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Fiio R7 Android Streamer Review

Rate this streamer/DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 14 6.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 44 20.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 129 60.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 28 13.0%

  • Total voters
    215

Rottmannash

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One would hope they were able to somehow bypass the OS mixer and mandatory resampling in Android for all apps that it can run.
The Fiio DAP I have does avoid resampling. Perhaps this device does as well?
 

Rottmannash

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Purchase one and drop ship it to Amir?
I have 3, of which I could send any of them but don't want to be without them for possibly months before he reviews them. An AK, a FiiO and a Hiby.
 

ehabheikal

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My issue with phones is pulling out the thing, having it unlock, then go to the app, etc. It is all too much bother vs an always on display on a streamer.

My sentiments exactly, maybe this needs a vote
 

jcarys

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Which Sony DAP do you own?
The Sony NW-A106, imported from Japan so I could get more internal memory (to handle all the added bloatware you can't delete). It takes a 1TB microSD card so it's got more storage than I'll ever need. Both local storage and access to all streaming services. I use it almost exclusively when I'm exercising - either running outdoors or at the gym, so the sinad measure probably doesn't impact my listening much. But you would think a Sony device would at least hit 16bit CD quality. Over the years I've learned that having a small, reliable player with good battery life is the device I'll end up using regularly, even if it's not the ne plus ultra in specs.
 

tjf

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@tjf Sonos have been doing the OEM bit for a while with Ikea's Symfonisk line.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...symfonisk-picture-frame-speaker-review.25139/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ins-ikea-symfonisk-lamp-speaker-review.30293/

@D700I I don't think there's a technical reason stopping a developer recreating the player backend and something with skins like JiveLite for Android or iOS. In the Android case you could then run it on this hardware. iPeng probably gets quite close on the iOS side, and given its use in pro audio I suspect bit perfect would be viable. Android introduced a similar API a while back, but it doesn't seem to be widely used, and I don't think SqueezePlayer uses it.

@somebodyelse: yeah, I know about the "Lamp" & "Picture" speakers that Sonos makes for Ikea --

I'm suggesting something far more involved, especially considering that the market Sonos currently addresses -- the "Smart Speakers" market --
is pretty well mature and overcrowded by now, and to feed the growth appetite of their shareholders, they'll need to start finding paths to integrate/sell their Intellectual Property - i.e.: the Sonos App and the Sonos ecosystem.

This will likely mean working with vendors in Asia to provide "Powered-by-Sonos" modules that Sonos can sell to 3rd party electronics vendors, so we'll see "Powered-by-Sonos" streamers in TVs, AVRs, SoundBars, Multi Channel amplifiers, etc. -- as these devices will already have a sizable group of potential customers that will want the music streamers in their new TVs, AVRs, SoundBars, House Music System amplifers, etc., to group together & integrate with the Sonos ecosystem they use currently.

Sadly, the "high end" audio market is dying off/aging out, and when it comes to home audio products for the future, the Millenial/Gen X/Gen Z and younger consumers are only interested in "smart" devices that are generally wireless (except for AC power) and require Apps to function (such as B&W's bet on wireless speakers - the "Formation" line - which didn't get market traction due to a number of issues).

I really don't see the traditional "audiophile/high-end" marketplace, as it's known today, surviving past the next 10 years...
 

Burki

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The Fiio DAP I have does avoid resampling. Perhaps this device does as well?
Sure, the R7 handles this in the same way like the M11 plus (both are on the same platform).
Not only as Roon endpoint, but also using apps like the Fiio music app, Qobuz app, Tidal... you'll get with R7 a bitperfect out or you can resample the input to DSD.

By the way: I'm owing and using the R7, the M11 plus and many other streamers (Lumin, Primare, Naim, Eversolo,...)
For me the R7 is really worth it's price, if you want to use it as standalone and all in one product.
 

nawfal07

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Thanks for the review @amirm , was looking at this since this is the only other streamer that does Apple Music bit-perfect. I’m definitely keeping my Eversolo.

PS: Surprised that many here doesn’t seem to know about the Eversolo DMP-A6. Try to read the measurements and review and comments and see how it compares to this and other streamers.
 

Ralph_Cramden

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I dunno, these expensive Android based devices make me nervous - Support for Android security updates is about 3 years. Then what?

I'd prefer a cheaper, dumber, Linux-based streamer; some embedded Linux distros are supported for 10 years, and are stripped down to just the bare essentials.

Just use a cheap Android tablet for the touchscreen UI, and update it every three years. Way cheaper.

 

nawfal07

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I dunno, these expensive Android based devices make me nervous - Support for Android security updates is about 3 years. Then what?

I'd prefer a cheaper, dumber, Linux-based streamer; some embedded Linux distros are supported for 10 years, and are stripped down to just the bare essentials.

Just use a cheap Android tablet for the touchscreen UI, and update it every three years. Way cheaper.


There is a concern for apps support on Android versions down the road, but I'm genuinely curious what security issues could affect Android on a streamer?
 

Ralph_Cramden

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There is a concern for apps support on Android versions down the road, but I'm genuinely curious what security issues could affect Android on a streamer?
The streamer is connected to the internet and to your local network. Any penetration of the streamer from the internet is a potential gateway to any other device on your local network.
 

nawfal07

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The streamer is connected to the internet and to your local network. Any penetration of the streamer from the internet is a potential gateway to any other device on your local network.

I see, thanks. In my network, my music streamer (Eversolo DMP-A6) is the only Android device, I guess that should be okay, or not?
 

PenguinMusic

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Hi,

As I was interested in this device, I read the wihole posts to land here.

It seems there are a lot of people here that think that this device is totally useless or overpriced or that it could easily be replaced with something else that would be cheaper and would sound better.

If you can point a device that is cheaper, that has a headphone amp (mind you, theoften quoted EverSolo device does not have a headphone amp and as such can't be compared with the R7), that is all-in-one (mind you, the smartphone + external DAC + external headphone amp is not "all-in-one"), that works out-of-the-box(mind you, a Nuke PC does not work out-of-the-box) and that is easy to sey-up (mind you, I tried to use LMS on a Raspberry Pi and it is simply not to be used), that has RJ45 network to stream + Wi-Fi to stream and that can also be used as bi-directional BT device, then I'll gladly get your advice and consider that alternative you're pointing to.

Now, considering the sound performance, unless I am wrong, it seems that all measures here indicate that even if the R7 is not in the top notch category and can't compete with cheaper separate devices, it's lacks are outside of audible range... which makes it land in the "transparent category" of all other devices.

If there is a drawback to this, then I think you should point other things that has indeed been mentioned :
- Android dependent and so, if you want to use an app that is not supported by that Android version, you're screwed. I use the Fiio M11 Pro and Shanling M6 Pro regularly. They run Android 7 (and not Android 10 like the R7). I have to find an Audio app that I can't install.Oh, yes. Symfonium :-( That I use a lot. But I use it as a remote app on my Smartphone that runs Android 13,so not a problem ;
- So far, the fact that you can't stream and control directly to the R7
- And no PEQ that would be systemwide.

But really, the Fiio app is not stellar. Soto circumvent the latest 2 misses, you can easily do it this way. Just install UAPP on the device and enable UPNP rendering.
You will then be able to control the R7 from a smartphone (or any BT remote even the RM3 from Fiio) and stream from any UPNP source to the R7 (even from Qobuz or Tidal) with PEQ (and even one magic EQ called "MorphIt).

But will I get the R7 ? Probably not.
Why ?
Because I found an alternative that I like : an Android driven DAP...
Works about the same as the R7, is portable, is all-in-one, works out of the box, is easy to set-up, can be used as Wi-Fi streaming device, as bi-directional BT and, for some of them, as Ethernet network devices with an adpater...
 

Jeromeof

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I see, thanks. In my network, my music streamer (Eversolo DMP-A6) is the only Android device, I guess that should be okay, or not?
Well it effectively is like having an old smartphone without any security updates. Mostly if you don't download updates to apps or visit websites on the device you should be fine. But most apps auto-update by default. so if say your favourite radio station music streaming app is downloaded and you happily use it for a year or 2, then that app has an update (which might be automatically downloaded onto your device - depending on your "Play store" auto-update settings), this update might be compromised (maybe the radio station got some new developer or sold the rights to the app to someone else) - then this app can effectively do anything it wants on your home network, e.g. their was a trend for crypto miners to be embed inside less known Android Apps, but there are worse, e.g. I know of apps that when compromised start to download other apps automatically or ones that scan your home network for other devices to 'infect'.

This is why security updates are vital IMO but it is hard for device manufacturer to keep providing updates to older models on devices. With smartphones, eventually Samsung got 'named and shamed' into providing updates to older models, mostly because Apple made it a feature of their smartphones that security updates would still be pushed out to 5+ year old iPhones etc.

One thing I used to do with older Android smartphones and tablets, is effectively lock them down, effectively "freeze" the app updates, trim anything unnecessary, once the device is out of warranty. E.g. a tool like the Fire Toolbox (for Amazon Fire tablets) is a great example of how useful a tool like this can be for older Android devices:

 

PenguinMusic

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Well it effectively is like having an old smartphone without any security updates. Mostly if you don't download updates to apps or visit websites on the device you should be fine. But most apps auto-update by default. so if say your favourite radio station music streaming app is downloaded and you happily use it for a year or 2, then that app has an update (which might be automatically downloaded onto your device - depending on your "Play store" auto-update settings), this update might be compromised (maybe the radio station got some new developer or sold the rights to the app to someone else) - then this app can effectively do anything it wants on your home network, e.g. their was a trend for crypto miners to be embed inside less known Android Apps, but there are worse, e.g. I know of apps that when compromised start to download other apps automatically or ones that scan your home network for other devices to 'infect'.

This is why security updates are vital IMO but it is hard for device manufacturer to keep providing updates to older models on devices. With smartphones, eventually Samsung got 'named and shamed' into providing updates to older models, mostly because Apple made it a feature of their smartphones that security updates would still be pushed out to 5+ year old iPhones etc.

One thing I used to do with older Android smartphones and tablets, is effectively lock them down, effectively "freeze" the app updates, trim anything unnecessary, once the device is out of warranty. E.g. a tool like the Fire Toolbox (for Amazon Fire tablets) is a great example of how useful a tool like this can be for older Android devices:

Hi,

You're saying that,you can install an app when your device is running Android 10 and that it runs perfectly secure on Android 10.

Then Android 13 comes out, and developer releases an update.
That update can be installed on Android 10, 11, 12 and 13, but that if you install it on Android 10 it won't be as secured as the previous version for Android 10 ?

Is that what you're saying ?
 

Jeromeof

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Hi,

You're saying that,you can install an app when your device is running Android 10 and that it runs perfectly secure on Android 10.

Then Android 13 comes out, and developer releases an update.
That update can be installed on Android 10, 11, 12 and 13, but that if you install it on Android 10 it won't be as secured as the previous version for Android 10 ?

Is that what you're saying ?
Not exactly, you will almost certainly never get an upgraded major version of Android on this or the EverSolo (or Hifi-Rose) or other Android based devices. They will stick with the same version of Android for a given release, but there are security updates which get created by Google when issues are detected by security researchers with older versions of Android. Android is not like Windows where you keep getting new versions directly from Microsoft.

Ideally each vendor would release a 'maintenance' release of their Android firmware every few months, these updates would mainly be the security updates recommended by Google for that version of Android with other bug fixes, but its hard for a small manufacturer to keep doing this especially when in a year or 2 they will be selling the R9 or R10 and not selling the R7 anymore, this is when the trouble might start, as 'unscrupulous' app developers can then target older Android versions without the latest security updates. This is when an update to an Android App that you already have installed (or might be tempted to installed from the PlayStore) might include something that can be a big security risk inside your home network.

What can also happen in future, is say Tidal or Qobuz might decide they will only install on versions of Android with the latest security update, e.g. say someone figures out how to get around DRM of audio files, maybe Google has a patch for this in a future security update. Without this security update, suddenly your favourite music apps stop working and just show a warming message.

But I don't mean to sound gloomy, this situation is not really any different that Smartphone market, just we are all used to replacing our smartphones every 2-3 years (so automatically get the latest security updates), but are used to audio products that last 10+ years. I would imagine this device will be fine in 3-4 years (especially if you stop the Play Store from auto-updating once you are happy with the Apps you have installed) but after that it will probably start to stop working one streaming app at a time.
 

bt3

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Having non-internet connected audio system may be very limiting, especially for younger demographic,
yet it's safer way to listen to music as long as it is music you have stored on hard drives that will only be
inserted into your audio-dedicated notebook. That's my SOP, however to listen to newer music, I have
Bandcamp app on dedicated phone I only use for that purpose. If my Bandcamp dedicated phone gets
hacked - no biggie. I never, ever store audio files on the hard drive within the audio dedicated notebook.
 

s9_0d1n

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Not exactly, you will almost certainly never get an upgraded major version of Android on this or the EverSolo (or Hifi-Rose) or other Android based devices. They will stick with the same version of Android for a given release, but there are security updates which get created by Google when issues are detected by security researchers with older versions of Android. Android is not like Windows where you keep getting new versions directly from Microsoft.

Ideally each vendor would release a 'maintenance' release of their Android firmware every few months, these updates would mainly be the security updates recommended by Google for that version of Android with other bug fixes, but its hard for a small manufacturer to keep doing this especially when in a year or 2 they will be selling the R9 or R10 and not selling the R7 anymore, this is when the trouble might start, as 'unscrupulous' app developers can then target older Android versions without the latest security updates. This is when an update to an Android App that you already have installed (or might be tempted to installed from the PlayStore) might include something that can be a big security risk inside your home network.

What can also happen in future, is say Tidal or Qobuz might decide they will only install on versions of Android with the latest security update, e.g. say someone figures out how to get around DRM of audio files, maybe Google has a patch for this in a future security update. Without this security update, suddenly your favourite music apps stop working and just show a warming message.

But I don't mean to sound gloomy, this situation is not really any different that Smartphone market, just we are all used to replacing our smartphones every 2-3 years (so automatically get the latest security updates), but are used to audio products that last 10+ years. I would imagine this device will be fine in 3-4 years (especially if you stop the Play Store from auto-updating once you are happy with the Apps you have installed) but after that it will probably start to stop working one streaming app at a time.
I think you bring up a lot of good points, especially regarding apps that may stop working in a future that is closer than we might ideally like for an audio product.
The security aspect is easily fixed though from my perspective.
Many "home routers" have the ability to set up "guest networks", so you could simply keep the streamer on a separate subnet/WiFi network to your "important devices".
This is especially true if you also like to use a dedicated cheap tablet as remote control for your streamer and as display of "album art" or lyrics.
 

Dougey_Jones

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Because it's still competently designed device with shitload of features etc. Not many (or none) devices like this are available, so it brings the value to the market.

Performance is very good, not sota but good enough not to be a problem.
Don't be a victim of 'pointless' sinad numbers!
Bro, what? Did click on your AudioGon bookmark and end up here by accident? The fact that it uses a THX AAA amp section and manages to perform 35db worse than every other THX AAA implementation I've seen tested points to poor engineering and implementation.

-80db is awful in 2023, sorry.
 
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