review

FiiO BTR1K USB C Bluetooth 5.0 DAC Amp iPhone AAC Support

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Headphones are great for listening to music on a phone while getting household chores done. The problem is though, the audio playback quality of a smartphone is nowhere near as good. External DACs are a neat solution to improving audio quality and one that doubles as a bluetooth receiver and DAC amplifier, like the FiiO BTR1K is best of both worlds!
The FiiO BTR1K is a super compact headphone dac amp with a sleek aluminum alloy body and a clip on the back so you can clip on you while on the go. You simply plug your headphones into the FiiO BTR1K, pair the BTR1K to your phone and instantly get high quality stereo audio in seconds.
the small hole on the clip is designed for attaching the included lanyard
The 3.5mm stereo audio jack is located on top without any ports nearby so you can plugin 3.5mm fat plugs.
On front of the unit, you get a large circular power button and a handy status indicator light that lets you know which audio codec mode you are on.
Flashing blue light (SBC), flashing cyan light (AAC), flashing purple light (aptX/aptXLL) and flashing white light (USB DAC). On the bottom of the BTR1K, you find the USB charging port and on the right side, you find a small multifunctional button and the volume rocker. There is no buttons on the left side.
The brain of the FiiO BTR1K is a Qualcomm QCC 3005 bluetooth 5.0 dual mode chip that supports Bluetooth low energy (LE) and regular Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR), meaning the FiiO BTR1K has a stronger, more stable wireless transmission at 10 meters in direct line of sight. The Bluetooth 5.0 chipset also provides the latest bluetooth profiles: HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3 and AVRCPv1.5.
Having the QCC 3005 microcontroller integrated in the FiiO BTR1K means you also get support for iPhone AAC and aptX Low Latency so the FiiO BTR1K can stream high definition audio to both Android and iOS devices (in sync with video in Android only) . You can pair the BTR1K via bluetooth or NFC but you can also connect the Fiio BTR1K via OTG cable wire to an OTG-enabled smartphone.
The FiiO BTR1K headphone amplifier features the same AK4376A DAC you get in the FiiO BTR3 24-bit DAC Amp so you can also hook up the BTR1K amplifier to a laptop or computer as a 16-bit/48kHz USB DAC to improve your computer's audio.
Charging is done via USB C and included is a USB C charging cable to recharge the FiiO BTR1K's 205mAh internal battery. Battery life is 8 hours so it's slightly less than the FiiO BTR3 but then again, the FiiO BTR3 has larger battery capacity (300mAh). Oddly enough, charging time is the same for both the BTR3 and the BTR1K at 90 minutes. Size, wise, the FiiO BTR1K measures 5cm long, 2.4cm wide and 1cm thick. The BTR1K weighs 20 grams.
When powered on, the FiiO BTR1K enters pairing mode automatically but you can manually force pairing mode by holding the small button above the volume rocker for 6 seconds. This small button also doubles as a handy play/pause button. The volume rocker is also multifunctional so you can adjust volume and tracks too.  Long hold volume + to start the track from the beginning and long hold volume - to skip track forwards.
Speaking of volume, the FiiO BTR1K independent volume control gives you 32 levels of volume adjustment. Having independent volume control is neat because you can max out the volume on your smartphone and control the volume gain with the BTR1K, which in turn increases the battery life of the BTR1K since the louder the volume is the faster the battery drains.
The built-in microphone integrated in the FiiO BRT1K has very good sensitivity and features Qualcomm cVc noise cancellation to drown background noises. Perfect when taking calls on the move.
The FiiO BRT1K does a good job at amplifying the audio coming from a smartphone without distorting it thanks to generating a high signal-to-noise ratio (120dB) with very little noise floor (less than 2uV).
The output power is 25mW at 32Ω and 45mW at 16Ω so the FiiO BRT1K amplifier can work with headphones/earphones with high impedance rating in the 100 ohm range.

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