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New to amps...Help! Fiio E7 vs. Fiio E11

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm pretty new to amps, so I'm not really sure what to do. I'd like an amp for my headphones to enhance my listening experience but I'm not sure what to get. I've narrowed it down to two choices though, the Fiio E11 and the Fiio E7.

 

I know they're both portable amps, which is what I'm looking for, and both are priced pretty well. I'm aware the E7 has a DAC in it also.

 

Here's some information that might be helpful:

 

I'd like to use this amp for both my computer (ehhh soundcard) and my mobile devices (Android phone/Ipod touch 2nd Gen).

 

The headphones I own are the Sony MDR ZX-100s (24 Ohm), Sennheiser HD429 (32 Ohm), Superlux HD668B (56 Ohm) and the AKG K240 Monitors (600 ohms). Would any of these benefit from an amp?

 

I'd prefer to have a DAC/Amp combo like the E7, but if jus the amp in the E11 is better than the E7 then I might consider just getting an amp.

 

So can anyone tell me which amp is better, their pros and cons, etc? I'd really like to have an amp, but I don't want to spend the big bucks right from the start.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 21

Get the Asus Xonar DG sound card, only $15 after mail in rebate.

It comes with a better DAC then your motherboard.

The Xonar DG can decently drive the Senn HD429 or HD668B without an added on amplifier.

 

Get the Fiio E11, as you can not use the E7's DAC with your portables.

Plug the Fiio E11 into the headphone jack on the Xonar DG

 

Fiio E11 with extra battery and recharger (also get the Fiio L cable for use with apple products).

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier-Accessory/dp/B004QVPGXK/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344807321&sr=1-2&keywords=Fiio+E11

 

Asus Xonar DG

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Channel-Sound-Card-XONAR_DG/dp/B0045JHJSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344807051&sr=1-1&keywords=Xonar+DG

post #3 of 21

Like the OP I need help choosing between the E7, E11, or E17. The vast majority of the time it will be plugged into my pc which does not contain a sound card because there is not enough room inside my case for one. I will also be using it for my Ipad and Android phone.

 

Is it worth spending the extra $70 for the E17 instead of the E11 because it has a DAC?
 

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Get the Asus Xonar DG sound card, only $15 after mail in rebate.

It comes with a better DAC then your motherboard.

The Xonar DG can decently drive the Senn HD429 or HD668B without an added on amplifier.

 

Get the Fiio E11, as you can not use the E7's DAC with your portables.

Plug the Fiio E11 into the headphone jack on the Xonar DG

 

Fiio E11 with extra battery and recharger (also get the Fiio L cable for use with apple products).

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier-Accessory/dp/B004QVPGXK/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344807321&sr=1-2&keywords=Fiio+E11

 

Asus Xonar DG

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Channel-Sound-Card-XONAR_DG/dp/B0045JHJSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344807051&sr=1-1&keywords=Xonar+DG

I'll consider the asus xonar, very intriguing. Cheap too!

I've heard things (here on head-fi) about hissing on the E11 that gets pretty bad as time goes on though. That's a pretty big deal for me. Is it that bad? And if I got the E7 I would use it as an amp for my portables, and as an amp/dac for my computer.

post #5 of 21

the e17 is better than the e7 in every way and should always be picked unless money is the main issue.  the e17 also has an amp about the same power as the e11 or much more powerful than the e7.
 

Yes the money is worth it for the DAC and if your computer has no sound card then it's infinitely worth it.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tme110 View Post

the e17 is better than the e7 in every way and should always be picked unless money is the main issue.  the e17 also has an amp about the same power as the e11 or much more powerful than the e7.
 

Yes the money is worth it for the DAC and if your computer has no sound card then it's infinitely worth it.


Thanks for the input. Would you still recommend the E17 over the E7, if the E7 was paired with the E9?

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCO2013 View Post


Thanks for the input. Would you still recommend the E17 over the E7, if the E7 was paired with the E9?

I believe the E17 also comes with a better DAC then the E7.

The Fiio E09 has an impedance of 10-Ohms, which is a minor negative for headphone under 80-Ohms.

Where as the E17 has a much low impedance, which is a positive for lower Ohm (16 to 60-Ohm) headphones.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I believe the E17 also comes with a better DAC then the E7.

The Fiio E09 has an impedance of 10-Ohms, which is a minor negative for headphone under 80-Ohms.

Where as the E17 has a much low impedance, which is a positive for lower Ohm (16 to 60-Ohm) headphones.


Ahh, that impedence thing is pretty big. The headphones I use the majority of the time are all pretty low impedence (56 is my highest rated ones). I have the K240 Monitors, but I just don't listen that much from my desktop so I feel like I wouldn't benefit as much from a desktop amp like the E9.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCO2013 View Post


Thanks for the input. Would you still recommend the E17 over the E7, if the E7 was paired with the E9?

I would because you could always just get the e9 later (years later) and still have the better component today that you'll less likely want to replace later.  Granted, you may not care either way if you had them both but I never used the e7 much when I had it.  Actually I never used it and I had a different DAC going to my e9.  I use my e17.

post #10 of 21

In the end it doesn't matter what anyone says though - just pick what you think is best.  I'm not sure if you ever mentioned what phones you were using but I'm guessing you don't have anything the e17 can't drive anyway.  the only thing really missing to me, if you had a main desk setup, is the actual volume control on the e9.  I prefere real pot's not pushbuttons like the e17.  I use my e9 to change the volume of my powererd speakers - but it's an expensive volume control replacing something I already have so unless you have that requirement I can't think of any reason not to get the e17 - except if you just don't want to...

post #11 of 21
plugging something like an E11 or E7 into a PCs headphone output is really not going to help! get the E7/17, use WASAPI to by-pass your sound card, and then you can also use it with your DAP too. amplifying a PC headoutput, will just make it sound worse, a headphone amp can't improve on its source, its job is to reproduce it as faithfully as it can.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tme110 View Post

I would because you could always just get the e9 later (years later) and still have the better component today that you'll less likely want to replace later.  Granted, you may not care either way if you had them both but I never used the e7 much when I had it.  Actually I never used it and I had a different DAC going to my e9.  I use my e17.

 

One thing to keep in mind is the E7 will not work, or it is noisy combined with the newer version of the E9 the EO9K if you are planning for a few years use of the amp combos .  I'm not 100% sure  what the problem is exactly, its hard for me to decipher  the Fiio news release. http://fiio.com.cn/news/index.aspx?ID=232&page=1

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

thanks everyone for all of the replies! I chose the E11 since after thinking about it more, I don't really listen much from my desktop, so a DAC wouldn't do benefit me as much. And if I ever needed one down the road, I could get an E10 or something since I'd already have an amp for portable use.

post #14 of 21

Forget the E7. If you will use a DAC get the E17 it also has 5 levels of bass AND TREBEL boost/cut.

 

If your never going to use it as a DAC for your computer get the E11 it is a slightly better amp than the E17 but has no DAC only 2 levels of BASS boost (no cut) and it cant be used while charging.

 

That last con and the exstra EQ is why I got the E17 over the E11

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

plugging something like an E11 or E7 into a PCs headphone output is really not going to help! get the E7/17, use WASAPI to by-pass your sound card, and then you can also use it with your DAP too. amplifying a PC headoutput, will just make it sound worse, a headphone amp can't improve on its source, its job is to reproduce it as faithfully as it can.

 

That is incorrect, a line input is much easier to drive than a headphone. Quite often much of the degradation caused by low quality headphone outputs is the result of their interaction with the load they drive (due to high output impedance, capacitor coupling, insufficient current and/or voltage output, high distortion with low impedance loads, audible noise at low volume, etc.). Therefore, "double amping" can allow the output of the source device to operate optimally (at the optimal level, too, to maximize dynamic range), and possibly result in an overall quality improvement.

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