FiiO X5 Portable High Resolution Music Player

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X5
Portable High Resolution Music Player
from FiiO
Conclusion
September 14, 2014
Introduction Closer Look X5 Buttons & Scroll Wheel X5 Menu
Features & Specifications Conclusion

FiiO X5
Portable High-Res Music Player
Features: High resolution music file playback supporting multiple audio formats, high quality aluminum enclosure, dual MicroSD slots, and more.
Brand: FiiO
Model: X5
Firmware: 2.0
Product Release: March 28, 2014
Purchased: June 19, 2014
Dimensions: 67.6mm x 114mm x 15.6mm
Weight: 195g
MSRP: $ 350.00 USD
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase

Pros

  • Absolutely amazing sound!
  • FiiO is heavily involved with current X5 owners, creating new firmware and new features just about every week
  • 400 x 360 IPS Screen (2.4")
  • 192kHz/24Bit playback capability
  • Dual MicroSD Card Slots ("TF Slots")
  • Several different music formats that include Apple formats, FLAC, WAV, MP3, etc.
  • Brings new expansion and audio fidelity to your music collection like you've never experienced it before
  • Gapless Playback for tracks of the same sample rate (FW 2.0+)
  • External Storage supported via USB OTG (FW 2.0+)
  • Silicon protective rubber included
  • Protective screen already installed

Cons / Disadvantages

  • None observed

Noteworthy Observations
  • FiiO is currently creating firmware which concentrates on Playlists and how they interact with large numbers of files, as well as multiple tracks with the same beginning track number (i.e., Album #1 has 01_SongTitle.wav, Album #2 has 01_SongTitle.wav, etc.)

  • foobar2000 has been a really nice help with renaming files and attaching album covers. Creating album covers and moving all files over to the X5 was seamless, and editing is especially simplified. Try it!

  • Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is an important tool in making sure your audio files from your CDs get to your portable DAP...bit for bit. EAC has a rather rigorous verification process and creates logs to inform you if the CD had an accurate rip.

  • FiiO recommends using the m3u8 extension for better compatibility

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS

Conclusion

If you've been wondering if there is life beyond your current MP3 player — yes, there is!

FiiO is quickly making strides with the X3 for around $200, and the upcoming X1 which will be around $100, the X series will be competing directly with iPods and any other MP3 player. Sandisk still offers affordable MP3 players, but unfortunately, their latest product, the SanDisk Clip Sport hasn't received the best reviews, and I have to agree, the quality is getting lower and lower every year. This is probably why their products from several years ago are selling for more than what they originally were — and these are used products!

This is why I turned to FiiO. Their quality is very good — outright exceptional, and they are a company that listens to their consumer base. They are a company which molds their products to what the consumer wants. An amazing concept in 2014.

The X1 will probably be the product of choice for sports enthusiasts as it will be lighter and smaller than the X5.

In case you're curious, there will be an X7 (~$700), which will have an even higher quality system of components, and will support a larger screen size. Let's take a look at FiiO's overall product line below, to get an idea of what might be best for you.

FiiO Portable Music Player Product Line

  • FiiO X1 (~$99)
    For users who want the highest quality sound in the most portable package as well as being the most affordable, the X1 will more than likely fit that need.

  • FiiO X3 (~$200)
    The X3 is for those who want a little more customization in the menus and are willing to sacrifice a larger package to get it. The X3 could still be used in an active environment, but is much larger than the X1.

  • FiiO X5 ($350)
    The X5 is the entry higher-end model which does sacrifice size due to the required audiophile-grade components in it, but the sound quality and features (such as dual MicroSD slots) are the advantage.

  • FiiO X7 (~$700)
    This will be FiiO's eventual flagship DAP, which will have even higher quality components than the X5. If you want the best...this will be it.

Having an exceptional relationship with their consumers, a high quality build, a sound that I am completely impressed and excited about as I'm currently having the X5 play CDs I lost interest in, the FiiO X5 High Resolution Music Player gets a very well deserved HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS.

Once you purchase your own X5, I guarantee you'll be impressed with how your music will sound. With a high quality DAP such as the X5, it's now possible to take your extensive (and expensive) high resolution music collection with you, wherever your travels may take you.

"Amazing Sound" Clarified

I was emailed recently about my specific comment of Absolutely Amazing Sound!, and could I be more explanatory. I sure can.

The X5 is only music player I've heard which mimics an analog-ish sound, but yet without all the pops and hisses you'd normally hear from a vinyl record. If you have not listened to a vinyl record, then you won't understand, but I'm assuming most readers will because buying an X5 is not just something you'll buy on a whim. You're looking for a specific type of sound. Vinyl had an especially wide dynamic range, and if the initial recording was done properly, the vinyl would just scream with high fidelity when paired with an appropriate sound system to let it breath.

I have an extensive collection of music which was transferred from vinyl to CD, and hearing it with the X5 brought back my early DJ days of spinning vinyl, as the reproduction was just spot-on. I will always be a fan of the 80's music style, and I have a few Kylie Minogue, Heaven 17, DAF, and Sandra vinyl 12" which I used in clubs (to name just a few). When it comes to audiophile satisfaction, we are a finicky bunch, so what might sound great to one might not be the best sound for the other. However, the X5 is seemingly creating that common bridge to audio listening, where few devices can.

For those who are still wondering what my comment meant, imagine having one of the best and most expensive amplifiers available in your hand to take around and play your favorite music with. The types of electronics in the X5 are what an audiophile's dream was back in the late 70's and 80's. It was simply unheard of to have such high quality sound, without lugging around heave headphones, multi-pound amplifiers, and trunkload of cables. Then you had to wonder if there was an AC outlett which could accept so many plugs for your equipment. The thought of having something portable, able to reproduce sounds only heard in some rich guy's living room or even a recording studio...were just a dream. Until now. Electronics have come a long way, and over the years, having a portable audiophile device to listen to high resolution music tracks, has been realized. What FiiO has done, is allow many of us to get a taste of what this latest technology has to offer, for around $350. There are other devices which claim to do the same for twice as much, and that's great. But FiiO has broken the price barrier even further.

As of this comment, FiiO has come out with a second generation X5, which allows even more features.

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Home Reviews Forums News 2015 2013 2012 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
RSS Feeds FOV Factor Table Sensor Sizes | Definitions: A-D E-H I-L M-P Q-U V-Z | Sitemap
Articles Archived Websites (Pre-DigitalDingus): D100 Lounge E-10 Club | Contact