The FiiO X3 is a well-received portable music player and its success warrant it to have further upgrades. The 3rd generation X3 has all the strengths of its predecessor and then some. If you are in the market in search of a pair of headphones to match your FiiO X3 high-res music player then look no further.
We will be preparing a list of the best matching headphones which you can choose to get and partner with the FiiO X3. But first, let us learn more about the sonic characteristics and merits of the X3 non-touch DAP.
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Sonic Characteristics and Merits of FiiO X3
The 3rd generation FiiO X3 is the first iteration to have built-in dual DAC chips and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connection. These specs alone already make it justifiable to go for the X3 3rd gen instead of the older versions. The handling seems to be smoother and the DAP has a light weight to it, allowing us to carry it around with ease. Making the FiiO X3 slimmer also helps a lot with its portability. The newer and modern aesthetics gave it more visual appeal.
FiiO X3 has about 10 hours of playtime which is a bit shorter than the previous generation but is still long enough for most daily outdoor activities. Is a pity the output power didn’t get much boost, the X3 portable music player won’t be powerful enough to drive demanding headphones and this does limit our choices. You can choose to add a headphone amplifier to resolve this issue. There are plenty more features but now let’s get to learn more about the FiiO X3 sound characteristics.
The FiiO X3 3rd gen is a portable DAP designed and made for people who simply want to enjoy listening to their music. There is this pleasing sonic characteristic about the X3 where it doesn’t sound harsh when pushed. It is musically refined but not too smooth till it sounds too calm. FiiO X3 strikes a good balance when presenting music, so as to choose a side, it will be leaning towards the warmer spectrum. This can be ideal when pairing headphones with thin sound quality especially if you are planning to use IEMs.
There is a good amount of music details revealed to the users but not to an extent that it sounds clinical. Analytical audio enthusiasts may find the FiiO X3 not suitable for them. Casual music listeners on the other hand might find this music player appealing to listen to. It has well-controlled bass handling and the low-ends add ample weight to the overall sound reproduction. This gives us a full-bodied music delivery with a touch of warmth. It would be better if we could hear subtle details with a clearer clarity though.
All in all, it is entertaining to listen to the FiiO X3 and the music player has the right balance. The price point of the X3 3rd gen is modest and allows most headphone enthusiasts to be able to get their hands on them without breaking the bank. After hearing the sound quality of the 3rd generation X3, there’s no way for us to return back to the previous iterations. What this FiiO DAP needs right now is a pair of matching headphones. We have prepared a list of the best headphone to go for and partner up with the FiiO X3 below. Do take some time to look through and shortlist some of them for an audition.
Best Matching Headphones for FiiO X3 DAP
The Sennheiser HD 598 is one of the best headphones to match with your FiiO X3 music player. The open-back headphones are not difficult to drive and their spacious soundstage would complement the FiiO X3’s full-bodied sound reproduction. HD 598 stereo imaging is amazing and along with its neutrality, it could help to add more positive sonic traits without influencing the sound signature of the X3 DAP. The Sennheiser HD 598 headphones are light and comfortable to wear, enabling you to wear them for hours while listening to your favorite tunes.
Do you want a more portable headphone to pair up with your FiiO X3 DAP? If yes, then the Shure SE215 is one of the best choices to go for. The neutral sonic character of the SE215 IEM is capable of delivering a well-balanced music presentation. The warm and smooth sound quality of the X3 Mark III ensures the overall sound reproduction doesn’t go overly harsh. Shure SE215 has really good noise isolation capabilities and very low sound leakage. It is an ideal headphone to bring along for outdoor music listening.
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear is another top headphone with an affordable price tag and will be an excellent choice for your FiiO X3. The FiiO DAP adds more body and weight to the midrange reproduction which helps to bring out the mids of the Momentum In-Ear. The high noise isolation of the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear headphones also makes them a suitable partner for outdoor use. These Sennheiser headphones are not very bright sounding and can pack quite a punch in the bass department.
For a bit more musical refinement without sounding too dull, the Thinksound MS01 will be the right one for the job. All in all, the MS01 has a few similar sonic characteristics to the FiiO X3 and matches well with the DAP. It does help to add more clarity and provide a tighter bass performance. The punch and impact of the Thinksound MS01 bass response are quite impressive for an IEM. This pair of Thinksound headphones is great for listeners who prefer warm and slightly laid-back music delivery.
If you prefer a closed-back design headphone that is easy to drive then the Yamaha PRO 500 will be the one for you and your FiiO X3 music player. The Yamaha PRO 500 only has an impedance rating of 23 Ohms and it is also a fantastic choice for bass fanatics. This Yamaha headphone could dish out pretty deep bass frequencies cleanly and with weight. The added low-end weight will provide more presence and extend a bit more depth into the overall sound reproduction. For listeners who like powerful sound, the Yamaha PRO 500 definitely needs to be under your radar.
The Audio Technica ATH M50X is an exceptional choice for listeners who prefer to use professional monitor headphones so as to add more details to the music presentation when partnered with their FiiO X3 DAP. There is plenty of details and texture with the bass, the mids and highs sound really accurate. Audio Technica ATH M50X adds a bit more leanness and clarity to the music presentation, Even though it is a closed-back headphone, the bass output is well-controlled and has the right amount. The well-handled low-end performance fits well with the FiiO X3.
To Sum It Up
You might want to filter out some headphones first based on a few requirements such as for indoor or outdoor use, price points, and others that you deem fit. The remaining headphones should be auditioned so as to find out how they sound when partnered together with your FiiO X3. The headphone which sounds the best to your ears will be the one for you.