Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Not ready for prime time - yet? Avoid.
on 26 April 2014
The X5 has far too many design flaws for it to be worth purchasing for the time-being. I would strongly suggest potential buyers wait until the major flaws have been fixed by firmware updates - which may or may not transpire, though Fiio have shown interest so far. There might even have to be hardware re-designs in the future, if Fiio are serious about making this a goer.
As a USB DAC, the audio quality is definitely superior to the Fiio E17. As a DAP, the audio is definitely enjoyable. But the user interface is appalling, and has all the hallmarks of a work in progress - which it is, you just have to see the frequency of firmware updates to recognise this.
At the moment, my biggest gripe is that the "Wake From Sleep" button is far too easy to activate accidentally, such as when in your pocket. I've experienced tracks skipping, fast forwarding, rewinding etc. unexpectedly, and it happens frequently enough to be a major annoyance and render the device to some extent unusable as a portable audio player.
Apart from that, the user interface really is in need of some work in terms of usability, accessibility and readability, and the assignment of actions to the 7 buttons leaves a LOT to be desired, with many functions surprisingly time-consuming to access, and others that you'd expect missing entirely - for example, if you want to pause the current track you can ONLY do that from the "Now Playing" screen, tough luck if you're busy navigating a menu or adjusting a setting, you'll have to stop, back out, find the Now Playing screen and make the change, then head back and finish what you were doing.
And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Seriously, unless you've got money to burn and don't mind buying flawed devices, look elsewhere for the moment. Personally, I'm on the fence about returning it. Fiio might be able to fix most or all of the flaws with firmware updates, but whether they'll do so quickly, or at all, is anyone's guess.