Great Audiophile Gift Ideas For The
2017 Holiday Season
FiiO X5 3rd Generation Hi-Res Audio Music Player
When an audiophile leaves their listening room, most that I know are still audiophiles. Therefore, one should demand that their music is still played through the best portable device possible. That means not using an iPhone or other telecommunication device to listen to music, but a device dedicated to music playback. Back in the day, an Apple iPod would suit that purpose, but these days we have many more options. And thankfully, our choices include units that have sound quality that is light-years better than that old Apple player.
For a while I was using Questyle's QP1(r) digital audio player (DAP). Even though this player has a sound that I can't find fault with, I'd rather not recommend it as a holiday gift because not only has this device proved less than reliable -- it cost $900. FiiO's third generation of their X5 DAP comes awfully close to this player in the sound quality department, but has many more features and costs less than $400, with a street price that is closer to $300.
OK, $400, or even $300, might still be more than most would want to spend on a holiday gift. But you've been good this year, haven't you? Than you're just going to have to get this player for yourself! The FiiO X5 3rd gen has two micro SD card slots, just like the Questyle QP1(r), allowing for it to have at least 512GB of removable storage, but that's about where their similarity ends. The FiiO X5 3rd gen sports wireless connectivity, which means it can connect to your home network and play music files that you can connect to shared hard-drives. It also has Bluetooth, a touchscreen, 32GB of internal storage, dual DACs (one for each channel), a screen that is almost as big as the player itself, two headphone jacks, has two modes of operation -- one of with is Android mode, allowing one to install their apps of choice, the other pure-music mode that takes greater advantage of its dual channel OPA426 chips used for amplification.
FiiO has other tricks up its sleeve as far as its dedication to sound quality, and sounds it. Its sound might fall short of the Questyle player, but just by a hair. But it is much more user friendly, and its feature-set blows the more expensive players away. Purchased as a gift for someone else, or for yourself is highly recommended!
Recommended by Enjoy the Music.com's Editor Tom Lyle.