1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

FiiO µBTR (uBTR, MicroBTR)

Rating:
4/5,
  1. ExpatinJapan
    FiiO - μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amp
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Oct 10, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - easy to use, connects quickly, light weight, affordable
    Cons - no dac.
    FiiO - BTR - Bluetooth Headphone Amp Review
    - Expatinjapan


    [​IMG]
    FiiO M7 Dap and the FiiO μBTR

    FiiO - μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amp
    -expatinjapan

    The new FiiO μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amp is an easy to use device that connected easily to my ipod touch 6G, FiiO M7 and Android based daps.
    A device that is lightweight and sounds good. Useful for casual use, on the go or working out etc.

    [​IMG]

    Unboxing and build

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    μBTR Specifications and features.

    [​IMG]

















    [​IMG]





































    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    FiiO - μBTR with Echobox Finder earphones

    Build

    The FiiO - μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amp is simple looking but quite functional.
    Sometimes simple is best.

    [​IMG]

    Volume down/up. Power on/BT pairing, mic.

    [​IMG]

    See the mic for taking calls up the top.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    USB C cable as is becoming more common these days.

    Connectivity

    [​IMG]


    I connecting successfully with several devices, FiiO M7, ipod touch 6G and Opus#3.

    I didnt venture further as I thought this was a representative enough of iOS and Android and the FiiO - μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amps ability to connect with ease.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Price
    At US$27.99 its a steal.

    These days more and more companies are coming out with functional and useable products to meet the needs of anyone with an interest in listening to music.

    [​IMG]

    At work, on the go, resting at home or working out.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Sound

    Tested with the FiiO M7, Opus#3 and ipod touch 6G.
    FLAC.
    Tested mainly with earbuds as I suspect many will be using this for jogging or exercising.

    TY Hi-Z HP-32S earbuds
    The sound is pleasing and full bodied.
    It presents a fairly even sound with vocals a bit forward.

    Campfire Audio Andromeda
    Retains the general signature, sound stage and resolution to a point. Not disappointing by any means, but I know it can stretch further and perform higher with a more upmarket device.
    But thats not the aim of this BT amp. Still satisfying.

    Campfire Audio Comet
    More laid back, neutral and even with a naturalness to it.

    All in all the FiiO - μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amp performs excellent within its parameters.
    Fairly neutral and smooth.


    [​IMG]

    Overall.

    The FiiO - μBTR - Bluetooth head phone amp is an affordable device at US$27.99. Hardly a price to complain about at all.
    Its lightweight, has a handy clip for moving about.

    The device pairs easily with many devices.

    Saves one get the precious iphone all sweaty, or falling out of the pocket etc.

    The Bluetooth signal is quite strong.

    The volume can be dependent on the source. I managed to squeeze out a bit more from the Opus#3 than the ipod touch when I cranked up the gain. But the volume from the ipod touch was more than adequate. And I like it loud.
    My upper room of my house is open plan and I could walk around quite freely with a solid connection. When I ventured downstairs I had some stutters. But that it to be expected, Its designed more as a close proximity device.

    The sound quality is clear, has enough body and resolution to please.

    If you are looking for an affordable, easy pairing, lightweight BT amp with decent sound for your earphones the FiiO - μBTR is a good choice.


    [​IMG]

    Thank you to FiiO for sending the BTR for review
      FiiO and B9Scrambler like this.
  2. B9Scrambler
    FiiO uBTR: Micro Machine
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Dec 31, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Small size with good ergonomics - Decent output power and battery life - Great sound quality
    Cons - Not particularly feature rich
    Greetings!

    Today we're checking out a budget friendly Bluetooth module from juggernauts in the portable audio industry, FiiO.

    FiiO has been around since 2007 and quickly arose to become one of the premier Chinese manufacturers as a result of products like their iconic X-Series media players. Their current lineup is wide reaching and includes DAP, amps, earphones, accessories, and Bluetooth modules like the µBTR we're looking at today. The µBTR is an entry level model, yet inside is the respected Qualcomm CSR8645 Bluetooth chip with Bluetooth 4.1 and aptX support. This chip is usually found is much more premium devices, yet here it is in a budget minded product like the µBTR (pronounced microBTR). For someone that wants to experience high quality audio, but doesn't have the finances required for the premium products you would typically have to buy to experience it, products like the µBTR can be a lifesaver.

    Let's take a closer look at the µBTR to see how FiiO's most inexpensive Bluetooth module performs over an extended period in the hands of an audio hobbiest like myself.

    Disclaimer:

    The µBTR was sent over by FiiO free of charge for the purposes of review. The thoughts within are my own based on two months of near daily use, and do not represent FiiO or any other entity. At the time of writing, the µBTR retailed for 34.99 CAD on Amazon, or 32.99 USD via FiiO's official AliExpress store. You can check it out here: https://fiio.com/μbtr

    IMG_5455_Signature.jpg IMG_5456_Signature.jpg IMG_5461_Signature.jpg

    Package Contents:
    • µBTR module
    • usb-C charge cable
    • Quick Start guide
    • Warranty card
    • Notice on using Bluetooth devices
    While Bluetooth is infinitely more consistent and reliable now than it was, it is still a somewhat finicky technology. The inclusion of the notice regarding Bluetooth usage is welcome since it goes over what amounts to best practices regarding Bluetooth devices; how to retain a strong connection, how to address connection issues, etc. For Bluetooth users familiar with the technology, this information will be nothing new. But, for those for whom the µBTR will be their first Bluetooth enabled device it will be helpful in getting the most out of the product.

    Specifications:
    • Weight - About 13 g (incl. battery)
    • Dimensions - About 55*19*9.1mm (exclusive of back clip)
    • Audio Input - Bluetooth connection (Bluetooth 4.1 supported)
    • Bluetooth Codec - Supporting SBC, aptX, AAC
    • NFC - Supported
    • MIC Function - Supported
    • Headphone Output - 3.5 mm stereo jack
    • USB Port - Type C USB
    • Volume Control - Side buttons
    • Charging Indication - Yes (Red light flashes when powered off and goes off after charging completed)
    • Charging Time - ≤1 h(DC 5V 500mA)
    • Power Input - Recommend DC5V, 500mA
    • Battery Capacity - 120 mAh
    • Drive Ability - 16, 32 Ω (recommended)
    • Output Power - ≥20mW (16 Ω/THD<1%) ≥ 10mW(32Ω/THD<1%)
    • Frequency Response - 20~20kHz(aptX connection)
    • THD+N - <0.05%(1 kHz, aptX connection)
    • Output Impedance - <0.3 Ω(32Ω loaded)
    • SNR - ≥95dB (A-weighted)
    • Crosstalk - ≥ 78 dB(32Ω loaded)
    • Bluetooth Chip - CSR8645
    Build and Ergonomics:

    The µBTR features an all-plastic construction. The majority of the shell is a smooth, glossy white plastic with the face covered in a clear strip of plastic to give the design some contrast. This design language is very similar to Sony's MDR-EX15 earphones which use the same style. It looks better here than on the Sony where there are visible mounting points that give away the EX15's budget nature. FiiO's take on this design is coherent and attractive with excellent fit and finish. On one end of the µBTR is the 3.5mm headphone jack while the other holds the usb-C port for charging. Down one side is a small hole for the microphone, a single multipurpose button, and a rocker button that handles volume and track movement. The back of the unit is composed of a matte white plastic clip that stretches the length of the µBTR. The clamping force is reasonably strong and supported by a small protrusion that allows the µBTR to latch onto whatever you clip it on. It works quite well.

    Ergonomically the µBTR is a success, though the controls might take a minute to get used to. The single multipurpose button is easy to find and differentiate from the rocker button below, and depresses with some physical feedback. It doesn't depress with a really solid click though, but it's satisfying enough and works as you would expect. Press and hold for a couple seconds and the µBTR turns on. If you have a pair of headphones plugged in, you'll be greeted by a tune that reminds me of the introductory jingle for the local morning news crew. Once on it can be used to start and stop music, answer calls, and re-pair the device if it becomes disconnected. The rocker button depresses with the same feel as the single multi-purpose button and handles volume via single clicks. It will also skip back and forth through tracks, but note an oddity here. Holding volume down skips to the next track, while holding volume up skips back a track. This is completely opposite the norm. That said, I got used to it quickly and it feels natural in use. Weird, but it works.

    Overall, the µBTR is nice to look at and well constructed with controls that at first seem a little odd but work quite well. If I were to levy any complaint it would be that the clear face plate scratches easily. Tempered glass would solve that problem, but that would likely raise the cost of the µBTR notably, and isn't only aesthetic anyway. Scratches do not take away from the wireless or audio performance.

    IMG_20181102_182527_955_Signature.jpg IMG_5474_Signature.jpg IMG_5476_Signature.jpg

    Bluetooth:

    The µBTR features Qualcomm's CSR8645 Bluetooth chip giving it support for Bluetooth 4.1 as well as AAC, SBC, and aptX codecs. The connection quality proved to be very strong and stable and is one of the few devices I can use anywhere in my ~1,100 sqft apartment, regardless of source location, without running into spotty or dropped connections. Range is rated at 10 meters, but it feels like more. Most devices I've got start to cut out when there is a wall or two separating them from the source, but with the µBTR I can walk from my office to the front door, a trip which spans three rooms and a hallway, and only experience drops once I step through into the hallway. It's pretty impressive.

    Outdoors where the µBTR would be more subject to interference, I didn't notice any dips in connection quality. Leaving my building via the rear door really affects some of my wireless devices. I suspect this is due to the wireless camera systems they have set up. Despite this the µBTR retains a strong, unimpeded connection through the area. Using it in my local Tim Horton's coffee shop which is usually packed to the brim with people and their cell phones, as well as university students on their laptops, the µBTR has no issues. It has proven to be a very reliable device regardless of the location used.

    The only issues I've experienced with the connection quality so far were when paired with the Shanling M0. Sometimes the µBTR will simply stop outputting music. It remains connected but silent, even after power cycling. Only after the M0 is turned off and on again will the µBTR start playing music again. I also find that when paired to the M0 the multipurpose button works sporadically. Turning the M0 off and on usually fixes these issues with says to me it is the culprit, not the µBTR. Still, I felt it was worth mentioning anyway since the M0 works flawlessly with every other Bluetooth device it has been paired to. The same can be said about the µBTR since I've experienced zero issues pairing it to the F.Audio S1, Shanling M1, LG G5, LG G6, and my Asus FV53G laptop.

    Battery:

    FiiO tested the µBTR's battery life and found the following.
    • Battery Life - About 9 h (tested with iPhone)
    • Bluetooth Transmitter - iPhone (AAC)
    • Connected Headphones - M3 open earbuds (27 Ω)
    • Volume - The volume on iPhone is set to maximum; the volume on uBTR is set to minimum firstly, then press volume "+" button 5 times.
    To test this with my own equipment, I pulled out my FiiO EM3 (47Ω) earbuds, connected the µBTR to my LG G6 ThinQ (aptX), matched the volume settings noted above, and let it run from the start of my shift at 9:00 AM to the end of my shift at 5:30 PM. 8.5 hours later the µBTR was still going, but at the end of it's rope according to the battery life indicator at the top of the screen on my G6. 8.5 hours of use can be met, while 9 hours certainly seems achievable if you're listening at very low volumes or with a lower quality codec. Via aptX and given the high volumes many seem to listen at, I expect most should be getting just over 8 hours of play time with the µBTR.

    IMG_5480_Signature.jpg IMG_5481_Signature.jpg IMG_5484_Signature.jpg

    Sound Quality:

    FiiO's products are generally known for providing a quality audio experience. If the µBTR is representative of this, then the rest of their lineup must be a joy to experience because it sounds outstanding, especially for the price.

    Treble out of the µBTR is solidly extended with a smooth roll off. I find it retains the shimmer and sparkle of some of my preferred headphones and earphones with treble emphasis, like the EarNiNE EN2J and EchoBox Nomad, but smooths out the peaks and any rough edges to make them a bit more listenable over longer periods. This has a negative effect with dark or very warm earphones that are already quite reserved up top, like the Massdrop x Mee Audio Planamic and Brainwavz M100, in that what little treble energy they had is reduced even further. Overall I quite enjoy the µBTR's treble presentation. It is clean and smooth with clear instrument separation and good detail.

    The mid-range seems to have a fairly neutral presence with a note weight that is neither too thick nor overly lean. This makes the µBTR an ideal pairing with mid-range focused earphones like the EarNiNE EN1J and Fidue A85 Virgo since it doesn't color or mask the qualities that make their mids so gorgeous. Vocal detail is reduced slightly when compared to running the same earphones wired to the source device, but it's not noticeable unless rapidly flipping back and forth between the µBTR and the music source. This neutral, uncolored presence also serves to retain the outstanding timbre and realism of products like the thinksound On2 and Astrotec Delphinus5.

    Bass is the one area of the µBTR that doesn't impress quite like the rest of the signature. Don't get me wrong, it still sounds wonderful but I find it lacks some punch and weight with a noticeable roll off heading into the sub-bass regions. This is audible when comparing it to the much pricier Radsone Earstudio ES100 and source devices like the ZiShan DSD and F.Audio S1. Even so, I don't consider it much of a detriment given the µBTR is a 30 dollar device and it's bass performance is still overall quite good. It pretty easily overshadows the performance of dedicated players like the Ruizu X02 and XDuoo Nano D3 which are lean and unrefined with a much more steep and prominent drop off in the bass. I would much rather listen to my music over Bluetooth through the µBTR than straight out of either of those devices.

    The µBTR's sound stage capacity is good. Airy, spacious earphones retain these qualities while congested earphones remain congested. It's not going to make a stuffy headphone suddenly sound open and well separated. Imaging quality is something that tends to suffer through Bluetooth in my experience, but the µBTR performs well above average. The Brainwavz B400 is one of my imaging benchmarks and it certainly doesn't sound handicapped when playing through the µBTR.

    Overall, I find the µBTR to be an excellent performer. If I'm going to levy any complaints it goes to the background hiss that is present with more sensitive earphones and headphones. My Astrotec Delphinus5 still needs to be filtered through the iFi iEMatch to eliminate that quirk, while other products like the thinksound On2 display almost as black a background as they would when being run wired. Still at just over 30 USD I can't really fault the µBTR for how it sounds. I get just as much enjoyment from my music through it as I do any wired device, and that's really what matters most. The µBTR does nothing to take away from this.

    Final Thoughts:

    2018 has been a pretty wild ride. Chinese products have absolutely dominated the budget product sectors, and products like the µBTR are a clear example as to why. The price to performance ratio is through the roof. Fair enough; it's not a feature rich module. There is no balanced out. It doesn't work as a dedicated USB DAC. There is no LDAC support and no mobile app dedicated to it (though the FiiO Music app is pretty sweet and worth checking out anyway). Still, at the price you have to be realistic and expect that extras like those will be cut and saved for higher end modules in FiiO's lineup.

    With the µBTR, FiiO's focus was placed on what matters most; sound quality, ease of use, battery life, and connection quality. All of these things were handled well and make the µBTR a great companion for your every day listening. It is well worth checking out if you're in the market for an inexpensive Bluetooth module.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler
      FiiO, KPanaAudio and ExpatinJapan like this.
  3. Dobrescu George
    FiiO Bluetooth Freedom - uBTR
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Jan 19, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - + Very Light
    + Very Small
    + High-quality build
    + Pleasing Aesthetics, reminding of Apple Products
    + Good battery life and bluetooth range
    + Excellent signal reliablity
    + Good sound for most casual listeners
    + Incredible Price / Performance ratio
    Cons - - For a few USD more, you can get better products, from FiiO themselves
    - Least impressive of the FiiO Receiver series in terms of sonic quality
    - Does not support exotic bluetooth codecs
    - Not feature rich
    FiiO Bluetooth Freedom - uBTR

    [​IMG]

    FiiO created a large number of Bluetooth accessories recently, all with outstanding technical specs, but today I'm going to compare them and let you know where the sweet spot is, if you want to go for a Bluetooth module from FiiO.


    Introduction

    [This review is part of a 4-Way review posted on Audiophile-Heaven, where I reviewed BTR3, FB1, BTR1K and uBTR. You can find the full version there: https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2019/01/fiio-bluetooth-freedom-review.html ]


    FiiO created a large number of Bluetooth accessories recently, all with outstanding technical specs, but today I'm going to compare them and let you know where the sweet spot is, if you want to go for a Bluetooth module from FiiO. FB1 is an entry-level Bluetooth IEM from FiiO, which is also in the same price range as their Bluetooth modules.

    FiiO is a large company from China which rose to popularity quite a while ago, and which is known for providing excellent customer support, and great price / performance ratio for their products. Lately, they've been investing more and more in modern abilities for their products, like Wifi, Bluetooth, and Streaming abilities. I can totally recommend FiiO as a company, they provide good support, and if you would ever have an issue with a product, it is one of the companies I'm fairly sure will look after you. If you happen to not receive a response, make sure to not give up, they have offered really good service for all the time they existed, and they are still offering it, but with how much they've grown, some inquiries may take a little longer to get solved, but so far, they have all been solved.


    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with FiiO, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by FiiO or anyone else. I'd like to thank FiiO for providing the sample for the review. The sample was provided along with FiiO's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review reflects my personal experience with FiiO BTR3, BTRR1K, MicroBTR, and FB1. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in FiiO BTR3, BTRR1K, MicroBTR, and FB1 find their next music companion.



    About me

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/about.html



    Packaging

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:


    FiiO uBTR:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was actually not exactly ready to make a 4/way review when I received those BT receivers and FB1, but given their price range, and purpose, it feels like most people will be looking at a comparison between them, and a comparative review may help most get a good view over the series. When it comes to the bluetooth modules, they are all packaged similarly, with similar accessories.

    They all come packaged in a small sized cardboard box, with a USB cable, and some of them with other accessories. Since the bluetooth receivers have a simple job, they don't need more accessories, and I consider they are fairly well packaged.



    What to look in when purchasing a Bluetooth Accessory

    https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



    Build Quality/Aesthetics/Functionality

    Starting with the obvious, they all have one thing in common, which I really love. All the FiiO Bluetooth receivers are based on the USB Type-C connector, which is awesome. The build quality is also exceptional for all the bluetooth receivers, and they are all made in a similar style. They are all small devices, made with a clip on the back, so they can clip to your shirt, or to your cap, or be worn as an accessory. They are made to receive bluetooth signal from your smartphone or Player, and to send that to your earphones, or headphones. They are all very well put together, and they feel nice.

    All of the Bluetooth modules support SBC, AAC, and even APT-X, which is quite incredible, considering that there are products many times more expensive that do not offer support for APT-X, which has been proven to be much better than either SBC or AAC. You will require a source sporting APT-X to take most advantage of them, but most modern smartphones do have APT-X support, as well as most Audiophile Players.

    They start to differ from each other, in terms of aesthetics, and functionalities, so I tried to make a little description of each, and their abilities.


    [​IMG]

    FiiO uBTR - This is the most affordable option, and it is the white one. It has a glossy surface on the outside, and it has a clip at the back. It is very small physically, and it feels extremely lightweight, so light, that you can clip it to virtually anything. On the right side, there are three buttons, one for pairing / ending / making a call / play / pause functions, and two buttons for volume control. On the bottom, there is a USB Type-C connector, while at the top, there is a 3.5mm Single Ended Audio Jack connector.


    It is the most light of the three, and it has a microphone incorporated, so if you clip it to your shirt, and use it with IEMs, you can actually receive phone calls using it. The battery life is around 8 hours or so, depending on your volume, and the volume buttons can be used to navigate your music (this may vary with the app and device connected). It takes around two hours to fully charge it from zero to full. uBTR also features NFC pairing.



    Sound Quality

    First, it is important to note that Bluetooth codecs tend to cut down on sound quality, sometimes quite a bit. Low-end Bluetooth codecs (SBC and AAC) cut down in sound quality considerably, and even for the untrained ear, it is easy to notice a simplification of the midrange (especially low levels of background instruments), usually an enhanced bass, and a reduced treble which tends to not extend above 11kHz. APT-X tends to be quite a bit better, usually being much more transparent than SBC and AAC, but it tends to have a lower working range, and require higher bandwidth, and it still won't be fully transparent (compared to the original CD ripped in FLAC). This being said, for the purpose of walking, or jogging, where there is a large amount of noise, bluetooth codecs tend to be more than sufficient most of times.

    For more serious listening, FiiO makes some really fine Players, like their FiiO X7mkii, and FiiO M7 that I reviewed before, as well as some really fine IEMs (In-Ear Monitors), like FiiO FH5 and FiiO F9Pro, which I also reviewed before.

    Back to the Bluetooth modules, the sound is pretty easy to describe, and this time being a very clear ranking between them, where uBTR < BTR1K < BTR3. This stands true regardless of the musical tastes, because of the bump in details and resolution each brings compared to the lower entry option.


    [​IMG]


    uBTR is the least expensive, but also the smallest of them. The sound can be described as warm, with an emphasis on the low end, and a thick overall midrange presentation. The treble is also cut off quite a bit, especially in the upper treble, and the midrange has some of the background instruments simplified as well, especially compared to BTR1K, the immediate upgrade. The bass is generally thick, but it hits deep, and it has a good amount of power to it. It doesn't feel loose nor lacking in any way. The midrange is pretty natural and well toned, although the detail is not outstanding, yet it is still very enjoyable. The treble is smooth, and not overly well expressed, with the highest parts being cut out. Generally uBTR is easy to recommend for easy listening or for jogging, running, and other activities that do not require a high amount of details.



    Portable Usage

    All of the three Bluetooth Receivers, and FB1 are portable products, intended for portable usage, and they are excellent at it.

    [​IMG]

    All three Bluetooth modules have at least eight hours of battery life, and so does FB1, providing more than necessary for a typical day of usage. While the range is best on BTR1K, they all provide at least eight meters of Bluetooth range, and they are all usable from within a pocket, resulting in a very pleasing overall experience.

    I noticed no dropouts, while walking, or while doing other activities inside my home, like cleaning, or doing physical exercise like working out, and even when I tested all four Bluetooth friends in a shopping mall, I still had perfect signal. Since I wanted to test the LDAC and APT-X HD, my portable tests were mostly done with a really good DAP for bluetooth abilities, namely FiiO M7.

    Other things to consider, are that uBTR is the easiest to use portable because it is the smallest and lightest, while BTR3 is the heaviest and largest of the AMP modules, but provides the best overall sound.

    FiiO FB1 sits nicely in the ears and doesn't have any kind of portability issues as far as I can tell. I can run while wearing them, and they won't budge. They also keep their signal as well as the Bluetooth receivers, and the battery life is pretty much as good as well.

    Overall, all FiiO Bluetooth devices deliver well in terms of portability and portable usage, with good battery life, and ergonomics.



    Comparisons

    Now, I do not have a lot of products in the same price range, or which have the same intended usage scenario, and after looking around, there simply aren't quite so many made to date. Even so, there are certain products that those can be compared to, especially as most people aren't looking for a BT receiver specifically. For example, the solution for a really portable setup can also be something like a Sahnling M0, which also comes with a clip case, or even a FiiO M3K, which is small enough to be as portable as a BTR Module.

    [​IMG]

    FiiO BTR3 vs Shanling M0 - Shanling M0 is a mini-DAP from Shanling. It has a lot of power under its belt, and can do a lot of tricks, but the fact that there's a clip case, and its size make it a pretty interesting opponent for BTR3. Now, they do not serve the exact same purpose, nor are they similar devices, but as a reader, you may be wondering about either getting a Bluetooth receiver for your smartphone, or a mini DAP like Shanling M0. First, the price is higher for Shanling M0, and quite a bit so (close to 50% higher, compared to BTR3). The package is more complex for Shanling M0, but not by much. Shanling M0 has a much more complex features set, and it can be used as a transport, it can also receive, but also send Bluetooth signal, and it can play files from a microSD card, and provides the same Type-C connector as BTR3. When using them as a USB DAC, Shanling M0 tends to have some delay, making it non-ideal for watching movies or playing games, while BTR3 has less to no delays, when using by the cable, as a USB DAC. The play time and charging time is pretty similar between the two. When it comes to the sonic quality, they are close to each other, and it would be complicated to define a clear winner in terms of detail. Both are fairly neutral devices, and if used as a Bluetooth receiver, I think I'm leaning slightly towards BTR3 sounding a bit better. When it comes to their physical size, though, BTR3 is still considerably smaller than M0, and considering it is less expensive as well, you may be inclined to get BTR3 more if you're looking for the ultimate portability, while if you want to also be able to play its own files, and to have a more complex feature set, Shanling M0 makes a pretty darn interesting micro-DAP. Shanling M0 also works fairly well with BTR3, if you want to use it as a source for it.

    FiiO FB1 vs BQEYZ KB1 - The price is pretty much the same, and both FB1 and KB1 are bluetooth IEMs. Starting with the package, it is very similar, and it would actually be complicated to say that either has the better package, but FiiO has a pouch included in the package, that KB1 doesn't. Going forward to the build quality, things are more in favor of KB1, which has both a full metal body, and a detachable cable, making them quite a bit better in build quality than FB1, although I don't know if I really mind FB1's plastic construction, especially considering that they are better for running and jogging. In terms of comfort, they are similar, although the feel of them is a bit different. In terms of sound, they are pretty different actually. KB1 is more aggressively V-shaped, with a more harsh treble, and with a less thick overall bass, and a more natural midrange, while FB1 is more lush and thick, has a more thick midrange, deeper and fuller bass, and a less present treble than KB1, with far less harshness, and which feels way more smooth. In the end, if you prefer a more sparkly music presentation, with a less thick midrange, then you should go for KB1, while if you prefer a smoother, finer, more lush and thicker overall sound, you should go with FB1 from FiiO.

    FiiO BTR1K vs BTR3 - This comparison is pretty asked for, since those two are quite a bit similar, and increasing your budget from BTR1K to BTR3 is something you may be considering. Starting with the package, it is pretty much the same. The build quality, though, is slightly different. BTR1K is a plastic device, where BTR3 is more of a glass and metal device, and although this adds a bit to the weight, you'd be hard pressed to not like BTR3 more. Both are easy to clip on virtually anything, and both are very portable. BTR3 features a few more codecs and is generally the better sounding device, being more detailed, more clear, deeper, tighter, and with a better overall resolution. The soundstage also seems both wider and deeper on BTR3. BTR1K actually has a slightly better Bluetooth range, at least from most of my tests, and it also seems to have a slightly better battery life. From the two, if you want the ultimate FiiO Bluetooth module, BTR3 surely makes the cut nicely, with support for even the newest and most interesting Bluetooth codecs, while if you want to experience a great overall device, and save a few bucks, FiiO BTR1K is a sleek, lightweight and effective device.



    Pairing

    All FiiO Bluetooth Modules are pretty much enough for most IEMs, and while uBTR isn't exactly what I'd recommend for IEMs more than entry-level, BTR3 actually sounds amazing, even with some flagships. Using a Bluetooth module means that you have true access to your streaming services, and your smartphone's ability, without having to deal with cables, or other inconveniences usually implied by OTG DACs, at a small sacrifice in terms of sonic quality.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    FiiO BTR3 + FiiO FH5 - Now here's a pairing that I've seen used in Bucharest at least a few dozen times. The reason that most people go for it, is quite simple actually, the pairing is simply stunning. BTR3 has enough power to drive FH5 properly, but it also has a really amazing sound with them. All of this, while the user can have their smartphone in their pocket, or looking at it, while in the subway, and man, when we get a crowded day, you really want to not be bothered by much equipment. Other things to consider, are that BTR3 has a nice overall sound that is fairly natural and neutral, which works well with FH5's thick and forward sound. The soundstage of BTR3 is fairly wide, which widens FH5 a bit compared to most sources, which means they sound more natural and effortless.

    FiiO BTR1K + FiiO F9Pro - This is a nice entry-level solution that works well in more than one way. BTR1K has a pretty good overall sonic performance, but it also has a good pairing with F9Pro, which was fairly neutral. BTR1K is slightly warm and thick, which gives F9Pro a thicker sound, giving them a more natural overall presentation. Most listeners should be quite happy with this pairing, and the level of freedom it brings.

    FiiO uBTR + Tin T2Pro - uBTR is quite interesting, because it has the warmest and smoothest sound of all the FiiO BTR receivers, and it doesn't have quite that much detail, compared to its bigger brothers, but it still is quite interesting, because it is sleek, small, and just as nimble as its bigger brothers. With Tin T2Pro, which is a really wide-sounding IEM, with a really open stage, but with a slightly thin sound, it gives it more warmth, it thickens the sound a bit, giving it a bit more bass, and it also makes the soundstage a tad smaller, ergo a bit more natural as well. Overall, this is a pairing easy to recommend because those two complement each other and their price points also work nicely together.



    Value and Conclusion

    All of those Bluetooth receivers are relatively new products, and drawing a conclusion is both exciting and fun. All of them are really affordable, have good battery life, and all of them provide a new product that is interesting and relevant. But it is more interesting to talk a little about each one of them.

    [​IMG]

    First off, FiiO uBTR, this is the small child of FiiO, a Bluetooth receiver that has a nice form factor, is lightweight, and provides a sonic quality enough for most casual listeners. In fact, for most listeners sporting Chi-Fi IEMs below 50 USD, this is the top choice, it has enough driving power even to drive some lighter headphones, it has enough battery to last an entire day, and it has a nice working range.

    At the end of this review, I have to admit, I need to avoid writing about multiple products in a single review in the future, but when most questions are inherently about "how they compare", and when the company making them is the same, and they are really similar, it makes sense to showcase them all together. If you're looking for a bluetooth receiver, something simple, to clip on your shirt or even hat, which will stay connected with your smartphone while walking or running, then all of the FiiO BTR modules will do a great job.


    [​IMG]

    If you want a Bluetooth module to sound alright, and to have a nicer form factor than the basic, then BTR1K should really be in your list, and with its sweet price, it makes sense that you may be considering it, especially if you're using headphones.

    If you're looking for a Bluetooth module that is the best there is, with the best build quality, best codec support, and with the most sleek look, then BTR3 is the choice to go, and it should do well for a long time. Paired with a high-end IEM like FiiO FH5, you have a setup made in heaven, which not only sounds great, but is also very practical.


    And if you want a IEM to use while jogging, and if you like a more commercial, thick, lush, and smooth sound, then FiiO FB1 makes an interesting choice, with good comfort, and great overall build quality. They are what I can easily recommend for a Bluetooth IEM that is simple and affordable, easy to use, and easy to like, in the sea of 40 USD IEMs, making itself remaked by its sonic abilities and good bluetooth support.


    Playlist used for this review

    While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.


    Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
    Eskimo Callboy - Frances
    Incubus - Summer Romance
    Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
    Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
    Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir

    Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
    Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us

    Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
    Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
    Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
    Doctor P - Bulletproof
    Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
    Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
    Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
    SOAD - Chop Suey
    Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
    Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
    Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
    Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
    Eminem - Rap God
    Stromae - Humain À L'eau
    Sonata Arctica - My Selene
    Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
    Metallica - Fuel
    Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable

    Masa Works - Golden Japang
    REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
    Korn - Word Up!
    Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
    Fever The Ghost - Source
    Fall Out Boy - Immortals
    Green Day - Know The Enemy
    Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
    A static Lullaby - Toxic
    Royal Republic - Addictive
    Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
    We Came As Romans - My Love
    Skillet - What I Believe
    Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
    Yasuda Rei - Mirror
    Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
    Falling Up - Falling In Love
    Manafest - Retro Love
    Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
    Zomboy - Lights Out
    Muse - Resistance
    T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
    Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
    Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
    Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
    Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
    Pendulum - Propane Nightmares




    I hope my review is helpful to you!

    ---

    [This review is part of a 4-Way review posted on Audiophile-Heaven, where I reviewed BTR3, FB1, BTR1K and uBTR. You can find the full version there: https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2019/01/fiio-bluetooth-freedom-review.html ]

    ---

    Contact me!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    ---[/SIZE]