Remember the FiiO E5 that we featured a few weeks ago? We were able to get it’s older brother – the FiiO E11 Portable Amplifier. If you like listening to music a lot then we strongly recommend that you save up for a portable amp like the FiiO E11 because it will completely change the way you hear your favorite artists on your iPhone or iPod. How do portable amps do this? Well basically you’re not getting the best sound from your headphones and iPod/iPhone because the sound gets compressed as you increase the volume. The source (iPod/iPhone/iPad) doesn’t have enough power to maximize the drivers of the headphones. Amplifiers will do the work of the amp circuitry of your player which results in much clear, powerful, and defined sound.
How do you connect it? There are two ways. Either the standard jack that you connect via audio input or through the Apple iPod dock connector. The sound is more whole if you use the Apple iPod dock connector. After you plug the amp to your music player you connect your headphones to the amp.
So what makes the FiiO E11 special? I’ve been using it for 2-3 days now and I can honestly say that this blows the FiiO E5 out of the water in terms of features and ergonomics. It’s just Php1,500 more expensive but it’s worth it! This is probably one of the best investments I’ve ever made in terms of my audio gear. The sound is much more whole, complete and you feel as if the music is enveloping you.
The FiiO E11 has controls for Gain which helps a lot in IEMs and hard to drive cans. The EQ is for bass. I always keep it to 1. 2 is a bit of an overkill (personal preference). Bass heads though would probably always keep this at 2.
The volume control is also much simpler to use. Unlike the hard-to-press buttons of the FiiO E5, the FiiO E11 has a knob.
The FiiO E11 can be charged via USB cable. It retails for Php2,700. I got mine from Sights & Sounds, 4th flr, Shangri La Mall. You can call them at 6341789 / 6341790 to reserve a unit. I think they have less than 3-4 left.
PS: battery runs for around 15-20 hours. Another cool thing about the FiiO E11 though is that you can change the battery. It’s your usual Nokia batt so it’s easy to find in Greenhills.
FYI: If you want a more “Audiophile” review, please check out Headfonics.