on EQ1 (turns to blue for EQ2, purple for EQ3 and no light for flat EQ)

 

Sound Quality and EQ

So how do E6 compared to E5 and E7? Compared to E5, E6 (flat EQ) is cleaner, In fact, even cleaner than E7. It loses a tad of warm from the mid, but becomes crisper on the treble. Overall, E6 sounds a hair more extended and revealing than E7, which also means it sounds better than E5 by a decent margin.

 

How about JDS cmoyBB and SoundMAGIC A10? For cmoyBB, as I have mentioned from my cmoyBB review – it is better than E7 but not vastly. What cmoyBB does really well is on the rendering on space, layering and air, though it also carries an extra sense of lushness (which I see it more as a kind of coloration. Note: I prefer neutral amp). To me, E6 fits nicely between E7 and cmoyBB. However, that is assuming both are on flat EQ. Once E6 is on EQ2, the two are incredibly close with the same richness in sound – those who love their amp sounding rich will definitely like this. For A10, I always consider it to be comparable to E7 but come with a very different flavor. It is warm, full and musical. To me, E6 is technically more accurate but just like how A10 compares to E7, they are very different sounding. With EQ1, E6 can actually capture some of the warm and fullness of A10, though still not quite as musical and spacious.

 

SpectrumE6.jpg

RMAA tested with 16 ohm load. Don't mind the ripple beyond 5kHz and drop off near 20kHz, it is caused by my soundcard. EQ3 was adjusted (-3dB) to show the difference to flat EQ.

 

So if you haven’t noticed, I just finish describe to you what I think really makes E6 a true gem – its EQ. It can be clean, lush, or warm and full on a push of a switch. Sure it is not going to turn into cmoyBB or A10, but the effects are still enjoyable and fun. Even without the improved sound quality from E7, the EQ on E6 alone will worth the investment. The one EQ I haven’t mentioned is EQ3, which is a 3dB reduction across the whole frequency range. Different from E7 which has a limiting input of 1.4V (any higher will clip), E6 is capable of 2V input.  But for even higher input, E6 will still clip and render the amp useless. The EQ3 is basically a feature to prevent that from happening by lowering the overall gain so the amp can take a larger signal without clipping. In RMAA test, EQ3 performs as good as flat EQ except for the lower gain. I tested E6’s EQ3 on s:flo2’s line-out (which will clip E5 and E7) and it actually sounds pretty good - very comparable to S:flo2 headphone-out. Of course this is done to proof a point rather than any real practicality since the headphone-out is pretty good already.

 

So how about E6’s big brother, the E11? Besides being a bit more forward sounding, E6 lacks the overall resolution and authority to really compete with th3e much more powerful E11, which I do consider to be a class better than E6. But putting that aside, both are better amp than what their price tags would have want you to believe in.

 

*HifiMan RE0 is used as the reference IEM in the review. Sources include Sansa Fuze (LO), iPod Nano 4G (LO) and s:flo2 (LO)

 

E6-09.jpg

E6 (left) and E5 (right)

 

Verdict

As I was told that E6 took almost a year of development to get it right. FiiO has managed to address some of the weakness in old E5 / E7 and add some very useful features to E6. While it may be just an entry level amp that cost about $30, I think FiiO is again taking the concept of entry level to a new height with E6.

 

 

 

thanks for the fantastic review! i have owned these about a month now,

 

i was wondering how to interpret graph you posted. I mean i can read it and understand it somewhat but i was wondering for eq3 with the -3db reduction. technically if you increase the volume enough it can match its "vanilla mode"

 

what i mean is if the volume is 2 for vanilla mode

would volume 4 for the eq3 lead to the same output (frequency response)? as a volume 2 for its vanilla mode/flat eq

 

on trustedreview website said it toned down the bass and the treble frequencies. I tested this myself and it seem to be right, even with the volume increase. it might be just a placebo effect however. 

 

i'm curious because i want to tone down the booming bass and the siblant treble of my klipsch s4i. And i also don't want to change the frequency response of my re400 and my noontec zoros. i love them! 

post #453 of 533
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom22 View Post
 

 

thanks for the fantastic review! i have owned these about a month now,

 

i was wondering how to interpret graph you posted. I mean i can read it and understand it somewhat but i was wondering for eq3 with the -3db reduction. technically if you increase the volume enough it can match its "vanilla mode"

 

what i mean is if the volume is 2 for vanilla mode

would volume 4 for the eq3 lead to the same output (frequency response)? as a volume 2 for its vanilla mode/flat eq

 

on trustedreview website said it toned down the bass and the treble frequencies. I tested this myself and it seem to be right, even with the volume increase. it might be just a placebo effect however. 

 

i'm curious because i want to tone down the booming bass and the siblant treble of my klipsch s4i. And i also don't want to change the frequency response of my re400 and my noontec zoros. i love them! 

 

EQ3 really is just normal mode with reduced gain (volume). The reason is to make sure the amp won't distort when the input signal is too high. Yes, technically you can increase the volume enough so the output will match the normal mode (to an extent)

 

S4 is more or less a lost cause :p

post #454 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

EQ3 really is just normal mode with reduced gain (volume). The reason is to make sure the amp won't distort when the input signal is too high. Yes, technically you can increase the volume enough so the output will match
the normal mode (to an extent)

S4 is more or less a lost cause tongue.gif

Yes i made the mistake to buy it 2 years ago
based on cnet intervieww and some reviewss on head fi (i take care of my stuff so they're basically new only very smal scuff marks on the logo)

Im trying to really just use them until they break, (they isolate well for commuting) and i dun want to toss them away.
Tried to reduce the treble by using olive foam and comply but complys too expensive. And i still have some olives left over.

Thanks for replying. I guess ill just have to enjoy it with my re400, noontec zoros more
post #455 of 533

I love this little amp. I use it with a shuffle out on the bike - nice and small but gives a good boost to the IEMs I use (Skullcandy FMJs or Marley People Get Ready or Beacon IEMs). EQ lets me get the best out of these 'phones (yes, not expensive ones, but fine for out riding). It does feel a bit flimsy, but I've had no bother after several months. I like FiiO products (bar a dodgy cable on a Rocky). For the price I can't see a downside to this. 

post #456 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko93101 View Post
 

So what Tangent is saying jump3r is that it's not an improvement in SQ, in fact it's the headphone/IEM being able to perform at their fullest potential with the little extra juice

 

:P,ya that is what an amp/dac do...

post #457 of 533

Yes, I know - what I'm not understanding is why can the FiiO work as a DAC on an Android device and not on an iPod - don't you have to buy an expensive DAC to get past the iPod internals...? And yet it's the same music files; what is it that Apple is charging for when it wants companies to pay for the right to 'DAC' the files from an iPod? Sorry again if this is a daft question...

post #458 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by uzunaruto View Post
 

For some reason, my e6 wont turn on anymore and  I considering replacing it. Is it better to just get another e6 or upgrade to the e11. 

 

 

P.S. I never really venture out of the $100 dollar range with headphones and if I do, then I got it for a good deal bigsmile_face.gif

 

Alright this little guy started working again after two months of playing dead, just hoping it doesn't do that again.... 

post #459 of 533

I'm considering in getting this little amp for my phone. :)

post #460 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicadraus View Post
 

I'm considering in getting this little amp for my phone. :)

i think its a safe investment

 

my itouch's headphone jack shorted out and for a year(costed 200$ at apple to fix) and already paid 50$ for stores to attempt to fix it,-->waste of time and money

 it was just a expensive alarm and to watch videos in bed ( didn't know about using its lod cable) at the time didn't want to throw it away or give to someone it was 32gb

 

got the fiio e6 this summer and connected to my 32gb itouch with lod cable--> ITS BACK!!!!! omg it holds so much more songs than my 16gb iphone (use to listen to just 256kps- 320kps, now have lossless files (they take up so much space!!!, but sound amazing)

 

now i have more than enough space for my music (its exclusively for music)

 

now i know if the headphone output on my fiio e6 shorts out i can easily pay 30-45$ a new one or upgrade to its older siblings been eyeing the e17 and the e70k for a while , rather than pay apple 200$ to fix just the headphone jack

 

that was my original reason for getting it

 

but now it gives more tighter bass, decent mid range and some lower treble sparkle (would like more extension and sparkle) but hey its cheap!--> no eq

 

the eq 2 red as everyone stated is better left alone, bass is so muddy and bleeds easily to the midrange and makes the treble seem out of steam and no sparkle

 

eq3  blue light is great for more dance, edm music for more lively sound and helps a lot with female vocals bumps up the bass and the treble, still like more extention i feel it bumps the midbass and the mid treble more so than the sub bass and the higher treble

 

the eq4 purple light i actually find is very useful! heres why: i find i use it interchangable with eq1(vanilla mode) i use low impedence gear (noontec zoro, monster turbines, hi fi man re400, monoprice 8320) and when i find the vanila mode to loud, i use the eq4 but bump up the volume a few notches. (imo when using the re400s i use the eq 1 on volume 4 ( 3 clicks, first click= 2 clicks then increase 1 at a time) it gets a little to loud to me, instead i use eq 4 with volume 6 (5 clicks) its inbetween volume 3-4 on normal eq (hopefully that make sense)---> it reduces all frequencies by 3 db i think

 

fantastic option i think it needs more attention to the public when their they short out the headphone jack on their devices! most ppl throw them away and use it as excuse to upgrade their gear 

 

i will be sticking with my current itouch for a long time! and for now the fiie6 as well

post #461 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom22 View Post
 

i think its a safe investment

 

my itouch's headphone jack shorted out and for a year(costed 200$ at apple to fix) and already paid 50$ for stores to attempt to fix it,-->waste of time and money

 it was just a expensive alarm and to watch videos in bed ( didn't know about using its lod cable) at the time didn't want to throw it away or give to someone it was 32gb

 

got the fiio e6 this summer and connected to my 32gb itouch with lod cable--> ITS BACK!!!!! omg it holds so much more songs than my 16gb iphone (use to listen to just 256kps- 320kps, now have lossless files (they take up so much space!!!, but sound amazing)

 

now i have more than enough space for my music (its exclusively for music)

 

now i know if the headphone output on my fiio e6 shorts out i can easily pay 30-45$ a new one or upgrade to its older siblings been eyeing the e17 and the e70k for a while , rather than pay apple 200$ to fix just the headphone jack

 

that was my original reason for getting it

 

but now it gives more tighter bass, decent mid range and some lower treble sparkle (would like more extension and sparkle) but hey its cheap!--> no eq

 

the eq 2 red as everyone stated is better left alone, bass is so muddy and bleeds easily to the midrange and makes the treble seem out of steam and no sparkle

 

eq3  blue light is great for more dance, edm music for more lively sound and helps a lot with female vocals bumps up the bass and the treble, still like more extention i feel it bumps the midbass and the mid treble more so than the sub bass and the higher treble

 

the eq4 purple light i actually find is very useful! heres why: i find i use it interchangable with eq1(vanilla mode) i use low impedence gear (noontec zoro, monster turbines, hi fi man re400, monoprice 8320) and when i find the vanila mode to loud, i use the eq4 but bump up the volume a few notches. (imo when using the re400s i use the eq 1 on volume 4 ( 3 clicks, first click= 2 clicks then increase 1 at a time) it gets a little to loud to me, instead i use eq 4 with volume 6 (5 clicks) its inbetween volume 3-4 on normal eq (hopefully that make sense)---> it reduces all frequencies by 3 db i think

 

fantastic option i think it needs more attention to the public when their they short out the headphone jack on their devices! most ppl throw them away and use it as excuse to upgrade their gear 

 

i will be sticking with my current itouch for a long time! and for now the fiie6 as well

 

Thank you for the input. Will surely get one. :)

post #462 of 533

Just one thing to bare in mind with this amp is that if you are charging it the noise in the power supply affects the sound. So you really can't use this amp plugged in and charging like in a desk environment.

 

Mine doesn't seem to have the red light on the top so its actually really hard to tell what mode its in, it just seems to switch between purple and blue. The interface is very reduced and I think its pretty awkward to use. The volume rocker is simple enough but the mode switch and power switch is just awkward as you pull it up for everything.

 

I am no expert on the sound of headphone amps and don't have much to compare it to so I'll skip that, but I wanted to make sure people knew about the hiss when charging the amp.

post #463 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightCandle View Post
 

Just one thing to bare in mind with this amp is that if you are charging it the noise in the power supply affects the sound. So you really can't use this amp plugged in and charging like in a desk environment.

 

Mine doesn't seem to have the red light on the top so its actually really hard to tell what mode its in, it just seems to switch between purple and blue. The interface is very reduced and I think its pretty awkward to use. The volume rocker is simple enough but the mode switch and power switch is just awkward as you pull it up for everything.

 

I am no expert on the sound of headphone amps and don't have much to compare it to so I'll skip that, but I wanted to make sure people knew about the hiss when charging the amp.

yea you can't use it while charging the hiss is far tooo annoying but the battery on the little guy is more than enough for me, i can go many days without charging it ( i only listen maybe 1-2 hrs a day, my on subway commute though)

post #464 of 533

So, anyone know how this will work with the UE6000? I like the sound, just thought I'd try to open them up a bit when using them with my iPod (touch 2nd gen). Will it help the slightly recessed treble? Add some sparkle? Will it have enough power for the UE6000 without causing issues, or is there another amp around this price that can do a better job?

post #465 of 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimShadyMJ View Post
 

So, anyone know how this will work with the UE6000? I like the sound, just thought I'd try to open them up a bit when using them with my iPod (touch 2nd gen). Will it help the slightly recessed treble? Add some sparkle? Will it have enough power for the UE6000 without causing issues, or is there another amp around this price that can do a better job?

 

personally i used them with my noontec zoros, hifiman re400, monster turbines, vsonic gr07

 

the closest in sound signature amongst what i have to your ue6000 is the noontec zoros and the turbines

 

more so the noontec zoros in the sense that the treble rolls off bit more quickly

 

the fiio e6 i feel is a dark amp, to be totally honest i honestly don't think they do much if anything to the treble ( if anything it sounds even more recessed relative to the bass and the mids emphasis)

 

now i'm a/bin this with my iphone with the amp and without at roughly what i think is the similar volume ( on iphone alone i use the noontec at about 4 clicks /16 i think) on the fiio amp i use it at 1 click (on the fiio amp 1 click is +2 in volume, so for convenience sake i will just say clicks from now on ) 2 clicks (which really +3 volume)

 

what it does is bump up the volume (using 4+ on iphone vs +3 with the amp) the bass feels more emphasized if you want to think of it in relative sense the bass seems like its been bumped up +3 the mids +2 treble +0/1

 

the bass becomes bigger and tighter more so in the midbass > sub bass 

 

the lower mids- middle mids is more emphasised so male vocals become more rich

 

female vocals in the higher mids to lower treble still sounded nice but not as nice as with male vocals

 

no change really in sound stage

 

as stated above i did not feel like the treble was really touched at all, there was no extra sparkle or extension, but no harshness either

 

also something to note the post above was just comparing both the iphone and amp in vanilla mode (no eq on the fiio amp so eq1= nothing)

 

ignore eq2 the bass is far too overblown and gets muddy fast, making the transitition to mid range very weird and makes the treble soo recessed

 

the eq 3 however is a better than eq 2 i still like to use the amp without eq or on eq4 (reducing db good for low impedence and high sensitive gear (basically most of my gear) and good for using volume inbetween eq 1 (cause i felt the volume difference in eq1 was too big sometimes, and i use eq3 as a way to find a inbtween volume ex i can use the noontec zoro only up to +3 volume on eq 1 but when use eq4 i can go as far as +5, cause it limits the amount of juice that goes into the headphones)

 

soo back to eq3 the bass is a looser but bigger (tighter than eq2 but less than eq1) the mids become a bit recessed the lower treble gets bumped it ( on my slight siblant gr07) made the siblance more noticeable

 

the mid to higher treble was pretty much left untouched so there was no much sparkle despite the increase in bass and treble

 

hoped it helped lemme know if you need any help or clarification on what i said above

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