Fiio X5 3rd Gen Review

Fiio X5 3rd Gen Review

In a world that is dominated by smart phones pretending to offer audio quality and sustainability one could expect from the purchase of an audio device, many people have been left wanting. While arguably the market for standalone digital audio players in a compact form is on its way back, few people are learning about some of the incredible devices that are out on the market for them to use right now. With the 3rd generation X5 from Fiio hitting the market, it is time that everyone learn what they’ve been missing out on all of this time since they’ve let their iPod touches collect dust in a drawer somewhere.

Introducing The Fiio X5 3rd Gen

Imagine an audio player that is precise, crisp and offers some of the truest tones you’ve ever heard. With the compressed nature of most digital audio these days to fit more onto smaller devices, audio quality is often thrown to the wayside. With a nice storage capacity and the ability to bring your audio files back to their fullest potential, the Fiio X5 III is just what audiophiles of the digital age have been waiting for. Best of all, it isn’t going to gouge you in your wallet to bring that kind of technology to your pocket. Below you will get the full scoop on this compact Fiio device to see if it is just the right fit for your portable music device.


Compact and lightweight, the overall design of this Fiio device is vastly improved from the previous models. While it maintains the same kind of basic button functionality that has been a constant throughout the line, it is more able to compete aesthetically with the competition. The glass back rivals the look of many of the top rated smart devices and phones, which gives the device a glossy and high-end look without the higher price tag that you might expect. Perhaps the biggest change in the overall design is the complete change from buttons to a touch screen, offering a lot more versatility to what you can do beyond just listening to songs and audio files. As mentioned earlier, this player still features some of the basic button mechanics that you have come to expect, making it easy to adjust volume levels and playback functions from inside of your pocket.


While Wi-Fi connectivity can and should be expected in these devices, Bluetooth connectivity isn’t always a guarantee. Fortunately, the device offers both. Now you can seamlessly stream audio from any of your music apps at the highest available quality with no lags over the wireless internet connected player. More than this, you can hook up to all kinds of Bluetooth devices to transfer that high quality audio to speakers in your vehicle, your headphones, your home audio set up and much more. Connecting the device is as simple as making it visible and pairing with nearby devices. The range of your connection is another added bonus to the player, as it far exceeds many of the top-rated players on the market right now.

User Interface

This is perhaps what needs talked about the most when you are considering this audio player for yourself. You want to know how the system is going to work when it is in your hands, and how seamlessly all of its functions and features will respond to your commands. With the integration of touch screen technology to the Fiio X5 III, users are now able to do more than they ever could before on the devices. Modelling their look and feel after top-rated Android devices and smart phones, you can now expect to have a range of features, apps and games that you couldn’t on the older button-based versions. Now instead of just killing some time with the music that you love, you can also use the high resolution screen to play some of your favourite games and apps.

What potential buyers are really concerned about is the response time. This is an area where the player shines as well, offering no wait at all between the press of your fingertips and the response from the player. This instantaneous response is rarely seen on lower costing touch screen devices, and you will see that with the processing speed of this Fiio player, you can experience its value every time you use it.


What good is a portable audio player if it isn’t portable? This device has slimmed down even more from its prior versions to be more compact and effective than ever before. Now the entirety of the face is smaller than the build of the iPod touch 6, making it a device that you can easily transport in your pocket. Due to its storage capacity and technology, the player is still a little thicker than many of the competitive players on the market, but can still very easily fit into your pocket and travel right along with you.

There are many who once criticized the size of the X5 line as being too large to be effective. Now, compared to some of the oversized smart phones that are popular today, the newest X5 model can really showcase how compact it actually is. You can take full advantage of the easy-to-read 4-inch display screen, without overcrowding your pocket like many of the latest smartphones’ 7”+ displays will.

Sound Quality

Nearly every smart phone isn’t designed to offer you unparalleled audio quality. They have a lot of jobs they are expected to do. Portable players like this one have put all of their tech into giving you the truest and most vibrant sound that has been made possible so far apart from hearing the musicians live. This is an area where the X5 III really shines. With the bulk of modern music being produced for a 24-bit experience, the Fiio X5 III can deliver the entire spectrum of sound without compromising on the quality. This means the deepest of basses and the highest vocal tones are all represented without the player losing consistency or muddying tones as is common with lower grade players. An area where the player especially shines is with differentiation. When layered vocals or instrumentation are used, the clarity of the device allows your ears to decipher each layer individually, which is a defining statement about the build of this device.


The worry with any portable device is how well it is going to withstand the wear and tear of daily living. Sometimes you are going to drop it, sometimes you are going to mistakenly add your keys in the same pocket as your player. While previous models of the X5 might have been a bit too bulky to carry around, and ironically too fragile in their construction, these kinks have been sufficiently worked out in the latest model. Now you are getting a sturdy device that feels as strong and long lasting as it will be. This begins with the materials that are being used. The body is comprised of a stainless-steel composite material that offers zero flex to the player overall. With that the rounded off corners can certainly save your screen some cracks from some unfortunate falls, but also add a classy look and feel to the entire rugged player.

Battery Life

This is an area that is seemingly pretty diverse when you delve into some of the user reviews about how the battery has been holding up through regular use. While it is only billed for 8-10 hrs of playback, many of the device’s users are getting 20+ hours of use when they are not actively using the touchscreen and multi-tasking with the device. So from a single charge you can expect that you will get the initial 10 hours of life plus several other hours if you are not actively using the main drain of the battery: the touch screen. This device is fitted with a 3400 mAh quick charging battery that cannot be removed. You can expect to charge this device much like you would a smart phone, but it will in fact charge faster than most of the devices that you might be accustomed to using on a daily basis. With this in mind, you don’t have to worry about your battery dying out as much when you are out on the go. If you are away from home for more than the typical life of the device, charging for as little as 1.5 hrs will completely replenish the battery.


The device has a base storage of 26 gigabytes. While this in itself can store quite a lot of high resolution audio files, you will be happy to know that the storage is expandable. With the inclusion of a microSD card, you can expand your entire audio storage capabilities to 538 gigabytes. That’s nearly half of a terabyte of music at your fingertips. Even the most serious of music fans can run out of music to add into the player before they run out of space to store it.

Accessories Included

A head-turning inclusion with the purchase of this player is its leather case. While many other companies would be happy to sell you a high quality protective leather case like this for a considerable amount after you’ve purchased the player, this is included along with the device. In addition to the charging implements needed, you will also find that this device comes with some higher-end audio cables for connecting to your favorite listening devices without sound compromise.


Top-rated smartphones are selling outright for over $1000 in many markets. While an audio device like the Fiio X5 III can’t really compete with the tasks that many smart phones are designed to do on a regular basis, it doesn’t have even half of that considerable price tag. Understanding that you are paying for a device that can offer you unparalleled audio quality and be almost exclusively dedicated to taking your digital library of music on the go, the current price tag doesn’t seem all that excessive. In fact, this particular line of players is among the most cost-effective that you could consider without compromising on some of its impressive features. When you consider its rapid charging, expandable memory, its supreme audio processing power and its touch screen simplicity, this is a remarkable value.

Final Verdict

There are all kinds of audio players that you can buy. There are ones that are specifically designed to fit as many songs as you could want on them (without telling you that they are cutting back on the bit rate to make space). There are some that have more features than you really even want, making the device far more complex and confusing than it needs to be.

If you want a portable audio player that has power and stamina, the Fiio X5 3rd Gen is one that you should use to set the standard bar. This has all of the bells and whistles that are essential to every audiophile out there, never wavering on its impressive output and clarity. It also has the kind of convenience features and user interface that smart phone users have grown accustomed to, making it easy to transition into a device that is specific for their music libraries. All in all, this is a device that anyone could appreciate and benefit from owning.