FiiO - X3 (2nd Generation) - High Resolution Music Player -
|Price:||CDN$ 359.99 FREE SHIPPING.|
- All new digital audio architecture with native DSD support
- Dual crystal oscillators dedicated to multiples of 44.1kHz and 48kHz frequencies for lowest jitter at all sample rates.
- Audiophile-grade architecture and components with Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC
- Updated design with all-metal chassis and fine grained matte finish.
- New user interface design on a high quality 2-inch LCD screen
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The X3 is the heart of FiiO's selection of high resolution digital music players, now in its 2nd generation with all new updated circuitry and exterior design.
Native DSD Support
All new digital audio architecture means the new X3 can now handle DSD decoding natively, giving listeners access to this highly regarded digital audio format. Of course, the X3 also supports all of the popular lossless formats in your music library, including WAV, FLAC, APE, WMA, ALAC, and AIFF.
Dual Crystal Oscillators
The X3 makes use of two crystal oscillators, one each for the 44.1kHz and 48kHz frequency multiples. This no-compromise design ensures the lowest jitter and highest precision for playback of music at all sample rates, eliminating all conversion artifacts.
Utilizing the Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC coupled with our painstakingly tuned low-pass filter, the X3 realizes extremely low noise and phase distortion. The X3's analog circuitry utilizes premium tantalum capacitors with minimal internal resistance for the best uncolored sound signature.
There's only so much that can be put into words. Take a listen and let your ears decide.
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I have read a lot about it, about its so called problems. I read the operational manual several times, one week before, and the comments and Q&As here and there. I didn't have any problem setting it up. The product is great, looks great, feels great and sounds great (wait, see below).
I want to keep things simple, only to store and play ALAC files and use it almost in default mode. I connect my favorable ear buds (the TaoTronic ANC) to the body, it sounds good, smooth with sweet sound. After a few hours, I connect the FiiO A3, with the same ear buds, same music. The quality of the sound jumps two levels. If then it was 5 out of 10, it was now a 7. The better head amp made the music alive; bass kicking but not dominating; and the small things with more nuances. Absolutely high end sound.
Then, I played with the co-axial cable supplied, connected to my SMSL Sanskrit Gen 6 and the SMSL sApii, (I consider my best set up amount the FiiO 10k, K5). Now I can compare the X3 DAC feeding them with the co-axial cable supplied and the iMac feeding them with S/P optical cable from the iMAC; using the same ALAC songs, same head amp, just different DACs (or are they?), and different cables (coaxial vs optical), same ear buds. I can press the Sanskrit select button and change from X3 DAC to Sanskrit almost instantaneously.
It sound of the DAC from the X3II is very very refined, silky. The sound from the Sanskrit is also very refined with a fuller body. If I can use the violin analogy, the X3II DAC is like the sound of a Stradivari and the sound of the Sanskrit is like the sound of a Guarnieri.
One thing I am not 100% sure is: when the digits of 0 and 1 coming out of the X3II through the co-axial to the Sanskrit, do they go through its own DAC, then to the Sanskrit DAC again? It shouldn't be, since it is supposed to be bypassing the X3II DAC. I am not too sure.
So, the natively sound from the X3II if set at 5 out of 10, adding a FiiO A3 amp elevates it to 7 out of 10 (using the lineout, not the earphone outlet which is not as good). Then, feeding the digital data through a co-axial cable to the SMSL Sanskrit DAC to the SMSL sApii head amp will get a 8.5 or 9 out of 10. I will leave the 1 or 1.5 points to a $5,000 to $25,000 DAC and head amps.
I also have a FiiO K5, supposedly a perfect companion to the X1,3, 5, 7 etc. I find it somewhat hard to plug it in the dock, like putting a thread through the eye of a needle. Forcing it will probably damage the Mirco port of the X3II. If it got it plugged in, the small LCD of the X3II is too small and it is hard to read what is going on. I use the supplied USB cable to connect to my iMAC with ease, for charging, for loading songs etc. It is not required to USB connect to a computer if you play music through the co-axial cable. Maybe in the future. I will find a way to play X3II music with the K5 (the K5 is good).
Again, I wonder how the X5, X7 sounds better and by how much if I am using external head amps.
As for the bad experiences people got and wrote, maybe it was true, but I suspect those folks do not read the instructions carefully, and/or tried very complicated set ups with complicated different files of different formats. The manual is lengthy and hard to read, and not a Nobel price winner writing. If you use the X3II just for playing music of one or two types, things shouldn't be too bad. The little machine is very sophisticated but also can be very complicated; but it can be rather simple if you use it simply (but you still have to read its operation manual carefully).
I don't have to update the firmware, it already is at FW 2.0. My bigger micro SD cards have not arrived yet. I am using a Kinston 16 G card class 10 for now. Still, it is a far cry from my old iPOD (even my grandson doesn't want it), with < 8 Gig for music max.. I use ALAC files for both. If you are from iPOD culture, expect a big change in UI and operations. If you insist it should be the same, you will be bitterly disappointed.
I played it with the FiiO A3 connected for almost 12 hours. The battery of the A3 ran out first and the battery of the X3II still have about 1/3 capacity left, according to the gauge on the LCD. So, the battery should last 15 hours, non stop playing, Maybe it was because it was in deep sleep which save battery juice a lot. The A3 doesn't have it.
More updates if I have more worthy things to say. It is so good to have it in your hand, so beautiful at such a low price. In my area, the price can differ a 45%. I am lucky to get it at the low end, and it was delivered very very fast.
Unfortunately this player doesn't have dual SD card slots like the X5 and sometimes the scroll wheel seems to be clicking but not registering as a turn when I am turning it slowly (it physically turns). I can't figure out for sure if it's because I am too fussy, an idiot, imagining it, or if some other factor is in play
All told I will recommend this player to anyone unless you have lots of poor quality files that you aren't willing to replace with high quality versions.
If you're trying to decide whether to upgrade from an X1, I previously had a first generation X1 and there is a definite improvement in sound quality in terms of clarity and detail. I'm currently using it with Westone UM Pro 10's and Shure SE215's.
Pour ceux qui recherche un lecteur High Resolution avec un bon rapport qualité/prix ce choix est à considérer.