Does the FiiO E7 deserve your hard earned cash?
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If you've followed the other reviews that I've posted on this site, you'll notice that I like to offer both sides of the coin. I'll usually bring up the positives of a product, and then I'll delve into a product's shortcomings.
This review is more difficult for me, because the FiiO E7 fully accomplishes it's goals. FiiO is already known for exceptional sound quality, but the E7 is good even for their standards.
What you can expect
The FiiO E7 provides the sound quality you would expect from a $150- $200 dollar headphone amp. First off, the amount of "hissing" noise is kept to a minimum. In many ways, this amp actually decreases the amount of unwanted noise.
I'm not much of a technical dude, so don't ask me how they do it. But the crispness of your headphones will increase significantly. What I really appreciate about this amp is that it will work well with all sorts of headphones grades.
For example, I have tested this amp on my Grado 325is as well as my Ath-M50's and a lower end Seinnhesier HD-201. From extremely high end, to mid level, to fairly cheap headphones. The amp made a significant difference in each case.
I was stoked that this amplifier was powerful enough to work with my high end Grado's, which really shows that this amp is worth more than it's retail value.
What you need to tap the potential of the FiiO E7 Headphone Amp
You'll notice that if you use this amp in combination with a headphone jack, there will be some distortion. That's because the amp has a built in DAC, that will struggle for control with the inbuilt DAC in your mp3 player. So to make this headphone amp excell, you need to purchase a line out dock cord. FILO is also the industry leader in LOD cords, so you should probably consider them for this purchase as well.
Nothing to serious, you can pick up an LOD cord for about $10 bucks online. Anything less than that will be too low quality. So make sure you keep in mind, that you'll need an additional cord to make this product worth the money.
My first headphone set up that had me hooked on music
The very first headphones I bought were the ATH-M50's. The sound was amazing, and if you look these headphones up, they are the number 1 recommended set of headphones under $200. The sound quality was awesome. But I was greedy. I bought the FiiO E7 and a FILO L9 LOD cord to complete my audio set up.
So I basically had the ATH-M50 + FiiO E7 + LOD = AMAZING Entry level audio set up.
You can buy this whole package at amazon for around $200, and it will be well worth your money. That set up can easily rival a lot of much more expensive configurations.
To this day, I still use that set up every so often when I want to keep my more expensive headphones locked up. But honestly, the ATH-M50 in combination with the FiiO E7 can sound better than headphones that cost 3-4X the price.
Well worth a buy!
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