Review: FiiO SP3 Powered HiFi Active Desktop Speakers

Review: FiiO SP3 Powered HiFi Active Desktop Speakers - 80W Stereo Computer Speakers and Home Music Sound System with AUX Audio/RCA, 2-Way

FiiO SP3 are the debut active speakers of the Asian manufacturer. They have 3.5-inch low/midrange drivers, carbon diaphragms, and 1-inch silk dome tweeters. Attention is drawn to metal housings, interchangeable stands, and RGB backlight.

FiiO is expanding its portfolio with unconventional products. After the extraordinary all-in-one R7 and high-resistance FT3 around-the-ear headphones, it’s time for interesting speakers, i.e. the SP3. What’s special about them? The compact speakers feature a two-way design, active crossovers, large tweeters, and bass ports with special tunnels. Metal housings with multi-colored backlighting and silicone pads are also impressive.

The price of the SP3 model, which is as much as EURO 380, raises doubts. Maybe this is not excessive, because we can easily find more expensive audiophiles or professional speakers on sale. Still, at this price, you can already have larger studio monitors or a set of smaller monitors with a subwoofer. In addition, the title speakers are not independent, i.e. they do not have a built-in digital-to-analog converter. FiiO SP3 must therefore defend itself with the sound …


Set contains:

  • analog cable 2x RCA-3.5 mm (length 100 cm);
  • connection cable (length 155 cm);
  • power adapter 24 V/4.16 A (length 120 cm + 40 cm);
  • flat and angled coasters;
  • manual user instructions.

The wiring is surprisingly high quality. The cables are thick, secured with a solid braid, and equipped with metal plugs and Velcro bands. The external, hundred-watt power supply, i.e. an ordinary cube with cables in rigid insulation, looks worse.


The design initially did not convince me, but the speakers look less cosmic in real life than on the manufacturer’s graphics. The wavy enclosures are inconspicuous, and the carbon fiber diaphragms are so dark that they look uniform from a distance. The RGB backlight is quite subtle because the diodes only illuminate the gaps between the housings and the silicone bases.

Slightly bulging enclosures were cast from aluminum, so the speakers are much more massive than plastic or wood-like models. Backlight diffusers have been profiled in their bases so that the silicone pads from the set are pressed against them. On the fronts, there are midrange drivers with open diaphragms made of carbon fibers. In turn, the silk-dome tweeters are protected by grilles.

The top and sides remained empty, so the entire interface landed on the back of the active speaker, by default, the right one. There are two knobs, three buttons, one switch, a bass-reflex port, and several sockets. In the upper part, signal inputs are implemented using two RCA connectors or one 3.5 mm, and in the lower part, there is a power socket and an eight-pin output for the second speaker. Passive, i.e. the left speaker has only an 8-pin input and a bass-reflex port.

The build quality… disappointing. Aluminum and extremely massive enclosures make the jaw drop, but unfortunately, they have been poorly fitted because the fronts are skewed, which applies to both speakers. In addition, the volume knob turns roughly when it puts a little resistance to the bass adjustment. It rubs slightly at the beginning of the scale … I hope it is the specificity of the test unit or that the manufacturer will eliminate defects in newer production batches because there is something like that in speakers of this class unacceptable.


The speaker bases are small (approx. 13 x 13 cm), and the cabinets are quite low (approx. 16.5 cm), so the SP3 takes up little space and should fit on any desk. However, a limitation in the case of a larger piece of furniture may be the cable connecting the two speakers, which measures about 160 cm. However, such small speakers should not be placed extremely wide, so it is not a special problem. I also did not complain about the overall stability because, in the end, the right speaker weighs 1.8 kg, the left 1.6 kg, and their stands are silicone. It is a pity that they are not magnetic – the pads do not stick to the bases but only block them.

I mainly used angle pads that deflect the fronts during the tests by 7 °. The flat ones will only be useful when the speakers are placed on desk stands or shelves because the SP3s are unsuitable for amplifying a larger room – they are rather near-field speakers. Anyway, the manufacturer’s recommendations also prove this – it’s best to place the speakers on a triangle plan, turn them in your direction by turning them by 30° and listen at a distance of 50-100 cm. FiiO also suggests keeping a 20-centimeter distance from the wall, which is unsurprising considering that the bass reflexes are at the back.

However, the operation could be more convenient because the knobs are placed on the back of the active speaker. They are located near the right edge and are relatively easy to access. Nevertheless, I would still prefer a recess with knobs on the speaker’s side, but I assume it is problematic in the case of such little things. So I quickly switched the signal source to preamplifier mode and adjusted the volume with it to avoid having to reach behind the speaker. This was probably the manufacturer’s intention because, in SP3 promotional materials, they often pose next to the R7 model, i.e. a vertical all-in-one device.


Some solutions deserve praise. Great that there is a switch on the right speaker allows you to swap channels. Thanks to this, the active speaker can be located on the right or left side according to preference. Theoretically, connecting the RCA plugs backward is enough, but remember that the FiiO SP3 also has a 3.5 mm input. There is a dedicated button to switch inputs, and the cable from the set can be used in both scenarios because it is equipped with 2x RCA and 3.5 mm plugs. Thanks to it, we can connect speakers to laptops, players, stationery combos, or dedicated transducers.

Built-in diodes raise doubts. I don’t like RGB backlighting, but I appreciate the feature when implemented well. I can’t say the same about the LEDs in the SP3 – they are dark, uneven, and give limited possibilities. There are only a few colors to choose from that pulse or smoothly change, and that’s it. Therefore, the term “RGB” backlighting is a bit of an exaggeration. Fortunately, the lights can be turned off by holding down the dedicated button to change the effects, but you have to do it every time after the power is cut off … So I would prefer that there was no backlight at all.

Too bad there’s no Bluetooth. The manufacturer probably assumed the buyer would connect the speakers to a source with a Bluetooth receiver function, which is highly likely. However, today the Bluetooth interface is offered even by basic studio monitors, which have both unbalanced and balanced inputs, which we will not find in FiiO SP3 either. The built-in USB converter or an advanced equalizer also remains in the realm of dreams. So I would gladly sacrifice RGB backlight, replaceable pads, and fancy cables for higher functionality.


  • system: 2.0
  • construction: two-way
  • transducers: bass/midrange (3.5 inches) + tweeters (1 inch) + bass-reflex
  • power: 2x 30W and 2x 10W
  • crossover frequency: 3.4 kHz
  • frequency response: 65Hz-20kHz
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • sensitivity: 85 dB
  • THD: 0.02%
  • crosstalk: 84 dB
  • SNR: 96 dB
  • signal inputs: 2x RCA and 3.5 mm
  • dimensions: 165 x 132 x 130 mm
  • weight: 1.8 kg + 1.6 kg


FiiO SP3 does not disappoint with sound. The sound seems to come from much larger speakers, and the impression is also enhanced by high power – 20-30% of the volume scale was enough for me daily. The sound can be described as deep, energetic, direct, and detailed, but at the same time, not sharpened. So the speakers are undoubtedly musical; I listened to them with pure pleasure. Perfection is out of the question, but it is understandable – we are talking about compact speakers, which sometimes seem to cheat physics anyway.

According to the SP3 specifications, they transmit frequencies from 65 Hz. In practice, the diaphragms begin to vibrate at 20 Hz, and the 40 Hz range is audible, so the lower ranges have not been completely cut off. However, the lowest components are not reproduced cleanly because a slight wheezing can be heard. The situation improves from 60 Hz upwards because the bass starts to sound fuller and freer. The bass is varied, controlled, and dynamic – it hits quickly, decays smoothly, and is properly sustained when the music requires it. In addition, the bass does not boom or flood other instruments, even at the maximum level (0 dB).

The best results will be obtained by setting the bass level to half the scale (-4 dB) and placing the speakers near the walls or corners of the room, keeping about 20 cm from the bass reflexes. On a larger desk, with the speakers farther away, the sound was less deep and less impactful but still musical. The sound will become flatter in open space or after maximally reducing the bass (-8 dB), like a monitor. The differences are quite subtle in practice – the bass adjustment range is narrow.

The midrange is direct, slightly warm, and colorful. The midrange feels smooth but not softened or blurred. The outline of the sound is still audible; the instruments are conveyed precisely and in a differentiated way. Both lower and higher voices do not disappear into the background, which moviegoers and gamers will also appreciate. The upper midrange is present but does not dominate the lower one. Hence there is no aggressive or tiring sound. I also did not perceive the midrange as sounding cardboard, but I would not say that this frequency range is natural – you can hear that the tuning is due to the DSP because you can pick up a slightly digital coating.

Treble is an asset of the FiiO SP3. The range is clear, direct, and satisfyingly clean – the SP3s don’t sound gritty or grainy so you can count on clear solo guitars, sonorous brass instruments, and metallic cymbals. Interestingly, the soprano resounds freely but remains gentle – the speakers do not hiss or sting even in poorly produced music. However, I never had the impression that there is a roll-off in the soprano, that the music is muted or dimmed. I was also pleased with the work culture of the SP3 – the tweeters only slightly hum, which is difficult to detect from a typical distance in home conditions.

In practice, SP3 behaves like near-field monitors – so-called. The sweet spot is about 1 meter from the front. The speakers can be placed both narrowly, right next to the monitor, and in the corners of a larger desk – the message remains consistent. You can also count on a good stereophony, although the priority is depth because the foreground is slightly moved away from the listener. The instruments are also exposed in an arc, and they seem to resound well above the speakers’ line, so the holography does not disappoint. I also found no problems separating the instruments and did not miss the distance between them.

FiiO SP3 – synergy
FiiO SP3 are not selective – they react to the drivers’ nature but harmonize with various sources. During the tests, I connected them to converters of various classes, as well as portable players. The sound was sometimes clearer and closer to neutral, other times warmer and a bit softer, but always satisfying. In addition, the SP3 can accept high voltage, i.e. they do not overdrive with efficient transducers, which is not so obvious in the case of standard consumer speakers.


FiiO SP3 are not trivial 2.0 speakers. This is evidenced by extremely massive aluminum housings, RGB backlighting, and adjustable tilt. I did not expect such solid cables in the set, and I also positively assessed the two analog inputs and the channel switch, thanks to which we decided on which side the active loudspeaker would be located. Ultimately, I also liked the design, and the sound immediately convinced me – it is close to balance but quite full in the bass, colorful and accessible. The soundstage is also impressive, considering the compact dimensions of the speakers.

However, I have a lot of complaints. The casing of the test unit was poorly fitted, and the resistance of the knobs raises doubts – the volume potentiometer puts too much resistance, and the one for bass correction is too small. The RGB backlight is limited, and the LEDs cannot permanently turn off. The overall functionality is low – there is no USB DAC, Bluetooth interface or balanced inputs. It is a pity that the silicone coasters are not attached magnetically or with snaps.

If we care primarily about sound, then the purchase should be successful. However, I believe the speakers should be cheaper, or the manufacturer could have given up frills to reduce the price. In general, FiiO SP3 would defend itself with the same sound quality – they do not need such cables, RGB pseudo-backlight, or replaceable stands. I have the impression that the manufacturer unnecessarily complicated the product.

It is also worth considering that there are plenty of alternatives – at this price, you can have larger monitors like Adam Audio T7V, KRK Rokit RP5 G4, or Yamaha HS-5. The compact IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor and a range of Presonus models also exist. You can add an Eris Sub8 subwoofer and still stay within your budget. So while I enjoyed the FiiO SP3, the speakers probably wouldn’t be my first choice.

+ rich equipment
+ aluminum housings
+ interesting design
+ adjustable deflection
+ two analog inputs
+ bass equalizer
+ channel switch
+ a lot of power
+ musical, colorful, slightly warm sound
+ large sound stage

– quality issues
– limited RGB backlight
– low functionality