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Fosi Audio SK02 DAC & HP Amp Review

Rate this DAC & HP Amp: (votes are based on data in review and not necessarily personal ownership)

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 6 2.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 31 14.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 121 57.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 53 25.1%

  • Total voters
    211

Jimster480

Major Contributor
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Jan 26, 2018
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Tampa Bay
It just isn't possible.
Like no mini PC has a real amplifier. Maybe you don't like bass at all or even mid range.
So your headphone out and it's complete lack of power makes the headphone sound really bright and you like bright.
This is my best educated guess as to how you came to this conclusion.
 

LongKick64

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
13
Likes
0
It just isn't possible.
Like no mini PC has a real amplifier. Maybe you don't like bass at all or even mid range.
So your headphone out and it's complete lack of power makes the headphone sound really bright and you like bright.
This is my best educated guess as to how you came to this conclusion.
I like bass and my built-in sound card reproduces it very well. There is punch and there is even sub-bass. The mids are also very pleasant, neutral and detailed, sounding better than the DX3 Pro+. The high frequencies are very pleasant and decay smoothly.
 

DLS79

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Dec 31, 2019
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United States
There is a difference between users perception of sound quality and actually sound quality.
 

LongKick64

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
13
Likes
0
Personal tastes and preferences aside, what is the approximate level of this device? Simpler than Topping DX3 Pro+?
 

Slash/

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
5
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2
Location
Osceola Mudflow
SOME onboard sound, certainly not all and usually more recently, use ESS DACs and pretty good opamps. The headphone out, often thru the front panel out in a full-size PC, is where you'll find the special sauce. Jimster, I'm well aware of the technical details of what you're saying and why, but every once in a while onboard is pretty good, and maybe even better than, say, an older cheap Schiit. You'll usually find this on higher-end motherboards, for sure, like ROG Crosshair and Maximus etc, but it exists, so let's not rule it out as a 100% generalization.

Now, with that said, my Fosi SK02 is sitting right beside an ROG Crosshair VIII that has ESS ES9023P. There's not much audible difference, and I won't go much into specifics here unless asked, but for $80 the desktop convenience of the SK02 is very nice. 1, I like to swap out PC parts frequently. This mobo may not be here next year. 2, due to nibbling pets, I can't leave my headphones out, so frequent plugging is even easier than PC front panel. 3, big ol volume control right there, and it's multi-function as well. 4, I'm using a short Type C-C USB4 cable to connect the Fosi, but a Type A-C USB2 would be fine, as would optical although you'd still have to power it via its USB connector. So, it's versatile.

Now the quick and dirty subjective, although it's quite discernible to me, so I'd love to get another set of ears on it soon. Device EQ's flat, enhancements off, Windows EQ flat, enhancements explicitly disabled - onboard was punchier down low, and Fosi is punchier in the mids-to-upper, mostly mids. In the end here, the power supply for both is the same - the PC's EVGA P2 Platinum. By punchy, I don't mean sound quality, just audible hump.
 
Last edited:

Fosi Audio

Senior Member
Audio Company
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
325
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1,608
SOME onboard sound, certainly not all and usually more recently, use ESS DACs and pretty good opamps. The headphone out, often thru the front panel out in a full-size PC, is where you'll find the special sauce. Jimster, I'm well aware of the technical details of what you're saying and why, but every once in a while onboard is pretty good, and maybe even better than, say, an older cheap Schiit. You'll usually find this on higher-end motherboards, for sure, like ROG Crosshair and Maximus etc, but it exists, so let's not rule it out as a 100% generalization.

Now, with that said, my Fosi SK02 is sitting right beside an ROG Crosshair VIII that has ESS ES9023P. There's not much audible difference, and I won't go much into specifics here unless asked, but for $80 the desktop convenience of the SK02 is very nice. 1, I like to swap out PC parts frequently. This mobo may not be here next year. 2, due to nibbling pets, I can't leave my headphones out, so frequent plugging is even easier than PC front panel. 3, big ol volume control right there, and it's multi-function as well. 4, I'm using a short Type C-C USB4 cable to connect the Fosi, but a Type A-C USB2 would be fine, as would optical although you'd still have to power it via its USB connector. So, it's versatile.

Now the quick and dirty subjective, although it's quite discernible to me, so I'd love to get another set of ears on it soon. Device EQ's flat, enhancements off, Windows EQ flat, enhancements explicitly disabled - onboard was punchier down low, and Fosi is punchier in the mids-to-upper, mostly mids. In the end here, the power supply for both is the same - the PC's EVGA P2 Platinum. By punchy, I don't mean sound quality, just audible hump.
Hello, thank you for your feedback. We have now resolved the issue of audible hump. Additionally, our R&D team is still investigating and working on a solution for the ultrasonic attenuation problem.
 

txw

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2023
Messages
1
Likes
0
Location
Wash, DC
We are deeply grateful to Amir for the comprehensive measurements, as well as for the encouragement towards us. We'll keep responsive to user input and make efforts to bring more nice audio gear to audiophiles. :D

And here is a dedicated 15% discount promo code for all ASR members: FASKASR15
I cannot get that promo code to work. Tried Fosiaudio.com, Amazon (USA). Is it no longer offered to ASR members at a discount? Member user name: txw
 

Daviede

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2023
Messages
38
Likes
7
Location
Washington District of Columbia
I cannot get that promo code to work. Tried Fosiaudio.com, Amazon (USA). Is it no longer offered to ASR members at a discount? Member user name: txw
It may be too late to use. Or you can have a private chat with them to give some product suggestions. Maybe they will have the chance to give a separate discount. I have done it before.
 
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