Fiio E10K Review

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FiiO is fast becoming a big industry player when it comes khổng lồ audiophile consumer products. The company was highlighted at CanJam 2019 with some exciting new IEM releases. One of FiiO’s more popular products is the FiiO E10K which is an affordable USB DAC và tai nghe amplifier. While our focus is on the E10K, we’ll also take a brief look at the FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier later in this article.

FiiO E10K Specs


Design và Features

The first thing you’ll notice about the FiiO E10K is it’s small. If you’re familiar with the Schitt Fulla, the E10K is probably around two-thirds the size. Palm-sized to lớn be more precise. The outer casing is a solid piece of brushed aluminum with a tai nghe jaông chồng và controls on one over with USB input và outputs on the other.

The headphone output is a 1/8-inch jaông chồng plug with a large recess around the outside. If you are familiar with the original FiiO E10, you’ll know that some tai nghe jacks were unable to fit due to the tight recess around the headphone output. This issue is not sorted and all headphones should now fit.

Next lớn the headphone output is the E10K bass boost. A feature some audiophiles had a total meltdown about. Many purists feel bass boost features should not be included in DACs and headphone amps. The E10K was not built for the audiophile market but rather as a fun hàng hóa for the average consumer.

The rotary volume control is located next to lớn the bass boost and also operates as a power switch. The knob goes from 0 – 8 with an extra click past zero for off. The action of the control is smooth with a nice weight when turned. Something not often found on cheaper electronics products.

Another change from the original E10 to the E10K is the hi/low gain switch. On the E10 the gain attenuation was located on the bottom of the device while on the E10K this switch is located on the rear next to the inputs & outputs.

Inputs và Outputs

Nothing has changed with regards khổng lồ inputs và outputs from the E10 to lớn the E10K expect for the type of USB input. On the E10 FiiO used a Mini USB whereas on the E10K it’s now a Micro USB input đầu vào. This won’t have sầu any effect on how the sản phẩm operates. However, some users might prefer one connection over the other. The device also draws power through the USB connection from your laptop or PC.

Next to the Micro USB đầu vào is a coaxial output and a 1/8-inch output. The rear outputs are not variable so, you can’t use the E10K as a preamp. You can, however, feed the DAC inlớn a preamp if need be.

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The tai nghe output on the front is recommended for headphones from 16 – 150 ohms. Mostly the entry-level and standard tai nghe models. You can drive high-impedance headphones, but you won’t achieve sầu optimum performance from the E10K.


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Sound

If you’ve sầu used similar DACs, the first thing you’ll notice from the E10K is a slight bump in bass response. This likely has something to lớn vì chưng with the bass boost switch. Even when the bass boost is disengaged, the E10K is somewhat bassy.

One issue with the E10 was the bass boost seemed to lớn affect frequencies into the midrange. This was very overwhelming & muddied the audio to lớn some extent. FiiO has fixed that with the E10K. The bass boost is now reserved for the sub frequencies. The bass boost is, however, quite powerful and might be too much for action games and movies. If you have sầu a bass boost feature on your headphones, the E10K may provide a smoother, more powerful listening experience.

The mid-range and treble are what you would expect from a DAC under $100. While the sound is clean, there is some frequency loss in the midrange, và the E10K certainly doesn’t provide a premium listening experience. Having said that, for $76, the E10K does a fantastic job.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable DAC for gaming or listening to lớn music from your máy tính xách tay or PC, then the FiiO E10K is an excellent option to consider. If you’re looking lớn boost the bass of your headphones, then the E10K is probably one of the few DACs with a bass boost feature. Where the E10K is most useful is portability. Its compact form size means you can pop it in your máy tính bag & enjoy the benefits of a DAC no matter where you are.

FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier

If you’re looking for an even smaller, more affordable DAC, the FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier is the E10K’s younger sibling. The A3 provides many of the same features as the E10K except, it doesn’t have sầu a coaxial output và is better suited as an on-the-go-DAC. The A3 is slimline with a 16-hour built-in battery. This is useful to connect your iPad, laptop, or sản phẩm điện thoại while traveling.

Like the E10K, the A3 powers headphones from 16-150 ohms, which is perfect for most consumer headphones but isn’t sufficient lớn power high-over models. With the A3 you also have sầu the same gain attenuation và bass boost features. The volume/power knob is also identical khổng lồ the smooth action you get from the E10K.

The best part about the A3, the price tag. You also have three color options including black, silver, & titanium.