FiiO X3 Mark III Review – Is the third time a charm?

FiiO x3 Mark III Review 3

FiiO recently sent us their newest generation of music player, the FiiO X3 Mark III. The Mark II was a favorite among our readers and I’m curious to see how the Mark III compares. Are there any new noteworthy functions, or remarkable characteristics? Today, I’ll find out with this FiiO X3 Mark III Review.

FiiO X3 Mark III Review – Is the third time a charm?

Specifications

3.5mm headphone output jackAnalog Audio Output Jack(PO/LO/COAX Out)3.5mm headphone output jack3.5mm headphone output jackBalanced OutputSupported (2.5mm balanced headphone jack)

General Specifications

Model/Number X3 Mark III/ FX3321 Color Available Red/Black
Dimensions 114mm×59 mm×12.8 mm Weight 126 g
Headphone Impedance Range 16~150 Ω Volume control type 120 steps digital potentiometer
Display Screen TFT 320×240 Equalizer 10-band equalizer (±6dB)
Treble N/A Bass Boost N/A
Balance 5 dB Gain Selection High/Low
Headphone out (PO/LO/COAX Out)
Digital Coaxial Out (PO/LO/COAX Out)
USB DAC Up to 192kHz/24bit supported  Bluetooth  Bluetooth V4.1
Chips used SoC: JZ4760B,   DAC: PCM5242 *2,    LPF: OPA2140,    OP:  OPA1622

Partial Performance Parameters for Line Output

THD+N ≤ 0.002% (1 kHz) SNR ≥113 dB  (A-weighted)
Frequency Response 5 Hz~70 kHz (-3dB) Dynamic range ≥107 dB
Crosstalk ≥ 103 dB (10 KΩ/1 kHz) Line output Level 1.9 Vrms (10 KΩ/1 kHz)

Partial Performance Parameters for Headphone Output

Output Power 1 > 120 mW (16 Ω/THD+N<1%) Output Impedance <1.4Ω(32Ω loaded)
Output Power 2 ≥ 160 mW (32 Ω/THD+N<1%) Crosstalk ≥69 dB (1 kHz)
Output Power 3 ≥ 15 mW (300 Ω/THD+N<1%) THD+N ≤ 0.002% (1 kHz)
Frequency Response 5 Hz~70 kHz (-3dB) MAX output voltage >6.5 Vp-p
SNR ≥112 dB (A-weighted) MAX output current >145 mA(For reference)

Balanced headphone out specifications (2.5mm TRRS headphone out jack)

Output Power 1 > 110 mW (16 Ω/THD+N<1%) Output Impedance <1.2Ω(32Ω loaded)
Output Power 2 ≥ 190 mW (32 Ω/THD+N<1%) Crosstalk ≥97 dB (1 kHz)
Output Power 3 ≥ 20 mW (300 Ω/THD+N<1%) THD+N ≤ 0.003% (1 kHz)
Frequency Response 5 Hz~70 kHz (-3dB) MAX output voltage >7.1 Vp-p
SNR ≥112 dB (A-weighted) MAX output current >145 mA(For reference)

Power and Battery

Power Recommend DC5V 2A Battery Capacity 2350 mAh
Charge Display Red light indicates , green light turns on after fully charged Battery Display Yes
Charging Time <3 h (DC5V 2A)

Battery Life Test Conditions

3.5mm headphone output:≥10 h
Screen OFF Load M3 open earbuds (27 Ω)
Volume 61 EQ OFF
Test File MP3 44.1kHz/16bit (Download link)
2.5mm TRRS balanced headphone output:≥10 h
Screen OFF Load  32 Ω
Volume 59 EQ OFF
Test File MP3 44.1kHz/16bit (Download link)

Audio Format Supported

Lossless:

DSD:DSD64(.iso, .dsf和.dff)
APE(Fast): 192 kHz/24 bit;
APE(Normal): 96 kHz/24 bit;
APE (High): 96 kHz/24 bit;
FLAC: 192 kHz/24 bit;
WAV: 192 kHz/32 bit;
Aiff:192 kHz/32 bit;
Aif:192 kHz/24 bit;
WMA Lossless: 48 kHz/24 bit (to be supported by future update);
Apple Lossless: 192 kHz/24 bit;

 

Lossy compression:

MP3、AAC、WMA、OGG….

 

In the Box

-X3 Player

-Quick guide

-Clear plastic case

-Leatherette case

-Coax cable

-Micro USB cable for data and charging

-Screen protectors x2

Design

The design of the FiiO X3 Mark III feels more modern overall than the Mark II. Its scrolling wheel is digital rather than mechanical and reacts quite quickly as your thumb moves around it. The player fits super comfortably in my hand. Its dimensions are a bit bigger than the Mark II but it is thinner. As a result, the FiiO X3 Mark III is lighter overall.

Navigating through the menus is intuitive for me. There are a few functions, which I’ll get to later in the review, which are less innate, but for the most part it was easy to find what I was looking for. Compared to the Mark II, the screen is much easier to see. The colors are more vibrant and it is much brighter. I could see it becoming difficult to read in bright sunshine because it is reflective, but that is the case for most devices anyway. This screen is a big step up from the Mark II.

FiiO x3 Mark III Review 2

Features

First, one big difference between the Mark II and the Fiio X3 Mark III is that it connects wirelessly to headphones and/or speakers via Bluetooth 4.1. It has two-way Bluetooth capability, so you can pair it to two devices and switch between them. Pretty cool!

This is a hi-res audio player, so it is no surprise that it is able to play 192kHz/32 bit audio. It supports DSD, FLAC, WAV,  AIFF, AIF, WMA Lossless, and Apple Lossless files, as well as other lossy files.

Another major difference between the Mark II and this FiiO X3 Mark III is its dual DAC system. This creates a higher signal to noise ratio. It is also worth mentioning that in the housing itself, the DAC, HPF, and amplifier are all separated from each other to avoid adding noise to the signal.

Lastly, this player includes a multifunction button. This button can control playback, flip switch between songs, change playlists, and more! It is right on the side of the player and I could see it being useful for those who are screen averse.

Functionality

I did notice this device was a little bit slow. Maybe it is my millennial impatience showing its bad side again, but no, I think this device might just be a little bit slow. Regardless, the menus were quite intuitive to navigate. Additionally, it is easy to make new playlists and change whatever setting you want– including equalization, turning Bluetooth on and off, adjusting key-lock settings and changing playback gaps.  

The scrolling wheel is quite nice! Like the Mark II, it doesn’t speed up when scrolling through a lot of material. But.. FiiO did include a search function which makes the process of looking for particular tunes in a large library of music much easier. The music can also be sorted by categories: song, album, artist, genre, playlist, or recently added.

Sound

The sound of the FiiO X3 Mark III is great! It sounds very clean and transparent, reproducing detailed transients and frequency response alike. I do wish it support aptX because if you’re listening wirelessly, you will miss out on some music quality. But listening wired is quite wonderful and I have no complaints.

Overview

The FiiO X3 Mark III is a great sounding DAP with some improvements to the Mark II. And while it is a bit slow sometimes, it functions well, especially for the price. If you are looking for a DAP to listen to wireless, you may want to spend some extra cash on something that support aptX. If you plan on listening wired though, you will surely get a lot out of the FiiO X3 Mark III.

The Fiio X3 Mark III is available for the best price here:

FiiO X3 Mark III at Audio 46

FiiO X3 Mark III on Amazon

FiiO x3 Mark III Review 1