FiiO, a well-known audio brand, has recently unveiled the KB3, a mechanical keyboard equipped with a built-in headphone jack that promises improved sound quality over the standard 3.5mm output found on most desktop computers and laptops.
The standout feature of the KB3 is its integrated combination DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and headphone amp, which ensures that the audio signal doesn’t just pass through the keyboard, but is converted and amplified within the keyboard itself. This eliminates the need for a separate DAC and headphone amplifier, reducing clutter on your desk and offering a more streamlined audio experience.
One of the main advantages of the KB3 is its potential to deliver high-quality audio output, thanks to its inclusion of dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 DACs. These DACs support up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 audio formats, ensuring that the keyboard is capable of handling high-resolution audio files with ease. In addition to the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, the KB3 also boasts a 4.4mm balanced output, providing versatility for a wide range of headphones and audio equipment.
On the keyboard front, the KB3 offers a range of features that make it a compelling choice for both audiophiles and gaming enthusiasts. The keyboard is gasket-mounted and features hot-swap switches, allowing users to easily replace switches without the need for soldering. It supports both Mac and Windows, includes customizable RGB lighting, and is compatible with the popular VIA configuration software. The compact 75-percent layout, reminiscent of laptop keyboards, provides a familiar and efficient typing experience, and the volume control dial on the top-right corner offers convenient audio adjustments.
While FiiO is not the first brand to incorporate a headphone jack into a keyboard, the KB3’s built-in DAC sets it apart from other similar offerings. By taking a digital audio signal from the computer and converting it using a dedicated DAC, the KB3 aims to eliminate potential audio interference that could arise from passing an analog signal through the keyboard.
The KB3 is available for purchase through AliExpress, with the barebones model priced at $129.99 and the fully-assembled version priced at $149.99. Additionally, a wireless model is also available, though it lacks the advanced audio features found in the standard KB3.
In conclusion, the FiiO KB3 is a compelling option for users seeking a high-quality, all-in-one keyboard with advanced audio capabilities. Whether for gaming, professional audio work, or everyday use, the KB3 offers a versatile and compact solution that combines premium audio performance with a feature-rich mechanical keyboard design.