FiiO Multifunction Dock (DK1)

Pros: Simple design, small footprint, elegant aesthetics, great value for money, easy connection
Cons: Limited to select FiiO devices only, docking removes option of using headphone port on X7
For larger (1200 x 800) images, click any picture


I'm not going to go through a lot of preamble with this review – mainly because for this device, you don't need to know about my known bias or musical preferences.
Sunny from FiiO approached me a few months ago to discuss putting the DK1 through its paces, and when I saw it, my initial thought was that it was an ideal accessory for their DAP and DAC/amp range. And the thing that really appealed was having something on my desktop that I could use both as access to the storage/library (via USB), and also as a means of charging the device.
I've now had the device with me for almost 3 months, and in that time it has become a regularly used accessory. Here's my thoughts on the DK1.
By now, most Head-Fi members should know about the FiiO Electronics Company. If you don’t, here’s a very short summary. FiiO was first founded in 2007. Their first offerings were some extremely low cost portable amplifiers – which were sometimes critiqued by some seasoned Head-Fiers as being low budget “toys”. But FiiO has spent a lot of time with the community here, and continued to listen to their potential buyers, adopt our ideas, and grow their product range. They debuted their first DAP (the X3) in 2013, and despite some early hiccups with developing the UI, have worked with their customer base to continually develop the firmware for a better user experience. The X3 was followed by the X5, X1, X3 2nd Gen (X3ii), X5 2nd Gen (X5ii), M3 and X7. They also have a full range of amplifiers, DAC/amps, cables and are starting to develop earphones.
FiiO’s products have followed a very simple formula since 2007 – affordable, stylish, well built, functional, measuring well, and most importantly sounding good.
The DK1 was provided to me gratis as a review sample. I used to make it clear to FiiO in the past that I did regard any product they sent me as their sole property and available for return any time at their request (but often bought review samples which I really liked). They have insisted I keep any and all samples they send now, so I acknowledge now that the DK1 I have is supplied and gifted completely free of any charge or obligation. I thank FiiO for their generosity. I actually won a prize in a Head-Fi give-away of a 2nd DK1, and as much as I would have liked to keep it, returned it so someone else could get the pleasure.
This review is essentially about the DK1 FiiO dock – however I have tested it with many different FiiO products. For ease of use in looking up any of the components, I suggest following any of the following links to my other reviews:
  1. FiiO X7
  2. FiiO X5ii
  3. FiiO X3ii
  4. FiiO X1
  5. FiiO K5
  6. FiiO E17K
This is a purely subjective review of the DJ1 dock – my preference, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own views.


The DK1 arrived in a retail box and lid measuring approximately 138 x 125 x 107mm. The lid or outer cover is white with red and black print. On the front of the box is a picture of the DK1, and on the rear are QR codes which will take you to FiiO’s website or Facebook page.
Front of the retail box
Rear of the retail box
The inner (or bottom half of the box) is FiiO red with a black cardboard inner frame which securely holds the DK1 in place, and also the accessories. The accessories consist of a USB cord as well as warranty card and instruction manual (in English and Chinese).
There no need for anything further IMO as this is all that is required to have a functional dock. If FiiO did want to include anything at a later date as an optional accessory – a simple 3.5mm stereo to RCA (pair) cable would be a nice touch (for attaching to an amplifier) – but at the DK1's price point (USD 20.00) I have no problem with supplying my own.
Before we continue – just a quick note on my unit. On the rear is a switch designated for balanced output. This has been removed from the final retail version. I tested it briefly and appears to work on this unit – but for the purposes of this review (and because it is not offered in this configuration) I will from this point imagine it is not there.

DK1 from the front
DK1 from the rear
The DK1 is a pretty simple but elegant set-up. The base is a 115mm circle of silver coloured aluminium alloy which stands approximately 15mm high. Underneath is a non-slip rubber ring which helps to prevent any scratching of the surface you have it resting on, and also making sure it doesn't slide around.
The FiiO logo is printed in front with a subtle white print. Behind this approximately 40mm from the front edge is a swivel USB connector for the docking mechanism of selected FiiO devices. This dock allows a swivel backward of 25 degrees so that once docked, the back of any docked device rests on the curved back piece. The USB micro B (11 pin) connector is also spring loaded – so that when not plugged it always sits upright (essentially making it easier to plug something). It is quite well thought out.
Rear connection ports (balanced switch doesn't appear on the retail units)
Connector and curved back rest
At the rear top of the base is 75mm section of curved plastic which acts as a back rest for any docked device (and therefore takes pressure off the connector). The whole set-up is pretty simple, but also very effective. And although the dock connector is spring loaded to sit upright – the natural weight of any docked device is enough for it so sit back comfortably on the rest. Again – a cleverly designed feature.
At the rear side of the circular base are two ports – one mini-USB for USB input, and the other a 3.5mm jack for line-out. The included USB cable is 1m in length, but is a little thick and can tend to limit flexibility with positioning the DK1, so I've opted to use a more flexible and thinner (and slightly longer) generic USB cable for my desktop use.
Before we get into use and connectivity, it's probably best to describe my set-up for testing, and indeed my usual everyday set-up for audio. My PC is a home built system running an i5-4690K processor, 16 Gb RAM, with an SSD for the OS (running Linux Mint KDE), and a couple of hard drives for data. I use very quiet low speed Noctua fans, and the whole system is set-up so I can get the most out of it for my audio needs (measuring and listening). Most of the time I use my iFi Micro iDSD – both as a headphone amp, and also feeding either my desktop monitors (JBL LSR305s) or a secondary tube amp (mine is a LD MKIV, but lately it has been a review unit – VE's Enterprise). I also have the FiiO K5 dock and amplifier which I use as a secondary option for testing and playback when necessary. For software, I use a paid copy of JRiver's Media Center for Linux – which allows me to choose resolution or up-sample on the fly to whichever DAC I choose.
For most of this testing I simply used the DK1, and fed the line-out into either the FiiO K5 or VE Enterprise.
Well lets look first at what FiiO described as the real world use of the DK1. They claim quite simply:
  1. Its a docking station that is plug and play for their compatible USB devices (E17K, X1, X3ii, X5ii and X7) – allowing synchronous transmission of data.
  2. It allows convenient charging of the above products when docked
  3. It has line-out ability to an amplifier or set of powered speakers
So what would I be looking for primarily?
  1. My first requirement is as a simple charging station
  2. My second is an easy way to transfer songs to and from the libraries on the respective devices
  3. My third would be a small and elegant and simple footprint (not taking too much space)
  4. My fourth would be as a simple USB dock to allow access to the DAC section on my devices – but personally I am less interested in this than most of you may be. All the same, it would be something I would definitely check.
  5. And lastly – it should be easy to set-up, if I ever wanted to use it transportably.
Fortunately I have all the devices FiiO listed at my disposal. So what worked and what didn't?
E17K docked and ready to go
Top ports are also easily accessed
The easiest to dock – just sit it in and tip it back. Line-out worked perfectly (input set to USB), and the best thing was that because of the location, the headphone-out is also accessible. So it is easy to also simply use the amp section of the E17K which also allows you to use the tone controls. A great option and elegant solution for a desktop system on a budget. Charging was also simple – plug it, forget it, and take it off the next day when you need it (portably).
Easy to dock and access both the micro-sdxc storage, and charge the unit. Plugging it and disengaging the access to USB storage allows playing direct from the X1 via the line-out (or the headphone out). The nice thing about this is that it makes the X1 a really nice options simply as a docked player. When disengaged the X1 will automatically power off too – which is quite nice.
X3ii / X5ii
X3ii also docked perfectly
And even strapped together, you can charge either the E17K or X3ii
Both worked well when I switched to Windows but for some strange reason neither DAC is recognised by my Linux system (this is a kernel issue with my system rather than a FiiO issue. I could fix it with a simple kernel recompile). This is peculiar to my system so I wouldn't worry too much about it (as I don't use them for their DACs anyway). Other than that glitch with Linux, both are easy to dock and like the X1 you have access to the internal library of the devices (storage plus as a player), they both charge, and also access to their headphone out ports. They also give the option of automatically powering of once undocked. A small note to those with the original rubber/latex cases – you will need to remove them to access the dock properly. But if you are using a stacking unit (I use the HS12 with the E17K)
X7 was able to be docked with the case
Side view of the X7 docked
Worked perfectly – easy access to DAC, storage, and charging. The best part – you can leave the case on if you have one. You can also directly play from the X7 too. The only thing you don't have is access to the X7's headphone-out, as this is at the bottom of the unit.
Other devices
I also tried docking the FiiO K1, A3, Q1, X5 (original), the Cozoy Aegis, IMS HVA, and Luxury& Precision LP5, L5 Pro and L3. The K1 wouldn't fit at all – but most of the others actually docked OK. Sadly none of these devices worked – DAC, charging or data access (not that it was expected). The DK1 is definitely a FiiO only device.


So after a couple of months, what are my thoughts? Well firstly – its still sitting on my desktop and I use it often.
What I love about it -
  1. Sleek looks and relatively minimal foot-print
  2. Ease of docking X7, X1, X3ii, X5ii and E17K – for both charging and access to the storage/library
  3. If I need to, it is simple to set-up for DAC use, and I've used it a few times with the E17K so far.
The DK1 does what it says, and for the ridiculously low price of USD 20.00. In fact there is a high change I'll but another one at some stage – simply because it would be handy to have a second one at work. For those who are invested in the FiiO ecosystem I can thoroughly recommend this little dock. Even if you just use it as a changing station, you'll find it is simply far handier than going searching for a cable.
And for those who ask the obvious question - "I already have the K5, is it worth getting a DK1 as well?".  This will depend solely on the number of devices you have. With me regularly using 3-4 FiiO devices at a time, having two units I can use as charging stations or data access points is simply brilliant.  However - if you are using the FiiO device as your main amp in a desktop situation, and need the additional amplification - definitely stick with the K5. For anyone else - especially if you are going to a secondary amp and using your FiiO device as DAC only - the DK1 is an almost perfect solution IMO. 
Once again thanks to Sunny at FiiO for giving me a chance to try the DK1.
Just use the line-out to the line-in of your stereo.  That is what it is intended for.  No flaw.  If FiiO intended for the DK1 to have a digital out (so it could be used as a transport dock) they would have advertised it in the specs.  You are simply trying to use it in a way it was not designed to do (the DK1)
Cyberia Knight
Cyberia Knight
I don't want to use the line out I want to play hi res flac files in to my own DAC and Mono Block amplifier. If it was made clear that the coaxial output was disabled when docked then I would not have bought it, How ever it was only £20 so It doesn't bother me that much. I was just posting to inform other people of this detail.
To the folks that have this, I'm thinking of using one to mount in a car for a high end audio system where the FiiO M11 or similar plays DSD/Flac files through car audio system. Do you mind writing here the dimensions of this unit? Like diameter, etc? I'm trying to see if it would fit in a cup holder. Thanks!


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: great design and build, does what is promised
Cons: questionable value when used with X7
I have received FiiO DK1 directly from FiiO company in exchange for my honest opinion (as you will surely find out soon).
This will be short, since you don't really need to know my personal preferences for sound taste for this particular product.
However, what I'd like to explain is why I was interested in getting my hands on DK1 in the first place.
I am already owner of FiiO K5 and I have been using it in combination with my FiiO X7 plugged into my Macbook.
The good thing about FiiO K5 - the charging of the X7 was much more faster/powerful since K5 is not powered by your laptop, it's plugged
directly into the circuit.
The bad thing - at least for me - is that I liked the sound of X7 alone better then when plugged into K5 - I simply prefer the sound signature of the AM1 and AM2 amplifiers instead of the K5.
So I was wondering - I'd still like my FiiO X7 to be nicely plugged into some docking station while listening to music from may laptop.
I'd still like my X7 being charged, but I still want to use the amp section of the X7 - and not the amp of K5.
So when FiiO announcend release of the DK1 - they got me all hooked up.
This review will cover how this worked out for me..
So what is FiiO DK1? Essentially is a docking station for variety of FiiO products - namely E17k, X1, X3II, X5II, and X7. And this is how it looks.
You can find official details here:
The retail price today, on, is 19.99$.
I have only used DK1 with my FiiO X7 so can't comment on how it works with other FiiO DAPs.
What FiiO promises DK1 delivers? It's quite simple:
  •  Line out
  •  Charging abilities
  •  Stand ability
Now let's get these three points break down - in context with my X7.
Line out
First of all - FiiO X7 has line out on the top end. Which means, if you dock X7 into DK1 you actually don't essentially need the line out of DK1. You could still use the lineout of X7 directly, and it would worked out the very same for you. However, using DK1 line out is probably more convenient for the cable itself. 5/10
Charging abilities
DK1 is connected to your laptop/PC via USB - your USB ports (and mine certainly) doesn't generate enough current (1.1-1.3A usually). Which means, that your X7 is inevitably discharging even if docked. It's quite simple - the energy consumed by X7 playing music is higher than the energy coming in through the USB port. Of course, it will last longer than usually, but if you'd just let it play indefinitely - X7 would sooner or later got out of battery power. 5/10
DK1 delivers what it promises - usb port and lineout. But is it enough without headphones port?​
Stand ability
This one really makes my X7 shines. I am not all about aesthetics and design, but my X7 looks gorgeous when docked in DK1. Definitely much more representative when it's just laying around the table. 10/10
my home setup​
X7 sure looks nice when docked into DK1​

If you read the BACKGROUND section, you know what my initial intention was going to be - I wanted to use X7 docked into DK1, connected to my laptop USB, and then feed the X7 with my headphones. I guess you already know what is the issue here - if X7 is docked to DK1 the headphone port is simply not accessible - because it's in the same area where the X7 is being docked, in the bottom.
So for my particular use case - listening to music via headphones from my laptopt - X7 docked into DK1 is simply unusable.
I have checked the picture of X5 II - and this DAP has headphone output on the top - so for the same use case, X5II and DK1 would make a great fit! Unfortunately - not with X7.
I know it's hard to design a docking station that it would fit all the FiiO's DAPs in a same fashion, but I am really sad I can't use it for my intended use case.
There isn't much more I am able to say about this. If I want to feed my X7(docked in DK1 which is connected to my laptop) to my hi-system via
line out - I don't really need DK1 for it, because:
 Whether I connect my laptop to my hi-fi system directly, or via X7 docked in DK1 I can't tell a sound difference. My Hi-Fi system is simply not that sophisticated, that X7's great DAC could show it's full potential.
So for me - for my purpose - the DK1 in combination with X7 offers only the esthetics functions.
For charging I can simply use the USB cable with my laptop, or if I want to speed things up, I can still use K5 or standard USB charger with 2A current throughput.

For line out - again, I can simply used laptop jack directly, or simply connect X7 to my laptop with simple usb cable, and use X7's lineout (instead of DK1).
I was very hesitant whether DK1 will get positive or negative score.
In the end, I have decided to give a positive one, mainly because FiiO didn't make any false advertising on DK1:
  1.   You know it offers lineout (which X7 itself offers too though).
  2.   You know it offers charging abilities, but you know that it's done via USB connection to your laptop, so it's obvious, your laptop's usb ports doesn't provide enough current. FiiO didn't try to mystify this in any way
  3. Also, if you own X7 you simply know that headphones out is in the bottom, which will make it inaccessible if it's docked in the DK1.
 So currently - I am still looking for a docking station for my X7 which would allow me to listen music from my laptop and plug the headphones in X7. DK1 doesn't do the trick because of inaccessible headphone port, and K5 fails too, since the AM1 and AM2 delivers better sound signature to my ears, then the K5 itself.
 Before you make a purchase of DK1 - you really need to know why you need it, and whether it will come handy for your specific use case. For mine, it's just doesn't cut it.
 If DK1 would have headphone out, on top of already existing line out, it would be much more universal for everybody - unfortunately this is not the case.
It seems like DK1 is a friendly companion for every device  - except X7, which is too bad.
Vitor Valeri
Vitor Valeri
Do you know if it is possible to charge the battery Players from other brands? I wanted to recharge my Cowon Plenue using this dock ...
That's a good question. Unfortunately I don't have my Cowon Plenue at my possession - however, if this one has the USB input at the bottom, then it could be possible.
I suggest:
1) Send email to FiiO Support to ask, whether the docking capability is something FiiO specific, or if it can "dock" even non-FiiO device
2) If possible, try this at your local reseller
Cyberia Knight
Cyberia Knight
When I plug the X5ii into the dock the digital coaxial output is muted, so you can't use this dock to integrate your player with your hi-fi. This is a major floor and means the player has to be removed from the dock to play music through my hi-fi.


Reviewer for The Headphone List
ryanjsoo's Reviews
Pros: Stable, Nice build and design, Well packaged, Swiveling connector works well
Cons: Bit light without an attached device, Arguably not a lot of functionality, Doesn`t work with other smartphones and players

Introduction –

The DK1 is a multi-function dock for use with FiiO Players (X1,X3II,X5II ,X7) and DACs ( E17K), just another component in Fiio`s ever expanding catalog of accessories. It utilizes Fiio`s proprietary 11-pin micro-b connector to allow not only for DAC and charging functionality but also line-out.


Carrying an RRP of $20 USD, the DK1 is a relatively simple device with similarly simple functionality, but Fiio have put a little extra thought into its design resulting in a premium feel and unexpected practicality.


Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Fiio very much for providing me with a review sample of the DK1 in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Fiio and will provide an unbiased opinion upon the DK1.


Accessories –

My first impressions were very positive, Fiio have really stepped up their packaging with the DK1.


The Largish box is shrink wrapped, displaying the DK1 on the front, an authenticity sticker on the top and basic functions on the rear (line out and charging). Unlike the RM1`s packaging, the print is vivid and the simple yet distinct ripple design of the box is in line with Fiio`s other accessories.

The box has a few layers of black card inside. On the first is a micro-b cable to connect the dock with your pc or usb charger, underneath is the instruction manual and warranty card and at the bottom is the DK1 itself.


All components are well housed in folded cardboard cutouts, my DK1 was in perfect condition after shipping from China. No complaints here, seems like we can expect even more premium un-boxing experiences from Fiio`s future products, good job!


Design –

The DK1 is a great looking device, with or without a docked device. It contrasts well to Fiio`s darker devices such as the e17k I have here, and well compliments their lighter models such as the X1.


Carrying Fiio`s traditional design language, the DK1 has a well finished aluminium base with plastic supports and a rubberized base. While some might be disappointed with the DK1`s use of plastics, I think Fiio has been very pragmatic with their use of metal, and the materials are well chosen on a whole.


All of the surfaces you see and interact with are constructed from aluminium, it looks great in photos and feels even better in your hand. But apart from these surfaces, the DK1 is a matte grey plastic. There are a few reasons why Fiio have used plastic for certain structures. For one, the use of aluminium on the bottom and plastic up top keeps the centre of gravity low, preventing the dock from tipping, the plastic supports won`t scratch the back of your device like metal would and altogether they help to keep the weight and cost down (remember it only costs $20). The matte finish is nice and won`t attract fingerprints like a gloss coating would, but it will show oil marks from dirty hands. It`s an understated look overall and the colour choices are spot on.


The look of the DK1 will well compliment most setups, especially those from Apple, sporting a similar sand-blasted aluminium finish and a silver/grey colour scheme. Whilst the aluminium steels the show, the matte, dark grey plastics used feel pretty great too. The bottom of the base is also plastic, no big deal as you never see it anyway. The bottom has a large rubber ring that really grips the table and when a device is connected, the dock is completely stable. That being said, without a device, the lightweight dock is a little easier to jostle around, especially with the rather thick included cable. This does mean that the dock is a little more comfortable with drops however.

The Fiio logo is laser etched into the aluminium frame, resisting fading. The DK1 will support up to 2A through the rear micro-b input port, which is pretty much maxing out any USB charger anyway.


Of note, the included micro-b cable is nice and very thick. It`s great for smartphones but is perhaps a little firm for the DK1, putting strain on the micro-b port. I`m using mine with a 15cm Golf cable, the aluminium and silver braid well match the DK1`s aesthetic.


Usage –

When Fiio released the DK1, I assumed it was intended to be a purely aesthetic accessory. There`s nothing wrong with that, headphone stands are often viewed as unnecessary, but in daily use, they`re a nice addition to have and make life just a little easier. The DK1 is similar in that it well compliments PC setups whilst adding just a little extra convenience.


The main interfaces are located on the back of the base. The DK1 is equipped with two ports, a 3.5mm line-out jack and a micro-b “power-in” port. The micro-b port also accepts data allowing for USB DAC functionality as long as your device itself supports this feature. Of course, the DK1 will also begin charging your device when you plug it into the top mounted micro-b plug.

The plug is quite interesting as it has the ability to swivel. This makes attaching and removing devices especially easy; the contoured back support allows a single digit to bring the device forwards, then it`s as simple as pulling the device from the dock. The swivel mechanism is spring loaded, pushing the device into the back support to prevent it from flipping off the dock, the swivel mechanism also relieves a lot of the strain input into the micro-b plug, a notoriously temperamental yet widely adopted connector. I did notice that the micro-b plug is quite firm and lifting my e17k tends to lift the dock as well. I do prefer this connector to an overly loose/intermittent connector, but it must be mentioned regardless. Since the DK1 uses Fiio`s proprietary 11-pin connector, the DK1 will NOT work with other devices, they will not even plug into the dock due to the extra pins.

One thing to consider when purchasing the DK1 is the large base. Whilst it does grant the dock a lot of stability, it also takes up a considerable space on your desk. If you have a smaller desk or like to keep other devices out then the DK1 might occupy more space than you are comfortable with. For reference, the base measures around 11cm in diameter and the support is just under 10 in height.


I can`t comment on Fiio`s players, but plugging in my e17k (whilst the dock is connected to my laptop) turns it on and begins charging. The e17k has the ability to turn USB charging off for use with smartphones, but even when this feature is disabled the dock will still wake the e17k upon connection (but will not charge). 


Verdict – 

The DK1 isn`t as functional as Fiio`s previous release (the RM1), but it still remains a great accessory for buyers in possession of a compatible Fiio player/DAC. It would have been nice for Fiio to have built in a clean amp circuit (such as that from the e12) into the DK1, but the K5 already offers this function and the DK1 is a very cheap device considering the quality of the materials included. If you`re looking for a very aesthetically pleasing way to showcase, charge and line-out your Fiio player (and even if you aren`t), then the DK1 is well worth the $20 asking price. It`s a very convenient way to keep your player ready, seamlessly integrating a portable device into an at-home setup.

Accessories – 8/10, The DK1 doesn`t really need much to get started. The packaging is well considered and the included micro-b cable is thick and well relieved. I would actually have preferred a thinner, more supple cable to allow for more flexible placing of the dock and Fiio could have included an aux cable as well. But for the price, I would hardly expect and the DK1 comes well enough equipped.

Design – 9/10, The DK1 is well designed and the differing materials are perfectly implemented. The finish is perfect and small features such as the swiveling connector work very well. The grippy base is completely stable and the connectors are built to tight tolerances. I do think that the base is slightly too light if anything and the micro b port might fit a little too tightly, but otherwise the DK1 is a very solid accessory.

Value – 9/10, With a mostly aluminium build and quality matte plastic trim, the DK1 feels nicer than it`s $20 RRP would suggest. Fiio could have included more aluminium in the base or perhaps weighted it with iron inserts to further improve the feel.

Overall – 8/10, The DK1 is a great dock but not much more, if you`re expecting additional amplification or flashy LED augments then you will be disappointed. What the DK1 offers instead is a very modern design, a nice choice of finishes and materials and a lot more convenience for existing Fiio player owners. The DK1 is an affordable way to enhance your Fiio player or DAC experience.


Thanks for reading! This review was taken from my blog, please have a look there for more reviews and guides:

Vitor Valeri
Vitor Valeri
Do you know if it is possible to charge the battery Players from other brands? I wanted to recharge my Cowon Plenue using this dock ...
It probably won`t work as the Fiio micro b plug has more pins. Unfortunately the dock wouldn`t even clip into my HTC M8 or S6 Edge, only the e17k.
Cyberia Knight
Cyberia Knight
When I plug the X5ii into the dock the digital coaxial output is muted, so you can't use this dock to integrate your player with your hi-fi. This is a major floor and means the player has to be removed from the dock to play music through my hi-fi.