FiiO R7 Review

FiiO R7 Review

25 May 2023 0 By Petros Laskis

The the review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t receive monetary or any compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The price of the FiiO R7 is $699.99 and you can order it from


FiiO R7

What exactly is the FiiO R7? The FiiO R7 is a compact sized desktop Hi-Fi system, a fusion between a player, a DAC, a streamer and a headphone amplifier, with a 5-inch screen that makes navigation very easy. It is essentially a blend of a Digital Audio Player (DAP) in the form factor of a regular DAC/amp. You can have the FiiO R7 placed at your desk or a small side table and enjoy your music with headphones or speakers without the need for additional equipment or cables cluttering your workspace.

FiiO R7

FiiO R7

FiiO R7 internals

The digital/analog conversion stage is equipped with a single piece of the ESS ES9068AS DAC chip.
This one, in addition to ensuring a decoding of a great quality, allows the support of high resolution audio streams, up to PCM 32bit/768kHz, DSD256, MQA and is also roon ready.
The FiiO R7 features a specially designed high-power desktop-grade THX amplification circuit with dual THX AAA 788+ headphone chips on the amplification circuit.
It produces a high-power output delivering up to 3000mW of clean power with five-level gain modes to ensure good pairing with both sensitive IEMs as well as high-power requiring headphones.
A 4th generation FPGA with phase-locked loop clock technology and two femto crystal oscillators are used for vanishing jitter while premium, audio grade, components are used inside the board.

DC/AC dual power supply design

Inside the R7 is a 30W switching power supply.
The AC input circuit employs filtering and purification with a large capacity choke and dedicated high-voltage capacitors.
The DC input circuit is of a ±12V high-voltage power supply design. Both power circuits contribute to the robustness of the power supply system, to better give that dynamic sound to your music.
The R7 can also be used with external DC power supplies, such as the FiiO PL50 linear power supply or other 12V-3A power supplies for a better audio performance.

You can read more about the FiiO R7 here

Design and build quality

The FiiO R7 has a rectangular, almost square, shaped body with the shorter surface sitting at the desk and the longer one featuring the portrait oriented display.
The package includes two non-slip basses, one flat and another slightly angled, which I found the most ergonomic, for positioning the R7 onto them and you can even use the included double sided adhesives to secure the contact.
The chassis is very compact, measuring 110x160x134mm, and it doesn’t occupy too much space.
You can fit it almost everywhere, from your desk to a small table near a bed or your armchair.
The appearance resembles that of a desktop active monitor like the upcoming SP3 that FiiO has under development and from the photos it looks like that the R7 is going to be the perfect visual match.
The chassis is made from solid aluminum with an excellent build quality and a smooth black or white finish, featuring side honeycomb vents serving both as heat dissipators and giving the R7 a futuristic touch that shares the same design language with FiiO DAPs.

FiiO R7 with FiiO PL50

FiiO R7 with FiiO PL50


Inside the box you are going to find a power cord, a USB data cable, a flat base, an angled base, the quick start guide, two dust proof plugs, four double-sided tapes for attaching the FiiO R7 to the base, a MicroSD card holder already installed, a spare fuse and a 6.35mm adapter.



The FiiO R7 features numerous connectivity options without anything really missing:

At the front you have the three headphone outputs, one 6.35mm single ended, a 4-pin XLR and a 4.4mm balanced ones.
The unit comes with two rubber covers for concealing the XLR only or all three headphone outputs when not in use.

At the top right side of the front face there is the multifunction knob for volume adjustment, menu navigation and powering the unit.
Underneath there is a knob for selecting the desired output mode:
PO is for the headphone only outputs, LO only the rear audio outputs are active and fixed at full scale, PRE OUT only the rear audio outputs are active but this time with an adjustable volume and PO+PRE OUT both headphone and rear audio outputs are active.
Both knobs are surrounded by circular, multicolor, RGB lights that will change color according to the input sampling rate and can be further customized through the menu.

At the rear there are:

A micro SD card slot which supports up to 2TB of capacity and hot swapping without the need to power off the R7.
A type – C USB port which supports data transfer, DP output mode, USB DAC and USB host related functions.
A USB host interface that supports external USB devices such as external decoders (USB transport mode), hard disks, keyboards etc.
One optical input and one output.
One coaxial input and one output.
A balanced XLR and two stereo RCA line outputs.
Ethernet for wired connection to the network.
WiFi and Bluetooth antennas that are inbuilt and hidden into the main body.
AC and separate DC power inputs with a selecting switch.

FiiO R7 rear

FiiO R7 rear

User interface and operating experience

The FiiO R7 can be operated and used in various modes:

Android mode: for a full android experience which bypasses internal SRC like a DAP and with full Google store support so you can download your favorite applications right from the start.
The unit is operated exactly like a DAP with the aid of the 5″ touchscreen which is very responsive and has excellent visibility with vibrant colors while you can also use the three customizable touch buttons that are located underneath the display.
You can always place the R7 in landscape position and the display will auto rotate in case that you want to watch a video.
The FiiO R7 runs a rather old Android 10 version but thanks to the use of a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, associated with 4GB of RAM it runs very smoothly without any lagging at all.

Pure music mode: where it runs the exclusive FiiO pure music application, killing all other tasks, for a purer audio experience.

USB DAC mode: for connecting any computer or phone like for example when you are gaming or watching movies on the computer and want to upgrade your audio experience.

Bluetooth receiver mode: with support for the LDAC, SBC and AAC codecs but not aptX or aptX HD.

Bluetooth transmitter mode: for connecting to a Bluetooth headset or speaker with support for the SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC and LHDC codecs.

The Bluetooth connection is stable and reliable but with so many options lying around the Bluetooth would be my last choice and I would use it only for transmitting music to a Bluetooth headset.

AirPlay receiver mode: for wirelessly connecting to iOS devices.

Roon ready mode: for roon integration

Coaxial/optical decoding mode: for receiving digital signals from external sources like a CD transport or a TV set.

Coaxial/optical and USB output mode: for using the R7 as a digital transport to an external DAC.

You can also use the USB host interface to connect external hard drives and the FiiO KB1 keypad for controlling your music playback with ease.
The FiiO R7 also supports the Display Port user interface so you can connect it to an external monitor for an enhanced visual experience.
The unit can also be operated with the aid of the FiiO RM3 Bluetooth remote control which is very handy when you are too lazy to reach for the touchscreen or when you have the R7 placed to a rack and using it as a digital transport to an external DAC.
The remote control is sold separately and while it is not very expensive it would be better if it was included in the package.

I have been using the FiiO R7 continuously for more than a month now and I have tested pretty much everything, from the SD card slot to streaming music, hooked my CD transport or used it as a digital transport to an external DAC.
I am happy to report that everything works as advertised without any software issues and I am completely satisfied with the overall user experience.

FiiO R7 with Hidizs MS5

FiiO R7 with Hidizs MS5

The remote control

The optional remote control is very useful for the lazy user who likes to control the R7 from a distance.
You can have access to all functions and it is very easy to use it despite some minor quirks.
This is a Bluetooth remote control and not infrared, pairing is very easy, the remote control will enter seek status upon inserting the batteries.
You can control almost everything, from volume to music playback, access your favorites, there is a shortcut to the home screen etc.
A very clever function is that of the mouse which displays a cursor at the FiiO R7 screen that will follow your hand movements and allows for even easier control of the R7.
Build quality of the remote control is solid and the only complaint is that it makes an annoyingly audible clicking noise every time you press a button.

FiiO R7 remote control

FiiO R7 remote control

What is missing

The FiiO R7 has pretty much everything covered and the only input really missing is a line level input for connecting an external analogue source like a phono while a 4.4mm line output would be very handy.

The R7 doesn’t support the UpnP protocol out of the box so you cannot control it with your phone through the bubble UpnP application.
This is very important when you have the R7 placed at a distance from you and using it as a streamer to an external DAC.
I hope that this is something doable that FiiO engineers can implement in a future firmware update.


Power output and noise floor

With 3650mWpc/32Ω or 39Vp-p from the balanced output the R7 can easily drive almost every headphone in existence including notoriously difficult loads like the HiFiMan Susvara and the HEDDphone.
Even the single ended output is powerful enough and with 1250mWpc/32Ω it will not have any problem with most of the headphones.
The  FiiO R7 is absolutely dead silent, especially with the FiiO PL50 linear power supply, and at the low gain setting is perfectly suitable for very sensitive earphones with zero channel imbalance.
The unit stays cool even after a few hours of use at the ultra high gain.
I have used various earphones and headphones like the FiiO FDX, Sennheiser HD8XX, Focal Clear Mg, HiFiMan Ananda Stealth and Meze Liric.
All of them with pure silver cables made by Lavricables.

FiiO R7 with Meze 109 Pro

FiiO R7 with Meze 109 Pro

Listening impressions

The FiiO R7 reminds a lot of the FiiO M11 Plus ESS but on steroids, despite using a single ES9968AS DAC chip, thanks to the upgraded amplifier modules, the beefier power supply and the high quality capacitors that are used for fine tuning the sound.
In that regard, the R7 is absolutely balanced sounding with a linear frequency response and a very natural sound signature.
The sound is crystal clear and transparent with excellent source fidelity and at the same time the FiiO R7 has a very musical and engaging character that connects the listener with the music.
You wouldn’t call it too analogue and organic sounding but still it is not artificial at all and keeps digital glare under control if not completely absent.
The FiiO R7 offers a more relaxed and smooth presentation than the FiiO K9 PRO, it might not be as analytical and resolving as the FiiO flagship, not that ultimately transparent and refined but it manages to sound a little more fun and, dare say, engaging.
What is very likable about the R7 is it’s timbre realism, the tonal harmony and the frequency coherency, the sound is very harmonious and colorful, rich, lush and quite full bodied, especially in the lows and the mids while it sounds a little drier and leaner in the treble.
The R7 is very musical and enjoyable with all kinds of music and proved a great match with every headphone I have used, it’s really difficult to find anything to blame regarding the sound quality of the R7.
I have listened to a lot of classical music, like the following superb interpretation of Mozart’s 24th piano concerto, and I honestly think that the R7 offers a listening experience that is extremely satisfying and it greatly surpassed any of my primary expectations.


In the technical department, it might not be to the level of the FiiO K9 PRO ESS as it can’t match the sheer dynamics, impact and definition of it’s bigger brother but it is eerily close and really not lacking that much.
The bass extends really low, it is tight, controlled and clearly defined with very good layering and contrasted impact.
The FiiO R7 is fast and dynamic with great transparency in the mid range, it is articulated, resolving and detailed with plenty of clarity and luminosity in the treble without any associated brightness and sharpness, you can use your already bright headphones without the fear of crossing the harshness line.
The single ended output is very good but switching to the balanced you are rewarded with an expansive and holographic soundstage that draws a solid center image with deep layering and precise imaging while the R7 is very communicative especially when listening to live recordings.

In the end

The FiiO R7 is not something really new, there are already a handful of similar products, but it is so well designed and implemented that it condemns all competition to obscurity.
FiiO has made the perfect all-in-one desktop device that embodies a streamer, a DAC, a headphone amplifier and an Android DAP under the same, very compact, chassis that can fit virtually everywhere.
The FiiO R7 is the audiophile’s dream, a swiss army knife that can successfully fulfill various needs, from forming the heart of a desktop audio setup to being your bedside companion and all these with great sound quality too.
The FiiO R7 is the most innovative and intriguing product FiiO has ever designed, it points the way to the future and makes us wonder about the already announced FiiO R9.
Well done FiiO.

Test playlist

Copyright – Petros Laskis 2023.

Pros: + Natural, balanced and musical sounding
+ Dynamic and impactful
+ Great timbre realism and minimum digital glare
+ Crystal clear and transparent
+ All-in-one device with numerous features and I/O options
+ Extremely versatile when it comes to connectivity and use scenarios
+ Very powerful headphone amplifier and dead silent at the same time
+ Multiple gain settings for excellent headphone matching
+ Snappy and lag free performance
+ Wired and wireless connectivity
+ Responsive and vibrant touchscreen
+ Compact sized and premium looking
+ Plenty of really useful accessories
+ Can be remotely controlled
+ Outstanding price-to-performance ratio

Cons: – Remote control is optional and not included in the package
– An analogue line input is missing
– A 4.4mm line output would be handy
– Outdated Android 10 version
– No system wide equalizer