This is the first portable amp that I bought so I don''t have a point of reference or anything to compare it to. I do like the accessories that come with it, however the main cable cannot be replaced easily since fiio does not sell replacement usb c to c cables....
This is the first portable amp that I bought so I don''t have a point of reference or anything to compare it to.
I do like the accessories that come with it, however the main cable cannot be replaced easily since fiio does not sell replacement usb c to c cables. However any otg usb c to c cable works perfectly fine with this, you just need to find one that has two right angle bends to route the cable properly. But other than the cables, the rest of the cables are good along with the little carry bag.
The device itself is sleek and tiny, definitely smaller than the average smartphone, but not as tiny as those clip on mp3 players. Think of it size as similar to those thin metal battery packs that you can bundle up with your phone and you''ll realise how small it is.
The connection options are flexible. Usb c for things like your computer or laptop, connect any usb cable and your computer can recognise it as a sound device. For phones and iPhones it works too; just be sure to change the charge switch to off so your phone doesn''t try to steal its battery. However, using the 3.5mm input limits the output to the 2.5mm and 4.4mm output. If you don''t know what those are, only use the usb c as the input. However I wish the cable included was a bit more sturdy, since it''s the main cable used to connect your device. Or at the very least, offer a replacement cable online, the only usb c to c cable I see that they have only got strsight connectors instead of right angle connectors like whats included in the box.
For the headphones I use, I only have the "akg" samsung headphones, Grado Sr80e''s, SHP9500''s, and Sony WH-CH710N. Not the best headphones for testing, but I wasn''t going to buy more expensive headphones that would take proper advantage of a better dac amp.
Sound quality is hard to judge since my primary phone no longer has a headphone jack, so I had to use my tablet and my computer. The biggest difference is how loud I can crank my headphones. When plugged into the standard headphone jack, I can rarely get my headphones loud enough to make it uncomfortable. Now, this is a good thing for my hearing, but not the best for other stuff. With the amp, I can barely go to max without hurting my ears, which is great. Having extra headroom for volume means that I have more control over the audio of my devices. Of course the thing to remember is to make sure your audio source is at max volume and use the amp''s volume knob to fine tune your comfortable listening level.
As far as being a dac.. Its hard for me to tell. If I was blind folded and you went back and forth between plugging it into the jack vs the dac amp, there might be a difference I just cant hear. Maybe the sound is cleaner and wider or more defined, but I can''t hear it. This device is a much more effective amp.
One thing I couldn''t test was the 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced ports since none of my headphones support that function and I wasn''t going to spend money on balanced headphones that rarely have the balanced cable with the headphones so that I would have to pay more money on top of the expensive headphones I already bought. Technically balanced output is better and more powerful, so there''s that.
All in all, is $150 too much for this thing? ......Sort of? You have to keep in mind that you can plug this into anything that supports usb audio, plus if you have the headphones that benefit from more power and a decent quality dac, I say get it. If you have headphones with balanced cables then you can try this to power them. But, if you just need to get your headphone jack back, getting a dongle is the easiest solution.