The FiiO BTR3K is the latest Bluetooth stereo receiver model with a significantly cheaper price and a comprehensive upgrade with the DUAL Bluetooth DAC design, which upgrades the USB DAC chip to the latest generation of AKM with the 3.5mm and 2.5mm balanced outputs. Many people eager for the BTR3K DAC 2020 expect it to be FiiO’s next good product, and this is our personal experience after a week of using the BTR3K.
In this review, we will mainly talk about the sound quality as the design and use of the BTR3K is 90% similar to the previous BTR3 model. The only difference is that the FiiO provides an optional detachable clip made of transparent plastic instead of a machine-like metal clip, so you can easily detach it when needed.
If we compare the design and build quality of the BTR3K, we think it is sometimes better than both the BTR5 and the ES100mk2 USB Bluetooth adapter devices. The compact BTR3K, which fits in your pants pocket smoothly, is not as heavy or bulky as the BTR5 and the mirror surface is much better than the ES100mk2’s plastic appearance.
Sometimes we also miss the BTR5 LED screen while watching the BTR3K’s screen, as one’s eyes are unable to accurately determine certain colors, this feature is not particularly useful. For almost everyone, it should be easy to quickly determine that you are associated with your favorite codec.
For those of you who don’t know, BTR is an abbreviation for Bluetooth Receiver, but the way FiiO makes these products is more similar to a Portable Bluetooth DAC / Amp because of the perfect quality as well as the components. Hardware accessories are sometimes better than DAC / Amp models or music players. The current flagship model is BTR5, and BTR3K is a mid-range and upgraded model compared to the previous BTR3 model.
We personally use a parallel between Bluetooth mode as well as USB DAC mode with the computer. You should download the FiiO Control software to adjust these features using USB-DAC priority mode. However, when a phone call occurs, you can still hear it plugged into the computer and has a microphone, so you can hear the call directly from the headset without a mic.
It has a 2.5mm balanced port with a DUAL DAC design circuit, so using AKM’s new integrated DAC / Amp chip is AK4377A much more upgraded than BTR3. There is only one AK4376A chip and compared to ES100mk2, it uses two previous generations AK4375A chips. In terms of this parameter, it is difficult for any product that can adjust BTR3K, only losing compared to BTR5 using 2 ES9218P chips.
But just the speaking parameters cannot confirm anything about the sound quality of the BTR3K. However, in one week of use, we can also confirm that this is quite unexpected when the sound quality of the BTR3K is much higher than the previous generation BTR3, higher than the ES100mk2, and very close to the quality of the BTR5.
We use Sennheiser IE 40 PRO headphones as well as Sony MDR-1AM2 at 3.5mm and Empire Ears Legend X headphones at Balanced port, it is true that balanced port has better separation and marginal capacity than 3.5 mm. However, tonal colors, details, and soundstage have not changed much, so don’t worry if your headset only has a 3.5mm port.
For soundstage detail, music style, we claim that it is far from the previous BTR3. Talking about the sound quality of BTR3K we would describe it as a product with a smooth sound quality that is easy to hear, a very good bass range, good and warm mid, high range with a slight roll-off.
And indeed, we think some people may like the sentimentality of the BTR3K, the warm-up over the technicality of the BTR5, and the accuracy for some that it is a bit cold. If compared to the ES100mk2, we personally feel a bit brighter and really only fit a few headphones.
An interesting point of the BTR3K is that adjusting the filter to change the sound, you can use the FiiO control app to control many features and in our opinion, the filter is quite safe and less distorted as control and adjust the EQ. Our favorite is the ‘Short Delay Sharp Roll-Off filter’ which we find most decent and smooth.
If you have to comment on the sound quality, in our opinion, the BTR3K is more prominent than the more expensive superiors like the Fiio M3 Pro or even the Q1 mk2. This is something that we were surprised to hear for a long time, only the Bluetooth range is still noisy somewhere.
The BTR3K Bluetooth DAC remains at the same price with so many upgrades, it is very commendable and if you need to buy a compact Bluetooth receiver but still want high-quality sound, we really recommend that you choose Fiio BTR3K and be happy with it because in the past if you wanted this kind of sound quality with a 2.5 mm balanced port, you needed to spend around $200 for a music player or DAC / Amp.
The BTR3K has been priced at $69.99 can be purchased through the Amazon.com, so really at this price, we can hardly recommend anyone else at this price range, nor can we criticize the build quality at any one point compared to the ES100 Mk2, just a slightly lower BTR5 with sound quality.