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FiiO KA13 - new portable / USB dongle DAC & Headphone Amp combination

LiviuTM

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Dec 16, 2021
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Romania
Here's the product page: https://www.fiio.com/ka13

I intend to order one to ship it for review.
Specs list compared with other similar FiiO products:

Model​
KA13
KA5
KA3
KA1​
KA2​
Color​
Midnight black/Dawn silver
Classic black/Electrophoresis white
Classic black
Classic black/Midnight green​
Classic black​
DAC chip​
CS43131*2
CS43198*2
ES9038Q2M
ES9281AC PRO​
CS43131*2​
Op-amp chip​
SGM8262*2
SGM8261*2
RT6863D*2
N/A​
N/A​
FiiO Control​
Supported
Supported
Supported
Supported​
Supported​
Dimensions​
About 56.3*22*10.5mm
About 56.3*22*12mm
About 56.3*20.2*12mm
Body: About 40*15*8mm
Cable: 70mm​
Body: About 40*15*12mm
Cable: 70mm​
Weight​
About 18.5g (excluding cable)
About 19g (excluding cable)
About 17.5g (excluding cable)
About 10g​
About 12.3g​
Audio input​
Interchangeable Type-C cable
Interchangeable Type-C cable
Interchangeable Type-C cable
Type-C or Lightning cable​
Type-C or Lightning cable​
Headphone output​
3.5mm PO
4.4mm BAL
3.5mm PO
4.4mm BAL
3.5mm PO
4.4mm BAL
3.5mm PO​
4.4mm BAL​
SPDIF output​
3.5mm coaxial out
3.5mm coaxial out
N/A
N/A​
N/A​
Physical button​
Desktop mode switch/Volume adjusting button/Song switching button
Menu setting, Function switching, Volume adjusting, Play/Pause
N/A
N/A​
N/A​
Display​
N/A
OLED display
N/A
N/A​
N/A​
Sampling rate display​
RGB indicator light
Blue: 48kHz and below
Yellow: Above 48kHz
Green: DSD
On-screen real-time display
RGB indicator light
Blue: 48kHz and below
Yellow: Above 48kHz
Green: DSD
RGB indicator light
Blue: 48kHz and below
Yellow: Above 48kHz
Green: DSD
Magenta: MQA​
RGB indicator light
Blue: 48kHz and below
Yellow: Above 48kHz
Green: DSD​
Supported sampling rate​
PCM: 384kHz/32bit
DSD DoP: 64/128
DSD Native: 64/124/256
Coaxial: 384kHz/32bit
PCM: 768kHz/32bit
DSD DoP: 64/128/256
DSD Native: 64/128/256
Coaxial: 192kHz/32bit
PCM: 768KHz/32bit
DSD DoP: 64/128/256
DSD Native: 64/124/256/512
PCM: 384kHz/32bit
DSD DoP: 64/128
DSD Native: 64/128/256
MQA: 16x​
PCM: 384KHz/32bit
DSD DoP: 64/128/256
DSD Native: 64/124/256​
Output amplitude​
PO>2.3V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)
BAL>4.2V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)
PO>1.99V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)
BAL>2.9V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)
PO> 2V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)
BAL>2.7V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)
PO>1.2V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)​
BAL>2.2V (32Ω/THD+N<1%)​
Output power​
L+R≥170mW+170mW (32Ω PO/THD+N<1%)
L+R≥550mW+550mW (32Ω BAL/THD+N<1%)
L+R≥122mW+122mW (32Ω PO/THD+N<1%)
L+R≥265mW+265mW (32Ω BAL/THD+N<1%)
L+R≥130mW+130mW (32Ω PO/THD+N<1%)
L+R≥235mW+235mW (32Ω BAL/THD+N<1%)
L+R≥45mW+45mW (32Ω PO/THD+N<1%)​
L+R≥153mW+153mW (32Ω BAL/THD+N<1%)​
SNR​
≥122dB (32Ω/A-weighted/PO)
≥122dB (32Ω/A-weighted/BAL)
≥124dB (32Ω/A-weighted/PO)
≥128dB (32Ω/A-weighted/BAL)
≥122dB (32Ω/A-weighted/PO)
≥119dB (32Ω/A-weighted/BAL)
≥114dB (32Ω/A-weighted)​
≥125dB (32Ω/A-weighted)
≥131dB (600Ω/A-weighted)​
Noise floor​
PO<1.7μV (A-weighted)
BAL<3.1μV (A-weighted)
PO<1.6μV (A-weighted)
BAL<1.8μV (A-weighted)
PO<2.3μV (A-weighted)
BAL<2.9μV (A-weighted)
PO<2.4μV (A-weighted)​
PO<1.7μV (A-weighted)​
Output impedance​
<1.7Ω (32Ω loaded/PO)
<1.8Ω (32Ω loaded/BAL)
<0.3Ω (32Ω loaded/PO)
<0.35Ω (32Ω loaded/BAL)
<0.5Ω (32Ω loaded/PO)
<0.7Ω (32Ω loaded/BAL)
<1.5Ω (32Ω loaded)​
<0.5Ω (32Ω loaded)​
Channel Separation​
≥72dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded/PO)
≥110dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded/BAL)
≥72dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded/PO)
≥115dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded/BAL)
≥91dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded/PO)
≥106dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded/BAL)
≥73dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded)​
≥91dB (1kHz/32Ω loaded)​
THD+N​
<0.0005% (32Ω/PO)
<0.0005% (32Ω/BAL)
<0.00037% (32Ω/PO)
<0.00037% (32Ω/BAL)
<0.0008% (32Ω/PO)
<0.0010% (32Ω/BAL)
<0.0005% (32Ω/PO)​
<0.0005% (32Ω/PO)
<0.00024% (600Ω/PO)​
Power consumption​
140mA (standby)
150mA (PO/40mV)
150mA (BAL/40mV)
110mA (standby)
113mA (PO/40mV)
113mA (BAL/40mV)
120mA (standby)
130mA (PO/40mV)
130mA (BAL/40mV)
50mA (standby)
60mA (40mV)​
80mA (standby)
85mA (40mV)​
 

ChrisCables

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Nov 11, 2022
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Any update on this? I'm thinking about ordering one too.
I have the KA3 and am very happy with it, but 550mw and a dual DAC/OpAmp architecture has quite some appeal.
 
OP
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LiviuTM

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Dec 16, 2021
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Location
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Yes, Amir will take over and ask FiiO for one to review. It now all depends on his backlog :)
 
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192kbps

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Apr 3, 2019
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Looking forward to seeing the measurement of KA13 very much, thank you.
 

abm0

Active Member
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May 12, 2019
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Too bad they're still shying away from specifying max power at a reasonable THD like 0.005%, but I guess they would lose the marketing battle vs. everyone else pushing inflated mW specs.
 

salmo

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Joined
Jan 4, 2024
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Really good dongle! I bought one, because I can get it here locally with guarantee (and it's cheaper than other dual CS43131 dongles here). I can't make any measurements, but they should be similar to other units with this chip. Some graphs are on manufacturer website (... but yeah, I trust more to ASR or Wolf measurements ;D) https://www.fiio.com/ka13_parameters

My most demanding headphones are... Sennheiser HD560S, so easy to drive ones, sorry. :p There are 50 volume steps, I use HD560S with -7,5dB preamp (EQ) with ~25-30/50 volume in low gain on FiiO, so it's still plenty of juice left. There is also "desktop mode" and it's nothing more or less than high gain. To be honest I didn't hear any differences between FiiO KA13 and Topping E30 II Lite + Atom AMP combo - both are transparent for me with those headphones - well, I guess they should be, so that's good. It's still a compact dongle, bigger than Tempotec Sonata HD Pro, but a lot more powerful one. Here some photos:

size.jpg

It gets a little warm while using, but nothing alarming, keep in mind that we have here 2x CS43131 and 2x SGM8262. LED also works like intended: blue for <=48kHz, yellow for >48kHz and green for DSD:

LED.jpg

In FiiO Control we can check firmware version, on/off S/PDIF output, change volume, choose lowpass filter and... that's all. :p An equalizer would have been a nice addition but meh, we don't have one.
FiiO Control.png


I'm really thinking about using it as my main DAC/AMP all-in-one solution. Topping E30II Lite and Atom AMP are nice as a stack, but with Focusrite Scarlett Solo it gets a little cramped on my desk. I also apologize for the English, but writing has never been my strong suit. :p
 
OP
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LiviuTM

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Dec 16, 2021
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Location
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Congrats, @salmo ! Looks like a neat little device.

It's possible that FiiO KA13 will have better software support than Tempotec Sonata HD Pro. I think FiiO in general has more experience in the field.
I see that FiiO KA13 is already at the 3rd firmware iteration.
 

salmo

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Jan 4, 2024
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Congrats, @salmo ! Looks like a neat little device.

It's possible that FiiO KA13 will have better software support than Tempotec Sonata HD Pro. I think FiiO in general has more experience in the field.
I see that FiiO KA13 is already at the 3rd firmware iteration.
Yeah they rolling firmware upgrades really fast! I don't have any issues, so I stay on ver. 0.12. :D Tempotec Sonata HD Pro is great, but 16 steps volume control... oh boy. Sad that they didn't change it with some update.
 

datobe

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Dec 25, 2023
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Anyone knows why Fiio KA13 smells so good? Where can I buy this fragrance? :D
 

Gershy13

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Apr 18, 2022
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Has there been any more reviews/measurements of the fiio ka13, i have a hiby fc1 and it doesn't have enough power for my planar IEMs, so trying to decide between the KA13 and similar dongles in its price range, it seems like the best option, but not many reviews/measurements
 

Lupin

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Feb 11, 2021
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My unit came with FW 0.15 out of the box.
No issues so far. Unit get bit warm during usage but nothing to worry about. Installed the FiiO app just to be able to permanently turn off the LED, personally I see the LED as a gimmick not as something useful.
KA13 is powerful enough for the IEM and headsets I use it with.

Can't hear the difference between the FiiO KA13 and Topping DX3 Pro+ when listing with my Zero:RED
 
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recallmenot

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Apr 5, 2024
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Hi, I just got the KA13 yesterday and I must say, I'm disappointed.
For reference, I'm using Apogee Groove and RME FireFace 800. My best headphones are DT880 600 Ohm.
The KA13's bass sounds as if there was a -1 or even -2 dB shelf below 60 Hz.
Also the highs are crazy detailed but a bit sharp, so it ends up sounding incoherent.
Should I return mine or is there something else to try?
Could this be conscious market segmentation?
I'm reading of people describing the KA17's bass as powerful by comparison, yet the signature as neutral so did FiiO gimp the KA13 on purpose?
 
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