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Buying a Fiio X3: Good idea or not with Ety HF5s?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I'm a years-long lurker coming out from hiding, and this is my very first thread (so please forgive me if this is a dumb question)! Thanks in advance for your patience and help.

 

First, my audio-snobbery background: I have a small budget so all of my equipment is around $100 or less. I own Ety HF5s for on-the-go listening, paired with an 8GB Sony NWZ-S544 piggybacked onto a Fiio E11. For at-home listening, I have a Fiio E7 (not E07K) powering two cans: Sennheiser HD280 PROs and Grado SR80is. The Grados are by far and away my favorite and I've grown very attached to them. When I hook them up to my portable setup, they really shine. My musical tastes range from electronic to classical but I tend to concentrate on the alt and indie genres. My music library is mostly 256kbs and up mp3s and lossless WAV files.

 

I've recently decided that I need to purchase a new DAP, since my old portable setup just doesn't have the memory to suit my needs anymore. 8 gigs just won't hack it when I'm looking at over 20 gigs of partially lossless stuff I want to play on the go. I've resolved to break out of the $100-and-below price bracket (I want better SQ as well as memory) and I'm prepared to spend $200-$300 on a new DAP. I've been eyeing the Fiio X3, which seems like a good value-for-money (especially since it comes bundled with a 64GB SD card for $220 from Amazon). However, I'm apprehensive to buy it because I'm not sure how it will pair with my Ety HF5s, which I will be using the most with whatever DAP I eventually get. I know that the HF5s have a predominantly analytical sound whereas the X3 is described as having a warmer tone. I'm afraid that the two won't play well together and I'd appreciate any insight on whether combining two different sound signatures like that is advisable. I'm also a little concerned that the X3 might be too good for the HF5s and if I'd be wasting the player's potential on an inferior IEM.

 

Finally, if I'm missing any great DAPs in my price range feel free to whack me on the head and tell me about them. I'm open to any and all options, except maybe an iPod.

 

I thank you for reading and for your responses!

post #2 of 10

You can get the X3 for $200 and bundled with a Brainwavz R3 at mp4nation.  I think that's a way better deal than the one on Amazon.  You can also find the X3 alone occasionally for much less than $200 on a certain website that I'm not allowed to mention on this site.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for responding! That's certainly an interesting proposition. I suppose that means the the HF5s aren't a good match? I would definitely consider buying a new pair of IEMs if that's the case, but I would want to save up a for a while and get something separately from the X3 so I could devote around $200-$300 to that purchase as well instead of trying to spread $300 between the two.

post #4 of 10

I've never heard the HF5, you might want to ask the HF5 or X3 thread.  I'm just saying the mp4nation deal is better since you can buy 64Gb cards for under $40.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogieOogie View Post

However, I'm apprehensive to buy it because I'm not sure how it will pair with my Ety HF5s, which I will be using the most with whatever DAP I eventually get. I know that the HF5s have a predominantly analytical sound whereas the X3 is described as having a warmer tone. I'm afraid that the two won't play well together and I'd appreciate any insight on whether combining two different sound signatures like that is advisable.

I wouldn't worry about it. You know the goal of a good dac and solid state amp is to accurately reproduce the sound. As you go up in audio quality with better equipment, these differences people tease out in reviews in attempting to describe a sonic signature are very, very minor. You might not feel there is any real difference at all between the X3 sonic signature and your current equipment in this regard. Or, your personal listening tastes may come into play and what others have described--if you do feel it is significant--may describe at all what you find is important.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post
 

I've never heard the HF5, you might want to ask the HF5 or X3 thread.  I'm just saying the mp4nation deal is better since you can buy 64Gb cards for under $40.


That is true. I'll definitely search around to find the best price. Thanks a lot for your input! I appreciate it.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I wouldn't worry about it. You know the goal of a good dac and solid state amp is to accurately reproduce the sound. As you go up in audio quality with better equipment, these differences people tease out in reviews in attempting to describe a sonic signature are very, very minor. You might not feel there is any real difference at all between the X3 sonic signature and your current equipment in this regard. Or, your personal listening tastes may come into play and what others have described--if you do feel it is significant--may describe at all what you find is important.

 

That's a good point. I think what I'll do for now is just get the X3 and then wait and see how it works by drawing my own conclusion, as you're saying. Thank you for your advice!

post #8 of 10
Just make sure it has the features you want. I pre-ordered the X3, but cancelled it when I found that EQ and volume leveling (using MP3gain) were not features soon to be added. They sort of spent all their time making it compatible with uncommon audio file types rather than putting in standard features. Maybe it has improved by now.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

As far as I can tell, it still doesn't have those features (nor will it in future). However, the only other option I found was the HiFiMan MH-601, which doesn't offer as much memory capability and seems to be far more glitchy. I haven't made extensive use of EQ or leveling in the past, so I don't think a lack of those features will disqualify the X3 for me- especially since it seems solid software-wise and has better expansion capacity. Thanks for your help!

post #10 of 10

I'm trying to do some research on the HF5 and found this thread, which is perfect because I've recently ordered an X3 and wanted to get some IEMs to go with it. Could you tell me how they pair and if you decided to keep the X3?

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