Picture Sunday – FiiO Q5S

Fiio Q5s

Today, we take a look at the FiiO Q5S, the successor of the first FiiO Q5 we reviewed a while ago. FiiO sent it to us free of charge, in exchange of our honest opinion, so the review is to come.

This is part of our picture Sunday series, where we take a quick look at some products in the review cycle. You can find all previous Picture Sunday posts here.

No need to present FiiO anymore, unless you’re really new to the audiophile world. For those two readers, let’s just say the brand has come a long way and is now one of the most renowned , offering a comprehensive collections of DAPs, DACs, Amps and even IEMs. We reviewed a lot of FiiO products and most of the time, it was worthwhile.

But before we review the FiiO Q5S, let’s give it some beauty shots.

FiiO Q5S – The design

Nothing new, nothing old. The Q5S is very conservative design-wise, from afar it looks exactly the same as the old FiiO Q5. Like an iPhone X and XS, only quirky geeks and avid readers will notice the difference if not seated next to the old Q5.

The case is made of aluminium, with a two tone finish, anodized on the sides, brushed on the front. The back plate is covered with fake-leather, some will like, other won’t but I think it gives a subtle touch of luxury.

The differences can be spot on the rear and bottom sides :

  • a new “input” button, so you can choose the right device once connected
    below, a set of leds automatically display the source paired with the Q5S
    the new amp module gives you the possibility to connect either a 4.4mm or a 2.5mm module.
  • The AM3E replaces the “old” AM3B, previously bundled with the FiiO Q5. Apart from the additional headphone output, there is nothing new in term of performances. Even though, it’s great to get the three most common headphone output, on one device. Very much like the FiiO M11.

“Bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet”, but why would you improve something that works perfectly fine already.

FiiO Q5S – A quick view

“S” stands for Speed, or numerous, depending of the context. In the case of the FiiO Q5S, the S is justified by the updgraded DAC and new audio circuit, so maybe… Superior ?

Instead of a set of twin AK4490EQ chips, the Q5S enjoys two AK4493EQ, which shall offer better performances and better sounds overall. The new XUF chip supports 768kHz/32bits files, so you may enjoy ultra hi-res files with no hassles.

The main option remains the possibility to change the amplifier module, so you can fit a more powerful one, or a battery-saver one. Choice is yours, but I’d very much like to try the THX-AAA modules, the FiiO M11 Pro was very promising so I hope the Q5S can reach the same level of performance.

To connect your source, you can use :

  • USB (micro-USB)
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (hurray)
  • Optical / Line in

And you can even connect an amplifier to the FiiO Q5S, thanks to the Line-Out. Depending on the quality of the file playing, the Led located between the amp and the main unit will change colour. The DSD indicator is gone, but this not a big loss…. Is it ?

On paper, the FiiO Q5S has everything to be a new killer in this price range. Only a few weeks before you get the full answer, so stay tuned!

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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.

    1 Comment

    • Reply September 10, 2019

      Anand

      How does the sound quality of q5s compare to that of chord mojo and dragonfly cobalt.

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