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FiiO’s R7 & SP3 is a mini system for the Future-Fi age

  • Many know FiiO as a manufacturer of portable audio players (DAPs), headphone amplifiers, DACs and IEMs. With its all-new R7 system, the Chinese company is taking aim at desktop and, potentially, small room loudspeaker listening.

    The R7 is a cinder-block sized device that takes a Snapdragon 660 / Android 10 DAP, adds a dual ESS Sabre ES9068AS DAC circuit – supporting up to 32bit/768kHz PCM, DSD512 and MQA – and associated line-level outputs – RCA and balanced XLR – plus headphone socketry – 3.5mm, 6.4mm and balanced 4..4mm. Just add active loudspeakers or headphones.

    On headphone drive, FiiO promises 3.6W into 32 Ohms where SPLs can be attenuated via five gain levels and a physical volume knob. Music selection and playback control come from a front-facing touchscreen that’s canted back slightly for more comfortable desktop use.

    Two-way Bluetooth 5.0 is also possible: the R7 can transmit SBC, AAC, aptX HD, LDAC or LHDC and receive SBC, AAC or LDAC.

    As well as Android-compatible apps like Spotify, Qobuz, Deezer, Soundcloud, Amazon Music and Tidal, all installable from the Google Play Store, music streaming support also comes from Roon Readiness, AirPlay or UPnP from 64Gb of internal storage, an SD card inserted into the slot on the back or an SSD (max 2TB) connected to one of the rear panel’s USB sockets. Those USB sockets will alternatively accommodate external DACs. The R7’s back plate also sports coaxial in and out, TOSLINK in and out and an Ethernet input; and it tells us that the unit’s amplification is THX-788+ certified.

    Perhaps the tidiest feature of FiiO’s R7 is its price: £649 or US$699.

    FiiO will be launching the SP3 active monitors seen in the R7’s press shots sometime later this year. Pricing on those remains TBC.

    Further information: FiiO

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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