Author：Sam Publish time：2014-01-16
I stopped by the FiiO booth for a little while. No one at the booth spoke much English but they were happy for me to try the X5 and their amps. Unfortunately the “Made for Android” FiiO E18 “Kunlun” DAC did not want to work with my Nexus 5 and no one at the booth could figure out why. No matter, it sounded quite good as a standalone amp and felt great in the hand. It’s got a pretty large footprint for a portable amp but with high-end smartphones getting larger and larger that’s certainly not without merit.
I found it interesting that FiiO was supplying Dunu DN-1000 Hybrid IEMs for audition with their players – these earphones are not ideal for the purpose, I think, as they are far from neutral. I’m familiar enough with the DN-1000 to say that it sounded quite good out of the FiiO gear on display, but I’m still glad I’d brought a few reference earphones of my own.
The X5 is certainly a very impressive piece of kit – from a quick audition with my Unique Melody Miracle it seemed to be a competitor for the HM-901. FiiO had it loaded with some super hi-res 24/192 files and it sounded excellent with the ever-popular “Hotel California” from Hell Freezes Over. Unfortunately listening conditions weren’t ideal at the FiiO booth – it was in a rather loud section of the show floor and even with the UM Miracle some outside noise was leaking in. The interface looked pretty good for an audiophile DAP – the X5 won’t be confused with an iPod any time soon but it seemed more polished and a touch more responsive compared to the HM-901.