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Questyle M12 Headphone Amp/ DAC Review

Questyle M12 Headphone Amp/ DAC Review

Author:Andy.EF

DAC Chip: ESS Sabre ES9281AC (Single, Current Mode Amplification)

PCM 24bit - 384khz MQA, SNR: -118dB (SE), -114db (Bal), Power: Adaptive 2 Vrms up to 600Ω, USB Type-C Female Socket, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: No), 27g, 51×16.5×8.1mm, Metal Chassis

 

Strengths:

  • Stellar neutral and natural timbre with exceptional coherence level
  • VERY POWERFUL output, tested up to 250Ω with graceful dexterity.
  • Very tight and controlled dynamics, never overbearing, effortless and airy.
  • Reference grade Treble, Mids and Bass extensions, richly textured
  • Reference grade Macro and Micro details, beautiful nuances
  • Surgical technical prowess, exceedingly technical and resolving.
  • Wonderfully crisp percussions, guitars, synth, piano, and cello
  • Mildly intimate Mids, succulent Male and Female vocals
  • Excellent Sub-Bass presence and textures, with great extensions
  • Mind blowing speed and transients handling.
  • Razor edged layer separation and spatial positioning, great imaging.
  • Exemplary sibilance resistance despite being sparkly bright.
  • Particularly useful indicators for source quality
  • Very slimline build and lightweight
  • Great heat management
  • PHENOMENAL performance for EBM and modern music

 Weaknesses:

  • Mid-Bas impact should be better. On par with JM20 and CS-Pro
  • Not-too-impressive soundstage should be slightly wider at this level.
  • Too much focus on technical prowess and surgical precision – slightly dry overall
  • Very prone to picking up RF interferences from mobile phone signals.

 

VERDICT:

Questyle M12. Definitely is one the BEST among the ones tested so far with outright technical prowess and timbre coherence, outclassed Audirect BEAM 2SE and HiBy FC3 on this segment by a step or two. Can be overly pristine when paired with an already ultra-resolving IEMs like the Etymotic ER4SR, but it does not dry the timbre to cause for concerns. For transparency, M12 sets the bar really high for others to follow. However, the lack of velvety smoothness as observed in other TOTL dongles prevented this unit from scoring higher – but by no mean a deal breaker as some may hugely appreciate the stellar coherence especially when paired with warm signature headphones or IEMs.

 

OVERALL RATING: 96/100

Recommended Pairing: Flexible, stellar with warm IEMs/Headphones.

 

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