Final Thoughts

The X3 is a brave new world for FiiO and to be honest it ticks a lot of boxes for what an audophile DAP on a budget might sound and look like for many. As I mentioned right at the start though there is a ton of competition right now in the mobile and audiophile DAP market that a dedicated music player might just seem a tad irrelevant. Ibasso’s new D42 which is slightly cheaper than the X3 for existing android users might create a barrier to those thinking of migrating and the ever present ipod and iphone plus slightly more expensive but excellent sounding DAC/AMP add-on’s might appeal to those who simply must have the Jobsian dream.



Also I have a question on what an audiophile considers acceptable for their money. Those on the upgrade path will surely cross swords with the X3 and for them this is a serious option and it should sell but if you are dreaming ever onwards and upwards then the X3 will pass by pretty quickly to higher end DAP’s. Now Hifiman do have a real competitor here for their lower end HM6 series and it obliterates Creative and the Philip’s range but the AK100 and DX100 market is pretty safe for now. The X3 is still a cheeky contender albeit with some serious chops that should be treated with respect but not as a threat to the top end guys. Now as word would have it the X3 is the junior in a ‘2-part story’ with the X5 (dual DAC?) due out in 2014. If this comes to fruition then I think whatever is learned from the X3 now is going to make the X5 a heck of a DAP.

Techncial Specifications

Main feature of X3
Color: Black
Weight: 122g
Size: 55 X 109 X 16 mm
Screen: 2.4 inch TFT,240X320
Power supply: Micro USB 。
Firmware upgraded: Through TF card。
Build in Memory: 8GB 。
Extra Memory: TF card(Micro SD card),support up to 64g ( must be formatted as FAT32)。
Data transfer: USB 2.0 High Speed, Write/Read 4.5 MB/S。

Audio Output: 3.5mm headphone out,3.5mm Line Out, 3.5mm Coaxial out。
Sample rate: 32K/16BIT~192K/24BIT。
Music play Back: Play All, Folder Play, Album Play, Artist Play, Genre Play, My Favorites.
Memory Play: Last song track or Last position of sound track.
Sound Track manage: Deleted, Custom “ Favorites Play List.

Sleep Mode: Auto Power Off from 15 to 60 mins.
Screen Auto Off: Custom.
Display Brightness: Custom.
CUE Support: Auto Separate Sound Track, Support Next/Previous, Fast forward/Backward;
Play Display: Album Cover, Lyric,ID3.
Gapless Playe: Supported

Hardware Bass: +/-10dB, Frequency Center 100Hz
Hardware Treble: +/-10dB, Frequency Center 10Khz
Volume Setup: Custom start Up Volume
Listening Protect: Custom Maximum Volume.
Balance: L10~R10

Output Protect: Mini Relay protect circuit design, DC protect, Over Current Protect
Headphone plug off: Auto Pause
Battery: 3000mAh 3.7V Lithium Polymer Battery
Hardware: Soc: Ingenic Z4760, DAC:WM8740,Amp:AD8397
Charge Time: 3 Hours by 1.5A USB Power, 7 Hours by USB Port in PC
Battery Life: 10 hours in Engineer sample and may reach 12-15 hours when the firmware is optimized

Line Out Specifications ( Initial Output Level: >1.5Vrms
THD: Frequency Response: 20-20KHz, Less than 0.3dB
SNR: >100dB
Crosstalk: >90dB
Headphone Out Specifications ( Initial )
Output Power: >[email protected] ohms; >[email protected] ohms
Frequency Response: 20-20KHz, Less than 0.3dB
THD: SNR: >100dB
Crosstalk: >[email protected] ohms

Click here to go to FiiO’s main website


24 Responses

  1. Yash Garg


    I bought the X3 + Brainwavz R3 off of MP4nation and am quite happy with it. However, I think the player can do a bit better than what I get off the R3s. Could you maybe suggest a pair of ‘brighter’ earphones? Not sure if I should go for cans or IEMs, it would be great if you could shed some light on the subject.

  2. oldandcurious

    Hello again. You already know that I am enjoying my X3 and I am eyeing the X5 :)

    Aside from some vocals, R&B, movie soundtracks, I tend to listen mostly to classical music, leaning on the strings and baroque.

    Never planning to tread along the expensive upgrade path, I need to ask this budget-inspired question –

    Since you had the pleasant experience of testing the X5, what are your thoughts on X3+E12 “versus” the X5 by itself? Because if the difference is not night and day, I am thinking if it is more wallet-friendly to just to get the E12 for my planned upgrade to HD600 or HD650.

    Thank you.

  3. Magnus

    Hi there,
    Hate to lower the tone (geddit?) but does anyone know if this thing has a file limit on its ID3 database? Whilst I have some favourite stuff ripped to high bit rates I have a fair few standard MP3s and have bumped up against limits before.

    • headfonics

      Not thats a really good questions and something I have not thought about in a long time. I loaded most of my MP3’s with pretty complete tags but most of the time I do my own tagging and not source from the databases online.

      I have loaded mp3 so far on it without issues but you know the old story – “your mileage may vary” and never more the case when I opened up my library in linux and everything just went belly up on the tags.

      • Magnus

        My most recent problem was with the Sansa Clip Zip. I bought a 64gb card reformatted it and loaded it but the native software couldn’t cope with my 8000 odd tracks. Sorted it by installing rockbox which also improved the sound somewhat but I’m looking at this as a step up and there’s no option but to accept the onboard firmware. It’d be a shame to have all that capacity on the player/card but not be able to use it all.

      • headfonics

        Actually I just remembered I stuck in my fat32 64GB microSD card from my Ak100 into my X3 and it worked fine, but being flac I am not sure how many tracks that ended up being – it was fully loaded though.

      • Magnus

        Probably way below 8000. Maybe I should contact FiiO direct. I’ll let you know what I get back.

      • headfonics

        I popped an email to Sunny in FiiO also sometimes I see James and Sunny in my chat online I can ask also. Good luck.

      • headfonics

        Got the reply Magnus :)

        It is unlimited.

        Please the choose the upgrade the lib by Manual once you have installed other songs inside.

        Thank you very much !


        That should provide comfort.

      • Magnus

        He got right back to me too.
        Thanks to both of you. Now I need to find my credit card…

      • headfonics

        Nice haha.. good luck and let us know how it works out :)

  4. Davidson Sacluti

    Would this be a “good” buy as a transport ?
    Thinking of upgrading my Ipod Video as portable source.

    • headfonics

      Honestly no idea as I dont have the Studio V 3rd Anniversary and not likely to.

  5. Michael

    Thanks for the review. How would you compare X3 to E17 soundwise? And what about the well-known Cowon D2+?

    • headfonics

      NOt that different to be honest, though the E17 might have a slight edge on the amping but of course it cant store music etx. The D2+ I have not tried but I do have the X7 in my collection and I would say based on that the X3 is warmer and more analog than the digital Cowon though I love the BBE in Cowon which is fun to play around with and more advanced than what is available on the X3.

  6. Kevin

    Which one is more relevant? OK source with GOOD amp, or GOOD source with no amp?

    • headfonics

      Hi Kevin – every source needs amplification to get the sound out or else its just a DAC or transport with no end product.

      Me personally I would have to view it in context of the headphone – if its a 32ohm easy to drive headphone then great DAP or DAC/Amp combo is better, or to be more precise a DAP with a really well implmented DAC chip.

      Once you go up the power ladder the amp gets more and more important but it still only amplifies the quality of the original signal.

      For instance the HE6 planer is a great headphone that needs a ton of power that only something like a Mjolnir or Ef6 or Darkstar can get the best out of even with amazing sources.

      • Kevin

        Cheers for the info!
        Thanks for the write-up! Very helpful indeed :)

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