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Reviews by: originalsnuffy

Evolving Platform; Good Sound but Can be Congested in the Bass; Apps Do not Completely Hang Together Yet

Posted

Pros: Can run Android Apps; dual memory card slots, clear sound for the most part

Cons: Folder use is difficult; NAS use not functioning yet; hissing when not playing music on my IEMs, congested bass on some tracks

Summary:   I wanted to love this unit.  Really I did.   I was looking forward to a sound signature in line with or even better than thebit Opus #1; Cayiin i5, and other Android app capable devices.  And at first I thought I was going to absolutely love it.  With less complicated, semi-acoustic albums it sounded very good.   Miles Davis Kind of Blue (MFSL-SACD DSD rips) sounded clean and articulate. Beck's Sea Change--sounded nice.  But then I started trying out heavier rock; and my opinion became muddier.  Or should I say the sound became muddier.   And for me; sound is factor #1, #2, and #3.  Simply put, I can't rave about...
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Good at What it Does; Turns a Smart Phone into a DAP; adds good Shanling "house" sound to PCs and Macs

Posted

Pros: Built in MFi for iphones; Easy to install Windows Drivers; Smooth Sound; Small and Lightweight

Cons: Hard to Setup for DSD on PCs (really a PC issue); Somewhat Expensive

When you ask most Head-Fi readers about purchasing a USB stick like device for computer audio; they will generally talk about the Dragonfly family.   Bracketed in between the two key Dragonfly unit prices comes the Shanling UP.  Priced at $150, it offers a smooth sound and easy to set up PCM playback.   If you want to turn your smartphone into a DAP you can add this unit and be off to the races.   For Apple users, you do not need to purchase the Apple CCK device ($40 for the latest version).  The device has Mfi built in.      So let's explore both use cases; computers and smart phone.   Computer:   The generic Shanling USB driver is...
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Great Sound; Firmware not stable yet

Posted

Pros: Clean and open sound; non fatiguing

Cons: Android based firmware not stable. Would prefer an easier method to get to folder structures.

I had the pleasure of listening to the Cayin i5 as part of the midwest USA tour.  Other than being responsible for passing the item along, I did not receive any compensation or expense from the vendor and my comments are my personal observation.   First of all, as a summary, I would like to say that I enjoyed listening to this device very much.   It had a clear and open sound that I think is in the same ballpark as the FIIO X7 and even the Chord Mojo when paired wtih a digital source.   Yes, I think the Mojo provides a slightly better listening experience, but at the expense of mucking about with two items to play music.  Compare that with just using...
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Great value in high fidelity. Refined sound, great feel in a small package.

Posted

Pros: Visible in daylight. Clear sound at moderate price point. Good as a DAC.

Cons: ISO support for DSD/DSF playback would be nice. DAC driver not signed.

I had an opportunity to spend some time with the Shanling M2.  I had some sense this was a popular machine from a less well known brand whose first product, the M3, was also well regarded.  What I was not expecting was how much I would enjoy this machine.   First, a few thoughts on how I use portable players.  I typically listen to FLAC files, either redbook 16-44 or higher res.   I typically play music by folders, usually complete albums.  On my iphone I create playlists as that is pretty much the main way to get music onto the unit.  With hi res players, I tend to drag music into folders, and sometimes  number tracks to create a poor mans...
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Detailed, open sound. Massively customizable.

Posted

Pros: Sound can be fine tuned to listener preference. High fidelity at reasonable price point.

Cons: Difificult to insert filters. Easy to lose filters. Moderately easy to get ear fit but not dead simple. Tuning could be "overkill" for some.

I had the pleasure of listening to the FLC8S for about 10 days.    I listened to these on a FIIO X3 Gen II, a Shanling M2, and the venerable iphone 6S.   My comparison is to LZ-A2 using Comply foam tips, Phonak Audeo PFE-022 with black filters and Comply foam tips, and Carbo Tenore using stock tips.    I listened to a wide variety of music, including Rock, Jazz, and Classical.  Something that surprised me was that I could listen to all varieties of music with these and get a pleasurable experience.  Normally I reserve the Phonaks for classical, where bass is not as important and musical accuracy is important.  But with these I was very...
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Very musical. Great with FIIO digital output and USB output from a PC.

Posted

Pros: One of the more enjoyale audio listening experiences short of going to a live concert

Cons: Great when paired with PC with appropriate software and digital output from FIIO X3. Uneven results with iPhone 6 Plus and Camera Connecting Kit

I had the opportunity to spend almost three weeks with the Chord Mojo.  When it locked on to a signal with my FIIO X3 units (Gen I and Gen II) I experienced a smooth, glitch free audio experience.  Both through headphones and "line out usage" it was non fatiguing and quite musical.  It did not matter what musical material was utilized, Jazz, Classical, Rock....it all sounded great.  With the X3II, I streamed both FLAC and DSD files quite nicely.   With this unit, I quickly moved beyond the "analytical approach" of listening to various instruments to see how well they were defined.  And stopped worrying about the size of the image.  Instead, I was...
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Great Potential but Still in Beta

Posted

Pros: Clear, clean sound. Upgradable amp; stock amp is good, EQ works on hi res files that were tested

Cons: Unstable Software; limited apps

Introductory Thoughts   I received a test unit of the FIIO X7 as part of the US tour.  I believe this unit is a pre-final production run.     Because there are a few very detailed reviews already posted, I will focus on what I think the key issues in most users minds in terms of evaluating the unit.   On the plus side, if one were to look past some of the hardware design choices that I do not fully agree with and some of the firmware quirks of the unit, the audio quality of the unit is quite nice.  Even superior.  I used the line out in my car (which has a very fine system) and the open sound compared with the X3 surprised me.  I suspect...
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FIIO EX1 Appeals to those Favoring a Bright Sonic Signature. Good open soundstage.

Posted

Pros: Good bass and midrange. Fairly eficient. Good overall sound for price

Cons: Open design results in sound leakage. Make sure you have the right fit; you may need a larger attachment than you normally us. Bright presentation .

I have tested the FIIO EX1 as part of the North American Tour.  No compensation was received for this review.   By now you have seen multiple reviews that reviewed the accessories that come with this unit, its Dunu heritage, etc.  So I will focus on sound signature, fit, and sound leakage.   In summary, I think that if you are looking for a headphone with a bright sound and is not bass shy, these are worth considering.   I did find it took larger tips than I am used to in order to get a proper sound signature.  I had to place the units a bit further in to my canal than I found comfortable to get the proper levels of bass.   When properly fit, the...
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Good if you want a "V-Shaped" Sound profile; less optimal if you lean to a mode neutral of mid-range oriented sound profile

Posted

Pros: Plenty of bass on reserve

Cons: Perhaps too much of a good thing; bass and high end emphasis can be overpowering

This will be an extremely brief review.  I had these headphones for about 4 days.  The timing was not optimal for me; I was about to head out on vacation when these arrived.  The question was whether I should request an few days of extended listening or just send these alone to the next reviewer.  I opted for speeding the review process along.   Testing apparatus:  I used a FIIO X3 Gen II for most of the listening, and then a X3 Gen I to see what happened when I used hardware tone controls to tame the bass and treble.  I played rock and traditional jazz (Mingus, Miles Davis) on the units.   These headphones are great if you want  a...
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X5 Generation II: Flagship Updated. Top of the FIIO Line Until X7 ships

Posted

Pros: Crisp clear sound, powerful amplification; 2 MicroSDXC slots; Improved Display

Cons: Some features unstable with beta firmware or beta hardware; "lively" sound implies non-linear frequency response

X5 Generation II review                 Introduction:   I was fortunate enough to be in the first wave of the review tour of the X5 Generation II hi fidelity, hi power personal audio playback device.  I did not receive any compensation from FIIO for providing a review other than the loan of the machine for 10 days, and I was responsible for shipping the unit to the next reviewer in line.   The design goal of the X5 was to provide a slightly livelier sound than the original X5, which had a flattish sound according to information provided by FIIO.    Most listeners will be very happy with the high...
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Head-Fi.org › originalsnuffy › Reviews by originalsnuffy