Audioengine D1 vs. FiiO E10K vs. DragonFly Red

Audioengine D1 vs. FiiO E10K vs. DragonFly Red | The Ultimate Shootout

2,958 phrase submit, approx 4-5 min. learn

Hey there good friend, and Welcome aboard!!

Earlier than we get into the Audioengine D1 vs. FiiO E10Okay vs. DragonFly Red Shootout, grab a snack, sit back and loosen up because..

You’ve come to the appropriate place!!

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At this time we’ll take a look at three of my favorite Amp/DAC solutions available on the market and discover out which can fit your needs greatest! For this we’ll run down every class and examine them aspect by aspect.

Desk of Contents

Click to navigate!

Features & Usage
Console Set Up/Gaming
Video Shootout
Photograph Gallery
Ultimate Phrase

Now with out additional ado, let’s get rolling!


I’ve demoed the three of those on many occasions, they usually all have their strengths however surprisingly few weaknesses. I’ve all the time stated that the variations in Amp/DACs round this worth level is fairly delicate. Even a few of the higher echelon gear reveals not that much in the best way of a marked improvement. The Chord Mojo is an example of an Amp/DAC that does sound higher than something cheaper, and it’s in all probability close to the utmost that I might personally spend.

The Regulation of Diminishing Returns is clear in headphones, however even more so Amps & DACs. There’s just means too many to choose from these days and other people would have you ever in a tizzy over which to go together with. It’s completely ridiculous as they all principally do the same thing at the core. The DAC converts the sign from digital to analog, and the amp portion simply amplifies that signal to a listenable degree.

That’s it. Related: What is a USB DAC?

My situation with corporations is that they’re all making an attempt to outdo each other with the newest and biggest.

“Yeah well, our DAC Chip is state of the art. If you close your eyes while you’re listening to music out of it, you’ll fart rainbows. We promise. As part of our money back guarantee, if you buy 5 we’ll give you the 6th 10% off!”


I suppose that’s capitalism, but the actuality of it is that you simply don’t need to take a seat there and agonize over which to go together with. Work out your distinctive state of affairs, search for an amp that matches the standards, and just go for it! Thankfully for you as we speak, the 3 we’ll be taking a look at have a bit of little bit of all the things happening.

You’re not going to be missing out on something monumental by buying Amp A over Amp B as far as sound quality is worried. It’s just not that critical. 🙂

With that in mind, let’s get into the build of those 3…

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Audioengine D1

The build of the D1 is fairly unbelievable. It’s compact and feels substantial in your hand. It doesn’t really feel like a toy. The connections are all strong and the knob feels fairly good. One gripe I’ve with the knob is that it doesn’t have any indicators on it, which means: there’s no method to inform the place you’re on a clock.

FiiO E10Okay

The E10Okay against this is far lighter than a D1, and it’s knob is slimmer size clever but has a larger width. It does really feel substantially cheaper by comparison, however I still don’t discover it “cheap.” It’s the right measurement and weight for transport. The D1 additionally works fairly nicely on the go. The E10Okay’s volume knob is numbered 1-Eight with “OFF” labeled as properly. I discover that is actually helpful for specific headphones like the HD600. I simply turn on the achieve and maintain it round 5-6. Without achieve, I push it all the best way and it pumps out just sufficient quantity for the Sennheiser.

It also comes with 4  small rubber dot ft with sticky adhesive, which you’ll be able to connect to the bottom and it gained’t transfer. This can be a good addition, as the brushed aluminum is more likely to get scratched without it.

DragonFly Red

With the DragonFly Red, clearly there’s no knob at all. It’s like having a thumb drive. You simply plug it right into a USB slot and your pc takes care of the remaining. As soon as the system is acknowledged, just use the quantity controls in your PC/Laptop computer to adjust. For me, this can be a cool function as my Lenovo T510 has a poopy Soundcard. It’s nice to have the ability to use the quantity controls again. Related: What’s a Soundcard?

Now that physical build is out of the best way, let’s speak concerning the options of each.

After features, we’ll put it into follow and discover out which amp excels greatest at what.

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Features & Utilization

Audioengine D1

Right off the bat, the D1 has a small energy button on the entrance that illuminates white when on, in addition to a 3.5mm headphone jack and that bare gray knob that we talked about above. On the again there’s USB and Optical (Toslink) inputs, as well as Analog/RCA outs.

The D1 doesn’t have any on-board options resembling a achieve change or bass increase.

FiiO E10Okay

The E10Okay has coaxial out, line out, and micro USB on the again. On the front, we’ve received a 3.5mm headphone jack. On-board options embrace the achieve change on the again and a bass increase change on the front.

The E10Okay doesn’t have a power button. It activates as soon as you plug it into your laptop, and turns off whenever you unplug.

DragonFly Red

The only real “feature” on this little pet is the small DragonFly icon on the top. It lights up totally different colors in response to your supply, as much as 96kHz. Fun reality: kHz doesn’t actually matter that a lot relating to sound high quality. A source information bit depth is rather more essential in figuring out how nice (or not so nice) a monitor will sound. Briefly, you’ll need to goal for 24-bit and better. Study extra: Bit Depth vs. Pattern Price.

Like the E10Okay, the DragonFly additionally doesn’t have an influence change. It’s turned on and of by way of plugging and unplugging.


  • Inexperienced = 44.1kHz
  • Blue = 48kHz
  • Orange = 88.2kHz
  • Magenta = 96kHz

Let’s speak about utilization..

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Audioengine D1

The D1 is a particularly versatile piece, and gets considered one of my highest endorsements for an throughout desktop answer. Why?

You’ll be able to power your studio screens with it by way of the RCA/Analog Outs. What are Studio Screens? You need to use it as a Gaming Rig for either your PC/Laptop computer or Console. For console simply use an optical cable and you’re set! More on the right way to hook it up in a bit. 🙂

Lastly, it’s a dedicated Amp/DAC on your desktop by way of USB, and can enhance sound high quality throughout the board.

  • Do observe that the D1 makes use of USB Sort A (into your PC) to USB Sort B (into the D1).

FiiO E10Okay

The E10Okay can be used as a Gaming DAC, but the results are disappointing and I wouldn’t buy it for that function. It doesn’t output sufficient quantity, and I presume it’s because it needs bus energy. The PS4 will present some, however it’s not almost loud sufficient. My guess is that not sufficient power is being distributed to the E10Okay but I’m not 100% positive why.

Now that the dangerous information is out of the best way, the E10Okay can also be very versatile. It may be used as a standalone DAC, as a converter by way of the coaxial out, and naturally as your dedicated desktop Amp/DAC.

  • The E10Okay uses USB Sort A (into your PC) to USB Micro B (Into the E10Okay).

As a Converter

Some DACs solely have coax and Toslink capabilities. If your pc doesn’t have these, you should use the E10Okay to transform the sign from USB to coax and then connect the opposite DAC to the E10Okay.

An alternative choice you could have is to run a Toslink cable from a receiver/TV right into a converter. Then run a cable from the opposite end of the converter into the E10Okay. Now you need to use it together with your TV!

As a standalone DAC

This actually is useful in the event you purchase the E10Okay first and improve Amps later. I was in a position to make use of an RCA to mini with my previous Schiit Magni. I simply plug within the RCA ends into the Magni, and the three.5mm into the Line Out on the E10Okay. Voila! It’s now a standalone DAC, with the Magni being the Amp.

In addition to all that, the E10Okay has a achieve change and bass increase in contrast to each the Fly and the D1. So if you understand you’ll want that, the E10Okay or D1 may be the most effective route.

Audioquest DragonFly Red

Clearly it’s sort of bare bones as far as utilization goes with the Fly and on-board options and connections. You possibly can plug it into your PC, however you may as well use it together with your telephone which is one thing that the others do not supply. Why? As a result of the E10Okay is bus powered solely with no inner battery. That is additionally why it’s a bit lighter than the D1. The D1 can also be strictly desktop.

In your telephone and the Fly, just use this low cost and effective Anker USB-C to USB three.1, and for Apple, the Apple MK0W2AM/A Lightning To USB Digital camera Adapter will work.

  • Lastly, the DragonFly makes use of only USB A into your PC/Laptop.

Let’s speak a bit about Ergonomics, power, and the technical aspect of things.

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Audioengine D1

  • Power Output. I couldn’t find any particular numbers on energy output for the Audioengine D1, however I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It may possibly drive my Sennheiser HD600’s simply nice and with plenty of headroom. These are 300 Ohm and 97dB sensitivity, so they’re a bit needy, requiring 20mW to carry out optimally. Related: What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
  • DAC Chip. The Audioengine D1 uses an AKM4396, which is understood for it’s low noise and high fidelity. I can vouch for this, because the amp is incredibly quiet during gaming periods with Fallout Four, in addition to music listening. It’s nearly distortion free.
  • Pattern Price. It supports pattern charges of 32kHz – 96kHz, with 188.2 kHz and 192 kHz re-sampled to 96 kHz. Again, I wouldn’t be too involved with this. It helps as much as 24-bit depth which is what’s most essential.
  • Output Impedance. 2 Ohm. What is Output Impedance?

FiiO E10Okay

  • Power Output. The E10Okay offers 200mW into 32 Ohm, which allows it to work fairly properly with most headphones of your selecting. Like I mentioned earlier, it really works very nicely with an HD600 regardless of what some snobs say. Simply use achieve and switch the dial up to about 5-6. The E10Okay would make a terrific choice for somebody who purchased an HD600 but doesn’t need to spend too much on an amp just yet. Along with that, it’ll power most anything. I wouldn’t depend on it for anything over 300 Ohm although.
  • DAC Chip. The newer model E10Okay makes use of the PCM-5102 DAC chip vs. the warmer WM8740 Chip used in a number of their older fashions, in accordance with Marcus at HeadFonics. Take a look at his nice evaluation of the FiiO E10Okay Olympus 2! I did discover a crisp sense of sterility in the new chip vs. the likes of a FiiO Q1 MK II, which makes use of the AK4452 Chip. I can’t say one is best than the opposite. They both simply have a special feel. The E10Okay needs you to understand how detailed it is, while the Q1 is making an attempt to make you loosen up. Anyhow, sufficient about that; we’re off matter!
  • Pattern Price. The E10Okay supports information as much as 24-bit, 96kHz.
  • Output Impedance. 1.04 Ohm.

Audioquest DragonFly Red

  • Power Output. The DragonFly Red offers 2.1V, which is A LOT. It powers an HD600 and 650 with ease, and is built to be able to drive almost anything you may need available.
  • DAC Chip. The DragonFly Red employs a 9016 ESS Sabre Chip, which is stunningly beautiful in my estimation. There’s something so clean and musical concerning the tracks once I take heed to this factor. There’s an immaculate sense of body and weight, but the music is absolutely fleshed out and has room to breathe and categorical itself. I’m getting a head of myself though. More on that later.
  • Sample Price. Just like the E10Okay, the DragonFly Red supports as much as 24-bit, 96kHz.
  • Output Impedance. < 1 Ohm.

With that, let’s get into Console Set Up, and the way you’d hook it up. Do word that out of the 3, I might only rely on the D1 for Gaming with a console. With PC, all of them work splendidly.

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Console Set Up/Gaming

For the PS4 and D1

Word: The PS4 Slim does not have Optical functionality.

  • The PS4 receives an optical cable within the rear.
  • The different end of the optical cable plugs into the back of the D1.
  • Use a USB cable from the back of the D1 into the front of the PS4 or Xbox One. I’m not conversant in the SexBox as a result of I don’t have one, however there are USB inputs on it so don’t fret!
  • Plug your headphones in.
  • Go to Settings > Sound & Display on your PS4.
  • Go to Audio Output Settings.
  • Click Main Output Port
  • Change it to “Digital Out”
  • The Input format must be Linear PCM.
  • Go back to Settings > Units > Audio Units.
  • The Output Gadget ought to be the identify of your DAC, i.e Audioengine D1.

And that’s that!

Video Shootout (Coming Soon!)

How about some photographs?

Photograph Gallery

Click to see them in motion!

I’m positive by now you’re questioning how each of them sound in relation to at least one another.

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Audioengine D1

The sound of the D1 has type of a heat tilt to it, whereas additionally being very detailed. It’s kind of exhausting to elucidate. It’s like a cross between very crisp but in addition very lush and alluring. It makes an awesome pairing with something like a Sennheiser HD650.

FiiO E10Okay

I really like the crisp sterility that this Amp/DAC offers. At occasions you’ll discover that it does sound a tad brash, but that’s only once I put it up towards other DACs just like the D1, HA-2, or DragonFly. It just sounds like it’s making an attempt a smidgen too onerous to impress you with regard to dynamics and readability, however it’s a small nitpick. Without the other Amps as a buffer to match, you’d doubtless never even discover or discern that something unusual is occurring.

DragonFly Red

As talked about above, that is in all probability my favorite general sound out of the three. It’s just like an HA-2 and actually doesn’t even sound that a lot totally different (if at all) for $150 much less. The general Timbre to the instruments has this pure, natural high quality but still retains a nice sense of realism and dynamism.

Out of all the Amps & DACs I’ve tried, the DragonFly purple is unquestionably the cream of the crop. How can that be? It’s the dimensions of a thumb drive! Yeah properly, it’s probably the most practical piece of kit I’ve ever come throughout and sounds simply nearly as good as an HA-2 from Oppo. On the finish of the day, I’m a easy man with easy wants. I need to hear music at it’s greatest and the DragonFly supplies that in spades.

Songs seem to have this sense of realism and mimic life pretty nicely. It’s as if the track is pulsating a bit more than average. You get an actual sense that the artists occupy a space slightly than simply play in your head. Like the Goal 2, there’s a feeling that you simply’re sort of there in a studio setting, or you’ll be able to at the least think about that setting lots higher in your head. I’m not going to take a seat right here and say “It’s like you’re right there in front of the band!” That may be ridiculous, but: The DragonFly purple will reveal the true character of music, and what the artist meant.

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What’s the ultimate phrase?

Remaining Word

Which of these you go together with is determined by a number of elements.

In the event you want the most effective moveable choice that you need to use at residence or on the go, and don’t actually care concerning the additional features, the DragonFly Red is my decide. It’s a bit of drugs that I like to recommend a LOT on this website and my YouTube channel, and for nice purpose. It’s simply a particularly strong funding throughout and can last you for a very long time. You possibly can pair it with something!

The E10Okay is my favourite price range desktop Amp/DAC beneath $100, and it delivers on all fronts. Plenty of features, nice versatility, it sounds fantastic, and it’s received fairly a bit of energy for an DAC in it’s worth range. I’d say the ceiling is one thing like an HD600 @ 300 Ohm. I wouldn’t attempt to power something over that, but for every thing else this beast is golden.

Lastly, the Audioengine D1 can be my decide when you want an all around piece. It’s unbelievable for gaming, can energy studio screens, or serve as your devoted desktop Amp/DAC. Pretty superb for my part! Study more:

Properly that’s about it for at this time my pal! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Audioengine D1 vs. FiiO E10Okay vs. DragonFly Red Shootout.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on one thing? Please let me know down under or Contact me!!

Hey Marvin, what do you make of all this? I might love to listen to from you.

Until subsequent time..

All the perfect and God bless,


[[email protected]$eHitZ]

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