FiiO X5 preview world tour--tour members, claim your souvenir for the X5 tour! p.123
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H20Fidelity

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  So I got it today and I can hear what miceblue is referring to. There is bit of a lower treble prominence along with the somewhat heavy lower registers. The upper range does give the impression of detail but I don't hear anything new here. I think it's a good and competitive unit for the money but not the world beater others do. Tried it with AKG K701s, Grado PS500s. JH13s and a couple other IEMs. It worked better with some than others and never any trouble driving any of them or ever sounded bad but it's sig is a bit too noticeable for me and reasonably consistent throughout the phones. It's better with FLAC and wave than compressed formats relative to other players. This one had the FW update so maybe that has something to do with it. I think it's slightly better in hi gain and a hair more transparent with the gapless turned off.  That's not a negative as it's very subtle and been the case with lots of devices clear enough to notice on. 
 
This is only after about 15 min of use and unfortunately my situation won't allow me to do a proper review at this time. The building my business is in was sold and We've been notified that we can't stay. Finding a new space will occupy all my free time for a few weeks. I personally prefer the sound of my HiSounds overall though the X5 is better in the low bass and does HiDef. I also thought the AK120 I had better than either with the hm901 tops I've heard so far. The last 2 are close enough that the bulk and build of the 901 made it a non starter for me. 
 
Take this all with a grain of salt since I can't give it a true shake down and never heard it with it's original FW that most impressions came from.


Give it a chance mate, especially if you're coming from the upper mid range boost on 3rd Anv. Give it a good hour or two to adjust. I don't think 15 minutes is enough time to adjust from the Hisound unit because they rather different. Listen for the resolution and staging differences to Studio V.
 
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goodvibes

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I haven't been listening to portables much lately and only did the compare after initial impression. Honestly, I can get a decent impression in a very short time but granted, more is better. I do sound for a living. I also don't have a DAP reference point with the over ears as I've never use them for portable. My reference points are a lot of VG home kit like Naim, Quads and Dynaudio Confidence with recordings I heard being mastered. I've had various Stax models over the years as well. I may be mistaken in my views as admittedly, I don't have time to try to make it work better for me but that's my take. In fairness, I wont do a full review for the reasons you mentioned and my lack of time at the moment. It's going to hogger129 today. I think it's a fine unit but not special for me. Could just be the new FW. There's certainly some capability here.
 
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CosmicHolyGhost

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@goodvibes
 
so you bought the X5 but not going to listen to it? dont understand...
 
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H20Fidelity

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  I haven't been listening to portables much lately and only did the compare after initial impression. Honestly, I can get a decent impression in a very short time but granted, more is better. I do sound for a living. I also don't have a DAP reference point with the over ears as I've never use them for portable. My reference points are a lot of VG home kit like Naim, Quads and Dynaudio Confidence with recordings I heard being mastered. I've had various Stax models over the years as well. I may be mistaken in my views as admittedly, I don't have time to try to make it work better for me but that's my take. In fairness, I wont do a full review for the reasons you mentioned and my lack of time at the moment. It's going to hogger129 today. I think it's a fine unit but just not special for me. Could just be the new FW. There's certainly some capability here.

Ok.


For me on first listen X5 sounded completely different to at least the Studio's signature, I thought similar to yourself. To be fair it sounded a little warm or relaxed and something was missing in the upper regions, still happens when I switch between them however as I'm learning X5's signature that adjustment period is less than 5 minutes now, it reminds me adapting to a different IEM tonality, where the veil lifts in a short period of time. Although I need to make sure people understand it's because the Studio leans cooler than X5 not because X5 is warm.

Unlike others I do hear a slight bass emphasis on X5 or it could be just a tighter well powered low end pushing through from the IEM's as has been suggested. For me the main differences between the Studio are refinement, resolution and much blacker background. Though as I've said in the other thread, I like them both for different reasons and they can live side by side.  
 
 
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goodvibes

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I immediately liked the AK120 and HM901 better than my studio. I don't think anything is missing in the upper regions of the X5. Like I said, similar to miceblue, I found the lower treble a bit prominent along with the extra weight in the bottom. His comment about both warm and bright had me baffled at the time but now I have an understanding. And that said, at the end of the day, it's not so much about imaging, tonality or even the last bit of detail for me, though I really do like HiRes. More if it can get out of the way and let me hear the intent of the performance.The rest doesn't matter if it's not better at that but it has to do a bit right to accomplish that so the other bits generally come along for the ride. I think the unit has it in it but could use some more voicing. Could be the new FW for all I know. It's still a work in progress so any comment should be taken as both, only one opinion and the understanding that things will likely still be changing.
 
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H20Fidelity

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  I immediately liked the AK120 and HM901 better than my studio. I don't think anything is missing in the upper regions of the X5. Like I said, similar to miceblue, I found the lower treble a bit prominent along with the extra weight in the bottom. His comment about both warm and bright had me baffled at the time but now I have an understanding. And that said, at the end of the day, it's not so much about imaging, tonality or even the last bit of detail for me, though I really do like HiRes. More if it can get out of the way and let me hear the intent of the performance.The rest doesn't matter if it's not better at that but it has to do a bit right to accomplish that so the other bits generally come along for the ride. I think the unit has it in it but could use some more voicing. Could be the new FW for all I know. It's still a work in progress so any comment should be taken as both, only one opinion and the understanding that things will likely still be changing.

Fair enough mate. :)
 
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goodvibes

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  @goodvibes
 
so you bought the X5 but not going to listen to it? dont understand...
I'm on the tour and have given a quick listen. Will forward to the next tour member that has time to do it justice. As I said, take my impressions with a grain of salt but they are my impressions. I could sit on it for a bit and get to doing a proper review in a couple of weeks but don't think it's fair to Fiio or the next tour member. Impressions tend too be critical so don't read to much into mine. It's just one of very few less than stellar takes. 
 
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newdm

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Has anyone compared the sound quality of the X5 to the O2 with ODAC?
 
I consider to buy the O2/ODAC for my Triple Fi 10, TDK IE800 and Philips X1.
All of them are quite efficient and don't need much power.
 
Since the price of the X5 is not too far away from a O2 with ODAC, it might be an alternative with the advantage of portable usability?
 
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newdm

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Well, the amping power is not so important for me, all of my phones are efficient.
 
However, an output with < 1 Ohm should be useful for my the TF10 and other multi-ba iems.
X5 and O2/ODAC definitely provide this.
 
But is there a considerable difference in factors like soundstage and resolution?
 
If not, I would go for the X5, since it is similar priced and also portable.
 
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bowei006

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  Well, the amping power is not so important for me, all of my phones are efficient.
 
However, an output with < 1 Ohm should be useful for my the TF10 and other multi-ba iems.
X5 and O2/ODAC definitely provide this.
 
But is there a considerable difference in factors like soundstage and resolution?
 
If not, I would go for the X5, since it is similar priced and also portable.
Resolution yes, soundstage, only a bit.
 
Most of the difference is in detail, clarity, and transparency. All of where the O2 excels past the X5, if we are talking about it from a neutral scale. 
 
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newdm

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That's not the answer I wanted to hear...*g*
(I hoped for a minor difference in terms of sq, to go with the X5)
 
The O2 seems to be a great device, but the X5 is also very temping for it's sound quality combined with portability and a affordable price.
 
Well, it will be a hard choice, thanks for your impressions, bowei006.
 
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bowei006

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  The O2 seems to be a great device, but the X5 is also temping.
 
It will be a hard choice, thanks for you impressions, bowei006.
They weren't 'full' impressions but here:
 The FiiO X5 boasts a slightly warmer sound with a darker background than the C4. The frequency ranges are not as split and separated as the C4 is. This isn’t bad as it leads to a more cohesive and ‘consumer’ sound with the X5. The bass on the X5 are also a bit more pronounced, warmer and with more mid punch compared to the C4, but the C4 wins in the quality of the bass. Lastly, the mids on the X5 take a loss in smoothness as the C4 is able to power through challenging areas without any fluctuations in the mids. The C4 also promotes a cleaner mid range with a relatively ‘open’ background around the mid range. The X5 is more of a fun unit than the C4 at a cost of quality, while the C4 boasts quality, but at a loss of punch in its sound.
To read the full C4 review:
http://www.pandatechreview.com/colorfly-c4-pro-review
 
The C4 and O2+CS4398DAC sound very similar. Once you get up in the leagues, stuff starts sounding very similar (yet still different in a minute sense).
 
Since we are only talking $300 X5 range here. I'll just post my C4 vs X5 comprisons.
 
The full O2 vs X5 one will be up with my formal review as I use the O2 as my bench for these units.
 
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newdm

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Thank you, the comparison with the C4 is very helpful. I will read it attentively
 
Once you get up in the leagues, stuff starts sounding very similar (yet still different in a minute sense). 
Yes, I tend to be little sceptical, when it comes to sound difference with pricey gear.
 
To be honest, with the Beyer T1, I didn't hear a huge sound difference between a DacMagic and a DVD-Player for under 80 bucks.
 
 
Thats why I considered the X5, DX90 and O2 as a decent entrance solution for me.
 
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Negakinu

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  Has anyone compared the sound quality of the X5 to the O2 with ODAC?
 
I consider to buy the O2/ODAC for my Triple Fi 10, TDK IE800 and Philips X1.
All of them are quite efficient and don't need much power.
 
Since the price of the X5 is not too far away from a O2 with ODAC, it might be an alternative with the advantage of portable usability?
 
I've got an O2/ODAC setup and will compare it to the X5 in my review. :) There's still a little time to cram that bit in there I think. Didn't even think of comparing them... 
 
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