FiiO KA17 High End Dongle Amplifier with Dual ES9069 DACs

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FiiO KA17 High End Dongle Amplifier with Dual ES9069 DACs

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Key info

  • Special desktop mode with up to 650mW+650mW output for robust power in a compact design.
  • Dual flagship ES9069Q DACs with 32-bit HyperStream architecture for outstanding performance, achieving a 130dB dynamic range and -120dB THD+N.
  • First USB dongle with the THX AAA 78+ headphone amp circuit, offering up to 650mW+650mW power output in balanced mode for detailed and realistic sound.
  • Adapts mid-to-high-end digital audio player audio circuit designs for precise handling of digital audio signals, ensuring detailed and dynamic music reproduction.
  • Digital and analog portions on separate boards with shielding covers, preventing interference and ensuring accurate processing of audio signals.

All specifications

Physical characteristics
Weight About 33.5 g
Dimensions (HxWxD) About 64.0 × 27.7 × 12.7 mm
Specifications
DAC Chip ES9069Q*2
Output power Output power 1: L+R≥270mW+270mW (320/THD+N < 1%/single-ended/ desktop mode) Output power 2: L+R≥650mW+650mW (320/THD+N < 1% /balanced/desktop mode) Output power 3: L+R2140mW+ 140mW (320/THD+N < 1%/ single-ended/non-desktop mode) Output power 4: L+ R2300mW+ 300mW(320/THD+N < 1%/ balanced/ non-desktop mode) Output power 5: L+R≥30mW+30mW (3009/THD+N < 1%/ single-ended /desktop mode) Output power 6: L+R≥90mW+90mW (3000/THD+N < 1%/ balanced/desktop mode)
THD+N < 0.0004% (1 kHz/32Ω)
Supported Formats Asynchronous 768kHz/32bit, DSD512, MQA full decoding
SNR ≥126dB (A-weighted)
Display 0.91-inch dot matrix display
Inputs/Outputs
Headphone output power Single-ended 3.5mm+ balanced 4.4mm
Included accessories
What's in the box FiiO KA17 High-End Dongle Amplifier, Leatherette case, Dual Type-C to OTG short data cable, USB Type A-C adapter, USB dustproof plug covers, Quick start guide

Strong desktop mode 650mW+650mW | Dual ES9069Q DACs Ten-level highly precise PEQ | 16 core XMOS XU316 Multistage balanced THX AAA 78+ headphone amp Multistage HiFi audio circuit | 3-stage 10-rail power supply design Anti-crosstalk separate digital and analog boards Intuitive dot-matrix display control | Independent Type-C power supply

Desktop mode brings robust power

The desktop mode has been continually refined with the release of various products, such as the portable yet desktop-grade M17, Q7, M15S, Q15 and KA13. And now the perfected desktop mode has found its way to the KA17.

The FIIO KA17 features a special desktop mode, activated using the dedicated D.Mode switch. Enable the desktop mode, and the KA17 will automatically adjust the DAC, amplifier power supply, and amplifier power output to fully unleash their potential with greater power output.

The KA17 is equipped with an innovative Desktop Mode and features an external dedicated Type-C power port. When there is sufficient USB power, or the independent power port is connected to a power adapter, the Desktop Mode will be enabled, and it will automatically adjust the DAC, amp power, and headphone amplifier to a high-performance state, fully unleashing the potential and output power of the device.

As a flagship model, the KA17 is FIIO’s first USB dongle to incorporate the THX headphone amp circuit. It adopts a brand-new THX AAA 78+ headphone amplifier architecture with a configuration of 4 channels fully balanced + 8 channels parallel-connected op-amps. This architecture significantly increases the output power. In Desktop Mode, the KA17’s balanced output power can reach up to 650mW + 650mW, approaching that of a desktop amplifier, with stronger dynamics and better control, and more complete sound reproduction.

Parallel output, Big boost in power

With sufficient USB power supply input and desktop mode enabled, the KA17’s four THX headphone amps work together in parallel for greater current and overall power output. The result is up to 270mW+270mW power output for single-ended out, and up to 650mW+650mW power output for balanced out.

Dual flagship ES9069Q DACs – Two cores power four ways.

The KA17 employs two of the new ESS ES9069Q flagship DACs, powered by fourth-gen 32-bit HyperStream technology. These chips feature even higher performance, lower power consumption, and less digital noise than previous generations for an absolutely pristine and pure audio background.

Ten-level highly precise PEQ – An ace up its sleeve

The XMOS XU316 chip allowed FIIO engineers to develop a highly precise adjustable PEQ*, with 10 customizable frequency bands. FIIO’s self-developed PEQ algorithm and interface allow you to fine-tune the frequency, gain, and bandwidth of each PEQ band, letting you dial in the sound exactly the way you want it.

*PEQ adjustment is supported in formats up to PCM 192kHz/24bit.

*PEQ is currently not supported in UAC1.0 mode.

Outstanding performance – Audiophile-grade 16-core XMOS XU316

Handling USB duties in the KA17 is the 16-core XMOS XU316, rarely found in audio dongles. This chip features lower latency, more stable signal transmission, and better compatibility than typically used USB control chip. And when paired with dual crystal oscillators, the KA17 is more than capable of handling various digital audio sources with various sampling rates.

All-new THX AAA 78+ headphone amp design – Compact and elegant

The THX AAA 78 headphone amp proved itself in the mid-to-high-end M11 Pro and M11 Plus players. Now, the even newer and upgraded THX AA 78+ features in the KA17. I

nside the KA17 are THX AAA 78+ headphone amplifiers, with 8 op-amps working in parallel in a 4-channel fully balanced configuration, allowing for not only greater power output but also more detailed and realistic sound.

Comparable to DAPs – Multistage HiFi audio circuit

FIIO engineers were cleverly able to adapt the audio circuit designs of mid to high-end digital audio players to the compact KA17. With its high-precision handling of digital audio signals, thanks to the dual crystal oscillator clocks and high-performance DAC converted to analogue signals output by a robust analogue section consisting of LPF voltage amplification, BUF current expansion and headphone amps working together in parallel, you can be sure that the KA17 can reproduce the detail and dynamics in your music as well as a serious digital audio player.

Separate digital and analogue boards, Like yin and yang

The digital and analogue portions of the audio circuit lie on totally separate circuit boards in the KA17, each board equipped with a shielding cover for total isolation. This ensures that the digital and analogue portions of the audio circuit do not interfere with each other, enabling accurate processing of audio signals.

3-stage 10-rail power supply design

Inside the KA17 is a 3-stage 3-main rails power supply design. The three main stages of the power supply consist of first-stage filtering + overvoltage protection, second-stage DC-DC boost conversion, and third-stage LDO voltage stabilization. This filtering of electricity applies to each of the three main power supply rails, one each for the digital, digital-to-analogue conversion, and analogue signal parts of the audio circuit. To top it all off, the power supply circuit is divided into ten smaller rails. The power supply found in the KA17 features many of the same principles as those found in desktop headphone amplifiers, ensuring a robust foundation for the KA17’s excellent sound.

One simple screen – Intuitive dot-matrix display control

The KA17 employs a 0.91-inch dot matrix display that can indicate different functions intuitively. Also, coupling with the physical buttons easily allows you to customize various settings such as screen orientation, filters and display sleep timer.

Independent Type-C power supply

The KA17 features two USB Type-C ports. One is the typical port used to connect to other devices such as phones, tablets and computers. The orange port on the side is designed for use with an external power supply. When an external power supply is connected to this port, the KA17 can achieve higher power output and better performance without consuming the battery of your phone or other connected device.

Multiple protection systems

Built into the KA17 are temperature and DC output monitoring systems that ensure both the unit itself and connected headphones won’t be damaged under abnormal conditions. You can also set a maximum volume level to prevent accidental hearing damage to your ears from excessively loud audio.

Top configurations, worth being a flagship

The KA17 adopts two newly released ESS dual-channel flagship DACs, ES9069Q, based on the fourth-generation 32-bit HyperStream architecture. It achieves higher performance and lower power consumption while further reducing digital noise inside the DAC, achieving a remarkable 130dB dynamic range and -120dB THD+N. The performance is outstanding, and the sound background is purer.

The KA17 also features the professional-grade XMOS 16-core chip, XU316, rarely used in USB dongles. It offers lower latency, more stable transmission, better compatibility, and supports up to 768kHz/32bit, native DSD512 decoding, and MQA full decoding. Paired with dual audio crystal oscillators, it can accurately adapt to various sources and sampling rates.

Comprehensive experience, flagship style

The KA17 employs a 0.91-inch dot matrix display that can indicate different functions intuitively. Also, coupling with the physical buttons easily allows you to customize various settings such as screen orientation, filters and display sleep timer.

In addition, the KA17 is one of the few USB dongles that supports PEQ adjustment. It supports ten customizable frequency bands, allowing users to fine-tune EQ bands, gain level, and bandwidth through FIIO’s independently developed adjustment algorithm and interface, greatly enhancing playability.

The compact body houses a multistage HiFi audio architecture comparable to that of a player, with separate digital and analog boards to prevent crosstalk, a 3-stage 10-rail power supply design, and comes standard with a body-matching leatherette case. It also features built-in temperature detection and output DC detection, with 60 and 120 levels of volume adjustment, supporting SPDIF output.

Two distinct colors with a matching leather case

The KA17 is available in either black or blue*. Each version comes with a color-matched leather case that protects the device with style.

*The blue version release date will be announced later.

User reviews

1 review
  1. 5/5

    Graeme R

    Really impressive little DAC. Sounds great and plenty of power even without desktop mode active. Build is usual Fiio, impeccable throughout.

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