Finally paid out some money for one of these Fiios following the death of my ipod. I’d run along with some music on my phone, but too much music loaded up caused my phone to slow down considerably. My phone is a great sounding thing mind, much much better than the iPod.
I realised recently I own music that I’ve never heard on anything but an ipod – either through little earbuds or the kitchen dock or in the car. Last year I bought a pair of cheaper on ear Sony headphones. They’re nice actually, decent sound, no distortion when bass gets too loud, I really like them (and they’re comparable in my own tests to more expensive things).
The Fiio paired with the Sonys has given me probably the best listening experience I’ve had for years. I don’t have much idea of the technical details but from a listening perspective the most noticeable thing about the sound is the amount of extra sound that you can actually hear. The Ipod didn’t really transmit the sound around the music, the original room, or the reverb. Backing vocals became a shadow under the main voice. But on the Fiio all of that is there and I didn’t realise quite how much I missed it. The detail of the music is more visible. There is an illusion in the headphones of the speaker moving air as well, which is weird. Bottom end is strong without feeling like a simple addition of distortion by the headphones. Orchestral pieces are incredible.
Best sounds for me are 70s productions though, the likes of ELO and ABBA sound amazing. It’s not as kind to music that might have never been recorded in the air – that is a lot of electronic music. Some of that punches, but sounds a little flat in comparison to the live stuff. The live instrument recorded in a room sounds like it’s breathing. Really.
But the reason I’ve placed this in here instead of as a review, dear lord the machine is an annoying little bugger to use. Drag and drop to the drive and just listen – like the IPOD – no. Once you’ve loaded the machine you have to then reset the internal media library if you want to access your music by it’s metadata. Not just to add new items either no, it has to redo the whole library. And sometimes it hangs because a file might be a little dubious around the edges. Doesnt’ tell you which one. Oh no. And the update of the media library can take ages. I will set the library to update about 11 at night, and if I’m lucky by about 4am it’s finished.
Admittedly I do have a lot of music on it, over 20000 tracks. But to give the ipod it’s due, when you loaded music on all of that stuff happened at the same time automatically.
It’s really bloody annoying, especially as my music metadata is something I spent a long time getting right. Wish I’d renamed all the files now. That would have been more useful. Perhaps creating a folder for each artist too. Sigh.
So, fellow Fiio users, what’s your view and experience? Any hints or tips to get round the annoying set up process? I do love the sound of it by the way…