The long awaited FiiO Q5 amp/dac is slated for a December release for $349.99
(I hope…who knows?)
Will edit and expand sources to include the gobs of stuff I come across. Somebody once laughed at Headphonia in a PM about their daily events. No, it’s smart. the traffic flows have patters and in between reviews you let the tide go too low or you use what they call “B-roll”. 20 year old tactics that work still. Gonna do Photobomb Friday’s if you folks tempt me!!
There has been a lot of discussion about the sound of music players and due to laziness or stupidity or both, the terms often used to describe speakers , headphones or any audio transducers has been ascribed to Music players as well and let me tell you it is total bullshit.
There is no loose bass, recessed mids or rolled off treble with a music player which has at it’s heart a DAC which is a Digital to Analogue converter.
It converts digital data into analogue data.
That’s what it does.
There is a thing happening. Cannot measure it. Cannot do anything but marvel at how some music players using the same exact DAC cam exhibit a tonality that is so different from another.
ESS9018K2M Used by OPUS #2 (x2) and Calyx-M (x1)
They sound nothing alike and it has nothing to do with dual DAC’s.
The X7MkII is using an ESS9028Pro (x1) and the Dx200 (x2)
They sound different. I prefer the single DAC implementation but can appreciate now (unlike a few months ago) that it is a fine device in it’s own right. NOT my type of sound but very well liked by some.
Excluding all the babble about “loose” and “recessed” lets put them on one plane and call it a neutrality line
Warm (implies some sort of perceived focus in bass and vocal range)
Shozy Alien +
Neutral ( no emphasis perceived anywhere along frequency)
FiiO X7 *1st gen stock amp*
DX200 *stock amp*
Cold (implies some sort of perceived focus in treble, perhaps forward mids)
If that is reasonable, and I think it is, I would place the FiiO X7mkII in the Neutral category with a slight lean towards treble. It seems to have no more weight to bass than the 1st X7 but the clarity seems…well…clearer. The minutia in some music is there and while DAP’s that are leaning north of neutral can be a bad match for long term listening the X7mkII is actually the opposite. It is more engaging and comfortable than the X5iii and warm music players are supposed to be good for longer term listening.
Maybe true? But the X7mkII is an exception to the rule which makes it…exceptional.
I was unable to get past the tiny font on the Cayin i5.
Sometimes a simple little thing can make a device almost un useful if it does not mimic an ipod like ease of use experience with as few clicks and swipes as possible and a minimum of missed touches/clicks.
The FiiO X7mkII is a mature, easy to navigate Android based music player with no annoying habits. I have had it for 5 months and picking it up and using it is a thing done without thought of any kind.
I do not have to “put up with” anything annoying.
There are 3 basic themes.
Several ways to browse your music
The ESS9028PRO has 7 filter settings embedded in the DAC to make subtle adjustments to the sound
Screenshots taken with players screen capture
(hold down power and “up” on rocker switch at the same time for 1 second to do this)
Using the thing
Adding your music is as simple as plugging it into a PC or MAC and dragging the music files onto the devices storage. It is in fact less tedious than using itunes with an idevice.
Most common question I hear from folks not crippled by music gear collecting is:
“How do I add my damn music??”
Just plug it in bro.
It will ask to be storage device and you allow it then find it on your computer where your other drives are and open it and go.
Compared with other music players?
This is a thing you can ask directly in a question as I believe the headphones/IEM have the final say in the sound so I would need to know what music and what other gear. I can do it. Have no problem declaring one over another but just in general terms? Nah, that’s a hype game parlor trick.
What do I listen to?
DSD when I can
Vinyl rips of classic albums
70’s Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae
I sometimes EQ Bass up for a more “live” feeling and i do it with every device that I can
Sound Quality is pretty damn awesome
Very easy to use
You can change the amp at the bottom of the device and get more power without stacking
Battery life will get me through a regular day with no worries
Android allows you to use other music apps like on your phone and Neutron will work with this and not resample to 48Khz
The EQ is just O.K.
1/2 of screen is taken by control panel and other half for album art? It would be nice to auto hide that big panel
The leatherette case is very very hard to take off. Almost had a meltdown taking that back off
It sounds great, it is priced great compared to it’s rivals, the company updates the device to add things that people ask for.
This device was given to me for free.
Does that help make my review positive?
I dunno? I had it for months, I use other music players too. I enjoy being brutal and honest and sometimes burn bridges because of that. So I guess no. I definitely like it and have no problems telling you it is one of the finest devices you can buy to listen to music with and it will not cost you a shit ton of gold. Your good, this is a good purchase.
In case you’re wondering who the new guy is, I’m OldDude04. Some of you may know me from Head-Fi. I’m just an old school basshead and music lover that started out way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s using car audio in my mini-truck to fill my need for the low end rumble. As I got a bit older and got my own place, I spent silly money on home stereo equipment in my long-term chase for the bass. Then I got married, had some mini me’s and all of a sudden I couldn’t play my stereo cuz babies were sleeping. (They sleep ALL the time, lol) Anyway, long story short, I was forced to find a new way to get my daily helping of bass, and I turned to personal audio. I look forward to sharing some of my thoughts with you guys on IEMs, amps, & headphones, and how they relate to a basshead’s needs.