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FiiO K3 • The Review Tour of FiiO K3 All-new Headphone Amplifier & USB-C DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by FiiO, Sep 22, 2018.
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  1. FiiO
    Dear friend,

    Sorry that we are not considering about arranging one more K3 to Israel for review currently.

    Thanks for signing up in the same.

    Best regards
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com http://fiio.udesk.cn/im_client/?web_plugin_id=24494&group_id=47899&language=en-us
  2. FiiO
    You can kindly find the comparison among the K3, E10K and Q1 Mark II as follows:

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com http://fiio.udesk.cn/im_client/?web_plugin_id=24494&group_id=47899&language=en-us
  3. FiiO
    Buy FiiO's All-new Headphone Amplifier & USB-C DAC K3, Get Free Gifts with Equal Value!

    Intro: If you are lucky enough to be in the top 15, you will get a gift package with equal value as the K3!

    Speaking of top headphone amplifiers, FiiO E10 must be one of the best. From the evolution of E10, E10K and to the up-to-date K3, it actually reminds us of how FiiO had been evolved and expanded from the early startup. But one thing that hasn't been changed is that we still remain the same with the initial intention to supply our users with the best audio products at the best prices.

    To show our appreciation to those who've been supporting us for so long time, even from the very beginning, as well as celebrating the release of K3 (https://www.fiio.com/K3), we invite all of you to join the big event as follows:

    *Share Your Using Experiences of FiiO K3 to Win Free Gifts, worth up to $109.99!!!!*


    A. About the gifts (according to the sequence of your entry):

    1. 1-15th entries (1st prize):
    * Get a refurnished X1 (1st gen) + a third-party Type-C to Type-C cable TC05 (A total value of $109.99)

    2. 16-40th entries (2nd prize):
    * Get a BTR1K sample unit + short earphone cable LC-3.5AS + Type-C to Type-C cable TC05 (A total value of $72.98)

    3. 41-70th entries (3rd prize):
    * Get an IEMs F9 SE (Black) + Type-C to Type-C cable TC05 (A total value of $69.99)

    4. 71-100 entries (4th prize):
    * Get a Lightning amplifier i1 (80cm) + Type-C to Type-C cable TC05 (A total value of $49.99)

    Note: * The Type C to Type C cable TC05 is not made by FiiO, but a third-party provided cable;
    * The X1 are refurnished devices and the BTR1K are sample units which are all in good condition & function well;
    * Prices above are estimated value; the winner of the 1st prize are allowed to exchange for lower prize according to the needs.

    B. How to enter:

    ● Buy one K3: From any authorized online or physical stores outside China mainland

    ● Make comments or share experience with K3 on any one of the following platforms:
    * Amazon: with 3 pictures + 50 words comments
    * Facebook/Twitter/ Instgram/Head-Fi or other social media or audio-related forum: with 3 pictures + 150 words comments

    ● Send email to prize@fiio.net with:
    1). Purchase proof of order (screenshot for online order / invoice for order made in physical store)
    2). Picture of the K3's serial number at upper-right on the back of the package
    3). The link and screenshot of sharing
    4). Your delivery info with Full name + Address with zip code + Telephone number

    C. When to enter:

    ● No limits on the purchase date of the K3
    ● Comments/sharing made during the period from December 11th, 2018 to January 10th, 2019;
    ● Only the first 100 entries will be qualified to get the free gift;
    ● Entries close at 11:59pm, January 10th, 2019 or when the valid entries reach 100.

    1. FiiO may employ your photo/sharing for advertisement purposes;
    2. In case of refund to K3, it will get disqualified;
    3. FiiO will inform you of the entry sequence and the corresponding gifts by then;
    4. The gift will be arranged on details confirmation, by postal service which takes about 15-30 days;
    5. FiiO reserves all rights to interpret and amend the rules of this activity as necessary.

    Best Regards
    FiiO Electronics Technology Co., Ltd.
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com http://fiio.udesk.cn/im_client/?web_plugin_id=24494&group_id=47899&language=en-us
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  4. Brooko Contributor
    Wyville and trellus like this.
  5. vladmaxim
    Amazing piece of technology with stellar sound quality!

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  6. emad
    Vladmaxim Joined: Dec 1, 2018 !!!
    Amazing sound? !!!
  7. Dobrescu George
    Time for my first impressions of K3 :)

    - Build Quality is really good. Full metal enclosure
    - Does not get hot in typical usage
    - Clarity is a good point for it
    - Compact body, works well for most environments
    - Also works with smartphones, really happy with this
    - Neutral sound, can't say it has any kind of coloration, pretty darn linear
    - The volume wheel starts at about 9AM, and goes to 7AM, pretty unusual for most DAC/AMPs I tested
    - Type-C USB in the back, really happy with FiiO's decision to implement that
    - USB 1 means no Driver is needed, works flawlessly
    - Soundstage is on the wider side, detail and clarity is really good, about what I'd expect for its price.
    - Good bass, I keep the bass boost mostly off, with the gain almost always turned on high
    - Noticed some minor hiss, but I need to do more tests
    - Need to test the Balanced output with more care
    - Pretty lightweight
    - Gets a biut warm in typical usage
    - All in all makes a great purchase at this point in time and for its price,
    - Compared to something like Audirect Beam, which is similar in terms of price and performance, it has less width, but more depth to its sound, similar detail, but everything is less forward and less aggressive, similar treble levels.
    - Compared to HIDIZS DH1000, which is a battery-based portable DAC/AMP, it has less depth, but more width, it is more clear, and has a less thick, slightly more clear sound, better treble with more sparkle and cleaner reproduction.

    Please let me know what other DAC/AMPs you'd like me to compare it to, and if you have any specific questions I can help with :)

    Full review incoming soon :)

    trellus likes this.
  8. Brooko Contributor
    Hi George

    For ref => applying gain brings everything up (including the noise floor). Thats why I never use gain unless its required. It doesn't effectively do anything except raise the volume (the idea of improvement with gain is pretty much the stuff of myth). Assume you were listening to hiss with nothing playing and volume turned up?

    Which headphones were you using?
    Can you retry with low gain?
    At what volume level is hiss present?

    Just want to put some parameters around it so people understand and potential issues. For my tests - unless using really sensitive monitors - it was pretty much noise free (low gain, even at high volume).
    Wyville likes this.
  9. Dobrescu George
    Very Minor hissing with very loud volume, at ~70%, with hiss sensitive IEMs, like IE8. I cannot hear it with music playing.
    Brooko likes this.
  10. ZenErik
    Thanks for the impressions so far. Considering getting one to compare with my nano iDSD BL. I actually did order one but canceled. Figured I’d wait for more reviews. Would like to hear more about the noise floor for sure as I’d be using them with IEMs quite a lot.
  11. KaiFi
    ^I'm also very curious how this compares to the Nano. I have the Nano and I like it a lot, but to me it does have a coloring, a "warm" coloring. So if the K3 is totally flat I might not like it since the warm coloring is great for classical music, which is a lot of what I listen to. But we will see.
  12. Dobrescu George
    Testing right now, the noise floor is really okay for IEMs, even for really sensitive ones :)

    I don't think you'd hear any specific noise with K3 that you don't with other devices, although I don't hear much noise with Nano BL either, both are pretty great

    Testing with Campfire Atlas right now, using Spinfit tips (those reveal noise more than Comply tips to my ears), I can't hear any noise to talk about, just a very slight hiss if no music is playing, and that is really hard to notice as well, only if you're really paying attention. Other than that, there is no hiss or other noise I can talk about, in high gain.

    BTW: A side note, I tested just now, and the hiss doesn't seem to vary with volume, it seems constant regardless of where the volume wheel is, so it may even be some kind of issue I have with my Windows, since I only tested K3 in USB 1 mode so far :)

    I have an iFi BL and can run some tests :)

    I think Nano BL has a thicker, warmer sound, while K3 is more neutral and linear.
  13. RobbS
    Just wanted to mention that I have not received the review unit.
  14. cleg
    my take on K3

    trellus and Charente like this.
  15. Wyville
    I have had the K3 for a few weeks now and it has been doing its duty for casual listening and as a compliment to my AK70 while working on reviews. In terms of hiss the only time I heard anything was with my Empire Ears Phantom from balanced, low gain and without music playing, but that might have also had to do with my Macbook charging at the time. I will need to check that again soon, as I have mostly been working on a review of the Jomo Audio Trinity and those were dead silent.

    Beyond that I have been very impressed by the K3. It is a solidly built little DAC/Amp that is very easy to use (just plug and play) while it also has some versatility to play around with it such as the USB modes, gain and the bass switch. Love the option of both SE and balanced out, as a most of my cables are terminated in 2.5mm balanced and I prefer not to use adapters. I also love the volume control that has just the right level of resistance and smoothness to make small adjustments in volume easy, even with sensitive IEMs.

    It is the first DAC/Amp that I have used and so far it is a great introduction to a desktop based alternative to a DAP. I am going to take my time with the review so I can give a solid impression, but yeah, an impressive little device that is certainly going to see a lot of use.
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