Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Guest Review of X5

Special thanks to doki81 of Headfi / dokidokii of lowyat forum , here is his insight of the Fiio X5:

Pros: -solid build, support 2 microsd card, good music detailing (lossless format) and overall neutral sounding

Cons: - cant change battery, non touch screen

Unit info:
Product name: Fiio X5
FW: X5FW1.00 (I have upgraded to FW1.10 and didn’t notice and noticeable change on the SQ)
Physical Appearance
- The picture does not do justice to the actual product as the physical product looks more solid. Fiio has also finally got it right for the metal polish finishing. If Fiio uses the same finishing on their other products such as X3 and E12 series, it will be a good selling point in terms of appearance.
- The scroll wheel takes some time to get used to it. Fortunately Fiio has included the 4 navigation button whereby most of the navigation can be performed by the 4 buttons.


- Nice UI, snappy and responsive
- Navigation of system is quite easy even without reading the instruction manual
Phone static test
- None detected. I didn’t notice any interference even though I put my mobile phone (which is ringing) on top of the X5.
Function test
- Gapless play is working fine for me. I don’t play classical music that much but I do play live concert music genre.
- The X5 can detect earphone jack unplug, this is one of the features which I appreciate that Fiio has built in.
- The bookmarked function is also nicely done but the only downside is that I can’t create a playlist on my computer and throw it into the X5. Hopefully Fiio can come up with something for this function in the near future. I’m sure other users will be pleased with this too.

- There’s no issue for X5 to portray the dynamic range of the music. Lossless file like APE and FLAC gave this player some extra edge compared to mp3 format, especially on the music details. In my opinion, Fiio has managed to build a better music decoder for X5 as there are more music details in the X5 compared to X3 and DX50.
- Throughout the whole review period, I have constantly tested different genre of music on the X5, and it passed all the test with no complaints 
- Sound stage – balance / neutral sound stage which doesn’t make the whole music taste like artificial but yet it have plenty of room on it 
- Treble – soothing and extensive
- Mid –I would say neutral mid, by comparing it to X3+E12DIY (BUF634+MUSES01), X5 mid is lesser than my X3+E12DIY but I will gladly present this as a positive point for X5.
- Bass – it’s quite neutral, not too overwhelming. X5 can handle it well enough for all the trance/jazz/rock track that I have played.

IEM used:
The Max volume is 120
Westone W4r – Low Gain, Vol 66-70
Phonak Audeo PFE232 – Low Gain, Vol 70-78
Westone UM3X RC –Low Gain, Vol 66-70
ATH M50 – High Gain, Vol 60-65

EQ setting: Normal/ None
1. Green Day – Jesus of Surburbia (Flac). Genre - Rock
2. Jane Monheit – over the rainbow (audiophile voices collection) (flac). Genre – Jazz
3. Colbie Caillat – Begin again. Genre – Pop
4. David Tao - Airport in 10:30 (APE). Genre – Pop/R&B
5. Kacey Musgraves - My House (flac). Genre – Country
6. MayDay – Second life album (Flac). Genre – Pop/Rock
7. Jacky Cheung – Live The Life (Flac). Genre – Pop/Concert

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