It's a Headphones Thing

A Headphones Reviews Blog

REVIEW: FiiO E6 Portable Amplifier

Prior to the review, I would like to thank Sunny for the review sample.

FiiO is a Chinese audio company, founded in 2007, which mainly manufacturers portable headphones amplifiers. Since its foundation, FiiO had managed to get into the international market, and now, their products are sold even at Amazon. Today, I’ll review their E6, which is their ultra mini portable amplifier flagship.

Before we move onto the review itself, here are the technical specifications of the FiiO E6:

  • · Output power: 150mW into 16 Ohm, 16mW into 300 Ohm
  • · Frequency response: 10Hz – 100kHz
  • · SNR: >95dBA
  • · THD: <0.0009% (10mW)
  • · Power Supply: Li-ion Built-In Battery
  • · Dimensions: 41×40.2x9mm
  • · Weight: 16g

Packaging: The FiiO E6 comes in a small, partly-transparent plastic box; The E6 can be seen through the packaging’s front and rear sides. Inside of the package, in a small cardboard box, all of the included accessories and the manual can be found.

All of the supplied accessories

Accessories: The E6 comes with a pair of transparent plastic back clips, to be clipped to the E6s back if the user chooses to. It also comes with two 3.5mm male to male cables, in different lengths and jack types; one of them is 10cm long and it has an L-shaped plug. The other one 80cm long and it has a straight plug. Also a charging USB-cable is included. All of the included accessories seem to be of good quality.

Building Quality and Design: The E6 is made fully of glossy plastic. Some would prefer using of metal, but to keep it light and more portable, using of plastic is profitable even though the durability can get a bit sacrificed. The E6 is very light, only 16 grams, which makes it feel and look a bit like a toy, though, the building quality isn’t a building quality of a toy: It feels quite solid and strong, and all of the parts of it are well placed in their sockets, not feeling like a cheap toy at all. The volume and EQ switches feel very solid and strong, tightly placed, so does the housing. The E6 is tiny; its size is smaller than a match box. When there’s a cellular phone in its surrounding, there are no electromagnetic interfering noises at all. For its price, the building quality is very good. The rating is 7.5/10.

Battery: Inside the E6 there’s a Lithium Li-ion built in battery, which is supposed to give the tiny amplifier around 10 hours of working time. I didn’t check if it’s true, but it did survive easily the 4-6 hours that I’ve tested the E6 in. The charging time of an empty battery is around 2 hours. For such a tiny amplifier, the battery time that the E6 provides is quite decent. The rating is 7/10.

EQ 2

EQ: The E6 has three EQ presets; the first one, EQ 1, which is accompanied with red Led light, is quite muddy and lacks clarity and clearness. It’s supposed to boost the bass, but it isn’t the preset that I would use, it boosts the bass, but it’s downgrading the whole sound quality. The second preset, EQ 2, which is accompanied with blue Led light is a bit better than EQ 1; It’s less muddy, has better clearness and it provides better clarity too. Also, it made the sound more lush, rich and full. The third option, which is accompanied with purple Led light is supposed to be used with more powerful outputs; I haven’t noticed any changes in the sound through my iPod, though, the volume was increased a bit. The EQ features are nice, but I prefer to use the flat EQ. The rating is 7/10.

Sound Quality, Hiss and Gain: I’ve used the E6 with two IEMs (the TDK BA200 and the VSonic GR07) and one headphone (Audio Technica A700). The hiss level on the tested headphone and IEMs was only minor. 

Update: Later, when tested with ACS’ T15 IEMs, I did get a bit of hiss.

With all of the tested IEMs/Headphones, the gain addition was very noticeable in ratio to my iPod Touch 4th Generation direct power output.

The most noticeable sound quality change that the E6 provides with the flat EQ is in the treble: It gets crispier, it extends better and it’s a bit more detailed too. Accuracy is better too, but not in a very noticeable level.

In Conclusion, the Fiio E6 is a great entry lever portable amplifier. It offers a great sound, building quality and even some EQ presets for its very low price. Unlike most of the Hi-Fi gear, the tiny E6 won’t hurt your wallet, it’s sold for around 20$-30$, so if you need a portable amplifier, don’t be afraid, the E6 will only help, and it won’t hurt you too much. The overall score is 9/10. The FiiO E6 offers great value in its tiny price.

The FiiO E6 can be bought for around 20$-30$ through FiiO’s authorized dealers. A list of all of them can be found in FiiO’s site.

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