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FiiO E7: Thoughts on value, build and sound quality.

post #1 of 2
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I just purchased a FiiO E7 portable headphone amp/ DAC from Amazon today (no I didnt get the updated FiiO E07K because I found a much cheaper offer for the E7) but I wanted to know your guys thoughts and opinions on the sound and build quality.  I have read conflicting reviews on the durability as well as conflicting reviews on the sound quality.  Some say that the E7 is too cold and harsh, some say its too warm and some say its just fine.  No continuity with sound quality reviews it seems.  Of course, the headphones that you are using with the amp also affect the way that the sound quality of the amp will be perceived. I will be using the E7 with my laptop via USB and also with my iPhone 5.  The only dilemma I am having with the iPhone 5 is that the FiiO LOD 30-pin connector obviously isnt compatible with the iPhone 5's new 9- pin lightning connector.  Please respond with your thoughts on the E7's sound quality (it would be helpful if you also included what headphones you use) your experience with it's build quality etc.

 

Just for a little background on what headphones I will be using with the E7, I have Sony MDR-XB700's, Sony MDR-7506's, Sennheiser HD 439's and Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's.  None of the headphone's impedance exceed 64Ohms. I use the HD 280 Pro's and 7506's typically at home and use the HD 439's as my out of the house and travel cans..... I dont use the XB700's very much (dont care for the bass boost and recessed mids) I just use my speaker amplifier/ reciever for my headphone amplifier as of current (the E7 is going to take forever to ship and I just ordered it today) but my speaker amp truly is a budget Sony model (STR-DG720) so not the greatest quality, especially considering its not a dedicated headphone amplifier.  Otherwise, I typically use my HD 439 Senn's just from the basic output on my MacBook Pro (crappy Intel Integrated Audio) because the HD 439's are easier to drive (32Ohm) than the 7506's and HD 280 Pro's (63-64Ohm) so I really am in need of the E7....

 

Also, just out of curiosity how much of a sound enhancement can I expect to hear from the HD 439's when paired with the FiiO E7? I like the way they sound but they don't sound nearly as good as the HD 280 Pro's in my opinion (just much more comfortable, which is why I like them) and they are more of a basic consumer headphone (not professional like the 7506's and 280 Pro's, and far from being audiophile grade)

 

So anyway, just general thoughts on the E7... Thanks!

post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatsbydresuck3 View Post

I just purchased a FiiO E7 portable headphone amp/ DAC from Amazon today (no I didnt get the updated FiiO E07K because I found a much cheaper offer for the E7) but I wanted to know your guys thoughts and opinions on the sound and build quality.  I have read conflicting reviews on the durability as well as conflicting reviews on the sound quality.  Some say that the E7 is too cold and harsh, some say its too warm and some say its just fine.  No continuity with sound quality reviews it seems.  Of course, the headphones that you are using with the amp also affect the way that the sound quality of the amp will be perceived. I will be using the E7 with my laptop via USB and also with my iPhone 5.  The only dilemma I am having with the iPhone 5 is that the FiiO LOD 30-pin connector obviously isnt compatible with the iPhone 5's new 9- pin lightning connector.  Please respond with your thoughts on the E7's sound quality (it would be helpful if you also included what headphones you use) your experience with it's build quality etc.

 

Just for a little background on what headphones I will be using with the E7, I have Sony MDR-XB700's, Sony MDR-7506's, Sennheiser HD 439's and Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's.  None of the headphone's impedance exceed 64Ohms. I use the HD 280 Pro's and 7506's typically at home and use the HD 439's as my out of the house and travel cans..... I dont use the XB700's very much (dont care for the bass boost and recessed mids) I just use my speaker amplifier/ reciever for my headphone amplifier as of current (the E7 is going to take forever to ship and I just ordered it today) but my speaker amp truly is a budget Sony model (STR-DG720) so not the greatest quality, especially considering its not a dedicated headphone amplifier.  Otherwise, I typically use my HD 439 Senn's just from the basic output on my MacBook Pro (crappy Intel Integrated Audio) because the HD 439's are easier to drive (32Ohm) than the 7506's and HD 280 Pro's (63-64Ohm) so I really am in need of the E7....

 

Also, just out of curiosity how much of a sound enhancement can I expect to hear from the HD 439's when paired with the FiiO E7? I like the way they sound but they don't sound nearly as good as the HD 280 Pro's in my opinion (just much more comfortable, which is why I like them) and they are more of a basic consumer headphone (not professional like the 7506's and 280 Pro's, and far from being audiophile grade)

 

So anyway, just general thoughts on the E7... Thanks!

I've never been the biggest fan of the E7, as the amp in it is pretty low-quality. On par with the E6. It has a much higher price tag due to the DAC, but you can't use the DAC portion on most mobile devices including iPhones. So you are carrying around a heavy DAC/amp and paying a lot more, for a cheap amp. If I'm using it at home, I'd go for a desktop DAC/amp, which tend to provide more power and better SQ for the money. That being said, I've heard the 439s do shine with an amp, so you should hear a pretty decent improvement. 

 

As far as the iPhone 5 LOD, you are pretty much out of luck. The trouble is, that unlike the 30-pin, Lightning is all-digital, so an LOD would need a DAC inside of it. The digital port also allows Apple to authenticate all devices just like they do DACs on the 30-pin; so any company wanting to make a DAC adapter or an LOD would have to charge a whole lot to pay the licensing fees. It's not the end of the world to plug an amp into the headphone out, just not quite as good as line-out.

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