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The Fiio X5 Thread - Page 577

post #8641 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Age8E View Post
 

 

60 is only half volume, though. For midway around the dial to be a comfortable listening level seems pretty average to me for DAPs.

It is average for me too, but not so for IEMs. Besides, this X5 supposedly has a more-powerful-than-average amp section, driving medium-load headphones with ease. I have to use all the volume there is, and still is not enough, to drive not-so-demanding 250 Ohms headphones.

It looks like the ability to drive larger headphones was somewhat exaggerated, or there is a lot of people who like quieter listening levels. I don't get enough juice to drive my Beyers 990 and will have to buy the E12 to make a combo, which I thought I would not need with the X5.

If it weren't for the lack of power to drive my 250 Ohms cans, I'd have nothing to say agains the X5, but I guess I convinced myself of something that just wasn't there. Perhaps the X5+E12 combo was the real deal in the first place.

post #8642 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muenchener View Post
 

It is average for me too, but not so for IEMs. Besides, this X5 supposedly has a more-powerful-than-average amp section, driving medium-load headphones with ease. I have to use all the volume there is, and still is not enough, to drive not-so-demanding 250 Ohms headphones.

It looks like the ability to drive larger headphones was somewhat exaggerated, or there is a lot of people who like quieter listening levels. I don't get enough juice to drive my Beyers 990 and will have to buy the E12 to make a combo, which I thought I would not need with the X5.

If it weren't for the lack of power to drive my 250 Ohms cans, I'd have nothing to say agains the X5, but I guess I convinced myself of something that just wasn't there. Perhaps the X5+E12 combo was the real deal in the first place.

 

I recall a few people here reporting that the X5 drives cans like the Senn HD650s, which have a 300Ohm impedance, though they didn't mention the volume levels used.

 

But I'd say that's about the upper limit of the amp in the X5, and I'm not sure it was ever advertised as the kind of device that could effortlessly drive hard-to-drive headphones that require a lot of power, for $350. It's certainly an improvement over most other DAPs in the same price range and over the smartphones most people use, but it's never been billed as having an amp on par with the E12.

post #8643 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Age8E View Post
 

 

I recall a few people here reporting that the X5 drives cans like the Senn HD650s, which have a 300Ohm impedance, though they didn't mention the volume levels used.

 

But I'd say that's about the upper limit of the amp in the X5, and I'm not sure it was ever advertised as the kind of device that could effortlessly drive hard-to-drive headphones that require a lot of power, for $350. It's certainly an improvement over most other DAPs in the same price range and over the smartphones most people use, but it's never been billed as having an amp on par with the E12.

Yes, my expectations were built on reading people reporting using the X5 with hard-to-drive headphones. I guess I made the mistake of taking that for granted, even when it sounded a bit unlikely.

However, my iPhone 5S has a very similar power output, and that is what makes me a bit disappointed with the amp section of the X5. The iPhone 5S drives the Beyers 770 32 Ohms at the same volume than the X5. That feels kinda wrong. The X5 is twice the size, and it's not a 4" touchscreen phone. I wrongly assumed it would have a powerful amp, way more than the one you get in a phone.
My mistake, nevertheless, and easily solvable with the addition of an E12.

post #8644 of 19479

I think there is some confusion on having the same volume and having the same power. They are not really the same but can seems very similar. What you get / want from E12, as compared to X5, might not actually be more power, but just more volume (*voltage).

post #8645 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

I think there is some confusion on having the same volume and having the same power. They are not really the same but can seems very similar. What you get / want from E12, as compared to X5, might not actually be more power, but just more volume (*voltage).

Yes, I've used the term power very loosely. What I really meant was the ability to drive larger and harder headphones, and that is voltage related, not wattage related. 

Some forum member explained very clearly why a portable DAP cannot have both high power and high voltage and remain a fine sounding player. That's why the addition to the E12 to the equation solves both scenarios, by having two very different amplifiers available. I got carried away reading too much, too fast, and came to the wrong conclusion about this very important aspect of portable DAPs.

What still baffles me is why the iPhone 5S can drive a headphone at almost the same volume level as the X5. Why is the X5 no more capable of providing raw volume than a phone?

post #8646 of 19479

wow ps1000 at 60 on low gain? i need 60 on my tf10 ...oh my

post #8647 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muenchener View Post
 

Yes, my expectations were built on reading people reporting using the X5 with hard-to-drive headphones. I guess I made the mistake of taking that for granted, even when it sounded a bit unlikely.

However, my iPhone 5S has a very similar power output, and that is what makes me a bit disappointed with the amp section of the X5. The iPhone 5S drives the Beyers 770 32 Ohms at the same volume than the X5. That feels kinda wrong. The X5 is twice the size, and it's not a 4" touchscreen phone. I wrongly assumed it would have a powerful amp, way more than the one you get in a phone.
My mistake, nevertheless, and easily solvable with the addition of an E12.

 

There's a big difference between an amp not being any more powerful than an iPhone's and an amp being able to drive 250 Ohm headphones with no need to turn up the volume a few ticks. There's no question at all that the X5 has a more powerful amp than does an iPhone.

post #8648 of 19479

The Audeze LCD-2, the X5 sounds better solo than with E12. With the AKG K3003, it is the other way around. I think the low internal resistance of the AKG is the reason.

To understand what volume levels I hear I have to explain with an example. Take, for example, Barbra Streisand, "One Voice", I like this live recording and set the volume like so that I can hear the sound of the sea in the beginning understood. This is then set to "90-100" in the "high" mode. With the AKG K3003 I achieve the same volume level with the level of 55-70. But usually I run the AKG with the E12 at the position of about 10 clock.

post #8649 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Age8E View Post
 

 

There's a big difference between an amp not being any more powerful than an iPhone's and an amp being able to drive 250 Ohm headphones with no need to turn up the volume a few ticks. There's no question at all that the X5 has a more powerful amp than does an iPhone.

Do you have measurements to back this up? I've used the 250 Ohms Beyers 990 with the X5 and the iPhone 5S, and my very unscientific results do not indicate the X5 is a much more powerful amp than the iPhone. I lack the tech knowledge to realize what's happening, but perceived volume is perceived volume, and the X5 is not giving me much more than the iPhone 5S.

It is possible that the X5 has a built-in, hidden setting that works as an automatic gain control to prevent clipping, effectively lowering the level at the maximum outputs, and that could be the answer to why the iPhone has such great maximum volume level.

post #8650 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muenchener View Post
 


What still baffles me is why the iPhone 5S can drive a headphone at almost the same volume level as the X5. Why is the X5 no more capable of providing raw volume than a phone?

 

Because a very high voltage swing requires very high voltage supply rail, say a +/-5V rail might give you a +/-4.5V swing (no way to swing higher than the supply). The easy way is to use some kind of a switching circuit to boost up the voltage rail, but the higher you go, the more noisy it will be, and also the shorter the battery life. Then you need to implement extra circuit to smooth down the power supply and increase he battery size to compensate for battery life. So to keep a DAP reasonably portable and good sounding, there is only that much you can go. If you think of it, you are essentially asking why X5 can't pump out as much voltage as E12, which has the whole circuit designed to do one thing (amplification) and do just one thing well, as compared to X5 which has to do a lot of things. That's why high end DAP is often brick size because that's the only way you can stuff all the circuit you need to make a DAP both good sounding and powerful. On the other hand, companies like Sony and iriver has chosen not to include a very powerful amp section so they can keep everything slim. If you think X5 isn't powerful enough, just consider that Sony ZX1 is about as powerful as a Clip+ (15mW). Even iPhone has much more output power.

 

It is all about keeping the right mix of features and compromises - can FiiO design an DAP with integrated amp that has E12 level of power and gain, regardless the size, weight or price? Yes of course. Will it going to be very appealing on a consumer level? Very much doubt so. At least that's the conclusion they have drawn.

post #8651 of 19479

Wooohoooo

 

Took the plunge earlier today and ordered a X5...

 

Gotta a couple of questions.

 

- Does the unit get powered over USB when I use it as a DAC ? Or does it use the battery ?

- If it get's powered, does it have any impact on battery life ?

 

And last but not least.

Any suggestions on a onear headset (not overear) around 100 dollars ?

That's what the budget (& wife allows)

 

Thanks

post #8652 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

 

Because a very high voltage swing requires very high voltage supply rail, say a +/-5V rail might give you a +/-4.5V swing (no way to swing higher than the supply). The easy way is to use some kind of a switching circuit to boost up the voltage rail, but the higher you go, the more noisy it will be, and also the shorter the battery life. Then you need to implement extra circuit to smooth down the power supply and increase he battery size to compensate for battery life. So to keep a DAP reasonably portable and good sounding, there is only that much you can go. If you think of it, you are essentially asking why X5 can't pump out as much voltage as E12, which has the whole circuit designed to do one thing (amplification) and do just one thing well, as compared to X5 which has to do a lot of things. That's why high end DAP is often brick size because that's the only way you can stuff all the circuit you need to make a DAP both good sounding and powerful. On the other hand, companies like Sony and iriver has chosen not to include a very powerful amp section so they can keep everything slim. If you think X5 isn't powerful enough, just consider that Sony ZX1 is about as powerful as a Clip+ (15mW). Even iPhone has much more output power.

 

It is all about keeping the right mix of features and compromises - can FiiO design an DAP with integrated amp that has E12 level of power and gain, regardless the size, weight or price? Yes of course. Will it going to be very appealing on a consumer level? Very much doubt so. At least that's the conclusion they have drawn.

I think I understood all you said.

How can an iPhone be so slim, so powerful and not getting especially noisy or losing sound quality while driving big cans? I mean, besides being a relatively good DAP, the iPhone is also a phone and a small, touchscreen computer with a very slim battery, all in a body half the size of the X5.

I am more amazed at how good the iPhone 5S is in comparison to the X5, than at how good is the X5 on its own. I was expecting to be blown away by the X5, coming from a Cowon Z2 and an iPhone 5S. I am not so blown away, but most likely is because of my own ignorance on the matter.

post #8653 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muenchener View Post
 

Do you have measurements to back this up? I've used the 250 Ohms Beyers 990 with the X5 and the iPhone 5S, and my very unscientific results do not indicate the X5 is a much more powerful amp than the iPhone. I lack the tech knowledge to realize what's happening, but perceived volume is perceived volume, and the X5 is not giving me much more than the iPhone 5S.

 

The same unscientific observations as yours. I've got both devices, and my X5 drives my headphones a lot louder at max volume and with a lot more clarity and character than the iPhone at regular levels. I just don't think it's even close.

post #8654 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Age8E View Post
 

 

The same unscientific observations as yours. I've got both devices, and my X5 drives my headphones a lot louder at max volume and with a lot more clarity and character than the iPhone at regular levels. I just don't think it's even close.

Can you tell us the headphones you used? There might lie something to understand why we get such different results using the very same devices.

Of course, the quality of the sound is not in question, just the volume.

post #8655 of 19479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muenchener View Post
 

I think I understood all you said.

How can an iPhone be so slim, so powerful and not getting especially noisy or losing sound quality while driving big cans? I mean, besides being a relatively good DAP, the iPhone is also a phone and a small, touchscreen computer with a very slim battery, all in a body half the size of the X5.

I am more amazed at how good the iPhone 5S is in comparison to the X5, than at how good is the X5 on its own. I was expecting to be blown away by the X5, coming from a Cowon Z2 and an iPhone 5S. I am not so blown away, but most likely is because of my own ignorance on the matter.

 

Of course you should be amazed by iPhone. I am amazed by my Android phone too, given it is much more powerful as a computer than my first PC almost 15 years ago. Then again, if you are Apple and has that kind of funding and engineering resource on your side, I would think that is to be expected as well.

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