FiiO K19 Desktop DAC/Amp Review

k19 Review

FiiO is a budget friendly brand that’s been putting out some of the best products in the field when looking at price to quality. Their players and DACs are some of the most versatile on the market. However, FiiO’s new flagship desktop DAC moves away from budget friendly options with the new K19 amp. Priced at $1349.99, the successor to the K9 Pro is one of the highest priced SKUs in the FiiO lineup. At this asking price, FiiO’s new DAC has to compete with heavy hitting DAC/amps like the Questyle CMA 12 Master and the TEAC UD-505-X. Is the FiiO K19 a new must have piece of equipment, or is this a miscalculation of what FiiO does best. Let’s find out in the FiiO K19 review.

What’s in the Box? – FiiO K19 Review

  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • AC Power Cord
  • Type-C to USB-A Adapter
  • 6.35mm Adapter
  • Stand (Color matching with main unit)
  • Vertical Headphone Stand Support (Color matching with main unit)
  • Screwdriver
  • Metal XLR4 Dust Cover (Pre-installed)
  • Feet Stands
  • Screws
  • USB2.0 Data Cable
  • Dual Type-C Data Cable
  • 3.5mm Audio Cable
  • Infared Remote ControlĀ 


I usually don’t write anything about what’s in the box, but FiiO has absolutely packed this DAC with goodies. There’s everything you need to set up the amp right out of the box. I’d still invest in high quality cables to get the most out of this amp, but there’s a lot in the box to get excited about.


FiiO’s experience in designing portable amps definitely comes out in the build quality of the K19. The “ultra-thin die-cast unibody shock-proof construction” is certainly a mouthful, but feels durable and capable of being transported. The CNC-milled aluminum alloy keeps the unit lightweight. The knobs feel very high quality and function sensitively in conjunction with a full color display.

The only note that I had was the DAC started heating up after 2 hours of powering Final D8000. I had it sitting horizontally, and would suggest using the stand with this amp. My only criticism would be that the screen display looks to be the same as the Q series portable players. At this price, I would have wanted an LCD display. If I was using this amp at home, utilizing the software would be a must for me. Regardless, FiiO has created a durable feeling amp that still stays light. The components feel great and I didn’t notice any defects.


The K19 decodes up to 768kHz/32bit, Native DSD up to DSD512, and up to 192kHz/24bit with DSD64 on bluetooth. Bluetooth on here supports SBC, AAC, aptX/aptX LL, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, and LDAC. It’s got 4 analog outputs along with COAXIAL and optical digital outputs. A quad-core FPGA signal processing clock distribution feeds into 2 separate DACs for each side of the stereo signal. The result is crystal clear audio with ample headroom. Separated and shielded analog and digital circuit boards live on opposite sides of the amps construction. This in conjunction with a ground lift switch means that unwanted signal interference isn’t a problem with the amp. The signal sounds pure, clean, and transparent.


What’s most impressive about this DAC/Amp was in it’s soundstage. Sounds were separated in the stereo image with great clarity. It was simple identifying the placement of different textures in the music, and there’s a beautiful timbre to sounds placed right down the middle of the stereo image. When testing the K19 with the Dan Clark E3, I was left speechless at how dramatic time-based effect sounded. When listening to Billie Eilish’s “CHIHIRO”, the trailing reverb remained dynamic without any opacity. Listening to “The Wait” by Killing Joke had a gorgeous “ping-ponging” effect. Jaz Coleman’s vocals are put through saturation and into a flanger, which beautifully swirls from ear-to-ear. Sounds have a stage like width and an above average verticality. This unit absolutely has a studio-quality soundstage that will be suitable for both professionals and discerning audiophiles.

Listening Impressions – FiiO K19 Review

Before discussing my impressions of the frequencies in the K19, I wanted to use this opportunity to mention the companion 31-band lossless EQ. The dual-engine limiter includes automated dynamic-range compression and enhancement. I barely scratched the surface of where I could take the EQ, opting only for the presets. +12dB~-24dB settings with an adjustable Q value of .4dB~128dB mean that discerning audiophiles will be able to get this amp to sound almost any way they want. Those of us who aren’t as discerning will be able to download up to 10 user created EQ settings.


Listening to the K19 with it’s stock EQ setting had a beautifully neutral transparency. Although the response of this amp was pretty flat, my mind’s eye saw peaks in the lows and highs of the amp. A plethora of headroom made me only get up to 50% voltage, but the “hip-hop” EQ setting gave me some thudding lows as I turned the gain up on the volume dial. An even boost of sub-bass and high bass frequencies gave this amp booming lows when I wanted them, but easily dialed back to having a warm round tone. Tracks like “Predominance” by Godflesh boomed with ferocity as if I was standing in front of a large PA system. Even neutral headphones like the Audeze LCD-5 were able to were driven hard enough to thud in the same way bassier headphones could.


I got great separation and clarity from voices in the middle of the frequency spectrum. The mids are crystal clear in the mix, despite them being set behind the lows and highs of the K19s timbre. I got a good sense of how dynamic these sounds could be, as the ample headroom gave densely packed mid information a place to breath in the mix. The transparent quality of this DAC/Amp gave even the most saturated fizzy guitar sounds immense clarity. At the same time, I didn’t feel at a loss for warmth in the midrange. Songs had both definition and body.

My favorite test for an amps mid capabilities is listening to raw black metal which sounds like it was recorded on a potato. If an amp can make poorly recorded guitars, bass, and drums sound clear, they can pretty much make anything sound fantastic. “Kathaarian Life Code” by Darkthrone was able to have definition and sonic compartmentalization in the guitars and snare. I listened to this song on the Final D8000 Pro, which has my favorite mid-range response of any headphone. The amps ultra-low harmonic distortion allowed me to listen to picking patterns that are generally indiscernible in this type of music. I typically only notice this when listening to ultra high-end devices. This amp’s character in the midrange seems to enhance almost any track I played.


This amp’s definition and brilliance are undoubtedly something to be excited about. I would say that at the stock EQ setting, there’s a brighter than neutral quality which subtly cleans up a lot of muddiness. The wide soundstage doesn’t impact how sharp sounds feel, but it does this in a natural way which made listening enjoyable. I easily get fatigued by highs in music, and I’m not a huge fan of overloaded treble on equipment.

There’s just enough definition with sounds that they have character. The highs aren’t being boosted so hard that they sound brittle, but I did not enjoy the “Pop” EQ setting which took out a lot of the lows and mids in order to place the highs further up in the mix. Users who enjoy treble will have a blast with this preset, but it was not for me. Nevertheless, the clarity of the amp undoubtedly is effected by how beautifully the treble was tuned.

Summary – FiiO K19 Review

FiiO has created a product that doesn’t let critics get offended by much. An improved display and better cooling system would make this amp absolutely unstoppable in the market. Nevertheless, a sophisticated lossless eq, palpable soundstage, and impressively clear make this amp a great value for the money. Super high quality components and build mean that like many other FiiO products, you’ll be getting a lot more than what you paid for. Multiple outputs make this system great for home and studio use. For these reasons, I’m awarding the FiiO K19 the Major HiFi Silver award.

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