FiiO Q7 Review

Fiio Q7 Recommended Buy

Sound performance

For the purpose of this review, I used the Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X, the Nostalgia Audio Camelot and the mighty Meze Empyrean. All files were streamed from Spotify and Apple Music, in Hi-Res when available, and my own catalog.

Overall signature

Ok, let me spoil it for you: sound-wise, the FiiO Q7 offers the same performance as the M17. Gorgeous lows, vibrant voices, and clear highs, everything I liked on the M17 was kept on the Q7 – so don’t be surprised if my review seems like a lookalike of my previous one.

Let’s begin with the main – and maybe sole real difference – the power has been further increased, from tremendous to insane. Honestly, I don’t know who will ever need the Super high gain mode, that tops at 1100mW… at 32 ohms… in single-ended – and 3000mW in balanced mode!

Audeze LCD-X, Sennheiser HD800S, Meze Empyrean, even my old HiFiman HE-6, none gave the FiiO any difficulty, even more when I plugged them in 4.4mm/2.5mm.  And, for the craziest ones, you can even use the provided power-supply, to bypass the embedded battery and rely solely on the DC input, increasing the analog circuit voltage by 35% and, therefore, unleashing the beast and obliter your eardrum..


Dynamic is superb, even more, if you use the 4.4mm/2.5mm output, and with every headphone I treid, I really felt surrounded by the sound. Paired with the Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X and Sennheiser HD800S, the voices were natural, poised, and I could easily pinpoint each of them in the space. 

And, compared to the previous Q5s – that I praised when it came out – the Q7 simply outmatch the old model on every level. Texture, layering, soundstage, overall finesse, everything is enhanced on a godly degree – it’s simply the M17 quality, for (a lot) less – enlightening even micro-details I was previously unaware of. And if Cirrus-Logic or AKM improved a lot in the past years, I still prefer the ESS sound signature: better mids, more body, authority, and overall realism – especially on that 9038pro series.

A pro name that isn’t displayed just for show, as the DAC could be the perfect substitute for a professional sound-engineer on the go, and for good reason. Heavy fare never gave the Q7 any trouble, whether it was electro, jazz, classical or even rock tracks. It’s infinitely more accurate than the Q5, and remains a few steps above the XD05-Plus – which is much more affordable of course – two great devices, but lacking the effortless natural of the new Q7.

And, after a few week of listening, the DAC/AMP outmatched all and every device I own in this price range and above, even in single-ended mode only. In fact, it’s so powerful that it challenged many of my desktop gear, like my HiFiman EF400, or even my SMSL DO200+HO200 setup – and the frontier between desktop and portable was blurred more than once.


And, if FiiO offers four levels of gain (low/mid/high/bazook) to fit every type of headset/IEMs I mostly switched between low and mid, the low-level proving to be sufficient with almost all of my IEMs, and the mids enough for all of my headphones. A feats on its own already but, on top of that, the DAC delivers one of the cleanest, blackest soundstage I ever heard on a DAC, only beaten to the spot by the Tempotec Variations V6, beating FiiO by a hair’s breadth on this aspect.

The sheer power, combined with ESS accuracy and THX linearity delivered the high-end experience you’d expect from a $2000 DAC & amp for half that price, unbeatable!

Long story short, a true TOTL, through and through , again!


Highs: clean and straight. If ESS is sometimes labeled as boring and dull due to its linear tonal balance, I’m – and will stay as it appears – a big fan of their signature, even more, when FiiO’s the one using their chip. It’s always on point, magically accurate and, even at low or super high volume, the player was able to output a lot of information, in every gain settings, low/mid/high/super high. Amazing!

Track : Poly – Thylacine

Mids: top of the line layering and dynamic. Voices have always been good on FiiO players, and the Q7 takes that to new heights. This is especially true with big cans and hybrid IEM, who love its large power reserve, but even paired with classics like the Meze 99 Classics, the DAP delivers superb vocals, almost effortlessly. 

Track : Wanderer – Mogli

Lows: unrivaled. The THX-AAA amps are back, for our greatest pleasure. In fact, as soon as I heard the first notes of Flight of the Cosmic Hippo, the Q7 immediately took the crown for best player in this category. Not only was it able to reach the deepest notes and sub rumble, it also gave one of the most organic bass I had the chance to listen on a DAP, or a DAC/AMP of this caliber. With no dragging sound nor latency, this is the BEST bass you can get in this price range. Period!

Tracks : Way down we go – Kaleo


Noise and power

Noise: nothing to say, it’s dead silent, and my hypersensitive Onkyo could not spot anything, even with Bluetooth turned on. Of course, the higher the gain, the higher the noise, but I couldn’t discern more than a faint, faint, breeze when put in turbo mode. EMI shielding did a great job and I never encountered any parasites or any real buzz during my listening.

Power: deafening power, FiiO offers four different levels of gain for its player. If low was already powerful enough to drive my DT900 Pro-X, the mid-level was the one I used for 90% of my headphones, even with the Audeze LCD-X. Obviously, if you want to drive cans like Sennheiser flagship, you can raise to high, but I don’t think anyone but a deaf person would ever need the Turbo mode – even more if you put the Q7 in DC mode…

Line out: If the FiiO Q7 kept the classic 3.5mm output, to connect your amp, the player also introduces a new balanced, 4.4mm, line-out. Unfortunately, at the moment, none of my gear support this type of plug, but it’d be pretty interesting to see if this matches the usual XLR line out. I know that iFi Audio offers a complete set with its DAC + AMP signature series, but at the moment, I only have the DAC!



Let me be straight: if you want an M17, for left than half the price, and don’t need the android part, get the FiiO Q7.

I assume that everyone of you already have a smartphone – you may even be reading that review with one – which mean that you have a very potent source in your hand. Give this source the gift of a (short) lifetime, and pair a FiiO Q7 with it/him/her, it’ll be worth every penny.

Sure, it’s more trans-portable than really nomad. Sure it gets way hotter than you’d ever expect a player could do. But, once you’ve plugged your ears/headphone, everything becomes insignificant, erased by the sound’s prowess of the DAC.

A no-brainer, outperforming many, if not every, DAC/Amp available at the time of writing. And, if I still have a personal affection for the xDuoo XD-05 Plus, for many, the FiiO Q7 will be the one and only to get.

So yes, this DAC/AMP goes directly in my recommendation list, and if you’re out for a TOTL on the cheap, you should definitely try this one first, or at least add it to your list. 

Page 1: about FiiO

Page 2: UI, Usage, Bundle

Page 3: Technical specifications

Page 4: Sound performance 

4.5/5 - (93 votes)

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.

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