- Good accessories
- Stylish design
- Astounding audio quality
- None at this price point
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You'd never tell to read the site, but we're something of a bunch of evangelists for high-end audio kit at TrustedReviews. The thing is, though, as much as we're prone to drooling over a pair of Sennheiser HD 800 headphones, or a set of Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speakers (for which we'd trade family members, without a second thought), we also get just as excited by comparatively unimposing products such as, to pick an example completely at random, the FiiO E7 USB headphone amplifier and DAC combo.
There's good reason to be interested. The FiiO E7 might have a relatively accessible £60 asking price, but not only has the company making it built itself a good reputation in the portably amplifier space, but it's also done a cracking job of outfitting the E7 with a great selection of components and features in an exquisitely styled casing.
Despite weighing a mere 100g, the black brushed-aluminium construction of the FiiO E7 gives it a high-end feel in the hand, and at about the same size as an old iPod mini (for those of you who remember that short-lived device) it fits nicely in a palm. Even the buttons are a work of brilliance, with a delightfully solid feel to their action that, again, inspires confidence in the quality of the device as a whole. Adding to the visual appeal, the clear plastic front has a curious slightly smoky, slightly shiny finish to it which is hard to describe, but looks fantastic.
Also commendable is the selection of accessories. FiiO bundles both a silicone case and a larger, soft case for slipping the E7 into, along with a surprisingly sturdy USB to mini-USB cable and a short (but not too short) 3.5mm interconnect cable for hooking up your player to the amplifier itself.