[FiiO BTR5/FiiO BTR5 2021] Flagship Portable High-Fidelity Bluetooth Amplifier, Bluetooth chip CSR8675, support up to 384kHz&DSD256 native
Dec 7, 2019 at 4:47 AM Post #211 of 2,710

cleg

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Another review for the BTR5,

I too pulled the trigger on the BTR5, will be comparing it against my dragonfly red.

Thank you for posting it :) I went here to do that but it looks like I'm too late.
So, everyone, please enjoy my review of BTR5, I've tried to make it really detailed, without splitting to unboxing, initial impressions, etc.
BTW Shanling UP4 is on its way to me, so I hope to make a comparison in near future
 
Dec 7, 2019 at 6:24 AM Post #212 of 2,710

Fishdo

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Finally got around to opening the BTR5 package... had a quick read of the manual...

my first impression was how small and light it was.. I haven’t had anything similar to this module.

Pairing is straight forward... when starting the BTR will automatically pair with your device but if you have a couple of BT devices you may need to force pair the second device... that’s also very easy and quick.

I am using a CA Solaris with EA Lionheart 2.5mm...

With my iPhone XS Max ... paired upon connection... opened Qobuz and the sound wasn’t there...!! So I turned up the volume on the BTR and went to 100% (60 mark on BTR) and heard a very low sound... I thought “What have I done wrong?!” then I tried the iPhone volume and nearly blew my eardrums out..!! :)

With my iPhone on 50% volume I had to turn the BTR down to less than 50% (25 mark on BTR) ... that was just right ...

SQ was very good for such a priced item and it’s size... details and clarity were about 60-70% of my wired listening... using same set up.

Then I tried my AK SR15 with same iems and cable...

Paired up with forced pair easily and the volume this time was not adjustable from both devices... I could only adjust volume on the BTR...

This time round I did have to turn the volume up to around 75% (45 mark) to match the same volume on my iPhone connection...

SQ was good not great but as good as my Audeze LCD i3 cipher BT cable and better than my RHA CL2 BT or RHA T20 BT...

The BT connection was very strong and not seemingly effected by other close by sources or obstacles... I would not use it in a desk top configuration or with a view to replacing my mojo or other source equipment but if you do you probably won’t notice any difference unless you have a good setup..

Overall I am very impressed with this little module.. suits my needs perfectly...

I had been considering getting the Plus Sound Custom BT cable (choose your own cable) but I decided to get this BTR because I could use my own custom cables and a 2.5mm balance output... this option has saved me considerably and is allowing me to quickly and easily switch from wired to BT option...

I would recommend this BTR to anyone looking for the same reasons I have... on the go it’s a great option and a good sound... easy to use as well...

I really like the way it looks and it’s size ... the clip is very nice quality and isn’t the type of plastic that will discolour...

I grabbed a necklace set up that came with a silicone case I had bought a while back... I never thought I would use it when I got it but it’s perfect for the BTR 5 and for using it... I can keep the BTR under my shirt with the cable also hidden away but coming out from my back and neck up to the ears... so it’s just as minimal as the typical BT necklace...

(I can now understand why FiiO decided to make the volume control only move up in single increments... ! )
 
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Dec 7, 2019 at 6:28 AM Post #213 of 2,710

archy121

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Just spent the last 2 hrs doing some tests both in USB mode and BT mode.

In USB mode comparing BTR5 with Mojo using Roon, ASIO modes for both.

In BT mode, comparing LDAC with wired mode on LG VG30

Headphones/IEMs used: Beyerdynamic T1 and Fiio FH7

Music wise, been using 24/96 files, Redbook, 24/192, Tidal MQA streams, DSF files, 24/48, etc.
Steve Earle, Jean Michel Jarre, Satriani, Robben Ford, Genesis, Eagles.

When I listen I really want to know if I can live with a product seamlessly; if it compromises the music experience too much to mean it gets uses only in an emergency or when it's other merits (eg size, or microphone) force use temporarily.

Now... briefly I can say after switching between Mojo and BTR5 in USB mode extensively, there is very little in it. Maybe the Mojo has a bit more resolving power, space and smoothness, but it's marginal. Indeed,after switching so many times, I couldn't be honest and say I'd recognise one over the other blind listening. As I write this, am switching still between the 2 and have to keep checking as I forget which I'm listening to. Certainly it's not something I find myself thinking, "darn I should be listening to this via Mojo now" (and that goes for Bluetooth mode also).

I've solved the problem of the BTR5 not wanting to play PCM after DSD with Roon, by selection ASIO mode and DSD over PCM (DoP) in the settings. So far so good. It's been a champ with no glitching or failures.

As regards Bluetooth LDAC mode, the BTR5 is stable, clean, little difference between BT and USB, but perhaps a bit more air and comprehension of the musical structure with Roon/USB mode vs BT via LG V30.

The differences are small, perhaps so small as to be placebo. I would like to rig up some blind tests. Again, I'm writing this and am having to metaphorically pinch myself when I realise am streaming BT.

Comparing the BTR5 with BTR3, the BTR3 sounds less refined in the treble and not as open as the BTR5. There's not nearly as much power with the BTR3, which makes the BTR5 sound more dynamic. The BTR5 sounds much more of a mature, audiophile product than the BTR3. BRT5 works MUCH better as a USB DAC with the ability to play native DSD, and HD files, rather than being limited to 16/48 as the BTR3 is. Definitely a worthwhile upgrade.

All this is Good News. I'm loving the fact that this little thing for so little money can do so much. The very fact that it can be compared +vely to a mature dedicated DAC like the Mojo is amazing in itself, but add the exemplary BT performance and this should definitely be another home run for Fiio.

PS... Driving capability is amazing... 600 ohm T1s volume around 40-43/60 for normal listening, FH7 around 19-20. Beware switching between modes as levels are retained, so if you are going from USB mode using high impedance over ears to BT using high sensitivity IEMs beware!!


Great product @FiiO


Nice job mate. Mine is on order and I can’t wait to get hands on it more so now.

I also have the V30. Are you able to connect the BTR5 to it using the USB & use it as external DAC ?

Really curious how it compares to the V30 DAC which I’m very familiar with. You may need a decent audio app such as Neutron or UAPP for it to work properly in bit perfect mode.
 
Dec 7, 2019 at 6:57 AM Post #214 of 2,710

piercer

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So just my BTR5. It will not pair with my Cayin N8 (I use bluetooth when down the gym).

My ES100 immediately paired with the N8 and has worked wonderfully for months.

Unfortunately the BTR5 is not detecing the N8 and neither is the N8 detecting the BTR5

Very very disappointing :frowning2:

Update - it pairs with my S10+ using APTX - but still wont pair with the N8 - hope its easy to return this.

Update 2 - They finally found each other, but the connection is only APTX - what should I do

Update 3 - Switched both devices off and on - they then briefly connected with SBC :frowning2:

Update 4 - tried to reset BTR5 by holding in a button for 10 seconds - BTR5 is now permanently stuck in 'Reconnecting' and wont reset

Update 5 - finally got both Cayin and BTR5 to say that they were connected. BTR5 and CAYIN both showed LDAC (yay!). went to play a song and the Cayin said 'Play song failed' and then they both disconnected.

Much worse experience than ES100 which worked perfectly out of the box

After testing
So it seems that the BTR5 cannot cope with the 'LDAC Quality Priority' setting of the Cayin N8. I have lowered quality to 'Prefer LDAC Connection (auto)' and have a slightly more stable connection, even though it is still disconnecting periodically.

My ES100 has never had the slightest stutter in the quality mode with my N8.

I am so disappointed with the BTR5 - Looks like it will be returned pronto :frowning2:

Sorry - have got to add this too...

Serviceable bluetooth range of lower quality LDAC from BTR5 to Cayin N8 is about 1m. Seriously, when I start to move away it just dies (and whilst typing this it just dies randomly :frowning2: ). Even close up there is a lot of electronic flutter and interefernce in the reproduced noise.

Switched back to ES100. Switched to high quality LDAC. Can still hear clear music whilst doing washing up in kitchen and N8 is in living room. There is no flutter, interference or distortion. Really really bad.
 
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Dec 7, 2019 at 11:43 AM Post #215 of 2,710

Fishdo

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@piercer

I am not having a problem with LDAC connection so I am not sure why you’re having a problem...not with Cayin though...

Did you say you did a soft reboot or just turned it off...?

Might be worth factory reset on the BTR...(if you haven’t already that is) then first pair with the Cayin.. We all know that if you ask FiiO you’ll get the standard reply... “Do reset..”!! :wink:

I have found that I prefer the SS and SQ generally of BTR is better (for me) than the M11... and I prefer the mojo sound signature (but I’ll never use it with usb only tried out of interest... after reading @salla45 great review post earlier...
 
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Dec 8, 2019 at 12:16 AM Post #216 of 2,710

salla45

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Nice job mate. Mine is on order and I can’t wait to get hands on it more so now.

I also have the V30. Are you able to connect the BTR5 to it using the USB & use it as external DAC ?

Really curious how it compares to the V30 DAC which I’m very familiar with. You may need a decent audio app such as Neutron or UAPP for it to work properly in bit perfect mode.

thanks.

Yes you can connect BTR5 as USB dac to phone, but for me, the native output from the V30 with UAPP is just fine :) with the same DAC-chip in the V30 as the BTR5.
Oddly however, I had to fiddle about with some onboard menu setting to get sound out of the BTR5 in usb mode connected to the V30, I had to switch the gain to Low. Otherwise it was silent.V weird. Maybe it was just coincidence and the device just decided to connect at that time.Also I am getting a slowdown in playback speed listing to 48KHZ files in USB dac mode with the V30 using both the UAPP app AND the Fiio app (@FiiO - can you plse check these bugs?) - anyhow it's feasible with caveats!
 
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Dec 8, 2019 at 4:48 AM Post #217 of 2,710

Cuebbing

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thanks.

Yes you can connect BTR5 as USB dac to phone, but for me, the native output from the V30 with UAPP is just fine :) with the same DAC-chip in the V30 as the BTR5.
Oddly however, I had to fiddle about with some onboard menu setting to get sound out of the BTR5 in usb mode connected to the V30, I had to switch the gain to Low. Otherwise it was silent.V weird. Maybe it was just coincidence and the device just decided to connect at that time.Also I am getting a slowdown in playback speed listing to 48KHZ files in USB dac mode with the V30 using both the UAPP app AND the Fiio app (@FiiO - can you plse check these bugs?) - anyhow it's feasible with caveats!
Thanks for the info. Please update us if you learn anything on the USB mode challenges you mentioned with your V30. I have a V40 and experienced similar flakyness (for lack of a better word) with USB connections. I have the BTR3 and ES100 (BTR5 on its way) and both didn't want to connect and work with my V40 via USB. I got them for bluetooth so didn't pursue figuring it out. They work great via bluetooth to the V40. I also have an ifi xdsd that I got to use for Tidal/MQA and it didn't want to work over USB correctly until I put UAPP on the V40. With UAPP the V40 and xdsd seem to work fine over USB.
 
Dec 8, 2019 at 5:12 AM Post #218 of 2,710

archy121

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thanks.

Yes you can connect BTR5 as USB dac to phone, but for me, the native output from the V30 with UAPP is just fine :) with the same DAC-chip in the V30 as the BTR5.
Oddly however, I had to fiddle about with some onboard menu setting to get sound out of the BTR5 in usb mode connected to the V30, I had to switch the gain to Low. Otherwise it was silent.V weird. Maybe it was just coincidence and the device just decided to connect at that time.Also I am getting a slowdown in playback speed listing to 48KHZ files in USB dac mode with the V30 using both the UAPP app AND the Fiio app (@FiiO - can you plse check these bugs?) - anyhow it's feasible with caveats!

Thanks. Did you use the balanced out when testing ?
I’m curious to know if using the balanced output gave a noticeable improvement to the audio over v30’s standard jack.
 
Dec 8, 2019 at 5:17 AM Post #219 of 2,710

archy121

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Thanks for the info. Please update us if you learn anything on the USB mode challenges you mentioned with your V30. I have a V40 and experienced similar flakyness (for lack of a better word) with USB connections. I have the BTR3 and ES100 (BTR5 on its way) and both didn't want to connect and work with my V40 via USB. I got them for bluetooth so didn't pursue figuring it out. They work great via bluetooth to the V40. I also have an ifi xdsd that I got to use for Tidal/MQA and it didn't want to work over USB correctly until I put UAPP on the V40. With UAPP the V40 and xdsd seem to work fine over USB.

Did you try to get in touch with the UAPP author on these forums regards this ?
 
Dec 8, 2019 at 7:11 AM Post #220 of 2,710

piercer

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Wow, I am so not impressed with this device, its instructions and its stability.

1) Holding in the A button for more than 10 seconds does NOT reset the device. It comes back exactly as if you had turned it off and on again
2) Holding in B and C for 5 seconds does not clear the current pairing. Instead it shows DFU on the display and when I turn it on again it tries to reconnect to the same device.
3) It LDAP implementation seems completely flakey and disconnects all them time.
4) The bluetooth range is awful (at most 1m)
5) The sound (when I get it) is full of electronic distortion and flutter.

Fiio - Have I got a duff unit? How do I clear a pairing? How do I reset it? Have you only tested it with mobile phones?
 
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Dec 8, 2019 at 8:26 AM Post #221 of 2,710

salla45

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Thanks. Did you use the balanced out when testing ?
I’m curious to know if using the balanced output gave a noticeable improvement to the audio over v30’s standard jack.
Sorry I don't have a working 2.5mm balanced MMCX cable to use. My next investment will probably to get a good replacement cable for my FH7's. Out of $$$ at the moment :frowning2:
 
Dec 8, 2019 at 8:34 AM Post #222 of 2,710

salla45

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Thanks for the info. Please update us if you learn anything on the USB mode challenges you mentioned with your V30. I have a V40 and experienced similar flakyness (for lack of a better word) with USB connections. I have the BTR3 and ES100 (BTR5 on its way) and both didn't want to connect and work with my V40 via USB. I got them for bluetooth so didn't pursue figuring it out. They work great via bluetooth to the V40. I also have an ifi xdsd that I got to use for Tidal/MQA and it didn't want to work over USB correctly until I put UAPP on the V40. With UAPP the V40 and xdsd seem to work fine over USB.

Am not too bothered either to try much further with linking it to the V30 as my goal was to get a gr8 BT device which works well as a desktop portable/2nd option and the BTR5 checks the boxes. I will try to hook it up to my Note 8 and see if it encounters the same issues as I had with the V30. And if I do debug further on the V30, will let you know :)
 
Dec 8, 2019 at 11:34 AM Post #223 of 2,710

Fishdo

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Would anyone know how you get the FiiO app to recognise my music files that are in my iPhone files app?

My Onkyo HF player has them and updates every time I open the HF app...

but the FiiO music app doesn’t pick them up when it scans though it does pick up my iTunes music...

I tried to copy and paste without any joy...

Would anyone know if it is possible for the FiiO app to pick up the music in my files app?

Thanks
 
Dec 8, 2019 at 8:27 PM Post #225 of 2,710

ClieOS

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For those using Android, please don't forget to try the FiiO Control app: link

It will allow you to change setting in BTR5 without going into FiiO Music app.


----------------------------------------------------------


Would anyone know how you get the FiiO app to recognise my music files that are in my iPhone files app?

My Onkyo HF player has them and updates every time I open the HF app...

but the FiiO music app doesn’t pick them up when it scans though it does pick up my iTunes music...

I tried to copy and paste without any joy...

Would anyone know if it is possible for the FiiO app to pick up the music in my files app?

Thanks

Besides having the ability to change BTR5 setting, is there any reason why you will want to use FiiO Music app for music playback? There reason to ask is because there is nothing particularly special about the app in anyway will make BTR5 better sounding. The 2nd thing to note is that iPhone, as well as all iDevices, only works up to AAC codec in Bluetooth, even using FiiO app won't change that. Lastly, music from iTune has DRM built-in, so third party app won't be able to play them back.
 

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