FiiO’s had a busy, productive year. The company has had more product launch events in 2022 than many companies have products in total in their lineup, and there remains one more launch event to come a few days after I write this review! I’ve covered five FiiO products this year already, three of which happen to be DAC/amp combo units including the K5 Pro ESS, the K9 Pro ESS, and the more portable Q7. The Q7, incidentally, was announced a couple of months ago in one of FiiO’s Autumn launch events and there happened to be another item launched alongside which is the subject of today’s review. Thanks to FiiO for providing a review sample to TechPowerUp!
The K5 Pro ESS launched at $199.99 and I decided to give it a quick look article, since I was also working on the K9 Pro ESS review at the same time. I thought the K5 Pro ESS was good value for money overall which only got better over the summer when FiiO gave it a price cut to $180. Little did I know that this was to help pave the path for the new FiiO K7, that addresses the lack of balanced headphone outputs and effectively makes for a more powerful desktop DAC/amp without taking up much more room. Indeed, the photo above could be easily interchanged with that used on the K5 Pro ESS article and I dare say most people would think they are of the same product until they pay closer attention. The new K7 also gets an AKM DAC and a THX-AAA 788+ amplifier section, to where there’s quite a few things changed. I was originally planning to do a quick look article for the K7 too until I spent some time with it and realized this is a legitimate contender for best desktop audio source for the asking price and thus we have a full review! As usual, we begin with a look at the product specifications below, so be sure to click the image twice to fully open it and go through all the details.