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Review of Fosi Audio K5 Pro DAC Amplifier Working with PS5

sensitam

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I have a ps5 digital console and since I bought it around a year ago, I’ve been plugging my edifier g1 gaming headset into the headphone jack on the dualsense to play games. It had been fine until I got the Beyerdynamic dt770 pro last month with 250 ohms, which dualsense has difficulty driving. I started to do some extensive research into which DAC & headphone amplifier or sound card to get for my ps5, and learned from a video on youtube that Fosi Audio recently released a gaming DAC amp modeled k5 pro. I bought one from amazon and found it interesting.

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The first impression was really nice. It has a decent metallic build and very compact. Accessories coming in the package are a 3.5mm headphone splitter, a flexible type-a/c to c cable for powering and usb decoding, and an optical cable.

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I connected the k5 pro to my ps5 via the USB cable but it failed to boot up the first time. I read through the manual and realized I need to use the c-to-c form of the cable. I connected it to the type-c port and managed to switch it on. I’m weird about this. Maybe Sony limits the usb-a port’s output wattage?


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Anyway, once the k5 pro was on, ps5 recognized it immediately and the sound output had been switched automatically. I connected my new dt770 pro to it and made a test in the CoD and the Division 2. It’s fabulous indeed. The dt770 pro was fully driven and the bass was greatly boosted after I tuned the bass knob. Footsteps can be heard very clearly in the games also. It brought a more immersive gaming experience.

The k5 pro is said to support up to 24bit/96khz sampling rates decoding. I tested it in Apple Music on the PS5 and its performance is good enough. No static or hiss sound at max volume. It’s a pity that it cannot support 24bit/192khz or higher. Considering this is identified as a gaming dac amplifier, 24/96 is quite enough. (I checked and found ps5 can only support 48khz at most.)

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The k5 pro has a 3.5mm microphone input also, which is much needed for online gaming. Dt770 pro does not have a microphone, so I tested it with my old edifier headset. It worked well without issues. The dialog is crystal clear. By the way, what the k5 pro amazed me was that it even managed to upgrade the edifier headset’s performance. Bass was boomed and audio was louder and clearer. Everything seemed to be reinforced much. Maybe it’s not necessary to buy an expensive headset for gaming anymore?


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The k5 pro also supports optical and coaxial inputs, but I play my ps5 on my monitor only. So I did not test these two. By the way, it has the RCA output ports on the back, which means you can connect it to an amplifier to drive passive speakers.


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I’m not good at measuring the specs. I have a USB tester like this which can indicate a device's working wattage. It indicated the k5 pro was working under around 1W, much higher than the epos gsx 300 sound card which has no more than 0.2W according to my friend. Definitely, it can drive most headphones with high ohms easily.

Let me summarize the pros and cons.

Pros
1. Installation is easy. Just plug and play without installing any driver on computers or Macs.
2. Very useful and flexible tone control with bass and treble knobs.
3. The microphone input is available, which gamers need much.
4. Looks decent and really tiny. Won’t take up much desktop space.
5. Strong power to drive headphones with large ohms. Up to 300 ohms according to the specs.
6. Very versatile. I tested it on ps4 pro and switch, it worked also.


Cons
1. A microphone volume control knob will be good to be included.
2. Sample rates can be improved still.
3. It's a pity not supporting virtual surround sound.
4. Doesn’t support the latest Xbox series, but can work on Xbox one x and one s via the optical connection.


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In all, it’s a budget and very capable DAC & headphone amplifier to improve the audio experience. It could be a good solution for ps5, ps4 pro, and pc gamers to enhance their gaming experience indeed.
 

Fosi Audio

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Thank you for your suggestion, your feedback is an important basis for our products development and improvement.

We can improve the sample rates in the next version.

And your virtual surround sound is really a great suggestion, I have forwarded it to our R&D, I will let you know if we have results.

As for the microphone volume control knob thing, could you please tell me more about why do you want the knob? Because I don't think this can adjust the volume of microphone, or I just can't image the usage scenario, microphone just receive sound I mean!
 
OP
sensitam

sensitam

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Thank you for your suggestion, your feedback is an important basis for our products development and improvement.

We can improve the sample rates in the next version.

And your virtual surround sound is really a great suggestion, I have forwarded it to our R&D, I will let you know if we have results.

As for the microphone volume control knob thing, could you please tell me more about why do you want the knob? Because I don't think this can adjust the volume of microphone, or I just can't image the usage scenario, microphone just receive sound I mean!

A microphone input volume control is necessary for online gaming since some ones may prefer higher or lower chat volume than the in-game sound. For reference, the Sound BlasterX G6 has a knob to balance the game audio and chat volume which is very convenient.
 

keiron99

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As it happens, I ordered yesterday a Fosi Q4 DAC/amp for a pair of Hifiman Sundara headphones I just bought. I'm waiting for it to arrive.

On the face of it, the Q4 seems exactly the same save for the mic input on the K5 and slightly different knobs.

Trouble is I have nothing to compare it with apart from the headphone output on my Rotel amp...will be intrigued it test it this weekend when it arrives!
 

Fosi Audio

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A microphone input volume control is necessary for online gaming since some ones may prefer higher or lower chat volume than the in-game sound. For reference, the Sound BlasterX G6 has a knob to balance the game audio and chat volume which is very convenient.
Thank you for your response, I know what do you mean now.

Yes, it is really useful for games, we will consider your suggestion carefully, if we have any progress, I will let you know.
 

Fosi Audio

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As it happens, I ordered yesterday a Fosi Q4 DAC/amp for a pair of Hifiman Sundara headphones I just bought. I'm waiting for it to arrive.

On the face of it, the Q4 seems exactly the same save for the mic input on the K5 and slightly different knobs.

Trouble is I have nothing to compare it with apart from the headphone output on my Rotel amp...will be intrigued it test it this weekend when it arrives!

Thank you for your great support.

Actually, Fosi audio K5 PRO is an upgraded version of Q4 with a mic input, the idea is from this review by Hardware Canucks!
 

keiron99

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So I have had my Fosi Q4 and Hifiman Sundara headphones for a few days now.

I've never owned a dedicated DAC/amp before. The only comparison I have is with the headphone output on my Rotel 1592 amp (which costs a couple of grand and I'm sure the DAC and headphone amp in there are reasonably capable?)

All I can say is I cannot hear any difference, which I assume is a good thing. It is dead silent - no hiss or buzz even at all. And no hint of distortion at any level.

I have turned up the bass a few notches which really helps the headphones come alive and makes the experience more akin to listening to my Harbeth speakers/REL sub. Interestingly, I've found that preferable to raising the bass on the EQ of my Wiim, which seems to create a rather distorted sound.

One niggle - the mini USB connector for the power does not fully plug all the way into the device. It only seems to go in a few millimetres.

Overall, very happy for the pocket money outlay. I'm not sure what I one could expect by spending more? Wider soundstage? A more "out of the head" experience?
 

Dreyfus

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What is the typical SNR/THD for the mic-in with an ordinary electret capsule?
Also: How high is the provided plug-in-power (V_bias) under load condition?

Regards
 

Snoopy

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Ps4+5 support every DAC with the UAC1 protocol :) UAC 2 won't work.
 

Usmc1775

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I have been looking at this product. Currently I have a soundblaster g3 with my beyerdynamic mmx300 on my playstation 5. Im looking for a bit more power. I do like the ability of the g3 for the eq settings though. I'm assuming that the k5 pro will just let the ps5 tempest audio come through fine as does the g3.
Ps4+5 support every DAC with the UAC1 protocol :) UAC 2 won't work.
 
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