If you have been following along on the forums here lately, you will notice an uptick in the amount of topics asking about high-quality headphones and even headphone amps. Whether you are just getting into the world of audio or want to expand your collection, this bit of news should interest you. Fiio, known for its line of affordable yet effective headphone amps, has just shown off its new E17 / Alpen USB DAC headphone amp. This is decidedly its new top-of-the-line unit, and includes a 3.5mm output, SPDIF and AUX inputs, and a mini USB connector. The E17 also has a proprietary connector in order to hook it up to the L7 dock or E9 amp. There is even a dot matrix OLED screen so you can easily see what the volume level is at or how much battery life is left. Fiio says the battery on the E17 can last for 15 hours, so you should be able to enjoy it on long trips.
The sample rate over USB is 96K / 24 bit, while SPDIF can do 192K / 24 bit. The E17 is capable of powering headphones up to 300 ohm impedance, which means plenty of sets can be hooked up to it without issue. You can even adjust the treble, bass, mid, and gain controls to better suit your liking, although I have a feeling Fiio knows a thing or two about setting a good mixture.
The Fiio E17 is expected to retail at $150, and should be available in the next week.