Overview of FiiO AM4B Gain and FiiO BL44

<pre>Overview of FiiO AM4B Gain and FiiO BL44

It seems that the world is gradually overwhelmed by the wave of popularity of the Pentaconn connector (it is also a 4.4 mm 5-pin plug). Initially it was used only by Sony, but more and more manufacturers pay attention to it, iBasso AMP4 has recently come out, now the gain module with a similar connector is “fired” and FiiO.

To begin with – what is Pentaconn generally good at? Well, the most obvious thing is that the increased sizes of the plug and the socket contribute to an increase in mechanical reliability. In addition, the increased contact area improves the electrical characteristics of the connection, even if purely theoretically. Another plus – this connector allows you to make a really balanced output, for headphones this is not relevant, but in the role of a line output for connecting an external amplifier – Pentaconn will be better.

Sometimes, as in the case of AM3B, there are also indirect improvements . While FiiO was developing an amplifier module for a new connector, they realized that it would not work on one board as they did before, so there are two printed circuit boards inside the AM3B, which made it possible to improve the circuitry by dividing the power and amplification, and also increasing the power without a noticeable increase in background noise. The price tag for the module is the same as for the other interchangeable amplifiers of the company, it varies slightly depending on the country, but on average is $ 110.


Balanced output

  • Frequency range: 7 Hz ~ 57 kHz (-3 dB)
  • Output power: ≥498 mW @ 32Ω, ≥70 mW @ 300Ω
  • Recommended load impedance: 16Ω ~ 300Ω
  • Channel separation:> 106 dB
  • Signal to noise ratio: ≥119 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise: <0.001%
  • Output Voltage Range:> 11.8 Vp-p
  • Maximum Output Current:> 150mA
  • Output impedance: <3Ω

3.5 mm output

  • Frequency range: 7 Hz ~ 57 kHz (-3 dB)
  • Output power: ≥158 mW @ 32Ω, ≥18 mW @ 300Ω
  • Recommended load impedance: 16Ω ~ 150Ω
  • Channel separation:> 72 dB
  • Signal to noise ratio: ≥118 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise: <0.001%
  • Output voltage swing:> 6.4 Vp-p
  • Maximum output current:> 150mA
  • Output Impedance: <1Ω

Packaging, Package, Sound

The main box with an amplifier is the same as for all previous models, also inside a dense package paper hides I tin with an amplifier, a warranty card and spare cogs. But this time FiiO went a little further, the fact is that the dimensions of the AM3B connector do not fit into the slot of the standard silicon cover, so the replacement kit for the AM3B comes with a removable case for the X7-II, which takes into account all the dimensions of the module.

Still, the problem is not, unscrew a pair of bolts on the sides, change the modules, screw the fastening screws in place.

The increased power affected the battery consumption, so with this module the player runs for 40-50 minutes less than with AM3A, however, everything strongly depends on the load.

If we talk about sound, we should immediately say that listening to this module with a usual 3.5 mm output is not enough sense, it actually does not differ by the sound from AM3A, everything written below about the sound concerns exactly 4.4 mm output.

I do not know , whether it's in increased power or in optimized power, but the sound is different compared to AM3A, it's more bodily, more massive and due to this – more natural.

Bass became a bit deeper and more massive, but he kept the same speed and texture, which was typical for the A-version of the amplifier. The blows became more defined and acquired more realism.

The MFs received the same weight gain, it may have slightly masked the microns, but the overall sound of this part of the range has become more realistic, the voices and instruments have added a bit of emotionality and sounded with more energy. The imaginary scene remained about the same as that of AM3A.

The HF did not change much, but they slightly improved the layering and the length, which added a little bit more spectacularity.

FiiO BL-44

A very logical step was the release of an adapter allowing the use with a new headphone module with a 2.5 mm 4-pin connector (for obvious reasons, connecting an ordinary 3.5 mm plug through the adapter would be a bad idea). In FiiO decided to develop an adapter with a small piece of cable between the plug and the jack (about 8 centimeters). This is primarily to reduce the lever and improve the longevity of the socket in the source.

As the wire FiiO used HPC-23T – a single-crystal copper cable from Oyaide Electric. For fans of experiments in boxes with the first batch of adapters even put a short piece of this wire, so that future buyers will be able to test it for durability and durability, without damaging the adapter itself.

By sound, it is expected, the adapter turned out to be transparently neutral, He does not provide the source. The operation of the BL44 is also more convenient than the adapters combining the plug and socket in one housing


I'm not sure if the Pentaconn mod will lead to a major change in the market or this is a short-term hobby, but FiiO has shown that they closely follow the trends and are ready to immediately “stake out” a place by releasing solutions of good quality.

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