1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice


  1. View previous replies
  2. Darren Cotter
    Thanks for the review. Only one Micro SD card slot! What are you thinking FiiO. Would have upgraded from my X5ii, but not after finding that out.   Going backwards instead of forwards.
    Darren Cotter, Nov 10, 2015
  3. Brooko
    It won't suit everyone Darren - but look at it this way -  32 Gb onboard + 200 Gb card = basically close to what you currently get on an X5ii anyway.  Plus you get wireless and bluetooth, vastly improved navigation, and flexibility with the upcoming amp modules.  Definitely going forward IMO. 
    Brooko, Nov 10, 2015
  4. psikey
    • This message has been removed from public view.
    Only reason for Android to me is to support streaming like the Sony ZX2/ZX2. So, can you stream Tidal/Spotify/Goole Play etc. with this? And apart from cost, any comparison to a ZX2 seeing as battery life better on the Sony and I do know that does Tidal/Spotify etc.
    psikey, Nov 10, 2015
  5. JK1
    "I’d ideally like to get over that magic 10 hour mark – but for me the 8-9 hours is more than sufficient for a day’s playing."   Why do so many people feel the norm should be charging a player each day? Do so many people use very power hungry smart phones that need to be charged each day?   Imo the norm for a music player should be charging once a week. 
    JK1, Nov 10, 2015
  6. Brooko
    [user=7654]@JK1[/user] - Yep, have noted your requirement for 40 plus hours on many threads.  Different strokes, different folks.  If I was going to be in a situation where I was likely to be playing music for longer than an 8-9 hour stretch (ie long haul from NZ to Europe), I'd just take a battery pack.  You can charge and listen at the same time.  But even 2 x 12 hour flights back to back, there is no way I'd be listening for more than 8 hours solid. YMMV (I know yours does).  I guess my question to you is why you are so hung up on excessive battery life - when the ability to charge is not a big deal?
    Brooko, Nov 10, 2015
  7. Darren Cotter
    Hi Brooko   Fair point regarding the 200gb cards, but they cost £130 on Amazon.Co.Uk, whereas 128gb cards are £54. Also, with a X5ii you can have two 200gb cards allowing you to have lots of DSD files.   Regards   Darren
    Darren Cotter, Nov 10, 2015
  8. peareye
    Very professional review!  I use my daps/dacs as dacs quite a bit....any idea of when the DAC function will be implemented?
    peareye, Nov 10, 2015
  9. Mshenay
    • This message has been removed from public view.
    Nice Brooko! I always enjoy reading your reviews, an I kinda miss your criticisim of mine lol. I did steal that very cool 3 picture Panel bar idea from you ;3 Non the less very nice review! I'm kinda happy to see an eSabre Dac in the Fiio X7, if it's on Amazon I might definatly be picking it up! 
    Mshenay, Nov 10, 2015
  10. ASpencer
    I’m glad you mentioned an almost 3-D style effect as I was listening to Giorgio Moroder ‘s “Déjà vu” and the tracks literally shrouded me a few times.  Higher end DAPs tend to offer variations on great sound, but there’s an indescribable scale I’ve discerned with the X7 on a few tracks.
    ASpencer, Nov 10, 2015
  11. GLM101
    Absolutely amazing review, so much so that I don't have any questions!!   Although I am curious as to how good is Spotify to listen to on the x7 or any device?   Gideon
    GLM101, Nov 10, 2015
  12. Brooko
    [user=397324]@Darren Cotter[/user] - fair enough.  2 x 128 Gb cards will cost you £108 vs 1 x 200 Gb @ £130 - so I do believe it is relative.  And yes - there will be those wanting 400 Gb for DSD files once the 200 Gb cards are cheaper.  For me personally - I can't tell the difference between DSD and redbook (the actual mastering is the important bit), so I convert all my DSD to redbook anyway for portable use.  Again YMMV - and all I can do is comemnt from my own personal view. [user=52226]@peareye[/user] - I know Fiio are working on the DAC functionality now - so hopefully within next 4-6 weeks. [user=425404]@ASpencer[/user] - yep.  There is something there which is really hard to spot in A/B testing, but it seems to just pull me in. [user=406623]@GLM101[/user] - I use Spotify mainly for when I'm researching an album or new artist.  But ultimately I buy CDs for any music I own. Spotify quality is OK - but quite often I find I prefer the mastering off the real CD.  That is based on the free Spotify though - I have no idea how good premium is.
    Brooko, Nov 10, 2015
  13. GLM101
    I think I will have to try spotify soon.  I have been downloading music from Bandcamp and e-music. Bandcamp offer good quality FLAC and other formats. And of course more money go to the artist/band.  Once again, thanks for the excellent review.
    GLM101, Nov 10, 2015
  14. howdy
    Great job Brooko! Cant wait to give it a try myself.
    howdy, Nov 10, 2015
  15. ezvkm77
    A very through review enjoyed it and will check on the progress of this device, thanks.
    ezvkm77, Nov 11, 2015
  16. goodyfresh
    Thanks for yet another excellent review, Paul! :)
    goodyfresh, Nov 11, 2015
  17. landroni
    Thanks for the excellent review.     [i]"I also tested the coax (digital) out – into the E17K. Not much to say - works well, although why anyone would want to use the X7 as a transport only is beyond me. They’ve used a TOTL DAC for a reason."[/i]     Personally I can see using X7 as a transport (local files, Spotify, Qobuz, etc.) to a desktop R2R DAC (e.g. Schiit Bifrost MB), or to an FPGA implementation like Chord Mojo or Bottlehead DAC. In addition to using it on the go, of course...
    landroni, Nov 12, 2015
  18. csglinux
    Many thanks for (yet again!) producing one of the most informative reviews on this site :-)
    csglinux, Nov 12, 2015
  19. landroni
    [i]"There is something there which is really hard to spot in A/B testing, but it seems to just pull me in."[/i] [user=170914]@Brooko[/user] IMO instantaneous blind A/B testing is unlikely to be very revealing when dealing with artistic rendering of sound (i.e. music), and will be often biased towards a "no difference" result. Long-term blind A/B testing, however, could yield much more meaningful data points, provided you have the luxury to spend at least 30-60 min in each testing position.   For a related take see Mike Moffat's thoughts on the matter: [url=http://www.head-fi.org/t/701900/schiit-happened-the-story-of-the-worlds-most-improbable-start-up/7725#post_11921090]http://www.head-fi.org/t/701900/schiit-happened-the-story-of-the-worlds-most-improbable-start-up/7725#post_11921090[/url]
    landroni, Nov 12, 2015
  20. Brooko
    Again - thanks for all of the comments. [user=412275]@landroni[/user] - I hadn't thought of that use of the X7 via coax (streaming) - thanks, it is a good point to consider.  And yes - I would say that A/B testing (preferably blind) has advantages and disadvantages.  It is very good for telling us immediate differences in frequency, and for me is a good measure of similarities in tonality (I often question comments re an amp having more mids or more bass when they essentially measure flat).  But it can fall down with immersion - and I'm danged if I know how you quantify or measure that.  But what ever X factor (for me anyway) the X7 has - it's more than what is present with the X3ii, X5 or X5ii.  I've already made inquiries to Fiio about buying one.
    Brooko, Nov 12, 2015
  21. landroni
    [user=170914]@Brooko[/user] [i]"But it can fall down with immersion - and I'm danged if I know how you quantify or measure that."[/i]   I suspect Moffat offers a plausible explanation for this phenomenon (see link above): [i]"[T]he human ear is an integral, NOT differential device."[/i]   Which suggests that human ears are not good at detecting instantaneous differences, whereas in the long-run discerning differences between gear (if any) becomes a much more realistic proposition. Put differently tests are generally set-up to reject a null (i.e. reject the similarity in tonality between two gears), so if you fail to reject the null (i.e. the two devices sound similar) it simply means that you didn't find enough proof to support the converse, that there is a difference. It doesn't necessarily prove that the devices are actually similar or identical. Another, more appropriate test, might be able to detect a potential difference. Hence my ramblings on instantaneous vs long-term blind A/B testing...
    landroni, Nov 13, 2015
  22. originalsnuffy
    I just received an X7 and am doing my evaluation now.  Somebody asked about this vs. the Chord Mojo and that was a good question.   I think the question for some is whether one should purchase an Oppo HA2 or Chord Mojo with an IOS or Android transport vs. the X7.  Obviously the X7 is easier because it is one device.  But in terms of sound and lack of app whitelist issues; the IOS or Android with Chord Mojo or Oppo HA2 choice become more interesting.   Sound so far is a bit more refined that the X3 II; and the EQ does function on hi res which is nice.
    originalsnuffy, Nov 20, 2015
  23. Brooko
    I'll be interested to hear what you think as you use it a little more Snuffy. I guess the HA2 + suitable player would come in at comparable cost, but then there is the added bulk / two devices etc.  The comparison to the Hugo should also take into account price though - with the Hugo alone being 3-4 times the price of the X7. I guess for guys wanting to have use of a lot of apps - then an Android phone might be a better choice + whatever dac/amp you prefer.  But for me - I'm just looking for a decent DAP, and both Spotify and Tidal work with no issues as do HibyMusic and Neutron - so that's all I'd personally need. As an all-in-one solution, the X7 is the best I've personally tried to date.  I'll definitely be buying one - which will endorse how I feel about the X7. 
    Brooko, Nov 20, 2015
  24. originalsnuffy
    At least in my case I was referring to the Chord Mojo which is $700 in the US, the same as the X7.  But clearly an all in one unit is a different animal that a separate DAC/AMP.  But since this unit is fairly large anyway, comparing the X7 to a two item solution is not completely out of place.  Especially because, in my view, the X7 adds value by offering streaming from Tidal, Spotify, etc.
    originalsnuffy, Nov 21, 2015
  25. Andi Lam
    thanks a great review again! just a quick question I use a E11k and v-moda m80, I am interested in a x7, would I get the same power from it without using a external amp?
    Andi Lam, Nov 22, 2015
  26. Brooko
    Snuffy - sorry thought you were talking about the Hugo. I need to read properly next time :)
    Brooko, Nov 22, 2015
  27. Brooko
    Andi - thanks.  The M80 is 28 ohms and reasonably sensitive at 105 dB SPL - so I'd imagine you'd be quite low on the pot if driving from anything with a dedicated line-out (lets face it - they don't really need amping unless you're suing a weak source).  The E11K will output 270 mW into 32 ohm. The X7 (with IEM module) is considerably less at 100 mW into 32 ohms. Considering (at a pinch), the X7 was able to handle VE's 320 ohm Zen and Sennheiser's 300 ohm HD600 - it should be able to cope with the M80s without requiring additional amping,   
    Brooko, Nov 22, 2015
  28. Vividcard
    Great Review Brooko, I may have to "Borrow" your ideas of listing what you look for in a device for my review as well, helps establish what you looked for and why XD
    Vividcard, Nov 24, 2015
  29. Brooko
    Thanks & no problem.  I also seem to have started the trend of making sure disclaimers are posted (ie whether you're reviewing a sample or something you've paid for), and also posting some background on your own preferences.  Both (IMO) are essential for readers to get the most out of a review & I'm pleased to see people using them.  Any improvements I can assist with, others are more than welcome to use :)
    Brooko, Nov 24, 2015
  30. Vividcard
    I've been adding disclaimers for as long as I've done reviews, don't want people to get the wrong idea, But after you and [user=386104]@nmatheis[/user] did your review I decided to add an about me section. Not as in depth, but I wanted to give some background!
    Vividcard, Nov 24, 2015
  31. Oldvalvemic
    Many thanks for this interesting review. Having been very frustrated with the UI of my X5 and the stupid thumb wheel for ever as I stroll through 2 x 128Gb cards worth of music the X7 seems a better bet for finding what you want to play.  When you use the internal Fiio app I presume this uses the full Fiio audiophile circuitry and when you use the android aspect it introduces the android limitations to the audio conversion.  The sensible storage and proper UI are what I have been looking for.   will wait as the firmware improves
    Oldvalvemic, Dec 16, 2015
  32. Brooko
    [user=268808]@Oldvalvemic[/user] - one thing which helped me with the original X5 was sorting folders into alphabetic groups /A-C, D-F, G-I etc - then artist, then album.  it really helps if you are an album at a time listener. The X7 UI is like a breath of fresh air though.  I really loved it - miss it now that it's on tour though.
    Brooko, Dec 20, 2015
  33. majo123
    majo123, Jan 1, 2016
  34. majo123
    im a new member and great review , i was wondering if anybody can can give me advice on upgrading, i m currently running an x5 gen 1 with a e12 mont blanc ,,,, would it be worth upgrading to replace both units?????? purely on a sound quality perspective????  i mainly use akg k702 headphones ....thanks for any response.
    majo123, Jan 1, 2016
  35. Brooko
    For now, hang onto your existing set-up.  The X7 with IEM module won't run the K702 (I used to own that too).  There are new amp modules being released soon and when they begin to appear, we'll have a better idea of performance.  Of course you could go X7 + E12, but that would be a pretty heavy stack. 
    Brooko, Jan 1, 2016
  36. majo123
    thanks for replying so quickly ....and i will prob take your advice , save myself a few hundred quid see how it all develops for now ....although x7 plus e12 ....would it be a big jump in audio quality ???? and happy new year too you. 
    majo123, Jan 1, 2016
  37. Brooko
    • This message has been removed from public view.
    I haven't heard the E12 - so can't really comment. If anything it would just give you more options on headphones you can pair.  Personally I didn't find much difference ebtween the headphone out and line-out of the X7.  Both were excellent :)
    Brooko, Jan 1, 2016
  38. Brooko
    I haven't heard the E12 - so can't really comment. If anything it would just give you more options on headphones you can pair.  Personally I didn't find much difference between the headphone out and line-out of the X7.  Both were excellent :)
    Brooko, Jan 1, 2016
  39. majo123
    thanks again ....read your review on fiio x7 a few times and decided to order one yesterday :)...will run it through the e12a mont blanc to run the akg 702 when at home until more powerfull amp mod released ....know its off thread but just read your review of dunnu dn2000j ...they sound great! and thinking of purchasing ......thaanks for info and great reviews.
    majo123, Jan 3, 2016
  40. saintintn
    Brooko, thanks again for the excellent write-up.  These types of reviews are invaluable.  You mention in the original post that you were listening to your entire music collection in 256aac which I'm currently doing with my 128gb iPhone 6s Plus (83GB).  Have you been able to compare the two?  The DAC on the iPhone is supposed to be pretty good, so I wonder if you can tell any difference between the two (major or minor).  Thanks again.
    saintintn, Jan 6, 2016
  41. Brooko
    [user=442683]@majo123[/user] - if you want to use the X7 in a desktop situation - especially after the DAC is unlocked - definitely look out for the K5.  Should have some info on that in a review shortly.   [user=425949]@saintintn[/user] - thanks, I appreciate the feedback.  Yes there is a noticeable difference.  The DAC in my iPhone 5S is pretty good IMO, I've always rated Apple's products - they do know good sound. But the X7 is a class above.  It has a quality that is really hard to describe - I think I called it holographic a few times before. There is a better sense of space and separation, and something about it that just pulls you in. It's the same sort of thing I've heard on Luxury & Precision's LP5 Gold.  You're playing an album, and you just don't want to stop.  The differences for me are not night/day type - but still there.  I'm hoping to get the tour unit back in a couple of weeks, and when it gets here, I'll buy it off Fiio if they let me.
    Brooko, Jan 6, 2016
  42. JeremyLaurenson
    Did you ever turn off the blue "pulsar light". I found it made a pretty big difference to battery (according the the android battery screen, it was the #1 power drain)
    JeremyLaurenson, Jan 16, 2016
  43. Brooko
    I'll try it if I get the review unit back for a follow up. It is still out on tour at the moment.
    Brooko, Jan 16, 2016
  44. NicolasM
    Wow, that is such a complete and detailed review! Thanks a lot, its very impressive :) 
    NicolasM, Feb 12, 2016
  45. Brooko
    Thanks Nik.   Jeremy - I got the unit back, and yes, turning off the pulsar light seems to have helped.
    Brooko, Feb 13, 2016
  46. DBX1
    I just purchased mine!!!  I will be getting it next week!!!
    DBX1, Feb 13, 2016
  47. asymcon
    Thanks [user=170914]@Brooko[/user] for your review. I have a question though, how did you test the sound signature difference b/w other Fiio DAPs? Was it blind-test with switchbox, with 0.2s maximum switch time, or simply "impressions/hands-on" test with manually connecting HP to one, then to the other?
    asymcon, Apr 18, 2016
  48. Brooko
    I volume matched each DAP first - and then I had to manually switch - so it was just an A/B test.  Like I said in the review - completely subjective, but as "objective" as I can make it.  I don't have a switch box - but even if I did, the only way to be completely objective would be to have someone helping me so it was actually blind.  For the purposes of this review, I'm not making any claims, just simply stating my subjective impressions.  How the reader interprets them is over to them. 
    Brooko, Apr 18, 2016
  49. ehjie
    Congrats on ur new portable hi-fi source... the review was excellent
    ehjie, May 21, 2016
  50. RaviM
    Great review, Can you use Spotify in offline mode so the data is stored on the device?
    RaviM, Jun 8, 2016
  51. Brooko
    Hi RaviM - I haven't tried, and I no longer have Spotify on the X7.  Might be a question to ask in the X7 thread, as I'm sure someone there might be using Spotify Premium.
    Brooko, Jun 19, 2016