Disclaimer: Fiio is a website advertiser and the Fiio K1 was sent to us free of charge. That being said the K1 is selling for only $39USD.
Fiio is for everyone. Fiio listens to the consumer. Fiio is unstoppable. Another new Fiio product has hit the market, they’re releasing products faster than we can write reviews. This time Fiio is back on Headfonia with the Fiio K1: a USB DAC/AMP device for the low end side of the market.
A few months ago I called the $69.99USD Fiio Q1 “The entry DAC/AMP” but it now seems Fiio wants to be present in an even lower segment. The Fiio K1 is going for only $39USD and that’s extremely cheap.
USB-Dongles don’t take up a lot of space and they’re small and light. Just a few weeks ago we looked at the Dragonfly V1.2 and compared to that the K1 actually is even smaller. The reason for that is simply: as you have to connect the K1 with the help of a USB cable, the USB connector isn’t there. That part measures around 1cm, so the K1 really is small and measures only 50 x 20.5 x 8mm. I actually prefer using a cable compared to sticking the unit directly into a USB-port. I remember killing a USB-port on one of my former laptops and the JitterBug + DragonFly combo also almost killed a USB port on my laptop. “Luckily” it was the NightHawk’s cable that broke and not the port.
Fiio K1’s body is made out of grey aluminum and only weighs 11.3gr making it extremely portable. I’m not really sure why Fiio added a clip on it because you could keep it in your pocket just as easy. Let me know in the comments if there’s something I’m missing about this. Build quality-wise the K1 is just like any other Fiio product: extremely well done for the money you’re paying for it. I have to admit I’m not a fan of the see-through plastic clip though, but it can be “removed” (attention though, chances are you‘ll break the clip). You’ll find the standard female mini-USB on one side and a 3.5mm headphone plug on the other side. A tiny blue LED right next to the headphone port shows you if the Fiio K1 is in use or not.
Inside the Fiio K1 we find the Savitech SA9023A USB receiver, the Texas Instruments PCM5102 DAC chip and the TPA613321 Amplifier module. The Fiio K1 is plug and play and uses the standard Windows drivers. Mac users, of course, don’t have any issues at all. The PCM5102 is the same DAC-chip as Fiio uses in their Q1 and E17K and that chip can handle 32/44.1/48/96 (16/24) but no DSD.
There’s no official support for Android and/or iPhone and using the K1 with your mobile phone will be “hit or miss”. Some users on Head-Fi have reported it to work perfectly fine on some devices while they couldn’t get it working on other phones at all. If you do plan on using the K1 in combination with your mobile phone, I suggest you to check the Head-Fi thread upfront.
Here are the rest of the Fiio K1 Specs:
Fiio created the K1 to work best for ear- and headphones between 16 and 100Ohm and I for this review have been using it mostly with the VE Monks, Fiio EM3, Mee Audio Pinnacle, Unique Melody Maestro, Beyerdynamic DT770AE and the Hifiman HE-400i.
More on sound after the click here or below