DAC Chip: ESS Sabre ES9018Q2M CT76XX (MAX97220 Amp)
PCM 32bit – 384kHz DSD256, SNR: -120db, Power: 120 mW, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: NO), 10g Metal Chassis & USB-C Cable
Listening Equipment: Etymotic ER4SR, HZSOUND Heart Mirror, Moondrop Aria, FOSTEX T40RP MK3, VE Asura 2.0, VE Monk GO, CVJ CSK Source: USB 2.0 iPhone 7, USB 3.0 Samsung S20 (Deezer HiFi)
LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING
- Crisp and polished, balanced neutral flat timbre
- Refined dynamics, full bodied with smooth presentation
- Great Micro and Macro details retrieval, very transparent
- Balanced detailed Mids, rich textures, naturally toned Male/Female vocals
- Sparkly smooth Treble with equally smooth decays, great extensions
- Smooth impactful Mid-Bass, tight, fast with smooth decays
- Deep Sub-Bass responses, crisp decays.
- Realistic guitars, piano and percussions tone
- Great holographic spatial imaging, neat separation and layers
- Amazing speed and dexterity on complex passages and transients
- Clean background, zero floor noises
- Drives Magnetic Planars and BA at 65/100 volume, great fidelity
- Excellent synergy with many type of IEMs/HPs/Earbuds
- Forgiving on Lo-Fi and lower quality sources
- Does not heat up easily
- Very conservative battery drain
- Works perfectly on Android and iOS
- Among the very best and refined volume adjusters available
- Beautiful slim constructions, solid feel
- May require proper USB Drivers to work on PC. Can be quite tricky.
NOTE: I was unable to connect my Q2 to my laptop and it was not loading properly. I do not think this is a device issue because the specifications indicated that it should work with Windows and MAC. What I suspect is that I have over abused USB installations on my laptop due to #donglemadness and the drivers are just totally messed up. I cannot even begin to recall how many different drivers I have installed on my machine for different dongles
Xnyocn Q2. This is my second Xnyocn after the discovery of X1. Q2 is vastly different from X1 or Q1 in many ways. The build and look much more attractive with slimline chassis and inclusion of spring actioned volume adjuster which I find extremely useful with refined adjustment increments between levels. The same volume wheel also serve as pause button when pressed inward.
I took quite a bit of time to conclude my review on this Q2. The reasons being I wanted to make sure that I am reflecting holistic daily usage impressions. Q2 out of the bat does not present the WOW factor immediately. And that is a sign of a very matured and refined portable DAC/Amp that gain our admiration through consistent and flexible performances. I am impressed with Q2, it is a big step up from the Xnyocn X1 I tested not too long ago. Q2 seemingly have addressed any flaw that X1 has. For example X1 while sonically great, it was a bit dry sounding and occasionally sibilant, not forgetting X1 notoriety for being noisy with sensitive IEMs. None of that observed with Q2. With my sensitive Aria and CVJ CSK (Hybrid), I was relieved that there was no hissing or floor noises as how it would be on the X1. So big Kudos there to Xnyocn.
Sound wise, I will summarize it as simple as possible. Q2 synergizes greatly with ALL of my listening equipment – Dynamic Drivers (3 IEMs, 2 VE Earbuds), Balanced Armature (Etymotic ER4SR), Magnetic Planars (P1 & T40RP) and Electrostatic (Shure KSE1500).
Q2 strength being technically competent yet organic – a great balance to ensure of its ability to be flexible. On my DF Flat Neutral VE Monk GO and Etymotic ER4SR, the sound meaty and with great vibrancy while retaining neutrality. Q2 is faithful to being natural and transparent. There’s lots of details my ER4SR to pick up and resolution presented to my ears. This pattern being consistent even with Moondrop Aria, HZSOUND Heart Mirror, TIN HiFi P1, FOSTEX T40RP MK3, CVJ CSK, VE Asura 2.0 and Shure KSE1500 – up to the max capability the respective lEMs/Earbuds/HPs capable of handling, within the limit of portable power delivery. Great fidelity level, clean and coherent dynamics. It is crisp as it is smooth, polished presentation that is free from fatigue inducing element.
Final test, AUX feed for Shure KSE1500. And here Q2 demonstrated yet again great flexibility, functioning as Line-In feeder for my Electrostatic IEM. This is where the absolute maximum dynamic range of Q2 are revealed. First and foremost the feed is clean. Secondly, extensions on all spectrum are now audibly revealed with greater details. Overall, the timbre remained neutral balanced, not warm or bright – just about right, with the right amount of air. Fidelity level is nothing short of amazing. And of course not forgetting the legendary Electrostatic speed which Q2 was able to scale up with.
Stage wise, Q2 is respectfully up there with the top performers, wide, tall and spacious. Spatial imaging precise and holographic. Layers all neatly separated even during complex passages, thanks to Q2 ability to scale up properly with speed handling.
Xnyocn Q2 vs Apogee Groove
I spent over 2 hours doing critical A/B between Apogee Groove and Q2, using my FOSTEX T40RP MK3 (USB 3.0 Samsung S20). The differences as how my ears registered them:
- Q2 listening loudness (65/100), Groove (50/100) matched
- Q2 just a hair less vibrant vs Groove
- Q2 half step less wide than Groove on soundstage width
- Q2 has slightly faster bass decays vs Groove
- Q2 1 step more intimate vs Groove on Mids
The rest, both of them exhibited similarities timbre wise – both being analogue and technically competent with great balance. Similarly toned as well. Dynamic range and timbre coherence very similar. Both equally detailed and transparent. Quite amazing really.
In the end, Xnyocn Q2 is a very successful “Jack of all Trades, Master of None”. Evident to me, Q2 focused on safe tuning to ensure it can function great in many scenarios. However, that also mean it will not be particularly stellar at specialized needs.
Best Pairing: Flexible for anything above 90db Sensitivity
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