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FiiO Q3 Review – Audio46 Headphone Store

FiiO’s Q3 is a portable Digital Audio Converter with THX capabilities. FiiO is well-known for its portable DACs at a variety of price ranges, all while enhancing audio on the go. The Q3 Comes in at $150, putting it in a relatively accessible price range for a portable DAC. Today, I’m going to see how the FiiO Q3 performs.

What’s in the Box

  • FiiO Q3 Portable DAC
  • USB A to Type-C data cable

  • 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable

  • Type-C to Type-C data cable

  • Lightning to Type-C data cable

  • X-type silicone strap

  • Silicone straps (long)

  • Silicone straps (short)

  • Silicone anti-skid feet

  • Post-sale warranty card

  • Quick start guide

Look and Feel

The Q3 is sleek and reminiscent of some of FiiO’s earlier DAC designs. The device itself is very light and portable, around the same size as an iPod. On the top panel, you have the three headphone outputs and a volume knob with indicator light. The volume knob feels very smooth and has just the right level of resistance. The bottom controls feature a switch titled “Bass,” a gain pad button, a switch that enables USB charging, and a USB-C input/charger port. Overall, the design is very intuitive and simple, yet still provides a sizeable number of customization options.

Design

The biggest design highlight of the Q3 is its THX AAA-28 Module which gives the signal extremely high levels of clarity. Utilizing a new state-of-the-art AK4462 Velvet Sound DAC Chip, the Q3 can perform without a hiccup and decode up to 768kHz/32-bit PCM. The Q3 has outputs for 3.5mm, 4.2mm, and 2.5mm balanced outputs. The USB-C Port is powered by an XMOS XUF208 USB Chip that allows for superior hifi Data decoding. The battery also lasts up to 19 hours on a single charge. Needless to say, the Q3 is powerful. 

The FiiO Q3 has a frequency response of 20 Hz – 65 kHz and a battery life of ~19 hours

Sound Impressions

The Q3 sound incredibly smooth and natural. The soundstage places sound tastefully around your head without overdoing it. The 3D image is enhanced only slightly to give a solid yet natural feeling presence that wasn’t there before. The bass feels more impactful, especially with the Bass switch in the On position. The mids are slightly smoothed out but in a way, that enhances the overall clarity of the sound and helps it accommodate a variety of mixing styles. The highs are especially crisp and clear, thanks in no small part to the extended frequency range on the Q3. The noise floor is incredibly low and that helped give the dynamics a cinematic feel. Rather than distort or alter what’s there, the Q3 subtly enhances it to improve your listening experience exponentially.

Overall

As far as portable DACs go, FiiO’s Q3 is one of the better ones I’ve tried. Especially at this price range, this thing is a serious contender. The way it simply yet elegantly enhances the sound was a great surprise for me. If you’re looking for Hifi listening on the go without destroying your bank account, then the FiiO Q3 is definitely for you. I’m very excited about how FiiO will improve in the future.

Pros

Cons

  • Great price

  • Amazing sound

  • Battery Life

  • THX

You can buy the FiiO Q3 here

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