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FiiO BTR3-The World' First Bluetooth Headphone Amplifier, SBC/AAC/aptX/aptX LL/aptX HD/LDAC/HWA (LHDC)

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by FiiO, Aug 8, 2018.
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  1. Brooko Contributor
    The BTR3 uses an AK4376A - details of performance here : https://www.fiio.com/btr3_parameters

    The E17K uses the older TI PCM5102 chipset - details of performance here : http://www.fiio.net/en/products/38/parameters

    Both deliver performance beyond our ability to hear. My advice - buy the device with the features you need for usability. Don't worry about the specs on the DAC. I have both - they both sound great.

     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
    archy121, crabdog and quimbo like this.
  2. rkw
    They have different amps, which probably make more of a difference than their DACs. There are a lot of factors that affect the sound quality of a device.
     
  3. speedingcheetah
    Yea that what i meant, DACs and the AMPs that are in them...how are they different. what one is "better"
     
  4. Brooko Contributor
    Define better?

    What is it you are trying to use the device for? What headphones do you need to drive? What features do you need?
     
  5. speedingcheetah
    I mentioned all that in a previous post while back...guess it got buried.
    Pixel 3 via USB (but I do also occasionally use on PC)
    I use Poweramp V3 music player app.
    Most of my media files are FLAC, or Wav. some are 24bit.
    Headphones are Vmoda Crossfade Wireless (1st gen) in wired mode.
    I own both the E17K and the BTR3

    Features? Well, the E17K has built in LCD that allows user to adjust things like Bass, Treble, Gain...etc. Which i prefer as this an EQ adjust on the DAC level, so that other sources like video players apps that do not have its own EQ will greatly benefit from the DACs EQ. The BTR3 is supposed to have an EQ, but I did not know until after I purchased it that Fiio has not developed and enabled it yet..and wont until at least March.

    The BTR3 i got for times when i want to use BT wireless LDAC, as the BT chip in the headphones themselves are terrible(no AptX), but since the BTR3 has a wired mode, was hoping to use that too. But with out an EQ ability on the DAC, I find myslef using the E17K when i want the best sound and wired. But I was just wondering on raw technical level, what hardware is better specs wise and audio quality wise. I do not know enough about all the meanings of the raw technical specs and circuit board diagrams to determine my self. Wanting to hear from more advanced audio guys or audiophiles as to the differences.

    I had heard also that a usb dac called Dragonfly Red was very highly rated for audio quality..but the ones I looked at were much more expensive...$200 or so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  6. Brooko Contributor
    For power output, the E17K has approx 8 times the power of the tiny BTR3. Crosstalk is about the same. BTR3 is limited to 16/48 via USB. E17K supports up to 32/96 over USB and up to 24/192 via coax.

    BTR3 has Bluetooth - E17K does not.

    E17K has better gain management and of course the treble controls.

    As far as which "sounds better" - that is completely subjective, and only you can tell that.

    My advice - use the BTR3 for ultra-portability and for wireless. Use the E17K for everything else. But it depends on your usage scenario.
     
  7. speedingcheetah
    That is an issue for me with my Pixel 3 however. It only works in 16/48 says the LCD display.
    Where as, on my 1st Gen Pixel XL, the LCD reports 24/96, and Poweramp says it is outputting 32/96 (and it does sound a bit better)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  8. archy121
    D97F2121-A16A-4A37-BCCA-30558F91732E.jpeg

    I received the BT3 today and successfully tested connectivity with my LG TV (APTX/APTXLL) and than LG V30 (LDAC).

    I was relieved to find no lipsync issues when connected to TV & viewing YouTube and Netflix HD tracks. With the phone the sound was fuller and more detailed - very good CD quality like with FLAC files. Further listening needed to evalutae quality.

    I than went to try and test it with my iPhone XS and ran into trouble.
    Although the BT3 unit is showing as connected to iPhone no music can be streamed to it.
    I have tried FIIO Player, Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal and None of them show the BT3 as audio output device. Only iPhone shows up. See screen shot.

    I have reconnected and connected the BT3 in settings and it connects fine. In fact I can press and hold the special BT3 Button and it invokes Siri so it’s definitlly connected but just not as a BT audio device.

    Anybody know what’s going on ?

    Is it because the TV and LG phone are already paired and I need to reset the BT3 ?

    ——** EDIT **——

    Mysteriously started working with iPhone. Not sure if
    I accidentally reset something or just plain old Gremlins playing up ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  9. McLambo
    hopefully someone can help me out, or clear things up for me.

    Long story short: I ended up with the BTR3 through amazon, very satisfied with the increase in sound quality over my mobile phone's 3,5mm out jack
    I decided to invest in somewhat higher quality AKG in-ear plugs. (N20)
    Especially trebble tones are really sparkling in my ears, almost iches :0
    So, sounds good so far, right? Well here is the issue I'm having:
    Recently my phone received an upgrade to Android Pie, and all of a sudden the BTR3 connects using APT-X HD. (you can see the toast message when connecting)
    there is a very small, but clear difference in quality noticeable between using the LDAC and APT-X HD codec.

    Especially in the frequency range where singers sound there ' ssstt, ttt ' tones at the end of words
    Using the APT-X HD (and also non HD coded) I can clearly hear compression gibbering in the before-mentioned higher frequency ranges.
    And this frustrates me a lot, even to the point that I rather not listen at all, then be irritated by this flaw.

    You know how this works: once you've heard it, you cannot un-hear it, and notice it everytime.
    So I'm either stuck using LDAC and accept the stuttering, and disconnects or use APT-X HD and accept the compression noises...
    Or is there maybe another way to enjoy problem-less LDAC playback?? I want to be able to stay mobile, so a desktop DAC is not really an option
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  10. archy121

    Glad I came across your post.
    I been experiencing same issues with LDAC settings not sticking in Dev Options on the LG V30. I guess it’s an Android issue and I shouldn’t be hating on the LG. Thanks
     
  11. borrego
    I did Android 8.0 upgrade with my LG V20 phone during Christmas holidays and can use LDAC with the BTR3 now. Apart from the slight sound improvement, I also found the Android 8.0/LDAC connection more stable comparing to the Android 7.0/aptx-HD connection (both usng Google Play Music playing lossless FLAC). So I think the phone OS also play a major part for connection stability.
     
  12. tom1l21
    I recently got the BTR3 and it sounds great on my Pixel 2. However, I have a lingering question:

    Is there a difference in sound quality between using bluetooth (LDAC or APTx HD) or USB DAC through my pixel 2? Moreover, is there any limitations in available codec, Sample rate, and Bits/sample between either bluetooth or USB-DAC?
    In my experience, it appears the latter settings found in the developer settings of android are different if either in bluetooth or USB DAC.
     
  13. McLambo

    Shortened my previous post, so that it is hopefully better to understand. Anyone who can help me out?
     
  14. speedingcheetah
    If you are having studdering or issues...its more than likely the phone you have...which u never stated what model it is.
    If it is an older ish model phone, that just got Pie...then the hardware may not be well suited for the new Bluetooth codecs.

    Also, try using a different media player app. I use PowerAmp v3 pro and have it set so that USB and BT devices output with OpenSL ES Hi-Res, instead of the stock AudioTrack Java, or non HD output.
     
  15. McLambo
    It's a Nokia 8

    Thanks for the tip on the media player app, I will check that out.
     
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