• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Measurement and Review of FX-Audio DAC-X6 DAC (compared to Topping D30 and Fiio E10K)

Aibo

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
31
Likes
36
#81
I just got X6 this morning, listened to it and was actually surprised with how good it sounds. So I came here searching for measurements and realized they're one of the worst I recently saw... But it actually sounds very close to D30, maybe not as good but damn close. And this treble roll-off doesn't bother me because I can still hear all of the tiny atmospheric details, just not as pronounced as with some Toppings. I can still hear up to 18.5 KHz and I hate sharp noisy highs much more than rolled off highs.

I'm going to give it another spin in the evening, that's when I'm at my best mood for listening. But initial impression is really good.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
124
Likes
179
Location
New Jersey
#82
I used one of these at my previous office for years. It hit a sweet spot of price/performance for that environment. Enough ambient sound that better performance would be irrelevant, and cheap enough that I don't think twice about leaving it there unattended.
 

bravomail

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
304
Likes
113
#83
As pure DAC it is good, its linear out has linear freq response (when u feed it 96Khz resampled, 44 and 48 are rolled off). Its headphone amp rolls off no matter what. And USB input is glitchy. And u need better power supply.

I just got X6 this morning, listened to it and was actually surprised with how good it sounds. So I came here searching for measurements and realized they're one of the worst I recently saw... But it actually sounds very close to D30, maybe not as good but damn close. And this treble roll-off doesn't bother me because I can still hear all of the tiny atmospheric details, just not as pronounced as with some Toppings. I can still hear up to 18.5 KHz and I hate sharp noisy highs much more than rolled off highs.

I'm going to give it another spin in the evening, that's when I'm at my best mood for listening. But initial impression is really good.
 

Grantman

New Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
4
Likes
21
Location
New Zealand
#84
Fyi, I've switched from the Dac-X6. I found my laptop onboard actually had better mid's and high's. For the price yes it is quite incredible as you get an excellent case and plenty of juice to power HD6XX, but the clarity just wasn't there.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s-atom-headphone-amp.5262/page-18#post-124862

I tried another power brick from an old wifi router, and noticed no difference. I was just using USB however as I wanted to bypass my onboard laptop dac. As just a dac it might be better?
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
235
Likes
85
#85
How much linearity do we need until it becomes inaudible?
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
42
Likes
14
#86
My measurements of RCA output and coaxial input.
Not so bad as headphones output:D

Frequency response
fr.png


Noise level
noise.png
 
Last edited:

Beyor

New Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
#87
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
42
Likes
14
#88
Beyor
Why do you need this device? USB is bad here, coaxial/optical input not so bad. If you want cheap DAC - try SMSL M3. Much better implementation. M3 may have a flat frequency response after some upgrade with solder iron.
 

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
825
#89
Hi,

I have a DAC X7 (the model just after the X6) at home and measured it. There's a +30° phase shift between 1 kHz and 10 kHz.
The impulse response is also strange. Here is the graph for the X7 and also the Topping D10 impulse for a comparison. Doesn't it look like a minimal phase impulse VS a linear phase impulse? (measurements made via a Scarlett 2i4 2nd Gen and REW).
More important: it does not sound good to my ears. Harsh and messy with voices (even level and FR-matched).
I'd be very curious to have your review of it, Amirm.

Be careful: I've read somewhere that there could be different versions of the DAC X7, as it could be the case for the X6.
 

Attachments

Beyor

New Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
#90
Why do you need this device? USB is bad here, coaxial/optical input not so bad. If you want cheap DAC - try SMSL M3. Much better implementation. M3 may have a flat frequency response after some upgrade with solder iron.
I have red many reviews and I believe it is quite good for such a low price - especially using with more powerful and better power supply. SMSL M3 is powered via USB, in my opinion it can not work properly, especially with headphones harder to handle.

On Amazon for around 10 you can buy 12V 6A (or 3A. still better than supplied 12V 1A). I did buy a new stronger power supply and it helped with both headphone and linear output quality (subjectively).
Indeed, many users claims that better and stronger power supply changes everything in this DAC/amp. There are different opinions about the type of power supply. Some claims that AC (12-15V, up to 3A) is even better than DC. I am wondering if it indeed could be AC (even though there is a DC symbol next to the socket), because I have high quality AC 12V 3A.
 
Last edited:

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
825
#91
I have red many reviews and I believe it is quite good for such a low price - especially using with more powerful and better power supply. SMSL M3 is powered via USB, in my opinion it can not work properly, especially with headphones harder to handle.
There are many devices powered by USB and which can handle plenty of headphones. Apogee Duet for example. It would make AKG K701 blow at half volume.
 

Beyor

New Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
#92
Yes, but everything depends on you hardware, USB power tends to be unstable.
For now I would like to know if FX-Audio Dac is AC/DC or only DC.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
16
Likes
13
Location
L.A. area california
#93
I Have a similar dac called the Dilvpoetry Portry dac x6. Looks like the same design but the changed the dac to the AK4452 and JRC5532 for it's op Amp. For the Headphone amp in the front it also the N5532 and TPA6120. At first I thought it sounded awful and tinny compared to my b350 asus strix motherboard while using the HD58x. I decided to use RCA line outs on the back of the dac x6 since I couldn't find a 1/4 adapter for my headphones. I used a Rca to Female 3.5mm cable and boy what a difference. It sounded much cleaner and improved while trying it out on my playstation 4. Headphones sounded just as good if not better than my mobo. Seems like they just didn't do a good job of implementing the headphone amp.
 

Lyve

New Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
1
Likes
2
#94
Hi,

thanks for the very detailed review @amirm, although that drop in high frequencies at 5khz concerned me, I still bought this one instead of the Fiio to drive my DT 880 headphones as I've read positive reviews everywhere and it has more output power. What wondered me the most is that you said that it sounds great, although the analysis says something quite different.

When I got it, I was impressed by the sound. Thats why I made an own analysis to confirm or deny what you found out. My hypothesis was that there is some postfiltering after the DAC stage going on depending on the sample rate at which the device is used.

My capabilities are by far much more limited, what I did is:

- I generated several wav files with white noise ranging from 32khz up to 96khz.
- I plugged the headphone jack into my cheap onboard sound card. I know that this is not the best option to test something, but the only thing that interested me is the difference at different sample rates and that should be clearly visible even though the recording device is very cheap
- I then set the DAC X6 to a specific sample rate and played back my white noise files matching that sample rate and recorded the result at 192khz

What can I say, even at 32khz the drop off in high frequencies is not as high as I expected and the drop is moved upwards when a higher sample rate is used, as I expected.

Some FFT prints following:

32k
1563644254153.png


44k1
1563644297897.png


48k
1563644329547.png


88k2
1563644354141.png


96k
1563644381384.png


Not exactly knowing why, but I used it in Windows and I can't set it to a sample rate higher than 96k, but to be honest I expect the picture to be identical at even higher sample rates. A drop off starting at about 3/4 of the usable frequency spectrum.

If anyone wants to review my files, I uploaded the recordings at https://nilsschneider.de/temp/whitenoise_test_dac_x6.zip

My resume: Great device, safe to buy and very decent sound!
 
Last edited:

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
825
#95
Hi,

thanks for the very detailed review @amirm, although that drop in high frequencies at 5khz concerned me, I still bought this one instead of the Fiio to drive my DT 880 headphones as I've read positive reviews everywhere and it has more output power. What wondered me the most is that you said that it sounds great, although the analysis says something quite different.

When I got it, I was impressed by the sound. Thats why I made an own analysis to confirm or deny what you found out. My hypothesis was that there is some postfiltering after the DAC stage going on depending on the sample rate at which the device is used.

My capabilities are by far much more limited, what I did is:

- I generated several wav files with white noise ranging from 32khz up to 96khz.
- I plugged the headphone jack into my cheap onboard sound card. I know that this is not the best option to test something, but the only thing that interested me is the difference at different sample rates and that should be clearly visible even though the recording device is very cheap
- I then set the DAC X6 to a specific sample rate and played back my white noise files matching that sample rate and recorded the result at 192khz

What can I say, even at 32khz the drop off in high frequencies is not as high as I expected and the drop is moved upwards when a higher sample rate is used, as I expected.

Some FFT prints following:

32k
View attachment 29731

44k1
View attachment 29732

48k
View attachment 29733

88k2
View attachment 29734

96k
View attachment 29735

Not exactly knowing why, but I used it in Windows and I can't set it to a sample rate higher than 96k, but to be honest I expect the picture to be identical at even higher sample rates. A drop off starting at about 3/4 of the usable frequency spectrum.

If anyone wants to review my files, I uploaded the recordings at https://nilsschneider.de/temp/whitenoise_test_dac_x6.zip

My resume: Great device, safe to buy and very decent sound!
Very interesting.
I wonder:
- why they did something like that
- if it's the same for X7.
 

FireLion

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
115
Likes
22
#96
Hello! Do you know if there are several versions of FX-Audio DAC-X6? I am going to buy one, but I have noticed some differences in internal construction. Take a look (bottom right corner):
1. https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1Gm9VXjDuK1Rjy1zjq6zraFXah.jpg
2. https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1q7bRnHYI8KJjy0Faq6zAiVXaq.jpg

Do you know which one is newest and better version? I have found version from picture 2 10$ cheaper than 1 in Aliexpress but it does not have to mean that 1 is better and newer.
I believe the PCB with the white daughter board is a later revision on the FX-AUDIO DAC-X6. Not sure what the difference is but to me it sounded good. I had actually bought one recently to test. My first one did not have the daughter board and sounded similar.

There also a Dilvpoetry one like the original. There are some difference. Dilvpoetry also made this revamped version.

The original can be made a little better with putting the jumpers in high gain and swapping the opamp. I think the Dilvpoetry one has no jumpers and might be in high gain by default.

It will get a T50RP reasonably loud in high gain mode, for $55-60 that is doing good. The original was my first DAC and for the money it's a good little unit. The DAC-X7 sounds superior but not as loud, they missed the ball with that one.

I have also being looking at the DAC-SQ5 which is a burr brown based DAC like the D30 and has 3 opamps.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom