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Thread: FiiO X5 (2nd Generation) Portable High Resolution Music Player (Review)

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    Default FiiO X5 (2nd Generation) Portable High Resolution Music Player (Review)

    Hi all. As requested I'm starting a thread on my new DAP - The FiiO X5 (2nd Gen).



    After my 160GB Classic iPod for the umpteenth time and having the inenviable task of reloading my entire library I decided to do some research on players. I wanted one that could play high resolution files, could handle multiple formats (my first choice being FLAC), and have a huge storage capacity. After reading countless great reviews I settles on the new FiiO X5. It lists for $300 but I got it for $250 due to a tear in the shrink wrap (it was never opened). The device is neatly packaged and comes with a USB cable and a Mini-RCA cable. The player does not come with any storage and can accommodate 2 Micro SD cards (I bought 2 200GB cards for $80 each). The device is heavy and feels very solid. The SD cards took a few times to lock in, I had to use my finger nail to push them in slightly deeper than the surface of the device. After doing this a few times it became fairly easy.

    I spent last week re-ripping my entire CD collection (over 1,000 discs) at full resolution and then converted them to FLAC. Thanks to the helpful Yeeshkul thread I learned how to rip the high resolution audio from all my DVD-A and Blu-ray discs (I now have 4 Pink Floyd albums at 96k!).

    Following the Quick Start Guide I downloaded the latest firmware and updated the device. Easy Peasy. I then copied over a few albums to check things out. First up was DSOTM at 96/24 and WOW!!! The audio quality far exceeded my expectations (I'm listening via my Audio Technica headphones) and this could be the best sounding version of this album that I've ever heard. The nice thing about this is that I can organize everything via folders I create in Windows. I can even alphabetize correctly (last name, first name). The only slight negative is the millisecond gap between tracks but I can live with this (EDIT: I just discovered the Gapless Playback option (why is this even an option?) so it's back to batting 1000).

    I'm really excited and will follow up as I use it more. When connected to your computer it functions as a USB drive so it's a simple drag-n-drop to fill it up. And that's exactly what I intend to do. The migration begins tonight!

    The most amazing aspect of this all is that my 6 boxes of CDs that must weigh about 40 pounds each all fit on 2 drives this size with about 100GB to spare (and that includes all my HD rips as well).



    Any questions? Please ask!
    Last edited by Roscoe59; 2016-08-15 at 01:39 AM.

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    Thanks for the review. I had a Fiio x1 which I gave to one of my daughters after I got a Pono Player. My wife and my son also have x1s. They were $100 and, in my opinion, a fantastic deal. Really high quality, great sound and fits in your pocket. Has a great feel to it. When hooked up to the big stereo, it sounds amazing. Only one sd slot and probably a slightly lower end DAC inside than the x5. Honestly, I can't imagine why anyone would get an Ipod instead of one of these. Perfect for flac but also plays tons of other formats. I'd wanted a Pono ever since they came out and came across a deal so grabbed one, but otherwise I was perfectly happy with the x1. Even my son, who's a tech guy, thinks it's great. Even my wife, who has techno fear, figured out how to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roscoe59 View Post
    Hi all. As requested I'm starting a thread on my new DAP - The FiiO X5 (2nd Gen).

    After my 160GB Classic iPod for the umpteenth time and having the inenviable task of reloading my entire library I decided to do some research on players. I wanted one that could play high resolution files, could handle multiple formats (my first choice being FLAC), and have a huge storage capacity. After reading countless great reviews I settles on the new FiiO X5. It lists for $300 but I got it for $250 due to a tear in the shrink wrap (it was never opened). The device is neatly packaged and comes with a USB cable and a Mini-RCA cable. The player does not come with any storage and can accommodate 2 Micro SD cards (I bought 2 200GB cards for $80 each). The device is heavy and feels very solid. The SD cards took a few times to lock in, I had to use my finger nail to push them in slightly deeper than the surface of the device. After doing this a few times it became fairly easy.

    I spent last week re-ripping my entire CD collection (over 1,000 discs) at full resolution and then converted them to FLAC. Thanks to the helpful Yeeshkul thread I learned how to rip the high resolution audio from all my DVD-A and Blu-ray discs (I now have 4 Pink Floyd albums at 96k!).

    Following the Quick Start Guide I downloaded the latest firmware and updated the device. Easy Peasy. I then copied over a few albums to check things out. First up was DSOTM at 96/24 and WOW!!! The audio quality far exceeded my expectations (I'm listening via my Audio Technica headphones) and this could be the best sounding version of this album that I've ever heard. The nice thing about this is that I can organize everything via folders I create in Windows. I can even alphabetize correctly (last name, first name). The only slight negative is the millisecond gap between tracks but I can live with this (EDIT: I just discovered the Gapless Playback option (why is this even an option?) so it's back to batting 1000).

    I'm really excited and will follow up as I use it more. When connected to your computer it functions as a USB drive so it's a simple drag-n-drop to fill it up. And that's exactly what I intend to do. The migration begins tonight!

    The most amazing aspect of this all is that my 6 boxes of CDs that must weigh about 40 pounds each all fit on 2 drives this size with about 100GB to spare (and that includes all my HD rips as well).

    Any questions? Please ask!
    Thanks a lot for the initial first impressions, much appreciated. The gapless playback is seamless after turning on the setting? I also agree, why is this even an option in 2016. Does anyone really sit around and say "ugh, I wish there were large obtrusive gaps in between all my songs, this seamless smooth transitioning between songs is so awful and inconvenient", lol?

    Anyway, I hate to admit it but I've had a 160gb Apple iPod for some years now and it works perfectly. I loaded up a lot of my music collection some years ago but haven't added anything since because iTunes is such an incredibly horrible piece of garbage that adding and deleting thing from your iPod is dreadful and a real pain in the ass. Maybe it's me but I hate iTunes, more than even gaps in my music. This looks like a really excellent replacement that doesn't use a somewhat fragile HDD and can hold a wack ton files. All good stuff.

    I really look forward to hearing how you get along with this unit. I might even sell my iPod on ebay and use the funds to buy this little guy. I've had my eye on it for quite some time but have been reluctant. Those iPod Classics still go for some excellent prices on eBay if you are looking to unload one, they regularly go for over $200 in excellent condition.
    Click here to access my Pink Floyd lists!

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    Wrapping up migration for the day on Card 1. I dropped and dragged Aerosmith through Tom Petty (approx 145 GB out of 200). I created alphabetical folders (A-Z) to make browsing easier. Tomorrow it's Pink Floyd through Warren Zevon. I'll start ripping the HD audio from some of my Blu-rays and DVDs over the next few months.

    I'll play around with some of the functions tomorrow and we'll see how responsive the unit is with so much data on it.

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    I recently bought the X3 and found the sound fantastic. I have a fiio amp connected for portable use. My only grip is the small screen so I sort everything into folders on the pc and then copy them over. Well worth the money imo.
    Cheers N

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    Quote Originally Posted by nadiar View Post
    I recently bought the X3 and found the sound fantastic. I have a fiio amp connected for portable use. My only grip is the small screen so I sort everything into folders on the pc and then copy them over. Well worth the money imo.
    Cheers N
    I also have the FiiO amp, used to use it with my iPod. And I also organize everything on my PC via folders and then just drag it onto the Micro SD card. Vert easy. Just like using an external hard drive.

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    Day 2. Still migrating albums to my 2nd Micro SD card while listening to music on the 1st card. Didn't realize that this displayed album art as well. Bonus!
    Listening to classic Billy Joel and Elton John. Impressive dynamics and wide sound stage. Loving the clean high end. Audio blows away the iPod.

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    Thanks for the pointers and bringing this device to my attention. Been searching for a decent audio player that has absolutely nothing to do with Apple or iTunes. Never forgiven them for what happened when I installed iTunes about ten years ago as in an instant it completely re-organised my music files on my hard drive into a file structure I couldn't work with, the galling thing being it had taken me two years to build up that collection. It took me two long painful days to undo the mess and recreate my preferred structure! Regardless to say, iTunes was immediately uninstalled and I've never gone anywhere near it since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmapeelfan View Post
    Thanks for the pointers and bringing this device to my attention. Been searching for a decent audio player that has absolutely nothing to do with Apple or iTunes. Never forgiven them for what happened when I installed iTunes about ten years ago as in an instant it completely re-organised my music files on my hard drive into a file structure I couldn't work with, the galling thing being it had taken me two years to build up that collection. It took me two long painful days to undo the mess and recreate my preferred structure! Regardless to say, iTunes was immediately uninstalled and I've never gone anywhere near it since.
    Well I did rip all of my CDs via iTunes to make sure that they were tagged properly. Now all of my CDs (and bootleg recordings) are backed up on an external and these Micro SD cards. But no software is needed. Works great using the Windows folder system. And any initial issues with the wheel and UI must have been taken care of in one of the firmware updates. So far this things a complete winner!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roscoe59 View Post
    Well I did rip all of my CDs via iTunes to make sure that they were tagged properly. Now all of my CDs (and bootleg recordings) are backed up on an external and these Micro SD cards. But no software is needed. Works great using the Windows folder system. And any initial issues with the wheel and UI must have been taken care of in one of the firmware updates. So far this things a complete winner!
    Good to hear. I read some reports somewhere that people were having issues with the wheel. They just needed to update! I've been thinking about getting a Fiio X5 for when my Sansa ClipZip gives out (it's still ok). The ClipZip with Rockbox plays everything, but auto-downsamples to 16-44, so I can't wait for a 'proper' HD player. The Fiio is on my wishlist and I've been hinting to family members about it being a possible Xmas gift (lol).

    This review is very helpful. Thanks Roscoe!

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