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Fiio E17 or E18?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi, This is my first post and also first portable dac/amp I'm purchasing.  I recently ordered the e17 and it should arrive tomorrow. After doing more reading however, I'm wondering if I should have bought the e18 instead though?  Here are some questions I have, hoping I can get some feedback.


1) Is the sound quality of the e18 better than the e17?  I've read it's slightly different, since it uses a newer chip.  I'm just wondering if it's that much of a difference to justify returning the 17.  I've pretty much read the all of the reviews, but was wondering If I could have some feedback from someone who's owned both.


2)  Are there any options besides spdif input on the e17 that bests the e18?  I know the e17 has treble and bass adjustments, but I don't know if that's really all that important?


3) Are there any similar dacs from fiio in the pipeline? Coming out soon? 



Thanks in advance for your help.

post #2 of 28

What is your source? 

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
A few actually. Dell venue 8 pro, Galaxy note 3 are the devices i'll use most. Then, two main computers (work and home, my home pc has optical). All computers running foobar2000. I have neutron on n3.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
I went ahead and ordered guess i will use e17 for pc and e18 for my note 3 and dv8.
post #5 of 28

Since E18 is designed for Android, the E17 is more versatile. I use the bass/treble adjustments on my E17 depending on what IEM I'm using. Anyway since you will be having both, it doesn't matter. If I were you, I'll just return the one you like less.

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Glad to hear the bass/treble settings are useful. Thank you.

My thoughts exactly on returning the one I don't like.
post #7 of 28

ok :o

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Returning the e18. Here's a pic of the rig I take to work now. E17 strapped to a 1tb hard drive. It's awesome!

photo 20140301_125832.jpg

Ordered an x3 dap as well, super pumped.
post #9 of 28

I hear they are coming out with the X5.


How do you play the songs from the external hard drive?

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes x5 is, but for me the size and cost of x3 is better.

I plug them both into a computer, access the files through foobar, and listen through the dac.
post #11 of 28

Ive been running this same question through my head for the past few weeks lol 


Im running a Macbook Air/ iPhone5 and blackberry mainly so i guess the e18 is not as useful for me lol (but dam it looks good lol) 

post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by Mr Geek View Post

Im running a Macbook Air/ iPhone5 and blackberry mainly so i guess the e18 is not as useful for me lol (but dam it looks good lol) 

I wouldn't bet on that. I really don't know much about the E18. But the problem was that the E17 was one of those DAC/headphone amps that wouldn't work well with USB OTG audio with Android, whereas many others did. It was just a problem with the way FiiO had implemented the USB input. So the E18s name is probably to get people buying FiiOs for that use, but that's a small feature. It doesn't mean that the E18 might not work as well for your uses--but like I said, I don't know much about it.

I'd suggest reading these reviews, and then ask questions in those threads:
post #13 of 28

Thanks for the info :)


I think i might stick with my original plan of e18 its nice to look at and i can always use it on both phones until i upgrade to android.


This does look interesting - some one is running the iPhone 5s with the camera cable from apple!

post #14 of 28

Hi Malibumike,


i am in similar situation.

I would listen music on my note 3 usually. (but also by pc)


my headphone: momentum on-ear.


But now I'm really hesitant about an AMP/DAC to buy. budget: I try to translate it in us dollar so you can better understand:  270 dollars (maximum)

I'm taking informations about fiiio E17, E18 and JDS LABS C5D

I have the possibility to find E17 at 100 us and C5D at 240 us, both secondhand here in Italy.

It's worth it to get E18 instead of E17?

C5D is more expensive but I read many good feedback.

(but the important thing is to be able to take advantage of the dac on the note 3, a part from the choice...).


My purpose is of course to use flac everytime is possible (i know note 3, theoretically, supports till 24bit/192khz flac...). In particular rock, pop and some grunge and metal.

I would like to get the more realistic sound as possible with no extreme treble/ a good balance.


I also believe the player is important. The note 3 standard one is not good enough? I see you use Neutron player (and for PC foobar)


If anyone has any advices about the "chain" to create, it would really be appreciated 


Thanks in advance



Edited by gannjunior - 4/8/14 at 8:46am
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
I would recommend the fiio x3. That way you have a Usb Dac and a stand alone player in one. In terms of sound quality, I also feel the x3 is the best. If you don't have the option to buy an x3, the e17 (in my opinion) is a better sounding dac compared to the e18. You also get bass and treble controls on the e17.
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