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My new Fiio E10 - no SQ improvement?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by mrmormon, Dec 7, 2011.
  1. MrMormon
    Hi, I'm new to high quality audio, and equipment is no exception. I have Yuin G1A headphones and just recently received the Fiio E10 usb dac/amp. I seem to have a problem. On Windows 7, I changed the driver settings - 24/96 audio should be working now. But I've listened to classical and jazz flacs in both 16/44 and 24/96 and can't tell the difference. My headphones have had 150 hours of burn-in without an amp, but should I expect audible improvement with burning in the e10? Or will my inexperienced ears just never appreciate the $220 upgrade from my $20 GE headphones?
    Also, the volume buttons on my laptop still work when the e10 is plugged in (default device, of course). Is that normal?
    Sorry for the newbieness. I hope I didn't duplicate.
  2. chef8489
    Your ears might not be able to tell a difference.
  3. onesome
     If your original records aren’t 24/96 encoded/sampled you can’t expect  improvement. Find  24/96 music and see if you hear any  difference – but don’t expect day and night  difference if  any. 
  4. MrMormon
    The flacs have 16/44 and 24/96 versions (I got them off a website), so there should be a difference.
  5. mikeaj
    There have been studies showing that under reasonable listening volumes and levels (i.e. not playing some really really quiet music with the volume jacked way way up), the 16/44.1 files will sound so much the same as to be indistinguishable to all different kinds of human listeners.
    In almost all recorded music, there should be noise from the recording setup (microphone etc.) present in the recording that is greater than the inherent noise floor of 16-bit audio anyway.
    To be sure there's no monkeying around, obtain 24/96 music and transcode down to 16/44.1 yourself so you're sure it's really identical other than bit depth and sampling rate.
  6. MrMormon
    Thanks for the tip. This has probably been said before, but e10 burn in?
  7. JRG1990
    It's your human ears that have let you down not the gear.
  8. fcpchop88
    Are you more cocerned with the sq difference of 24/96 bit music, or the actualy amp itself? Does the amp make other music sound better than when you dont use it? Maybe you, as well as most people apearntly, including myself, don't hear much of a difference with 24/96 bit encoded music over the normal 16/44.1. I thought I could hear differences, but after blind tests the differences were extremely minimal to my ears.
  9. MrMormon
    I'm not too worried because the real reason why I got it was because my headphones have such high impedance. I haven't tested enough with versus without the amp, but everyone who's had the G1A says amp required. So I guess this is a kthxbai moment.
  10. ACDOAN
    Sometimes it is a blessing that one does not hear the difference in cables, amps, pre-amps. Your path to audio Nirvana is much less expensive than the one who does hear the difference.
    Some people are willingly to pay so much for a subtle improvement and some will not. This is all about YOU and your ears and your happiness.
    Enjoy your gear and you are lucky that you will not have to spending thousand of dollars chasing after the holy grail to audio Nirvana.
  11. MrMormon
    Heh, thanks. Thankfully, I don't listen to music either - I plan on eventually playing a couple electronic instruments. I'm unsure if I'll ever feel the need to upgrade (unless it's something like the sexy um3x).
  12. onesome
    In order to make sure you get the maximum of your DAC you should install WASAPI plugin for your player. I’m using   foobar2000 with WASAPI plugin – then I’m setting the player to use “WASAPI: FiiO USB DAC- E10” as output. Thus I’m sure for the signal purity until it reaches E10.  
  13. tim3320070
    An E10 with the headphones you are using, it's highly unlikely you'll ever hear a difference between 16/44 and 24/96 of the same recording. Even with my "high end" rig, I mostly cannot tell the difference. I hear the difference when an old recording is remastered but generally, there is no major difference (or at least immediately apparent) difference between the rates.
    Work on getting better headphones first.
  14. ACDOAN
    Having said before,  FiiO products are good for the money. I owned the E9 and (2) of the E6 which I like a lot. Due to my old age, I am not picky as some ten , twenty years ago I have stopped spending money on Hi-end gear. Be it cables, amps, pre-amp, CDP or headphones or speakers.
    I mostly listen to Internet music such as Spotify, or Pandora as background music while I do something or just to relax. I have learned to appreciate the products as the way they are designed within their price/performance ratio.  For that purspose, FiiO products fit my needs and my budget.  There are better amps and DACs outhere but you will have to spend a lot more to get some improvement in SQ.
    I am going to get the Fiio 10 for my all-in-one HP touch with my M audio Bx5a . I am glad that I am not in the critical listening phase any more. Life is much more simplier that way.
    FiiO is the way to go .
  15. dosley01
    I just got an E10 today mostly to use on my computer at work, the built in sound card seemed pretty lousy.  I'm using IE8s and TF10s and could tell a difference between my iPhone and the headphone out of my PC.  As far as the E10, I feel it offers a small but noticeable improvement even with my easy to drive IEMS.  Mostly the noise floor seems to be lower which seems to improve the soundstage and I have to say it has a bit more bass impact.  I currently don't have many 24/96 tracks so I am only going for improvements with my current music library.  I was hoping to replicate the HUGE soundstage I was getting with my Sony X and the IE8s and I have to say it's pretty even.  I was trying to get another Sony X (For the THIRD time) but even used, they are commanding a premium, so $80 for the E10 and having my entire 40000 track music library at my disposal is worth it IMHO.  If I were to try and give it a rating, in my situation I would give the PC a 6 and the E10 an 8. 

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