Wireless music, played at the touch of a wheel The new 2nd generation FiiO X1 lossless portable...

FiiO X1-II High Resolution Lossless Music Player (2nd Generation) (Silver)

Average User Rating:
3.27273/5,
  • Wireless music, played at the touch of a wheel The new 2nd generation FiiO X1 lossless portable music player brings comprehensive improvements of performance, ergonomics and design, starting with its touch wheel. Light and portable, its aluminum alloy body is compact with a natural arc contour for comfortable hand-holding. All new UI design with theme support on a bright 2-inch LCD screen. Use with micro SD cards up to 256GB for practically endless music playback. Bluetooth 4.0 High performance F1C81 Bluetooth chipset allows easy enjoyment of music with reduced latency and high sound quality. Two way transmission allows simultaneous use of Bluetooth music transmission and the optional RM1 remote control. No longer restricted during exercise, enjoy a good sweat while listening to music wirelessly. Car Mode Smart in-vehicle mode with power sensing provides a perfect link between X1 and the vehicle audio system. Automatic power on/off control with the car's ignition, eliminating tedious operation and allowing you to just start up and go. Dedicated Professional Audio Design Utilizing TI's high quality CM5242, the all new X1 gets higher SNR and supports full differential line output to achieve balanced line-out function. With dedicated LPF and op amp, we have optimized power architecture design and circuit to further improve sound quality, resulting in better low-frequency quality and depth. The new X1 supports all major lossless music formats: APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, and ALAC, at up to 192kHz/32bit. Improved Functionality The headphone output is switchable to line-out, allow the X1 to be used as audio source to your amplifier. Deep-sleep standby enables instant-on playback, with stand-by power for as long as 15 days from a full charge. Music on demand, at a moment's notice. In-line remote control support for most headphones (not compatible with Apple Earpods)
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Recent User Reviews

  1. gemmoglock
    4.0/5,
    "Great sound > laggy UI"
    Pros - Great sound for the price, continual FW updates, resolving and clear
    Cons - Laggy UI, not all features available yet, slightly dry treble
    I just got my X1 II but I'm really busy so I will first pen a few quick thoughts and edit this next time/respond to any comments or PMs you send me :)
    Info and Specs here: http://www.fiio.net/en/products/57
     
    Sound
    Overall it is a very nice signature. There is just a slight bass boost because of the improved power architecture Fiio claims over the Gen 1 X1. I would still consider it relatively neutral overall with relatively energetic, forward presentation.
     
    Bass: Great extension and power. The bass is clear yet punchy, which makes bassier earphones like my KZ ZS3 keep a control of the booming bass. The added punch and clarity helps a lot for jazz tracks where the electric bass has a much more defined line that isn't hiding in the background.
     
    Mids: Haven't observed anything in particular so that isn't a bad thing. For now I can confirm that it handles congested classical music and rock tracks quite decently
     
    Treble: Same as bass, great extension. It may be due to my KZ ZS3/ATR but I find the treble a bit dry depending on recording. My go to test is cymbals and hihats in Jazz tracks. I hear a complete shimmer rather than a flat "sch-iing" sound some DAPs give, but it just feels a bit drier compared to in real life.
     
    Space: I haven't tried more expensive DAPs, but it gives more sense of space to the KZ ATRs then my previous Shanling M1. No complaints in this regard.
     
    Line Out: I forgoed the digital out that my Shanling M1 had as I couldn't own something like the Chord Mojo anytime soon.... Anyway I love the line out on this nifty thing as now it hooks up to Aux In on my home stereo perfectly well! No double amping and because the voltage is now correct the sound from my home stereo is more balanced. When I used the HO of the Shanling M1/Fiio M3 the mids were very recessed while now the LO of the X1 works a treat. I find the output too high in fact on my stereo so I just use the -6db fixed gain LO option on the X1 II.
     
    All in all, clarity smokes the Fiio M3 I used to own and is just a tad more resolving than my Shanling M1. The M1 was more neutral (maybe the AK4452 DAC is better?) but I suspect a well-optimised power/amp architecture allows the X1 to deliver a more extended and powerful reproduction of pieces. I don't have many IEMs to verify this so I will just guess that the X1 II will do a great job of cleaning up DD IEMs. Synergy is still convincing with my dual-BA Creative Aurvana In-Ear 3. A possible way for Fiio to improve the sound is maybe take the energy/spikiness of the sound just down a touch so that it is still more dynamic than the Shanling M1 sound and doesn't get too energetic as can happen sometimes now.
     
    UI
    I won't mince my words here, the UI does lag. Then again, things like the Shanling M1 don't instantly change tracks but here there is a definite delay of about a second.
     
    For example, a track change literally happens the same speed as you saying "Press button, change". In actual fact this is not too much slower and I am alright with it. My main gripe is even volume changing and opening the About page in settings can take full seconds to display (although Fiio rewards your wait by including the quick start guide in the About section for your reference on the go)! The good thing though is the UI is quite stable so to a certain extent, you can still press the buttons and the Fiio will follow the sequence, just that there is a delay. The really slow thing is a library update. I haven't timed it but my 1000 tracks takes about 2-3 times the scanning time on my Shanling M1. Again, no deal-breaker but you should make yourself a coffee when waiting for the library update :)
     
    YMMV for the touch wheel, but I think it works well after you get used to it. I only used a physical wheel on a Shanling M1 so I have relatively few stereotypes (no iPod, X1 Gen 1) to begin with. There is an interesting touch select function where you can tap the wheel and use it as an arrow keypad for those who prefer. Fiio is currently working though on improving it as sometimes clicking the center physical button registers a tap on the wheel too.
     
    Screen brightness is alright, colours are usable but meh. The rectangular screen is an unusual choice, as I would rather the screen is a smaller square that does not distort album art, and will be sharper than the current display.
     
    There is an interesting in-car mode that ties in the Line Out settings and allows you to disable charging to preserve the battery's condition over long in-car usage. Funnily I use it at my home! When I switch on my USB power adaptor, the player boots up and plays music without charging the battery, and when I switch off the power the X1 II powers off too! Really neat and great for battery lifespan :wink:
     
    One good thing I already use is the delete shortcut from the now playing screen. It allows me to dump whole albums on my microSD (I use a 64GB Samsung Evo+ formatted with the X1 II) and then delete tracks I don't like on the fly when listening.
     
    I wonder if Fiio will launch a mid-life refresh of the X1 II with a faster processor and AptX support, as looking at the struggle I doubt the FW can be optimised enough to run smoothly on the current hardware. However, Fiio never advertised this as a speed beast, so I am alright accepting better sound for meh UI. The primary function of the DAP is music playback especially for a cheap one like this.
     
    Build Quality
    It is still new to me so there are no issues to report.
     
    I will just point out some nice touches I appreciate. The plastic translucent case is great especially for entry level, as you are on a budget and won't splash out again for a separate case (ahem, Shanling). The only small gripe is the case isn't transparent and is not tight enough for a close fit yet too tight to remove easily. The stickers aren't the nicest but they are useful protection. I will leave the factory-installed protector on, which is something I like also since the factory will always be able to apply a screen protector much more neatly then what I can do myself. (I am a sucker for this as my M1 already got itself scratched before I could apply the included protector)
     
    I got the black unit and like the sleek discreet look. The black tempered glass is the same shade as the metal so it goes really well together. Only the translucent case detracts a little but protection>looks I guess.
     
    My box seems to be missing the HiRes stickers, with only one already stuck onto the back of the X1 II. HiRes is more marketing than anything, but I would be happy to have some spares just for bragging rights... (It isn't provided any more: http://www.fiio.me/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=41660)
     
    From the link above, I also want to point out there is a change to newer screen protectors. The newer ones installed at factory cover the whole front panel while older ones according to the link only covered the display while leaving the remainder of the panel uncovered. I prefer the current one as it looks more uniform when the light catches it.
     
    Conclusion
    I still don't regret changing from the Shanling M1 as the sound is clearly better for this price bracket. As the primary function is a music player, it does its job better. I hope I will get used to the slower UI, lack of DSD support, lack of USB DAC and lack of AptX bluetooth my Shanling M1 had. On a day to day basis listening to a better sound through my IEMs, I think I will just get by :)
     
    Still awarding a generous 4 stars as it does its primary function well for its price, and there is commitment by Fiio with continual updates. Nevertheless more users will be drawn to Fiio if they can get their interface working as well as the sound.
     
    For those who want better UI and DSD/DAC functionality you may be better off waiting and saving up in the meantime for the X3 Gen 3. It seems Fiio is still maintaining the hierarchy with incremental gains from X1 to X3 and X5. (I know there is some controversy about the current X7 so I'm not including it, haha!)
     
    Wishlist
    I hope @FiiO will be able to make some improvements to the X1 II :)
     
    1) I hope there will be a new cover art display option to display the cover art as the original square. The black region at the side can be left blank or display track information.
    2) Make the UI faster! Library scanning and general operation should be smoother.
    3) Improve the touch wheel press function to make it really useful for all user preferences. Instead of the left and right functioning as direction keys, touching them should allow the user to go back and forward respectively.
    4) Pending features like WMA file support and gapless need to be added soon.
    5)  Fiio should correct their slogan to the grammatically-correct "Fiio - For Music and Happiness". For the X1, it should be "Recently Added Tracks" not "Recently Added Devices". The grammar was intentional and the recently added tracks will be changed soon.
    6) Remove unsightly silver sticker on the sexy black metal finish at the back and print the correct model information directly on the metal surface. It's intentional :)
    7) Enable long press of forward and backward (not just short press) when the screen is locked, so you can seek the track with the screen off. Already added!
    8) Include an optional clock display at the top status bar. (Actually was quite useful on my Shanling M1, I'm sure the X1 II can support this since it has sleep timers and standby etc.)
    9) Make the status LED optional when the unit is on. The charging lights are important and should stay, but users will appreciate a choice of whether to have the light (rather than cover it with a sticker). Since the LED has multiple colours, it will be really cool if we can customise the colours to our preference!
    10) The scroll wheel click sound means that the X1 II has a inbuilt speaker. Why not let it do more things like other UI sounds or even play tracks if the speaker doesn't sound too bad? Of course, keep it optional as not everyone wants their DAPs clicking with every action they do. It's only a buzzer it seems.
    11) For the next update, Fiio should use a faster processor and support AptX. Optional, consider using the AKM AK44XX chip the Shanling M1 uses and include a backlight for your buttons to make it a really awesome DAP? I would love to imagine how the AK4452 with Fiio's power/amp architecture will sound.
    12) Sometimes with large number of tracks the DAP will hang when going to the all tracks screen.
     
    UPDATE: Fiio has been great in addressing users like me with updates and answers to questions, really appreciate it!
  2. foobar2015
    0.5/5,
    "Don't buy it."
    Pros - cheap and decent sound quality
    Cons - buggy firmware
    I owned X3II. It is premium quality but sold at cheap price.

    I want a portable DAP with bluetooth to off load music from my iPhone. I bought X1II without reading any reviews. Because I put a blind trust in Fiio brand.

    It turned out I was wrong and dead wrong this time.

    The firmware is buggy. I have upgraded to the recent one 1.5. It was still unacceptable.

    UI response is slow. It feel like controlling Mars Rover from earth that kind of slow. What make things worst is that the touch wheel is extremely sensitive. I hate control this dam thing. So I only push the start button. I gave it up trying to control it.

    To use bluetooth, you have to turn on your headphone first before turn on X1II. Otherwise, you have to reboot X1II. It is slow to reboot. TBH, I forgot how many times I forgot this sequence and cursed Fiio out loud. Really? Are you brain dead to get the bluetooth connection right?

    If possible, I will rate it 0 star. My advice is Don't buy it.
  3. Killcomic
    4.0/5,
    "Great sounding low cost player that's not for the faint of heart."
    Pros - Very good sound quality, continuous support from Fiio with frequent firmware updates, up to 256GB of storage, light, small, sturdy construction
    Cons - Firmware still not 100% optimal (1.6.2), Bluetooth support sketchy, touchwheel may not be everyone's cup of tea.
    Review updated for firmware 1.6.2

    The DAP And Package

    Sturdy, slick and well built. These were the first things I thought of when I took my player out of the box for the first time.
    The Fiio X1ii generation is a delight to touch with it's smooth lines on its all aluminium body. It certainly does not feel like it would break if you were to drop it (mind you, I have not tested this myself).
    In the package you get some faux carbon fibre body stickers, a mini USB cable to charge and transfer files, some screen protectors and a plastic body protector. It is a shame though that the screen protectors have a tendency to show every finger print that comes within 20 metres of the player, but it's a minor inconvenience for what it's a very well made and designed DAP.

    Charging to a full battery takes about 3 hours and will give you over 10 hours of music. Not bad and it can comfortably get me through my work day with continuous music.

    The player does not come with any internal storage so you have to provide your own in the form of a micro SDcard. The X1ii can support up to 256GB of storage. That's a lot of music but you do have to wear the cost of storage on top of the price of the X1ii.
    A common complaint is the speed, or lack of, of file transfers. I can attest to this as transferring 16GB of music took the better part of an hour. It is recommended you use an external card reader with write capabilities till Fiio figures out a fix.


    User Interface

    A lot of people have complained about the UI. I, personally, do not find it terrible. It's functional and laid out in a logical manner. It does even allow you to change themes with different colour schemes to suit your mood.
    One of the biggest complaints about the X1 2nd gen is the issue of responsiveness. Firmware updates have helped tremendously with this, however, a certain degree of sluggishness remains. I'm talking fractions of a second. Not sluggish enough to be unusable but there's enough of a delay to be noticeable.
    To be fair, I'm listening to music, not playing a video game. I do not need ultra responsive controls.


    Creating playlists can be a bit touch and go. I used MusicBee to sync files and it's not as straight forward as my Sony Walkman. You do have to tweak the settings to get things to work.
    Once the files and playlist has been uploaded, they do not show in the playlist section under categories. To use your playlist, you have to have to browse files and find the playlist files. Not overly complicated if you separate them into its own folder but an unnecessary step for something that should be detected by the player.

    Bluetooth apparently works for some people but I must say I've had no luck pairing it to my car. My car requires me to enter a pin into the device I'm trying to pair. The X1 ii does not have a feature to do that so the pairing simply fails. Others have had much better luck than me with their cars and BT headphones.

    Gapless has been added as of firmware update 1.6.0. Works great with FLAC files but it is not supported for MP3s.


    Sound Quality

    Paired with ATH-IM70 and ATH-M40X.

    Sound quality can be subjective and my only point of reference is my old 4GB Sony Walkman NWZ-E374.
    The X1ii sounds lighter, more detailed and controlled. My old Walkman had a mid/upper bass boominess that felt overwhelming specially with male vocals and pianos. This is not apparent in the X1ii, although the bass seems to have lost some of the impact, I do appreciate the clarity and balance my music has now. Certainly far more detailed than my old Walkman at least, and it does not seem to have an aneurism when the bass range gets too busy.
    .
    Soundstaging is OK. Not great, but it does give a sense of space. Although my old Walkman did give me a better sense of verticality, the X1ii does provide better horizontal imaging.

    The equaliser does not seem all that effective. Perhaps it's my ATH-IM70 but moving the dials on the EQ does not seem to make a lot of difference, at least not as much as my old Walkman.


    Wrapping It Up

    The X1ii is the troubled child in the Fiio DAP lineup. Despite its flaws and quirks, I found great value in this DAP. Your mileage may differ, obviously, but I have become quite attached to it. It does what I want it to do. I'm mostly concerned about sound quality, so for me, this trumps any other issues I may have come across.

    Personally, for my needs, I give this a 4.5/5, but realistically it's more of a 4/5. Good but with some wobbly bits.
    I do recommend this DAP, but I would strongly advise trying it before handing out your money..

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