The FiiO A3 is a portable amp at an affordable $59. But among it’s FiiO brethren and the wider array of amplifiers at large, how does it perform?
FiiO A3 Amplifier Review
The FiiO A3 comes with a small neoprene pouch, a usb charging cable, a small 3.5mm male to male stereo cable, two semi-opaque white rubber buffers, and two thick rubber bands – for holding the amp to another device.
With its small, slim build, the A3 is compact and portable – helped along in this by its light weight. It’ll easily fit in your pocket, or rest comfortable against the back of your phone or portable player.
The player features 16 hours of run time, in an aluminum-alloy housing. The dimensions of the unit measure 3.59” long x 2.20” wide x 0.51″ deep (or 91.2 mm x 56.0 mm x 13.0 mm).
During my test period, I paired it with my FiiO X5 II player to phenomenal results. First I tried it with the Jays Q-Jays 2nd Generation – a 50-ohm earphone that sounded even better thanks to the amp. After that, I used the amp with the Shure SRH840. While both were helped along by the added power, this amp was able to drag both headphones’ strengths and weaknesses to the fore, to the obvious benefit of Shure.
One one end of the player, there’s a volume control dial and two switches – one for a bass-boost function, and another for changing between high and low gain. Once the bass is turned on, the resulting sound is phenomenal. While something of a closet basshead, even I have to acknowledge, openly in this review, that the bass boost function is a wonderful addition.
On the reverse end of the player, you’ll find a micro-usb jack, as well as two 3.5mm jacks – one for your supplied stereo cable and one for your headphones.
Given the low price, it’s obviously a budget-conscious option within the FiiO lineup. But compared to other options, it may still offer a competitive edge that puts it above and beyond the competition.
The sound is clean, the noise floor low. There’s nothing added or out of place as the music pumps through this bad boy.
Got $60? Need an amplifier? Then the FiiO A3 is a done deal. The only way I wouldn’t recommend this amp is if you have headphones with an impedance greater than 150 ohms, and if that’s the case, I’m still going to say “stick with FiiO” – just try the FiiO E12 amp instead. While featuring the same boons as the smaller A3, it will give you more power and more battery life.