The FiiO A5 headphone amp is among FiiO's latest product releases for 2016 and it represents a slightly improved version of the powerful, recently discontinued FiiO E12 Mont Blanc amp.
Delivering 11 clean volts of output power, this little analog beast can drive your high-end planar headphones with aplomb on 'High Gain' or your in-ear headphones equally well employing the A5's sensitive 'Low Gain' setting.
The new FiiO A5 achieves nearly the same powerful output of the original E12 Mont Blanc unit but with improved channel balance and a lower noise floor that's ideal for driving highly sensitive in-ear headphones on the 'Low Gain' setting. The A5 topology is a robust 'analog-only' [ i.e., no digital DAC connectivity] portable headphone amp design capable of delivering a whopping +/- 11 Volts of clean power, so the A5 can also easily drive even very power-hungry full size headphones on its 'High Gain' mode, including many recent high-end planar magnetic audiophile models.
The FiiO A5 headphone amp charges via USB connection from any 5 Volt supply via a laptop computer, tablet or most smartphones and takes about 3 hours to fully charge up. Our headphone.com A5 review unit arrived fully charged and ready to rock right out of the box. The battery run time of the FiiO A5 unit rates somewhere around 12-13 hours, so you'll be able to keep the music flowing without worries when you're listening on the go all day or during those long cross continental flights.
In addition to the High/Low gain switch, the A5 unit also has a bass boost button, so it does allows for some audio customization for your particular headphones and listening tastes. A high-quality smooth operation ALPS potentiometer graces the front panel along with the gain switch, plus 3.5mm line input and headphone outputs placed side by side.
The super-slim A5 amp housing contains the bass boost switch on the side panel next to the USB charging connector. The top case shows off two mini LED lights, a deep blue LED light indicating on/off and a red light showing the battery charging status. The A5 amp case itself is an extremely slim-profile, sandblasted grey aluminum chassis and it measures approximately 2 1/2" inches wide by 4 1/2" inches long and only a 1/4" thick - so no doubt, it's a really small little box!
The FiiO A5's slick and sturdy aluminum build quality joined with its miniaturized but super-potent headphone amp circuit delivers a massive audio statement in sound quality performance and muscular output power from a tiny palm-sized device. The cool case also wraps the whole shebang up in some pretty sweet cosmetic looks that belie the nicely affordable cost of the A5 amp. The Fiio A5 has a 1-year manufacturer's warranty on parts and labor with a 6-month FiiO replacement warranty offered on the battery.
As usual, headphone lovers can count on impressive acoustic performance and well-priced value from the FiiO headphone amplifier company. In our headphone.com review assesment, the FiiO A5 headphone amp certainly continues their great history of dependable quality at a wallet-friendly price.