FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth Amplifier – Review

FiiO BTR3


 FiiO BTR3

| Bluetooth Amplifier | USB DAC | NFC |





🎧 We are reviewing the FiiO BTR3, a Bluetooth amplifier with advanced features.

The FiiO BTR3 features a CSR8675 Bluetooth chip, a AK4376A DAC, USB DAC functionality and support for all wireless audio codecs.

The FiiO BTR3 is the 3rd generation of Bluetooth receivers from the brand, preceded by the FiiO BTR1 and the FiiO μBTR.

Moreover, the FiiO BTR3 is part of the latest releases from the brand, among the:

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FiiO BTR3 Review

Tests & Scores


AF

Advanced Features

The FiiO BTR3 features include advanced options such as:

  • USB DAC: connected to a PC/Mac can be used as an external USB DAC
  • Qualcomm cVc noise cancellation Microphone: Incorporated noise cancelling microphone that allows Siri smart assistant use, hands-free operation and phone call conversations
  • NFC: Immediate connection/pairing with NFC compatible devices
  • Light Indicator: Wireless codec in use is indicated with a specific color on the FiiO logo

W

Weight

FiiO BTR3 weight in Ounces and FiiO BTR3 weight in grams.

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A

Accessories & Packaging

The FiiO BTR3 unboxing results in a lanyard and a charging USB-C cable that it is also used to connect the unit as an USB DAC.

The unit comes inside a small package with a classic clean design of most FiiO products.

gramophone-25660 3/5


D

Design

The latest generation of FiiO products (like the FiiO M3K) are being designed with an unibody main housing. The FiiO BTR3 follows the same clean aesthetics, has a clip on the back and presents a front section made of glass, which adds a fancy smartphone-like finish.

With a size of 58mm×25mm×10.4mm (back clip not being measured), the FiiO BTR3 is a Bluetooth amp that can be carried in any pocket.

gramophone-25660  4.75/5

FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3

OC

Operation & Control

The FiiO BTR3 can be controlled with 4 buttons that are placed on the right edge of the unit.

The 4 buttons functions allow to:

Power Button:

  • Press and hold for 3 seconds: Power on/off
  • 2x click: switch between devices
  • 3x click with no BT connection and after connected to a PC/MAC: Enter USB DAC mode – only for devices with older firmware. From firmware v0912 or newer, the BTR3 will be set automatically to USB DAC mode
  • Press and hold for 10 seconds: Reset

Middle Multifunction Button:

  • A 5 second press and hold: Force pairing mode
  • A single press: Play, Pause music or Answer/End calls, reconnect.
  • 2x click: Activate Siri

Volume UP Button:

  • A single press: Volume up by 1 level
  • Press and hold: Previous song

Volume Down Button:

  • A single press: Volume down by 1 level
  • Press and hold: Next song

Volume UP Button + Volume Down Button:

  • 5 second press and hold of both at the same time: Clear current pairing

Pairing Troubleshoot: if your unit is no longer entering pairing mode. Do the following: 1- press and hold the power button for 10 seconds; 2- if the FiiO logo is not flashing red and blue, press and hold the “play/pause” button for 3 to 5 seconds; 3- done, the BTR3 will reset and get forced to enter pairing mode.

LED Status Light: The front “FiiO” writing of the FiiO BTR3 is also a RGB light indicator of the status of the device. Among the status informed there are:

  • Pairing mode: flash blue/red
  • Power On: flash blue
  • Charging: red
  • Bluetooth audio codec: blue (SBC), cyan (AAC), white (LDAC/DAC), green (LHDC), purple (aptX/aptX low latency), aptX HD (yellow)

 

gramophone-25660 4/5

FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3

B

Battery Life

The FiiO BTR3 holds a 300mAh rechargeable battery that grants 11 hours of continuous music listening (AAC codec) on a single charge.

How to charge the FiiO BTR3:

The FiiO BTR3 is charged through the USB Type-C connector on the bottom edge of the unit – a full charge should take approximately 1.5 hours.

FiiO recommends to charge the FiiO BTR3 using a charger that outputs 5V 0.5A.

gramophone-25660 3.5/5

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FiiO BTR3
FiiO BTR3

CB

Construction & Build

The FiiO BTR3 has an extraordinarily rugged construction with a metal unibody construction and a 2.5D front glass with oleophobic coating to reduce fingerprints- even the back clip is made of metal.

Overall, the unit feels extremely durable and light.

gramophone-256605/5

FiiO BTR3 clip
FiiO BTR3 clip
FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth amplifier
FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth amplifier

C

Compatibility

The FiiO BTR3 supports every current wireless audio codec:

  • AAC
  • SBC
  • aptX Low Latency
  • aptX HD
  • LDAC
  • LHDC

gramophone-256605/5

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CC

Connectivity

The FiiO BTR3 has two of the most diffused and standardized ports: a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB Type-C for charging and for USB DAC mode. Both connectors are placed on the bottom of the unit, the USB port is on the right edge and the 3.5mm jack on the left edge.

This allows the FiiO BTR3 to transform into a wireless Bluetooth device any headphone, earphone, speaker, home audio and car audio system – using a 3.5mm cable. For example, if you ever wished a wireless Meze 99 Classics or 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear, now you can simply connect them to the FiiO BTR3 and have a Bluetooth Meze and 1MORE over-ear headphone.

As mentioned before, this is not only limited to earphones and headphones, you can also use the FiiO BTR3 with your wired home audio/home theater system/speaker and with your car audio system to transform them into a wireless system.

The FiiO BTR3 is equipped with a Qualcomm CR8675 Bluetooth chip, a low-power model with a 120MHz DSP which supports 24-bit transmission and processing. Moreover, the brand grants 30 meters of Bluetooth transmission (on open areas), which is 3 times more than the standard 10 meters of most Bluetooth devices.

More than obvious by now, the FiiO BTR3 can be paired with any smartphone, tablet, PC/Mac and device that can connect to a Bluetooth receiver/amp.

 

gramophone-25660 4/5

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FiiO BTR3 connectors
FiiO BTR3 connectors
FiiO BTR3 jack
FiiO BTR3 jack

S

Sound

Many Bluetooth receivers, BT amps and BT cables show a treble boost and/or are very rolled-off on the lower bass end, the FiiO BTR3 did not exhibit any of these “issues”.

Our FiiO BTR3 soundtests and measurements revealed that this Bluetooth receiver that does not boosts nor recesses any audio frequency, except for an insignificant rolling off above 20kHz and only in some modes (aptx/aptx low latency, USB DAC).

In addition to this, the FiiO BTR3 did not colored, warmed up nor cooled down the sound, resulting in a neutral sounding wireless amp that preserves the true sound of your headphone, earphone, speaker, etc.

FiiO ensures that the FiiO BTR3 has a drive ability of 16Ω~100Ω. Still, we were able to drive higher impedance headphones of up to 250ohm without much issues and with a respectable output power.

The FiiO BTR3 can reach an output power of  33mW (16Ω), 25mW (32Ω) and a SNR of 120dB. With an output of 25mW (32Ω loaded), the BTR3 offers the same power of the FiiO M3K. Connected to a less efficient headphone such as the HIFIMAN HE400i, the little FiiO BTR3 managed to drive them acceptably well – if the FiiO is set to the max volume setting and the smartphone is set to the max too.

The AK4376A DAC inside the FiiO BTR3 grants a SNR of 114dB and distortion of -107 dB. Further technical specifications include a frequency response of 20Hz-40,000Hz on a LDAC connection, 20Hz-20,000Hz on aptX connection, with THD+N <0.003%(LHDC 1kHz), and an output impedance of <0.3dΩ (32Ω loaded).

gramophone-256605/5

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FiiO BTR3 vs Generic Bluetooth adapter
FiiO BTR3 vs Generic Bluetooth adapter
FiiO BTR3 buttons
FiiO BTR3 buttons

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FW

Firmware

The firmware of the FiiO BTR3 can be upgraded through it’s USB Type-C connection.

The upgrade process can be a bit complex for average consumers. If you do not feel confident about doing this you might be better skipping the firmware upgrade, as an erroneous update process might lead to a non-working unit.

The latest firmware to date is the v0912, with the following improvements:

  1. Amended the USB DAC detection to automatic (no need to click the power button)
  2. Fixed the issue where the power consumption is high when idle standby

The brand is also working on a new firmware that will add compatibility with the FiiO Music app.

The FiiO BTR3 firmware v0.97, can be downloaded here (File name: BTR3_firmware-0912.zip)

How to upgrade the FiiO BTR3 firmware

FiiO informs the following instructions/steps to safely upgrade the FiiO BTR3 firmware:

“… A. Download the Firmware file and the Upgrade tool:

Download link for the firmware file(0912): click here ( please remember unzip this file to get .dfu file)

Download link for the Upgrade tool package: click here

After downloading, unzip the package and install the upgrade tool directly by double clicking it (.exe file). In general, please try not to change the default installing path during the installation process.

B. Before upgrade

1. Power on the BTR3, and hold Multifunctional button (which is in the middle of the Power button and Volume buttons) for about 5 seconds, then the red and blue lights will flash alternately.

2. Hold the Multifunctional button and Volume ”+” button for about 5 seconds, to make the BTR3 enter DFU mode (The indicator will turn OFF after done).

3. Please do not press any buttons on the BTR3 at this time, and just try to connect the BTR3 with the computer by the Type C USB cable came from BTR3.

To check if the BTR3 is successfully connected, go to Device Manager and see if there is a “CSR BlueCore in DFU mode” displayed under the “Universal Serial Bus controller” category. If there is, it means the BTR3 is connected with the computer successfully.

C. Upgrade the firmware for the BTR3

1. Run the upgrade tool (DfuWizard.exe) which is installed in Part A (Here is the path: C:\Program Files (x86)\CSR\BlueSuite 2.6.4\DfuWizard.exe), then click “下一步” which is referred to “Next”.

2. Select option marked in below image then click “Next”

3. Select option marked in below image then click “Next”

4. Click the “Browse” icon (if no “select file” window pops up automatically) to locate and select the downloaded firmware file (.dfu file)

After selecting the firmware file, click “Next” to continue.

5. Please wait patiently for the upgrade to complete and do NOT operate the device during this process.

6. If the below menu appears, it means the upgrade is complete, click “Finish”(完成) to close the application. After that, please disconnect the BTR3 from the computer and restart it before use.

…”

ATTENTION!: Extreme caution should be taken when upgrading the firmware of the FiiO BTR3 or the unit could become non-functional.


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Scores Scores

FiiO BTR3 Scores

Overall
4.3
  • Accessories
  • Design
  • Operation & Control
  • Battery Life
  • Construction & Build
  • Compatibility
  • Connectivity
  • Sound
  • Value for Money

Summary

Pros

✅ Non-colored sound

✅ Flat response

✅ Can be used as an external USB DAC

✅ High output power (identical to the FiiO M3K at 32 ohm)

✅ Supports all wireless codecs

✅ All metal construction

✅ Clean unibody design

✅ Can, respectably, drive less-efficient, full-sized headphones

✅ Incorporated noise cancelling microphone for phone calls and voice assistants

✅ LED lights under the logo inform the status of the device

✅ 4 physical buttons to manage the most common playback options

✅ Friendly price

Cons

❌ Firmware update process can be challenging for normal consumers

❌ Minor bug with volume: the last volume step jumped back a pinch when pressing once above the top volume limit and slightly reduced the volume output (on Android smartphones), going back to the phone and pressing the vol+ once “fixed” the minor reduction of vol. (this could be a bug with our tested smartphones only, though)

Conclusion

The FiiO BTR3 is an excellent Bluetooth amp/receiver that exhibits a frequency response and sound quality exceeding it’s price tag.

    • The market is full of Bluetooth adapters that cost little money, so you might be wondering what sets the FiiO BTR3 apart from brand-less models. The FiiO BTR3 is more than a simple Bluetooth adapter, this little gadget can also be used as an USB DAC with any computer and smartphone, provides whopping 33mW of output power and offers a flat frequency response and uncolored sound that conserves the same original sound personality of your favorite headphones.

 

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Frequency Response (raw)

FiiO BTR3 Frequency Response Curve

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Specifications

FiiO BTR3 Technical Specifications

Type BT Amp/USB DAC
BT HFP,HSP,A2DP,AVRCP
Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC, DAC, LHDC, aptX, aptX low latency, aptx HD
USB DAC Yes – AK4376A
BT Chip CSR8675
Battery 11 hours
Charge time 1.5hs
NFC Yes
Frequency Response 20Hz-40KHz (LDAC)
Plug USB Type-C, 3.5mm
Weight Approx. 25g
Power output 33mW (@16ohm)

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FiiO BTR3 Full technical specifications

reported by FiiO

Model

BTR3

Color Available

Black

Weight

About 26 g (incl. battery)

Dimensions

About  58×25×10.4mm (exclusive of back clip)

AMP

AK4376A

USB DAC

Yes

Pairing Button

Yes

Volume Button

Yes

Transmission Distance

30m (at open area)

Status Indicator Light

RGB light indicates the input Bluetooth audio codec, charging and working status

Hands-free call/Mic

Yes

Call up Siri in iOS

Yes

NFC

Yes

Audio Input

Bluetooth connection (Bluetooth 4.2 supported)

Supported Audio Format(s)

AAC/SBC/aptX/aptX LL/ aptX HD/LDAC/LHDC

NFC

Supported

Mic Function

Supported

Headphone Output

3.5 mm stereo jack

USB Port

Type C USB

Volume Control

Side buttons

Status Indicator Light

RGB light indicates the input Bluetooth audio codec, charging and working statu

Charging Time

≤1.5 h (DC 5V 500mA)

Power Input

Recommend DC 5V, 500mA

Battery Capacity

300 mAh

Drive Ability

16~100 Ω (recommended)

Output Power

About 25mW (32Ω loaded)
About 33mW (16Ω loaded)

Frequency Response

20~20kHz(aptX connection)
20~40kHz(LDAC connection)

THD+N

<0.003%(LHDC 1kHz)

Output Impedance

<0.3 Ω(32Ω loaded)

SNR

120dB (A-weighted)

Crosstalk

≥ 75 dB(32Ω loaded)

Bluetooth Chip

CSR8675

Accessories

Type C USB charging cable*1, Quick Start Guide*1, Warranty Card*1,Lanyard*1

Battery Life & Test  Conditions (The test result is based on specified test conditions and just for referrence)

Battery Life

About 11 h

Bluetooth Transmitter

iPhone 6P (AAC)

Connected Headphones

EM3 open earbuds (27 Ω)

Volume

With set output at 40mV


Photos

FiiO BTR3 Photos

DISCLAIMER
We highly discourage anyone from trying to apply our testings to your own earphones, the risk of damaging or permanently breaking your iems is absolutely probable to happen. With our standardized equalization and amplification tests we push the limits of the earphones to the extreme. If anyway you decide to do so, we cannot be held responsible of the damage done to your equipment. Do it at your own risk.

meze 99classics, meze 99neo, 1more quad-driver, 1more triple driver over-ear headphones

FiiO BTR3

8.6

SCORE

8.6/10


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