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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

raif71

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
2,334
Likes
2,537
I like that the R7 support DTS. Not many DAPs support DTS
 

Barrelhouse Solly

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
373
Likes
358
Here's a picture of the thing that sits on the left end of my desk just beyond monitor #1 and in front of the LH speaker. It's a Logitech Media Server Client running under PiCorePlayer based on a Raspberry Pi 3A+ and a JustBoom transport. It uses the Jivelite interface displayed on a 5 inch touch screen. The SPDIF output from the transport goes to an SMSL SU-1. OK, it doesn't have balanced output. It can be controlled from the touchscreen or from a phone as well as an LMS web interface. LMS does have some support for streaming services. Including the DAC, which is a variable cost element depending on the features you want, the total cost of this, excluding cables, was $25 for the Pi, $20 for the transport(used,) $45 for the display, and $80 for the DAC which I also use with my desktop computer. The display is the most expensive part of the package. The unit is not as aesthetically satisfying as a single case device can be but I like a tangle of wires. Jivelite has other skins that are more informative and can include album art, but I think the VU meters are fun. I have a similar setup that I use as a clock radio/streamer. I also use a cheaper version with my AVR using the HDMI output on a Pi 3B and the display on the TV. I don't have any idea what the measurements are like, but AFAIK transport HATs are very good.

I think the Fiio device is very nice looking and performs well. I wouldn't criticize anyone for buying it. I'm more of a hot rodder when it comes to audio. I'm a function over form guy. My wife thinks I'm nuts.

IMG20230822165652.jpg
 

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
552
Likes
460
Here's what FiiO said about the 80ish dBi headphone amplifier on headfi
View attachment 307409
None of that explains why every other THX AAA chipset tested here, whether 788, 789 or 888 performs @ -115db or better. I own both the Drop THX AAA 789 and the SMSL SH-9 (888) and would have returned either if they were implemented poorly enough to turn in a -80db performance.

In Amir's testing, I don't remember impedance having any effect on SINAD where THX AAA designs are concerned.
 

Leejb1970

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
35
Likes
40
Location
Chigwell, Essex UK
Further update from Fiio. Headphone amp is perfectly good for headphone listening. Think this point could have been lost after reading Amir's SNR result at 50mv. In his YouTube roundup he does state his test is only relevant for sensitive iems, which may result in hiss whilst no music is playing.I swapped out my SMSL SH9/SU9 stack for this. I could ascertain no difference in sound quality and the R7 is a whole different ballgame in versatility.
IMG_1561.png
 
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Saponetto

Active Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
258
Likes
205
Location
Old Southern Italy
Not my cup of tea but have to admit, this device is a really nice-looking all-rounder.
I'll add it to my gift list for my wife's birthday. :)
 

kr11048

New Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
1
Likes
0
Location
FL, USA
Oh darn, another stereo-only device....


their website says you can use a 'Fii0 Music App or Blutooth remote control' with it, though perhaps the remote is still in the works?

About halfway down the page here:

They do make a remote for it (Model RM3), though it isn't widely available. I had to order one from China through eBay, but it works quite well. I have tried and failed to control the unit with apps on my phone.
 

funnychap

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
108
Likes
28
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.
I stream Apple Music (hires-lossless) so I bought the Eversolo DMP-A6 which has builtin native Apple Music.
I bought the $850 Eversolo DMP-A6 from Amazon.
 

redjr

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2018
Messages
72
Likes
63
Really glad you reviewed this unit @amirm. I took a fancy to this when it was first released. It still tugs at my credit card. Glad it has respectable specs, and made your recommended list. Maybe some of the operational aspects using multiple apps will be improved in version 2. We can hope. :) When I first saw it on the FiiO website, it reminded me of a product I had (still do somewhere on a shelf in my basement), the Yamaha RP-U200 'Personal' Receiver. Does anyone remember this? I've been a gadget enthusiast since I was in the 3rd grade. If it used batteries or had a plug I noticed it. So, of course, when the RP-U200 receiver came along, in ~2003, I had to have it, and included it along side of my computer monitor at the time. That was then, and the pace of digital audio electronics has not slowed. I'm still enjoying the journey.

Anyway, I'll keep my eye on the FiiO R7 and keep reading the reviews.
 

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Joined
Jan 22, 2023
Messages
14
Likes
2
Does anyone know if the R7 has sufficient voltage to power a Modhouse Tungsten? It's rated as having an impedance of 135 and a sensitivity of 76db/mW.
 

haris525

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
22
Likes
16
To anyone thinking about buying this unit, please know of these problems. I dont think Amir or anyone else has addressed them.
  1. If Gaming, audio has a delay (tested with different PCs WIN 1O, WIN 11, macOS (latest build)
  2. If the unit turns on before your pc then the audio delay is pretty significant WIN 1O, WIN 11, macOS (latest build)
  3. The Optical out is useless, as the audio cuts every half a second or so WIN 1O, WIN 11, macOS (latest build)
If your use case is not pc gaming/movie watching then this might be a great unit, but for people who game, this is a huge letdown. My unit is 3 months old, and running the latest firmware from fiio
 

haris525

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
22
Likes
16
How do you connect the dac to the pc? Do you have delay playing videos?
Hi, I have tried connecting the unit 2 ways

  1. USB - USB C (R7) to USB A (PC, USB 3.1)
  2. Optical Cable (R7) to PC
Yes there is an audio delay vs the video position, I have tried playing with the buffer size, and it has not helped much. I am disappointed at these issues, as they fundamentally make the unit less appealing even though it has tons of potential and functionality
 

Tremolo

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2021
Messages
164
Likes
237
Location
Italy
Hi, I have tried connecting the unit 2 ways

  1. USB - USB C (R7) to USB A (PC, USB 3.1)
  2. Optical Cable (R7) to PC
Yes there is an audio delay vs the video position,
Are you sure that, despite the phisical connection, the pc and the dac are not in reality connected through bt? I never experienced a delay in a cable connected dac. I'am not a tech guy but a delay in a spdif connection sound impossibile to me, unless something is really broken
 

haris525

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
22
Likes
16
Are you sure that, despite the phisical connection, the pc and the dac are not in reality connected through bt? I never experienced a delay in a cable connected dac. I'am not a tech guy but a delay in a spdif connection sound impossibile to me, unless something is really broken
Hi, sorry I should have been more clear - the delay is caused by USB, the audio dropping out is on the optical out. BT is not enabled as the USB is the default audio device selected on PC, and the R7 can not simultaneously process USB + BT
 

Limopard

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
99
Likes
120
Location
Germany
If it only had one analog input it could serve with a pair of active speakers as a complete setup. But I'm not ready to leave my turntable (with a built in pre-amp) out.
 

WondrousHippo

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
168
Likes
113
Hi, I have tried connecting the unit 2 ways

  1. USB - USB C (R7) to USB A (PC, USB 3.1)
  2. Optical Cable (R7) to PC
Yes there is an audio delay vs the video position, I have tried playing with the buffer size, and it has not helped much. I am disappointed at these issues, as they fundamentally make the unit less appealing even though it has tons of potential and functionality
Latency on the USB and SPDIF inputs is what I feared.
Are you sure that, despite the phisical connection, the pc and the dac are not in reality connected through bt? I never experienced a delay in a cable connected dac. I'am not a tech guy but a delay in a spdif connection sound impossibile to me, unless something is really broken
These DAPS that offer DAC mode I think are routing audio through their system which is causing the delay, as opposed to having the DAC process it directly, essentially. That's my non-technical explanation, but I've used 3 DAPs as USB DACs and they all had the same issue.
 

PenguinMusic

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
629
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377
Hi,

Despite my previous post, I got one of those R7 devices used for a about 460€.

What I wanted to do is have a streamer I can control with my phone or a remote control and that is truly "all-in-one" and "self-sufficient".
So it had to be a streamer + DAC + headphone amp and has to have USB so I can stick my USB Sticks to listen to my music.
So far this is more or less the only proposition I have seen for a decent price... and 460€ for a device "like new" but "used" is fair to me.
Whole thing should be usable in an easy way.
Of course it has to deliver decent sound quality on top of that...

So does the R7 deliver ?

First, can it be used as autonomous self sufficient all-in-one device ?

First thing, plug-it in to power it. But that, you'll have to do with every device.
So far, it's easy.
Second thing, plug-in a USB stick. I even plugged-in a USB Hub with 3 USB SSD drives. So it also mandatory on any other device.
So far it's easy.
Power-up the device...
So far, it's easy.
Wait a little (about 45 seconds) until it's powered up. Launch Fiio Music app.
So far it's easy.
In the Fiio app you'll be presented with a menu that will show your connected drives. Just select the one you want. Browse through it. Launch your album/track.
Done and easy.

So yes, it is self-sufficient and easy to use.
That checks two boxes.

Second thing : can I remote control it with a phone or remote control ?

Well, if you acquyire the separate RM-3 remote control, yes you can.
It is a Bluetooth remote control and it is paired really easily to the R7.
The only thing is, if the R7 is switched off, the connection to the RM-3 will be lost upon rebooting.
It is not too bad because if you long press the "power" buytton on the RM-3 it pairs again automatically...

Now about the remote controlling with a smartphone...
Can it be done ?
Yes, it can, but that is slightly less easy :-(
You have to launch the Fiio Cast app on the device.
You have to install "Fiio Control" app on your smartphone and launch it.
Once launched on the phone you can see "Player" at the bottom. Hit that and you'll be given an option to cast the display of the R7 on your phone.
It's not super intuitive, but it's OK...
The real problem is the Fiio Control app. It stops the casting after 3à seconds when not used.

There is an easy workaround and that is to install AnyDesk on both the R7 and the Phone.
Configure Anydesk on the R7 so it allows remote users to do whatever they want.
Launch Anydesk on your phone and enter the code of the R7.
There you go : casting the device screen forever...

So I consider this box is ticked also, even if only half ticked...
But I can definitely live with that.


Third thing : what about sound ?

Well, we have Amirm measurements here.
They are not stellar, but they're above decent I think.
I think it should be moticed that Fiio added a nice bonus with the latest firmware updates.
And that is : systemwide PEQ.
So you can have PEQ whatever app you're using...
And you can then get independent from the Fiio Music app to get PEQ.
And yes, it works... I could EQ my Sony MDR-Z7 and Sony MDR-Z1R to my tastes...
And use whatever music source I want : Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon music, BubbleUPnP...

One more thing :
Everything just works. Wireless or wired. And that is a relief.
I also own the Shanling EH-3. It's sound is maginificient to my ears.
I do not know if Amirm ever tested an ESS 9039 Pro powered device, but to my ears, that DAZC is unsurpassed for squeezing every last detail on your tracks...
So the EH-3 is definitely a way above in sound quality...
But the software to power it is a total waste :-(

I hear Fiio is about to release the R9 with ESS9038 Pro DAC.
If only they would have chosen the ESS 9039 Pro I would have gone for it instantly on release !

So despite a lot of negative posts in here, most of them from users not having had the device in their hands, I am fully satisfied with it.
The only thing is, sound is not as stellar as with other devices I own (subjectively I mean).
It's not bad, but I wish it would have been slightly better :cool:
 
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