July 03, 2015

Shubhankar Das

Shubhankar reviewed the FiiO X1 for us. Read about what he had to say!


What Audiogear do you own?

I own the following audiogear:

Portable/Desktop Set-up
DAC/AMPS: Chord Hugo, Oppo HA-1, Alo Audio Rx-MB2+
Over Ear: Senheisser HD-800, Hifiman HE-560, V-MODA Crossfade M-100, Senheisser Momentum, Audio Technica ATH M-50x, Shure SRH1540
IEM: Shure SE846, Shure SE535 and the Momentum
Source: Fiio X5, X1, Macbook pro/audirvana

What did you use the X1 with?

I use the X1 as a portable device. X1 is paired with the Alo Rx-MB2+(portable headphone amplifier) and the Shure SE535 IEM. Sounds spectacular. 

Design & Build

Much smaller than the X5, however thickness is the same. Would have been great if it was thinner, easier to carry in pocket. Display is good, very much viewable. Don't need more than this. The scroll wheel is quiet reactive. On turning one can feel a small click which makes the software move one step at a time. Be careful not to go cray with the scroll wheel, use the 4 keys for navigation, else the scroll wheel will malfunction. Be gentle and it will work fine. Software is practical and user friendly. If you use a very large library, then scrolling for an album takes some time, but not a deal breaker, one gets used to it.
Overall a solid build, looks good and absolutely worth the asking price.

By the way: Do not forget to upgrade the firmware.


Sound & Performance

Sound: Right out of the box, it will sound thin and messed up. Please allow atleast 25-50 hours of burn in. Also it highly recommended that one uses hi-re files (flac etc) instead of mp3. No harm actually, mp3 will sound good, but the hi-re files will Rock. The audio quality is better than any smartphone in the market today, iPhones, Xperia 3, Galaxy included. In fact its much better.

I used the Shure SE846, Shure SE535 and the Senheisser IEM Momentum connected directly to the X1 and played back Flac files with resolutions up to 24/192. The X1 drives an IEM with ease. I also tried the X1 with the V-MODA Crossfade M-100, The Senheisser Momentum and the ATH M-50 (All circum-aural headphones with impedance ranging from 16 ohms - 32 Ohms) Again the X1 drove each and every one of them effortlessly.
Sound Quality is directly proportional to the quality of headphones/earphones used. The SE846 sounded way better than the Momentum IEM. But that's to be expected. What's important that the sound is good across the line and keeps getting better if better cans are used. I feel that the music is quite balanced with the X1, and it doesn't colour the music. Bass is very strong, but doesn't muddy up the mid's, which is great. The Mid's are a bit forward, but with better cans it balances out better. HF is sweet, not harsh. Extraordinary control on the sibilances. Music sounds musical and less analytical.


Super value for money.
Audiophiles will love it as a back up device to their main rigs.
Highly Recommended.


What are your thoughts on your audio gear?   Let us know and we'd like to feature you on our blog!

You can also buy FiiO headphone amplifiers and the DAPS here!

If you liked this article, you may also like:  "Absolute Value-For-Money!" V-MODA Crossfade LP² Review by Apoorv Prem


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