Overview FiiO X3 Mark III: evolution, the sequel to the popular line of Hi-Fi players

FiiO X3 Mark III — portable Hi-Fi player with high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Are supported all popular Lossless formats, and compressed MP3 and other. For music storage connector MicroSD up to 256 GB. It is possible to use as a USB DAC.

The editors thank the company Avero for kindly providing the review player

FiiO traditionally, every year is updating its entire line of Hi-Fi players and simultaneously adds new models. For example, last year added a flagship X7 with interchangeable amplifiers. The company still can not be determined with the marking of the updated models, we have seen options X3K, and the Gen2 console at the end. The experiments continue and the updated X7 and X3 are called X7 X3 Mark II and Mark III respectively. Causes some Association with SLR cameras. Flagman so far we have not got a FiiO X3 Mark III have been able to stay in the wording about him and talk
What is interesting FiiO X3 Mark III?

FiiO X3 Mark III — portable Hi-Fi player with high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Are supported all popular Lossless formats, and compressed MP3 and other. For music storage connector MicroSD up to 256 GB. It is possible to use as a USB DAC. Compared to the previous generation changes a lot, both in design and in the filling. Instead of the Cirrus Logic in the X3 II now uses a pair of TI PCM5242 DAC (like the FiiO X1 II), there was a balanced output and a Bluetooth module. The design is similar to X1 II, in fact, a player generally perceived more advanced version of the X1 of the second generation. Housing became less metal, it is lighter and thinner, and the mechanical wheel was replaced with a touch (again, as in the above-mentioned X1 II).
What’s in the box?

Package and similar to the FiiO X5 III: box of white cardboard with printing: the image of the player, the FiiO logo and logo Hi-Res, plus information about the player. Inside the traditional black box of thick, textured cardboard, which has all the contents:

The package also migrated from the older FiiO X5 3rd gen. In the box were: the player, MicroUSB cable, adapter for coaxial output, silicone transparent case, a second case made of leatherette, two protective film on the front panel (third pasted from) and a standard set of forms and instructions:

Cute looks whether?

Visually, the player has little in common with the FiiO X3 II: is that wheel and four buttons from him in the corners on the front panel. Front new FiiO X3 Mark III is almost identical to the FiiO X1 II, the front panel is black (regardless of color), completely covered with protective glass. In the upper part display, lower bodies oopravleniya: touch scroll wheel (a controversial decision, I liked more mechanical), inscribed in his button. Corners call button menu back one level and switch tracks, which you can use to navigate in the menu, which I used instead of the wheel. At the bottom there is a led which glows blue during operation and red during charging:

Perimeter player — metallic silver frame with clear corners (X1 form II is slightly more streamlined). All connectors are arranged on the bottom end: Yes 3.5 mm standard (aka linear and coaxial) and 2.5 mm balanced headphone Jack and MicroUSB for charging,syncing and using the player as a USB DAC. Still USB Type-C can not see is a pity. Probably will go only after the release of the updated dock and other accessories:

On the left side — a slot for memory cards without any plugs, so-called “multi-function” button (although it really is normally used as Play/Pause), the volume rocker and power button with the red trim:

On the top and right sides anything interesting:

A large part of the back cover is made of metal, in our case black. The player will be available in a red option, there will be red frame around the perimeter. In the upper part — the FiiO logo, above that is a small plastic insert for the proper functioning of Bluetooth-module. Bottom — all sorts of technical information and a sticker with the logo Hi-Res

FiiO have never had a problem with the quality of materials and workmanship that confirms my FiiO X3 the first generation have experienced a lot in 4 years and still feels great. FiiO X3 Mark III continues this tradition. About the design for me to judge difficult, it is still an improvement of clean water. On the one hand, the player is lighter and thinner than the X3 II, and on the other predecessor looked more monolithic and brutal that I like. Included are two case: silicone available in all controls, even for the rear logo cutout made. It is well customized in shape and size:

 


 


 


 


 

 

Leatherette cover looks more impressive and all controls are also available. Closed only slot for memory cards MicroSD, although I don’t think it’s critical:

 


 


 


 


 

 

How easy to use?

The layout and control logic similar to the previous generation X3 and X1 II. Use the touch wheel is a questionable solution that I could never get used to it. If desired, you can adjust its sensitivity. Well, okay, one time set and forget thing, that have hardware playback controls, and they have no problems identifitseerida to the touch, so the “blind” office in your pocket — no problem:

On the side — power button, volume rocker (also easily and accurately determined by in the pocket) and a circular Play/Pause button, which can also be used to switch playlists, change themes and enable the equalizer. In practice I never used:

The player has not yet gone on sale and the stitching is still damp, sometimes there are some small nuances of the type sometimes manifested zazhevyvaya the beginning of the tracks or problems with uploading covers. Well it’s all relative: FiiO updates will probably fix these minor issues. The question is slightly different: the interface is “push button” FiiO has remained virtually unchanged since the X5 first generation. Yes, there are minor improvements, some redrawn, but the overall structure and logic remains the same. Someone like it, someone-no. On the playback screen displays all the necessary information, beginning with track names, artists, covers and ending with the volume level charge and a runner advances. There is a playlist browser folders and playback settings and the player. There is a standard play modes, the ability to play without pauses, the choice of the mode of gain locking buttons and so on:

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

How does it sound?

Let me remind you, the inside has two PCM5242 DAC (two of the same as X1 in II), but the increase in overall: used OPA2140 low-pass filter and operational amplifier OPA1622. The player was used with headphones T-Peos H-300, Sony MDR-7506, Whizzer A15 and Sennheiser HD 215 (the rich and happy). Expect VHR data from sound Hi-Fi player in the category up to $200 stupid and should be evaluated based on price category. Overall, the player sounds musical, with the drive, the character closer to a brighter sound with some headphones treble can be too Intrusive. Although, again, an improvement, but, as shown, the RF fobov really a lot. The low frequency enough, with good dynamics and study (again, given the price range), although the attenuation is slightly blurred, which is not the best way affects detail. Neutral MIDs sound pretty lively, although ultra-high speeds, widths, degree of detail and clarity is not worth waiting, exactly as all the competitors in the price range. The division of musical instruments at a very good level. One very significant advantage as a hero, and players in this price category — that they are tolerant of not very good records and omnivores, in terms of styles. Overall, the sound of the FiiO X3 Mark III is one of the most interesting options in its segment, but with some reservations on a personal preference.
What competitors are there?

I will try in a nutshell to answer a few questions that are likely to arise among potential buyers. Should I change the FiiO X3 II to Mark III? I would not change: there is Bluetooth and smartphone, and balanced output still useful for higher price range as players and respective headphones. Similar situation with a profit compared to the FiiO X1 II. If you wish to choose (and buy) my first Hi-Fi player, FiiO X3 Mark III is definitely interesting and worthy candidate. Closest competitors are probably the Cayin and Shanling N3 M2s. Again, starts vkusovschina: FiiO X3 Mark III definitely sounds brighter (I like this sound more to your taste). Functionally N3 Cayin and Shanling M2s more interesting: it easier to control, the interface is much faster plus there is support HiBy Link: the ability to control playback from a smartphone, is described in detail in the review of the Cayin N3.
What’s with the battery?

The player has a lithium-polymer battery 3.7 V 2350 mAh battery, promising up to 10 hours of battery life. I listened to the player mainly through the wire (without Bluetooth), approximately how it turns out. Quite a standard rate for your class of devices.
The bottom line

FiiO X3 Mark III doesn’t feel like a radical renewal, but rather a cosmetic facelift and the addition of becoming a certain trend in the Hi-Fi player Bluetooth and balanced output. Player is an interesting proposition for those who decide to get their first Hi-Fi player and not yet ready to spend big money for top solutions. FiiO X3 Mark III can provide high-quality sound (for the money), though quite taste and obviously not everyone will like. It is packaged in a compact, cute and comfortable case that does not pulls the pocket and equipped with handy buttons that allow you to control playback directly in your pocket. At the same time, the interface is still not the most convenient and fast: there are competitors more comfortable and functional.

5 reasons to buy a FiiO X3 Mark III:

sound quality (in its class);
easy to implement physical controls;
the possibility of using as a USB DAC;
you need to have a Bluetooth;
compact design and good build quality.

2 reasons not to buy FiiO X3 Mark III:

you need a player with a more versatile warm sound;
uncomfortable and thoughtful interface.

FiiO X3 Mark III

Processor
Ingenic JZ4760B

DAC
2хРСМ5242

Oh
OPA1622

LPF
OPA2140

Display
2.31″, TFT, 320×240 pixels

Memory
microSD card up to 256GB, inclusive;

Supported formats
DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSF, DFF, SACD ISO, 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
Li-polymer, 2350 mAh, up to 10 hours playback

Interface and outputs
USB 2.0 (microUSB), 3.5 mm output (headphone, line in/coaxial), 2.5 mm balanced

Size and weight
114х59х12.8 mm, 126 grams