Quloos QLS MC01 Evaluate — Headfonics
On this characteristic, we evaluation the Quloos QLS MC01, which is a dongle-type balanced transportable DSD256 DAC and 260mW succesful headphone amplifier. It’s priced at $249.99.
Disclaimer: This pattern was despatched to us in change for our sincere opinion. Headfonics is an impartial web site with no affiliate hyperlinks or standing. We thank Quloos and Shenzhen Audio for his or her help.
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Quloos QLS MC01
The Quloos QLS MC01 will attraction to transportable system house owners and audio junkies who’re searching for a relaxed and resolute sound signature dongle with a excessive degree of out-of-box compatibility, and a dongle that appears totally different from the remainder.
Easy and resolving audio presentation
Good characteristic set
No app, no FW updates as of but
May use a display screen flip characteristic
Quloos has entered the dongle DAC rush with a mannequin that appears to be designed with a excessive degree of emphasis positioned on look, just like the LP W2. The QLS MC01 exhibits off many physique countors and features which intensify this dongle DACs visible attraction.
On the floor, the QLS MC01 has many design traits and particulars and doubtless extra so than different fashions on the market. Not solely is it moderately elaborate in design however it additionally is available in two coloration schemes, charcoal, and purple.
We acquired one with a charcoal gray end however the purple mannequin appears to be like simply as fascinating or most likely much more so since most gear these days appears to be merely painted black as instructed by the Rolling Stones. So the concept of another coloration appears considerably engaging to me at this level.
There are additionally two variations out there of the MC01 with totally different output configurations. There’s a twin 4.4mm alongside a 3.5mm geared up model and a single 3.5mm model which is the MC01se. We obtained the one geared up with a balanced out, the MC01.
We might take a part of the day speaking about how intricate the Quloos QLS MC01 appears to be like on the surface however what issues is what’s underneath that hood. Let’s begin with the twin Cirrus Logic CS43131 which is an usually sourced chip these days. The QLS MC01 specifically makes use of a 2+2 configuration, a twin DAC part, and a twin Amp all QFC setup.
Quloos doesn’t specify the amplification medium however they declare the MC01 is analogous with their QA361 so I’m assuming they used the identical twin OPA6122 chips which additionally are available in QFN packages and would theoretically be an apparent good name.
It appears they use one for the SE MC01se and doubled up on the balanced output MC01 mannequin in response to the specs sheet, opposite to the QA361 which makes use of six.
A 150fs Femtosecond crystal oscillator retains the symphony in test. Specific consideration appears to be positioned on conserving a high-quality profile since Quloos mentions using Philips electrolytic and Panasonic movie capacitors all through.
To feed all that array of parts the QLS MC01 employs a selectable triple LDO filter setup behind two low noise LDO chips, an LT3042 and an ADM7170 that declare on specs excessive PSRR rejection ratios together with the MCU low energy administration possibility implementation.
It appears the one trendy digital format that’s not suitable with the Quloos QLS MC01 is MQA as a result of the opposite trendy, or shall we embrace extra frequent codecs play nicely on this dongle DAC.
PCM can go 16 or 24-bit audio at as much as 384kHz plus DSD64, DSD128, or DSD256 native or DoP on any of the confirmed suitable units. The QLS MC01 works on Home windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and iPad OS plus I confirmed it additionally works on Chromebook OS.
The USB interface runs on 2.0 natively however the dongle may be dropped right down to function on UAC 1.0 which is typically known as gaming mode for those who occur to run into points on UAC2.0 with some recreation consoles.
Branching off the tech highlights, all of the Quloos QLS MC01 circuitry sits on two 6-layer PCBs. I’ve seen different dongle DAC makers make use of the same approach. This facilitates engineers to maintain sure sections of the circuitry remoted from one another.
The shell itself appears to be product of high-quality aluminum, run via a CNC machine and anodized afterward with one of many two out there colours. The shell appears to be assembled from two separate items held collectively by two set screws which may be seen on the bottom of the shell.
There are a number of traits right here price mentioning. Initially, there’s not a pointy edge on the Quloos QLS MC01 anyplace. Every nook is formed at a 45-degree angle which additionally appears to be polished off some.
The shell exhibits channeling and swirls embedded throughout the shell together with a 1” OLED show, a number of buttons which include two quantity buttons, and a mode change plus all of the connectivity is what’s seen.
Should you get the MC01se then you definitely’ll solely get a unit with a 3.5mm single-end connection. The QLS MC01 has two, the three.5mm and a balanced 4.4mm connection. Each headphone connections are at one finish of the dongle and in a side-by-side conventional method.
One cool characteristic this explicit dongle has is the 100-step quantity management to handle these connections. Even higher, this quantity works independently from the quantity supply which interprets into a really fantastic quantity adjustment functionality.
The opposite finish of the dongle shell has a single USB-C feminine connection which may be switched to function at a USB UAC 1.0. In inventory type, the QLS MC01 works on a backward-compatible USB 2.0 interface.
The QLS MC01 is suitable with virtually something you can give you. It really works on virtually all the things that has a USB connection. There’s multi-OS help together with IOS and MAC, Home windows, Android, and Chrome OS compatibility. I verified three of the 5 talked about myself that work the QLS MC01 nicely.
The OLED display screen exhibits off some helpful data like quantity degree and bitrate together with an indicator for prime and low achieve positions. There’s additionally a DAC filter indicator and an influence filter indicator.
All these options are accessible by urgent the mode button as soon as. you scroll via all these options every time you press the mode button then the up or down quantity button adjustments the person characteristic’s choices.
The ability filter characteristic consists of 3 units categorized as regular, excessive, and highest. These don’t have anything to do with energy output however moderately make use of extra rigorous energy filtration however in return consumes extra energy the upper the extent is ready.
Apart from that, there are additionally two achieve ranges, an OLED display screen brightness adjustment and day trip, a steadiness management, and a DAC filter selector. You would choose between 5 that are LL quick, LL sluggish, quick, sluggish, and Nos.
Packaging & Equipment
I discovered a few of the objects included with the Quloos QLS MC01 to be distinctive. First, off they provide the consumer with a very good degree of connectivity and throw in a Lightning connector terminated cable together with a twin USB-C cable. I’m not an iPhone consumer however I’m glad Quloos didn’t go away them out to fend for themselves.
All of the literature that got here with my unit was written in Chinese language however you can obtain an English model together with a USB driver from their web site. I couldn’t discover any software program for this explicit dongle DAC anyplace so firmware updates are up within the air proper now.
This dongle comes with some moderately odd equipment. For instance a gel pad round two inches lengthy that I do not know what it’s for together with some spherical stickers, a Quloos metallic plaque, and a sticker that’s clean on either side. Maybe for protecting stacking? Not a phrase is talked about on what this stuff have been included for anyplace.
I saved the Quloos QLS MC01 on the NOS filter more often than not and it appears the usable 5 filters are so related that once I switched forwards and backwards in a blind take a look at I might most likely suppose they have been all the identical.
The principle traits sonically obtained on the QLS MC01 could possibly be described as impartial, a pure timbre, and a well-extended frequency response each methods. This dongle appears to painting a hygienic high quality that’s free from harshness however is nearly undramatic and considerably aseptic.
It appears the highs specifically have been prostrated in order that they by no means contact ardent or intense ranges. The midrange is flat as a flap jack with a medium quantity of physique which appears supple. The bass is nicely represented and isn’t bloated neither is it anemic and there appears to be a very good quantity of presence and vitality within the bass area.
Particulars are outstanding and extra so on this dongle than others I’ve heard and notably these at half the fee dollarwise. There’s not a heavy degree of micro element however background nuances appear ahead and extra current in comparison with related dongles. I assume that could possibly be this dongle’s area of interest in sound character.
Staging & Dynamics
Should you think about the general dynamics and the listed specs they appear to be softened up some. The Quloos QLS MC01 appears to cater to patrons who’re searching for a relaxed signature and well-defined music behind a black background.
The QLS MC01 caters to listeners who wish to calm down moderately than be bombarded with constancy, forwardness, and, or depth. I might describe the general character as virtually easy however very resolving.
It appears a facet product of the delicate nature stems from the large stage with good micro and macro placement which might emit with the suitable headphone. You would simply distinguish a small nuance and throughout the similar space detect a bigger notice.
Depth is first rate apart from maybe a small underfill in imaging on either side of the phantom heart which makes recording at instances really feel three-dimensional or three-sided.
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