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.
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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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Headphoneus Supremus
Great affordable portable dac amp
Pros: Cheap
Strong balance hp amp for the size
Transparent sound
4.4mm trrs balance
3.5mm supports spdif out
includes both otg usb c and lighting cables
Comes with silicon Strap/pad
L/W gain switch on front
Cons: Fiio Control app is needed to access other options
No Line input or output
No way to turn off automatic charging for desktop pc usage

When the Fiio Q11 was announced it peaked my interest. I saw how tiny it was and how much power it supposedly have in it’s 4.4mm balance while being less then $100, made me curious if I could have something that tiny taking up 95% less room on my desk, while still being able to power my sundara. So as soon it showed up state side in an online store I bought it quickly as for less then $100 seems to be a steal to me.

In the box, you get 3 cables, a rubber mount used to hold the Q11 together with your phone if your using it on the good and a pad that sits between the too. The cables are USB C to USB C, USB C to Apple Lighting and a 6FT USB C to USB A which is used for connecting the Q11 to your PC or laptop. Sadly the Usb A cable was not long enough for me, so I had to get a longer 10FT USB C to Usb A cable to use it with my desktop.


The Q11 is quiet small near the size of a credit card length wise and almost as tall as my Roku remote, on the rear of it is the USB C port, on the front the L/H Gain switch, 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm Bal connectors and finally the Volume combo on/off knob. The 3.5mm doubles as a Spdif out(it has to be enabled in software I’ll explain that more later). Since there are no 3.5mm for input to use the Q11 as a standalone headphone amp, It will only functions as a Dac/amp.


The 3.5mm handles 310mw @ 16ohm and 165mw @ 32. While the balanced 4.4mm connection does 650mW @32ohm,640mW @ 16 and finally 75mw @ 300ohms.

The clear window on the top of it is where the RGB light is shown when the unit is turned on, it changes based on the bit rate of the songs that being played and if the song in question is MP3 or DSD. Which might be useful to some people. Also on the rear when its power on, you'll see the charging led.


On to the spdif support that I mention before, while there is windows drivers which enables the use of ASIO, the settings isn’t accessible thru the xmos control panel, but the Fiio control app in android, meaning you have to disconnect the Q11 from your PC and connect it to an android phone, (Iphone users is outta luck for now since Fiio Control app in the apple store doesn’t support the Q11).

In the app you will see options such as switching the 3.5mm from Headphone to spdif and then either enabling the RGB LED or disabling it. Also you will see the different dac filtering settings by default its on non over-sample filter. Then the second page of it explains the Q11 and what each of the earlier plugs and knob do.

There is some channel imbalanced but it really only happens at ultra low volume, volume setting you turn to after you turn it on but after you raise the volume more it goes away. You really only notice it if you’re pairing a high sensitivity iem with the Q11 such as the CRA CCA or Fiio EA1 etc.

Over all the Q11 came off as being invisible in the chain if that make sense as I heard the sound signature of my ER2SE being flat and the sound signature of my Pro500Mk2’s having no brightness just some small details and a lot of bass, and finally with my sundara connected to the 4.4mm sounding really good with the highs having right amount of detail while not being blight, feeling of a large sound image with the music being as if its outside my head and the bass having some impact behind it.

I also tried it out with my Fiio M7 Dap and I didn't have a issue with it as the Q11 worked right away without any issues. But I didn't use it long enough as I was seeing if there was any problems using the two together.

At the end I really enjoying this fiio Q11, when I bought it I didn’t know what to expect but with the way it’s performs and for its price point, its a winner in my eyes. I even made it my primary desktop setup now since it takes up less space then my smsl Su and magnius.

The only thing I think that could be better is being able the settings that you need without having to disconnect the Q11 from your desktop to your android phone to use the Fiio control app and back again. Maybe a Fiio control app or something for windows without having to pull out the android phone.

I cant really think of any thing else other then a line out input for connecting a stronger hp amp to it or a aux in to use it as a standalone headphone amp.
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God that looks like a fingerprint magnet in that last shot. Time for an e-cloth and workstation cleanup before photography methinks.