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New Head-Fier
FiiO Q11 Review
Pros: - Quality construction
- Price/performance
- Beautiful design
- Portable or desktop DAC/AMP
- Clean power
- No background hiss
- Great sound quality
- Good amount of power
- High Gain & Low Gain
- 3.5mm and 4.4mm Bal
- On/Off and volume knob
- 3 cables (usb-c, usb-a, lightning)
- Accessories for smartphones
- No surface heating
Cons: - No battery bypass
- Few functions on FiiO Control App
- Rigid volume knob
- "Creases" in the surface can get dirty
- Glass part requests more care


>>I am brazilian and I speak portuguese, so forgive my english, I'll use translator tools to help<<


Following the line of FiiO’s portable DAC/AMPS, today I'll review the FiiO Q11. The product arrives with a very interesting price range, it costs almost half the price of a FiiO Q3 and delivers more power than the mentioned DAC/AMP (in the two available outputs, 3.5mm and 4.4mm). Currently on the market, the Q11 seems to be the only product with the configurations it has, and for the price it has… at least I'm not aware of another one with these conditions, what is usually going to be easier to find are dongles.

Price: $89.99 USD
Colors: Black

FiiO's previous reviews: JD7, KA5, FD11 (english) FH3, KA1, HS18 (portuguese)

FiiO store:


General specifications
Name/ModelQ11Hardware solutionsDAC: CS43198
ColorBlackVolume controlAnalog Potentiometer (ADC Sampling)
Weight143.2g (Q11 body)Size6 x 10.7 x 1.6 cm
Sampling rate indicatorLight blue: ≤48K

Yellow: >48K

Green: DSD
Recommended headphone impedancePO: 16 ~ 150Ω
BAL: 16 ~ 300Ω
Maximum supported sampling rate384kHz/32bit (USB, COAX)
Buttons and interfaces
USB interfaceTYPE-C USB2.0 (charging/data)KnobSwitch/Volume Adjustment
Toggle SwitchGain switchAmbient light windowSampling rate indicator
Light holePower indicatorSE phone outStandard 3.5mm port
SPDIF output3.5mm port (shared with PO)BAL phone outStandard 4.4mm port
Power parameters
Power supplyDC5V 2A (recommended)Battery capacity2600mAH
Charging time<2.5HBattery lifePO≥13.5H BAL≥13H
Battery life and test conditions
Audio inUSBOutput power40mV
Music trackMP3 44.1K-16bitImpedance32ohms
Audio parameters
Headphone output performance parameters (3.5mm)
Output power310mW(16Ω,THD+N<1%.USB IN)Output amplitude≥2.3V(32Ω,THD+N<1%)
165mW(32Ω,THD+N<1%,USB IN)≥ 2.4V (no-load)
19mW(300Ω,THD+N<1%,USB IN)Output impedance< 1.2Ω
Frequency response20Hz~ 20Khz, curve amplitude change ≤ 0.1dBCrosstalk≥70dB(1Khz,32Ω)
20Hz~ 50Khz, curve amplitude change ≤ 0.1dBSNR≥ 122dB (32Ω A weighted)
THD+N< 0.0006% (-3dB, 32Ω )Noise floor1.8uV"A"
Headphone output part performance parameters (4.4mm)
Output power640mW(16Ω,THD+N<1%.USB IN)Output amplitude≥4.5V(32Ω,THD+N<1%)
650mW(32Ω,THD+N<1%,USB IN)≥ 4.8V (no-load)
75mW(300Ω,THD+N<1%,USB IN)Output impedance< 2.0Ω
Frequency response20Hz~ 20Khz, curve amplitude change ≤ 0.1dBCrosstalk≥102dB(1Khz,32Ω)
20Hz~ 50Khz, curve amplitude change ≤ 0.1dBSNR≥ 125dB (32Ω A weighted)
THD+N< 0.0006% (-6dB, 32Ω )Noise floor2.4uV"A"


– FiiO FD11
– FiiO FH3
– Tin HiFi P1
– MotoZ3Play
– Dell Inspiron 14 (W10)



Starting with the product’s construction. FiiO delivered the quality of a product that costs much more than $89.99 USD, as I mentioned in the introduction, the company’s own Q3 costs almost double the value of the Q11, and so, I don’t see that the quality of the materials was reduced here, no, the standard is the same, both excellent. It's all covered in metal, and in the center of the top part we have a glass part. In this glass part we will have a transparent region that shows a piece of the internal circuit. On the front we have the two outputs (3.5mm & 4.4mm), the gain switch, and the potentiometer. On the back we have the USB-C input and a small charging indicator LED.

The Q11 was very well machined, it has no sharp edges, and all ends are polished and “flattened”. Regarding the weight of the product, it has an internal battery, so there will be an increase in weight, here on my scale it gave 143.2g, I think it is not so light but not too heavy. The two buttons are firm and don't rattle, that is, they don't produce noise as if they were loose.

The only point I always mention in all DAC/AMP reviews of the brand is that the design brings on the top a kind of “crease” in the metal, a lower area forming a detail in the design, and I always warn about the issue of gathering some speck or dust inside this part. So, this design makes the product much more beautiful, but at the same time I believe that soon the product may look “used”, “old”. I won’t lie that I find the aesthetic part better with this design, but looking at the conservation of the product, we have this issue.

The potentiometer (volume knob) is made of metal (at least that was the impression I had). The volume scroll on this potentiometer I considered to be “firm”, that is, it has a bit of resistance when turning the knob, like, you can’t go to the max with just one scroll, you need to make the movement two or three times until you can get to the end. The potentiometer, in addition to being the volume knob, is also the On/Off button, it generates that “click” sound. An On/Off button on the potentiometer for me is a very positive point, as I can leave the Q11 connected directly to the computer and be able to turn it off (without having to disconnect the cable). This issue was something I criticized in the iFi ZEN Air DAC and also with the AUNE Flamingo, although in the latter there was an On/Off button on the back of the equipment.

High Gain and Low Gain. The equipment has a selector switch to change between Low Gain and High Gain. This feature provides the release of more power to the earphones. This is always a very good feature, I think it is something ideal to have in all equipment like this.

LEDs. The Q11 has a RGB LED system that is divided into two parts: The part related to the operation of the product (4 LEDs on the top surface), and the part related to the operation of the battery (1 LED on the back, just above the USB-C input).
- The behavior of the main Q11 LEDs is as follows: Blue color means the Q11 is on and running PCM files up to 48kHz; yellow color means it is running PCM files above 48kHz; and green color means it is running DSD files. If anyone is bothered by the top LED, it's possible to turn it off through the FiiO Control App and leave it in two modes: always off or turn back on after restart.
- The behavior of the battery indicator LED is as follows: when it is charging with the device on, the LED turns purple; when it is charging with the device off, the LED turns red, when it is fully charged and operating, the LED turns blue.

FiiO Control App. FiiO provides an application for Android and iOS, through which it is possible to control some features of the Q11. Attention: according to FiiO, the Q11 cannot be controlled by the iOS (Apple) version of the application. Remember that here the functions of the App are restricted only to use with smartphones, but once you change the settings, they will be saved on the device.

On the first attempt to use the Q11 with the application installed on a Motorola smartphone (Android 9), I couldn’t, I don’t know why but the App didn’t recognize the Q11… The next day I tried again, and then it worked normally, I think it was something related to the App’s permission to control the Q11. I tested it on a Samsung (Android 13) and the application recognized the Q11 at first.

I’ll put the screenshots of the App and I think they are quite self-explanatory, so, they are as follows:


Unlike the KA5 dongle, the Q11 has far fewer features to be modified by the application.

Speaking a little about the portability and the product’s internal battery. The Q11 can be used both as a desktop DAC/AMP and as a portable DAC/AMP, the user will decide that. For me, the Q11 has a much more appeal for desktop use, due to its size and such, I see dongles with more “portability”, and my recommendation is the FiiO KA5 without hesitation. I confess that FiiO could have made the Q11 without an internal battery, but I also understand that then the use with smartphones would be impaired, and so they made it in a way that was good for both styles.

As the Q11 has an internal battery, it doesn't use power from the smartphone, so the user can rest assured that it will not discharge the smartphone. The Q11 doesn't do bypass (when in use for a computer), this is because it doesn't have a switch to choose between using the computer’s power or continue using the battery power. I think the product would be better if it presented this solution. It's possible to use the Q11 normally while it charges the battery.

Heating. While I was evaluating the product, I was touching the surface to see if the equipment was heating up disproportionately. What I could observe here is that the Q11 didn't heat up the surface at any time, during an hour and even a little more the DAC/AMP remained at the temperature as if it was turned off, I found this a very positive point, something rare to see. It didn't heat up either with it connected to the computer, nor with it connected to the smartphone. It continued without signs of heating even when I was using the 4.4mm output and with high gain activated.

At the time of writing this review, the Q11 doesn't have any firmware update available, only the version that is already installed on the product. If this happens in the future, this page provides the necessary information:

This other page may clarify some recurring questions about the equipment (only in English):

Accessories. I have to admit that the included accessories kit was very good, with 3 types of cables included: 1 USB-A to USB-C cable (100cm), 1 USC-C to USB-C cable (12cm), and 1 USB-C to Lightning (iPhone) cable (12cm). It also came with two rubber bands to attach the DAC/AMP to a smartphone, one rectangular one to place between the devices and another that looks like a butterfly, which would be used to hold the Q11 to the smartphone. In practice, I confess that I didn’t even use these rubber bands with the smartphone, the explanation I think I already said in the paragraph where I talk about portability. The Q11 doesn't have a protective cover (at least not until the moment I write the review).

The Q11 was recognized immediately when I connected it to my computer (Windows10), I didn’t need to install any driver. According to FiiO, the Q11 isn't compatible with versions prior to Windows10.



It must be remembered that this analysis is subjective, based on my experience with the product and also on the synergy with the other equipment I used here. I also already inform you that the more objectivist part of the hobby isn’t really my beach, so it may be that some information can be limited, I don’t have much knowledge about the technical side of this type of product.

I found the audio quality of the FiiO Q11 to be great. According to FiiO, the DAC chip used in the Q11 was from the company Cirrus Logic, model CS43198, exactly the same DAC chip used in the KA5 dongle. So it basically follows the same premise I had there with the KA5, the sound of the Q11 also had excellent performance, very transparent, defined, and high quality sound. I didn't notice any distortion, coloring, noise floor or strange sound during the time I was testing the equipment.

High Gain and Low Gain. In terms of sound, the change between High Gain and Low Gain of the Q11 is really noticeable, the High Gain mode can get a little more power, the sound grows, expands, the bass becomes more dynamic. If you saw the review of the FD11, I did all the evaluation of the IEM with the Q11 in Low Gain, not every IEM will need to use the High Gain mode, I have a certain preference for set the High Gain activated and always keep the volume lower. With the FH3 I used the Q11 with High Gain, although the IEM doesn't need more power to play well. With the P1 I also used High Gain, but because the P1 really needs more power for the sound not to be “weak”. In a general context, this feature is always welcome.

Amplification. For me, the amplification capability of the Q11 was excellent. Of course, this is a website only for IEMs and in most cases IEMs are very easy to push, but I have here the P1 which is a more “annoying” earphone to play, so the Q11 handled the P1 with plenty to spare, I didn’t need to get to the end of the potentiometer, although I was always using the IEM with High Gain activated (I think for the case of P1 it's really necessary). With the IEMs I used in the 3.5mm output - FD11 and FH3 - the Q11 also had plenty left over, that is, around 12h (twelve o'clock) on the potentiometer the sound was already satisfactory for my ears.

About the digital filters. If you saw the screenshots I put of the FiiO Control App, you could see that it's possible to make choices between 5 types of digital filters. Honestly, all the equipment that had these digital filters features that I tested, in none did I feel a significant difference to be able to make a solid comment, and so, I am also not the first person I see saying that they also cannot hear differences among these filters. So, for me, this is a feature that is not very useful. I think it would be better if the company put a graphic equalizer there in the application, I believe it would benefit more people (in my opinion).

I usually always say that to describe how the sound of this type of equipment is, it's always interesting to compare it with another source, because then we have a reference, but in this review I ended up not using any other source besides my notebook’s audio board as a reference, at the moment I'm going to migrate to the Digital Audio Players (DAP) system, so I thought it wouldn't be so interesting to compare one equipment with another, as they are very distinct products. So, what I can say is that compared to my native notebook audio board, the Q11 delivered much more quality, removed all the hiss that the audio board has, and provided much more power to push my IEMs. It was also noticeable that the Q11 presented a sound more inclined towards to the "warm", a softer, more relaxed sound, while the Realtek sound is colder/brighter.


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Reviewer at hxosplus
Is this entry level? No way!
Pros: + Balanced and natural sound signature
+ Great dynamic range and physical impact
+ Smooth, musical and lacking in transparency
+ Extremely powerful for the size
+ Hiss-free with a black background
+ Analogue potentiometer
+ Excellent battery duration
+ Nice design with a see through frame
+ Simple to use
+ Plenty of accessories
+ Value for money
Cons: - Not the best in refinement and resolution
- Can be bettered in finesse and transparency
- Old fashioned form factor requires stacking with your phone
- Missing some functions like bass boost and a charge button
You can read the full FiiO Q11 review and the usual disclaimers in my website.


Design and user interface
The FiiO Q11 deviates from the old FiiO Q3 rounded design as it inherits the new cyberpunk appearance of recent models, like the FiiO Q7 and FiiO M17. It has a rectangular shape which is a little bulkier and thicker than the Q3 but still compact enough and lightweight to be stuck with your phone.

A new design highlight is the insert of a square glass window at the center of the unit which allows a view of the internal PCB board and gets illuminated by a hidden LED which changes colors according to the incoming sampling rate. Light blue for 48kHz or below, yellow for everything above 48kHz and green for DSD. You can disable the LED through the FiiO control application.

The main body is made from aluminum with a high quality black finish and excellent craftsmanship. At the upper part of the device there are two gold plated phone plugs, one 4.4mm balanced and one 3.5mm single ended, the volume control – power on/off knob and a gain switch. At the bottom there is a USB type C plug and a reset button. The bass boost function is missing from the Q11, same as the charge on/off button. The FiiO Q11 will charge only from an external power adapter or when it is connected to a PC with the long USB cable while it will run from its own battery when it is connected to a phone with the short USB cable. The FiiO Q11 supports digital SPDIF output through the 3.5mm jack which can be enabled from the FiiO control application.


FiiO control application
The FiiO Q11 is compatible with the FiiO control application which allows for a rather limited configuration. You can enable the SPDIF output, turn the indicator light on or off and select one of the five available low pass filters.


The FiiO Q11 is well equipped with one long USB C to A, a shorter USB C to C and one USB C to lighting cables. You also get a silicone strap for attaching the Q11 to your phone and a silicone, anti-slip pad. The new silicone, butterfly shaped, strap allows for a more stable attachment to the phone but it is not very practical, as you can see at the photo, because it is difficult to reach for the volume knob. The classic silicone bands allow for an easier operation of the unit.


Power output and associated gear

The FiiO Q11 might be missing some functions of the Q3 but it makes up with the beefier power output which is as high as 650mW/32Ω from the balanced jack. This means that the Q11 can easily run full sized headphones like the Sennheiser HD660S, the Focal Clear Mg and the iBasso SR3. At the same time the noise floor is very low and without internal hissing, making it the perfect companion for IEMs like the FiiO FH15 and the Penon Vortex that I have mostly used. As per usual practice the FiiO Q11 was left playing music for about 100 hours before listening evaluation.

Listening impressions

Not surprisingly, the overall sound signature of the FiiO Q11 reminds a lot that of the FiiO KA5 but with more low end grunt and impact, better driving force and a touch more spacious soundstage. The frequency response is flat, the sound is balanced, natural, engaging and musical, especially with the NOS filter, while maintaining good transparency and source fidelity.

The Q11 is surprisingly dynamic for the size, the bass is impactful and physically imposing with good control and a rather full bodied texture. The mid-range is quite clean and transparent with plenty of engagement and a smooth nature that extends up to the treble. The Q11 is relaxed and non fatiguing with satisfying clarity and definition for an entry level DAC. The timbre is mostly natural without artificiality, the Q11 has plenty of musicality and sound realism.


The soundstage is wide and spacious, there is surplus of air around the instruments and very satisfying positioning accuracy for the category. The Q11 is slightly better in this regard than the KA5 and provides a very open and grand soundscape making it a great choice for classical music listening.


Compared to the FiiO Q3 ($150)

The FiiO Q3 is more expensive than the Q11 but it has a dedicated XMOS receiver which offers MQA decoding (for those of you who care), higher rate PCM decoding, bass boost option, charge on/off function, an extra 2.5mm plug and an analog input to use it as a line amplifier (a rather outdated function). It also has dual THX AAA-28 amplifiers but it outputs half the power of the Q11 and a more sophisticated power supply. What it doesn’t have is a SPDIF output and you can’t connect it with the FiiO control application. It is also more lightweight and thinner while it exceeds in battery duration the already excellent Q11.

The Q3 has an even blacker background than the Q11 which allows for deeper and more effortless detail extraction of the music. It is also more refined sounding and can resolve better while it is more textured in the bass, insightful in the mids and airy in the treble with increased over clarity and cleanness throughout the whole frequency range. Where it can’t catch up with the Q11 is in dynamics, sheer physical impact and driving force, the FiiO Q11 is thundering and impactful with effortless flow of raw power. The bass is deeper, tighter and more controlled than in the Q3 albeit less layered and defined. That said, the Q3 is a little better as a whole (minus the extra power) but the FiiO Q11 is really good for the price.


Compared to the FiiO KA5 ($130)

The Q11 and the KA5 share a lot of common sound characteristics but the former is definitely more impactful and dynamic with a blacker backround but the dual DAC KA5 is a little more resolving and refined than the Q11. The KA5 offers some great finesse and resolution for a tiny dongle that can fit your pocket and the Q11 is a little larger in exchange for some extra thundering bass, raw dynamics, greater driving power and lower noise floor.


In the end

The FiiO Q11 is a great entry level USB DAC with an embedded battery, which offers excellent sound performance for the category and plenty of power to drive full sized headphones.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2023.
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does it have any options to turn off the battery while connected to a pc? or will it charge non stop?
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No it doesn't have. You can't run it without battery. If you use the included short cables, the Q11 will run from its battery without charging. If you use the PC cable it will be always fully charged.


100+ Head-Fier
Great but Chonky
Pros: +VALUE
Cons: -BULKY
-No Manual Charge Switch
Hi friend, before I even begin this review first let me apologize for my weird English and grammatical mistakes,
the FiiO Q11 is purchased with my own expense and this review is 100% my opinion.
Lets start with the Unboxing
Inside the Box You Get :
  • Big Dongle
  • Silicon Pad
  • Silicone Strap
  • C to C
  • Lightning to C
  • USB A to C
  • Quick Start Guide & FiiO Card
The Build is very solid, it made from what I believe to be Aluminum and Glass
no sharp edges at all.

One thing I notice is that the Q11 lacks manual charging on - off switch and to disable the charging you need to use the supplied c to c / lightning to c cable

it also has a companion app named FiiO Control on the Android,
you can use it to turn the LED on - off and change the UAC version and change the filter

The FiiO Q11 is very neutral sounding big dongle, it has deep and punchy bass, very dynamic overall presentation, with a lot of power, for the mid and treble, I found it to be uncolored at all,
as for the technicalities, the detail retrieval for its price is decent, stage wise if compared to smaller dongle on the same price bracket, the Q11 can easily beats those smaller dongle.

As for the battery, it last very long that I'm not even trying to measure because its taking too long to measure, lets just believe it last for around 13 hours like FiiO claimed.

For the power I test the Q11 with my Sennheiser HD660s, it didn't have any problem driving it with authority and dynamic sounding.

on the FiiO Q11, I didn't notice much of a different in terms of tonality and technicalities, but it do differs from power perspective.

the FiiO Q11 is recommended if you don't mind its big and chonky form factor, you definitely need to stack / sandwich this to your phone / transport. From the sound perspective, its very easy for me to recommend the FiiO Q11 for its asking price.
Though be aware to put your cable properly after every use, because third party cable could drain your transport device, because the Q11 lacks the manual charging switch.

I might edit this later to correct some of the grammatical mistakes
just in case you're Indonesia or understand Bahasa Indonesia, here is the link to the YouTube
Video of the FiiO Q11 Review

thats all from me for now,

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100+ Head-Fier
Just some observations
1. overall the Q11 is a fairly neutral device
2. It has adequate power for full size cans but won't be impressive like Chord Mojo for transients, low bass
3. resolution is adequate, treble extended without being irritating.
4. headphone results may vary, seemed to emphasize resonances of a Meze 99 but sounded fine with Audeze Sine
5. the cats cradle silicon holder works nicely with my 11 pro max iPhone, will see about durability and intend
to order a spare if I can

For $90 its a good buy. Doesn't weigh a ton or heat up like Mojo, straps compactly to the back of a large cell phone with
jacks and volume control accessible through gaps on the holder. Charge will last a full 8 hours of continuous use.
Works best with IEM's for dynamics but if like me you find IEM's uncomfortable, you can get enjoyable performance out of it with full size cans


New Head-Fier
Very easy to drive, I would start with low gain.
Please remember that the volume curve of the Q11 is a little strange, you need to get above halfway to get really loud.
I was listening with high gain. yes I was listening around 50% on H gain, it will be a little more on Low gain. What do you mean by weird?


Reviewer at hxosplus
I was listening with high gain. yes I was listening around 50% on H gain, it will be a little more on Low gain. What do you mean by weird?
The volume will raise a little until about halfway of the pot and then it will suddenly start to get really loud.