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  #1  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default FiiO E5 Detailed Measurements & Review

I know the FiiO E5 has its followers but some don't seem to take it seriously. So I ran some detailed measurements that go beyond the usual RMAA testing and was impressed--especially for the size and price.

My E5 has a channel balance problem (at any volume setting) but others have said that's not normal. So I may try to get another one and verify the channels are matched.

I also make some comparisons to the much more expensive NuForce uDAC-2's headphone amp in the review:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/03/...phone-amp.html

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:53 PM
odigg odigg is offline
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I'm glad to see this. Fiio seems to be one of the few companies that makes component choices based on sensible and practical decisions rather than audiophile marketing.

I suppose their "cheap" prices and image is what saves them from the typical audiophile traps. Since their stuff is so affordable nobody expects them to use "audiophile" parts. Instead they can spend money on developing a decent product rather than just stuffing in oversized (and overpriced) capacitors and opamps for the sake of marketing.

Thanks for the comprehensive review.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:17 AM
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I agree with you Odigg. Audiophile companies, like NuForce, often focus on the wrong things. Any company can slap respected components on a PC board and make lots of marketing claims but their products often fall short.

The most impressive companies can deliver amazing performance with everyday components and a much lower price than the "boutique" audiophile companies. FiiO appears to be such a company. The performance of the E5 speaks for itself.

And it also appears the channel balance problem is either unique to mine or very rare. So I revised my review accordingly.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:39 PM
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Great review, thanks for sharing!!

I use the FiiO with a Sony B152 and Senn HD555 and it really boosts the walkman's performance

I don't know if I will use it much once I buy a Cowon C2 as they say the output is pretty good on itself...
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:31 AM
hazza_t10 hazza_t10 is offline
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Another good review, keep up the good work!

Particularly like the comments on the frequency response and 10kHz square wave performance, noting that the E5 rise time is ample for it's application. I think these points are well explained, and help stop people from being put off just by reading the numbers alone and not fully understanding their significance.

It's also interesting to see that the noise is quite flat. I have not dismantled my E5, because I only have one, but I'm sure it must have a switching DC-DC converter inside. I thought that this might exhibit some interesting peaks in the noise, but apparently not! I guess either there isn't one, or they have done a good job of suppressing interference.

As I mentioned in another thread, I do notice that my E5 seems to be very susceptible to mobile phone interference. Have you noticed this? I'm intrigued to see if it's the cable linking to my MP3 player or the actual E5 circuit itself that is picking it up. As you mentioned in the other thread, I'm going to give it a go with some ferrites on the cable when I get chance and see.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:36 AM
sjondenon sjondenon is offline
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the e5 really improves the sound but it also gives a very irritating background noise
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjondenon View Post
the e5 really improves the sound but it also gives a very irritating background noise
What would you expect from a portable amp that retails around $17.95, I doubt any in this price range will be flawless. BTW amps do not improve sound, here are my thoughts ...


(price quoted is head-direct's current price)
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:05 PM
TimYoung TimYoung is offline
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I am not a techie but i think an amp do improve the sound if your source is not up to it.

I just bought a Fiio e9 and it improved the sound on my mp3 player a lot with cleaner, sharper sound and tighter punchier bass. Before everything sounded a little off. But for my computer, the difference was minimal.

I dunno buying something small and cheap like the e5. Considering that my e9 only made what I consider marginal improvements I would expect the e5 to make much much less that I probably won't notice the difference.
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