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FiiO X5 preview world tour--tour members, claim your souvenir for the X5 tour! p.123 - Page 121

post #1801 of 1895

Wow that E12 + X5 stack accessory bundle is attractive. I kind of wanted to never carry a stack again, but with that bundle it would be pretty nice... I hope it comes out soon.

post #1802 of 1895
Thread Starter 
Hello fellow previewers from Singapore, I'll be on a business trip to your place from 5-8 April--anybody up for a meet? biggrin.gif
Edited by Joe Bloggs - 4/4/14 at 6:05pm
post #1803 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Call for gift ideas for X5 previewers!

Firstly I'd like to thank all the previewers on this tour again on behalf of FiiO. Although you guys got to audition a new product before its launch, you had to take time to write a review on it and pay to ship to the next previewer. We would like to show our thanks for your effort with a memorable gift smily_headphones1.gif

And here's where I get stuck tongue.gif To avoid accusations of previewer bias, the gift cannot be too substantial or as direct as a discount for a retail X5. I do however want everyone to come away happy with the gift biggrin.gif

There's a wide selection of accessories that will be available for the X5 (the pic at the top shows multiple color options for the stock silicone case)

and I believe it will be fine for those previewers who would like to buy an X5 to pick and choose one of these accessories as a complementary gift for the reviewership.

However, not everyone who was a previewer will buy an X5 wink.gif For those other previewers I was thinking of a FiiO T-shirt signed by James, but it seems they've run out of T-shirts redface.gif

How about something from Cafepress?
http://www.cafepress.com/make/design-your-own

Was thinking of designing a cup out of the April fools X5 space launch motif

"FiiO X5: available from Deimos labs now! [UAC logo]" biggrin.gif

If someone would design a cup design that everyone loves (or even just an idea for a cup design that our art designers at FiiO can implement) that would be awesome biggrin.gif

Or it could be something as simple and as HDTracks coupons...?
that hdtracks discount I have already been using it, so maybe another idea hehe
post #1804 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

I posted the request for ordering the X5 directly from headquarters on the internal discussion channel and think I got an "OK" from one of the bosses (it's difficult to keep track of what's being said to whom sometimes...). Unfortunately I'll be on a business trip to Singapore starting today for 4 days so won't be able to arrange this quickly. redface.gif

Hi Joe,

 

will you be visiting local audio house like Jaben / E1 ? :P we can meet up for autograph session...kakaka

post #1805 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by doki81 View Post
 

Hi Joe,

 

will you be visiting local audio house like Jaben / E1 ? :P we can meet up for autograph session...kakaka

 

Seconding this :D

post #1806 of 1895
Thread Starter 
Will go to E1 on Saturday night smily_headphones1.gif
Also Connect-It by Jade gift shop on Sunday night smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Joe Bloggs - 4/4/14 at 12:52am
post #1807 of 1895

That leather case is gorgeous! Definately gonna buy one when available on  the Fiio X5 Accessories part of website.

The folding strap part is magnetic right? Curious but patient about its price.

The preview tour units showed the translucid silicone cases, does the release units have those as well or do they come with the black ones?

post #1808 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cagin View Post
 

That leather case is gorgeous! Definately gonna buy one when available on  the Fiio X5 Accessories part of website.

The folding strap part is magnetic right? Curious but patient about its price.

The preview tour units showed the translucid silicone cases, does the release units have those as well or do they come with the black ones?

Black silicone come with X5 is good looking. When u see it u'll re-think about leather case 

post #1809 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

X5 starts shipping worldwide!

Dear friends,
......


Exciting times for a lot of us. Got a shipment notification of Audiogarden in France that X5 will be delivered to me in a few days, I am very much looking forward to the X5.

 

cheers,

rudi

post #1810 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Call for gift ideas for X5 previewers!

Firstly I'd like to thank all the previewers on this tour again on behalf of FiiO. Although you guys got to audition a new product before its launch, you had to take time to write a review on it and pay to ship to the next previewer. We would like to show our thanks for your effort with a memorable gift smily_headphones1.gif

(...)

Or it could be something as simple and as HDTracks coupons...?

 

Erm... I don´t know how to put this... but can I decline? Not because I´m going to write a bad review (far from it)... I simply wouldn´t want to have anything. Give the money that would have been allotted for me to someone else. It´s just that I´m thankful to have been able to review it, furthermore it´s more than enough for me that you guys listen to your customers and don´t mind the occasional pissing and whining (yes, I mean me and my constant quest for better lossy decoding).


Edited by Marlene - 4/5/14 at 11:23am
post #1811 of 1895
Maybe use the money which going to spent on t shirt printing for donation? Help us donate $10? smily_headphones1.gif
post #1812 of 1895

Hi everyone,

 

I am trying to post my review but the cut-paste box doesnt seem to work. Can anyone help me out here as I am trying to paste from a Word document but with little success.

 

I can PM the review to another member who can post it on my behalf,

 

Thanks,

 

Gill.

post #1813 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by gikigill View Post

Hi everyone,

I am trying to post my review but the cut-paste box doesnt seem to work. Can anyone help me out here as I am trying to paste from a Word document but with little success.

I can PM the review to another member who can post it on my behalf,

Thanks,

Gill.

PMed
post #1814 of 1895

Hello everyone, My late review of the X5 due to PC issues.

 

 

Headphones used: AD900X, MDR-F1, HD25-ii, JVC SZ2000, Fischer FA-011, JH16 and FXZ200.

 

 

To start with, no pictures since they were all lost along with the review so I will keep it short and sweet.

 

 

To begin with, the player feels sold and well built compared to the X3 and should be able to hold its own against the rest of the DAP bunch. The buttons feel well built and

 

nice to the touch although the wheel could use a more rigid gearing compared to the one it ha now as it feels too loose at times.

 

 

Moving on to the display, the display seems nice and clear and sufficiently lit to see in the sunlight too very important due to the fact that it will be used outside.

 

Could use a bit more brightness or maybe its just me going blind.

 

 

The layout of the X5 with all its ports and buttons is very easy to use after fiddling with it for 15 minutes and as with most things you can just feel the buttons and

 

do your thing. So a big benefit for future X5 users as the wont have to deal with esoteric buttons and myriad menus.

 

 

Now coming to the most important part, the sound. The Fiio X5 seems fairly well balanced overall with no nasty spikes or unnatural boom. Just clean and clear audio with no

 

surprises.

 

The treble is well defined and articualted for a very pleasant presentation, midrange just needs a bit more body but that could possibly be changed by using different

 

headphones.The bass is just about right with no bloom or looseness. You get tight punchy bass and very good speed/impact for most tracks. The soundstage is very precise

 

and large though not huge.

 

 

I also tested it with my E12DIY and that only helped it to get even better. The E12 adds some more bass impact and punch to the whole sound while helping out with harder

 

to power cans.

 

 

The X5 surprised me most however when it came to plugging it in my car and boy oh boy, it was amazing how good it was. I have a comprehensive triple amp car setup with

 

a HX-D2 headunit,Focal Kevlars, JL Audio sub and sound proofing all around. The X5 literally was the cheapest piece of kit in the whole setup and it also had the biggest

 

impact. The whole system seemed to have cleared its throat and the sound was simply mesmerisisng. It was crystal clear, sharp and very very enjoyable and seemed to

 

unlock hidden potential in the whole setup. I still haven't gotten over the fact and will get an X5 just to keep in my car.

 

 

 

To conclude, the X5 is something that is well worth the price and even more importantly for Fiio, a shot across the whole DAP field. Having owned the X3 and currently

 

running the E12DIY, the X5 pushes Fiio in a newer and bigger direction as I always liked Fiio products (E7,E12 and E18) but had that nagging feeling that something was

 

missing or not right but not anymore. The E12DIY and the X5 have progressed Fiio to a higher playing field and everyone else, watch out.


Edited by gikigill - 4/7/14 at 7:41am
post #1815 of 1895

Alright guys, here's my review of the X5 from the Preview Tour!

 

Note: In italics are the required disclaimers as per stipulated in the Preview Tour thread.

 

One day in December 2013, as I was looking around in Head-Fi (being more interested in audio ever since Fiio decided to add USB DAC capability to the X3), I came across a thread by Fiio asking people to test out the X5 as part of its “Preview Tour” (i.e. test it for 10 days for free and then pass it to the next reviewer/Fiio depending on schedule set by Fiio). I thought to myself, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained, YOLO” and signed up for it despite not writing having written a proper review before, not having high-level audio products and most probably being unable to afford to get the X5 in the immediate future being just a college student only. So, by some stroke of luck, here I am, reviewing the Fiio X5 (albeit an engineering sample and mostly on Firmware 1.00; the ones that you will be buying will be better than this review set ;) ), and here’s my experiences with it.

 

Initial Opening

When I got the set from the previous reviewer, it was in a normal-looking box that you will expect for any electronic product. But, when I opened it, I was a little impressed by that sleek looking black box that held the X5; its leathery surface seems to show that this product is clearly for the (slightly more) upmarket consumer. The other stuff you get is on par with the rest in this market (e.g. USB cable, 3.5mm to coaxial cable and maybe that silicon case), except for the screen protectors (the X5 already has one, and some spare ones), the MicroSD card reader and even an USB OTG cable (as the X5 will be able to play media files from other USB storage devices in future firmware patches), which I thought are a nice touch from Fiio. The silicon case is a little thick though, which means that if you are planning to use the X5 with bigger 3.5mm plugs, you cannot use the silicon case (that’s why you will see that I am not using it in the pictures).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The X5 itself

The first impression you might have is that “Hey, it looks like and iPod!” thanks to its mechanical wheel. But beyond that, it is a completely different beast from the iPod and many other digital audio players in the market. Around the wheel are 4 buttons, with a fifth one in the middle of the wheel. Below the wheel, you will see 4 dots, which are lit by a green/red LED to indicate USB activity. Above these is a large screen, which is quite clear and sharp. I am happy with the screen considering that it is the biggest I ever had for a DAP. On the top side of the X5, you will see the 3.5mm ports for Line-Out, Headphones Out and Coaxial Out, the Reset button and Power On/Off button (which acts as a Lock button too), which is as expected. The left side of the X5 has two buttons for controlling volume like the Sansa Clip Zip. What may be more interesting is the bottom of the X5, which has two MicroSD card slots and a MicroUSB port; not many digital audio players allow you to use two MicroSD cards and also another USB storage device at one go and not many digital audio players have thick and strong rubber covers to protect your MicroSD cards, which I think are important since they are small and somewhat fragile.

 

 

 

 

Within the X5

The X5 starts up pretty fast and switches off pretty fast too (with a friendly “See You” message). Once the X5 is started, you will be in the main menu and you can use the wheel (or the bottom two buttons) to select where you want to go and the middle button to confirm your selection. You can choose to play your music files via selecting one of them among them within a storage device (this is what I used almost exclusively throughout this review), or go by artists or genres. There is also a “Favourites” playlist that you can use after setting some songs as your Favourites. Finally, you can adjust your X5 according to its “Equalizer”, its “Playback Settings” (e.g. gain control) and “System Settings” (e.g. language settings and USB port settings). A firmware upgrade can be done quickly and easily by getting the firmware file from the official Fiio website and placing it in a MicroSD card and then starting the X5 with it.

 

 

 

 

Sound Signature

Coming from entry-level digital audio players like the Sansa Clip Zip that I am using now, the X5 is unsurprisingly a huge improvement. When paired with my (modded) Beyerdynamics Custom ONE Pro, I was happy at how the X5 was near-neutral as compared to the Clip Zip; I noticed slightly more treble (and even more so if FW1.15 is used). More importantly, I was pleased with how the X5 presented the details of the music; the level of detailing may be the same for the X5 and the Clip Zip but the X5 somehow managed to make me notice all these details much more than the Clip Zip. I support the popular notion that the X5 is good at showing the “micro-details” of the music. Also, it was only on the X5 that I can notice the weakness of my COPs: weak mids, which goes to show that the X5 is good enough at telling the weakness and strengths of some headphones. One of my friends also noted that the X5 is on par with the Cowon Z2 in terms of sound signature, but another friend using an iBasso DX50 noted that it was too bassy to his liking.

 

 

USB DAC

One of the reasons why I am interested in Fiio’s X3 and X5 is that they can be USB DACs too and thus be part of your desk setup aside from being your portable setup (i.e. I prefer an all-in-one solution). Here, the X5 proved to be quite good. In order to use the X5 as an USB DAC, you must set it to be a DAC in the USB settings under the System Settings and then install the USB DAC drivers for your computer. When I was using the X5 as an USB DAC and paired it with a 12AU7 tube amp from Fred’s Amps using a RCA 1960’s grey plate tube, the sound signature is obviously the same as before except for the slightly tubey sound due to the tube amp. It is surprisingly on par with the much cheaper Fiio D03K/Taishan, but I must note that the Fiio D03K needs a SPDIF or Coaxial input while the X5 needs an USB input. (Sidenote: I connected the X5 to the D03K via its Coaxial output and then connected the D03K to the tube amp. The results are almost the same aurally, but it looks kind of funny :P) The X5 however outdid Stoner Acoustics’ UD100 as it is much heavier on the vocals and bass, which then underemphasized other details, making it less neutral than the X5. Notably, the X5 hung and had forced shutdowns a few times during this testing phase; I suspect it has something to do with the line out port since they happened when the jack is inserted or removed from the port. Normal usage does not require you to do this many times in a short period of time though so this should be a not-so-urgent issue lest this is related to other forced shutdown issues.

 

 

 

 

USB Charging

The X5, being an USB device, needs to be charged via the USB port. While it can reach 100% if charged from a wall socket (of which I need to separately get a wall socket to USB plug), I was disappointed in seeing that it cannot be charged that quickly when plugged onto my laptop as an USB DAC (even after 12 hours!). I thought that I can use the time it is acting as an USB DAC to sufficiently charge it for the next day. Strangely, when I tried using a portable charger to charge (whether using the X5 or not), it was not charging as fast as on a wall socket too. On FW1.10 and above, I also noticed how hot the X5 can get while charging and how slower the charging process can get.

 

Other Issues

Other than this issue, I also noted that the buttons could have been labelled a la the X3; some of my friends and I noted that at first glance we do not understand what buttons do what until we either read the Quick Guide (in the System Settings or the one supplied with the X5) or we just play around with the X5. We also noted that the physical wheel feels flimsy and can be clumsy in terms of usage (especially when setting the Equalizer). While the wheel makes it faster to go through many songs as compared to the normal buttons as seen on the X3 and the Clip Zip, it is still slower than a touchscreen. I also noticed how imprecise the wheel can be at times, for some reason I tend to select the option/file that is just below my intended target.


Album art proved to be another issue I had with the X5; while the X5 is able to support them as stated on the official website, I am forced to experiment to find out what naming convention works and what doesn’t. Also, album art is cut off at the bottom and anyway, I feel it could have been better placed in the screen (i.e. the text should not block it at all).

 

The X5 is also quite huge and heavy compared to my Clip Zip, I had a hard time operating the X5 with one hand given that it is almost as wide as my palm. I also note that at certain circumstances (e.g. chasing a bus), its weight can be a hindrance.

 

Finally, song switching is much slower on the X5 than on the Clip Zip. This is slightly rectified on FW1.15 but the new Artist>Album behaviour (and that much loathed lockscreen being switched on when wrong button is pressed issue) is not something I want at all times.

 

Verdict

The X5 does well to market itself to the audiophile market (which have its own expectations of prioritising SQ over UI/physical size and not minding to read the manual first) given its excellent near-neutral detailed SQ (+2.5 stars) and the USB DAC functionality (+1.0 stars) at a good price point (+1.0 stars) (compared to iriver/Astell&Kern’s AK series of DAPs, which seems to be its main competitor given the similarity in terms of functionality). That said, the slight problem of it is getting “mainstream” customers due to the UI (particularly the five unlabelled buttons) and the slowness of the hardware wheel vis-a-vis touchscreens that most of us are used to today (-0.5 stars). I am also not impressed by the album art issue; the lack of documentation can give a bad impression to consumers (-0.5 stars). I however acknowledge that I might be nitpicky over these points since they will not cause much problem operational-wise (+0.5 stars). If then, the main problem I have would be the charging issues (-1.0 stars) as I feel that no matter how good the X5 is in terms of sound quality, that will be pointless if I cannot use it often thanks to this issue. Thankfully, all these issues I have mentioned can largely be mitigated via the firmware patches that Fiio gives often (as seen in the X3) and I believe that Fiio can and will be able to fix these issues in due time and even throw in new features as per users’ suggestions/feedback (e.g. the USB DAC feature in the X3) given their excellent track-record in Head-Fi. (+0.9 => +1.5 stars)

 

tl;dr: 3.9/5.0 => 4.5/5.0. The X5 is a good DAP and USB DAC combo that will shine even more after more polishing (right now it’s 1.20 and will get 1.21 soon. Things are looking really great from what I have seen in the changelog so far! :D )

 

For…

People who want the same sound for their portable and desktop setup

People who prefer a very well-detailed and well-presented soundscape

People who want something simple to play their loseless files (i.e. those who just throw everything into one card and play from there)

People who are ok with frequent firmware upgrades

 

Not For…

People who want something a little smaller and/or lighter

People who prefer a touchscreen

People who need ReplayGain support

People who want something more intuitive at one look

People who want something that works really well off-the-shelf

 

Will I Get It: Maybe. Its price (SGD 479) is a little too high to my liking though but that’s really just me. The lack of ReplayGain functionality is another personal bugbear too (having to reconvert my collection takes up a lot of my time that could have been better to enjoy the X5, but thankfully, it is just an one-off…)

 

And sighs, it is too big for this pouch... :X

 

Suggestions/Fixes:

Third option for USB: Charge only; to allow users to charge with other people’s computers but still allow them to play music from the X5 so that they don’t have to bring USB AC adapter to outside

Give simple USB AC wall adapter since the manual suggests the use of such adapters to charge the X5?

Have explanation for album art in manual

ReplayGain/volume normalisation support

Allow user to disable the display of file type and bitrate

Show selected song’s album and artist in song list

Skip song list by alphabet (See Clip Zip)

Have X3’s USB DAC options (?)

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