So I have had an mp3 player (i played other types, two as well, but mp3 player is the generic term I’m using. So there.) at work. “Why?”, you ask, “does anyone need an mp3 player anymore?” Well, because the work I do means nothing can have wireless connectivity, a microphone, or a camera on it to be allowed in. I had an el cheapo player that just this week went tango uniform on me. So on Prime day I went looking. I managed to find an FiiO X1 for a tic over $70 shipped. These HiFi music players are a niche market these days, but if you know what I just said then you’re in the right post.

Anyway, as I read up waiting for the X1 to arrive, I learned more about the X3ii and the X5, both of which can be had for ~$150. There is also an X5ii (ii denotes second generation) for ~$260. Well, the X3ii and the X5 can be used for more than just listening to music. Actually, all of them can, because the output can be switched between an amplified headphone line, or simple line out (less distortion) for driving an amp, and they play lossless audio like a boss. The X3ii and X5 can also be plugged in via USB to a computer and used as a high end soundcard, which appeals to me.

So I was very much considering returning the X1 and moving over to the X3ii or the X5, both of those having much higher end DAC’s and amps, thus providing much better soundstage. The biggest reasons are the USB DAC and that the X5 has dual msd card slots, but anyone here have experience with such things that can weigh in on it?