I would like to thank Fosi Audio for sending the K5 Pro to review!
Full disclosure: This is a paid review but I made it clear to them that I do not guarantee positive reviews or recommendations – I make in-depth, honest evaluations based on my impressions and the ultimate value that the product may or may not provide.
Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!
Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…
Today, we’re diving into the realm of gaming audio with a critical ear as we explore the Fosi Audio K5 Pro, a gaming amp/DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) that can also be used for general listening.
In a market awash with options, finding the perfect balance of build quality, features, sound performance, and value can be quite the challenge.
Our mission is to scrutinize this latest contender, dissecting every facet to help you make an informed decision.
We’ll start by discussing the build quality, assessing its durability and aesthetics.
Then, we’ll delve into the features, considering its compatibility, connectivity options, and customization possibilities.
From there, we’ll explore its audio quality and power output.
Finally, we’ll determine if it’s worth the money based on the good and bad.
So, let’s embark on this auditory adventure and see if this gaming amp/DAC can stand out in the ever-evolving world of gaming peripherals.
Fosi Audio K5 Pro
Price: Check Amazon!
In The Box
Fosi Audio K5 Pro x1
USB Type-C Cable x1
Optical Cable x1
Headset Microphone Two-in-one Adapter cable x1
User’s Manual x1
- Model: K5 Pro
- Output Power: 1000mW@16Ω, 500mW@32Ω, 300mW@64Ω, 150mW@128Ω, 80mW@300Ω
- Headphone Impedance: 16Ω – 300Ω
- Input Type: USB, Optical, Coaxial, 3.5mm Microphone
- Output Type: 3.5mm Headphone, RCA
- USB Sampling Rate: 16-Bit/44.1kHz to 24-Bit/192kHz
- Optical/Coaxial Sampling Rate: 16-Bit/44.1kHz to 24-Bit/192kHz
- Total Harmonic Distortion: ＜0.003%
- Signal-to-noise Ratio: ≥110dB
- Dimensions: 4.4*3.7*1.2 inch (112*95*30mm)
- Net Weight: 0.55lb (251g)
- Power Input Interface: USB Type-C
- Power Supply: 5V
Starting things off, the build quality of the Fosi K5 Pro is good.
Coming in at around 8.7 Oz., it’s compact and small, but doesn’t feel cheap.
It’s about what you’d expect for a device in this price range, so no real worries. It also fits pretty comfortably in the palm of your hand to get a good idea of its size.
Fosi took the liberty of including built-in rubberized feet which is a real winner at a measly $80.
The unit doesn’t move around at all when I’m gaming or watching a film, and that’s not something I can say for all dacs.
For instance, iFi’s Uno slid around way too much, was incredibly light, and felt like a toy you’d find in your local Wal-Mart.
The Fosi is more sure of itself and looks to be constructed out of a brushed aluminum chassis that doesn’t gather fingerprints.
So, we’re off to a promising start.
As far as the naming of Fosi’s K5 Pro being identical to the FiiO K5 Pro? I spoke with the rep and he informed me that this was entirely coincidental. So no harm no foul!
On the front, there’s your 3.5mm headphone jack, mic jack, Bass and treble adjustment knobs, and of course, the ever important volume potentiometer.
In addition, you’ve got LED indicators for source (USB, OPT, and COA).
To power on, just press and hold the Volume Pot. To cycle through sources, press it once.
On the back, there’s the USB Type-C jack, optical input, coaxial input, and RCA outputs.
This means the Fosi also functions as a preamp and you can hook it up to separate speakers or monitors; a nice added bonus with something like the Presonus Eris e3.5.
- Related: What are Studio Monitors?
I’m also liking the inclusion of the USB Type-A adapter that’s connected to the wire itself.
This means you can easily plug it into a laptop that has only USB-A ports, one that has both USB-A and Type-C, or any device that only supports Type-C.
The cables themselves seem durable enough, but time will tell on that front.
The fact that they included an optical cable is also pretty amazing at this price point.
Sound, Power, and Connectivity
Unfortunately, this is where things start to take a turn for the worse.
In the interest of full transparency, I was originally sent 1 unit.
It worked OK via USB with my PC at first, but I was having issues getting it to work with my PS4.
Firstly, it refused to draw bus power from my console which I immediately found odd. I ended up plugging it in to my receiver and it worked.
Hm. “Strange”, I thought.
Next, I tried plugging in my Mod Mic into the mic jack and using the DEVA into the headphone side.
The DEVA + Mod Mic is basically my go-to gaming setup when I’m using a microphone.
No luck. The Fosi wouldn’t recognize the mic.
I kept fiddling around with it and ended up trying it out of my laptop again. This time it took quite awhile for it to even be recognized as a USB device.
I reached out to the rep, outlined the issues I was having, and he agreed to send another unit. Here’s an example of another guy who was having mic issues on Xbox.
The Good News
The good news is that the replacement unit he sent draws bus power from my console and the mic jack works.
The bad news is that the optical input doesn’t work with my PS4.
This isn’t immediately a huge deal since it works via USB, but it’s a pretty big deal in terms of basic functionality.
I thought maybe it was the cable itself, but I tried my main optical cable that I use with the FiiO and it still wasn’t working.
And this is what brings me to my issue with this device; I’m not sold on its reliability at all.
Yes, I’ve been using it, it works fine for the most part, but I’m very hesitant to recommend it due to the fact that it’s so hit and miss.
And this should never be when talking about DACs as 99.9% of the 60+ I’ve demoed have had zero technical issues.
In addition to that, I’m pretty much maxing out every headphone I have here on volume and that’s fairly problematic considering its advertised power ratings.
In other words, neither of these units, per my experience, have provided me the headroom I expected.
The inclusion of bass and treble adjustment knobs is okay, but I personally did not use them much. Your mileage may vary here.
The sound itself?
It sounds clear enough I suppose.
The first unit definitely did not. It sounded like I was listening to music and gaming inside of a tin can lined with wool.
No bass, thin, anemic, lifeless, fuzzy, etc. It was fairly jarring.
It actually sounded like I was listening to music out of my old Lenovo T510 Laptop’s Soundcard, and that’s an experience I never wanted to relive again.
The good news is that the second unit sounded markedly better, but again, could there be a quality control issue at play?
This pains me because I think Fosi Audio has a lot of potential as a company.
I’d just like to see them clean some of these QC issues up before I start recommending their products to people.
I’ve been using them since around 2019 and they’re both excellent products.
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Fosi Audio K5 Pro Review 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!!
Is the Fosi worth a shot? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,