So you have golden ears; how's your eyesight?
If you have trouble reading small text, stay away from the Questyle. Not only is its screen the smallest in this roundup but its display fonts are tiny—and I mean tiny. Questyle confirmed that there’s no way to make the text any larger.
Don't try using the QP1R in direct sunlight, either; it becomes very difficult to see the screen other than the highlighted selection. And when you're playing a song, the artist' and album's names scroll across the lower-left corner in an even smaller font.
The information displayed on the Questyle’s already small screen is tiny. Try deciphering the album information in the lower-left corner. I've read footnotes printed with larger fonts. Credit: Theo Nicolakis
I could have been more tolerant of these shortcomings if this wasn't the most-expensive player in our roundup, and if the user interface on the lower-priced Pioneer XDP-100R's user interface wasn't so smooth and elegant.
Made for high-end headphones
If you own really good headphones—especially high-impedance models that are difficult to drive—take note: One area where the Questyle shines is its ability to drive a wide variety of headphones. The QP1R features Questyle’s patented current mode amplification technology, combined with Class A circuitry. Audiophiles covet Class A designs for their lack of distortion.
To help match the QP1R with your particular headphone brand and type, there are three gain settings (low, medium, and high). As a general rule, the low settings are recommended for use with in-ear monitors, and the high gain setting is recommended for over-the-ear headphones. If you really want to nail down the right setting, Questyle has published a PDF listing a number of audiophile-class headphones and their recommended gain settings.
So how does the QP1R sound?
I didn’t mince words about the user interface and I won’t about the sound either. If you’re wishing that the QP1R's sound redeems its other shortcomings, then your wish just came true: This high-res DAP sounds warm, smooth, beautiful, and endlessly engaging.
This player delivered an incredible sense of musical presence, whether it was sessions with the B&W C5 in-ear monitors, the B&W P5 on-ear headphones, or the B&W P7s, the QP1R embraced them all and brought out the best in each. As good as the AK Jr and Pioneer XPD-100R are, they sound colder and more analytical when compared to the Questyle's device.
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