If you ask me what my favorite all-time Fiio unit is, then my answer will always be the good old Fiio E10(K). While Fiio still puts out great units with an excellent price/quality ratio, the E10(k) is the one that’s always been my favorite. I actually over time bought four of these little buggers and I still use them daily.
One is connected to my speaker system at home so that I can easily hook up my laptop when I want to enjoy some tunes when doing house chores. The second one is at my office where I keep it as a backup DAC/AMP in case I forget to bring another one. Actually, one of my colleagues is using it with his Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro. Bass full open of course. The third Fiio E10K is being used at my web agency where the owner uses it to listen to his Cosmic Ears CE4 CIEM with his laptop as source. And the fourth unit is in storage in case one of my other units decides to join the afterlife.
Does the Fiio E10K have a balanced audiophile sound? No it does not, certainly not with the bass boost flicked on. What it does have however, is an incredibly high musicality and enjoyability factor. The Fiio E10K has a darker and warmer sound with excellent bass and that just works really well with so many popular headphones and with the R&B and dance music youth nowadays listens to.
The down side is that it’s getting old and 24/96 is all the Fiio E10K will decode for you. DSD, Roon and OTG are only three of the many things the E10K has never heard about, and yet it’s still being used and loved by hundreds if not thousands of people. Is there anything I would change? Not really, except for maybe the channel imbalance at lower volumes and an extra “in between” bass boost setting.
I do look forward to Fiio giving us a new, comparable toy that will blow us away for the next 5 years or so. The Fiio E10K can still be bought online and it goes for about €83 or $79. Not convinced yet? Then check out our E10K review.