The Review Tour of FiiO Q1 Mark II Apple MFi Certified DAC & Amp Starts Right Now.

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by FiiO, Jul 17, 2017.
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    Interesting data, thanks for taking the time to perform all these calculations!

    I'll be sure to take my headphones with me and go to a showroom and listen to this device, and I'll try to do a side by side with the e17k.

    Also, in your opinion, from a FR perspective, do you think there will be major differences in the overall sound between the e17k's upper limit of 20khz and Q1MII's 55khz?

    Thanks again for all your replies!
  2. Brooko Contributor
    No. Humans hear between 20Hz and 20 KHz. And our limits decrease as we age. I’m 50 and my hearing now tops out at about 14 KHz. Specs are specs - if you were a bat 55KHz might make a difference. You’re not - so I wouldn’t worry about it :wink:
  3. Brooko Contributor
    BTW there is a difference in tonality between the E17K and Q1ii. E17K is ruler flat. Q1ii has a bit of high frequency roll off (presumably the DAC filters). It’s not enough to matter - and both devices sound very good. The Q1ii is just a little warmer tonally than the E17K. A lot of people seem to prefer that.
    I haven't had a chance to go listen to them yet, I'll try going this Friday and report back.

    Thanks again for all the info!
    I went to a showroom and tried both. I decided to go with the Q1MkII taking into consideration a few aspects:

    - Portability - it's much slimmer and rounder than the e17k
    - IEM drivability - It successfully drove a few IEMs I threw at it (none balanced sadly, I've yet to purchase any balanced headphones as I did not see the need for balanced audio) Huge plus for the L/H gain possibility.
    - Circumaural headphones drivability - it successfuly drove my MDR-1ADACs to a reasonable level. True, the e17k drove them way better power-wise, but it was not a significant gain in order to sacrifice portability and get this instead of the mkII.
    - Bass implementation - I very much like the bass implementation on this device, it's exactly the level of bass I need when I want to listen to bassy tunes. (I found the bass setting to be better and more powerful on the e17k, but the one on the MkII was satisfactory enough to go with it)
    - Full compatibility with my Galaxy S8+ via a sony micro-usb to usb type-c
    From a sonic standpoint I did not have time to test the differences between the MkII and the E17K because I simply lacked the time - I only test-listened to them for 1hr during my visit. But I did found the MkII to be overall warmer (treble roll-of??)

    Other considerations:

    I can't believe how small the device is! I thought it to be a little bigger, but I'm pleasantly surprised to see it's very portable.
    I found a 2.5trrs F to 3.5 trs m adapter in the showroom, but not the opposite I need to drive single ended headphones through the bal out. I'm starting to think it's not at all possible to do it.
    PC compatibility and first playback is flawless. Works both with and without the Fiio drivers (although I have them installed, I prefer to override whatever possible on the audio route and that includes the crappy Windows audio handling).
    DSD playback works flawlessly - although, how do I light up the DSD LED?? :)
  6. slackerpo
    i think you made the right call
    I'm liking the device so far, I hope I did :)

    I managed to light up the DSD led through Foobar and the needed components.
    Now I'm trying Tidal's Masters streaming and it seems Passthrough MQA works, I checked the "Passthrough MQA option" and it seems to work fine, no glitches - I'm not sure it's officially supported by Fiio.
    Weird: The device is named "FiiO Q1" just like the predecessor.
    Also, I was able to max out the volume on the Sony MDRs using a stack made of the MKII and the iPod classic 5.5th gen (volume set at 0 db). No distortion from the headphones.

    I'm looking into a balanced set of IEMs - did anyone here try the MkII with Fiio's own F9 balanced edition?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  8. Ynot1
    It was discussed balance earphone can use adapters for single ended use safely while going the other way may be unsafe and abandones the benefit of balance, assuming it exist, the benefit I mean. Adapters do exists.

    Anyone tried using Q1 mkii as a dac with a dap that supports usb transport?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    Well. for one the balanced out on this device offers triple output power and double the frequency response compared to SE out, so that's a benefit I'd go for honestly :)

    Le: where can I find this cable??

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  10. Brooko Contributor

    It offers more power yes - which is handy if you have hard to drive cans which would benefit. There is zero benefit if your IEMs / headphones can already be driven sufficiently by the SE headphone out.

    And the frequency thing is a misnomer. You can only hear (if you have perfect hearing) ~20 Hz to 20 kHz, So while on paper you might measure higher ultra frequencies - in reality, you can't hear them.
  11. Ynot1
  12. FiiO
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

  13. Lifted Andreas
    Guys, so if a DAC is mainly going to sit at home with me attached to my laptop I feel something like Meridian Explorer 2 or Dragonfly Black would be more suitable for me than the FiiO Q1 (2nd gen). Am I right?

    I currently have the K1.
  14. Brooko Contributor
    That very much depends on the features you want. If you prefer to have volume control on the device, access to a hardware bass boost, gain control, balanced and native DSD, go with the Q1ii. If none of those is important, go with the others.

    Personally I see the Q1ii offering more features, which makes up for the size difference. YMMV
    Lifted Andreas likes this.
  15. demond
    :beyersmile::beyersmile:FiiO Q1MK2
    FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

    Lifted Andreas and PlantsmanTX like this.
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