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Fiio X3, iBasso DX50 or AK 100. which to buy?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I can buy either the Fiio or the iBasso this month or wait a month and buy the AK

 

I listen to all types of music (rock, pop, jazz some classical) and i currently have an iPod and a Fiio E11.

 

Storage will be a consideration, i have about 600Gb of lossless files.

 

What do you recommend wise people? I know that the Firmware on the Fiio and the iBasso has had some criticism.

post #2 of 28

I would say to get the FiiO X3 and swap SD cards.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks Purple Angel. have you heard both? The iBasso is supposed to be a bit more neutral.

post #4 of 28
I own both the X3 and AK100, quite tempted to get the DX50 to complete the collection, but it'll be silly since I usually only stick to listening to 1.

Just so you know, the AK100 is at least 2x to 3x the price of the X3/DX50.
So if you are asking which is the best price value to get, the X3 or DX50 would be the definite choice.

For now let me compare the X3 and DX50.
X3 pros and cons vs DX50
- Best value for features (USB DAC, DSD support soon)
- Firmware is relatively more stable than DX50
- Warm signature with a bit more emphasis in the bass area
- To some the bass sounds a bit bloated
- Build quality is lower compared to DX50 and AK100.
- Active support with their founder within the community forums
- Powerful amp out of the lot

DX50 pros and cons vs X3
- Buggy firmware (getting better with each firmware update)
- USB OTG support. Suits your need if you want to take all 600gig of FLACs with you. Heard it was able to power 500gig ext harddisk, however screen colour becomes faded due to lack of power.
- Build quality better than X3
- Neutral sound. Better clarity and more clean than X3 (subjective)

Now for AK100 vs X3 and DX50
- Best build quality (DX50 not far behind)
- Signature in btw DX50 and X3
- SQ is not worth the 2x/3x price gap
- More clean sounding (subjective) with the darkest background out of the 3.
- Flawed with the 22ohms output which affects most low impedance phones esp multi BA driver types.
- Size is the most portable of the lot
- USB DAC, bluetooth support
- 2 Microsd card support, total 160gig
- Firmware more stable except for noticeable MP3 files that skips few seconds after each track.

Simply put, X3 is fun and dynamic sounding, DX50 is more reference type and AK100 is in btw both.

Which do u prefer? smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Levanter - 10/30/13 at 1:32am
post #5 of 28
I dont agree x3 build quality is behind dx50... Or are you referring to the aesthetic side of thing? I feel x3 is very sturdy and not prompt to interfernce from celluar phones and very good form factor for portable use...
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey Levanter

 

Wow that is a fantastic comparison. I think id lean towards the X3 in that case, i will mostly use Etymotic EPT4s with it which are pretty analytical so i could take a little fun!

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by name View Post

I dont agree x3 build quality is behind dx50... Or are you referring to the aesthetic side of thing? I feel x3 is very sturdy and not prompt to interfernce from celluar phones and very good form factor for portable use...

Yep aesthetic side, e.g. tiny cracks at plastic button area, dusts getting inside the screen, gaps that allows dusts in, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markgreville View Post

Hey Levanter

Wow that is a fantastic comparison. I think id lean towards the X3 in that case, i will mostly use Etymotic EPT4s with it which are pretty analytical so i could take a little fun!

No prob. But if you have the chance you should demo them personally with your stuff though since synergy plays a big part. And preferences differ btw people too smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Levanter - 10/30/13 at 3:33am
post #8 of 28

I have heard both DX50 and X3 and I like the DX50 better because it is not as warm as the X3 and has better clarity and overall refinement. The UI has come a long way since v1 and now it has just about no problems. I think that the AK100 is around the DX50 level, but both have it's ups and downs. The DX50 is $250 though...

 

I would say go for the DX50, but it is your decision. 

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by markgreville View Post
 

Thanks Purple Angel. have you heard both? The iBasso is supposed to be a bit more neutral.


Have not listened to either the X3 or DX50, but their reputation is they are the best in their price range.

Heard good things about the Cowon brand.

 

You might also try asking these kind of questions on the website anythingbutipod.

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


Have not listened to either the X3 or DX50, but their reputation is they are the best in their price range.

Heard good things about the Cowon brand.

 

You might also try asking these kind of questions on the website anythingbutipod.

I tried a Cowon X7 and it was waay worse than both the DX50 and the X3. 

post #11 of 28

Any Cowon is NOT to be lumped in with DX50, X3 and the two AK's. Cowon excels in battery life and that's it FULL STOP.

Cowon has it's own sound color and that sound is anything but neutral. Way below the SQ of the iBasso and Fiio players.

 

The best, IMO, is X3. AK is extremely expensive and DOES NOT have better SQ. DX50 is week in bass but drives big headphones VERY VERY well. 

My Denon AH-D 7000 sounds gorgeous with it. X3 is awesome on all fronts.

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabatar View Post
 

Any Cowon is NOT to be lumped in with DX50, X3 and the two AK's. Cowon excels in battery life and that's it FULL STOP.

Cowon has it's own sound color and that sound is anything but neutral. Way below the SQ of the iBasso and Fiio players.

 

The best, IMO, is X3. AK is extremely expensive and DOES NOT have better SQ. DX50 is week in bass but drives big headphones VERY VERY well. 

My Denon AH-D 7000 sounds gorgeous with it. X3 is awesome on all fronts.

 

I fully disagree with that statement that AK does not have better SQ. Comparing the X3 with AK100, the AK is more clean, better clarity and details compared to the X3. The advantage the X3 has over the AK100 is better dynamics due to their emphasis and their extended lows and a powerful amp. Both DAPs have their own merits.

That being said, X3 has good SQ, but it's definitely not up at AK100 level although it isn't far behind.

But if you are factoring the price in, then yes X3 and DX50 is definitely better than the AK100.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post
 

 

I fully disagree with that statement that AK does not have better SQ. Comparing the X3 with AK100, the AK is more clean, better clarity and details compared to the X3. The advantage the X3 has over the AK100 is better dynamics due to their emphasis and their extended lows and a powerful amp. Both DAPs have their own merits.

That being said, X3 has good SQ, but it's definitely not up at AK100 level although it isn't far behind.

But if you are factoring the price in, then yes X3 and DX50 is definitely better than the AK100.

 

Not only the price factor - although that counts hugely - but the fact that the AK's go up in sound to 75 ONLY and do need to be beefed up by an amp makes them useless for me. If AK120 was louder without the need of amping, it would be my number one out of the four (AK100 included) - that black background and clarity of mid bass makes it better in SQ. If only it was beefier in power

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabatar View Post
 

 

Not only the price factor - although that counts hugely - but the fact that the AK's go up in sound to 75 ONLY and do need to be beefed up by an amp makes them useless for me. If AK120 was louder without the need of amping, it would be my number one out of the four (AK100 included) - that black background and clarity of mid bass makes it better in SQ. If only it was beefier in power

 

Well if you are using it mainly for IEMs and portable headphones, the AK100 is more than enough without external amp. Using a 1964 V6, my volume is constantly below 50 and that's even when i'm using it in noisy environments like the LRT/monorail. With the Momentum it's always below 60. 

If you wan't to drive full size headphones then yes, it's probably not enough... but this is a portable player in the first place. Usually those who listens to full size headphones always pairs their players with amps.

post #15 of 28

If build quality,brand, usability and form factor are more important and you dont mind waiting, you can also consider the upcoming Sony ZX1 by just paying a bit more. I believe it will be a better "digital audiophile lifestyle" product as it has wifi and android installed than AK. The AK100 (original version) was a learning lesson for iriver (they admitted their mistake by releasing MKII at consumer's cost) and it is a bit irrelevant to pay that much for it now (2nd hand price can go lower than 350usd in Hong Kong).

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