Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by FiiO, Jul 15, 2017.
No balanced. Just 3.5mm LO. It’s basically an upgrade to the E12A portable amp.
Too bad it's not consistent on Android.. I have the old version and it works with an OTG cable and UAPP on Samsung S8. I was looking to upgrade. I would like to stick with Fiio. Maybe like the old, the new would work on Samsung since I tend to stick with Samsung for Android.
I have a lot of iDevices also, along with Macs. Hopefully this will also still work through my laptops like the old one does. I'm looking at the Alpen 2 also, along with E18. Maybe one of those would be better for upgrade? Does anyone have a comparison between Alpen 2 vs this one?
i have tried both the a5 and mk II. not shure i could differentiate them from each other, at list i thought i could not when i tried them back to back with the it03. the a5 would drive full size better than the mkII, but for portable use with iems the mkII is hard to beat.
whats the best configurations?
im using motorola moto g5 plus as my source..
currently connecting the q1mk2 to my phone with the supplied micro usb to usb a connected to an otg cable to micro usb to my phone..
are the 2 cables below are called otg cables? is micro usb to micro usb cables otg cables)?
Part of Head-Fi rules - don't comment on anything you haven't experienced. You can't "think" Q1ii is better - you haven't heard it. As for balanced:
From my own review:
Balanced vs Single Ended
The balanced output is provided by the 2.5mm output. I went back and forth with the Q1ii balanced, single-ended and back again (using FiiO's own F9). It was pretty difficult getting an exact volume match because the pot had no markings, so it was not a very objective exercise. But I still couldn't tell a real difference, so time to measure and see if there actually was any.
FiiO F9 balanced vs single ended FiiO F9 after volume matching
Using the F9, I measured both single-ended and balanced (the difference with the F9 was close to 6 dB). I then applied a linear gain to ARTA to completely volume match the two and align the graphs. The frequency response was identical. In my own tests, I'm noticing no differences between the two when volume matched (and nor should there be when you think about it – they use the same hardware – just x2). Maybe my ears are simply not good enough to hear the other differences some people associate with balanced output.
But the additional voltage and output power provided by the balanced circuit should be handy if you have harder to drive headphones, and I am looking forward to checking this with my HD800S when the adaptor eventually arrives.
Further thoughts on Balanced .....
I'm seeing more and more reviewers assuming balanced is better without properly testing (it disappoints me that manufacturers are also perpetuating this myth).
Take the X7ii and its new balanced module.
It'll put 17mW into a 300 ohm load SE but 63 mW into the same load balanced. The voltage is also up. So if you're driving a load which requires a lot of voltage and is reasonably high impedance (eg like an HD650) there will be benefits. Not in the architecture, but in the power.
Look at the same load into an IEM though - say around 16 ohm. SE is 200 mW and balanced is 380 mW. Balanced must be better right? Not really. Balanced will chew the battery quicker, and both outputs would drive practically any IEM into the regions of deafening you. And its the same for the 32ohm load. Both are essentially over-kill.
Now lets look at the real differences - those bits that people make claims on. Remember how balanced is always cleaner, darker, more spacious, wider sound-stage ....... Lets look at cleaner first. SNR on SE is 116 dB and on balanced is 119 dB. Both are beyond what we can hear - so no difference. Both have THD measurements at 0.003% = beyond our hearing. You'll get a magnitude more distortion from your earphones. Now the important one - crosstalk (channel separation). SE is 73 dB and balanced is 97 dB. That must make a big difference - right?
I'm going to quote something bookmarked a long time ago:
As you can see, SE crosstalk at 73 dB and balanced at 97 dB actually means nothing - we can't hear it.
What essentially happens is two things.
People read the specs, and tell themselves balanced must sound better, and thats what they talk themselves into. In a blind volume matched test, they won't tell a difference.
Most people don't volume match, and we are terrible at volume matching by ear (which is what a lot of people do). Most balanced circuits output a lot more power by design - therefore they are louder. People saying they hear a difference are often simply listening to one louder than the other. And we know louder is perceived as sounding better.
I know my place in the headfi universe, therefore as newb I listen. But on my defense I read headfi reviews that told me a bit about the A5.
I also note Xmos maybe doing adc and line in is not trustworthy.
And distortion is a problem at the higher volume.
I wish to explain what I mean, but I got to go now.
Great explanation Brooko!
First and second pictures are both OTG cable. But if you use the first cable, Q1 II will recognise it as a DAC connected to a phone thus Q1 II will not to drain your phone battery. Whereas if you use the second cable, Q1 II will recognise it as a DAC connected to laptop/pc INSTEAD of phone thus Q1 II will drain your phone battery. I will include this matter in my review that I will write as soon as my acrdemy does not quaranteen me due to exam....... of course don't ask why can still reply you. Have a good day.
Thx 4 da explanation sir..
But, I was recommended to buy the micro USB to USB A, instead of the micro USB to micro USB.. Im really confused
Now while listening to Spotify, the dsd green indicator is not showing.. Yesterday, I'm so sure that it was green...
If you purchase the cable of first picture, you can only use it to connect between your Q1 II and Phone, but if you order cable of second picture, you don't have to worry about CABLE COMPATIBILITY issue. As simple as that.
I disagree with your conclusion based on the data you provide.
You simply cannot measure the perception of space between notes that are close in time and freq. This is all psycho acoustics. I prefer balanced and will read but not reply to your reply if it challenges me.It's about dynamics (power) It's my joy, leave me alone.
Reading a review on Headphonia where the reviewer often made ref to the freq spectrum then said he actually didn't put much into freq graphs is absurd. It is embarrassing.This hobby is so chock full O shii it's mind blowing and the companies are a HUGE part of this.
Ryan just posted a review of this item and said the bass was loose or slow??
THAT is a driver related issue and has no connection to an analogue converter or an amplification stage. The association with terms used to describe drivers being so freely attached to DAP's and amp's is incredible. The proliferation of Audio blogs after Head-Fi's remake is the worst thing to ever happen to this hobby.
People will not buy a DAP because they read it was muddy or because an amp/dac had slow bass?? What....is......that?
The device in this thread does not have slow bass which is quite rare and often cheap or poorly designed dynamic drivers that handle lower frequency notes inefficiently or the driver is being given too much power and is becoming inefficient because it is beyond spec.
Cool, if that works for you then good. Also to repeat what I said in the past, use Song Pal App (by Sony) if you want a free app that outputs DSD file natively from you phone.
But I'm not sure whether the dac is activated or not?
I'll download the app later, but I only listen to streaming music (Spotify premium) only...