Fiio E12 Mont Blanc Portable Headphone Amp – Review

The Fiio E12 Mont Blanc is the latest amp from Fiio. Fiio is a specialist audio company that make superb audio accessories, and are well known in audio circles for making great value products with incredible sound.

The E12 Mont Blanc is a high performance portable headphone amplifier, which has a high quality built-in processor and power amplifier in a super slim body. The specifications are as follows –

Power Supply – DC5V, 2A , Frequency Response 20hz-20hz, SNR > 110db, Crosstalk Attenuation >65db, Gain >16db high or 0db low, Max Output Power 600mW at 16 ohms, 880mW at 32 ohms, 160mW at 300 ohms.
Battery Charge time approx 1.7 hours , with a 12 hour runtime
Suitable for headphones 16-300 ohms. Dimensions 123mm x 65mm x 14mm. Weight 158g

So what does this headphone amp do? In simple terms it takes the sound from your portable device or smartphone and amplifies it. More on that later.

In the box you get the warranty card, instructions, micro USB cable to charge from your computer, 2 Fiio bands for holding the amp and portable device/phone together, some soft feet, and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable for transferring sound from the headphone socket into the amp.

If you have an Apple device like an iPhone or iPod you can get iPod line out cables as shown. If you have a lightning connector, your will need a 30 pin adapter or adapter cable. Taking the sound via the line out produces a much better quality.

So what makes this amp special. Firstly it looks fantastic, even better than the photos. Secondly and more importantly it has a lot of oomph and energy to make your headphones perform like you wouldn’t believe possible from a portable amplifier. You will also hear lots more detail and information in your songs that you didn’t realise were there. And the E12 does this effortlessly. Being such a powerful portable amp allows you to plug larger more demanding headphones in from 16 ohms up to 300 ohms. In addition to the extra level of information your music will come alive as your headphones are being provided with so much emery and oomph. Far more than the tiny amp in your phone or iPod. Another benefit is the volume. The E12 Mont Blanc can go much louder than your phone or iPod.

I tried using the amp with an iPod Classic and an iPhone 5. Both produced impressive results. I tried a range of music from Andrea Bocelli – Concerto One Night in Central Park, Muse – 2nd Law, Wycliffe Gordon – Dreams of New Orleans , Michael Buble – Fever, Nicola Benedetti – Silver Violin and some dance music. Vocals, instruments, speed and attack, depth and soundstage were amazing. And the amp never rang out of steam. Headphones used for sampling the amp were a pair of Sennheiser HD568.

The E12 Mont Blanc features a bass boost which is very discreet and doesn’t distort the music. There is also a crosstalk and gain control should you need them. I have included some photos below.

In summary, I would really recommend this beautify portable amplifier. Very impressive.

Update – more impressions click here

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8 thoughts on “Fiio E12 Mont Blanc Portable Headphone Amp – Review

  1. Thanks for this excellent review. I wonder if there are line adapters available (or in the pipeline) for Samsung Galaxy Smartphone for E11 and/or E12?

    I understood that you noticed a difference in the sound quality between earphone out and line out, right?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Bernd

    Like

  2. This tiny thing is just amazing!!! I use it with ipod nano 7, and AKG K 391nc. It is ridiculously good sound! Though I’m planning to switch from ipod to Fiio X5, and one pair of over ear headphones, probably Sennheiser hd 558 or 598.
    By the way, nice review!

    Like

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