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Fiio X5 3rd gen || 2x AKM 4490 || Balanced Out || DSD || DXD | DTS | Android || Dual Card Slot

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by xloud, Dec 8, 2016.
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  1. MinnieOne
    Brooko has it right, "Cry" should show up first, he doesn't care about the order but I think it is only logical that it shows up first.

    Also, what about the Lyrics server? And proper sort of Albums & Artists in the Music app?

    [​IMG] Cry appears 7th on this list. None of those songs shown should be in the list before "Cry" - sorry makes no sense.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  2. kissmevn
    Can the fiio X5 iii pass the data while in DAC mode to coaxial ?
    I need a DAP that could take the signal from PC and send them to coxial to use with my Hugo :) (For watching movies, clips...)
  3. FiiO
    Dear friend,

    We have reported the issue you mentioned about the sorting in searching function to the engineer. Currently, we may not fix that.
    As for the lyric issue, please try to set the correct artist and title name to see if it helps? We will try to improve the lyric matching in update.

    Best regards
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com http://fiio.udesk.cn/im_client/?web_plugin_id=24494&group_id=47899&language=en-us
  4. FiiO
    Dear friend,

    Sorry, the coaxial out of the X5III could not work when using as DAC.

    Best regards
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com http://fiio.udesk.cn/im_client/?web_plugin_id=24494&group_id=47899&language=en-us
  5. jkbuha
    Hi all,

    A few interesting updates, initially only for the (software) tech savvy for testing. Hopefully I'll be able to release an easily flashable kernel for everyone soon.

    As promised, I've reached out to @FiiO to request the latest kernel source code for the X5iii as per the GPL, and they have kindly released the code for general use. So after careful review of the code (spoiler alert: there's lots of low hanging fruit), I've created a build environment and compiled the first (basic) optimised kernel for the FiiO X5iii FW 1.2.1.

    - Overclocked CPU from 1416MHz to 1704MHz (buttery smooth UI)
    - Overclocked GPU from 400 to 700MHz (more responsive screen)
    - Undervolted CPU & GPU (less heat, longer battery life)
    - Re-compiled toolset with Linaro toolchain as opposed to GCC (more optimised, leaner meaner kernel)
    - More to come soon

    i) Whilst this will not brick your player, it is likely to invalidate your warranty. Usual disclaimers apply.
    ii) The voltage/clock settings have worked well for my specific RK3188 chip, but can (and will) vary on other chipsets because of the die material. YMMV.



    - Vanilla X5iii v1.2.1 firmware
    - TWRP
    - rkflashtool (Linux, MacOS preferrably, though you can find the binaries for Windows)
    - kernel performance tool, eg: Kernel Adiutor or similar
    - patience...

    1) Backup existing kernel
    1.1) reboot to bootloader (adb reboot bootloader from Windows/MacOS/Linux)
    1.2) rkflashtool r boot > boot_backup.img (this is important - it will be your backup boot.img if ever you need to restore)

    2) Flash new kernel
    2.1) rkflashtool w boot < boot.img
    (Don't worry if you get a message saying 'premature end-of-file reached' - it just means that the new kernel is smaller than the old one. Which is a Good Thing.)
    2.2) Reboot: rkflashtool b

    3) On first boot, reboot to TWRP (adb reboot recovery)
    3.1) Wipe-> Advanced Wipe _> wipe only kernel and dalvik partition
    3.2) Reboot

    4) Enjoy!


    If for whatever reason the player doesn't boot or you wish to return to previous firmware:

    i) Unplug USB cable
    ii) Press Power button for 30+ seconds until blue power button turns off
    iii) Press and hold Previous + Power button for 30 seconds until player turns on and boots to TWRP
    iv) adb push boot_backup.img /sdcard/
    v) Install -> images -> boot_backup.img -> Boot
    vi) Flash and boot back to previous kernel

    i) For those of you who have complained that media search times are poor, there's a reason why. The default scheduler is cfq, which is a fair-balanced scheduler but performs poorly with large media folders. If you have root and/or flashed my test kernel, select deadline and report back to see if media seek/play times are improved
    ii) Run Kernel Adiutor and try and get a long-term report of the CPU states the FiiO player spends most time in. With the performance governor (the fastest) you should see the maximum clock speed of 1704MHz being the longest time spent, but YMMV. Please report back so I'll implement and fine-tune governors and schedulers as required for best musical enjoyment
    iii) Some of the kernel drivers are pretty outdated, no fault to FiiO as they've wisely chosen to use the most stable performing ones (instead of bleeding edge). I'd like this new kernel stream to focus on performance and optimisation, but some things may break in the process. If so please report back and I'll post fixes as quickly as they come.

    Next Steps
    Quite a lot actually. There's a lot of potential with this player now that the kernel source code has been opened up. I'm focussing on the following as next steps:

    i) Optimised NAND algorithms by Rockchip to increase memory read performance
    ii) F2FS support to support one of the fastest android filesystems
    iii) exFAT/NTFS updated drivers
    iv) Texas Instruments drivers upgrade
    v) Cirrus Logic drivers upgrade
    vi) And requests :)

    Depending on how technical this thread becomes I might decide to move it to the xda forum for a more cohesive discussion and feedback on this specific kernel. It will depend on the level of interest for an optimised kernel for the FiiO players.

    I'd also be happy to build an optimised kernel for the FiiO X7ii but (cough) I don't have one. So if anyone is interested in helping me... :)

    Enjoy your new leaner, faster, cooler, feature-rich kernel. As always, feedback and comments much appreciated!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
    Croptop, srbungle, ballhead and 4 others like this.
  6. seanwee
    This looks even better than Lurker's modified firmwares. Great job :D
  7. jkbuha
    Hadn't noticed anyone posting any firmware. Would be good to incorporate my kernel into these new ROMs. Do you have a link?
  8. seanwee
    Lurker only does modified firmwares for the ibasso DX200 and DX150, not the X5iii. I should have specified. Sorry for the confusion.
  9. jkbuha
    No worries. Thanks go out to @FiiO as well for making the source code available. Hopefully we'll be able to create great aftermarket support for all android-based FiiO hardware...
  10. seanwee
    Is Fiio willing to or able to incorporate your kernel upgrade into their future firmware releases? Understandably, quite a lot of X5iii owners do not use head fi and an even smaller number would carry out this procedure.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  11. jkbuha
    They're more than welcome to do so, but they're not obliged to under the GPL. Also, I'm not sure if my changes will be to everyone's tastes. A hardware vendor should (mainly) focus on optimising hardware and put in safe settings for software to maximise the user base as much as possible.

    That said if FiiO want to get in touch (on the X5 or any other of their Android players) I'll be more than happy to point them to my code changes.
    Basstion likes this.
  12. MinnieOne
    Android illiterate, my age dates me back to CPM/DOS, etc.

    Anyway to dual boot Android so a user could have OEM set-up as well as the modified version?

    Also anyone ever do an automated upgrade for dummies, like an auto install or batch file of some kind?
  13. jkbuha
    Short answer - yes to both, but it's likely to be messy, at least in the short term.

    Long answer - Rockchip (not FiiO) package their android OEMs in a non-standard way to other vendors (such as HTC, Samsung). So, for example, to achieve dual booting on the FiiO, you'd need to modify the bootloader to first check if there's bootable custom firmware (boot.img) on the sdcard (in which case boot from it) or else revert to the boot.img in the boot partition. Problem is, you need to flash this code into the bootloader, and if you get it wrong you've effectively bricked the FiiO. I've done this before on other rockchip variants (such as the (in)famous kodi boxes) as they've allowed you some degree of flexibility that you could restore via USB port, but there's little documentation for the FiiO yet. If I know of a fool-proof way to restore the bootloader via USB, I'll try it.

    As to the auto-upgrade option, yes this is coming once there's an easy way to flash custom recovery software on the FiiO. Right now there isn't a quick way, as you need to become root first then flash the custom recovery file, then flash a custom ROM, then upgrade. So it's easy from then onwards.

    Bottom line - if there's enough demand for a custom ROM (X5, X7 et al), I'll be tempted to build an automated build server which will just fire off custom ROM OTA updates in the same vein as normal vendors do. It will all depend on how many users would want to run custom firmwares on their FiiO players. I've done this before on Android (and custom Rockbox-ed iPods), so with enough demand (and vendor+community support) this should easily be achieved.
    xnuthecaveman, sjb57 and arionomus like this.
  14. sjb57
    It would be very interesting if Fiio would evaluate your work & if they like it then build your improvements into their products. They should of course pay you something for the ipr if you were willing. That way, all owners could benefit from community experience & Fiio get a better product & increased knowledge. Win-Win-Win.
    seanwee and jkbuha like this.
  15. jkbuha
    Thanks, appreciate the thoughts. I'm not doing this for money, and can't promise that I'll always get things right, so don't want to manage expectations wrongly. I've learnt a lot about audio on this forum that I wouldn't have learnt elsewhere and am thus happy to give something back to the X5 community.

    On that note, if anyone has any other (android-based) FiiO player I'll be happy to take a look at it and build a similar modded kernel. Please get in touch if so!

    In the meantime if anyone has any feedback/suggestions on the modded X5 kernel let me know!
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