Getting to Know… The FiiO X Series

One of the most popular and celebrated range of players currently available on the market, the FiiO X series has something for everyone, ranging from affordable, fuss free Hi-Res players to high spec, Android based powerhouses. This article is intended to act as a guide to this excellent series of players, showing the differences between each model as we move up the range.

FiiO X1ii – £99

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Though the X1ii is the entry level model of the X series, it shouldn’t be underestimated. A Bluetooth compatible Hi-Res audio player, the X1ii has no internal memory, but rather runs exclusively off microSD cards up to 256GB in size. Utilizing Texas Instruments’ high quality CM5242, the X1ii has a high signal-to-noise ratio and supports full differential line output. With dedicated LPF and operational amplifier, strong low-frequency quality and depth is achieved. In-Vehicle Mode enables your X1ii to turn on automatically when the engine is started and to shut down when you have reached your destination – no more fiddly manual operations each time you get in and out your car. The FiiO X1ii battery capacity provides up to 12 hours of continuous music playback. The new Deep-sleep function allows instant-on playback and will help to save your battery when not in use; the FiiO X1 ii will remain on standby for up to 15 days.

FiiO X3iii – £179

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The FiiO X3iii Portable High Resolution Music Player is the third generation of FiiO’s celebrated X3 Portable High Resolution Music Player series, new for 2017. The X3iii features dual PCM5242 DAC chips for higher channel separation and stronger anti-interference technology to improve the signal to noise ratio. The X3iii also features a 2.5mm balanced output to help you benefit from a wider sound stage. There is still a 3.5mm single-end output port on this model, as well as a SPDIF output. This makes the X3iii one of the most cost effective DAPs that feature both dual DACs and a balanced output currently available on the market. Additionally, FiiO have added a new multifunction button to the side of the X3iii, which can be used for functions related to playback control, switching EQ settings, jumping through playlists and switching themes. The X3iii can support up to a 256GB micro SD card, and supports WAV, APE, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, DSF and DFF file formats. The player also supports in line controls, has Bluetooth 4.1 built in, and a deep sleep mode for minimal battery drain.

IMPROVEMENTS OVER X1ii:

-        Dual DAC chips for improved sound.

-        2.5mm balanced output.

-        Multifunction button on the side of the player

-        Bluetooth 4.1.

FiiO X5iii – £389

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The X5iii is an Android-based, mastering quality, lossless playback portable music player. The X5 3rd gen is equipped with two top-of-the-line AKM AK4490EN DACs, one for each channel. The AK4490EN is a part of a new generation of high-quality 32-bit DACs that supports all PCM and DSD formats. The X5 3rd gen utilizes two separate crystal oscillators, one for the DSD/44.1/88.2/176.4/352.8kHz sampling rates and the other for 48/96/192/384kHz. This ensures that under all sampling rates, there is significantly reduced jitter, improved clock accuracy, more stable operation, and virtually no sampling rate conversion artifacts. The X5 3rd gen has two headphones outputs – one single-ended and the other balanced. This allows the new X5 to cater to fans of either headphones output type. The X5 3rd gen, following in the footstep of FiiO’s flagship DAP, also offers two modes of operation, pure music mode and Android mode. two external microSD card slots. Since each microSD card slot supports up to 256GB cards, the X5 3rd gen is able to carry up to a whopping 544GB of music, enough to store up to 130.000 songs.

IMPROVEMENTS OVER X3iii:

-        Dual 32-bit DAC chips

-        Dual oscillators for reduced sampling rate issues

-        Android 5.1 OS

-        Dual microSD card slots

FiiO X7ii – £599

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FiiO’s current flagship player, the X7ii employs the 8-channel ESS ES9028PRO DAC. This flagship DAC brings a higher resolution sound, more dynamic range, and a larger soundstage. The FiiO X7ii features a deeply customised version of Android 5.1 at it’s core, with 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi connections supported, as well as Bluetooth 4.1. The X7ii also features both an optical and coaxial output, a new user interface designed specifically for the X7ii, and advanced automatic detection of lyrics and covers. The X7ii also allows the use of interchangeable amp modules to alter and improve your listening experience. Bundled with the X7ii is the AM3A, an all new amp module with both single ended and balanced headphone outputs. The AM3A uses the widely acclaimed AD8620 precision amplifier as well as the tailor-made OPA926 op-amp. Amp modules released during the life cycle of the original X7 are also compatible with the X7ii.

IMPROVEMENTS OVER X5iii:

-        8 channel, flagship DAC for ultimate fidelity.

-        Advanced detection of lyrics and covers.

-        Interchangeable amp modules.

We hope this guide will help clear up the main differences between these four excellent players. Need more advice? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.