The Q5 connected very easily to both my Dell laptop, and to my LG G6. My friends phone (a newer Sony) also had no issue at all pairing with the Q5. Reconnecting has always been very responsive and I have had no issues at all with this aspect of the Q5. I have tested the range and again not had even the slightest drop out when my phone is in another room, or in my pocket when I take the bus around town with the Q5.
I have been a big proponent for Bluetooth inclusion with audio gear for quite some time now and the Q5 is a great ambassador for Bluetooth. Personally, I think wired connections will be extinct in due time, and based on my experience having embraced Bluetooth for several years now, I will not mourn the inevitable passing away of wired connections.
I do suspect that wired connections will be included, at least for the foreseeable future, but it won’t be because they sound better than Bluetooth which was the case in the early days, rather the wired interfaces will be there for compatibility.
That is the exact opposite relationship where Bluetooth was once provided as the alternative connectivity option, with wired connections being conceptualized as the primary and desired connectivity option. I would suggest that the audio reproduction quality we are currently enjoying is so good, that in multiple trial, blind listening tests, I suspect the vast majority of users would find a Bluetooth connection transparent as compared with wired, but I digress.
The Q5 via Bluetooth sounds simply fantastic, it has been rock solid stable for me, and it is easy as pie to use. What more could I ask for? I am not sure if there is a viable user scenario for me by which I would want the Q5 to also function as a Bluetooth transmitter, but intuitively I suspect that if that functionality was implemented, I would find a way to enjoy it.
Setup and Performance
FiiO is a simple-to-use device. It’s pretty straightforward, especially for iOS users. You just have to connect the USB cable and start playing.
For the Android users, things are not always simple. Sometimes it works flawlessly but sometimes Q5 will try to charge itself from the connected device and that could cause major battery drainage. This happens rarely and in some cases, it’s because of inappropriate cable. You should use a proper OTG cable or the ML06 cable sold by FiiO.
Q5 delivers an enjoyable sound and solid performance. The sound is very balanced, perfectly clear, and very natural. The frequency response is very close to a flat line, at least when it comes to the audible part of the audio spectrum. So, accuracy is not an issue.
The midrange is perfectly balanced, very accurate, incredibly layered and detailed. The vocals are impeccably clear and sparkling. None of the instruments or vocals are too emphasized. Nothing sticks out – it’s all perfectly balanced.
The bass response is flawless. The bass is punchy and fast when it needs to be and it can also be slow and very deep. It’s nicely defined, full, and textured. It builds a nice foundation for the midrange and it’s never overemphasized. If you are more into bass, you might find it a bit too flat but you can always turn on the bass boost which raises all the frequencies below 100Hz by 5dB. This emphasis extends to 1kHz and it also makes the lower midrange warmer and slightly muddy.
There is no harshness or brightness in the high end. The treble reproduction complements the rest of the audio spectrum. It’s also clear, transparent, and very natural.
You should always have in mind that the final product (sound) depends a lot on your headphones. Headphones and amp/DAC are equally important and finding the right combo should be your primary goal. FiiO Q5 with a standard AM3A amp module is not the most powerful headphone amp and, in combination with some demanding headphones, it can’t really give the best results.