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Quick question about the Fiio E17

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I am looking into getting a Fiio E17 and just have a few simple questions. I'm a beginner when it comes down to this sort of stuff so excuse me if these are silly questions. Since the Fiio E17 is a USB (and headphone) DAC/AMP that means I can plug it into my computer USB jack and use it to drive a pair of cans right? But, since the Fiio E17 is also a headphone amp that means I can charge it with a USB outlet and use it as an amp for my iPhone (or other things of that ilk) too right? That means the E17 has a headphone in jack, and a headphone out jack right?

 

I'm pretty sure the answer to all of those questions is "yes" but I don't want any misunderstandings before I buy this product.

 

Also, is the Fiio E17 a superior USB DAC/AMP to the E10? Does it produce louder results along with just generally higher sound quality?

 

Thanks for the help

post #2 of 11
Yes for the first paragraph, you're exactly right, it's good to someone has done some home work first.

As for your second question I don't know how it rates compared to FiiO E10.
post #3 of 11

You can also use an amo through your computer without the dac. The dac is only needed when your inbuilt dac/ iss either crappy or you want to have "the best you can" which is reasonable enough.

 

The dac in your iphone cant be overridden by any DAC on the market other than the fostex (who bought the access rights off apple) but its over $700. So having a DAC for an iphone is useless. Having a DAC for a laptop is useful, if you dont already have a decent soundcard beit internal or external.

 

Really from what youve described id just get an amp. If you want to drive some mediocre impedance (ohm) headphones go for a cheapy like the e11. If you want something awesome and high end (but also quite cheap considering the contenders in its league sell for $500-$1000) go for the JDS labs C421 (see reviews in the search function) i just bought one last night $200 in Australia- may be cheaper or more expensive elsewhere, not sure? It absolutely dominates any Fiio. THat being said fiio are still great products!!!! Its just likely if you stay in this as a hobby or end up progressing with your headphones you will end up wanting something else and selling the fiio. Why not just spend $50-$60 more than your e17 straight away and start with something you will never upgrade like the C421? Its also far slimmer and sexier than the e17. It doest have a DAC, but you dont sound like you need one. I amp my cans on EVERYTHING with this unit, and its phenominal. 

 

You can also buy an ODAC (jds) matching the C421 and its TINY, same thickness and not much bigger than a matchbox. you would leave this at home for computer use (again only if you have a ****ty sound card), and travel with the slim c421 strapped to your iphone (which cant use a dac anyway)

 

Hope this helps.

 

PS i owned the e17 and sold it.

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockMcCloud View Post

I am looking into getting a Fiio E17 and just have a few simple questions. I'm a beginner when it comes down to this sort of stuff so excuse me if these are silly questions. Since the Fiio E17 is a USB (and headphone) DAC/AMP that means I can plug it into my computer USB jack and use it to drive a pair of cans right? But, since the Fiio E17 is also a headphone amp that means I can charge it with a USB outlet and use it as an amp for my iPhone (or other things of that ilk) too right? That means the E17 has a headphone in jack, and a headphone out jack right?

I'm pretty sure the answer to all of those questions is "yes" but I don't want any misunderstandings before I buy this product.

Also, is the Fiio E17 a superior USB DAC/AMP to the E10? Does it produce louder results along with just generally higher sound quality?

The Fiio E10 can not be used with your iPhone.

 

The E17 comes with three digital inputs, one is USB, the other(s) is S/PDIF (optical and coaxial), connecting the USB to your computer is fine, but it does bypass some of you motherboard's built in audio features.

If all your doing is music audio, then USB is fine.

S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) outputs on your motherboard can be connected to the E17 and you still get to use all the features of your motherboard's built in audio.

The E17 does not come with a "headphone input" (technically), it is a line-input, but you can also connect a headphone's output jack (like the iPhone's) to the line-input of the E17.

It's a little cleaner (analog) audio signal if you use the Fiio L cable, to connect the iPhone's LOD port to the line-in on the E17.

The new Fiio E07K ($89) can also be connected digitally (USB only) with PC computers, desktop & laptops

and has a line-input (analog) like the E17s

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies!

 

I'm trying to find a good driver for the Ultrasone HFI 2400's. According to Ultrasones website they have a 70 Ohm Impedence. Somebody told me that using an E10 would work well with these and I was looking at the E17's because I heard they were superior to the E10's. These will be used primarily for use on my computer. I'm using my on board sound card (just some Realtek thing) for my computer currently and I've heard that using a usb DAC can cut down on any noise that might come up from my sound card. Also, having my amp constantly charged and ready for use because of the USB connection is fairly convenient for me.

 

Does anybody here happen to know if the Fiio E10 or E17 would be able to drive these headphones well? I'm not looking to have my ears blown off in terms of volume but it does matter to me that they can achieve a good level of volume. Would there even be much of a difference between those two Fiio products for my situation? One of the appealing aspects of the E17's is that should I ever want to upgrade my amp setup I could buy an E9K and use it in conjunction with my E17.

 

As I said before though, I really am no expert on these things so I appreciate anybody who has more experience then I giving me a hand. I'm hoping to spend around the E17's price at most (about $130) so if anybody suggests a totally different set of products I would appreciate it if they could stay near that price range.


Edited by BrockMcCloud - 12/23/12 at 5:44pm
post #6 of 11

hi there, just to chime in, would the Fiio E17 make a significant difference to the HD558 vs unamped? also i use a Dell inspirion 1525 laptop, will the dac in the E17 benefit me? (or any other headphones i may purchase in the future) im open to other options too as long as they are not too expensive (including a no purchase option)

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockMcCloud View Post

Thanks for the replies!

 

I'm trying to find a good driver for the Ultrasone HFI 2400's. According to Ultrasones website they have a 70 Ohm Impedence. Somebody told me that using an E10 would work well with these and I was looking at the E17's because I heard they were superior to the E10's. These will be used primarily for use on my computer. I'm using my on board sound card (just some Realtek thing) for my computer currently and I've heard that using a usb DAC can cut down on any noise that might come up from my sound card. Also, having my amp constantly charged and ready for use because of the USB connection is fairly convenient for me.

 

Does anybody here happen to know if the Fiio E10 or E17 would be able to drive these headphones well? I'm not looking to have my ears blown off in terms of volume but it does matter to me that they can achieve a good level of volume. Would there even be much of a difference between those two Fiio products for my situation? One of the appealing aspects of the E17's is that should I ever want to upgrade my amp setup I could buy an E9K and use it in conjunction with my E17.

 

As I said before though, I really am no expert on these things so I appreciate anybody who has more experience then I giving me a hand. I'm hoping to spend around the E17's price at most (about $130) so if anybody suggests a totally different set of products I would appreciate it if they could stay near that price range.

Anything can drive 70-Ohm headphones, you do not really "have to" use an add-on amplifier for 70-Ohm headphones.

But just because something can drive a headphone, does not mean it will do a good job doing it.

An add-on amplifier will make sure your getting the best sound quality possible.

 

There is not a lots of "electrical noise" problems with PCs, it does happen, but lots (1000s) of sound card owners do not have the "electrical noise" problem.

But it's perfectly understandable for those who "play it safe" and stick to an external add-on DAC for use with a computer.

The Asus Xonar DG ($25, PCI) or DGX ($40, PCI-E) sound card can easily drive your 70-Ohm HFI-2400s.

The DG(X) comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier (rated up to 150-Ohms) and Dolby headphone 5.1 surround sound.

Chances are the Xonar DG(X) has a better DAC then your motherboard's built in DAC chip.

 

You can get the Fiio E11 ($60), with Fiio L cable ($10) for use with your iPhone.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Anything can drive 70-Ohm headphones, you do not really "have to" use an add-on amplifier for 70-Ohm headphones.
But just because something can drive a headphone, does not mean it will do a good job doing it.
An add-on amplifier will make sure your getting the best sound quality possible.

There is not a lots of "electrical noise" problems with PCs, it does happen, but lots (1000s) of sound card owners do not have the "electrical noise" problem.
But it's perfectly understandable for those who "play it safe" and stick to an external add-on DAC for use with a computer.
The Asus Xonar DG ($25, PCI) or DGX ($40, PCI-E) sound card can easily drive your 70-Ohm HFI-2400s.
The DG(X) comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier (rated up to 150-Ohms) and Dolby headphone 5.1 surround sound.
Chances are the Xonar DG(X) has a better DAC then your motherboard's built in DAC chip.

You can get the Fiio E11 ($60), with Fiio L cable ($10) for use with your iPhone.
Thanks for the help, it's very appreciated!

I think I'll go with getting that sound card you said along with a Fiio E11. Having both of those might be overkill for my purposes but having a headphone amp is useful in general, so it won't hurt to have. Just so I can be 100% sure about everything, if I were to use the E11 with that sound card, would that cause any issues (given that the audio would be going through 2 amps)? Would the 5.1 surround sound change anything for use with the E11?

Finally, do you know if the 5.1 surround sound feature can be disabled should I decide I don't want it enabled all the time?
Edited by BrockMcCloud - 12/23/12 at 8:50pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockMcCloud View Post


Thanks for the help, it's very appreciated!
I think I'll go with getting that sound card you said along with a Fiio E11. Having both of those might be overkill for my purposes but having a headphone amp is useful in general, so it won't hurt to have. Just so I can be 100% sure about everything, if I were to use the E11 with that sound card, would that cause any issues (given that the audio would be going through 2 amps)? Would the 5.1 surround sound change anything for use with the E11?
Finally, do you know if the 5.1 surround sound feature can be disabled should I decide I don't want it enabled all the time?

You can plug the Fiio E11 into the Xonar DG(X) line-out/headphone jack (green), I've done it myself.

They work fine together

The Fiio E11 amplifier is something like twice as powerful as the DG(X) amp.

And using the Fiio E11 with the DG(X) will not effect 5.1 surround sound.

The surround sound feature is controlled by the "Audio Channel" setting in the Xonar control panel,

2-channel, 4-channel & 6-channel

Just pick 2-channel (stereo) for no surround sound.

or switch to 6-channel for 5.1 surround sound.

 

I've recommended the Xonar DG(X) & Fiio E11 combo many times, so for no complaints.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

You can plug the Fiio E11 into the Xonar DG(X) line-out/headphone jack (green), I've done it myself.

They work fine together

The Fiio E11 amplifier is something like twice as powerful as the DG(X) amp.

And using the Fiio E11 with the DG(X) will not effect 5.1 surround sound.

The surround sound feature is controlled by the "Audio Channel" setting in the Xonar control panel,

2-channel, 4-channel & 6-channel

Just pick 2-channel (stereo) for no surround sound.

or switch to 6-channel for 5.1 surround sound.

 

I've recommended the Xonar DG(X) & Fiio E11 combo many times, so for no complaints.

Alright, sounds like that might be the combo I end up choosing.

 

I've heard that using an amp on a source that is already amplified isn't the ideal method for quality sound, is there any way to use the Fiio E11 as the amp in this setup and just use the Xonar as a DAC (bypass its amp)? Or am I just totally over analysing this when it doesn't really make a difference?

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockMcCloud View Post

Alright, sounds like that might be the combo I end up choosing.

 

I've heard that using an amp on a source that is already amplified isn't the ideal method for quality sound, is there any way to use the Fiio E11 as the amp in this setup and just use the Xonar as a DAC (bypass its amp)? Or am I just totally over analysing this when it doesn't really make a difference?

It's legitimate question.

First off, leave the Xonar DG on the lowest gain setting and leave the Xonar DG's volume at around 75% and just adjust sound level using the E11 volume knob.

I think that's the best you can do for the given hookup.

 

If you do not need any headphone surround sound, just basic 2-channel headphone audio, change the Xonar DG's Analog Out from "Headphone" to "Speaker".

Not sure if it helps, but it's the best I can come up with.

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