Fiio X3 – affordable portable player HiFi




Not what gadget lovers of quality Community portable audio waited as long and eagerly, as a player from Fiio. Announced just a few years ago, the project was put on hold for a long time and no signs of life until the beginning of summer, the company has not started shipping the first test batches of the player. Overcoming the shortage of supply, Fiio began its expansion into the market of the player X3. Let’s see what he’s good.

What is so good this player so much that he waited and broke spears on forums all over the world? Of course, the manufacturing company. From Fiio waited breakthrough, because they actually turned the market of portable HiFi, having begun production of amplifiers and DACs that had no equal in terms of price / quality. On the pages of their products AppleInsider has repeatedly overlooks ( E02i , E09K , E17 , E07K and E12 ).

Общий вид плеера

X3 originally conceived more as a digital transport – player, focused on the digital audio signal or audio through the line out. Amplification section planned so far as to reduce the cost of the final product, the main use case was supposed to connect the player to a third party DAC / amplifier. At that time, the project “took off” and Fiio suspended it for savings. At the beginning of 2013 was held back X3 other concept, and you can tell us thank you, as a “new X3” much better than what was planned.
Technical characteristics
General Specifications

Processor: Dual Ingenic Z4760 600MHz
DAC: Wolfson WM8740
Operational amplifier: AD8397 (headphones)
Internal memory: 8 GB (7.3 GB available)
Memory card: MicroSD, up to 64GB SDXC (FAT32, NTFS)
Data transfer: USB 2.0 High Speed, Read / Write – 4.5 MB / s
Outputs: 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm line-out, 3,5 mm coaxial S / PDIF (adapter included)
Recommended Headphone Impedance: 16 Ω – 300 Ω
Dimensions: 55 mm x 109 mm x 16 mm
Weight: 122 g
Display: TFT 320 x 240
Volume: digital control, 60 steps
Hardware EQ: Treble and Bass to ± 10 dB
Channel Balance: ± 5 dB in steps of 0.5 dB
Gein: 0 dB (Low) and 6 dB (High)
Charging: 5V, 500 mA (recommended not less than 1.5 A)
Battery: 3000 mA / W, Li-Polymer
LED: red – charging, green – charged
Operating time per charge: Over 10 hours
Charging time: up to 4 hours (5 V, 1.5 A)


Distortion: <0.004% @ 1kHz S / N ratio:> 108 dB
Frequency response: 10 Hz – 20 kHz (± 0.2)
Dynamic range:> 103 dB
Channel separation:> 90 dB @ 10 KΩ @ 1 kHz
Voltage:> 1.7 Vrms

Вид сверху
Headphone output

Power:> 540 mW @ 16Ω, 270 mW @ 32Ω, 30mW @ 300Ω
Output impedance: <0.3 Ω Channel separation:> 75 dB @ 1 kHz
Distortion: <0.005% @ 1kHz Frequency response: 10 Hz - 20 kHz (± 0.2) Peak voltage:> 8 Vp-p
S / N ratio:> 105 dB
Maximum Current:> 250mA
Output protection: Relay

Вид снизу
Supported file formats

Lossless (bit depth / sampling rate): APE (Fast) 24/192, APE (Normal) 24/96, APE (High) 24/96, FLAC 24/192, WAV 24/192, WMA 9.1 LOSSLESS 24 / 192, Apple Lossless (ALAC) 24/192
Lossy: MP3, MP2, OGG, AAC, WMA
Support for album art, lyrics, ID3 tags and CUE-sheet
Reproduction without pauses

Правая сторона
Packaging and delivery

Box – standard for Fiio white cardboard with red stripes. It has a brand sticker to protect against counterfeiting. It contains a special surface, scrape that you can find the code that is checked on the company’s website. So you can be sure of the original device.

Inside is a player wearing the holster in a silver anti-static bag, instruction manual with warranty card, USB-cable for synchronization and charging adapter for S / PDIF and a pair of protective films on the screen (special thanks to Fiio for it, as the film often fails to stick with once).

In my opinion, the credit goes to the decision not to put in a set of headphones. Something more or less decent to batten down the price tag up, and cheap consumer goods – just be pushed from the X3. Sensibly decided that buying the player of this level already possess good headphones, the company did not have to do anything stupid.

Вид снизу

The internal memory of the player is a good selection of tracks that allow you to test support for different formats, there is everything from The Beatles remastered albums and ending tracks of Michael Jackson. In new versions of the player in mind also recorded «Dr. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show! »- Interesting album, recorded with binaural recording (two microphone installed in the model of the human head, allow us to write the music exactly the way hearing people, and when listening to headphones to experience the maximum three-dimensional effect).
Design and Management

Player incredibly favorably with other “brothers on the shop floor” comes from China. HiFiMan weighty bricks and a top Colorfly – have long been the talk of the town. X3 on their background looks like a masterpiece of design ideas: black aluminum with a “metal” textured plastic front panel with the screen (almost) one-touch buttons. Dimensions are approximately equal to a typical mobile phone of the times when technology has allowed for compact devices, and marketers are still not forced to chase thick. Therefore, the player fits comfortably in the hand and operate it comfortably.

С наушниками CKM-55

Of course, painted aluminum – the material is not very resistant to scratches (shown by Apple), so the future users of the device Fiio taken care of, and put in a set of silicone case white. Player in it loses some charm, but how much better preserved. For those who do not like the white color – available bluish and pink covers (for a fee). In the future promises even more interesting options leatherette.

Ativnost ends of the device are used, there are different interface connectors are located. On the left side – the card slot on the right – the switch hold, blocking button. The top panel bears the headphones-and S / PDIF outputs, lower – USB and line-out.

The main control is performed via front panel. They are exactly six, and it is in them lies the main interface “joke” X3. The fact is that for the sake of aesthetics, the developers have arranged paired buttons (forward / backward and up / down) on the diagonal. It’s a bit surprising at first and knocks, but after a short while to get used to it. Buttons have the following functions:

return back and a context menu track
next / previous track, also for scrolling and navigating through the menus,
volume control (plus or minus) is also used to select options in menus
Play / Pause, also used to select the menu, long press on / off power.

Левая панель

The screen is quite good player. Of course, it is inferior to modern mobile phones, but for the player super resolution is clearly not needed. The main problem – the screen fades in direct sun, we have to turn away or cover up his hand, but on the whole, given the budget it is nit-picking.

Very pleased with the player menu. Programmers do not have to reinvent the extra entities suppressed craving for beauty, usually poured into a lurid icons, and issued on-mountain-friendly interface, similar to the iPod Classic. All menus are constructed in the form of lines of text, and the top line of the screen shows a number of status icons: battery, playback, volume, etc.

Вид сверху

Playing – quickly takes you to the playback screen, indicating that there playing.

Play All – shows all your files in one big list.

Favourites – analog playlists on your iPod, allows you to collect your favorite tracks.

Category – allows you to view your media library by genre, artist or album.

Browse Files – direct access to your files on the player and on the map. If you do not like the order in your library and carefully prescribed tag, then this is for you.

Play Mode – toggles vopsproizvedeniya: a circle, a single track, casual.

Treble and Bass – as you can guess, adjust the bass and treble.

Player Settings – setting the player.

Memory Play – remember to where playback stopped when power is turned on (turned off, remember the track, store, and track position).
Gapeless Playback – includes free playback pauses.
Max Vol – limit the maximum volume.
Default Vol – what the volume is set after: the one that was at the turn-off, or once a predetermined level.
Play Display – what to show on the playback screen: the cover or lyrics.
Gain – controls the gain setting.
Balance – strictly regulates the balance.

System Settings – System Configuration

Language – Select the languages ​​(alas, but there is not Russian and not planned).
Sleep – Sleep timer for fans to listen to music at bedtime, changing from off to 120 minutes in increments of 10 minutes.
Backligh Time – the backlighting time, 10 to 60 seconds in increments of 10 seconds, or all the time on.
Idle Poweroff – turn off automatically when not in use, changing from off to 210 seconds in increments of 30 seconds.
Backlight Brightness – the brightness of the backlight, 4 steps.
Theme – choose one of the three themes.
Update Lib – update library. + / – Keys change the mode automatic / manual, which will update the Play button in manual mode.
Info / Storage – shows information about the player, flash and accessible.
Restore – resets to factory defaults.

С плеером RoCoo-P

When in playback mode pinch and hold the “Back” button – opens the track menu, then you can see its metadata and bitrate, add / remove it to your favorites, to adjust the bass and treble, select the play mode and even remove it from the player’s memory.

Life time on a single charge was promised “10 hours,” with the latest firmware I have is even greater than 13 hours when playing FLAC. The charge from USB-port is very slow, so it’s best to get a charger or notebook, such as iPad. He’s charging time is acceptable in 3 hours with a little. I can not mention here is not a good use of the battery and controller – many Chinese players sin that lose their entire charge even when turned off. X3 does not suffer a similar incontinence.

For a start it is worth noting that the results of measurements carried out as enthusiasts with RMAA, and own measurements Fiio – X3 was more than good. Absolutely flat frequency response, low distortion, in general, the graphs are all beautifully. That same player has the ear?

In general, it would be surprising if the company has a portfolio of products, such as E07K and E17, has released a player with bad sound, but this, of course, did not happen. Disappointed were those who waited for some sverhchuda and tried to compare the Fiio X3 with the top players, price tags that exceed $ 700, if they do not engage in such illogical things, we can say that the X3 was a success.

С наушниками CKM-55

Closest to the sound of the player is to the Fiio E17, which is not surprising since they use the same chip. Warm sounding player, but not much in the dark receding sound as it suffers from the closest competitor on price group HiFiMan 601. X3 is a little stain record, giving them a smooth and musical sound. If you go to the X3 with players easier – you’ll be surprised how many small details and nuances you never heard before, especially when used with high-impedance headphones and / or a small sensitivity. It seems that the music takes on a new dimension, depth, it can be clearly separated from each other tools, to focus on the individual instrumental parts, especially to hear the recording. Energetic bass, clean mid, long and high frequency air – all this X3 will please owners.

The competition is very happy, “a dark background» X3, a minimum of interference and noise floor helps to concentrate on the sound.

Player requires thoughtful selection of headphones, as not all headphones is properly disclose their potential. I liked the way he plays with HiFiMan Re400, VSonic GR07 and GR01, Ambient Acoustics AM6 HiRez, Soundmagic E10. Do not like it X3 c T-PEOS H-200.

X3 connecting through the line output Fiio E12, I was convinced that even the tight isodynamic headphones sound good in a bunch.

С наушниками GR-01

Another fun experiment – Connect X3 to Tapu Yulong DA8 . As a digital transport X3 is also perfect for most music lovers.

By the way, I want to note that the rather impractical if X3 looks like buying the player iRiver A & K 100, using a similar circuit solution and offering virtually the same sound when the price tag is several times higher.

С усилителем E12 и GR-01

We can say that now, X3 in terms of price / sound is not equal. But for a long time to relax Fiio not work – on the way two powerful competitor in the face iBasso DX50 and iHIFI 760 that were hastily put into development after the announcement of the X3. Unequivocally on the side of X3 is a compact and efficient design, and the rest will have to judge after listening to the new models. One thing we can say for sure: X3 got great players in its price range, and Fiio managed to shift the price level of quality sound for the players as they used to do it for amplifiers and DACs. I look forward to the appearance of the next model Fiio X5, scheduled for the end of this year.
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