Looking for a portable headphone amplifier? FiiO A3 or FiiO E11K may just suit your budget. These affordable headphone amps don’t cost you the mountain, yet they offer greatly improved sound quality compared to cheap and built-in amplifiers. FiiO A3 is actually an update to FiiO E11K. The manufacturer decided to re-release the product in order to rename their products to be easier to understand. The “A” letter actually stands for “Amplifier”, and the number simply indicates the position of the product in the line-up. So, what is the difference between FiiO A3 vs E 11K?
The Same Parts and Quality Amps
When the company released FiiO A3 as an update for FiiO E11K, they claimed that nothing was changed in the new model. FiiO A3 still uses the same parts and components as FiiO E11K. Which means that FiiO A3 still uses the OPA1642 voltage pre-amp and AD8397 power amplifier in order to deliver the maximum output power. It is able to produce 450 mW at 16 ohms, 270 mW at 32 ohms. The power is quite impressive. It is suitable for some headphones that use higher impedance. Both FiiO A3 and FiiO E11K are suitable for headphones with 16 – 150 ohms impedance.
Both FiiO A3 and FiiO E11K have a 3.5 mm input port and a 3.5 mm stereo headphone output port.These headphone amps are loved because, despite their affordable prices, they can deliver excellent sound quality. Their frequency response range goes from 20 Hz – 20kHz, which means that they can deliver accurate bass and treble. They have excellent sound clarity.
For control, you can find a high/low gain toggle switch. This is handy to adjust the gain for different devices. Next, there is a rotary volume control knob which makes volume control so much easier and more intuitive. On the on/off switch, you can find a fully discreet bass boost circuit which can be bypassed if you want to decrease interference and reduce noise floor.
New Name, New Color Variant
So, FiiO A3 and FiiO E11K are basically the same thing. However, there is still a difference. The manufacturer explained that, along with the new name, FiiO A3 would also come with a new color variant. The original FiiO E11K has a black color with a brushed finish which looks classy and elegant. This color variant still exists, but there is a new color variant which is silver. The silver variant has a sandblasted finish to match the X1 portable music player (see the discussion in FiiO X1 vs X5).
You may have come across some online stores that sell FiiO E11K with the Extreme Audio 3.5 mm stereo to RCA cable. However, this cable is not actually included in the bundle. On the other hand, FiiO A3 does not come with any audio cable, so make sure that you use your own audio cable.
FiiO A3 Vs E11K
|FiiO A3||FiiO E11K|
|Key Features||- Suitable for headphones ranging from 16 to 150 Ohms. Gain switch for matching output to headphone power needs
- Superior sound quality through expertly selected components and design, utilizing OPA1642 preamp and AD8397 amp section||- For controls, the amplifier includes a low-high gain toggle switch, a rotary volume control, and a fully discrete bass boost circuit that can be bypassed to decrease interference and lower the overall noise floor|
|Ratings||4.3 out of 5.0 stars||4.2 out of 5.0 stars|
|Best Deal*||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
NOTE : Product prices, availability, ratings and save money information are accurate as of the date/time indicated on post time (as seen right bellow the tittle) and are subject to change. Any price, ratings, availability and save money information displayed on Amazon Site or Headphone Authority at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Although the differences between FiiO A3 and FiiO E11K are only the name and color variants, FiiO A3 is indeed more recommended because it is newer. It has two color choices, brushed black and sandblasted silver.