It is an amazing thing to play music out of your computer or smartphone. And the best thing is that you can sit back and enjoy a genuine listening experience, making you feel like you are right there with the band.
So, what should we do if you are you are looking for the exceptional sound quality and performance ?
It’s time to plug in the Fiio Q1 mark II portable amp and DAC.
Fiio Q1 Mark II is one of the new products released by FiiO in 2017 under their branding slogan, “Infinity Sound”. It delivers high quality gain and bass circuits to satisfy different listening needs. It has a unique metal body, with sandblasted exterior that’s designed to fit nicely in your hands and effectively shields against electromagnetic interference
There are many feature points could be discussed on Q1 mark 2, such as the improved volume, the new new design, competitive price, etc. But we think there are two great important highlights, the adoption of a balanced output, and the official MFi Certification from Apple.
Now, let’s get straight to the detail.
- Apple MFi Certified DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) & Amp (Amplifier) with Native DSD Support
- Utilizes the professional XMOS USB DAC chip
- Hi-Res Audio Certified
- Supports up to 384kHz/32bit for PCM format
- Supports native DSD up to DSD256
- Dual crystal oscillators for faithful audio decoding
- Dual headphone outputs, support both 3.5mm standard and 2.5mm balanced
- Discrete high quality DAC AK4452
- 20 hours ultra-long battery life
To ensure the durability and avoid the EMI interface generated by the smart phones , Fiio Q1 mark II is made from anodized aluminium constructed (with exception of the plastic plates on either end) . It has a compact size and a very light weight, measuring in 99*59*12.5mm, and only 101g. There are two color available, silver and matte black. So it is very easy to use, no matter at home or on the go.
The main outputs are located on the front of Q1 mark II. From the left, they are 3.5mm headphone out, 2.5mm TRRS balanced out with gold plated. In the middle, you will see the line in/out jack. On the right side, there are two led lights. The first will be light up when DSD decoding is active, and the second just behind the volume knob, it will show the charging or the battery status .
On the rear, two metal switches with a tactile concentric texture that enable users to toggle bass boost and adjust gain between low and high. In the middle is a regular micro-usb plug for charging and data input.
The good thing for this USB interface is that Fiio Q1 mark II will automatically detect what kinds of device it is connected, so you don’t need to switch the optimal setting manually for different device, to make it a seamless experience.
For instance, if Q1 mark II is connected with the Iphone, it will automatically recognize it, and it will turn off charging over USB to reserve the Iphone’s battery.
But if Q1 mark II is connected with a computer, it will automatically turn on charging over USB to make sure it is powered constantly. ]
Unlike Q1 mark I, Fiio Q1 mark II is using another DAC chip, AK4452, which is capable of decoding 384KHZ/32bit, as well as native DSD converting up to DS256. This is really amazing at its price point.
Are you still remembering the new AM3a amp module using on Fiio X7 mark II?
Now, Fiio Q1 mark 2 also use the OPA926 amp chip, which is the same one use the AM3A amp module. Granted the resolution might be lower than a X7ii/AM3a combo but the amping refinement should be a big step up from the Mark I.
Can Fiio Q1 mark II work with Android Phone? Yes, it can.
Fiio Q1 mark-I was a warmer, more laid-back source with a mediocre soundstage, while Q1 MKII is more neutral and spacious. It sounds slightly fuller, darker and softer in the higher frequencies. Resolution is also notably higher , and the new amplifier segment provides a noticeable jump in both clarity and refinement.
Even though the power is actually a little lower than the Q1 mark-I and just slightly higher in balanced, the Q1 MKII ends up providing a better experience with the vast majority of gear.
The Q1 has nice bass extension but sub-bass notes have a slightly softer, looser impact. Mid-bass is slightly elevated, granting additional fullness to its low-end, but also some added bloat when compared to cleaner, more linear sources.
Mids are clean and bodied but lack that last iota of refinement. That said, the Q1 MKII performs very well within its price class with impressive linearity overall.
As a result of their low-frequency bump, midrange body is slightly fuller than neutral throughout but never to the extent of outright warmth or thickness.
The Q1 MKII also possesses good but not great clarity and plenty of resolution to discern individual layers within more complex tracks.
Vocals are full-bodied, clear and articulate but do miss that last element of extension and refinement, though instruments are crisp and well textured.
Highs carry that typical AKM sound with a very slight lower-treble accent enhancing detail presentation and a more laid-back tone above.
Once again, extension is good but not outstanding and due to their smoother nature, the Q1 MKII doesn’t excel with air and clarity. However, lower treble details are very crisp and well-bodied.
The great thing is Fiio Q1 mark II has obtained the Hi-res audio certification and the MFI certification from Apple.
The battery for Q1 mark II have increased to 1800mAh comparing with 1400mAH in the mark I. However,the playback time has dropped from 30 hours to 20 hours.
This is because Fiio has upgraded the DAC chip from the very low powered PCM5102 to the more powered AK4452, and the 2.5mm balanced output also cost more power. Meanwhile, higher sampling and bit-rate converting capability such as DSD combined with balanced output will likely give you those shorter hours.
In case you are wondering the difference between Fiio Q1 mark-I and Mark II,
|Fiio Q1||Fiio Q1 Mark II|
|Dimension||97mm x 56mm x 13.1mm||97 mm×59mm×13 mm|
|Output Power||＞190 mW (32 Ω/THD+N＜1%),＞75 mW (150 Ω/THD+N＜1%)||>75mw( PO/32Ω), >220mW( BAL/32Ω)|
|Maximum Supported Sample Rate||96kHZ/24 bit||384khz/32bit ( USB DAC)|
|THD+N||＜0.005% (1 kHz)||<0.003%( USB DAC), <0.002% (AUX IN)|
|SNR||≥107 dB||>115 dB( Aux in), >110dB( USB DAC)|
|DSD Support||DSD 64/128/256|
|Battery Capacity||1400mAh||1800 mAh|
|Battery Life||＞20 h||30h|
|Charging Time||＜4 h||＜4 h|
|Audio Input||Micro USB/3.5 mm stereo Jack||Micro USB/3.5 mm stereo Jack|
|Headphone Output||3.5 mm jack||3.5 mm stereo Jack/ 2.5mm Balanced headphone jack|
|Recommend headphone Impedance||16~150 Ω (Recommended))||16-100Ω (PO), 16-150Ω (BAL)|
|Power input||DC5V 1A recommended||DC 5V 2A recommended|
- Fiio Q1 Mark II Portable Headphone Amp & DAC
- Lightning to Micro USB OTG cable
- Micro USB data cable
- 5mm audio interconnect cable
- 2 x Long Bundling bands
- 2 x Short bundling bands
- Slide-proof pads for bundling
- Storage pouch
Fiio Q1 mark II comes with a more refined design, which mate better with smartphone and DAP. It also has more versatile setting, such as balanced and unbalanced option. The power is not huge, but that is enough for most IEMs, which is also the market that Fiio Mark II target.
Besides the line out, OTG and USB-DAC, now, you can have MFi for iOS and DSD playback capability.
So, considering on the price and Q1 mark 2 great feature, it is difficult to find a product to beat it in the current market.