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Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC Reviews


Looks cheap and anonymous, sounds golden and memorable.


Pros: Tiny size, tiny price, easy compatibility, fabulous natural sound

Cons: ? yet to be identified

I wanted a small, cheap USB DAC for an mpd music server. The server makes my lossless music collection and some internet radio streams available wherever I am - at home typically via mpd clients on PC and Android, and away from home via mpd client and streaming using SSH tunnels on laptop and Android. The USB DAC is so I can also run the same audio to a small amp and speakers at home. I already have nice headphones (Sennheiser Momentum) and live somewhere rather noisy and so wasn't looking for high end, just something that works easily, consumes minimal power and can work on embedded ARM systems as well as PC. I have seen a presentation on these ESS Sabre DACs and their supposed...
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Best entry level DAC


Pros: Small, useable with laptop

Cons: 3.5mm instead of rca

This DAC was good enough for me to buy twice.  90% of the sound quality of a odac for cheap.  Buy it from the oregon warehouse website if you're impatient, shipping from china is slow.  New savitech usb receiver version adds support for 88.2khz and an ASIO driver which is a nice option instead of wasapi.  Haven't heard the asynchronous version but it can only be even better.  Extended highs.  Nice fast bass.  Switching to this dac got rid of noise from scrolling web pages I had when using motherboard audio.

A great little portable DAC


Pros: Sound, price, portable, really small

Cons: cheaply built

This little DAC really surprised me with its sound quality. I have an Aune T1, and this is about 85-90% as good for a third of the price!  Recommended to anyone just starting this hobby and is looking for better sound than his computer's onboard soundcard. Some improvements i noticed over my laptop's soundcard: -Tighter bass -More forward mids -treble a bit more sparkly -HUGE uprgarde in terms of imaging and soundstage etc   Whenever im not using the Aune t1, this is plugged in. My only complaint is that it feels a bit cheap in the hand, but thats because it is. You can get it for under $40. 

96K + Usb Isolator / Baby Sabre Usb Dac for Android.


Pros: Small Compact,Well buit for price,well balanced,cheap not much on the market can touch it at this price point !!

Cons: usb only, 3.5 mm output only ((no RCA's,could of been a higher spec dac in a small form factor (similar to Dragonfly) but has max res @ 48KHz

Having tried the 96 K version with Savitech Chip & a USB Isolator made also by Hifimediy yeah it was definately value for money.Would be interesting to compare against the Odac & Dragonfly   The Hifimediy has a really good attack less laiback than my Wolfson Dac Heed Dactil 1.2 . I have also tried it against the sound from a Woffson Sound Card made for the Raspberry Pi again more attack less of a warmth in the sound but just as much detail not as much refinement little less polite I guess.   I liked it as much as the fiio d3 when I first got it. But needs spdif for my tastes. I think it sounds amazing with DSD rips in PCM back at 96k (Rips made on Korg DS-DAC...
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Worth the money


Pros: Price; might be an improvement over my laptop jack for some (pop) songs

Cons: Not better for all songs

As I noted in my reviews of the Alpen E17 and the O2 amp, those two did nothing that my laptop couldn't do. However, unlike those two products, this thing might actually be doing something. I sense a little more bass and treble coming out of my HD800 which makes some songs a little bit more interesting. Not all songs -- for example, Swan Lake definitely sounds better on my laptop's dac -- but certain pop songs sound better on this.   To give you a few technicals, this has the same DAC chip (ESS9023) as these much more expensive DACs http://www.alldacinfo.com/?tag=es9023/   I don't have specs on its wattage output, but my ears can confirm that it is incredibly powerful and...
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Excellent DAC for the price


Pros: No drivers needed, clean audio, works as advertised

Cons: Cheaply built

I had the Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC for a couple of days. I bought it just as a low cost external USB sound card, as the docking station of my laptop has no audio output (how silly).   I use it connected to a Tivoli Audio Networks setup. I'm don't consider myself an audiophile, so I won't comment on this part, although I like good sounding music and high quality sound.   I bought the device on ebay's listing via "Standard shipping", and it arrived promptly in an padded envelope, labelled as USB to analog converter. I didn't have to pay for customs, I guess it was below the threshold level. The seller was responsive to questions and helpful, and sent the package on...
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either I got a hearing upgrade or mine just ran in


Pros: Excellent sound quality and detail, very low price

Cons: soundstage could be a little better

I felt I had to write. I've owned this thing for about 4 months and just today I turned it on and it sounded what I consider real hifi (The difference between a good sounding best buy and high end kit). It's not real high end but it's getting there.   There is so much more detail I could not hear before now it's hit what i presume is it's run in period (must be  60-100 hours or so). Bass could be a little more extended/slamming, soundstage could be a little but wider. BUT it gets really close and certainly fills the room with a vivid image of the recording, the instruments / soundstage could be more anchored and deliniated. Otherwise assume everything else good. Mids...
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Excellent bang for buck


Pros: Small, easy to use, great sound

Cons: Seems somewhat cheaply built but good enough, not complaining

Great little piece of kit! Just bought this bad boy to upgrade from my ELE DAC, which served its purpose but was too bright with my DT770s, and overall just couldn't really do justice to either the Beyers or my HD558.   Compared to my other sources (Voodoo'd Samsung Infuse w/ Wolfson WM8740, ELE DAC), it is definitely a step up in terms of overall performance. The highs are not quite as sharp as the ELE, and the overall tone is clearly warmer with more bass. With my DT770, I get noticeably thumpier, slightly tighter bass, and more forward mids. With my HD558, the sound fills out nicely, with a darkish, authoritative sound that is great for a lot of my music: Tool/APC, Infected...
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Good Sounding Cheap USB DAC


Pros: Works with no drivers needed. Sounds good, and I mean not just for the price.

Cons: May have some noise on max output in some systems

  I found this little DAC online and found some good commends in diyaudio.com. I was looking for a 24/192 DAC, but needed something to hold me over until I found the right DAC. My old DAC was hampered by the USB to SPDIF device's 16/44 limit.   Here is the info from hifimediy.com:   "HifiMeDiy Sabre USB DAC. 96khz/24bit - ES9023+TE7022 + USB to optical converter   This small and simple dac uses the ES9023 dac chip from Sabre with SABRE DAC technology. It's is a quite new chip that features outstanding audio quality in a simple implementation. The ES9023 dac chip has a driver built in which outputs 2Vrms line level signal,and are able to drive low...
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