FiiO BTA30 Pro - Versatile and affordable multi-functional DAC

Kannan

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Dear friends,

I had posted earlier about the acquisition of Dynaudio active speakers with in-built DAC and Bluetooth.
They are nicely settling in and I hope they remain a longtime companion.
They have two analogue inputs, but undergo an ADC (Analogue to Digital conversion), so essentially, ultimately the in-built DAC of the Dynaudio is what is used for all inputs. Regarding digital, it has one toslink input (optical, restricted to 24bit/96khz) and one Bluetooth (Aptx, 16bit/44khz., at max 352kbps).

The sources I have in hand include Raspberry Pi based R2R DAC, Digione Signature (digital coax output), USBridge signature (USB output), Chromecast Audio (wifi streaming with both optical and analogue outputs) and couple other DIY transports and some Chinese boards.
Other than these I have two DIY Dacs and a Teac DAC. The final and the most simplest source is of course phone, PC or any such playback source connected via Bluetooth directly to the Dynaudio.
As, except for Chromecast Audio, none of the above sources have optical output, I had to either use a DAC in-between to connect between the source and the Dynaudio or use Raspberry pi based NAS or other network protocols to play local files from phone to the Dynaudio via Bluetooth.
My phone supports all the latest bluetooth codecs including AptxHD and LDAC, but I was restricted to Aptx owing to the limitation of the Dynaudio Bluetooth. This also restricted playback of all my local files above 96khz to down sampling.

Even as I was trying all permutations available, my hunt started for a device that supports all digital inputs and outputs and processes a full blown Bluetooth receiver.
There were quite a few Chinese variants on offer, but none were a complete package and the specifications were quite sketchy.

Some other branded options that were available included iFi Zen Blue V2, Auris BluMe pro and the FiiO BTA30 pro to name a few.
The iFi was a little most expensive than the rest, has very good reviews, but lacks USB input unlike Auris and FiiO.

The FiiO is a palm size & a unique devise, and I selected it for the following features:
1. Unlike the rest, it is a combination of DAC, Bluetooth receiver, Bluetooth transmitter and a pure digital transport.
2. Inputs: USB, Toslink, Coax and Bluetooth; Outputs: Digital: Toslink, coax and Bluetooth; Analogue Outputs: RCA pair. All highest Bluetooth codec including LDAC are supported with long range receiver and transmitter.
3. In-built zero gain ADC volume control.
4. Hi resolution playback support on USB and up to 192khz on coaxial and optical.
5. Digital conversion from input to output, meaning whatever is input on USB, Optical or Toslink is simultaneously output as Optical, Coaxial or Bluetooth (in transmitter mode).
6. Similarly, whatever Bluetooth signal is received in receiver mode, is output simultaneously as Toslink, Coax or Analogue signals.
7. It has a fully featured Android and IOS app which gives full control of the device.
8. ESS Sabre DAC, Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and Comtrue CT5302 Audio Bridge, OPA1662 OP amps.

fiio bta30 pro.jpg

At around Rs. 10,000, it is truly versatile offering all common digital inputs and outputs, hi-resolution playback, a well-implemented volume pot and top of the tier Bluetooth codec support in both receiver and transmitter mode.
Functionality
1. You can use it as a pure DAC if you have an integrated amplifier or a preamp by defeating the volume pot.

2. Use as a DAC-cum-preamp if you have a power amplifier.
3. Use directly with active speakers.
4. Purely as a digital transport with an external DAC.
5. As Bluetooth receiver with you phone, tablet, PC or any other Bluetooth playback device
6. As long-range Bluetooth transmitter with any Bluetooth-enabled headphone or earphone.


In conclusion, I can state from personal experience that it is a well-engineered and thought-out device with the end user in mind.
As DAC, Bluetooth or just digital transport, its performance is very good belies its size and price.

Questions are welcome
 
@Kannan nice review, in functionality you have mentioned "can use it as a pure DAC if you have an integrated amplifier or a preamp by defeating the volume pot". does it allow to bypass the volume control on Fiio device.
I am building a turntable centered setup, but also need a low cost option for digital files playback via laptop (foobar or something else). i have a tube pre amp with spare rca input terminals and want to feed them with bta30pro. Any suggestion.
 
@Kannan nice review, in functionality you have mentioned "can use it as a pure DAC if you have an integrated amplifier or a preamp by defeating the volume pot". does it allow to bypass the volume control on Fiio device.
I am building a turntable centered setup, but also need a low cost option for digital files playback via laptop (foobar or something else). i have a tube pre amp with spare rca input terminals and want to feed them with bta30pro. Any suggestion.
yes, the volume control of the FiiO can be defeated.

fiio control app.png

Above is the screenshot. The setting has to be done using the FIIO Control app for phones
 
Dear friends,

I had posted earlier about the acquisition of Dynaudio active speakers with in-built DAC and Bluetooth.
They are nicely settling in and I hope they remain a longtime companion.
They have two analogue inputs, but undergo an ADC (Analogue to Digital conversion), so essentially, ultimately the in-built DAC of the Dynaudio is what is used for all inputs. Regarding digital, it has one toslink input (optical, restricted to 24bit/96khz) and one Bluetooth (Aptx, 16bit/44khz., at max 352kbps).

The sources I have in hand include Raspberry Pi based R2R DAC, Digione Signature (digital coax output), USBridge signature (USB output), Chromecast Audio (wifi streaming with both optical and analogue outputs) and couple other DIY transports and some Chinese boards.
Other than these I have two DIY Dacs and a Teac DAC. The final and the most simplest source is of course phone, PC or any such playback source connected via Bluetooth directly to the Dynaudio.
As, except for Chromecast Audio, none of the above sources have optical output, I had to either use a DAC in-between to connect between the source and the Dynaudio or use Raspberry pi based NAS or other network protocols to play local files from phone to the Dynaudio via Bluetooth.
My phone supports all the latest bluetooth codecs including AptxHD and LDAC, but I was restricted to Aptx owing to the limitation of the Dynaudio Bluetooth. This also restricted playback of all my local files above 96khz to down sampling.

Even as I was trying all permutations available, my hunt started for a device that supports all digital inputs and outputs and processes a full blown Bluetooth receiver.
There were quite a few Chinese variants on offer, but none were a complete package and the specifications were quite sketchy.

Some other branded options that were available included iFi Zen Blue V2, Auris BluMe pro and the FiiO BTA30 pro to name a few.
The iFi was a little most expensive than the rest, has very good reviews, but lacks USB input unlike Auris and FiiO.

The FiiO is a palm size & a unique devise, and I selected it for the following features:
1. Unlike the rest, it is a combination of DAC, Bluetooth receiver, Bluetooth transmitter and a pure digital transport.
2. Inputs: USB, Toslink, Coax and Bluetooth; Outputs: Digital: Toslink, coax and Bluetooth; Analogue Outputs: RCA pair. All highest Bluetooth codec including LDAC are supported with long range receiver and transmitter.
3. In-built zero gain ADC volume control.
4. Hi resolution playback support on USB and up to 192khz on coaxial and optical.
5. Digital conversion from input to output, meaning whatever is input on USB, Optical or Toslink is simultaneously output as Optical, Coaxial or Bluetooth (in transmitter mode).
6. Similarly, whatever Bluetooth signal is received in receiver mode, is output simultaneously as Toslink, Coax or Analogue signals.
7. It has a fully featured Android and IOS app which gives full control of the device.
8. ESS Sabre DAC, Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and Comtrue CT5302 Audio Bridge, OPA1662 OP amps.

View attachment 73132

At around Rs. 10,000, it is truly versatile offering all common digital inputs and outputs, hi-resolution playback, a well-implemented volume pot and top of the tier Bluetooth codec support in both receiver and transmitter mode.
Functionality
1. You can use it as a pure DAC if you have an integrated amplifier or a preamp by defeating the volume pot.

2. Use as a DAC-cum-preamp if you have a power amplifier.
3. Use directly with active speakers.
4. Purely as a digital transport with an external DAC.
5. As Bluetooth receiver with you phone, tablet, PC or any other Bluetooth playback device
6. As long-range Bluetooth transmitter with any Bluetooth-enabled headphone or earphone.


In conclusion, I can state from personal experience that it is a well-engineered and thought-out device with the end user in mind.
As DAC, Bluetooth or just digital transport, its performance is very good belies its size and price.

Questions are welcome
Which is more durable Ifi zen blue V2 vs Fiio BTR30PRO ?
 
Which is more durable Ifi zen blue V2 vs Fiio BTR30PRO ?
Guess both should last long enough .Have personally seen the Fiio & it's got a robust build and feels solid. Since they don't carry heavy current like an amp, unless it's a manufacturing error. Im sure other tech savvy FMs can give you a better picture though.
 
Which is more durable Ifi zen blue V2 vs Fiio BTR30PRO ?
Not Zen but iFi Nano iDSD, it has lasted 6 years now. Only a small niggle with the L channel output now. Drops out at times to come back if I removed the RCA plug and put back. Opened it up today, soldered the terminals again. Hope it will work longer. Quite a good built. Though small PCB inside but neat and not crammed.
 
Digital products may corrupt due to software bugs. Even costliest equipment can malfunction. Other reason can be moisture issue which may cause rusted pcb or chip failure. Usually 7-10yr they may work depending on these things.
 
Which is more durable Ifi zen blue V2 vs Fiio BTR30PRO ?
how can one answer this?
If you are talking about build quality, i have not seen the zen, the FiiO is built well to its price point.
I am sure both should last for a reasonable time.
But is electronics, failure is an unpredictable thing.
Recently I purchased Hifiman headphones that stopped working within a week and I got a replacement under warranty. That does not mean that the brand manufacturing quality is bad, my friend's Hifiman man has been going strong for more than 3 years.

The best answer I can offer is to read user reviews of both products with look for specific complaints of failure rate.
 
how can one answer this?
If you are talking about build quality, i have not seen the zen, the FiiO is built well to its price point.
I am sure both should last for a reasonable time.
But is electronics, failure is an unpredictable thing.
Recently I purchased Hifiman headphones that stopped working within a week and I got a replacement under warranty. That does not mean that the brand manufacturing quality is bad, my friend's Hifiman man has been going strong for more than 3 years.

The best answer I can offer is to read user reviews of both products with look for specific complaints of failure rate.
+1

My SONY ICF10 WB radio from 1994 still works well, Yamaha Tape Deck & SONY WB radio ICF7600GR both 17 years and still going strong. 15 plus years my SONY ear buds and AKG K514 still work as they worked then. A Grundig TV started blowing up inside in 6 yrs or so. Sangean WR3 AIO's CDP started vomiting CDs after 12 yrs and so on...
 
Dear friends,

I had posted earlier about the acquisition of Dynaudio active speakers with in-built DAC and Bluetooth.
They are nicely settling in and I hope they remain a longtime companion.
They have two analogue inputs, but undergo an ADC (Analogue to Digital conversion), so essentially, ultimately the in-built DAC of the Dynaudio is what is used for all inputs. Regarding digital, it has one toslink input (optical, restricted to 24bit/96khz) and one Bluetooth (Aptx, 16bit/44khz., at max 352kbps).

The sources I have in hand include Raspberry Pi based R2R DAC, Digione Signature (digital coax output), USBridge signature (USB output), Chromecast Audio (wifi streaming with both optical and analogue outputs) and couple other DIY transports and some Chinese boards.
Other than these I have two DIY Dacs and a Teac DAC. The final and the most simplest source is of course phone, PC or any such playback source connected via Bluetooth directly to the Dynaudio.
As, except for Chromecast Audio, none of the above sources have optical output, I had to either use a DAC in-between to connect between the source and the Dynaudio or use Raspberry pi based NAS or other network protocols to play local files from phone to the Dynaudio via Bluetooth.
My phone supports all the latest bluetooth codecs including AptxHD and LDAC, but I was restricted to Aptx owing to the limitation of the Dynaudio Bluetooth. This also restricted playback of all my local files above 96khz to down sampling.

Even as I was trying all permutations available, my hunt started for a device that supports all digital inputs and outputs and processes a full blown Bluetooth receiver.
There were quite a few Chinese variants on offer, but none were a complete package and the specifications were quite sketchy.

Some other branded options that were available included iFi Zen Blue V2, Auris BluMe pro and the FiiO BTA30 pro to name a few.
The iFi was a little most expensive than the rest, has very good reviews, but lacks USB input unlike Auris and FiiO.

The FiiO is a palm size & a unique devise, and I selected it for the following features:
1. Unlike the rest, it is a combination of DAC, Bluetooth receiver, Bluetooth transmitter and a pure digital transport.
2. Inputs: USB, Toslink, Coax and Bluetooth; Outputs: Digital: Toslink, coax and Bluetooth; Analogue Outputs: RCA pair. All highest Bluetooth codec including LDAC are supported with long range receiver and transmitter.
3. In-built zero gain ADC volume control.
4. Hi resolution playback support on USB and up to 192khz on coaxial and optical.
5. Digital conversion from input to output, meaning whatever is input on USB, Optical or Toslink is simultaneously output as Optical, Coaxial or Bluetooth (in transmitter mode).
6. Similarly, whatever Bluetooth signal is received in receiver mode, is output simultaneously as Toslink, Coax or Analogue signals.
7. It has a fully featured Android and IOS app which gives full control of the device.
8. ESS Sabre DAC, Qualcomm Bluetooth chip and Comtrue CT5302 Audio Bridge, OPA1662 OP amps.

View attachment 73132

At around Rs. 10,000, it is truly versatile offering all common digital inputs and outputs, hi-resolution playback, a well-implemented volume pot and top of the tier Bluetooth codec support in both receiver and transmitter mode.
Functionality
1. You can use it as a pure DAC if you have an integrated amplifier or a preamp by defeating the volume pot.

2. Use as a DAC-cum-preamp if you have a power amplifier.
3. Use directly with active speakers.
4. Purely as a digital transport with an external DAC.
5. As Bluetooth receiver with you phone, tablet, PC or any other Bluetooth playback device
6. As long-range Bluetooth transmitter with any Bluetooth-enabled headphone or earphone.


In conclusion, I can state from personal experience that it is a well-engineered and thought-out device with the end user in mind.
As DAC, Bluetooth or just digital transport, its performance is very good belies its size and price.

Questions are welcome
Any other dac can you suggest ? Because I am confused now i want strong dac
 
Any other dac can you suggest ? Because I am confused now i want strong dac
Hi Vinayak

How do you define "strong DAC"?

Kannan has given a good option.

For me a DAC that can convert the USB out of my PC and Mac to RCA out is all I what I want. I don't use Spotify et al. Should be using a good DAC chip.

For that iFi Nano iDSD from 2015 is doing a good job for me. I can makeout the difference between the HP out of PC connected to the amp and DAC out connected to the same amp. Still with lower quality files from YouTube it is not so much.

If I change it, it should be with a built-in preamp, optical IN and prefer a RCA IN to connect my tape deck so I eliminate my current preamp in the chain or keep it as a buffer for my ACA amps.

For this I found Yamaha have a couple of CDP that will do all these. Then Pro-ject Audio DS2 Digital (had posted a link in another query), Acrylic S50 etc.can do this.

For now, i save my money as iFi Nano that had a loose contact inside presumably is working fine after a repair I tried.
 
Hi
I was wondering can bta30 pro further enhance the audio quality if used with chromecast audio??
I am inquiring if it's used purely as a DAC after the CA.
At present chromecast audio is my main wifi streamer cum dac...
Thanks
 
Hi
I was wondering can bta30 pro further enhance the audio quality if used with chromecast audio??
I am inquiring if it's used purely as a DAC after the CA.
At present chromecast audio is my main wifi streamer cum dac...
Thanks
you can connect the chromecast optical output to input of FiiO to use FiiO's inbuilt DAC.
 
@Kannan Sir

i'am thinking of using the BTA30 as below.

current setup

TV-AVR Denon X2700-Platinum Achals and center ( no sub-woofer)

used for both movies and music

I was thinking of setting up a separate music chain as below (have to have a separate music chain since the AVR doesn't support connecting an amp)

Music

Phone/USB-BTA30-Amp-Platinum Achals - Phone and BTA30 connected via BT (not sure whether we can connect via 3.5mm jack of phone)

Movies

TV-BTA30-Amp-Platinum achals - TV and BTA30 connected via Optical Out

In the movies setup will sound quality reduce since we are connecting to BTA30 via optical when compared to current setup via AVR? how about volume controls in these setups?

any alternative suggestions for the above set-ups?

thanks in advance for all your suggesstions.
 
you can connect the chromecast optical output to input of FiiO to use FiiO's inbuilt DAC.
Yes of course, I have that specific bluerigger optical cable for that purpose..
But the question is will it improve the audio further.. If yes then I ll definitely purchase the bta30 pro
 
Yes of course, I have that specific bluerigger optical cable for that purpose..
But the question is will it improve the audio further.. If yes then I ll definitely purchase the bta30 pro
The DAC of FiiO is of a much later generation than the Chromecast, so will be superior. The FiiO has analogue inputs, you will need a 3.5 mm TRS to stereo RAC cable to connect phone headphone output to the FiiO analogue inputs though I will totally discourage this.
Either connect via BT (use LDAC protocol) or USB.
 
@Kannan Sir

i'am thinking of using the BTA30 as below.

current setup

TV-AVR Denon X2700-Platinum Achals and center ( no sub-woofer)

used for both movies and music

I was thinking of setting up a separate music chain as below (have to have a separate music chain since the AVR doesn't support connecting an amp)

Music

Phone/USB-BTA30-Amp-Platinum Achals - Phone and BTA30 connected via BT (not sure whether we can connect via 3.5mm jack of phone)

Movies

TV-BTA30-Amp-Platinum achals - TV and BTA30 connected via Optical Out

In the movies setup will sound quality reduce since we are connecting to BTA30 via optical when compared to current setup via AVR? how about volume controls in these setups?

any alternative suggestions for the above set-ups?

thanks in advance for all your suggesstions.
The FiiO has analogue inputs, you will need a 3.5 mm TRS to stereo RAC cable to connect phone headphone output to the FiiO analogue inputs though I will totally discourage this.
Either connect via BT (use LDAC protocol) or USB.

If TV is connected via HDMI to the receiver, then it is the better way though I cannot say if toslink will be inferior, depends on the implementation in the TV.
 
The DAC of FiiO is of a much later generation than the Chromecast, so will be superior. The FiiO has analogue inputs, you will need a 3.5 mm TRS to stereo RAC cable to connect phone headphone output to the FiiO analogue inputs though I will totally discourage this.
Either connect via BT (use LDAC protocol) or USB.
Thanks a bunch
TBH I am interested in connecting the digital out of gca to my DAC (FIIO BTA30 PRO OR SMSL SU1)
If its not too much, could you share your opinion about the dac performance of fiio bta30 pro with smsl su1??
These are the only 2 options that I have on my mind considering I am planning to stream muosc via cca for now.

Would be grateful
Thanks again
 
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