FiiO K7 crackling sound and recommendations

Hello peeps!

I’m kinda new to HiFi so go easy on me.

I just received the FiiO K7.


  • MacBook Pro 16” M1 Max.
  • FiiO K7 connected via USB.
  • Set the Audio MIDI Setup app to 2ch 32-bit 384KHz.
  • Headphones: KPH30i (Clear) and KSC75 (Drop) connected via 6.35mm output with 3.5mm adapter.

When setting the K7 volume to max, there’s a crackling sound on some songs in an specific range of sound (Don’t know how to explain this?).

Lowering the volume a little bit fixes the issue. It happens with both headphones mentioned above. My question is:

Could this be an issue with the K7? Bad configuration? Or the headphones not performing well?

Also, I would like a headphone recommendation for music, all genres, open-back, no preference on balanced/unbalanced nor dynamic/planar/insertmoredrivershere.

I’m looking for comfort (being able to use them 24/7), easy to clean, changeable pads and don’t get hot (SHP-9500 sweat beast).

Max 1000 USD. Some considerations are the following in no specific order:

  • Meze 109 Pro. (My top choice so far).
  • Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R.
  • Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. (Too many complains ‘bout too bright?)
  • Hifiman Edition XS.
  • Hifiman Ananda.
  • Focal Clear (Originals, trying to avoid them cuz of color, pads could get dirty really easy?)
  • Focal Elex.
  • Audeze LCD-2 Classic (I heard they are heavy / not comfy?)
  • Other suggestions?
  • Oh, Canada stores or Amazon CA.

Would prefer sound-stage and definition of instruments and vocals.

My DAC/AMP combo considerations were the iFi Zen DAC V2 and the Topping D3X Pro+, iFi Go Blu. Went with the FiiO K7…

Thanks in advance for reading and any help you could provide.

Your PC probably can’t keep up with processing that high a bit depth/sample rate, or the applications you’re using aren’t compatible. Try switching to 16bit 44100 or 48000Hz - there isn’t really any advantage to going higher anyway.

I tried setting it to ‘2ch 32-bit 192KHz’ since that’s the highest Apple Music can reproduce and same issue. What is weird to me is that it only happens on max volume.

It’s the K7 because that’s where you can make the problem go away by simply turning a knob. Your computer has nothing to do with it since it’s just handing over numbers.

I would spend that money on a good chain, not just a (potentially demanding) set of headphones that can’t perform their best for you.

Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by “chain”?
I might return this unit. I do believe it’s defective. Tried with a Windows PC, different configuration, different cables and adapters, different FLAC files and the issue persists.

DAC - AMP - Headphones would be the whole chain, but in this case I’m referring to the first two, the dac and the amp.

I would definitely return it if you can. If you could get that money back, buy a dac with it and then split your 1k approximately 50-50 headphones-amp, I think you’d be in good shape.

I’d bet it’s tripping over Windows audio enhancements. Turn them off in sound preferences and try again.