With the rate at which FiiO develops and refines its products ever increasing, you would be forgiven in expecting certain product lines to fall through the cracks and end up retired early, often in the face of public disappointment. There will always be those who prefer older models to new, especially when you have such a devoted fan base as FiiO. The X3, the E11 and E5 all have champions in their corner, fighting to prove that they hold superiority over their usurpers. It’s likely that the E06, by far the best seller of any FiiO product, will gain champions of its own now it is to be phased out by the upcoming A1. Yet by far the most popular of all the myriad products FiiO has discontinued, according to the utterly unscientific method of counting the amount of queries we here at the AV Shop have had, is the E07K.
This multi-purpose headphone amp/USB DAC saw the end of its production run in 2015 after 3 years of service. The E07K itself was originally commissioned to replace the E07 as FiiO’s sub-£100 DAC, a quite daunting task as the E07 was one of the units that took FiiO from Chinese curiosity to cult icon. Indeed, the original E07 arguably set the blueprint for FiiO’s constant desire to provide phenomenal products at an incredibly competitive price, something the E07K would have to build on. Luckily for FiiO, fully upgrading the product whilst keeping an identical price point was a winning formula among fans and new consumers alike. Unfortunately it is unlikely that such an easy transition will happen from the E07K to its successor, the Q1, as FiiO have gone for a complete overhaul both inside and out. Gone is the handy OLED display to show you the input and gone too is the famous dual headphone output. Of course, the additions to the Q1 (dedicated line-out port, longer lasting battery etc.) still represent a full overhaul of the unit; but with a completely new build and functionality it becomes clear why there are those who still prefer to the E07K.
The simplest yet useful function the E07K has over the Q1 are those two 3.5mm headphone outputs. We received many question relating to whether the Q1 would have them and you can understand why. Say you are a big audiophile and you have a friend or a partner that you want to share your passion with; simply plug the E07K into a source, connect two pairs of headphones and begin the journey together! I personally am also a big fan of the customisation options found beneath the OLED display. The EQ tweaks that could be made via the digital Treble and Bass sliders always gave the E07K that little bit of extra personality when compared to its competitors, something that is lost with the Q1. Finally, the fact that the E07 could be inserted into the E09K desktop amplifier to increase the functionality was simply inspired. Granted, the Q1 will likely be able to have some connection with the upcoming K5 though unless FiiO updates which units are dockable, this will be via USB cable.
A time will come when the technical advancements of FiiO will surpass even the Q1 and when that day arrives I will write a glowing memorandum. But while the new kid is finding its feet maybe it would be worth checking out the older sibling that is still loved by many. There are few outlets where you can still buy new unboxed E07Ks but luckily the AV Shop is proud to be one of them. Get yours today by clicking here.