• Recommended by TR
FiiO E6 4


Our Score



  • Great value
  • Good sound quality


  • It’s fundamentally inconvenient
  • Feels a bit cheap

Review Price £22.00

Key Features: 3-setting EQ; 10-hour lithium battery; miniUSB charging; Removable belt clip; 3.5mm input and output

Manufacturer: FiiO

FiioO is an interesting company. It’s Chinese and produces remarkably cheap audio products that are often remarkably good. They also often offer functionality not available from bigger names, winning the company a hearty following among audiophiles without bottomless pockets. The FiiO E6 is the follow-up to the popular E5, and is a teensy headphone amplifier with a built-in battery.

The most common misconception about headphone amplifiers they’re bought solely to make music louder, when any self-respecting audio nut primarily buys an amp to improve sound quality. Some may baulk at the idea, but really it’s no different to buying a decent amp for an at-home separates system.

Even those afraid of putting hands in pockets may be attracted by the FiiO E6 though. It’s dead cheap and has a real effect on the signal passed through it, just like its predecessor the E5.

FiiO E6 4

Although a similar sort of size, some significant changes have been made in this iteration. The metal outer casing of the E5 has been traded-in for glossy black plastic. Consequently it doesn’t feel as tough as its forbear. It has also resulted in a drastic weight loss. Where the E5 was 30g, this is almost half the weight at just 16g. This ultra-light weight is a massive plus, making it light enough to dangle off a pair of earphones without causing damage or major annoyance.

This isn’t how it’s meant to be worn though. The FiiO E6 comes with a transparent plastic belt clip that sits into the lanyard loop on the top-right edge of the box. It’s not quite as sturdy as the springy metal clip of the original E5, but without it attached, it’s far more stylish than its rather (with hindsight) utilitarian predecessor.

Fiio comparison

Here's a comparison of the E5 against the E6

Exactly what to do with it is still a bit of a problem though. The supplied cable is fairly short, so unless you buy a replacement you won’t be wearing the E6 on your lapel. We were happy to leave it nestled in a pocket alongside our test MP3 player, but even then it’s an inconvenience – over simply not using a headphone amp. Fiio also offers a thick rubber band to tie one of its amps to your player. Convenient? Ish. Stylish? Not really, no. The moral of the story? Make sure this won't put you off using a FiiO E6 before buying.

While it may not feel like a high-end device in-hand, build quality is perfectly decent. There’s a tiny amount of flex if you squeeze the E6 between thumb and forefinger, but as it’s so simple and light it’ll handle drops and scrapes with ease. Just as an ant will keep on moving if it falls a distance hundreds of times its own height.

FiiO E6

On the FiiO E6’s bottom edge are the miniUSB charging socket and the 3.5mm input socket. The similarly-sized output (where you plug your headphones) is on top. The sides are home to the controls. Its left edge houses the volume buttons and the right the power switch. There’s a lot more to this switch than it may at first appear though. It also acts as a hold toggle and selects EQ modes. A quick prod on this switch cycles between the four settings (Off, EQ1, EQ2, EQ3) and a long press turns the power on and off. It’s smart, cheap and looks pretty good, but does it have a positive effect on sound?

Next page

Hamish Campbell

August 22, 2011, 12:37 pm

I use a penguin amp (cmoy) which I enjoy, but it ain't thaaat small and the 9v batteries are a bit annoying with slow trickle charging.

Would I be right in thinking the sound quality out of this would be on a similar level? I'd love to have this smaller footprint and usb lithium charging.


August 22, 2011, 2:20 pm

Hi Haim,

Yes that's about right. FiiO's E5/E6/E11 are all good alternatives to a Cmoy.


May 29, 2013, 3:18 pm

this review sold this to me.. now fiio shld pay u :D

Sudip Gadwal

September 13, 2013, 11:07 am

well tooo


September 17, 2013, 8:58 am

Alright, i'm buying one. Good review, thanks!

Ringkai Shinoda

October 11, 2013, 7:05 am

i buy it, and awesome, i used vsonic GR06 IEM


November 24, 2013, 8:03 pm

Can this be used to listen to the tv through my surround sound system as hubby deaf and thought this would boost the sound from his headphones.


April 26, 2014, 11:00 am

is this compatible with sennheiser hd 518 ?


April 26, 2014, 11:01 am

is it really worth it?


July 11, 2014, 7:29 am

Me too! Using this with a blackberry z30 and a pair of JVC HA-FX3Xs...Best $30 I've spent in a long time! There is a significant increase in sound quality and volume...I can reduce the volume on the phone by almost 50% and still get clear, vivid sound! #loveit


July 31, 2014, 1:53 pm

I see most of the users using this amp for in the ear headphones.
Will the work well with over the ear head phones? Say ath m50?if no,
Which amp should be used for ath m50

Prechaya Ford

August 9, 2014, 9:49 am

I have an adroid phone. Can I just use the 3.5mm out from phone to the input?


August 16, 2014, 5:18 pm

yeah with an aux cable


August 16, 2014, 5:19 pm

does anyone know about power outputs for a 16ohm load?


August 30, 2014, 3:01 pm

How will this go as a pre-amp when fitted between a SESCOM miniUSB for a canon 70D to do record mode monitoring?


August 30, 2014, 5:43 pm

I just got this and love it! It really makes a difference


June 29, 2015, 4:28 pm

The only useful thing about these cheap amps is that they increase the volume, period. They do not improve the quality of the sound.


July 5, 2015, 4:49 pm

It'll work. I just ordered it along with ath m50x DG.


July 5, 2015, 4:55 pm

He used the word 'awesome', that means totally worth it... :)

Altex lan

August 18, 2015, 3:21 pm

Actually what Fiio E6 does? it perfect your analog signal from your phone?
I got X1, it sound great and just bought the E10K Olympus 2 and hook up to my PC and
listen to internet song & music. Actually I went to buy the X5 but the X1 sound better. So I grap the X1. In fact I ever came across a review which say the X1 sound better then the X5.

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