Fiio E17 Review

Fiio E17

The E17 is Fiio’s latest offering in the headphone amplifier arena.  What sets this apart from many other headphone amplifiers is its ability to be both a headphone amplifier and a digital to analog converter.  What does this mean for you?  The E17 can take a signal from a computer via USB, from an optical Toslink cable, or from a digital coaxial cable.  Essentially this is a portable sound card and headphone amplifier – that’s a whole lot of product for as little as the E17 retails for.

About Allen Underwood

15 Responses to “Fiio E17 Review”

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  1. Ron Cronovich says:

    Great review! This was really helpful. Lots of specificity. Thank you so much!

  2. solutionsagent says:

    Yes Allen, great review! Just want to add that the comment system is a little bit tedious, maybe there is a better solution because most people just want to write a quick comment. But back to the topic at hand, great review on the E17. I’m looking to pick one up… :)

    • Thanks for stopping by man – if you don’t mind, I’d really like to know which part is tedious as I’m using the default “comments” allowed with WordPress (minus the subscribe functionality) – if you’re referring to the copying of the password, I totally understand that, and I should probably change it to something else, but the amount of spam created by automated scripts is out of control. Let me know what you think of the E17 when you get it – I think you’ll be a happy man.

  3. Ron Cronovich says:

    After reading your review last month, as well as doing some other research, I ordered a Fiio E17, which finally arrived in early April. (The initial production run sold out in January, it was next to impossible to find the E17 until end of March.) I’ve put it through its paces and really like it. I agree with everything in your review, and I know others who are considering the E17 will find your review invaluable.

    BTW, no disrespect to the other commenter, but I don’t find the comment system here any more tedious than any other comment system on any blog or user forum. Some type of anti-bot verification is just a fact of life now for anyone who wants to participate in an online conversation.

    Again, Allen, thank you, from two happy ears.

    • Ron, I appreciate you stopping by and letting me know your thoughts. I like to hear that I’m actually helping people out when making these types of decisions. What types of headphones are you using with the E17?

  4. Jay says:

    I have a pair of Alessandro MS-1’s, and am using them through a Sony Walkman mp3 16GB. would using this FiiO E17 make any sort of difference to the sound quality or just amp the sound from the mp3. It already has plenty of volume, I can only turn it up to 12 or 13 out of say 30.

    • Honestly, if you already have enough power, then I would look at another solution. The E17 is first and foremost an amplifier so it’s made for powering headphones. Granted, it does have a built in EQ for treble and bass but I’m not sure if that’s the best solution for you – are there no EQ settings on your Sony MP3 player? The only benefit you’d see considering you have ample power already is the ability to EQ, and I would think you could do that through software on your media player and save the money.

  5. Fe3doe says:

    ThanKs mate!! Great review!! I’m going to buy it! =D

  6. Malc says:

    Hi Allen, Great reviews.
    I have recently bought a pair of ATH-M50’s and need a bit more grunt when using them with my iPod and also want to improve the sound obtained from my laptop so the E17 sounds like a good choice but I would appreciate your comments on a couple of issues – when using the E17 with an iPod via the multi-pin interface, would the E17’s DAC come into operation or would it just amplify the signal produced by the iPod?
    Also, as I don’t think I need stacks of amplification, could the E7 be a consideration? It seems to do much the same as the E17 but with lesser output.

    • Hi Malc,

      No, hooking up to your iPod will not use the DAC on the E17 (or E7) – you can’t bypass the internal DAC of the i-devices.

      As far as the E7 is concerned, I’m not really sure. I’ve never had an opportunity to try out the E7, but I know it’s the older version of the E17. I believe it’s had some positive reviews over time but nothing I can actually vouch for. I can tell you that the E17 is a quality product and for the price it offers way more than anyone should realistically expect – most PC soundcards cost more than this thing and it does as much and more!

      If you look at the specs on the E7 and the power output meets your needs, it might be worth going for that. Best of luck.

  7. Mike davila says:

    Hi Allen, it’s mike216ism from YouTube. I just got the E17 today from your link. As you know I’m looking for the best set of headphones with deep base in mind. I know you love the AT-M50 but not for ultimate base. What would be your second choice for great sound that’s more base heavy for under 200$. Thanks for everything over the past couple of weeks

    • I’m actually working on trying out headphones that are more bass heavy, but I don’t really have any great suggestions for you right now. As soon as I do you know they’ll be posted here and on youtube!

  8. Max says:

    Hi Allen, its Max here. I went through a few of your reviews and they are great! Keep those coming! (: I just want to ask you whether it is possible to bypass the internal DAC of my galaxy S2 by connecting it to the E17 via the 3.5mm input jack? I mostly listen to music using my Galaxy S2 coupled with the Audio Technica ATH-ES7 headphones and im not satisfied with the DAC inside the S2. Lots of noise and hiss. ): So will the E17 be able to improve the quality of the music?

    • That’s a bit up in the air at this point. Supposedly, if you have Jelly Bean, that OS is supposed to support an external DAC. I’ve gotten information stating that it’s not working that well as of yet and not at all on some phones. If you were going to bypass the internal amp/DAC on your phone, you’d have to connect it to the E17 via USB and not the 3.5mm cable – if you’re using the 3.5mm jack on your phone, you’ll always be using the internal DAC and amp of the phone. If you could bypass the DAC/amp on the phone, then yes, the sound would be immensely better, but I don’t know that there’s a working solution yet. If you look at the xda developers forum, you’ll see several posts about it but nothing concrete as of yet…sorry man.

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