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The Fiio X5 Thread - Page 387

post #5791 of 19479

Here's a "first use" impression of my X5. I'll start with what new owners can expect with the setup and usage and move on to some UI observations and finally share my thoughts on my initial listening tests. In order to keep it short I'll try not to repeat what has already been said in this thread. These are just my first impressions and may change with more use. YMMV.

 

Anyone can find out what the contents of the box are so I won't bore anyone with that. As for the build quality I find it to be very nice indeed. The unit itself feels like a high end piece of electronics, sleek and simple. It's manufactured well but I have a few caveats. The scroll wheel feels a tad loose and the buttons are extremely easy to press. Other than that I really like the design of the X5 and it's quite attractive in person. As mentioned in other reviews the card slot covers are a bit of a chore to open but it's easy once you get the hang of it. Simply push the end of the cover toward the usb port and the cover pops open. A co-worker and I both bought an X5 and we both found that the microSD card needs to be pushed very deep in to the slot for it to lock in. We initially thought that perhaps we were inserting the card wrong and we had to use something narrow to get the card to insert all the way as our fingers just wouldn't get the card seated (he used a knife:eek:  and I used a headphone plug). I haven't heard of this before in any of the reviews so I thought I'd mention it now. After that it started up fine and everything was operating as expected.

 

The UI is easy to use and I found that it took me no time at all to get used to the button layout. In general I like how snappy the interface is. Graphically the X5 is a big step up from the X3 and everything looks great on the new IPS screen. The wheel is very touchy but I found that if I apply a slight bit of pressure while rotating that it feels much more accurate. As I mentioned earlier the buttons are very easy to press, almost to the point that I can't believe how quickly I've selected a menu item. I know it sounds odd but it's true. The equalizer is easy to use and the custom setting has a wide range of frequencies to play with (I do not think I'll use the equalizer though, more on this later). There are two lock screen modes. I've only used 'Lockscreen 2' and it mostly works as expected. One thing I found interesting that I haven't read about was that in locked mode the side volume buttons also act as 'previous' and 'next' buttons when held instead of pressed. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of this as it forces you to press the buttons multiple times to change the volume quickly vs simply holding the buttons down. Again, this only happens when in locked mode.

 

One more quirk I found is that the X5 displays the hidden files that my Mac creates in the Finder but are normally hidden from the user (for example ' ._On Thin Ice' is a hidden file on the Mac OS and the X5 shows it as a duplicate of the track name 'On Thin Ice'). This doesn't happen for all my albums and sometimes not for all the songs in an album. Very strange as this is the same card I used in my X3, which does not show these hidden files. It actually makes browsing by folder a pain. The good news is that the category browsing does not show these files and the artist category lists the albums under it as well (FW 1.20). Nice.

 

The first album I listened to was Pink Floyd 'The Wall' as I've listened to it a thousand times and know each part intimately. The sound is definitely a step up from the X3. I love it! More soundstage, more separation, more impact. It just sounds natural to me.

 

I think I can sense that the X5 is slightly less powerful than the X3, but that may be a placebo effect considering there are more volume steps on the X5.

 

I have a couple of concerns about the equalizer though. When selecting any setting other than 'Normal' EQ the sound output is reduced by about -6db (confirmed by raising all the sliders to +6db in the Custom EQ setting and A/Bing between Normal EQ). That's a large amount and one that I'm not very happy about. When I balance the volume the dynamics still seem slightly reduced with the EQ set outside of 'Normal'. I'm particularly disappointed about this for the 'Custom' EQ setting. I have some very different sounding headphones and sometimes I prefer the overall sound signature of one over the other, but I may want to tweak it to bring the sound closer to neutral while maintaining what I like about that particular headphone. With the X3's treble and bass adjustments this is easy to do but somewhat limited. The 'Custom' EQ would be perfect for this, but it reduces in volume and dynamics as soon as it's selected, even before adjusting the sliders. I hope Fiio can look in to this issue. I feel that any equalizer that reduces output simply by being activated is a waste. Fortunately the X5 sounds great without any EQ and I actually love what it does to enhance the individual sound signatures of my headphones. I like it a lot without the EQ, but why include one if it reduces quality?  (Please see Joe Blogg's reply below.)

 

Testing gapless I found that it was pretty horrible in browse folder mode before I did a library update. After the update it was pretty good but there is still a fraction of a pause between tracks.This is with FLAC's ripped from CD. 

 

Speaking of audio formats, everything I've listened to sounds improved to me. ALAC, FLAC, AAC, High Resolution 24bit 96/192 all sound better to me than on the X3. The 1985 CD 'Brothers in Arms' album is simply stunning ripped to FLAC on the X5.

 

Sorry for such a long post (and these are just my initial impressions). Even with all of the above I am instantly taken with this device and very glad to own it.


Edited by x RELIC x - 4/2/14 at 1:40am
post #5792 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurdipurdi View Post
 

 

Would like to know this as well, as I too ordered from HDPHNS.com.

Maybe some wrong interpretation, but if there are actually hardware updates planned, I would like to know what exactly.

 

+1

 

Pre-ordered weeks ago from HDPHNS.com as well. Other suppliers haven't mentioned a delay due to updates so it makes me really curious why we would have to wait. Maybe HDPHNS.com wasn't in the first batch of pre-orders at all?

 

@ FiiO,

Please let us know the current status of shipment to HDPHNS.COM

post #5793 of 19479

Don't worry it's a good long post :D:D:D:D 

post #5794 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post


I have a couple of concerns about the equalizer though. When selecting any setting other than 'Normal' EQ the sound output is reduced by about -6db (confirmed by raising all the sliders to +6db in the Custom EQ setting and A/Bing between Normal EQ). That's a large amount and one that I'm not very happy about. When I balance the volume the dynamics still seem slightly reduced with the EQ set outside of 'Normal'. I'm particularly disappointed about this for the 'Custom' EQ setting. I have some very different sounding headphones and sometimes I prefer the overall sound signature of one over the other, but I may want to tweak it to bring the sound closer to neutral while maintaining what I like about that particular headphone. With the X3's treble and bass adjustments this is easy to do but somewhat limited. The 'Custom' EQ would be perfect for this, but it reduces in volume and dynamics as soon as it's selected, even before adjusting the sliders. I hope Fiio can look in to this issue. I feel that any equalizer that reduces output simply by being activated is a waste. Fortunately the X5 sounds great without any EQ and I actually love what it does to enhance the individual sound signatures of my headphones. I like it a lot without the EQ, but why include one if it reduces quality? 

The EQ does not reduce quality. The volume is down by 6dB because this is needed to provide digital headroom for the EQ to do its work. For example if you play a pure sine tone at 1kHz at full digital scale and raised the 1kHz slider of the EQ by 6dB, the sound would clip unless the output gain with EQ is reduced by 6dB, which is what we did here. Theoretically we could provide a manual preamp slider for users to adjust but it is feared that users may not know how to use it properly. And with the excellent S/N ratio of the X5, we decided that a 6dB cut to the volume of all EQ settings is a reasonable tradeoff for avoiding clipping artifacts. You may, of course, raise all sliders to +6 with the custom EQ setting and practise cut-only EQing. wink.gif
post #5795 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobbing View Post

+1

Pre-ordered weeks ago from HDPHNS.com as well. Other suppliers haven't mentioned a delay due to updates so it makes me really curious why we would have to wait. Maybe HDPHNS.com wasn't in the first batch of pre-orders at all?

@ FiiO,
Please let us know the current status of shipment to HDPHNS.COM

Should have stock heading their way by tomorrow at the latest. smily_headphones1.gif
post #5796 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post


The EQ does not reduce quality. The volume is down by 6dB because this is needed to provide digital headroom for the EQ to do its work. For example if you play a pure sine tone at 1kHz at full digital scale and raised the 1kHz slider of the EQ by 6dB, the sound would clip unless the output gain with EQ is reduced by 6dB, which is what we did here. Theoretically we could provide a manual preamp slider for users to adjust but it is feared that users may not know how to use it properly. And with the excellent S/N ratio of the X5, we decided that a 6dB cut to the volume of all EQ settings is a reasonable tradeoff for avoiding clipping artifacts. You may, of course, raise all sliders to +6 with the custom EQ setting and practise cut-only EQing. wink.gif

Ah, thanks for the explanation Joe. It makes sense to me now.

 

On a side note, I tried the Beta FW1.21 and the volume output is definitely much quieter than FW1.20. Will this be addressed in the next official FW? I'm sticking with FW1.20 for now.

post #5797 of 19479
Thank you Joe for the quick reply. Looking forward to my X5!
post #5798 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by viet1357911 View Post

Don't worry it's a good long post  


 


+1 nice to read some new information not mentioned in previous posts.
Waintig for delivery from MP4Nation, 2nd pre-order batch
Edited by emklap - 4/2/14 at 1:44am
post #5799 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post

Ah, thanks for the explanation Joe. It makes sense to me now.

On a side note, I tried the Beta FW1.21 and the volume output is definitely much quieter than FW1.20. Will this be addressed in the next official FW? I'm sticking with FW1.20 for now.

Yes, we'll be fixing this.
post #5800 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by emklap View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viet1357911 View Post
 

Don't worry it's a good long post  

 


+1 nice to read some new information not mentioned in previous posts.
Waintig for delivery from MP4Nation, 2nd pre-order batch

Thanks guys! It's not without flaws but I feel the X5 is a really nice device, just in case that wasn't clear :D. Hopefully I can find time to test it with some external amps soon. Also, this is the first player I've heard that makes me want to order something like the JH-13pro CIEM or the NT-6 just to see how far the X5 can go with them. My poor wallet.

post #5801 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post

Thanks guys! It's not without flaws but I feel the X5 is a really nice device, just in case that wasn't clear biggrin.gif . Hopefully I can find time to test it with some external amps soon. Also, this is the first player I've heard that makes me want to order something like the JH-13pro CIEM or the NT-6 just to see how far the X5 can go with them. My poor wallet.

I hope to receive my JH Roxanne soon! I will post my impressions of the X5/Roxanne combination als soon as I have them.
Waiting on the Roxanne since Black Friday... But hope to get the X5 next week:)!
post #5802 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post
 

Thanks guys! It's not without flaws but I feel the X5 is a really nice device, just in case that wasn't clear :D. Hopefully I can find time to test it with some external amps soon. Also, this is the first player I've heard that makes me want to order something like the JH-13pro CIEM or the NT-6 just to see how far the X5 can go with them. My poor wallet.

My X5 will come tomorrow, cant wait to pair it with my Re600. Does anyone try it with Yuin G1A 150 Ohm, Can X5 drive 150 ohm clip on ?

post #5803 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Should have stock heading their way by tomorrow at the latest. smily_headphones1.gif

Hi Joe! Any news for the shipment to Italy (playsound) ? Already 5th day of shipping and nothing on the list. I pre-ordered nearly 1 month ago frown.gif Thanks!
Edited by addsfsds - 4/2/14 at 6:53am
post #5804 of 19479

Nice long post. Already many good things said about the sound. Thanks for the heads up on some of the "quirks" of the side buttons, scroll wheel and micro SD card insertion. I'm just soaking up everyone's comments on the X5, while waiting for my unit to arrive. The shop said this weekend or early next week! Woooo Hooooo!!!

post #5805 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by twister6 View Post
 


Joe,

 

I just installed 1.21 and noticed a problem where it plays FLACs at a significantly lower volume in comparison to MP3s.  No issue with 1.20 (or 1.10).  Can you guys please check into that?

 

Btw, sorry if I missed it, is there a link to FiiO forum to report bugs and post suggestion?  For example, I would love to see battery % in the status bar at the top next to the battery icon (instead of guessing number of bars ;)).

+1 on the battery %

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