Home Amps/DACS FiiO E10K Review – A Viable Solution In 2024?

FiiO E10K Review – A Viable Solution In 2024?

I've recommended the E10K the world over, but is it still worth a purchase today?

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on
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Big thanks to the folks at FiiO for sending me this demo unit. I am not being compensated by them for this review in any way. I’m simply giving my impressions of the Amp/DAC. Read on to find out what I thought!

5 reasons you should consider purchasing an E10K.

  1. It has an excellent build, especially for a unit under $100.
  2. It’s got a lot of power for such a small unit; 200mW into 32 Ohms. It can power my HD600/650 pretty well even without the gain switch on.
  3. It’s versatile, with a gain switch, bass boost, micro USB, Coax, and even a Line Out. You can use it as a DAC in another amp, a converter (more on that in a bit), or as a dedicated desktop Amp/DAC.
  4. It will improve the sound of your headphones immensely if you’re used to bad digital-to-analog converters. What is a USB DAC?
  5. Its price-to-performance ratio is phenomenal.


Hey there friend, and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the FiiO E10K USB DAC Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

Table of Contents

Click any of these to navigate the page!

Build Quality
Features & Usage
My Video Review
Final Grade

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!


In the world of Amps and DACs, Amp/DAC combos, separate amps, separate DACs, and all of the options available, one thing becomes clear if you’re new to the hobby:


Wow. That was an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one.

It’s true though: companies, people, bloggers, reviewers, and the whole slew of the information age have actually contributed to humans being more lost than when they started!

There’s simply too much to choose from nowadays. Buy this, not that! My amp delivers optimal sound quality!

That one is OK, but mine is the ultimate!

If you live in America, there is an overabundance of EVERYTHING, yet people are as depressed as ever.

I promise this wasn’t intended to get philosophical, but bear with me.

There’s an overabundance of Food. Lysol spray. Laundry Detergent. Coffee. Smartphones. Laptops. Hand soap. Deodorant. Toilet Bowl Cleaner. You get the idea.

It’s like when Bubba explains Shrimp to Forrest at 1:17.

I legit have 15 cans of Glade in my apartment simply because I can (Haha. No pun intended).

With all that said, there is also an overabundance of Amps.

Big amps, small amps, versatile amps, USB amps, non-USB amps, Amps that sing you a lullaby.

Amps that don’t. Amps that come with a side of fries. Amps that don’t lie.

Amps that brew you a cup of coffee. Amps with Toffee. Wow. It’s like lick-able wallpaper.

The snozberries taste like snozberries!

It’s just too much.

If you’re a newcomer to the hobby or a budding audiophile, it can be hard to decide which amp to buy.

Fortunately for you, I’m here.

My main job is to sift through the madness and find out what’s good and what’s not.

To find out what can be held onto and what can be discarded.

I don’t claim to have all the answers.

I don’t claim to have the most experience.

But I have a lot of experience with various Amps & DACS and I know what sounds good and what doesn’t.

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With that let’s get into the meat of this thing!

FiiO E10K

Price: Check on Amazon! | Check B&H! | Check eBay! | Song Playlist: >Here!<

In The Box

The Amp/DAC.

4 button adhesives (1 pair + 2 extras). Put these on the bottom to protect the unit while it’s on your desk.

Micro USB Cable.

Quick Start Guide.

Warranty Card.

FiiO K3 vs. E10K


  • Capability: Handles PCM Files up to 24-bit/96 kHz.
  • Stereo Crosstalk: > 70 dB.
  • Outputs: 1x Coaxial, Line, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Output Impedance: 1.04. What is Output Impedance?
  • Output Power: 200mW@32Ω
  • Output Voltage: 7.39Vp-p.
  • Inputs: 1x Micro USB.
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >105dB.
  • THD at 1V output: <0.006%@1KHz.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz -20KHz.
  • Dimensions: 79mm x 49.1mm x 21mm.
  • Weight: 79 grams.
  • Warranty: 1 year.
  • Power: Bus-powered.
  • Features: Bass boost, Gain switch.

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Let’s get into build!

Build Quality

FiiO A3 vs. E10KThe Build of the E10K is exceptional for an Amp/DAC in this price range or otherwise.

Holding it in your hand feels solid, and I even dropped it on a hardwood floor by accident!

The brushed aluminum chassis held up remarkably well, and I was able to resume music listening in a snap without freaking out and having to pay FiiO for a broken amp. 😛

In addition to that,

the volume knob, bass boost switch, gain switch, and headphone jack all feel very rugged.

The volume knob in particular has a satisfying click when you turn it on for power.

All inputs are of high quality here.

The only minor concern was the micro USB jack. It feels a bit Piggly Wiggly at times, but thankfully, there’s no effect on sound and I’m not finding it cutting out or anything. Still, something to keep in mind.

Design-wise, FiiO hit this one out of the park!


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Let’s take a look at some of its features…


FiiO A3 vs. E10K vs. Q1

The features of the E10K were touched on above.

It provides a gain switch and bass boost, both of which come in handy.

The gain switch is great for more power-hungry headphones like an HD600 or 650, while the bass boost adds some oomph if you desire a bit more low-end.

Both do their respective jobs in a very tasteful way.

For instance, I have the HD650 plugged into the E10K at the moment.

Without the gain switch or bass boost, the volume reaches an acceptable listening level at max volume (8) and sounds very pleasant.

I don’t feel the need to turn it up anymore, but I desire to because I like to live life on the edge.

So I want more volume.

What will I do?

Turn that gain switch on, baby!

With the gain switch on, I like the volume between 5-6. It provides just the right amount of extra zest.

I do not, and should not push it to 8. We like to live life on the edge, but only in moderation. This isn’t a heavy metal show, friend.

With the bass boost on, you can push it a bit more.

The extra emphasis tames the mids/treble a bit to where you can comfortably dial it to about 6-7.

Loveeeeeee that gain switch!

A lot of this will depend on the song, how well it’s mixed/mastered, the quality of the file itself, etc.

But those figures above are about right and provide a nice range of what you can expect with something like an HD600/650.

People may scoff at this pairing, but that’s because they are lame and probably have never even tried it.

A lot of folks claim that the E10K can’t drive either of these, but they’re lying and probably never even tested it out firsthand.

Lieven at Headfonia agrees:

It’s suitable for 16-150Ohm headphones but it can actually even handle the 300Ohm Sennheiser HD650. Of course, don’t expect spectacular sound but with the Bass Boost on, it’s quite fun to listen to.<span class="su-quote-cite"><a href="https://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e10k-classic-reborn/" target="_blank">Lieven, Headfonia.com</a></span>

The E10K is also very versatile as well. Let’s take a look at some of its other uses.


FiiO Q1 vs. E10K vs. DragonFly RedYou can use it as a standalone DAC using the line output, as a USB headphone Amp, and also as a USB to coax converter.

Standalone DAC

With the Objective 2/ATOM

Basically, I can use a separate Amp like the JDS Labs 02  or ATOM with the E10K.

I would take a 3.5mm to 3.5mm interconnect cable such as this one and plug it into the line out on the back of the E10K.

The other end plugs into the back of the ATOM and voila! It’s a stand-alone DAC.

You could also use an RCA to mini since the ATOM has both 3.5mm and RCA inputs.

As A Preamp

If you want to get really fancy, the E10K works as a preamp into active studio monitors such as my Presonus Eris e3.5s.

With this setup, you can use a simple line cable (3.5mm to 3.5mm), or my preference is an RCA to mini because I like having the wires plug into the back of the speakers (RCA) rather than the front (3.5 aux).

As a Converter

Also, some DACs only have coax and Toslink capabilities.

If your computer doesn’t have those, you can use the E10K to convert the signal from USB to coax and then connect the other DAC to the E10K.

So it would look like: E10K from PC/Laptop via USB > E10K via coax out > another amp that has coax in > to headphones via 3.5mm or 1/4″.

For Gaming?

I also came across an Amazon review that claimed you could plug this right into a PS4 and use it for Gaming.

I was surprised to find out that it is indeed instantly recognized and you can plug your headphones right in.

The only issue is that the volume isn’t loud enough even turned all the way up with the gain switch ticked (I’m using high-sensitivity headphones as well).

What it boils down to is that the E10K was not designed for use with a PS4.

Because of that, the console won’t deliver an adequate amount of power to the unit.

If you need something specifically for gaming, the Creative SoundBlasterX G6 is what you’re after.

The only solution I can think of right now is something like a coax-to-optical converter, but I have yet to try it out.

All in all, I was really impressed otherwise. This thing is like a multi-tool and can do quite a lot.


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Is the E10K efficient at what it does?


FiiO K3 vs. E10K

I would say it’s extremely efficient. The E10K powers 99% of headphones with relative ease.

I would steer clear of anything over 300 Ohms, as I don’t think it would suffice.

For virtually anything else, you’re golden.

The FiiO E10K Olympus 2 features a new and improved LMH6643 chipset that improves upon previous versions by supplying even more power and a better overall transient response.

It’s super quiet too.

With no music on, the noise floor is very low and I hear no audible ambiance or white noise.

This is an Amp/DAC that requires no extra batteries, as it’s powered via USB to your laptop.

It’s the perfect small desktop Amp but also works incredibly well on the go.

Like the Audioquest Dragonfly Red, I can pack it up in my laptop bag with zero hassle.

Unfortunately, you cannot use it with your phone, so if you need something for that purpose I would recommend the Dragonfly Red.

The E10K is an Amp/DAC meant for Laptops and Desktops, but it’s very versatile.


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With that, let’s take a break!

Video Comparison

Here we take a look at the E10K vs. the newer K3

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How does it sound?


FiiO K3 vs. E10K

FiiO K3 vs. E10K

The best part of the E10K is the crisp, neutral, and honest sound it provides.

Back when I had my Lenovo T510, a separate DAC was a must since the T510’s internal Soundcard was pretty poopy.

A poopy Soundcard suffers from all of your typical crappy problems: Low volume, noise, interference, etc.

The E10K is the perfect solution for those looking for an upgrade from that type of poopy dire situation.

See what others are saying about it!

It seems to add clarity, dimension, and a bit of extra Soundstage and improves upon dynamics and speed (known as transient response).

You’ll likely be floored by the improvement, and may not upgrade for quite a while (if ever)!

Simply put, the sound is very immaculate and likely to impress you to a startling degree.

I’ve heard plenty of headphone Amps, and the E10K holds its own against many of the higher-priced models.

It faithfully stays true to the incredible sound of the HD650.

Timbre, resolution/clarity, great imaging, and warmth are all hallmarks of a great sound, and the 650 doesn’t fail to deliver.

The E10K does a fantastic job of sticking to the script and not altering the soundscape in any way.

Any Amp/DAC under $100 that can do this deserves high praise and is most certainly worthy of my money and yours as well.


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With that said, what’s my Final Grade for this little beast?

Final Grade

FiiO K3 vs. E10K

I have to give the E10K a perfect A+.

The only thing I would change about it is making it compatible with a phone, but that’s it.

There’s nothing else about it that disappoints me in the slightest.

It does exactly what it’s advertised to do, which is to provide an upgraded sound from your Laptop or PC’s poopy signal.

It also works phenomenally well on the go, as I’m sitting here typing this away from home on my laptop and listening to Spotify.

It’s portable, convenient, and extremely versatile as well, with an almost impeccable sound and excellent build.

There’s not much else to say about this little buddy, as I still think it’s a great entry-level DAC for those just starting out who need a great desktop solution.


Here’s a simple reason why I’m revisiting this article and still endorsing the E10K.

One of my previous recommendations in the entry-level sphere was the original Zen V1 @ around $130.

One of the easiest purchases you could make.

When the V2 came out, they added plug-and-play console capability for an added $30 (admittedly very valuable to me), but now the Zen V2 sits at around $190 instead of $160.

Why would I pay that when I can get an E10K for $75 and still use it as a preamp?

There’s nothing that the Zen does better aside from the console thing, but it’s overpriced.

If you were thinking about getting a Zen but need the console capability, just get a K5 Pro, K7, or K11 instead as they are more versatile.

If you’re brand new and just need something on the cheap, the E10K is still a fantastic entry-level unit and has many uses.

The original E10K looks to have gone up in price, but the newer model that utilizes Type-C mimics the pricing of the old model priced around $75 for many years.

Learn More:


As for an upgrade, look to the K11.

Learn More:


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Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this FiiO E10K USB DAC Review.

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

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Just want to make a one-time donation? Click here. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps keep this site running!

Marvin, what do you make of all this? Would you rather go straight for the K5 Pro Upgrade? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,





Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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FiiO E10K Olympus 2








Ease of Use



  • Great Features
  • Extremely Versatile
  • Easy to Use
  • Great Sound
  • Insane Value


  • Micro USB Input a tad wobbly/jiggly.
  • In comparison to other amps, sound is a smidgen grainy

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You may also like


Jesse November 15, 2018 - 7:27 pm

Hey Stu,
Recently, I’ve been contemplating adding another headphone to my current collection. The 2 primary candidates are the Sennheiser HD 600 and 650. While I have not decided on which pair of cans I want to purchase, I’m conflicted about another issue. At the moment, I have an Fiio E10K which sees ample usage with my Sony MDR V6 and 7506. For sub $100, it’s a very impressive unit. Additionally, I have both read and watched your Youtube review on the Fiio. While I’m fairly certain that the Fiio can push either an HD600 or 650, overall power and other metrics are not the only important factors regarding headphone amps/dac combos. Point being, I tend to listen to music at moderate to fairly loud volumes at most. Overall cleanliness and lack of distortion when pushing headphones which are essentially miniature speakers also are very important to me. Long story short, would a more beefed up amp/dac combo like the Objective 2 and Odac pairing or simply upgrading to an Objective 2 amp and using the Fiio as the DAC be more applicable vs staying put with the Fiio? Anyway, continue to keep up the great work Stu.

Stuart Charles Black November 17, 2018 - 2:32 pm

Hey Jesse!

First off what will you be primarily using the 600 or 650 for? Depending on the application, genre, etc. I can kind of steer you in the right direction. Check my Sennheiser HD600 vs. 650 Comparison out as well it should greatly aid you in your decision.

As for the Amp side of it, yes I would not hesitate and just buy an Objective 2 right now. It’s the best solid state budget desktop and sounds pristine. It’s incredibly clean even at ear piercing levels and just makes music sound better and more refined. Here’s my review: JDS Labs Objective 2 Review! Please leave a comment on my video/sub my channel if you get a chance. 🙂

As for the DAC, I did try the E10K with the Magni using an RCA to mini and it sounded great! I did not however try the E10k with the Objective as I did not have a 3.5mm Interconnect at the time. I have one now and can try it when I go home if you want. It’s likely going to be just as good if not better. I do like the Objective 2 a bit more than a Magni. So yeah, you can try it yourself as a way of saving some money, but in the long run I would suggest pairing it with a dedicated DAC or just getting the Combo from JDS Labs. For now, definitely just buy the O2 standalone as it’s an absolute steal. Their products are all top notch too as far as build and general quality. To pair with the E10K, just grab a 3.5mm Interconnect Cable and use the line out on the E10K. You may have already known that and have a cable. If so forgive me. Thanks for the nice comment as well man!

Talk soon,


Eric Cantu December 28, 2018 - 11:20 pm

Nicely written and ultra detailed article. I can see you’re definitely an audiophile and an expert when it comes to headphones and sound quality. I’m bookmarking this for my cousin who LOVES this stuff. When he gets going it all goes over my head, lol. One quick question I have with regards to headphones in general, I know there are really high end models out there for specific uses like gaming, or listening to metal, for example, but do you have a review of a good all around, high quality set that delivers quality sound without breaking the bank?

Stuart Charles Black December 29, 2018 - 4:36 pm

Hey Eric!  Yeah I think the M40x from Audio Technica or the Sony MDR V6 would be great options for you. Here are my reviews if you are interested. The 40x is more of a casual headphone with a bit more bass, while the V6 will work well in studio for mixing/mastering/reference applications. Both are phenomenal.

M40x: https://homestudiobasics.com/s

V6: https://homestudiobasics.com/s

A great Gaming headphone in the entry level category would be the Samson SR850. Amazing Soundstage and width for movies as well. You’ll start to really get a sense that the sounds are coming from the outside. Absolutely astonishing considering their price: https://homestudiobasics.com/samson-sr850-review-the-underdog/
Let me know if you need some more help in deciding! Thanks for stopping by and I really appreciate you getting the word out. 🙂


Babsie Wagner December 29, 2018 - 12:25 am

I can believe you are a reputable person to listen to when it comes to technology, and the fact that FiiO actually loaned you the E10K to review is pretty impressive as well. I always love to read reviews before I purchase anything, and I’m super excited I came across your site to read before I took the plunge. It looks like the best price is about $75 bucks, which seems like a fair price considering everything you’ve mentioned!  Thanks for a great review.

Stuart Charles Black December 31, 2018 - 7:00 pm

Thanks Babsie! Let me know if you end up snagging one and how you like it..

Daniel Gonzales December 29, 2018 - 12:36 am

Hello Stuart,

Thank you for this incredible and very insightful product review on the FiiO E10K. It looks like an incredible DAC with bass boost and gain switch making it a great value. I appreciate you taking the time to break up the review into different categories and rate each one compared to other products.

It looks like you have a wealth of experience in this area as you allude to other recommended products to check out as well. I’m impressed with what I see so far. So how did the company know to send you this product? Did you have to send in a request or are you a repeat customer with them? It is interesting to be able to test a product for the purposes of video review.

Speaking of video reviews, I thought the one you provided did a great job of outlining the product and walking the user through what they should be looking out for. You definitely know how to rate these products in different areas that I would not have thought of. I may check out some of your other reviews. Amateurs like me need a place to start looking for new products. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Stuart Charles Black December 30, 2018 - 6:10 pm

Hey no problem Daniel!

FiiO has been nice enough to send me some stuff per my request.

I think the E10K is a great DAC for beginner enthusiasts that need a cheap but impactful update to their current poopy sound situation.

If you run a newer PC or MAC you may not benefit from something like this but a lot of people will. I think a good barometer is just plug your headphones into the phone or PC and note your impressions. Are you satisfied? Is the quality there? Is it loud enough?

Your headphone Impedance and Sensitivity will also come into play here. A headphone with over 100dB likely doesn’t even need an amp, and the same goes for a headphone with lower impedance. There are some tricky grey areas but for the most part anything 97dB and lower Sensitivity needs more power from an amp to reach peak loudness (around 110dB).

Also, note the power output of the amp and what kind of power it provides into various impedance loads. This will greatly aid in determining whether or not the amp even has sufficient power for the headphone in question..

Hope that helps! Let me know.


charles39 January 18, 2019 - 9:23 pm

Okay I have fallen in love with this gadget it’s very small and pocket friendly. Having said that, I have this Sony Hi-Fi system at home which is great and all, but I have always wanted more. The question is can this amp work with such work load of system or I need to buy a bit bigger of an amp?

Stuart Charles Black January 20, 2019 - 11:37 pm

What specifically is the system you’re referring to? Can it output Coax? Let me know..

Salim January 18, 2019 - 10:43 pm


Thanks for this great review. I must confess that I love the way it is analyzed, moreover I’m impressed by the pricing of the FiiO E10K USB. Can it work for live concerts too for drummers? Cause I believe it’ll do well with studio work perfectly.

Thanks a lot.

Stuart Charles Black January 21, 2019 - 5:16 pm

That’s a good question Salim! If the drummer is using his phone or a mobile device it will not since the E10K is bus powered and doesn’t have an internal battery. If he has his laptop close by it could work but would likely prove cumbersome. Perhaps not though. It just depends. Thanks for stopping by!

ecpags74 January 18, 2019 - 11:36 pm


I am a newbie when it comes to audio equipment. This looks like a good amp for my basic computer set up.  

I have a question as to whether this amp would be a good device for me as I am developing a hearing loss and I need to add headphones to my life.

I found your review to be very detailed. It is technical for the more experienced, but is still understandable to a newbie like me.



Stuart Charles Black January 20, 2019 - 2:33 am

Hey Ellen!

I think the E10K would help your situation by improving clarity, detail, dimension, as well as volume. If you’re coming from a poor internal Soundcard on your PC the E10K is an instant and noticeable improvement. Let me know if you need help finding a good set of headphones.

Strahinja January 19, 2019 - 12:00 am

Hello and thank you for your informative review. I really had a nice time reading it. I am planning on buying a new USB DAC and I do not know which product should I choose. E10K seems nice, at least from your point of view. I am not an expert but I need durable and good DAC.

This combo is phenomenal. It has all you need, and also for a good price.

I will definitely check this product on Amazon.


Stuart Charles Black January 19, 2019 - 2:32 pm

Hey Strahinja!

Will you be primarily using the DAC with a phone or on your computer? That will weigh heavily on whether or not you decide on the E10K since it can’t be paired with a phone. Let me know!

zuchii January 23, 2019 - 3:15 am

There’s nothing compared to producing quality audio when it comes to sound. I go the extra mile to make sure my sound system is always right; if it’s not then I’m not playing. From your review and product images so far, I think the FiiO E10K USB DAC is it a good device that can produce quality audio just the way I like it. I currently use another product that I won’t mention, however, I might give this a try sometime in the future. Thanks.

Stuart Charles Black January 24, 2019 - 3:17 pm

No problem Zuchii!

stefan January 23, 2019 - 3:19 am

Thanks for this in-depth and entertaining review.

I didn’t even know a thing as a headphone amp exists until now. Definitely, something to look into in the future.

I use headphones a lot from my laptop and as you can imagine my soundcard is small or non-existent lol.

I listen to audiobooks on a daily basis and music often too but my wife can’t sleep when there is too much sound.

I bookmark your site, I’m sure there is a lot more interesting stuff to explore 🙂 Great video by the way 🙂

Stuart Charles Black January 24, 2019 - 3:17 pm

Thanks Stefan!

enrique vanegas January 23, 2019 - 3:34 am

Thank you for sharing Fiio E10K USB DAC Review. First let me tell you about sound. I have been switching back and forth between macbooks and e10k and I came to the conclusion that macbooks sounds a bit muffled compared to e10k FiiO and yes macbook is much more muffled, although if one would compare to new the difference might not be as apparent or any difference.

I find the bass boost does add bass but I think it kind of reduces the clarity in the bass at the same time. My only complaint is with the usb out, usb cable, boost and gain switches. In terms of amplifying they are good with under 100 Ohm headphones. You can buy it if you are new into audio or if you want a little thing to travel with your notebook.

Stuart Charles Black January 23, 2019 - 4:50 pm

Hey Enrique!

Valuable feedback as far as Macbook vs. E10K is concerned. Don’t agree on bass boost I think it adds a tasteful amount without being overblown.

What is your complaint specifically with the gain switch? I find that it enables me to power an HD600/650 quite well despite the high Impedance & lower Sensitivity of the 600. It’s not something I would rely on for a power hungry headphone but will work in a pinch. Unsure why people are saying the E10K doesn’t have enough juice. I think Sensitivity is a better indicator in determining if a headphone needs power but I digress.

It serves it’s purpose very well and for under $100 cannot be beaten.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dwilli January 23, 2019 - 5:41 am


I am not at all a major audio person. I don’t know all the technical  stuff, but I do dabble a little with programming and data entry. I am at my desk 8 hours a day, yes you guessed it, with earphones on. They are just the regular standard Bose kind, a few years old, not bad the ones that hang over the ears. Fii0 E10K sounds like it will do wonders with my earphones. Using it with my laptop sounds like it will enhance the sound there too. I a little bummed it’s not usable with my phone. I guess we can’t have everything. No battery, plugged in isn’t as convenient but can always get a micro USB and female USB, it might be a little inconvenient but might be worth it based on your article.

Your review was very informative and I believe the Fii0 E10K can enhance my listening experiences.


Stuart Charles Black January 23, 2019 - 11:11 pm

Hey there! I do think the E10K would help but you may check out the FiiO Q1 as it’s a bit more convenient for your situation. You can use it with your phone or on your desk, as it’s battery powered as opposed to bus powered like the E10K.

I’ve been demoing the Q1 for awhile now and I really like it. Audiophiles will be a bit bummed as it’s not very powerful, but for your situation it’s phenomenal. It does also have gain and a bass boost so even though it’s a bit under powered, the gain has come in handy for me.

It comes with a lightning cable for iPhone, a standard Micro USB chord, and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm interconnect. 

Jason May 23, 2022 - 9:34 pm

Hey Stu! Just got the Sundara’s and I have the E10K. Think I should upgrade to a JDS Labs Atom+? And just use the e10k as a DAC? Think I should upgrade that part too? Thanks a lot!

Stuart Charles Black May 25, 2022 - 10:08 pm


Great choice! I say just get an ATOM and pair them which is what I did. Love the sound and I think you’ll be more than satisfied. You can always upgrade just the DAC later. Let me know what you think!

Warm Regards,


Luke November 10, 2022 - 6:08 am

Hi Stuart!

I own the HD560S.
The e10k-tc and the Ifi Zen DAC v2 have a 2000 rand price difference here in South Africa.
I’ve been running the 560s off of my pc (ALC S1200A motherboard audio) .
This isn’t a fair question to ask but,
do you think I will even notice a difference with the e10k-tc?
Or should I just save up longer and get the Zen DAC v2?

Anyway thank you for your time, much love and may Jesus bless you brother.
Smooches xoxo

Stuart Charles Black November 11, 2022 - 2:39 pm

Hey man, thank you for the comment! I guess my first question is how does it sound out of that motherboard audio? Is it loud enough? Clear?

Luke November 13, 2022 - 2:14 am

Yeah, for sure, it’s loud enough on certain songs that it’s maybe too loud at times, quite clean sounding atleast to me, separation between instruments is good ,it’s difficult to get information about the motherboard audio but apparently it generates around 5Volts but I don’t know how true that it is and I’ve heard power doesn’t equal clean/good power but I don’t hear any distortion etc. Just always felt that maybe I’m at like 65% with my headphones and think that If I get a dac/amp I’ll reach that 100% (when in reality it’s probably at 85% if that low.) Sorry for the long message.

Stuart Charles Black November 15, 2022 - 3:31 pm

Yeah man, if all that’s the case an E10K isn’t going to improve anything. It will be a side grade if anything. 5V is quite a lot. For comparison’s sake, the DragonFly Red pumps out 2.1 and that’s plenty for the majority of headphones.

Anusri April 26, 2023 - 11:58 pm

Hi…The information on the FiiO E10K USB DAC is well-written and informative, with detailed explanations of the product’s features, performance, and usability. Content also includes a section on the product’s design and build quality, which gives readers a clear idea of what to expect from the product.

Stuart Charles Black April 29, 2023 - 12:15 pm

Thank you for your comment!

Radman September 20, 2023 - 8:23 am

Just keep in mind that the volume pot on the E10K becomes ‘scratchy’ in time (and it is audible in the headphones).
Mine requires a wiggle left and right from time to time to get rid of the noise (it does come back after a while of not using it).

Stuart Charles Black September 20, 2023 - 8:44 am

Thank you for the heads up, Radman! I gave mine to a Patron awhile back, but I really enjoyed my time with it. For awhile I was using the K3 into my Presonus Eris’ before I picked up the Yamaha HS7. The K3 is a workhorse too!

José María October 7, 2023 - 11:49 am

Hola Stu!!
Y qué te parece el KA3 de FiiO para mover ese 650 o un 6XX? Por potencia en su salida balanceada parece más que suficiente. Si crees que sea la opción, cuál te parece que lo sería en DAC/AMP portátil?
Gracias por tus reviews!!

Stuart Charles Black October 7, 2023 - 3:54 pm

¡Hey hombre! Gracias por el comentario. No he escuchado el KA3, pero al observar sus números de potencia, sí, ¡más que suficiente, tanto equilibrado como desequilibrado! Tendré que intentar conseguir este porque, para su tamaño, son números muy impresionantes.

Afraz November 27, 2023 - 1:17 am

Hi Stu,

You are an amazing reviewer, thanks to your unashamedly gushing reveiw of Hifiman HE400SE, I had these delivered yesterday and they are simply amazing, Just that even at 100 volume on my laptop, they’re okayish, not even proper loud (I know they’re power hungry). I’m in India and thanks to huge customs duties, all the imported stuff is unnecessarily overpriced (up to 40% more). I am getting the E10K for $65 (March 2021 import). My query is, will it be sufficient to power HE400SE? Or do I need to shell out more, I’m thinking if they’re insufficient, I’d look for Moondrop Dawn Pro, FiiO KA13, iBassoDC03Pro/DC04Pro or Tempotec-sonata BHD PRO, please let me know. My budget is a bit tight.

Stuart Charles Black November 27, 2023 - 12:32 pm

Thank you Afraz! So glad you’re enjoying the 400se. I have mentioned to you a few times that I responded to your comment in this thread. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.



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