FiiO Q1 MKII vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo as a DAC?

I’m looking for a DAC/AMP for my desktop music production and gaming setup. I will not be having any inputs at all. Only headphone output. Probably going to buy a ATH M50x or M40x too.

So what has a better DAC? The Q1 or the Solo?

I would say both are equally as decent as a dac through line out, I think the q1 mk2 has a better headphone amp though. So you aren’t planning on using the interface aspect of the focusrite? In that case perhaps look at the fiio k5 pro imo, would be a nice all in one, or an ifi zen DAC for something a bit warmer and smoother

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Both the K5 and zen DAC are a little too expensive in my country. Yeah, I won’t be using the interface aspect of the focusrite basically. The Q1 MK2 is fine for music production right? And it will be on par with the Focusrite Solo as a DAC? Thanks for the reply.

Also, how much better do you think the zen DAC is than the Q1 MK2. I’m a beginner audiophile

It would be alright, the issue is that you can’t run it balanced which does limit the performance of the q1, so I don’t think it’s ideal for the headphones you have. Also it’s a slightly warmer sound so

I would say so

It’s a step up but not a massive one, also for mainly music production the ifi might be a bit more colored than you would want

Do you have a desktop? What I might actually suggest is to consider something like a topping L30, and then grab a cable to plug it into your pc audio line out for a pretty great experience. Later on you can add on a dac like the matching topping e30 when you have the budget for another quality increase

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The Q1 MkII have a 2.5mm balanced output jack. I don’t think I’ll be buying a balanced headphone anyways. Also, just the regular 3.5mm would be ideal for something like the ath M40/M50x right?

About getting the topping L30… My desktop motherboard DAC is pretty shit, hence I wanted to get an external DAC. Plus these brands aren’t available in my country :joy:

It would work with the m40/50 yes, but the q1 mk2 preforms better through it’s balanced output imo, but the single ended out isn’t bad either

Gotcha. Are you sure your dac is poor or your amp is bad? But if you wanted to get away from your motherboard the q1 mk2 would do that just fine and offer you an upgrade in sound quality, also is the xduoo xd05 an option for you just wondering?

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Gotcha. Are you sure your dac is poor or your amp is bad? But if you wanted to get away from your motherboard the q1 mk2 would do that just fine and offer you an upgrade in sound quality,

It’s a pretty basic motherboard. I think the amp is fine for anything below 40ohms but the DAC seems like shit.

also is the xduoo xd05 an option for you just wondering?

It’s too expensive damn.

Anyways thanks a lot for the replies! I’ll let you know how the combo goes. :slight_smile:

Gotcha, most of the time generally the amps in the motherboards are the more lackluster and thing that impacts headphone quality more imo, but some motherboards do have poor dacs that can be irritating

Sounds like a plan, curious to hear your thoughts :+1:

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i’m thinking of getting my bro a focusrite because he doesn’t need a heavy amp and he is interested in having a pro or high quality microphone for stuff like streaming

That’s mainly what they are designed for, so I think if you are after a more mic focused aspect they are very good for that. I think the amp inside the focusrite is somewhat lackluster with most pro headphones, but the dac is solid and if you feed it out to another headphone amp later on it’s good

he needs something sensitive anyway seeing as he is probably will be using the headphones on a switch as well and doesn’t want an amp

can the focusrite run the beyerdynamic 770 250 ohm or is that a bad idea in general

Off its internal amp pretty much no imo, it sounds pretty bad

I’m certain the Q1-MkII is able to power the m40x properly. I have the Q1-MkII which was my first dac/amp and on high gain single ended it powered my HD 660s pretty well.

It can indeed power the m40x without issue single ended, just saying that you can get more out of it using the balanced out, which you can’t really take advantage of with the m40x, imo if you are going to only use single ended you might be better off served by an xduoo xd05 or topping nx4

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Hey man. So I finally ended up buying the M40X. So right now I’m on the M40x + Q1 MK2.
It’s my first audiophile setup, so I don’t have anything to compare this too. But as of right now, I just don’t notice that great of a difference in my setup.

The M40Xs sound pretty similar on the Q1 MK2 DAC as they do on my other normal laptop.

What am I missing?

Also, another question related to the Q1 MK2. It has the option of playing DSD files. I’m not very familiar with this, but how can I get it to play DSD files? And where do I get these files?

Thanks in advance.

It’s most likely not going to be an immediate difference, the m40x aren’t that picky when it comes to source gear, that being said, imo use the combo for a few days straight, and then try plugging back into your pc afterwords, it should be easier to noice what’s different that way

Some sites offer dsd tracks for sale, you can look online and see what’s out there but for the most part the amount of dsd albums are very small as it’s as very niche format, I think there might be some dsd samplers for free out there to try though. You would need a music player that can support dsd playback thought (like foobar with a few plugins)