on June 28, 2012
Out of the box, this amp was almost unlistenable paired with my Droid Razr. Even with using the longer cord, it would pick up considerable RFI / EMI from the phone that could only be eliminated by putting the phone into airplane mode. Adding a snap-on ferrite choke from RS to the longer cord reduces but does not entirely eliminate this buzz. I've not yet tried wrapping the amp in foil...
Updated 7/15/2012: It turns out, after reading posts by the Fiio representatives on the head-fi site, that there is rampant counterfeiting of this amplifier, and the product I bought matches the counterfeits being sold by some of Amazon's partners. Make certain that the partner you pick for buying Fiio products is an approved Fiio distributor.
on November 8, 2012
Since everyone has already rated this, I thought I'd give a few suggestions
First of all, to operate it is pretty simple, put your headphones in the "output" jack, and your source in the "input". Turn it on! I personally think the effects can be heard a little louder, if you turn down the sound on your playing device (computer, ipod...etc) and turn up the volume on the Amp. You can mess with the EQ by sliding the bar on the right (up) for just a second or less.
EQ setting suggestions:
Obviously, this depends on the song and genre, but here are some basics
Red (bass boost): This one is my second favorite (behind blue). However, if you like loud music, I believe this is the best one for you. Because the highs are not overly loud, and the mids aren't crazy crisp, you can turn this up very very loud without it ever getting "tinny" or screeching in your ear.
Blue (Mids boost): I think this one works best for most songs. It depends on your headphones, but my ATH M50's (Audio Technica) already have a good amount of bass and mids. However, this mids boost really lets you hear a lot of things you didn't notice before, and i think it results in the most clean, full sound of all the EQ's.
Pink (energy saver or somethin): Idk what this does. All I really notice it doing is slightyy turn down the volume. I assume it's to save battery, but I'm not sure.
No light (standard): Just a good old standard volume/crisp boost.
Hope that helps!
on November 24, 2011
I absolutely love this little sonic wonder! I am new to headphone amps. I just recently purchased a Grado SR80i headphone set, and noticed the Fiio E5 was listed as something people purchased with several of the headphones I was researching. So, I started to research the Fiio E5 and found out it was just recently upgraded to the E6. Once I saw the price of the E6 and that it was a new version of the E5 I had to purchase it with my Grados. There are several things that make the E6 better than the E5, that I learned from researching them. Most notably the sound. The E6 is also shielded better from interference from cell phones and wi-fi(which may be why Fiio chose a plastic casing for the E6). The E6 has, along with the regular setting, 3 more EQ options. Also, the E6 has a hold switch and the volume button isn't in the way of one of the input/output ports like on the E5. The clip is also removable so you can bundle the amp with your portable player if you wish.
When I listen to music I use my laptop and iPod, but never without this little guy anymore. It takes the sound from both sources, and makes it more smooth and clear. The only downside is that I don't want to even listen to music while it is charging! I might have to buy two of them and have them both charged and ready; which at this price is certainly possible!
Do yourself a favor and buy this bad boy if you enjoy your music and want to have the best sound possible from your headphones!
I feel I need to add a couple things that might have been misleading in the review. When I said I use the amp with my iPod, I am still using lossless audio files; not the 128kbps songs from iTunes. I usually listen to .flac or with the iPod I use .m4a which is apple lossless. If you use high quality headphones such as the Grado SR80i with this amp, they will greatly expose the poor quality music files.
on March 31, 2012
Such a great little amp for the cost. It's great for any portable setup imaginable. Right now i have this thing hooked up to my Sandisk Clip Zip, i just velcroed them on; it might be the smallest audiophile setup in the world! If anyone is saying that this little guy doesn't make a difference, they don't know what they're talking about right now it's powering my DT 990 Pro 250 ohms absolutely fine. Sure they're not loud enough to hurt my ears, but who wants that anyway? I'm sure at one point in the future i'll upgrade to a better amp, but for a really small really portable one, i couldn't be any happier with my purchase.
on June 27, 2014
A little bit about me and my musical interests before continuing into this review. Although I do enjoy most genres of music and have some classical, instrumental, jazz and orchestral music in my library, I primarily listen to popular artists you'll hear on the radio, as well as some older stuff. Some of the artists I listen to include Five Finger Death Punch, T.I., Kanye, Throwdown, Lamb of God, Iron Maiden, Daddy Yankee, Buckethead, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. So if you listen to music similar to mine then maybe you'll find this helpful. But if you need a straight up audiophile perspective based on subtle nuances in melodic syncopation then by all means, skip my review as it will likely not be very helpful to you. Anyway.....
I recently purchased a pair of V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones and read from quite a few reviews that the best way to fully enjoy them was to purchase a headphone amplifier. One review in particular pointed me towards this tiny black square from FiiO and for the price I decided "Eh, why not?" I was hopeful, but skeptical as always (a pessimistic optimist you could say) on whether my $27 would purchase me something that helped a little or something that just wasted my money and time. I just finished charging this little thing, plugged my Crossfades into it and as the title suggest, My Goodness! The Crossfades sound great on their own, do not get it twisted, but with the FiiO E6 pushing them, wow...I was amazed. I truly did not think it would make this much of a difference but boy was I ever wrong. The volume went through the roof, the bass vibrated my brain, the highs pierced my eyes and the mids reverberated throughout my face....it was beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. I don't even have my mp3 player or the amp at full volume, or even close to it. Awesome.
The package itself comes with the amp, two clear plastic clips (you attach it to the back of the FiiO so you can easily clip it to your pocket or whatever, it comes with two as it seems cheapy and will likely break over time), two audio cables, one USB charging cable and the instructions. The instructions are for those, like me, who have never used a headphone amp before and it also goes over the features of the amp, to include the volume buttons, the EQ settings and proper connection of the amp to your player/headphones.
Now, if you've gotten this far into my review then you're probably wondering if you can trust my review and get it...or whether you should continue researching into whether you should get it. I'm an avid reader of Amazon reviews before purchasing so I understand the situation you're in, particularly if you've never purchased something like this before, same as me. Now, before you add this to your cart be sure to double check the seller of the item. As other reviewers have pointed out, always be sure to cross-reference the seller on the manufacturers page to ensure you won't be receiving a counterfeit item or one which will not be covered under any warranty. Just head on over to FiiO's page and make sure the seller is one of the Authorized Dealers, it'll only take a second. Also, be sure the headphones you'll be using this for are worth getting an amp for. In the end, an amp is an amp and if it's pushing more energy than your device can handle, well, your device won't be very happy about it.
All in all, I would recommend this amp to anybody who wants to enjoy their music and pricey headphones to their fullest potential. I mean, if you're going to spend more than $100 on a pair of headphones, they better sound like they were worth $100....even better if they sound like they were worth $200-300. In my situation, this amp was worth every penny and it still would've been worth it if the amp was double the price.
on December 24, 2011
I'm using the Fiio E6 with an iPhone 4s and a pair of Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 headphones (known to have well defined bass, but still have crisp highs). The combination is amazing. The bass is even punchier now, and the mids and highs are clearer.
The E6 really improves bass response and over all clarity. The 1st equalizer setting is straight- and pretty much takes the existing signal and boosts it across the board. Like many have pointed out, the 2nd equalizer setting on this amp takes the bass and punches it way up - often sounding a bit muddy. I prefer the 3rd equalizer setting - the bass is still pronounced and elevated, but the mids and highs are kept crisp and clean. (The 4th setting is for high-output devices which I don't use.) The E6 comes with a dedicated cable to attach to any headphone jack and it works well. iPhone and iPod owners can also use an LOD cable (completely optional, sold separately for about $10) which provides a cleaner sound. (One thing to note in regards to iPhones and iPods: since these devices have a software-based equalizer built-in, you can further adjust your sound on top of the effects of the E6.)
Yes, you could use this with a pair of low-quality headphones, and the E6 will improve its sound. But the cost-to-benefit ratio favors buying quality headphones first, and then adding the E6 to the equation. This is because higher quality headphones have more ability to channel the sound that the E6 can deliver.
The device has two physical controls: a volume rocker, and a power switch. The power switch also controls the equalizer functions, and it can be locked down to prevent unwanted toggles. Yes, it sounds iffy, but in practice it does work. The blue power light indicates that the E6 is turned on, and there is another light that changes color to indicate the setting of the equalizer. The whole thing feels cheap for sure, but the E6 isn't really breaking anyone's bank at roughly $30.
The poorly-written manual of the E6 (a tiny folded piece of paper) states that charging is done by connecting it to a computer's USB port. Charging the E6 takes about 2hours. Unfortunately, there is no indicator of how much charge is left at any given moment, and it has no auto-shut-off. As a result, I always forget to manually turn it off. The manual states it lasts for 10 hours of continuous use, but I have never gotten that far without charging it myself.
While the device is very small, walking around with it connected to my iPhone is less than elegant. I almost want to glue the E6 to the back of my iPhone case so that it doesn't flop around while in my pocket. Fiio includes two clips with the device to use with the lip of a pants pocket or shirt. For me, this doesn't work since taking the clip off to answer a phone call (I'm using an iPhone after all) annoys me.
Most other headphone amps are way above $30, so this is a real bargain. I like a lot of bass in my music, and the E6 provides that without breaking the bank (equalizer setting 3 is perfect for me). If you want more bass, or an over all cleaner sound (and you have decent headphones), the E6 is a good little amp to try, and it's cheap.
on December 30, 2011
I use this amp with my audio-technica ATH-M50 headphones and the difference is night and day. Highly recommended if you have quality headphones.
on November 27, 2012
I bought this for use with a set of Beyerdynamic headphones. It had been plugged in to my Macbook Air as well as my Galaxy Nexus phone. It was plugged in to power most of the time, primarily purchased to drive 250 ohm headphones.
The build quality seems off. The plastic housing seemed to have been through some heat causing the plastic to slightly deform. The device worked, however, so I used it.
I did not use any of the special pre-amp EQ settings. I didn't like it jacking with the audio as I prefer my source to handle this. I was a little confused about the pre-amp EQ setting light at first as it wasn't all that clear where to find this (I was watching the front of the device, not the back, and expecting the LED in the corner to change).
The device was actually pretty easy to use, and the clip made it easy to wear when plugged in to my phone.
I was surprised to find the quality of the audio amplified was pretty good for what seemed like a cheap compact amp. It drove my 250 ohm headphones quite well. I was prepared to give this a 5 star review for the performance I got out of it at the price that I paid.
However, after just over a month of use, it stopped powering on altogether. I don't know if I have a rare bad device (it gets reviewed so well...maybe premature reviews before others had died?), if it suffered heat damage during production or shipping (hence the slightly deformed plastic, it never got hot while being used), or if I was exceeding its specs with the source or the headphones (no limitations listed).
on August 13, 2015
Fit and finish aside, the sound quality even with junk earbuds is impossible not to notice. The constant background static is like having a fan blowing across your ears. Wish I hadn't asked for it as a gift so I could return it under my own Amazon account.
I did the counterfeit check by scratching off the code on the box label and it did pass, but mine looks nowhere near the level of finish of the one pictured. It does work, at least noticeably louder than running without, but the sound quality takes such a dive and the alternate EQ modes do nothing. I'd rather run with my device volume all the way up and not hear my music as well than use this and hear it like it was playing through an elevator speaker.
on November 29, 2013
<I am not an audiophile, nor can I give educational info about frequency numbers and/or audio terms and definitions. I do know that amplifiers (or amps) are used to get the full benefit of most high-end headphones or speakers>
This is a great, and cheap solution to increasing sound levels for my Zune HD, but can be used for any audio device that uses a standard 3.5mm headphone port. By default, the Zune HD outputs some low level volumes, especially when used on external speakers (such as my car audio and mobile AUX capable speakers). I decided to get the FiiO E6 because it's at the sweet spot between the older E5 (that only has I think 1 available EQ setting) and the newer E10 (that's just way too much for what I really need it for).
The E6 has three EQ settings: a bass boost option (red led), bass/treble boost (blue led), and a lower level EQ for a quieter listening experience (not positive about this, but the third option does sound like it lowers all sound level frequencies).
The unit comes with a mini-usb to usb cable for charging and use while charging. It also has a clip (x2 in case one breaks) that you can use to clip the device to a pant pocket or shirt or tie. It also includes two 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable; one that has two straight plugs, and one that has two 90-degree angled plugs. I like that they include these two options for versatile usage.
The E6 after a full discharge, takes about 30-45 minutes to charge via USB 2.0 port. If you have a wall outlet power adapter, it can take a shorter time. The led light on the clear corner turns from red to off when fully charged. After a full charge you get up to 10 hours of play before you'll need to recharge.
Overall, I've found so much use in this little device. I've owned the E6 for about a month and a half now and I love it.
(UPDATE: March 2016) This things still kicking. Even after accidentally washing it... Twice... Same amped volume output. Hoping the next Fiio I get can be so lucky.