Google Nexus 5 + FiiO E18 or FiiO E12?
May 29, 2014 at 2:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

ilpomo

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Every time I look for some info in this forum the result is always the same: I lose a lot of hours (and a lot of money!)

Currently I use a Nexus 5 as source along with the Sony MDR-1R headphones and I mainly listen EDM.

At the beginning I was looking for an amp and after reading some reviews I think that the FiiO E12 cloud meet my needs. But soon after I read that the Nexus 5 has the Qualcomm WCD9320 DAC and some of you think that it sounds good while others think that it's horrible.

So I wondered if it was better the FiiO E18 with it's DAC-via-USB capabilities instead of the simple FiiO E12 amp.

Any suggestions?
 
May 31, 2014 at 10:15 PM Post #2 of 17

Jnjy

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I think you'd be better off with a DAC function.
Count me in the "think its horrible" group (I have a Nexus 5 too). Maybe it really isn't about the Qualcomm DAC - could be the internal amp and can't tell since it does not have a line out
 
Jun 1, 2014 at 4:42 AM Post #3 of 17

ilpomo

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I think you'd be better off with a DAC function.
Count me in the "think its horrible" group (I have a Nexus 5 too). Maybe it really isn't about the Qualcomm DAC - could be the internal amp and can't tell since it does not have a line out


Thanks. If in the future I'll buy another kind of smartphone, for ex. an iPhone or a Windows Phone device, the FiiO E18 will be compatible?
 
Jun 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM Post #5 of 17

cascius

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Well I don't have that exact setup, but I use an e18 with mdr-1r and a galaxy Note 10.1 2014 or my galaxy s5.

At first I didn't feel the e18 made a huge difference. Now that my ears are a bit more trained, it feels like a huge improvement.

I also use the e18 with my hp computer, and the difference is even more drastic there. Without the e18 the sound is pure crap, with it it becomes delicious! :wink:

Overall I think the e18 was a great buy.

I have a nexus 7 at work. Does it use the same dac as the 5? If so I can test it for you.

- cascius
 
Jun 29, 2014 at 6:06 AM Post #6 of 17

ilpomo

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At first I didn't feel the e18 made a huge difference. Now that my ears are a bit more trained, it feels like a huge improvement.

I also use the e18 with my hp computer, and the difference is even more drastic there. Without the e18 the sound is pure crap, with it it becomes delicious! :wink:

I have a nexus 7 at work. Does it use the same dac as the 5? If so I can test it for you.

- cascius


Thanks for the feedback. I haven't found infos about the Qualcomm Snapdragon (APQ8064) S4 Pro's DAC, but I think that it's the same WCD9320 used in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Anyway, recently I sold my Sony MDR-1R and bought the Focal Spirit Classic, so do not worry about the tests.

Thanks again!
 
 
Jul 2, 2014 at 2:42 PM Post #7 of 17

mathi8vadhanan

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Fiio E18 is not that great for iem's. If you're planning to use iem's for portability, I would suggest a DAP like DX50 ($199 vs $169 for E18).
 
Jul 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM Post #8 of 17

Uber_Roxxorz

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Why do you believe the e18 isn't great for IEMs? Could you please explain that in a little more detail? I have a nexus 5 and am considering the e18 also. I currently use RE0s out of the device. When it was first released, I had heard that it did not work with nexus 5 (specifically Kit Kat). Based on this thread, I'm assuming that's been addressed now?
 
Jul 4, 2014 at 5:06 AM Post #9 of 17

ilpomo

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  Why do you believe the e18 isn't great for IEMs? Could you please explain that in a little more detail? I have a nexus 5 and am considering the e18 also. I currently use RE0s out of the device. When it was first released, I had heard that it did not work with nexus 5 (specifically Kit Kat). Based on this thread, I'm assuming that's been addressed now?


Here you can find the supported models: http://www.head-fi.org/t/692284/e18-supported-models-list-udated-on-jan-20th-2014

I don't know how often this list is updated.
 
Jul 6, 2014 at 4:08 AM Post #10 of 17

jvos213

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I own and use the Nexus 7, but also have daily interaction with the Nexus 4 and 5. Apart from this I also have the Fiio E12 (for my X5) and then the reason for this post - the Fiio E06.

This will sound absurd given that you are looking to drive the Sony MDR-1R but I own both the E12 and the tiny E06 and I've ended up in a situation where due to its size, when using the Nexus phones/tab I now use mainly the E06 (its tiiiiiny). My main reason for getting the E06 was to get more volume from my Nexus 7 which has a serious issue with playing movies at decent volumes but the enhancement of sound quality was a happy coincidence!

I've tested it with the ATH-M50x and a few other smaller over and in ear phones but they all worked great. Given the tiny price-tag (less than 28 USD!), it might be worth just giving it a try out of curiosity if nothing else :)

Regards
Jacques
 
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 1:11 AM Post #11 of 17

brn80

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I have an N5 too. The sound quality on it is terrible. Even the US variant S3 that my gf has is way better.
 
I recently picked up a hifimediy miniUSB DAC to use with the N5. It's pretty cheap ($29) and uses the Sabre ES9023 DAC chip, but because of the size uses a different receiver and is limited to 16bit/48Khz.
It won't work natively on stock ROM unless you use USB Audio player which has a really ugly interface (and can only play from there) -- . I installed CM11, and it now USB audio out works natively throughout the system, and audio settings in the ROM let you tinker with EQ etc. for the USB audio out.
The output on it is fine to drive most IEMs by itself, but obviously it just outputs a signal so you can't control volume. I'm thinking to pick up a E6 to add in the chain for that. Makes a cheap and low key setup; only thing is that it's not the most elegant/neatest of solutions compared to just picking up an E18. 
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 3:17 AM Post #12 of 17

ilpomo

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  This will sound absurd given that you are looking to drive the Sony MDR-1R but I own both the E12 and the tiny E06 and I've ended up in a situation where due to its size, when using the Nexus phones/tab I now use mainly the E06 (its tiiiiiny). My main reason for getting the E06 was to get more volume from my Nexus 7 which has a serious issue with playing movies at decent volumes but the enhancement of sound quality was a happy coincidence!

I've tested it with the ATH-M50x and a few other smaller over and in ear phones but they all worked great. Given the tiny price-tag (less than 28 USD!), it might be worth just giving it a try out of curiosity if nothing else :)


Now I have the Focal Spirit Classic, do you think that the improvement with the E6 would be the same?
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 3:29 AM Post #13 of 17

jvos213

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Now I have the Focal Spirit Classic, do you think that the improvement with the E6 would be the same?



I would imagine you'd still get good results from using the E06 with the Focal Spirit Classic and as mentioned before, seeing as its really not a lot of money I'd recommend you just give it a try...
 
May 19, 2015 at 12:58 AM Post #14 of 17

bldmovs

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Does anyone have any recent updates using the Nexus 5 (stock ROM) with a FiiO E18?  I really want to give this a try now that I am on Android 5.1 and don't care to switch ROM's.  Thanks!
 

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