Home Amps/DACS FiiO K5 Pro Amp/DAC Review & Setup

FiiO K5 Pro Amp/DAC Review & Setup

by Stuart Charles Black

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Part of the “Before You Buy” Series


Note: If you’re interested in the newer K9 Pro, I did an article on that and believe it’s worth the price if you’re looking for the extra features it provides.

Greetings mate and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear), all over again, so…

I’ve been wanting to write this article for some time now.

The K5 Pro is one of the most recommended products here at HomeStudioBasics, but I didn’t have a dedicated review for it nor could I ever link people to a review when they asked me questions here, through mail, or on the channel.

My goal for this article is to provide every bit of information possible for you to make a decision on whether or not this unit is worth a purchase.

By the end, you should have a clear idea of what the K5 Pro is and what it’s capable of, how it sounds, and how it compares with other similar products.

So here it is, the complete setup and review of what is perhaps the only Amp/DAC you’ll ever need in this audiophile hobby. What is an Audiophile?

At A Glance

FiiO K5 Pro Headphone Amps Portable Desktop DAC and Amplifier 768K/32Bit and Native DSD512 for Home/PC 6.35mm Headphone Out/RCA Line-Out/Coaxial/Optical Inputs
FiiO K5 Pro Headphone Amps Portable Desktop DAC and Amplifier 768K/32Bit and Native DSD512 for Home/PC 6.35mm Headphone Out/RCA Line-Out/Coaxial/Optical Inputs
Up to 32-bit, 768kHz.
Stereo Crosstalk
≥75 dB at 1 kHz.
Stereo RCA, 1/4" / 6.35 mm Headphone.
DSD Support
Output Impedance
1.2 Ohm.
Output Power
1.5W @ 32 Ohm.
1x Type-C USB.
Signal to Noise Ratio
≥115 dB (A-Weighted).
Total Harmonic Distortion
15VDC, 1.5A.
Gain Switch (0, 6, 12dB)
Learn more
FiiO K5 Pro Headphone Amps Portable Desktop DAC and Amplifier 768K/32Bit and Native DSD512 for Home/PC 6.35mm Headphone Out/RCA Line-Out/Coaxial/Optical Inputs
FiiO K5 Pro Headphone Amps Portable Desktop DAC and Amplifier 768K/32Bit and Native DSD512 for Home/PC 6.35mm Headphone Out/RCA Line-Out/Coaxial/Optical Inputs
Up to 32-bit, 768kHz.
Stereo Crosstalk
≥75 dB at 1 kHz.
Stereo RCA, 1/4" / 6.35 mm Headphone.
DSD Support
Output Impedance
1.2 Ohm.
Output Power
1.5W @ 32 Ohm.
1x Type-C USB.
Signal to Noise Ratio
≥115 dB (A-Weighted).
Total Harmonic Distortion
15VDC, 1.5A.
Gain Switch (0, 6, 12dB)
Learn more

In The Box

FiiO K5 Pro

15V DC Power Adapter &

USB Type-B Cable

1/4″ Adapter

Extra Rubber Feet

Quick Start Guide

Warranty Card


  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check B&H! | Check Apos Audio!
  • Capability: Up to 32-bit/768kHz.
  • Stereo Crosstalk: ≥75 dB at 1 kHz.
  • Outputs: Stereo RCA, 1/4″ / 6.35 mm Headphone.
  • DSD Support: Yes, DSD512.
  • Output Impedance: 1.2 Ohm.
  • Output Power: 1.5W @ 32 Ohm.
  • Inputs: 1x Type-B USB.
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: ≥115 dB (A-Weighted).
  • THD: ≤0.004%.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 80kHz.
  • Op amp: LPF Op Amp: Texas Instruments OPA1642, Driver Op Amp: Texas Instruments TPA6120
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 5.1 x 2.2″ / 12.1 x 13.0 x 5.5 cm
  • Weight: 436g.
  • Warranty: 1 year.
  • Power: 15VDC, 1.5A
  • Gain Switch: 0, 6, 12dB


Let’s get out of the way one of the only minor nitpicks I have with this Amp/DAC combo unit; it’s light. Extremely light. Underwhelming, even. For those unaware of what a DAC is: Beginners Guide: What is a USB DAC?

When you pull it out of the box, you’re kind of expecting it to be heavy like the iFi Zen, but it’s just not. It’s feathery. It doesn’t quite feel like a toy, but it’s getting there.

In one video I made the analogy to a nimble, lean soccer player. He has 6 pack abs and some muscle, but he’s not jacked if that makes sense. He’s cut. The K5 Pro is like that. It’s built well and feels solid, but it lacks that heaviness factor.

Still, it won’t matter much as the unit will just be sitting on top of your desk. You’re not going to be moving it around a whole lot unless you take it back and forth between the living room and desk area. More on that later.

Front Panel

The Volume Potentiometer on the front is large and in charge like Ms. Puff. It’s round and thick.


Turn the knob on and you’re greeted with a blue (or red) halo light. More on that in a jiffy.

There’s also an input switch and a 6dB/12dB gain switch to the left. Both of these feel solid enough and I haven’t had any issues since receiving the unit in 2020.

On the right, there’s your 1/4″ single-ended headphone jack. Pretty standard stuff.

Back Panel

This is where the fun begins. On the back, we’ve got an optical input, the DC15V power jack, 1x RCA Inputs, 1x RCA Outputs, the coaxial input, and the USB Type-B jack.

One of the main reasons I recommend this thing so much is because it’s incredibly versatile.

FiiO K5 Pro (pictured right).

Let’s take a look at every possible setup there is with the K5 Pro and learn more about everything it can do.

Setup #1

USB into your PC

This is going to be the most common setup you’ll be using roughly 90.19574839% of the time.

Yeah, I aced math. WHAT OF IT.

Just plug one end into the back and the other end into a USB slot on your PC.

Now plug the supplied power jack into a wall outlet.

Turn the volume knob on.

From here, you’ll likely see a red halo light which either means you’re on the wrong input, or you haven’t adjusted the audio settings on your PC. If it happens to be on the right input, the blue light will appear.

If the unit is recognized (and it will be), you’ll see “FiiO Q Series” as the name of the K5 Pro. Select that.

The halo light will remain red, but don’t panic just yet. Tick the leftmost switch all the way down to the bottom position where it says “1 – U” (indicating USB).

Now go into your music App of choice and press play on a track. The light should turn blue.

In addition to blue, we’ve also got Yellow indicating anything above 48kHz, and Green representing DSD (up to 512).

If you want to play files above 48kHz in Tidal, you can. You’ll just have to enable exclusive mode.

Exclusive Mode

  1. Click on the 3 bars in the upper left corner inside Tidal.
  2. File > Settings > Streaming.
  3. Scroll down to where it says “Sound” and “Sound Output”.
  4. Click (More settings) to the right.
  5. Now just tick the button to exclusive mode and the formats will change according to the file.

Now the Halo light will turn yellow for any master files inside the program.

DSD is a bit of a different story. What Is DSD In Audio? Is It Worth Pursuing?

Most DSD files you’ll have to pay for, but there is a free library of songs that I used for the purposes of testing and comparing. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what the website was, but you’ll see in the image below that I did in fact in fact test them out.

FiiO K5 Pro Review & Setup

I’m not going to get into the logistics and my opinions of DSD here (just click the link above if you’re interested in that).

Setup #2

Line Out

The FiiO K5 Pro also acts as a preamp, meaning you can hook it up to separate unbalanced speakers! Pretty neat. Just snag a pair of RCA to RCA cables and make sure to use the RCA output.

Then get a pair of Presonus Eris E3.5’s (as an example), and plug the other ends into the inputs on the speaker. You will need some speaker wire to go from the left to the right speaker, but it’s pretty straightforward.

Once you’re all set, keep the switch on USB and turn the volume up on your speakers. You can also listen with headphones as well. For that, just turn down the volume on the speakers.

Keep in mind: This is not a balanced setup. For that, you’d look at something like an Audio Interface and some JBL LSR305’s.

Another option you have is to use the K5 Pro as just a DAC into a separate amplifier if you like to experiment with different setups. You’re likely not going to do this right away, but it’s always a neat feature to have.

Just connect the RCA outputs to a separate amp that supports either line in (3.5mm) or RCA in. Most amplifiers have a combination of one or both. An example would be JDS Labs’ ATOM, which has both.

Note: The line feature on the front acts as the line in.

Speaking of,

Setup #3

Line In

The line-in feature on the K5 Pro is also very useful in that you can use it as just an amp from a separate DAC.

Are you beginning to see the possibilities?

Any DAC that has, you guessed it, a line out or RCA outs will work here, and again, all of them either have one or both.

An example would be something like JDS’ ATOM DAC.

With Your Turntable

But wait, THERE’S MORE.

One of my favorite past times is spinning vinyl. The K5 Pro has you covered here as well, but it’s even simpler than you think.

Just use the RCA cables from your turntable and plug them into the K5 Pro’s RCA inputs. Flip the switch up to “line” (middle) and voila, you’re listening to John Coltrane’s Love Supreme (or whatever record you want).

You can also listen to the Eris’ mentioned earlier in this turntable setup. Simply run RCA to line (or RCA to RCA) from the outputs of the K5 Pro to the speakers, keep the switch on line and unplug your headphones.

To further illustrate this point, the K5 Pro doesn’t have to be plugged in via USB with this method since the signal is coming from the turntable and only amplified by the K5 Pro.

You also don’t have to have your turntable plugged in via USB either since, again, the signal is being powered by the K5. You will obviously still need the turntable connected to wall power.

Setup #4

Coax from your TV or Receiver

This is one I personally haven’t tested yet, but the concept is simple.

If your TV has a coaxial output (and most do), simply plug the other end into the coaxial input on the K5 Pro and then flick the switch up to “3 – S” (indicating S/PDIF).

If you have something like a CD Player hooked up to your receiver, you can then output the sound from the receiver via coax into the K5 Pro and listen to your CDs that way.

Setup #5

Optical In from a console

FiiO K5 Pro Review

Back of the K5 Pro.

This is perhaps my favorite method, as the PS4 is my main centralized hub for everything I watch or play. I can watch movies, stream Netflix, YouTube, etc., as well as play some games.

The setup is simple.

Just run an optical cable from the back of your PS4’s optical out into the input on the K5 Pro, also making sure the K5 Pro is connected to wall power.

Now you’re READY.

Check out this graphic I did of all the different things you can do with it:


While we’re at it, we may as well discuss how the K5 Pro does for gaming.

I really love this setup with a headphone like AKG’s K702, K712, etc.

Single-player gamers and FPS homies need to apply. There’s plenty of immersion, and lots of power to go around. With the K5 Pro, you’ll always have a lot of headroom for even the most demanding of headphones.

I will say that the details and extra layers of sound you’ll hear have mostly to do with the great Soundstage apparent on the K702, but having a K5 Pro at my disposal has become truly invaluable.


As far as Amps & DACS are concerned, the K5 Pro has become my daily driver. Out of everything I own, I have decided to get rid of most of them and keep only 2; the other being the Creative SoundBlasterX G6.

You may be wondering, is the G6 better than this? I will say for gaming, yes. The G6 sits in my living room as my full-time gaming DAC, while the K5 Pro is my desktop DAC for listening to music. Read: Audioengine D1 vs. FiiO K5 Pro vs. Creative SoundBlasterX G6 vs. Chord Mojo

The reasons are 3 fold:

  1. The K5 Pro is much more of a hassle to transport back and forth between the living room and my studio. You have the optical cable, USB cable, and power cable to deal with.
  2. The G6 connects via USB and that’s it. You don’t have to mess around with anything else. Simply plug it into a slot on your PS4 and it’s instantly recognized and ready to go. The G6 is also compatible with PS5. I do not believe the K5 Pro is anymore because the newer consoles got rid of the optical slot (a rant for another day).
  3. The G6 has scout mode, which opens up the Soundstage even more. You’re able to hear even the subtlest of details, to the point of complete exhaustion. I go into that experience here: Are AKG Headphones Any Good?!

For that reason, it makes much more sense for me to keep the G6 in the living room and the K5 Pro on my desk.

The sound itself coming out of the K5 Pro strikes a nice balance between warm and crisp. At 1.2 Ohm output impedance, it’s not entirely neutral nor does it sound overly warm. The hip-dac and FiiO Q1 MK II are both on the very warm side to my ears.

The K5 Pro has been an excellent performer for me since FiiO sent it back in 2019.

When not demoing other products, I’ve used it almost every single day and I love it.

Why? Because it performs just as well as many other higher-priced offerings, including the iFi Diablo. Yup, I said it and I mean it. For more on that controversial subject: iFi Diablo Review: Is It Worth The Price?!

Sound Comparisons

FiiO K5 Pro Review & Setup

iFi Zen vs. K5 Pro

The Zen Blue is also pictured (middle).

I’ve been using both of these since 2019, and they sound very similar. The Zen specifies an output impedance of less than 1, but you probably aren’t going to be able to tell that much of a difference in terms of detail, tonality, timbre, etc. Most of those discrepancies come down to the headphones in question (and the track, really) and much less the DAC or Amp.

However, the K5 Pro may come across as a bit warmer and more glossed over vs. the crisper, snappier nature of the Zen. The Zen also may seem more detailed and sterile by contrast.

Still, it’s a fairly subtle difference in passing and I wouldn’t become too concerned over it – especially considering both have almost identical Total Harmonic Distortion numbers: <0.005% for the Zen, and <0.004% for the K5 Pro.

K5 Pro vs. ATOM (Amplifier only)

JDS’ original Objective 2 was my previous standard for great sound and a neutral profile before they decided to discontinue it.

If my memory serves me right, it had somewhere in the ballpark of a 0.1 Ohm output impedance.

The ATOM follows suit, but it’s a bit less sterile coming in at around 0.5.

You can probably guess how it sounds in relation to the K5 Pro.

More neutral, crisp, and sterile for sure, and the difference this time around is more noticeable than it is with the Zen.

If we were to compare the 3, the Zen sits right in the middle, while the K5 Pro leans warm and the ATOM leans cool.

“Are you cool, man?”

“Like how?”

So the ATOM is incredibly clean and immaculate sounding while the K5 Pro kind of mimics the effect of listening with a tube amp.

No, it’s not like true tubes, but it’s leaning towards the direction of a tube hybrid – something like a Bravo Ocean or xDuoo TA-20. Both of those are solid-state/tube combos to keep it simple.

The other difference is that the ATOM is just an Amp and needs a separate DAC to function.

So pair it with the ATOM DAC and SHUT UP.


FiiO K5 Pro vs. S.M.S.L SH-9 (Amplifier only)

S.M.S.L SH-9 Headphone Amplifier Review

Does the SH-9 sound any better than a FiiO K5 Pro; an Amp/DAC that does not utilize THX? I went back and forth extensively trying to discern any differences, and I couldn’t. What is THX AAA Technology In Audio & Video?

Both are very clean sounding, but the K5 Pro may be a tad warmer. This is likely due to its somewhat higher output impedance at 1.2 Ohm. The SH-9 is advertised as close to 0.

For clarity, I was using a DragonFly Red into the SH-9.

FiiO K3 vs. K5 Pro

For those wanting a full A/B comparison: FiiO K3 vs. K5 Pro Review & Comparison

The differences between these 2 are pretty subtle, but again, the K3 is slightly more open sounding and a bit cleaner.

The overarching theme was that the K5 Pro is more of a relaxed listen. It’s more melodic and fluid sounding vs. the colder, cleaner, and somewhat more brash sound of the K3.

Brash doesn’t necessarily denote a negative connotation, but in relation to the K5, it’s definitely more in your face, forward, and aggressive.

Voices may come across as more prominent/forward, as in the case of Common’s “Little Chicago Boy” – one of my all-time favorite Hip-Hop songs.

AudioQuest DragonFly Red vs. FiiO K5 Pro

If the K3 was a bit more open and crisp than the K5, the DragonFly Red takes this sentiment and magnifies it even more.

Out of the 50 Amps & DACS I’ve heard at the time of this writing, the DragonFly Red is certainly the most open and cool sounding out of them all.

It kind of mimics the effect of Scout Mode on the G6, but you don’t have to flick a switch to experience it.

It’s airy, crisp, and some would say a bit overly sterile. I can certainly see where those people are coming from, but I still enjoy the sound immensely, and thus why I recommend it a lot. I believe the sound of the ESS Sabre chip does tend to outperform others, and this is one of the very few instances where I can say that the difference is more apparent than with other DACS.

The K5 Pro by contrast is smoother, warmer, and hazier.

I would liken the fly to opening your window and letting a cool breeze in on a Spring or Fall day.

Sounds are spaced out a bit better, and the overall feel seems grander and encompassing.

Final Word

If you’re looking for the best 1-2 punch in Headphone Amps & DACS, I think the K5 Pro and G6 are what you’re looking for; K5 Pro for your desktop, and G6 for the gaming room.

As mentioned earlier, the K5 Pro has become my daily driver and a product that I will hang onto for quite a long time – maybe forever. Well, until I die that is. You can’t take anything with you lol.

“No lie but before I say bye, you can’t take money with you, when you die.”

-Group Home (Supa Star)

Anyways, the K5 Pro is a pretty easy purchase when you consider everything it’s capable of.

I hope I’ve helped you out in clarifying the details!

Ready to purchase one?



So.. are you ready for the next video in the Before You Buy series, click below and let’s dive in!


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this FiiO K5 Pro Amp/DAC Review & Setup, and came away with some valuable insight.

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.

What do you think of the K5 Pro? Does it seem like a sound investment? I would love to hear your thoughts. 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!

FiiO K5 Pro


Build Quality






Ease Of Use


Power Output



  • Plenty of Power
  • Incredibly Versatile
  • Can play most any high quality files
  • Relaxed but still crisp sound
  • Perfect Gaming Rig


  • A bit light

Don't forget to share if you found it helpful!

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egeokan December 10, 2021 - 9:18 pm

Hey bro do you remember me? did you try the red with k5 pro(especially with mid gain)? if you didnt ill still love you 🙂

Stuart Charles Black December 11, 2021 - 3:27 pm

Omgsh man thank you for the reminder from YT! Haha. I tend to get distracted 😉 I just plugged it up! So the Red into K5 Pro via 3.5mm to RCA. Listening with the 400se on mid-gain (as this headphone is very inefficient).

After going back and forth with the Red into the K5 Pro vs. Just the K5 Pro, I’d probably not even bother with the Red as a pairing DAC. I found myself turning the volume up a little more with the Red into the K5 Pro which I found strange. I don’t know why this is the case, but the K5 Pro on its own sounds better. Both instances are smooth with a hint of warmth, but the Red + K5 Pro doesn’t really make the K5 Pro sound more neutral or even better; in fact, it sounds a bit worse which I was also surprised by. So in short, one or the other, but not both.

Hope that helps! Let me know and looking forward to chatting.


egeokan December 13, 2021 - 11:07 pm

thank you sooo much for your effort man thank you for your time :))))

Stuart Charles Black December 14, 2021 - 2:18 pm

My pleasure man! Keep me posted/updated 🙂 Talk soon!

Eunice December 27, 2021 - 3:32 am

Hi can I use the k5 pro to connect to 2.0 speaker (Edifier e25hd) and an headphone?

Stuart Charles Black December 27, 2021 - 7:50 pm

Hey Eunice! Yes. You would just use RCA to 3.5mm and flick the input switch depending on what you’re listening to.

alex February 5, 2022 - 1:24 pm

hey man,

will you test the new fiio k5pro ess version

Stuart Charles Black February 7, 2022 - 2:55 pm

Hey man! Yes hopefully soon! 🙂

Betty February 16, 2022 - 7:53 pm


In your review you stated that “Note: The line feature on the front acts as the line in and out.” and that flipping the input switch from say 1-USB to 2-Line sends the signal to the speakers.

I have the k5 connected to my PC via USB and the presonus 3.5’s via RCA to RCA as you mentioned. However, when I flip the switch, the k5 disconnects from the pc obviously and the speakers get no signal?
I have to leave it at 1-USB and turn the speakers on or off + disconnect my headphones. Ideally this would be done with just the flip of the switch on the k5 as indicated in your review. This does not seem to work though.

Do you have any suggestions / am I doing something wrong?

Thanks for your time man!
Enjoyed your review and bough the presonus set up to use with my k5 because of it!

Stuart Charles Black February 16, 2022 - 8:49 pm

Hey Betty!

You’re welcome 🙂 Glad to help.

Thank you for the question as it’s a good one. I goofed on that when writing this. The line function is actually for the line in from say a USB turntable. You’re right in the sense that for line out to speakers, you’d keep it on USB and then just turn the volume down on the Eris’ if you want to use headphones, and disconnect your headphones if you want to listen on speakers.

Going a step further, let’s say you wanted to listen to that same vinyl through speakers instead of headphones. Simply run RCA out from the K5 Pro to the Eris’, keep the switch on line, and disconnect your headphones.

I just snagged a pair of e3.5s as well! I need to review them soon. I was also able to use them balanced with the newer K9 Pro which was a lot of fun. Thank you again as I went ahead and edited this to reflect the change.

I hope this helped. Keep me posted with any questions!


Harry February 19, 2022 - 9:55 pm

Was wondering what model of the K5 Pro you have reviewed here?

The original K5 Pro (AKM 4493 DAC chip) – Discontinued.
The newer K5 Pro ESS (ES9038Q2M DAC chip) – Current.

Stuart Charles Black February 21, 2022 - 4:37 pm

Hey Harry!

This is the AKM version. I should have an ESS one coming soon so stay tuned for that review and comparison 🙂

Ubail March 3, 2022 - 5:02 pm

HI, can the K5 pro amplify a turntable that does not have a built in preamp? Thank you very much. I love your site.

Stuart Charles Black March 7, 2022 - 9:34 pm

Hey Ubail thanks for the love! That’s a great question. From my understanding, no, unfortunately. You will need a phono preamp to connect before running it into the K5 Pro. Something like the Project Phono Box MM would do the trick.

Devin March 12, 2022 - 3:52 pm

So I just bought the FIIO K5PRO to give life to my DT 770s. I noticed there is not a line out for TRS cable to interface. Will an RCA to TRS cable work for a separate interface to get a balanced chain into my Yamahas? I am also wondering if it would even work with this amplifier. I am almost regretting not buying the cheap behingers since the design is pretty simple. Headphones to Amp to Interface. Thanks for your time and awesome review!

Stuart Charles Black March 14, 2022 - 5:49 pm

Hey man!

Unfortunately no. You’d have to ensure you’re going balanced to balanced so the K5 Pro won’t work in that regard. The K9 Pro is what I would recommend as an upgrade since it does have the balanced outs and is my top recommendation overall.

That said, the K9 may be overkill for what you’re doing but you’ll need the balanced outputs (from something) regardless.

Thank you for the kind words and keep me posted with any questions!


Mac April 6, 2022 - 9:37 am

Hey Stu! Thanks for the recommendation, I got my K5 Pro ESS today and it sorted a lot out. Sounds great!

Stuart Charles Black April 6, 2022 - 1:42 pm

Hey Mac!

So great to hear. Keep me posted on everything and thank you for your continued support my friend!

Tangerine Dreaming April 12, 2022 - 12:14 am

Been using my K5 Pro ESS for couple of weeks now and I love it.

Thank you again!

Stuart Charles Black April 12, 2022 - 1:26 pm

Nice! You’re very welcome 🙂 Reach out any time!

diane April 24, 2022 - 2:56 pm

Ye not impressed mines DOA got old fiio of 10 years still works but only got coax so i wanted optical, well it lights up but no sound yes i did optical separate so coax and optical not plugged in together yes i read the manual aswell what there is of it, yes i configured and check all sound settings, no go, no go optical so i thought i’d try coax and no go for that, so the the old fiio of 10 years is still going strong seems they don’t make them like they used too, they lost a customer for good now.

Stuart Charles Black April 28, 2022 - 2:30 pm

Hey Diane!

You probably just got a lemon. It happens. Technology is never perfect. Mine has been going strong for a few years now.

Brian May 1, 2022 - 7:32 pm

So I bought Senn HD6XX to mix rock/punk/alternative music and have a Focusrite 2i2. Read that you “need” an amp/dac for these headphone so I got the K5Pro ESS. Is this enough? What do you mean by “not balanced?”
Do you recommend something else?
Also, how do I connect the amp/dac to the Scarlett?

Stuart Charles Black May 2, 2022 - 7:58 pm

Hey man! Yeah you do need something and the K5 Pro is great so I wouldn’t stress about it. Which part of the article specifically are you referring to? My top recs are K5 Pro, ATOM, and G6 so you’re in the right area. Zen used to be but for now, it’s a bit overpriced. If you wanted something more neutral than the K5 Pro, the ATOM is my top neutral rec. Again though, K5 Pro is great for the 6XX so don’t worry too much. From what I remember when I owned the 1st gen 2i2, it only has balanced outputs so you can’t connect it to the K5 Pro.

Tim May 20, 2022 - 1:14 pm

Hi Stu, I bought an ifi zen DAC v2 to drive AKG 702s but I’m left wanting for just a tad bit more volume. Does k5 pro provide more power? Thanks

Stuart Charles Black May 20, 2022 - 2:16 pm

Hey Tim! Yeah, it does. You’ll have a 2 gain stage and I pretty much never even have to use the second one (middle). I mostly always keep it on the lowest setting.


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