I have an OG Fiio X5 that I bought new 6 years ago. Aside from the wheel, no complaints. I have had a few problems with it lately and the battery is showing it’s age so I decided that it was time for an upgrade.
Problem is, I have absolutely no idea what to get. The only other “hi res” source I have is an Origen G2.
This is what I need to drive:
Meze 88 classic
Meze 99 classic
DT 770 pro 250ohm
Hifiman HE 5XX (just ordered)
And my Bose qc15.
I am also in the market for IEM. It will be my first pair so I won’t go crazy (T2 or similar)
I remember paying around 500$ Cdn for the X5 but i know I will have to spend more today.
My $0.02 is for the FiiO M11 (Not the Pro). It is under $500 ($399 when I checked Amazon US) and should drive most items. I have used my M11 on several headphones but none of them are high impedance (6xx/dt770 level). I think the M11 is really good with IEMs. I would assume the M11 Pro is better because it is THX but that is in the ear of the listener.
Since I was satisfied with my Fiio, I was looking at the M9 and M11 (the M15 looks awesome but$$$) but i have read reports of card slot problems and it kinda scared me.
Hidiz and shanling look like very popular options these days and I was always tempted by the Astell & Kern but
I guess I’ll try the M11 and see from there. It will be a sound and power upgrade anyways.
With one of the more recent M11 updates the Google Play Store became available natively. That removed my issue of the FiiO apps being hot garbage. I had side loaded a music app (foobar2000) which helped. I do recall my M11 having issues playing songs. The song would skip like it was buffering or having trouble reading the file fast enough. A simple reboot of the device fixed the issue.
I have not had any issues with the card reader in my M11. Anybody who does have issues I always wonder if the issue is they use cheep SD cards or they just mishandle it.
I don’t understand people cheaping out on cards on a 500$ unit… I always go sandisk, lexar, sony or any other brand name. I’m glad the M15 is more or less on par with the M11 that way I won’t have any buyer’s remorse when I pull the trigger on the M11 thinking I could have spent more to get the better unit.
Now I feel like no shipping will be fast enough haha.
I got myself the HiBy R5 about a year ago now (sense of time this year is kind of awkward, hah). It certainly has the power and it does sound good so I would recommend it on those two points. However, the screen and touch sensitivity is hot garbage or just very sub-par in my user experience. It’s a 1080p panel, however it’s a very odd mix of 540x1080. Which means you can’t run 1080p or above content on YouTube.
What makes it shine is the fully open android and the amount of power it delivers, along with 4,4mm connector. The size, physical buttons and the included protection case is very nice. Holding it in your hand is a very premium experience, I just wish it was as responsive as it looked. But if all you want to do is load up Tidal (MQA support) and listen away, then it’s perfect.
However, if Fiio now supports full android app store access, then I would recommend the M11. That’s the original reason of why I shied away from it. I wanted to be able to run any music player I wanted and the R5 was one of the few, if not the only one at the time that supported it. Plus it had enough juice to drive t60rp somewhat well, although they do sound a bit harsh on it compared to the SP200 / Su-8 combo I normally listen on.
That volume memory feature is pretty neat! I never checked Tidal since my player is pretty “dumb” but i might take a look. I am a bit scared of taking the android leap of faith but all the high end stuff runs on it now. I am an Android user (one+ 7pro) and love the experience but I don’t want to get it the way of the music player.
Any thoughts on Astell & Kern, Sony?
I have nothing balanced at the moment because I don’t really understand it’s benefits with short cables and because I have nothing that supports it. Is there a big improvement over standard cables?
Thanks for your input on the R5, I watched a lot of reviews that included that model and they all date back when it was first released. The M7 was one of the devices I was looking at but the sluggish response was one of the things that threw me off. Might be better now if they updated it. I wish they made more videos where they revisit a device a year later to see what changed.
I wish I could buy them all and keep the one I like…
Balanced makes the most improvement on IEMs, and you don’t have to run android on the higher end players. The reason people get players that have a custom linux instead of android (like me with my Questyle QP2R) is that android tends to get slow after a few years. As well as this, it tends to ruin battery performance on these players.
I just have something simple that play music effectively from an sd card, does one needs more?
Sorry for the delay. Well I was going to get the M11 but my girlfriend told me to hold off on some of the things I was going to buy because she needed Christmas gift ideas… I always buy what I need/want so it is hard to get me a gift. In the mean time I got a M7 for 120$ Cdn and I am very disappointed. There is a huge bluetooth delay and even using it as a usb dac, the delay makes it impossible to watch videos. I find it weird because my X5 does this perfectly and it is much older. The amp on the M7 is week too. UI is fast and it sounds ok.
If you have any experience with Sony saps I would gladly like to hear what you have to say. Sony built quality is hard to beat and I have never had a problem with any of their stuff.
Sorry for the long delay in response, but no I have no experience with Astell & Kern or modern Sony devices. I used to have a Creative Zen:M before and I’ve had some odd Cowon DAPs which I enjoyed a lot. I went around and looked over Cowon’s more recent additions and wasn’t particularly impressed, thus I turned more towards Fiio and in the end landed on the Hiby R5 because of open android, the battery life and power it could deliver.
As for BT, I can’t say much about its quality other than it actually has pretty good support with both LDAC and UAT (their own high-res audio codec for BT). Sadly I don’t have any BT headphones in my posession anymore to test out the features. I could test it to my Klipsch R-41PM and give you some impressions on delay and sound quality, if you want.
On the point of music streaming, the Hiby does have access to and support for Amazon Music Ultra HD. Never tested it myself though as I’m not subscribed there at the moment.
Hi to all the people that read this forum,
Sorry for my English, it is not my native language.
This message is written in order to help people with less specific needs but more global needs.
When you buy a hi res player or DAP with DAC or whatever you want to call it, in general, you don´t have money to waste. So, to make the decision is very difficult.
The big problems here are, in my opinion:
the price. A good one is not cheap
A lot of reviews coming up with issues on battery life, apps not working, old Android version, where to buy hi-res music at a reasonable price, crazy and continuous updates in formats, resolution, ect., screen response, new releases products…
We don´t really know most of the brands and if you don´t like to be part of the monopoly then you try to take a look of others companies different than Fiio, Sony, A&K and it is not easy to trust diBasso, Onkyo, Piooner even when you know that they are great companies.
Do you feel that the device you are about to buy is the best purchase you can do and is going to last the next 5 years or so? I do not…