on 21 May 2012
I'm using a iPod Classic, and this unit significantly improves both quality and depth of sound, any volume increase on higher impedence headphones is also a bonus. I'm using a dock connector line out cable (from Fiio), which is also worth investing in, if you use this with an iPod. For 20 quid, you can't go wrong if you value good audio quality.
I was tempted to try this amp after listening to my sons Fiio E7 which, depending on the 'phones used was either 'interesting' or plainly 'fantastic'!
This E6 is obviously a different kettle of fish from the more costly models. It is made from plastic, measures approx 1.5 inches square and a quarter of an inch in thickness. There are two controls, one for volume up and down and one for tone selection, lock and on/off. Both in and outputs are 3.5mm jacks and finally a mini USB for charging.
Out of the box, charging took approx 2 hours via USB from a laptop but I have since found out that a Iphone mains charger can also be used. There is an indicator light when charging which extinguishes when complete.
In use, a blue LED glows showing it's powered, with a separate colour change LED denoting which tone setting is in use or unlit if tone flat.
I have chosen to use the E6 with a dedicated Fiio ipod dock cable. In this way, the inbuilt ipod amp is completely bypassed. It is clear that if using sensitive headphones this amp is capable of serious volume but without introducing additional hiss. It's quality will be subject to that of the recording/encoding and to the capability of the headphones but for me, it gives additional room to the individual strands of the music although not really extending the soundstage greatly, at least with closed back headphones. Further detail also seems to be available, especially in live recordings...the listener seems to be more aware of the surroundings where the music was performed.
The three tone settings available are reasonably well judged and can again add to the music subject to type and, of course, personal preferences.
In the box, you also get instructions printed in very small type, two clear optional clips, two jack to jack leads and a charging cable.
Is it any good?...well yes so far it has done what I hoped it would, not from just a volume basis, but helping to release the music into a more open sound. Would I recommend it?...for this type of money, definitely bearing in mind the above comments.
on 27 September 2012
The Fiio E06 Portable Headphone Amplifier is a small, lightweight portable device that you can easily hook up to your media player by either the short (4") or the long (1ft) male-to-male 3.5mm jack cable included with the product. The Fiio E06 has a built-in battery that charges via a standard mini USB port, for which a cable is included as well. I haven't checked the exact times, but I'd say you can do about 10 hours on one charge, and recharging takes about 2 hours. The device stays operational while charging, so that's very convenient. Also included are 2 plastic clips (one reserve, which is nice) that click into the corner hole.
I like the design of the Fiio E06; it's clean, simple, there are no unnecessary buttons and the LED indicator in the clip-hole gives a nice effect. I only wish the product would've been made out of metal, like its predecessor (the Fiio E05), but unfortunately they've gone with a shiny plastic that feels a bit flimsy and attracts dust and fingerprints easily. The overall build quality seems fine though.
There are two LED indicators in the device: one inside the clip-hole that lights up blue when the device is turned on and red when the battery is charging. I would've loved to also see a low-battery warning indication, for instance by letting the LED blink or something, but this is not the case, so the Fiio E06 just stops abruptly when running out of juice.
The other LED indicater is located slightly below the clip-hole, on the backside of the Fiio E06 and shows which equalizer setting is currently applied. There are 4 pre-defined equalizer settings:
-Flat (LED off), which amplifies the source signal without effect.
-EQ1 (LED red), which boosts the lower frequencies significantly.
-EQ2 (LED blue), which boosts the lower and middle frequencies a bit.
-LO (LED red+blue), which is a special setting for up to 2v high level input. With normal input it sounds the same as Flat.
The sound quality of the Fiio E06 is excellent, it gives a nice boost to the volume without distorting the sound. I personally quite like the EQ2 equalizer setting, which provides a warmer sound while staying very clear. The EQ1 equalizer setting really boosts the lower frequencies, but I find that it makes the bass sound very muddy, so that's no good. It's a shame they don't let you create your own equalizer settings through the USB interface.
All in all, the Fiio E06 Portable Headphone Amplifier is simply good value for money. The audio quality is excellent, which makes the slightly disappointing material choice and lack of extra audio settings a fair tradeoff. I still would've liked to see a low-battery warning indication, but those are all just minor points of critique to an otherwise great product.
I'm using the Fiio E06 for my Sennheiser HD555 headphones, which always sounded a bit too quiet connected to my PC's soundcard.
on 14 October 2012
I'd recently bought a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50s; they sound great coming from my computer but there is a fairly noticeable decrease in sound quality when coming out of my iPod (a 5th generation Nano). Now iPods are universally known as having fairly good sound quality, but not great: they are popular for their good interface and other features, etc. One other problem I had with my iPod was that the volume Did Not Go High Enough; as I am a bit of an audiophile I wished to have more of a range of volume that I could listen to, especially for quieter orchestral tunes. Rather than spend on a new MP3 player (such as a Zune or Walkman) I decided it would be worth buying a headphone amplifier, for improving the sound and boosting the power going to the headphones.
The FiiO does this excellently. It arrived quickly and neatly packaged: there was of course a small instruction manual which, being manly, I didn't read *shifty glance across the room*; two 3.5mm (standard headphone plug size) wires of different lengths for connecting the amp to your MP3 player; a pair of stylish little clips you could attach to the FiiO if you wanted to clip it to your shirt or something (so far, I haven't used either them; I am also at a complete loss as to why there are two, as it's fairly hard to clip it to two items of clothing at once); and naturally a USB charging cable which is the standard, universal kind (does it have a proper name? You can see the socket on the picture, anyway).
So I charged it up, plugged it in and turned it on, and was extremely impressed (don't over think what I just wrote). There is a handy volume control on the side (closest to your headphone cable to turn it up, closest to the iPod connector to turn it down is how I remember) as well as three EQ settings indicated by a tiny little round light on the back of the device: the first is a bass booster (indicated by the little light turning red) which I was in awe of. Usually with bass-boosting EQ's, you get a fair amount of distortion from the device, but with the FiiO it is incredibly smooth and noiseless; if there is one issue I have with the setting, it is that it turns the treble down as well, but that's just personal preference. The second setting is treble booster (purple light) which is equally excellent; the third, I'm fairly sure, is Flat (indicated by blue). I have to say though that I leave the EQ turned off, but it depends on what kind of listening experience you prefer. You change the EQs using the on/off switch on the other side of the device (you hold the switch in position to turn it on or off, move it quickly to cycle through EQs) and if you move the switch in the opposite direction you can lock the controls; though I tend to change the volume of the tracks with the amp control, not the iPod, so I usually just leave it unlocked. The device is about the size of the 6th generation iPod Nano, but not quite as thick (about 7mm).
Other than that, I can say that the volume output of the device is mind-blowing (it goes far higher than I could possibly listen to, again without distortion), and the quality of the sound is excellent - there is the barest trace of noise when you have no music playing, but considering the price, I wouldn't consider it the slightest of problems. If I had one criticism it would be the battery life: I've been using the FiiO on bus journeys at a fairly average kind of volume, but even fully charged it only lasted about 5 hours. Whether that is good for its size or not I am unsure of, I've seen loads of mixed reviews around the web, so it's hard to make a judgement. That's for you to decide. Despite this it charges up fully in less than half an hour, so it isn't too much of a problem; I charge it using a USB plug in the corner, so it can be done quickly.
So for about £20.00, you can buy a small square that boosts the volume of your headphones significantly, improves the quality to a fair degree and provides a great listening experience. I highly recommend it. For the price, it does a fantastic job, and if you have an iPod pouch or something along those lines, chances are the FiiO will fit in there with it. And one other thing: it has a triangular blue light inside the corner bit (the silver part you can see in the picture, it's where the clips can be attached) that is absolutely radical. A great product.
on 23 September 2011
This is my first portable headphone amplifier, so I have nothing to compare to.
I can however compare it to the sound I was getting through my Cowon S9. Although the Cowon produces a fantastic sound, put this little beauty in-line and the headphones come to life!
I am using it with the Hifiman RE-ZERO's and I have to say it is the best audio experience I have ever had. The E6 has 3 EQ settings, all of which make a noticable difference to the sound. If one is a bit flat sounding for your liking, flick the switch and hear the bass rumble.
This will make your earphones go louder, if that's what you're looking for, but also it will make the sound more rounded. Deeper bass, even sub-bass. Clearer mids and more extended highs.
At this price it is an absolute steal. If you are in the market for a small, ultra portable amp then look no further. It even comes with a spare clip, just in case you manage to break the very solid first one.
on 22 September 2015
Amplifies the sound. And then some! Works well. The EQ settings are not worth using and best to have EQ turned off. Sound "quality" is not what this tiny device improves but dB output so will enable the use of speakers and headphones which a portable music device might not be powwerful enough for. Package came with 3.5 to 3.5 leads, one long and one angled (useful for phones).
on 17 February 2016
A very good little amplifier. I bought this primarily for when I want to watch TV after the missus has gone to bed. My TV does not have a headphone output so I use a little gizmo connected via a SCART connector. This works fine but I have found in the past that the volume produced varies tremendously according to the recorder used and the channel the recording was made on. With this little (and I mean LITTLE) amplifier I can always adjust the volume to a comfortable volume which is good for me but doesn't disturb sleeping wifey. Of course you could use the amplifier with all sorts of other devices. It is very portable, being tiny (40x40x8 mm) and light and can be hung round your neck by attaching a suitable neck strap. The battery seems to give long periods of use between charging which is done via the USB cable provided. I am very pleased with this product and would recommend it.
on 29 October 2014
I thought the price of this was kind of low.. I then received it and my initial impression of this was, how cheap (low quality) can you get. I then turned it on, plugged in my IEM (TripleFi 10vi) and was blown away. These sound actually better than the E11 i was replacing (the aux-in jack started to go back) which is impressive given this is a fraction of the size (and weight, which initially made me be suspicious of how good it can be). I have only been using it a few days so I dont know what the battery life on it is yet but so far, this is definitely worth the money. Inexpensive and makes a night-and-day difference over the ipod (5th gen video) built-in headphone driving circuitry. Would recommend, strongly (as long as you have high quality earphones to take advantage of this).
on 27 January 2012
Anyone who has ever listened to their Ipod through any halfway decent headphones knows its a pretty uninspiring experiance so I decided to purchase the fiio e6 and let me tell you it makes a significant difference to both the volume and clarity, with one provise purchace the line 3 docking cable at the same time as the 30 pin connector on the ipod is greatly superior to the headphone socket.I would have given this product 5 stars but to me the build quality is a bit flimsy and i have a few doubts about its durability, howver it is light and at around £20 is a bargain.
on 19 October 2013
I bought this amplifier so that I could listen to my Nexus 7 (using earbuds) over the noise of the London Underground and it works very well. The sound quality is impressive, even when using the gimmicky "EQ profiles", and there's plenty of oomph. On the N7 there seems to always be some residual background noise which can be a bit distracting at high volumes in quiet environments, although this noise is most likely the fault of the tablet (sounds like interference from the CPU) more than the amplifier and can be mitigated by adjusting the tablet output volume vs. the gain of the amplifier but never fully removed. Construction is adequate rather than confidence inspiring, and the mini USB power socket seems an odd choice given that pretty much everybody else is using micro USB these days.