i will try to make a honest & detailed comparison as i can between Sony walkman F806 & Fiio X3 >>
1- my songs are mp3 320 or flac.
2- i am only using Shure SE535 as i don't own something else that worth it.
3- using only the headphone out of the 2 players .
4- i am not an experienced reviewer .
BUILD QUALITY :
Both are very well built and metal is the major material in both players but Fiio seems more durable more Tank like construction and more comfortable in holding it with one hand .......on the other hand sleeker,slimmer & more beautiful sony walkman and also with a very good build quality very attractive .
* for me both are great ... but i slightly prefer Fiio's build ( i always an old school man )
To make it short .. when you are on the move and want to keep the player in your pocket or your bag Fiio is a better player for that it has the physical buttons that the F800 not .... also fiio is so simple and straight forward to music playing...
F800 .. is an android player with its all versatility and sweetness ... when you are on your desk ... in the cafe .. in home .. Sony is winner here .. specially with the genius integration of the Walkman button.
SOUND QUALITY :
here we are .. Fiio X3 (modded with a different opamp but the difference is not so obvious and the sound quality description can be applicable on the stock one )
Warm , detailed , natural and big sound ..... more driving power .. more controlled sound even when cranking up the volume too high with LOW& HIGH gain setting .
Sony walkman F800 : (with all enhancements & eq OFF)
very clean and clear sound .. detailed ..neutral and smooth and very exiting .... when cranking up the volume it looses control but just a little bit and with ear bleeding levels actually.....
AND there is the treble thing ... i am not sure about that yet ( it is present but it is sooo small )
it is may be a hint of artificiality in the treble reproduction and i suspect that any headphone or iem less than 400 $ could pick that thing . OH... and the vocals of the X3 is more natural too .
Some genera i listen to music without eq ... and the others with eq as i love equalizing them and some times heavily so ...
when we put the enhancements into the equation Sony separates itself ahead away from x3.
with its walkman eq with clear bass witch boosts the bass wonderfully without coloring the rest of the spectrum .... all other walkman enhancements i don't notice any change in the sound with my iem . i also bought Jetaudio plus with the AM3D PLUGIN ... that app makes any equalizer fan happy (me among them) ... specially with the sony's powerful and clean amp .
ON the other hand : Fiio X3 has a 10+/- bass & treble adjustment and it is hardware implemented that means a powerful , clean and distortion free boosting without masking details so much . but things not that beautiful always .. boosting bass with it could affect the lower mid range too .. the same with the treble boost it is boosting the upper mids too causing an unpleasant effect most of time for me ... so most of time i stay away from fiio's enhancements and some times using it ... that depends on the song and your headphone .
in the end .... i really love both players ... every one did a thing for me ... and every one has its advantages and disadvantages and for now i am using both of them and not sure yet what i like more .............................
Edited by Mmet - 10/25/14 at 11:43am