- It is the big brother of the FiiO K9 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier, which is now available with the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier.
There are a number of innovations that distinguish the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier from its little brother FiiO K9 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier, as the specialist for personal audio devices and desktop audio FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. now promises.
Probably the most obvious change is hidden in the name anyway, because instead of a DAC from ESS Technology Inc., the latest converter from the specialist Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation is used here, plus various other innovations.
FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier – The new addition to the FiiO K Series
FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. has already launched a number of solutions as part of the so-called FiiO K Series, first and foremost the flagship models FiiO K9 Pro Flagship Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier, which was followed by the FiiO K9 Pro ESS Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier.
In May of this year, the FiiO K9 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier was presented, which, as the name suggests, was intended to be closer to the aforementioned flagships than to the FiiO K Series models below it, the FiiO K7 Desktop DAC and Amplifier and FiiO K7 BT Desktop DAC and Amplifier solutions.
And then there is the current model, the FiiO K11 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier, which FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. only launched at the end of September 2023.
As already mentioned, the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier is intended to be an alternative to the FiiO K9 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier, in response to the wishes of numerous customers, as the manufacturer states. There are numerous potential customers of the FiiO K9 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier who would like the special sound character of a converter from Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation as an alternative to that from ESS Technology Inc.
Equipped with the latest converter from AKM and dual-mode clock management
The FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier therefore relies on the brand new flagship DAC combination from Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation, in the form of the AKM AK4191EQ and AKM AK4499EX in conjunction with dual-mode clock management. This allows audio data to be processed in Linear PCM with up to 32 bit and 768 kHz as well as DSD including DSD512.
Based on the new design technology from FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. of completely separate digital and analogue sections, the DAC combination even includes the newly developed DWA ROUTING Technology, as the manufacturer points out, in order to significantly improve the signal-to-noise ratio once again. The result is an even more realistic, detailed and natural sound transmission, as the manufacturer enthuses, even speaking of a reproduction as if you were there with the artists.
Fully symmetrical design
The six-stage structure of the audio circuitry, which has been adopted from the FiiO K9 Pro, should also contribute significantly to this, as the manufacturer states. From the DAC to the volume control to the amplification, every part of the FiiO K9 AKM is designed to be truly symmetrical in order to reduce crosstalk and achieve the promised authentic sound.
THX AAA 788+ Amplifier
Another key feature for the best sound quality is the THX AAA 788+ amplifier, the same component from THX Ltd. that was used in the high-end DAC/amp FiiO K9 Pro. This is the basis for the fact that a very high output power with the lowest distortion is available here for problem-free control of a wide variety of headphone models. We are talking about up to 780 mW at 300 Ω and even up to 2.000 mW at 32 Ω. It is therefore completely irrelevant whether you use low-impedance or high-impedance headphones, you would always get flawless results with both variants.
Even more flexibility with the interfaces
The new FiiO K9 AKM not only offers the numerous inputs and outputs of the ESS version, including a coaxial and optical S/PDIF interface, a USB type B port, 4.4 mm Pentaconn and RCA inputs for analogue sources, 6.35 mm and 4.4 mm Pentaconn as well as 4-pin XLR for headphones plus a pair of RCA and XLR outputs as analogue outputs. 4.4mm Pentaconn as well as 4-pin XLR for headphones plus an RCA and XLR pair as analogue outputs, but also adds a new USB Type-C port on the right side of the housing, which can be used to connect a smartphone or tablet, but also a DAP and other devices directly via USB to the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier. An XMOS XUF208 from XMOS Technology ensures flawless signal transmission.
It should also be mentioned that the analogue and digital circuits of the FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier have separate power supplies, so that every effort has been made to achieve the promised high sound quality.
Qualcomm QCC5124 Bluetooth 5.1 chip
In order to guarantee the best possible “wireless” signal transmission between the source device and the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier, a Qualcomm QCC5124 Bluetooth 5.1 chip from Qualcomm Inc. is used, which, in addition to SBC, AAC and aptX, primarily uses aptX HD, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive and LDAC as codecs for signal transmission up to Hi-res audio. Of course, the device can also be easily controlled via Blueooth using the corresponding app, the FiiO Control app for Apple iOS and Google Android, which already has all the controls on the front for convenient control.
It should also be mentioned that the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier is compatible with UAC 1.0 as well as UAC 2.0, making this solution compatible with a wide range of source devices, including games consoles.
Prices and availability
According to the manufacturer, the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier will be available from specialist retailers at the beginning of 2024. The price is listed at US$ 529,99.
Getting to the point
Once again, FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. is providing an alternative to a solution based on a converter from the specialist ESS Technology Inc. with a converter from the second leading specialist Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation as an alternative. However, the new FiiO K9 AKM Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier is intended to set itself apart from the FiiO K9 Desktop DAC and Headphone Amplifier with a few more features, as the specialist for personal audio and desktop audio promises for this new FiiO K Series solution.
|FIIO K9 AKM DESKTOP DAC AND HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
|FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd.
|NT Global Distribution GmbH
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG