Most of the world now uses their smartphones to store and play their music. But does that mean the music player, the sort that became a rage after the first iPods were launched by Apple, are dead. Well, maybe not. For a lot of audiophiles still prefer to listen to their music from a device that offers better quality than most smartphones which tend to compress files.
The Fiio X3 2nd Gen music player is almost the size of the classic iPod. However, it is a bit heavier and bulkier. It has a dial in the front under the LED screen to select songs and other features. The dial is flanked by buttons on the top and bottom which you can use to navigate the user interface. There are power and volume buttons on the left. The dial is not clickable, nor is it touch sensitive, so you have to press and turn it to skip songs. Also to move modes you need to use the left, right buttons. Select is the button in the middle of the dial. All a bit old world.
The best thing about the Fiio X3 is the audio quality and that is top notch, and that is what matters in the end. It gives you a depth and richness unheard of on smartphones. And that makes a big difference for a lot of people who take their music very seriously and don’t want to compromise in anyway. Everything from Coldplay to Karunesh sound so good on this music player. This is the way music should be enjoyed.
The Fiio X3 player plays all types of music formats with effortless ease. For those who listen only to FLAC and other loss-less formats, nothing could be better. The playback settings offers so many options that you can soon figure out the best mix for you. The equaliser is also very effective and you can customise things to suit your listening style.
However, the user interface on the device is a bit old world. It is not bad enough to keep you away from your music, but it is not hot knife on butter either. For instance, once the screen has timed out, you need to wake it up using the power button to switch songs or to even adjust the volume or pause and that is pretty lame.
Having used an iPod Nano for many years, I was running my fingers on the dial to skip songs. But then the X3 needs a bit of pressure as well to get things going and it takes some time to get used to this. The battery life is very good and lasts well over 10 hours of continuous play. One recommendation is to keep the maximum volume in settings well under a 100 unless you want to blow off your eardrums.
This is a great option for audiophiles, given that there are not many options out there. That tribe will enjoy every note that comes out of this small hand-held music player. That average music enthusiast does not have to look this way and can enjoy what comes out of his smartphone.
** Estimated street price: Rs 14,990