Fiio KB3 Review


In this article we review the all new FiiO KB3 audiophile keyboard from the Chinese brand, priced at $179 USD 


Disclaimer: The FiiO KB3 was sent to us, free of charge, by the brand in exchange for our honest opinion.

About FiiO

Established in 2007, FiiO has become a powerhouse in the audiophile realm, offering an impressive line-up of affordable and high-quality products. From IEMs, headphone amps, DACs, to DAPs, FiiO has consistently delivered top-notch devices, setting benchmarks for other brands to follow like the FiiO M17, the mighty FiiO Q7, or the everlasting E10K, which has remained on the market for more than a decade now.

An unceasing saga of success, propelled not only by a steady flow of high-end devices – like their new streamer, the FiiO R7 and R9 –  but also thanks to smart, budget-friendly products, almost always in tune with audiophile cravings. Their latest series of USB DAC/Amps is a prime example – compact dongle-sized gadgets that hark back to the venerable FiiO E5 and E3, first revealed over a decade ago. An expansive range that includes the delightful FiiO KA3, the fantastic FiiO KA5, or the diminutive FiiO KA1 and KA2 – now completed by the KA13.


And if that lineup already seemed very complete to me, the brand still decided to go a step further and hop on the hype train. Which one, you ask? The audiophile keyboard one, I answer. Yes, you read that right: there is now a market for high-grade, mechanical, RGB, audiophile-integrated keyboards – and I’m 1000% into it.

So much so that when FiiO asked our team if anyone would be interested in trying their brand-new KB3 – an audiophile TKL keyboard – I immediately volunteered. Should you get one? Let’s find out.

A quick word about Jade audio

Once more, this new product fits in the brands Jade Audio sub-category. A sub-brand advertised as a new quality/price queen. But I’ll let the brand’s marketing team explain that for me:

“Jade Audio” is a subsidiary brand of FiiO Electronics Technology Co., LTD. It is a stylish, technological, and youth-oriented brand aiming to provide high-quality yet cost-effective audio products with an excellent listening experience for the younger generation all around the world. The entity’s Chinese name is derived from “翡声” (Fei Sheng), meaning “the sound of Jade”. The name “Jade Audio” conveys our mission towards providing consumers with a crisp and pleasant listening experience while maintaining audio fidelity


As a matter of fact, there are now more and more Jade Audio devices such as:

  • FiiO KA1 : a DAC/Amp with a single ES9281AC Pro chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA2 : a DAC/Amp with a dual CS43131 chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA3 : a DAC/Amp with a single ES9038Q2M Pro chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA5 : a DAC/Amp with a dual CS43198 chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO KA13 : a DAC/Amp with a dual CS43131 chip (reviewed)
  • FiiO FF3 : a new-gen earbud with a 14.2mm large dynamic driver (reviewed)
  • FiiO FF5 : same but different earbud with a 14.2mm large dynamic driver (reviewed)
  • FiiO Q11 : a portable DAC/AMP with a battery, replacing the Q3 (reviewed)
  • FiiO KB3 : a Ten Key Less audiophile keyboard, with a dual CS43131 chip (today’s review)

Design & Build Quality


Compared to your usual DAC/AMP, the new FiiO KB3 may seem particularly massive, but for a keyboard – and even more so for a mechanical keyboard – this one leans more toward the compact side. 

End to end, the KB3 is 329mm wide, 140mm deep, 43.5mm thick and weighs an hefty 1.02 kg, making it the heaviest DAC of the whole USB dongle array up to this date. Meaningless to say that unless you really want to be that kind of person that carries its own keyboard on the train, you’ll leave it on your desk almost every time.


Regarding the casing itself, FiiO did a great job here, even compared to my Razer Blackwidow, or the Logitech G512 that I daily use at my office. Made of a 9 layers sandwich, the KB3 keeps the same magnesium-aluminum alloy faceplate you’d find on their « classic » devices, combined with an iron plate – for added rigidity/density – and a sound absorbing foam + silicone damper that ensure soft and silent typing. 

Chances are that multi-layer production will also add some protection regarding external interference for the DAC section, but we’ll have to check on that later on. Again, from afar, this keyboard would be indistinguishable from any other gaming keyboard, if not for the FiiO logo. Such a sleeper!

Build Quality

Like every product recently released by the brand, the FiiO KB3 is almost flawless in this regard. I said almost though, because if all and every other DAC emblazoned with the Jade Audio logo comes cladded by a full aluminum cover, the latest FiiO only displays metal on its upper part, the bottom case being made of classic plastic!

Same goes for the key cap themselves, which exhibit a transparent layer, allowing the RGB lights to shine through them. Quality wise, they are on par with your traditional mechanical keys, and for those interested, the sound they produce is absolutely beautiful, helped by Gateron 3.0 switches and a well-designed absorbing felt mat.


Same goes for the headphones outputs – your usual 4.4mm Pentaconn + 3.5mm Jack – perfectly integrated into the left side of the case, with the usual flush design and sturdy build that FiiO has been renowned for. Even you were to plug/unplug your headphones quite aggressively, I’m pretty sure the KB3 outputs would withstand that with ease.

But, clearly, the masterpiece here remains the volume knob. Red, shiny and entirely made of aluminum, this clicky piece also gives a very tactile feeling in use, sitting right between my audiophile needs, and geeky craving.

Overall, the result is really impressive for a first timer, thanks to that slick body and well-thought design. You could definitely drop it, use it aggressively for gaming, or carry it in your bag during your commute (which I don’t recommend for the record) and it shall come out unscathed.

All in all, a very solid piece of work, especially considering the price.



Similar to other Jade Audio models, the FiiO KB3 bundle may not be brimming, but still comes with the mandatory minimum.

Inside, you will find :

  • 1x FiiO KB3
  • 1x USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • 1x Keycap remover 
  • a first launch booklet

A simple bundle but given the target, it should be enough – I don’t see anyone plugging this keyboard to a DAP or a smartphone.

Comfort and Specifications

Daily use

The FiiO KB3 is extremely simple to use.

You plug it into your computer, insert your headphone jack, and you’re good to go. Like any keyboard, the KB3 was immediately recognized by my computer, both as a peripheral and a DAC/Amp. Neat! And, if you can switch between Windows or Mac through a simple key combination, unfortunately there were no gain settings available.

Like the iBasso DC03Pro / DC04Pro, HiBy FC4, FiiO KA5 and even the KA13, the KB3 rocks a volume control – a great one moreover –  allowing you to handle that aspect directly from the device. A feature that should be mandatory on all and every DAC/Amp, that feels even more important on a sedentary device like a keyboard.


On the daily basis, it’s a pleasant device to use, as much as a DAC than a keyboard. The typing is swift with a soft, clicky response from the actuators, and the dual headphone output is a true blessing that allowed me to test various headphones, even when I forgot my adapters. 

Like every modern DAC, the FiiO KB13 comes with a 3.5mm port and a 4.4mm Pentaconn, so no 2.5mm TRRS here, but gamers and remote workers will be happy to know that the 3.5mm jack supports microphones – a first for FiiO.

A clean setup all in all, so let’s see what’s inside now.


Borrowing features from all of its siblings, the FiiO KB3 is, plain and simple, a KA13 in design. 

In fact, it inherits the same dual CS43131 DAC, supporter by a dual SGM8262 Op-Amp – a subtle variation from the SGM8261 – and sits once more between the KA2 and KA5. Although the KA5 could decode PCM streams up to 768kHz and DSD DoP up to 256, the KB3 maxes out at 384kHz and DSD DoP 128. More than enough for an everyday use, in my opinion.


As usual, this chip is more of an SOC than a simple DAC, embedding all kinds of features like advanced 32-bit oversampled multi-bit modulator with mismatch shaping technology, or an Integrated GND-centered, Class H headphone driver, helping brands like FiiO to create all-in-one devices, with smaller PCB.

To sum it up, you get:

  • up to 32bits / 384kHz PCM decoding + DSD256 support
  • Hardware MQA renderer
  • -115dB THD + 30mW @ 32ohms
  • low power consumption, between 6.25-40.2 during playback
  • Seamless switching between high performance and low power playback
  • Volume matching of the analog output levels and channel mixing 

And like the KA13, the KB3 is now further enhanced by a set of powerful op-amps from SGM, enabling it to deliver even more power than before. If the KA2 peaked at 2.2V and the KA5 at 2.9V in balanced mode, this audiophile keyboard remarkably elevates this to 4.2V, or 550mW per channel – enough to drive even the most high-end headphones.


However, if we take a closer look at the specifications, we see that the KB3 remains behind the previous models in some aspects: 

  • THD is 3dB lower than on the KA2 and even 6dB lower in balanced more compared to the KA5
  • power consumption in standby mode reached 140mA, compared to the 80mA of the KA2 and 110mA of the KA5
  • residual noise is almost twice higher in balanced mode too

So power over finesse? That’s what we’ll find out but, before, here are the full specs.

Technical specs

  • Type: USB/DAC – Mechanical Keyboard
  • Model: FiiO KB3
  • Chipset: 2x dual Cirrus-Logic CS43131
  • Op-Amp: 2x SGM8262
  • USB Chip: Savitech SA9312L
  • Frequency range: 20 – 40 000Hz
  • Compatibility: PCM up to 32bit/384kHz – DSD up to DSD256 – DSD DoP up to 128
  • SNR: 122dB (32 ohms)
  • Output voltage: 2.3V (single-ended) / 4.2V (balanced)
  • Output power : 170mW @ 32ohms (single-ended) / 550mW @ 32ohms (balanced)
  • THD: < 0.0005%
  • Output impedance: < 1.7 Ohm
  • Noise floor: <2.5 uV
  • Size: 329mm x 140mm x 43.5mm 
  • Weight: 1060g
  • Socket: USB-C
  • Price: $179

The article continues on Page Two, after the click here

5/5 - (3 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.


  • Reply January 4, 2024


    In the digial brochure that advertises the keyboard it indicates that it is compatible with QMK / VIA (open source software that allows you to configure the keys and lights of the keyboard). Could you check if that was working as intended. I was uanble to make it work.

    • Reply February 12, 2024


      Hey man. I’m you future self. You sent an email to FiiO and the sent you back the json file to be able to setup the keyboard with VIA. So the keyboard is supported, don’t know if the json is already published tougth.

      Sorry for my broken english.

      • Reply February 14, 2024


        Genuinely laughed to the comment man, cheers!

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