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Customer Review

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Updated Again after 24hrs use Now only 3 Stars, 15 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: FiiO X3 Portable MP3 Player (Personal Computers)
Latest Update after 24 hrs use and another review of the star rating, this time down from 4 to 3

After a day experimenting with my working X3 with 1.25 I am finding the following issues:

192kHz files will not play out of the Coax but will play from the line out and headphones, they will also play via JRiver Media Centre with the X3 docked and used as an external media drive.

I downloaded Rod Stewart's album 'Foot Loose and Fancy Free' from HDTracks in 96kHz today. If I attempt to play it from the player via any output, coax, line or headphone, it jams the player requiring a reset. I can play it via JRiver with the X3 docked. 'Atlantic Crossing' and 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', also downloaded today, work fine.

If I play an album and allow it to play the last track without me switching it off or selecting another album, the X3 will not restart without holding the power button down for 10 seconds.

Others on the FIIO forum are experiencing similar types of lock up issue but not necessarily under the same conditions. I am not sure if any of these are connected with the update to 1.25 firmware yesterday.

=================================================================================================
Earlier today I received a replacement X3 from Amazon and felt it necessary to update and overhaul the original review I made of the first unit I received a few days ago. The reason I have not given it 5 stars is that the menu system can still be somewhat clunky and the coax out will not play 192 khz files that play OK when the PC is the source, but I am sure it will improve with future upgrades.

1. The Coax Out works perfectly with my Amplifier resulting in a very impressive reproduction of my Studio Master collection, maybe just a tad bright but that maybe because I am hearing frequencies that I haven't heard through my speakers before. - Fault one resolved.

2. The 64gb SD Card that wouldn't read in the first X3 I had read immediately and my PC detected both internal and internal drives. - Fault two resolved

3. The new X3 docks with the PC and is recognized every time, I must have plugged it in and out a dozen times. - Fault three resolved.

4. The tracks copied are visible without having to manually refresh the X3. - Fault four resolved.

5. I have spent the last hour hopping between tracks and albums, switching the unit off and on, moving between headphones and coax, taking the card out and putting different ones in and all tracks are still there, none of the tracks have vanished. - Final fault resolved.

I agree with the other positive reviews with regards to the sound quality which IMHO is exceptional for a portable device. It also means I no longer have to switch my PC on to listen to my FLAC Studio Masters. An additional benefit is that this unit can play while charging so I don't have to worry about the battery going flat during playback through my HiFi as I will just leave it plugged into the mains.

So if you receive an X3 and it has any of the issues I had with mine I would return it and ask for a replacement. I am leaving the original review (below) as it details the issues I had with my original X3.

I am using JRiver Media Center to convert the 192 FLAC's to 96 and Apple Lossless from my iTunes Library upscaled to 96 kHz FLAC. I have found that the upscaled FLAC files sound better than even the highest quality MP3.

======================================== ORIGINAL REVIEW =================================================================================================================================

NOTE - THIS IS NOT A USER/TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE ITEM BUT OF THE ISSUES I HAVE HAD WITH IT TO ALLOW READERS TO MAKE AN INFORMED PURCHASING DECISION

OK, while it is working and playing Hi Def files the sound is excellent HOWEVER:

I have spent all day going back and forward with the FIIO support forum trying to get this buggy piece of junk to work. This is not yet consumer ready at such a level that you can expect to open the box, load your music and it will work. If it does then you are lucky. But I am not the only one that has been having issues. This is more like a part finished science project that expects the buyer to fiddle about with it till it works. Some older readers may remember the Sinclair adverts from the 70's that promised everything and delivered nothing.

Firstly it would not recognize my 64Gb Card even though it had been formatted to FAT32 using the software recommended on their forum. I could see it OK via an SD adapter on the PC but the X3 reported zero size. An 8Gb card appeared to work fine, recognized straight away and files copied without problem. With help from the FIIO forum and some experimenting I found that by formatting the card first in my camera then reformatting with the software on my PC it worked, or at least it was recognized now by the X3. I did a test copying a FLAC album and it played fine.

The next problem came when the Digital output failed to work. Several hours later and after several postings I was asked to make a 1khz test tone, put it on the X3 and listen using cheap earphones for a hiss on the left channel. This was there which indicated that the coax adapter was faulty.

I had decided to copy 21gb of files after the successful test earlier. The files took a couple of hours to copy and the SD card showed 21gb had been used. However when I went to play them 90% came up with a file not found message and checking back on the PC found empty directories, yet the space still showed as allocated. I put the 8Gb card back into the unit and discovered that many of the files I had been listening to earlier in the day also had vanished.

At this point I had enough and decided to return it to Amazon as faulty. I went to listen to some music playing via JRiver Media Center 18 to my HiFi to discover the music coming out of my PC monitor speakers and not my HiFi. Somewhere along the line the X3 had scrambled my WASAPI USB audio drivers and the only way I could get things to work again was to re-install the USB drivers that came with my motherboard.

As I said at the start, when this played music it sounded excellent HOWEVER there is no way this is consumer ready like say an iPod You may be lucky and it will work but like me and others you may not. Buyer beware.....

UPDATE: Every SD card I buy is tested with H2TestW, Check Flash and Crystal Disk Mark to ensure they are up to Spec and have no issues. As I store valuable photographs on most of them I go through this process each time. I decided to re-check the 64Gb SD card that had been causing me problems and H2TestW nearly exploded with errors on the card. I have reformatted it and am running the test again. Prior to running in the X3 the card had been recording fine and I had not lost either phone or photo data. However what I do not know is if the problems did occur prior to putting in the X3 or because of it. I am going to get a second X3 from Amazon and plan to test it on an old card which will be checked immediately before inserting in the X3 and afterwards.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2013 02:43:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Aug 2013 02:43:55 BDT
Kate says:
Dear Trev- R
Kate's husband here. I was sorry to read of your frustrations with the Fiio I was of the opinion that there was still some R&D to be done when I received the X3 and could not search via category I also deleted the stock samles on the fiio yet they stil appeared in the root file on the fiio. I needed to update library then it worked great, the fiio needed to refresh. I loaded a 32 gig sandisc having drag and dropped files to the micro SD in th pc. The fiio saw it no problem and when connected the pc saw the sd card and fiio as 2 drives no problem
At least we agree that it sounds great! I have not tried the digital output
As I said in my review there wil be software updates. You compare to an iPod yes software wise it's not as accomplished but apple are on generation umpteen now

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2013 07:05:03 BDT
Trev-R says:
Hi Kate's husband, many thanks for the comment. I was one of the lucky MAC owners who was able to buy a Gen 1 iPod when they were first released, in fact I had to import it from the States. I have owned about 6 or 7 since including the latest incarnation of the classic and I have never had any issues with any of them. The bottom line is that this is sold as a consumer audio product and not a 'work in progress' If you bought a microwave from a new manufacturer you would expect it to cook your food each and every time you used it just like the one that had been around for years. Can you imagine if it would only work with some manufacturers food or only cook every third meal correctly? The X3 is supposed to be ready for the market which in my case it is definitely not.

Posted on 16 Aug 2013 07:33:04 BDT
What version of firmware is yours?
What OS are you running on your computer?

Be interested to know if there are any similarities.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2013 07:38:32 BDT
Trev-R says:
1.23 which I think is the latest version.

Windows 7 64bit, 16gb RAM, i5 processor, GTX 660 video, Gigabyte Z77 Mobo.

Posted on 16 Aug 2013 08:02:17 BDT
Same version I am running of firmware.

Mine is also Windows 7 64 Bit with 8gigs of RAM and an i7 CPU. My motherboard is also a Gigabyte but cannot remember the model.

I found that plugging the x3 into my USB 3 caused issues and sometimes the x3 would not be detected. Plugging it into the USB 2 port on the front of my PC works each time. I also discovered that my missing files are all 24bit 192kHz FLAC format. the 96kHz ones seem not to be affected.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2013 15:12:13 BDT
Kate says:
Trev -r
I am very pleased that now you are getting the right sort of performance from the x3. That I have been enjoying everyone agrees that the sound I'd fabulous which at the end is the bottom line . Sure it's a bit clunky on the refinements but it's not on generation xxxx like iPods
I look forward to software updates which will improve the experience

I can't sell my iPod wonder why no one wants it Kate's hub

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2013 15:53:22 BDT
Trev-R says:
The sound is superb for such a small unit. Shame I cannot get the 192kHz files to play via the coax but all I have done is make 96 kHz copies via JRiver and replaced the higher quality ones on the X3. To be honest when I did a side by side test using headphones with the same track in original 192 and remastered 96, I could not tell any difference. Just updated to 1.25 today and that has made some improvements.

Posted on 27 Sep 2013 13:24:31 BDT
greenlover says:
great posting folks and very very helpful all-round
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