Sunday, 18 November 2012

FiiO E5 Review

A beast in disguise
A few years ago, I was not even aware of the fact that there are headphone amplifiers available on the market but to get that extra oomph out of my headphones, I tried searching for one. It was then that I discovered Fiio. A fairly unknown company that makes small and portable amplifiers that apparently takes your headphones to the next level. After a fair amount of thought, I decided to give it a try and my God! What a discovery it proved to be. 

Product Specifications:

● Output Power:
   150mW (16Ω Loaded)
   16mW (300Ω Loaded)
● Signal to Noise Ratio:
   ≥95dB (A weight)
● Distortion:
● Frequency Response:
   10Hz ~ 100KHz
● Suitable Headphone
   16 Ω ~ 300 Ω
● Power Supply:
   Rechargeable Li-ion
● Recharging:
   USB 5V DC 400mA
● Dimensions:
● Weight: 30g

This is a small and beautiful device that looks brilliantly sleek and comes in 3 colors; black, silver and white. The black metal casing gives it a sturdy and expensive feel. It also features a huge metal clip at the back to give it the portability required for a device like this. This unit is USB powered so you can easily charge it from your laptop or PC via the provided mini USB cable. The Lithium-Ion battery lasts me for approximately 10-15 hours (depending on the output volume) after a 1-2 hour charge. 

The device itself has two 3.5mm ports, one on either side. The ports are labelled nicely to let you know of the input and output ports (just in case your memory is bad as mine). An LED indicator is present on the device that changes color upon different situations; on, charging etc. The electronic volume control is situated next to the power button and the bass boost on/off switch.

I tried this device with multiple headphones but it really shines with the JVC Victor HA-FXT90, German Maestro GMP240, HoM Postive Vibrations on-ears and my HoM Soul Rebel on-ears (review in progress). The volume gets boosted to at least twice the normal volume without any distortion and the bass boost provides that necessary oomph if you're into music with a beat. The bass boost really shines with headphones that support reverberation. Strangely enough, I was not able to turn the volume to max while trying them with Beats by Dre Studio headphones as they started distorting like crazy. Since buying this device, I rarely recall a time when I've turned the volume down, as this amplifier really makes my headphones or any other output (used it with my car stereo to connect my mp3 player) really shine!

There is one slight problem that I experienced after a few months use that if I move the amplifier a lot, it started distorting the sound. And the device is not magnetically shielded so expect to hear that annoying crackling sound if you're receiving a call or text. 

Final Summation! 

- Awesome build quality, easy to carry : portable, bass boost adds incredible depth to music, makes mp3s sound like FLACs, truly immerses you into your music, brings out the true potential of your headphones, reasonably priced (around 16£)

- More EQ options would have been appreciated, sometimes distorts if moved a lot after prolonged use, not magnetically shielded. 

So does this device deserve the money from a student's wallet? If you feel like taking your music listening experience to the next level, I believe so.

Interested? Compare Prices by simply clicking here.

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