Monday, December 29, 2014

FiiO X1 Music Player: Upgrade from Sony Walkman?

Do I need to upgrade or do I feel like upgrading just because something new is out? That's not a tough call, what I have now is a Sony Walkman NWZ-E384 that I am pretty content with. The majority of my music fits on there, battery life has been good, and it can be replaced, like for like, for less than CAD$ 100. But it's fun to explore other options?

Filler Photo

This recently happened: I talked about moving up from a Sony Walkman NWZ-E384 to a Sony Walkman A17. Status? Undecided, leaning on negative.

This time it's about the FiiO X1, which piqued my interest. How did I discover it? Let's just say that in searching for the Sony Walkman A17 and E384, websites started showing me other options. This particular model from FiiO looked good, then I found out it wasn't that expensive at only about US$ 110, and I was ever so slightly familiar with the brand due to its line of headphone amplifiers.

FiiO X1: What's got me interested?
Let me first say that at the time of writing, I had zero experience with the product. I had not used, seen, or handled it in person.

So aside from it looking pretty, not putting too big a dent in my wallet, and being a semi-familiar brand, what did the thing have going for it? listing:
FiiO X1

What I took away from the product literature was that it was high quality... Ya. Okay, the main things that caught my eye were that the FiiO X1 apparently used a separate Micro SD card for storage, and it supposedly supported the file formats I commonly used. Expandable storage at a relatively low cost was very attractive, especially because a 16 GB Sony Walkman NWZ-E385 was around CAD$ 110 locally when I checked -- research also showed that I could purchase a 16 GB card for less than CAD$ 20.

Now add in the fact that it was from what I thought was a reputable company, could be had for a reasonable price, and I was very interested. The only detail that bugged me was that it had an advertised battery life of around a dozen hours -- I think the Sony Walkman NWZE384 was advertised as double that value. Not having first-hand experience with it though, I of course have no idea what the actual battery life would be with my own settings and usage habits.

Other interesting tidbits: research while checking out the X1 showed that there were also X3 and X5 models available from FiiO. Prices were higher.

So now then...
I was undecided with the Sony Walkman A17, which was priced over CAD$ 250, and I still am. At CAD $130-ish (after including storage card) for the FiiO X1 though, the decision this time is a bit more interesting. There still hasn't been a decision made, but urges to spontaneously go out and buy it have popped up every now and then. We'll see!

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