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Is a Fiio E18 worth it?

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By ursubpar, Senior Member on 7th April 2014, 12:46 AM
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Hey guys, I'm currently eyeing a Fiio e18 for my Nexus 5 (running CM of course )

Currently I run a pair of ATH-M50's but I'm planning on upgrading to a pair of HE400's within the next year.

My question here is if it's worth it to buy an e18?

I know both the m50's and the HE400's aren't exactly super power hungry so I feel like the e18 might not be required to use them.

Will there be a huge difference from the built in DAC to the e18, or is it just marginal improvement on the M50's and the HE400's?
7th April 2014, 02:35 PM |#2  
kong's Avatar
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I'd say try ViPER4Android and you may not have to spend extra money for a DAC
7th April 2014, 05:47 PM |#3  
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Viper4Android is a nice software solution to provide some advanced EQ features, but it's not going to compare to a USB DAC at all.

As far as power goes, the E18 isn't necessary. The HE400s have a similar impedance to the ATH-M50s, so if you're happy with the volume now you'll be happy with it with the HE400s. You may want to consider it for the quality though, since the DAC on the Nexus 5 is not the best. That said, while the E18 is great the E07k is about 60% of the price and would be a very good option to pair with those headphones.

One other thing to keep in mind, the HE400s are open backed while the ATH-M50s are closed. The HE400s are great if you are listening in privacy but you will get very little isolation and everyone around you will hear what you're playing.
8th April 2014, 01:42 PM |#4  
howard bamber's Avatar
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I have the fiio e18 dac and it's money well spent. You need good files and headphones. Viper can't make up for a crap dac. Sure if you listen to standard mp3s with $40 buds Viper sounds good. Buy it from Amazon and send it back if you are not blown away, as I was

From my mobile telephony device.
8th April 2014, 09:04 PM |#5  
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If you aren't sure whether you want the E18, why not buy the HE-400s first and see how they sound straight from your Nexus? You can always pick up an E07K or E18 later on. If you have a local shop that carries Fiio, they'll probably let you bring in your Nexus and headphones and do some A/B testing to see if an amp/DAC is worth it.

I'm using an E18 and HE-400s with my old S3, and I'm very very happy with the combo. I haven't tried it with my Nexus 5 though.
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