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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful!
Just got my FiiO E17... what a revelation! I have never heard a single item of audio gear before that opens up a window onto the music the way this amazing gadget does. Its clarity, timing and overall sound balance is superb! Makes one wonder how much more exquisite sound is on offer if one spends more money... but I think I am gonna be very happy with my Fii0 for quite a...
Published on 14 April 2012 by Michael

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My experience was horrible
I wanted to use this product with my desktop PC but was unable to make it work properly.

Although I have set it up and managed to make it work on my PC for a while, after restarting the computer, the Fiio e17 had a crackling noise. I unplugged it and tried to sort the problem out but was unable to do so after 30 minutes of trying.

For a product...
Published 4 months ago by Marioo


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful!, 14 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
Just got my FiiO E17... what a revelation! I have never heard a single item of audio gear before that opens up a window onto the music the way this amazing gadget does. Its clarity, timing and overall sound balance is superb! Makes one wonder how much more exquisite sound is on offer if one spends more money... but I think I am gonna be very happy with my Fii0 for quite a while yet.

Get it! (maybe, see below)

Update... my E17 suddenly stopped working, no sound, no lights, completely dead. I did read that some people were having problems getting their newly delivered E17s to switch on, so there might be reliability issues with this product...

I will see how I get on with the seller before deciding whether to go for a replacement or a refund.

And it was all going so well. Such a shame...

Further update. Pushing reset sorted this out. I have had to do this 3-4 times since, but it works each time.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiio hit the bullseye!, 19 April 2012
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
I've been using this dinky little device intensively since I got it just over a month ago and it's fulfilled all of my expectations of it and more. Having spent two years driving a pair of HD650s straight from the headphone socket on my laptop (yeah, I know) it 'suddenly' dawned on me that I may not be getting the best out of them just as Fiio came up with this excellent addition to their well regarded range of DACs and headphone amps. The E17 Alpen has improved performance immensely, giving much greater detail, power and control. The bass is deeper, tighter and more even, the midband is much more precise and the treble is sweet and smoothly extended. Once upon a time I was lucky enough to own several thousand pounds worth of real hi-fi including a high-end Marantz CD player and a pair of Tannoy dual concentric floorstanders which sounded glorious. On certain recordings, the Alpen with the 650s rivals the sound quality of that set-up - impressive!

Setting the Alpen up is not much harder than plugging it into the USB, after which your laptop will automatically install the necessary device driver. Once that's done, go to Manage Audio Devices in Control Panel and double click on the active device which will now be 'SPDIF Interface Fiio USB DAC-E17'. Set all the available options to 96K/24bit standard stereo. Be sure to uncheck all the multi-channel options (Dolby Digital, DTS etc.) as the Alpen cannot decode these signals and will produce a horrendous noise if fed them. Then you can plug in your headphones and get stuck in. Using Winamp with volume control and equalisation disabled and with the Alpen set to +12db gain and perhaps a dash of treble lift, the 300 Ohm 650s sound clean and natural to realistic volume levels, which is lot of grunt from a little box.

The Alpen is full-featured with multiple inputs, both analogue and digital, and treble, bass, balance and gain adjustments. The build quality seems very good with an attractive brushed metal casing that feels substantial in a good way. The two-colour display is clear and bright and the power button has a pretty mounting which is lit blue when 'on', red when charging and both together makes purple - very nice. With its milled metal buttons, the overall styling is close to Apple cute. In fact the only definite flaw I can find is an nearly imperceptible panel gap between the top edge and the front and back panels, through which the top-facing sockets glint out at me from within when looked at straight on - not much to complain about.

If your music collection is on your laptop, you have a half-decent pair of headphones and you don't already own a few hundred quids worth of DAC/amp, then this is a fantastically cheap and easy route to genuinely high fidelity sound. Feed it some nice 320kbps mp3s or FLAC files and it won't disappoint.

Post script:

Far too many people have experienced reliability issues with the E17 for me to let it pass uncommented on. In the time I've had mine it has locked twice, requiring me to reset the device which restored normal functioning. Although this is not a fatal flaw, it is, at least, an inconvenience you should be aware of before you purchase.
So, five stars for performance but I've reluctantly knocked off one star for potential reliability issues. Still highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good multifunctional Dac, 29 Jun 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
Last year I purchased the e7 and e9 and really liked both.

I didn't envisage upgrading so fast,but this little unit does a lot more than the E7 does,what with optical inputs at the cost of the loss of a dual headphone output.

I've had this since April 2012.

Bass and treble adjustment is very effective and are not too shrill or boomy,so they are adjustments you will want to experiment with

Balance control does not isolate any channel completely on full right or left, it just pans somewhat.

Less distortion is present at higher gains when compared to the E7 (+12dB is disabled if docked on the E9)

So now my Dad gets a free E7!

The sound from the E17 is similar to the E7 but the attack is far greater and the music is to my ears more vibrant and alive.

Docked on the E9 the treble and bass do work well,line level is determined by the volume you set the E17 at though -- so no longer fixed.

The unit is susceptible to interference from only one household item that I notice, and it's DECT phone base signals -- the optical digital input termination is where mine seems to pick up this RFI.

Keeping it (and also the E9 with it docked) around 7 meters away from any DECT phone base and the buzzing stops (it wasn't loud, just peculiar)

I'm finding I prefer the headphone EQ out on the E17 to it docked on the E9 (when using studio monitor headphones of under 68 ohm impedance)

Battery life is not as good as with the E7,but the sampling rates this unit can work with do demand much higher current.

One note is if I am recharging the E17 on the E9 and turning the E9 up , the E9 will cut out at very high volumes,reducing the E9 volume or disabling usb charging solves it,but I suspect the E9 power supply might need an upgrade when using the E17 as its DAC.

Using the Hold function will save burn in on the display which occurred with my E7.

Because this review should be all about the E17 , I have to give it full marks as it sounds exceptional and now it is an audio swiss army knife.

Will update as always if any issues.

*Specifications

Output Power:
>250mW (16Ω Loaded )
>30mW (300Ω Loaded)
Headphone Impedance
Range: 16 Ω ~ 300 Ω

SNR:
≥109dB(A weight)[AMP]
≥104dB(A weight)[DAC]

Distortion:
0.001%(AMP)
0.007%(DAC)

Maximum Supported sampling rates:
96K/24bit [USB]
192K/24bit [SPDIF]

Frequency response:
10Hz~100KHz[AMP]
10Hz~20KHz[DAC]

Battery capacity, charging time and usage time

1500Mah/3.5H/15H

Dimensions
96mm x 55 mm x 15.2 mm

Weight: 112g
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle but so sweet, 1 July 2012
By 
Mrs. G. Mahendiran "Shanthi" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
If you appreciate CD quality music and use lossless files with expensive headphones, the Fiio E17 is definitely worth considering. For the price, it provides a sweet DAC and amp which is sufficient to drive high impedance headphones. Whilst there are better sounding DACs available, they are substantially more expensive and most do not have the portability this product offers. The Fiio E17 is, in my opinion, an excellent compromise.

The E17 is basically a little black, brushed metal box smaller in dimensions, except depth than an iphone4. It has a rechargeable battery within that provides, for me around 8hrs of enjoyment with the gain set to 12db(max) and the volume on 60 (max). Since my headphones have a high impedance, and the phone I use does not output music as loud as I wish, these settings suit me. Depending on the headphones you use, you may not need this and thus a single charge will last longer. I do doubt however, the numbers given by the manufacturer, around 15hrs I believe.

There are a few sound related settings worth mentioning including adjustments to bass and treble. These work well but obviously, whether you modulate the sound within a player or within the E17 is up to you. The bass increase using the E17, is very nice however and I prefer this myself.

I use the E17 with my laptop and the sound output far surpasses what the soundcard can do. Unless you use a professional dedicated soundcard for music recording, I am sure you will appreciate the difference. The E17 also allows use while charging which. trust me, is awesome and not a feature of some of the other models by Fiio.

I use Ubuntu, a linux operating and the E17 works immediately. There is a issue however in that with 12.04 Ubuntu, the bit rate is fixed and whilst it can be modified using a simple script, I cannot figure out how to get it to change depending on the source quality.

I also use the E17 with my phone, which is the Samsung Galaxy S3 which remarkably has the ability to allow usb audio out using a usb on the go cable. This basically means that the phone will output the digital signal of the music without using the internal phone DAC and amp and these functions will be taken care of by the E17.

If you simply use a normal 3.5mm jack out of your device into the E17, this is essentially double amping the output ie using your phone DAC and amp, and then amping again through the E17 (Using the 3.5mm input into the E17 rather than the usb means the DAC functionality of the E17 defaults to off). Interestingly, I actually noticed an improvement in sound doing this but technically this is not what is meant to be done. Using a usb audio out however makes a tremendous difference.

To conclude, its a quality product that for the price provides remarkable functionality and sound quality. It comes supplied with the cables you need but if you plan on using with you phone, you will have to buy a dedicated usb on the go cable or LOD separately. There is also a nice case supplied along with rubber bands for use with your phone. My only issues pertain to the battery life of a single charge which I wish would last longer.

The one I recieved had a line of dead pixels on the screen. I could have easily returned it for a replacement but it is a testament to the E17 that I have not done so purely because I would have to be without it for a few days.

Only you will know whether this product will benefit you but for me the improvement is clear. Whether you experience the same with your phone depends upon the headphones you use, the music quality and whether you use usb audio out. If you plan to use with a laptop that has a generic soundcard however, the difference is a clear as night and day.

Enjoy your music
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worlds apart, 25 May 2012
By 
R. Eland "Pluto16" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
I thought ipods were good sounding machines until I hooked this up now cannot go back, if you like hifi you need one of these, even better hooked upto a laptop or main pc, good quality cans are a must.
Superb piece of equipment, 5 stars easy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My experience was horrible, 22 Jun 2014
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
I wanted to use this product with my desktop PC but was unable to make it work properly.

Although I have set it up and managed to make it work on my PC for a while, after restarting the computer, the Fiio e17 had a crackling noise. I unplugged it and tried to sort the problem out but was unable to do so after 30 minutes of trying.

For a product priced at this level, I was expecting an easy way of setting it up. However, I soon found out I would need to be an expert in sound systems to actually make this work. The support page was also useless.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A [nearly] much improved version of the Fiio E7, 1 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
I've had this unit for a little while now, it has more function than the FiiO E7 Portable Headphone DAC Amplifier that it replaces, and is fully compatible with the FiiO E09K High Fidelity Desktop Amplifier for Headphone, it has more user controls (several stages of gain, and tone controls - which can be removed from the signal path if you're a purist) and can now do SPDIF and Coax digital (which the E7 could not), sounds great when connected to a PC (via USB / Optical), and can power nearly all headphones to deafening levels (don't go all the way up to 60 on the volume control if you want your hearing to last!) - For desktop / laptop use, this really is a great little unit!!

A couple of negative points though, the screen - can only be turned off by putting the player on hold which - logically, disables the volume control (you'll want to turn off the screen to save battery, and - also prevent screen burn-in!), and - maybe the bigger crime, whilst the Fiio E7 will happily connect to ICS / Jellybean powered Android devices (via an USB OTG cable - not supplied), the E17 will NOT, so - if you're after that kind of set up, you're better off looking for the older version which is more compatible...

That being said, if you're looking at using this for a mobile device, I would suggest personally either getting the E7 if wanting the full DAC experience, or - for a better sounding amp only device, trying the cheaper FiiO E11 Portable Headphone Amplifier.

One final point - some would say logical, but - just to make clear - this, alongside ALL Fiio amps (with the exception to the E9) only has the 3.5mm socket for your headphones (and not the bigger 6.3mm socket that you would need for most 'bigger' headphones).

Fiio are planning to release an Android specific device soon, and knowing how innovative they are - it won't be long before its with us... :)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FiiO E17 USB DAC H/Phone amp. Seems like Fiio have got a winner again!, 2 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
Received this yesterday with one day express delivery from Prime!

Charged the unit up for an hour or so connected to my iMac and then gave it a go!
First impressions are favourable.
FiiO appear to have solved the problem with the headphone jack - it is as tight as it could be and no crackling!! Yet!!
Soundstage seems wider than E10 although from what I remember [returned the E10 due to the problem with the headphone jack] the actual output from the E10 appeared to be louder i.e. not having to turn volume control as far to get a decent response. Using with Beyer DT770 250 ohms cans and the sound is very good. Have only used the usb connection to the iMac and tried out the aux with my Nokia N900 and that seems to be okay too.
Sound is full and no frequencies overpower any of the other. Bass is tight and responsive, middle and top are not too overpowering. Have the gain setting on 12db but have to adjust bass and treble which is adjustable on the unit from time to time depending on quality of mp3 file etc.
The other problem that I had with the E10 was that there was an audible click at the end of every track - thankfully the E17 does not have this problem so far so hope that is something else FiiO have improved on.
Doubt whether I will be using the E17 away from the PC so maybe a battery-powered unit is not really what I need but nevertheless the sound is worth the extra this costs against the E10.
Thanks FiiO for the E17, looks like a winner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice and detailed sound, 13 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
If you're after a very precise and detailed sound field then this DAC plus the E09K with a pair of AKG Q701 is a wonderful combination. So much so that everything else is pretty much spoilt for me now...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DAC/Headphone amp, 16 April 2013
By 
L. W. Newton "lwn83" (Nottingham, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Electronics)
I got this FiiO E17 to use as DAC with my laptop which has a poor internal soundcard.

This DAC/headphone amp is very nicely finished with a black satin aluminum finish and a OLED display. The E17 is about the size of you average mobile phone.

I plugged this unit into my laptop via the supplied USB lead and it was immediately recognised and drivers where loaded by Windows 7.

Sound quality of this unit is simply fantastic using my Sennheiser Momentums, rich with perfect detail and plenty of volume if needed, The OLED display is just right and displays all the essential information like volume, decoder rate and battery level, there is also a menu that has bass/treble/balance setting, an option to disable/enable USB charging and gain settings (0db, +6db(default)& +12db.

The FiiO E17 is not only a stand alone DAC but also an headphone amp that can be used with any MP3 player (or anything with a headphone output) simply connect to the 3.5mm input socket.

This DAC can also be connected via a toslink cable to any optical output(CD/DVD player etc) with the supplied adapters.

The E17 come with a storage bag and all cables you need to get you going, there is also a couple of bands so you can strap the DAC to you MP3 player or phone, you also get some small stick on non-slip feet.

For the price the E17 is fantastic, for anyone using a laptop for listening to music it is a must have, its simple and easy to use and looks great.

I've found a couple of annoying gripes with this DAC since buying, the first one being if you forget to switch the hold switch on the DAC will come on by itself when in a pocket resulting in the battery going flat, this became even more annoying on a recent holiday when the device was stored in a bag, maybe a modification with the on switch is needed. The second niggle is all the rubber feet have already fell off!! Apart from that I'm still in love with this DAC.
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