The FiiO R7 is a streaming DAC with balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs. Rear-panel TOSLINK, coaxial and USB sockets open up the internal ESS ES9068AS DAC circuit to third-party devices. Meanwhile, on the front panel, the volume control allows the R7 to serve as a digital pre-amplifier; we can connect it directly to a power amplifier or a pair of powered loudspeakers. The R7 then covers off headphone listening with a THX AAA 788+ circuit whose balanced XLR and Pentaconn headphone sockets offer up to 3.6 Watts of power. Five gain levels allow us to step down that gain to keep sensitive IEMs in play. The quarter-inch socket is for those plain Jane headphone hook-ups.
However, the stars of this FiiO show are the R7’s touchscreen and Android 10 operating system that together give us access to any streaming service app on the planet. The Google Play Store’s presence means there is no waiting on the manufacturer to white list your favourite app: hello Tidal and Spotify but also howdy Plexamp and SoundCloud. The biggest welcome hug goes to Apple Music whose hi-res audio integration elsewhere is best described as complicated. Moreover, the touchscreen’s portrait orientation means those streaming apps appear exactly as they do on a typical Android smartphone.
Coming in at a very reasonable US$699, the R7 lands fifty bucks south of the recently reviewed NODE X from Bluesound to tee up this video’s side-by-side comparison.
🎥 Camera: Olaf von Voss / John Darko / Jack Kaminski
🎬 Editor: John Darko
🌈 Colour: Olaf von Voss
🕺🏻 Motion GFX: John Darko
💰 Ad segment: Jana Dagdagan
🎵 Song IDs? Playlists of all music heard in this video – and other videos – can be found on PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/johndarko
Further information: FiiO
👉 As seen in this video…
Bluesound NODE X
Campfire Audio Andromeda Emerald Sea
Campfire Audio Trifecta Astral Plane
Final D8000 Pro
Meze 109 Pro
NAD Masters M23
Wharfedale Linton Heritage
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