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FiiO Andes (E07K) Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier - 96kHz/24-Bit

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #4 in Amp/DACs

Posted

Pros: Lightweight, portable, easy to use, great build quality

Cons: N/A

There are 100's of reviews for this product, all covering differing subjects. Nearly all of them rate the product very highly.

 

This is not a comprehensive review. If you want a more comprehensive review, you can probably find it on the net.

 

 

I only want to cover one topic:

 

iPhone/iPad connectivity (Lightening Connector)

 

Yes, this DAC can be used with iPhone/iPad via Lightening connector! :dt880smile:

 

Instructions:

 

1. You will need an extra cable (Lightning to USB Camera Adapter), it can be purchased from the Apple store here (I've tried a third party connector, and it doesn't work - so I suggest you stick with the Apple branded one.)

 

2. You will also need a male-male USB to USB Mini cable (I think one of these came with the E07K). I ended up getting a really short one online, making the whole connection less bulky.

 

3. Make sure that the E07K is charged, and then disable USB charging (Menu > USB Charge > Off). **This will always need to be disabled while connecting to iPhone/iPad - as it draws too much power from the device**

 

4. Plug the cables in, and presto! You should be able to hear audio via the External DAC.

5. If you want losless audio on iOS, I recommend VLC. It's easy to use and has a cool interface for transferring files to device over network :)

Enjoy! :wink_face:

Posted

Pros: Multi featured Swiss Army DAC/Amp. Universal sound and EQ. Screen, and slick buttons. Adequate power

Cons: Screen is very small, size is weird when used with many DAP's,

Introduction:
The legend has returned. The FiiO E7 is one of the world's most famous budget DAC's and headphone amplifier. It skyrocketed FiiO to fame back when it came out. It was, and still is, on the lips of many new head-fi'ers as they come to look for a budget unit for their new setup. The E7 has aged in these last 2-3 years since it has been out, but now in 2012 and early 2013, the legend itself has returned. Updated and just as sleek and beautiful as the original was. I honestly can not think of another company that has been as major a brand of choice for a starter audiophile than FiiO. The E7 and FiiO has created and started more audiophiles than I can count. Let's take a look at it.
 

Please read the review here:

http://www.pandatechreview.com/fiio-e07k-review/

 

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Build:
If you have ever held a(aluminum body) FiiO, then it should be self explanatory what the build of this little angel is. The aluminum is beautiful and sleek and highly well made. The edges meet incredibly well and its whole look is. It doesn't scratch easy and it doesn't scratch other things in your pockets easily*(if you don't throw many things in there). 

What else do you want? The front screen is a reflective piece of material, possibly glass with a plastic sheet over it.

It should be noted by perfectionists that this model I received does have some non perfection. The white headphone symbols on top for the two jacks are a bit of a faded white. Same with everything else. It isn't full blanche, but does it really matter? I don't think personally but I have heard some people ask me. The volume + and - signs in the circles are also off center by a fraction of a mili meter. I don't really mind in any sense but this is for the perfectionists.



Screen Protector:

It comes with two screen protectors. You get to protect your screen but sadly it also has some issues. It is a generic screen protector and also large. The E07K's reflective screen area covers most of the front of the device. What you then get wtith a screen protector are peelings. The top and bottoms edges more or less peel away after a while and get dust underneath it. It looks quite ugly. The screen protector also dims and distorts the reflective screen. Women and men alike who want to use this as a mirror should note this. Without a screen protector, it works very well as a mirror.(see picture above)

After much time using it I have decided to not use the screen protector anymore. With 1 month of use and proper attachement of the screen protector, many parts are peeling already as dust gathers beneath it. The holding bands will also peel them up when I use my device. 

The E07K's beauty is also revealed without it. Now at approximately nearley a month's time with this device. I am choosing not to use it. "Whatever will be, will be, the futures not ours to see" -Que Sera, Sera



Case:

You get a little nylon case as well, it does feel a bit baggy sometimes on it. I would say that the case prevents other items in your pockets from potentially getting hurt rather than drop damage. The case is very light and thin. Won't really protect against a fall. In my opinion, The ANDES looks beautiful without a screen protector and case. The secondary big lock style case is more of a travel case. Roomy enough to put an L9 in there with it.

You get a choice between protecting your E07K from your keys with the nylon case, but it reduces the E07K's attractive points by a full 100pts out of 150 in my opinion.(Bad Game joke by the way)

Accessory Replacement:

At the time of this writing, FiiO on their Facebook page has stated that they will offer(most?) accessories for free but that the user will need to pay freight charge. This is due to freight international being much much more expensive than that screen protector, leg peg, nylon case that was bought in bulk. Rejoice everyone. It will take 15-20 days from the looks of their estimate.



Usability:

The Andes is a beautifully designed product that works very well as well. It's OS and EQ system is battle proven by the E17 to be a working formula and the additon of the LO Bypass switch and hold switch also make it even more useful. It is literally a down-spec'd E17. The standoff plastic legs that come with it also work very well as a standoff against the device you want to use it with as it prevents sliding and scratching of your smart phone or device. With a strap on the E07K, it can sometimes be hard to find where the up and down volume buttons are but it really isn't a big issue none the less. 

It is kinda hard for me to talk about Usability even more as its bottom dock has literally stayed the same for years and there is little to want to change about it. 



Usability quirks:

The E07K is very well designed but it does have some quirks. The standoff plastic legs that come with it slide after a while(it leaves a glue trail) and thus your inner pocket dust bunnies and other material stick to it. Some people may have a quirk with this but I don't see it as a problem. Next the controls of the Andes are opposite side of the controls on the iPhone and other devices which are popularily used with FiiO's. Putting the E07K back to back with that device makes it so that the volume contrlols are opposite the original ones. This may help un confuse those that need to switch between E07K control and their smartphone. I found it weird but found no problem changing volume at all. My thumb does the job well enough. Like I already mentioned before, the screen protector peeling off is a distraction and lowers the beauty of the device. The controls also WILL confuse you for the first 2 weeks that you use it. You will continuously forget what is enter and what is exit and may be even get angry a few times but this is what the device is like. 

The ANDES and E7 both feature dual headphone outs but of course this has there own quircks. Some may not think about it but pairing a Q701 on one side and a IEM on the other when sharing is not a good idea. The power outputted is approx the same to both sides. With different driveability headphones, you either make it too quiet or too loud. This was a problem when I shared Apple Earpods and MH1C's with my cousin's. 

Testing:

This was tested with the FiiO E07K Andes, Audio-gd NFB 12.1, Miu Audio MRB, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 2G, Macbook Pro. The equipment I have and could have used are in my profile page.

Some people prefer to listen to music at a very low volume. I see nothing wrong with that but for testing purposes some problems or highlights can only be unveiled at more "modern" listening levels in my opinion. These do not include blow your ear scream-o levels, but more like the type that isn't too loud but comfortable enough for most modern adults or teens.

Burn in:

Nothing detected be it that you believe in it on SS devices or brain burn in.

Power:

It has more or less the same amount of power as the E17. ~240mW @ 16 ohms.

Sound Section:

E07K as amp and DAC:

The E07K is a very smooth sounding device. That is all the truth to this device that I can possibly sum up in a few words.

The mids and vocals do take a spent back in presentation. They do not carry the weight or authority that an Audio-gd or Objective unit would give you with the vocals. To explain, I mean that the mids on the ANDES are very close to the bass. They don't come out to the front to present themselves as much as other units such as the MIU MRB or O2 would. 

The bass of the E07K is much more present in terms of authority and presentation than my testing units. Instead of seperate zones that are further apart on my test units that I am using as "reference" units for this review. The E07K brings the bass/low frequency regions presentation to be closer to the mids. They are also more loud and present. I have tested to make sure my switching between units is not accounting for this. They are also a bit boomy. Do not let the connotation of the word boomy in this niche area put you off. They are just more boomy compared to more perfected refernece units of this price point. The loose some of the huge punch but it is not unpleasant. IT is actually quite pleasant. I am a universal listener being both a treble head and a bass head. The universality of FiiO's sound has always been situated into it's bass and especially their bass boosting capabilitie(I am not using bass boost). 

The highs are a bit dulled off. This isn't bad, this is of course compared to my testing units. They will offer the user the sound that they want of course. Crisp. But I find that it just didn't deliver what I wanted for highs. Very bright highs are not a good thing of course. So these do protect the listeners ears. They are very good for the unit and price though.

Amp only with iPod lining out:

FiiO has always made devices that scream one thing. Universal sound. Their target group generally aren't the flat all you want type of people. I can see why. Some just don't like the more "accurate" sound of these "audiophile" products these days. When I get congestion, even I get a affinity for other things. The E07K builds off FiiO's already well known formula of universality. 

The ANDES is warm/sweet/fun. These words are audio jargon that can mean different things to different people. What I mean by them is that the sound it produces is very comfortable to the average consumer. Not overly analytical,fatiguing, metalic, bass-shy. Headphones GENERALLY with those qualities are not considered warm/sweet/fun. The E07K does a good job of not overly amplifying the fatiguing elements of a song. Of course this is all comparative but I personally say that it is more song friendly than a majority of amps.(consumer market in cheap products)

The bass as with the Alpen I had and the E02i and E5 are all different but their principle behind them are very parallel. A bass induced phenomenon of wonder and hit. Some songs just don't sound good with a highly controlled bass hit. The HFI 580 headphone for example suffers from this. When it is paired with an amp that has a weak bass responce(for any technical reason or another) or one who's bass is highly controlled it suffers immensely. The bass on all of FiiO's units I have heard fix that by not going to any extreme formula of sloppy car sub or amnetic bass.

Andes mids are very controlled. They don't spread across the spectrum(in a good or bad way). It is in a solid spot in my opinion. I personally feel it to be a bit too constrained compared to what I usually listen to on my desktop but it does offer a very front but slightly laid back vocal. I find that while the vocals are slightly more forward, it doesn't fully make you feel the need to be engaged(could be bad or good). 

The highs are very controlled. Nothing too out of place or too bright. I would lean towards a more lack of a sparkle for most cases. This is of course comparing to a O2 which will serve as a middle ground. But that lack of a sparkle that I find isn't really a con for most. It already does extremely well.

Conclusion:

I find that no matter what fault I have been trying to find with FiiOs recent devices. The price point they offer it at leaves me little to go off on. The majority of my main criticisms of this device would be in the accessories of this device. They come with a boat load but some of them just don't seem to go well. Some feel hapsidasily thrown in. But even if it feels like they were, they still have little fault in it. The screen protector has peeling problems due to the large area it must cover and how often the user's fingers or objects are near that area. The furry cloth case also seems a bit counter intuitive. It features a loose fit, is big, and while it can be used for storage or travelling, seems not not be needed. This is a portable/travel device of course. 

FiiO has done it again I would say. I never had the original E7 but with the way this device sounds and can be used for the price, I have much to like about it. It is an extremely well built and beautiful device and sounds great. It is available for the same price as the original E7 was officially available for. The legend has returned with new features, a new more modern look and usage and it sounds great.

Thank you everyone for 100,000 views 

Ratings:

Audio Sonic quality: 9/10

Features: 9/10

Build:10/10

Usability: 8.5/10

Value: 9.5/10

Specifications:

Output Power =242m@ @ 16 Ohms

Peak Output Current=64mA

Battery Life=20 hours

Charge time=180 minutes

Weight=27g

Output impendence=.25ohms @ 16ohms loaded

Op amps: AD8692 and TI TPA6130A

DAC=WM8740

Sample Rate max=24bit/96KHz

USB receiver=TI PCM2706

Posted

Pros: Works with iphones and ipads

Cons: Can't handle 192khz; requires camea connecting kits for use with Apple

I purchased this on Amazon from a vendor that had a combined listing for the older model and newer E07 Andes.  So I received the new model at the old model price and saved about $20.   So that was nice.   But even at $90 this unit is great.  I can use it for getting more volume from the Asus T100 when watching movies on a plane (that was my original reason for buying the machine).  But then I discovered that I can turn my current generation Apple toys until audiophile delivery systems.  Sweet.

 

I found that a number of apps like nPlayer and VLC will allow internal streaming over the home network of hi res material.  One can also download 24 bit 96khz files (or lower rates but not higher) directly to the Apple products.

 

When the Fiio X1 comes out that may raise the bar yet again for portable audio; but in the meantime this unit is a nice performer at a reasonable price.  I suppose the next step up would be 192 khz or DSD streaming; but realistically Foobar is your friend and can convert just about everything to a format that works with the E07.  Plus even though I have SACD material, I am not convinced that it is a giant step above 24bit 96khz.  (Eggs and rotten vegetables to follow?).

Posted

Pros: Jack of all trades

Cons: Master of none

I really think the E07K is a great place to start with this hobby - and maybe even carry on for a while.

 

The biggest plus is the amount of functionality packed into a very small package - combination amp/dac with a large number of user adjustments - eq adjustments (bass + treble), channel balance for those of us with slightly different ear sensitivity, 3 levels of gain adjustment. Supports up to 24/96 driverless via USB. Can use either as a dac/amp via USB or just a portable amp via line in. Long-lasting battery for use as a portable amp or trickle charge via USB when using as dac/amp. Comes with useful accessories (bag, USB cable, line in cable, screen protector, silicone cover, bands). Can use as just a dac with the very inexpensive L7 accessory (about $7) which provides a line out. Hold button to prevent accidental keypresses. Line out bypass control (enable/disable volume or eq adjustments when using as a standalone dac).

 

Not going to drive your high impedance headphones or orthos to their potential, but there is a companion higher power amp (E09K - about $110) that the E07K integrates with nicely.

 

If that sounds like a lot of functionality for sub $90, it is imho.

 

Signature is slightly warm (as compared to the E17 which I found noticeably brighter). Not the king of extended bass or detail retrieval, but very listenable.Not commenting on soundstage because my own soundstage processing is not particularly good.

 

Very flexible and very serviceable with an attractive price and package, Even when you move on and up, this is the kind of product you may well keep around for the utility factor.

Posted

Pros: Very good price point, very smooth impression, good load of accessories

Cons: Hissing due to sensitivity, low quality screen protector

Introduction: 

FiiO was being really enthusiastic about their products lately and its no doubt that it will take the audiophile market by storm, they were always known as the company who makes budget audiophile products. And this time, I will be looking at the latest “Andes” E07K Amp/Dac combo.. As we all know that the E07K is the successor of its previous model the E7, with a huge leap of improvement of course. Jaben brought in a few units the other day and I was able to be lucky enough to grab hold of one myself. The reason behind my purchase was mainly because of its value, accompanied along with its gorgeous and sleek outer shell and design, along with a wide range of functions similar enough to its bigger brother the E17 Alpen, not to mention its price point which was the main attraction

 

Accessories: 

In the box, you will get a USB cable, a basic 3.5mm male to male interconnect, two protective films for the screen, a soft carry pouch, a set of rubber feet, and two rubber bands for rig attachment purposes.

 

Bass: The bass on the E07k brings an impactful, loud, prevalent presence into your music, although sometimes (varying on songs) it tends to get a little boomy, but it is forgivable as the sensation will not totally be considered as unpleasant, I personally find it quite enjoyable. One thing I did notice would be the synergy between the mids and the low frequencies, it was being brought forward altogether but do take note that they do not bleed into each other’s spectrum. As both frequencies are very controlled.

Highs: Not the highlight of the E07k I would say, as it did not do much improvement to my listening experience, as it does not provide any sparkle factor, or should I say, dull. However, I would still say that it has great control over this spectrum.

Mids: The mids are brought forward but not too much, yet again, very controlled in its own manner, I find it very engaging. Very sweet, very defined, is all I could say to describe this section.

Posted

Pros: Fairly flat sound signature, price/performance ratio

Cons: Slight hissing with sensitive IEMs, UI isn't the prettiest

First of all, I must thank Bowei006 for lending me the E07k. I won't be going into the sound quality all that much in this review, but will instead go over the physical characteristics of the E07k.

The overall design of the E07k is very refined. It looks better than both the E7 and E11, which I have owned at one point or another. 

 

Picture Time:

The front of the E07k is mostly glass, with a snazzy bezel, and piece of metal running along the bottom.

 

The back continues the same brushed aluminum as the front and sides of the unit:

 

At the bottom is a mini USB-in as well as a line in, and Fiio's proprietary line out, which can be used with the E09k as well as the L7, for a DAC line out.

 

 

 

At the top are two headphone jacks, which is a very nice feature that I've actually used a few times already. It's great for bus rides where you have two people listening to the same song or trying to watch a movie together.

 

On the right side is a lock switch, which is another great inclusion on Fiio's part.

 

Then on the right side, we have the volume buttons, as well as a menu and Power/Exit button:

Fiio had another great idea with the volume buttons, which is that it takes to clicks to change the volume, preventing you from accidentally bumping the volume buttons while wearing IEMs and blowing your ears out.

 

A Quick Note:

I found that the size of the E07k was perfect with the iPod Classic. Using the GR07 and the L9 cable, the top of the right angle GR07 cable matched up perfectly with the top of my iPod, while the bottom of the L9 was level on both the E07k and the Classic.

 

User Interface:

The overall UI of the DAC is still very basic, like it was in the E7. It controls the volume, channel balance, gain level, and other settings, such as a sleep mode, and the option to change how long the screen stays on after a button is pressed. The Orange menu bar really isn't to my liking, I believe it would look much better in a blue that matched the LED, but this is just my opinion.

 

Sound: (Objectivists look away now)

As I said before, I won't be diving into the sound aspects of the E07k too much, both because I don't have very much equipment to compare it to, and because I am unable to do proper volume matching, which I believe might be skewing my opinions. Nonetheless, here goes.

My "reference equipment" if you will, is an iPod classic 6th generation, and an objective 2 amplifier. I was able to compare DACs fairly straight across, and I believe that there are subtle differences in the vocals between the Cirrus DAC in the iPod and the Wolfson, the vocals felt more intimate, while being slightly more edgy and harsh. The Cirrus felt smoother, but less intimate. I wouldn't say one is completely better than the other, they're simply different.

 

As for the amp section, I used the iPod as the DAC plugged into the line in on both the O2 and the E07k. I found the E07k to be ever so slightly rolled off in the treble, making it sound a bit warmer. Overall however, the differences are very small.

 

Power and Other Thoughts:

-Keep in mind that I generally listen to music between 75 and 85dB, which is considered "quiet", which may mean that the E07K might not be able to power your favorite headphone at 100dB, or however loud you listen-

While the E07k isn't a nuclear power plant, it has plenty of power to drive most, if not all dynamic driver headphones. The HD600s are no match for the E07k, as I can easily drive them to listenable levels at around 20 out of 60 volume points on the lowest gain. Surprisingly, the E07k is also capable of driving my Mad Dog T50RPs at around 25/60 volume points. Personally, even when conducting my brief A/B tests with the O2, there was very little audible difference in sound quality between the two.

One of the problems with the E07k that the E11 also has trouble with is noise. With a quiet background, I was able to hear hiss with the GR07s that was not audible on the O2. However, if you're out on the go (where this unit is really meant to be used anyway) the noise should be mostly inaudible.

 

I hope you all enjoyed this review, and I plan on adding more to it in the near future. Please leave a comment if you have any questions!

Posted

Pros: well designed,great sound,superior build quality

Cons: none so far

this is a great device at a a great price . if you want to drive your headphones from your pc or portable device you can not do better unless you pay triple the price .

 

I have not owned the E17 but it should be equally good value .

FiiO Andes (E07K) Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier - 96kHz/24-Bit
By:
Description:

The return of The Legend As an upgrade to the original and wildly popular FiiO E7, the new FiiO E07K portable USB DAC and headphone amplifier brings the following improvements - 96kHz 24-Bit high resolution audio decoding. - Right and left channel balance can be adjusted to suit users with different ear sensitivity. - Separate fine bass and treble adjustments with 20 discreet steps from -10 to +20 - Output bypass feature allows user to output fixed line-level signal when used with E09K - Three separate gain levels of 0dB, 6dB, and 12dB. - Hold swich prevents inadvertent adjustments an key presses Specification: - Output Power: 250mW (16Ohm); 36mW (300Ohm) - Recommended Headphone Impedance: 16 ~ 150Ohm - Sampling Rate: 96kHz/24Bit - Battery: 1200mAH - Playback Time: 24 Hours - Size: 3.8" x 2.2" x 0.6" - Weight: 3.5oz

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandFiiO
EAN6953175710776
Feature96kHz 24-Bit high resolution audio decoding. Right and left channel balance can be adjusted to suit users with different ear sensitivity. Separate fine bass and treble adjustments with 20 discreet steps from -10 to +20 Output bypass feature allows user to output fixed line-level signal when used with E09K Three separate gain levels of 0dB, 6dB, and 12dB.
LabelFiiO
ManufacturerFiiO
ModelE07K
MPNE07K
PublisherFiiO
StudioFiiO
TitleFiiO Andes (E07K) Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier - 96kHz/24-Bit
Item Height2.17 inches
Item Length3.78 inches
Item Weight0.22 pounds
Item Width0.61 inches
Package Height1.5 inches
Package Length5.51 inches
Package Weight0.71 pounds
Package Width4.57 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberE07K
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameCONSUMER_ELECTRONICS
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

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Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphone Amplifiers › Amp/DACs › FiiO Andes (E07K) Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier - 96kHz/24-Bit