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"The New" Fiio X3 with USB DAC - Page 8

post #106 of 120

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogi View Post
 

I asked for comparison with other USB DACs, so I meant X3 in USB DAC mode too.

 

I don't think either makes much difference in sound quality, with the possible exception of problems in your PC.

 

It can make difference in sound quality.

I don't understand what "problems in your PC" do you mean. :o) Playing music from PC through USB DAC is quite ordinary thing today. You can for example use X3 as USB DAC while playing music stored on your NAS server, including HiRes music formats. I am wondering that X3 users are not interested more into this feature.

 

>If I just want to listen to flac files on my X3 through headphones in the best possible SQ do I change to DAC mode in settings, or does it matter what mode I am in for best SQ using X3 with headphones?

 

 

 

How would it make a difference in sound quality ?

The digital data going into the DAC via USB should pretty much match a digital copy stored on board in the X3 memory (or SD card). Both are fed to the same DAC chip, and should sound the same.

 

"Problems on your PC", referred to the possible (but admittedly unlikely) exception to the above statement that both (X3 in storage or DAC modes) should sound the same.  A PC having problems streaming digital music data out of the USB port without interruptions, or supplying noise on the DC power coming from the same USB port would make a difference. 

post #107 of 120

BobbyA, search for the term 'digital transport' and especially 'USB transport' and 'jitter'.

The sofware media player and DAC are not the only components in the game and you omitted influence of different transport implementations.

The USB transport implementation can be of different quality. Standallone USB transport interfaces exist in prices for example 50 or 500 EUR and that price difference corresponds to difference in sound quality. Everything can be better or worse ...

 

The sound signature using internal X3 player and as USB DAC will be basically the same, but for example detail level and dynamics can be on different level.

 

I am interested for comparisons with USB DACs like ODAC, Schiit Modi, HRT Music Streamer II, JDS Labs C5D.


Edited by bogi - 12/29/13 at 2:46pm
post #108 of 120

Hi,

 

Using JRiver MediaCenter 19 on WIN 7. I have installed the driver and selected the Fiio X3 [WASAPI] driver under Tools, Options, Audio, Audio Device.  I can't seem to get it to function. I hooked up the USB cable to both the USB ports on my laptop and the Fii0 X3 device and set the device to DAC.  It seems to be recognized by WIN 7 but I can't get any sound.

 

Can you please provide details of other settings?  I would like to get sound from either the laptop speakers or via in-ear phones.  Should I be using the headphone output from the X3 or via the headphone input on the Laptop.  Sorry but I am new to using JRiver Media Center and there are so many options.

post #109 of 120

Hi I am not expert by any definition with this, but here are a few clues to look for and things I would try if I were in your situation.

 

Sounds like you have the USB cables in place.

To use the X3 DAC the headphones should be plugged into the X3, not the laptop.

I would press the reset button on the X3 using a paper clip, (small hole in top edge).

Also I would reboot the laptop.

Then I would make sure in DAC mode the X3 volume was around 30, it started off at 0 as I recall.

 

Look for the X3 to be showing "DAC settings" in the upper left corner of it's screen.

Look for your laptop (in lower right corner) sound / speaker level icon to show the speaker blocked (red circle w/ line through) and a level slider for the X3 to adjust volume in the computer when you click on it. Set it just a little above middle with the slider.

Then select a file to play using something simple like windows media player, or VLC, or ?

If that plays then end that player program and try again with the player you are trying to get working.

 

That's about all I've got, so good luck. Hope it helps.

post #110 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urchinn View Post
 

Nope...did not work.  Again, I get the "Failed to read" notice on this driver.  I'm thinking its time to send it back to Adorama, and pull out my old Cowon D2.  Damn....


Have you tried to run the setup as admin? (Right click on setup.exe and use Run As Administrator).

Is it W2k7 or 8? If 8, then you need disable windows 8.0(1) driver signature enforcement. Just google for it - very simple, then try to re-run.

post #111 of 120

Going back to the question of whether the X3 will sound different as a USB DAC or as a stand alone player, there are some important factors to consider. 

 

1.  As a DAC the X3 will have to work with some type of player software.  In other words, another piece of software will be in charge of managing the library and sending the digital information to the X3.  How good this software is will be a factor.  The X3 will be doing the DAC work, but the software will play a role.  Perhaps EQ functions, perhaps dithering or re-sampling.  I'm using Fidelia with my Mac.  It seems to work very well with the X3.  I also have Amarra and am less happy.

 

2.  As a stand alone music player, the X3 sounds great on its own.  Using it as a DAC means that I have access to all my files - not just what I have on the device.  I also have access to libraries and playlists (not supported by X3) and a user interface that is way better than the small screen on the X3. 

 

So the answer to the question is yes.  The X3 may sound different (hopefully better) used as a DAC.

post #112 of 120

Will there be any big difference with using X3 as DAC and e17?

post #113 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by y5un View Post
 

Will there be any big difference with using X3 as DAC and e17?


The biggest difference, would be that the X3 in DAC mode supports 192/24 over USB, whereas the E17 supports 96/24 over USB.  Other than that, the result would be very similar, since the DAC section of the X3 is almost the same as the E17's DAC section.  I doubt you would notice any difference in most real-world circumstances between the two, when used as DACs.

post #114 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkyOne View Post


The biggest difference, would be that the X3 in DAC mode supports 192/24 over USB, whereas the E17 supports 96/24 over USB. 

 

If I may ask, whenever I plug my X3 *before* I turn on my laptop or desktop, both running Linux (Ubuntu 13.10), the screen on my X3 shows 192/24, but it does not show on the "sound settings" and I cannot use it as DAC.  But after a few seconds, or if I unplug the X3 and re-plug it to either of my computers that is already running , the X3 screen shows 44/24, it also shows as an output device and I can use it.

 

Is this a limitation of either of my computers' USB port, or perhaps of Ubuntu, or on the part of my X3?

 

Thank you.

post #115 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldandcurious View Post
 

Hi Oldandcurious,

 

I think what you are seeing is the status of the X3's connection with your computer, before and after the driver has loaded.   To use the X3 as a DAC, it is necessary for the driver package to initialise.  So it makes sense that you will not see it as a playback device until the driver is loaded and, has presented the X3 to the OS.  The X3's screen initially shows 16/44 on mine, but changes according the the bit-depth and sampling frequency of the files I am playing at any given time.  Although I have a great deal of experience with Unix/Linux, I have not yet tried to use my X3 with them.  Perhaps there are differences in the sequence and timings of the drivers loading, under Ubuntu.

post #116 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkyOne View Post
 

Hi Oldandcurious,

 

I think what you are seeing is the status of the X3's connection with your computer, before and after the driver has loaded.   To use the X3 as a DAC, it is necessary for the driver package to initialise.  So it makes sense that you will not see it as a playback device until the driver is loaded and, has presented the X3 to the OS.  The X3's screen initially shows 16/44 on mine, but changes according the the bit-depth and sampling frequency of the files I am playing at any given time.  Although I have a great deal of experience with Unix/Linux, I have not yet tried to use my X3 with them.  Perhaps there are differences in the sequence and timings of the drivers loading, under Ubuntu.

Thank you. My guess is similar to your, that is,Ubuntu somehow limits this to 48/24. Or, X3's firmware is not establishing a firm initialization. Partially-educated guesses on my part :)

 

At 48/24, I get to use it  nicely as DAC in my Ubuntu desktops and laptop. I like what I hear. I am not losing sleep over this; I was just curious :)

 

As it is, I an enjoying the DAC functionality of my X3 and as a DAP.

post #117 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldandcurious View Post
 

Thank you. My guess is similar to your, that is,Ubuntu somehow limits this to 48/24. Or, X3's firmware is not establishing a firm initialization. Partially-educated guesses on my part :)

 

At 48/24, I get to use it  nicely as DAC in my Ubuntu desktops and laptop. I like what I hear. I am not losing sleep over this; I was just curious :)

 

As it is, I an enjoying the DAC functionality of my X3 and as a DAP.

Hi,

 

It's good to hear you are enjoying your X3, it is a great and versatile player.  However, I can see no reason why you should be limited to 48/24, unless all of your audio files are at this resolution, which I would think unlikely.  I suspect that there are some settings in your chosen audio software that need attention.  What software are you using on your computers, for playing music?   Additionally, it may be that the audio setup in Ubuntu needs some adjustment, in order to allow files to be played at thier correct resolution.  Sometimes, files are up-sampled or down-sampled by either our operating system's audio settings, or our chosen software player settings.    I would suggest to check firstly the audio settings in your Ubuntu config, and then the same in your player config.  There may be something limiting the ability to send data to your X3 at higer than 48/24.

 

Typically, when our OS and player software are configures correctly, music files are streamed to our DACs at their native resolutions, up to the limit of our hardware and software choices.  Most people today, should have no problem acheiving 192/24 with the X3, when streaming 192/24 files.

 

There is an interesting discussion here http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1921650 discussing bitrates on Linux, with various suggestions. 

 

Hope this helps.

post #118 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkyOne View Post
 

Additionally, it may be that the audio setup in Ubuntu needs some adjustment, in order to allow files to be played at thier correct resolution... I would suggest to check firstly the audio settings in your Ubuntu config... There may be something limiting the ability to send data to your X3 at higer than 48/24.

 

Thank you for the input. Later today after work, I will check out what I have read so far - that the decision by Ubuntu to use "pulse audio" may be the limiting factor - that ALSA may be more configurable. Then again, my ears are quite happy with the current DAC functionality (and limitations) of my X3.  The higher bitrate may be a nice thing to have, but as it is, my ears are just enjoying what it hears right now.

 

There is an interesting discussion here http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1921650 discussing bitrates on Linux, with various suggestions. 

 

Thank you for this link. Will sift through it after work.

 

post #119 of 120

Hi there,

 

Could you tell me how to connect FiiO X3 to my laptop (Window 8) in order to use it as a DAC?

Please give me detailed instructions (steps) because I am not a technician.

Thank you very much.

 

PS. I just bought FiiO X3 in Feb., 2014 and I think the firmware is updated.

post #120 of 120

You have to install a driver in your laptop. It's included in your X3's storage.

 

After you install the driver, change USB connectivity to DAC and plug it in or restart your X3 if it's already plugged in.

 

Your laptop will recognize it.

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