FiiO K7’s extremely cost-effective performance, proper hardware configuration, and diverse gameplay endow FiiO K7 with a very strong product force. Of course, what is impressive is that the price of $200 has a 4.4mm balanced interface, which is rare in this price range.
FiiO K7 specs and features:
- Dual AK4493SEQ DAC chip
- XMOS XUF208 USB decoder chip
- THX788+ amplifier chip
- 4.4mm balanced output interface
- 120×168×55mm, 610g
- $199 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon US, Amazon UK or other Amazon countries
In terms of product positioning, FiiO K7 is positioned between FiiO K5 Pro and FiiO K9 Pro, so in terms of product size, FiiO K7 is only a little bigger than K5 Pro. The size of the FiiO K7 has reached 120×168×55mm, the length is slightly increased by 38mm compared with the FiiO K5 Pro ESS, and the weight is increased by 130g, which is about 610g. Putting this product on the desk will not occupy too much area, and even its existence can be ignored to a certain extent.
The body of FiiO K7 is made of all-aluminum alloy, which is made by integrated stretching and CNC technology. The fuselage is still a very classic square shape. However, every corner and every edge has been treated with a smooth transition, and the entire fuselage is also anodized and sandblasted, giving people a very high-end feeling.
In the middle of the front of FiiO K7 is an iconic volume adjustment knob, which is also a power switch. The damping of this knob is just right, and the rotation feels smooth. It is worth mentioning that a brand-new RGB chip light design is added around the knob. After the switch is turned on, it looks like a gorgeous rainbow rising slowly in a circular shape, and you can feel the pure original sound amidst the brilliance. And this RGB chip light not only supports rainbow RGB lighting effects, but also intuitively informs users of the current audio source sampling rate through different colors. It is blue at 48k and below, yellow at 48k and above, green for DSD, and cyan-blue always on by default when there is no signal input. The brand-new RGB chip lights add new vitality to the matte black body, and the colorful RGB lights can also complement the modern desktop culture.
Buttons and Ports
If the appearance design of FiiO K7 is highly unified with that of FiiO K5 Pro, then this new decoding headphone amplifier inherits the mantle of FiiO K9 Pro in terms of operation logic. FiiO K7 has designed all the parts that need to be operated on the front panel of the product. You can switch the gain level and working mode (headphones, preamplifier, line) through two levers, or you can use the newly added button To switch the audio source (USB, optical fiber, coaxial, line) with one key, and FiiO K7 is designed with an input source indicator light in the upper left corner.
The operation logic of FiiO K7 is simple and convenient, no matter what you do, you can basically do it with one touch, and there is no excessive learning cost. Unfortunately, the FiiO K7 cannot operate the product through the FiiO APP like the K9 Pro, and there is a lack of customizability. However, considering the product positioning and price, it is also expected that it does not support APP control.
As a mid-end desktop decoding headphone amplifier, FiiO K7 can basically meet most of the user’s needs in terms of interface configuration. This decoding headphone amp concentrates most of the interfaces on the back of the fuselage, including: USB Type-B input port, coaxial input port, RCA port, optical fiber input port and a power port. The interface on the front of the fuselage can be regarded as the real highlight of FiiO K7 in terms of interface. In addition to the conventional 6.35mm headphone output port, the FiiO K7 is also equipped with a 4.4mm balanced output port that is more frequently used by many audiophiles. And this also makes FiiO K7 truly become the first desktop balanced headphone amplifier for young people.
Although FiiO K7 is a decoding headphone amplifier for “young people”, its hardware configuration can even reach the flagship level. This decoding headphone amplifier is equipped with the six-stage audio architecture on FiiO K9 Pro, adopts a hierarchical independent power supply design, and each stage has a low-noise LDO for voltage regulation. FiiO K7 uses an upgraded version of the previously well-received AK4493 in the DAC chip part, and is equipped with dual AK4493SEQ. The USB decoding chip is XMOS XUF208, and adopts dual clock management technology, endowing the product with high-standard decoding capability. The volume chip uses NJU72315.
The headphone amp part is the most important part of Fiio K7. The amplifier chip adopts THX788+ developed in deep cooperation with THX, which is also the chip used by Fiio K9 Pro. Two groups of THX788+ modules process the left and right channels respectively, and the optimized architecture has significantly improved driving force. Under the impedance of 32Ω, the undistorted power can reach 2000mW, even under the high impedance of 300Ω, the undistorted power can still reach 560mW. Such driving force is enough to handle most of the headphones on the market, even some high-end headphones.
The description in the part of listening experience is based on the use of FiiO K7 as a desktop USB sound card, low gain level, and 4.4mm balanced interface. For the earphones, FiiO FH7S was chosen as the reference device. This earphones adopts a sound structure of 1 dynamic+4 balanced armature, which is a mid-to-high-end product among FiiO hybrid driver headphones. The sound quality of the earphones is excellent and they are perfect for use as a reference device.
The sound style of FiiO K7 is generally loose, neutral and natural, which can make people feel a relatively gentle sound. In addition, it can also be felt that the tri-frequency of the earphones has become more balanced driven by the Fiio K7. The tri-frequency characteristics of the earphones themselves can be expressed very accurately, and there is no coloration, which is a sound with almost no modification.
The performance of FiiO K7 in low frequency is quite good. The low-frequency extension depth and quantity sense are relatively moderate, and the rebound is rapid. The low-frequency control is also commendable. When playing some more intense rock music, the low frequency will not appear particularly hectic, there is an orderly feeling, and it is also very solid and clean, without being muddled.
The performance of mid-frequency is also remarkable. The entire intermediate frequency stretches freely, and the density of the sound is also very tight. When listening to human voices, there is almost no coloration. Relatively speaking, it has a more restored playback of human voices, which is more suitable for friends who don’t like too much sound coloration.
High frequency control is commendable. The high frequency has very good ductility, the sound sounds delicate, and it has a very good degree of reproduction of the treble part of the instrument. FiiO K7 is a sound performance with a high degree of reproduction, and the sound quality level is also very competitive in this price range. The resolution and sound field performance basically cannot pick out the shortcomings.
The comprehensive performance of the sound part of FiiO K7 can still surprise people. If it is matched with different headphones, it will basically have an ideal sound performance.
After the overall experience, I think the positioning of FiiO K7 is very clear. The main target group is for young people who are pursuing sound quality. After all, buying a headphone amplifier that supports balanced output for $200 will not put pressure on young people.