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Which amp + speakers for FIIO E09K and FIIO E17?

Fourth Protocol

Standard Member
Hi, recently got a FIIO E09K and E17 for my PC for use with headphones. Looking at the manual (see link below) it seems I can hook it up to speakers, which I'd like to do. However, I've no clue what I should be looking for. Apparently I can connect it to a mini hi-fi amp(?) and active speakers(?).

? = I don't know how that translates into something I can add to a shopping basket on Amazon.

Is anyone doing this, and how? The manual says one way of doing it means the volume knob on the E09K doesn't work, which is not ideal. I also don't want to spend more than ~£200, but might be swayed for more if warranted (bear in mind this is for use with a desktop PC, primarily lossless music).

Manual is available here: Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.

Lastly, if my question is badly phrased or in the wrong forum, apologies. I've zero knowledge about sound (the FIIO kit was recommended by a friend, and I love it).
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
Hi! The E17 is a DAC with USB, optical and coaxial inputs, and a headphone amplifier for the DAC or for the stereo AUX input.
E09K is a USB DAC, and also an even more capable headphone amplifier which can take its input from an E17, USB (as mentioned) or stereo analogue. When you slot the E17 into the E09K you block the former's USB input, but that's fine since the E09K has one too.

So essentially what you have is a combined device which can take pretty much any input and drive almost any headphone quite well, plus stereo analogue outputs, which is the part you're inquiring about.

The E09K has two analogue outputs: a fixed line out and a pre-out which can be volume controlled. You can either connect to another amp plus passive speakers, or you can connect to a set of active speakers. The difference is that passive speakers need an external amplifier, whereas active speakers have built-in amplifiers. In your case if you want to keep it simple I would say that active speakers would be the best way - something like the M-Audio BX2 or any of the other active speakers, here for example.
 

dogfonos

Prominent Member
I use these budget active speakers in a similar setup and, based only on my experiences, would strongly recommend them:
Studiospares Seiwin Powered Monitors (Pair) at Studiospares

This on-line magazine has reviews of a few budget active monitors (although most reviews are of expensive gear) so may be of use:
Search SOS Articles Database

(The M-Audio BX5 D2 - I'm sure this is the speaker that sergiup is referring to - is well reviewed in SOS as is the Fostex PM0.5n at about £220).

Most if not all the active studio monitor speakers under £200 will be designed for near-field (i.e. close up) listening - under about a metre away - but they also sound great at 'normal' hifi listening distances too. Some are priced as singles, some as a pair. Maybe the only thing to be wary of is that active speakers are typically very revealing of the source material & equipment. The old phrase 'garbage in = garbage out' has never been more appropriate, IMO. On the other hand, a superb recording will really make them sing. Also ensure size/footprint suits your intended location.
 

Fourth Protocol

Standard Member
Thanks again for the advice. Have just placed an order for a set of Behringer MS40 digital monitor speakers. Being an abject n00b I chose them based on customer reviews and price. I should have them on Saturday, and would quite happily volunteer my thoughts. I just doubt I'd even know what to say other than I think they're ace. Or swamp donkeys. Which I hope they're not.
 

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