Questyle has struck once more with an enchanting headphone DAC answer for cellular gadgets. This one is devoted a bit additional to the audiophile crowd than its final mannequin. Providing a robust answer inside the house of a small thumb drive and sure giving corporations like Audioquest one thing to fret about. It is the Questyle M15 Mobile Lossless DAC with Headphone Amplifier.
The firm took a distinct path to the design by offering a glass window on high that enables the person to spy on all the pieces occurring inside. You can admire the element that went into the event of the board and all the pieces connected/soldered to it.
Being as small as a thumb drive, you may simply carry it with you anyplace with out worrying about it taking over an excessive amount of house. It can be just one oz in weight, due to this fact you received’t even discover that its there. Let it’s in your pocket, or rigorously tucked away right into a slot inside your bag, backpack, or the rest you utilize to hold your day’s requirements.
Beyond the glass window, the remainder of the physique is comprised of aluminum, offering a sturdy enclosure for all the pieces in aspect.
It contains a USB-C port and two cables for connecting it to your most well-liked cellular machine. These cables embrace a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-C to USB(A). There is an possibility for USB-C to Lightning (OTG cable) as effectively, however that might be a further buy from the corporate except you have already got one.
This additionally implies that it received’t work with something that doesn’t have a USB port, so that is one thing to remember. That being stated, each fashionable pc, laptop computer, pill, or smartphone, helps USB in a single type or one other (direct or tailored). So you ought to be positive.
You have the choice of utilizing an everyday 3.5mm connection for headphones, or a balanced 4.4mm connection you probably have a cable that helps it (and a pair of headphones that pairs to the cable correctly). Like this one from Meze Audio, made for its 99 Series headphones. Or, a 4.4mm to XLR, 4.4mm to RCA, and so forth.
The aspect contains a low/excessive achieve change. This is used based mostly on the headphones or audio system you’ve got linked to the DAC. If you might be utilizing headphones, you’ll seemingly hold the change within the “low” place generally. With the exception of high-impedance headphones (250+, for instance), the place you’ll then change it to “excessive”. You may additionally do the identical when connecting it to audio system as effectively. You’ll know fairly shortly if it must be switched to excessive or not relying on the quantity of quantity you might be getting.
There are two LED lights that may be seen via the window. One represents the achieve of low or excessive (inexperienced or crimson) whereas the opposite represents the standard of audio it’s getting out of your machine (information).
If you might be taking part in again an MP3 or some other basic format, the info mild will seemingly be inexperienced. As you may see within the above picture, this represents any sign that’s 48kHz or much less. So this consists of issues like Pandora, Youtube, or some other basic on a regular basis stream or format.
However, for those who begin taking part in a hi-res FLAC (word, simply because one thing is in FLAC [or similar]format, it doesn’t imply it’s hi-res) or related format, the sunshine will seemingly flip crimson, exhibiting that it’s getting hi-res lossless audio out of your machine.
If you might be taking part in a supply that helps MQA (ie, Tidal or taking part in MQA information via one thing just like the USB Audio Player PRO app inside Android), the info LED will periodically present as magenta.
The M15 presents 4 CMA amp engines, together with an ESS ES9281AC DAC chip. You additionally get an ultra-low noise flooring of -130dB or much less, resulting in a clear listening expertise. So how does all of this translate to your ears?
This, in fact, depends upon what you pair it with headphone or speaker-wise. Obviously, if you’re going to undergo all of this hassle, you’re going to wish to use one thing formidable. In our case, we paired it with various headphones. Some benefited tremendously, whereas others didn’t achieve a lot.
This is a robust amp, so it ought to be capable of drive virtually (virtually) something you throw at it. So we went straight to the pair we figured it could hit a wall with. This was the Beyerdynamic DT 880 SE Premium 600 Ohm Semi-Open Over-Ear Headphones. It takes so much to feed this mannequin with sufficient of an impression, so many cellular DACs fail at this one. Surprisingly, although, it was in a position to get a noticeable quantity of quantity from the headphones. Sadly, it didn’t depart an enduring impression, nevertheless it did (at the least) get a good quantity of quantity. It was an unfair pairing however nonetheless price a strive (and it did strive).
We then paired it in opposition to the Meze Audio 99 Classic headphones. This ended up being one in all our favourite pairings with this DAC. Everything got here collectively properly, with loads of quantity and vary to go round. The ensuing audio was improbable.
That led to us spending hours rotating between varied headphones from corporations like Beyerdynamic, Creative, Sennheiser, Audeze, Audio-Technica, and extra. Truly changing into one in all our favourite moveable DAC choices on the market inside this footprint.
All music we examined it with included MQA, FLAC, or higher. Albums from artists like Beck, Yes, Rush, and Pink Floyd actually got here to life (for such a small DAC, at the least). Everything crisp, clear, and had loads of element.
This is certainly a formidable moveable answer that gives high quality competitors in relation to choices just like the Dragonfly Red. Many corporations are going to need to step up with enhancements to attempt to present up this one as you at present get a lot better with out going with one thing that has a bigger footprint and worth.
We had numerous enjoyable pairing this with varied headphone fashions and will simply see utilizing this as a playback supply with audio/sound consoles for dwell occasions. Especially, since it could actually match so simply nearly anyplace (throughout journey) with out having to fret about added bulk.
For now, it appears to solely be obtainable through Questyle’s web site. The MSRP is $250.
*Average worth is predicated on the time this text was revealed
- Operating System Required:
- Android: Android 5.0 and above
- PC: Win10 1803 and above
- iOS (OTG Lightning to Type-C cable required [Additional])
- mac OS
- DAC Capability:
- PCM: PCM: 32kHz – 384kHz (16/24/32Bit)
- DSD: DSD64(1Bit 2.8MHz) , DSD128(1Bit 5.6MHz), DSD256(1Bit 11.2MHz)
- Output Interface:
- 3.5mm commonplace headphone jack x1
- 4.4mm balanced headphone jack x1
- Output Power:
- 3.5mm:RL=300ohm,Po=11.97mW, Vout(Max)=1.895Vrms,THD+N=0.00045%
- 4.4mm:RL=300ohm,Po=22.60mW, Vout(Max)=2.624Vrms,THD+N=0.00057%
- Frequency Response: +/- 0.1dB(20Hz-20kHz)
- THD + N:0.0003%
- DAC: ESS flagship USB DAC chip ES9281AC
- Material: CNC machined aluminum
- Color: Black
- Size: 61.8[L] X 27.2[W] X 12[D](mm)
Co-Authors: Jeffrey B.
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