I found the best portable headphone amp I have ever heard

Friday I made the mistake of shopping while drinking. I could not go to CanJam in SoCal due to work, and I ordered a pair of IEMs, the Fiio FH5, and a portable Bluetooth DAC/headphone amp.

The jury is still out on the IEMs as I wait for ear tips that fit me. So far they are a huge disappointment.

Anyway, the BTR3, which I ordered as an afterthought is what I wanted to rave about. It is astonishing. It is as good as the Pono was, the prior best ever sounding portable. The Pono used an output stage designed by Ayre, and used again in the Codex.

The BTR3 is the Star Trek version. TINY. Amazing air and tube like liquidity in the mid and treble with plenty of drive. It spanks the Topping DX3 Pro I have on my desktop in every way except raw output.


I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to listen to music on the go OR, call me crazy, if you want to add Bluetooth music to an existing stereo. Add a charger (not included) and mini to RCA jack and you are done
Wow - high praise and cheap to investigate.  I have a Pono which does indeed have a great headphone amp and a 1st gen Fiio X5 which is alright at best - will definitely keep it on the radar...
I have the Fiio with the outboard Mont Blanc amp. I haven't tried the Mont Blank with the BTR3, but so far I don't need to.

One of my goals here was to stop travelling with my (allegedly) audiophile LG V30, and my Fiio X5 AND the portable amp.

I keep the phone, but man, the sound is so much better.

There are some static issues I am discovering, but at my desk I usually don't notice.

My usual IEM's are the Shure E4's, and my desktops are ESS 422H. They make the 422's sound amazing.