FiiO R9
FiiO R9
FiiO R9

FiiO R9: Android-based streaming DAC and headphone amplifier

After months of showing off at headphone shows, FiiO this week officially announced the R9 Android-based streaming DAC and headphone amplifier. The R9 takes the R7’s vertical form factor and takes it to a higher level with a glossy “all liquid metal bicolor” design, enveloping RGB lighting and a 6″ 1080p touch panel. FiiO told me via email this morning that the R9 will initially ship with Android 10, but will be upgradable to Android 12 in Q1 2024.

FiiO R9

The R9 received a Qualcomm chip, which adds aptX, aptX Adaptive and aptX HD codecs to the set; and a dedicated XMOS USB chip eliminates lipsync latency that plagued SOC-based USB data processing in the R7.

In terms of digital-to-analogue conversion, FiiO has improved the R9’s performance by installing a pair of ESS 9030PRO chips, which replace the ES9068AS used in the R7. The headphone amplifier is still built on the THX788+ chipset, but its eight active channels more than double the power. Yes, the R9 will output 7W if your headphones require it.

The analog outputs on the rear panel of the R9 remain unchanged from the R7. We still get 2 x RCA and 2 x XLR. But HDMI ARC has been added to the USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs for a more convenient TV connection. (No word on HDMI output, but I believe it could output the R9’s display to a TV.)

And finally, the price. The R7 will continue to retail for $699 and the R9 for $1,499.

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COMPARISON OF CHARACTERISTICS OF FiiO R9 AND FiiO R7

FiiO R7 FiiO R9
SOC Qualcomm 660 Qualcomm 660
Display 4.97″, 720 x 1280px 6″, 1080 x 2160px
RAM + ROM 4GB + 64GB 4GB + 64GB
Bluetooth SOC Qualcomm QCC5125
Bluetooth codecs SBC/AAC/LDAC SBC/AAC/LDAC/aptX/aptX adaptive/aptx HD
Independent USB SOC XMOS XU316
DAC ESS ES9068AS × 2 ESS ES9038PRO × 2
Headphone Amplifier 4 channels THX788+ 8 channels THX788+
3000mW 7300mW
Digital inputs USB/BT/coaxial/optical USB/BT/coaxial/optical/HDMI IN/HDMI ARC
Headphone outputs (PO) XLR/6.35mm/4.4mm XLR/6.35mm/4.4mm
Line Out (LO) RCA×2, XLR RCA×2,XLR
Digital outputs USB/coaxial/TOSLINK USB/coaxial/TOSLINK
Other exits R9 HDMI output
External HDMI bypass
Nutrition AC or DC12V IN AC or DC15V IN
Others LED light in knob LED light in knob + LED light around the body
Accessories Power cord Power cord
USB data cable USB data cable
Flat base Flat base
Angled base Angled base
Micro SD card holder Micro SD card holder
6.35mm adapter 6.35mm adapter
Bluetooth remote control
Weight 1282 g 2271 g
Dimensions 160 x 110 x 134 mm 160 x 115 x 127 mm
Color Black and white two colors Two-tone liquid metal body
RRC 699.99 USD 1499.99 USD