FiiO X3 Review

Small and Neat

FiiO X3 review

The little FiiO X3 made of polished aluminum slips down nicely in your pocket and the feeling of quality is good.

When linked to your computer, you can choose whether you want to transfer music or if it will work as a digital converter to your computer. Since taking over as the sound card, it gives you high fidelity sound through your headphones with the computer as the playback device. PC requires a driver, Mac fixes it instantly.

Built-in memory of 8GB is no luxury. For music in 24 bit/96 kHz FLAC it´s enough for about 100 songs, with 192 kHz resolution about half as many. The solution is to buy a microSDXC card, and the FiiO player supports up to 128 GB of extra memory. That´s more like it!

Battery life is just over 10 hours of actual playtime, from a battery that is not replaceable. The player can easily be recharged from a PC or Mac via USB and a full charge takes about 4 hours.

Easy To Use?

FiiO X3 display

FiiO X3 is easy to use, but there are a few flaws. The menu is easy to browse through, even if I miss a touch screen. I would have liked a physical button for low and high gain for the times I used more heavy-powered headphones and needed a little extra push. I always had to go into the menu to set it.

The playlist feature is so and so. You can´t edit or make playlists in the X3, it must be done on the computer. The program Foobar is recommended. Another odd detail is that when you select an artist it organizes all songs by order of the disc. It seems logical, but not if you have multiple discs with the same artist. Then all initial tracks first, followed by all second songs, and so on. The solution is to make playlists in Foobar in advance, or to store your music into folders to make it easier to browse.

Sound Quality

FiiO X3 features

I´m normally a little skeptical when it comes to cheap player like this. On the one hand, one can not expect too much, but on the other hand, it's wasted money if they do not sound somewhat better than the average mobile phone. I was quickly reassured, FiiO is a notch better than my iPhone.

With the fine, closed headphones Klipsch Status playing on low volume, it is not so easy to hear the subtle differences between the iPhone 5 and FiiO X3, at least not with music in CD quality or lower resolution. But if you crank up the volume the FiiO maintains control better. Pop music with deep bass and a little juicier rhythms breathe more, the bass is more extended and there is even more space around the instruments. Well-produced, high-resolution music sound even better. Jazz and more low-key music emphasizes the subtle but important differences between MP3, FLAC, uncompressed and high resolution of 192 kHz. Wolfson's digital converter is, as we know, good, and the analog amplifier Analog Devices AD8397 is well implemented.


In short, the FiiO X3 is a great sounding player which emphasizes that a pure music player still has a role. It plays most formats (but not DSD) at all resolutions, and have a clear and open sound. Not quite as warm, soft and fine-grained in tone as iBasso DX50 or Astell & Kern’s more expensive AK100, and it can be a bit tricky to maneuver around in the playlists. It works best when browsing folders.


FiiO X3 Black (8 GB) Digital Media Player
  • Current Price: $9.50
  • Ends: Jan 22, 2018 17:34:10 CET
  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Lossless playback for APE/FLAC/ALAC/WMA/WAV at up to 192kHz/24-Bit
  • Wolfson WM8740 professional DAC and AD8397 high current amplifier
  • Built-in 8GB flash memory and micro SD card slot supporting up to 64GB expansion
  • Large 3000mAH rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of playback
  • 3.5mm headphone jack, line-level output, and digital coaxial output

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