For those whose interest was peaked earlier, the FiiO E5 mini/portable audio amplifier is coming. The manufacturer is making shipments now to retailers, who will be sending shipments out yet this week (in the case of MP4nation.net). It also is being sold by Dealextreme.com, although Dealextreme may start shipping later this month. Pricing is in the US$21.50-24.50 range (shipped/no tax) and the item can be shipped world-wide.
For those unaware of FiiO, FiiO earlier produced (and still sells) a well-regarded mini/portable amplifier, the E3, at an incredible US$8.00-8.50 or so price (again, that’s shipped!). The amplifier increases the volume from a digital audio player like the Clip somewhat, but, more importantly, rounds out the sound. All in a small form factor, about the size of 2 AAA batteries. Just perfect for the Clip. (There is a separate thread here on the E3.)
Since then, FiiO developed and is coming out with a successor unit, the E5. Early reports are positive on it, finding its sound somewhat improved over the already well-regarded E3 and noting many of its other advantages: a built-in rechargeable battery, built-in clip, on-off switch, bass boost option, and volume control. Size-wize, the E5 makes a nice companion to the Clip. All in another small and nice-looking form factor (similar to a current Apple Shuffle).
Information on the E5 and pics can be found at http://www.fiio.com.cn/en/showproduct.asp?id=309, and a video review at MP4nation.net (which also sells the E5) at http://mp4nation.net/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_45&products_id=261. Other reviews can be found at head-fi.org (in an 85+ page long thread!), http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f105/fiio-e5-amp-e3-upgraded-356177/.
More information should be forthcoming once people start receiving their amps. In the meanwhile, the E5 is available for pre-order at the above retailers (and could arrive in time for December holidays).
edit: In re-reading the above, it sounds like a press release. ;) No connection, here, to FiiO. I just appreciate its attention to design, the benefits of its amps, and the low price-points. All of which can be said about SanDisk and the Clip itself!
Message Edited by Miikerman on 12-01-2008 05:51 PM