The KB3 is a brand new mechanical keyboard from audio model FiiO with a built-in headphone jack that is more likely to sound higher than the prevailing three.5mm output in your desktop pc or laptop computer. That is as a result of the headphone jack does not simply go analog audio from the pc, it is related to a mix DAC and headphone amplifier that is constructed into the keyboard itself.
So as an alternative of getting a headphone cable run throughout your desk to get to the machine, or cluttering up your workspace with a separate DAC and headphone amp, all of those units can theoretically be constructed proper into the keyboard that’s underneath your fingers. And it comes from an organization that is aware of a factor or two about audio (even when its keyboard-making abilities are much less confirmed).
I can see the argument that you’re going to get higher outcomes by shopping for such tools individually, however the KB3’s audio and keyboard specs do not include any main crimson flags for an all-in-one at this value. On the audio aspect, the keyboard is supplied with twin Cirrus Logic CS43131 DACs and helps as much as 32-bit / 384kHz and DSD256 audio. Along with the usual three.5 mm headphone jack, there may be additionally a balanced four.four mm output. Tom’s Hardware notes that the audio specs appear to match FiiO’s $80 KA13 headphone amp.
The peripheral does not seem like a slouch within the keyboard division both. It is gasket-mounted, with hot-swap switches (which means they are often changed with out soldering), helps each Mac and Home windows, contains RGB lighting, and is appropriate with the favored VIA configuration software program. It is out there in a barebones choice that comes with out switches or keycaps, however in order for you them included, you get Gateron G Professional three.zero Yellow switches and what seems to be a set of translucent keycaps. It makes use of the ever-popular 75 p.c compact format, much like what you will discover on a variety of laptops, and naturally there is a dial on the highest proper to manage quantity.
FiiO is much from the primary model to consider constructing a three.5mm headphone jack right into a keyboard. The Razer BlackWidow Final 2016, for instance, can plug into your pc’s three.5mm jack and go audio by to a port in your keyboard. However the common knowledge was to not depend on headphone jacks like these due to the audio interference that passing an analog sign by a keyboard may add. By taking a digital audio sign from a pc and changing it utilizing a built-in DAC, FiiO’s method is much like the Moondrop Sprint, one other current keyboard with a built-in headphone jack.
FiiO sells the KB3 by AliExpress, the place it may be bought for $129.99 with out switches or keys, or $149.99 as a completely assembled mannequin. It is also out there as a wi-fi keyboard for $129.99 totally assembled, however that mannequin does not have any of the cool audio options.