FiiO Q5, Flagship DAC/Amp, an Dual DAC, USB/Optical/Coaxial/Line in, share the same amp module with X7.

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by jamesfiio, Jun 21, 2015.
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  1. peterzzz
    The AM5 might be what you're after.
  2. tas236
    Please let us know!
  3. Schwibbles
    That looks perfect, thanks. But that would bring the price up to $450 which is iDSD BL pricing; or at least what I paid for mine.
    If I can order the Q5 with the AM5 directly, instead of separately, I'm definitely in when it finally hits the market.
  4. peterzzz
    Right, so I have the DAC, but the 2.5mm jack required to make an XLR adapter to my balanced Alpha Dogs seems to be stuck in the postal system somewhere between Singapore and here.
  5. AlwaysForward
    I basically want this but with BT5, Apt-X-HD, & LDAC. First to market with a DAC/AMP which has comparable performance to Mojo when wired while allowing to transmit best Bluetooth gets my moneys.
  6. chaiyuta
    You might have to wait Q5 Mark III.
  7. fieryoOo
    Is there any hint on the sound signature? I wonder if it's gonna be a good match for the IM04/K7XX?
  8. chowmein83
    Hi all, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to listen to a prototype Q5 that Fiio lent me for quite a while now. Since they’ve now announced a release date, Fiio felt that it was ok for me to share my impressions.

    Please excuse me if the rest of my impressions just sound like rambling and unorganized thoughts. I guess that's just me from being too excited about this product!

    I’ve said that I’m listening to a prototype. However, I’ve confirmed with Fiio that the prototype basically has the final sound tuning, but some of the other features may have been unfinished. So I will mostly focus on sound quality, and not too much on the other aspects. I will also be comparing the Q5 to the X5iii and the X7ii since I have also had those for quite a while to play around with.

    I listened to the Q5 with the AM3A and AM3 amp modules. Earphones I paired the Q5 with were the Etymotic ER4S and FLC Technology FLC8S. I also listened to the Q5 through its line out for quite while hooked up to the Cavalli Liquid Carbon.

    So first, Fiio quotes a battery life of about 10 hours or so when used in DAC mode. That sounds about right based on my experience.

    Secondly, while it is a prototype, the Q5 I have been listening to seems to work pretty seamlessly in Bluetooth mode. I haven’t really experienced any audio drops with it (except if I go extremely far from the source) and pairing is very quick and easy. It’s really great and convenient to listen to aptX quality music wirelessly.

    Now, onto the main meat of my post – the sound.

    People have been wondering what the sound signature of the Q5 is like. While the Q5 may use the same dual AK4490 set up as in the X5 3rd gen, the tuning is definitely very different. The X5iii is set up for a warmer sound, with mids and treble that are quite good considering the sound signature but perhaps doesn’t have the most refined, detailed mids and highs. At least not to the level of the Q5 and X7ii, which seem to have more detail while not really sounding any less smooth than the X5iii, even with their brighter signatures. The Q5 is much more neutral, more like the X7ii. In fact, at times the Q5 sounds possibly a bit brighter than the X7ii.

    But, you may ask, isn’t that a bad thing? So this requires some explanation. To me, at least, at times the X7ii felt like it was trying to go more neutral but yet put a warm tint to the sound. It isn’t entirely successful at this for me, as sometimes I feel like the X7ii is being a bit “suffocated”, as if the DAC chip in the X7ii tends to be a bit brighter but Fiio is trying to muffle it a bit to sound more neutral, but not with always the best results. With the Q5, I get none of that. It feels that the DAC in the Q5 is allowed to sing and present the music as it really is. It’s as if the mids and highs are more “effortless” on the Q5 than the X7ii, in my opinion. So this sometimes results in the Q5 sounding brighter than the X7ii, but to me that’s probably more due to how the music was produced in the first place.

    However, I would be hard-pressed to say that the Q5 has more detail than the X7ii. Both reveal an impressive amount of detail in the music.

    As for soundstage, I found the X7ii to have impressive width, depth, and overall feeling of spaciousness. The Q5 is no less than the X7ii – I felt that the Q5 may have had a very slightly deeper soundstage, but I’m not even so sure about that.

    Now finally, the bass – this is where I feel the Q5 actually has quite the edge over the X5iii and X7ii. To get it out of the way, the Q5 in my opinion has much better bass quality than the X5iii. Even when taking the different sound signatures into account, the X5iii’s bass sounds somewhat bloated and uncontrolled compared to the Q5, as well as being less textured and detailed. Also, the Q5 seems to extend deeper in the sub-bass and hits harder in that region. Surprisingly, at least for me the Q5’s bass seemed to be more pleasing that with the X7ii. In comparison to the Q5, the X7ii’s bass seemed to be a bit one-note, with less nuance and texture than with the Q5. The Q5 also seemed to have more, and more accurate sub-bass in general. This was the case no matter which low-pass filter I used on the X7ii.

    As for being able to drive large, power-hungry headphones with the Q5 – it’ll do a pretty decent job if you use the AM3 or AM3A. But having listened to a much higher power, high-quality desktop amp with my larger headphones like the Hifiman HE-400i and my self-modded Fostex T50RP, it’s pretty obvious that the Q5, no matter which amp module you use, won’t be able to really squeeze every last drop of potential from those kinds of headphones.

    I actually thought for the longest time that the Q5 would be released at $300, so I’m a bit disappointed with the $350 price now. However, even at this price, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would take this over any of Fiio’s other products if we are purely talking about sound quality. To me, it’s that good, and is the best-sounding product that Fiio’s made yet.
  9. KopaneDePooj
    "So this sometimes results in the Q5 sounding brighter than the X7ii" > not good for me :confused:
    Winter is coming! I like warm and natural! I bought the X5 III today for a very good price (for Europe). 340 EUR - BF deal.
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  10. Hawaiibadboy Contributor
    Wait for more opinions.
    Listen yourself if you can.
    Definitely wait for more opinions :)
  11. KopaneDePooj
    I know, you're right, could be subjective.
    But anyways, I just bought the X5 3rd gen :) I had one for 3 days borrowed from a friend, and liked it very much.
    And with this deal I couldn't wait for Q5 anymore :)
    Dobrescu George and Hawaiibadboy like this.
  12. Dobrescu George
    I'd love for Q5 to be even brighter!

    As for X5-3, the deals were quite good! I'm glad you managed to get one! Surely, if you were looking for a warm / smooth DAP, it is a great one!
    superbike999 and KopaneDePooj like this.
  13. fieryoOo
    Thanks for the detailed comparisons, exactly what I'm looking for!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  14. KopaneDePooj
    Yeah, thanks!
    Bright / dark / cold / warm - it's all relative to everyone's hearing, expectation and preference. And it's always more that graphs and measurements can tell.
    To me every frequency in X5 is well represented. Yes I'd call it smooth, but not dark or very warm. To my ear it is natural sounding and that's what l like.
  15. pelli
    Did I miss a confirmed release date or is it still just expected Dec. this year?
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