Frustration comes in many forms, and, as any lover of hi-fi sound would certainly tell you, there’s no greater torment than being forced to listen to low-quality audio. For instance, you’ve just taken your trusty mobile phone, plugged your budget no-name headphones and played your favorite song. Unfortunately, instead of a gorgeous hi-res masterpiece, you were greeted with hollow, muffled, robotic sounds that seem as if they are coming from an interior of a metal bucket. It doesn’t sound too appealing, doesn’t it? But what would you say if I’d told you that there is an easy way to turn your humble smartphone into a professional sound system, without having to spend a small fortune on new headphones and other hugely overpriced accessories?

The answer to all your audio problems is Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro, an amplifier device from the Fiio Electronics Technology. This Chinese manufacturer of audio equipment became famous for providing high-quality products at highly competitive prices, and Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro perfectly epitomizes the philosophy of this company.

Unlike its plastic predecessor Fiio E11, this upgraded new version is made of a single piece of black aluminum. Overall, it boasts a sleek, simple and timeless design, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also extremely functional. On one side of the device are low-high and bass boost switches, and a round turning volume control – all of them function smoothly, which is a thing that all those who spend lots of time on the go will greatly appreciate, because you’ll be able to easily control everything even with one hand. The other side stores gold-plated 3.5mm input and output ports, as well as a USB charging port.

As you can see, there are not that many options, so you’ll set everything up in a matter of seconds: just plug the amp to your source device, regulate the volume to your liking, and turn on the bass boost if you’re into that kind of thing. Now, among the different accessories that come in the package (such as interconnect and USB cables), there is also a pair of sturdy elastic rubber bands. You can use them to conveniently clasp Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro to your mobile device and thus get a small and compact package which can be easily carried in your pocket, hand, or any other way you prefer.

Of course, the neat design and great manufacturing quality are one thing, but how does this little amplifier perform in action? First of all, even with headphones from different quality and price ranges, Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro will amplify nicely, filter and refine the sound from all distortions and impurities. When professional reviewers and audiophiles describe the quality of the sound that some first-rate amplifier provides, they usually opt for the word neutral. That’s one of the best features that you can get from an amplifier because it means that the particular device is capable of delivering the performance that’s as close as possible to the sound of the original source – and that’s precisely what Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro does for a modest price of 60 bucks.

Now, if you’re a hard-core audiophile, a pitch-perfect lover of flawless hi-fi sound who can discern all the subtle tonal nuances (and, on top of that, you have a marked penchant for nitpicking), it’s obvious that you’ll get the best results if you pair Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro with some decent headphones. However, one thing is guaranteed: regardless of their quality, Fiio E11K Kilimanjaro will bring the absolute best from even the most modest headphones, and turn your music session into something special.