From Headphone Bar: This is the Swiss army knife of digital audio. It is a quality portable amp with a line in, for ipods, it accepts a usb in from a computer & a coaxial or optical input from any number of gear. It features a quality Wolfson dac (WM 8740 dac chip, if you are into knowing that kind of thing), decodes 24 bit audio at up to 192k sampling rate, has adjustable bass, treble and balance - and the line out , to go to speakers, is switchable, to a preout (volume can be adjusted in the E17) or line out (signal at full strength). Plus, if you want to upgrade it, you can dock it into the Fiio E9 desktop amp, which has the authority & power to run any 300-600 ohm headphones with ease.
We can't think of anything else like this, in such a compact size at near this price. If you are looking for a computer audio upgrade, an upgrade to an airport express (with headphone out too) or a flexible portable amp (great bass & treble controls), this will be a great unit to have. It has been surprisingly potent with a variety of headphones and with the ability to choose from 3 gain settings along with the 60 step volume control it works well with an extremely wide variety of cans and in-earphones. The bass and treble controls prove to be very handy too, especially since they don't bleed into the mids (like every ipod EQ) so you can add a touch of extra bass when you want to, for instance, and it doesn't muddy up the sound like most bass controls.
For high impedence headphones, like 250 Beyer's & 300 ohm Senn's, the E17 performs gives them a much needed dose of power and control, but some people prefer to add the Fiio E9 desktop amp. These can be found in the bundles section together. For 600 ohm Beyer's, the E17/E9 combo is highly recommended.
If you have, or are building, a digital music collection, this little Alpen provides a level of audio quality way beyond its size and price. Reviews are stacking up:
Headfonia.com.They really like it!
Also recently written up at cnet.com .
Sound & Vision likes it too: The E17 does so much, and offers so much connectivity, at such an affordable price, it's something of a no-brainier if you have a need for a portable DAC/headphone amp that'll decode high-rez files
Trusted Reviews: 'Powerful, portable and with an unmistakeably positive effect on the sound of slightly harder-to-drive headphones and the poor-quality output of some computers, the Fiio E17's worth is indisputable'
**Headphone Bar tip: If you'd like to have a line out to go to speakers or a stereo, add the L7 adaptor. For ipod use, add the L1, L3 or L9 line out cable & for ipad use, use an L10 or L30 longer dock cables.
Includes: E17, carry bag, 3.5mm cable, adaptors for coaxial and optical input, usb cable, 2x silicone bands
Posted by Mardi on 1st May 2012
I discovered his web site by accident while shopping online at a Montreal based headphone outlet. The HeadphoneBar prices are way more competitive and value priced and the service is top notched.
Okay back to the Fiio E17. I've had this wonderful all-purpose unit for two weeks and I am pairing it with my AKG K550s (also purchased at the Headphone Bar). To emphasize the E17's versatility, the E17 has been used to 1)upgrade the sound through my wireless Sennheiser RS160 direct from a Samsung 50"Plasma 2) used as a USB output from a desktop computer bypassing the analog soundcard, again the E17's DAC works well here -connected to the AKG K550s 3) used the E17's optical input adapter from the back of my Samsung Blueray DVD player to listen to CDs and watch Blueray movies bypassing a Denon HT amp 4)connect the E17 to a 20 yr old Panasonic portable CD player - remember those? - and the sound blew me away 5)and of course used the Ipod L9 cable to connect the my wife's Ipod.
Needless to say I am still looking for more uses for this incredible device. It is made from high quality materials and the form factor is just right for portability. The E17 has adjustable L to R balance control (a plus) and the OLED display is nice (do wish the display screen could be larger).
Just like the previous reviewer said " don't have one - get one!
p.s. warning to Travis: I will be hanging out at your store at least once a week playing with your toys :)
Posted by Alex on 10th Apr 2012
I wanted the E17 about two months ago but they were sold out every where I looked. When headphone bar had the preorder I jumped on it. After the long wait I received the E17 promptly (great service, as compared to some American sites).
While I was waiting for the E17 I had purchased the E10 (computer DAC and headphone amp) and a CmoyBB from JDSlabs (portable headphone amp). If you combine the E10 and the CmoyBB, the E17 would still be better.
The best thing about the E17 is that it is the swiss army knife of headphone accessories. You can adjust the treble or the bass +-5 points and plug in almost anything that spits out music.
My Shure 840's are a bit dark for me so upping the treble and a little bass gives a good balance. My Denon AH-D2000's are a bit too bright, so turning the treble down made them perfect. Turning the Bass up on my Audio-Technica PRO700MK2 made me cry with happiness.
However, these are low impedance headphones (40,25,32 Ohms respectively). My Hifiman HE-500's (planar magnetic) get more juice from the E10 than the E17. But then again the E17 is really ment for portable devices.
No bigger than my Ipod classic (with the same battery life), on-board screen, volume controls and treble & Bass control, makes the E17 the best spouse for your Ipod and headphones.
Posted by Jake on 5th Apr 2012
Received my E17 the other day (great service Headphone Bar) and was impressed from holding the box right through to enjoying the sound this very high value device produces. And the Music Bomb T-Shirt was a bonus :-) Very high quality packaging leads one to some anticipation as the box is opened and the various deliverables are taken out of the box. All well packed. The nice velvet top snap bag for the E17 is a bonus.
1) plugged in my Sansa Clip to the aux in and used each of Sony EX70 ear buds (old but excellent); Senn HD535 and ER4P, then did the same with one of my Creative JB3s' and finally my Zune 120. The Senn's loaded the amp but the volume was more than sufficient to drive these. Each of the headphones has their own nuances but all were driven extremely well by the amplfier. I have an aging Xin SuperMini IV headphone amp that matches perfectly to the Etymotics and I would say that the E17 is close in quality.
2) I plugged in the USB side to a laptop and and connected to my home system (Energy speakers, Yamaha amp - pretty awesome sound!). This system has a Cambridge DacMagic with optical input from an older but pretty high quality Toshiba DVD player - it really sets a high bar for the final sonics produced. Without a lot of time and critical listening, the E17 as a DAC did an excellent job, I would say a warmer sound than the Cambridge and maybe lacking a bit of the finer detail but really good none the less.
3) As a DAC I then listened to each of the three headphones and pretty much duplicated what I had heard in the 3 mp3 players (all mp3 tracks are high VBR quality, some tracks are in FLAC which the Clip can handle).
Pretty impressive bit of gear that is dual purpose. I would strongly recommend this to anyone looking for a very high value, compact, quality headphone amp and DAC.
The build quality is also such that this thing really feels solid so I have no doubt it will stand up to being part of my travel kit.
Posted by Matt on 3rd Feb 2012
I just got this with an e9, and I've been playing around with it for hours.
Bassboost is clean and treble +/- 10 is a godsend.
Works great via usb as my desktop's DAC, even took an optical 192K/24bit input (while docked with e9).
Gain between the e9's toggle and using the e17 as a preamp can drive every pair of headphones I own perfectly. The e17's +/- 10 bass and treble settings carry over to the e9, which is great.
Overall the e17 sounds amazing, very happy with it so far.