Direct Digital System is the technology which DA&T developed and implemented in the latest Q-series. Under D.D.S., volume adjustment is all done in the digital domain and can avoid the distortions caused by traditional analog design. The system is no longer bothered by manufacturing errors or degradations of analog potentiometers. When feeding Q-series with an analog signal, it will go through an over 100khz input filter to minimize phase shifts and then converted to a digital signal. Digital signals, either fed directly or the one converted from analog, are upsampled and processed at 32bit/352.8kHz to achieve ultra-high 130dB dynamic range with low distortions. D.D.S. also can prevent ground interferences and crosstalks. Preamp section is no longer needed in D.D.S., that means the gain can be significantly lower and less noises generated. D.D.S. is more than controlling volume digitally but aims to overcome the weakest point in the entire system and deliver high fidelity audio.
Balanced audio is good for Interference reduction. However, to provide identical internal signal paths for both the non-inverting and inverting audio signals is not an easy task and cost more. Thanks to D.D.S. technology, signal processing in Q-series is indeed fully balanced and the audio signal never unbalances from beginning to end.
Traditionally we think that the higher damping factor is, the better the performance of an equipment. But when it comes to actual listening experience, the higher setting is not always the more enjoyable. On Qi, the damping setting of the headphone amp can be adjusted continuously. This feature allows people with different tastes to easily find the setting they consider as the most musical for their headphones.
Q-series adopts a customized dedicated Asynchronous Sample Rate Conversion chip. This is the core of D.D.S. system. With the help of ASRC chip and high quality oscillator, the jitter can be brought down to 50 Picosecond. The complete jitter management allows the renowned 32bit ESS SABRE DAC in Qi to deliver excellent DA conversion and minimizes distortions.
Qi adopts uncompromising class-A design which provides best linearity in amplification. Four sets of class A amps are used to provide fully balanced output. There is a round hole in the middle of Qi's chassis. It is for assembling the high quality toroidal transformer and also help dissipate the heat brought by class-A. When connecting to headphones, you can choose between the single-ended 6.3mm headphone jack or the 4 pin XLR balanced output.
Qi is a DAC/headphone amp/preamp all in one device and can be setup either in the dedicated audio room or on desktop. Qi has awesome detail. The sound signature is balanced, neutral and dynamically expressive. A 3.5mm single-ended output and a set of 3 pin XLR balanced output can be used for connecting active speakers or power amps. It also has the option of adding Bluetooth module that supports AAC, SBC, MP3, aptXHD and HWA. With Bluetooth module installed, Qi can be controlled remotely through the DA&T smartphone APP or optional remote controller. Qi supports playback up to 384kHz/32bit PCM, DSD256 and DOP128 for USB input and 192kHz/32bit PCM and DOP64 For COAX input.
Qi comes with a red rotary Knob/Button which placed horizontally in the upper front. By long pressing the Knob/Button for 2 seconds, Qi powers on. Long pressing for another 2 seconds, Qi goes back to standby mode. By short pressing the Knob/Button, you can switch between inputs. Turn the Knob/Button clockwise when you want to increase the volume, and vice versa.