Amp/DAC Comparisons Amps & DACs Audioengine D1 vs. DragonFly Red FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1

FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1 | In The Spirit of Capitalism

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Hey there pal, and Welcome aboard!!

Earlier than we get into the FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1, grab a snack, sit again and loosen up as a result of..

You’ve come to the proper place!!

As with different shootouts, we’ll cowl an array of categories and pit the Amp/DACs towards one another within the true spirit of capitalism! Yay competition! Bleh.

Desk of Contents

Click to navigate!

What’s in the Field?
Options & Usage
Console Set Up/Gaming
Video Shootout
Photograph Gallery
Remaining Phrase

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!


I’ve had lots of experience with numerous varieties of Amps & DACs, and by and enormous they all do the exact same factor. The variations between them are fairly delicate, although a Chord Mojo is a particular step up from some of the decrease priced choices. Just needless to say

That stated, all three of these amps do properly in particular circumstances, and we’ll define precisely what it is advisable know earlier than making a purchase!

Let’s start with build..


FiiO Q1

This dangerous boy is concerning the measurement of a deck of playing cards, being only a tad longer and a bit thinner. It’s additionally a bit much less broad. It’s modern, attractive, and doesn’t feel low cost. Type over substance? Maybe, however we’ll get into that later. I’m loving the small and compact quantity knob on this unit, however you’ll have to maintain it elevated at all times with that rubber foot or else it’s very exhausting to show. In reality, using one hand to turn it on leads to it shifting around a bit greater than I would really like. A minor gripe however needed to be stated. All connections on right here really feel strong and of a high quality.

Once you turn it on, it lights up blue and makes a satisfying click in the process.

FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1

DragonFly Red

For those who weren’t aware, this is principally a thumb drive with a ridiculously powerful DAC chip inside + Headphone Amp. That a lone must be well worth the worth of admission. I might hope this factor is sturdy. Lol. It is. It comes with a cap as well as a small black sleeve for night time time. Don’t overlook to tuck him in together with his blankie 😛

Once you plug the Fly into your PC, it mechanically defaults your on-board quantity controls to hyperlink up with it. A reasonably nifty function. No extra poopy Soundcards! What’s a Soundcard?

Audioengine D1

The D1 is a bit thicker than the Q1 and more hefty, however that’s to be expected provided that it’s principally for desktop use. It’s also deceptively moveable. This can be a unit I might stow away in my laptop again if I ever needed to make use of it some place else. The knob on it’s strong, but doesn’t have any indicator as to the place the quantity is. Not an enormous difficulty but one thing to point out. On the Q1, there’s a small white circle indicating the place you’re on a clock. That is very useful however pretty commonplace on most amps (some type of indicator is all the time utilized). Connections on this puppy all really feel strong as nicely. In contrast to either of the opposite two Amps, the D1 does have an influence button and it lights up white once you turn it on.

Again To Prime

What’s within the field?

In the Field

FiiO Q1

We’ve obtained a nice assortment right here:

  • The Amp/DAC
  • Lightning cable to be used together with your Apple products/iPhone, and so on.
  • 3.5mm interconnect cable to be used together with your Android telephone.
  • Micro USB cable for use together with your Laptop/PC.
  • 4 Rubber Bands.
  • A Drawstring Carrying Bag.
  • A Silicone Base Pad or Rubber foot.
  • Warranty and Instruction Cards.

DragonFly Red

  • The Amp/DAC
  • Small Carry Pouch
  • Limited 1-Yr Guarantee

Audioengine D1

  • The Amp/DAC
  • USB Cable 2 ft (0.6m)
  • Microfiber Product Bag
  • Limited three Yr Warranty

What about options & usage?


FiiO Q1

The Q1 doubles as a desktop Amp/DAC in addition to an on the go choice together with your telephone. The problem here is power, however we’ll get into that later. Use the micro USB to plug into your laptop computer, the three.5mm interconnect together with your telephone, or utilize the balanced 2.5mm with a balanced headphone. When you don’t have a balanced headphone already and need to make use of that 2.5mm jack, you’ll have to purchase some cables and carry out a mod.

In addition to that, it’s received a bass increase and achieve change on the back. My solely minor grievance is that they’re just a little bit troublesome to get to shortly, and are totally too small. It’s a tad cumbersome to make use of one hand, however not inconceivable. I do recognize having each nevertheless.

The bass provides about +5dB and I feel it’s the right quantity really. Not intrusive, very tasteful. The achieve change will must be left on full time in case you are utilizing the unbalanced port (which most individuals will utilize). There’s merely not sufficient energy, and it takes quite a bit of knob turning to get any quantity out of the unit. Round 2 o’clock is once you’ll begin to hear sound.


It additionally supports DSD (Direct Stream Digital) which is just a special means of reproducing the audio signal. As an alternative of sampling many bits of info as within the case of 24-bit hundreds of occasions per second, DSD samples 1 single bit at tens of millions of occasions per second. For comparison’s sake, 24-bit only samples a maximum of 96,000 occasions per second.

Does this end in a sound that’s markedly better? Audio purists/snobs would say sure, the typical individual might say no. For example, a DSD format of 1 bit sampled 5.6 million occasions/second is that same 24-bit/172kHz PCM file. This is especially fun when you think about that the typical DSD file (DSD64) is about nearly as good as a high quality 24-bit/88kHz file.

So what’s the conclusion? It’s that each one this sh*t is vastly overrated. Lol. Take a look at Cambridge Audio’s great article on What’s DSD?

DragonFly Red

  • Verify Amazon! | Examine eBay!
  • DAC Chip Used: 32-Bit ESS Sabre 9018

No actual options right here aside from the light up LED that illuminates totally different colours relying on your supply/format.

  • Inexperienced = 44.1kHz
  • Blue = 48kHz
  • Orange = 88.1kHz
  • Magenta = 96kHz

FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1

The Fly may also be used together with your telephone with this low cost and effective Anker USB-C to USB 3.1, and for Apple, the Apple MK0W2AM/A Lightning To USB Digital camera Adapter will work.

Audioengine D1

What I really like about this unit is that it triples as a dedicated desktop amp/DAC by way of USB, a Gaming Rig by way of optical, and may power your studio screens by way of it’s RCA/Analog outs. What are Studio Screens?

More on find out how to hook it up to your console in a bit!

Apart from that, there aren’t any on-board features like bass increase or achieve, but you actually gained’t need any in my estimation. This can be a crisp, clear sounding DAC with lots of energy and headroom for most headphones.

Again To Prime

With that, let’s talk about ergonomics and power output!

FiiO Q1

One of my foremost gripes with the Q1 is it’s lack of power. At 300 Ohm it solely outputs 7mW which is simply pathetic, regardless of anything. Quite a bit of individuals will inform you that is meant for IEM’s and low impedance headphones, they usually wouldn’t be mistaken. The drawback is that the typical individual turns it on and goes, “I can’t even hear anything.”

Most people aren’t going to use the balanced port, until they’ve balanced headphones already or are snug doing a mod to their current headphones utilizing balanced cables. That’s utterly effective, however for everybody else, there’s no excuse for any headphone amp/DAC to not provide sufficient power out of an unbalanced port. None.

With the balanced port, you’re getting 220mW into 32 Ohm which is respectable but nonetheless not likely all that noteworthy. It’s a bit more than you’d get out of an E10Okay, and that’s about $25 cheaper (albeit you’re not getting the options of the Q1).

All in all, that is the weakest facet of the Q1 in my thoughts and makes me not likely need to purchase it, even at it’s fairly truthful worth.

DragonFly Red

This pet outputs 2.1V which is a ridiculous quantity of energy for a DAC this measurement. It’s virtually incomprehensible how environment friendly this little thing is. It might drive an HD600 with ease, and I’d really feel snug even pairing it with an inefficient HIFIMAN headphone at around 91-94dB Sensitivity. What’s Sensitivity in Headphones?

I’d say the DragonFly will work with around 95-98% of headphones you throw at it.

Audioengine D1

The D1 may also drive an HD600 simply advantageous, as it offers round 2V of energy AFAIK.

Some individuals declare that it’s not sufficient for the 600/650, but they’re lying. It sounds simply superb and PLENTY loud enough.

Here I used to be evaluating the Audioengine D1 with the Goal 2, this time pairing it with a DAC Magic 100.

Back To Prime

Let’s check out how you’d set up a D1 for console gaming!

Console Set Up

Graphic Coming Quickly!

PS4 Set Up

(Xbox users will comply with comparable protocol)

We already mentioned in depth how one can hook it up for a PC/Laptop, however with Gaming it’s rather more simple fortunately.


  1. Run an optical cable from the again of your PS4 to the Optical out on the aspect of the Mojo.
  2. Run a USB cable from the entrance of your PS4 into the micro USB slot on the Mojo. Ensure you plug it into the slot with the USB icon and not the charging port.
  3. Turn in your PS4.
  4. Maintain the facility button on the Mojo like you would out of your PC.
  5. Go to Settings > Sound & Display > Audio Output Settings.
  6. Change it to “Digital Out.”
  7. The Enter format must be Linear PCM.
  8. Return to Settings > Units > Audio Units. The Output Gadget ought to say “Audioengine D1” or something comparable.
  9. Plug your headphones in and switch up the quantity to style.


Video Shootout (Coming Quickly!)

How about some selection photographs?

Photograph Gallery

Click to see them in motion!

Again To Prime

Now for the sound comparison..


The most fascinating thing about these is that they all have a heat tilt to them.

I might say the Q1 might be the warmest sounding out of the bunch. It’s very relaxed and laid again. It’s not making an attempt to be intrusive but presents the music in a really pure and natural means, sort of like a Chord Mojo but simply not nearly as good.

It’s very clean and detailed, with crystal clear clarity and an outstanding sense of attack, sustain, and decay. That is the primary selling point of the Q1 for me. It does sound really really good and is fairly versatile.

I’ll depart some of my notes under! (Coming Quickly)

The DragonFly Red has an identical sound, if perhaps a bit extra crisp. It’s not making an attempt to lull you to sleep but somewhat make you conscious of how detailed music is. In many ways, the DragonFly Red is all I might ever need personally. I can pair it with my telephone or apply it to my desktop. It’s not as versatile as the opposite 2 with regard to options/connections, but in the event you’re particularly on the lookout for simply nice sound and the power to use it on the go, there’s really nothing else I might think about. The sound you’re getting out of this hits method above it’s worth point for my part.

The D1 is certainly more of a desktop Amp/DAC, however I might feel snug carrying it round in a laptop bag. It’s fairly compact. The sound is just like the Q1 in that it’s laid back and pretty enjoyable. That is actually an ideal Gaming choice as nicely. I used to be absolutely immersed in the setting and even needed to pause and take heed to the PS4 begin up ambient music. Sounds beginning coming by means of from really distant and down, which gave off this peaceful and serene vibe but on the similar time demanded my consideration.

There was a pleasant sense of environment and a lushness that you simply gained’t get the complete impact of together with your TV audio system and even straight out of your controllers headphone jack.

FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1

Back To Prime

With that stated, what’s the ultimate word?

Ultimate Phrase

Whale, whale, whale..

What to do, what to do..

For a simple but extremely efficient moveable and desktop answer, the DragonFly Red continues to be my favourite.

In case you are planning on getting balanced headphones or doing a mod, the Q1 is a superb choice with all of it’s options and connections. You may also apply it to the go or at your desk.

Lastly, the Audioengine D1 would make an ideal Gaming Rig, in addition to an throughout desktop Amp that may ALSO energy your studio screens. What’s not to like? Should you don’t need an Amp/DAC on your telephone however do need the other options, this is the right answer.

Nicely that’s about it for immediately my pal! I hope you’ve enjoyed this FiiO Q1 vs. DragonFly Red vs. Audioengine D1 Comparison Shootout.

Questions? Feedback? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down under or Contact me!!

Hey Marvin, what do you make of all this? I might love to hear from you.

Until subsequent time..

All one of the best and God bless,


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