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Fiio X5 Thread - info updated on Jan 17th 2014 - Page 270

post #4036 of 7296

$350.00 vs $2000.00+, I like ;)...

post #4037 of 7296

Perhaps any differences became moot due to the file used. Even if not qualitative in nature, I'm sure there will be differences.

post #4038 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicheaven View Post


It's interesting that we are in pursuit of the ultimate sound quality. Is there such a thing? Think about it, what you hear might be man or nature made. However or unfortunately it is captured by a device that is not perfect; the human ear. There is no such thing as the perfectly captured sound as any device used in capturing it is imperfect by its nature and has limited bandwidth and time response (not to mention noise injection). So as such you'll never be able to hear the original sound as it was once produced, it'll be damn close though.

By the way the CD player can be self contained with its own dac, amplification stage or just an input device in a stereo chain or computer system. You can bet that if it is self contained it will potentially have its own coloration and might not be optimal for certain types of music. The bottom line is the CD player part responsible for reading the CD media will not be the last in the decision of how the reproduced music will sound.

Now back to the X3 vs X5, I have not listened to the X3 but I can tell you that the X5 has exquisite reproduced vocals, it's definitively one of it's strengths. Overall, Its a very good sounding player. But like any other things in life, you got to experience it by yourself, let your imperfect ears be the judge. wink.gif

 

The point is to get a clean and transparent audio path and you will be rewarded. Honestly I am not a big fan of one portable piece as I believe the cleanest audio path is achieved thru a clean LO to a capable amp with separate/clean circuit and power. When you are hit with that sounding, everything just opens up and music flows effortlessly and transparently receiving no resistance. With a colored sounding, you can feel that way as transparency is compromised. Now I consider caps add some "color" to the sounding, and that color could be a positive one as long as the loss of transparency is not over done. For instance, my favorite caps clearly boost dynamics and energize the sounding with bass/treble extended. However, the one without caps clearly has the best transparency and neutrality.

 

To me some symphonies and orchestral works are the most demanding pieces for sound quality due to the large group of instrument playing at the same time, moving speed and sound stage. If you can get a dap which renders those pieces nicely you got a winner, and in my opinion you will only achieve that thru a clean and true LO, a transparent amp and finally transparent phones.

post #4039 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirihf View Post
 

Yesterday I accidentally visited the „Norddeutschland Hifi Tage 2014“, a trade fair in Hamburg, Germany.

 

I wasn´t prepared to do listening tests with new devices, but when I got the chance to listen to AK240, I did. The distributor had three pre-production units with them!

 

I did listening tests with my own gear (JH13pro, pre freqphase) and my own SDXC source. My prefered  song was  “Englishman in NY” from Sting, which was ripped as .mp3 by EAC (16BIT/218 kbps, 44.1KHz).

 

I switched back and force between the devices X3 and AK240. 

 

AK240 was clearer, brighter, more separated compared to my Fiio X3. I was amazed. It sounds very comfortable and smooth, in no way aggressive. I liked it very much.

 

When I did the same test with Fiio X5 - which was provided only one door ahead - and switched between X5 and X3, I got exactly the same impression compared to my Fiio X3. X5 was brighter and more separated compared to my Fiio X3.

 

I tried to figure out a difference between the SQ of AK240 and Fiio X5, but I couldn´t.  Both of them, Fiio X5 and AK240, had the same sound signature and the same separation, brightness (neutrality?).

 

For me, the SQ of Ak240 and Fiio X5 appeared on the same level, clear above the Fiio X3.

 

 

Today the trade fair is open until 6.p.m. If anybody is around, I would appreciate if you would share your impressions with us too.

 

:beerchug:Dirk

 

Be aware, I´m not a trained audiophile and my ears are 50 years old. You may get other impressions when you listen to it.


After reading Fang's post on Erji about how they produced the HM901, I speculate that AK240 would not exceed the SQ of HM901. A few of HM901 owners (including myself) admit that X5 and HM901 share the similar SS and the SQ is quite close. As a result, I believe your observation of the SQ between X5 and AK240 is around the same valid.

post #4040 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 


After reading Fang's post on Erji about how they produced the HM901, I speculate that AK240 would not exceed the SQ of HM901. A few of HM901 owners (including myself) admit that X5 and HM901 share the similar SS and the SQ is quite close. As a result, I believe your observation of the SQ between X5 and AK240 is around the same valid.

 

This doesn't bode well for the probably all-time overpriced AK240, and I am not surprised. The one piece portable toy will only get you that far, seriously, in my opinion. That's why you guys talking about the AK240, HM901 and X5 have almost the same SQ while their prices are a BIG swing. LOL.

post #4041 of 7296
Why is it I am not surprised. You can put all the glitz you want in a player, it's not going to make it sound any better.
I am hoping the company is going to learn a lesson or two about economics and the law of diminishing return.
post #4042 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Perhaps any differences became moot due to the file used. Even if not qualitative in nature, I'm sure there will be differences.
The first information this give us is thath AK240 and X5 are close in sound signature, meaning slightly on the warmish side of neutral, like the 901, which bodes well for the AK240 in my book.

At this level, difference in SQ require top files and a quiet environment. I would hardly have differentiated X5 and 901 in a show. However, I do not have a hard time believing the X5 has a MUCH MUCH better SQ/price ratio than the AK240.
post #4043 of 7296
Unfortunately one needs to have all units for a longer period of time, have a decent place to audition the players and have access to sound material that would gauge the players in order to compare them, not to mention a plethora of headphones/iems/ciems to properly add to the comparison. The results will be biased to the owner' ears and own experiences. But I can take a first approximate impression with the above results and feel good about it and still feel I got enough money to splurge on something else.
post #4044 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn71 View Post

Hang on. I have our grande starbucks coffee and hooters buffalo wings. Lets tongue_smile.gif before we "I Pod" self.

 

LOL  Thanks Shawn71!  

 

You'd be perfect working a hotline for people who are tired of waiting for the perfect DAP!  

 

Hint:  It was your mention of wings that saved me!

 

:beerchug:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirihf View Post
  Dirk's very credible observations (Click to show)

Yesterday I accidentally visited the „Norddeutschland Hifi Tage 2014“, a trade fair in Hamburg, Germany.

 

I wasn´t prepared to do listening tests with new devices, but when I got the chance to listen to AK240, I did. The distributor had three pre-production units with them!

 

I did listening tests with my own gear (JH13pro, pre freqphase) and my own SDXC source. My prefered  song was  “Englishman in NY” from Sting, which was ripped as .mp3 by EAC (16BIT/218 kbps, 44.1KHz).

 

I switched back and force between the devices X3 and AK240. 

 

AK240 was clearer, brighter, more separated compared to my Fiio X3. I was amazed. It sounds very comfortable and smooth, in no way aggressive. I liked it very much.

 

When I did the same test with Fiio X5 - which was provided only one door ahead - and switched between X5 and X3, I got exactly the same impression compared to my Fiio X3. X5 was brighter and more separated compared to my Fiio X3.

 

I tried to figure out a difference between the SQ of AK240 and Fiio X5, but I couldn´t.  Both of them, Fiio X5 and AK240, had the same sound signature and the same separation, brightness (neutrality?).

 

For me, the SQ of Ak240 and Fiio X5 appeared on the same level, clear above the Fiio X3.

 

 

Today the trade fair is open until 6.p.m. If anybody is around, I would appreciate if you would share your impressions with us too.

 

:beerchug:Dirk

 

Be aware, I´m not a trained audiophile and my ears are 50 years old. You may get other impressions when you listen to it.

 

 

 

Thanks for this, Dirk!

 

Mike

post #4045 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


The first information this give us is thath AK240 and X5 are close in sound signature, meaning slightly on the warmish side of neutral, like the 901, which bodes well for the AK240 in my book.

At this level, difference in SQ require top files and a quiet environment. I would hardly have differentiated X5 and 901 in a show. However, I do not have a hard time believing the X5 has a MUCH MUCH better SQ/price ratio than the AK240.

I would have to agree with this statement , while I will put some value into dirks observation , I would have liked for the impression to be conducted with at least lossless, and if the trade fairs there is the same as here , well I don't think you can hear that much

post #4046 of 7296

While I'm a fan of 192 as I think it's where you get top analog like goodness, I'm not sure it's worthwhile with how I use my portable kit (portable). In fact, if it were just about specs, 24 bit shouldn't matter but I just find the timing and texture better with 24 regardless of frequency. When I had my ak120 I sill preferred 24/192 when testing indoors.


Edited by goodvibes - 2/2/14 at 7:50am
post #4047 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

While I'm a fan of 192 as I think it's where you get top analog like goodness, I'm not sure it's worthwhile with how I use my portable kit (portable). In fact, if it were just about specs, 24 bit shouldn't matter but I just find the timing and texture better with 24 regardless of frequency. When I had my ak120 I sill preferred 24/192 when testing indoors.


Interesting you mentioned that, testing with higher res is definitively a must for those hi-res rated daps and for a better comparison, that's exactly what I did during my eval and you can definitively hear the details coming right out at you. But as I witnessed with the players, 24/96 is the most I can push the resolution for them with me being able to tell the difference (just some details of instruments that I did not recognize at lower res). Basically, it did not make any differences going further. Now the analogy I like to use with this is like an observer at specific distance looking at a picture, as you go higher in pixel resolution the picture becomes less grainy and smoother and then you get to a point where it does not matter how more you push the resolution, at the same distance you can't tell one from the other. Basically the receptors are not sensitive enough to pick up the subtle differences.


Edited by musicheaven - 2/2/14 at 8:12am
post #4048 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicheaven View Post
 


Interesting you mentioned that, testing with higher res is definitively a must for those hi-res rated daps and for a better comparison, that's exactly what I did during my eval and you can definitively hear the details coming right out at you. But as I witnessed with the players, 24/96 is the most I can push the resolution for them with me being able to tell the difference (just some details of instruments that I did not recognize at lower res). Basically, it did not make any differences going further. Now the analogy I like to use with this is like an observer at specific distance looking at a picture, as you go higher in pixel resolution the picture becomes less grainy and smoother and then you get to a point where it does not matter how more you push the resolution, at the same distance you can't tell one from the other. Basically the receptors are not sensitive enough to pick up the subtle differences.

 

Your ears are actually some of the most sensitive devices around. The brain is also one of the most complex and capable computers around. If your gear is capable enough, differences should be fairly obvious.

 

The thing for me is that files that are produced in 24/96 and up are simply better mastered. I used to think these high res files were inherently better until I started running out of space on my card and decided to do some converting. I have several HDTracks albums that I converted to MP3 320 via dbpoweramp, fully expecting there to be downgrades in SQ. Album after album A/B'ed, and I haven't been able to pick out a difference in tracks. I then opened one of these hi res tracks with a hex editor and found them padded with zeros. Hundreds of megabytes of extra zeros.

 

I actually believe source files are the most important in a chain. Crap in, crap out. Unfortunately the "crap" comes from shoddy mastering. These higher res files allow for mastering advantages, but there is no advantage for the end user. For those who practice photography, it's a bit like shooting in RAW format. You have more headroom to adjust highlights, shadows, exposure, etc. But when you convert to JPG from that finished RAW file, you'll be hard pressed to find a difference on the best monitors...I know I can't with my screen that displays 95% of the color gamut (a pretty big deal).

 

I'm always baffled when people say 64gb of space isn't enough for them. Just try converting an album via a good converter like dbpoweramp. You'll be surprised at how much space you can save. And it's not a matter of me just not being able to pick out differences if I can pick out the minutest differences between iems and amps.

post #4049 of 7296
Eke, i truly think there are fewer high res files where a proper master recording was used. a lot of crap or upsampled files around, this is why few believers in high resolution music. but once you hear a copy from well done master tape there is no way back IMHO. i tried several and no mp3 will stand comparison.
post #4050 of 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post


I'm always baffled when people say 64gb of space isn't enough for them. Just try converting an album via a good converter like dbpoweramp. You'll be surprised at how much space you can save. And it's not a matter of me just not being able to pick out differences if I can pick out the minutest differences between iems and amps.

A lot of users here, including me, have terabytes of uncompressed music. I have 320kbps copies for portable use that still take up half a terabyte. 64Gb isn't enough, even after giving up my (perfectly justifiable) audiophile conceits about lossless formats. Sure, I can curate my collection by picking what to bring, but I invariably forget to load something I later wish I had. Space is cheap, why not just carry all of it, all the time?
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