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Article Index
FiiO X7
p1
p2
p3 Sound Quality
p4 Conclusion
p5 Measured Performance
All Pages

The X Factor

 

 

Top of FiiO’s portable digital player range is the new X7 that uses Android as an operating

system and offers a host of capabilities. Noel Keywood gets to grip with its complexities.

 

Portable audio is a global market so large it can support investment in high technology and FiiO are leveraging this to gain advantage with their new X7 high-resolution digital player. It’s a technology showcase, aimed at Astell&Kern players that have lead the market by technical prowess and great sound quality for some years now. But as Astell&Kern’s prices have risen substantially, a gap has opened up for others to exploit – and FiiO have done so most effectively. The X7 is top of FiiO’s range, but at £500 it is priced little differently to the AK100, at the bottom of Astell&Kern’s range. 

All of which is to get this player into market context. In case you’re new to the breed, the X7’s basic role is to drive headphones, but it can also drive a hi-fi system, delivering sound quality better than CD – something I look at closely with portables. In this case the picture is a bit more complicated than usual: at a functional level the X7 best integrates through a docking station, the K5 costing £96, and this needs to be considered as part of the package, although it is not essential as I will explain.

 

 

This top view shows the Line/Coax (digital) 3.5mm four pole  output jack.

The left side has volume, on/off buttons and a microSD card slot.

 

FiiO say the player uses top-quality audio parts that consume high current, so it needed to be fairly chunky – and it is – to house a large 3500mAh re-chargeable battery, with a claimed battery life of 10 hours. Measuring 130mm high, 64mm wide and 17mm deep the X7 is pocketable, if a bit much for a shirt pocket. Its chassis is machined from a block of aluminium and it feels like it – strong and impressively rigid. Aluminium may be light, but a weight of 208gms registered on our scales all the same – quite substantial. This puts it well above FiiO’s other models, such as the 165gm X5, but below other fully spec’d hi-fi players like Lotoo’s PAW Gold at 280gms, reviewed in our October 2015 issue.

 

 



 

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