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Fiio E3 Headphone Amp

by Fiio
259 customer reviews
| 3 answered questions

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  • Designed for high impendence and low sensitivity headphones, with bass boost function
  • Small and easy to carry and use outdoors
  • Increase your music player's play time
  • Uses only one AAA battery, for up to 20 hours playtimeSpecification -
  • Output Power - 70 mW (32 ohms Loaded) 12 mW (300 ohms Loaded)

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Fiio
  • Model Number: E3-BK
  • Item Weight: 0.04 pounds

Product Description

The E3 Portable Headphone Amplifier from Fiio is a compact and portable headphone amplifier that allows you to increase the play time of your music player and improve the audio quality. It also has a bass boost function for enhanced bass. The amplifier has standard 3.5mm input and output connectors, providing compatibility with a variety of headphones and music players. Simply place the amplifier in the signal path between your music player and your headphones.
Features: Signal to Noise Ratio - 90 dB (A Weight) Distortion - 0.05% (10 mW) Frequency Response - 10 Hz - 40 kHz Suitable Headphone Impedance - 16 ohms - 300 ohms Dimensions - 2 x 0.9 x 0.57 inches Weight - 11g (Battery not included)

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches ; 0.6 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Item model number: E3-BK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at November 30, 2008

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 118 people found the following review helpful By neil's son on January 16, 2011
Some of the one-and-two-star reviews said this was not an amplifier and did not perform to expectations. At the other end, four-and-five start reviews say it performs perfectly. How can this be? Perhaps it's expectations and purpose.

Permit me to project, but when one says "amplifier" for me it brings to mind a component audio device that takes a tiny signal and, using a variable control, outputs in anything from nothing to ear-splitting volume. If that's your expectation, this is not for you.

We'll leave aside that 'to amplify' is to increase, to make larger or louder. This device fits that strict definition, but for most people there are more assumptions that come along for the ride (above) and so perhaps calling it a "booster" will help people decide if it's right for them. Just like you ask someone for a boost to climb over a barrier, so the E3 gives a little extra "oomph." For my purposes--I had almost but just not quite enough volume--it works perfectly. My application is playing my mp3 player through my car's auxiliary input. At full volume, it was just not quite enough with highway noise. But with the E3 inline, I get enough boost to hear perfectly (and actually have just a little volume to spare).

I'm no acoustical engineer but if 3 db is a doubling of power, it might well describe this device: a perceptible difference but not going from a whisper to a shout.

That it uses a AAA battery I also view as a plus: as long as a replacement is handy, there is no down-time during recharging, and one doesn't have to worry about recharge fatigue over repeated cycles (how's your cell phone battery life at one year compared to new-out-of-the-box?). I've used it about 10 hours over several weeks on the same battery; battery life is advertised at 20 hours.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Method2Madness VINE VOICE on July 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
I bought this to augment my collection of MP3 players, mainly out of curiosity. Everyone on the DAP/Headphone boards rave on its performance out of such a cheap and small device. It arrived 5 days later and my MP3 players have never sounded better.

Its sound signature augments my players containing less-than-stellar bass response and all out quality(i.e. All but the most recent iPods with the Cirrus Logic DAC), nicely and provides both a bass boost and widened soundstage. It just sounds "warmer"

As stated by another reviewer, its only fault is the lack of an on/off switch. But, Fiio has rectified this with the updated(and a bit more expensive) E5.

All in all, this is a great little amp and a worthy addition to your DAP collection. It's certainly not a replacement for a high end amp, but then again, it's not meant to be.
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149 of 180 people found the following review helpful By muddy glass on August 18, 2010
this review is for those who have never owned any headphone amps before.

the fiio e3 is one of the cheapest headphone amps out there and that fact may very well tempt newbies to purchase it as their first foray into the world of portable headphone amps. that was indeed the reason i bought it as my first amp. however, it's probably better to first ask yourself why'd you even consider buying an amp to begin with.

headphone amps in general offer: 1) improvements in sound quality, 2) increased power to better drive high impedance headphones (such as the sennheiser hd600), and 3) an external volume control. that's for starters. there are some headphone amps with even more bells and whistles like crossfeed, optical input, and so forth. you don't need any of those special features if you've never heard of them. as you gain more experience with amps, you'll grow wiser and figure out for yourself what you do and don't need. let's focus on the fiio e3's ability to handle the basic improvements an amp should provide.

1) sound quality -- the fiio e3 is not a neutral amp. the e3's sound is bass heavy to the detriment of the midrange and highs. for example, details in guitars and vocals will seem muddier because of the exaggerated bass. if you intend to actually listen to your music, then you will want an amp that's as neutral as possible and doesn't distort too much what the artist intended for your ears to hear. the soundstage on the e3 is small and the instrument separation and imaging is not really improved much beyond what the headphone out of your music player would provide. for example, a large orchestra will still sound compressed together with details from different instruments obscuring and blending into each other.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By AudiophileHeadCase on September 4, 2010
Verified Purchase
I tried this inexpensive device on an Apple MacBook, which has reasonably decent output and audio quality. It was driving a standard set of partially open "over the ear" headphones with large 50mm transducers.

The results? Well, there is a nice boost to the bass level and it stays tight (not bloated), a little bit of welcome relief on the high end (over 5 kHz), and most surprising -- the sound stage opened up and sounded better to my ears with this device in the chain. The loudness went up about 5 db (around a notch or two on a 10 level volume control).

Fiio is using a National Semiconductor LM4917 op amp chip in this thing, which is a very low power device known for the fact that it doesn't require any large capacitors on the output side. This allows for more bass output. It's not a bad chip and the sound is warm (maybe slightly "tube-like"). Not as good as a more expensive Burr Brown 2227 chip, mind you, but not bad at all.

This is a device that is synergistic dependent. You may not want to use it with some types of highly efficient, small ear buds. There are reports of hiss problems when used with the high-end Sennheiser "in-the-ear-channel" ear buds. I heard no hiss at all on my setup. You also don't want to use it if your headphone amp already has high output levels to drive your headphones.

On most low to mid-level devices, however, when used to drive 30 ohm and up "cans" (particularly the bigger ones), you'll hear a nice improvement. And for around 8 bucks, it's a slam-dunk purchase. I've seen more expensive products that do a much worse job at boosting headphone output. Oh, and one last thing. As many people have mentioned, this device is very small and lightweight.
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