Sunday, 17 November 2013

FiiO X3 Quick Review

FiiO X3 Quick Review

Thanks to Advanced MP3 Player's (AMP3) for the loan.

Brief:  Crazy value DAC/DAP form FiiO.

Price: £159

Specifications:  Link there was so much info I’m linking rather than copying it all out here.

Accessories:  A micro USB cable for data and charging, a 3.5mm jack to coax adapter and a silicon moulded cover/case thingy.

Aesthetics:  Its alright.  I don’t love it, don’t hate it, I really don’t have any particular feelings toward its visuals other than general indifference.

Build:  Seems very solid.  Metal screws on the side holding it together.  Buttons all seem snugly fitted too and firm.

Power:  Has more volume headroom than I care to test.  Even in low gain with the HD600’s I didn’t hit 40 out of 60.  I’m not sure it generally loved driving the 600’s though as there weren’t being driven to their best.  IEM’s though all has more than enough power there to sound full driven.

Sound:  At its heart is a Wolfson chip driving things and so as you might expect it has the wonderfully smooth and rich sort of sound.  that tube like warm silky sumptuousness that cares to flow effortlessly around your ears.  Bass is a touch tame tonally, smooth and a hint genteel.  Highs likewise are delicate and shimmering in nature rather than hard and aggressive.  The EQ though allows you to dial up either the bass or treble a whopping 10dB!!!  That’s a huge bump, you can also dial them down the same too.  id be surprised if anyone used more than a few notches in either direction.  Doing so though never changed the tonal nature of the X3.  It never becomes a cold and aggressive beast acoustically, even when hugely boosted the bass is warm and enveloping and the highs retain that sweet and delicate, shimmering nature.  A good compliment for more hard and aggressive earphones perhaps or to enhance a warm and mellow sound?

Value:  It’s what FiiO does best.  For the money they offer more than what you get elsewhere.  Here it sound is superb for the money and then they enable DAC functionality.  I can’t even think of another DAP that can do that right now and that it’s a huge plus in my opinion.  If you are stuck using the headphone out of a laptop this then for you is an epic buy.

Pro’s:  Bargainlishous pricing.  Rich organic sound.

Con’s:  UI and button layout.   

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