The Fiio X5 Thread
Aug 25, 2017 at 7:26 PM Post #19,576 of 19,650

Chris J

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X5-3 is smooth by its nature, it is a matter of preferrence, X5 the first was neutral.

Really hard to say what differences you'll feel if you're using E11K as an amp though.

What type of sound do you like in general?


That's an interesting observation: will you hear a difference if you listen via the E11K?
I wonder, as I used to own an E09K, it was merely a good amp, not a great amp.

To the guy who posed the question, does an X5iii sound substantially better than an X5iii? I suppose you'll get a better answer in the X5iii forum. I wouldn't mind knowing the answer myself as I have an X5i and have a bit of the upgrade bug!
 
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Aug 25, 2017 at 10:18 PM Post #19,577 of 19,650

usrlocal

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X5-3 is smooth by its nature, it is a matter of preferrence, X5 the first was neutral.

Really hard to say what differences you'll feel if you're using E11K as an amp though.

What type of sound do you like in general?


Thanks for your response. I guess I prefer a more detailed sound, but with a full-bodied bass when listening to heavier rock music (which is where the E11K has helped). With my current setup I'm finding quieter passages, say involving acoustic guitar, not as crisp and defined as I'd like. I do strive to seek out older CD releases with higher dynamic range when at all possible. As I mentioned, I'm not sure if the X5i is the weakest link in my setup.

I do think that I'll need to move beyond my X5i at some point given the advances in DAC technology over the past few years, but I'm concerned that the X5iii may not be a dramatic enough a change to justify the price. I'd probably be better off going straight to the X7ii, since I've read that it excels in terms of detail. But I don't know if I can justify that price tag given that my overall setup is pretty mid-fi right now. Clearly the E11K wouldn't be necessary anymore if I went with the X7ii/AM3a bundle, but it seems like overkill for my $200 Fidelio X2 headphones at the moment. Then again, I guess I would be 'future proofing' myself for an eventual leap to HD-650s or something in that range.

Given what you mentioned about the X5i being neutral, whereas the X5iii is smoother, perhaps the X5iii is not what I'm looking for after all. Maybe I'll just move on to the X7ii eventually.

That being said, I think the X5i is still a wonderful DAP overall.
 
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Aug 25, 2017 at 10:27 PM Post #19,578 of 19,650

usrlocal

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To the guy who posed the question, does an X5iii sound substantially better than an X5iii? I suppose you'll get a better answer in the X5iii forum. I wouldn't mind knowing the answer myself as I have an X5i and have a bit of the upgrade bug!

Yeah, I was debating about whether to post here or there, but nobody over in the X5iii forum seems particularly interested in the X5i anymore. I figured that in this forum I might have better luck finding someone who has tried both and could offer a meaningful comparison.

And, yes, I've been bitten by the upgrade bug too. Just want to make sure that I make the right move when I do so. :smile_phones:
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 3:44 AM Post #19,579 of 19,650

niron

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Hey all,

Been lurking in these forums for a while, but I'd like to know if anyone can provide me with a direct comparison of the sound quality between the X5 1st gen and the X5 3rd gen.

I currently own the X5 1st gen and use it with an E11K amp and my Fidelio X2 headphones. I realize that the amp isn't necessary to drive the X2's, but I do enjoy the Bass Boost function on the E11K.

I'm really wondering if it's worth at this point upgrading to the X5 3rd gen. I'm overall happy with my current X5, but I do notice that some of my FLAC CD rips sound 'muddy', but I'm not sure if this is the DAP, the headphones, or the CD mastering itself.

I realize how subjective this all is, but I would *REALLY* like to hear from someone who's had both models and is intimately familiar with the SQ difference between these two DAPs. I've gathered indirectly that the Fiio X5ii is an iterative improvement over the X5i, and I've also read that the X5iii is an iterative improvement over the X5ii. But I've found very little info on the net about the degree of improvement in going from the X5i to the X5iii. Is the SQ improvement that huge? And is it really worth me shelling out $499 CDN to upgrade at this point? I'm not so much interested in the streaming ability of the X5iii, or the Android UI. It's really the SQ difference that I'm interested in learning more about before I take the plunge.

Looking forward to hearing any informed opinions on this.


I have asked the same question only 3 pages before.

Answer 1: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-fiio-x5-thread.661411/page-1303#post-13315072

Answer 2: Right after.
 
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Aug 26, 2017 at 5:23 AM Post #19,580 of 19,650

aangen

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I own both. The X5iii sounds better to my ear than the X5. It is not too subtle a difference.
But I can use my X5 with my Mojo, with the current software on my X5iii I can't.
(There is a spurious noise issue that makes the combination unlistenable)
However, the X5 WORKS a LOT better than the X5iii.
It starts in seconds, it is very reliable, and the battery lasts a long time.
The X5iii takes over a minute to start, it has been a rough ride software-wise with the "upgrades".
The X5iii also sometimes doesn't "see" the second memory card and I find I have to reboot it to make it see both cards. There is NOTHING wrong with the cards, the problem is with the X5iii.
If I had to pick one I'd be hard pressed. If you like your X5, keep liking it. I am glad I still have mine.
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 6:53 AM Post #19,581 of 19,650

Dobrescu George

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Thanks for your response. I guess I prefer a more detailed sound, but with a full-bodied bass when listening to heavier rock music (which is where the E11K has helped). With my current setup I'm finding quieter passages, say involving acoustic guitar, not as crisp and defined as I'd like. I do strive to seek out older CD releases with higher dynamic range when at all possible. As I mentioned, I'm not sure if the X5i is the weakest link in my setup.

I do think that I'll need to move beyond my X5i at some point given the advances in DAC technology over the past few years, but I'm concerned that the X5iii may not be a dramatic enough a change to justify the price. I'd probably be better off going straight to the X7ii, since I've read that it excels in terms of detail. But I don't know if I can justify that price tag given that my overall setup is pretty mid-fi right now. Clearly the E11K wouldn't be necessary anymore if I went with the X7ii/AM3a bundle, but it seems like overkill for my $200 Fidelio X2 headphones at the moment. Then again, I guess I would be 'future proofing' myself for an eventual leap to HD-650s or something in that range.

Given what you mentioned about the X5i being neutral, whereas the X5iii is smoother, perhaps the X5iii is not what I'm looking for after all. Maybe I'll just move on to the X7ii eventually.

That being said, I think the X5i is still a wonderful DAP overall.

I felt that X5-3 is smoother, and smooth by its nature, so it really comes down to your tastes, if you want a more energetic sound, maybe X7mkii or DX200 / Opus #3 would be more fit with your tastes.

X5-3 is a really different thing, it was less of a direct upgrade to X5 or X5ii, but rather a new thing FiiO made, that lots of folks really liked.

It really comes down to your personal tastes, but if you want a more energetic top end, I'd recommned looking into X7mkii :darthsmile:

The AMP part has much more influence on the sound than the DAC part has, I strongly recommend looking into upgrading both the DAC and the AMP!
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 8:06 AM Post #19,582 of 19,650

AndrewH13

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Thanks for your response. I guess I prefer a more detailed sound, but with a full-bodied bass when listening to heavier rock music (which is where the E11K has helped). With my current setup I'm finding quieter passages, say involving acoustic guitar, not as crisp and defined as I'd like. I do strive to seek out older CD releases with higher dynamic range when at all possible. As I mentioned, I'm not sure if the X5i is the weakest link in my setup.

I do think that I'll need to move beyond my X5i at some point given the advances in DAC technology over the past few years, but I'm concerned that the X5iii may not be a dramatic enough a change to justify the price. I'd probably be better off going straight to the X7ii, since I've read that it excels in terms of detail. But I don't know if I can justify that price tag given that my overall setup is pretty mid-fi right now. Clearly the E11K wouldn't be necessary anymore if I went with the X7ii/AM3a bundle, but it seems like overkill for my $200 Fidelio X2 headphones at the moment. Then again, I guess I would be 'future proofing' myself for an eventual leap to HD-650s or something in that range.

Given what you mentioned about the X5i being neutral, whereas the X5iii is smoother, perhaps the X5iii is not what I'm looking for after all. Maybe I'll just move on to the X7ii eventually.

That being said, I think the X5i is still a wonderful DAP overall.

Obvious answer if ultimate sound quality is important, is to pair the X5 with a Mojo. It's stuck to mine with two wide bands, they make a lovely pair :)

The X5 i was the last Fiio to be able to use a standard 3.5 to 3.5 coax cable (or even a short analogue 3.5 to 3.5 cable), for transfer to a DAC.
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 10:22 AM Post #19,583 of 19,650

usrlocal

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Thanks all for your responses! Given the info provided, I think it's pretty clear that the X5iii is not what I'm looking for.

I'm going to look more closely at the Mojo for my X5. That might be a great stop-gap solution until I decide to splurge for the X7ii.

p.s. apologies to niron for going over the same question he asked previously; however, the additional info in the last few messages really clarified things for me! :)
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 10:28 AM Post #19,584 of 19,650

Dobrescu George

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Thanks all for your responses! Given the info provided, I think it's pretty clear that the X5iii is not what I'm looking for.

I'm going to look more closely at the Mojo for my X5. That might be a great stop-gap solution until I decide to splurge for the X7ii.

p.s. apologies to niron for going over the same question he asked previously; however, the additional info in the last few messages really clarified things for me! :)

Don'\t worry about asking this thing!

That might be a great solution!

IF you want, you can also consider iDSD BL, which is a great DAC/AMP, but not as bit larger physically :smile_phones:

https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot....7/05/ifi-idsd-bl-pinnacle-of-dac-and-amp.html
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 11:19 AM Post #19,585 of 19,650

AndrewH13

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Thanks all for your responses! Given the info provided, I think it's pretty clear that the X5iii is not what I'm looking for.

I'm going to look more closely at the Mojo for my X5. That might be a great stop-gap solution until I decide to splurge for the X7ii.

p.s. apologies to niron for going over the same question he asked previously; however, the additional info in the last few messages really clarified things for me! :)


A stop gap until you reduce sound quality slightly? Nice to have a single uniti but don't underestimate the extra detail of the Chord. Of course a second hand Hugo 1 is even better especially for a lively sound. X5 is an excellent transport and coax avoids many problems alternative connections optical and usb can create.
 
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Aug 26, 2017 at 11:33 AM Post #19,586 of 19,650

usrlocal

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Ok! That's quite an endorsement. Will definitely have a closer look at stacking my X5 with a good DAC/amp like the Mojo or iDSD BL.

Thanks a lot guys - this never would have occurred to me as a viable solution if I hadn't seen your replies here.
 
Aug 26, 2017 at 3:36 PM Post #19,587 of 19,650

niron

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p.s. apologies to niron for going over the same question he asked previously; however, the additional info in the last few messages really clarified things for me! :)


All good :beerchug: Glad you managed to get the answers you were looking for.
 
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Aug 27, 2017 at 11:41 AM Post #19,588 of 19,650

Kerouac

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...It starts in seconds, it is very reliable, and the battery lasts a long time...If I had to pick one I'd be hard pressed. If you like your X5, keep liking it. I am glad I still have mine.
Haven't been here for a while, but it's nice to see that you're still around @aangen :grin:
I'm also still glad that I have the (classic) X5. Although I mainly use it (2x 200gb inside) as a source for my home rig these days. Still working fine (battery, wheel, etc) after all this time.

Ok! That's quite an endorsement. Will definitely have a closer look at stacking my X5 with a good DAC/amp like the Mojo or iDSD BL..
Those are two very interesting choices, that will take the sound out of your X5 probably to a new level :thumbsup:

I usually have a (very small, but powerful) Headstage Arrow 5P amp connected (using a hq Crystal Piccolino interconnect) to the X5. The X5 has an excellent dac inside imo. It's the amp part where the Arrow 5P scales up the sq.
For an affordable, but also very good sounding dap alternative, I can really recommend the Opus #1
 
Sep 2, 2017 at 2:24 AM Post #19,590 of 19,650

aangen

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Oh man, I hope it's not like my Squeezebox remotes, the plastic turns to goop and there is no cleaning or reversing the process. I had a Logitech mouse do it as well. Bah.
 

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