Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › E7 / E10: How much would one of these improve audio?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

E7 / E10: How much would one of these improve audio?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been look and reading about these Fiio E7 & Fiio E10 DAC/Amps. I am specifically wondering how much one would actually improve the audio of my laptop, which uses some "Realtek HD Audio" device.

 

As for headphones I really enjoy the AKG K271. They sound pretty good from my laptop, but I think they sound cleaner from my iPod Touch, although I don't really use them with iPod & I generally am not too interested in using a DAC/Amp with my iPod.

 

Alot of reviews state how they are excellent value. But I find it hard to expect alot from them. For at home listening of mp3(v0/320) with my laptop how would one of these DACs fair?

 

Any advice or recommendations would be great

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

Depending on the USB DAC unit you settle with the improvement could be quite significant.  For me using something like the Total Bithead from headphone.com vastly improved the sound quality out of my PC.  The primary improvement was the removal of noise.  I no longer could hear the bleep/bloops of the various clocks inside the PC nor could I hear the mouse move any longer.  That alone was a huge plus for me.  Of course having something like the Bithead or E10 gives you an amp as well so you get a little more control over the drivers in your headphones.  This includes cleaner voltage, higher output power, and of course a less noisy signal.

 

If you are looking seriously at an Amp/DAC combo I highly suggest the Total Bithead.  It is what I have used for years and I trust the build quality.  FiiO has had quite a few issues lately and I hesitate recommending something to you that could fail or have very undesired results.

 

I would say you would gain 30 - 40% in sound quality over you laptops audio output.

 

Here is the link to the Bithead:

http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/headroom-total-bithead.php

post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by haf68 View Post
I've been look and reading about these Fiio E7 & Fiio E10 DAC/Amps. I am specifically wondering how much one would actually improve the audio of my laptop, which uses some "Realtek HD Audio" device.

As for headphones I really enjoy the AKG K271. They sound pretty good from my laptop, but I think they sound cleaner from my iPod Touch, although I don't really use them with iPod & I generally am not too interested in using a DAC/Amp with my iPod.

Alot of reviews state how they are excellent value. But I find it hard to expect alot from them. For at home listening of mp3(v0/320) with my laptop how would one of these DACs fair?

Any advice or recommendations would be great

Chances are your iPod comes with a better DAC then the laptop.

For you laptop, you could get a DAC Destoryer (USB DAC) for the laptop. $50 off eBay.

And get the Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier (with Fiio L cable),

You can plug the DAC Destoryer into the USB port on the Laptop and then the Fiio E11 into the DAC Destroyer.

You can then also use the Fiio L cable, connected between the LOD port on the iPod and the E11.

post #4 of 13

although this is slightly off-topic and no one really recommends it in this forum, also other people are recommending other USB dacs, try this cheap external USB soundcard.

 

http://www.amazon.com/ENCORE-ENMAB-8CM-7-1-Channel-Audio/dp/B004VCM4J8

 

some impressions from another forum, we call it ENMA and it is not my impression:

I just got an enma for use at the office because I didn't have any other DACs with line out ;) It's my first time to own one, as so far it's ridiculous in terms of value.

My notes so far:

- WTF price/performance ratio?! The 2-channel line out (using ASIO) is as clear as some usb DACs that cost 250usd :o
- Definitely as good or even better than the udac2 I used to own.
- It sounds very neutral. Personally I prefer DACs that sound a little warmer and have more depth, but those things don't cost 20usd :P
- The headamp section matches up pretty well with most other amps out there. It's no pico/ibasso killer, but it gets pretty damn close :P
- Wow, it has line in and toslink I/O too.

Cons:
- It does NOT accept external power using a battery powered USB device charger so it cannot be used as a portable DAC/amp, but imagine if it did ;D

Tips:

- When using Windows 7 and wanting to use its analog line out, there's no need to install the firmware. Using it with ASIO (in winamp or foobar) automatically disables the volume control, just make sure to set ASIO to 2 channel output. It's a compromise because the enma won't accept 96khz files when used this way. 96khz can only be played with 7.1 channel output.

- No need for firmware when you want to use it as a headamp either. Just go to control panel, sound, and pick "speakers multi channel device" as the default device. This enables the volume control for movies and gaming etc. using a usb connection. I'd use toslink if I could though.


CORRECTIONS: Setting up toslink to output to 2ch is such a pain in the arse. Install the firmware, it sounds better than the generic driver windows tries to use.

 

I personally prefer this soundcard over the E7/E10, but maybe because of sound signature preference.


Edited by Dyaems - 5/24/12 at 3:48pm
post #5 of 13
Does the ENMA have a built in gain knob/control? Or do you use computer volume control?
post #6 of 13

it has a volume control in a form of  " + " and " - " buttons, but the control still uses the volume control of the computer.

 

edit: when i use headphones, i connect the ENMA to a desktop/portable amp so I use the volume control of the amp instead of the ENMA since i usually leave the computer volume at 50 or 80%


Edited by Dyaems - 5/23/12 at 6:34pm
post #7 of 13

The iBasso D7 is much better sounding(desktop quality sound) than Fiio, with the Fiio won't be much improvement in soundquality but volume and power.

post #8 of 13
Yeah, but the d7 is also 180 bucks, almost a 100 more than the e10
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Depending on the USB DAC unit you settle with the improvement could be quite significant.  For me using something like the Total Bithead from headphone.com vastly improved the sound quality out of my PC.  The primary improvement was the removal of noise.  I no longer could hear the bleep/bloops of the various clocks inside the PC nor could I hear the mouse move any longer.  That alone was a huge plus for me.  Of course having something like the Bithead or E10 gives you an amp as well so you get a little more control over the drivers in your headphones.  This includes cleaner voltage, higher output power, and of course a less noisy signal.

 

If you are looking seriously at an Amp/DAC combo I highly suggest the Total Bithead.  It is what I have used for years and I trust the build quality.  FiiO has had quite a few issues lately and I hesitate recommending something to you that could fail or have very undesired results.

 

I would say you would gain 30 - 40% in sound quality over you laptops audio output.

 

Here is the link to the Bithead:

http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/headroom-total-bithead.php

 

Just curious... How did you come with those percentages? confused_face(1).gif

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakhar View Post

Yeah, but the d7 is also 180 bucks, almost a 100 more than the e10

maybe so, but sound quality is night and day comparing the ibasso to the fiio.

 

the ibasso is a audiophile amplifier. fiio is more of a mass market ''amplifier'' where imo its only more of a volume/bass boost verses actual sound quality.

 

i auditioned the  fiio e5/6/7 then compared those to the ibasso d2-boa and ibasso p4 warbler. there is no comparison in sound quality. its only when you go to the ibasso do you truly realize what real sound quality is. with the fiio you perceive better sound quality. but its not.

 

save your money unless what you are looking for is more volume and slight bass boost.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies & info. I am not going to rush into anything, so keep the advice coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Depending on the USB DAC unit you settle with the improvement could be quite significant.  For me using something like the Total Bithead from headphone.com vastly improved the sound quality out of my PC.  The primary improvement was the removal of noise.  I no longer could hear the bleep/bloops of the various clocks inside the PC nor could I hear the mouse move any longer.  That alone was a huge plus for me.  Of course having something like the Bithead or E10 gives you an amp as well so you get a little more control over the drivers in your headphones.  This includes cleaner voltage, higher output power, and of course a less noisy signal.

 

I actually haven't noticed any issue with noise from my laptop.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooses9 View Post

maybe so, but sound quality is night and day comparing the ibasso to the fiio.

 

the ibasso is a audiophile amplifier. fiio is more of a mass market ''amplifier'' where imo its only more of a volume/bass boost verses actual sound quality.

 

i auditioned the  fiio e5/6/7 then compared those to the ibasso d2-boa and ibasso p4 warbler. there is no comparison in sound quality. its only when you go to the ibasso do you truly realize what real sound quality is. with the fiio you perceive better sound quality. but its not.

 

save your money unless what you are looking for is more volume and slight bass boost.

 

That's kind of what I was afraid of. The Fiio is cheap, but I am not really in need of bass or volume boost. I do actually have a PA2V2.

 

With the iBasso, would I have to start using a lossless files to get my moneys worth? I mean, would it be a waste to get such a DAC for use with mp3 files?


Edited by haf68 - 5/25/12 at 11:49am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by haf68 View Post

Thanks for all the replies & info. I am not going to rush into anything, so keep the advice coming.

 

I actually haven't noticed any issue with noise from my laptop.

 

 

That's kind of what I was afraid of. The Fiio is cheap, but I am not really in need of bass or volume boost. I do actually have a PA2V2.

 

With the iBasso, would I have to start using a lossless files to get my moneys worth? I mean, would it be a waste to get such a DAC for use with mp3 files?

imo no you wouldnt have to go lossless for you to get your moneys worth, im using the ibasso p4 warbler with my zune hd, and i use the zune software subscription which is basicly like a streaming sort of audio nowhere near lossless,im not exactly sure what the rate is. but sound quality is phenomenal now im not saying you have  to get a p4 or anything like that. but imo sound quality is superior with a better amp be it cd bitrate,mp3 bitrate or streaming its just all together superior.

 

and i have compared the fiio e7 to the ibasso d2-boa and the ibasso delivers exceptional sound quality. like i said its only when you go to a audiophile grade amplifier do you see the fiio for what it is, and thats just a mass marketed ''amplifier'' but true audiophile grade sound quality? no. 

 

now im not saying that people arent perceiving better sound quality with the fiio's but they probably also havent expierenced a audiophile amplifier either. and im not biased to ibasso either like i said i started out with the e5/6/7 and thought they were pretty good. but the ibasso amplifiers blew me away

post #13 of 13

Just to add my 2 cents: when I first got my E7/E9 combo I thought it was amazing stuff.  Compared to onboard audio, it was.  Then I got my DragonFly and sure enough, the E7 seemed fairly dull and lifeless in comparison.  So what I'm saying is yes, you should definitely get a USB Dac/amp and it will make a big difference.  Whether an E7 is "good enough" goes back to the head-fi problem of defining "good enough," which is a moving goalpost.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Headphone Amps
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › E7 / E10: How much would one of these improve audio?