FiiO R7 squeezes high-end music streaming into a shelf-friendly box
And it comes with a class-leading headphone amp…
Audiophilia isn’t a one-size-fits-all affliction. Not everyone who desires incredible sound quality has the luxury of a ‘listening room’ with space for towering speakers, a teetering stack of traditional hi-fi separates and a mid-century chair to recline in whilst listening to SACDs of Afro-Peruvian Jazz.
Some just want a small box that does big sound, and that’s the thinking behind the FiiO R7. The FiiO R7 is the company’s first desktop high-resolution audio player and streamer. It includes a built-in DAC and amplifier setup, as well as more connectivity than you can shake a (drum)stick at. It weighs 1.28kg and measures up at just 110x134x160mm.
The FiiO R7 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset and 4GB of RAM. It runs on Android 10, meaning that streaming apps and services like TIDAL, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify are supported. For those who prefer to play their own digital files from storage, there’s 64GB of built-in space. If that isn’t enough, this can be expanded by a further 2TB via SD card.
File support includes PCM, native DSD Audio and MQA decoding, and wireless (both Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi are on board). Wired networking also allows for a variety of external sources to be used, such as DLNA and Airplay. The R7 works with platform-agnostic multi-room framework Roon, which means it can be integrated into a whole-home setup with audio products from other manufacturers.
The audio hardware inside the R7 is packed with dual THX AAA-788+ amplifiers and dual ESS ES9068AS DACs. That makes the device a high-end headphone amp. You can hook up your cans via balanced 4-pin XLR, 6.35mm and 4.4mm jacks, or wirelessly via Bluetooth that supports AAC, SBC, aptX HD, LDAC and LHDC. Other outputs are optical and coaxial audio, two pairs of standard phono RCA line outs and two balanced 3-pin XLRs. Inputs are coaxial and optical, USB-A, USB-C and Ethernet.
The FiiO R7 is available to order now, priced at $700/£650. You’ll be able to pick up a pair of matching SP3 speakers (price TBC) later on this year.