Compendium updated: January 4th, 2023.
If you’re a new audiophile just getting into the hobby, now’s an exciting time. Companies like FiiO are bringing hi-fi heat at budget price points. Recently, one of the most exciting pieces of gear is the K7, a balanced DAC/Amp for only $199. Take it from us, a balanced DAC/amp for $199 is not something that happened ten, five, or even two years ago.
Shopping around for DAC/amps that’ll hook you can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From Zeos’ review of the Fiio K7, first published on November 5th, 2022:
“The first competitive product with the ifi Zen DAC…I did a double take when I realized how good the K7 sounds…This is as good as you need on a desk for $200…I could be very happy with just this.”
From Joshua Valour’s review of the Fiio K7, first published on December 14th, 2022:
“Exacting, tonally flexible,...confident in its low bass response.”
From Headfonia’s review of the Fiio K7, first published on November 29th, 2022:
"When we look at the device’s features, material quality, and the components underlying its chassis, we can easily say that the K7 is a very competitive, price-performance-focused DAC & AMP. Especially the use of dual 4493SEQ DAC chips and dual THX 788+ amp modules is almost miraculous at this price point. I am confident that the K7 will further cement FiiO’s place in the desktop market. After making a big mark on the premium level with the K9 Pro ESS, FiiO ensured that they won’t be leaving the budget market for the taking.
"I really like the K7 and I congratulate FiiO for their amazing job. If you need a solid, powerful DAC & AMP for your headphones and you are on a budget, the K7 can make you very happy."
From Headfonics’ review of the Fiio K7, first published on December 17th, 2022:
"Honestly, the FiiO K7 impresses me more than the K9 Pro ESS considering its no-frills pricing and more neutral bass tuning, it is a big leap from the K5 Pro in and out, and the sound performance especially the amping department is much more convincing.
It is a ‘hard to resist’ package where the K7 truly bangs for the buck and has high versatility for pairing. That makes it one of the most delightful FiiO products I have experienced so far."
From Home Studio Basics’ review of the Fiio K7, first published on December 24th, 2022:
"If you’re planning to use balanced headphones A LOT, go with the K7 and save some money. It’s another great FiiO product in a long line of many and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a fantastic all-in-one desktop solution."
From Moonstar Reviews’ review of the Fiio K7, first published on December 4th, 2022:
"The K7 is another solid product from FiiO that impressed me with its versatility in terms of hardware features, compatibility and overall sound performance that pairs pretty well with both sensitive In-Ear Monitors and power hungry Planar Headphones. Moreover, it offers a clean, powerful and quite detailed listening experience that surprised me very well with respect to its reasonable price. The result is a DAC & Amplifier with a pretty small form factor that I can Highly Recommend!"
From MMORPG’s review of the Fiio K7, first published on November 21st, 2022:
"The Fiio K7 is simply an outstanding option for anyone looking to upgrade their desktop audio. You don’t need to be an audiophile to enjoy what it’s able to deliver. I could nitpick that it doesn’t have a “middle” gain stage or MQA support, but those are acceptable sacrifices if we’re getting such outstanding performance and listening options. Fiio really knocked it out of the park with this one. If you have $199 and are looking for an excellent audio solution, look no further: this is it."
From Tech Power Up’s review of the Fiio K7, first published on December 22nd, 2022:
"This is a quantifiable upgrade over the K5 Pro ESS in offering more input options too, and the front is re-designed to be more user-friendly at the same time. There are no filters or sound color modes here, no display or remote control, no app support or wireless inputs either. The FiiO K7 is far more barebones in this regard, but does execute the basics very well to merit not only an easy recommendation but even my top award. It's certainly a new $200 benchmark for desktop DAC/amps today."
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.