Questyle QP1R.

Questyle QP1R.

Subjective evaluation of the QP1R was done in two parts. The longer of them, included the media player driving the reference headphones (Grado RS-2), while -for a shorter period of time- listening sessions were conducted by using the device as a standard digital source by connecting it, via its analog signal line out, to the main reference system (Melos Plus Series Line, Parasound HCA3500, ATC SCM-50PSL). Both standard and high-resolution music files were used, including some binaural recordings (specially made recordings for use with headphones). In all cases, each listening session began with the battery charged to 100%.
Everyday use of the QP1R proved to be easy and pleasing. The user can adapt the player to his style-of-use through the relevant menu and navigation to various options was easy and quite obvious, no need to consult the manual here. Even a large music library could be managed with ease, even if one prefers the old-fashioned scrolling and not searches based on metadata or creating playlists. Loading the music files from the host computer is, also, as easy as it gets. For any question that may exist, the user manual is well written and quite clear. One point that needs an adjustment period is the fact that the touch keys (for the "Next" and "Previous" track access) do not work when the screen is off. This does not allow the user to handle the player easily by just pressing the relevant button, for example when it is in his pocket, since it requires a more complex operation circle, something that "road warriors" will probably, not be happy about.
First impressions, formed while listening to the QP1R via headphones, is of a device that is very neutral and transparent, more than enough to allow, without any restrictions, the nature of the headphones themselves to determine the final result. Given this behavior, the user should be careful about choosing the headphones which will accompany Questyle's media player although, in practice, small corrections in the frequency domain are possible using the equalizer.

Questyle QP1R.
Questyle QP1R.

With Grado RS2, the overall result was pleasant and relaxing, without being unnecessary extravagant or in any effort to be over-impressive. Towards the very low-frequency part of the audio spectrum, the system offered a good sense of scale, detail and presence and a sense of fullness as well, without affecting the overall feeling of a good balance. Rhythm parts sounded fast in their attack phase although slightly lighter, compared to what I have accustomed through RS2, with good micro-dynamics and good sense of sustain/release times, while -overall- musical instruments heavy in low-frequency content were clearly defined and well-controlled, as QP1R is more than able to preserve the details of the recording quite well.
Mid-region also possesses a detailed character, but the listener feels that the overall balance tends lightly to a laid-back, relaxing side. Nevertheless, description accuracy is not lacking even in complex recordings and the QP1R/Grado RS2 seemed absolutely in control, without any hints of compression or fatigue-imposing behavior. Vocal works, solo or choral, were reproduced with great realism and articulation and both the whole feeling of the scene, the air and the movement was there. Although standard, to-be-played-back-through-loudspeakers, recordings are not quite suitable for the assessment of these parameters, some binaural recordings clearly showed that the media player is capable to properly manage the subtle information needed to create a sense of space and movement and the end result has been, in many cases, impressive.
The quality of the high-frequency part of the audio spectrum emerged as one of the strongest QP1R's features. The device appeared to have good balance, only slightly deviating towards a more soft, but bright and pleasant character which will be much appreciated in lengthy listening sessions, offered good timing performance in both the attack and the release parts of percussive sounds, a very good sense of harmonics presence and a life-like description of musical instruments rich in high frequency components, without the slightest trace of harshness.
Using QP1R without headphones, through its analog line output, did not change the assessment of its core values. The player proved to be a well-balanced, pleasant to the ear and accurate source one needs to playback high definition audio files through a home system. QP1R offered both high-frequency extension and feeling of air and more than enough low-frequency detail, while -additionally- in this setup, it revealed a very good capacity for stereo imaging, with abundant details, very good focus, and depth/movement description. The very low-frequency part of the spectrum sounded slightly more emphatic, compared to the behavior observed through the headphones (probably because the headphones themselves superimpose their character, or -more likely- remove some room acoustics attributes, or both), but the overall effect drives to the conclusion that this media player can be used in a mixed role as both a portable or a home-based digital source.


QP1R proved to be as good -in audio terms- as it is pleasing to the eye and, indeed, in this case, the first good impression is not deceiving at all. A meticulous design, with emphasis on both the aesthetics and the sound quality, offers some serious practical merits. Questyle's media player will take advantage of a good quality music library both "on the go", for anyone seeking high-quality audio during his commuting or on a personal level, and at home listening conditions, and can play these roles quite convincingly. With a price tag slightly below the €1000, it is a very good proposal.

Listening Sessions Recording

The following recordings were made with a DV-RA1000 Tascam master recorder (using 24bit/192kHz sample rate) and you can download them to have an impression of what the device under review sounded like. It is obvious that any recording of this kind could not be absolutely transparent but, according to our experience, the majority of sound attributes we listen to, during the actual listening sessions, are preserved. No need to say that you should use these samples cautiously and for informative purposes only. Do not rely on them exclusively to make any buying decisions. The file format is .flac, so expect that the zipped files will be quite large (even if the clips are about a minute or less long. You could use an ABX listening tool like the ABX plug-in for foobar2000 if you want to make some more elaborate experiments. Contact us if you have any questions.

Listening Sessions Recording TOC
Track #01 Questyle QP1R, Line Out, 16bit/44.1kHz Playback
Track #02 Questyle QP1R, Line Out, 24bit/96kHz Playback
Track #03 Reference Digital Source (dCS Puccini u-Clock/Teac Esoteric D-70

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