FiiO has also launched a number of portable bluetooth decoding amps before, such as BTR1, BTR1K, BTR3, BTR3K, BTR5, etc., and these products have achieved high sales and good user reputation. The FiiO BTR7 seems to be different from the previous products, and for a better user interaction experience, FiiO also equipped it with a large display screen. The price of the FiiO BTR7 was finally set at $200. At this price and the unusual design, I have some expectations for the BTR7. Let’s talk about this new FiiO bluetooth decoding amp in detail.
FiiO BTR7 specs and features:
- 1.3″ IPS display, 240*240
- Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX/LDAC
- Qualcomm QCC5124 bluetooth chip
- 3.5mm single-ended + 4.4mm balanced port
- Dual ES9219C decoder chip
- $189 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany or other Amazon countries
Display & Connections & Hardware Configuration
The accessories of FiiO BTR7 can basically be described as very rich. The manufacturer is very thoughtful, and comes standard with a Type-A to Type-C cable, a Type-C to Type-C cable (the Apple version will give you a Lightning to Type-C cable) and a leather set. The leather case is made of selected arctic suede leather, which is delicate and silky to the touch, and fits very well with the fuselage. The gray leather case forms a sharp contrast with the fuselage, which can highlight the high-end positioning of the product.
After taking the FiiO BTR7 out of the package, you can feel that it is a product with obvious family characteristics. The overall design style is very similar to the FiiO M11 Plus. The metal mecha-style frame and the front and rear glass panels make the FiiO BTR7 look very delicate. It is worth mentioning that the frame also integrates the function of the antenna. FiiO BTR7 uses a metal frame antenna without breakpoints, which is free from interference and has more stable transmission performance. FiiO BTR7 measures 39.6*83.6*14.6mm and weighs 68g.
The biggest highlight of FiiO BTR7 is that it is equipped with a 240*240 resolution color IPS screen. The display screen adopts a newly designed color graphical UI design, and the displayed content is very rich. It includes information such as volume, power, gain, output mode, input status, audio format, etc. Although the screen is not large, the display effect is very delicate, and the display information is sufficient.
In addition, the daily operation is simpler, and there is no need to open the APP for common settings. This design further optimizes the user experience. Of course, you can also adjust the EQ, volume, bluetooth encoding format, and channel balance of the FiiO BTR7 through the FiiO Control APP. And you can also use the APP to upgrade the product OTA.
In terms of connection, FiiO BTR7 is designed with a standard 3.5mm single-ended interface and a 4.4mm balanced interface on the top of the fuselage. At the bottom is a Type-C USB2.0 interface (charging/data transfer). Such an interface configuration is quite satisfactory for the body size of FiiO BTR7. In fact, I think the bluetooth connection format is the focus of this product. FiiO BTR series has always adhered to the fine tradition of being equipped with high-quality bluetooth chips and using full-format bluetooth encoding format. On the FiiO BTR7, these advantages are also preserved.
FiiO BTR7 adopts Qualcomm QCC5124 bluetooth chip, which has a good performance in power consumption, heat generation and stability. The QCC5124 chip supports up to Bluetooth 5.1, and the encoding format supports almost all mainstream bluetooth formats including SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, aptX HD and LDAC.
In terms of hardware configuration, FiiO BTR7 is equipped with dual ES9219C decoding chips and dual THX AAA 28 amplifying chips. Provides a powerful driving force of 160mw@32Ω for single end and 320mw@32Ω for balanced end. There are also 13 LDOs in the power supply section for digital-to-analog pre- and post-stage voltage regulation. The USB chip is XMOSXUF208, which supports 384kHz sampling rate and DSD256 hard solution. In USB DAC mode, with MQA player, it can support MQA rendering and MQA 8 times expansion. Such powerful hardware has laid a good foundation for the sound performance of FiiO BTR7.
In this review, I chose FiiO FH9 as the main reference headphones.
As the most high-end product in the hybrid driver series, FiiO FH9 has reached a new height of its headphone products in terms of sound performance and configuration. The tri-band of FiiO FH9 is very balanced, and the connection between mid-low frequency and mid-high frequency is also very smooth, and the interpretation of classical music is absolutely excellent.
Thanks to the dual THX AAA 28 blessings, the sound of FiiO BTR7 is a bit like FiiO Q series decoding amps, a gentle and very durable feeling. The tone of FiiO BTR7 is neutral and somewhat warm, and the tri-frequency is relatively balanced, with no obvious bias. The combination of FiiO BTR7 and FiiO FH9 has quite good resolution and very delicate high frequency performance. The high-frequency extension performance is relatively good, crisp and transparent, with a certain sense of line and overtone, and also has a very clear imaging.
This combination has a looser performance in the mid-frequency. But unfortunately, compared with the high frequency performance, the details and resolution of the mid frequency will be slightly inferior to the high frequency performance. But fortunately, FiiO BTR7’s interpretation of vocals is quite good. The mid-frequency vocal density is in place, with very clear mouth shapes and a relatively moderate sense of distance. The human voice has a very delicate sense of hearing, and at the same time, it can also have more obvious coloring and modification. Whether you use this combination to listen to male or female voices, you can have a very delicacy and exquisite feeling.
FiiO BTR7 controls the low-frequency quantity sense and texture very well, and there will be no excessive low-frequency phenomenon due to insufficient control. The extension depth of the low frequency is moderate, the rebound response is fast, and the overall adjustment is very clean.
In general, the tri-frequency of FiiO BTR7 has sufficient details, and the vocal performance is more attractive. After the overall experience, it can be found that the FiiO BTR7 is more suitable for listening to pop music or music based on vocals. Of course, if you ask me is there a gap between using a bluetooth connection and using a wired connection? The answer is yes, the bluetooth connection is definitely slightly inferior to the wired connection. But the difference is not big, both connection methods have very good sound quality. However, if you use a bluetooth connection, the details of the sound will be lost a little. Perhaps this loss can be understood as a sacrifice for portability.
I think the FiiO BTR7 bluetooth decoder amp can be called an “extreme” product. Its body size is only slightly larger than the regular “small tail”. But FiiO packs a 1.3-inch display, a 4-way THX amp, and an 880mAh battery that supports wireless charging into its very compact body. Although the FiiO BTR7 will be larger and more expensive, it has excellent performance, powerful driving force and an excellent interactive experience.