Review of Fiio X1 High Resolution Lossless Music Player

The Fiio X1 High Resolution Lossless Music Player provides an option for those demanding more fidelity from their portable players than say a traditional iPod or their cellphone. The supported formats are APE, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, WMA and Ogg Vorbis although MP3 is there too in the event you haven't got round to ripping all your CDs to lossless or don't have the media any more to do that anyway.

The player itself is a little underwhelming. It measures a mere 5.7 x 1.4 x 9.7 cm and weighs a puny 104g. Out of the box it is useless - it needs a MicroSDHC card to store your music collection and that must be sourced separately. The device can handle a card up to 128GB so that is what I decided upon. In addition you will need a decent pair of headphones or ear buds - none are included.

Bill of Materials

Device Fiio X1 High Resolution Lossless Music Player Amazon.co.uk £99.00
Sim Card Samsung Memory 128GB Grade 1 Class 10 EVO MicroSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter Amazon.co.uk £50.41
  TOTAL   £149.41

Getting started - Contents

Fiio ContentsThe device itself comes wrapped in a rubber case that is flexible and easy to slide off through the space over the screen. Apart from that there is precious little else - a USB cable, some stickers for customising the player if you are so motivated(!) and some fairly atrocious instructions although that being said it isn't difficult to get the device working.

Firstly ensure that the rubber case is removed and then insert the MicroSD card in the slot - it will only go in one way. Then plug the USB cable into the device and the other end into your computer. In my case I was using my MacBook Pro laptop. This will charge the device and five hours is recommended. I needed to format my MicroSD card so navigated using the rather clunky spin wheel to settings and then format.




Copying Music Files onto Device

Fiio File CopyCopying files is simplicity since your computer will recognise the drive so I used Finder on OS X Yosemite and dragged my FLAC files from my Freenas drive to the X1 drive. Obviously this presupposes you have ripped your CD collection to your favourite lossless format.

There is no synchronisation facility with the dragging and dropping of files onto the device; therefore when you add more music to your collection you will have to hand select the new folders / directories to drag into the X1. iTunes / iPod has an advantage over the X1 here.




Size Considerations

SizeAs mentioned the capacity of the device is a 128GB MicroSD card (sold separately). I have only ripped a small subset of my collection to FLAC - approximately 50 CDs which ate up 20GB. On that basis I'm only going to get about 300 CDs on the card. I could buy further cards and swap them as necessary but that would be unwieldy and utterly impractical since I wouldn't know which albums were on which card easily. Therefore I am going to have to cherry pick my collection and only move my favourite albums to the device which is a great shame.



Pros and Cons

ProsConsThus far my thoughts are:
Cons

  • No synchronisation to update the music library from connected computer
  • No output method apart from headphone socket
  • Clunky interface
  • Poor documentation
  • May be limited by the 128GB dependent upon size of music collection

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Great quality music
  • Lightweight and small in comparison to the iPod Classic
  • Great support for lossless compression