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Fiio X3 vs Fiio X5: A matter of sound... - Page 2

post #16 of 59
I owned an X3 since it was released and also purchased an X5 when it was first released. I've sold the X3 shortly after receiving the X5.

For me the X3 doesn't have the same level of detail retrieval, clarity, or accuracy of the X5. The X3 does have hardware based bass/treble control (which I miss dearly) and a very musical presentation. The amp section of the X3 is slightly more powerful and the DAC section is warm and smooth.

I would have kept the X3 if it were not for the continuous crashes that I experienced, even on official FW2.1. My cards were formatted with the X3 and my music is clean ALAC rips from CD. That's it, one file type. I feel the limitation is with the X3 hardware itself. Not enough memory or not powerful enough CPU. I could be wrong, but the fact that turning off gapless playback fixed many of my freezing issues leads me to think the hardware isn't powerful enough to buffer the next song, and for me gapless is essential.

I haven't heard the latest beta FW and I'm very interested to hear the SQ improvements that have been made. I will point out that there a still a lot of reports of freezing. I realize the latest FW is beta but I don't feel this will go away (I hope to be proven wrong, Fiio is a great company). If the freezing issues go away I may pick up another one given the low price of the unit.

With the X5 I haven't had any freezes and the interface is nice and zippy. The library update is much faster and the SQ is very good. The wheel has been reliable and makes navigation a snap. I prefer the larger footprint and weight as my hands are large and the X3 always felt like it was going to slip out of my hand.

YMMV.
Edited by x RELIC x - 5/21/14 at 3:11pm
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post

I would have kept the X3 if it were not for the continuous crashes that I experienced, even on official FW2.1.
 

X3 owners please, stay with the FW1.31 :wink_face:

post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverprout View Post

X3 owners please, stay with the FW1.31 wink_face.gif

1.31 was worse (for me anyway). Looks like the new FW is shaping up nicely and Fiio is concentrating all efforts on it right now.
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post


1.31 was worse (for me anyway). Looks like the new FW is shaping up nicely and Fiio is concentrating all efforts on it right now.

Mine is stable, never a freeze, a big sound or bug. (even if i eject the µSD while playing)

Be sure of that, if it was not, i will be the first to complain :wink_face:

Your answer is clear for me, i'm probably very lucky because the quality is very aleatory with little chinese companies :biggrin:


Edited by Silverprout - 5/23/14 at 12:35am
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverprout View Post

Mine is stable, never a freeze, a big sound or bug. (even if i eject the µSD while playing)
Be sure of that, if it was not, i will be the first to complain wink_face.gif
Your answer is clear for me, i'm probably very lucky because the quality is very aleatory with little chinese companies biggrin.gif

I don't doubt that you are running 1.31 with stability. You must be very lucky because many users experienced differently. wink.gif

Thanks for my new word of the day (aleatory). biggrin.gif
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post


I don't doubt that you are running 1.31 with stability. You must be very lucky because many users experienced differently. wink.gif

Thanks for my new word of the day (aleatory). biggrin.gif


Sorry i can't resist.

 

post #22 of 59

The X5 finally arrived yesterday and I've spent the better part of the evening A/Bing him and his younger brother.

 

Synopsis of impressions:

 

X3: Overall the sig (FW 3.0) is more consumer-friendly: thick bass and decent treble, albeit a little rolled off. Mids, esp female vocals are more forward compared to the X5. Newest FW is a nice improvement over the last official release. Very good SQ that few outside of the audiophile community could find issue with. SS is slightly closer to the listener than the X5.

 

X5: More details and blacker background with more space. Mids and vocals are more in line with the extremes of the spectrum. Depending on your genre of choice, this may be good or bad. There's not a night and day difference from the X3, obviously they're from the same family, although the X5 is noticeably more capable. 

post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDoe View Post
 

The X5 finally arrived yesterday and I've spent the better part of the evening A/Bing him and his younger brother.

 

Synopsis of impressions:

 

X3: Overall the sig (FW 3.0) is more consumer-friendly: thick bass and decent treble, albeit a little rolled off. Mids, esp female vocals are more forward compared to the X5. Newest FW is a nice improvement over the last official release. Very good SQ that few outside of the audiophile community could find issue with. SS is slightly closer to the listener than the X5.

 

X5: More details and blacker background with more space. Mids and vocals are more in line with the extremes of the spectrum. Depending on your genre of choice, this may be good or bad. There's not a night and day difference from the X3, obviously they're from the same family, although the X5 is noticeably more capable. 


So your favorite?

post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by subguy812 View Post


So your favorite?

X5, although I could live with the X3 no problem.

For me, the SQ is good enough on both that I'd be happy with either. The X5 however offers other features that for me, made the choice easy ie dual TF slots, USB OTG, etc.
Edited by JoeDoe - 6/1/14 at 6:24am
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDoe View Post


X5, although I could live with the X3 no problem.

For me, the SQ is good enough on both that I'd be happy with either. The X5 however offers other features that for me, made the choice easy ie dual TF slots, USB OTG, etc.


Dual slots is my favorite feature. I like the power the amp in the X3 has. And I am happy with sq in both devices

post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by subguy812 View Post
 


Dual slots is my favorite feature. I like the power the amp in the X3 has. And I am happy with sq in both devices


The sound of the X5 is more detailed than the X3 IMHO.

Awesome SQ but bassy... !


Edited by Silverprout - 6/2/14 at 11:51pm
post #27 of 59
I tried both x5 and x3 side by side with shure se846..both is great dap..powerful and detail.. i like both..but if i only have one choice i will choose x3..the sound just go straight to my heart...it's just like someone play instrument with their heart instead of reading partiture book..
post #28 of 59

Sorry for my english... :D

 

The X3 and X5 are very different on imaging.

The X3 image is mid centered and it cause some detail losses because both human voices and low mids dominate the overall image and masks a lot of things.

The X5 image is more diffuse and forward and it reveals the details.

 

So the X3 is more intimistic, so much better sound when you are alone... you are near (in) the music.

With the X5 the music is far... but with more details (and reveals its good bassy character...)

 

FIIO should implement a sound signatures selector...  THE killer DAP function !

 

Still no bugs with the X3 (1year)

No bugs with the X5 (1day)


Edited by Silverprout - 6/3/14 at 11:16am
post #29 of 59

I've owned both and ultimately ended up giving my x3 away to my brother.  Here is my take:

 

-The x3 is warmer, no matter what FW you use for the x5.  For a while, the x5 in comparison was colder and lacked some bottom end which may have contributed to it feeling colder.  However, with the new beta firmware 2.02 (for the x5) the x5 is warm enough for me to like.

 

-The x5 is superior in detail, clarity, and brightness.  No matter what FW I upgraded the x5 with, those characteristics stayed the same.  The x3 simply cannot compare in this department.  However, the x3 got 1 step closer with the last firmware I upgraded it with (2.14b) before giving it away.  That last firmware made me think long and hard about giving away the x3, but I did so anyway because although 2.14b was good, it was still buggy and freezes up alot.  2.14b really improved the value of the x3 sq-wise. 

 

-Bass-wise, the x3 is naturally the winner in terms of impact and depth.  I say naturally however because the bass is consistently good during each FW.  So depending on what FW you upgrade the x5 with, the x5 can easily match the same bass impact and depth, but with added detail.  Some people liked it when certain FW upgrades got rid of the sub-bass(or mid-bass?  Maybe I'm actually a mid-bass head?...lol) on the x5, so it can be a pro or con depending on what side you are on.  The flexibility of the x5 to get rid of bass/regain bass by simply upgrading FW adds alot of unintended value to the x5 hilariously enough.  This means it can cater to the pro bass/bass hater crowds...bugs are a different story.

 

-The sound stage on the x5 is a bit larger than the x3, and sometimes make my jh16's sound airy which I didn't think could happen.  Also the 3d presentation is better on the x5, you can actually tell that some instruments are behind others, instead of just being blended in.

 

-The UI on the x3 although is workable, is clunky, slow, and a pain in the butt to get around.  The x5 UI is alot faster and more responsive, and that wheel makes things so much easier.  Also, on the x5 you can easily switch back and fourth between the main menu, sub menu, and current track without loosing track of what folder you are currently playing from.  It was annoying as hell trying to switch to a different track on the same folder on the x3.  You had to manually go back and navigate from the 'folders' menu whenever you wanted to switch to specific tracks from the same folder because the x3 forgets what folder its playing from.

 

So now I'm tapping my toes to the visceral bass of the x5, while at the same time banging my head to the high-hats on the other end of the spectrum.  I've never done that before with my previous ipods, zunes, sansa clip, nor x3 (not until 2.14b anyway).  I stuck with fw 1.21 on my x5 for the bass, sometimes yearning still for the bass rumble that I could feel in my chest that was found only in the x3.  But not anymore, the latest fw 2.02b brought back the same awesome bass that i oh-so-missed, but with much better presentation.  It was such a surprise and joy to be listening to it all day at work.  I knew then that I will not be looking back at the x3 anymore, as long as I don't upgrade to the next FW anyway haha.  The difference in bass between FW upgrades is no joke, and can be easily more noticeable with an external amp w/bass boost.

 

Overall, the x5 seems to be more dynamic, clear and detailed and easier/friendlier to use.  The X5 doesn't fall behind in any area sq-wise in comparison to the x3, and actually excels in alot of areas.  Enough so that you could be justified in paying that extra $150 to go straight for the x5 instead of x3.  Its a straight up steal.  HOWEVER, it depends on what ear toys you will be using it with.  If you have a low to mid end headphones, the x3 should do just fine.  If you have a high end headphone, you could get either x3 or x5 and be fine, but you will not be getting the most out of your expensive head phones/buds/iems.  I ultimately gave away the x3.  Because although both are fun-- detail and clarity(and ui) wins in the end.  If you really cannot afford the x5, then by all means get the x3.  Not that the x3 is a bad choice by any means, I loved it when I had it.

 

Also, get an external amp if you can.  The internal amp on the x3 and x5 although are good, just aren't as good as the high end amps.  I use the jds c5 amp because on top of being more dynamic, it has that awesome bass boost function.  I know I passed up some supposedly better amps, which I could've easily gotten.  But I haven't found any that has the portability, power, battery life, sound quality, and a euphoric bass boost switch all in one package.  Even without using the bass boost on the c5, it had higher highs and definitely lower lows than what the internal amps on the x3/5 could put out.  On the flip side, I have never found a sub $1000 dap that had a super great internal amp.  Oh BTW, this is one expensive hobby.


Edited by chengsta - 6/16/14 at 10:12pm
post #30 of 59

just checked fiio webpage and found out that x3 3.0 firmware is out for a while, downloading it right now wonder how much good difference it will make :)

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