For the beginner audiophile. Overview of budget FiiO X1 audio player

Until recently it seemed that the audio player as the device otdelnye doomed to slow death — why they are needed, if you can listen to music on any smartphone? But, as often happens, the player is not dead, but has moved from the mainstream in a fairly narrow niche: they are now positioned as a device solely for music playback, offering the user freedom from many of the notifications and, of course, the sound quality is unattainable for a smartphone. Such is the hero of our today’s review — the entry-level audio player FiiO X1.

The editors thank the company for giving Avero the review player

Until recently it seemed that audio as a separate device doomed to slow death — why they are needed, if you can listen to music on any smartphone? But, as often happens, the player is not dead, but has moved from the mainstream in a fairly narrow niche: they are now positioned as a device solely for music playback, offering the user freedom from many of the notifications and, of course, the sound quality is unattainable for a smartphone. Such is the hero of our today’s review — the entry-level audio player FiiO X1.
What is it?

Quality, but affordable audio player.
Than it is interesting?

Support high-resolution audio (up to 24-bit/192 kHz), ability to play all the popular lossless formats (including Apple Lossless), support for memory cards up to 128 GB (built-in memory in the player is missing), running in the style of the early iPod with a mechanical scroll wheel.
Looks like?

Despite the low price, the FiiO X1 body made entirely from metal and makes a very good impression. The player is small in size and fits well in almost any pocket. And bundled with it comes with soft silicone case, which can protect your device from life’s adversity. A small screen has a resolution of 320×240 pixels and, alas, can not boast of a special brightness, so that bright sun can be some problems.
Is it convenient to use?

Yes, it is quite comfortable. Control scheme FiiO X1 uses a scroll wheel (similar to wheel ClickWheel on older models of iPod) button in the center plays the role of the Enter key. The four buttons around the wheel have the following functions: the left upper context menu; upper right — a return to the level above; the lower left — previous track; bottom right — next track. When the player screen is locked, long press on the volume buttons used to switch tracks.

Unfortunately, the design of the interface can not be called very refined or even just thoughtful. For example, if the album you are listening, light cover, its the background of most of the inscriptions (track name, elapsed/remaining time, etc.) become simply unreadable. In the menu you can choose from six themes, but they look to one another worse.

Separately, I note that the FiiO X1 is clearly used not the fastest processor, so the audio playback in the format 192/24, the device begins to respond to user actions with non-critical but noticeable delay.
How does it sound?

FiiO X1 is built on the basis of the TI PCM5142 DAC, the audio path used operational amplifier and buffer OPA2322 ISL28291. The sound of the device although inferior to the more expensive players (for example, “big brother” FiiO X5), but compares favorably with any smartphone on the market. In General, the sound can be described as neutral, with good tonal balance and good detail, especially in the midrange, and complete lack of “sand.” The supply of power from the player enough to “rock” almost any headphones with impedance of 150 Ohms or less.

X1 provides the ability to adjust the EQ and balance changes. She and the other functions are implemented in hardware, the built-in DAC digital signal processor.

To listen we used cheap dvuhdverny “rebar” Rock It Sounds R50 and closed Studio monitors Sony MDR-7506, which themselves are not headphones extra class, but perfectly stick out all the flaws of the source. Player successfully coped with the first and second earphones.

In contrast to the more expensive FiiO X5, which has separate jacks for headphone output and line output, X1 the operating modes are switched through the menu.
How much the battery holds?

Capacity built-in FiiO X1 battery is 1700 mAh. the Manufacturer claims 12 hours of playback high-resolution audio, which is roughly consistent with the results that I got.
The bottom line

FiiO X1 is definitely not a perfect device. Its disadvantages include a dim screen and not the best interface. However, all claims then themselves disappear, if we remember that device in Ukraine will cost just over $ 100 — and it provides excellent sound quality. In our view, a set of FiiO X1 and quality, but inexpensive headphones (for example, already mentioned above, Rock It Sounds R50 or HiFiMan RE-400) is a great choice for audiophile with a limited budget.

6 reasons to buy the FiiO X1:

good sound quality;
audio playback high-resolution (up to 192/24 inclusive).
support for all lossless formats, including Apple Lossless;
support gapless (playback without the “joints” between the tracks);
work with memory cards with capacity up to 128 GB, inclusive;
high quality metal case and cover included.

1 reason not to buy the FiiO X1:

dim screen.

FiiO X1

Processor
dual-core Ingenic Z4760 600 MHz

Operational amplifier
OPA2322 + ISL28291

Display
2″, TFT, 320×240 pixels

Memory
microSD memory cards up to 128GB inclusive;

Channel balance
± 5 dB, step 0.5

Equalizer
± 10 dB (hardware)

Supported formats
FLAC 24/192, WAV 24/192, APE 24/192 (Fast), APE (Normal) 24/96, APE (High) 24/96, 24/48 WMA Lossless, Apple Lossless (ALAC) 24/192, MP3, MP2, OGG, AAC; support gapless

Battery
lithium-polymer, 1700 mAh, up to 12 hours playback

Interface and outputs
USB 2.0 (microUSB), 3.5 mm output

Size and weight
97 x 57 x 14 mm, 106 grams

Headphone output

Power: > 70 mW @ 32Ω, 120 mW @ 16Ω
Output impedance: < 1 Ω
Frequency range: 10 Hz – 20 kHz

We already have a review of a flagship player FiiO X7