Does anyone own the Fiio E7 AND E9?
May 19, 2011 at 12:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

planx

Might be Ironman, or some fat kid.
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Posts
1,942
Likes
51
I was just wondering who has listened to or owns the E7 AND the E9. I want to know if its worth buying both and how their performance is. I read many reviews on the E7 about it being an amazing DAC/AMP and the E9 for its solid and powerful Amplification as well. Chances are, i won't be using the DAC function as much so should i wait for the E11 to come out or buy the E7+E9 combo?
 
May 19, 2011 at 7:48 AM Post #2 of 10

yuriv

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Posts
156
Likes
267
I'm playing with an E7 and an E9 now, to see if I'll keep them. In some ways, the E7 is the better performer and will work better with a wider selection of headphones. It has a near zero-ohm output impedance, which means that it can deliver a uniform frequency response to almost any load. The E9, on the other hand, has 10 ohms and 43 ohms for the output impedances off the 1/4" and 1/8" jacks, respectively. I verified this with measurements. Some headphones will not get a flat response with the E9, especially off the 1/8" jack.

Headphones that won't be affected are those with high enough impedance (e.g., HD600), and those whose impedance doesn't change much over frequency (e.g., ATH-M50, LCD-2). Some headphones (like the SR-60, HD598 and many others) will get a slight hump in their mid-bass response, and the effect will be more pronounced when plugged into the 1/8" jack. Some listeners might like this.

Single-driver balanced armature IEMs will sound brighter on the E9 than when driven by a low-impedance source, like the newer iPods and iPhones. The E9's output impedance isn't quite high enough to make an ER-4P sound like an ER-4S, even off the 1/8" jack. But some folks might think they're now hearing more "detail" off their SE310. On multi-driver BA IEMs, the high output impedance could impart an unwanted coloration. On the SE530, for example, the midrange response around 1 kHz is noticeably higher than the output at 5 kHz. Off the 1/8" jack, you'll hear the hole at 5k, now 7 dB lower.

The E7 headphone output is a much stiffer voltage source. I was hoping that the 1/8" jack on the E9 would perform the same way. As it is, either jack on the E9 is unsuitable for some of my IEMs, but if I were forced to use it, I'd use the 1/4" jack. But I guess that's not what the E9 is for. If you get the E9, you'll still want an E7 to power the cans that need an ideal voltage source. If you have the E7 only, you'll probably be OK with almost any load. It's such an inconvenient shape, though, if you really want a desktop amp.

That said, the E9 sounds fine with with my full-size cans. The output is clean; I haven't heard any noticeable noise or distortion yet.
 
Edit: Typo. Changed 33 ohms to 43 ohms for output impedance off 1/8" jack. Just noticed now--sorry. NWAVGuy just published measurements of this thing, and he got the same figures, and it prompted me to look at this again. This is why it's good to have many different people doing tests.
 
May 22, 2011 at 5:12 AM Post #4 of 10

yuriv

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Posts
156
Likes
267
The gain on the E7 is about 4 dB at maximum volume (60). 50 is where you get unity gain (0 dB), Which means that the signal entering the E7 has the same voltage as the signal at the headphone output. Some high-impedance cans like the HD600 and HD650 can sound good on a portable player if the  track is loud. Unfortunately, there are are plenty of quiet tracks with wide dynamic range; those won't get loud enough on an HD600 even when an iPod is at maximum volume. Adding the E7 buys you only 4 dB more signal, so it's probably not that useful if you want to bring 250+ ohm cans with you.

The E7 can handle low-impedance IEMs with no problem. It plays them with low noise and distortion. I can, however, hear some hiss on my most sensitive IEMs when nothing is playing. When I listen to binaural recordings using the E7, I still hear precise imaging. But that's more a function of the headphones than the amp, as long as the amp does no harm. The E7 will deliver a flat fequency response to almost any kind of load, even balanced armature IEMs. The E9 can't do that. If you use the E7 instead of your Cowon players' built-in headphone amplifiers, you might hear slightly more output in the lowest two octaves.

I looked at your headphone inventory and I don't see any high-impedance full-size cans. So you don't need an E9. You do have several IEMs, but most of them have dynamic drivers. An E9 should play those just fine. But its response won't be uniform with the ones with BA drivers. On single-driver IEMs like the HF5, you might hear more treble, especially if you plug it into the 1/8" jack. That won't happen with the E7. Or the E5, which you already have.

If I were you, I'd hold off on buying anything right now. Your portable players and your E5 can drive your IEMs just fine. Sure, the E7 seems to be a well-engineered product. Its problem is that it increases a portable player's volume by only 4 dB--probably not enough for 250+ ohm cans. Also, iPads and the newest iPhones now have pretty good performance when driving low-impedance IEMs at typical listening levels. For me, bringing a portable amp isn't worth the trouble. Your priorities might be different. So where would the E7 be useful? To me, it makes most sense as an external USB audio interface for a notebook computer with really bad built-in audio. But even those components are slowly improving.

Anyway, I noticed that you've amassed a lot of gear in a short time span. I hope you're giving all of them enough time to be enjoyed. If you need more reassurance, I've compared the E7 to my iPad. I don't hear much of a difference on all sorts of cans. If anything, the E7 has slightly more hiss.
 
May 22, 2011 at 6:25 AM Post #5 of 10

EddieE

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Posts
2,006
Likes
250
I own both, yes its worth it (the price is so low) but the bit you'll be most happy with is the E9. The E9 can drive pretty much anything short of a K1000 (admittedly haven't tried a K1000 on it but I doubt it). In comparison to some seriously powerful tube amps, the high gain setting on the E9 produced equal results with hard to drive leviathans such as the HE-6 and HE-4. 
 
A lot of people who spent many times more on their amps don't want to beleive that and there is a lot of disinfo on the E9 from people who have never heard it and make assumptions about what it can do based on its price tag alone. 
 
I think the E7 is work-to-rule and lets down the quality of the E9 a bit IMO. But since you get special offers on both together and they conveniently dock, you can buy both now and upgrade the DAC later on. The E7 is not bad as a DAC  by any means and I'm still using it now, but it can be bettered.
 
EDIT:
 
Regarding the point about bad response with lower impedance phones, I have to admit I have never encountered this thinking about it have really not used any lower impedance phones with the E9, and to date have never has any call to use the 3.5mm jack at all. Well I guess there had to be something wrong about it to be that cheap!
 
May 22, 2011 at 8:57 PM Post #6 of 10

planx

Might be Ironman, or some fat kid.
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Posts
1,942
Likes
51


Quote:
The gain on the E7 is about 4 dB at maximum volume (60). 50 is where you get unity gain (0 dB), Which means that the signal entering the E7 has the same voltage as the signal at the headphone output. Some high-impedance cans like the HD600 and HD650 can sound good on a portable player if the  track is loud. Unfortunately, there are are plenty of quiet tracks with wide dynamic range; those won't get loud enough on an HD600 even when an iPod is at maximum volume. Adding the E7 buys you only 4 dB more signal, so it's probably not that useful if you want to bring 250+ ohm cans with you.

The E7 can handle low-impedance IEMs with no problem. It plays them with low noise and distortion. I can, however, hear some hiss on my most sensitive IEMs when nothing is playing. When I listen to binaural recordings using the E7, I still hear precise imaging. But that's more a function of the headphones than the amp, as long as the amp does no harm. The E7 will deliver a flat fequency response to almost any kind of load, even balanced armature IEMs. The E9 can't do that. If you use the E7 instead of your Cowon players' built-in headphone amplifiers, you might hear slightly more output in the lowest two octaves.

I looked at your headphone inventory and I don't see any high-impedance full-size cans. So you don't need an E9. You do have several IEMs, but most of them have dynamic drivers. An E9 should play those just fine. But its response won't be uniform with the ones with BA drivers. On single-driver IEMs like the HF5, you might hear more treble, especially if you plug it into the 1/8" jack. That won't happen with the E7. Or the E5, which you already have.

If I were you, I'd hold off on buying anything right now. Your portable players and your E5 can drive your IEMs just fine. Sure, the E7 seems to be a well-engineered product. Its problem is that it increases a portable player's volume by only 4 dB--probably not enough for 250+ ohm cans. Also, iPads and the newest iPhones now have pretty good performance when driving low-impedance IEMs at typical listening levels. For me, bringing a portable amp isn't worth the trouble. Your priorities might be different. So where would the E7 be useful? To me, it makes most sense as an external USB audio interface for a notebook computer with really bad built-in audio. But even those components are slowly improving.

Anyway, I noticed that you've amassed a lot of gear in a short time span. I hope you're giving all of them enough time to be enjoyed. If you need more reassurance, I've compared the E7 to my iPad. I don't hear much of a difference on all sorts of cans. If anything, the E7 has slightly more hiss.

hmm thank you for the honest reply. I've done some research on the E7 and E9 over the weekend and noticed that its pretty hard to turn down the offer. I've been so amazed by the performance the E5 had to offer so i am really considering on getting the E7. And truthfully speaking, when i'm out listening with my Cowon and UM customs, it's almost impossible walking out without my E5. I find SUCH a improvement when amping it up. Thats why i want the E7 because of its terrific battery life and Amping capabilities. And the reason why i want the E7 and E9 combo is because i am planning on doing a review on a Gadget site. Also i'm planning on buying some full size cans pretty soon.
 
 

 
Quote:
I own both, yes its worth it (the price is so low) but the bit you'll be most happy with is the E9. The E9 can drive pretty much anything short of a K1000 (admittedly haven't tried a K1000 on it but I doubt it). In comparison to some seriously powerful tube amps, the high gain setting on the E9 produced equal results with hard to drive leviathans such as the HE-6 and HE-4. 
 
A lot of people who spent many times more on their amps don't want to beleive that and there is a lot of disinfo on the E9 from people who have never heard it and make assumptions about what it can do based on its price tag alone. 
 
I think the E7 is work-to-rule and lets down the quality of the E9 a bit IMO. But since you get special offers on both together and they conveniently dock, you can buy both now and upgrade the DAC later on. The E7 is not bad as a DAC  by any means and I'm still using it now, but it can be bettered.
 
EDIT:
 
Regarding the point about bad response with lower impedance phones, I have to admit I have never encountered this thinking about it have really not used any lower impedance phones with the E9, and to date have never has any call to use the 3.5mm jack at all. Well I guess there had to be something wrong about it to be that cheap!

Yes i am very impressed with the E9 as well. Hearing the E9 being compared to more expensive and higher end tube amps. I'm not looking for anything extreme as a desktop amp, just something "good enough". Doing the research and all, i think the E7 and E9 would go great with my line-up of IEMs and upcoming full sizers. Love Fiio products <3 xD
 
 
 
May 24, 2011 at 5:52 PM Post #7 of 10

singha

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Posts
159
Likes
12
Sorry to hijack the thread. Can you dock the E7 with the soft case on in the E9? It doesn't seem like mine will fit in the dock, but works fine when I take the rubber sleeve off.
 
May 25, 2011 at 12:18 AM Post #8 of 10

planx

Might be Ironman, or some fat kid.
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Posts
1,942
Likes
51


Quote:
Sorry to hijack the thread. Can you dock the E7 with the soft case on in the E9? It doesn't seem like mine will fit in the dock, but works fine when I take the rubber sleeve off.



Not sure because i do not own one yet! still deciding if its worth getting both for roughly 200ish dollars US
 
May 25, 2011 at 12:48 AM Post #9 of 10

singha

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Posts
159
Likes
12
My bad for hi-jacking the thread. Since there was no response I posted a new thread up here on this issue. I bought one and its definitely a great deal. Where do you live cause that would definitely affect who I would recommend buying it from?
 
Quote:
Not sure because i do not own one yet! still deciding if its worth getting both for roughly 200ish dollars US



 
 
May 25, 2011 at 11:47 PM Post #10 of 10

planx

Might be Ironman, or some fat kid.
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Posts
1,942
Likes
51

 
Quote:
My bad for hi-jacking the thread. Since there was no response I posted a new thread up here on this issue. I bought one and its definitely a great deal. Where do you live cause that would definitely affect who I would recommend buying it from?
 


 

 
Vancouver BC. shipping isn't really an issue, just more costly
 
 
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top