The QLS QA350 Player is really something. It’s ridiculously cheap, it’s ridiculously big, yet it’s ridiculously good sounding. I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I received the player. If you think that the HM-801 is big, the QLS is even bigger. Well, as some people say, “I couldn’t care how it looks as long as it sounds good”. If the HM-801 comes in a nice glossy finishing that exudes a high-end aura, the QLS looks like a mere DIY project. The QLS, at $200 also can’t compete with the sound of the HM-801, but for $200, it kicks the butt of everything else near that price range.
The QLS is pretty serious in designing the QA350. For starters, they only take WAV files through the means of SD Cards. It is equipped with a Wolfson WM8740, a D/A chip that no longer needs an introduction. The front panel reveals that the QA350 is a jack of all trades: a 1/8″ leadphone out, a 1/8″ line out & optical digital out combo jack, and a coaxial digital out. That’s pretty much everything you can think of in terms of connection interfaces.
On the back side, you’ll find two different ports for power. A 3-pin square connector for charging the internal batteries, and a wallwart connector for operating the QA345 from AC power. There is also an SD card slot for the music library, a power toggle and a hold toggle switch. Though it may not be the prettiest looking player around, the QA350 is certainly one of the most full featured player I’ve come across. Oh, let’s not forget that the QA350 comes with a remote control. Now that’s pretty kickass.
Despite the big size, the QLS player is not as heavy as it may look. The use of a lithium ion battery attributes to this. The charger turns out to be surprisingly small too, much smaller and lighter than the one found on the Hifiman HM-801, which is notoriously heavy for traveling purposes.