New Questyle M12 Portable Headphone Amp/DAC---$139.99!
Jul 29, 2021 at 12:30 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 39

Bluebird Music

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Bluebird Music, distributor of Questyle in the US and Canada, is excited to announce the availability of the Questyle M12.
Questyle products always offer incredible performance and value, and the M12 is no exception, featuring:

- Questyle's proprietary Current Mode Amplification technology, with vanishingly-low distortion and noise levels of -130 dB;

-Smart Impedance Detection that adjusts gain to provide the optimal match for any headphone;

-ESS DAC chip that processes PCM up to 32/384, DSD 256, and decodes MQA;

-All this for $139.99 in the US, $179.99 in Canada.

Full details can be found here: https://www.bluebirdmusic.com/news/questyle-introduces-new-m12-mobile-headphone-amp-and-dac.html

Questyle M12.png
 
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Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Post #2 of 39

asifur

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Bluebird Music, distributor of Questyle in the US and Canada, is excited to announce the availability of the Questyle M12.
Questyle products always offer incredible performance and value, and the M12 is no exception, featuring:

- Questyle's proprietary Current Mode Amplification technology, with vanishingly-low distortion and noise levels of -130 dB;

-Smart Impedance Detection that adjusts gain to provide the optimal match for any headphone;

-ESS DAC chip that processes PCM up to 32/384, DSD 256, and decodes MQA;

-All this for $139.99 in the US, $179.99 in Canada.

Full details can be found here: https://www.bluebirdmusic.com/news/questyle-introduces-new-m12-mobile-headphone-amp-and-dac.html

Questyle M12.png
Looks amazing!
 
Jul 29, 2021 at 1:49 PM Post #4 of 39

ThanatosVI

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Jul 30, 2021 at 12:27 PM Post #7 of 39
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I want to know how this compares to a dragonfly red or cobalt.

Funny you should ask... :relaxed:

CF8748E2-2CC9-41F1-971A-E4E410ABB30E.jpeg


I don't have the Red here, but I just happen to have both the Cobalt and the M12 in-house for comparison at the moment. Here are some preliminary thoughts based on an iPhone SE 2020 > Cobalt/M12 > Westone ES80 CIEM rig:

Bass. The Cobalt's bass presentation is pleasing, but noticeably softer. By contrast, the M12's bass presentation is both better extended and tighter/faster. Whichever you prefer will ultimately come down to both your genre focus and personal preference. However, I should note that, at times, I found there to be some upper bass bleeding into the lower mids with the Cobalt. It wasn't egregious, not by a longshot, but I know that any hint of this bothers some people a lot (lookin' at you there @Beagle).

Midrange. The Cobalt has a very pronounced mid-range emphasis over that of the M12, particularly in the vocal region. Thus, both male and female vocals are boosted and much more forward with the Cobalt. This can lead to a very euphoric feeling at times, and again I can see this being very much a matter of personal preference. That said, knowing my reference Westone ES80's signature as well as I do, I have to confess that I found that midrange bump to be, well, less than accurate.

Power. The M12 can (and did for me) draw more power than the Cobalt. If your primary usage case is portable/mobile, you'll want to account for this additional power draw... i.e. you'll want to have a power bank handy.

Please keep in mind that these are incomplete and preliminary impressions for now... but if I were forced to purchase one for myself at the moment, it'd probably be the M12, especially with it being half the price of the Cobalt.
 
Jul 31, 2021 at 4:43 PM Post #9 of 39
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On the other hand, I would be curious about a comparison with the Lotoo Paw S1.

Unfortunately, I don't have one of those here. I'm working on a mini shoot-out that includes the DragonFly Cobalt, Clarus Coda, Questyle M12, Helm Audio Bolt, A&K PEE51, and a few miscellaneous others - but nothing from Lotoo so far. If they want to send me something though, I'd be happy to add it to the shoot-out.

Is the audio output of the questyle 3.5 mm unbalanced?

Yes, it's single ended.
 
Aug 1, 2021 at 12:35 PM Post #13 of 39

Reactcore

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Hows Questyle's customer support by now?
I saw a truly high performing CMA400i been forgotten because of lack of support.

Note: i enjoy my unit inmensely😁
 
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Aug 2, 2021 at 4:27 AM Post #14 of 39

Hooga

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@GRIFONE1973
ciao Grifone I can tell you something about S1 vs M12 as I tested both, and both are above decent, or even "good" when evaluated within the "dongle" category, while both are evidently underwhelming when compared to the reciprocal same-brand full blown DAP devices. M12 is not anywhere near QP1R in terms of sound quality, and S1 is even more off in comparison to LP5000/MK2, or LP6000. Which is consistent with the different pricepoints of course, but it's important I guess to keep in mind that M12 or S1 are *not* a way to get Questyle's or Lotoo's "signature" sound quality onto your phone for cheap...

Some M12-S1 direct comparison hints:
M12's internal "impedance adaptation" circuitry fails to properly bias very low impedance & sensitivity drivers e.g. final E5000 which sounds horribly muddy on that.
M12 also comes accross minorly cleaner compared to S1's 4.4 out.
S1 only "typically" absorbs 70mA from the host, so connecting to an iPhone (via a 3rd party lightning adapter ofc) is at least doable.
S1's built-in preset DSP/EQ options are a nice plus for the lovers of sound modding, there's that too.
As it happens on pretty much all mid to low budget devices I ever came accross, S1 offering both balanced and single ended output directly translates in: forget single ended, use balanced only. S1's 3.5 output is quite average, to be generous.
For the so-inclined it's also worth noting that both are 4X MQA renderers, not full decoders.
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 2:13 PM Post #15 of 39

GRIFONE1973

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Thank you very much for your contribution.
All very clear.
Please note that already having Astell Kern Kann Alpha the use of these devices is limited to when I need extreme portability.
In summary I understand that your preferences tend slightly towards the Questyle.
Thanks again.
Davide
 

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