I have an aging iPod classic (circa 2007) which I'm considering replacing as it's been less than reliable. (Bad battery life, flaky 30-pin connector, etcetera.) I've decided on a Fiio, but I don't know which Fiio is the best and most cost-effective for me. I'd like your recommendations on which one is best.
I'm generally happy with my current setup, which is an iPod classic going to a first-gen E11 amp. The headphones I use with this thing are a second-generation Sennheiser PX-100 and a HD598 (just upgraded from a HD595). Most of my music is in Apple Lossless format, with some in 320kbps MP3 format. My tastes in music are mostly classical/instrumental, with a bit of country thrown in. More than anything else, I value a clear sound. I have better than average ears, but I would not describe myself as having golden ears.
I've looked into the X5 before, but was always scared off by the price tag. The X1 looks very interesting, but I honestly don't know if it's too good to be true. I also saw that Fiio is working on a second-gen X3 as well as a new flagship. The only Fiio I've ruled out is the current X3, as I would prefer the wheel in current designs.
So... given where I stand right now, which is the best Fiio? If I do upgrade, is it sufficiently worth the upgrade *right now*, or am I better off waiting until the iPod classic completely dies?
One more sort-of related question. Right now I use iTunes and the iPod heavily for podcasts. Is there a good way to use podcasts with a Fiio, or am I better off moving that to my smartphone?