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[Review] Fiio E10

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys,

 

Lately I have been seeing plenty of "What soundcard should I get?" threads. My suggestion? Stop buying soundcards, they suck in my honest opinion. I think in nearly every thread me and a few others recommend an external card. I'm going to explain a little about this magnificent device and why it is awesome. First I'm going to start with the benefits

 

-USB. Meaning no EMI or annoying static from other components. Great for laptops too! No drivers requried! Just plug-n-play

-Headphone amp AND lineout. Meaning you can use your headphones, or plug in your speakers in the back with 3.5mm

- Sample rate 24-bit/96kHz. I don't feel like explaining this right now because I'm at work but I know you audiophiles will like this.

-Impedance: Supports headphones from 16 to 300 ohms. This means MOST headphones you will use will work just fine.

-+3dB headphone bass boost. This feature is AMAZING! I have yet to turn this feature off. This makes my Koss PortaPro's SUPERFUN.

-Coaxial output. For receivers/speakers? Not a huge A/V person so I'm not entirely sure.

-Small. This thing is small and my package came in a tin can so I consider it easy and portable for travel

-Price. $63.99 on Amazon right now

 

Negatives:

-High gain is +10dB. This nearly destroyed my ears for a second. +3dB is the low gain which is default. Don't change this unless you know what you are doing.

-When speakers AND headphones are plugged in the audio comes out on BOTH devices. I have yet to test this with Coaxial but I'm assuming this would happen as well.

 

 

Main product page: http://fiio.com.cn/products/index.aspx?ID=100000028262517

 

 

20121129180801.jpg


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Would you mind doing an external dac breakdown for different price points? It would be great having that type of resource here in the forum


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Great writeup. One of my pet peeves is when people automatically recommend a sound card without realizing the benefits of external solutions.

 

Thanks! I appreciate feedback.

Would you mind doing an external dac breakdown for different price points? It would be great having that type of resource here in the forum

I'm not a total expert anymore but I could look for the other alternatives depending on budget. I'll have to do this later unfortunately. The main idea of this post was to introduce people to amps/dacs and not deal with sound cards.


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The main idea of this post was to introduce people to amps/dacs and not deal with sound cards.

The Fiio E17 is also a great portable DAC/amp, and doesn't need to be plugged in to be used, allowing it to be, say, in your pocket attached to your phone while travelling.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

The Fiio E17 is also a great portable DAC/amp, and doesn't need to be plugged in to be used, allowing it to be, say, in your pocket attached to your phone while travelling.

I forgot all about this. I used to have this with the Fiio E9 but I never took it anywhere.


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-+3dB headphone bass boost. This feature is AMAZING! I have yet to turn this feature off. This makes my Koss PortaPro's SUPERFUN.

 

 

Why would you do that?

there's sooo much bass already.

 

actually I have a possible +15db of bass on my m^3 

hmmm


Will work for electronic components and parts


Reviews: Meelec CC51P - Monoprice 8323 - Koss Porta Pros  - Shure SRH-440 - Shure SRH-550DJShure SRH-840 - Hifiman He-500 - iBasso D4 - o2 Amplifier  -  SkeletonDac

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Would you mind doing an external dac breakdown for different price points? It would be great having that type of resource here in the forum

 

$30 - Behringer UCA202 (http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI)

DO NOT USE THE HEADPHONE OUT! Great for the line outs though with a receiver or powered speakers

 

$80 - FiiO E10

 

$120 - FiiO E17

 

$200 - iFi iDAC (http://www.ifi-audio.com/en/iDAC.html <- look at their site. Look at it and LAUGH!)

 

$200 - Schiit Magni+Modi (very high gain for sensitive headphones)

 

$285 - O2+ODAC (Mayflower Electronics is still cheapest in US.  Any JDSLabs distributor can be trusted since they all get their parts and build to spec, beware of ebay!)

 

Benchmark makes nice stuff above the $1000 pricepoint if you'd like those features... but I don't think that's reasonable to list for the mere mortals we are.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Why would you do that?

there's sooo much bass already.

 

actually I have a possible +15db of bass on my m^3 

hmmm

 

louder = "detailed", "clean", "rich", "musical", "up-front", "full"

 

well, it's really just louder, but there's no way to convince people that have already made up their minds.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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louder = "detailed", "clean", "rich", "musical", "up-front", "full"

 

 

that much bass isn't musical or full, it's just ear shaking.


Will work for electronic components and parts


Reviews: Meelec CC51P - Monoprice 8323 - Koss Porta Pros  - Shure SRH-440 - Shure SRH-550DJShure SRH-840 - Hifiman He-500 - iBasso D4 - o2 Amplifier  -  SkeletonDac

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The Fiio E17 is also a great portable DAC/amp, and doesn't need to be plugged in to be used, allowing it to be, say, in your pocket attached to your phone while travelling.

 

$120 - FiiO E17

 

Just thinking the majority of people are asking for home use recommendations as they are asking for a soundcard so would the E17 be an upgrade over the E10 for home use. Of course it is portable but with a mobile device you are not using the DAC so it would just be a portable amp.


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Couldn't afford a E10 because I had $100 and needed a new heatsink, so instead I got a Fiio D03k and a Fiio E6. WOW! what difference from stock ALC 889 to a receiver. There is just so much more balance and instrument separation.


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wait wait you had the e17 and e09 combination and prefer the e10 option over that?

 

I think I heard the dac is about the same in both, but the e17 can be used portably and the e9 has a more powerful amp.


Will work for electronic components and parts


Reviews: Meelec CC51P - Monoprice 8323 - Koss Porta Pros  - Shure SRH-440 - Shure SRH-550DJShure SRH-840 - Hifiman He-500 - iBasso D4 - o2 Amplifier  -  SkeletonDac

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I think I heard the dac is about the same in both, but the e17 can be used portably and the e9 has a more powerful amp.

 

E9 also has a 10 Ohm output impedance

 

 

Just thinking the majority of people are asking for home use recommendations as they are asking for a soundcard so would the E17 be an upgrade over the E10 for home use. Of course it is portable but with a mobile device you are not using the DAC so it would just be a portable amp.

 

 

the E7 and E17 can be used as stand-alone units as far as I remember.  It has an electronic volume control and is really not much of an upgrade, but some people like the form factor and the volume control so I listed it.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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the E7 and E17 can be used as stand-alone units as far as I remember.  It has an electronic volume control and is really not much of an upgrade, but some people like the form factor and the volume control so I listed it.

 

To use the DAC in the E17 while on the go you would need a portable device with optical / coax out which all but the high end players don't have.


Headset

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To use the DAC in the E17 while on the go you would need a portable device with optical / coax out which all but the high end players don't have.

 

You can't charge it up then plug it into a laptop with a usb cable then plug your headphones into it?


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

wait wait you had the e17 and e09 combination and prefer the e10 option over that?

This was like 3 years ago when I had a lot more headphones. I sold those for the Audio-GD and then ended up selling that. Don't ask my reasoning haha.

 

I don't know if it's just my E10, but it's really sensitive to cellphone interference while using headphones.

 

This is awkward. Have you tried a different USB port/cable? Does turning your mobile phone off or moving it away without touching anything else get rid of this?

Couldn't afford a E10 because I had $100 and needed a new heatsink, so instead I got a Fiio D03k and a Fiio E6. WOW! what difference from stock ALC 889 to a receiver. There is just so much more balance and instrument separation.

Still not bad for the cost, you just have to deal with one extra device. ALSO HOLY CRAP THE E10 is $63.65 RIGHT NOW. DEM 44 CENTS SAVINGS.


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Multiple simultaneous output is interesting.    

For examples 

  • going from headphone to speakers and back.  Since windows 7, you can't have more than one audio output at once.  Swapping outputs in windows is a chore.  It's a PITA with sound cards if plugging, unplugging isn't convenient.  Then there're the amp/speakers systems with headphone out, but then you're using the amp on the speaker system rather than the on sound card you spent $$$ on.
  • This + Lepai amp and the rest of the money for real pair of speakers. 

 

How's the bass boost on the E10 in terms of what frequencies range it's boosting?  The E17 bass EQ spills into the mids as opposed to just boosting sub frequencies, making everything muffled if I had to turn it up.

 

The E17 has option of 0dB/6dB/12dB gain.  I keep mine at 6dB for my HD650's, but back to 0dB for my ATH-M50's (otherwise ears blown!).  At 12dB, it can power the HD800 to decent levels, but that's when the ASUS Xonar Essence STX comes in handy (but sound cards are not portable).

 

 

 

Not bad if you like the EQ i guess, coax / optical in as well. $50 though, just seems like a lot extra.

 

Yeah, it really depends on what features you might be looking for.  I was debating for a while but finally plunked down on the E17.  

 

Here are my reasons for it:

  • Battery power for portability and stability when usb power gets icky.
  • Multiple input options : analog stero in for my phone when talking (why talk on a crappy headset when you can use real headphones :P ), optical in, this way I can EQ from another source or my computer's onboard.
  • The built in display.

Things I don't like about the E17

  • volume control: I prefer the dial.  A digital dial would be ideal (dial and display )
  • EQ: base EQ spills into the midrange.

 

At the end of the day, I'm personally very satisfied with the e17, but looks like the e10 has some unique functions the e17 doesn't have, as well  as the lower price of entry.


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