Has anyone compared the sound quality of the X5 to the O2 with ODAC?
I consider to buy the O2/ODAC for my Triple Fi 10, TDK IE800 and Philips X1.
All of them are quite efficient and don't need much power.
Since the price of the X5 is not too far away from a O2 with ODAC, it might be an alternative with the advantage of portable usability?
I haven't been listening to portables much lately and only did the compare after initial impression. Honestly, I can get a decent impression in a very short time but granted, more is better. I do sound for a living. I also don't have a DAP reference point with the over ears as I've never use them for portable. My reference points are a lot of VG home kit like Naim, Quads and Dynaudio Confidence with recordings I heard being mastered. I've had various Stax models over the years as well. I may be mistaken in my views as admittedly, I don't have time to try to make it work better for me but that's my take. In fairness, I wont do a full review for the reasons you mentioned and my lack of time at the moment. It's going to hogger129 today. I think it's a fine unit but just not special for me. Could just be the new FW. There's certainly some capability here.
For me on first listen X5 sounded completely different to at least the Studio's signature, I thought similar to yourself. To be fair it sounded a little warm or relaxed and something was missing in the upper regions, still happens when I switch between them however as I'm learning X5's signature that adjustment period is less than 5 minutes now, it reminds me adapting to a different IEM tonality, where the veil lifts in a short period of time. Although I need to make sure people understand it's because the Studio leans cooler than X5 not because X5 is warm.
Unlike others I do hear a slight bass emphasis on X5 or it could be just a tighter well powered low end pushing through from the IEM's as has been suggested. For me the main differences between the Studio are refinement, resolution and much blacker background. Though as I've said in the other thread, I like them both for different reasons and they can live side by side.