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9th Calgary Headfi Meet! Sept 8 2013 - Page 9  

post #121 of 125

I hope HeadphoneJunky and 2000inpreza don't mind if I post those pictures on Facebook ;P

post #122 of 125

At the end of the meet I convinced myself that I needed another new toy. So, being as it was still available (i.e. no-one else purchased it by the end of the meet), I picked up the Fiio X3 media player from Ben at Certified Radio. Now that I've had a good chance to play with it, here's my mini-review:

 

Fiio X3 - the iPod killer! Seriously, it's a pretty impressive little player. I've equipped mine with a 64GB microSDXC card (formatted as FAT32). Combined with the onboard 8GB, that's 72GB of storage for music. I've pretty much migrated most of my library to FLAC or other lossless formats, so 72GB doesn't give me any more than 1/10th of my library. That said, having a portable player that can actually play back all that lossless media is worth it! The X3 isn't necessarily what I would call an audiophile component, but with the ability to play back all the popular lossless audio formats, with headphone out, line out and coaxial SPDIF out, it's pretty close to being an audiophile source. The only thing that would clinch that designation for me would be the ability for it to act as a USB media host, i.e. allowing me to attach a USB DAC such as my new Cypher Labs Algorythm Solo -dB. Alas, the USB port is just for charging the battery and for connecting the X3 as a standard USB storage device to a Mac or PC.

 

That said, the line-out of the X3 is very clean. My lossless audio sounds as good, maybe even better than I expect it to. The DAC/amp built into the X3 is essentially the same as that of the Fiio E17 - the same WM8740 DAC and the same opamp driven amplifier stage. There are two gain settings - low and high. With it on high, the built in amplifier can easily drive headphones with up to 300 ohms impedance to quite deafening levels. The fact that this $199 MSRP unit also includes a nice display makes it easy to achieve simple display of cover art, or for those karaoke nuts out there, even lyrics embedded in the ID3 tags can be scrolled!! In the one short week that I've had it, Fiio has released two firmware upgrades. Some might say buggy, but that's not what I've noticed. It's rock solid and I applaud Fiio for so actively keeping the unit under development. And the last thing to mention is the battery life - so far I've been able to listen for 12 hours without recharging - if only my iPhone could last this long! 

 

If anyone is looking for an inexpensive digital player, supporting most of the common storage formats, 192KHz/24bit to boot, I can highly recommend the X3. Thanks Ben for selling it to me at the end of the meet. :)

 

Dale 

post #123 of 125
Thread Starter 

^ good little review man.  I can't wait to hear it the next time we meet.

 

Cheers,

Al

post #124 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by semaj8james View Post

I hope HeadphoneJunky and 2000inpreza don't mind if I post those pictures on Facebook ;P
Im cool with pics dude. Im on facebook as Benjamin DelGrosso
post #125 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentXXL View Post

At the end of the meet I convinced myself that I needed another new toy. So, being as it was still available (i.e. no-one else purchased it by the end of the meet), I picked up the Fiio X3 media player from Ben at Certified Radio. Now that I've had a good chance to play with it, here's my mini-review:

Fiio X3 - the iPod killer! Seriously, it's a pretty impressive little player. I've equipped mine with a 64GB microSDXC card (formatted as FAT32). Combined with the onboard 8GB, that's 72GB of storage for music. I've pretty much migrated most of my library to FLAC or other lossless formats, so 72GB doesn't give me any more than 1/10th of my library. That said, having a portable player that can actually play back all that lossless media is worth it! The X3 isn't necessarily what I would call an audiophile component, but with the ability to play back all the popular lossless audio formats, with headphone out, line out and coaxial SPDIF out, it's pretty close to being an audiophile source. The only thing that would clinch that designation for me would be the ability for it to act as a USB media host, i.e. allowing me to attach a USB DAC such as my new Cypher Labs Algorythm Solo -dB. Alas, the USB port is just for charging the battery and for connecting the X3 as a standard USB storage device to a Mac or PC.

That said, the line-out of the X3 is very clean. My lossless audio sounds as good, maybe even better than I expect it to. The DAC/amp built into the X3 is essentially the same as that of the Fiio E17 - the same WM8740 DAC and the same opamp driven amplifier stage. There are two gain settings - low and high. With it on high, the built in amplifier can easily drive headphones with up to 300 ohms impedance to quite deafening levels. The fact that this $199 MSRP unit also includes a nice display makes it easy to achieve simple display of cover art, or for those karaoke nuts out there, even lyrics embedded in the ID3 tags can be scrolled!! In the one short week that I've had it, Fiio has released two firmware upgrades. Some might say buggy, but that's not what I've noticed. It's rock solid and I applaud Fiio for so actively keeping the unit under development. And the last thing to mention is the battery life - so far I've been able to listen for 12 hours without recharging - if only my iPhone could last this long! 

If anyone is looking for an inexpensive digital player, supporting most of the common storage formats, 192KHz/24bit to boot, I can highly recommend the X3. Thanks Ben for selling it to me at the end of the meet. smily_headphones1.gif

Dale 
Glad yo hear your happy
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