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Fiio X5 vs Herus

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So, there are both priced at around $350. The Herus DAC goes up to 352.8kHz (future proof) and plays all the formats, DXD and DSD to mention some, the X5 does 192kHz and not all the formats. The X5 will accept memory up 128GB on each slot. The Herus is just an external DAC. The X5 is both a portable hires player and external DAC, sweet. The Herus can be connected to an iPhone or iPad, so I can listen to spotify at the highest quality, Mac/PC also. The X5 I believe can't be connected to an iPhone/iPad thru USB, I may be wrong, which is almost a deal breaker for me because I'll be listening to spotify allot on my iPhone. Can somebody confirm if an external DAC will make spotify sound better compared to the iPhone's internal DAC? Any input would be appreciated. I guess what I'm trying to know also is, which of these two DACs sound better? The X5 has a PCM1792A DAC chip, the Herus has a ESS 9010-2M. Any input would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 5

Might be better to post this on portable section of website.  I will say I would normally not compare those two products.  I look at X-5 as all in one portable solution (transport/storage/dac/amp) while herus is a portable USB DAC/AMP.  Overlapping functionally but different solutions.

 

Better comparison would be X-5 to AK XXX model or Sony ZX-1 and so on.  Herus should be compared to ALO Island or Light Harmonic Geek or Meredian Explorer etc.  Trying to compare the two results in IMO weird questions like why doesn't X-5 work with ipad+CCK given that the X-5 is a transport/storage as well.  I get the point about spotify, but likely going to have to wait for X-7 (which rumor has it is a Android touchcreen based solution) to get "apps" to work including spotify.  Unclear about Ipad/Iphone + CCK functionality, but I would guess that it would work.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, I will post in the portable section. I wanted to compare these two because both are priced similarly, both are DACs, and potentially they both can be connected to an iPhone's/iPad's. And most importantly, I wanted to know which has better sound quality.

post #4 of 5

I've moved your thread instead. 

 

In this price bracket, I'd ignore the "future proof" numbers -- high-res files and DSD aren't going to be a lot of benenfit. However, Herus is reputedly much better with DSD than PCM. I have a friend's Herus on loan which I will get around to trying at some point, but I have heard it already out of my iPhone and I wasn't impressed.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm new to the audiophile world, let's say I'm impressed with my PS Vita's sound quality (selecting the 'unique' setting in the equalizer) using my Audio Technica ATH-M50's, it sounds better than my iPhone 4, and is very enjoyable to listen to. I'm gradually going upwards in quality. What kind of DAC, in your opinion, will make Spotify sound good using an iPhone?
Edited by akbal - 4/16/14 at 8:09am
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