Most people are likely content with built-in sound when sneaking elicit Numa Numa viewings, but if you’ve laid down a little more than average on some cans, you might want something purpose-built. Fiio thinks its E17 / Alpen USB DAC headphone amplifier is the tool for the job. With a passing resemblance to a PMP, the E17 has a single 3.5 output, SPDIF and AUX inputs, with mini USB and a proprietary dock for hardware / computer connectivity. The dot matrix OLED screen and brushed metal finish make it look sexy, while the 96K / 24bit (USB) and 192K / 24bit (SPDIF) sample rates should nicely tickle most ears. Listeners on the go will profit from the 1,500 mAh battery, which Fiio claims is good for 15 hours. There are also basic bass, treble, mid and gain controls if you think you know better than the original engineers. Think this is what your life has been missing? Then be prepared to drop about $150 in the next week or so, when it lands in your favorite audio retailer.
Fiio’s E17 Alpen headphone amplifier ‘peaks’ performance