Qinpu Q2 Desktop Hi-Fi PC and Headphone Amplifier Review


It can be difficult expressing yourself in the world of PC audio. Big dogs like Logitec and Altec Lansing seem to be ruling the masses and every set of speakers coming out seems to be of the same cookie-cutter design. Whatever happened to the days of tube-driven amps and retro style. Why can’t they make just one new series of retro PC speaker systems to match your style? Quinpu has done just that with their incredible product the Qinpu Q2 . Mixing the retro stylings of a tube amp with the low profile design of a solid-state amp you get the beautiful offspring for any audiophile: the Q2. Let’s get a closer look at this distinguished amplifier:

Closer Look:

Normally at this point, we usually talk about the packaging but we are going to skip that because this is not a retail product. The fact that it is web sale-based only makes the packaging unimportant. I will say this: it comes shipped in a very secure package so tube damage and esthetic damage shouldn’t be an issue. So let’s get right into the esthetics. The Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier looks like something straight out of a classic Flash Gordon black and white sci-fi. I love the look of exposed tubes it makes the Q2 stand out against your average Logitech product. The over all build quality is incredibly durable while not sacrificing style. The design of the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier is in the love it or hate it category. Everyone that has seen this amp sitting on my desk has loved it. My dad came over the other day and started instantly coveting it.

Now let’s get into the ins and outs of the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier (pardon the pun). A little part of my sense of humor died just now. Anyways moving on, the nice thing I found with the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier is the fact that it has 2 inputs and both different styles which means you can your PC and if you happen to want to plug in your mp3 player on the fly it’s just a matter of turning a knob. The on the fly input is nice. As for outputs you get two: one for your headphones and one for your speakers. This is great but one thing the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier doesn’t have is auto switching. So if you want to just listen to your headphones you have to disconnect your speakers. This little inconvenience aside this is a very multi-functional piece of equipment. The extra inputs are awesome I sang the praise of the Edifier M3400’s for this very reason as well.

One thing you will notice is that my tube is a little crooked in these pictures. This is something that happened during shipping but I was able to straighten it without any issues. So with that said let’s talk about the style again. The Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier is by far the sexiest audio device I have in my home. The additions of a blue LED, while normally makes things look a bit cheesy, makes the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier look even better. It is not too over the top it has just the right glow to still have a sophisticated look to it.

Let’s get to the specs and testing:

Specifications

Output Power: 2 x 2.5 W ( 8Ω RMS)
Frequency Response:  50Hz-40kHz
THD:≤2%(1kHz)
S/N Ratio: ≥80dB(A Weighted)
Crosstalk Attenuation: ≥50dB
Input Sensitivity: ≤220mV
Overloading Level: ≥10V
Input Impedance:  10kΩ
Power Supply:  120V 60Hz 20W
Net Weight: 1.8KG/pcs              
Dimension: 135mm×170mm×71mm

Special Bonus from Head-Direct:

30 days refund and 90 days replacement

Testing:

We will talk about the quality of sound and what the benefits are of going to the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier as opposed to your standard stand alone Logitech speaker system. I also want to talk about some technical issues that come with owning a tube/solid state hybrid amp as opposed to just a standard solid state amplifier.

So what are the benefits of a desktop amp over a speaker system? For one quality of sound, in my opinion the smooth sound quality a tube amp produces is far superior that solid state. Combining the two in a hybrid makes the range of sound even better because whether you like to admit it or not (all you analog audiophiles out there) solid state does have its pros to tube audios cones. Another key point is with an amplifier you can turn any one of your speakers into a pc speaker giving you a lot more options for your sound preferences. I tried the amp with my M3400 edifier speakers as well as hooking up just a standard Panasonic mini system 3 way speaker set.

Due to the 8ohm capacity the little amp powered stereo speakers very well. Even though the RMS is 2.5w per channel, the speakers still produced pretty powerful sound with the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier powering them.

The overall sound quality produced from the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier is amazing I couldn’t believe the smooth sound quality the little feller produced. The bass was smooth, mid was smooth, and due to the solid-state integrations, the treble was very bright. If you like bright treble but smooth mid’s and bass like me this is a great little amp. Jazz sounds amazing through this amp.

I plugged in the V-moda earbuds I just got for testing (review coming soon if not already posted). The V-moda vibe ii’s are a little on the sibilant side when it comes to treble. The Quipu Q2’s seemed to smooth out the sibilance and brighten up the treble very nicely. The lower the impedance on the headphones I used the better they performed. What this means for average users is if you check out the specs on your headphones look for the section where it says a number then ohms. The lower this number is the better the Q2 will perform. This is a truly hi-fi roots amp which seems to work very well with both digital and analog accompaniment. This means plugging into your record player will sound just as nice as plugging into your cd player on this amp.

 

 

So what are some drawbacks of owning a tube amp? You will eventually have to replace the tubes. Like light bulbs they do burn out after awhile. In the case of the Qinpu Q2 Desktop Amplifier the cost of a new tube is only about $5. The Chinese 6N3 tube used is the equivalent of a US 5670/2C51/WE396A tube. This is the only draw back if you would even call it that to going tube as opposed to full solid state.

Let’s see the final thoughts:

Conclusion:

If you are in the market for a new stereo system the  Q2 Desktop Amplifier might be a great option. The smooth sound and build quality are incredible and the over all style is awesome. I love the sound of tube based audio and mixing it with solid state technology really brings out the bright tones you don’t get with tube audio. Over all this amp looks awesome on your desk and beings a level of professionalism to your home or work office that will catch peoples eyes like nothing else.

Would I recommend this amp? Yes it is a great buy for a very decent price and is a lot more self expressive then your average generic off the shelf PC speaker system. If you include some stylish red Qinpu speakers you have your self a very art deco style going on Flash Gordon himself would approve of.

 

 

Pros:

  • Price
  • Style
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Versatility 
  • Tube Hybrid
  • Blue LED’s

Cons:

  • Swapping Tubes When They Burn Out May Be a Hassle For Some
 

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