Soncoz QXA1 Amplifier Review
Soncoz QXA1 Amplifier Review
SONCOZ Technology Co., ltd. was founded in March 2019 in Shenzhen, China. SONCOZ focuses on the research and development of audio-visual products such like Amplifiers and Digital to Analog Converters (DAC).
- The Motto of the Company is “THE POWER OF ORIGINAL SOUND”.
The QXA1 is a fully balanced pretty small but powerful Desktop Amplifier & PRE AMP that features both 4 Pin – XLR (Balanced) and 6,35mm (Single Ended) outputs, and XLR (Balanced), RCA (Single-Ended) Analog & PRE outputs.
I would like to thank Soncoz for providing me the QXA1 Amplifier / PRE AMP as review sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Soncoz beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price for the Soncoz QXA1 is 269.99 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The Soncoz QXA1 came in a pretty small cardboard box in white color with the product illustration and some product related brandings on the top.
This box contains the following items;
- 1 x Soncoz QXA1 Amplifier
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB A cable
- 1 x 3.5mm to 6.35mm Headphone Adapter
- 1 x Product Manual
Design, Buttons and Build Quality:
The Soncoz QAX1 is a pretty compact and lightweight Amplifier with dimensions of 149.3mm(W) * 87 mm(D) * 37 mm(H) and a weights only about 550grams. It has a rectangular shape and is available in 3 different color options, which are Deep Black, Moon Silver and Space Grey same like my review unit.
On the front of the device is a digital display, a multi functional volume wheel and the 4-Pin XLR Balanced & 6.35mm Single Ended outputs.
The multifunctional knob button/wheel helps you to navigate, select and fine adjust of the volume. If you do long press the knob button, about 6 seconds will reset QXA1.
The display of the QXA1 will gradually dim after about 40 seconds without any operation of the knob button, which reduces light pollution while extending screen life.
The display of the QXA1 has two levels of menu: “IN”, “HPA”, “PRE”, “V” and “G” are the five first-level options and their corresponding second-level options are as follows:
- IN (Analog inputs): RCA and XLR icons
- HPA (Headphone outputs): SE and BAL icons
- PRE (Pre-Amp outputs): Enable and Disable setting
- V (Volume): Volume value digital display
- G (Gain): Gain value digital display
On both the left and right surface of the device are heat ventilation outlets.
At the bottom of the device is a ventilation outlet and fours stands that do have rubber isolations feet’s.
On the top of the device is the Soncoz brand logo in dark grey color.
The rear side of the QXA1 features various output interfaces, which are the Left & Right XLR, Analog RCA (Left – Right) and PRE Output RCA (Left – Right) outputs.
Here are also the USB Type-C power input, various fixing screws and Industrial & safety Certifications (CE, FCC, RoHS, etc.)
The all sheet metal body in looks very robust and doesn’t show any imperfections such as gaps and burrs. The overall build quality of the Soncoz QXA1 is top notch!
- Dimensions: 149.3mm(W) x 87mm(D) x 37mm(H)
- Weight: 550g
- Power Input: DC 5V 1.5A
- Power Consumption: <8W
Output & Amplification:
The Soncoz QXA1 is a pretty compact yet powerful Desktop Amplifier & PRE AMP, which offers both Balanced (4-Pin XLR) and Single Ended (6.35mm) outputs. The outputs do offer quite clean backgrounds and very low levels of noise at normal gain, when I listen to sensitive In-Ear Monitors such as the Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020, as well as more power hungry full sized headphones such like the HiFiMAN Sundara.
The QXA1 offers an up to 1500mW @ 33ohm and up to 350mW @ 600 ohm over the Balanced outputs. Detailed information’s can be found below;
Some Remarkable Features:
Software-controlled POP Free
Relay delay output circuit is added to the output of Headphone (HPA) and PRE to achieve POP free by software delay that is more stable and reliable than the RC delay of hardware.
Volume and Gain Adjustment
QXA1 integrates MUSES 72320 electronic volume which performs low noise and low distortion characteristics and with resistance ladder circuit.
Fade In Fade Out
When the knob is setting menu options, the QXA1 will first mute (fade out) the output. After the adjustment is completed then output enables (fade in) and it continues the features of SGA1.
Equipments used for this review:
Sources : Soncoz QXA1 & Soncoz QXD1
IEM’s : Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020, FiiO FD7, Meze Audio Rai Penta
Headphones : iBasso SR2, HiFiMAN Editon XS, HiFiMAN HE400SE, SIVGA P-II
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- 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)
- 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)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (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)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The first things you will notice is the power and authority of the QXA1, which is able to handle fairly demanding planar headphones like the HiFiMAN HE400SE and SIVGA P-II, and the pretty clean almost noise free background when I pair it with sensitive In-Ear Monitors such like the Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020. The general sound character of the QXA1 is quite natural, just slightly warmer than neutral.
The Soncoz QXA1 Amplifier review has been written after a burn-in period of 120 hours. My sound impressions are mainly to my auditions with the SIVGA P-II (Headphone), HiFiMAN HE400SE (Headphone), iBasso SR2 (Headphone), Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020 (IEM) and Meze Rai Penta (IEM) over the Single Ended Headphone output. I have paired the QXA1 with the QXD1 Digital to Analog Converter.
Sound Analysis (Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage):
The Soncoz QXA1 shows a pretty fast, transparent and controlled lower frequency response, with good sense of authority and rumble even at higher volume levels. The subbass extension is on a decent level when I listen to the SIVGA P-II (open back planar) or to the iBasso SR2 (semi open back) headphones.
The QXA1 shows a highly controlled midbass presentation with good sense of clarity and tightness. Instruments like electro and acoustic guitars are shown with a good amount of body and warmth, while toms and kick drums are punchy and quite musical when I listen to the Andromeda or Meze Rai Penta.
The midrange of the Soncoz QXA1 is extremely revealing, clean and engaging so that it never sounds painful or annoying. I like the general midrange character of the QXA1, especially in acoustic tracks, because it adds (especially to planar headphones) a touch of analog flavor in terms of tonality that is not overdone.
The warmth that comes from the lower midrange area adds both male and female vocal, as well as guitar strings a touch of body but in a good way. There is also no additional stress in the upper midrange when I listen to the QXA1 with the HiFiMAN HE400SE headphone or to the Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020 In-Ear Monitor. Both male and female vocals do sound pretty natural and emotional.
The QXA1 shows also enough space between instruments so that you can hear each one flawlessly. The sense of clarity, airiness and body that is produced in combination with the QXD1 DAC is quite effortless for a setup at this price level.
The treble range of the Soncoz QXA1 shows a pretty natural character that has a tad of warmth, which is a coloration that is welcome. The treble range extends pretty well with all IEM’s and Headphones when I have paired the QXA1 with the Soncoz QXD1 Destock DAC that do offers a great synergy in combination with this decent sounding Amplifier.
The Soncoz QXA1 amplifies the upper treble region with a decent level of airiness and sparkle. Instruments like cymbals do sound detailed and fairly natural, while crash and ride cymbals do have a tad of coloration/warmth that helps do avoid negative conditions such like over sharpness, without to sound veiled or muddy.
The Soncoz QXA1 amplifies the soundstage in a petty natural and positive manner and helps to create a higher sense of airiness. This is an important factor to create more space and a better level of separation between instruments and vocals. Both Soncoz QXA1 offers a solid grade of soundstage depth and wideness, which was especially audible when I have listen to open back headphones like the HiFiMAN HE400SE, Edition XS and SIVGA P-II.
The Soncoz QXA1 is a great sounding compact sized Headphone Amplifier & PRE AMP that offers an impressive value for your money. A solid build quality, high output power, very clean background and a decent sound performance are some of many highlights that this audio device will offer, especially when you pair it with the Soncoz QXD1 Digital to Analog Converter that shows an extremely good synergy.
Pos and Cons:
- + Decent Sound Performance
- + Very Clean Background
- + Good Output Power
- + Solid Build Quality
- + Compact Size
- + High Value for Your Money
- – It is missing a 4.4mm Balanced output that would be welcome at today standards
- – No Power On/Off Button
- – No charger included to the standard packaging
Thank you for the Read!