Fender AE1i DAC Amplifier for iPhone

General Information

Fender AE1i DAC Amplifier for iPhone Lightning, connects 3.5mm earphone, going to release in mid Dec 2019 in Hong Kong.

Comments

Just ordered one of these. Will receive in about 1 week or so. Will post here my impressions, but does seem to be an elegant solution to bypassing the iPhone DAC. I like the fact it derives its power from the iPhone, rather than having to be separately charged etc.
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
Hey, I’m kinda interested in this. What headphones/IEMs are you using with it?

I’m looking to for an upgrade over the stock adapter to use with IEMs. Curious whether this will be worth it.
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
Hi There .. I am using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs, the first is somewhat "thick and slightly dark" sounding, and the second emphasizes the mids and vocals etc.. These IEMs come with balanced cables terminated with 2.5mm connector, so I used a small 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter (Plussound Micro Series) to connect to the Fender.
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
Thank you for taking the time to reply and post your impressions!

I have one on the way now which I’ll try and compare as well to the N6ii (and Dunu’s new DTC-100 apparently).

This was what I was looking for as well re: a bridge between a big dap and something I can just connect to my phone while on the go in a crowded subway, etc.
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
Cheers, would be great to hear of your impressions when compared to the Cayin (with the Dunu)...
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
Where did you order it from? I’m actually quite interested in it, I’ve been trying to cutoff my hiby Due to data and pocket slacks when walking out and this seems an awesome alternative
 
So I have had the fender AE1i for a few days now, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it. The size is deceiving, as initially it just looks like a iPhone to 3.5mm jack connector, but the DAC and the amp chips/circuitry is super small and hidden in the grey metallic housing.

I have the Hiby R6 Pro DAP, and having done a direct comparison, albeit not a "scientific" comparison, (using JH Audio Roxanne and JH Audio Lola IEMs), I must say the difference in sound quality is negligible (in fact with the Roxanne and Hiby R6 Pro, there is a slight hissing which I don't have with the fender). While the Fender AE1i may not match the very high end sound qualities of a Cayin nor an Astell and Kern DAP, but equally is only a fraction of the prices of these, and for me (more importantly) it means I don't have to carry a separate DAP besides my iPhone. In my own humble view, and I know this may not be a common view, but the compromise is well worth it. Since I bought the Hiby, and despite its excellent sound qualities, I have been using it less and less purely because of the practical factors (heavy and slightly bulky).

I should add I mostly listen to Tidal and Spotify streaming.
I ordered it from letsgoaudio.com.. but I believe they only ship locally (within Hong Kong). I had it shipped to a friend who lives there, who then brought it to the UK. For some reason, the Fender AE1i has only been released in Asia (so far)..
 
This is a rebranded, cut down version (no volume/remote) of the db magic ac3 lightning, it will make a marked difference to the SQ of non linear BA iems as it is known to have a high impedance out (around 10 ohms)
 
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