The Chinese company FiiO has announced a new flagship desktop DAC with headphone amplifier – FiiO K9Pro. The novelty is based on the AKM AK4499 chipset, but the shortage of components after a fire at the Japanese plant Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation may become a problem: less than 1,000 units will be produced in the first batch of devices based on AKM chips. According to Asahi Kasei Microdevices, chip production and supply will only resume by May 2022.
In the already announced portable player FiiO M11Plus, the AK4497 DAC is planned to be replaced with the ESS model. It is not yet clear how this problem will be solved in FiiO K9Pro, but in their topic on Head-Fi, representatives of the brand announced that a version on two ESS chips will be released in August (and it will cost less). At the moment, the new product announced bitrates PCM 32 bit / 768 kHz and DSD – up to DSD512.
USB and S/PDIF – are supplemented with analog inputs, so that it can also work as a preamplifier. The onboard Bluetooth module supports SBC as well as aptX, aptX Adaptive, aptX HD and LDAC codecs. So the device is ready to receive a digital signal with a resolution of up to 24 bit / 96 kHz “over the air”.
At the output of the FiiO K9Pro, there are THXAAA-788PRO amplifiers from THX Ltd – similar ones have already been used by the company, for example, in the FiiO M11 Pro model. As a result, the result is said to be 1.08 watts per channel, even for high impedance 300 ohm headphones on balanced output.
Headphones to FiiO K9Pro can be connected either with the usual 6.3mm jack, or through a balanced 4-pin XLR or 4.4 mm jack. The regulated line out is also available in balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA versions.
FiiO K9Pro has a robust black aluminum case measuring 200x200x72mm with a built-in power supply. The price and delivery time for the new items have not yet been announced. FiiO plans to present most of its products at a special event in April, and they should not go on sale until May.