Final Thoughts

The FiiO X1, the hi-res DAP for $99. Except that it is not the only hi-res DAP under $100 out there and costs more than $99 once you add a microSD card which is mandatory since it has no onboard memory. I liked the FiiO X1 but not as much as the X3 and a long way off from the X5. No surprise there and chances are most of the reviews you will read will say the same. Compared to the Nano, the Clip, the Fuze or the HM-700 to name but a few and there are some pros and cons you need to consider before jumping in and spending your ton with the X1. This after all is the real competition to the X1.

If you want total portability and long battery life there are other better options. The X1 is perhaps the largest $100 class DAP with the Sansa, Hifiman HM-700 and Apple’s IPod Nano all significantly smaller. Most, if not all the competitors have onboard memory, meaning adding at least 16Gb is going to set you back around another $20 making the X1 the most expensive of the budget DAP’s on offer. The FiiO UI, though much better than the X3 and some might argue even the X5, still doesn’t have the speed of the Clip or the gloss of the Nano’s UI. The Clip certainly lacks the real estate of the screen of the X1 but it does most things quickly and has plenty of options also if you Rockbox it. Even the old touch Zune HD UI is much more visually impressive and engaging than the X1.

However if you want the best overall sound quality in the $100 class the X1 is your best choice for now. If you can bear with the lack of features listed above and go with just sound quality as your main consideration then the X1 is the most musical, most hi-res friendly and most powerful of the bunch just mentioned. FiiO said it is for the ‘young’ and not for audiophiles. I say it is for anyone who wants the best sounding DAP in the $100 category. I know plenty of people who I would not consider to be young, just fiscally challenged, who might trade in their Clip for this or buy it as a second DAP when they do not want to risk their X5 on their daily commute. Just don’t skimp on the cash thinking you are going to get something close or better than the X3 or 99% of the X5 on sound and detail.

Technical Specifications

x1-specs

General Specifications

Phone out(PO)
3.5mm headphone output jack
Headphone Impedance Range 16~100Ω
Volume control type 100 levels digital volume control mode

Color Available Silver and champagne
Dimensions 96.X56.7X14.1(mm)
Weight 106 g
Display Screen TFT320X240
Analog audio output jack 3.5mm headphone output jack

Left right channel adjustment 5 dB
Bass Boost NA Treble NA
Digital audio output jack NA Gain selection NA
USB DAC NA

Partial performance parameters for line output

THD+N < [email protected]
SNR > 110dB (A-Weight )
Frequency Response 20Hz~20KHz(<0.4dB)
Dynamic range > 110dB
Crosstalk > 100 dB @10KΩ @1KHz
Line output Level > 1.46 Vrms

Part of the Performance Parameter of Phone out

Output Power 1 > 100 [email protected] THD<1% Output Impedance <2Ω
Output Power 2 > 65 [email protected] Crosstalk >70 [email protected]
Output Power 3 > 8 [email protected] THD+N < [email protected]
Frequency Response 20Hz~20KHz(<0.4dB) MAX output voltage > 4.2 Vp-p
SNR > 110 dB (A计权) MAX output current > 46 mA

Power and Battery

Power USB 5V/500mA recommend USB 5V 2A
Battery Capacity 1700 mAH
Charge display red light indicates , green light turns on after fully charged
Battery Life >12 Hours
Battery display Yes
Charging Time < 4 Hours

Price: $99

Links: The FiiO X1 Home Page

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About The Author

Editor

Founder & Owner of headfonics.com. I first started reviewing in the late 80s (ouch!). Back then it was albums, rock concerts and interviews with a typewriter for the local rag. Now its desktop/portable and digital 2.1 audio on a rather nice laptop. How time flies.

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  • brcmrgn

    Another major advantage of the X1 over the HM-700 is that the X1 can actually play all of my 16/44 CD rips. The HM700 can’t play about 1/3 of my CD rips (those ripped with EAC). These files play fine on the AK100, AK240, X1, X3, X5, DX50, DX90, and HM-901 and show the correct bit depth and frequency on all of those players. I contacted HIFIMAN support and they acknowledged the issue and refuse to fix it. Their reasoning is their engineer’s time is much more valuable the their customer’s time. They suggested that I convert the files to WAV and back. Customer support at it’s finest!

    • 24bit

      Yikes.

    • headfonics

      So in short you were told the Jobsian equivalent of “holding it the wrong way”.

      • brcmrgn

        True. I’m very surprised by this behavior from HIFIMAN. All of their other products that I have are quite good. I think that this refusal to fix a known software bug is outrageous. I now ise it for MP3 files only.

        I am really enjoying the X1. I really like the form factor (without the silicone case). The controls make sense and work well.

        • headfonics

          Don’t you think its a bit funny that FiiO did sterling work on the new button design and labelling it only to pack it with a silicon case that hides it all?

  • oldandcurious

    Oh, okay…. Thank you for this forthright review. I was intent to get one for its form factor being smaller and lighter than my X3, planning to mainly use the latter as a DAC for my O2. This article changed my opinion that either I get another X3, save up for the X5, or wait for the X3K 🙂

    • headfonics

      ha! X3k, nothing would suprise me on that front. I would encourage you to think DX90 over the X5 but that is just my personal taste.

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  • Keith Cassinger

    Radio? puhleez.

    • headfonics

      I personally love radio. so yes pls 🙂

      • Keith Cassinger

        Wow, with satellite and car radio do you need it on your DAP? Lame.

        • headfonics

          Do you walk around with a car or a satellite on your head Keith? Last I checked malls dont allow you to bring them in either and there a ton of countries that do not have satellite radios.

  • lenin reddy

    What amplifier you would suggest for my fiio x1 , I have sennheiser hd7dj headphones and shure se 215 for better soundstage and clarity ?