Questyle Audio QP1R hi-rez portable player Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: Astell&Kern AK100, Pono Music PonoPlayer portable players.
Headphone Amplifiers: Aurender Flow, Meridian Prime.
Headphones: Audeze LCD-X, AudioQuest NightHawk, Ultimate Ears 18 Pro.—John Atkinson

Questyle Audio Technology Co., Ltd.
US office: Questyle North America Inc.
7848 W. Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 751-9978

Osgood Crinkly III's picture

Unlike these expensive Las Vegas copycats, the iPods seamlessly interface with the iTunes in my Macs. My iPods find most use in a TEAC DS-H01 docking station, which sends digital signal directly from the iPod hard drive to a TEAC 24bit/192 kHz Burr-Brown processor (not to mention that they work flawlessly in the 4 other docking stations in my home and car, including a Wadia).

Strange, how the snotty hi-end press totally ignored this mid-fi TEAC product, while singing the praises of the vastly inferior, supposedly "hi-end" Wadia 170i docking station.

Maybe, as I've been saying all along, digital is just inherently mediocre mid-fi, a compromised signal for which big, hi-end bucks are overkill. Maybe, as I've been saying all along, digital and hi-end are entirely antithetical.

hollowman's picture

My topical comments on inexpensive (but high-performance Chinese DAPs (digital audio players, "ipods"), like those by Teclast, Colorfly and QLShifi) have been on (forum) for years; but here is a post from a few mos. ago:
(You can also search or just Google these manufs/models)
Compared to the genuine Apple iPod/iPhone, the Chinese DAPs are about 1/2 the price but with important sonic improvements. E.g., the Teclast T-51 uses two Wolfson top-grade DACs (2x WM8470; one for each channel), high-quality opamps and a decent Philips headphone-amp chip. All for less than $150 (2010 prices!!) Colorfly's $140 CK-4 DAP uses CS4398 DAC, the best from Cirrus, along with AD opamps and other goodies. These Chinese DAPs were designed for/by audiophiles on a budget (similar to NAD, Cambridge, etc.)

John Atkinson's picture
hollowman wrote:
My topical comments on inexpensive (but high-performance Chinese DAPs (digital audio players, "ipods"), like those by Teclast, Colorfly and QLShifi) have been on (forum) for years...These Chinese DAP were designed for/by audiophiles on a budget

I Googled these brands and it appears that the only models available from US-based retailers are priced similarly to the Questyle. Yes, the cheapest models from these manufacturers are available from direct sellers in the Far East, but as Stereophile is a US-based publication, our focus is on products that are formally distributed in the US.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

hollowman's picture

eBay or Alibaba (Taobao) usually carry these (and other) non-US-based brands; Amazon also sells them.

China's "new" audiophile market is getting quite large & there are quite a few good-quality brands -- as noted -- that are decent but stay mostly within PRC.
I can confirm that from my own experience in owning and using Chinese DAPs, early models (before 2010) had reliability issues. Most of the early bugs have since been worked out, and I will continue to use these and similar brands/models.

All that said, "formal US distribution" -- e.g., tradit. brick-and-mortar retailer -- is an important and legitimate quality metric.

Robin Landseadel's picture

Seeing as you have reviewed the Questyle DAP, seems like it's time you reviewed one of Fiio's offerings. I don't how much of a distribution base you consider appropriate for reviewing a product—got my Fiio X1 DAP from Amazon [Prime, so Amazon was vendor] and the Fiio Monte Blanc 12a from B +H photo, each for less than $100. You are the only reviewer of DAPs that does real tests on these devices. I find it fascinating that some of these pocket portable players outperform some expensive full-size components. You might want to check out the Fiio X7 DAP, has many features that rival the Astell & Kern offerings.