FX Audio DR07 Review

FX Audio DR07 review featured

In today’s review, I’m checking out the FX Audio DR07 DAC and headphone amplifier. The DR07 hosts dual AK4493 DAC chips, LDAC/aptX HD and an XMOS XU316 USB processor. It’s priced at $169.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by FX Audio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product.

FX Audio DR07 Review
Verdict
The FX Audio DR07 is affordable, transparent and has a robust headphone output section.
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Pros
Great detail retrieval and strong imaging
Neutral and transparent sound signature
LDAC and aptX Bluetooth support
MQA support
Versatile with multiple input and output options
Remote control
Cons
No balanced outputs
The display is quite small
4.2
Our Score
WHERE TO BUY

FX Audio DR07

FX Audio DR07 design

Design & Features

The FX Audio DR07 is a USB DAC/amplifier with an impressive feature set. With dual AK4493 DAC chips and an XMOS XU316 processor, it can support up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and native DSD512. There’s also MQA support for Tidal and Qobuz users. In addition, it has a Qualcomm QCC5125 Bluetooth chipset with support for LDAC and aptX HD.

On the front panel (from left to right) is a power and input select button, an OLED display, 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone outputs and a volume knob/multi-function button. The rear I/O panel hosts a Bluetooth antenna, USB, optical and coaxial inputs, optical and RCA outputs, and a DC 12V power input.

DR07 has a powerful headphone amp section, pushing up to 1100mW of output power. That’s enough to push just about any headphones you can plug into it. There are two gain modes, making it versatile enough for both sensitive IEMs and power-hungry headphones.

DR07 rear I/O panel

Sound

I tested the FX Audio DR07 with multiple IEMs and headphones, including the Letshuoer S12, Kefine Delci and Sennheiser HD650. I was pleased to not hear any audible background noise, even with sensitive IEMs (on low gain). Moreover, there was enough power to drive the HD650 with loads of headroom.

When it comes to sound signature, the DR07 is neutral and transparent. In fact, it’s so transparent, that one could almost call it clinical if not for its excellent bass extension and depth. That makes it perfect for warmer headphones like the Sennheiser HD650 but it’s also thrilling with brighter transducers like the Letshuoer S12.

I hear a lot of details and an uncluttered, clean presentation. The stereo imaging and placement are precise. There’s good layering and well-defined edges with notes coming from a black background.

FX Audio DR07 rear panel angle

The soundstage is fairly wide, creating a clear and spacious sound. Instrument separation is excellent, facilitating high resolution and good detail retrieval. DR07 offers a natural and lifelike reproduction of vocals and instruments. The midrange is rich and full-bodied, so vocals sound intimate and engaging without becoming too forward or recessed.

High frequencies are delivered with clarity and finesse, avoiding any harshness or sibilance, even with brighter headphones. The treble extension is impressive, providing a sense of air and openness that complements the wide soundstage.

FX Audio DR07 DAC/Headphone amp

Comparison

iFi Audio ZEN Air DAC ($99)

The ZEN Air DAC (review here) comes in a smaller polycarbonate shell compared to the DR07’s aluminium chassis. It has no display but it boasts iFi’s Power Match and Xbass features.

It only has 230mW output power compared to 1100mW on the FX Audio so it’s better suited for IEMs and low-impedance/high-sensitivity headphones.

The Burr-Brown DAC chip has a more relaxed tone than the DR07’s dual AK4493s. It’s similarly resolving but not as detailed or etched as the dual AK DACs. I find the ZEN Air DAC to be a tad more relaxed in its presentation whereas the DR07 is precise and transparent.

DR07 with remote

Verdict

The FX Audio DR07 is a great DAC/headphone amp for people on a budget. It has a clean, neutral sound signature, a host of input and output options, a powerful headphone output section and Hi-Res Bluetooth audio. The sole notable drawback is the absence of a balanced headphone output, but if you only use 3.5mm or 6.35mm cables it’s neither here nor there.

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