Questyle M15i Review

While there are a ton of great DAC dongles out there, the one I kept coming back to was the Questyle M15. It became one of my go-to DAC/Amp to test many IEMs and headphones for reviews, as it always gave me an honest picture of that product’s sound signature. Now, Questyle is giving the M15 an upgrade with the M15i. This new version of the M15 looks to add an upgraded flagship DAC and a few interesting new features to dive into.

Questyle M15i Items

What You Get

  • M15i
  • Type-C to Type-C Cable
  • Type-C to USB-A Cable
  • Warranty Card
  • User Manual

Questyle M15i back


From the outside, there isn’t much that separates the M15i from the original. It uses the same basic chassis, with its plexiglass window showing off all the interior components of the DAC. One of the only changes, if you can really call it that, is the naming convention of its gain switch, which now goes by standard and high. It takes a USB-C input, with both 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone outputs. I thought the old design was great, so in a way, I’m glad that Questlye didn’t feel the need to change it much.

Questyle M15i USB-C


The main component of the M15i is its upgraded DAC. This is a flagship ESS chipset that supports sample rates up to PCM768 and DSD512. It also features a groundbreaking mode of amplification developed by Questlye that implements their SiP modules to deliver great power for many headphones and IEMs no matter the impedance. There’s a total of four modes for current that Questlye aims to help not only deliver the gain but also reveal more details.

Questyle M15i headphone jack

Sound Impressions

There wasn’t a single pair of IEMs that the original M15 couldn’t drive efficiently and with impeccable clarity. The M15i does everything that the previous one could but with more subtleties that add a lot to the DAC’s overall performance. With the M15i, it’s not just loudness that will break through, but the shape of the sound takes on a whole new form. A form that displays more dynamic range than just filling the frequency content with more gain.

You still get a nice forward presentation that is accentuated by using open-back headphones, but some IEMs also feature this scenario. Using the HiFiMAN Edition XS and the iBasso 3T-154 actually wielded similar experiences comparing their soundstage and imaging through the M15i. Both were slightly more dimensional, but the precision was the biggest difference. Spatial imaging is by far the biggest improvement that the M15i makes. Everything feels like it has an expanded center, giving instruments more room to move left and right as well as front to back. The balanced output makes this more apparent, with the blank space in between sounds more accentuated.

Headphones and IEMs that have warm timbres are more dominant through the M15i. It’s a clear warmth that controls your headphone’s outward resonance. It’s an organized warmth that highlights texture and minimizes fogginess. The mids and highs feel a bit more reserved but still very natural. It can be considered neutral, but the details on some notes can be quite textured. Nothing really resonates in the treble though, which doesn’t bother me much as the highs still have good clarity.


Questyle isn’t trying to hide what the M15i is. It sets out to be an upgrade to the M15, and it does that in every way that matters. The sound profile of the M15i has some major differences that feel so much more refined than the previous version. The sound is much more defined, separated by engaging blank spaces that make everything pop. Being the same price as the M15, I don’t think it’s much of a big ask to go for the upgrade, especially if you haven’t used the M15 before. There are some heavy hitters for DAC dongles nowadays, but the M15i still stands tall as one of the best.

Major HiFi Silver Award

The Questyle M15i is available at Audio46.

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Alex S. is a sound designer and voice-over artist who has worked in film, commercials, and podcasts. He loves horror movies and emo music.