Tag: Headphone Amp

Attack of the Clones: Fake FiiO Products Discovered on Amazon

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. While that may have been true in some past age before the strict implementation of copyright and intellectual property laws, in today’s world it is an offense that can quickly land you in federal prison. Aside for the heavy putative measures taken against individuals and groups who engage in such “flattering” activities, the cost of fake products is heavy on consumers and the original companies. Before moving forward, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that we are authorized with FiiO and deliver only original FiiO products. Aside from that, we are also authorized with a multitude of other brands–rest assured, if you bought from Sonic Electronix it is the real deal.

It was officially reported last week that fake FiiO products including the E1E3E5E7,L1 have been sold to unsuspecting consumers on Amazon. Unfortunately, its not a surprise that such a fraud has happened to FiiO in particular. They are wildly popular for their high level of quality and cost-efficiency, making them a glaring target for counterfeiters everywhere.

Most shockingly, the counterfeit FiiO amps and DACs are practically identical to the real ones in appearance and reportedly perform well for a very brief period of time. According to various blogs, the real danger of purchasing the fakes is that they are poorly built and often short-out or even violently explode because of rechargeable-battery malfunctions.

Although the FiiO website is entirely silent on the matter, they have responded to customers and headphone enthusiasts on blogs offering lists of registered and authorized dealers. It is unclear whether FiiO is taking active steps in prosecuting confirmed scammers, but whatever the case, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our customers that we are completely authorized with FiiO and receive all our supplies directly from the manufacturer. You will not find any phony FiiO products  here (or any other phonies, for clarification).

To help our customers stay ahead of the game, here is a complete and official copy of FiiO’s Black List of US Retailers and some images to help you identify fake FiiO E6 amps.

Fake FiiO E6 Will Not Have a Serial Number

The User Manuals are Different from Original E6

Thick Pocket Clip Hook Are Fake E6

Fake FiiO E6 has Battery with Poor Insulation and Messy Soldering

Fake FiiO E6 has Battery with Poor Insulation and Messy Soldering

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NuForce Cube Review: Ultra-Portable Media Center

Take it Just about Anywhere

They finally arrived. After careful negotiations and a few flattering words, we got our hands on a box full of NuForce goodies.  While we certainly are grateful for all the quality stuff we got and expect to create equally impressive videos for a number of the products we got such as the NuForce Air DAC iWireless system, one of the most impressive and visually striking items we received is NuForce Cube. The elegant lines, a clear box resembling the minimalism of Apple packaging, and rich solid colors stood in stark contrast to the dry brown of the cardboard shipping box. But what is most impressive, apart from the aesthetics of the Cube, is the range of technologies NuForce has integrated into this diminutive 2″ box.

How Many Features Can Be Packed Into a 2″ Cube?

Don't Let Size Fool You: the Cube is Loud, Detailed, and Packs a DAC and Headphone Amp

In an effort to beef-up your mobile rig, NuForce has equipped the Cube with a headphone amplifier, a 16-bit/48kHz Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), and an 3.5mm (1/8″) AUX. In theory, the goal of fitting so many functions in one place is to offer users a central sound entertainment hub. To that end, the Cube definitely delivers the key terms that will ignite the interest of virtually any audiophile. Adding to the portability of the Cube, it has a built-in battery that can deliver roughly eight continuous hours of playback and can be recharged through USB connection.

While packing so many features seems like it may become unwieldy, switching between the USB DAC function of the Cube in speaker mode to headphone mode was as easy plugging the phones in. To test the claims power of the headphone amplifier, I linked it to headphones rated at 100 Ohms. By no means the highest ohm load available, but one where issues start to become apparent if the cans are being under-powered (beside, the Cube is intended as a portable system. If you consider headphones over 100 ohms “portable” maybe you should reconsider).

As a headphone amplifier and DAC, the Cube performed remarkably well and delivered the sound quality expected of NuForce: clean, true to the signal, and minimally colored. But, to prevent skirting the most important question of the speaker’s performance too long, I move on.

Pandora’s Box?

Unlike Hephaestus who according to ancient Greek myth unleashed evil on the world upon opening Pandora’s box against Zeus’ command, unlocking the power of the NuForce Cube will not be as chaotic nor as reprehensible.

Instead, your first impression  is likely to be pure awe at volume this 2″ box can achieve. The first notes flooded through the speaker with utmost authority sounding loud and shockingly clear. For the fact that the speaker is no larger than a Kennedy Half-Dollar, the speaker retained a respectable amount of detail in the high frequencies and just enough bass to round out the reproduction and give the music a sense of depth.

While the Cube performed impressively in at mid-volume levels, it began to loose its brilliance once we pushed it up to its limits. Of course, no one expects to blow down the house or set off alarms with this little thing, but distortion is never a good thing and there was a perceivable level of distortion once we reached the highest volume thresholds.

For what it is and what it is designed to do, the NuForce Cube performs at a high level. It is hard to imagine a speaker with so many features, let alone one that can match the quality of the Cube. Although its somewhat high price-tag may deter some buyers, those who know what they are looking for and understand the quality of NuForce products will not hesitate to rejoice over the NuForce Cube.

The Full Array of Cube Colors in Their Package

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