In 2023, audiophiles were treated to an explosion of streamers and all-in-one units, each more feature-packed than the last. The definition of “all-in-one” has evolved considerably in the last few years…and I love it. Gone are the days when a DAC with a headphone socket was considered the epitome of all-in-one audio. Nowadays, every HiFi maker tries to cram as many features as possible into all-in-one thingies and I’m not complaining. These all-in-ones are like Swiss Army knives for your ears, offering everything from a killer DAC, headphone amp, and preamp, to Bluetooth, wired and wireless HiFi streaming, big touch screens, unlimited app support, and even Roon compatibility! What’s not to like?
FiiO’s R7 was one of the standouts from last year, offering a lot of bang for your buck. But now, there’s a new sheriff in town: the R9. This beast not only solves all the gripes I had with the R7 but also raises the bar for all-in-ones.
The only problem? It’ll cost you twice as much. But hey, if you’re looking for the ultimate audio experience, the R9 tastes like the crème de la crème of do-it-all devices. So, let’s dive in and see if it’s worth the extra dough.