Published on April 26th, 2015 | by Igor Rebenko0
Review: FiiO X1 Ultraportable Hi-Res DAP
Pros: Cost, features, design, accessories, size, sound quality, build quality
Before I even got the device, I’ve been following the X1 thread from it’s conception and as the details piled on I knew that this one is going to stir the pot in the DAP world. With its price being the biggest positive I knew that FiiO won’t skimp out on the goods. Hence I was super excited for the X1 to come out.
The device looks and feel no less than amazing. Typical FiiO design. Brush aluminium, with machined body and buttons, and chamfered edges. World class build quality you won’t get anywhere for the price tag.
Button layout is very intuitive. They did a great job with this. I think they based the layout on a bunch of different DAPs (one being the iPod of course). The second I put it in my hand I knew exactly where every button is subconciously. Bravo in this department.
The GUI is a classic interface I’ve grown up with. A lot of devices use a similar design. One being the good ol’ blue screen file manager on DOS systems back in the day. I personally prefer this kind of interface over the icon based interface everyone uses. But, as it is not a touch screen devices it pretty perfect and does exactly what it needs to with no bloat or lag.
I find it very hard to review sources so this part will be quite brief but to the point.
This device sounds great with IEMs. I tried it with my Xiaomi Pistons 2.1 and absolutely fell in love with this match made in heaven. I never enjoyed listening to the Pistons as I did with the X1. Typical FiiO sound. It’s quite transparent, a little on the warm side. Very enjoyable indeed.
Where the X1’s only noticeable flaw lies is the power. When I tried the X1 with my 32Ω Goldring DR150 the sound was good but lacking in energy, and when I plug in my 60Ω Takstar Pro 80 (which are actually quite easy to drive) the sound was, for lack of a better word, anemic. This was fixed with a little help from the E11k. The X1 and the E11k pair very well for full sized cans but the sound stage and imaging take a little bit of a hit. Not my cup-o-tea, but some people like a more warm and intimate sound.
For $100 you will never ever get a HiRes DAP this good. It does extremely well for it’s purpose and exceed all of my expectation. It’s truly the best companion for that long commute some people have to take to work on public transport. Paired with a nice IEM and you can have one of the best sounding experiences for under $200.
I applaud FiiO for constantly pushing and toppling boundaries in the Audiophile World. I really think that this DAP is going to cause a lot of problems for those (in my opinion) astronomically overpriced DAPs on the market.