Fosi Audio SK02 Review

I recently got my hands on the Fosi Audio SK02, a new DAC/amp combo. While Fosi Audio sent it to me for review, the review will be as unbiased as possible. The device is available for purchase for $99.99 on Amazon right now. Disclaimer: I’m not an audiophile, but I enjoy decent sound quality for listening to music and for gaming.

The packaging is pretty basic – a cardboard box with the Fosi logo and the model name slapped on. Inside, you’ll find the SK02 itself, a user manual, and a USB-C to USB-C cable with a USB-A adapter.

I mostly used SK02 in a preamp arrangement, connecting it via USB input to my desktop PC.

Design and Build

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The SK02 has a bit of an unique layout compared to other DAC/amps. The volume control knob and information LEDs are on the top, which might work better depending on your setup. The case is made of black aluminum and feels pretty sturdy, although not super heavy.

It’s a good size for my desk, fitting nicely next to my keyboard without taking up too much space. The volume knob has a slight wobble, but nothing major and barely noticeable during normal use. The LEDs are bright enough to see but not distracting, which is a plus. Overall, the build quality is good, especially considering the price point.

Functionality

The top of the device features a large volume knob that also doubles as a play/pause button and power switch (at least on Windows 10). It’s an infinite rotary knob, so you just keep turning it and the volume adjusts accordingly. There’s also a single LED to indicate volume level, but it’s not very detailed. The good thing is the volume control on the SK02 is independent of Windows. This means you can use exclusive modes in music apps without worrying about blasting your ears, but it also means you can’t use keyboard shortcuts to adjust volume.

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There are two buttons on the top panel: one for gain level and another for switching between input modes (USB or optical). The front has two headphone jacks: a standard 3.5mm and a balanced 4.4mm. The back has a USB-C input, an optical input, and a 3.5mm preamp output. This output is controlled by the volume knob and gets muted when you plug in headphones.

One thing I missed is a microphone input, which would be handy for gamers who use headsets. It wouldn’t need to be high-end, just something basic.

Sound Quality

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I didn’t measure the output power, but the SK02 definitely packs a punch. It gets plenty loud without ever needing to max out the volume. As for the sound itself, it’s mostly neutral with a very slight warmth to it. It doesn’t add or take away anything from the music, but it might not be as detailed as some other options out there.

During my testing, I was particularly impressed with how the SK02 transformed the audio quality of my old budget Steelseries Siberia X300 gaming headset. The soundstage seemed wider, and overall clarity was noticeably enhanced. I could hear footsteps in CS2 and in Valorant much more clearly which is why I will probably stick to SK02 for all my gaming sessions. It’s really good at that.

It also did very good for my cheap Logitech Z200 speakers. So, if you’re looking for a DAC to improve the sound quality of your existing budget setup, the SK02 is a great option.

Is it good for gaming?

My setup: SK02 next to a keyboard
My setup: SK02 next to a keyboard

The SK02 offers plenty of power to drive most gaming headsets, especially with the high gain setting on the 3.5mm jack (280mW at 32Ω) and the balanced 4.4mm jack (a whopping 1100mW at 32Ω).

The THD+N of 0.001% means minimal audio distortion, resulting in accurate sound reproduction. This is crucial for pinpointing that footsteps I mentioned earlier and other subtle in-game sounds.

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The SNR of 110dB (low gain) to 120dB (high gain) signifies a quiet background with minimal noise interference. This allows you to hear important game sounds clearly without any distracting background hiss.

The 20Hz-20kHz (±0.02dB) frequency response ensures you hear all the sonic details in your games, from deep explosions to high-pitched footsteps.

The SK02 doesn’t have a microphone input, which might be a drawback for gamers who use headsets with a microphone. And it doesn’t have virtual surround sound processing, but some gaming headsets have built-in virtual surround which can be used with the SK02.

Verdict

The Fosi Audio SK02 is a great choice for casual listeners and gamers who want a small, powerful, and affordable DAC/amp for their desktop. It’s probably not aimed at veteran audiophiles, but it offers good sound quality, plenty of power, and a compact design that won’t take up much space. It’s also versatile with its multiple inputs and outputs, making it a good fit for various setups.

You can purchase Fosi Audio SK02 DAC/Amp at:

Marcus Richardson
Editor-in-chief

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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