Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Creative X-FI HD or Fiio E9+E7
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Creative X-FI HD or Fiio E9+E7

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm caught in the unpleasant position of not knowing which dac+amp to get. I love the fact that the Creative card has 3 inputs and outputs, and have also heard that the SQ is up there with the Asus Xonar essence, but does that mean it is better than the e9+e7 in sound quality?Also, does the X-FI card only need to be powered by usb and not be connected to a computer? because i was thinking of also using it with my usb wall adapter to power it without a computer, or use my tv's usb port.


    What would be the best value too. i need every cent i can get to get me some good headphones to accompany my good amp. And output power is of no use to me, because i like more general purpose headphones to use with EVERYTHING, so high impedance or low sensitivity headphones are a no-go.


     Thanks in advance.

Edited by Gallade475 - 7/1/12 at 9:20pm
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

shameless bump for a poor audiophile

post #3 of 6

If you're not getting high-impedance or low-sensitivity headphones, you can skip the E9.  Its purpose is just to add a lot of gain (thus noise too) and be able to output a fairly high amount of power, without particularly having any better sound quality than the other FiiO products.


On the X-Fi HD it looks like the USB is for both power and data.  You're not going to be able to use it with a TV.  The X-Fi HD doesn't seem that popular, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were a better value than some people would expect.  These mass-produced sound cards tend to be that way.  Output headphone amp chip is JRC4556, which is cheap but good, being able to handle a reasonably high amount of current and at low distortion.  It doesn't need to be configured with high output impedance, but who knows what they did.


If you're willing to risk Creative drivers and not knowing exactly what you're getting, get the X-Fi HD.  My guess is that it's probably better.


FiiO E7 should be a safe pick, nothing spectacular but definitely not bad.  If you won't ever use the E7 as an amp for a portable device (i.e. away from computer, not using USB DAC functionality), then E10 is slightly cheaper and better in a variety of ways.

Edited by mikeaj - 7/2/12 at 11:54am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the answer, I would like to have a few more opinions because I have seen it take viscious beating from a few people bashing on it for not having asynchronous USB transfer and software volume control. I couldn't care less about a bit of noise when you turn it up. I just pick a volume and stick to it. And I dont know if the difference between synchronous and asynchronous is actually audible, or just audiophile hooey like audiophile digital cables. And I sont ever plan on putting a high gain on the e9 either, just listening with a good old low ohm headphone with the low gain.AND the e7 wil be docked with the e9 just to make it clear.
post #5 of 6

E9 on low gain with volume turned down doesn't really have a significant advantage over just the E7's internal amp, unless you're talking about ergonomics and convenience.  In fact, for some headphones, it will be worse.  Seems like a waste when you can just get something else instead.


Software volume control is one of those issues that gets blown out of proportion, especially for devices that support 24-bit playback (like the one in question).  But at least it's a lot more valid than boutique digital audio cables.  Also, you can just set the volume to 100%, so who really cares?  Same for asynchronous vs. whatever else, as long as whatever it's using is actually working.  If you're getting audio dropouts, then some combination of the computer, CPU load, USB bus, USB device, and so on, is misbehaving and maybe a different USB transfer scheme would have not gotten a dropout.  If you're not getting interruptions like that, then there's not going to be a difference in the sound based on how the USB device is getting its data.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

how about one of these babies. http://www.crutchfield.com/S-2j4oQO6qfwd/p_158STDH130/Sony-STR-DH130.html


i know the snr is even worse, but would this be a better value for the sound quality and versitility?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Creative X-FI HD or Fiio E9+E7