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Fiio E5 headphone Amplifier

by Fiio
3.8 out of 5 stars 493 customer reviews

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  • Designed for high impedance and low sensitivity headphones
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: >= 98 dB (A Weight)
  • Power Supply: build-in 200mAh rechargerable battery
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 60 kHz
  • Distortion: < 0.009% (10 mW)

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: FiiO
  • Model Number: E5-BK
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 0.07 pounds

Product Description

Product Description FiiO E5 is a Portable Headphone Amplifier designed to improve the sound quality and volume of any portable audio source such as MP3 players, iPods, personal media players, mobile phones, laptops, notebooks/netbooks, or portable CD players. The E5 retains all of the advantages of the popular E3 while adding many new features and a substantial boost in performance, all inside a very small and slim aluminum case. With built-in volume controls, the E5 can be used with the line-level output of audio sources for even better sound quality. More than just a refresh, the E5 offers higher power output, better signal to noise ratio and lower distortion. Built on an entirely new amplifier platform, the E5 provides superior sound qualilty and works well with high impedance headphones. Two EQ profiles are available for flat or bass-boost response, allowing additional flexibility in obtaining optimal tonal match with different headphones. Highlight Features - Robust design handles high impedance and low sensitivity headphones - Easy to carry and use both indoors and outdoors - Increases your music player's battery life - New amplifier design with high S/N and low distortion - Very high PSRR for superior supply noise rejection - Metal case reduces interference when used with GSM mobile phones - Discreet power switch - Built-in electronic volume control for ultra low noise - Two EQ profiles: flat response and bass-boost modes - Built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 20 hours of normal use - Mini USB charger port can be used with any USB power source - Built-in metal clip conveniently attaches to clothing, bags, and etc Specifications - Output Power: 100mW (32ohms Load) 18mW (300ohms Load) - Signal to Noise Ratio: >=98dB (A Weight) - Power Supply: 200mAh rechargerable battery - Frequency Response: 10Hz - 60kHz - Distortion: <0.009% (10 mW)

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches ; 1.1 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • ASIN: B0026RJQJ6
  • Item model number: E5-BK
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (493 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,963 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at January 9, 2009

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
For years I enjoyed listening to CDs at the gym with a pair of 32Ohm Sennheiser EH-150's and a 15mW Sony DNE-330 Walkman (with customizable paremetric EQ). But, alas, the Walkman died and the current lineup of portable CD players all boasted only 5mW of output power (albeit the same EQ and bass boost features) ... and what a sonic difference those missing 10 milliWatts made! I nearly cried each time I put on the headphones, knowing how good they could sound if only ... . And headphone amplifiers were either AC-powered or outlandishly high-priced -- or both!

Until the Fiio E5! Finally, a 150mW, portable, high-fidelity headphone amplifier that -- connected to the right components -- returns your music to it's full dynamic range and frequency spectrum. My Sennheisers roar! Thumping bass! Sizzling treble! Quiet soft passages and deafening loud passages ... all from a rechargable gizmo about the size of a matchbook!

But it is what it is. The Fiio E5 does not have nearly the amp to drive my full-size 150Ohm Sennheiser HD-525s to their abilities; alternately, hooked up to my son's Ipod Touch (which apparently has quite a bit of output power to begin with) and his preferred earbuds I could not notice a distingushable improvement in sound. But for an underpowered portable CD or MP3 player and a mid-sized set of high-fidelity headphones ... the Fiio E5 is a godsend. Hear what you've been missing! And for under $25? It's a no-brainer.
7 Comments 172 of 181 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I give this little amp 4 stars -- I bought it for use with my iPod Nano 5g and Sennheiser HD600 headphones. The built-in amp in the iPod is **just** a bit inadequate to drive these headphones well -- on some albums I needed to crank the volume up all the way, and sometimes that still didn't give me enough volume.

For $20 plus shipping, I figured I'd give the FiiO a try. If it didn't work, just return it, right? So it came today, and I gave it a try with some of the problematic tracks on my iPod. First reactions: enough volume boost (barely, but enough) to make the problem tracks listenable, and to drive the HD600's to more than comfortable levels on most music. I have the volume on the E5 turned up all the way, and use the touch-wheel on the iPod for volume control.

Second, despite some other reviews here and elsewhere, there is NO discernable hiss or noise from the FiiO E5, either idle or with music playing.

Third: Bass boost works as advertised. If you have phones that don't give you good bass response, this will probably fix your problem. The HD600's have great low-end, so I'm running the E5 set to the OFF position.

Summary: well worth the money, and worth a try if your music player is working too hard to drive your particular headphones, or if you need the bass boost. I detect no degredation of the sound with my iPod. Just for fun, I hooked it up in series with my Home Headroom amp, to see if I could hear a difference...yep, the E5 blurs the extraordinarily good sound from the Headroom just a bit. But, then, that's not what it's for, is it? It's NOT a high-end, multi-$$$ amp, just a way to get a bit more performance from your portable music player. For that, it works just fine!
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Verified Purchase
I really didn't have high hopes for this little amp, but for the past year or three I've read enough glowing comments about this little guy that cemented the notion that I had to sample one.

The reality is that the FiiO E5 fits in with only a select grouping of headphones, ones that have relatively high impedance ratings. I didn't know that going in, but after dogged listening sessions with all sorts of cans from my own stash--from basic OE units for the Zune HD and iPod Touch to my usual portable-use Sennheiser IE-8 and Koss PortaPros to my in-home use Senn HD-650 and HD-800 and many units in-between, it was clear to me that the E5 doesn't have enough power within it diminutive chassis to do the usual low impedance portable head and earphones any tangible favors. Using either a Touch or Zune HD as the source, the E5 struggled with pretty much every set of cans that had a rating of under 100 ohms or thereabouts. It wasn't until I hooked up my HD-650 (300 ohms) with its own set of aftermarket cables (Stefan Audio Art Equinox)--one of the few high impedance units I have left in this world of low impedance portability--that there was any measure of uptick in SQ. Here at least the E5 was making a positive difference, where as with the Shure SE530, Senn PX-100 and others it just sounded wretchedly overmatched and severely underpowered.

With the HD-650 (and later the HD-800, what I consider the best set of cans I currently own), the E5 perceptively improved low-end depth and punch, while also smoothing out midrange sound and adding enough power to heighten sonic detail into the upper frequencies (well, at least as high as my near five decade-old ears will go these days).
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I truly have to respect the E5 and the good people who made it available in the US at such a low price. You get better-than-average build quality and ergonomics (though the accessory cables are a bit cheap). The one thing that you don't get is much improvement in sound quality. While I don't have the software and instrumentation to verify my suspicions, some other purchasers and reviewers have put this amp to the test and report a somewhat-startling rise in gain above 500 Hz. Anybody who has ever sold hi-fi equipment knows that adding a few dB of volume in that range will make ANY piece of equipment (cough, cough) sound more attractive in an "A-B" demonstration. (How do you think I made my quota each month?) And herein lies the problem...the E5 is not really so much a headphone amplifier as it is an active tone control. Frankly, the gain (volume increase) on the unit is pretty limited and it does nothing for my better-quality headphones. It just doesn't have any guts. What's more, it has a noticeable hiss from the electronic circuit. Now, you may not notice this right away, but it's there. There are also any number of other nice CMOY amplifiers out there that will exhibit virtually NO hiss at any volume level, and they're priced about the same as the E5 (at the price shown on this website). In summary, the E5 can make your headphones sound a bit more attractive, if you have the right "taste" and happen to have a set of compatible headphones. I just think that you could spend a few $$$ more and get a very-good to excellent headphone amplifier instead.
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