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Please help I'm so confused! - FiiO E17 / FiiO X3 combo

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi,


This is my 1st post so I'm hoping for a helpful response to my somewhat "noobish" question.


First off, I am using Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros, 80 Ohm.


I recently purchased a new phone, the Huawei Ascend P6, and was planning on using it as my primary source seeing as it can play FLAC. However it turns out that the output of the phone is awful, and the battery life isn't great either.


So in an effort to resolve the poor phones issues I purchased a FiiO E17 DAC/AMP. Unfortunatley even with the E17's gain, EQ and volume set to max I still have to have the phone set to max volume to get a decent level from the DT770s. Even with everything set to max it's still not loud enough for me, I think this explains just how bad the phones output is.


I was also planning on using the E17 with my laptop via Optical SPDIF but I read some reviews saying that asynched USB to optical is better for various reasons, reduced jittering, better clocks etc. This lead me to discover another issue with the E17, it's lack of any asynched DAC function.


So now that I have found the problems with my set up I need to find the solution, and after doing some research I have decided to go down the road of a standalone DAP, and I am swaying towards the X3. The asynched DAC functionality, SQ, battery performance and price are very enticing. Plus it will match my E17 and look good when they are strapped together.


Now where I get confused is with the digital inputs/outputs and amp functions of the X3. Here is what I am really wondering:


1. Does the X3 need an amp, will the E17 I already have help boost the X3's output or prolong it's battery life?


2. The X3 has the same DAC as the E17, so if I plug the X3 into the E17 via a FiiO L12S optical cable will the DACs conflict?


3. The X3 is asynchronus whereas the E17 is not so if I run a set up like this will it work? 


Laptop into X3 via asynched USB - X3 into E17 via L12S - E17 into DT770s via 3.5 jack


Now I don't know much about this stuff, but I have really tried hard to understand what I am buying. I have researched for hours on end and read countless forums. My knowledge has increased greatly over the past few weeks but I really need some professional help.


Thanks for taking the time to read about my dilemma, I look forward to your replies.

post #2 of 3

Just a IMO:


Amps help even the lowest ohm cans. Usually only on the lows though from my experience, especially with the M50's/ HAS400's it really tightened them up.


And a simple thing to remember: You want your signal being digital for as long as possible UNTIL you get to the best possible DAC in a chain.

Many people use cheap pci soundcards to output optical source material (digital) to a supperior external DAC then to an amplifier then to your drivers (headphones/ speakers).

post #3 of 3

For me, the E17 has enough power my GR07 which is rated at 50ohms. I can't go more than Volume level 35 on it without getting too loud.


What player are you using with your Huawei?



I use 3 sources. My GS3 with PowerAmp, Sansa Clip Zip (rockboxed) and my cheap HP 4410s laptop. I'll rate the SQ like this:


4410s (via  USB) > GS3=Sansa Clip Zip (rockboxed) > Sansa Clip Zip.


I bought the Sansa Clip Zip because I wanted to check if  the SQ can be better than my 4410s but it is not.

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