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FiiO X7, what is your dream DAP?

post #1 of 963
Thread Starter 

I have been in contact with consumers a lot ever since we stepped into the music player industry. The most impressive thing is that everyone got a dream player in mind, from function to OPAMP, DAC and display, etc.  Meanwhile, we are also on the planning stage for some future high-end products, then why not we creating an ideal music player together, not only for FiiO, but for all the consumers.


No doubt this gonna be a very interesting thing, and we would try our best to seek all the possibilities to meet the demands from all of you. In case of any disagreements, we would start a vote to find out the best solution (PS. This activity would open to audiophiles all over the world, so we would coordinate the voting from users in China mainland as well).


Someone out there would doubt it to be unscientific or unserious, but HiFi is all about entertainment and to keep everyone happy, right? Rather than making profits, the main target of us in designing high-end players is to challenge ourselves to realize the dream of us and all the audiophiles.


Meanwhile, there would be some consumers claim that our X3 and X5 are not perfect enough, and will it be irresponsible to talking of dream device at this stage? Here I want to make a few explanations as follows:


1. Now we are only talk about this program in paper, our R&D staff will only get involved after the final design had been confirmed.


2. I’ve been in the process of recovering, so all the interaction would be in charge by me, which won’t affect the operation of the company. And actually, I am not responsible for any detailed daily work of our company, so please be rest assured.



------------------------------------------updated on 3st, May, 2014-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Here we have some decision about our new flagship portable DAP as below.


Model NO. X7


ETA: 2015


M.S.R.P:   $699 in U.S


OS: Custom OS based on Android, can supports some third party APP from our website.


Weight: Less than 300g


Size: thickness will be almost the same as X5 , the other size is almost the same as 5 inch Android Phone.


Screen: 3.5 inch ~ 4.3 inch Full Touch Screen. To be decided.

Key layout: Full touch control+ Bottoms+ Volume Knobs


Output power: > 300mW/32 ohms, Power supply: +/- 6V ~ +/-11 V  . To be Decided.

Playtime: 10 hours


Battery: Build in Battery.

Data transfer: USB 2.0 ( Micro USB), WiFi

Blue Tooth: YES , supports APTX

DAC chip: ESS9018 , not ESS9018M2K, The ES9018 includes 8 channels DAC which means it is equal to 4 X ESS9018M2K


Enclosure: Metal


Build in memory: To be decided.


Extra Memory: Micro SD slot X 2

Accessory : Leather Case X 1,  Micro USB cable X 1, 



--------------------------------------------------------------One of the rending design picture of x7----------------------------------------------



Note this design had been denied  cause I am not satisfy with it .




Edited by JamesFiiO - 9/15/14 at 6:02pm
post #2 of 963
Thread Starter 

The first question: How much will you be willing to pay for your dream player?


post #3 of 963
Thread Starter 

The second question: How heavy can you accept in order to achieve better sound and appearance?


post #4 of 963

Personally, I don't think weight or size should be required to make something better. I look to innovative thought and good compromise with a great UI and button placement as the way to do the near perfect player. Compromise is always relative to price and performance but it can't be that near perfect player if larger than an x5 for instance. Perhaps it would mean not giving options like dig/line out or usb dac functions to keep a reasonable size. I think a streamlined hot rod player with great sound would sell well if t could be made 1/3rd smaller. Another larger do everything model for a bit more could be sold along side for a bit more.

post #5 of 963
Thread Starter 

About the UE/UI, there are some basic feature:


1, Based on Android ,


2, 3.0inch or Above IPS high resolution  touch sreen


3, Individual volume control knob, play/forward/backward bottom.


4, Headphone out/Line out/Digital out ( maybe optical+ coaxial)


5, Extra TF slot ( Not support SD slot )


6, Battery life: not less than 6 hours ( it means it can be 8 or 10 hours ) because it should be decided by customers.

post #6 of 963
Just a note that TF means microSD, ie Supporting microSD and not full size SD.
post #7 of 963

Why not modify an existing smart-phone to be an audiophile DAP? Take a Galaxy S3 or S4 and replace the DAC and amp sections plus add a larger battery. I have a 3650 mah battery in my old Galaxy S2. It came with an extended back-cover replacement. If you remove the camera and extend the back-cover straight, there's room for better audio chips.


The Galaxy line was just an example. There are many models made in China. Some are focused on audio (like the Vivo Xplay 3S with the Sabre DAC and good amp). FiiO could take it a step further with dual DACs, switchable amp power,  and an audio focused (processor focused) battery saving bloatware free custom rom.

post #8 of 963

Give me an AK120 that has much better battery life,a better UI and I am happy!

post #9 of 963

Since we're talking about high-end here, there's a largely untapped market called pure transport without DAC or an amp at all.


Plenty of buyers who paid for Chord Hugo so far and I don't think they'll have to think twice about paying a premium for pure transport.


If we manage to stream DSD / FLAC etc. off wireless storage (e.g. Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB) natively without down-converting anything at all, it's a done deal since we still don't have anything like that available anywhere yet.


Of course it should really look good on the outside in order to justify a higher price tag, just see AK240 as an example and enough said.


In other words, it has to be something rather innovative because of a few unique features so that many customers will get the "wow" factor. Otherwise, they'll simply go for something similar like Calyx M or Cowon Plenue P1 etc.



Is it remotely possible that 3.3V power could be provided to 1TB mSATA drives by any chance? We'll totally beat everything out there on the market if that mission were accomplished since 1TB of DSD / lossess music should be almost unheard of. We're able to put 1TB / 480GB SSD inside an iPod Video 5.5G right now but that won't play DSD at all.

post #10 of 963

That's what I mean by audio focused custom rom from a phone with a powerful processor. It can be designed to play various  formats and streaming.

post #11 of 963
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post

That's what I mean by audio focused custom rom from a phone with a powerful processor. It can be designed to play various  formats and streaming.


it is very difficult to design a audio focused DAP based on a Android Phone, as I known, there are about 1,000 engineers in Vivo , and they only release couples phone per year. and maybe 10,000 engineers in Apple and they only release 2 phones per year. :L3000:



but if you just need a normal android phone, you can buy a turn-key solution but nevery try to custom any thing , not to talk there are still very big difference between an DAP and an Android phone.

post #12 of 963
Thread Starter 

The dimension and thickness of the player are also important to its sound quality.


With very small size and thickness, it’s hard to embed high capacity battery, and it has very strict requirements to the heat dispersion of its DAC and OPAMP chips.


On the contrary, if the player adopts better DAC and OPAMP chips and set higher output power, then it requires bigger space to embed larger capacity battery. No doubt it will affect its portability and might be regarded as “brick”.


How big a music player can you accept?


post #13 of 963

Under 2000usd, around the same size of HM901 with native DSD support, preferably with USB audio output and balance line/phone out. thanks,

post #14 of 963
Dear James,

My dream player is a X5 with an empty mSATA slot (so that I can add my own 1TB mSATA SSD for $530, 500GB for $300 or 250GB for $170). Or X5 with 4 (four) microSD (TF) slots.

I am sure you have seen the poll result (wish list) for X7's features. Ability to support large storage was the second most wanted feature from over 100 Headfi votes. Maybe you can set up another vote and ask how much storage people would "dream" of. In my humble opinion, if you have lots of (high resolution) music, 256 GB is a must, 512GB is nice, 1024GB is a "dream". One of the selling point of X5/X3/X1 is high resolution playback, correct?

MicroSD / TF cards are still too expensive for too little storage. With that said, if you equip X7 with 
4 microSD slots, I will happily fill them all with 128GB cards now. ~500GB of microSD will cost me over $480 now, while ~500GB of mSATA SSD costs only $300 currently. 

mSATA SSDs are getting even bigger and cheaper because they are commonly used in tablets/laptops. Currently a 480GB (Crucial/Micron) mSATA SSD can run for 8-13 hours in a Rockboxed iPod Video 5.5th generation with 850 mAh battery, so it does NOT need a huge battery or a super thick enclosure:

Edited by zzffnn - 4/8/14 at 10:42pm
post #15 of 963

Actually, when I saw this title, I was thinking Fiio is going to provide a service for customers to order and customize their own DAP (choose their own dac, op amp, battery, internal memory etc), something similar to what Dell does for their desktop PCs :bigsmile_face:


Back to the topic. I would like to have followings for my ideal DAP


1. size no bigger than AK240

2. responsive GUI, not necessary touch sreen/android.

3. physical play/pause/forward/backward buttons

4. sabre chip

5. micro SD slot

6. HO, LO


8. costs less than USD1000

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