296 of 311 people found the following review helpful
E7 - Amazing value for the money: A near audiophile grade portable amp!,
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First off, please know that the E7 works BEST as a DAC/AMP combo when connected to a computer via USB or connected to a media player that has a dedicated line out (I'm not talking about the pre-amped 3.5 mm headphone jack on your mp3 player...but instead, a dedicated line out jack that bypasses the built-in amplifier of your media player). Portability wise, the E7 is absolutely perfect when carrying around your laptop and wanting to hear some high quality audio bliss while on the road or at the local coffee shop (or at the kitchen table in my case).Sound quality is truly amazing for the price you are paying, and it uses some near-audiophile grade electronics inside. Considering its price point, FIIO packed in a truly nice selection of options as well.
I consider the DAC/AMP to have a very clean and slightly colored sound quality that is comparable to portable amps in the $150 - $250 price range. Very little hissing is evident when the volume is turned up, leaps and bounds less hissing than if you were to connect your earphones/headphones directly to the headphone jack of a laptop/mp3 player. Besides expected sound qualities found in other high-end DAC/Amps of this class, the E7's trump card is the ability to pump out some pretty clean BASS using the built-in BASS settings **while** maintaining it's excellent sound characteristics. The well controlled BASS doesn't kill the mids and highs commonly seen in cheaper audio setups (just be cautious of maxing out the bass to lvl 3...it tends to muffle out the mids and highs just a tad. I found that lvl 1 or 2 on the BASS settings is perfect). I've found that I am easily able to drive my higher-end headphones from the E7, including my Grado 325is, Denon AHD2000's, and is even able to power my Beyerdynamic DT990's and AKG K701's to reasonable volume levels.
The unit has a very bright OLED screen that really is a looker (check it out in my video) and the silicone case makes it look deadly beautiful in my opinion. Build quality is much higher than I expected. The back of the unit is metal, the sides are plastic and the clear face front is also a type of plastic, but of higher quality. Accessing the menu's is easy and straightforward. Size wise, it's about the size of a portable mp3 player.
IMO, this is a no-brainer-buy for those of you just getting into entry-level high-end audio equipment and wanting to make a purchase without having to break the bank. If you are looking to replace your existing audio setup from your laptop, desktop pc or Mac computer, this is an amazing buy!
**Keep in mind the E7 will not work properly when connecting it to the 3.5mm jack of a MP3/Media player. The reason is that the E7's sound quality becomes overly distorted and the sound levels are very low due to 'piggy backing' onto the built in amplifier of the mp3 player. The E7 truly shines when using a direct line out dock from an ipod (or any other player that has a dedicated line out) or from the USB connection of a computer. I bought this strictly as my DAC/AMP for my laptop, and it does it's job with flying colors and then some.
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Showing 1-10 of 64 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 4, 2010 10:59:06 PM PDT
Well produced review with interesting use of Tascam digital recorder to attempt to provide a demo of sound quality from the headphones. (It would have been nice to have an A-B comparison of the sound directly from the source vs. through the amp.) You helped me make a purchasing decision. Thank you!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2010 6:39:15 AM PDT
Jacob Gross says:
Would the Fiio line out dock adapter be sufficient on an iPod to bypass the amp? Just curious.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2010 6:51:35 AM PDT
The interconnect cable FIIO includes in the packaging wouldn't be sufficient. Your best bet is to purchase an Line Out Dock (LOD) iPod, which allows you to bypass the iPod amp and acts as a true dedicated line out. There's some online stores that sell them, as well as tutorials on how to make your own. :)
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2010 6:51:48 AM PDT
Posted on Jul 28, 2010 12:12:13 AM PDT
Is there an amp you would recommend strictly for mp3 player "piggy backing"? Because I've just bought a pair of Sony MDR-V900HD headphones and my sansa fuze alone isn't good enough.
and great review btw : )
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2010 6:12:28 AM PDT
Indeed there is! I would personally go with the iBasso line of portable headphone amps/dacs. They have a solid reputation and are up there with some of the best in regards to amping power and sound quality (ibasso.com). I would look into the D2+ Boa model and the T3 model that they carry.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2010 1:45:45 AM PDT
I'll have to agree with the Ibasso T3......if using the headphone out, you really need an adjustable gain, the T3 is one of the best values in the ultraportable amps available. The fiio e7, is not quite as nuetral as the T3.
Posted on Aug 24, 2010 9:50:47 AM PDT
Posted on Sep 7, 2010 9:23:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2010 9:23:41 AM PDT
Nice review, Davy. I have the Tascam recorder myself, and admire the stand that you're using for yours in the video review. Can you tell me more about it? Thank You.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2010 6:33:56 AM PDT
Thanks for the comments, and no problem at all!
The cradle is a Thermaltake Luxa2 H1. It's all aluminum and super sturdy. I have two of them and use them all the time. They sell it here on Amazon as well. Although it's marketed as an iphone holder, it can hold almost any pocketable/portable device without much fuss.