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Audio mechanical keyboards are a thing, no really

The FiiO HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard features a gasket mount design, Gateron G Pro 3.0 yellow switches, RGBs, and a Dual CS43131 DAC.

An image of the FiiO HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard.

FiiO, a brand more widely known for creating audio tech, most recognizably for producing MP3 players in the days before streaming audio was commonplace, has released a HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard, with a built-in DAC. The KB3, allows you to forgo the use of speakers altogether, so you can plug your headphones directly into the keyboard itself.

When it comes to the best gaming keyboards, there are a lot of factors at play that determine what makes one best suited for your PC gaming setup. Usually it comes down to if it’s full sized or mini, what kind of key-switches it has, and even down to whether you prefer a multitude of customizable RGB lighting effects at your fingertips. Now, with the release of the KB3 FiiO HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard, you have to consider whether you want your peripheral to have audio support too.

The FiiO HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard allows you to connect your headphones through its 3.5mm headphone hack output, thanks to use of the onboard DAC and amplifiers. FiiO has used its history of creating audio technology to integrate the keyboard with two CS43131 DACs, and two low-noise SGM8262 op-amps, to produce 550mW of output power, not too dissimilar to the quality of a lot of the best computer speakers available today.

A pair of headphones connected to the FiiO HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard.

While the onboard audio support is a niche concept as far as keyboards go, the KB3 isn’t absent of the specs you’d want from an everyday mechanical keyboard. The KB3 also features a gasket design, with multiple layers to help reduce noise, as well as Gateron G Pro 3.0 yellow switches, and the keys are fully swappable so you can tailor the KB3 to your needs.

While the Kb3 is definitely one of the more intriguing keyboards we’ve stumbled across, it’s not the only HiFi keyboard out there. Moondrop, a manufacturer known for its anime-inspired audio tech, released the ‘Moondrop Dash Mechanical Hi-Fi Keyboard’ last year. The keyboard was designed to create a hybrid experience that both keyboard enthusiasts and audiophiles could get behind, and it also featured a built-in DAC.

The FiiO HiFi Audio Mechanical Keyboard is currently available in wired, and wireless versions through AliExpress for approximately $159.90/£126.99. However, as of writing, only the non-HiFi versions are still in stock. According to AliExpress, it appears as though only 47 of the keyboards were sold, so it’s likely that HiFi keyboards will remain a niche for both keyboard enthusiasts and audiophiles alike. However, I always welcome the ingenuity that comes with new ideas for everyday peripherals, especially if it means I can save some valued space on my desk in the process.

Check out our Corsair K70 Core review, if you’re looking for an entry-level keyboard to add to your PC gaming setup, and don’t mind having to stick to your speakers when it comes to audio.

With Black Friday finally upon us, there’s also a ton of great gaming keyboard deals available right now, so there’s never been a perfect time to pick a new one up.