FiiO Q15 Portable DAC/AMP Review



FiiO Q15 Portable DAC/AMP Review



The FiiO Q15 is a portable DAC/AMP that replaces the Q5 and Q5s, offering desktop-grade performance in a compact and easy-to-carry device. It features a high-end AKM flagship DAC, a high-power amp section, and a five-level gain mode to drive even the most demanding headphones. The Q15 also supports Bluetooth, USB, and Coaxial input options for easy connectivity with a variety of devices.

The Q15 comes with some interesting hardware specs like the Flagship AK4499EX+AK4191 DAC Chipset, Desktop & Portable Dual Power Supply Modes, a High-End Qualcomm QCC5125 Bluetooth Chipset, the latest XMOS 16-core XU316 USB Processor, a 1.3” Color IPS Display and many more. It has a 4way balanced interface that offers an output power of up to 1610mW @ 32Ω, which is quite impressive. The device is equipped with both 3.5mm Single Ended & 4.4mm Balanced outputs, as well as USB Type-C, Coaxial and Bluetooth input.



I would like to thank FiiO for providing me the Q15 Portable DAC/AMP as review sample. I am not affiliated with FiiO beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.


Price & Availability:

The MSRP price for the new FiiO Q15 Portable DAC/Amplifier is 399.99 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below.


Inside the Box:

The FiiO Q15 arrived in a fairly large rectangular box. It was encased in a sleek, glossy grey cardboard sleeve adorned with stylish bandings and illustrations of both the titanium gray and black Q15 variants.

Inside the box is a rich set of accessories that includes the following items;

  • 1 x FiiO Q15 Portable DAC/Amplifier
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB Type-C charging & data cable
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB Type-C low profile data cable
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB A converter
  • 1 x Storage Bag
  • 1 x Storage Pad
  • 1 x Silicone Pad
  • 1 x PE Screen Protector (Pre-applied)
  • 2 x Silicone Rings
  • 1 x Print Materials (User Manual & Warranty)


Design & Build Quality:

The Q15 boasts a sleek and elegant design, featuring a CNC-machined aluminum alloy body for a premium feel. The rear panel is crafted from scratch-resistant and anti-fingerprint AG glass. The device’s 18:9 aspect ratio, dubbed the “Golden Size” by FiiO, makes it comfortable to hold both on its own and when paired with other portable devices.

The device is available in two different color options which are titanium grey and the one in black like my review unit.

The FiiO Q15 is equipped with a 1.3-inch IPS color display with a pixel density of 240×240, which is the same display that was found on the Q7. This display can be used either vertically (or upside down) and horizontally, and can be configured through the settings menu. The display shows information such as volume, battery level, operating mode, codec, and more. You can also navigate through a settings menu to access more options.

The left surface of the device features multiple hardware buttons like the Power/Lock/Reset, Previous Track, Play/Pause/Pair/Reconnect and the Next Track button. The buttons do have a hexagonal shape that reminds the button design of FiiO DAP’s like the M11 Series.

The Q15 has a single, versatile knob on top that controls everything. Turn it to adjust volume, press it once to switch between connection modes (Bluetooth, USB, Coaxial), and hold it down to access to settings menu.

The knob sports a fancy looking RGB status indicator in form a ring that glows up in various colors depending of the codec and operating status of the device.

The Q15 features both balanced 4.4mm and single-ended 3.5mm headphone outputs. Additionally, the 3.5mm jack can be switched to function as a line-out output from the settings menu, offering greater flexibility for connecting to speakers or external amplifiers.

The bottom part of the device features various inputs, outputs, and switches, including a coaxial input for audio connectivity, a USB Type-C decoding/charging port for charging the device and decoding audio signals, two switches for switching between phone mode and desktop mode, and an additional USB Type-C charging port.

The FiiO Q15’s rear surface features the FiiO logo prominently displayed near the top, while brandings, technical specifications, and industrial certifications are discreetly located near the bottom.

The FiiO Q15 exudes solid craftsmanship in every detail. From the tactility of the buttons to the solid feel of the chassis, every element, from the connectors to the switches, speaks to its top-notch build quality, which is extremely commendable for a device with such a competitive price.


Technical Specifications:

  • Model              : Q15
  • DAC                : AKM AK4499EX+AK4191
  • Formats          : Up to 32-Bit/768kHz PCM and Native DSD512, Full MQA Decoding
  • Amplification   : High AMP section with a five-level gain mode
  • USB Interface : XMOS XU316
  • Bluetooth SoC: Qualcomm QCC5125
  • Bluetooth Ver. : 5.1
  • BT Codec’s     : AAC/SBC/aptX/aptX LL/aptX Adaptive/aptX HD/LDAC
  • Outputs           : 3.5mm SE & 4.4mm Balanced
  • Input                : USB Type-C, Coaxial and Bluetooth input
  • Max Output     : up to 1610mw @ 32 Ohm
  • SNR                : ≥125dB (A-weighted)
  • THD+N           : ≤0.0003% (1kHz/-3dB@300ohm)
  • IPS Screen     : 1.3 inch IPS Color Display 240×240 Resolution
  • Battery            : 5500mAh
  • Battery Life     : up to 9 Hours over 3.5mm SE / up to 8 hours over the 4.4mm Balanced Out
  • Dimensions     : about 143.5×71.75×21.75mm
  • Weight            : approx. 305g


Key Features:

  • AK4499EX+AK4191 DAC Chipset
  • Desktop/Portable Dual Power Supply Mode
  • Amplification section producing up to 1610mW output power @ 32Ω
  • 5-Level Gain Modes
  • USB, Bluetooth, Coaxial Sound Input
  • Global PEQ Function
  • Qualcomm QCC5125 Bluetooth Chipset
  • High-Definition Bluetooth Codec Support (LDAC, AptX HD, etc.)
  • XMOS 16-core XU316 USB Processor
  • Supports 32-Bit/768kHz PCM, Native DSD512, and MQA Full Decoding
  • Full-Color IPS Display Screen
  • High-Precision Low-Noise Design


Hardware & Software Features:

The FiiO Q15 packs a punch with its flagship DAC, dual power modes, cutting-edge Bluetooth & USB, clear info display, 1610mW balanced output, and diverse connections. Let’s take a closer look to some of the components.

AKM AK4191EQ+AK4499EX:

The Q15 features AKM’s newest DAC combination the AK4191EQ+AK4499EX. The AK4191EQ is a premium 32-bit stereo digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with VELVET SOUND™ technology, which achieves industry-leading low distortion and low noise characteristics. The AK4499EX is a flagship 32-bit 4-channel switchable current-output DAC, which also adopts the VELVET SOUND™ technology and supports up to 768kHz PCM and 22.4MHz DSD inputs. The Q15 also supports native DSD512 and PCM 768kHz/32bit decoding, ensuring the highest possible fidelity of the original audio signal.

The LED ring surrounding the volume knob displays supported sampling rates through color codes:

  • Cyan: 44.1kHz/48kHz
  • Yellow: 88.2kHz/96kHz/176kHz/352.8kHz/384kHz/705.6kHz/768kHz
  • Green: DSD64/128/256/512
  • Purple: MQA

Desktop Mode & Exclusive Phone Mode:

The Q15 features a new desktop mode, sporting a separate Type-C power connector for it. When the Q15 is connected to the PD power adapter, the Q15 will be powered externally completely bypassing the battery, allowing for a desktop-like experience even on the go. When put in Desktop Mode, the Q15 under balanced output is capable of putting out 1610mW @ 32Ω in enhanced over-ear headphone mode, which is more than enough to easily drive various IEMs and full-size headphones. The Q15 also supports USB Audio Class 2.0, which means it can be used as a USB DAC when connected to a computer via USB cable, supporting up to 768kHz/32bit PCM and DSD512 decoding.

FiiO Q15 features also an exclusive phone mode. Users can easily switch it on using a standard phone mode switch at the back of the device. In this mode, the FiiO Q15 exclusively works on its own battery and doesn’t take any battery power from the connected Smartphone. This provides durable performance and a long-lasting battery on your Smartphone.

Despite its powerful output, the FiiO Q15 truly shines with its remarkably clean background. Even paired with highly sensitive IEMs like the Campfire Audio Solaris Event Horizon (4.4 ohms, 94dB), noise production is practically imperceptible. This exceptional performance ensures pristine audio playback, free from unwanted distractions.


15-WAY Digital-Analog Power Supply:

The FiiO Q15 features a sophisticated 15-way digital-analog power supply is incorporated, encompassing systems for the digital segment, analog segment, and headphone amplifiers. The precise regulation involves 21 low-noise LDOS and an ample energy reservoir with 35 low-resistance tantalum capacitors. To minimize crosstalk and shield against external interference, the audio circuit segregates the digital and analog components. The Q15 is equipped with low-temperature drift resistors, and 28 wide temperature range NPO capacitors.


XMOS XU316 Processor:

The FiiO Q15 is equipped with the same XMOS XU316 USB Processor that was also used for the flagship model the Q7. The XU316 has 16-cores that are coupled with dual audio clocks in order to archive ultra-low latency. The XU316 USB processor supports PCM 768K, DSD512 and MQA full decoding.


Qualcomm QCC5125 Bluetooth Chipset:

The FiiO Q15 comes with Qualcomm’s latest QCC5125 Bluetooth chipset that supports high-resolution Bluetooth connectivity. It supports High-Res wireless codec’s including LDAC, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive as well as older formats like AAC and SBC.

The operating distance of the Q15 is about 10 – 12 meters, which is very stable thanks to the latest Qualcomm QCC5125 chipset and the built-in Bluetooth Antenna.


Battery Life:

The FiiO Q15 is equipped with a 5500mAh lithium polymer battery that boasts a battery life of up to 9 hours for wired listening (3.5mm and 4.4mm balanced) and 8 hours for Bluetooth playback under specific test conditions. This includes factors like Super High Gain mode, moderate volume, and screen off. Expect the battery life to decrease with higher gain, louder volume, and other demanding settings.


FiiO Control App:

The Q15 supports FiiO’s Control Application that allows for managing different functions on the units. You can adjust the EQ settings, Channel Balance and other Audio options of the device. Even an OTA (Over the Air) FW update is possible.


Equipment’s used for this review:

  • DAC/Amplifier’s       : FiiO Q15
  • Sources                     : Smamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, ASUS TUF FX504GD
  • IEM’s                          : FiiO FA7S, Campfire Audio Bonneville, Meze Audio RAI Penta
  • Headphones              : FiiO FT5, HiFiMAN Arya Organic


Albums & tracks used for this review: 

  • Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Adele – My Little Love (Deezer HiFi)
  • Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Radiohead – Live in Berlin “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Radiohead – Pyramid Song (Deezer HiFi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – Nobody Weird Like Me (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Bear McCreary’s – Valkyries (Deezer HiFi)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Daft Punk – Instant Crush (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5 (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy (Spotify)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Miles Davis – So What (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Dyers Eve (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Tom Sawyer (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)


The Sound:

The FiiO Q15 is a Portable DAC/Amplifier that delivers a precise and well-controlled bass response, offering exceptional depth and power for various headphones. Its midrange presentation balances warmth and detail, faithfully representing vocals and instruments with moderate transparency. The treble on the other hand exhibits a resolving character, reproducing high frequencies with smoothness and avoiding harshness. Furthermore, the Q15 boasts a spacious soundstage with clear imaging.

This review has been written after a burn-in period of approx. 150 Hours. My sound impressions below are mainly based on my experiences over the 4.4mm Balanced output paired with IEM’s like the FiiO FH7S, Campfire Audio Bonneville and Meze Audio RAI Penta and with full sized headphones like the FiiO FT5 and HiFiMAN Arya Organic.



The FiiO Q15 exhibits a bass response that is generally considered accurate and well-controlled, with minimal distortion across various IEMs and headphones. However, it’s important to note that the bass character can vary slightly depending on the paired equipment. When paired with full-sized headphones like the FiiO FT5, the Q15 delivers a satisfying level of depth and sub-bass rumble. Tracks like Daft Punk’s “Doin’ it Right” and Massive Attack’s “Angel” benefit from the Q15’s power.

While the midbass area shows a slight emphasis, it remains within reasonable limits and maintains good precision and impact. This results in a balanced presentation with both depth and detail in the midbass range, as evident in tracks like GoGo Penguin’s “Raven” and “Murmuration.” Instruments such as electro and acoustic guitars receive a natural representation with good body and smoothness. Percussions are rendered with punch and musicality, particularly when paired with the FiiO FA7S and Campfire Audio Bonneville. Overall, the FiiO Q15’s bass performance offers a solid foundation for various genres and equipment, with some potential for subtle variations depending on your specific setup.



The FiiO Q15 offers a midrange presentation that balances warmth and musicality with a moderate level of transparency. Vocals and instruments are rendered with decent clarity and detail retrieval, although some listeners might find the presentation slightly colored compared to higher-end sources. This performance is respectable for the price point, particularly when paired with high-quality earphones or headphones and well-recorded tracks and albums.

The lower midrange exhibits adequate depth and body, well-suited for instruments like bassoons, cellos, and violas. Male vocals, such as those of Dave Gahan, Isaac Hayes, and Sting, gain a pleasant fullness when paired with IEMs like the Campfire Audio Bonneville and Meze RAI Penta or headphones like the FiiO FT5 and HiFiMAN Arya Organic. The upper midrange demonstrates noticeable dynamism and texture across a range of instruments and vocals. Female voices like Norah Jones, Sertap Erener, and Edith Piaf sound reasonably lively and natural, while instruments like guitars, pianos, and harps are reproduced with decent clarity, presence, and extension. Overall, the FiiO Q15 prioritizes warmth and musicality in its midrange presentation, offering a moderate level of transparency and detail retrieval for its price point.



The FiiO Q15’s treble range presents a detailed and resolving character, offering clear insights into the nuances of cymbals, hi-hats, and woodwinds. It produces the upper frequencies with relative smoothness, generally avoiding harshness or sibilance. The Q15’s treble response is tuned to be balanced, with a focus on clarity and resolution that was quite audible with Headphones like the HiFiMAN Arya Organic. What I really like is that it avoids excessive brightness or harshness, which can lead to sibilance or fatiguing listening experiences.

In tracks like Megadeth’s “Dyers Eve,” the treble range accurately reproduces cymbal crashes and guitar squeals with authority, while Metallica’s “Sad but True” reveals intricate layers of detail without to sound overwhelming. Other instruments such like flutes and violins are captured with good level of breathiness, harmonics and finesse, contributing to a sense of air and realism. Ultimately, the FiiO Q15’s treble range offers a fairly detailed and controlled listening experience that shows good synergy with a wide range of IEMs and headphones as well as a wide variety of music genres.


Soundstage & Imaging:

The FiiO Q15 DAC/Amp offers a capable soundstage performance, particularly notable for a portable device. Its spatial presentation creates a spacious listening environment, effectively positioning instruments within the soundstage. This placement contributes to a perceived sense of realism and immersion. Additionally, the Q15 demonstrates competent imaging capabilities, especially when paired with headphones like the HiFiMAN Arya Organic. The soundstage is produced with adequate clarity and separation, enabling to generally distinguish individual instruments and vocal lines.



The FiiO Q15 is an excellent option for audiophiles seeking a powerful and versatile portable DAC/Amplifier. Its impressive hardware specs, including the flagship AK4499EX+AK4191 DAC chipset and XMOS 16-core processor, offers a decent audio reproduction. The sound signature boasts a well-balanced presentation, with a controlled bass response, detailed midrange, and smooth yet resolving treble. Moreover, the spacious soundstage enhances the listening experience with clear and accurate imaging. All in all, the FiiO Q15 is a noteworthy device that offers great specs, versatility, and portability for an impressive price.


Pros & Cons: 

  • + Overall Sound Performance
  • + Clean Background & Powerful Output (1610mW @ 32Ω)
  • + Versatile connectivity (USB, Bluetooth, and Coaxial inputs for various devices)
  • + Hardware (AK4499EX+AK4191, 1.3” IPS display, QCC5125 BT SoC, etc.)
  • + Stable Bluetooth Connection
  • + Build Quality
  • + Excellent Pricing
  • – Size could be a bit smaller (personal preference)
  • – No Protective Case included to the package


Thank you for the Read!




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