To be launched in April 2015, the FiiO X3 2nd gen takes the torch from FiiO's first ever DAP, the...

FiiO X3 2nd gen Ultraportable Hi-Res DAP

Average User Rating:
4.44872/5,
  • To be launched in April 2015, the FiiO X3 2nd gen takes the torch from FiiO's first ever DAP, the original X3 from 2013. It will support native DSD decoding, in-line remotes on headphones, deep-sleep mode for instant-on usage without battery drain, and comes with dual crystal oscillators to support all sample rates with some of the highest fidelity in its class.

Recent User Reviews

  1. mokler
    4.5/5,
    "Great entry level mobile player with a lot of added bonuses."
    Pros - Great sound, powerful amp, multiple formats supported, DAC, dedicated line out.
    Cons - DAC took months to set up.
    I have been using this for over a year now and use it nearly daily. Extremely versatile component can be used not only for mobile play, but also line out to my receiver (don't yet have funds for dedicated media center), and as a DAC for my desktop and laptop. This allows me to have almost any combination of source and output that I need from one portable device. The mobile setup is easy and music transfer directly to the micro-SD is a lot faster than through the device. Going through my ATH-M50x, the music is incredibly clear for DSD or FLAC tracks and there even is a noticeable jump in quality playing the same MP3 on the same headphones between my phone and the Fiio. The dedicated line level out allows me to plug it directly into my receiver to get FLAC play on my home setup without an expensive dedicated server or decoder or upgrading my current equipment. The DAC feature took a long time to troubleshoot as the exact order software is installed is extremely important. A recent revision to the installation guide has cleared up this confusion almost completely (might have been just me.) The user interface is fairly intuitive, but creating playlists on the device is extremely cumbersome. I have not tried exporting playlists as of yet, but I should try that. Battery life is extremely impressive, even at decent volumes. Overall, a great buy I would not change. The X1 was missing a few features I was looking for and the X5 was more than I needed.
  2. someyoungguy
    3.0/5,
    "okay"
    Pros - simple to use, microSD mean lots of storage
    Cons - sound is a bit muddy
    I just got one of these last night. Unfortunately where I live there's no possibility of hearing one of these before buying one (or really any other DAPs apart from mainstream, iPod, etc.). So after a bunch of research and reading reviews online this seemed like it'd be a great player.
     
    I've previously had a few Cowons - iAudioE2, S9 and J3. My J3 is supposedly gapless playback, but it seems like it can't handle gapless with FLAC files, so I've been looking for an upgrade.
     
    The Fiio X3 definitely has a smaller soundstage than my J3 - the music sounds more cramped. This was my first thoughts, so I did a side by side comparison (with the same Sennheiser Momentum 2 headphones) and sure enough it's a muddier, less distinct sound on the X3. Bass range definitely extends lower on the J3, giving it more punch and I think helps contribute to a wider more spacious sound than the X3.
     
    Don't get me wrong, the X3 2nd gen is a nice player and has a very simple no-frills, high functionality UI. Sound isn't bad, just okay to my ears. But I think I'll be sticking with my J3 for daily listening - not to mention the battery life on the J3 is crazy, I can't even remember when I last charged it. My X3 might end up living in my car or as a handy music library to connect to my stereo - I find most DAPs, etc. are too quiet when connecting up to the car stereo through the headphone jack, but here the line out on the X3 might come in handy and give a bit more volume, so I can use the X3 without having to switch CDs all the time.
     
    Overall I'm a little disappointed as I was hoping for more, but I guess I've been spoiled by great sound and maybe I've inadvertently become a snob. Wait, I'm posting a review about my new DAP - probably a snob :wink:
     
    PS. Purchase price indicated is NZD with courier delivery
     
    Re: Uberclocked. For some reason I can't post a comment below, so will just add here: I volume matched the units using a decibel meter on my phone placed between the headphones. Not exact, I know, but is about the most I can do without more equipment. I don't mean for my review to come off too negative - in all honesty they both have a decent sound. I'll probably warm to it a bit more with extra listening, and playing around with the EQ a little.
    taffy2207 likes this.
  3. ObjectVoice
    4.5/5,
    "Superb Digital Audio Player"
    Pros - Transparent sound, black background, excellent interface (with newest firmware), well upported by Fiio.
    Cons - No way to turn off keylock via any buttons other than the power.
    I've only used Sansa devices prior to getting this player a few weeks ago - Fuzes and Clip+'s - and I wondered if the Fiio X3 2nd Gen would provide any perceptible audio improvement. Within a minute or two of swapping the SD card over the answer became obvious: yes, there's an improvement and it's actually a pretty big one. I'm no word-smith audiophile and it's pretty much all been said but I can say this: transparency, detail, separation, sound-stage, blackness of background - they are all simply better with the X3 2nd Gen than with the Sansas. I've kept a Clip+ for ultimate portability (for jogging  with, basically) but I've sold the Fuzes as the X3 2nd Gen made them instantly redundant. I was very fond of my Fuzes and I would never have guessed that the audio upgrade would have been so noticeable or so devastating with regard to my affection for the little Sandisk devices.
     
    In terms of the usability: it's great. My player came loaded with the newest 1.44Beta firmware and it makes using the wheel simply an efficient and straightforward way to navigate files and volume with no niggles or glitches at all. It may not have been so in the past and I can see that a scroll wheel with such noticeable clicks that wasn't synchronised with items on a list would be a recipe for instant crazy irritation - but with this firmware though, as far as I can see, the matter is just closed. It's fixed, it works and for me at least, it's a non-issue.
     
    Actually getting my hands on the X3 2nd Gen made me realise how misleading reading lots of reviews prior to actually using a device can be. It's possible to pick up on several points that individual reviewers have found to be sticking points and accumulate them all into a ball of confusion about the player. So I had a pile of preconceptions and worries about the X3 2nd Gen that turned out to uniformly baseless: I'd need to upgrade the firmware with it straight away (no); the wheel was glitchy in use (absolutely not); the wheel cannot be used to adjust volume (it totally can); you can only skip tracks with the side buttons when the player is locked (nope, you can use them to adjust volume too: long press versus short press); the screen is unreadable outdoors (no, it's fine - and my eyesight is pretty poor. Just boost the brightness and take the small battery life loss in your stride); having no internal storage is a pain (no, it doesn't matter at all if you can put huge micro SD cards in, and you can); the drivers for the DAC are almost impossible to install in Windows (really no, they're not. I just followed the guide and bingo: a great USB DAC as well as a great DAP).
     
    So it's a great player and a clear upgrade - for me at least - over the Sansa's that I've owned before. Does it mean that my lust for portable aural pleasure has been sated for good? I suspect not. Those DX90's look kinda interesting to me and the fun of putting Rockbox on them appeals too (Rockbox for the X3 2nd Gen? Well, yes please!) but the price jump to the Ibasso is a pretty big one. So for the time being, the X3 2nd Gen suits me just fine.

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