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Calling the FiiO X3 an ordinary MP3 player would be like calling B&H an ordinary camera store. Both offer so much more. FiiO began seven years ago as a headphone-amp manufacturer. To create the X3, their engineers used their wealth of technical audio expertise acquired from years of making headphone amps, and channeled it into the design of a high-quality portable audio player. Not only does the X3 support five different lossless audio formats, it also features an independent DAC and a separate high-current amplifier.
The X3’s five supported lossless audio formats include APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, and ALAC Apple Lossless formats. By supporting multiple lossless options, the X3 ensures that you won’t have to spend endless hours transferring incompatible file formats of your favorite tunes into a file format that will work with the player. For maximum flexibility, the X3 is compatible with AAC, OGG, MP2, and MP3 file formats as well. Plus, the X3 can handle 192kHz/24-bit, studio-quality master copy audio playback.
Master-quality audio playback provides approximately six times more detail than the conventional CD format, which is 44.1kHz/16-bit. This means that owners of the X3 will enjoy better and more realistic sound reproduction than if they were listening to a CD. Although 44-192kHz/24-bit is the industry standard that’s used during the mastering process in the studio, these high-resolution music files are compressed down to 44.1kHz/16-bit when they’re put onto a CD. MP3 files are even lower quality. To produce MP3 format, those original master copy, high-resolution audio files are compressed even further to 128 to 320kbps for the convenience of file size. This removes an enormous amount of the detail from the original recording. Since the X3 supports master-copy audio playback at 192kHz/24-bit, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite music as it was intended to be heard.
Besides supporting five different lossless audio file formats and master-copy-quality audio, the X3 is also built with high-end components. Most smartphones and MP3 players have a main controller chip that has an integrated DAC onboard. However, the X3 features an independent professional Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip, which is a high-performance stereo DAC that’s usually employed in CD, DVD, and home theater applications. Besides supporting an 8 to 192kHz sampling frequency and 16- to 24-bit input data, it also features a selectable low pass filter and fully differential voltage outputs.
The other high-end component that makes the FiiO X3 stand out from other music players is its independent high-dynamic and high-current amplifier. Like the DAC, most smartphones and MP3 players also have an amp built into the main controller chip. The X3 provides a separate AD8397 amplifier, which supports high-linear-output current and low noise. The output current can run up to 300mA, which ensures a warm timbre and flexible bass effect. The X3 is equipped with adjustable bass- and treble-circuit hardware as well. While most portable music players rely on DSP (digital signal processing) technology and software to adjust bass and treble settings, the X3 uses adjustable bass- and treble-circuit hardware to provide more natural sound adjustments that won't influence the sounds in other frequency ranges.
Another important feature would be the X3’s advanced connectivity options. It features a standard headphone stereo mini-jack output, a line out mini-jack, a mini-USB 2.0 port, and a digital coaxial mini-jack output. This assortment of connection options lets you use the X3 as a portable music player, a full-featured HD music player, an analog signal source headphone amp, a powerful DAC or a digital audio output source, when connecting to another audio decoder via the coaxial digital output. The X3 also features 8GB of flash storage and a microSD card slot that supports up to 64GB of memory expansion for storing all your lossless music files.
The X3 is powerful enough to run an Android operating system, but since it is designed specifically for listening to music, FiiO decided to not include the kind of operating system that would make it possible for you to play videos or display pictures on the X3. However, it still has a large 2.4-inch color LCD screen with 320 x 240 resolution and adjustable screen-brightness control. The display can be used for viewing album info, cover art, and lyrics. There are dual charge-indicator lights and a battery-gauge display. Plus, a built-in rechargeable battery lasts for up to ten hours and supports USB smart charging so you can charge the device using a PC USB port, a USB adapter, or a mobile power charger.
The X3 weighs only 4.3 oz and is compact enough to keep in your pocket. It also has a Breakpoint Memory function that will start playing songs from exactly the same spot where you stopped listening and turned the player off. Additionally, if you pull your headphone cord out of the X3’s headphone jack, it will cut play until you restore the connection. It affords 60 different levels of digital volume control and the device is firmware upgradeable. FiiO even includes 26 songs of authorized 192kHz/24-bit master copy material that comes embedded in the X3’s flash memory. The X3 also features left/right balance adjustment, output protection when output exceeds maximum voltage and current, a sleep mode, support for auto track, playing by section, and fast forward/rewind as well as support for multiple playing modes like random and repeat all.
As the X3’s long list of features reveals, this is a device whose sole purpose is to transmit the highest-quality digital music available to the listener. It provides the file format compatibility, as well as the hardware inside to ensure satisfaction for even the most discerning audiophile. If you’d like more information on the FiiO X3, please check out the B&H website or stop by the SuperStore in Manhattan. You can also contact a B&H phone sales professional at 1-800-606-6969 or via Live Chat.
|FiiO X3 Portable Music Player|
|Built-In Memory||8GB (actual available space is approx. 7.8GB)|
|External Memory||microSD card slot (supports up to 64GB cards)|
|Data Transmission||USB 2.0 (read/write speeds up to 4.5 Mbps)|
|Supported Lossless File Formats||APE (192 kHz / 24-bit), APE (96 kHz / 24-bit)
FLAC (192 kHz / 24-bit)
WAV (192 kHz / 24-bit)
ALAC (192 kHz / 24- bit) Apple Lossless
WMA (96 kHz / 24-bit) 9.1 Lossless
|Other Supported File Formats||OGG, AAC, MP3, MP2|
|Display Type||TFT color LCD|
|Display Size||2.4" (6.1 cm)|
|Display Resolution||320 x 240 pixels|
|Interfaces||Analog 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone mini-jack x 1
Analog 1/8" (3.5mm) line out mini-jack x 1
Digital 1/8" (3.5mm) coaxial mini-jack x 1
Mini-USB 2.0 port x 1
|Headphone Impedance Range||16 - 300 ohms|
|Digital Volume Control||60 levels|
|Bass Boost||± 10dB (center frequency is 100Hz)|
|Treble Boost||± 10dB (center frequency is 10kHz)|
|Left Channel Adjustment||10dB|
|Right Channel Adjustment||10dB|
|Dynamic Range||> 103dB|
|Line Output Level||> 1.7 Vrms|
|Frequency Response (Line Out)||10Hz - 20kHz ± 0.2|
|Frequency Response (Headphone Out)||10Hz - 20kHz ± 0.2|
|THD & Noise (Line Out)||< 0.004% at 1kHz|
|THD & Noise (Headphone Out)||< 0.005% at 1kHz|
|Signal to Noise Ratio (Line Out)||< 108dB (A-weight)|
|Signal to Noise Ratio (Headphone Out)||< 105dB|
|Crosstalk (Line Out)||> 90dB at 10kohms / 1kHz|
|Crosstalk (Headphone Out)||> 75dB at 1kHz|
|Output Power||> 540mW at 16 ohms
> 270mW at 32 ohms
> 30mW at 300 ohms
|Output Impedance||< 0.3 ohms|
|Output Voltage||> 8 Vp-p (max)|
|Output Current||> 250mA (max)|
|Power Source||PC USB port
USB power supply (5V / 1.5A recommended)
Mobile power charger
|Current||USB (PC): < 500mA
USB (1.5A): < 1300mA
USB (First Charge): < 750mA
|Battery Type||3.7V lithium-polymer|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 hours (12 - 15 hours with upgraded firmware)|
|Charging Time||USB (PC): 8 hours
USB (1.5A): 3 hours
USB (First Charge): 5 hours
|LED Indicators||Red (charging) / Green (fully charged)|
|Battery Display||Yes (battery-life gauge)|
|Charge Connector||Micro-USB 2.0|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||2.17 x 4.29 x 0.63" (55 x 109 x 16mm)|
|Weight||4.3 oz (122 g)|