FiiO Q3 Review

fiio Q3 headfonia

Design & Build Quality

Casing

If you already own a FiiO Q1 Mark II, you won’t see much difference between the old and new versions. The Q3 enjoys the same unibody, anodized aluminum case, with rounded edges, and front-facing outputs.

You have to lookup close to see the differences with the new FiiO Q3 :

  • the 3.5mm and 2.5mm are now followed by a 4.4mm input
  • the scroll wheel is thicker and the led next to it indicate the bitrate quality
  • USB-C instead of micro-USB (hurray)
  • the bass-boost button doubles as a filter selector
  • it’s the return of the charge on/off switch!

fiio Q3 headfonia

The symmetrical design remains delightful, as is the red circle around the volume control wheel. The assembly quality is almost perfect, with no gap or visible screws apart and every part of the amp screams quality.

Some users have been pointing the similarity with iFi’s HIP-DAC, and that’s true. But, the FiiO remains smaller and overall, easier to carry on the go. 

Build Quality

Craftmanship is exactly the same as before: exquisite. There are only two visible screws, each input feels sturdy enough to withstand the test of time, and the new potentiometer feels even more natural.

The case sleek design is delightful to look at, and everywhere you touch feel premium. To my eye, it’s one of the best-looking DAC from the brand. Even more, now that FiiO removed the Hi-Res Audio stickers and decided to laser-engraved them directly.

fiio Q3 headfonia

Obviously, the best thing that happened is the addition of a new USB-C port, instead of the old micro-USB. That and the new 4.4mm Pentaconn headphone output, renowned for the

Layout

Again, the FiiO Q3 layout is almost identical to the FiiO Q1 MKII. The front side gets all the outputs and the backside all the inputs.

In short, upfront you get:

  • 1x 3.5mm Single-ended Phone-out/Line-in (combo style)
  • 1x 2.5mm Balanced Phone-out, to connect your IEMs and headphones
  • 1x 4.4mm Pentaconn Balanced Phone-out, same as above

fiio Q3 headfonia

And if you look at the rear of the Q3, you have:

  • 1x USB-C port, to connect all your sources and charge the DAC
  • 1x Bass boost, for those boom boom lows
  • 1x Charge switch, to activate or deactivate USB charging
  • 1x Gain selector, to toggle low and high gain

So you should be able to connect almost every headphone you have. Fancy!

Bundle

Again, FiiO has been very generous with the Q3 and the bundle should cover almost every need. In the box you get:

  • the FiiO Q3
  • 1x fabric pouch to carry your DAC
  • 4x sets of silicon bands, to attach the Q3
  • 1x silicon pad to separate your DAC and your phone
  • 1x USB-C to USB-C cable (short) to connect an Android phone to your DAC
  • 1x USB-C to Lightning, to connect your iPhone to your DAC
  • 1x Jack-Jack to connect your source to… your DAC

fiio Q3 headfonia

As you can see, the FiiO Q3 remains one of the only devices to be gifted a USB-C -> Lightning adapter, right of the batch. This is an addition to the MFi certification, carried from the Q1 MKII and the Q5S, hurray!

For the others, you can plug a USB-C cable and get your Q3 up and running the same way. One of the best bundles in this price range!

The article continues on Page Three, after the click here

4.4/5 - (206 votes)

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

5 Comments

  • Reply November 12, 2020

    Rizqi angga

    This article sold to me
    I ditch my q1 mk2
    Q3 on shipping

  • Reply November 23, 2020

    Mark

    I got mine already. What cable are you using with Walkman and Q3? Looks like the L27 cable?

  • Reply December 10, 2020

    Jort

    Thanks for this beautiful review of the new Fiio.
    How does the Q3 handle harsch highs?
    I have among others a Superlux HD 681 for the spacious soundstage, but the highs are too sharp. Will the Q3 soften them?
    Thanks, Jort

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