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Fiio X1 Gen 2 digital audio player – first impressions

From the iPod to expensive iRiver Digital Audio players, the market has changed a lot. Chi-Fi (Chinese hi-fi – no, we haven’t gone global…yet) has taken over, and we all know that means that the market is saturated now. Back then, for a decent Digital Audio Player (DAP), one had to pay a hefty premium and be stuck with a lot of drawbacks. Portable audio has improved in the past few years but the market is slowly changing, with the 3.5mm jack appearing and disappearing in between. But this headphone jack fiasco has opened up a brand new market for enthusiasts for audio players. For such a market (under $100), there exists a great option – the Fiio X1 Gen 2.

Even four years ago, people used the Sansa Clip+, a DAP from Sandisk that took the market by storm. Small, agile and efficient, the firmware could be improved through installing another music player interface called Rockbox. And today, nobody cares about it. It might have been cheap and small, but as smartphone batteries grow smaller for the sake of aesthetics, people are moving to DAPs. And the Fiio X1 Gen 2 is a great starting point for getting into the world of audio players. It features lossless playback, Bluetooth 4.0 and a slick touch based scroll wheel.

The build quality is premium with rounded edges and tactile buttons. The UI is a bit slow, but it’s based on Linux and the problems alleviate a bit when the firmware updates. Supporting up to 256 GB of memory thanks to its SD card slot and up to 11 hours of playback thanks to its 1800 mAh battery, the device is indeed a great choice to be in your backpack for day-long commutes in Dhaka traffic.

The sound is a touch warm and flat, seeing a departure from the original Fiio X1, which struggled with details and soundstage. Overall, this is a solid offering under a hundred dollars from Fiio, and it’s on Gears for Ears, Fiio’s official Bangladeshi dealer for 9,799 BDT only. If you’re struggling with listening to music through your iPhone’s dongle, give this beautiful looking DAP a try.

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