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Fiio E6 or E7 or E11? Which is better for headphone noob?

Poll Results: Fiio E6 or E7 or E11? Which is better for headphone noob?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 20% (13)
    E6
  • 23% (15)
    E7
  • 56% (36)
    E11
64 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey

 

I know this question has been asked before, but I've done a bit of Googling and can't seem to find the answers to some of my questions, so I'm hoping you guys may be able to help....

 

First, a bit of background info.  I recently invested in a pair of ATH M50's.  This is my first foray into the world of (quality) headphones and I am now discovering that it's not as simple as 'buy a good pair of phones and get great sound from my laptop'.  In fact, I at first thought my new purchase may be faulty as they didn't sound anywhere near as good as I expected.  Then I tried them on my iPod.  Suddenly, they sound a lot better!  Then I tried them in my home amp with a direct CD source via optical cable and realised why everyone rates the M50's so highly!

 

So, having experienced how good my phones can sound, I want to ensure I'm able to reproduce that sound when using them with my laptop or iPod.  It would seem a headphone amp is the way to go.

 

I don't intend on using my phones a hell of a lot (maybe a couple of times a week), so want to keep costs to a minimum.  Having said that, I don't mind investing the money if there's a noticeable difference and I'm anticipating this is something I could get quite into so may end up listening through the phones more often than I'm expecting!

 

So, I'm pretty much decided on Fiio as there doesn't seem to be anything else out there that comes close in terms of quality for the price.  What I can't decide on is which amp to go for.

 

My main questions are:

 

  • When just using as an amplifier, is there a noticeable quality difference between the 3 amps?
  • Is it worth investing the extra money for the E7's DAC?
  • Does the E7 work as a DAC when connected to an iPod using a LOD?

 

I guess the bottom line is - is the E11 worth twice as much as the E6?  And, does the E7's DAC warrant the additional money?  As I said, I'm no audiophile.  I'm just trying to get the most out of my new headphones.  Going by current prices, I can get an E6 for less than £20.  An E11 is around £40 and an E7 is around £50.

 

Appreciate any and all responses....

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hixxy1 View Post

Hey

 

I know this question has been asked before, but I've done a bit of Googling and can't seem to find the answers to some of my questions, so I'm hoping you guys may be able to help....

 

First, a bit of background info.  I recently invested in a pair of ATH M50's.  This is my first foray into the world of (quality) headphones and I am now discovering that it's not as simple as 'buy a good pair of phones and get great sound from my laptop'.  In fact, I at first thought my new purchase may be faulty as they didn't sound anywhere near as good as I expected.  Then I tried them on my iPod.  Suddenly, they sound a lot better!  Then I tried them in my home amp with a direct CD source via optical cable and realised why everyone rates the M50's so highly!

 

So, having experienced how good my phones can sound, I want to ensure I'm able to reproduce that sound when using them with my laptop or iPod.  It would seem a headphone amp is the way to go.

 

I don't intend on using my phones a hell of a lot (maybe a couple of times a week), so want to keep costs to a minimum.  Having said that, I don't mind investing the money if there's a noticeable difference and I'm anticipating this is something I could get quite into so may end up listening through the phones more often than I'm expecting!

 

So, I'm pretty much decided on Fiio as there doesn't seem to be anything else out there that comes close in terms of quality for the price.  What I can't decide on is which amp to go for.

 

My main questions are:

 

  • When just using as an amplifier, is there a noticeable quality difference between the 3 amps?
  • Is it worth investing the extra money for the E7's DAC?
  • Does the E7 work as a DAC when connected to an iPod using a LOD?

 

I guess the bottom line is - is the E11 worth twice as much as the E6?  And, does the E7's DAC warrant the additional money?  As I said, I'm no audiophile.  I'm just trying to get the most out of my new headphones.  Going by current prices, I can get an E6 for less than £20.  An E11 is around £40 and an E7 is around £50.

 

Appreciate any and all responses....


haha. fiio is indeed for you :) u've learned right as there really isn't much out there that can match the universality of their amps.

 

There is a big noticeble differnece amongst all 3 amps. i would not recommend the E6. Not worth it, since it limites upgradability and the E11 is a better choice. more later on this.

 

Is a DAC worth money? Do you have lossless tracks? or...can afford? oh yes. is the E7 worth it? Not really anymore...well sure but most would run to the E17. More later.

 

No, the E7 will not bypass the ipod's DAC using an LOD.. the LOD only bypasses the amp(which is already great)

 

IS the E11 worth twice as much as the E6?.....no. it's worth about 3X as much. The E11 brings you into the leagues. it's in use for headphone head fier's up to the sub $400 range(minus high Ohm Beyer's) so it gives you the upgradability you need and that great sound you would expect for more. If you are just looking for something that is great. use this with an LOD. great sound! I recommend buying the FiiO L9 with the E11. The L3 can also be used but the L shape of the L9 works great with an E11 or any other. The cheaper fiio lod is not recommended. it's cable is not nearly as good as the L9 or L3's HPC-22W wire.

 

I would recommend the new E17 if you used your headphones more and would liek better stuff but you don't. No. the E7 isn't really worth it for you. it's more for use as an upgrade for computers. The DAC in it will not provide you a noticeable upgrade from your ipod's (belive it or not but ipod's and iphone's use pretty good DAC's.) if you think your computer audio is lacking and want to make an investment now after reading. the E17 is for you. it combines the strenths of the E11 with the E10 and E7 all together into one. The E7 speicalizes in upgrading ur cmputers sound with the option of using it as a portable amp when out. The E10 is desktop only and has won many head fier's with it's great price to performance. The E11 is more or less THE go to amp on head fi with so many owning it. The E17 has all the strengths of these. however it is $150 USD (probably going to be 120 Euro for you)

 

So all in all. I recommend the FiiO E11 and L9 LOD for you. Be sure to use some lossless CD ripped tracks(do not go converting your mp3's on ur ocmputer to ALAC or FLAC. tht is a noob mistake and doesn't increase quality at all) If you don't know how yet. You can rip your CD's with itunes into ALAC (apple lossless audio codec) if you odn't know how. ask me and i can give you step by step insturctions. after this you can sync with your ipod. plug the E11 and LOD in. plug ur M50's in. and try to remind yourself...what you have been missing all this time :)

 

Sorry for the late responce on Head-Fi. most threads. espeically an easy one like this gets answerd in less than an hour. I was here on this part of the forums all day but i guess i missed it :) any questions? since this is going to be at the top of my notifications list i can reply pretty quickly :)

 

And in case u didn't you didn't get this yet.

 

Welcome to Head-Fi! Sorry about your wallet!

 

Edit: I have just viewed your other thread. And I would like to say that burn in and no amping could fix this. However if you still think the bass isn't enough I have a conclusion for that. That would be different interpretations of what bass is. Audiophile bass and consumer bass is so different it's not even funny. Consumers want that mudddy. wub Wub boom boom pow bam destroy destroy type of bass. That's not....well real bass as we audiophiles like to say. Audiophile bass is tight, punchy, and concise. just enough and not overpowering :)

 

Plz don't be discouraged by what happened to this post. It took me (or anyone)almsot a business day to respond..kinda rare but it happens. I really like how your format your posts with care, keep it clear and concise and say what you want and what you did. you don't get these often at all. Keep up the good work. Some may not tell you or point it out so i would like to. How you do your posts is fantastic. it lets us that want to help know more about wht you want and how to really help you :)


Edited by bowei006 - 1/15/12 at 10:37pm
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply.  Can't seem to find a UK seller for the E17, but I reckon it will cost around £100 ($150 USD).  A bit more than I'd like to spend ideally!  

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my phones it's just that they don't sound that great connected to my laptop and I want to improve that.  You could probably disregard my original post as I hadn't really given them a good listen through different sources at the time of posting and was a bit worried that they may be faulty.

 

In regards to quality vs quantity, I definitely want quality.  I don't consider myself an audiophile as I don't spend thousands on equipment, but I do have a reasonable home setup and know that I like a pure, flat, non colored sound.  I'm not one for playing with the EQ and believe that music should be heard as close to the original recording as possible and as the artist intends it to be heard.  This flat sound is one of the reasons I chose the M50's.  I am also a guitarist and want to use these for home monitoring - another reason why I need a pure flat sound.  I basically want a headphone that will do everything well for a reasonable price!  Not too much to ask eh?!!

 

So it seems that the E11 could be the way forward for me?  Such a shame I can't just find somewhere to try them out and actually hear the difference...

 

Most of my tracks are lossless encoding and I know not to compress an already compressed track (tho appreciate the advice!).  Most of my listening will be done through my home amp (tho I'm guessing I may end up liking the E11 more than my home amp?!).

 

Thanks for your advice and comments about my posts!  Nice to hear I'm doing something right!

 

   

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hixxy1 View Post

Thanks for your reply.  Can't seem to find a UK seller for the E17, but I reckon it will cost around £100 ($150 USD).  A bit more than I'd like to spend ideally!  

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my phones it's just that they don't sound that great connected to my laptop and I want to improve that.  You could probably disregard my original post as I hadn't really given them a good listen through different sources at the time of posting and was a bit worried that they may be faulty.

 

In regards to quality vs quantity, I definitely want quality.  I don't consider myself an audiophile as I don't spend thousands on equipment, but I do have a reasonable home setup and know that I like a pure, flat, non colored sound.  I'm not one for playing with the EQ and believe that music should be heard as close to the original recording as possible and as the artist intends it to be heard.  This flat sound is one of the reasons I chose the M50's.  I am also a guitarist and want to use these for home monitoring - another reason why I need a pure flat sound.  I basically want a headphone that will do everything well for a reasonable price!  Not too much to ask eh?!!

 

So it seems that the E11 could be the way forward for me?  Such a shame I can't just find somewhere to try them out and actually hear the difference...

 

Most of my tracks are lossless encoding and I know not to compress an already compressed track (tho appreciate the advice!).  Most of my listening will be done through my home amp (tho I'm guessing I may end up liking the E11 more than my home amp?!).

 

Thanks for your advice and comments about my posts!  Nice to hear I'm doing something right!

 

   


IF you just need it with your ipod and nothing else. Then the E11. since ur computer is already hooked to a receiver i don't think u need much else.

 

 

 

Quote:
In regards to quality vs quantity, I definitely want quality.  I don't consider myself an audiophile as I don't spend thousands on equipment, but I do have a reasonable home setup and know that I like a pure, flat, non colored sound.  I'm not one for playing with the EQ and believe that music should be heard as close to the original recording as possible and as the artist intends it to be heard.  This flat sound is one of the reasons I chose the M50's.  I am also a guitarist and want to use these for home monitoring - another reason why I need a pure flat sound.  I basically want a headphone that will do everything well for a reasonable price!  Not too much to ask eh?!!

 

I agreed with everything u said in that paragrah until you got to the M50's. All if not the majority of audiophile headphones are flatter and reproduce audio much much more accuratley than consumer sound. they are all relativley flat and good at repducing music. however, in the audiophile world. We start differentiating....hard.! The M50 is not a flat headphone or one used for reproducing audio. In that price range. The SRH840's are one of the top choices for that due to them being studio's.. The M50's do not have a flat sound to it. The highs are a lot better than regular headphones. but in the audiophile world. Is just there and decent. the bass is also muddy compared to others. the M50 is more of a colored fun headphone.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ha!  I guess my ears aren't in tune!  I went for the M50's as they were described by a lot of people as flat and good enough for mixing.  When I listen to them I do agree with that, but I admit I have limited experience.  Unfortunately, like the headphone amps, there aren't a lot of places for me to go and try out a good range of headphones (if there are any Brits reading this that disagree - please point me in the right direction!).  I kinda rely on other peoples opinions and reading a lot of reviews before selecting a product online.  Unfortunately, a lot of places stock Beats which I find way too bass heavy, but not a lot of choice to compare them to.

 

Just to clarify a couple of your points, you mentioned my computer being connected to a receiver.  It's not (apologies if I've confused matters!).  My iPod is connected through the line out which is how I do most of my listening.  My laptop is very much used as a portable device so any listening I do through that is through the headphone out or on board speakers.  Also, the E7 would cost me about £10 ($15) more than an E11.  Would you say it's worth it for that?  Or is the E11 a better standalone amp?

 

Thanks for your advice, I find it really helpful!

post #6 of 17

I feel like the E7 is a DAC with the E5/E6 amp chip strapped onto it, where as the E11 is a much higher quality albeit standalone amp. Though if you're listening on an iDevice you'll be fine as they already come with high quality DACs built in. If you're listening on a Desktop PC, get a Xonar DX sound card and FiiO E11. Finally if you're planning on listening on a PC Laptop, the E7 would be a much better choice than the E11.

 

Or for a simpler solution that will work with any source and sound excellent, just wait for the FiiO E17.


Edited by SilverS - 1/18/12 at 8:13am
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverS View Post

I feel like the E7 is a DAC with the E5/E6 amp chip strapped onto it, where as the E11 is a much higher quality albeit standalone amp. Though if you're listening on an iDevice you'll be fine as they already come with high quality DACs built in. If you're listening on a Desktop PC, get a Xonar DX sound card and FiiO E11. Finally if you're planning on listening on a PC Laptop, the E7 would be a much better choice than the E11.

 

Or for a simpler solution that will work with any source and sound excellent, just wait for the FiiO E17.



 

He beat me to it. :) but yeah exactly what he said. 

post #8 of 17

would there be any point at all in plugging an E11 into a laptop line out / headphone jack and your headphones?    so listen to headphones from computer..through the e11........  would it have any significant benefit, like the e7 as a usb soundcard would?

 

it's hard to be patient...but do you think once e17 comes out, prices will drop for e7/e11?  

 

thanks!

 

 

post #9 of 17

So im sure you got most of what you were wanting, but i never really got a definitive answer to which one is better. So i just decided to buy both from amazon and try them out for myself. I will let you know i am a basshead i guess and am using a pair of brand new M-Audio Q40s. The e11 makes the bass hit very perfect about the absolute best headphones i have had yet for what i am looking for. I am not an audiophile i like to pretend like i am to my friends but my hearing is shot enough that i'm sure my opinion doesn't count. The sound to MY ears is very close, i went back and forth for about an hour not being able to tell much of a difference, I was listening to Sail by AWOLNATION. In this particular song the bass hit a little bit harder but what really was the main difference to me was that the vocals i could now here much clearer then with the e6. The bass sounds wonderful with the e6 and so does the sound overall but the vocals come in much stronger so that the song sounds much more proportionate. My only gripe was with the e6 on my phone i had to have both the amp and the phone on full volume to get the sound i was looking for, again read deaf, and so i wanted to see if there was something more powerful out there. Now i am not sure if it is worth the double in price and i will figure that out soon. It may be $30 more but its also double the price of the e6. 

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyogen View Post

would there be any point at all in plugging an E11 into a laptop line out / headphone jack and your headphones?    so listen to headphones from computer..through the e11........  would it have any significant benefit, like the e7 as a usb soundcard would?

 

it's hard to be patient...but do you think once e17 comes out, prices will drop for e7/e11?  

 

thanks!

 

 


 

Same concern here.  I'm ready to buy a amp, but I cant decide on a portable one or just one for my laptop (preferably both).

I can get a E7 and E11 for a the same price (about $60 USD).  

 

- E7 will improve my PC audio AND my portable device.

- E11 is ONLY portable?

 

Or am I missing something...

post #11 of 17

 

Quote:

Be sure to use some lossless CD ripped tracks(do not go converting your mp3's on ur ocmputer to ALAC or FLAC. tht is a noob mistake and doesn't increase quality at all)

Can you clarify what you mean by this?

 

I used my computer to rip tracks off of my CDs using WMP at either 320 MP3 or WAV (lossless) - to transfer to a Creative Zen Vision M. No good??

post #12 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyattLW View Post


 

Same concern here.  I'm ready to buy a amp, but I cant decide on a portable one or just one for my laptop (preferably both).

I can get a E7 and E11 for a the same price (about $60 USD).  

 

- E7 will improve my PC audio AND my portable device.

- E11 is ONLY portable?

 

Or am I missing something...

 

E7 can be used with PC audio and your portable device. It can be both used for your computer or with portable devices.

The E11 can only be used with a computer (it does not have a battery).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by speecher View Post

 

Can you clarify what you mean by this?

 

I used my computer to rip tracks off of my CDs using WMP at either 320 MP3 or WAV (lossless) - to transfer to a Creative Zen Vision M. No good??



This is fine. What was meant is that if you have some MP3 that are 128 kbps, converting them to FLAC or other lossless formats will not improve their quality.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post

The E11 can only be used with a computer (it does not have a battery).

It does have a "Built-in high-performance lithium battery", according to FiiO. You must be thinking of some other model (the E9?).
post #14 of 17

My apologies. I was thinking of the E10.

 

The E11 is indeed portable, but will only act as an amplifier, and not as a DAC. If WyattLW wants to bypass the DAC in the laptop, then the E11 will not accomplish this.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post


It does have a "Built-in high-performance lithium battery", according to FiiO. You must be thinking of some other model (the E9?).


 

 


Edited by Darkblade48 - 4/2/12 at 2:36am
post #15 of 17

been debating between the e11 and e10

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