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Hifiman have informed me that they are working on a new firmware release which will offer gapless.
i got the chance to try the x5/e12 combo today during the 2014 International Sound & Sight Exhibition. I have the same set of files loaded into the x5 (loaded my extra microsd). The 650 is more transparent sounding as compared to the x5/e12 combo. if you love the warmish house sound of Fiio, then the 650 might be too sterile to you.
i've also tried the x5/e12a combo - to me this is a lot better. a more cleaner sound. it opened the x5 sound a but more, not that congested.
I do like the transparent sound and a more analogue sound as well. I like different sound sigs as listening to the same one day after day can get tiring for me. I really hoping to get more separation than what the FiiO combo is doing.
I'm new to the Hifiman product line so pardon me if this is a dumb question. I see the HM650 has a Balanced/Normal switch on it. Does this only work with the "Balanced Amplifier Card" or do all the amplifier cards offer balanced mode?
the switch only works with balance card.
EDIT: @karloil beats me to it
i thought the 650 was already bulky, but this guy is way bigger!
So the HM-650 sounds more neutral than the bassy/warm Fiio house sound of the X5?
Has anyone done any comparisons to the HM901?
The HM901 sounds even more transparent and refined than the HM650.
And so it should do, at more than double the price in the same casework (and with the same amp section)!
Is the difference pretty noticeable or is it more subtle?
I think the sound difference is even obvious if both through dock to external amps...
To me it's noticeable, especially w/ the discrete card. I read someone said the difference is obvious with the Minibox card too, but I don't have access to that card at the moment... And if you use them together with external amps, the difference is pretty obvious. The 901 definitely has better sound quality from the doc output.
I suppose properly-implemented ES9018s should be able to beat WM7480s quite convincingly (in terms of detail, speed and transparency).
Quite a successful combination (my apologies for the grainy iPad photo in poor light conditions):
HM-650 / ZY Cables LOD / Van den Hul "The Tide" IC with Viablue connectors / Tube Amp BL-2 / Grado SR225i (Yew Woodworks Cocobolo cups).