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FiiO E6 Portable Headphone Amplifier Review

The Portable Amplifier for Everyone

What the everyday music lover should have

Portable amplifiers are usually considered niche products. Not everyone buys them because they’re usually expensive and people don’t understand what’s the use of getting one. Enter the FiiO E6 portable headphone amplifier. This is truly the portable amp that music lovers should have with them. It enhances the sound quality either by giving more power to the source (your smartphone or iPod) or your earphones/headphones. This is important because usually music players like smartphones and iPods don’t have enough power to drive your headphones/earphones. This results to poorer audio because the sound is compressed at higher volume levels. Add to that the affordable price (Php1,400) and sleek design you have a winning product.

Build

The FiiO E6 closely resembles the Apple iPod Shuffle. It’s a tiny box with several control buttons at the sides and it also comes with plastic (but very sturdy) clips that you can attach to the back so that you can just clip it to your pants when you’re moving around. There are two audio jacks labelled IN and OUT. The IN is where you use the cable (comes with the package) to connect to your music player. The OUT is where you slot in your headphone/earphone cable.

There's the clip!

At the one of the sides you’ll find the ON/OFF button which also serves as the EQ setting changer. The FiiO E6 has four modes: flat, EQ1, EQ2, and LO 2V. They have different sound signatures which gives your audio tracks more personality and flavor. The flat setting EQ1 and EQ2 are primarily bass boosters while the flat mode is more balanced. The LO 2V though is still a complete puzzle to me so we’ll skip that for now. You’ll know which mode is on via the LED light in the unit. No light means flat, red is EQ1, blue is EQ2, and purple is LO 2V.

LED

The volume control is located on the other side of the amp.

Sound Enhancement

So... does it make a difference?

The FiiO E6 is pretty much a very balanced amplifier. It does what it sets out to do without changing your music too much (unless you hit the bass boosters). The amp lets your favorite songs truly shine because it doesn’t get as compressed anymore when you increase the volume. You’ll also notice how richer and more detailed the instruments get especially if you’re using decent headphones (not the annoying white stock earbuds from iPods… those really suck).

Verdict

The FiiO E6 is one of the best products FiiO has ever shipped because it can potentially increase the market of portable amps. It’s not just for audiophiles and hardcore musicians. This is literally for everyone.

If you’re having doubts about this review we invite you to try out the amp for yourselves. Go to any of the FiiO distributors and ask if you can demo one of the amps. Check out Listening Room in SM Megamall, I know they have units on display there for trial. You’ll immediately hear the difference. Again I suggest you invest in decent headphones/earphones before you get this amp. Don’t expect the Apple iPod/iPhone white earphones to drastically improve because like what we said above those have crappy sound quality.

Unbox highly recommends the FiiO E6. :)

Hooked already? Want something better?

If you have extra budget you might want to skip the E6 and go for the FiiO E11. It’s definitely a class higher in terms of sound quality. It sells for around Php2,400-Php2,500 if I remember correctly. It’s not as portable though as the FiiO E6.

FiiO E11 and E6 side by side

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About Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

One comment

  1. hmmmm…. a very decent amp, perfect for my Iphone and nano 6 i think this best suits for skull candy!

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