Pros: Small easy to put in and get out of pocket
Driver less option(USB 1.0)
Support common BT codec's,including LDac
Normal comes /w 2 Cable / Apple edition with 3 cables.
Options to use either the buttons or the App.
Supports MQA( For me this a pro)
Cons: The included Type C to USB A cable is short
doesn't come with a rubber band to bound or a clip to bound it to the phone
Have to unplug it from your desktop, and use BT if you want to use the Phone app
This is a review on the BTR 5 2021 (Apple edition) model, which includes a Fiio Lighting to Type C cable, besides the Type C to Type C and Type C to USB A cable. All 3 of them are short and allow you to either use it with an android phone with Type C, An Iphone with Lighting port, or your desktop with the USB A. Other things that are inside the box is the plastic clip used to clip the device to your shirt pocket, or panels pocket, waist and last a manual.
The filo is very small and light weight so it very easy to carry around in your pocket or attached to your phone. On the top of it, there is two headphone jacks, one for 3.5mm single end which is rated for 80 Mw for both 32 ohms and 90Mw for 16 Ohms. 2.5mm which is the second one which is for balanced and is rated for 240Mw for both 16 ohms and 32 Ohms.
On the sides are the control buttons, front is the screen and under it, is the Type C connector port. Putting on the plastic clip onto the BTR5 2021 was a breeze, I didn't have any problems at all, taking it off was just as easy. Holding the power button turns it on or off, and pressing it scrolls thru the options on the device. While you can manual con-fig the settings thru the device it self, using the app is far easier and less time consuming. The controls are in an easy to reach spot, especially when you're using the clip and place it on your pants hip. I can easy raise or lower the volume while being able to still see the display, even go as far as using the track change mode.
Using Bluetooth with my phone worked very well without any dropped connections, it did a good job sound quality wise. Using the BTR5 2021 with my PC thru Type C to USB, Both my ER2SE and Audio Technica Pro5X worked very good and sound really nice. Pairing the device with my phone was easy since it was effortless to put it in pairing mode and it connected right away to my phone, While the phone it self will handle the primary volume, it's best to set the volume BT volume to max, so the BTR5 2021 will handle the actual volume with the controls. When in USB mode with the included lighting to type C cable, the phone volume controls are disabled and the devices handles the volume completely. Blue tooth audio sound good enough from my iPhone, but it’s limited to AAC and doesn’t sound as good as wired. So I blame my phone for that and not the BTR5 2021.The device does get a little warm during use, no problems from that, other then keeping your hand warm.
Fiio BTR5 2021 supports USB 1.0 mode with driver free, meaning you can simple plug it in and use it, without needing to install drivers, while USB 2.0 mode, allow for you to install the drivers if you want Asio and MQA support at your desktop. Both can be swap to in the device options.
The Fiio App works fairly well, I didn’t have any issues with it, it’s on both android and apple. Didn’t find the app buggy so far and it has far more settings then the BTR5 it self.On the status screen many options are listed such as the charge function for having the unit charge when it’s plugged into your PC or Phone, Idle timer for setting how long the unit stays on with no audio playing including being able to turn the timer off. Bluetooth Codec options for swapping between AAC,SBC,aptX,aptX LL, aptXHD and LDAC.
Also the app has the tab for EQ with more settings to change, including the audio tab which let you calculate the load and headphone sensitivity of your headphones, and the low-pass filter settings, by default it’s on hybrid fast roll-off. And the very last tab which is the guide which is the manual. The Gear icon at the top right gives you the option to give the btr5 a custom name, restore the device or shut down the device.
For this review I will be using the Etymotic research ER2SE connected to the 2.5mm port with a balance cable with the BTR5 2021 connected to my desktop via Type C to USB A cable. The software I will use is music bee set to wasapi.
The Midnight – Ghost In your Stereo Lossless
Good Times Ahead – So Good Lossless
Figure – They Come at night Lossless
Listening to The midnight ghost in your stereo, what can I say, sounds really good, there’s no brightness any where and the details good as in there's not too much of it where and with good separation. The male high pitch voice sounds good, it’s not thin, I can hear it without an issue, as well as the voice that’s saying ghost to the right of me quietly. Over all every thing sounds good, it doesn’t come off as being in my head, but outside it.
With the second song it has a bass drum is really notice able but its over lapping any thing and isn’t out of control. It sounds exactly like a bass drum, in the low end, snare’s and hit hats sound like there suppose to as well as the drum kits I’m hearing. Even the mid end bass sounds good, as I hearing the different notes of mid bass. Every thing sounds like there suppose to sound. The voice echo’s sound good as it spreads out from the right top ish of me. I’m able to hear the synthesizer's and every thing separated from each other.
In Figure they come at night I focus on just the bass notes, it went just as deep but hit’s hard enough for me where it wasn’t too much as well not being muddy. With all of the bass it did not merge into the other freq and stayed in it’s own lane.
So far I been enjoying the BTR5 2021, The app is very useful as so driver less mode. The only thing that's a minor issue with me is not being able to get access to those settings in the app from my PC, since you can't access the settings unless you unplug it from your PC. So it be handy to either have a PC version of the app or include all of those settings in the drivers.