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FiiO’s Q15 Flagship Portable Headphone/DAC Amplifier Was Not Meant For Your Pocket

Features dual AKM DACs, 32-Bit/768kHz & DSD512 decoding, full-color display, USB-C, Coaxial input, and aptX HD & LDAC Bluetooth receiving for $399.

FiiO Q15 portable DAC/AMP in titanium and black

Calling the new FiiO Q15 DAC/Headphone Amplifier “portable” might be a bit of a stretch. It’s definitely on the larger side of things when it comes to the category is really more akin to the new iFi iDSD Diablo 2 that was just released last week.

There are few desktop DAC/Headphone amplifiers in the category that support this many hi-res formats and Bluetooth codecs so it’s easy to understand why FiiO is positioning this at the top of their lineup.

Based on their recent track record, FiiO has figured out how to make world class Dongle DACs, DAPs, and desktop headphone solutions that are extremely affordable.

Available in December, the new flagship FiiO Q15 Portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier builds upon the success of an award-winning range of portable audio equipment launched in 2023 including the KA13 Portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier, K11 Desktop Headphone DAC/Amplifier, FT5 Planar Magnetic Headphones, and R7 Music Streamer.

Delivering support for up to 32-bit/768kHz, MQA, and native DSD512 Hi-Res audio files, the Q15 is a powerful portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier featuring AKM’s newest DAC combination — the AK4191EQ+AK4499EX.

This DAC combination incorporates newly developed ‘DWA (Data Weighted Averaging) Routing Technology’ which suppresses noise caused by manufacturing process factors, ensuring an incredibly detailed, musical, and realistic sound reproduction.

FiiO Q15 portable DAC/AMP in titanium in-hand
FiiO Q15

FiiO Q15 Features:

  • Desktop & Portable Dual Power Supply Modes
  • Up to 1600mW High-Power Output
  • USB, Coaxial, and Bluetooth Decoding
  • 10-band Global Parametric Equalizer (PEQ)
  • 5-Level Audio Circuit
  • Full-color IPS Display

Whilst the Q15 is a portable device, FiiO’s engineers have worked to deliver a Headphone DAC Amplifier with desktop-grade capabilities. Featuring a switchable Desktop Mode — together with a dedicated USB-C power connection — when the Q15 is powered externally, it will completely bypass the internal battery, ensuring a desktop-like experience, even on the go.

When Desktop Mode is chosen, using a balanced output, the Q15 is capable of impressive power output of 1600mW — more than enough to drive a host of In-ear Monitors (IEMs) and full-sized headphones.

Despite being a portable device, the Q15 offers USB, Bluetooth, and Coaxial decoding — ensuring a wide range of devices can be connected. Not only Smartphones, Digital Audio Players (DAPs), but also CD Players, Streamers and Games Consoles.

FiiO Q15 top and bottom views

When using the USB connection, the Q15 will support audio files up to 32-bit/ 768kHz (PCM), and DSD512. When using Coaxial, the Q15 supports up to 24-bit/ 192kHz (PCM), and DoP DSD64. ​ ​

When using the Bluetooth receiving mode, the Q15 supports a wide range of codecs, including aptX, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, and LDAC. 

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Featuring an XMOS 16-core XU316 and Qualcomm QCC5125 Bluetooth chip — combining USB DAC, Bluetooth, and coaxial decoding in one — the Q15 has been meticulously designed from the ground up by FiiO’s audio engineers.

In addition, its 5-level Audio Circuit incorporates a variable gain and variable voltage design — with separate low-voltage low-gain, and high-voltage high gain modes, ensuring compatibility with both In-ear Monitors (IEMs) and full-size headphones. Digital and analogue sections of the Q15’s internal audio circuitry have been separated and shielded, ensuring that crosstalk is kept to a minimum. ​

FiiO Q15 with Android smartphone

The Q15 allows end users to personalize their listening experience, thanks to the 10-band Global PEQ (Parametric Equalizer). Featuring 7 EQ presets, together with 3 customisable PEQ presets, the PEQ can be used in both the USB DAC and Bluetooth modes. Via an intuitive interface, frequencies — along with gain levels and bandwidth — can be fine-tuned to ensure a truly tailored sound reproduction.

The Q15 features a 1.3-inch full-color IPS display, showing Mode, Sampling Rate, Volume Level, Battery Status, Gain, etc. The control knob allows user to quickly and access a number of functions including: adjusting the volume, input switching, and menu settings.

The Q15 also features a ‘Phone Mode’ switch ensuring that – when connected via USB-C to a smartphone, such as the iPhone 15 — power is drawn from the internal Q15 battery, rather than that of the phone.

FiiO Q15 connectives to iPhone 15 Black

Specifications

DACFlagship AKM AK4191EQ + AK4499EX Combination
USB ChipsetXMOS 16-core XU316
Bluetooth ChipsetQualcomm QCC5125
Max. Sampling Rate (USB DAC)Up to PCM 768kHz/32bit
Native DSD512
Max. Sampling Rate (Coaxial)Up to PCM 192kHz/24bit
DoP DSD64
MQA SupportYes
SNR≥ 123db (A-Weighted)
THD+N<0.0004% (LO/1kHz/10kΩ)
Bluetooth Codec Support (Receive)SBC / AAC / aptX / aptX LL / aptX Adaptive / aptX HD / LDAC
Display1.30-inch TFT (240*240) 
Headphone Output1 x 3.5mm Single-ended
1 x 4.4mm Balanced
Line Out1 x 3.5mm Single-ended (Shared PO)
1 x 4.4mm Balanced (Shared PO)
Line In1 x Coaxial (RCA)
USB Connection1 x Type-C USB2.0 (Charge/Data Transfer)
1 x Type-C USB2.0 (Charge)
Color OptionsBlack / Titanium Gray
Dimensions (H x W x D)143.5 x 71.75 x 21.75mm
Weight305g
FiiO Q15 portable DAC/AMP in titanium or black

In the Box

  • 1 x Q15,
  • 1 x USB-C Fast-charging Data Cable
  • 1 x USB-C Short Data Cable
  • 1 x AC Power Adaptor
  • 1 x Storage Bag
  • 1 x Silicon Pad
  • 2 x Silicon Ring
  • 1 x Screen Protector (Pre-applied)
  • 1 x Manual
  • 1 x Warranty Card

Price & Availability

The FiiO Q15 will be available for $399 at Amazon / £379 in black and titanium gray — expected by December 2023.

For more information: fiio.com/q15

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. ORT

    November 18, 2023 at 1:54 am

    Portable?! Not only izzit HUUUUGE it’s got that MQA nonsense!

    I just can’t see carrying this brick around with me rubber banded or velcro’d to a phone. Most headphone enthusiasts have TT-RA – Tiny T-Rex Arms and I doubt they could carry this and a huuuge phone for very long. Of course they could have developed “Fiddler Crab Syndrome” from years of carrying early more gigantic DAP/DAC/AMP setups. One gigantic arm…

    Yeah…”Fiddler Crab Syndrome” from carrying “portable audio”…That’s the ticket!

    I can see ’em walkin’ aboot a CanJam hopin’ & prayin’ some Event Hostess will ax ’em:

    “Izzat a Q15 in yer pocket or are ye jess glad to see me, laddie?!

    ORT Makenzie

  2. 123Peter

    November 19, 2023 at 9:41 am

    Each of us has different needs related to our audio equipment. Although the size of the portable Q15 amplifier may seem a bit overwhelming, it’s worth noting that there are numerous situations where such equipment becomes invaluable.

    Here lies the strength of portable devices – in their versatility. Thanks to them, we can enjoy excellent sound during business trips, relaxing vacations, or even in everyday situations when we want to move between rooms. This doesn’t mean we have to carry them every day – but when the time for travel, remote work, or moments of relaxation comes, a portable amplifier becomes a true ally.

    Why choose something portable? Well, portable devices give us freedom – the ability to improve sound quality where it’s more challenging to achieve using larger, stationary equipment. This doesn’t exclude the benefits of also having stationary devices – it’s rather an additional option, tailored to specific contexts and needs

  3. ORT

    November 20, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Well said and for more than a few folks, true indeed. Thank you!

    I get by with either my iPhone and Bose Soundwear Companion or my ancient, recently unearthed on a dig in the Hall Closet and painstakingly cleaned and charged FiiO X1.

    At this very moment I am listening to The Skyliners sing “This I Swear”. It sounds like…music. And that is what it is all about.

    ORT

  4. Asa

    November 20, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    Ian –

    Is there a reason to choose the Diablo2 over this? The Q15 also considerably less expensive than the red monster. It seems obvious, but maybe I’m missing something. For the most part, it will sit on my night stand, plugged in – whether at home or in a hotel.

    Thanks!

    • Ian White

      November 20, 2023 at 5:29 pm

      Asa,

      Until Will and I get a chance to listen — don’t know yet. It depends on the headphones for sure.

      Will let you know what we discover.

      Ian White

      • Asa

        November 21, 2023 at 1:28 am

        Have the DT 770 Studio 80 ohm for reference. Seems like both should easily drive them.

        Thanks.

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