Hello everybody, I’m the FiiO X3. That’s right, the Original Generation X3. The X3 that was planned starting from 2009 and released in Summer 2013. As for why it took so long for me to come to birth, there were rumors that James was using my blueprints for a doorstop =.= And one staff was cleaning James’ room for Chinese New Year 2012 when she found my dusty blueprints and asked James whether he still needed them, and that’s when James remembered me…
Whatever the actual circumstances, I am told I was destined for greatness: the opinion thread on me was viewed by millions on head-fi and contained over a thousand pages of replies.
I love singing, and can sing to ALAC, APE, FLAC, WMA, WAV, OGG, AAC and MP3 tunes; I can sing for the computer; with the installation of a driver, I put the kid called the “onboard sound card” off work. I can sing loud, at close to 550mW power into 16 ohms; I can be a source component, work as decoder, but of course I can sing into headphones directly as well. Some people said I don’t sing well, but that’s because they were using crappy headphones, or the headphones just didn’t match my Feng Shui. Having seen so many headphones, the first model that I fell in love with was the DN1000; one Easter, we went and lived together in a big red present box and waited for our master to take us home; the golden bow-knot and the sparkling diamond on the knot were an unforgettable memory for us.
In my heyday, I gave all the fruits in the fruit store a flogging in singing competitions, and competed with the children at my uncle’s place next door. I didn’t look like much, but I had my fans, given my low price and support for up to 24/192 and DSD formats.
I had many tailor-made dresses: leatherette, silicone (in several colors) and clear cases; carry cases; and of course the bondage-inspired stacking kit (*blush*). Many people tied me to a portable headphone amp, so that I didn’t have to shout my throat raw to be heard, in which case of course I sounded better. But then I grew fat, so some people abandoned this option, but many people put up with it with pleasure.
Yesterday, my youngest sister the X7 ran along and told me that the code monkeys were going to give me my last firmware update. I didn’t mind much when I was told a while ago that I was out of production, but when I heard “last firmware”, I had to admit I was getting old.
After a long wait, my final firmware version 3.4 has finally arrived. Let me tell you what’s new myself:
1. Fixed issue where ID3 tag info were displayed incorrectly;
2. Fixed issue where in the music folder browsing screens, one could change the volume by holding down the volume button but not by pressing briefly;
3. Fixed UI display problems in Chinese;
4. Default volume now set to “Memory” by default;
5. Path memory feature: Pressing the Back button from the Now Playing screen will now always take you to the folder / album / etc. from which the current song is selected. This is true even after navigating to the main menu or powering the X3 off and back on.
6. Removed 5800 song limit on number of songs that may be indexed by the X3 media library.
7. Added option to play through folders: ie skipping to the first song in the next folder after the last song in the current folder.
8. Added option to delete whole folders.
Latest USB DAC drivers
X3 User manual
Once upon a time, to let everyone know me better, FiiO’s engineers taught me new things again and again, making me ever more mature in my appeal! I won’t forget what I’ve learned:
2 July 2013: FW1.2, my first production firmware, in which I greeted everyone formally for the first time; features added included deleting songs, support for cover art, learning 8 different languages, and black and white UI themes.
13 July 2013: in less than 10 days, FW1.23 was introduced, in which various improvements were made based on users’ feedback on the shortcomings of FW1.2.
17 August 2013: One month later, FW1.25 was issued, in which the blue UI theme was added, and the ordering of song files starting with numbers was optimized, to give everybody a better tailored user experience.
6 September 2013: In less than a month, FW1.31 was announced, in which the volume buttons were made able to control volume in all situations except those requiring their control in menus; the language selection dialog was made to appear after a firmware update or factory reset; various other bug fixes were made as well.
25 October 2013: In less than two months, FW2.05 was released, in which USB DAC functionality was added, so that I could sing for computers as well as by myself, doubling my fuctionality; I could now format SD cards directly as well.
One month later, FW2.1 was released, which focused on bug fixes and optimizations, because I was pretty well-rounded in features by now and the engineers focused on responding to bug reports.
28 May 2014: Because I was getting pretty smart on my own, the engineers had to spend half a year this time to prepare the next update for me: FW3.0, in which my user interface was also drastically revamped into its current tile-based navigation with 6 UI themes; I also learned how to sing to DSD songs, and I could read more complex ID3 and cover art data, giving you further visual stimulation while listening to better singing than ever.
24 December 2014: On Christmas Eve, FW3.3 was released, in which support for playlists and exFAT formatted micro SD cards were added, a digital equalizer was implemented along with the existing tone controls, and album art could now apply to whole folders. This major update made me more complete than ever and the user experience more convenient than ever.
October 2015: My final firmware 3.4 was released; the changes were noted above.
And thus concludes my journey of growth. I just hope that, on some nights, when you’re tapping your foot to the beautiful voices of my other brothers and sisters, you may remember that there was once a player called the X3, who also gave you many nights of musical bliss!
A note from FiiO
From X3’s monologue, you may find that our firmware work had seemingly slowed from the initial breakneck pace of a new release every few days or a month, to intervals counted in months or the better part of a year. But every update brought new features and fixed more bugs reported by users, so that the firmware grew more and more stable with each update. One should then understand that it is not so easy to improve on such a stable base in the latter days?
Only stable firmware were counted in the above, but many beta firmware were also released in between. Because each person’s usage habit was different, we decided later to open the beta firmware, to allow people living on the cutting edge more options to test and play with; this also allowed us to receive more bug reports and user opinions with which to further improve our firmware.
However, because of the relative stability of the X3 firmware at the time, there were not many beta firmware available for downloaded; four were released in total in the end. It should be noted that despite the more rapid pace of firmware updates to the later X5 and later the 2nd gen players, the original X3 now incorporates most of the features and fixes of these players software-wise.
Finally, please let us take this opportunity to thank all our X3 users who were with us in our journey into the unknown territories of DAPs since the beginning, and who helped us improve the X3 and later players by all their valuable feedback. Our mature firmware of today owes much to you—we salute you all!
FiiO Electronics Technology Co.,Ltd