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FiiO X5 preview world tour--tour members, claim your souvenir for the X5 tour! p.123 - Page 43

post #631 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

I had to do it while I had time this weekend. Just too busy on weekdays :(...

 

I definitely get this! :(

Hopefully my review will be up soon as well... I just keep changing stuff lol

 

X5 == WIN

 

I should just write that...

post #632 of 1895

Just tested APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, ALAC, MP3 from X5 through coaxial output.

 

There was no problems I could source to the X5.

 

On one occasion, scrolling to and from in a song created a split moment of static. I could not reproduce this after that one time. It may have been an error on the Colorfly C4's part. I'm using the C4's S/PDIF in to test the X5's Coaxial out.

 

Another thing I noted, but could not source to the X5 was clipping. I do not believe this was due to the X5. I'm only mentioning it as it was something I noted. I do not believe it was from the X5 itself because some of the test songs are not mine and those were the ones that clipped. The test songs that were mine that I have listened to before do not exhibit any clipping. Thus, it is my reasoning that that was most likely just clipping in the file itself.

 

Using coaxial output on the X5 is seamless. You plug the cable into the top of the X5 and it automatically detects what it is you want to do and poof it works.

 

Coaxial output plug on the X5 has priority over the headphone out. If you are listening to a song with headphone out and plug coaxial out in it. It will switch to output only to coaxial. If you are already using coaxial out and playing a song. Plugging in a headphone in the jack does nothing. 

 

The plugs on the X5 are very sturdy and have a gratifying push and pull 'pop' without needing too much or too little force. The fact that they are active and can detect something being plugged in is pretty sweet. 


Now, onto a quick impression of C4 and X5 while using the same headphone

post #633 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

Yep if you find the right synergy it is an amazing player. Doesn't pair bad with anything I threw at it but the Sui pairing really left an impression on me :).

 

I believe it. My Kaede are suddenly in the mainstream of my use with X5.

 

Maybe Fiio and Ocharaku should hook up like AK and FAD.  ;-)

post #634 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post
 

 

I believe it. My Kaede are suddenly in the mainstream of my use with X5.

 

Maybe Fiio and Ocharaku should hook up like AK and FAD.  ;-)


Not hard to believe. They just pair really well together.

post #635 of 1895
Thread Starter 
FiiO X5 latest firmware (FW1.10) released!

Changelog
The following updates were made to FW1.00:
1. In lockscreen mode, the screen now lights up with instructions to unlock the player when keys other than the power / lock button are pressed (in lockscreen mode 2 the player changes volume directly without lighting up the screen when volume keys are pressed)
2. When a song with unsupported format is selected or a file is not found, the track progress counter (“00:00:00”) is now hidden.
3. Fixed a bug where after finishing playing all songs in sequence, the songs would play again if you turned the scroll wheel, entering the quick selection screen, but pressed back without selecting any song.
4. Fixed issue where language selection interface does not appear after updating firmware.
5. Reduced occurrence of the glitch where a track plays without audio.
6. The track progress timer now counts seconds more smoothly.
7. The display of basic music file info (file type, sample rate and bit depth) disappears after 5 seconds.
8. Improved display of album art and lyrics (album art dims when lyrics are shown; lights up (above the progress bar) when lyrics are not available

Download link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u8fd40tbwj8rh7h/X5FW1.10.ZIP
Instructions on upgrading firmware can be found in my full manual here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cek9xf0wk2osky7/X5%20full%20user%20manual.DOC

Edit: the files are still being uploaded atm, sorry about confusion! redface.gif
Edit2: they've loaded fully, should be ok now. User manual is still lacking polish--I did editing just now on a tiny netbook and I'm seeing surprising page breaks on another device. Also there's some Chinese bits that I think aren't necessary (they're left in Chinese), will see what they say about that when they come back from holiday. Also thanks to musicheaven for adding and editing some things into it smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Joe Bloggs - 1/25/14 at 10:49pm
post #636 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

FiiO X5 latest firmware (FW1.10) released!

Changelog
The following updates were made to FW1.00:
1. In lockscreen mode, the screen now lights up with instructions to unlock the player when keys other than the power / lock button are pressed (in lockscreen mode 2 the player changes volume directly without lighting up the screen when volume keys are pressed)
2. When a song with unsupported format is selected or a file is not found, the track progress counter (“00:00:00”) is now hidden.
3. Fixed a bug where after finishing playing all songs in sequence, the songs would play again if you turned the scroll wheel, entering the quick selection screen, but pressed back without selecting any song.
4. Fixed issue where language selection interface does not appear after updating firmware.
5. Reduced occurrence of the glitch where a track plays without audio.
6. The track progress timer now counts seconds more smoothly.
7. The display of basic music file info (file type, sample rate and bit depth) disappears after 5 seconds.
8. Improved display of album art and lyrics (album art dims when lyrics are shown; lights up (above the progress bar) when lyrics are not available

Download link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u8fd40tbwj8rh7h/X5FW1.10.ZIP
Instructions on upgrading firmware can be found in my full manual here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cek9xf0wk2osky7/X5%20full%20user%20manual.DOC

joe..this mean we can upgrade the reviewer unit to fw1.10 right?

post #637 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

FiiO X5 latest firmware (FW1.10) released!

Changelog
The following updates were made to FW1.00:
1. In lockscreen mode, the screen now lights up with instructions to unlock the player when keys other than the power / lock button are pressed (in lockscreen mode 2 the player changes volume directly without lighting up the screen when volume keys are pressed)

Download link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u8fd40tbwj8rh7h/X5FW1.10.ZIP
Instructions on upgrading firmware can be found in my full manual here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cek9xf0wk2osky7/X5%20full%20user%20manual.DOC

 

Joe,

 

James already replied sympathetically on this but please get rid of the "Big Brother is protecting you" lock screen warnings in the next firmware update. It is really annoying and it burns battery for no good reason. A good UI supports the X5 owner, not the first time user.

 

Thanks!

post #638 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

FiiO X5 latest firmware (FW1.10) released!
Instructions on upgrading firmware can be found in my full manual here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cek9xf0wk2osky7/X5%20full%20user%20manual.DOC
Can you upload that in a PDF format? The document shows a garbled mess of symbols in MS Word and other text editors.



Edited by miceblue - 1/25/14 at 10:08pm
post #639 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post


Can you upload that in a PDF format? The document shows a garbled mess in MS Word and other text editors.
 

https://www.mediafire.com/?01pirvuvl4ea4n4

 

Here you go

post #640 of 1895

My review is up.  I checked it with Joe first before submitting.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-x5-high-res-portable-music-player/reviews/10368

 

To the guys in the Oceania Tour - I've had the unit 5 days so far - so will use it for two more then send it on ahead of schedule.

 

Joe also asked me to post the review in this thread - so it's in the post below.


Edited by Brooko - 1/26/14 at 1:14am
post #641 of 1895

Fiio X5 – Potential To Be Best In Class

 

 

Pros: Sound quality, build, usability, interface, output power, versatility, boot speed

Cons: UI features not yet complete (gapless, hierarchical menus artist/album/track), scroll wheel a little loose, SD slot caps difficult to remove. -FW 1.00

 

X5 - Strength and Beauty The Fiio X5

 

INTRODUCTION

My audio chain has actually been pretty stable of late, my last addition being the Studio V3 Anniversary (DAP) and Dunu DN-1000s.  With the addition of the Studio V3, I had pretty much solved the one missing component – a decent DAP for my requirements.  I watched the progress with other “audiophile” high-res players being released (DX100, DX50, AK100 & 120, X3 and others), but beyond mild curiosity, I wasn’t overly tempted to go beyond what I currently have.  Then Fiio advertised that they were looking for reviewers for a World tour for the X5 – and with the hype building I put my hand up and was fortunate to be included.

 

My main reasons for wanting the opportunity were:

  • further experience with reviewing
  • comparison with Studio V3

 

So how does the X5 perform in my eyes?  Is the current hype justified?

 

DISCLAIMER

I was provided the Fiio X5 as a tour sample.  It now goes on to the next reviewer once I have finished reviewing it.  There is no financial incentive from Fiio in writing this review.  I am in no way affiliated with Fiio - and this review is my honest opinion of the X5.  I would like to thank Joe & James for making this opportunity available.


PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.

(This is to give any readers a baseline for interpreting the review).

 

I'm a 46 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile - just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current mid-fi set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (iDevices and Studio V3) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  My main headphones at the time of writing are the Senn HD600, Grado RS1, Beyer DT880, Dunu DN1000 & Shure SE535 Ltd Ed. IEMs.

 

I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz to grunge and hard-rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, indie, classic rock, and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I tend to like audio chains that are relatively neutral/balanced - with a slight emphasis on the mid-range.  I am neither a bass or treble head (you could argue that I do like clarity though).  Current amps = NFB12 and LD MKIV.  I also formerly owned several portable amps - the most notable being an Arrow 4G and GoVibe PortaTube.  I have also in the past owned Fiio’s E7, E9 and E11.

 

My experience with DAPs in the past have been initially with very cheap Sony offerings, then step-ups to the Cowon iAudio7, my iPhone4 and iPod Touch G4 – which are both very good sounding and have excellent interfaces, and finally to my HSA Studio V3.  I've also listened to various other devices along the way - including Cowon's J3.

 

I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher completely transparent.  For my portable listening – it has been my preferred format (space vs quality).  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line).

 

 I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’

 

WHAT I LOOK FOR IN A DAP

I thought I’d list (before I start with the review) what I really look for in a new DAP.

  • Great (neutral) sounding – but with body (not thin)
  • Good build quality
  • Reasonable battery life
  • Easy to use interface
  • Able to drive both low impedance and (within reason) higher impedance cans without additional amping.

 

Did I get all of this with the X5?  Mostly – yes, and I’m sure what is missing will come with firmware updates.  Will I be buying an X5 – likely based on my very short time with it, but this would be dependent on FW upgrades which I will be watching closely.  So please pull up a chair, sit for a while, and let me relay my experiences with Fiio’s new flagship.

 

This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

 

THE REVIEW

 

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

 

Retail Carton Front Retail Carton Rear

First up – the review sample I was sent was really well packaged with exterior foam – so Kudos to Fiio for that.  The retail box is red and black, actually reasonably compact considering the contents, and very smart looking IMO.  There is a great photo of the X5 on the front, whilst the rear has information on the build, specifications, and other features of the DAP.

 

Retail Carton Side Outer and Inner Box


On opening the retail outer box, you are presented with an inner black textured box and lid which houses the X5, silicone case, documentation, and in a compartment underneath, the accessory package.  This includes:

  • A USB charging / data cable (very well constructed and shielded)
  • A digital out to coax cable
  • 3 x socket pin protector plugs (for the output ports)
  • A Fiio branded USB micro SD card reader (this is very handy!)
  • 2 spare screen protectors for the X5 (plus one already fitted)

 

Documentation and Fiio X5 Accessory Package

 

Documentation includes:
  • A Fiio warranty card
  • An HD tracks discount card (15%)
  • A contact card
  • The Fiio X5 quick start guide

 

X5 In Its Silicone Case The Silicone Protector Case

 

The entire package is IMO very good, covering everything you initially need for the player.  Materials are all good quality.  Cables are particularly sturdy.

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

The tables below list most of the relevant specifications.  I’ve collated these from information on the box, information found on line, my own personal experience with the X5, and also information from Joe.

 

General

Dimensions

64.6 x 114 x 15.6 mm (W/L/H)

Weight

122 g

Display

2.4” 260K HD IPS (400x360)

CPU

Ingenics 4760B 600MHz dual core

DAC

PCM1792A (supports up to 192/24 res)

Outputs

3.5mm headphone out, 3.5mm line out, 3.5mm digital coax out

Storage

2 x microSD (max support 64Gb x 2 at time of review)

Battery

3700mAh Li-Polymer, up to 15 hours playback (~12 hours currently)

Gain options

0 / 6 dB

Supported Formats

APE, WAV, FLAC, WMA, ALAC, MP2, MP3, AAC, OGG

Supported Resolution

Up to 192K/24bit – dependent on format

 

Headphone Out

Output Impedance

<0.26 Ω

Crosstalk

>75 dB @ 1KHz

THD+N

< 0.003% @ 1KHz

MAX output voltage

> 8 Vp-p

MAX output current

> 150 mA

SNR

> 115 dB

Output Power

460 mW @ 16Ω, 255 mW @ 32Ω, 28 mW @ 300Ω

 

Line Out

Crosstalk

> 100 dB @ 10KΩ @ 1KHz

THD+N

< 0.0025% @ 1KHz

SNR

> 115 dB

Line output

> 1.5 Vrms

 

BUILD

The build on the X5 (IMO) is what I would expect (mostly) in a top of the line DAP.  The casing looks to be a 2 piece high quality CNC aluminium alloy with a very nice matte finish.  I see no blemishes on this unit – everything seems to fit extremely well together, and the corners are smooth, and bevelling gives a nice touch of class.  The X5 feels more expensive than its RRP.  The screen has a really nice resolution, and is very clear and easy to read.  It does suffer a little in direct sunlight, but just shading the screen with your hand helps.

 

Fiio X5 Fiio X5 Side View

 

The scroll wheel flows nicely, and is easy to spin.  My only critique is that there is some side-to-side play with this unit – not much but it is there.  Probably the only part of the unit that feels a little flimsy.  The wheel itself is fairly sensitive, and takes a little getting used to – but practise makes perfect, and the buttons are also very easy for advancing and reversing through menu choices.

 

Scroll Wheel and Buttons Rear Plate

 

The buttons themselves are nicely placed, and feel good to the touch.  They are easy to locate on the unit, and equally easy to use unsighted (or with the screen off).

 

X5 Top / Ports X5 Bottom / Micro SD Slots

 

Moving to the ports – once again, an excellent fit – nice and snug for plugs.   All connections feel very solid. The best I have seen from Fiio in this regard.  There are three ports in the top of the unit – the headphone out, a dedicated 3.5mm line out, and also a digital plug (works with a 3.5mm to coax adaptor – which Fiio supply).

 

Finally the micro SD ports – functional, and positioned well.  My only criticism is the covers for these.  I appreciate them being there, and I’m probably a user who wouldn’t be removing the cards a lot.  But the covers themselves are extremely difficult to remove.  Maybe something that loosens over time, and therefore fixes itself.


Overall – the build for me is a solid 4.5/5.  TheX5 feels reassuringly solid in your hand at 122g.

 

UI (USER INTERFACE) / USABILITY

Please note that this is with the released firmware 1.00.

 

Let me preface by saying that for me the overall usability sits above my experience with my Studio V3, but still falls short of the benchmark (Apple).  However – the surprising thing for me is how good the interface is considering it is just the initially released firmware.

 

Fiio Welcome Screen Fiio Boot Animation

 

On starting the X5, you are greeted with a very nice “welcome” and Fiio animation – before moving to the menu.  The menu can be navigated using either the scroll wheel or buttons.  At the top of the menu is a status bar which shows (left to right) : volume, gain, current screen, sleep timer – if set, SD card in use, play status, and battery level indicator.

 

Menu Screen 10 Band Equaliser

 

The menu choices include: now playing, equaliser (10 band), audio settings, general settings, folder mode, library access (via tags), and favourites.

 

General Settings Music Settings

 

The general setting and audio settings screens are straight forward, and pretty much include everything you’re likely to need.  General settings include language, media library updating, lock screen settings (2nd option allows manual button access while locked), timer, brightness and power settings, access to different USB modes, information about the player, and ability to format.  Audio settings give access to the play

modes, gapless on/off, volume default settings, gain and balance modes.

 

The equaliser is 10 band, and comes with 10 presets including ‘flat’ and a custom one you can save.  The presets are OK – I probably wouldn’t use them – but the custom one is handy, especially if you have a headphone that needs a tweak.  My only wish would be that there was an option to add more custom EQs, or simply ditch / override the presets, and replace them with your own.  I would rather have 3 or 4 EQs for different headphones rather than different music types.  It would have been nice to have a parametric EQ setting – but the 10 band is functional and works well.

 

Accessing Library Via Tags - Genre Accessing Library Via Tags - Artist

 

Folder mode works very well, and is far easier to use with this firmware release than browsing by tags.  In tag mode you can select one major level of operation, and then one minor level – e.g. choosing artist brings up the artist list – but then all material from that artist is listed in file name order (i.e. there is no sorting by album etc).  So if you have multiple albums under an artist, and your filenames list by 01 name, 02 name, 03 name – then all the 01’s are listed first (i.e. albums are scattered).  Similarly – browsing by album brings up individual albums – but if you have multiple CDs within an album, and they aren’t noted in the album name (e.g. “The Wall CD1”) then you have the same problems.  Fiio will be apparently fixing this – and they need to.  Browsing by tags at the moment for me is pretty much not going to work.

 

Issue (Tags) - Songs Lumped Together Solution (for now) = Folder Mode 

 

Going to folder mode is better – as you have the ability to then organise a folder hierarchy to suit (much easier to navigate).  Mine are always stored artist > album.  The only issue I have again is that (being used to Apple and also any reasonable PC software) I sometimes store multiple-disc albums together (again The Wall) – but have differentiated the 2 discs in the tags rather than in separate folders.  This is a relatively easy fix (I have to manually do it).  The best answer is having tagging working.

 

Artist / Album - Folder Mode Tracks In Folder Mode

 

The upper left button brings up a context menu that is dependent on the menu you are in.  Amongst this is a favourite’s button so that you can save a song to a favourite’s playlist.  This works really well, and it is quite easy to add and remove songs from favourites using the context button.  Unfortunately there is only one favourites list – so no using multiple playlists at this stage.

 

The upper right button is a back button, and this is literally what it does – puts you back exactly to your last menu choice.  It has a memory too – so you can go back 4 or 5 choices.  This is something I would personally change.  IMO it would be far more practical to have this as an “up one level” button instead.  When navigating simply as a back button, it is quiet easy to get lost if you’ve been in a number of screens.  Holding this button down (no matter where you are) will take you back to the main menu.

 

The bottom two buttons are forward, back / up, down / fast forward, rewind – depending on your application.

 

The middle button is simply to select (i.e. action button).  One thing I have found – if you want to change volume – hold this button in (when screen is active) and the wheel volume control is activated.  Nice little touch.

Overall the UI is reasonably responsive – but can sometimes have some small lags between button press and actual action (this includes the wheel).  Hopefully this gets better with later firmware releases.

 

A couple of final notes on the UI – the gapless play is not entirely seamless (still a noticeable micro-pause between songs.  I can live with this – many wont.  This needs fixing.  Also the gain is 6 dB and is much appreciated especially for driving my DT880 and HD600.

 

Now Playing Screen A natural match - DN-1000 and X5


Overall – if the Apple (think iPod Touch 4 / iPhone4) UI is a 10 (and that’s what I’d give it) – this initial release would come in about a solid 6.  It’s usable, has plenty of features, and I believe will get better with more firmware releases.  But it needs work.

 

SOUND

Probably best if I preface this section with a small note so that you are aware of my thoughts on audiophile type DAPs.  I like my iPhone4.  It is linear, user friendly, sounds pretty good actually – and I can tailor the sound via apps.  When I got my Studio V3, I was very surprised in the increase (to me) of perceived SQ.  Sonically the Studio seemed to have a more holographic/spacious sound to it.  Now I’m not sure if this is crossfeed, a dsp they’re using, or simply in the frequency response (I know the Studio is slightly on the bright side).  All I know is that I like it.

 

X5 vs iP4 vs Studio V3 X5 vs iP4 vs Studio V3

 

Also – when doing comparisons – to make sure I’m comparing correctly – I equalised the volume on all 3 devices with an SPL meter, and used the same files for all 3 devices.

So without further ado ….

 

The X5 (IMO) sounds phenomenal.  My initial impressions, and this is also comparing to my desktop (NFB-12) is that the X5 essentially has a very black background, is essentially flat/neutral – but with a slightly warmish tint to it.  It sounds very similar to my NFB-12 when level matched.  So the sound is quite full bodied (yet not dark).  I’ve noticed no hiss at all, and even with sensitive IEMs (SE 535), no issues with any channel imbalance.

 

I won’t go into highs, mids, lows etc. – as that is more to do with the frequency range of the headphones being used.  But I will say that I am very happy with the detail presentation, and also with the overall sense of space when listening via both my HD600 and DT880.  There is nothing lacking.

 

After level matching, I tested the following tracks with the Studio V3, Fiio X5 and iPhone4.  I used the DT880 250 ohm as it’s the most neutral can I currently have (and it was easier level match than the IEMs).

  • Steely Dan – Hey Nineteen
  • Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
  • Amber Rubarth – Tundra (ideal for soundstage and imaging tests)
  • Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca – Lakme, The Flower Duet
  • Porcupine Tree – Trains

 

I had two main revelations when doing this:

  1. How close the V3 and X5 sounded in terms of detail and sense of space
  2. How good the iPhone sounded comparatively

 

In terms of absolutes (and please remember this is very subjective - my ‘old and imperfect ears’) in all of the tracks tested …..

  • V3 is definitely slightly brighter than both the iP4 and X5
  • I’d actually call the iP4 the most neutral – sitting between the V3 and X5
  • V3 and X5 have similar detail retrieval – withiP4 comparatively just a little behind, but still performing well.
  • Whilst the X5 is still very flat/neutral – it does have a slight hint of warmth to it – and this does it give a slightly fuller sound than both the iP4 and V3.  The X5 does this without losing its sense of detail.
  • Both V3 and X5 have a bigger impression of spaciousness (than the iP4)

 

HD600, DT880, RS1 + iP4, X5 and V3 X5 and RS1

 

For my personal preference and rankings – skip forward to the end.

 

OTHER FEATURES

The review wouldn’t be complete without a quick word regarding the other features the X5 offers, and this is where it truly sits apart from my other devices (as they do not have some of these features).

 

As a digital transport – using the 3.5mm to coax out – it works extremely well.  This is ideal for anyone who is away from home (e.g. at a Meet) and wants to test an audio chain – but with their own music.  I actually tried this feature going straight to my NFB-12, and then alternately using the NFB-12’s SS amp and also my LD MKIV.

 

With line-out to an external amp.  The line-out (to my ears) is essentially very clean, with no discernable noise or degradation of SQ.  I used this feature going straight to the LD MKIV – and the X5 in combination with my HD600s was simply sublime.  I actually ended up getting lost in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Anne-Sophie Mutter) for about half an hour while I was supposed to be evaluating.  To me, getting lost in the music is always a great sign of an audio chain done right.

 

As a DAC.  It did take a while to get the drivers loaded for Windows 8.1 (if you’re having trouble try this link [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM1MN8QZhnk] – thanks to John aka musicheaven for the help with that).  Once the drivers were installed, the X5 performed flawlessly with no recognisable dropouts or glitches.  The interesting thing was that I did a volume matched (using an spl meter) comparison with my NFB-12 and DT880s, and they sounded pretty much identical.  Blind, I don’t think I could have picked one from the other.  From my point of view – this is a great endorsement, as it means I can essentially have desktop quality whilst on-the-go.  Fantastic!

 

POWER

The X5’s amp section is a good one.  The power output is listed in the specs earlier in the review.  Basically I tested these with: HD600 @ 300 ohm, DT880 @ 250 ohm, RS1 @ 32 ohm, SE535 @ 36 ohm and DN-1000 @ 10 ohms.  At no stage did I feel any of the headphones were under driven, or in any way lacking.  With the X5 – for my tastes, there is simply no point in having an add-on amp.

 

BATTERY PERFORMANCE

Fiio rates the battery life under current firmware at around 10-12 hours, and thinks they can get up to 15 hours once the firmware matures.  I ran a ‘real world’ test from fully charged, and playing overnight with screen off.  I managed 11.5 hours before the X5 quit (playing red-book FLAC files) – so consistent with the information released.  From fully depleted using a 1a wall-wart, full charging took ~ 4 hours (again consistent with Fiio’s released information).

 

SD MICRO CARDS (PERFORMANCE/SCANNING)

With my Studio V3 – one of the ‘issues’ that I have is that every time it’s switched on, it scans the card for changes.  With approx. 2200 lossless tracks – this takes around 1m15s (64Gb card).  After that it’s pretty good – with very little lag.

 

With the X5 – the nice thing is that you only have to scan once – and then no scanning again unless you update / add to your library.

 

Scanning the same micro SD card on the X5 took approximately 3 minutes, - dual cards roughly double that.  Scanning a single 64Gb card filled with a mix of FLAC, aac and MP3 files (approximately 5500 files total) took considerably longer – but once again, after the initial scan – access has been very snappy.

 

MY PREFERENCES

Ok – time for me to state my personal rankings – and remember these are mine – your own thoughts may be different.

  • Packaging / accessories – 5/5 – nothing missing IMO.  Packaging is smart and accessories are well thought out.
  • Build/form factor – 4.5/5 – excellent build, and size is good considering it’s feature set (audio only), and power capabilities
    X5 > V3 > iP4
  • UI – 3.5/5 – still some work to do, but promising feature set.  Slight responsiveness lag at times and the hierarchy within the audio structure needs to be multilevel and fixed.  This is essential to the X5’s success.  Other features need tweaks, and there is room for added functionality.
    iP4 >>> X5 >= V3
  • Sound – 5/5 – I can’t fault it.  The X5 sounds fantastic.  I wouldn’t change anything.
    X5 = V3 > iP4
  • Other features – 5/5 – the versatility of this DAP is going to be one of its greatest strengths
    X5 >>> iP4 > V3
  • Power – 4.5/5 – it’s not going to drive power hungry orthos, or extremely high impedance cans – but it’ll drive practically anything else.  Based on my tests – I’d guess an effective target impedance range might be between 10-300 ohms (depending on sensitivity).
    X5 >= V3 >>> iP4
  • Battery – 4/5 – average-to-good for its class, and if Fiio can get it to 15 hours, it would be ideal.  The V3 can’t be beat here though.
    V3 >> X5 = iP4
  • Overall – given its feature set and current FW, I’d put the X5 ahead of the Studio V3 for my preferences.  The main points (given SQ is similar) is the potential for better UI, plus the far quicker boot time and access to both SD cards simultaneously.
    X5 > V3 > iP4

 

So will I be getting one?  That will very much depend on the development of the firmware,  If Fiio gets it right – then the purchase of the X5 is a given.  The value proposition is simply too good at USD 350.00 to turn down.

 

FINAL THANKS

Firstly – my apologies for the length of the review.  I really couldn’t do it any other way without glossing over essential information.  My thanks to Joe and James for the opportunity to be part of the tour.  I will genuinely miss having this unit when I have to send it on to the next recipient next week!


Edited by Brooko - 1/26/14 at 1:14am
post #642 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

My review is up.  I checked it with Joe first before submitting.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-x5-high-res-portable-music-player/reviews/10368

To the guys in the Oceania Tour - I've had the unit 5 days so far - so will use it for two more then send it on ahead of schedule.

Joe also asked me to post the review in this thread - so it's in the post below.

Impressive, this is more than a review it's almost a book on the player features and description and connectivity. Let me get my glasses and have a good read, there are a lot to learn from your experience. beerchug.gif
post #643 of 1895
Never mind, I found it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

-Please post the preview on head-fi's official product review platform here
http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-x5-high-res-portable-music-player
as well as in this thread. You are of course encouraged to post it on your own blogs and websites too as you see fit smily_headphones1.gif

Based on this, the X5 will have 43 tour-unit reviews by the end of this tour. That's more Head-Fi reviews than the HD800, which has been out for 3+ years, and is pretty much guaranteed to be on the side-bar of recent reviews for the next few months in addition to being the #1 unit in the Portable Source Components review section of Head-Fi (highest rated thing is the iPod Classic at 18 reviews).

Interesting thought. XD
Edited by miceblue - 1/26/14 at 2:28am
post #644 of 1895
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

I think something got lost in later edits of the post, but where is the reviewer supposed to post their review?

You miss Joe's important link and note in a further post:

http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-x5-high-res-portable-music-player
as well as in this thread. You are of course encouraged to post it on your own blogs and websites too as you see fit.
post #645 of 1895

That's a terrific review Brooko,,, Thanks a lot

 

I guess though for me this may not be the step up over the Studio V i am seeking. I mean only in terms of sound.

Still open to being convinced otherwise though...

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