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Fiio BTR5

Berwhale

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#1
Has anyone got hold of a BTR5 yet? I'm considering purchasing one to replace my Radsone ES100 which is starting to look a little worn after 9 months use, i'm also missing the USB-C charging and fit & finish on my Fiio BTR3.
 
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#2
I'm getting mine tomorrow. Zeos called it the best sounding thing that FiiO makes and was able to drive HD600s off it no problem (using the 2.5mm balanced). This reviewer also seemed to really love it as well: https://soundnews.net/accessories/fiio-btr5-review-a-serious-dap-replacement/

I can report back once I've used it a bit. I was looking a DAC/AMP combo to use at the office (not even considering something portable) but this seems like a better way for me as I can use it walking the dog, commuting or at the office.

Doesn't have as many EQ bands or features as ES100 but it looks like it sounds better which is fine by me.

Would love to see some measurements of it. Since the 2.5mm balanced output is using dual ESS 9218p (a DAC/AMP SoC) it could measure well if it's well implemented.
 
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Berwhale

Berwhale

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Thread Starter #3
Doesn't have as many EQ bands or features as ES100 but it looks like it sounds better which is fine by me.
Indeed, Fiio state that EQ does not work with LDAC, so this leads me to the conclusion that the BTR5's EQ is purely based on the phone software, rather than being applied within in the device like the ES100.
 

Veri

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#4
I had one. Returned it since the Fiio app wasn't updated yet for BTR5 on iOS. I also found it didn't sound any better than my macbook's output at work which was where I'd hoped to use it. It does have a lot of features if you need them..
 
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#5
Mine arrived a few hours ago, first thing I updated it to the latest firmware (1.06).

Sounds way better than straight out of my computer (yes I know mobo audio generally sucks, but it's a X570 Aorus Master. As far as Mobos go it has some good components).

Much easier to tell the difference between Spotify and Tidal now (some songs more noticeable than others).

Using a 2.5mm balanced cable, it's able to drive my HD58x no issues. Using volume at 28~34 on high gain depending on the song (60 is max). Will try later on low gain with some IEMs.

Overall I'm happy. $110US/$150CAD for an easy path to decent portable audio.

Audio is definitly a slipperly slope though. I'm already looking at picking up a pair of Focal Elex, and I'm sure once I have those I'll want a dedicated DAC/AMP for home (This FiiO is mostly for the office and commuting).
 

raistlin65

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#6
I'm getting mine tomorrow. Zeos called it ....
IMO, Zeos is more interested in the number of views he gets than being a reliable viewer. He tends to overhype stuff a lot. A random person on Reddit is likely to be more reliable.

That that does not mean that the BTR5 is not any good.
 
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#7
IMO, Zeos is more interested in the number of views he gets than being a reliable viewer. He tends to overhype stuff a lot. A random person on Reddit is likely to be more reliable.

That that does not mean that the BTR5 is not any good.
That's a good point. Some of his reactions are entertaining to watch but he's clearly not hyper analytical. In his HD58x review he said after you take the foam out it's the same as the HD660s, and it's true the frequency response is similar but HD660s have a lot less distortion and thus better resolution so not the "same"

All I can say is this FiiO BTR5 is showing me a good amount of detail and I can tell apart good/bad sources better than before which is clearly a good sign. Will definitely work for me while I save up for a more serious desktop setup :D
 

majingotan

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#8
1% SINAD?? That's unacceptable. Even the $9 Apple dongle has 0.001% SINAD. No wonder Veri perceived this as not sounding any better than an on-board integrated chip.

 

Celty

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#9
It's one I have hoped Amir will review.
 

majingotan

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#10
It's one I have hoped Amir will review.
I actually just ordered one because I'm extremely curious on how a 1% SINAD will sound. I'll be using this on the road commute anyways so 1% SINAD is probably very tolerable on those cases. I'll be pairing it with my Campfire Audio Vega IEM and do a sighted A/B comparison with the $9 Apple lightning DAC/amp. I'll throw in my Chord Mojo too for a quick A/B comparison
 

Veri

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#12
I actually just ordered one because I'm extremely curious on how a 1% SINAD will sound. I'll be using this on the road commute anyways so 1% SINAD is probably very tolerable on those cases. I'll be pairing it with my Campfire Audio Vega IEM and do a sighted A/B comparison with the $9 Apple lightning DAC/amp. I'll throw in my Chord Mojo too for a quick A/B comparison
It's probably around 96-100dB SINAD, estimated. The 1% is just a meaningless/rough THD figure.

@amirm should normally get one from Fiio IIRC, so maybe we shall see a precise measurement in upcoming month(s).
 

majingotan

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#13
Got my BTR5 today! Will be comparing its sound in terms of noise floor/hiss against Mojo on my CA Andromeda. Mojo’s OI is pretty low in itself. I’ll try to volume match as close as I can get to and see if CA Andromeda will sound less bassy (higher OI than Mojo) or the same
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majingotan

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#14
Quick DAC/amp impressions with CA Andromeda IEM on FiiO BTR5 Mojo vs Apple Lightning Dongle:

Source: iPod Touch 7G with 16 bit ALAC files and USB DAC mode only

Noise floor: BTR5 in both USB DAC and BT (AAC) is quieter than both dongle (only audible at quiet room at around 30 dB noise floor) and especially Mojo (audible hiss). I'd go as far as it's as quiet as the Sony DMP-Z1 I've demoed recently. In other words: you will never hear any noise floor through Andromeda or any ultra-sensitive IEM on unbalanced port with the BTR5 with either USB DAC or BT mode.

Take it with a grain of salt: volume matched by ear only. CA Andromeda is known to sound less bassy as the output impedance of the amp increases. It sounded bassiest with Mojo then BTR5 then Lightning Dongle. Treble and mids on all three DAC/amps are the same and indistinguishable on sighted listening. To my subjective preferences (bassier) with CA Andromeda IEM: Mojo > BTR5 > Apple lightning dongle

I have never tested the 2.5mm balanced as I do not have a balanced cable for it.

DAC impressions comparing to Schiit Bifrost 2 (~80 dB SINAD with lots of IMD distortion and spray of distortion in the upper frequencies) both are quick A/B through 120dB SINAD Schiit Saga passive mode to Yamaha HS7s: I'm not surprised that I hear no sonic difference between the two DACs. I guess my ears aren't that sensitive to the distortion characteristics up in the upper treble range (14-20 KHz). I tried all of the filters available for BTR5 from Linear fast all the way to Apodizing 2 but there's no sonic difference between the filters even in DAC/amp mode. Now someone send Amir a unit for measurements!
 
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#15
Quick DAC/amp impressions with CA Andromeda IEM on FiiO BTR5 Mojo vs Apple Lightning Dongle:

Source: iPod Touch 7G with 16 bit ALAC files and USB DAC mode only

Noise floor: BTR5 in both USB DAC and BT (AAC) is quieter than both dongle (only audible at quiet room at around 30 dB noise floor) and especially Mojo (audible hiss). I'd go as far as it's as quiet as the Sony DMP-Z1 I've demoed recently. In other words: you will never hear any noise floor through Andromeda or any ultra-sensitive IEM on unbalanced port with the BTR5 with either USB DAC or BT mode.

Take it with a grain of salt: volume matched by ear only. CA Andromeda is known to sound less bassy as the output impedance of the amp increases. It sounded bassiest with Mojo then BTR5 then Lightning Dongle. Treble and mids on all three DAC/amps are the same and indistinguishable on sighted listening. To my subjective preferences (bassier) with CA Andromeda IEM: Mojo > BTR5 > Apple lightning dongle

I have never tested the 2.5mm balanced as I do not have a balanced cable for it.

DAC impressions comparing to Schiit Bifrost 2 (~80 dB SINAD with lots of IMD distortion and spray of distortion in the upper frequencies) both are quick A/B through 120dB SINAD Schiit Saga passive mode to Yamaha HS7s: I'm not surprised that I hear no sonic difference between the two DACs. I guess my ears aren't that sensitive to the distortion characteristics up in the upper treble range (14-20 KHz). I tried all of the filters available for BTR5 from Linear fast all the way to Apodizing 2 but there's no sonic difference between the filters even in DAC/amp mode. Now someone send Amir a unit for measurements!
Are you planning to use it with your Andromeda often? If so might be worth the cost of a 2.5mm cable. The big thing with this unit is that it includes 2x ES9218 (a DAC/AMP SoC), but if just using the 3.5mm it's only using one. Clearly an ultra sensitive IEM doesn't need the additional power but using 2 DACs instead of one can make a difference.
 

majingotan

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#16
Specs says OI balanced is 2 ohms or less which would make the Andromeda sound leaner than the SE. The benefit would be a wider sense of sound stage as there would be less bass response. I’m keeping the Andromeda with the Mojo and use this with my CA Vega IEM instead which sound exactly the same as Mojo on my quick A/B comparison.
 

catom

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#18
Hi, new here, but stumbled upon this thread on a Google search. It's my 3rd day with the BTR5 and so far I like it. Ive tried it with my Hifiman 400i and Meze 99 Classics. I'll also try with Audio Technica MSR7 soon.

All easy to drive so I'm on low gain. I do have a balanced cable for the Meze 99 Classics. It's pretty good. Previously my on the go DAC was a dragonfly (first gen.). I've been downsizing my DAC/amp setup to save desk space too. Though I love tube amps. The BTR5 is pretty clean. Again, since I mostly use tube amps I guess I should expect that comparison.

The one interesting thing I learned is it has no EQ for LDAC or USB DAC. I was wondering why I wasn't hearing a difference lol. When at my desk I can use APO on my computer of course. That said, everything is sounding pretty darn neutral at the moment. So I'm actually excited to see how far EQ can push things.

I also noticed a pretty short battery life. I will do some more testing but having it I guess on standby from the night before, I woke up and got like less than 2hrs play time from it. I may have been on high gain.

So potentially only thing negative I have to say is their advertised features and specs are a little misleading. I honestly can't argue with the value though. It punches well above it's weight.
 

majingotan

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#19
You're running pretty hungry headphones though vs the little IEMs I do. Plus, I use AAC BT, unbalanced only + no EQ hence me achieving about 7-8 hours of battery life. Suffice to say this little guy packs a wallop even in unbalanced jack
 
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#20
I've had my for about two weeks. I had the Earstudio ES100 before so i will be comparing the two a lot. First i think the Fiio BTR5 is more detail then the ES100, especially in the treble. I do all my listening with LDAC Codec. With the ES100 i could set the bitrate to 990 kbps and move about 6 Meters before breakup. With the BTR5 no more about 3 Meters, so ES100 has a better antenna. As well since i'm using LDAC Codec no EQ with the BTR5. If you have the ES100 I wouldn't change to the BTR5 until the FIIO App is updated to allow EQing with LDAC.
 
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