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New MP3 player of amp for headphones ?

moodysky

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Hi everyone


The jack input of my Fiio Mark 3 being broken, I've been thinking about buying a new player (Sony NW A105 or Hiby R3 Pro Saber), but after reading different articles (some of them contradictory) I'm now wondering about the usefulness of a headphone amp (this one actually : https://www.son-video.com/article/h...t-reseau-dac-audio-portables/fiio/ka1-tc-noir).

I'm ignorant about all that stuff so I have some questions :


Is it wiser to simply buy a new player OR to use this amp with my Fiio X3, which would solve the jack input problem ?


This second solution would be better budget-wise, though I'm not sure I understand the role of the headphone amp here : the sound I'd get using the Fiio X3 and the amp ; would it be the result of the amp sound treatment only or would I also get the treatment (and the quality) of the Fiio X3 ? Or the Fiio would no longer play a role regarding the audio quality?


And if the headphone amp is the only responsible for quality, why not just buying an amp that you'd plug into anything (smartphone, etc) without worrying about the quality of the player ?

I hope I've been clear in my questions. Thanks a lot for your help guys !
 

twsecrest

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That USB DAC/amp dongle (KA1) is something you would plug into a smartphone, or even a computer.
But not something that you would want to use with a FiiO X3 DAP.
If you were going to daisy chain a headphone amplifier, off a portable audio device, something like the FiiO A5 (headphone amplifier) would be better.
If you use low impedance (Ohm) headphones, then just plug the headphones directly into the FiiO X3's headphone jack.
 
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moodysky

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Thanks for your help twsecrest.

But not something that you would want to use with a FiiO X3 DAP.

Could you please explain me why it wouldn't be a good idea ? I wanna be sure I understand.

If you use low impedance (Ohm) headphones, then just plug the headphones directly into the FiiO X3's headphone jack.

I do use low impedence headphones (ATH M50) but the socket of my Fiio X3 is broken, that's why I've been looking for an alternative solution.
 

AnalogSteph

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Could you please explain me why it wouldn't be a good idea ? I wanna be sure I understand.
For one, I'm not even sure whether the first X3 even supports external DACs via USB OTG. Using the line-out with an external portable headphone amp is the better bet for sure (a decent basic unit is about 40€ around here... unfortunately it seems that a lot of better-quality models have disappeared compared to a few years ago, with e.g. only the relatively expensive NX7 being left in the Topping lineup). Or having the headphone jack repaired, of course - if you have a competent phone / laptop repair shop nearby, you might want to have them take a look at it.
 

twsecrest

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Thanks for your help twsecrest.
Could you please explain me why it wouldn't be a good idea ? I wanna be sure I understand.
I do use low impedence headphones (ATH M50) but the socket of my Fiio X3 is broken, that's why I've been looking for an alternative solution.
Can't see how the KA1 connected to the X3 would have any effect the X3's broken line-input jack.
 
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moodysky

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I'm sorry I haven't been clear : it is not my headphone jack which is damage but the input socket of my Fiio X3.

Ok, so all I've read makes me wonder : wouldn't it be a better option to invest in a DAC/amp that would be plugged into a phone rather than buying a whole new mp3 player ? I guess that I'd get a better sound from a DAC/amp rather than a MP3 player for the same price.
 

twsecrest

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I'm sorry I haven't been clear : it is not my headphone jack which is damage but the input socket of my Fiio X3.

Ok, so all I've read makes me wonder : wouldn't it be a better option to invest in a DAC/amp that would be plugged into a phone rather than buying a whole new mp3 player ? I guess that I'd get a better sound from a DAC/amp rather than a MP3 player for the same price.
The FiiO X3's input jack (3.5mm) would not be connected to an add-on headphone amplifier.
As the add-on headphone amplifier would normally be connected to the line-output jack, on the X3.
What do you normally use the X3's input jack for?
 

ZolaIII

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You didn't say how you listen.
HiBy R3 Pro has very limited BT range and if you can find older not Sabre (CS43131) version go with it. Use it with HiBy link to control it with your smartphone and keep the R3 Pro in the uper pocket which will increase confort and lower the attrition on it. If you would be satisfied with BT LDAC streaming and don't really need a player take a look at Tooping G5 flask alike amplifier with DAC. It really delivers desktop grade performance but doesn't have great autonomy (battery life) and it still costs 300 $/€.
Best regards and have a nice time.
 
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moodysky

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What do you normally use the X3's input jack for?
I'm not sure I understand the question but I used to connect my ATH M50 to the Fiio. I don't use Bluetooth and I've never used the unbalanced output since I don't have headphones for this.
I don't listen to music from streaming platforms, just from FLAC files on a SD card put into the Fiio.

HiBy R3 Pro has very limited BT range and if you can find older not Sabre (CS43131) version go with it. Use it with HiBy link to control it with your smartphone and keep the R3 Pro in the uper pocket which will increase confort and lower the attrition on it. If you would be satisfied with BT LDAC streaming and don't really need a player take a look at Tooping G5 flask alike amplifier with DAC. It really delivers desktop grade performance but doesn't have great autonomy (battery life) and it still costs 300 $/€.

Thanks for the tip ;)
 

twsecrest

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I'm not sure I understand the question but I used to connect my ATH M50 to the Fiio. I don't use Bluetooth and I've never used the unbalanced output since I don't have headphones for this.
I don't listen to music from streaming platforms, just from FLAC files on a SD card put into the Fiio.



Thanks for the tip ;)
You normally plug headphones into the headphone jack.
But have you been plugging the headphones into the line-input jack, which would give the headphones no sound.
 
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