Home Amps/DACS FiiO BTR5 Review – The Ultimate Value Portable DAC?

FiiO BTR5 Review – The Ultimate Value Portable DAC?

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on
>AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.<

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Big shoutout to FiiO for sending this unit, and for their continued support! I am not being compensated for the review, just giving my thoughts and opinions. 

Note: Please keep in mind I took pictures of the BTR5 as part of a shootout with some other dacs, but it kind of drives home (no pun intended) why I value .. wait I don’t want to spoil it. xD

Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

In today’s fast-paced world, music is more accessible than ever before, and so is the demand for high-quality audio on the go.

Whether you’re a dedicated audiophile or simply someone who enjoys good music on the move, the FiiO BTR5 has garnered significant attention for its ability to elevate your listening experience.

This compact and powerful Bluetooth receiver and DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) is designed to enhance the audio quality of your favorite devices, from smartphones to laptops.

In this review, we’ll delve into the BTR5’s features, performance, and whether it’s worth the investment for those seeking a superior audio experience on the go.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in and learn more about it!

FiiO BTR5

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Apos! | Check B&H!

In The Box

FiiO BTR5 Portable DAC & Amplifier

USB Type-C Cable

2.5mm to 3.5mm Single-ended Adapter

Silicone Case

Lanyard

User Manual

FiiO BTR5 Review

Specifications

  • Model: FiiO BTR5
  • Dimensions: 72mm x 32mm x 11mm
  • Weight: Approx. 43g
  • Body Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • DAC Chip: ES9219C
  • Output Power:
    • Balanced Output (2.5mm): 240mW (32Ω load)
    • Unbalanced Output (3.5mm): 80mW (32Ω load)
  • Output Impedance: Less than 1Ω
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): ≥120dB (A-weighted)
  • THD+N: <0.002% (1kHz, A-weighted)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40kHz (-3dB)
  • Bluetooth Chip: Qualcomm CSR8675
  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • Supported Codecs: aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, AAC, SBC
  • Battery Capacity: 550mAh
  • Battery Life: Approx. 9 hours (single-ended) / 7.5 hours (balanced)
  • Charging Time: Approx. 1.5 hours (using 5V/500mA charger)
  • USB Port: USB Type-C (charging and data transfer)
  • Headphone Outputs: 2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm unbalanced
  • USB DAC: Up to 384kHz/32bit, DSD256
  • NFC Pairing: Yes
  • OLED Display: Yes

Today, we’re delving into the multifaceted world of the FiiO BTR5, a portable Bluetooth amplifier and DAC that has gained quite a reputation in the audiophile community.

We’ll dissect its key features and capabilities, shedding light on its battery life and charging speed, looking at its DAC chip, and unraveling its support for DSD and PCM audio formats.

So, the question that lingers: Could the FiiO BTR5 potentially be the standout choice for audiophiles seeking top-tier sound quality on the go? And is it a good DAC?

Join me as I embark on this journey to uncover the enigmatic details that might just make the FiiO BTR5 an audio companion like no other.

Build Quality

FiiO BTR3K vs. BTR5

Starting with the build quality, the FiiO BTR5 feels sturdy and well-built.

It boasts an aluminum alloy body that not only looks sleek but also offers durability, making it suitable for on-the-go use.

It’s small but doesn’t feel cheap.

The glossy finish will attract more fingerprints than a murder investigation, but it’s a small price to pay for how great it feels in your hand.

Balanced and Unbalanced Connections

One of the standout features of the BTR5 is its versatile connectivity options.

It offers both balanced (2.5mm) and unbalanced (3.5mm) audio outputs.

Additionally, the BTR5’s 3.5mm jack allows you to utilize it as an output into separate speakers like the Presonus Eris e3.5.

Codecs and Wireless Capabilities

FiiO BTR3K vs. BTR5

Pictured from left to right: DragonFly Red, iFi Go Blu, BTR3K, BTR5.

The BTR5 supports a wide array of codecs, including aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, AAC, and SBC.

This extensive codec support allows for high-resolution wireless audio streaming and ensures compatibility with various devices, be it your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Portable and Desktop Use

The beauty of the BTR5 lies in its versatility.

You can use it wirelessly on the go, connected to your smartphone, or enjoy it as a desktop DAC/amp by connecting it to your computer.

Power Output and Output Impedance

The BTR5 boasts impressive power output, making it capable of driving a wide range of headphones and earphones, from sensitive in-ears to power-hungry over-ears.

  • Out of the balanced jack, you’re getting 240mW into a 32Ω load
  • Unbalanced, the BTR5 provides 80mW into a 32Ω load

For me, this is more than enough to drive anything I have here including an HD600, 400se, Arya, etc.

With the HD600, I can use my balanced 2.5mm cable and be more than fine, but I don’t have to.

The unbalanced jack provides plenty of juice for 99% of listening situations.

Additionally, its low output impedance ensures that it won’t negatively affect the frequency response or dynamics of your headphones, maintaining the integrity of your audio.

Battery Life and Charge Time

The FiiO BTR5 is equipped with a 550mAh battery, which provides commendable life for a portable device of its kind.

On a single charge, you can expect approximately 9 hours of playback time when using the single-ended output, and around 7.5 hours when using the balanced output.

This battery life should be sufficient for most listening sessions on the go, whether you’re commuting, traveling, or just enjoying your favorite tunes outdoors.

Charge Time

The BTR5 offers a relatively quick turnaround time.

Using a 5V/500mA charger, it takes about 1.5 hours to fully charge the device.

For button layout/user guide, click here.

DAC Chip

The BTR5 features the AKM AK4377 DAC chip, known for its high-performance audio processing capabilities.

The AK4377 contributes to the BTR5’s ability to reproduce accurate and faithful sound, whether you’re listening to lossless FLAC files or streaming high-quality audio over Bluetooth.

DSD and PCM Support

FiiO BTR3K vs. BTR5

The BTR5 also offers comprehensive support for various audio formats, including both PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital).

For PCM audio, it supports up to 32-bit/384kHz, allowing you to play back high-resolution audio files if you wish.

Additionally, it supports DSD playback up to DSD256, which is quite impressive for a portable device of its size.

This wide-ranging format support ensures that you can enjoy your music collection in its highest quality, so whether you’re a fan of high-resolution FLAC files, DSD tracks, or standard MP3s, the BTR5 has you covered.

Sound Quality

While the DAC itself has minimal influence on altering headphone sound signatures, it plays a pivotal role in the conversion and amplification process.

One of the standout factors that significantly contribute to the overall audio clarity is the BTR5’s low output impedance of less than 1Ω, ensuring a tight grip on your headphones, and preventing any unwanted frequency alterations.

This low output impedance plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the original audio signal, resulting in a pristine and unaltered sound output.

This translates to a clean, transparent, and distortion-free audio experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in your music with unrivaled precision.

The result is a remarkably clean and unadulterated sound that brings your music to life with striking accuracy and detail, making your listening sessions a true auditory delight – if the track was mixed well of course.

Why Choose the FiiO BTR5

FiiO BTR3K vs. BTR5

In the realm of portable DACs and amplifiers, the FiiO BTR5 stands out as a strong contender for several reasons:

Build

Its robust build quality ensures durability, while its balanced and unbalanced connections provide versatility and compatibility with a wide range of headphones and earphones.

Codec Support

The extensive codec support and wireless capabilities allow you to enjoy high-resolution audio without the hassle of cables, both on the go and at your desktop setup.

Power Output

The BTR5’s powerful output and low output impedance further enhance its appeal, making it suitable for various headphones and ensuring a clean, unaltered audio experience.

Furthermore, the BTR5 can be used wirelessly with your phone or wired on your desktop with headphones or as a preamp into separate speakers.

Final Verdict

FiiO BTR3K vs. BTR5

I have spent countless hours demoing over 70+ amps and dacs over the years, and as of now, the BTR5 stands out above the rest when it comes to the realm of countless portable options on the market.

With its seamless transition between wireless and wired modes, extensive codec support, and compatibility with PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256, it offers an incredible value over other DACS at a sensible price point.

When compared to overpriced alternatives (cough DragonFly Cobalt), the BTR5 shines as a cost-effective solution that doesn’t compromise performance.

Its low output impedance ensures clean and accurate sound reproduction, elevating your music without draining your wallet.

For audiophiles and casual listeners alike, the FiiO BTR5 stands out as the ultimate portable DAC/amp choice, offering a compelling combination of features, versatility, clean output, impressive power, and value that’s hard to match.

Learn More:

 

Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this FiiO BTR5 Review and gained some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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Thoughts on the BTR5? Does it seem like an incredible value? I’d love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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