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K5 Pro Gaming DAC Headphone Amplifier by Craig W.

CraigW3ard

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Nov 21, 2022
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K5 Pro Gaming DAC Headphone Amplifier by Craig W.

I’ve been using the Fosi K5 Pro mini stereo gaming DAC amplifier mainly connected through my Dell Windows 11 laptop for a couple of months now. I wanted to write a review of a genuine user experience of the product, and how the outputted sound from the PC via the K5 Pro to my headphones really sounded. I am not a sound expert or audiophile connoisseur but to me what really counts is the enhanced quality of sound in your ears, which is the main reason you would think of buying a DAC amplifier in the first place.

To start the actual look…. It is a nice gunmetal metallic finish body, it is compact and seems to be a well-built unit with clean cut and intuitive laid out connections. It has positive feel controls from the volume, bass and treble knobs that give you a noticeable difference to sound when being adjusted. The tone from the bass and treble is from a low narrow to a nice wide difference, some amps in this price bracket do not offer or adjust the sound as much but the Fosi K5 is a refreshing change. The amplifier is compatible with PC, Mac, PS4/5 and Nintendo Switch, so it can be used with a multitude of widely used devices. My windows 11 laptop picked up the Fosi drivers with no problem, just select Fosi from the System/Sound menu settings to override your inbuilt sound output.

The Fosi K5 Pro has the following specs;

Input : USB Type-C, Optical, Coaxial, 3.5mm Microphone

Output : 3.5mm Headphone jack/line out, RCA

PC-USB supports input sampling rate: Up to 24Bit/96kHz

Optical/Coaxial supports input sampling rate: Up to 24Bit/192kHz

RCA Output Level: 2V

Power Supply:DC 5V via USB-C

Power Input Interface: USB Type-C

THD: <0.003%

SNR: ≥110dB

Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz (±3dB)

PC-USB support operating system: XP/W7/W8/W10/MAC/linux

Distortion: 0.001%;

Headphone matching impedance: 16-300Ω

Amp output maximum power: 1000mw/16Ω, 500mw/ 32Ω, 300mw/64Ω, 150mw/128Ω,

Size (L*W*H): 4.4*3.7*1.2inch (112*95*30mm)

Net Weight: 0.551b/251g

This little unit powers itself through my laptops USB-C connector straight from the laptop into the DACs USB-C power input, no bulky transformer mains plug or additional power connection is required. Although its title is a gaming DAC amplifier I found that I used it more for listening to music through my stereo headphone set and also for YouTube videos, I’m not a big gamer so I asked my son who’s heavy into PC gaming to give me his verdict on its gaming performance.

Firstly, on the music listening pleasure factor; the best way to see if there is an improvement in sound quality is by listening to the music straight from the PC headphone jack then swapping to using the K5 amplifier headphone jack, and wow it’s a night and day difference, you notice the vast improvement straight away. From easy listening music, to soft and heavy rock you can adjust the DACs controls to find your sweet spot. For me there was plenty of bass and treble adjustment options to suit my own music taste. The volume control I set at halfway as fully open is excessively too loud for my ageing ears! On a last note, I hooked up a pair of bookshelf passive speakers to the rear audio RCA outputs using my own banana plug connectors, and again the K5 produced and achieved a nice satisfactory rich and wide sound.

The gaming experience through younger ears; the Fosi K5 amplifier was able to fulfil high input impedance, low output impedance, flat response, low distortion and low noise. FPS and driving games were definitely enhanced whilst plugged into the gaming PC via the Fosi K5. Sound quality is fine for gaming as it is tuned to hear things like footsteps in first person shooters, and works well in stereo via the 3.5mm jack. The mic output is positive and clear.

Overall, my assessment of the whole package is a positive one. Fosi K5 DAC amplifier, accompanying cables and easy to understand instructions. The amplifier was easy to set up and it met my own personal listening needs, everybody has different sound output setting preferences and the Fosi K5 gives you some nice options to find your own personal settings to suit your own listening pleasure. Even though it is a small size amp, it does surprisingly pack a nice punch and I would happily recommend this amplifier for any audiophile who just wants to hear a better sound output from their pc or device, whether it is for gaming or just for the pleasure of listening to music.
 

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ScubaSteve

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Jan 12, 2023
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I was going to post a review as well but saw that you had done one. I agree completely with your assessment of the K5 Pro. Since I'm here though, I'll add some feedback here as well. Keep in mind, I'm also not an audiophile, don't have measurement equipment so my experience is purely my opinion.

I've got it connected to my Mac Mini M1 via USB to USB-C. The cable that Fosi has included has an adapter for the USB-C cabled to use USB without the need to purchase another cable or adapter. This was a nice touch for sure!

The M1 Mini also recognized the Fosi K5 automatically with no drivers needed for installation.

Sound quality is greatly improved over the 3.5mm out on the M1 especially since I can now adjust treble and bass directly on the DAC. Music no longer sounds flat and really has come alive!

I haven't used it for gaming so can't comment on it but if it's anything like what I've seen with the increase in audio, I'm sure it's great!
 
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