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Fiio X5 Thread - info updated on Jan 17th 2014 - Page 815

post #12211 of 12771

pm if you want to sell your x3 or x5 :)

post #12212 of 12771
You guys have your bit depth, sample rates and compressions all mixed up!

Standard lossy (mP3, AAC etc.) and lossless audio formats (ALAC, FLAC etc.) are both 16bits/44.1kHz. Meaning 16bits is the resolution (word length) and 44.1kHz is the sample rate. The Kbps is the compression (data rate).

Data rate (Kbps)

- The compression is measured in Kbps (kilobits per second). This is the rate at which data is transmitted per second (determined by compression). Good quality mP3's are 256-320 Kbps and sound very close CD if encoded / decoded well. The average file size for a 320 Kbps track is around 5-7MB and can be larger or smaller depending on the length of the track and compression method (CBR, VBR etc.). A lossless audio format such as ALAC has a higher data rate in the average range of 700-900Kbps (again, could be higher or lower depending on the track) and are on average around 25-30MB in file size depending on track length.

Bit depth (bit)

- The bit depth is a measure of how many bits of information are in a sample and defines the resolution of a track. The primary affect is noise levels from quantization error and dynamics. If you look at your standard mP3's and AAC lossy compressed files you'll see the bit depth is 16bits. High resolution files are 24bits and higher (32).

Sample rate (kHz)

- Sample rate is the amount of times an audio file is sampled per second. This is how you can take a constant waveform (analogue audio) and represent the frequencies digitally (0's and 1's). A sample rate of 44kHz can portray a maximum frequency of 22kHz, and a sample rate of 96kHz can portray a maximum frequency of 43kHz. As you can see, the higher the sample rate the more frequency can be rendered, but over 20kHz it's doubtful you can hear the ultrasonic frequencies.

If your mP3's weren't sampled at 44.1kHz you wouldn't be able to hear frequencies up to 20kHz. So basically higher sample rates effectively allow higher frequencies to be represented in the audio track, although you're unlikely to even hear them.

To summarize - All standard music files, lossy and lossless, are 16bit/44.1kHz. High rez files are 24bit/44.1kHz-192kHz and higher. This is for PCM and not considering DSD or other forms of audio representation. Bits and sample rates are very different from compression.

Stop the madness. eek.gif

Hope this helps. wink.gif

Edit: Edited for clarity.
Edited by x RELIC x - 8/31/14 at 8:36pm
post #12213 of 12771

Thank you!

post #12214 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by xp9433 View Post

FlatListener
Haven't had the X3, but the X5 has a very good DAC and a capable amp that will drive most headphones very well. It would not be normal to match expensive hard-to-drive headphones with the budget but very capable X5. What is for sure, the X5 playing 44.1kHz files will give you better SQ than your iPod playing mp3's through a portable amp.

You would not normally load files of higher than CD resolution onto the SD Cards/X5 as they take up too much hard drive space. However, you can hook your X5 up to your computer, and use a good player like Jriver to upsample 44.1kHz files or handle higher resolution files. This gives slightly better SQ, IMO, than loading 44.1kHz files onto the X5.

Frank
Hi Frank,
Forgive me for being slightly confused now. From your 1-2-3 post I understood that option 3 has the best SQ, but from this latest post of yours I conclude that it is not practical to load those HiRes files on a portable device due to to file size constraints. I should mention that I will use my sound playing device only in a portable manner. This would mean I will be restricted to a maximum quality of 16bit 44,1kHz files.
Just to be sure I understood correctly, the portable best SQ option in my case would be:
- get X3 or X5 player
- use lossless audio files of 16bit 44,1 kHz, ALAC and FLAC being equally good?
- use my BeyerDynamic DT-1350 cans
- no separate amp necessary
Just waiting for this to be confirmed and I will order my player.

Just a question about the X5 for X5 users: if you could make a fresh start, would you buy the X5 again or would you get an X3? And of course: why? Please focus on SQ in your reply.
Thank you!
post #12215 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post


Hi Frank,
Forgive me for being slightly confused now. From your 1-2-3 post I understood that option 3 has the best SQ, but from this latest post of yours I conclude that it is not practical to load those HiRes files on a portable device due to to file size constraints. I should mention that I will use my sound playing device only in a portable manner. This would mean I will be restricted to a maximum quality of 16bit 44,1kHz files.
Just to be sure I understood correctly, the portable best SQ option in my case would be:
- get X3 or X5 player
- use lossless audio files of 16bit 44,1 kHz, ALAC and FLAC being equally good?
- use my BeyerDynamic DT-1350 cans
- no separate amp necessary
Just waiting for this to be confirmed and I will order my player.

Just a question about the X5 for X5 users: if you could make a fresh start, would you buy the X5 again or would you get an X3? And of course: why? Please focus on SQ in your reply.
Thank you!

 

X5 all the way for me. It's a bit bigger of course, but it's better built IMO and the sound is more neutral and more detailed than the X3 (which is still excellent).

 

In relation to the question of quality of sound files, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to 16/44 files as the X3 and X5 both allow large enough cards to fit a large mixture of files and albums including some hi-res stuff. That said, lossless 16/44 is still great and both the X3 and X5 sound brilliant with whatever you give them (including MP3s, but lossless and hi-res are better)

post #12216 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post

Hi Frank,
Forgive me for being slightly confused now. From your 1-2-3 post I understood that option 3 has the best SQ, but from this latest post of yours I conclude that it is not practical to load those HiRes files on a portable device due to to file size constraints. I should mention that I will use my sound playing device only in a portable manner. This would mean I will be restricted to a maximum quality of 16bit 44,1kHz files.
Just to be sure I understood correctly, the portable best SQ option in my case would be:
- get X3 or X5 player
- use lossless audio files of 16bit 44,1 kHz, ALAC and FLAC being equally good?
- use my BeyerDynamic DT-1350 cans
- no separate amp necessary
Just waiting for this to be confirmed and I will order my player.

Just a question about the X5 for X5 users: if you could make a fresh start, would you buy the X5 again or would you get an X3? And of course: why? Please focus on SQ in your reply.
Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

X5 all the way for me. It's a bit bigger of course, but it's better built IMO and the sound is more neutral and more detailed than the X3 (which is still excellent).

In relation to the question of quality of sound files, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to 16/44 files as the X3 and X5 both allow large enough cards to fit a large mixture of files and albums including some hi-res stuff. That said, lossless 16/44 is still great and both the X3 and X5 sound brilliant with whatever you give them (including MP3s, but lossless and hi-res are better)

X3 was sold within a week of receiving my X5! biggrin.gif

I second what Loquah has mentioned above, but I'll add that it's very natural sounding as well. The X5 doesn't seem to emphasis one frequency band over the other. They all play together very well.

Compared to the X3 the X5 is more textured and revealing. A well mastered track can sound sublime on the X5.
post #12217 of 12771
Dear relic and loquah,
Thank you so much for your input. Based on your help I will order both the X3 and X5, try and compare them and then decide and send the other one back. My reseller in the Netherlands has a 365 days - no questions - return policy. I'll post the results here.
post #12218 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post

Dear relic and loquah,
Thank you so much for your input. Based on your help I will order both the X3 and X5, try and compare them and then decide and send the other one back. My reseller in the Netherlands has a 365 days - no questions - return policy. I'll post the results here.

That's a ridiculous return policy! eek.gif

Looking forward to your results.
post #12219 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post


Just a question about the X5 for X5 users: if you could make a fresh start, would you buy the X5 again or would you get an X3? And of course: why? Please focus on SQ in your reply.
Thank you!

I would buy it again in a minute.  To get a bit personal, I used to listen to ALAC files for hours at a time with my IPod, UHA-6 and 325i phones at dialysis and thought I was getting a great sound.  Last night I sat listening to X5 without an amp and was supprised to find I didn't need the amp at all.

So my answer is yes!

post #12220 of 12771
Warning: off topic! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post

My reseller in the Netherlands has a 365 days - no questions - return policy.

 

How in the world is that economically viable for them?

post #12221 of 12771

^ Get your free X5 rental, now, then return it in a year, buy an X7, then return it in a year, and buy an X9...

 

Sounds like a plan!  What else do they rent sell?  :D 

post #12222 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post

Dear relic and loquah,
Thank you so much for your input. Based on your help I will order both the X3 and X5, try and compare them and then decide and send the other one back. My reseller in the Netherlands has a 365 days - no questions - return policy. I'll post the results here.

365 days return policy.......that don't make no sense.
Maybe a 365 minute return policy........kinda tight, but makes more economic sense.....confused_face_2.gif
post #12223 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by UELong View Post
 

I would buy it again in a minute.  To get a bit personal, I used to listen to ALAC files for hours at a time with my IPod, UHA-6 and 325i phones at dialysis and thought I was getting a great sound.  Last night I sat listening to X5 without an amp and was supprised to find I didn't need the amp at all.

So my answer is yes!

Thanks for sharing that, I'll have 2 major operations in the next year so I'll be listening to music a lot in hospitals, meaning I want a small rig with a sound that is not fatiguing for the ears. After recovery, I want a small rig to play while on the commuter train.

You say you would buy the X5 again in a minute, because you get good sound without the need for an extra amp. But apparently the X3 offers that too. So why choose the X5 over the X3? There's a 200 Euro price difference, so there must be a good reason to get the X5.

 

To all of you, regarding the 365 day return policy I mentioned: it sounds ridiculous to me too, but it's true. They argue that they hardly get returns anyway (customers appear to be very happy with the FiiO products) and the occasional returns are sold as B-stock after.

post #12224 of 12771
I never doubted it, despite my attempt at humor. It can makes sense if you consider the ratio of sales they'll make because of that warranty to the loss on a few returns. Smart!
post #12225 of 12771
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatListener View Post


Hi Frank,
Forgive me for being slightly confused now. From your 1-2-3 post I understood that option 3 has the best SQ, but from this latest post of yours I conclude that it is not practical to load those HiRes files on a portable device due to to file size constraints. I should mention that I will use my sound playing device only in a portable manner. This would mean I will be restricted to a maximum quality of 16bit 44,1kHz files.
Just to be sure I understood correctly, the portable best SQ option in my case would be:
- get X3 or X5 player
- use lossless audio files of 16bit 44,1 kHz, ALAC and FLAC being equally good?
- use my BeyerDynamic DT-1350 cans
- no separate amp necessary
 

FlatListener

 

So you are saying you would never listen to your X5 with a PC as your server? I do it regularly in bed because it gives me better SQ. Not in the office because fidelizer 6 cuts out the internet when I am trying to work. Nevertheless, the SQ from the X5 using CD quality material is really excellent for the price.

 

As mentioned elsewhere, you could easily use hi-res music files up to 192 kHz, but you would probably need to carry a number of extra miniSD cards filled with music to have a big enough portable library available. So you could use hi-res files, however, I cannot comment on SQ from higher-resolution than CD quality files, as I don't own any.

 

Not heard the X3, but those who have compared seem to genuinely prefer the X5 for SQ.

 

The DT-1350's are good for true portable use (walking around). Certainly no separate amp necessary. Most of my "private" listening at home though (office/bed) is through AKG K701 cans, which give surprising good sound using Fiio X5 and E18 - better than with the likes of the DT-1350. Etymotic ER4P's when I don't want to annoy anybody else, or when I want to keep the outside world out.

 

I have tried Audeze, HiFi Man, and other cans with the X5 and E18 and found each of them to be only slightly better than the K701. But I think the X5/E18 was being stretched and not getting the absolute best out of the harder-to-drive headphones. So while waiting for the likes of the Fiio X7 I will stay with the K701's and then trial better headphones again.

 

Frank

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