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Fiio X3 vs Fiio X5: A matter of sound...

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by preludio, Mar 14, 2014.
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  1. Preludio
    Hi!, i own the Fiio X3 DAP, i use it with Shure SE215 IEM's and with the NAD Viso HP50 over-ears. I wonder if the X5 is much better in sound, and what would be those differences? I'm happy with the X3 sound (and don´t have much problems with interface and other features) but i´m really curious if the improvements in sound are important enough to do an upgrade. Maybe there´s someone that own both...
    Thanks for the support!
  2. headoncollision
    I have the same question as you are, quite frankly 400$ is a bit of a stretch for me, like u my headphones are shure se 310, and just now I have placed an order for the fiio x3 and was comparing the x5 so here is my thoughts if its of any help to you. 
    x5 has dual core ( no essential its not a smartphone )
    x5 has bigger ips high res screen ( also not essential its suppose to be a music player) 
    x5 wheel poses a question mark on durability ( nothing can beat physical bottoms, more moving parts more risk to break down)
    x5 has  PCM1792 chip, I really have no idea if it`s better or not, but to be honest you can only listen to judge.
    x5 has 2x amps of LMH6643 again I don`t know if it`s better or not but if better then by how much. 
    x5 seems to have less battery life according to the reviews.
    x5 doesn`t have internal storage so you have to increase like 40$ to get 64gb microsd, so add to the cost while the x3 fully rigged tops at 200$ 
    x5 is bigger and heavier if you do sports this will pose a problem, x3 is relatively smaller, has smaller screen so better battery life.  
    despite all that I am just like you and couldn`t find any direct comparison between the two, if you are in U.S buy one, try it and see if it`s worth it, if not return it.
    because honestly speaking you have to consider the concept of diminishing returns, how much would you be getting for almost 230$ more, and think seriously about the durability of the ring, how much of better sound quality will you get and would you even notice?, and would your headphones actually be able to output ?, now I would understand buying an x5 if someone owns a se5xx series thats costs 500$ but for a sub 200$ earpuds I don`t think it will make much of a difference. 
    BLACKENEDPLAGUE likes this.
  3. A5ianInva5ion12
  4. vincik
    Im curious too. Please tell me someone, that you prefer x3's sound. I dont want to be tortured with thought, that there is better sound in that ipodish x5. I want to enjoy my simple, nice, small, oldschool, equalizer free X3. But how can i? Or can i?
    i put together some bits from net to have it in one place:
    I love the sound of the new Fiio X5. A clear upgrade from the X3, the X5 sounds so much more cleaner, more spacious, and a blacker background too.
    - headfonia.com
    X5 sounds better that any other DAC they made until now (including E17, E18) and much better sounding than X3.
    This is by far the best product they ever made, being a huge step forward from X3.
    The X3 has the warmer signature with a more pronounced mid-bass hump but lacks the resolution, detail and clarity to compete with the X5.
  5. headoncollision
    here is a post from someone who tried both on a thread I also opened when I wanted to order the x3 vs x5 
    Originally Posted by appleidappleid [​IMG]

    I actually like the sound of x3 more than x5. It is a touch warmer. The vocal is softer (more emotional maybe). X5 is more vibrant.
    end of quote 
    read the rest of the thread here. 
    I actually went ahead and ordered the x3, 200$ with a 64gb sd card was too good to pass, major reasons for not getting the x5 is the wheel and bulkiness, I am going to use the x3 in an active settings and I don`t want to be dragging a brick with me wherever I go. I am a very entry level sort of audiophile and my taste in sound is non mainstream, what I was looking for is a dedicated audio player, with quality sound and most importantly a discrete amp, so I would have settled for a sony walkman if it has an amp, but look at, look at the x3, it`s more than I ever asked for, it even comes protected with silicone cover, physical bottoms and aluminum body, seriously I hate the trend nowadays slapping a touch screen on everything from fridges to watches, I love the tactile feedback of a physical bottom. and I usually switch tracks pause increase and decrease volume while it`s in my pocket from over my cloths, u can`t do that with a touch screen nor with a wheel.  
  6. vincik
    - so x3 rocks and its best player in the world and all who tells different are liars! ...thats what i wanted to hear. more x3 vs x5 please...how big is that x5 fatty exactly? is it heavy? muhehe.. no seriously..if you heared them both let us know
    anyway.. headoncollision i read the topic you started and i think you decided well. i cant compare x3 to x5 but i had some players. before x3 it was cowon x7 and this is another league. and its beautifull, supported with updates and easy to carry around..of course it matters a lot on your headphones, ears and taste but you should be happy with it
  7. headoncollision
    more like best wallet friendly player in the world, thanks for the assurance! actually this was one of the most well informed and researched purchase I have made in a long time. you cannot imagine the amount of info I have accumilated in the past few days about players and IEMs its a amazing, there are companies that I have never heard of, and the tough realization that quality manifactures don`t spend much money into marketing and instead focus on the product, while others let you pay 50% more for their marketing effort so you end up paying much more for an originally crappy product.
    I have even downloaded more FLAC tracks and compared them to MP3s, I am not even using a DAC ( out of town from my main rig) right now and it`s like, the instrumental separation is amazing, and the dynamics are amazing, it`s so natural and non fatiguing like mp3s lol with laptop + E11 + ah-d5000, so even with a crappy source you can still hear a difference. 
    I can`t wait for the Fiio x3 to arrive with vsonic GR07BE.
  8. Batmilk
    I tried this comparison with the HifiMAN HE-400; both with the X3 and E12 together and the X3 alone. The addition of the E12 gives more authority but doesn't give the X5 sound. With the HE-400s, the X5 is more relaxed and effortless-sounding - more 'analoguey'. This difference is more marked with these headphones - maybe a power thing?
    With dynamic headphones such as the Beyerdynamic T1, the difference is more subtle when listening to how things resolve, but the X5 is wider and with slightly better separation. The X3 has slightly more slammy bass.
    I only got the X3 a couple of weeks ago; the X3/E12 combo blew me away with the HE-400s, and I couldn't imagine better. I was tempted to return the X3 and get the X5, but that wheel really is annoying to me! It needs to feel much chunkier to be nice to touch, and to be more in keeping with the rest of the unit.
  9. bustalyme
    Very helpful infomations, thank you guys. I am considering now between fiio x3 and x5, $400 plus sd card is really a matter to me.
    Btw, I think with the weight of fiio x5, it is less portable uses ability than the precedent x3 plus x3 already has 8GB internal memory should be positive point (7GB memory ~ 600 songs 320kbps)
  10. vayz
    with firmware improvement especially in SQ department , X5 is becoming more and more worthy think
    testimony from an x5 user, hope it helps :)
  11. defguy
       With the new X3 firmware that is coming out in the next couple of weeks (hopefully) the interface is improved a lot and sound quality has been improved a bunch as well. I was considering upgrading to the X5 but now I'm not so sure I need to. If cost or size are concerns, the updated X3 may be the way to go.
  12. JoeDoe
    For the OP and anyone interested, the new FW (in its beta stage) is a game changer for the X3. I've never had the X5 to compare to, but I did sell the X3 a while ago so I could get a DX50 (better detailing, soundstage, clarity). Got my hands on a secondhand X3 this week and put the new FW on. 
    Clarity is night and day different. Soundstage has opened up greatly and the rich low and midrange is still there. While the UI is still being ironed out, the improvement in sound is enough of a reason for me to quit looking for a used X5 to demo. 
  13. headoncollision
    thanks for the heads up, where can I download the beta, I just checked Fiio webpage and couldn`t find anything.
  14. JoeDoe
    Head over to the X3 appreciation thread and do a search. I'd link the page but I'm on the cell phone atm.
  15. headoncollision
    thanks alot! will do that.
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