Customer Review

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle but so sweet, 1 July 2012
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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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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jul 2012 03:48:26 BDT
Mr. O says:
Have you actually used the E17 with a usb out from the GS3?
I have GS3 but I've read on forums that USB this only works with an E7, not an E17, so you have to connect via aux to utilise it.

If you have managed to get it working with USB out, what connections did you use?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 10:31:44 BDT
Hi there,
I used the official Samsung USB on the go cable as this is the only one that actually worked for me. This seemed strange to me but this is my experience. My phone has been modified however ie rooted with some other system a friend has put on for me. Maybe it works due to this? however it is worth trying the official cable, as none of the others I had would work properly, they would recogise a connection but the dac, keyboard, hardrive etc just would not work.
Hope this helps

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2012 12:18:30 BDT
If this now works with different firmware, can you please advise which firmware you're using? - I would like to get my E17 to work with the S3, but - with various different builds, haven't had any luck yet...

Thanks,

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2012 21:11:03 BDT
Hi there,
Could you please ask your friend what system he has put on your Galaxy S3?
Thanks

Posted on 25 Aug 2012 20:30:24 BDT
Kevin Holley says:
I would also be VERY interested in what firmware/kernel you are using to achieve compatibility with the E17. Could you check your software info? It would be a huge help.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2012 23:33:19 BDT
Hi there, sorry for the delay, did not realise people had posted. Regarding the firmware, my friend coded it to get it to work with the e17, it's not a released rom, he did the same for my phone. Whilst it did work, it caused a negative effect on battery so I was charging my phone before the day was through. I went back to the old rom, but he is still trying in his spare time. I will update when I have any news from him.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Aug 2012 19:36:30 BDT
Kevin Holley says:
Do you think you could provide his e-mail or another way to contact him? Many people at head-fi.org and other forums are dying to get this issue fixed. I'm sure there's some way to integrate his software with the builds over at xda-developers. Again, thanks for any help.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Aug 2012 20:44:13 BDT
Hi there,
It should be very useful if your friend publish the modified source code so that developers can include it in Android kernels made available to everyone.
The USB CHG OFF mode of the E17 should not cause a negative effect on the S3 battery.
Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2012 12:51:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Dec 2012 12:51:50 GMT
C. Spark says:
Hi,
The 'poitee' or 'trinity' kernel are required for the E17 to work, there's a tutorial on head-fi using the nexus 7 to run a variety of unsupported dacs.
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