Fiio x1
May 23, 2015 at 4:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

Indrajit

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I recently bought a Fiio x1. I used it with my Sony extra-bass mdr-xb30ex. 
The sound is kind of thick in the sense that it seems a bigger headphone would spread the sound much better than a smaller earphone like this one. The dynamic range is great. I have heard a lot about Cowon players and their jet effects. 
I am curious to know if anybody has owned Cowon and would want to know their views on the sound quality. 
 
May 23, 2015 at 12:11 PM Post #3 of 12

7keys

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  I recently bought a Fiio x1. I used it with my Sony extra-bass mdr-xb30ex. 
The sound is kind of thick in the sense that it seems a bigger headphone would spread the sound much better than a smaller earphone like this one. The dynamic range is great. I have heard a lot about Cowon players and their jet effects. 
I am curious to know if anybody has owned Cowon and would want to know their views on the sound quality. 

What were you using with with your Sony XB30x before the Fiio X1?
 
May 23, 2015 at 2:38 PM Post #4 of 12

Indrajit

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Well, it would be neutral only when it is paired with powerful headphones that would bring out the true potential of sound. I feel that My Fiio x1 is slightly underpowered by sony extra bass earphones...  'thick' means that the potential soundstage of Fiio x1 is wider than what my smaller extra bass-earphones are capable of producing and so that range is actually compressed in smaller earphones.  
 
May 24, 2015 at 12:15 AM Post #5 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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  Well, it would be neutral only when it is paired with powerful headphones that would bring out the true potential of sound. I feel that My Fiio x1 is slightly underpowered by sony extra bass earphones

 
It's an earphone with a 105dB sensitivity, and the X1 is already at 100mW with THD to spare. It's no slouch in current either. I think those headphones just have too much bass - try reducing the bass response with the X1's EQ first, it might save you a bit of money (which can allow you to spend a lot more on something else later on).
 
Just as another example, my 125dB ASG-1.3 has distorted, bloated bass on my 5mW SGS3. The X1 is way cleaner, has a more precise volume control (SGS3 goes from "almost there" to "TURN IT DOWN!!!" in one button press, while the X1 has at least four steps between those by my ears), but given I'd rather be interrupted easily by a call coming in rather than have it annoy everyone on the train while I can't hear it, I just use NeutronMusicPlayer to do a wide band EQ cut to trim the bass.
 
 
  Well, it would be neutral only when it is paired with powerful headphones that would bring out the true potential of sound

 
Transducers - whether headphones, IEMs, speakers, etc - are not "powerful," since they do not make any power.  What they are are either "power-hungry" (when the efficiency is low) or "current-hungry" (when the impedance is low, efficiency is low, and/or it swings too far from nominal impedance). 
 
A headphone might actually make the X1 less neutral since most of them have a markedly lower efficiency on average than nearly all IEMs. What that means is you have to squeeze out more of the output of the X1  to get to the same loudness as an IEM, and with the lower isolation it will also distort how you perceive loudness so you have to turn it up even louder to cover up ambient noise (which, even in a quiet suburban bedroom with a window open, can be as much as 40dB, even without distinct sound sources), and the higher output you squeeze out of an amp circuit the higher the distortion gets. You are therefore a lot closer to audible distortion with any headphone than on any IEM.
 
  'thick' means that the potential soundstage of Fiio x1 is wider than what my smaller extra bass-earphones are capable of producing and so that range is actually compressed in smaller earphones.  

 
I'm not sure how you got to think that but "thick" doesn't have a direct link to soundstage. "Thick" normally just refers to how much of the mids and lows are there - if a tom sounds like a tom and a bass drum sounds like a bass drum then it's about right; the sound is "lean" when either of them sound like a lazy hit on a snare. This only affects soundstage if it's too "thick" that there is enough imbalance in the response and the bass drum sounds like it's coming from where the vocalist is standing.
 
If that's what you mean then play with the X1's EQ first. If that doesn't help then you won't necessarily have to go with a large headphone, but just get an IEM more neutral than what you're using now.
 
That said headphones do have a naturally larger soundstage presentation than IEMs since they're outside your ear canals, but it's not necessarily that much wider and deeper. When you consider the isolation and THD issue discussed above, and that you can just get a more neutral IEM (provided the fit is comfortable), then explore IEM options first.
 
May 27, 2015 at 10:09 PM Post #7 of 12

cuiter23

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Not sure what you mean by the sound is "thick." The X1 should have a fairly neutral response.

 
I can get where the OP is coming from. The FiiO players (X1 and X3II are the ones I've heard) to my ears sound very well-rounded and in your face. That is compared to my Sony players.
 
It all comes down to preference. Some may not like the lean sound of Sony DAPs. 
 
Aug 31, 2016 at 1:05 PM Post #8 of 12

Indrajit

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i have a Fiio X1 + e11k. I used the combo with sound magic e80. I Am confused. I don't know whether I should use line- out or headphone out with the amp and earphone. Ho or lo. Can anyone please tell ?
 
Aug 31, 2016 at 3:42 PM Post #10 of 12

Indrajit

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I have a Fiio X1 + E11k + soundmagic e80. I am confused whether I should use the line out or headphone out on Fiio X1 with the mentioned accessories. Line out is supposed to drive speakers and more powerful stereo systems. But I have seen posts where it is stated that Fiio X1 should be amped with e11 on line out. What's the difference between line out and headphone out in the context of amping? Is line out healthy for ears? Is it dangerous? I have tried line out, and it turned out to be very loud and harsh. Or is music cleaner or better via line out? Line out vs headphone out earphone? Can anybody shed light on this ...
 
Sep 1, 2016 at 1:16 AM Post #11 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:


I have a Fiio X1 + E11k + soundmagic e80. I am confused whether I should use the line out or headphone out on Fiio X1 with the mentioned accessories. Line out is supposed to drive speakers and more powerful stereo systems. 

 
It cannot "drive" either of those, it just feeds them a line level signal. it doesn't power speakers, it doesn't even act as a preamp control for a power amp driving speakers or a powered speaker.
 
Quote:


But I have seen posts where it is stated that Fiio X1 should be amped with e11 on line out.

 
You're probably confusing what it means. if the X1 is hooked up to the E11 (via line out), the E11 is amping the signal out of the X1 to drive a headphone that needs the extra power. 
 
Again, if you really want to use the E11 and X1 together, hook it up as above. Personally if you're just using IEMs/earphones just skip the E11. The X1 has 100mW at 32ohms. IEMs have 100dB+/1mW sensitivity. The X1 was designed to be smaller to go with a smaller player, making up for the smaller battery with a more conservative power output.
 
Quote:


What's the difference between line out and headphone out in the context of amping?

 
Line out : DAC and analogue output stage straight out of the device
Headphone out : DAC and analogue output stage for the DAC feed into the headphone amplifier output stage
 
 
 
Quote:


Is line out healthy for ears? Is it dangerous? I have tried line out, and it turned out to be very loud and harsh.

 
That's because line out is fixed voltage output whereas headphone output can be set to a lower voltage. Now just because the voltage level is lower does not mean the amp is unnecessary - it adds current and headroom/reserve power for when dynamic peaks need it. Otherwise you can just use an RCA to TRS cable and hook up a headphone to the lineout on a hom audio source like a CDP's line output or a the analogue of a phono preamp on a TT.
 
When you use the line out on the device you're supposed to use the preamp stage on the amp hooked up to it to control the volume. There's a knob on the E11, use that.
 
 
Quote:


Or is music cleaner or better via line out? Line out vs headphone out earphone?

 
Cleaner via line out because it skips the amplifier stage, which will always add more distortion and noise than the input signal has in the process of making the signal strong enough to move a transducer properly, hence why passing the signal through the X1's built in amp then through the E11 again isn't the best way to handle the signal. it's just a matter of how much less distortion and noise one amp has vs another amp, and how much the transducer need. In this case the X1 has 100mW of output at 32ohms, so if you're using an IEM with it, you don't really need a separate amplifier considering its efficiency plus the way it can seal your ear canal to lower ambient noise (how much varies from eartip to eartip).
.
 
Sep 1, 2016 at 1:27 AM Post #12 of 12

PurpleAngel

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I have a FiiO X1 + E11k + Soundmagic e80. I am confused whether I should use the line out or headphone out on Fiio X1 with the mentioned accessories. Line out is supposed to drive speakers and more powerful stereo systems. But I have seen posts where it is stated that Fiio X1 should be amped with e11 on line out. What's the difference between line out and headphone out in the context of amping? Is line out healthy for ears? Is it dangerous? I have tried line out, and it turned out to be very loud and harsh. Or is music cleaner or better via line out? Line out vs headphone out earphone? Can anybody shed light on this ...

 
The line-output setting is designed to feed a strong analog audio signal to something like an amplifier (E11K).
The headphone setting is more designed to feed a correct signal to drive the diaphragm inside of headphones/IEMs.
 
So for the best signal to the E11K, set the FiiO X1 to Line-output and the X1's volume controls to 75% or higher
and just use the E11K's volume control to get the desired loudness.
 

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