Fiio E9

The Fiio E9 is an affordable desktop headphone amplifier which simply means that it’s a device that you’ll plug in and leave in one place like any other small appliance you may have. It’s big enough that moving it around isn’t the most convenient thing ever, but with that size comes some high quality components that can drive not just one set of headphones, but two.

Fiio E9 Review

I’ve created a video review (below the pros and cons) so that you can get the full scoop on what all the features of the Fiio E9 has so I’m not going to write an exhaustive review as it seems that most people would just rather watch the video anyways!  However, I’m going to give the pros and cons of the device, plus a small frequently asked questions section to help people understand more about the device.  If you have any specific questions, leave me a comment below and I’ll personally answer it.  And, if it’s  something that seems like it should be long in the FAQ’s, I’ll add it in there for the benefit of others.

Fiio E9 Pros

Fiio E9 Cons

  • Fantastic sound quality – very flat frequency response
  • Can drive two sets of headphones at once
  • Ability to use with external DAC such as the E7 (old model) or E17 (new model)
  • Fixed level pre-outputs – great for connecting to amplified speakers or stereo receiver
  • Variable level output
  • USB input – only functional if using the E7 or E17 with the device
  • THE AMP!!! Incredible amounts of output – can drive the stingiest of headphones
  • Fit and Finish – absolutely beautiful product
  • Two levels of gain – low and high
  • The Price – extremely reasonable price for such a high quality amplifier
  • The power adapter – ridiculously large plug will make it difficult to find a place to plug in
  • Lack of SPDIF inputs – would be great in conjunction with the Fiio E17
  • Use of the not so standard Type B USB connector – standard is Type A – makes it a pain if you misplace a cable
  • No EQ features at all – cannot adjust treble and bass (without E7/E17)
  • NO POWER SWITCH! – This frustrates me as there’s no way to turn it off without unplugging the E9

Get the Fiio E9 here

Fiio E9 FAQ

Can I listen to music by plugging in a USB cable from my computer to the Fiio E9?
No, not without either the E7 or the E17. The USB connection on the back of the E9 is simply a convenience for those that do have the E7 or E17 – rather than having to run a USB cable to your E7/E17, you can simply plug them into the dock connector on the top of the E9 and the digital audio files will be sent to the device for decoding.

Will the E9 make my speakers sound better?
The E9 is not designed to drive speakers. Speakers generally require much more wattage than a set of headphones and the E9 is not recommended for powering speakers.

Will the E9 make my headphones sound better?
This is an interesting question that I get a lot. Here’s what I can tell you – if you’re not happy with the sound signature of your headphones, the E9 will not fix that. HOWEVER, if the sound that you’re hearing in your headphones is bad due to a poor output connector from a sub-par sound card or something like that, it COULD improve the sound, but I would first suggest that you try out your headphones with a quality device to see if you like the way they sound without an amp. Now, to finish up – typically an amp will “open” up your headphones. So, if you like the way they sound, then you will typically experience a fuller and richer sound because the amplifier doesn’t have to struggle to power them. The E9 has ample power to push any set of headphones with extra to boot so you should never hear any “strain” as a result of an amp being too weak to power your headphones.


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6 Responses to “Fiio E9”

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  1. vlada says:

    you can turn off E9 by turning volume knob counterclockwise until it clicks. if you couldn’t turn it off in that way then your fiio E9 was broken…

    • That’s really interesting – it didn’t feel broken – I say this because there was no “click” when I turned all the way counter-clockwise. It just stopped. But I do appreciate you letting me know. I’ve seen others say that it should turn off too.

  2. Dave Cody says:

    I am really confused…. Just got my first headphone amp after purchasing some Sennheiser HD600’s. I got the E17 and love it. The sound I am getting is amazing compared to what I have been listening to for some time. I was reading about the E9/E17 combo and I watched your video review, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why I would want the E9. What value does it bring to the table?

    Thanks, dave

    • I’m sure you’re not alone in the confusion. Really, there are only two reasons.

      1. Desktop headphone amplifiers typically have much stronger amps (like the E9 does) and can drive headphones that need much more power than your HD600’s do. For example, your HD600’s are 300 ohm headphones, which can be driven by the E17, E11, etc. However, if you get your hands on 600 ohm headphones such as the Beyerdynamic DT990 Premiums or the like, you’ll be needing a bit more power than what most portable amps have available.

      2. Generally speaking, higher quality components are put into desktop headphone amplifiers and your sound quality should be better. I’m not sure that this is really the case with the E17/E9 per say as I agree that the E17 has a fantastic sound on its own.

      Actually, there’s a third reason to have one too, and this is more of the aesthetic realm. But, if you typically run multiple sources and you want a dedicated spot to plug up your media player then a desktop solution is nice. It’s more of a convenience than a real difference at that point.

      Hopefully this has helped clarify things a bit.

  3. Krishtrinity says:

    Can E9 run powered speakers?

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