Review Fosi Audio ZA3: my personal experience

Vladoh

Active member
Jan 30, 2024
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Hi!

I would like to share with you my own listening experience with the new Fosi Audio ZA3.

The Fosi Audio ZA3 is a compact integrated class D amplifier that can operate in both stereo and mono mode. It is equipped with two Texas Instruments TPA3255 amplifier chips which allows it to output max power up to 2×155 W (in stereo mode) or 1×235 W (mono mode) @4 Ohm load with a 48V/5A power supply unit.

This quite tiny amplifier is equipped with stereo RCA and balanced XRL inputs; classic speaker terminals (supporting banana plugs or bare wire connection), plus an output for an active subwoofer. In addition, there is a 12V trigger available on the back panel: this feature allows to power on/off the ZA3 especially if you use two of them in pair as mono amplifier.

Packaging and esthetical appearance: the Fosi ZA3 amplifier arrived with a nice compact package that includes the power adapter with cable, which will match the one used in your country, and manual user.

IMG_3073 - Copia.JPG IMG_3078.JPG

I like very much how the amplifier looks like and how you can feel it in your hands. The case seems to be very solid and give you a good impression and the effort that Fosi has put in the design is also quite clear with the choice of colors (I love the orange knob) and the side holes which, in addition to being very useful for heat dissipation, are very attractive due to the presence of the net with the same color of the knob. The size is a little bit bigger compared to my Fosi BT20A Pro, as you can see on the third picture, but remain still compact allowing more space for more connections.
IMG_3085.JPG IMG_3084.JPG
IMG_3079.JPG IMG_3087.JPG

Below some technical specifications directly from Fosi Audio web page:

Chip Set Texas Instruments: TPA3255
Output Power: With 48V/5A PSU
Stereo: 155Wx2 @4Ω
Mono: 235Wx1 @4Ω

With 32V/5A PSU

Stereo: 95Wx2 @4Ω
Mono: 110Wx1 @4Ω

Terminating Impedance: 2-8 Ω
Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (±0.1dB)
SINAD 89 dB
THD <0.006%
SNR ≥106 dB
Dynamic Range ≥106 dB

Concerning the output power, thanks to a friend of mine, I had the opportunity to check it on ZA3, and I wasn’t believing how much power you can get from this small amplifier:

Supply power
Impedance
Power (1 kHz, THD 1%) - left channel
Power (1 kHz, THD 1%) - right channel
48V / 5A​
8 Ohm​
95 W​
96 W​
48V / 5A​
4 Ohm​
175 W​
177 W​

Fosi Audio ZA3 is equipped with high-quality components like German Wima capacitors, Japanese NCC and ELNA capacitors, and Japanese Sumida inductors.

I have already seen different graphs and detailed measurements done by other people and all of them look great.

What about how this small amplifier sounds? My setup was a Pro-Ject turntable with integrated phono stage + Fosi ZA3 + Dali Oberon 5 speakers (6 Ω impedance). The turntable was connected to the amplifier via RCA cables.

The sound is warm and full with nice low frequencies, for sure due to the neutral frequency response I saw on graphs available on some forums, and the soundstage is large and detailed. You can feel the position of each instrument and musicians in front and behind the line of the speakers and this makes the listen experience more emotional, clean and vivid. I compared the same set up (turntable + speakers) with my Fosi Audio BT20A Pro, and I can easily say that the ZA3 sounds better and punchier.

At the end, what I liked:
  • of course how the music goes out of the speakers in terms of imaging and separation, it’s crazy how good this amp sounds for the price.
  • the design of this brand new Fosi amplifier.
  • The 12V trigger input.
  • The possibility to change the op-amps very easily, so you can have your personal signature with your own amplifier.
But…there is also something that I’d suggest to modify on this amplifier. For instance, the mono/stereo switch could be placed on the back or underneath (you do not need often to switch from mono to stereo, or vice versa, once you have defined your setup). Instead, I should appreciated that this switch could be used for the power on/off, to avoid frequent accidental change of volume setting especially in mono mode.

I didn't have the opportunuty to test the XRL imputs or to test the amplifier as mono (I have only one), but I hope my post can be useful for one of you.

What about your idea? Did someone have the chance to listen such kind of amplifiers?

Thanks
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Mine is being shipped and I may get it within the next week. I couldn’t resist for about £125 inc 48v power supply.

I agree that the two front switches belong on the back, as they are used once in a blue moon. An on off switch however, would be ideal on the front.
 
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Al ears

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Mine is being shipped and I may get it within the next week. I couldn’t resist for about £125 inc 48v power supply.

I agree that the two front switches belong on the back, as they are used once in a blue moon. An on off switch however, would be ideal in the front.
Quite agree. An odd placement. Who knows I might be tempted myself....
 
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Gray

Well-known member
I agree that the two front switches belong on the back, as they are used once in a blue moon. An on off switch however, would be ideal on the front.
I suppose the RCA / XLR switch might be handy as a source selector for some.
But stereo / mono should certainly be on the back....if it's accidentally switched does it suddenly whack more into just the right speaker? :unsure:

Maybe you will (try not to) find out (y)
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
I suppose the RCA / XLR switch might be handy as a source selector for some.
But stereo / mono should certainly be on the back....if it's accidentally switched does it suddenly whack more into just the right speaker? :unsure:

Maybe you will (try not to) find out (y)
I’ve no idea, tbh. I suppose it’s doubling up the power, but whether it is like more gain, or just more headroom…?
 

Jasonovich

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Jul 28, 2022
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Mine is being shipped and I may get it within the next week. I couldn’t resist for about £125 inc 48v power supply.

I agree that the two front switches belong on the back, as they are used once in a blue moon. An on off switch however, would be ideal on the front.
I love those shark grills. Two of ZA3's in mono configuration would be amazing.
 

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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I really want one of these just to see what all the fuss is about. I can't really justify spending £100 on something I won't use.

I'm exactly the same, it'd just be to buy a new toy at the moment which I can't currently justify.

If however any of my existing systems blew I'd definitely get one of these and pair it with a WiiM Pro Plus especially as it has a trigger.
I'd program presets on the WiiM so The Mrs can easily just press one button to switch the radio onto her preferred channel I think it'd be a brilliant system to replace a Denon M39 in a kitchen living area and if ever the stereo in the bedroom or the one in my study gave up the ghost, the Denon would get moved there and this'd replace it in the kitchen.

Is it wrong to be secretly hoping one of your current systems breaks :ROFLMAO:
 

Jasonovich

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Jul 28, 2022
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Aren't they integrated amps?
Why would you want a pair doing power amps job?
There is a mono option on these, you can bridge, flip switch at the front and special speaker configuration that allows mono setting. which is pretty neat, particularly we're asking an outlay of approx £250 for the two amps, that's Candy Fosi✌️😎
 
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Al ears

Well-known member
There is a mono option on these, you can bridge, flip switch at the front and special speaker configuration that allows mono setting. which is pretty neat, particularly we're asking an outlay of approx £250 for the two amps, that's Candy Fosi✌️😎
But surely doing that you are making bits of what you have paid for redundant?
A pointless exercise if you wan t a pair of monoblocks
 
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Fandango Andy

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Witterings

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Fandango Andy

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That video will seriously mess with anybody's mund that's a bit OCD .... one amp has a gold knob and the other doesn't .... F ... Me .... I almost had an audiophile moment :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :tearsofjoy:
The Fosi website does say you can have a free orange knob for Valentines Day. I'm just trying to get my head around that to make sure it isn't a euphemism.
 

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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Once you have added the pre amp shown in the video and two of the monoblocks, with 48v power supply you are somewhere in the low £300s. For that price how does it compare to the WiiM amp?

Some reviews of the WiiM amp are questioning how good it is .... brialliant all round system for a non critical listening room but apparently the DAC's avaerage and supposidely the amp doesn't perform as well as it should and lower than the stated power.

I haven't personally heard it, I was tempted to hit the buy now button but a couple of reviews made me think I'd wait to see what the longer term opinions were.

I also don't really regard "youtube reviewers" opinions highly and thought I'd wait and see what real people in forums opinion was.
 
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