This Gorgeous Hi-Fi Gadget Is Unexpectedly Unique. Here’s Why

The FiiO BTR7 is not your average portable DAC/amplifier. It’s super pretty – in fact, it’s designed to look a lot like the company’s newest portable hi-fi player, the M11S – but it also has a lot of features that most other portable DACs/amplifiers lack. It has a small screen to display bitrate and audio volume. It supports wireless charging like most smartphones these days. And it has built-in Bluetooth, meaning you don’t connect directly to your smartphone or laptop if you don’t want to.

FiiO BTR7 is designed to work best when used as a traditional DAC/amplifier: it plugs into your smartphone or laptop and makes audio on wired headphones sound much better. When connected directly to your device, BTR7 supports audio files up to 32-bit/384kHz (PCM) or DSD256, as well as Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). So if you’re paying for a lossless streaming service, the BTR7 will probably handle the most hi-fi tracks.

However, if you don’t want to connect your device, you can stream audio directly to the BTR7. It supports a variety of Bluetooth codecs, including aptX HD and LDAC, and can handle high-resolution tracks up to 24-bit/96kHz. It’s not quite as hi-fi as if used in a completely analog connection, but it’s a neat choice if you want to slip the BTR7 in your pocket and move it around. There are also buttons that allow you to quickly switch between these different modes.

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As far as guts go, the BTR7 has two amplifiers (each a THX AAA-28) and two DACs (each an ESS9219 Sabre) to help balance the sound. There are two headphone inputs, 3.5mm and 4.4mm, so you can use multiple wired headphones. And it has a built-in battery, which it claims can last up to nine hours, so the BTR7 won’t drain power from your smartphone or laptop while in use.

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If you’re someone who likes to change the sound of your music, the BTR7 also works with a companion app (FiiO Control) that has a 10-band graphic equalizer.

The FiiO BTR7 is available now for $199. If you have an iPhone, for an additional $10 you can buy a version that comes with a USB-C cable for lightning.



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