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Fiio X3ii With Fiio A5

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by trivium911, Sep 10, 2018.
  1. trivium911
    Hi Guys,

    I wondering if getting the Fiio A5 amp paired with my Fiio X3ii would bring it closer to the sound quality of the Fiio X5ii or the Fiio X5iii. I was looking into getting the fiio x5 2nd gen but cant find anything used for a decent price in Canada. I can buy a fiio X5 3rd gen new from amazon for $400, everyone including ebay wants too much for the Fiio X5 2nd Gen where I can buy the 3rd gen for $400 shipped. Didn’t really want to spend $400 though, the Fiio A5 is only $170. Looking to increase the 3D sound, and get a wider soundstage, can an amp provide this?. I heard the sound on the fiio X5iii is more of a sidestep from the 2nd gen X5 as far as sound so for me im not really gaining anything except features.

    Main headphones i use with the Fiio x3ii:
    -Hifiman 400i
    -NAD HP50
    -ISK MDH9000
    -EE846 (5BA)
    -1More Dual
    -Other Chi-fi Headphones
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  2. CapnCook
    I have a 5W desktop amplifier her at the office. Yesterday, I got an outboard DAC (SMSL SU-8) setup here at my desk and fed it to the amp (SE). I was listening yesterday on my HD-6XX, and loving it.

    This morning, I was listening to my X5ii line out to A5 through DT770 (80ohm). Sounded great! I was anxious to send the X5ii coax out to the SMSL and try the new DAC with the ever-so-revealing DT770s, since the sound was "fresh on my ears". I used the exact same source with the same headphones - same tracks, same transport. The only change was the decoder and the amp.

    Results?

    It didn't sound as open and revealing! The sound stage the DT770s are so good about, despite being closed back, was congested. So, I fed the SMSL to the A5, and the great sound was back! So, you know what I discovered....the A5 sounds better than my very capable desktop amp! The highs are more present and never harsh. The lows were more natural.

    I first got the x5ii and loved the sound. It was obviously superior to the my previous sources: laptop, iPod, phone (including the LGv20), etc I also have an X3ii, and it too is better that the other sources, but the x5ii bests in in every way.

    But the amp in the X5ii struggled to give me what I wanted out of my more demanding headphones which include the aforementioned HD-6XXs and DT770s, as well as the Fostex T50rp mk3s. So I picked up the A5. Besides the additional power (8.2 Vp-p vs 14.96), the A5 brought improvements in texture, realism, and dynamics. This even showed up in less demanding headphones, such as the Sony MDR1-A. The results of the X5ii lined out to the A5 in ALL of my IEMs also displayed very nice improvements.

    EDIT: To be clear, the A5 drives the T50rp adequately. However, they're a bit more demanding than the 400i.

    I have had very good results with Fiio products. I can endorse the A5 without reservation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

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