FiiO BTA30 BT Transceiver Review

 

 

 

 

 

FiiO BTA30 Bluetooth Transceiver Review

 

Introduction:

The FiiO BTA30 is a Bluetooth transceiver that is able to supports LDAC and has some great features like, Qualcomm CSR8675 Chip, AK4490 DAC, 3 operating modes (BT Transmitter, BT Receiver & USB DAC), CT5302SN DSP chip and many more.

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank FiiO for providing me the BTA30 as review sample. I am not affiliated with FiiO beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.

 

Purchase Links:

The FiiO BTA30 is available under the following official FiiO Online Stores;

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The FiiO BTA30 came in a relative small black box that was wrapped with a cardboard in black that sports the illustration of the device and some brandings.

 

This box contains the following items;

  • 1 x FiiO BTA30 BT Transceiver
  • 1 x USB A to USB Type-C cable
  • 1 x RCA Cable
  • 8 x Rubber Isolation Feet
  • 1 x User Manual & Warranty card

 

 

 

Design & Build Quality:

The FiiO BTA30 is a pretty small and lightweight device with dimensions of about 120x55x23.5mm and a weight of approx 115g. It is also a well made device same as other FiiO branded product that I have reviewed or experienced before.

The housing of the BTA30 is a combination of aluminum material (frame/chassis), plastic (bottom) and Plexiglas (top).

The aluminum frame has a nice, silky smooth surface with a black finish that gives the device a robust appearance.

On the front of the BTA30 are the potentiometer (volume wheel), a mode switcher and the power and pairing buttons with RGB status indicators on the top.

At the rear side of the BTA30 is the input and output interface of the device.

Here are the left and right analog (RCA) line out outputs, one optical out and one optical input, the coaxial in/out, USB Type C Data and Power port and the Bluetooth antenna which can be disassembled.

On the top of the device is the Plexiglas cover with the some brandings in white color like the Hi-Res Audio / Hi-Res Audio Wireless and FiiO Logos.

At the bottom is a plastic cover that sports some industrial certifications about the product. Here are also four rubber feet’s and two blind caps which probably protect the screws.

The potentiometer slides very soft, while it shows a small interference of the volume.

 

 

 

Key Features:

 

A) Dual AKM AK4490 DAC Chips:

The FiiO BTA30 comes with Asahi Kasei’s highly capable 32bit AK4490 DAC (Digital to Analog Converters) that is allowing sampling rates up to 384 kHz and also native DSD decoding. This DAC chip provides a higher Signal to Noise Ratio in short “SNR” (about 115dB) and better performance in terms of dynamic range compared to the build-in DAC chip of the CSR8675 BT chip.

 

B) Qualcomm CR8675 Bluetooth Chip:

The Qualcomm CR8675 Bluetooth chip used in the BTA30 is a Bluetooth 5.0 capable premium low-power solution designed for enhanced audio applications with support for 24-bit transmission and processing, thanks to its 120MHz DSP. This chip is also much more stable in signal strength than other competing chips, especially in situations with lots of interference.

  • Supported Audio Codes: AAC/SBC/aptX/aptX LL/ aptX HD/LDAC

 

C) CT5302 DSP Chip:

The BTA30 is according to FiiO the first desktop Bluetooth and SPDIF decoding systems to incorporate an independent high-performance DSP chip, allowing it to meet the decoding needs of various formats and increasing the BTA30’s versatility. The DSP allows any digital audio signal to be up-sampled to 192kHz.

 

D) FiiO Music & FiiO Control Application:

The FiiO BTA30 can easily paired/connected to your Smartphone, Tablet of FiiO DAP that supports FiiO Music or the FiiO Control Application. This app gives you the ability to fine tune the settings of the BTA30.

Some of the settings are listed below;

  • Channel balance
  • 4 types of audio filters
  • Bluetooth format priority
  • Switch on/off LED indicator
  • Volume adjustment
  • Set fixed output Volume

 

E) Connectivity:

The FiiO BTA30 offers a very wide variety of connection options, from analog to digital, from wired to wireless options.

 

1. Analog:

The BTA30 comes with a two channel (Left & Right) RCA analog (Line Out) output to connect it with an external Amplifier, Stereo Speakers, TV and any other device with RCA output.

 

2. Digital:

The FiiO BTA30 offers also three sorts of Digital Inputs and Outputs, which are the Optical (in/out), the Coaxial (in/out) and USB Type-C (in/out) connotation.

The BTA30 can be used as a pure Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), to convert your digital audio signal input to analog audio output. Coaxial input supports up to 192kHz/24 bit and DSD64 native decoding; optical input supports up to 96kHz/24 bit decoding; USB input supports only 48kHz/16 bit decoding.

The Digital In- & Outputs of the BTA30 allows you to connect it to various devices from PC/Laptops, Smartphone’s, Tablet’s up to Gaming Consoles or your TV and Stream the audio to your wireless earphones, headset and headphone.

 

3. Bluetooth Transceiver:

The BTA30 is according to FiiO the first Desktop Decoder that features both LDAC/aptX transmitting and receiving.

 

  • Bluetooth RX Mode (Bluetooth Receiver):

When connected to a smartphone or music player with Bluetooth, the BTA30 supports the LDAC/aptX/aptX HD/AAC high-resolution formats. LDAC specifically can support up to 96kHz/24-bit audio.

 

  • Bluetooth BT TX Mode (Bluetooth Transmitter):

When connected to the digital outputs of devices like TVs, CD players, external DAC/decoders, and computers, the BTA30 can transmit those signals as the LDAC/aptX HD/aptX LL/SBC Bluetooth formats.

Please note that the LDAC format is only supported to transmit through optical/coaxial input, but not USB input.

 

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • Sources                     : FiiO BTA30, FiiO M11 Pro, Asus TUF DU505, Samsung Note 20 Ultra,                                        iPad Air2
  • IEM’s/Headphones   : FiiO FH7 wired, FiiO EH3 NC (wired), FiiO FH7+ FiiO UTWS1 (BT)


 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • The Dave Brubeck Quarted – Take Five (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)

 

 

 

 

The Sound:

The FiiO BTA30 review is written after a burn-in process of about 50 hours. My sound impressions are mainly based on the pairing with the xDuoo XA10 Amplifier with earphones/IEM’s like the FiiO FH7 and FiiO FD5.


 

Bass/Midrange/Treble:

The subbass range of the FiiO BTA30 shows a moderate amount of depth and extension, while it sound fairly controlled when paired with IEM’s like the FiiO FH7 and FiiO FD5.

When it comes to the midbass performance, I can say that the BTA30 has a pretty smooth and musical tonality that is pleasant to listen.

The midrange presentation of the FiiO BTA30 is musical, pretty clear and transparent and offers a good level of detail retrieval for a DAC at this price range. The lower midrange shows a sufficient depth and nice sense of warmness, without to be muddy or thin in tonality. Therefore, male vocals have a warm and musical presentation with average amount of transparency.

The upper midrange of the FiiO BTA30 is quite pronounced and shows in general a pretty bright tonality, while the extension is on an sufficient level.  Female vocals do show a nice sense of transparency and clarity, while this area is close to the limits of sibilance.

The lower treble range of the FiiO BTA30 is quite emphasized and shows a good level of extension while listen to instruments like snare drums or human voices like soprano vocals. The upper treble range on the other hand is slightly less highlighted, while the extension is a bit short. Instruments such as cymbals do show a mildly warm tonality, while crash cymbals have an average treble quantity and sharpness.

The FiiO BTA30 has a quite spacious stage for a fairly precise separation and placement of instrument and vocals. The soundstage is quite airy and spacious, with good sense of wideness and successful level of depth for a device at this price range.

 

Conclusion:

FiiO BTA30 is the first Bluetooth Transceiver of the company that offers a pretty decent sound performance and interesting features like the Qualcomm CSR8675 BT Chip, AK4490 DAC, 3 operating modes (BT Transmitter, BT Receiver & USB DAC) and solid operating range for its price.

 

 

Pros and Cons:
  • + Sound Performance for its Price
  • + 3 operating modes (BT Transmitter, BT Receiver & USB DAC)
  • + Supports any BT Codec including LDAC
  • + Input & Output Options
  • + Solid BT Operating Range
  • + Small Size
  • – USB input supports only 16bit/48kHz decoding
  • – No Headphone Output (4.4mm Balanced Output would be great)

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

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