AV: Truly great Qudelix 5K with MOONDROP Variations Auto-eq (and Schitt Magni Soundsource shutoff)

Well on our first flight in months and it was the first time to try the MOONDROP Variations with the highly rated Qudelix 5K and they are a pretty amazing combination.

I can see why. First of all , use them with the recommended ear tips not stock, the noise isolation is tremendous. This is a huge 10mm barrel so you need big ear holes to fit but that’s not a problem for a frog face like me 🙂

The real delight though is how well the Qudelix 5K and software works. First some notes:

  1. The Qudelix buttons are tiny and there are no labels. I’m probably going to do a little label-making but the the blue buttons you hold to turn on. If you hold it for three seconds it goes into Bluetooth pairing mode and starts blinking. You can pair two devices and it dynamically pairs two devices. Great for my phone and iPad.
  2. The big warning is that you SHOULDN’T plug it into a USB-C charger because although it is not USB-C protocol compatible, you can burn the thing out if you feed it 9V. So the main thing is to *always* use the USB A port to make sure you are not using power delivery.
  3. The main mystery is how to turn it on, the lower blue button and to be pressed for more than 3 seconds to turn it on. These buttons are nearly invisible so it is hard to figure out. If you hold the blue upper button for more than three seconds, the red and blue LEDs will blink when connected.
  4. Note that the thing has a microphone in the case, so theoretically you can try a phone call but I’m not sure that I would. This is more for listening than speaking.
  5. The Qudelix has two plugs. An unbalanced 3.5mm and a balanced 2.5mm. Go for the 2.5mm which produces 4V RMS or 240mW/channel. The 3.5mm unbalanced products 2V or 80mW/channel. The main point of using the 2.5mm is that it has four conductors so that the Left and Right each have separate grounds so you get more power to it..
  6. The MOONDROP variations are very efficient at only 15 ohms resistance and 98db/mW so it only needs about 1.25V to get to 120dB which is enough headroom. But might as well have that extra power in reserve.
  7. You definitely want to download the Qudelix app. This lets you update firmware and also check the battery. The default is to charge to 80% which is great for normal use bringing you 6 hours or so. But I went to 95% for this trip.
  8. For one thing you can turn on auto power off but the big thing is to go the DAC section and Autoeq. It like Soundsource on my Mac and it has the MOONDROP variations and the sound is fabulous. I’m actually pretty amazed at the sound quality.
  9. As for MOONDROP Variations themselves I can see how people don’t like how flat they it is. But for me it follows the Harmon curve very well and I personally don’t like that bass thump that much. It’s amazing for classical and opera for instance.

Schitt Magni Shutdown from Soundsource

I think I figured out what is going on. The first theory was that the Schitt Magni was doing a temperature shutoff, so I turn the thing off when not in use but it did shut down again. Even when I tried rebooting the PC it was still off.

Then I discovered that the Rogue Amoeba Soundsource had that particular output muted. I’m still not sure why and it hasn’t happened again but I’m thinking my shutdown is actually a software thing due to some interaction between the two devices. I’ll keep watching out and report back.

There’s doesn’t seem any easy way to do this, you normally have to select Soundsource to do it and then you mute, which I definitely did not do, but could be a bug.

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