With the FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP, the company FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. is finally breaking new ground. Until now, the company was considered a specialist in the field of personal audio devices, concentrating on the development and production of portable hi-res audio players, so-called DAP, as well as headphones and portable headphone amplifiers and portable D/A converters. Now, however, another product segment has been added, namely desktop audio, and with the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP, they have a particularly exciting solution on offer.
New directions in the field of desktop audio
Well, FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. is not entirely new to the desktop audio sector, as the company already has a number of solutions to its name, most notably D/A converters and headphone amplifiers.
However, the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP opens a completely new chapter, because as the name suggests, this solution includes a variety of functions and is also intended to serve as a central interface for other systems in the desktop audio sector from FiiO Electronics Technology Co.
Not unlike a DAP – The FiiO HiFi Desktop Experience Version 1.0
It may not come as a surprise that the developers of the Chinese company ultimately rely on a proven concept for the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP, because to put it bluntly, it is essentially a DAP, i.e. a digital audio player, but optimised specifically for use as a desktop audio solution.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC Platform
At the heart of the new FiiO R7 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC platform from the specialist Qualcomm Inc. with Google Android 10 as the operating system. This platform already secures a variety of critical components, from the processor and graphical user interface to communication with the outside world, and has proven itself in smartphone development for years.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC relies on ARM processors and a 64 GByte memory, of which around 48 GByte are available for the user. For audio data, the system can of course be expanded by up to 2 TByte using microSD cards.
A graphics processor is used to control the 4.97-inch, 720 x 1,280 pixel touchscreen display, which functions as the central user interface.
Numerous interfaces for data and audio
The platform also offers USB, whereby USB 2.0 in the form of a USB-A port is available in addition to USB 3.0 in the form of USB-C. There is also an Ethernet interface as well as WiFi and Bluetooth for contact with the outside world.
To conclude with the interfaces of the new FiiO R7, we have to mention the optical and coaxial S/PDIF as digital inputs, an optical and coaxial S/PDIF as digital outputs, as well as two line outs for analogue signals in the form of a pair of RCA sockets and another line out in the form of an XLR. Not to be forgotten are a 4-pin XLR as well as a 4.4 mm Pentaconn and a 6.3 mm stereo jack directly at the front, which are available for connecting headphones.
Signal processing at the highest level
At the heart of the signal processing of the new FiiO R7 is a D/A converter from specialist ESS Technology Inc., namely an ESS ES9068AS DAC, which is used in conjunction with two THX AAA 788a headphone amplifiers from THX Ltd. This, in conjunction with other strictly selected, high-quality components, should guarantee impeccable signal processing.
The new FiiO R7 is able to process signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 768 kHz as well as DSD up to and including DSD512 and content encoded in MQA, as the data sheet reveals. If desired, all content can be converted to DSD for playback.
UPnP, Apple AirPlay and Roon-ready
As a streaming device, the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP relies first and foremost on UPnP, whereby it is dlna-certified, Apple AirPlay is also supported and the system is to be certified as Roon-ready at market launch.
To transfer audio data, the FiiO R7 also supports WiFi Music Transfer, this should be mentioned for completeness.
For signal transmission via Bluetooth 5.0, all relevant codecs are available, namely SBC, AAC and LDAC for receiving, as well as SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, LDAC and LHDC for transmitting.
The Bluetooth module of the new FiiO R7 is thus designed as a so-called transceiver, to emphasise this explicitly once again.
Versatile application possibilities
That the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP is particularly versatile is not only revealed by its name, it has also been mentioned here several times. For example, the manufacturer describes various working modes, namely Android Mode, Pure Music Mode, USB DAC Mode, Bluetooth Receiver Mode, AirPlay Mode, Coaxial/ optical Decoding Mode and Roon-ready Mode.
For simple control, all options are of course available directly on the device, first and foremost the display already mentioned, as well as a rotary encoder and various buttons. In addition, there is also the appropriate app, the FiiO Music App for Google Android or Apple iOS.
As already mentioned, FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. envisages various expansion options for the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP, such as active speaker systems in the form of the FiiO SP3 Active Speaker, but also an interesting type of control via the FiiO KB1 Mechanical Keyboard. In the future, a suitable remote control will also be available, which will be designed as a Universal Bluetooth Remote Control.
Of course, the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP will come with a matching external power supply, but the FiiO PL-50 Low Noise Regulated Linear Power Supply will also be available as a tuning measure.
Prices and availability
The new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP is expected to be available here soon, with the manufacturer offering it in black and white. The price will probably be around € 850,- which seems very exciting considering the range of functions.
Getting to the point
With the new FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Streaming Music Player and DAC/AMP, FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. is expanding its field of activity to the desktop audio segment and delivering a particularly exciting, immensely versatile solution that leaves nothing to be desired. Streaming, local music player, first-class D/A converter and high-quality headphone amplifier as well as a preamplifier that only requires a pair of active speakers.
|PRODUCT||FIIO R7 DESKTOP DIGITAL STREAMING MUSIC PLAYER AND DAC/AMP|
|Price||rund € 850,-|
|Manufacturer||FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd.|
|Distribution||NT Global Distribution GmbH|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|
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