Intro: Endgame precision
Questyle is a well-known manufacturer for producing premium audio devices, including DAPs, headphone amplifiers, and wireless audio systems. For the past years, QP1R gained some significant attention among audio communities for its performance and served as the main product that represents Questyle. My first experience with Questyle happened several years ago, when I got a chance to have a quick to the QP1R. The listening session was short, though I was impressed with its sound and been keeping my interest on their products since then. Then the QP2R recently got released, a new successor which replaces the old QP1R.
Packaging, First impressions
The packaging is simple yet feels to have a premium presentation. Besides the player, the box includes a USB-C cable, an optical adapter, a pouch, and some paper works. I’d personally prefer a case instead of a pouch. But hey, it’s better than nothing.
First impressions from the appearance, is that the looks are identical to QP1R. Both players use the same machine aluminum case but equipped with different internals. The QP2R is available in either Gold or Silver color. As I’ve been attracted with gold colored players since the first day I saw QP1R, so I went for the gold variation without a second thought.
Design and Build quality
QP2R has a sleek, seamless build quality with a decent weight to it. Not particularly heavy though. While it’s easy for goldish gears to look rustic or bombastic, the color added on these are more like champagne gold with bit of a milky color added, giving a soft, premium looking. The matte surface has a slightly grainy touch to it, providing a firm grip to my hands.
The back of the player is covered with a black glossy panel. Both front and back panels are made of Gorilla glass, so it should withstand impacts pretty well when it’s dropped. This makes it look pretty symmetric to the front side, actually. While placing the player to any surface, making sure to not place anywhere that’s tilted as the back panel is slippery and could easily slip off. As a solution, I’ve attached a rubber stacking pad from FIIO and it does a pretty good job preventing from slipping which also prevents the back panel gaining scratches. Killing two birds with one stone.
Diamond-like cutting applied on edges around the power button and the knob. The knob spins smoothly with a clicking sound on every interval. Although I’m yet to get a protective case for this expensive baby, it seems like all of the QP2R cases does not protect the upper part where the knob and its surroundings are. Kind of sad, but I guess that’s what the case manufacturers should look out for.
QP2R is equipped with a patented technology what’s called as the Current Mod Amplification, which Questyle claims to be able to achieve extreme sound performance by constructing a full, discrete balanced amp module. Spec-wise, the THD varies between 0.0002%~0.0005 which is impressively low. THD is known to be 10-100 times lower than most players, achieving significant improvement even compared to the previous 1R – now that’s impressive.
Though Questyle had to give up one of the two SD card slots from the player. It’s a drawback for those who carry tons of tracks in their players, though Questyle included a 64GB internal storage, somewhat as a compensation. I’ve confirmed 256GB SD cards to be compatible and yet to try the ones with 400GB, but the QP2R should be able to handle 400GB SD cards just fine. Below is the detailed specification of the player.
Audio Formats Supported : WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, AAC, ALAC,
AIFF, DFF, DSF，APE(Normal/High/Fast)
Sample Rate: PCM 32kHz – 384kHz (16/24/32Bit)
DSD Native: DSD64(1Bit 2.8MHz),
DSD128(1Bit 5.6MHz), DSD256(1Bit 11.2MHz)
DAC: AKM AK4490 DAC chip
Outputs: Headphone out(3.5mm)/Optical out(3.5mm) / Balanced out(2.5mm)
Output Level: Unbalanced 1.8 Vrms / Balanced 3.6 Vrms
Output Power: Unbalanced RL=32Ω, Pout=38mW;
Frequency Response: ±0.1dB (20Hz-20kHz)
S/N 100dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 102dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
THD+N 0.0006% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balanced
Output Impedance: 0.1Ω
Battery : 3,100mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer battery, 10 hours of battery life
Display : IPS 2.4” (Sharp LCM)
Dimension : 65[W] x 134[H] x 14.5[D] (mm)
User Interface / Battery life
The software is based on a custom-made Linux OS, powered by Hiby. I’ve only been using Android Daps until now, and the runtime / standby time on the QP2R is great. The battery efficiency is clearly better than any of my other players and haven’t experienced any lags so far. One exception is that I sometimes experience a 1~1.5 second delay when I push the play button while the screen is off, but other than that QP2R responds instantly in any situation. QP2R uses the classic iPod-style where you scroll the wheel for navigation. Not comfortable than a touch screen of course but would be a plus if you like the analogue way.
The settings provide various options to be adjusted for the user’s needs. Other than general settings like EQ, balance, or gains, detailed settings are also available such as independent gains for DSD/BIAS, volume direction for the knob, and vibration. Now I’ve seen good number of users reporting about the stiff wheel on the 1R, Questyle fixed this issue and now the wheels scroll smoothly with a clicking sound.
The UI is pretty straight forward. You spin the wheel to navigate tracks/menus, you click the button on the middle to confirm. Browsing folders, playlists, and categories are available like any other players. One drawback that I must mention, is that there’s not an option for sorting the tracks. The list only stays alphabetically which sometime is pain when I try to search tracks that starts with a letter between h-p or something like that. It takes more time especially when you shoved tons of tracks in one folder, so the current UI lacks some convenience here. This is something that surely could be resolved with a software update. I have already reported to Questyle about it, so let’s see how that goes. You could also long press the back button to jump back to the main menu. Do the same thing for the center circular button, and you’ll jump back to the “now playing” screen.
Now to the most important topic. Though I first mention that the amplification is very impressive – I kind of get why some users said that it feels like a stationary amplifier. Amplification is powerful while keeping the output very stable, almost to a level to the Hugo 2. The background feels to be clean and pure.
QP2R aims to produce a non-colored sound. Overall sound signature would be that bass and treble stretches out with a lively, lingering imagery while the mids sound tight and airy. Bass sounds like it’s packed with density and dives deep, but only to the point where it could be maintained tightly controlled.
Mids sound airy and has a neutral thickness, keeping a good balance between the thickness too full or lean. Vocals are prominent; though it feels like its clarity comes by skimming of a veil, rather than purposely emphasizing the frequency response – this provides the mids to have an organic sound, yet with liveliness.
Upper mids and highs extends with a bit of sparkles added, providing a good sense of richness. The highs stretch with good stability without getting to sound spiky. Soundstage and separation is superb, having clear presentation for instrument positioning. In terms of resolution, QP2R explicitly presents the original texture. QP2R will serve you even better if you get yourself ready with good source, but this also means that the player could possibly expose a poor texture from your music if your source is badly recorded.
QP2R is one of my best DAPs that I have listened to. Considering that most high-end DAPs costs over 2K~3K, I’d say QP2R would be a great choice to consider as its performance keeps up with any other flagship DAPs but obtainable for a more affordable price. Once the UI gains improvement, the DAP game is pretty much over for me. Would be an excellent choice for those who desires a natural, uncolored sound while achieving richness.
Thanks to Questyle Audio for providing the QP2R in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
I am not affiliated with Questyle and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.