So, you’re in the market for a simple, entry level DAC/amp. There are already a bunch of reviews out there about both, the K3 and the Q1. But this review is for those who need more clarity on the differences between these two models. Let’s explore the varying applications and features of these two cute FiiO DACs in this FiiO K3 vs FiiO Q1 Mark II Review.
FiiO K3 vs FiiO Q1 Mark II Review
These two DACs differ mostly in their applications. The K3 is designed for desktop use. It has no internal battery, so it will need to be powered from your computer. The Q1, on the other hand, is ideally designed for on the go use with your mobile device. (Although it does has a line-out for an amplifier or active speakers) The Q1 comes with a micro-USB to lightning adapter for your iPhone or a micro-USB to USB cable for your computer or Android device. The K3 uses a USB-C to USB cable, which is designed to be hooked up to your computer.
While both, the K3 and Q1 have line outs, only the K3 has a coaxial and optical out. So, if you’re looking for a digital connection to your receiver, you should stick to the K3.
Both, the K3 and Q1 have 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm outputs.
Supported Sampling Rates
Both models support native DSD and sampling rates up to 384kHz/32bit.
Both, the K3 and the Q1 have gain and bass boost functions.
|FiiO K3||FiiO Q1 Mark II|
Headphone Output 120mW(32Ω)
|75mW (32 Ohms)|
|Supported Sampling Rates||384kHz/32bit||384kHz/32bit|
|DSD Support||DSD 256||DSD64/128/256|
|Battery Life||N/A||20 Hours (Line in)
10 Hours (USB DAC)
|Coaxial Out||RCA for 192kHz, support DSD64 DOP|
|Optical Out||Up to 96kHz|
Both, the K3 and the Q1 share the same DAC, and both have the same amplification power. And after doing an AB comparison test with both models, there was little discernible difference in sound profiles.
Both DACs will deliver the same sound qualities. But if you’re looking for a DAC/amp for your computer that can also be used to send out a digital connection to your receiver, then the K3 is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re planning to use your DAC with a mobile device as well, then you should stick with the famous Q1 Mark II.
You can find both DAC/amps for the best price at:
Audio 46: FiiO K3
Audio 46: FiiO Q1 Mark II