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- Order number: HL01810
FiiO KA3: Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
With the FiiO KA3, the manufacturer FiiO Electronics Technology Inc. Co. presents a particularly compact and portable USB DAC. The ultra-portable D/A converter has an integrated headphone amplifier. Despite its compact dimensions, this new DAC should prove to be the flagship among D/A converters. The FiiO KA3 is also intended to show off its strengths, especially in combination with smartphones and tablets, thus offering outstanding hi-fi sound quality even when on the move.
Overview and general information about the FiiO KA3
The FiiO KA3 is a USB-based DAC with integrated headphone amplifier. The compact device is portable so you can take it anywhere. FiiO Electronics Technology Co (FiiO for short) is a specialist manufacturer of high-resolution audio technology, headphone amplifiers and DA converters. FiiO Electronics also offers the FiiO KA3 solution in Asia under the trade name Jade Audio. The Jade Audio brand originates from FiiO Electronics and was created specifically for online sales in the Asian market. In Asia, the device can be found accordingly as Jade Audio FiiO KA3.
The highlights of the device at a glance:
No own power supply required (power supply via USB)
Compatible with Android, Windows, iOS and Mac (iPhone via optional adapter)
Headphone outputs with 3.5 millimetres (unbalanced) and 4.4 millimetres (balanced)
2.7 Vms / 240 mW output into 32 ohms (balanced)
2.0 Vms / 130 mW power into 32 ohms (unbalanced)
USB-C for data transfer
Portable USB DAC including headphone amplifier
Data: PCM up to 768KHz/32bit / up to DSD512
Size and dimensions: 56.3 x 20.2 x 12.00 millimetres
Weight: 17.5 grams
The portable USB DAC provides high-resolution sound in combination with smartphone, notebook or tablet. The device can be connected between the player and the headphones and provides audiophile enjoyment on the go or at home. Due to its extremely compact dimensions, the D/A converter is hardly noticeable during transport. The sound quality as well as the volume of the audio source clearly benefit from the high-quality digital analogue converter. When choosing the headphones, a certain flexibility is given due to the different jacks. Both a standard 3.5 millimetre jack and a balanced 4.4 millimetre jack of the Pentaconn standard are available on the FiiO KA3. The aluminium housing, which is as robust as it is lightweight, houses a high-performance DAC chip of the type ES9038Q2M in the FiiO KA3. This high-performance chip is capable of reproducing PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) up to 32 bits/768 kHz and DSD512. Furthermore, the FiiO KA3 has a round RGB light display. This is not only an attractively designed addition, but also fulfils an additional informative purpose. It indicates the current sampling rate of the track currently being played. This allows users to see at any time at which sampling rate the piece is being played. The luminous display works with different colours to inform users. The FiiO KA3 fits perfectly in the palm of your hand due to its compact and stylish design. Whether at home or on the go, the USB DAC provides a significant sound improvement almost anywhere.
FiiO KA3: the hi-fi optimised solution for portable devices
The manufacturer FiiO Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. offers the new FiiO KA3 D/A converter as a solution optimised for audiophile hi-fi enjoyment. Therefore, the FiiO KA3 has a corresponding audio architecture. At the heart of this audio architecture is the high-quality D/A converter. The ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip from the specialists ESS Technologie Inc. can process signals in Linear PCM at up to 32 Mit and 768 kilohertz. The FiiO KA3 offers a USB connection as an interface for linking to the source or playback device. Here, the manufacturer relies on the widely used USB-C standard. This makes the device suitable for use with smartphones, as well as with a PC or tablet.
High-quality housing with compact dimensions
The sophisticated technology of the FiiO KA3 is housed in an elegant aluminium casing. With dimensions of only 56.3 x 20.2 x 12.0 millimetres, the portable device is roughly comparable to the format of a USB stick. The weight of only 17.5 grams also speaks for high portability. The housing is predominantly in elegant black and has a gold-coloured anodised coating on the respective front sides. With its metallic effect, this provides an attractive contrast to the rest of the housing. The LED on the surface of the FiiO KA3's housing shines in different colours. In this way, it gives an indication of which signals are currently present. When playing back signals in Linear PCM with less than 48 kilohertz, it shines in blue. If the signals are in Linear PCM with over 48 kilohertz, it shines in green. If signals in DSD are played back, the LED lights up in green.
Powerful and high-quality output stage on the FiiO KA3
The manufacturer promises a particularly powerful output stage for the new FiiO KA3 digital analogue converter. Its construction is designed to reproduce signals with the highest precision. The signal processing is free of distortion or noise. The primary development goal of the manufacturer was to be able to operate different types of headphones with the new digital analogue converter without any problems. Therefore, the possibilities range from low-impedance in-ear headphones to high-impedance over-ear products. For all these types of headphones, the output stage provides enough power for high-quality audiophile enjoyment. In order to be able to operate the widest possible range of different headphones without any problems, the digital analogue converter offers both a balanced and an unbalanced connection for 3.5 millimetre jack as well as 4.4 millimetre Pentaconn connection despite its portable dimensions.
App control via Google Android for the FiiO KA3
The USB DAC can basically be connected to almost any type of device, whether Android or iPhone device. For the iPhone, a corresponding Lightning adapter cable is required. After connection, the device is ready for use just as quickly as on a smartphone with Android, tablet with Android, PC or Mac. Android also offers the option of app control. The user can thus precisely control and configure the FiiO KA3 digital analogue converter via the FiiO Control app. Via this application, customers can, for example, choose between seven different filters to make individual balance settings. Likewise, the selection between high gain and low gain can be made via the app.