In most situations, you wouldn’t need to use a portable headphone amplifier. Most recent smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 or LG G5 are built with decent DAC and Amp, so the use of an external amp is unnecessary and it even could make the sound worse if you buy a low-quality headphone amp.
I only recommend a headphone amp if you are using a device with an outdated audio processor. Some recent mini headphone amps I’ve tested like the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS or Beyerdynamic A20 are out of budget of most consumers. The FiiO E6 is a lot cheaper and it’s designed to be your smartphone companion. Keep reading for my review of the product.
Features & Performance
I was not impressed with the design and build quality of the FiiO E6. It is totally different from high-end FiiO products that I used earlier. The whole exterior is made of black glossy plastic and it feels a little flimsy in my opinion.
Inside the box, there are some more accessories including a USB cable, 2 audio cables and 2 back clips. The amp itself is tiny and weighs less than an ounce. It comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium battery but it was totally drained out when I took it out of the box. All controls of the amp are put on the sides. The volume rocker is placed on the left while the power/EQ switch is on the right. There are also some ports including a USB port, headphone output and line input on top and bottom.
The headphone amp will work as an intermediate device between my smartphone and headphones as you can see in the image below.
The FiiO E6 is said to be capable of driving high impedance and low sensitivity headphones. It can output 16mW into 300-Ohm headphones, however, the difference between this and the built-in amp in my smartphone is insignificant. I can see that the audio level is boosted by less than 10%, so it’s not worth carrying the extra device if you already have a new smartphone. The switch on the right side of FiiO E6 can also be used to change among EQ modes, there are 2 bass boost modes and a flat mode. I mostly use it in the first bass boost mode because the flat mode has very low volume while the 2nd bass boost mode sounds extremely muddy.
- Portable design
- It can make the sound louder
- Unnecessary for new smartphones
The FiiO E6 is among the cheapest headphone amps you can find on the market. It actually works but you won’t need it if you already have a flagship iPhone or Android device.