Fiio has recently upgraded its range of portable music players. The flagship X7 is now a MKII costing £599. It has a touchscreen, 2GB of RAM, 64GB in-built memory, and two micro SD slots which can contain up to 256GB in each slot. It comes with the mid-level AM3A headphone amp module which clips to the bottom and is upgradeable or changeable depending on your choice of headphones. It uses a customized version of the Android 5.1 OS, a new 8-channel ESS DAC, Bluetooth 4.0, aptX™ and has optical and SPDIF outputs. It has Wi-Fi and a choice of two modes, Pure Music Mode and Android Mode. Pure Music Mode allows you to use it as a straight forward playback device. In Android mode you can download from the Play Store any of your favourite music playback apps, such as Onkyo HF Player or Neutron. You can also download any of your favourite online streaming services, such as Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify. If it’s in the Play Store, you can download it! DLNA is supported so you can stream from your server at home, and firmware updates are available over-the-air.
The all new X5 MKIII (£390) is a less expensive version of the X7 MKII and a total revamp of the previous generation. Gone is the click wheel, to be replaced by a touchscreen and a complementary side-facing volume knob. It has all of the functionality of the X7 MKII including Bluetooth 4.0, aptX™ though it has 1GB of RAM and 32GB built-in memory. For those of you more technically inclined the X5III has two top-of-the-line AKM AK4490EN DACs, one for each channel. This DAC is a part of a new generation of high-quality 32-bit DACs that support all PCM and DSD formats. Both models can play virtually any file including PCM up to 24bit/384kHz and DSD64/128. However the on-board headphone amp is integrated in the X5 MKIII, not changeable like the X7 MKII.
For wired headphones there are dual headphone output ports for both 3.5mm standard and 2.5mm balanced and each can be connected to your home hi-fi using a cable or the Fiio K5 docking station/headphone amp or DK1 USB dock. The X7 MKII is available in titanium, while the X5 MKIII comes in titanium, black or red.
The entry level X3 MKIII (£180) is a simpler music player without a touchscreen or Wi-Fi. It is lighter, thinner, and has an improved scroll wheel over the previous model. Although it is more basic, it still has balanced and single-ended headphone outputs, Bluetooth, and a SPDIF output. It can play PCM files up to 24bit/192kHz as well as DSD files and is available in black or red.
We have all three models on demonstration, so, if you would like to have a listen, just drop by.More Stories