FiiO E17

  1. Virtu Fortuna
    Great product for starters. You won't regret it.
    Written by Virtu Fortuna
    Published Jan 19, 2014
    Pros - Good looking. Solid built. Useful Equalizer feature. Definitely way better than integrated sound cards. Bass is tight, mids are good.
    Cons - Treble is a bit unnatural to me but when you reduce it from EQ it sounds very good and normal. No automatic screen sleep. You must lock it to turn off
    Great product from Fiio. I think its really good for starters. Works fine with almost all headphones. EQ is great. Clean sounding. Performance/Price ratio is definitely good. You can't go wrong. And also it can be used as a headphone amplifier alone. Portable. Extras are good.
  2. Bosstooned
    Does what it's supposed to
    Written by Bosstooned
    Published Sep 20, 2013
    Pros - Clear, good imaging, nice small mobile setup
    Cons - Paint wears out quickly, Equalizer sounds a bit digital
    Let's get the negative out of the way first... I've owned two products made by Fiio: the E11 and the E17, and both fail to impress me. Maybe it's because I'm just not sensitive enough to hear the real difference, maybe it's the synergy with my other equipment, but I've owned a couple of devices, headphones and stereo equipment and where each and every single one of them had a charm of their own these just don't cut it for me. 
    The high ratings I've given them however, tell the story of a small pocket-sized device that I took with me to school, in the train, on the bus, my friends even holidays in France! And everywhere it always did what it's supposed to: providing the noise free juices my DT990 required. And it is a clear sounding unit, with a good tone even if it's a little dry. And with a bucketload of extra features the value is pretty good. The only feature that really made me get it was the equalizer (to turn down the bass and treble on my Beyer) and this let me down quite a bit. Turning the treble and bass up and down isn't really smooth and even when I did use it I could never find the sweet spot, it was either just above or under the desired amount. The unit is build like a tank though, and the only minus here is the paint which seems to be a bit thin. I took good care of my E17 and yet the paint on the edges seemed to fade every day. But even then I kind of liked the styling, made me think of when i got my first mp3 players.i
    So there you have it, it does everything advertised, but it lacks a bit of character (dare I say musicality?). I sold mine to buy a HRT Microstreamer and haven't regretted it in any way, then again I just wanted a USB dac with a line out and a simple amplifier.
      rocksteady65 and Ramada like this.
    1. StratocasterMan
      What is your source? I mean, like a phone or something? I use an E17 at home with 88.2 or 96-24 FLAC files fed from a PC laptop, and it sounds great. What is your mobile source? I hope it's not an iPhone or something...  
      StratocasterMan, Sep 21, 2013
    2. StratocasterMan
      Unless you have a proper adapter to bypass the phone's soundcard and use only the E17, you may be using the phone's soundcard. What is your source? Where are your music files stored? If they're stored on a phone, are you bypassing the phone to get to the E17? What adapter do you have between your phone and the E17?
      StratocasterMan, Sep 21, 2013
    3. Bosstooned
      Nope MacBook, lossless files. Use a Microstreamer now which pleases me the way the Alpen never did. Like I said maybe it's the synergy, after all I do use a 'controversial' headphone as my main.
      Bosstooned, Sep 27, 2013
  3. tdockweiler
    Better than expected
    Written by tdockweiler
    Published Jun 9, 2013
    Pros - see review
    Cons - see review
    This review is mainly for the DAC part only with L7. Mostly in comparison to my Schiit Modi. Just a few random things to note:
    1. Sounds flat with a touch of warmth. Actually, just slightly more than a touch. It wouldn't be my first choice as a budget DAC if I was using just an HD-650. It seems OK for the K702 Anniversary. Based on memory, the HRT MSII seemed warmer sounding.
    2. Everything is nice and full sounding in comparison to my Schiit Modi (doesn't mean it's better). The Modi is a bit thinner, but clearer and with a larger soundstage. Detail seems about the same.
    3. Sometimes it sounds very very slightly muffled in comparison to the Modi. Possibly just placebo or just due to it being warmer.
    4. Some bad/garbage tracks can be more fatiguing compared to my Modi. I think mostly in the lower mids only. Both measure flat, but Modi sounds smoother.
    5. The bass is really good! Doesn't seem emphasized at all. It did on the E10 and I have no clue why.
    6. I don't really notice any treble roll-off at all. Apparently there is some when just used as a DAC.
    7. Works very well with my Xbox 360 using the Optical Connection. It even seems to drive the Q701 well enough for gaming.
    8. Sounded a tad congested or almost too warm when used with the HD-650 (DAC only). Probably just my weird preferences.
    9. I really disliked the E10, but felt this is pretty good.
    10. The Modi sounds better overall to me, but this has some nice minor coloration so it's a keeper.
    11. I have not really tried many headphones for this with the built in amp. It sounded OK with the Q701.
    12. Way smaller than I expected!
    13. Very musical (not excessively colored or anything).
    14. I bought this because I love the Wolfson DAC in my Ipod Classic 3G (monochrome!). This sounds pretty close in sound signature, but even better!
    15. Does not ever sound "cold and analytical". I hate anything that sounds that way. My Ipod Touch 2G sounds like that, but the ODAC and Modi did not. The Magni DID.
    16. Should be good for anything but the warmest sounding headphones.
    17. Might have some slight emphasis in the lower mids (not as much as the E10). Still flat though, don't ask me how.
    18. Second best Fiio product i've tried so far. Not a fan of the E7, E10 or E11, but do like the E9 and E5. Wish I never sold the E9!
    1. wenyuanalive
      How do you use its DAC part(not the amp) separately?
      wenyuanalive, Aug 18, 2013
    2. recarcar
      Great review! Wish this little DAC/AMP had a lower floor noise with really sensitive iems though!
      recarcar, Jul 16, 2014
  4. Windsor
    An excellent value, multi-functional DAC and/or headphone amp
    Written by Windsor
    Published Mar 17, 2013
    Pros - Great performance/price ratio; multifunctional; large number of audio input options
    Cons - Not the best option for those wanting a pristine and highly-detailed sound; some crackling/distortion when using with Mac computers
    I picked up a FiiO E17 when en route Germany to stay there for the 2012 Christmas period and the early days of 2013. I wanted to do some video editing work and listen to music when over there but didn't want to be without the stalwart reference quality Lavry DA10 which I didn't want to travel with on that occassion, so I decided to give the E17 a try.
    Prior to owning the E17 I owned the FiiO E7, which was my first DAC and one I enjoyed very much, though wanting a more neutral sound than the E7 provided I upgraded from it. Since buying the E17 a few years after owning the E7, I was initially very impressed with the relatively more neutral-sounding E17, an all-in-one DAC/Amp with a clear overall sound and inbuilt EQ functions that I have enjoyed using, particularly when wanting more bass when listening with the HD 800
    When I compared the E17 and my DA10 - a DAC/Amp costing many times the price of the E17 - the difference wasn't as night and day as I imagined it might be. The DA10 has much more high-end treble detail, which by comparison sounded a bit fuzzy on the overall less clear sounding E17 (I write this from memory as at time of writing I'm unable to use the DA10 with my laptop - more on that later in this review), but overall and considering the price of the E17, it does a great job of creating a cleaner-sounding listening experience than plugging directly into the headphone output of my laptop. The E17 also serves as a nice enhancement to my iPhone when I use the E17 as a headphone amplifier, but to be honest, when I'm out and about and listening to music I tend not to analyse the sonics of what I'm hearing and more often enjoy the music without feeling the need for a headphone amplifier as I'm happy with the level of amplification my iPhone already provides.
    For Xmas 2012 I received the gift of a Sony PS3 and since returning to my place in the UK, the E17 has lived for many hours as part of my PS3/TV setup, which is currently also my main home cinema rig. Like how the E17 provides a clearer sound in relation to plugging into the headphone socket of my laptop, the E17 removes virtually all of the distortion I experienced when connecting my hi-fi amp directly to my TV, without a DAC in the audio chain. Adding the E17 to that setup has turned out to be a great value and cost-effective component contributing to a much more transparent listening experience than what I experienced when using my bookshelf hi-fi speakers and headphones without a DAC. For me, the E17 would be worth the money I paid for it if I just used it as part of my PS3 rig, but it does oh so much more.
    To expand on what I wrote above, I have been unable to use my Lavry DA10 with my laptop due to snapping a headphone plug off in my laptop's headphone socket, and have been resorting to the USB-connected E17 when listening to music, editing video content, and other audio-listening-related purposes, and to be honest, since using the E17 I haven't missed my DA10 that much, though I would prefer to use the DA10 due to the enhancements in listening quality it provides. But really, considering the performance/price ratio of the E17 and what a versatile multifunctional device it is - and one with a large number of audio input options - I consider the E17 to be the best value head-fi component I have yet purchased and give it my highest recommendation to anyone (particularly those new to the 'head-fi hobby') willing to spend ~$150/£100 to investigate the benefits a great value DAC/Amp can provide.
      rocksteady65, Ramada and Muldyr like this.
    1. Chris J
      Nice write-up!
      Chris J, Mar 23, 2013
    2. Windsor
      Thank you!
      Windsor, Apr 3, 2013
    3. Dargin
      Great review.
      Dargin, Nov 10, 2013
  5. peetz
    Written by peetz
    Published Jan 13, 2013
    Pros - Great connectivity, lightweight, small
    Cons - Only 6dB and 12dB gain, EQ jumps in 2's
    I've only had this a few days but it's a big improvement over the flat EQ from my MacBook Pro.  I'll add a more in-depth opinion when I've used it for a little longer.
  6. Krisman
    Unbeatable at the price
    Written by Krisman
    Published Jan 11, 2013
    Have tried many headphone DAC/Amps in the £50 - 200 range and nothing comes close to the resolving, enjoyale nature of this bit of kit. Western manufacturers should take note. Quality, performance and a great price point can all exist together! :) Had mine for almost a year now and have no intention of letting it go...
      rocksteady65, smpie, Ramada and 3 others like this.
    1. PeterDLai
      Out of curiosity, what other DAC/amps have you tried?
      PeterDLai, Jan 12, 2013
    2. Krisman
      Hey, have tried an Arcam rPAC, Musical Fidelity M1, Graham Slee Novo fed from an audiolab MDAC, iBasso Cobra, Schiit Audio Lyr fed from a Wadia DAC. Also more but I cannot remember them! :)
      Krisman, Jan 12, 2013
    3. smpie
      I'm planning to get this peace of gear as my first audio venturing. I ordered the Beyerdynamic T5p and plan on using it with it. Connected to my mac and iphone/ipod. But I will first do sum good listening without any amp or other hardware.The big reason I’m getting it is after reading a article you can find googling “FiiO E7 USB DAC & Amp objective review” I always like to ad words like “objective review” to my search. Because I can tell you one thing for sure. The more I read a bout a product to more contradictions about it I find. So there is no other way than to go objective on the sucker hahahah…!!I decided (for the moment) NOT to get any gear that I can’t sample / hear without a objective review.I would have liked to hear my T5p’s before I got them ..But there was no store that has them !So when they get in I hope I like them.. ! Thanks again for you review. I really like a review from someone that doesn’t let price color his opinion..I think if you tell a lot of audio guys that this peace of kit costs 3 times more they would like it more and respect it probably hahahha!!!
      smpie, May 28, 2013
  7. autumnholy
    FiiO: As cheap as it gets
    Written by autumnholy
    Published Nov 23, 2012
    Pros - Neutral. Multi-function. Solid built.
    Cons - Nothing extraordinary or impressive. Just did it job fine.
    I've owned E7 before, and had a Centrance DacPort LX. Well, E17 fits the bill to be the value buy (Over here Audio gears are expensive).
    Sound Quality: Nothing impressive. Just plainly neutral with slightly rolled off treble. Not as energetic as the previous Dacport LX. Doesn't like to mess with the bass/treble boost functions. As an amp, it's quite powerful. Can drive my T70 (250 Ohm) with ease (my comfortable listening volume is at 45, minimal gain).
    Built: Tough as tank, solid. Love the LED, looks classy. Quite bulky.
    Features: Lots of features available. Bass/Treble Boost, channel configuration (left right +/- gain), is portable with built-in battery inside. Lots of optional connectivity (coax, usb, aux-in) and also DAC part supports up to 24/96 on USB (well, even the screen will show the playing song's bitrate info).
    Value: Considered one of the cheaper and versatile DAC/Amp combo. Great for on-the-go audiophiles.
      rocksteady65 and Ramada like this.
    1. smpie
      I'm planning to get this peace of gear as my first audio venturing. I ordered the Beyerdynamic T5p and plan on using it with it. Connected to my mac and iphone/ipod. But I will first do sum good listening without any amp or other hardware. I do have to say I do not agree with the rolled off treble being stated here.
      There is no objective data to back this up. As a matter of fact there is a article on the web about the FiiO E7 showing the E7 to be a pretty good device.. The Fiio E17 is an updated version. And most of the internal hardware is the same… Just do a google of this “FiiO E7 USB DAC & Amp objective review “ I always like to ad words like “objective review” to my search. Because I can tell you one thing for sure. The more I read a bout a product to more contradictions about it I find. So there is no other way than to go objective on the sucker hahahah…!! Wel i still enjoy Head-Fi review’s and articles.. Good job. !
      smpie, May 28, 2013
  8. Gozzer
    Good DAC/ okay AMP
    Written by Gozzer
    Published Nov 22, 2012
    Pros - DAC
    Cons - AMP
    The amp section is okay its not great. I would rate it 7/10
    The DAC section data streamed from a computer USB is much better. I would rate it 8/10
    Computer USB -->E17(DAC) docked with E09K with lo-bipass on is the best quality. I would rate it 9/10
  9. Gerbil
    gets the job done
    Written by Gerbil
    Published Oct 12, 2012
    Pros - compact and surprisingly good
    Cons - some hiccups as a dac
    an amazing product, as a dac it sometimes stutters when you work your computer hard.
    1. XxDobermanxX
      Nice detailed review, based on how much info i got from the review , will definitely buy one :p
      XxDobermanxX, Oct 12, 2012
    2. yokken
      This is the first time I've read about the stutter, but I've experienced it many times. Glad to know it's not just me.
      yokken, Oct 12, 2012
    3. Marleybob217
      That 'stutter' isn't caused by the dac, but by your computer. It's called latency, you probably are using it on your laptop? If so, try turning of your internal wifi adapter, this is usually the cause of the latency. It has something to do with drivers taking too much bandwith/memory (I really don't know) of your usb ports, causing the latency in your music. You can download a latency monitoring program like dpc latency monitor. Than you can literally see the latency, and you can turn off devices one by one to check if the latency is gone.
      Marleybob217, Nov 15, 2012
  10. SandvichDISH
    What a difference it makes
    Written by SandvichDISH
    Published Oct 6, 2012
    Pros - Sounds 100 times better than onboard audio, portable, built in equalizer, nice interface.
    Cons - None that I can think of
    Well, this is my first amp and DAC, but I can tell you that if you have some decent headphones and are just plugging it straight in your PC, you're doing it terribly wrong!
    It just sounds so much better with this lil' guy.
    I got it with the cable to connect it to your iPod so that I can have awesome audio on the road too.
    Maybe it'd be nice to be able to equalize the mids too, but you can just lower the treble and bass to raise the mids, technically.
      rocksteady65 and Ramada like this.
    1. Spiderman
      I have a quick question on these, so basically my laptop headphone jack got busted. So with this would I be able to essentially just hook it up through the usb and connect it with my headphones? And if so how much better does it sound when compared to the computers built in sound card? Sorry for the dumb questions I'm sort of a noob.
      Spiderman, Oct 8, 2012
    2. Nexodon
      Yeah, you plug it in, and it's ready to go. This device is not perfect (i hate its clicking and it could be more powerful), but surely it's a huge improvement over generic built-in audio chips.
      Nexodon, Oct 9, 2012