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Strange Issues with Fiio K1 DAC

  1. winny1
    Hi all,
     
    I've been having a bit of trouble with my Fiio K1 and would appreciate any input or advice if you have the time. I've literally pulled my hair out over this problem (or maybe I'm balding). It's a bit of a long post but I will have a TL;DR at the bottom for those of you who don't care to read.
     
    So I recently purchased the Fiio K1 as my first external dac/amp combo and it sounds great, except for one strange problem. When playing music, there are certain pop/click sounds that emit from the DAC which sounds like it is engaging on/off whenever I change tracks or pause music (it doesn't occur when the music is playing, which rules out any latency or similar errors). Admittedly the pops are not that loud (not like a transient spike for example, which happens on my laptop headphone output and is quite loud), but nonetheless they are loud enough to be audible and concerning when playing music, and they are not once-off occurrences but rather constantly there whenever there is any change in music tracks or even silence within tracks. 
     
    Specifically, it seems that these clicking noises only emit when changing tracks, pausing/playing music or, strangely, whenever there is silence, and again just before music starts playing again. For example, see below for a rough idea of what I mean.
     
    song.ogg (hypothetical music file with silence at the beginning, middle and end)
    *pop* silence at beginning *pop* music begins playing *pop* silent interlude *pop* music begins again *pop* silence at the end of track
     
    Not the best of diagrams, I know, but enough to illustrate the point. I've spent hours searching the internet for answers but only a handful of people seem to have the same problem as me, and none have fixed it as far as I can tell. Typical answers I've found were that this was due to noisy USB power supply -- however, since the DAC doesn't emit any noise or pops when music is actually playing, I've ruled this out as a suspect. I've also tried it on 3 different computers including a MacBook and Linux laptop and all have the same issue. The other answer was that it was due to DPC latency. I don't have much knowledge on this, truth be told, but again, the pops only occur at predictable times and not during actual music playback. Monitoring my latency through a program also didn't exhibit any spikes whenever a pop occurred so I also ruled this one out as a suspect.
     
    So now I'm back to square one, lost hours of my life searching for the issue, and am as confused as ever. The only other explanation I can come up with is that the DAC is faulty, or somehow turns itself on/off as soon as silence and music is detected, and this results in the pop. 
     
    tl;dr: There are audible pops/clicks whenever I change tracks, play/pause music or encounter silence. My laptop headphone output doesn't have this problem, only the Fiio K1. I've tried numerous fixes, searched for hours on the internet and couldn't find an answer.
     
    I would appreciate any input on this, although I am probably going to return the device. Now I'm worried that if I order another DAC (Fiio E10K is on my list now), it will have the same problem. 
     
  2. kimvictor
    I think K1 automatically mutes output when there is silence(like when you're changing tracks) and unmutes when there is sound. So what you're hearing is K1's amp turning on an off. 
     
    Not sure if it's faulty, but this pop sound is common amongst amps. Most higher end amps have a delay in start up to prevent these pops. If the pops are loud, it could potentially damage your gear. If it's not loud, I wouldn't worry about it. If it's bothersome, I suggest you look for a better DAC. 
     
  3. joshuadapitan
    I think that unit is a defective unit. I mean, I am using a sensitive IEM with the FiiO K1 but it doesn't pop on track changes(maybe your player, your headphones, are the ones that does it).
     

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