Great Audiophile Gift Ideas For The
2020 Holiday Season
FiiO M3K Portable Hi-Res Audio Player
Being an old timer in battery powered portable audio, including everything from a brand new 1970 Panasonic transistor radio to the world's first portable CD player (Sony D5 in 1985) and toyed with Diamond Rio mp3 player (1999), I am truly impressed at these two under $100 offerings. While there's bragging rights with the latest and greatest (and overly heavy imho) 'reference devices' that are big, overly bulky, and frankly hard to justify at lofty $3000(!) pricing for some, FiiO's M3K portable Hi-Res Audio music player and BTR3K Bluetooth amplifier at $69.99 each give you two ways to enhance your enjoyment of music at very reasonable pricing. The M3K is a stand-alone music player with color screen and touchpad while the BTR3 is a wireless Bluetooth amplifier. Both units take advantage of the same Hi-Res Audio / H-Res Music capable modern DAC and amplification circuit, which FiiO chose after many hours of careful listening.
Both units are eye-catching, with the Bluetooth BTR3K's aluminum alloy body wrapped in 2.5D glass with oleophobic coating that (hopes) to keep off fingerprints. Does FiiO know I slow smoke ribs while enjoying music, and thus fingerprints are more like 'Pitmaster' prints... and nothing can keep those from showing (LOL). Fortunately, both units can handle it (and subsequent cleaning). The usual array of buttons and operations are available for Bluetooth with the BTR3K including a mic for hands-free phone operation and volume adjustment. To further ensure crystal clear sound during phone calls, Qualcomm's cVc noise cancellation technology automatically adjusts the microphone and actively suppresses background noise.
The newer BTR3's K version features a CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0 receiver designed to deliver near studio-quality sound through your ears. For greater power independence, dual AK4377A DAC chips provide detailed resolution, plus the FiiO BTR3K features both balanced 2.5mm and normal stereo 3.5mm outputs. It can be remotely controlled via FiiO's Music app to swtich channel balance, eight different DAC lowpass filter, and 10-band EQ. The new Type-C connector with USB DAC functionality operates for over 11 hour of continuous playback on battery.
All the latest and greatest digital audio file types are supported with both units, with the M3K playing them natively (FLAC, DSD, MP3, etc) and the BTR3 doing what it needs to do Bluetooth-wise depending on your devices capabilities and connection speed. Fortunately, Samsung has always provided a great set of technologies within their phones including Hi-Res Audio support many years ago. For those curious, am using the Samsung SM-G950U, better known as the Galaxy S8, with the BTR3K. Thus some of the best in Bluetooth codecs are available including Hi-Res Audio LDAC.
So how about some upgrades to your current setup? Perhaps move away from those old and overly bulky / heavy portable audio gear to the latest and greatest? Maybe you truly want to be on-the-go whilst doing extreme sports? Without a doubt either one, or dare I say both, of these FiiO devices could easily work seamlessly within your lifestyle. Am overjoyed to hear great sound for the everyday person's budget. Gone are the days of needing hundreds of dollars and big, bulky setups to hear impressive sound quality as you move through your daily life. Of course FiiO does offer higher priced units with more features, higher amplifier power output, etc. Have no doubt the BTR3K and M3K will be big sellers. Considering the sound offered at this price point, Apple iPhone users will be wanting to get in on the BTR3 action since they desperately need a quality setup to hear music authentically as the artist intended.
I highly recommended FiiO's BTR3K Bluetooth unit with mic and M3K Hi-Res Audio portable music player for those seeking great sound for well under $100. Just buy it and try it! Am sure you'll come away very impressed for the price plus they both make great holiday gifts too! You can buy from Amazon the FiiO M3K Hi-Res music player at this link, and the FiiO BTR3K at this link.
Recommended by Enjoy the Music.com's Steven R. Rochlin.