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FiiO's new Q1 portable DAC-amp: Let's drink to "Happy Listening"!

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by joe bloggs, Sep 12, 2015.
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  1. Joe Bloggs Contributor
    Link to product overview: http://www.fiio.net/en/products/44
    Full specifications: http://www.fiio.net/en/products/44/parameters
    First review by twister6 [​IMG] http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-q1-portable-headphone-amp-dac/reviews/14011
    FAQ regarding smartphone support
    1. Does the Q1 support Android USB Audio?
    A. Yes, um, well, it supports Android USB Audio about as "well" as other portable USB DACs, which is to say much depends on the particular phone you're using [​IMG]
    There is a "USB CHG" switch on the Q1 to enable / disable charging through the USB connection.  Disabling USB charging can enhance smartphone compatibility and also decrease battery drain on the phone.  Still, it's not a guaranteed thing.
    If your phone doesn't play music through the Q1 with stock Android apps, there's still a good chance that it will play using the excellent HibyMusic app, which pipes audio directly to the USB port regardless of whether the "smart" phone thinks a USB DAC is connected [​IMG] Bit-perfect output also supported!
    Please note that you will have to supply your own micro-micro USB OTG cable for the digital connection. (unlike e.g. the E18 which is supplied with one)
    2. Does the Q1 support Apple?
    A. A genuine Apple Camera Connection Kit (CCK) cable converts from a Lightning port to a standard USB port, complete with USB Audio.  You may connect the Q1 to the CCK via a standard USB cable [​IMG]
    3. What "Lightning" port?
    A. What, you were talking about Macbooks / desktops?  The Q1 is plug and play with Apple computers, just like PCs [​IMG] 
  2. imackler
  3. nmatheis Contributor
    Hey @FiiO, @Joe Bloggs - Will Q1 work as a DAC/Amp for Android and iOS devices?
  4. Ab10
    Now, there is No need  for Fiio E11K....anymore.....with DAC function and 30 hours of battery life it is marvelous offering. Thank God there is no Display.
    Eagerly waiting to read user review. 
  5. twister6 Contributor
    Can't speak for iOS, but it rocks on my Note 4 with HibyMusic and UAPP apps [​IMG]
    Yep, Q1 just made E11k/A3 kind of obsolete :wink:
    Review is coming up in a day...
  6. nmatheis Contributor
    twister6: Looking forward to it, Alex. Should work with CCK, then.
  7. wega03
    U think I should get this and sell my e11k??
  8. twister6 Contributor
    I'm not in a position to tell you which one to sell since you will have to decide it for yourself by comparing one to the other :)  E11k has a little more power, but otherwise they are on a similar level in terms of amplification section.  I would say E11k a touch warmer while Q1 a bit more neutral and with slightly better transparency.  Of course, you add DAC on top of that, and a few new accessories, and for the same price it's an easy decision to make :wink:
    Unless you are driving some high impedance cans with 11k and you are on high gain at max volume, Q1 not going to have too much margin.  For example, I'm driving 470 ohm R70x and they sound great, but I'm on high gain at max volume.  So, I can imagine that 600 ohm cans won't have a chance.  Though FiiO has a recommended spec of 0-150 ohms, it can easily drive 300 ohm (driving VE ZEN earbuds with authority here!).  With 470 ohm load you barely have any margin, and closer to 600 ohm load better switch to a more powerful amp.  This is just for your reference.  Of course, we are talking about a small portable sub $70 dac/amp here, so I can't imagine people will be getting it to drive their high impedance Senns or Beyers.
    Oh, and as another teaser of new FiiO Q1 accessories (stacked with X3ii, which btw a great pair up to slightly refine X3ii sound), here are the new 1.5"  3.5mm to 3.5mm audio interconnect (much better in quality than JDS Labs one) and a small silicone friction pad:
    fiio_q1-19_zpsxkap6ll8.jpg    fiio_q1-18_zps1hd9v10i.jpg
  9. wega03
    And how you compare the q1 against e17k??
  10. twister6 Contributor
    Can't comment on it, don't have one.  Q1 supposed to be a replacement of E07k.
  11. Coldheart29
    Another Fiio creation i'm interested in. Will surely buy one to pair up with my Nexus 5.
    @twister6, looking forward for your review!
  12. nmatheis Contributor
    twister6: Ooh, a new, tiny IC, too :blink:

    Does the silicone pad have adhesive, btw?

    Would I be correct in assuming bass boost is fairly substantial and focused on sub + mid bass given the other similarities to E11k?
  13. Coldheart29
    Well, by looking at the diagram in the product specifications page, it would look like it is:
  14. nmatheis Contributor
    Coldheart29: Thx, man :)

    Yup, looks like it'll add some thump!

    When in doubt, Google :rolleyes:
  15. twister6 Contributor
    Not sticky, but grippy.  2 are included with accessories.
    And yes, bass boost is similar with sub/mid bass focused boost, well controlled unlike some low-shelving boost.  These small portable amps (E11k, Q1 w/dac, etc) with a bass boost are Godsend when used with analytical bright headphones where it can smooth out upper mids/treble and adds some body to lower mids.  Internal battery is another huge plus, something that prevents me from using Aegis due to a high drain rate.  Here, used as usb/dac with my smartphone you can get up to 15hrs of playback time.  Using as standalone amp, in either low or high gain, it's over 30hrs.
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