A fantastically versatile and succesful desktop amplifier, the FiiO R7 produces an entertaining, balanced, and musical efficiency throughout a spread of sources in a compact, space-saving type. A shock gem of 2023.
- Clear, punchy, exact presentation
- Constant sound throughout a spread of sources and inputs
- Area-saving design
- Shiny, simply readable display
Show4.97-inch show at 720p decision
Headphone outputs6.3mm, 4.4 balanced out, and four-pin XLR balanced out
AndroidObtain apps from the Google Play Retailer
FiiO is probably going finest recognized for its moveable music gamers, however that’s not the one product space they dabble in with the R7 one among their extra intriguing merchandise.
The FiiO R7 is an all-in-one system, a Swiss Military knife of a hi-fi product: a DAC, a headphone amplifier, and a streaming system. The place earlier than you wanted three packing containers to fulfil these wants, FiiO has shrunk them to suit into one unit that sits in your desktop.
Is it too good to be true? I believe it’s a fully cracking product for individuals who wish to cut back their hi-fi footprint.
- Compact design
- Dials for quantity/enter choice
- Shiny, simply readable display
The FiiO R7 takes the looks of a tower (out there in black or white choices), and that has the benefit of taking a small footprint. Certainly, for those who wished, you may add an energetic speaker (FiiO’s SP3, for instance), or add a system when you have one already.
Aesthetically, the FiiO R7 is a solid-looking slab of hi-fi equipment. Most of its fascia is taken up by a 4.97-inch touchscreen (720p decision) that’s like FiiO’s moveable music gamers.
There are quantity dials to the aspect that cowl energy/quantity management in addition to analogue/line output choice, of which there are 4: headphones and the preamp, headphones or the preamp, and the road out connection. Such are the configurations on supply, you may have sound output to audio system and headphones concurrently.
There’s a hoop of sunshine across the dials that change color relying on the sampling price or Bluetooth file the R7 is presently enjoying.
Under the dials you’ll discover headphone inputs (initially protected by a canopy) starting from a 6.35mm output, to a balanced 4.4mm, and a balanced 4 pin XLR connector. Across the again are two RCA line outputs, a balanced line output (left and proper), Ethernet, micro-SD slot, USB-C 3.0 enter, USB-A port, together with optical/coaxial inputs and optical/coaxial outputs. Except for an HDMI port, you’re nicely stocked for connecting a spread of different units.
The display is vivid, vibrant and simply readable, although a side that’s fussy is the touchscreen itself. Whereas it’s responsive, and the interface is speedy, I discovered I usually needed to jab and prod, which isn’t one of the best technique of interplay. I’d favor a distant or a keypad, particularly with fingers as massive as mine. FiiO has clearly thought-about this as a difficulty because it sells the compact KB1 mechanical keyboard.
Typing on the display will be irritating when hitting the improper letters, and although I’ve stated the display is responsive, there are occasions when some presses don’t register.
Regardless of weighing simply over 1kg, the FiiO R7 doesn’t really feel as heavy because it appears to be like. The construct high quality conveys a solidness; and whereas the display isn’t hostile to smudges or the buildup of mud, this may be wiped off. It runs a little bit heat throughout use, however nothing that unduly considerations, with air flow on either side.
You possibly can settle the R7 on toes, one among which angles it upwards, whereas the opposite retains it straight or goes sans any toes. One factor I might have preferred is an extended energy cable as whereas the present one is okay, it means having to put the unit nearer to the mains for those who don’t have an extension cable. A 6.3mm headphone adapter and SD card holder are provided throughout the equipment.
- Customised model of Android
- Roon Prepared compatibility
- Intensive file help
The FiiO R7 is powered by an ES9068AS DAC and a pair of THX’s AAA-788+ headphone amplifiers (AAA stands for Achromatic Audio Amplifier). That’s the identical as what options in FiiO’s M17 moveable music participant.
Headphone impedance is really useful at 16 to 150 ohms for the pre-out inputs, and 16 to 300 ohms for the balanced inputs for an optimum expertise.
The R7 runs a personalized model of Android OS however operates like an Android smartphone which makes for an odd expertise for a desktop amplifier as you may obtain any app out there within the Google Play Retailer – even Netflix. If you happen to’ve enabled auto login, you received’t need to manually enter your particulars, which is useful in that it avoids utilizing the touchpad.
Android gives a comfortably acquainted expertise by way of gestures (swiping down from the highest brings up fast settings) and delving into the menu settings gives a extra bespoke expertise (there’s even VPN settings).
Toggling on Roon Prepared mode locations it inside a multi-device ecosystem, and there are numerous audio settings corresponding to Achieve (Extremely excessive, Tremendous excessive, Excessive, Medium, Low), DSD conversion, and firmware updates. There’s even a ‘Darkish’ mode for the interface.
There are a number of totally different modes that embrace the Android mode I discussed above, to the FiiO Music mode or Pure Music mode that focuses on music playback (on the machine or from a media server).
There’s the aforementioned Roon Prepared compatibility together with a coaxial/optical decoding mode for accepting any audio indicators despatched through these inputs.
The USB DAC mode can take the music from one other supply and enhance upon it. The AirPlay receiver mode connects the FiiO R7 to an iOS machine to spice up audio high quality, and the Bluetooth receiver does the identical over a Bluetooth connection.
The FiiO R7 can each transmit and obtain a Bluetooth 5.0 sign. It will probably obtain SBC, AAC, and LDAC streams, and transmit these codecs together with aptX, aptX-HD, and LHDC. Wi-Fi (DLNA, AirPlay, Google Forged) full the strategies of flinging music to the R7.
File help is prolonged. There’s help for audio recordsdata as much as DSD256, and 24-bit DXD: a wide range of APE codecs as much as 32-bit/384kHz, Apple Lossless as much as 24-bit/384kHz; AIFF, FLAC, and WAV as much as 32-bit/384kHz. WMA Lossless as much as 24-bit/192kHz, and DTS audio as much as 24-bit/192kHz. It will probably totally decode MQA recordsdata, and play lossy codecs corresponding to MP3, OGG, AAC.
I discussed the dials on the entrance change color relying on the file and sampling price, and over Bluetooth the colors imply SBC (Blue), AAC (Cyan), aptX-HD (Yellow), LDAC (White), and LHDC (Orange). Sampling price equals Blue (Lossy), Cyan (Customary High quality), Yellow (Hello-Res), Inexperienced (DSD), and Magenta (MQA). You possibly can see the precise sampling price within the prime right-hand nook of the display at any time when a file is enjoying.
Constructed-in storage is 64GB (precise area is nearer to 46GB), and that’s expandable with SD playing cards as much as 2TB. Intensive is the one phrase to explain the FiiO R7’s array of options.
- Crisp, impartial sound
- Spacious soundstage
- Constant efficiency throughout a spread of inputs/sources
From virtually each supply the FiiO R7 can produce a pointy, crisp, and impartial efficiency. Beginning with an MQA observe of GoGo Penguin’s Raven through Tidal, the FiiO delivers a agency and punchy sound. Beats are described with loads of rolling momentum, whereas the highest finish is vivid and sharp.
The way in which the R7 describes music, there’s barely an oz. of fats or extra. It strikes me as a really communicative piece of hi-fi equipment, adopting a musical however balanced strategy throughout the frequency vary.
With Infantile Gambino’s Keep Excessive, the R7 strikes once more with a pointy and far-reaching efficiency on the prime finish of the frequency vary, whereas the low finish hits with thumping bass. There’s loads of data to be discovered from the bass via the midrange to the treble, all delivered in a large and spacious soundstage no matter whether or not you’re listening with a closed or open-back pair of headphones.
The midrange is very informative in Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out, along with her voice fed excessive ranges of readability and sharpness however avoiding sibilance. Cymbal crashes within the tune are crisply outlined; dynamically the FiiO is fluid in the way in which if shifts between loud and quiet notes on each a refined and grander stage – it’s a constantly punchy, full of life, and exact sound.
It’s not missing in energy, as a take heed to Rostam Batmanglij‘s Changephobia reveals, and the stereo picture has a superb sense of depth with an virtually three-dimensional really feel to it.
Utilizing a spread of headphones from a Grado SR225x to a Sivga Robin and Monolith 1570 (through the XLR pin), the FiiO usually invoked a crisper, sharper presentation besides from the XLR enter the place the heat of the Monolith received out. In most situations I think about the R7 outs a extra impartial efficiency, however which will depend upon how your headphones have been tuned.
When connecting the Edifier S2000 MkIII energetic audio system, the sound mirrored the headphone outputs. There’s loads of energy at its disposal – I set the acquire at round 60 for headphones and 65 for audio system (for decrease high quality sources it’s possible you’ll want go to increased) – and a take heed to Robert Glasper’s Why We Speaker was a decent, flowing, dynamic efficiency, the FiiO making use of ample thrust and dynamic verve to the observe. The soundstage is once more huge in width, and the readability and definition of Esperanza Spalding’s voice was wonderful.
Over a Bluetooth connection and utilizing a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ears, the efficiency is sort of pretty much as good as different sources. The low frequencies weren’t as punchily described, the sound not as massive or as energetic. A change within the settings to optimise the sound to 990kbps LDAC did lead to a extra sprightly and highly effective efficiency.
The FiiO R7 can be used as a USB DAC and it’s a transparent enchancment on my Lenovo laptop computer. There’s extra refinement listening to music via the R7: the extent of management exerted throughout the frequency vary is extra articulate and exact, element ranges are increased, the midrange is clearer and higher resolved, and the FiiO will not be as crude with low frequencies, producing extra energy and slam. Each supply is improved by being fed into the FiiO R7 and I can’t ask extra from a desktop amplifier than that.
Must you purchase it?
An area-saving field that’ll enhance your music library: The efficiency of the FiiO R7 is nice, and that it does so throughout a spread of inputs and sources is even higher.
Android integration is bizarre for a desktop amplifier: It’s good to have 1000’s of apps from the Play Retailer, however with the ability to obtain Airbnb and Microsoft Workplace on a desktop amplifier is unusual.
In a phrase, the FiiO R7 desktop amplifier is superb. Its crisp, sharp, clear, and highly effective sound brings one of the best out of music. This desktop amplifier makes the act of listening to music higher.
It really works finest with prime quality sources however can enhance decrease high quality sources too. Its versatility, alongside its efficiency, makes it a jack and grasp of a number of trades for an asking worth that’s not fairly as costly as I might have initially thought it could be.
The FiiO R7 is among the higher surprises of 2023. It’s an outstanding (and compact) slice of hi-fi equipment.
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Examined for greater than a month
Examined with actual world use
Sure, you may join wi-fi headphones to the R7 through a Bluetooth connection. The R7 additionally helps LDAC and LHDC, so when you have wi-fi headphones that help these codecs, you may take heed to audio in increased high quality.
3.5mm enter, balanced 4.4mm output, balanced 4 pin XLR connector, two RCA line outputs, a balanced line output (left and proper), Ethernet, micro-SD slot, USB-C 3.0 enter, USB-A port, optical/coaxial inputs, optical/coaxial outputs
Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi
DSD256, 24-bit DXD, APE codecs as much as 32-bit/384kHz, Apple Lossless as much as 24-bit/384kHz, AIFF, FLAC, and WAV as much as 32-bit/384kHz, WMA Lossless as much as 24-bit/192kHz, DTS audio as much as 24-bit/192kHz, MQA, MP3, OGG, AAC.
Google Play Retailer