In this article, we review the $89 USD Bluetooth DAC & High Fidelity Transceiver, the Fiio BTA30.
Disclaimer: Fiio sent us the BTA30 for this review free of charge, I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own.
Fiio is one of the most popular audiophile focused companies in the world. You heard of them, you for sure know them. They design and manufacture a wide range of audio devices, nd they’re all popular.
They have been in the industry since 2007 and they are pushing the limits of audio each passing day. They recently entered into the Bluetooth playground with solid products such as BTR5 & UTWS3. UTWS3’s review will soon be available on Headfonia so stay tuned. Today’s device is a Bluetooth transceiver and it is a feature-packed device. You can hook it up to an amp to get a headphone out or you can connect your active speakers and bless them with Bluetooth connectivity.
We have reviewed and awarded a lot of Fiio gear here on Headfonia over the years, check out their reviews here: Headfonia Fiio reviews
Let’s get to the review and see how good the BTA30 is.
Fiio BTA30 Bluetooth Transceiver & DAC
Specifications & Technical Data (more here.)
Bluetooth chip: CSR8675 | Bluetooth version: 5.0
DSP chip: CT5302 | DAC chip: AK4490 | Audio op-amp: OPA1662
Bluetooth receive formats support: SBC/AAC/aptX/aptX HD/LDAC
Bluetooth transmit format support: SBC/aptX/aptX LL/aptX HD/LDAC
Optical decoding support: 96k/24bit
Coaxial decoding support: 192k/24bit; DSD64 (dop)
USB AUDIO out support: 44.1/48k 16bit
Transmission distance: Approx. 30m
Status LEDs: SBC: Blue; AAC: Teal; aptX HD: Yellow, aptX: Purple, aptX LL: Green; LDAC: White
Analog output: RCA (Max 3Vrms)
Digital output: Optical + Coaxial
Digital input: Optical + Coaxial
RCA out THD+N: 0.002% (SPDIF 48k/24b input, 1kHz -3dB)
RCA output SNR: 115dB
Digital out sampling rate: up to 192k/24b
USB interface: Type C
Dimensions: 120x55x23.5mm |
Packaging & Accessories
The Fiio BTA30 comes in a small black box. Sliding off the top cover reveals how compact the BTA30 is. This DAC certainly won’t take much space on your desk. Accessories are modest. You get a generic RCA to RCA cable, a nice USB cable that is 1 meter long, 4 adhesive feet, an instruction manual, and a warranty card. I recommend you to upgrade the RCA cable if you intend to use the BTA30 for a long time.
I really liked the BTA30 the moment I saw it. It has a really compact aluminum body with a glass top. It looks very modern & chic. The front of the chassis has a power button, a pairing button, a mode button, and a volume pot. The volume pot feels amazing, it has a pointy, textured surface. It also feels quite accurate.
There are 2 LEDs on buttons and those provide you information about the sample rate, pairing state, and power. A semi-gloss black aluminum casing seems very durable in my opinion and the fact that it has a glass panel on top makes it even more handsome. High-res certificate logos and the Fiio brand logo embellishes the glass panel very well. All inputs and outputs are located at the back and that is, in my opinion, good to prevent cable clutter.
Fiio designed this transceiver with ease-of-use in mind. It is a quite straightforward product. You turn it on, hold the Bluetooth button, and pair. That’s convenient. The device comes with 4 rubber feet included in the package so you can stick them under the transceiver and perhaps slap it on a headphone amp, such as the Geshelli Archel 2.5 Pro and you have yourself a headphone out. You can also go full wired and connect the device via USB to your PC and use it as a dedicated DAC. More on these later.
As I already stated above, it has a really small footprint and the form-factor is really good for the performance and utility it provides. Its dimensions are 120x55x23. It is also light so if you want, you can slap on an adhesive under it and stick it directly on your active monitors. As for the power delivery, the BTA30 uses the USB-C interface. More on this multi-functional port in the next chapter.
Features & Technology
The BTA30 is a multifunctional device, it has 3 modes: Bluetooth receiver, Bluetooth transmitter and standalone DAC. Bluetooth modes support all codecs as well as the most superior, LDAC. In DAC mode, there are sample rate support differences between inputs. Coaxial input supports up to 24-192 & DSD64. Optical input supports up to 24-96 and USB input supports up to 16-48 decoding. Note that this is a plug and play device and it does not require you to install a driver.
I/O options are abundant, Fiio gave us many options, for sole audio quality, Coaxial is the superior choice. All the I/O are located in the back, from left to right there are gold-plated RCAs, optical out, coax in & out, optical in, and USB. If you’re not going to use the device via USB interface, you can power it with an external power supply, 5V, and probably decrease the jitter caused by your PC. During my test, the background was indeed clearer and darker when I used a 5V USB adapter instead of powering it directly from the PC.
The BTA30 supports Bluetooth 5.0 and it has the best codecs available to audiophiles at the time of this writing, the LDAC & Aptx HD. The range is also quite good at around 30 meters, allowing you to freely use the device in a big living room. This is partially thanks to the BTA30’s long antenna. You also can connect up to two devices to the BTA30 via Bluetooth. I tested the latency as well and I can say that it is wonderful in this regard. No delay at all. This means that you can hook a PS5 to it and enjoy your games latency-free. As for the DAC inside, Fiio chose the AKM route, they used the AK4490 DAC and it is great to have a DAC like this in an 89 USD multi-functional transceiver.
The BTA30 also comes equipped with a 120mhz DSP and it gives the device plenty of processing power. DSP also allows any digital audio signal to be upsampled to 192 kHz. AK4490 allows up to 384kHz and DSD native decoding for all your high-fidelity needs. In my opinion, judging by the technology inside the BTA30, the asked price is really good. Additionally, Fiio used film capacitors to further increase audio performance. It also features the high-performance OPA1662. I had already told you that the volume pot felt accurate, that is because Fiio made sure that we, audiophiles, have precise volume control with no imbalance dilemma. You can also control the volume via the Fiio app for increased convenience. You can also toggle fixed output volume if you intend to use as a standalone DAC paired to an AMP.
The review continues on the next page. Click HERE or just use the jumps below.