Friends who are familiar with the qdc brand should know that they are the few headphone brands in the audio industry that can be successful in the professional and civilian markets at the same time. This means that the sound performance of qdc headphones can meet both the needs of recording/stage monitoring and music appreciation. .
At the beginning of the brand establishment, qdc had only two product series, namely the Studio series for professionals and the HiFi series for enthusiasts. Both series use pure moving iron solutions, with only a slight difference in the tuning of the frequency response curve. Later, with the improvement of market recognition and the growth of user groups, in order to take into account the more personalized needs of different users, qdc has successively launched the Live series for drummers and stage monitoring scenes, with low frequency enhancement; for enthusiasts, the pursuit of higher performance The chameleon series that can customize the frequency response curve for playability; and the ring iron series that adopts the mixed design of moving coil + moving iron unit.
In June 2020, qdc released two earphones again. Among them, the eye-catching Blue Dragon is priced at 88,000 RMB, and the body is inlaid with 800 natural sapphires. However, the unit configuration is the same as that of the chameleon series flagship VX. Another earphones called Dmagic 3D belongs to a brand new DMagic series. Dmagic 3D is not only qdc’s first earphones that does not use a moving iron unit, but also uses a three dynamic driver + three frequency division scheme that is extremely rare in the industry, and on this basis, has realized private model customization services.
Why do three dynamic driver earphones? What is unique in its structure? What are the advantages and disadvantages of it compared with qdc armature earphones at the same price? With these questions, I waited for qdc Dmagic 3D earphones.
Appearance design and technical characteristics
Perhaps due to military industry background, qdc has always maintained a down to earth style in product promotion, never relying on brand stories or sentiments to raise premiums. Take the qdc Dmagic 3D earphones for example, there is only one sentence in the product introduction that has nothing to do with sound——Dmagic is inspired by Dynamic Magic.
Since the manufacturers are so pragmatic, I will stop talking nonsense, and directly talk about the design features of this earphones and the impression it gives me.
The uniqueness of qdc Dmagic 3D starts from the appearance. We know that 99% of custom headphones on the market use resin as the shell material, even the traditional model of qdc is no exception. However, starting from Dmagic 3D, qdc has introduced a new technology that can polish and carve complex curved surfaces on solid wood materials, thereby realizing the full solid wood from the panel to the shell, which is officially called the colorful solid wood shell.
Some people may think that solid wood earphones are no big deal. In fact, its processing cost is by no means comparable to ordinary wooden shells. First of all, the complicated internal structure of qdc Dmagic 3D occupies a considerable amount of space, which makes it impossible to simply dig a cylindrical space in the shell like ordinary dynamic headphones. If you want to install the three units and the corresponding crossover, sound tube and other structures, qdc needs to polish the thickness of the shell to a thickness of only about 1mm. Secondly, in addition to the public model version, qdc Dmagic 3D also provides private model customization services. Private model headphones can also use colorful solid wood shells, making the processing more difficult. Even so, using a solid wood shell has many advantages. In addition to making the headphones look cooler and has a special delicate touch, the unique tone of the wooden shell can also make the headphones show a warmer sound direction. Like the classic LS3/5A speakers.
qdc Dmagic 3D is a 3-unit dynamic earphones. It uses a 10mm coaxial dual dynamic driver and an 8mm single dynamic driver to be responsible for low, medium and high frequencies respectively. This kind of collocation is more common in speakers, but it can be regarded as an outlier in the headphone industry. What are the advantages of multi-dynamic compared with several more common headphone solutions? First of all, compared with the single armature/dynamic solution, the multi-dynamic solution can expand the frequency response range of the earphones while reducing the distortion of the full frequency band; compared with the multi-unit armature, the multi-dynamic sound is fuller and the music taste is better; and hybrid Compared with the driver solution, the consistency of multi-dynamic full-band tones is better, and the texture of the mid and high frequencies is better. Speaking of this, I suddenly remembered a point of view of Jerry Harvey, the godfather of custom headphones-that the mid-frequency is the most concentrated frequency band for musical instruments and vocals, and the use of dynamic drivers can show rich timbre. I deeply agree with this.
So, since multiple dynamic solutions have so many advantages, why are there only a few actual products? I think it is mainly the limitation brought by the volume and structure of in-ear headphones. If we can make the earphone the size of a speaker, let each dynamic driver have an independent chamber, and then find a way to solve the phase problem caused by the ultra-close listening distance (the lined up units allow the sound waves to reach the ears in time Difference), then there will be much more similar products on the market. On the contrary, because the armature driver has an independent sound cavity, it can be stacked more conveniently in a small space without affecting each other.
Speaking back to Dmagic 3D, qdc’s solution to this problem is quite clever. It is to equip each dynamic driver with an independent internal cavity, the frequency divider is placed between the internal and external cavities, and then the sound waves emitted by the different units It is sent to the sound hole of earphone through the tube. The advantage of using an independent inner cavity is that it can isolate the mutual interference between different units, and it can also complete the tuning of the unit in the inner cavity. In this way, the entire inner cavity becomes an independent acoustic component (similar to an armature driver with an independent cavity), and its frequency response will no longer be affected by the shape of the earphone outer cavity, so it can realize a private model like an ordinary IEM Customization, this feature makes qdc Dmagic 3D the only multi-motion coil customized earphones on the market.
The qdc Dmagic 3D has two independent internal cavities, but it is a three-unit three-way configuration. This is due to the coaxial structure of the low-frequency unit. A 10mm graphene diaphragm and a 10mm titanium-plated diaphragm are arranged coaxially in tandem. The two diaphragms have independent voice coils, but share the same magnetic circuit and inner cavity, and handle low and intermediate frequencies with the help of a frequency divider. signal. In order to make the low frequency of the earphone more full and natural, this coaxial unit also has an air guide hole connected to the shell to balance the internal and external air pressure.
In the other inner cavity, qdc Dmagic 3D chose an 8mm composite diaphragm unit to be responsible for the high frequency part of the earphone. This kind of independent moving coil high frequency unit is rare in the earphones industry, but if someone thinks that the moving coil structure is not suitable for expressing high frequency details, it is wrong. More than 99% of the speakers in the world use dynamic drivers to handle high-frequency and even ultra-high-frequency parts, and those Hi-End speakers, which are often hundreds of thousands or even millions, are no exception. In fact, since the overtone information of most musical instruments is concentrated in the high frequency part, the high frequency unit plays a decisive role in the presentation of their timbre. Compared with the armature driver with metal diaphragm, the 8mm dynamic driver of qdc has a higher performance. The frequency performance will be softer and more delicate, and the connection with the mid-low frequency unit will be more natural and unified. At the same time, its frequency response can still be extended to more than 30kHz, which is not inferior to the traditional armature driver.
In addition to the innovation in unit structure, another distinctive feature of qdc Dmagic 3D is that it is equipped with a newly developed 3-in-1 replaceable earphone plug from qdc. Its structure is similar to the DUNU solution, replacing the traditional fixed plug with a pluggable 4pin plug. The male plug part connected to the headphone cable has self-locking and foolproof functions. The internal connection is connected to the female plug through a four-pin interface. The package provides three types of female plugs: 3.5mm single-ended, 2.5mm balanced and 4.4mm balanced, which can be adapted Almost all portable playback devices on the market. As an audio reviewer with multiple players, since I have experienced similar solutions on Dita earphones, I have always hoped that more manufacturers will adopt this design. Especially for headphones like qdc that use a non-self-locking 0.78mm 2pin (headphone end) pin, even if I prepare an independent headphone cable for each (player side) plug, frequent wire changes are possible. It will cause the (headphone end) socket part to loosen prematurely or even crack. With the 3-in-1 plug, not only can the repetitive investment on the headphone cable be reduced (or expand the adaption range of the player), it can also greatly extend the life of the (headphone end) socket.
That’s right, there is also a flagship earphones upgrade line “dragon scale” developed by qdc for Blue Dragon that was sent to my home at the same time as qdc Dmagic 3D. The price of the dragon scale upgrade line is the same as that of Dmagic 3D, reaching 8800 RMB. Due to the high gold content core and the gold-plated engraved splitter, the entire headphone cord looks extremely luxurious.
Of course, in addition to the eye-catching appearance, dragon scale has also achieved top level in configuration. The structure of the upgrade line is two strands per channel, which is woven by a compound concentric stranding method. There are 7 0.08mm wire cores in each share, the wire cores are wrapped with German imported TPU insulation layer, and the inside is made of 4 kinds of alloy materials. The ratio is 40% Liz structure silver-plated single crystal copper, 30% copper-silver-palladium alloy With 30% high-purity gold-plated sterling silver. Both ends of the cable use 0.78mm 2pin pins and 3-in-1 replaceable plugs, so a dragon scale cable can fit the full range of qdc earphones and all mainstream portable players on the market.
Subjective sound quality
As a long-term user of qdc 8CH (pure armature HiFi series 8-unit customized version), I am most satisfied with this earphones because of its centrality and accuracy, especially when it is necessary to evaluate other earphones or players, qdc 8CH I often use it as a ruler that I can refer to. However, in normal life, sometimes I just want to relax and enjoy the music without paying too much attention to the equipment itself. In this case, I usually choose a dynamic earphone with a warmer and fuller sound and good quality. Use, but maybe because of professional habits. When certain climax passages appear, I always realize the gap between single moving coil earphones and multi-unit armature headphones in terms of resolution and high-frequency expressiveness. Replaced with hybrid driver earphones. Of course it can solve the problem to a certain extent, but at the same time it will also introduce some new problems.
In terms of sound style, qdc 8CH has a sharp contrast with Dmagic 3D. The former has a serious and direct character, while the latter has a warm, full-bodied and musical character. In terms of low frequency, the performance of qdc Dmagic 3D is similar to that of qdc hybrid driver series earphones. The 10mm graphene unit has excellent elasticity and resolution, and has a slightly more sense of volume than the armature series. The performance of the drum sound is more full and vivid than the armature series. At the same time, it will not be deformed due to too much dynamic or too fast speed. In terms of mid-range frequencies, Dmagic 3D has a better thickness and smoothness than qdc 8CH, with prominent vocal position and a slightly larger mouth shape, but it has better control over tooth sound. In terms of high frequency, we know that general single dynamic earphones’ shortcomings in high frequency extension will make many instruments with rich high frequency overtones sound dry, bleak, and lack of vitality. On Dmagic 3D, this 8mm dedicated to high frequency The dynamic driver makes up for this defect, and brings a delicate, gorgeous and elegant sound to vocals, violin, piano, guitar and other instruments. At the same time, compared to the direct but slightly frizzy sound of the armature high-frequency unit, the high-frequency of Dmagic 3D is more delicate and full of charm.
In terms of resolution, the strength of qdc Dmagic 3D can easily surpass many single dynamic and armature headphones. Compared with many hybrid driver solutions, it also has its advantages, but in terms of absolute strength, it is still slightly inferior to top multi-armature such as qdc 8CH and Chameleon VX. product. The performance of sound field and positioning is similar. Dmagic 3D can present a sound field with a certain scale, primary and secondary, with good separation of instruments and natural image size, while the positions of all elements under qdc 8CH are stepped back. The image is smaller and more precise, which makes it an advantage in the performance of large-scale classical music, but it is easy to lack the atmosphere of the general song performance.
Regarding driveability, it should be said that qdc has not had any earphones that is difficult to drive so far. The sensitivity of qdc Dmagic 3D is 98dB SPL/mW. Compared with the previous product’s sensitivity of 101-119 decibels, a higher thrust is indeed required, but in fact, even with a driver such as Lotoo PAW S1, the player is highly developed today. Play a pretty good level. Of course, for dynamic headphones, greater thrust usually means better control. Therefore, if you have large equipment, such as the iBasso DX228 or Fiio M15 that I often use, you can use these thrust monsters to satisfy Dmagic 3D’s greedy appetite.
Let me briefly talk about dragon scale cable. This upgrade line can bring a very big improvement to the earphones whether it is used on Dmagic 3D or qdc 8CH. First of all, compared with the original headphone cable of Dmagic 3D, the sound of the original headphone cable can be loosened and the sound field is flat, while the dragon scale cable can make the sound more energetic, and at the same time can expand the depth of the sound field to a certain extent. At the same time, the dragon scale has also changed the tone of the earphones to a certain extent, especially for the qdc 8CH, the dragon scale can improve the luster of the middle and high frequencies, making the sound appear more shiny and more expensive. Compared with the last version of the official QDC upgrade line that I often use, the dragon scale can improve the vividness of the sound, but the mid and low frequencies of the dragon scale are stronger and the body feels better. In view of this, it is recommended that friends with Gemini or Chameleon VX can try the changes brought by dragon scale.
Of course, due to time constraints, the above can only be regarded as the initial listening experience of qdc Dmagic 3D and dragon scale. I believe that with the extension of use time, their sounds should become more rounded and natural.
To be honest, before the launch of qdc Dmagic 3D, I never seriously considered that qdc would choose to completely abandon the armature driver in a product. Of course, I never thought that its first dynamic earphones would choose such a novel structure. Facts have proved that I can trust the ears of qdc designers and tuner as always, and I also believe that Dmagic 3D should become a product that can be remembered by the market.