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Poll: Parametric EQ on Fiio X3

Poll Results: Do you want parametric EQ on Fiio X3?

 
  • 88% (111)
    Yes.
  • 11% (14)
    No.
125 Total Votes  
post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 

Please vote whether or not you want parametric EQ on Fiio X3. Feel free to elaborate in your post.

 

Why you may want parametric EQ on Fiio X3?

 

Parametric EQ can nullify peaks or valleys in the frequency response of your headphones, without affecting other frequencies.

 

Many headphones have undesirable treble peaks that locate between 6000Hz-10,000Hz. If you use X3’s current EQ system to reduce those treble peaks, it will significantly reduce the ENTIRE treble between 2000-20,000 Hz (in other words, it will reduce more treble than you truly want).

http://www.head-fi.org/t/663600/impression-fiio-x3-high-fi-low-price

http://www.fiio.com.cn/products/index.aspx?ID=100000014895351&MenuID=105026002 (X3’s hardware EQ is highly similar to Fiio’s E17, so see E17’s specification).

 

As examples of headphones’ treble peaks, please see frequency response of Beyerdynamic DT880, HiFiMAN HE-500 and Sennheiser HD 700 from Innerfidelity:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BeyerdynamicDT880600ohm.pdf

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE500.pdf

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD700.pdf

 

Now reduce 5 db between 2000-20,000 Hz from the above frequency graphs (as how X3 currently does it), can you nullify those treble peaks WITHOUT affecting other frequencies? The answer is no.

 

 

Those who care about parametric EQ, Please chime in. I especially like to hear from people that voted "no", as so far none of those has spoken here.

 

Side note: The purpose of this poll is to provide feedback to Fiio (it is NOT a demand or vent of frustration). Personally, I think Fiio X3 is an excellent DAP with its latest firmware.  


Edited by zzffnn - 8/18/13 at 2:39pm
post #2 of 76
Thread Starter 

Background story for this poll:

 

I and 4 other Headfiers suggested implementing parametric EQ on Fiio X3 via firmware update.  http://www.head-fi.org/t/676223/faq-and-advice-of-x3/30#post_9721023

 

Mr. James Chung, Fiio’s CEO, seems undecided on whether or not to implement parametric EQ on X3. His first response to our request was “it is quite easy to put a parametric EQ in X3, but it is hard to provide it with reasonable sound quality because software EQ will install some distortion.”

 

In response to James’ comment, our abbreviated responses are:

 

From zzffnn:

“……I understand that parametric EQ may introduce some phase shift/distortion. The question is how much of such distortion is humanly audible and can we implement parametric EQ below HUMAN EAR's (not dScope's) detection threshold. I would not be surprised if dScope can detect such phase shift/distortion, but if human ears cannot hear it then I don't care for it.

Plus, some people may be more sensitive to treble peak than phase shift/distortion; for those, the benefit of having parametric EQ on would outweigh the issue of phase shift/distortion. For those who do not want parametric EQ, they can just turn it off without affecting anything (when parametric EQ is turned off, it should NOT cause distortion, correct?)…….”

From Achmedisdead:

“A truly  parametric EQ, done right, would be an excellent upgrade. If the users are applying it properly there should be minimal distortion introduced....the parametric EQ is one of the best things in Rockbox!

 

From ozkan:

“May I request a 10 bands parametric EQ which has been used in Meizu M6 SL? I think it is one of the best  EQ I have seen in a dap so far.

 

From maniac2003:

“If the parametric EQ does not interfere when it's off I would certainly see it as a bonus to have this option.

 


Edited by zzffnn - 8/18/13 at 9:44am
post #3 of 76

Only if it is completely defeatable (inaudible if off) as I never use EQ.
 

post #4 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by zzffnn View Post

Background story for this poll:

 

I and 4 other Headfiers suggested implementing parametric EQ on Fiio X3 via firmware update.  http://www.head-fi.org/t/676223/faq-and-advice-of-x3/30#post_9721023

 

Mr. James Chung, Fiio’s CEO, seems undecided on whether or not to implement parametric EQ on X3. His first response to our request was “it is quite easy to put a parametric EQ in X3, but it is hard to provide it with reasonable sound quality because software EQ will install some distortion.”

 

In response to James’ comment, our abbreviated responses are:

 

From zzffnn:

“……I understand that parametric EQ may introduce some phase shift/distortion. The question is how much of such distortion is humanly audible and can we implement parametric EQ below HUMAN EAR's (not dScope's) detection threshold. I would not be surprised if dScope can detect such phase shift/distortion, but if human ears cannot hear it then I don't care for it.

Plus, some people may be more sensitive to treble peak than phase shift/distortion; for those, the benefit of having parametric EQ on would outweigh the issue of phase shift/distortion. For those who do not want parametric EQ, they can just turn it off without affecting anything (when parametric EQ is turned off, it should NOT cause distortion, correct?)…….”

From Achmedisdead:

“A truly  parametric EQ, done right, would be an excellent upgrade. If the users are applying it properly there should be minimal distortion introduced....the parametric EQ is one of the best things in Rockbox!

 

From ozkan:

“May I request a 10 bands parametric EQ which has been used in Meizu M6 SL? I think it is one of the best  EQ I have seen in a dap so far.

 

From maniac2003:

“If the parametric EQ does not interfere when it's off I would certainly see it as a bonus to have this option.

 


I use EQ on all my gear.  What a fabulous difference it makes.  This is a 'no-brainer' in my book.  This would be an excellent idea for the X3.  I was thinking maybe I would eventually have to invest in a lot of expensive software to equalize my files before transferring them to the the X3.  Much better to have the EQ built in.  Please make it 1/3 octave steps and at least 21 bands . . .

post #5 of 76

I would love to see this as a feature.

post #6 of 76
Thread Starter 
Having two bands of parametric EQ is good enough for me (since X3 already has hardware bass EQ). But I am not opposed to having more bands, even though I usually use only one band out of Rockbox's 5 EQ bands.

Personally, I don't use much EQ unless there are significant peaks or valleys that I can hear. With my DT880 though, reducing that 8.5kHz peak with parametric EQ REALLY helps.

I don't usually use bass boost either. However, with those bass-lean headphones (some Audio-Technica's or Sony's), enhancing pad sealing and/or using hardware bass EQ will definitely help. For the sub bass region, I even prefer X3's hardware bass EQ over software/parametric EQ.

I think if we remain moderate on EQ, it should not introduce much audible distortion. Parametric EQ is routinely used in professional studios -- if professional music producers accept it, it should not bother ordinary music listeners.
Edited by zzffnn - 8/18/13 at 2:26pm
post #7 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by zzffnn View Post

Having two bands of parametric EQ is good enough for me (since X3 already has hardware bass EQ). But I am not opposed to having more bands, even though I usually use only one band out of Rockbox's 5 EQ bands.

Personally, I don't use much EQ unless there are significant peaks or valleys that I can hear. With my DT880 though, reducing that 8.5kHz peak with parametric EQ REALLY helps.

I don't usually use bass boost either. However, with those bass-lean headphones (some Audio-Technica's or Sony's), enhancing pad sealing and/or using hardware bass EQ will definitely help. For the sub bass region, I even prefer X3's hardware bass EQ over software/parametric EQ.

 

Your Rockbox must be an old version.....it now has 10 bands to play with. wink.gif

post #8 of 76
Thread Starter 
For those who don't know about parametric EQ, please google within Headfi and you will see many threads about it (many Headfiers use parametric EQ).

The following web pages also provide general information about parametric EQ (the last link tells you how to calculate the Q factor):
http://stereos.about.com/od/introductiontostereos/a/equalizers.htm
http://audio.tutsplus.com/tutorials/production/how-to-use-a-parametric-equalizer/
http://m.wikihow.com/Use-a-Parametric-Equalizer
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_factor

You can easily try a parametric EQ software on computer and see how it changes the sound.
post #9 of 76
Thread Starter 
Any more votes or comments?
post #10 of 76

YES for parametric EQ. I strongly consider buying X3, but without a parametric EQ it's a no go for me.

post #11 of 76

I too use parametric EQ and use only players that have it.  

 

My most-portable choice is a Rockboxed iPod currently.  I can use a smartphone with EQ app and outboard amp or DAC/amp but don't like the RF noise.  I love Fiio amps, and I really want a small output impedance.  The X3 with parametric EQ would be the best all-in-one solution for me -- much more portable than any two-part iPod+amp or smartphone+DAC/amp.  

 

One thing, though:  Just putting the parametric EQ feature into the X3 is fine for those on Head-Fi, but it doesn't cut it for the mainstream.  What do you tell James about the general population?  Are there real advantages to giving a parametric EQ to the average user?  More importantly, what presets do you ship with the PEQ that show the benefits to those who aren't as knowledgable? 

post #12 of 76
Thread Starter 
^ All good points. 

I don't think the general population will like parametric EQ (Q factor calculation may be too complicated for some); for those, Cowon's graphic EQ slider will probably be better.

I don't know what preset works best for mainstream. Probably what Cowon or Sony offers? Cowon DAPs offer a few presets, including Rock (V shape FR), Jazz (reversed V shaped FR), custom and others. Not that I care for graphic slider, but even iBasso DX50 offers graphic EQ slider similar to that of Cowon.  Fiio may learn from Cowon in catering to general population here.

That said, Fiio X3 is probably not a mainstream product to begin with, IMHO. Because:
1) it is too thick and heavy (put X3 side by side with a current gen iPod Touch and you will see its lack of sex appeal);
2) only ~15 hrs of battery life (general population may not need such a powerful amp/DAC);
3) No wifi, Bluetooth, Android / iOS, GPS, apps or touchscreen (not saying any of those is required for mainstream, but look at what Cowon / Sony is offering to mainstream).

Not being mainstream is probably not a big deal for X3. Most Headfiers may view the above points as strength actually. If Fiio wants to make a mainstream DAP, I imagine they can now with the experience of producing X3.
post #13 of 76

I hope my comments weren't seen as too negative -- they are questions I struggle with because (a) I'd like more devices with parametric EQ so that I can make use of them, but (b) I realize that most people will not know exactly what to do with them.  What we need is more education on the power of parametric EQ, and specifically how it can help make headphones sound better.  

 

This all may be an interim solution, though.  Speaker designers are already realizing the power of EQ and packaging amps with dedicated EQ and active crossovers inside of their driver boxes.  I think it is only a matter of time before headphone designers do the same. 

 

I like your strategy for the short term, though.  If enough Head-Fier's want it, Fiio might implement parametric EQ.  It certainly isn't a processing power limitation, given that iPods nearly a decade old have the horsepower to implement it through Rockbox.  Then, the Head-Fi community can get the ball rolling through experimentation.  

post #14 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman7 View Post

..............

 

If enough Head-Fier's want it, Fiio might implement parametric EQ. 

...............

 

^ Exactly. But we need a lot more than 27 votes for Fiio to consider parametric EQ. Come on people!

post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by zzffnn View Post

 

^ Exactly. But we need a lot more than 27 votes for Fiio to consider parametric EQ. Come on people!

 

There's lots of HF-ers that are anti-EQ, unfortunately.....apparently it is not "audiophile" rolleyes.gif

I consider it a valuable tool.

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