Up Close and Personal with FIIO: K19 DAC and Headphone Amplifier

    FIIO, a leading manufacturer of personal audio products, has announced the FIIO K19, a studio-grade flagship Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier. Pronounced as “K-1-9”, it is the second-generation K9 series where the first number denotes the generation.

    Recently the product was launched at the Singapore CanJam held at Pan Pacific Singapore.

    FIIO Lead Engineer (Moses Ren)

    We met Moses Ren, FIIO Lead Engineer for K19, at the CanJam Singapore 2024 and he went through the journey of developing the product. “The K19 took 14 months from concept to production,” he shared. “We took in feedback from consumers all over the world to come up with this new flagship model.”

    He highlighted that the star feature of the FIIO K19 is the 31-band PEQ made possible with the ADI ADSP-21565 DSP chip featuring a high clock frequency of 800MHz and capable of 64-bit double precision floating point calculations. The PEQ settings can also be imported and exported, allowing sharing among the user community.

    Besides the usual coaxial, optical, balanced XLR connectors, the K19 also supports HDMI IN and HDMI OUT/ARC, allowing homeowners to upgrade their home theatre audio experience. Just like R7 and R9, the K19 supports both AC and DC dual power supply.

    The FIIO K19 design and specs are the result of constant feedback received from customers, something that FIIO takes pride in. Moses elaborated that the K19 offers great versatility for the owner to position the unit either horizontally or vertically. The design team also created various prototypes, including a clear panel cover.

    However, it failed the strength test, so the final design is a honeycomb mesh that can prevent the body from getting bent from handling pressure. The retail package also includes a headphone stand support and a vertical stand with matching colour to the finishing as well as padding stickers for horizontal placement.

    Heat is one of the major challenges that FIIO wants to address in the latest DAP. Even when the amplifier performance is three times higher than the K9 Pro, the heat generated is reduced by 30 per cent, illustrating the improved efficiency in the circuitry.

    Putting together all the best designs and features in one product has not been easy, Moses added. Due to the demanding design elements, the manufacturing plant had difficulty achieving consistent quality, so the team had to spend time at the factory to ensure the quality was not compromised. FIIO’s pursuit of excellence also meant that they would always release the products in China to make sure there were no major issues before launching overseas.

    FIIO has been expanding its product range in recent years in a bid to build a comprehensive audio ecosystem where consumers can buy all audio-related products, from DAP and headphones to speakers and even keyboards, to address user needs. The retro fever also caught up with them as they released a portable cassette player, CP13. They are constantly listening to customers to look for improvements to their next product.

    Pricing and Availability
    The FIIO K19 is expected to retail in Singapore for S$2,099. It will be available for order from AV One and comes with 1-year local warranty.

    Key Features of the FIIO K19
    ● 2x 8-channel ESS9039SPRO DAC chip
    ● 8-channel THX AAA 788+ Amplifier
    ● 31-band high-precision lossless PEQ
    ● 8000mW + 8000mW powerful output
    ● Improved heat dissipation by 30% compared to K9 Pro
    ● Separated and shielded analogue and digital audio circuit boards