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FiiO E7 DAC Held Captive & Tortured


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For anyone interested, I abused a FiiO portable DAC/Headphone amp on my test bench and just published a rather lengthy review on my blog. The bottom line is it's far better made, and performs way better, than you'd expect from a $99 product. It easily shames a lot of more expensive products.

The battery sipping TI chip they chose as the headphone amp is the weak link but is still respectable enough for many applications. But it's clearly not an ideal amp for power hungry high impedance cans.

Given the surprisingly good performance of the E5 and E7, I'm curious how the $129 FiiO E9 desktop amp performs? It has the cojones for hungry cans (at least on paper) and the E7 docks on top for optional DAC duty.

FiiO E7 USB DAC & Amp Review

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Edited by NwAvGuy
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Like?

Like the NuForce uDAC-2 for one. It also outperforms the AMB Mini3 in some areas as an amp. And the E7's headphone output blows away all of the more expensive USB audio interfaces I've tested (M-Audio, E-Mu, PreSonus, etc.).

A more direct comparison for price and function would be something like the Leckerton UHA-4.

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This whole quest started because I wanted a cheap headphone DAC for a secondary PC. The NuForce flunked so that had me looking at other options. I don't use the pro interfaces for headphone listening... they're in my collection for different reasons.

My Benchmark DAC1 Pre works just fine on my main rig and I think qualifies as "known good". But it's not exactly fair to compare the E7 to the Benchmark. Do I have any other USB DACs laying around between the $100 and $1600 price categories? Nope.I test 'em as I get 'em.

Edited by NwAvGuy
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.... It easily shames a lot of more expensive products. ...

This whole quest started because I wanted a cheap headphone DAC for a secondary PC. The NuForce flunked so that had me looking at other options. I don't use the pro interfaces for headphone listening... they're in my collection for different reasons.My Benchmark DAC1 Pre works just fine on my main rig and I think qualifies as "known good". But it's not exactly fair to compare the E7 to the Benchmark. Do I have any other USB DACs laying around between the $100 and $1600 price categories? Nope.I test 'em as I get 'em.

Therein lies the problem.

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Therein lies the problem.

What "problem" exactly? Lots of people consider the E7 competition to the uDAC-2 when trying to decide what to buy. The measurements speak for themselves. As does the E7's build quality.

I added "in various ways" after "shames more expensive products" as I guess it depends on your priorities. But the E7 is hard to beat for $99.

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The problem in short: you didn't compare it to anything not in it's price category, but you say it shames mythical products that are more expensive. Who really gives a fuck if a $100 dac sounds better than a $150 dac, if both sound like shit?

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I don't even know why you would review an audio product's sound quality when you have less product listening experience and reputation for knowing what sounds good then the majority of your readers.

Edited by manaox2
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I don't even know why you would review an audio product's sound quality when you have less product listening experience and reputation for knowing what sounds good then the majority of your readers.

Faulting a person for his (lack of) reputation, and worse, for his readers' (lack of) reputation, that's a low blow.

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Except he made exactly that claim to the contrary:

It easily shames a lot of more expensive products.
I mean, I understand working a niche ($100 range, in this case), but then don't make the other claim if you have little or no experience in that area. That's what head-fi is for.
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But is it relevant?

It reeks of masterbation techniques, as do many of the other posts here.

I think you will be much happier at the kinder, gentler Huddler-Fi. KThxBy.

Edited by morphsci
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But is it relevant?

It reeks of master suppression techniques, as do many of the other posts here.

Here's a few words of wisdom... neither you nor Nwav understand this site. At all. Our tone has nothing to do with power-tripping or the like. It'll take you a while to really figure that out, as it does for most, if you choose to stick around here.

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