Fiio x1 – The Golden EQ

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INTRODUCTION

You might be wondering why you need a Digital audio player when we are living in a century where we use our phones to listen to music. Your phones are dedicated to many other functions like photos, phone calls, data, etc. This in turn limits your phone from having variety of files types & dedicated hardware/software for music! What the digital audio player like the Fiio x1 offers is a dedicated dac/amp to make your music sound much better and battery life dedicated to just music, to name a few. There are of course many more benefits and variety of features depending on the digital audio player we are talking about ! READ ON to find more features for the FIIO X 1 digital audio player.

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ABOUT FIIO

Fiio is a Chinese company that produces and sells high quality products at favorable prices to those who love music and style. They strive to raise the reputation of “Made in China.” It was first established in 2007 with the background experience in researching and developing countless portable music product of different types. Fiio strictly adheres to ISO9001 standards in quality management and thus Fiio products are sold internationally with pride. They ceaselessly pursues perfection in designing the perfect product for users, producing many variety of products with improvements until this day.
DISCLAIMER

This unit was purchased by me for this review and as usual I am committed to providing reviews with no bias.

SPECS

DAC: Texas Instruments’ Newest PCM5142

AMP: Intersil’s newest ISL28291

lossless music formats: APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, ALAC, at up to 192kHz / 24bits Plus mp3, aac, ogg vorbis…

Material: light durable aluminium alloys

Weight: 106 grams

Battery: 1700 milliamp hours (10-11 hours usage)

Output level: 100 mW @ 16 ohms

Recommended impedance range: 16 to 100 ohms

BUILD QUALITY / FUNCTIONS

Build quality: Fiio is known for their build quality and it is no exception for the Fiio x1, which is built in full aluminum. It is very durables and very nice to the touch. Even the buttons feel nice, although they are not the “nicest,” you cannot expect more from a 100-dollar digital audio player, for the price you pay, one thing you will have no complaints is the build quality.

EQ functionality: Fiio really stood up to bring the best in a budget package here by adding this function. With this function, you can easily EQ your music just the way you like it. It even has its own set of EQs for different genres of music such as pop, vocal, rock, etc.

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Themes: adding to the style and beauty of the DAP, it features an all new UI theme rendered on a full colour display. Available in gold, silver, pink, orange, blue, and green themes.

Line output: The X1 supports both driving headphones directly and line output as well, switching between the two easily via a menu selection. Using line output, you may expand the X1 by bundling it with dedicated headphone amplifiers for more demanding power hungry headphones.

Micro SD card slot: support up to 128GB, which plenty for most individuals, even enthusiasts.

Controls Buttons: the control buttons are very easy to access in your pocket and simple. Featuring center play and pause/enter button and fast forward, next song, etc in the nicely placed X – buttons.

Factory reset function: on the side of the device, there is an extremely small hole that you can use in case your device starts malfunctioning or has a seizure, you will need it but we will get on this topic in the later sections of this review.

The scroll button: It is a rubberized mechanical wheel. feels great, I have no complaints.

PRACTIALLY

The flat surface and reasonable size allows for easy pairing with externals dac/amp, not to mention being perfectly comfortable in your pockets.

NEGATIVES / THINGS TO IMPROVE ON

RESET BUTTON: the reset button was a nice touch because it is required because errors frequently arise with different files types of just in general. It is perfectly fine after using a reset button but it would have been nice to not have to use the reset button at all.

Bluetooth: Fiio x1 (1st gen) does not have Bluetooth. Fiio did release the 2nd generation which has Bluetooth and if you really want Bluetooth, you can purchase an external Bluetooth adapter.

Does not support DSD: this is if you really care about REALLY high quality digital files on the go, I would imagine most people are fine with flac files

SOUND QUALITY

I auditioned many different IEMS/headphones across over 100s of different test tracks in lossless flac files. (some include, noble x / LZ A4 / IE80 / HD598cs / m40x / re400 / he400i / hd650 ETC)

My conclusion was that this is one of if not the most classic fiio sound signature you will hear. This digital audio player will NOT give you neutrality but more a warm and smooth sound signature, which most people will enjoy. The clarity suffers a bit compared to their higher end DAPs or shanling m1 (another entry dap), especially in the highs. Also, fiio x1 is more powerful than shanling m1 but m1 beats the x1 by far in separation and imaging. But again, Fiio is more full sounding because of its more powerful amp and overall warmer sound signature.

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