FiiO SP3 High-Fidelity Active Desktop Speakers

A couple of months ago when I reviewed the FiiO R7 Music Server/Streamer/Headphone Amplifier I was excited to see that it was intended as part of a desktop sound system employing FiiO SP3 High Fidelity Active Desktop Speakers so I made sure to be on the list to review said speakers when they became available and that time has come.

Aesthetically the FiiO SP3 speakers are designed to match the FiiO R7 including the rubber pedestals which come in both the flat and angled configurations so the system can be set up together on a shelf. Also included in the package is all the cabling you need for the system in the form of a 42” 3.5mm TRS to dual RCA cable to connect the speaker to FiiO R7 or other source using either the 3.5mm or RCA connection (the SP3 has inputs for both) and a 62” umbilical cord to connect the two speakers as the power supply need only connect to one speaker.

The primary speaker (marked as “Right”) houses the power connection, inputs for 3.5mm TRS and Right/Left RCA, the power button, input select button, LED lighting color select (labeled “RGB), volume control, and a bass boost volume control.

The FiiO SP3 feature list is as follows:

  • 3.5-inch carbon fiber midwoofer
  • 1-inch silk tweeter
  • Soft wave-absorbing tweeter dome design
  • Asymmetrical internal and external magnetic circuits
  • Directional acoustic waveguides
  • Double-diffused S-shaped port tube
  • 2-way active crossover
  • Bi-amp configuration
  • TI power amplifier
  • 30*2+10W*2 power output
  • 100W external power supply
  • Tiny 2.35L volume
  • Pressure die-cast liquid metal cabinet
  • LED lighting effects
  • Exclusive stand with 7-degree elevation
  • High-quality exclusive cables

A point of interest, the 3.5-inch carbon fiber midwoofer’s asymmetrical dual magnet (one internal and one external) structure not only increases the strength of the magnetic field to up to 1.2 Tesla, increasing dynamics, it also helps to reduce non-linear distortion across all frequencies.

By employing an active two-way crossover in a bi-amp configuration in conjunction with FiiO’s double-diffused S-shaped porting tube along with directional acoustic waveguides, the FiiO SP3 is able to produce an extremely linear frequency response from 65Hz to 20kHz, even off axis, providing very low bass response for such a small speaker.

Living with the FiiO SP3 High-Fidelity Active Desktop Speakers:

Having received the FiiO SP3 High Fidelity Active Desktop Speakers at the same time as the FiiO M15S Desktop/Portable Hi-Res Lossless Music Player I had plenty of time to burn them in with the FiiO R7 while I performed that review as well as a couple of show reports. This also meant that I had plenty of time to get to know them before I made my serious listening tests, devouring my playlists on Qobuz and even installing the Bandcamp app on the R7 to listen to some of my own music. I set the speakers up in a near-field configuration as that appears to be the intended use case.

Butterfly Lovers Joshua Bell

I began my evaluation with “Butterfly Lovers” (24-bit/96kHz – Qobuz) by Joshua Bell as performed by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra conducted by Tsung Yeh. The SP3s gave an energetic reproduction with the lead strings up front and the rest of the orchestra a ways behind. The dynamic range was immense giving a real sense of depth to the sound. The timbre of the instruments was quite spritely offering the impression of a lively hall.


Switching to Tyshawn Sorey’s “Continuing” (24-bit/96kHz – Qobuz) and closing my eyes it was hard to imagine that the sound was coming from tiny speakers just a couple feet away. I was transported to a large nightclub with the upright bass taking centerstage about 10’ away with drums behind and the piano behind and to the right though you could hear the piano sound reflect off the wall on the left. Oddly the hi-hat was on the left so I flipped the switch on the back of the speaker reversing the soundstage which sounded more natural to me though it is entirely possible that the drummer is left-handed. The ability to hear the individual musicians so solidly placed was rather unusual for a system in this price range.


Putting on Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky” (24-bit/192kHz – Qobuz) I discovered just how well these little speakers can fill up a room, as I needed to leave the room for a moment. I also discovered I was losing quite a lot of the bass in the way I had them set up, which meant changing the way I had the room set up.

PJ Harvey I Inside the Old Year Dying

Setting the speakers on stands on the live end of the room as the rear port would seem to dictate I selected PJ Harvey’s new album “I Inside the Old Year Dying”. This is where I need to talk about the bass control on the back of the speaker, I had been listening with it turned up all the way, I thought that moving the speaker out into the room would lead me to turn it down, but this proved to not be the case. The most natural sound came with it turned up. That being said it was like being in the room with the performer. As one would like with a desktop system of this form the SP3 can easily fill a room and produces party-level dynamics and volume.

Who's Next

Booting up the FiiO Music app I played “The Song Is Over” by The Who from their album “Who’s Next”  (DSD) and that sense of three-dimensional space and extreme depth returned. I did some experimenting with the rubber footers and found that with the angled footer, the perceivable bass was increased and the presentation was more musical.

Jaco Pastorius

As a final test, I chose “Portrait Of Tracy” by Jaco Pastorius from his self-entitled album “Jaco Pastorius” (DSD). While to get real impact you would need to add a subwoofer, the FiiO SP3s handled the bass solo with aplomb.

This Is Party Man (feat. The Worldbeaters) Peter Gabriel

As I was writing the conclusion to this review it occurred to me that I hadn’t listened to the SP3 on a bookshelf which would most likely be the standard setup for most people, so I did so and played “This Is Party Man (feat. The Worldbeaters)” by Peter Gabriel. Indeed in this configuration, I turned down the bass control, otherwise, the sound was not appreciably different than my previous setups.

Conclusions on the FiiO SP3 High-Fidelity Active Desktop Speakers:

For a little less than a grand, the FiiO SP3 High Fidelity Active Desktop Speakers with the FiiO R7 Music Server/Streamer/Headphone Amplifier is the perfect desktop sound system for the office or small apartment. Producing sound quality well above its price point the SP3 is not just another computer speaker system though it could certainly function as such and with the added space requirements of a bass box that most of such systems have. While they would definitely benefit from a true subwoofer that can operate from 65Hz down (we’re talking about an audio subwoofer rather than a theater sub, if the crossover adjustment on the sub does not go down to 50Hz you probably don’t want to use it) the FiiO SP3 is perfectly capable of producing low bass and filling a room with sound. The fidelity is superb for a speaker of its size and price point. In fact, they are very reminiscent of the ADS 2002 Speaker system which cost about twice that of the SP3 way back in 1978.

Dynamic and musical as well as versatile the FiiO SP3 whether coupled with the R7 or your favorite DAP or even your laptop is an easy recommend and is small enough that you could slip it into a backpack or briefcase and take it with you to have two channel loudspeaker sound while on the road. Well done FiiO, I look forward to your next accomplishment, perhaps a wireless version.

Price: $299.99

Manufacturer’s Website:


Product type: HiFi active desktop speakers


About 163x120x132mm (without base)

About 170x120x132mm (with 0° flat base)

About 182x120x132mm (with 7° elevation base)

Weight: Primary speaker about 1840g and secondary speaker about 1660g

Speaker crossover type: 2-way

Frequency response: 65Hz-20kHz (±2dB)

Impedance: 8Ω

Sensitivity: 85dB (1Vrms)@1kHz

Output power: 30*2 (bass)+10W*2 (treble)

Audio connectors: RCA and AUX input

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Gary Alan Barker

Gary Alan Barker is a writer who has been a member of the Audio Industry since 1978, having acted as technical writer for several high-end audio companies, and been an electronics hobbyist since 1960. He has also been a musician and writer since the mid 1960s.


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