Past and Present-FiiO ANDES E07K Portable Headphone Amplifier Review
I received E07K today, The general feeling is very good, It’s encased in finely brushed metal with a handsome displaythis is a highly cost-effective portable headphone amplifier and USB DAC. I am here to introduce in detail:
History of My Fiio Collections
My first earphone amp is Fiio E3, a thin little device, It overcame less powerful problem of my old MP3 player. You cannot see many change in style using the amp.The style did not alter largely, but whole performance is plump up. That "does not change" style was now recognized as a characteristic of Fiio amp and loved by customer. The following E5, E7, E11, E17, and the rebirth of the E7, E07K all continue on this tradition, Focusing on the quality of device bring much more fans to Fiio. Near every products of this company are best choice on the market.
Open box Photos
What’s in box
Aside from E07K amp and the general multi-language instruction manual Fiio also includes various accessories in this package. Six small Back Pad for anti-scratch, two rubber straps for outside banding with your music source devices, USB cable for data transmission when using as a USB DAC, A 3.5mm male to male cable, Two HD clear screen protectors, a fabric bag and a silicone case are included for full protection of your amp.
The front two color is clear to see every detail with high contrast. "T" for high gain and "B" for low gain. "USB" on the screen indicates the Fiio is under USB DAC mode. When the aux output has a cable plugged in "USB" turns to "AUX" shows it is switched into portable headphone amp mode. Lightning symbol is for USB charging indication, if USB charge option is turned off in setting menu the symbol will turn off in that case you cannot charge Fiio E07K with an interface. In order to show us the work status of E07 when screen is off the engineer add a multi-color led under the bottom of the screen. "Blue" for working and "Red" for charging. It supports working when charging in that case the led will spark blue and red in turn. Very convenient design its previous generation E7 can only archive this by unlocking the screen.
The whole back case, outer ring and buttons are Metal Wire Drawing style with a substantially higher manufacturing quality than the last device. Main operation buttons such as volume control, menu/select and exit/power buttons are situated on the right side. On the opposite, you can see lock switcher and DOCK Line Out switcher which is only valid when dock output mode.
Interfaces are arranged in the bottom from left to right: charging port/USB interface, DOCK port (currently only for Fiio E09k and L7), audio input port
Two different headphone output are on the top, This is a fantastic part of Fiio E07K you can figure out many different combination using them for example: To share music with your friends, Power two different speakers, or connect one with your headset the other for an home audio system, so that you would experience the dynamic details of the headphone and speakers at at the same time and so on.
Sound Style and Quality
My Win8 system recognizes Fiio E07K the same time its plugged in and automatically completes the driver installation. Then E07K was set as the default playback source so I can have the chance to see low noise feature of this device with my IE80. That headphone has been used for more than 500 hours so its high frequency is clear without burr and the low part is elastic. Begin with volume 0, the low noise is noticeable. The noise can’t be heard by gradually increase volume to 5. For my personal feelings for the low noise is pretty much acceptable.
When I continue turning the volume to a higher level the sound became a little bit stuffy, feels like sound mosaic or covered with something. That is not this amp supposed to be. So I began to make a few adjustments in settings options and found out this happened due to a lower default gain level. By increasing that default gain level from 6 to 12 the sound mosaic phenomena vanished and sound became clear and transparent.
I did most of my listening at what I think of as audiophile volume level, i.e. slightly on the loud side. I then ran the E07k’s volume up to maximum on several tracks to see if there were any limits, clipping or other distortions I could hear. The maximum volume seemed to be at least 10db above my listening level and the sound was very clear at that volume, so I don’t see any practical limits there, at least with reasonably efficient headphones. The Audioengine D1 gets all of its power from the USB whereas the FiiO E17 apparently gets its power from the internal rechargeable battery, so that may account for the E07K having greater headroom than USB-powered DAC/amps.
Four outstanding characteristics separate the Fiio E07K from generic products: 1. Maximum volume setting to prevent accidental damage of sudden burst of voice to your cherished headphones 2. Sound volume memory brings you the former familiar volume as you prefer, switch off memory the Fiio will restore the default configuration of a relatively smaller volume which is also for protection for both your ears and your earphone. 3. The remaining time provides a direct observation of battery life at a very precise level. 4 The most valuable is the channel balancing function, I’ve never found it in other portable headphone amp. By this feature, a slightly unbalanced headphones can get a normal performance without any physical adjustment. And also praising for those with congenital or gradually unbalanced ear felling.
Output: 250mW (16 ω), 220mW (32 ω), 36mW (300 ω)
Recommended Impedance: 16 ω-150 ω
USB supported sample rate: Max 96KHz/24Bit CD
Battery capacity: 1200mAH
Battery life: 24 hours
Size: 96x55x15.5 (mm)
USB receiver: TE7022
Amp chip: MX97220
I choose two different songs for listening test Skyfall by Adele for testing the female vocal music and Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 for bass and low frequency. Adele’s voice contains full deep magnetism can easily penetrate the mind, gives off a punch to your soul. Make people feel nothing but her voice and hit the softest and most vulnerable parts of the soul, express the most sincere emotion. This Skyfall by Aldele is the most touching theme song of 007 series movies.
When repeating AB testing, IPT and IPT companied with E07K gives general Fiio style and Fiio sound. All frequencies are treated equally but overall feel partial warm, completely drain out my old IE80’s whole capacity.
Moves Like Jagger in an energetic song, powerful drums and beats went through the whole time. If you are not satisfied with low-frequency effects, appropriate increase of low frequency gain will help you get a more promising picture. You can take advantage of the most prominent feature of this amp with multiple gain adjustment. Low frequency is elastic like what I just said. Bass surging and not too much impact to high frequency.
E07K adheres to Fiio’s traditional standing of sound, which was more revealing but less harsh. It doesn’t make to much change of sound; by the adjustable high and low frequency gain you can make the same headphone perform as built to meet all different genres, with a high playability. Channel balancing is a very practical function, can fix small unbalanced problem; the tiny little body entitles it to a high flexibility for both desktop USB DAC and outdoor amplifier. Manufacturing quality is improved than the previous generation E7 with a still nice looking. Although details and the overall effect cannot be compared to those thousand dollars equipments, but definitely one of the best cost-effective portable headphone amplifiers under 200 bucks, highly recommended.
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