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Audirect Beam

  1. Sebilion
    Neutral sound, less bass than expected
    Written by Sebilion
    Published Dec 13, 2018
    Pros - compact, sturdy cables, good mids and highs. A nice selection of colours
    Cons - lack in bass and lower end. Volume and frequency feel like it is source dependent.
    I am not a professional reviewer, so this is just a simple review to share my experience with everyone.
    I used different genres of music from rock to pop, folk and metal.
    I was expecting more from this. The highs and mids are natural and are not recessed, which is good. When it comes to the lower end though things change, the bass is lacking.
    The DAC is very source depending as well, I can hear it differently with my Samsung s9 and differently with my LG g7.
    On my Samsung, I can hear the improvement on my magaosi k3 pro and because they are warm earphones the bass is still present and the overall experience is very nice, but on my BGVP DMG6, the bass is lacking quite a lot. On my LG bass is lacking regardless the earphones I am using. It will be perfect for someone who likes a neutral response, it is just not my cup of tea. Wish I knew the lack of bass before buying it.


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  2. antdroid
    Good Detail but Missing Low End Performance
    Written by antdroid
    Published Dec 27, 2018
    Pros - Good detail
    Good mid and treble performance
    High quality cables
    Cons - Not a fan of the control stick
    Missing low end response

    The Audirect Beam is a new USB-C DAC/Amp that works on computers and mobile devices like Android phones and tablets. This was provided to me for review purposes by Linsoul Tech. I actually was not expecting this item to arrive in my last shipment of stuff, but it came.

    I thought it was quite interesting and finally have had time to try it out.

    First off, let's get some specs out of the way.

    The minature DAC features the ESS Sabre ES9118 DAC and claims to deliver up to 125dB signal-to-noise ratio and up to -114dB Total Harmonic Distortion. Pretty impressive numbers, and similar to what you'd see in ESS brochures. Finally, the output power is the real seller here, as it states it can provide up to 2VRms into 600Ohms.


    I've owned a few of these type of devices in the past, but none of them have really stuck with me, despite the lost of the 3.5mm headphone jack on my primary phone devices. I've tried cheap stuff from Fiio like the K1 to the SMSL devices to the higher end Sabaj DA3.

    All of these devices do their job as intended but have always had one big issue for me and that is the power. Yes, many of them have weak power but I'm talking more about power consumption. These do not have batteries in them, so powering them does drain your device. This isn't a big problem on a computer where it's already powered to an outlet, but using it on a mobile device can be a burden on the device's battery.

    Since it uses USB-C, the mobile device can't charge at the same time, unless you carry around a mobile hub with you that has USB Power Passthrough (I actually do have a couple of these...).

    So, none of them really fit the bill for me. But I'm still interested in hearing how this one works.

    I've had a little more luck with the battery-powered ones like the Fiio Q1/Q1 Mk 2 and the ES100 Bluetooth/USB Amp. They work well and can power themselves, though not as easy to carry around as these tiny little "dongles." (I hate that term!)


    Build and Accessories:

    The device is made out of lightweight aluminum and is quite small. It's about the same size as the SMSL and Sabaj units I've tried in the past and slimmer than the popular AudioQuest Dragonfly series.

    The left side of the device features a very odd springy toggle that controls source volume and when pressed in, controls Play/Pause. This is a unique look, and I must say, I do not like it at all. It's very easy to trigger volume up and down and even more likely to accidentally pause music.

    The device does come with a nice selection of OTG cables though. It includes a USB-A to USB-C, USB-C to USB-C, and a Lightning to USB-C cable for use with your computer, android, and iOS devices. The cables are well designed and attractive, more so than the ones that came with my FiiO Q1 Mk2.


    I've tried this device with my computer as well as an Android device. I have not tried it on my iPad yet. Pairing it with these devices was as simple as plug and play. Both my Windows 10 laptop and my Android Pie phone was able to recognize and switch over to it immediately and I didn't miss a beat.

    Volume on this device is plenty. There's a lot of spare headroom even on my Hifiman HE560 planar over-ear headphone. I originally plugged the Unique Melody ME1 IEM into it and was a bit shocked at how loud it sounded with my Windows volume down at 8.

    I then tried plugging in the Campfire Orion, which I have on loan from Headphones.com. The Campfire IEM is notoriously sensitive to hiss and noise, and I am happy to report that the Audirect Beam does not have any noticeable noise at all with the Orion.

    Finally, I gave it a good listen through some of my playlists. This IEM has a similar sound to what I find a lot of ESS Sabre DACs sound like -- very detailed, analytical and neutral/cold. The treble is accentuated on these and as mentioned, sound very clean and detailed. What I found missing right off the bat was the low end presence. It lacked bass.

    I threw on a test track, Massive Attack's Unfinished Symphony, slapped on my HE560 and didn't feel overwhelmed with rumbling extension. The bass was very clean, but was missing the oomph I expect. Just to make myself assured, I unplugged the headphones and plugged it back into the Monolith THX-AAA amp on my desk and played the same track at a similar (normalized) volume and I could feel the energy of the opening bit of that track and some rumble around my ear pads. It's that sensation I was missing in the Beam.

    So just to compare, I decided to plug the headphone into my laptop directly. Now, this isn't as crazy as you think. My MSI laptop actually features an ESS Sabre DAC/Amp system on-board, which was a selling point for me. It has a surprising amount of detail and power to drive most headphones well. With the HE560, again, I felt the low end rumble that was missing with the Beam. It wasn't quite the same as what I heard on a full blown THX-AAA amp with balanced connection, but it was in-between what I had heard on the Beam and desktop amp. My laptop wins.



    I unfortunately do not have my other portable dac/amps with me to test with as they are on loan with others, but from memory, I feel like the Beam excels in detail retrieval and clarity, while missing low end performance.

    The whole set comes in at $99 and is actually a solid choice based on sound quality and package contents. I did not like the controls however, and that's a big thing for a device like this. The missing bass quantity (not quality), is also another strike.

    So, in the end, I find that this is a perplexing one to review. It does a lot of things very well. It does a couple important things very average to mediocre. I'll just put it at that.


    Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Audirect-Portable-Earphone-Amplifier-Android/dp/B07HP3719J
  3. NymPHONOmaniac
    Small device and Small sound that make Smile
    Written by NymPHONOmaniac
    Published Apr 26, 2019
    Pros - Clear delicate sound, battery free device that do not drain phone battery life, very small, volume and play-pause switch-button, generous accessories
    Cons - low amping power, some sound cutting with (my) phone, lack of dynamic, intimate soundstage, not very competitively priced


    SOUND: 8/10
    DESIGN: 8/10
    ACCESSORIES: 8.5/10
    VALUE: 7.5/10

    I'm a DAC kinda guy, I like how different DAC chip can offer different sound flavor, sometime its subtle, sometime game changing. Sure, amping section and implementation is as much important than the digital audio decoder, but when you know a good dac is hide in an audio device, it give you a big clue about sound quality potential it can offer.

    After trying multiple OTG DAC, today I will be reviewing the well receive AUDIRECT BEAM, an ultra portable dac-amp with a promising sabre ES9118 dac chip in it. It have DSD support, ultra low distortion and a high Signal-to-noise ratio of 125db. Since most smarthphone do not have 3.5mm phone output anymore, this type of OTG DAC-AMP became more interesting than ever, and to be honnest, even with a phone output, the sound upgrade is sure to be a big step to please demanding audiophile that plan to use earphones or very easy to drive headphones on the go without compromising sound quality.


    AUDIRECT have been working in audio industry since 5 years, creating DSD DAC, Video player and Wireless sensor for audio-video brands. Apart from the BEAM, they lauch another Dac-AMP call the WHISTLE wich receive good review. As well, they sell different type of OTG cable, earphones cable, and even begin to lauch earphones and earbuds. Yep, Audirect is a quite busy company, now, let's see what worth this 99$ portable DAC-AMP.

    DISCLAIMER: The AUDIRECT BEAM was send to me free of charge in exchange of a fully independant NO BS review. I was curious to test it for multiple reason, but mostly for sound quality and comparaison with other portable DAC-AMP own. When it come to reviewing audio product priced under 100$, I have no problem convincing myself I pay for it, so my price value obsession stay intact.

    You can find the BEAM about everywhere, it sell for 100$ on Amazon and Aliexpress. Cheapest price I find is on Ebay for 90$.


    • Audirect

    • Output power: -114 dB THD+N, 2 Vrms into 600 ohms; -108 dB THD+N, 49 mW into 32 ohms

    • Frequency response: 20 Hz–30 kHz (-0.15 dB)

    • Distortion: 0.0004%

    • Signal-to-noise ratio: +125 dB SNR, + 120 dB DNR

    • DAC chip: ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC

    • PCM support: 16–32 bit, 32–384 kHz

    • DSD support: DoP64, DoP128, native DSD64/128/256

    • IR: < 1 ohm

    • Amplifier chip: ES9118

    • Input port: USB-C

    • Output port: ⅛ in (3.5 mm)

    • Dimensions: 2.1 x 0.6 x 0.2 in (52 x 14 x 6 mm)

    • Weight: 0.4 oz (12 g)
    • Lightning to Type-C cable

    • Type-C to Type-C cable

    • USB-A to Type-C cable

    • User manual


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    UNBOXING is an elegant and satisfactory experience. Unlike other portable DAC-AMP I try, number of accessories is rather generous, wich the consumer will be gratefull as he will not have to struggle to find or buy the necessary cable to connect the BEAM on its phone or laptop. Here, its all about cable, and you got them ALL: the Lightning to Type C, the Type C to Type C, the USB to Type C. And they are all of way above average quality, with great high end look to them. Who doesn't like 4 cores braided cable with black, gold and silver cores?? Really great cable that have a secure tigh fit on my LG G6 Type C port.

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    CONSTRUCTION is all metal with the exception of sound-play switch button, wich is unfortunately made of plastic. Here, a piece of metal would have been appreciate because i'm a little worry it affect long term durability. Nonetheless, the device look sturdy and can be drop on the ground without worry.

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    DESIGN is low profil and mean to be very light so it act as an extra cable to your earphones, at 12g you really do not have to care about the BEAM disconecting suddenly from you phone because of its weight. Connectivity in both sens is tigh and trusthworty, my earphones never disconnect from the BEAM either.


    Gratefully, we have a button-switch that is use for play-pause and volume control. We cannot change track with this button, wich is a drawback for me as the volume control isn't THAT needed since the BEAM have not a lot of volume step to it due to low power output. As said, this plastic switch worry me a little, its quite an audacious design as it turn left and right and can be press too. I work perfectly to play pause, but for volume control I find the switch a little loose and lacking in preciseness.



    Firstly, I hate my LG G6, i do not have own any phone I can say I love: i'm NOT a phone dude. I guess at 35 years old, seing this smartphone phenomenon taking an invasive place in our social life and behavior do not help, anyway, G6 is not loved because he struggle with OTG DAC-AMP connectivity and do not sound good without by passing its audio decoder.

    So, I was surprise that for CONNECTIVITY the BEAM was a plug-and-play joy! It was recognize by my capricious G6 without problem. Sill, about connectivity, I can encounter cuting in sound time to time, an half-second cut every 5 minutes to be precise. This tend to be my phone issue, as I encounter this with all OTG Dac from my Xduoo X20 or X3ii.

    (sorry, my phone is in french, but you can see that you need to select MIDI option to get better connectivity)

    The Audirect BEAM have No Battery, wich really scare me about battery drowning of my phone. Again: BIG surprise! The BEAM its litteraly Magical when it come to power consumption. I think my Wi-fi use more phone battery than this device, as I just can't tell something is plug to it. After 3 hours of usage, my phone go from 100% to 90%. Sure, G6 have a good battery, but without any DAC plug to it I think it would have been 92% or less if I listen to music. I can't explain it but: BEAM really do not drain your phone battery.

    When it come to USB DAC for Laptop, the CONNECTIVITY is even better, again, plug-and-play, it was recognize automaticaly on my Window 10 and volume control switch work perfectly, not the play-pause button tough. Now, I do not encounter any cut in the sound, not a single time, wich confirm the issue is due to my very LG G6. Sound is exactly the same as with phone (not more powerfull).



    Audio enthusiast that own or have heard any audio source with a sabre ES dac in it know that this decoder have a special sound of its own. Here, its a love or hate story. For me that begin my audiophile journey with a Ibasso DX90 that use dual ES9018 dac, its a passionate fanatical love. This explain why I own a Xduoo X20 that use single ES9018 dac too : this mature, delicate, analytical and ultra clear balanced audio rendering is reference decoding to me, unlike more coloured AK4490 or Cirrus CS4398 processing, the ES dac tend to offer a more neutral and revealing approach.

    I was utterly curious to try the BEAM so I can transform my phone into a SABRE DAP. What is ironic, is that the LG G5 have this very ES9118 dac in it, but not my G6, so, now, is it as impressive as the ES9018??

    Answer is no, but not far too. The thing is that the 9118 have an integrated headphones amplifier to it, and even if sound processor is top notch, the amplifier isn’t enough powerfull to offer same dymanic and sound pressure of a ES9018 that use dedicated amplifier chain.

    Wich is why all my test are done with earphones, earbuds or very easy to drive headphones and with the right one, yes, I have this ultra clear, delicate and neutral sound I love, but with a smooter more liquid approach than sharper ES9018.

    BASS is more about timbre and definition than body and impact, it will tend to tame bassy earphones, wich is positive sometime, but when you use bass light one it will perhaps feel underwhelming. The level of separation is very impressive, but sub lack body and feel a little thin even if i’m not into pumped up bass the lack of air and impact made it a little to linear and dry to my ears.

    MID RANGE is where the BEAM offer more richness, its very articulated and vocal gain extra presence due to a very clean approach with smooth transparent timbre. Should it be for vocal, violin or piano, it’s impressive how natural and well define the instruments are. Vocal became more centered, intimate and spot on with the BEAM, it isn’t very thick mid, more a foward transparent approach. Details are above average but not overly textured or grainy, wich will help to tame upper mids harshness of problematic earphones like the Tinaudio T2. Imaging is good, but not spacious and airy, so there not lot of space between signer and instruments, again : intimate.

    TREBLE is another winner with the ES9118 dac, it feel at the same time very revealing and effortless. Extension is extreme and micro details do not struggle to show their face, wich will sure make you discover new on in your favorite music. Highs have more brilliance than sparkle, minimal decay and a tigh smotth attack. I find it to be extremely enjoyable for well mastered electronic music like ‘’Arterial’’ album from ‘’Lusine’’, where the ultra clear background permit a high definition musicality very rich in details.

    is more on the intimate side, it have good widness but not alot of deepness, unlike more powerfull dac-amp, sound do not feel alot around-you-head.

    TIMBRE is transparent, smooth, liquid, its well rounded but not thick or particularly rich in subtle details.

    SUB : 7/10

    MID BASS : 8/10

    MID RANGE : 8/10

    TREBLE : 8/10

    TIMBRE : 7.5/10

    SOUNDSTAGE : 7/10

    ATTACK : 7.5/10


    With power stated as 49mW into 32ohm and high signal-to-noise of 125db, I feel the amping power is more about digital gain than proper real amping power. I mean, look at the size of the device, and think about the fact its not battery powered, we can’t ask the BEAM to drive properly high impendance headphones or earbuds. But even the earphones can benifit of good stable powerfull amping, wich explain why the BEAM will perhaps be as powerfull as your phone out. Yep. So, if you wanna take full advantage of its potential, I suggest only using it with easy to drive iem or super easy to drive headphones like the Meze 99 NEO (22ohm).




    The TOMAHAWK is one of my favorite earbuds, it have a very spacious and airy soundstage, with mid centric sound and slightly bright treble. Its a bass light earbuds too.

    With the BEAM, the bass is even more bass light, but clear and accurate, with too powerfull source, Tomahawk bass can distort, here its clean, light and well separated. The MID RANGE gain in details in a delicate way, it feel more transparent and wider than deeper, still airy but less spacious. Highs became less harsh and treble less grainy, giving an overall more liquid sound that feel less agressive to the cost of loosing some dynamic and attack. Level of microdetails is shown effortlessly and whole sound have a new unique level of agility to it.

    The BEAM drive them quite well, and I do not have to push volume to max to enjoy loud sound, but at 32ohm I feel it lack a little juice to offer fuller sound, the vocal being less thick and rich in timbre.

    With TINAUDIO T2 :

    Another favorite of mine, the T2 offer a mid centric airy soundsignature with above average imaging.

    Here, the BEAM tame a little the lower bass, but give more grip and punch to mid bass, wich is very benificial for the rather relax T2.

    MID RANGE became less opaque and more transparent, giving a quite impressive instrument separation. As well, it became less bright and upper mids feel less harsh.
    TREBLE is slightly more emphased in upper section, wich give a hint more details to T2, again ,highs aren’t as sparkly than with more powerfull DAP.

    With MEZE 99 NEO :

    I say BEAM cannot drive most headphones properly, but there exception, like this 22ohm NEO that are super easy to drive and thinked tobe use with phone.

    I’m surprise about how BASS became more controled and less sloppy than with powerfull source, sub is less emphased but betetr rounded and mid bass gain extra control wich permit overall better clarity and sless warmed tonality.

    MIDRANGE is clear and well centered, vocal have extra clarity to them and feelmore centere but less wide too. Level of imaging is really impressive.

    TREBLE extend even further and give a very articulate detailed sound to rather warm NEO, the BEAM delicate and organic sound mix extremely well with warm thick and lush treble of MEZE.

    Yep, this pairing is exceptional.


    With RADSONE ES100 (100$) :

    The ES100 is now a part of audiophile history and gain tremendous respect among audio lovers due to his excellent sound, powerfull amping, small size and 3.5mm and 2.5mm balanced phone out.

    As well, it can be use as a Bluetooth receiver using its dual AK4375a.

    Hum, I don’t think the BEAM stand a chance against the ES100 in term of vesatility and price value, due to the fact its more powefull and have BT receiver that sound incredible. Still, ES100 have one drawback and its battery life, the BEAM do not encounter that problem with no battery.

    AMPING is way more powerfull from 3.5mm output and crazy more powerfull with balanced out, this makethe ES100 more capable to drive demanding earphones and headphones.

    SOUND is slightly brighter, with bigger soundstage (thanks amping!), better instrument separation and imaging and more energic dynamic. BEAM sound smoother and more delicate, have a little less sub bass thickness but better transparency compared to the more grainy timbre of ES100, as well, it sound more neutral and less analytical. I find more details richness with ES100 and better attack-decay. Paired with bright earphones or headphones, the ES100 can sound less natural than BEAM.

    A plus for the BEAM, it can play DSD while the ES100 play up to 48khz-24bit.

    Anyway, as said, its just IMPOSSIBLE to beat the EARSTUDIO RADSONE ES100 in term of overall price value, sound quality and versatily. Sorry BEAM, ES100 is still the KING.

    VS XDUOO XD-02 (110$) :

    Now, again, its a Bluetooth USB-DAC with more features than the BEAM, but its not as portable for sure.

    XD-02 can be use as usb otg dac-amp, Bluetooth amp AND portable amplifier.

    In term of sound quality, the BEAM sound clearer and more balanced than warmer bassier XD-02, but have a more intimate soundstage that ultra wide and tall spaciality of XD-02. BASS of XD-02 is thicker with more lower end emphasis, the BEAM is more mid bass emphased and have better resolution and punchier tigher attack. MIDS are wider and more airy with XD-02 but thicker and more opaque, wich give a better imaging and detailed mid range to BEAM. TREBLE of XD-02 is slightly rolled off, but mid treble give good decay to highs, the BEAM is more extended and show naturally plenty of micro details, its as well less grainy than XD-02.

    Amping is way more powerfull with Xduoo XD-02, and this is without high gain on. Not comparable really, BEAM is perhaps 3 times less loud.

    In term of price value, XD-02 win, in term of sound value, the BEAM win.


    In a time where portable OTG USB DAC-AMP market explode with competition, the AUDIRECT BEAM appear a little late. 3 years ago, it would have been in direct competition with pricier Dragonfly, but nowadays new technology make this type of DAC-AMP more competitively priced than the 100$ BEAM. I underline this as a quite intense usb DAC-AMP explorer that is able to find quite incredible ‘’chi-fi’’ DAC for less than 100$, hum, like a very small es9018 dac that I still need to test more but cost 25$. So, this is to take with a grain of salt : I ask ALOT to this type of audio device in term of overall price value.

    So, for the BEAM my conclusion is that it sound great for the price, do not drain battery life, is ultra small and portable, but seriously lack power output wich affect overall sound dynamic. As well, the sound cutting I encounter on my LG G6 make me worry.

    If you search for an ultra small and portable DAC-AMP to bypass a bad sounding phone or to add a audio output to it, the AUDIRECT BEAM sure offer an appealing non offensive sound with delicately detailed musicality that will benifit most of your earphones, and some very easy to drive headphones. As well, if you care about extra accesories that come with it, I think it make it worth the buy, but as said, there lot of other alternative cheaper DAC-AMP that perhaps will please you too.

    For more reviews, you can go take a look to my NO BS BLOG
  4. Dobrescu George
    Pocket Fun - Audirect Beam DAC/AMP Review
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Mar 23, 2019
    Pros - + Tiny Body
    + Draws very little battery from a smartphone, ideal for protable usage
    + Clear and musical sound
    + Fun to use
    + Excellent package contents and price performance ratio
    + Wide compatiblity, works with pretty much anything
    + Wide soundstage
    Cons - - Not very powerful, can't drive most headphones, and may have issues even with some IEMs at louder volumes
    - Gets warm during usage
    - The sound may be a bit of an acquired taste
    - Soundstage lacks a bit of depth
    Pocket Fun - Audirect Beam DAC/AMP Review


    The tiny Audirect Beam has seen a lot of attention lately, and for a good reason, it has Hi-Res decoding, a good amount of driving power, and a warm sound, all in a device that's no bigger than a tiny USB Stick. I'll be testing it out, and comparing it to other similarly priced devices in today's review.


    Audirect is a little company from China that rose to fame recently, with their Beam and their older Whistle DAC/AMPs being some really nifty products, small in size, but pretty capable, and with the large number of good quality cables included in the package, I'm pretty confident that it will come in handy for many people. They are a friendly company, and since they are presented by Linsoul Audio, you also have good warranty, if you decide to get it from Linsoul, but don't worry, I spoke with Audirect directly, and I'm fairly sure they'll help you with warranty regardless where you purchase it from, although for a small, one piece device, there's very little that can go wrong.

    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Audirect, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by Audirect or anyone else. I'd like to thank Audirect for providing the sample for the review. The sample was provided along with Audirect's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review reflects my personal experience with Audirect Beam. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those curious about Audirect Beam find their next music companion. There are no affiliate links in this review, or any Audiophile-Heaven review.

    About me



    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:






    The package for this little one isn't large, but it is very rich, especially for a DAC?AMP in this price range. Besides the little Audirect Beam, you also get a set of USB cables, including an iPhone cable, a Type-C to Type-C cable, and a Type A to Type-C cable.

    Since the Beam uses a Type-C cable, that's pretty much all you'd need for using it, and it is better than some 500 USD DAC/AMPs come with. I'd also like to note that the cables can be purchased separately, and they make a good portion of the value of the overall package of The Beam.

    Considering the price and the package I'd say that the package quality for the Beam is excellent.

    What to look in when purchasing an entry-level DAC/AMP


    Technical Specifications




    Build Quality/Aesthetics/UI/Firmware

    Physically, the Beam is a really small device, with a tiny volume / play / pause knob on the right side. It is made of metal, and my unit is green in color, reason why my photos are slightly less convincing than my typical photo work. I would recommend going for the black or yellow colors instead.

    The unit doesn't have hard edges, and it is plug and play with virtually any device, including Android and Windows 10 computers, and it looks like an extension of the OTG cable while connected.


    There is a Type-C connector and a 3.5mm Single Ended Headphone Output, but that's pretty much all you can find on it, not that you'd require much more.

    The volume knob seems to work on both Windows and Android, and the Play / Pause button (basically pressing on the volume button), also seems to work just fine on both Operating Systems. I had no iOS on hand to test, but a friend of Audiophile-Heaven owns a Beam and an iPhone and told me everything works flawlessly on iOS as well.

    It is very handy, very tiny, and that it gets pretty warm during usage, but it still stays cooler than the original Whistle did, so I'm happy to notice improvements from Audirect.

    Weighting 12 grams, the Beam is probably the smallest DAC/AMP on the market, being pretty much as unobtrusive as a normal USB Dongle, like HIDIZS Sonata HD DAC.

    Overall, for its intended purpose, it is an excellent little device, flawless software, and pretty great build quality.

    Sound Quality

    The little Beam DAC/AMP can even decode Hi-Res files, up to 32 Bit / 384 kHz, and even DSD, up to Native DSD 128 files. This is much better than most tiny DAC/AMPs can do, and Audirect's efforts are totally commendable. This being said, it is a 100 USD DAC/AMP and by itself, the resolution may not be quite enough to notice the bump in quality when using Hi-Res files.


    On the other hand, it has a pretty low power rating, being able to power mostly IEMs and some portable headphones, so it is best to get the Beam if you have IEMs and even there, I'd recommend it for IEMs that are easier to power.

    The main signature can be described as clear, clean, musical, engaging, warm, smoothly textured, brighter as far as the tonality goes, and with a solid bass, punchy type over the boomy type.

    The bass is pretty neutral in quantity, and it has a punchy type of texture, with the lower registers extension going fairly averagely low. The character of the bass is punchy above boomy, and it doesn't feel wooly, but rather natural. The textures in the bass are fair for a 100 USD device, and so is the extension. You can't EQ this too much without reaching the hard limit of the device though, so not exactly a little DAC/AMP for bassheads.

    I noted in my little Youtube video review, that it is warm, I was talking about the midrange tonality, where you can feel some warmth coloring the overall midrange, but this is one sweet kind of warmth, not a dark or a boomy type. The midrange is pretty natural, slightly warmed by the bass, and pretty detailed for 100 USD. The detail isn't exactly Beam's strongest point, and it is focused on a musical and soft presentation rather than a textured and detailed one. Textures in the songs of Mindless Self Indulgence are expressed okay, but micro details and micro detail is about fair.

    The treble is fairly bright and neutral, although it is smooth in the texture, laking grain. The treble may lack aggressiveness for metal music lovers, and for those looking for a touch more detail, and instead presents music in a soft and non-offensive way.

    The sondstage is wider more than it is deep, and The Beam is good at offering stereo clues, being pretty holographic and fun, but the layering and separation, as well as the depth takes a second seat when it comes to its soundstage representation.

    There is almost no hiss, even with hiss sensitive IEMs like Campfire Atlas and IT04, so you don't have to worry about hiss regardless of the IEMs you're pairing The Beam with.

    Portable Usage

    With such a tiny size, and with a good selection of cables, the portable usage of The Beam is pretty much excellent.


    You can add the fact that it can decode Hi-Res files, and when it is connected to your smartphone, you can plug in some Tidal and you'll have access to a virtually unlimited collection of music files, all from a really tiny device.

    For smartphones that don't have a Headphone Output already, The Beam is a necessity, while for smartphones that do have a headphone output, it is a pretty cool way of enhancing your experience, as it will have better detail, a wider soundstage, and a clearer overall presentation than most smartphones on the market.

    The Beam should also have better driving power than most mid range smartphones on the market, making it a pretty interesting little device to juice your trips.


    Being priced at 100 USD, it has quite a few enemies, like Shanling M0, FiiO K3, and even something like the Cyrus Soundkey. Some of the devices aren't direct competitors, but let's say you have 100 USD to get a DAC/AMP or a solution for your music source, you may be considering multiple scenarios, and my purpose here is to help explain what each of those does, and what scenarios each of them is best in.


    Audirect Beam vs FiiO K3 - FiiO K3 is a desktop DAC/AMP, and although it isn't intended for portable usage, if you have a phone with a huge battery, you could do it, although I really recommend you don't. K3 is considerably more versatile than the Beam, has both SE and Balanced output, K3 has Optical Out, and even coaxial outputs, and it has a considerably more neutral signature than the Beam. Now, if you need a portable, The Beam is probably the only real option between the two, although K3 has much more driving power, and the Beam is best paired with IEMs rather than headphones.

    Audirect Beam vs Cyrus Soundkey - Here's an interesting comparison, because both The Beam and The Soundkey are pretty much the same device, easier to compare. The Beam wins in terms of connections, because it has a Type-C connector, where The SoundKey has a microUSB one. It seems that Cyrus includes better cables with the new SoundKey units, but the unit I have only has micro-micro and micro-TypeA, no Type-C to microUSB. In terms of driving power, Soundkey has better driving power, and has a much brighter tonality, more detail, and better textures revealing abilities, but that comes at the price of it being brighter and more neutral, the bass is punchier, but less in amount, SoundKey clearly being a more neutral device. This being said, I really love my devices revealing as much detail as possible, so SoundKey has an upper hand there. Audirect Beam is more musical and sounds more analogue-like compared to the soundKey. Both draw more or less the same amount of power from a smartphone. If you're looking for a softer and warmer mid range device, The Beam is the better option here, while if you're looking for a brighter edge, and for more detail, then Cyrus Soundkey is the better option.

    Audirect Beam vs Shanling M0 - As I said before, if you have about 100 USD, you may not be fully sure what to get, like a DAC/AMP, or even a portable player. Shanling M0 first comes to mind when comparing it to The Beam, as it is pretty similar in terms of sound and driving abilities. Now, Shanling M0 has its own microSD slot, and display, and it is basically a portable music player, but it is larger in size when compared to M0. This being said, M0 is not necessarily easier to use, since its really small display makes it complicated to browse around it, while a smartphone connected to The Beam makes it simpler for me to browse my music collection. Overall, The Beam gives you more listening options, with a larger access to a larger music collection, including tidal, which Shanling M0 can't do, and The Beam gives you access to Youtube and other features, that are inherent to your smartphone, that M0 can't do. On the other hand, M0 draws no power from your smartphone, and has its own battery, and M0 is better if you're on a long trip and don't want anything tethered to your phone. The sonic performance is fairly similar, although The Beam has slightly better detail and a wider soundstage, with slightly better textures and a more softer sound, compared to M0. If you're looking for an affordable music Player with a touchscreen, Shanling M0 is a really good option, or you could even consider FiiO M3K, but if you're looking for a nice little DAC/AMP for your smartphone, The Beam makes a more compelling offer.


    Audirect Beam is best paired with IEMs, rather than headphones, since its power rating really isn't quite high enough for most headphones, although it does a sweet job with most IEMs. I said in my video that it can power my Ultrasone Signature DXP, but even there, it tends to struggle at high volumes, and if you're trying to listen louder, I'd recommend it for IEMs only.


    Audirect Beam + Dunu Falcon-C - Dunu Falcon-C has always been one of my favorite ~200 USD IEMs, for its very healthy V-shaped sound, natural midrange, and an open stage. Pairing with The Beam is very good, as the Beam can give Falcon-C both enough juice, but also a really wide stage, along with a pretty punchy signature, and a warm midrange.

    Audirect Beam + Alpha Delta D6 - Delta D6 is one really open and light-sounding IEM, and the good width of The Beam shows its potency here as well, since D6 becomes even wider sounding, but also gains some punch from The Beam, as well as some good amount of warmth in the midrange, which it needed pretty much to become more versatile

    Audirect Beam + Shozy CP - Shozy CP is a pretty midrange-forward IEM, that really shines in the mids, and with a DAC/AMP that also shines in the mids, CP becomes even sweeter, even more wide sounding, and even more punchy. I feel the overall ergonomics and aesthetic of this combo will please a lot of music lovers, looking for this kind of pairing.

    Audiophile-Heaven Youtube Video Review Link


    Value and Conclusion

    It has been pretty fun reviewing this little DAC/AMP, and I feel it is fairly well priced, and although it is nowhere near as versatile as a FiiO K3 DAC/AMP is, The Audirect Beam is much more portable and aimed at a person who's always on-the-go. At 100 USD, it includes a good number of cables, some of which may be worth almost half of the price, if purchased separately, making Audirect Beam a pretty fair value.


    The build quality is pretty much excellent, a tiny fully metallic device, that even has a physical volume control, and a play / pause button, and which has a nice overall design. The USB implemented is Type-C, which is pretty awesome, as it is reversible, and as it should be easier to pair with most smartphones, especially considering the cables included in the package.

    The music is pretty good, and what's more amazing is how easy it can decide Hi-Res files, and even play DSD files. The warm midrange, and smooth yet present treble is surely going to be music to the ears of those looking for this kind of signature.


    Overall, if you're looking for a tiny device to power your trips, if your smartphone doesn't have a Headphone Output, or if you want to get a better sound of your smartphone, you should totally consider The Audirect Beam, and if you like a warm midrange, wide sound, and if you use IEMs a lot, The Audirect Beam might make your main portable DAC/AMP for a good time.

    Full Playlist used for this review

    While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

    Tidal Playlist


    Song List

    Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
    Eskimo Callboy - Frances
    Incubus - Summer Romance
    Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
    Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
    Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
    Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
    Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
    Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
    Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
    Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
    Doctor P - Bulletproof
    Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
    Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
    Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
    SOAD - Chop Suey
    Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
    Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
    Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
    Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
    Eminem - Rap God
    Stromae - Humain À L'eau
    Sonata Arctica - My Selene
    Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
    Metallica - Fuel
    Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
    Masa Works - Golden Japang
    REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
    Dope - Addiction
    Korn - Word Up!
    Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
    Fever The Ghost - Source
    Fall Out Boy - Immortals
    Green Day - Know The Enemy
    Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
    A static Lullaby - Toxic
    Royal Republic - Addictive
    Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
    We Came As Romans - My Love
    Skillet - What I Believe
    Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
    Yasuda Rei - Mirror
    Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
    Falling Up - Falling In Love
    Manafest - Retro Love
    Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
    Zomboy - Lights Out
    Muse - Resistance
    T.A.T.U &amp; Rammstein - Mosaku
    Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
    Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
    Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
    Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
    Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
    Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
    Saving Abel - Addicted
    Hollywood Undead - Levitate
    The Offspring - Special Delivery
    Escape The Fate - Smooth
    Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
    Dope - Rebel Yell
    Crazy Town - Butterfly
    Silverstein - My Heroine

    I hope my review is helpful to you!


    Contact me!






  5. Johnny Mac
    Audirect Beam Realview.
    Written by Johnny Mac
    Published Feb 24, 2019
    Pros - Size and build, pitch black background, stellar imaging and soundstage, lack of battery
    Cons - Sharp and edgy design
    With portability being a premium feature now more than ever that even audiophile-sound capable devices are banking on, it comes to no surprise to see a constant flow of gadgets offering the best of both worlds, portability and sound quality.

    One notable portable DAC/AMP that has been going around the audiophile community is the Beam, made by Audirect, makers of the Whistle and uPod. Their recent offering, the Audirect Beam, their homebrew pinnacle product after 5 years of experience in the DAC business. Priced at $99 which you can grab off Linsoul Direct and DD Audiophile in AliExpress, the Beam “offers” a bridge to connect your daily transport notebook, smartphone and tablet into the audiophile codecs. But with these same daily transport devices improving, is the Beam really a solution or just another bridge yet to be burnt. Let’s cross this bridge and find out.

    • Output power: -114 dB THD+N, 2 Vrms into 600 ohms; -108 dB THD+N, 49 mW into 32 ohms
    • Frequency response: 20 Hz–30 kHz (-0.15 dB)
    • Distortion: 0.0004%
    • Signal-to-noise ratio: +125 dB SNR, + 120 dB DNR
    • DAC chip: ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC
    • Amplifier chip: ES9118
    • PCM support: 16–32 bit, 32–384 kHz
    • DSD support: DoP64, DoP128, native DSD64/128/256
    • IR: < 1 ohm
    • Input port: USB-C
    • Output port: ⅛ in (3.5 mm)
    • Includes USB, Micro-USB and USB-C cables
    Packaging and Build Quality
    Coming in a white and blue schemed packaging, the Audirect Beam can then and there be seen on the transparent plastic cutout next to a “beaming” blue Beam font with the Audirect branding as well on the front which only since February of 2019 added the Hi-Res certification logo, my Beam was from the 2018 batch so the Hi-Res certification logo is absent.
    Packaged along with the Audirect Beam are 3 different cable connectors (Type-C, USB and Lightning) all terminated in Type-C which were also gold-plated except for the lightning connector and a product manual. Note that there seems now to be 3 batches of the Beam, the initial batch came with cables that featured a single cable silver color tone, the 2nd batch came with a now gold, black and silver toned cable although the braid used was the same, the 3rd batch also rocked the sleeker looking cables but with the Hi-Res certification, all these batches had the same specifications for the Audirect Beam DAC/AMP itself. The cables themselves have minimal fold retaining features which made them easy to store together with your DAPs or IEMs while still retaining the U shaped fold for the usual connection it would be used when paired with your mobile devices.

    The Audirect Beam itself has a metal body with minor linear futuristic curves to make the look not to boring. The left side of the Beam features the volume up and down wheel which can also be pressed down to aid music playback (pause/play/forward were the only functions that worked), the right side is bare while the topside featured Type-C connection while the bottom side featured the 3.5mm headphone out. The backside featured 4 screws along with a warranty sticker and minor product certification and codecs supported. All these ended with a semi-glossy finish offered in 4 colors (grayish black, cyan, green and the now “discontinued” orange). A single white indicator LED light is present as well to show PCM or DDS output. Linsoul provided me the grayish black which indeed seemed to be the most versatile looking from the 4. The metal body feels plastic at times and the edgy corners made it a not so good idea to be kept with your mobile phones but the 12g weight was great and with its 52x14x6mm dimensions, the Beam felt like your standard flashdrive or a cig lighter for some.

    Usability and Functionality
    With a flash drive/lighter-like feel, the Audirect Beam scored well with me in portability terms, it was easy to lug around as well as forget that you even brought it with you with just how it can fit virtually every decent sized pocket. The sharp edges makes it easy to identify when in those pockets and as I've said, made it hard to store with any mobile device that has a display which is basically present in everything now. The absence of a battery was great as it eliminated the hassle of needing to remember to charge it or the fact that it might run out when used, your paired mobile device is basically your battery indicator.

    The 3 cables that came with the Audirect Beam all worked as they should. The choice to go the type-c route for all its connections made it easier on my end with most of my devices sporting the type-c connection. The type-c to type-c connection cable worked great when connected to my OnePlus 3T and also to a OnePlus 6 device, no pesky settings needed, plug and play. Using the same type-c to type-c cable when connecting to my MSI GF62 8RE laptop was smooth as well, automatic driver installation kicked in and running in just a couple of seconds. The type-c to USB 2.0 cable also gave identical results when connected to the same laptop. The type-c to lightning cable wasn't tested since I am yet to welcome back once again any Apple device into my Windows and Android life.

    With a single white LED indicator which stays lit when in use and alternates between the PCM or DSD LED depending on the file type on playback, there was no SINGLE mention to any DISTINCT or EXACT power draw the Audirect Beam consumes when in fact this is a battery-less AMP/DAC makes it weird, they were able to get the numbers for all the SNR ration, Output Power, FR and everything else so PLEASE give a power draw number next time. I can't give you an exact battery usage it had on my OnePlus 3T but as I have observed, the Screen time dropped at around 20% my usual usage (4 hour intermittent FLAC playback). The built-in volume wheel worked great and when connected to my 3T and MSI laptop allowed for a 16-step volume adjustment although when connected to the xduoo x3ii, volume was fixed and can't be adjusted either from the DAP or from the Beam itself. The play/pause function worked great as well and pressing it twice allows for a track skip and 3 presses allows for a previous track playback.

    Sound Quality

    Sporting the ESS Sabre 9118 DAC chip which integrates the AMP on its circuitry already poses the Beam to exhibit a neutral sound signature. It didn't diverge from the predicted signature and after a month's use with it, it indeed showcased an overall neutral sound signature.

    The Audirect Beam's ability to decode DSD format made it a great companion for my laptop when I'm out and away from the reach of my Sony CAS-1 system. The sound output the Audirect Beam that made it great was its ability to have an almost pitch black background. It gave no hisses with any of the IEM's (BGVP DMG, DM6, Whizzer Kylin and Periodic Audio Be) I used it with.

    Adding the Audirect Beam in my audio chain (OnePlus 3T and MSI GF62 8RE with Foobar2000 v1.4) gave the lower frequency more depth and impact than extension. The midrange frequency improvement was focused on the upper midrange giving the sound a fuller resolution, clarity was notable as well compared when the Beam was removed from the chain. The higher frequency changes was minimal at best with treble extension made for a more articulate sounding experience. Imaging and soundstage was where the Audirect Beam made its mark, the instrumental harmonics were far more distinct and defined with emphasis on the depth rather than the left to right panning feature. The overall sound improvement given by the Beam was a crispier and clearer signature without much audible coloration to the sound.

    With a name like “Beam” to be chosen to carry Audirect’s current TOTL DAC/AMP to new places, it is actually on point. The Audirect Beam makes for a compelling purchase given it is feature packed on a tiny body. I would personally prefer a less edgy silhouette or maybe just maybe a silicon case to make it usable while on the pocket when paired with our mobile devices. The two things the stood out as the biggest drawbacks for the Audirect Beam was the cable material change it made as it may serve a bad taste for those that purchased the Beam before the improvement. This feedback may be relative but I’ve asked around and the new connection cables were indeed much favored. The lack of the exact power draw numbers also leaves potential battery conscious audiophiles a void only filled by an actual device audition and usage. These drawbacks were however blanketed by the Beam’s ability to provide pitch black sound background with a clearer signature to any potential audio chain it will be added to. A bridge was crossed and not burnt with the Audirect Beam.
  6. cqtek
    Lots of sound in very little space
    Written by cqtek
    Published Jan 5, 2019
    Pros - Completely flat and extensive frequency response, above 40 kHz.
    - Overall sound quality.
    - Very small size and weight.
    - Cable quality.
    Cons - Micro USB cable missing.
    - Looks like some specifications aren't real.
    - Sensitive function stick. Does not work with the same precision in all environments.
    - Absence of physical buttons for the volume on the front.
    Purchase link:


    Link to the Store:


    Presentation and personal preferences

    I've been an electronic technical engineer for 20 years. I studied that career because my great passion was Hi-Fi. But for more than 15 years I have been working as a programmer of production control systems based on artificial vision.

    The sound profile I like could be represented as ¬. I like bass (the sub bass above all), forward voices and soft trebles, but that provide a lot of clarity, separation and detail. I like the natural sound, full of air and nuances, as well as enjoying a great stage and three-dimensional recreation. I prefer the warm profile to V-profiles or mid-centric. And I run away from brilliant profiles.

    • Output Power:
      • 114dB TND+N, 2Vrms into 600Ω.
      • 108dB THD+N, 49mW into 32Ω 1.1Vrms.
    • Frequency response:20-30000Hz(-0.15dB)
    • Distortion:0.0004%
    • S/N ratio:+125dB SNR, +120dB DNR
    • Input supports PCM:PCM 16-32bit, 32-384KHz
    • Input supports DSD:DoP64, DoP128, Native DSD64/128/256
    • D/A Chips:ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC
    • I.R.<1Ω
    • Amplifier Chips:ES9118
    • Input port:USB-C
    • Output Port:3.5mm
    • Size (L/W/H):52x14x6mm
    • Weight:12g

    2018-12-19_20-07-08_.jpg 2018-12-19_20-07-35_.jpg 2018-12-19_20-07-55_.jpg 2018-12-19_20-09-16_.jpg

    Package Dimensions (H x W x D):
    • 130x145x21 mm
    • Beam
    • Type-C to type-c cable
    • Type-C to lightning cable
    • Type-C to USB cable
    • Instruction manual
    The dimensions of the packaging are very large for how small the product is, it certainly comes well protected. The package is opened like a book by using a magnetic cover. Inside, embedded in a cardboard box, is the Beam. Next to it, in another box, there are three sachets with each of the cables.
    There is no USB Type C to micro USB cable when many Smartphones still use that type of connector.

    Construction and design


    The Beam is very small, you don't get the idea of its dimensions until you have it in your hands. It is extremely light although it is metallic. It is made up of two pieces assembled by 4 screws, which gives it even better strength and durability. The blue colour is very striking. All the written legends are white, as well as the logo of the brand.
    Headphone output is 3.5mm unbalanced.
    The USB input is type C.
    The connection cables have very good quality connectors, linked by very flexible tricolour braided cables.


    To the left of the Beam there is a stick that offers two functions: volume (movement up or down), Play/Pause (push). The use as a push button (Play/Pause functions) is fast and precise. On the other hand, the use as a volume does not respond quickly in Windows: it must be kept pressed upwards to increase the volume or downwards to decrease it. Both operations respond slowly and the volume jumps are considerable. However used with my Android mobile, both functions are immediate. I have only noticed that the volume jumps are a little big, although this detail may depend on the Smartphone itself.

    Ergonomics, connectivity

    Due to the size of the Beam, it fits anywhere. I still can't find the ergonomic function stick, I would have preferred fixed buttons.

    My smartphone has micro-USB, whose cable is not included, so you need to buy another cable to connect it.
    I managed to use the Beam with my smartphone using the Hiby Music app.

    For the connectivity with the PC with Windows was necessary the installation of a driver that can be downloaded from the web:


    Once installed and after restarting the system, I ran Foobar2000. The reproduction was not fluent using the driver ASIO Bravo-HD (stock), however using ASIO4ALL 2 I managed to solve the reproduction problems.



    I measured the output of the Beam using a Fluke digital oscilloscope, using pure tones encoded in FLAC with a resolution of 24 bits and a sampling frequency of 96 kHz, making a frequency sweep between 20 Hz to 46 kHz. As a player I have used the Foobar2000 in my Windows PC, using the Asio4All driver. With these measurements, it has become clear that the Beam meets the Hi-Res specifications, because it is able to reproduce without problems tones above even 40 kHz.

    The measurements have been taken at the maximum possible volume without visible distortion being observed in the reproduced waves. Fixed resistors of 32 Ohms, 100 Ohms and 320 Ohms were used as loads.

    The linearity of the frequency response between 20 Hz and 20Khz, the range defined as audible, is almost perfect, the difference is only a few millivolts. Above that frequency, the drop is somewhat higher, but even up to 30 kHz the linearity is still excellent.

    There is a feature in the Beam's voltage delivery: the higher the connected load, the higher the voltage delivered. You might think this fact is due to a high output impedance, but in my opinion I think it's some kind of "autogain" system. Even so, in the specifications it says that the Beam is capable of delivering 2V at 600 Ohms. This time I do not have loads with that resistance, but seeing that for 320 Ohms is only capable of delivering less than 1.15V, it is difficult to reach that number.

    As can be seen in the following graph, the Beam delivers 0.71V to 32 Ohms, 0.95V to 100 Ohms and 1.14V to 320 Ohms.

    Audiodirect Beam.png


    The sound of the Beam has several very marked characteristics, in my opinion: the sound produced is totally flat, there is no doubt about it after the previous graphic. There is no enhancement or recession in any of the audible frequencies.

    On the other hand, its sound is quite wide, very ethereal and zenithal. It provides a lot of separation and depth, especially to the bass. That's why I find its sound with a certain warmth.

    Another characteristic is the softness of the sound. Compared to the Fiio Q1 Mk1, whose response is also quite flat, the highs are less penetrating and hard. In the Beam, the music is more harmonious and delicate, while in the Q1 it is more direct and aggressive. Following the comparison with the Q1, I haven't missed anything in the bass, neither using IEMs nor closed headphones, like the SoundMagic HP150. And as I said before, I'm amazed at how it's able to go down and deliver power to the sub-bass without turning pale.

    In other aspects where the softness of the Beam is reflected, it is in the sibilances, even in the songs more susceptible to them, they are more subtle than in Q1.

    On the other hand, the Beam has some electronic features that must be taken into account, as it can alter the sound of the connected headphones. Earlier I talked about the possibility that the Beam has some "autogain" circuit. Maybe this feature, or maybe it is that the output impedance is not less than 1 Ohms, as specified in the box, modifies the frequency response of some connected headphones. I've checked sensitive sound differences in some IEMs in the comparisons between the Beam and the Q1 (whose output impedance is proven to be less than 1). While with others, the differences have only been due to the change of source.



    The Audiodirect Beam is a remarkable product. It is excellent in size, weight and functionality.

    The use is not just perfect in all scenarios: the stick is sensitive and its operation is not the same on PC as with the smartphone.

    I recommend it for use with IEMs or headphones with low/medium impedance and/or high sensitivity, both on PCs and Smartphones, whose audio output is not very adequate.

    The sound is very good, starting from a magnificent and flat frequency response, the scene is wide and deep, the separation is noticeable and the presentation is smooth and musical. I find no substantial differences, used with the PC or with the smartphone.

    The accessories are good, quality and very useful, just miss another cable with micro USB connector.
    On the negative side, the specifications do not seem to be 100% met.


    Headphones used during analysis
    • NiceHCK M6
    • 1More Triple Driver
    • Dunu DN-1000
    • Fiio FH1
    • SoundMagic HP150
    • Construction: 90
    • Comfort: 70
    • Accessories: 80
    • Sound: 90
    • Quality/price: 80
  7. ngoshawk
    Maybe all the ultra-portable dac/amp you need?
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Oct 16, 2018
    Pros - Small.
    Provides a nice DAC as a replacement for your Smartphone.
    Plenty of power.
    Good sound quality, and again a good replacement for your Smartphone DAC.
    Cons - Volume is source dependent (see writings).
    Volume/play/pause all tied to one button.
    Treble may not suit some (not enough, but I'm good with it).
    Not much else.
    Audirect Beam: Maybe all the ultra-portable dac/amp you need? $99USD


    Audirect website: http://www.audirect.cc/

    I want to thank Wood Lui for his generous offer in making the Audirect Beam available for review. All of the words are mine, and all we mutually expect is an open honest review.

    Chock full of details, the Beam is a really nice DAC following in the footsteps of more expensive offerings such as the Audioquest Dragonfly, and future offerings from FiiO. An extremely hard spot to be in, Audirect jumped in with both feet, and I can openly admit that the Beam is worthy of consideration in the conversation regarding the above companies. An excellent start.

    Easy to use, plug and play and with the included connectors for USB-C/USB, USB-C/USB-C and USB-C/lightning, you can connect to anything short of the older USB connections. I noticed an immediate improvement when hooked to my iPhone X, bypassing the X’s DAC. Volume control was easy (but took two clicks on the Beam to register one “notch” on the X. Play/pause and moving the volume up/down did cross paths a bit and I would pause instead of raising the volume. But, with care one can easily work that out.

    Hooked to my Shanling M3s, I had complete control of the DAP, with good results. Again, the issue was with the volume increments, as to raise/lower volume on the M3s one notch required seven, yes 7 up clicks on the Beam. While not entirely tiring as I simply kept the volume on the M3s right at the point of change, to raise the volume a good bit (or lower…) required either multiple clicks on the Beam or utilize the volume pot on the Shanling. Again, the sound was good, taming the somewhat warm sound of the M3s to a more neutral presence. Good stuff, indeed.

    So far this is one very nice little critter!


    Specs from their website:

    Beam 規格書Specifications

    Using the critically acclaimed ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream® DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the ES9118 delivers up to 125dB SNR and –114dB THD+N, a performance level that will satisfy the most demanding audio enthusiasts.

    THD Compensation, Minimize distortion from external PCB components and layout


    輸出功率(Output Power)
    -114dB TND+N, 2Vrms into 600Ω
    -108dB THD+N, 49mW into 32Ω
    高達 1.1Vrms,up to 1.1Vrms

    頻率響應(Frequency response)20-30000Hz(-0.15dB)


    信噪比(S/N ratio)+125dB SNR, +120dB DNR

    支持PCM採樣頻率(input supports PCM)PCM 16-32bit, 32-384KHz

    支持DSD規格(input supports DSD)DoP64, DoP128, Native DSD64/128/256

    D/A轉換芯片(D/A Chips)ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC

    內阻 I.R. <1Ω

    耳放芯片(Amplifier Chips)ES9118

    輸入接口 (Input port) USB-C

    輸出端口(Output Port) 3.5mm

    長x寬x高(L W H)52x14x6mm



    Songs used:

    Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:

    REM-Losing My Religion
    Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
    Coldplay-A Message
    Coldplay-White Shadows
    Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
    Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
    twenty one pilots-Trees
    twenty one pilots-Car Radio
    twenty one pilots-Heathens
    Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
    Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
    Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
    Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
    Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
    Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
    Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado

    Comparison equipment:

    Advanced Sound GT3
    KZ AS10
    Kinera iDun
    AAW-Shozy Hibiki MK2

    MacBook Pro (used the most along with the M3s)
    iPhone X (used the most along with the other two mentioned, so about 1/3 each)
    Shanling M3s (used the most along with the MBP)
    Aune M1s


    *Most of my time was bouncing between the three in parenthesis above, but I did hook the Beam to the Aune M1s briefly for comparative purposes…and it was good. There was a point in which there were diminishing returns, and that came somewhere between the M3s and M1s. Still good, but less beneficial. I also hooked the Beam to the QP2R, but I had gone past the point of diminishing returns, so no more mention of that pair is needed (this is not a slight of the Beam, just that the QP2R is SO good).



    Coming in a flat magnetic flapped box, you hearken back to the day when you had a see-through window to the toy of your purchase. And I felt that way as I looked at the box. Simple, straightforward, Audirect allowed the box the draws one’s attention towards the critter who held point. I like simplicity and less packaging. This fit the bill, with just a smidge too much packaging for me. But, it worked, and once inside you understand why there was that added space. The extra space was for the assortment of accessories, which are included. While not terribly much, the accessories do take up space, and that space was used to keep all the contents protected. Of that, I do approve.

    Inside you remove the Beam carefully on the left, and the connectivity cables on the right. Pulling the Type-C/Type-C connection I hooked into my MacBook Pro after trying on my iPhone X to gauge a quick comparison. Tidal through my MBP provides too much bass, but at this point it was to ascertain how the critter sounded quickly with many sources.


    Finish is good, with mostly solid matching of the halves. Good tactility resulted from a slight curve on the top right side, opposite the function button/toggle; of which there is one. But that single toggle is used for play/pause and up/down on the volume. This is where the biggest limitation lies in my mind for two reasons. One, it is quite easy to hit the pause feature as one raises/lowers the volume, especially on the go. And two, with each source used the volume movement was not consistent. One notch up/down on the Beam was one on the MBP, but the Beam was almost too powerful for the MBP. On the lowest volume setting I could tolerate it but not for too long.

    On the X, it was good, but two up/down pushes on the Beam equated to one notch on the X. Tolerable. Worst was the M3s, for there it took eight, yes EIGHT up/down numbers on the Shanling to equate to one volume adjustment on the Beam. In other words, for every eight numbers on the Shanling volume setting it equated to one on the Beam. Again tolerable, and I kept the adjustment to where one push up/down would trigger that raising/lowering of the volume by one notch on the Beam.

    The included cables are of good quality so banging around in one’s pocket with their smartphone could be tolerated. There was very little tangle as well. Overall build, feel and intangibles are what I would expect from something that cost $100. I am satisfied.


    Critical listening:

    Not having heard the Audioquest Dragonfly, I had to base my opinions off of other small dac/amps. But I feel that would be an unfair comparison for several reasons. First of course in my humble opinion would be price. The closest portable I have that comes close to this would be the iBasso PB3. And as a dedicated balanced amp, which cost over 2x the price in a different ballpark, and of different need. Second, to me is that this really isn’t a comparison about “portable” amps, but rather “micro-portable” dac/amps, which can be utilized to better one’s smartphone. And here, when considered singularly, the Beam succeeds wholeheartedly.

    That said, there has been some recent ridiculous commentary on Facebook regarding how if one “wastes” money on a DAP, you are missing the point because, and I quote, “my so-and-so smartphone is better than ANY DAP I have heard. Period!” The above convo degenerated into a who drives what comparison, which essentially became who was the bigger tool…as I said, ridiculous. To each his or her own and we should never fault one for their choices. It might be our place to educate and inform; but never judge one’s choices. At least outwardly. Sheesh, indeed…

    So, as I listened to the Beam on various sources, I did my best to simply compare it for what it was…a simple to use, straightforward DAC/AMP for ultra-portable use; especially with Smartphones. As such I hooked the Beam to my iPhone X, first. And sat back.


    Grabbing a single malt, pulling up Tidal Premium, hooked to the Advanced Sound Group GT3, I sat. And I listened. And I sat some more. Grabbing another single malt (that kind of day…), I popped on Aretha Franklin, for she had just passed on to that great gig in the sky. Good Lord, she was amazing. I could imagine her up there jamming with Ella, Janice, Jimmy, Stevie, Glenn, Tommy, Satchmo, Billy, JohnLee, Johnny, Frank, Bob, and Tom. Look those names up if you have to, but those are the true icons of North American music for the last century. And I am unabashedly promoting them. You could listen for days on any of them and Tidal (or Spotify) is the perfect outlet for them all with this combination.

    So, listening to the sweet melodiousness of Aretha all but brought me to tears. Part of it was for her and the music; but another aspect was because of how far we have come in the last five years. To understand that in five short years, we have come to the point of inclusion where for less than one Ben Franklin you could make your smartphone a quite fine musical device is astounding. Just astounding. Yet, there are still unbelievers out there. Some would harbor that their smartphone is enough. They need not more. I would respectfully state that until you give something of this nature a try you are: A. doing a disservice to your musical tastes and listening, and B. not getting enough out of your phone. To do without is something that you should not do.


    Moar words:

    So, for $99 USD what do you get? You get an eminently portable, versatile DAC/AMP, which easily hooks to any device I threw its way. And as such, the Beam does shine. I was immediately hooked upon first listen. The sound signature of my iPhone X turned from warm and slightly muddy, to warm and of a fuller nature. Detail became more prevalent. I could more easily discern the intricate notes of Coldplay’s A Message. When you can go from hearing the song, to hearing the breath taken between notes, I consider this a good sign. Santana’s Corazon Espinado sounds simply fabulous through the Beam. Better than the iPhone X yes, but you do reach a limit as to how far that improvement can go. Hooking the Beam up to something of higher level, such as the Shanling M3s can scale only so much. But going higher on the DAP food chain and you reach a point where the Beam does no good. Hooking the Beam to the QP2R, and you will actually lose benefit. This makes sense as you are hooking a $1200 DAP to a $99 DAC/AMP.

    No matter what I hooked the Beam to, up to about the mid-fi price point there was a benefit to having the Beam in the chain. I consider this a triumph of technology in our time. That is about the most I can say of a device. It works, and it works well. I have said this before and I will again, it just works. Providing an even near-natural sound, with good detail retrieval, the Beam also adds a smidge to the bass response of your source. Not muddy of course, but a decent addition to the lower end. Detail becomes cleaner when using sources with suspect audio-innards, such as less expensive smartphones.


    This is a good addition to your inexpensive source because it can provide that better amount of detail, as well as broaden the sound stage a bit. With good layering and instrumentation, the added amount of detail highlights what the Beam can do and do well.


    Well, it seems that no matter what I hooked to the Beam benefitted up to a certain level. The Beam is not meant to be a world beater. It isn’t. But, it IS meant to be positive influence on your smartphone as well as more affordable DAP’s, even your PC/Mac. Even with those minor niggles regarding the volume control, I would highly recommend this as a really nice addition to your system. It isn’t very often that one can take a truly portable amp with one and not have it be the center of attention (as in I HAVE AN AMP HOOKED TO MY PHONE, DO YOU???!!!). Yes there are alternatives, but I like to think that the Beam has brought down to the truly affordable level, what a portable amp (ultra-portable) can be for those who do not want to lug around their iFi Black Label (I truly love mine…) or worry about the cost of bringing their Chord Mojo (remember it?...) along. And here is the true genius of the Beam, portable, affordable and it sounds darn good in 85% of the situations in which I used it.

    I cannot think of a higher regard in which to end, the Perfect Sense as Roger Waters would say. Well done, Audirect and it has been my honor to have the Beam in house. I use it almost daily.

    I again want to thank Wood Liu for showing faith in the reviewers to provide an open honest review of his product. It is good, and I think you should really give the Audirect Beam a listen if you can.

      Sebilion and B9Scrambler like this.
    1. Sp12er3
      Was looking around for am ultra portable dac/Amp like this, but the Audioquest is a bit too up there locally... Interested by this one also, but then.. Jude rave about the Fiio BTR3 end my search and insta buy.

      It's a tad bigger than the other options sure, but the addition of mic, battery and Bluetooth is worth it~
      Sp12er3, Oct 17, 2018
    2. ngoshawk
      Glad you found something, which works. I too, would like to audition some of the others. There are many choices now. cheers
      ngoshawk, Oct 17, 2018
  8. Kervsky
    Set Phasers on Wow
    Written by Kervsky
    Published Aug 26, 2018
    Pros - Small, dedicated controls, good detail retrieval, good separation, near neutral but energetic signature, plug and play connectivity.
    Cons - Some android apps when given exclusive control of the Beam can only output one volume level (volume control can be source dependent)

    Introduction: Audirect is a Chinese company that has engaged in the development of Hi-Fi products for quite some time, and they have been busy recently making their third generation product after the Whistle, a USB portable Hi-Fi DAC called the Beam. The Beam is aimed as an audiophile solution for the disappearing audio jack on mobile phones and can also double duty as your computer audio upgrade. The Beam I have is the Grey (Graphite) one and they also come in Gold.

    I would like to thank Audirect for providing me with a review sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. You can buy the Audirect Beam at the Audirect's online store, the Penon website or locally if your retailer has them in stock.




    Specifications/Unboxing: "Using the critically acclaimed ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream® DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the ES9118 delivers up to 125dB SNR and –114dB THD+N, a performance level that will satisfy the most demanding audio enthusiasts."

    Output Power: -114dB TND+N, 2Vrms into 600Ω
    -108dB THD+N, 49mW into 32Ω
    up to 1.1Vrms
    Frequency response: 20-30000Hz (-0.15dB)
    Distortion: 0.0004%
    Signal to Noise ratio: +125dB SNR, +120dB DNR
    PCM sampling frequency: PCM 16-32bit, 32-384KHz
    DSD specification: DoP64, DoP128, Native DSD64/128/256
    D/A conversion chip: ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC
    Amplifier chip: ES9118
    Internal resistance: <1Ω
    Input port: USB-C
    Output port: 3.5mm
    Length x Width x Height: 52x14x6mm
    Net weight: 12g

    You can also download their Windows driver from the product page HERE if you need it, personally on Windows 10, there was no need for me to download the driver but your mileage may vary. The Beam is totally dependent on what the device it's connected to can play, with regards to file compatibility, but if your phone/computer/DAP is capable of playing DSD files and the app you use can course it through, you can get full DSD reproduction on the Beam (you'll see this when the DSD LED lights up instead of the PCM like the image below).

    Unboxing isn't very complicated, you get the nice little cardboard box with the Audirect Beam displayed in front through a clear plastic cover with information printed around it as seen above. Opening it reveals the dongle and a separate box where the 3 cables are placed along with the manual. No fuss, just like the Beam.



    Cable: The Beam comes with 3 cables for general (modern) use, a USB C to USB C for most modern phones and DAPs to the dongle, a USB C to Lightning adapter for those modern iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads, and a USB C to USB A for computer use. Construction of the cables is nicely done with braided wires protected by strain sheaths and sturdy gold plated connectors at each end. They're flexible enough to be pliable in use but strong enough not to stretch or break easily. An adapter for USB C to Micro USB could have made the package more universal, but considering the target market of the BEAM, both people who are looking for a portable upgrade for their computer/phone audio and those with modern phones lacking the 3.5mm audio jack, this is more than adequate in terms of cables and actually a bit more than some DAC/amps I've seen recently.




    Build/Design: The Beam case is made of a lightweight metallic material that is smooth in texture with a bit of an angular edge that is not sharp or piercing. The color on mine is called grey but I would consider it more of a Graphite color as it has a tendency to look a bit lighter or darker depending on the light angle, just like pencil lead. Still, it's rather eye catching but simple in design. There are two LED ports indicating the bit-rate of the song being played, DSD is when the file format plays in DOP mode, and PCM is for everything else. The LED's are colored white and are small enough not to be considered a factor in power drain as they are just bright enough to be easily seen. There is a dial like switch on the left side for controlling the volume and you can press that lever inward to play/pause the music. There are 4 screws on the back as part of the construction and likely makes it easier to repair in case of trouble (but I don't suggest you fix it in case something goes wrong), and at the opposite ends are the USB-C port (top) and the 3.5mm (bottom) output plug.

    Overall the construction feels solid but light and the fact that it's pretty small at around the width of an AA battery while being a little bit taller and (almost exactly) 3 SD cards stacked on top each other thick, it's easily portable. The control switch is a nice feature that's intuitive and doesn't take up a lot of space, keeping the whole dongle streamlined and rather clutter free.



    Sound Analysis: Initially when I tried the Beam on multiple sources (phones, DAPs and my laptop) I felt that it was something like Mids > Bass > Treble in terms of attention provided in the frequency areas. But in addition to that, it had the technical ability to provide good detail and present a nice level of stage while sound pretty engaging. I always treat my review items to long usage times before finishing the review, just to see if anything breaks and such, so after over 250 hours of use, I'm ready to write down my findings.

    Bass: The Beam is able to present a better than average extended sub-bass with a neutral level of quantity, which ties in with a faster than average decay. This contributes to a more energetic presentation of the bass and a rather tight level of control. Bass impact and body is along the neutral side where bass hits aren't boosted (but are neither bass anemic) and sound closer to the original recording with neutral bass gear. Overall the bass is responsive and sounds smooth, lively and not exaggerated.


    Mids: As usual, good mids are my happy pill and the Beam is able to provide a rather great level of mid frequency detail and separation. There is a little bit of forwardness to the lower mids with male vocals sounding a little above neutral with thickness that prevents them from sounding thin or hollow and gives them good presence. The upper mids are presented in a bit more forward manner and again, a little above neutral thickness, which gives a good level of intimacy to female vocals. Overall, the tone of the mids is near neutral but has enough warmth and dynamic energy to convey emotions across the middle frequency effectively and with life.

    Treble: There is a little boost in the treble region which gives the Beam a more stronger treble presence. The Beam presents an average extension in the treble region, but combined with the boost and available reach, they contribute to the sense of air the Beam can provide as well as a little brighter perception of notes. The level of clarity and crispness is affected by the boost, which gives those ear gear with 'almost' crispy highs, a push to be crisp but this can also cause brighter gear to sound a little more brighter. Sibilance and harshness is not normally induced on the Beam on listenable levels, however, very high volumes (around 95+db) with sibilance prone music and brighter ear gear can reveal some light to noticeable sibilance. Treble is accurate and responsive overall with a good amount of air, excitement and smoothness.

    Soundstage: The presented stage of the beam is of a good horizontal width and almost as good in vertical depth that sounds natural in it's spread. It can provide a good open feeling that is scaled up (or down) depending on your ear gear. Imaging is a bit above average in accuracy while the ability to space layers is pretty good.


    Conclusion: Audirect's Beam is a great portable DAC, it's small yet packs a big punch in terms of sonic and technical ability. It presents a near neutral sound signature to get as close to how the music was intended to be and yet does not sound clinical or boring. It provides a detailed and engaging mid range, a natural sounding bass with a crisp and energetic treble which can synergize with bass heavy gear as well as those with a relatively recessed mid frequency and relaxed treble regions for a fun and engaging listening session. Cable accessories are of very good quality and perfect for modern use, but if you happen to use sources with micro USB ports, you'll need to get an extra cable for that.


    Sound comparisons were made using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6, Zishan Z1 volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)
  9. ExpatinJapan
    Audirect BEAM - ...ing with joy
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Aug 23, 2018
    Pros - Easy connectivity, physical controls, great sound, small and light
    Cons - No battery, volume steps dependent upon source
    Audirect BEAM Dac/Amp Review
    - Expatinjapan


    The supaa smexy streamlined Audirect BEAM is the latest in the series from relatively new company Audirect,
    It is available in Gold or Black and light as a feather.
    They had previously released the Audirect Whistle which was reviewed at an earlier date here on Head pie: https://www.headpie.net/2017/08/audirect-whistle-dacamp-review.html








    The Beam comes with a healthy array of quality cables.


    Volume switch, push in for play/pause. LED lights for PCM and DSD.



    Beam Portable Hi-Fi DAC Earphone Amplifier
    Beam Specifications

    Using the critically acclaimed ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream® DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the ES9118 delivers up to 125dB SNR and –114dB THD+N, a performance level that will satisfy the most demanding audio enthusiasts.
    THD Compensation,Minimize distortion from external PCB components and layout
    (Output Power) -114dB TND+N, 2Vrms into 600Ω
    -108dB THD+N, 49mW into 32Ω
    1.1Vrms,up to 1.1Vrms
    (Frequency response)20-30000Hz(-0.15dB)
    (S/N ratio)+125dB SNR, +120dB DNR
    (input supports PCM)PCM 16-32bit, 32-384KHz
    (input supports DSD)DoP64, DoP128, Native DSD64/128/256
    D/A(D/A Chips)ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC
    I.R. <1Ω
    (Amplifier Chips) ES9118
    (Input port) USB-C
    (Output Port) 3.5mm
    (L W H)52x14x6mm


    Audirect Beam and Whistle specs compared.





    The Audirect Beam package (Beam plus cables) is $99 US dollars.
    The cables can also be bought individually at $11.99 to $14.99 and are of a good quality.


    The Audirect Beam is a simple plug and play device with no mess, no fuss.
    I had no problems connecting to my aging Macbook Pro and ipod Touch 6G,
    nor to the upcoming Hidizs Ap80.


    DSD settings for iOS mobile app.
    DSD LED light on. Using Onkyo App on iOS.(Set DOP: DSD over PCM).

    Onkyo app on iOS

    Sound and summary

    The Audirect Beam is solid successor to the previous Whistle (which was no slacker in its own right).
    It was a bit difficult to do a full A/B comparison due to the BEAM being USB-C and the Whistle Micro USB which meant I didnt have in my stock a set of identical cables that could be used.
    But rest assured in my simple check I did deduce across the board the Beam improved upon the Whistle.

    With a solid black background and no detectable hiss to my ears even via my Macbook with Campfire Audio Andromeda makes the Beam an ideal affordable choice for improving upon your computers audio sound.
    The sound signature of the Beam is neutral with no strong emphasis on either the lows/mids or highs. Each part performing in an excellent synergy resulting in a pleasing aural experience.
    The lows are fast and full and can delve deep, the mids clean and prominent enough to give vocals that realness and emotion, and the treble just reaches over the edge without extending into the dreaded Sabre glare zone.
    There is a naturalness within the neutralness, a smoothness to alleviate the crispness.
    It even survives the severe Coldplay test.

    The Beam has detailing, layering to please and doesnt restrict my earphones that have a wide sound stage (more width and height than depth).

    The Andromeda is known for its large sound stage and quietly for its exquisite separation that is delicate and subtle which results in a rich yet not over bearing layering with beautiful texturing, these points are compounded and extended when combined with a dap higher up the chain from mid fi to totl. When combined with the Audirect Beam, a lower priced item the Andromeda still shines and I experienced pleasure when using them in unison.
    Depending on the device the Beam is connected to the volume steps at times can be a bit tricky to get the right setting.

    With the Hidizs AP80 there were no problems with its many volume steps.
    On my ipod touch there was a slight jump and finding my particular sweet spot at times was difficult. This was made easier by using a music app and dialing back the gain to allow for more room to set the volume. (More volume steps please Apple!).
    On the Macbook pro I encountered the same problem (Apple really needs to implement more volume steps for IEM users or any user) this was solved when I used the VOX music player which has more volume steps.
    The Beam has the best control at low to upper mid volumes with some IEMs, going beyond what could be users regular listening levels can introduce some loss of coherency or sibilance with some music. But I found this to be a rare occurrence and earphone/track dependent. I listen at fairly loud volumes 75-90db so you`d really have to pump it to have a problem.

    It has two LED lights for PCM and DSD.

    Nice to have the physical switches for play/pause and volume whilst on the go.

    When combined with a dedicated dap such as the upcoming Hidizs AP80 the Audirect Beam really took off. With the IT04 the Beam really shone, a fairly neutral earphone with a bit of low end bass and mids can really complement a Sabre dac. But each to their own tastes.

    Also the size, weight and form makes it an attractive option for an on the go dongle: especially with phones who have removed the headphone jack, which some may prefer to the small Dap/dac/amp option such as the popular Shanling M0, or the larger iFi Audio xDSD. Both great performers in their price points which loads of features.

    The Beam is deliciously neutral, clean sounding with excellent texture, no grain and exquisite clarity.

    Well color me impressed.

    Upcoming Audirect `Bean` earphones sneak peek

    Thank you to Audirect for sending the Beam to Head pie for review.
  10. audio123
    Audirect Beam - Beam Delight
    Written by audio123
    Published Aug 23, 2018
    Pros - Details, Size, Energetic
    Cons - Treble extension can be better

    Audirect is a Chinese company that specializes in portable digital analogue converters (DACs). They started with the Whistle and released the Beam recently. I would like to thank Audirect for the review unit of Beam. At the moment, you can purchase the Beam from http://www.audirect.cc/buy .



    • Output Power: -114dB TND+N, 2Vrms into 600Ω / -108dB THD+N, 49mW into 32Ω
    • Frequency Response: 20-30000Hz(-0.15dB)
    • Distortion: 0.0004%
    • S/N Ratio: +125dB SNR, +120dB DNR
    • Supported Inputs: PCM 16-32bit, 32-384KHz / DoP64, DoP128, Native DSD64/128/256
    • DAC: ES9118 Sabre HiFi SoC
    • I.R.: <1Ω
    • Input Port: USB-C
    • Output Port: 3.5mm
    • Dimensions: 52x14x6mm
    • Weight: 12g
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The Beam comes in a white package which sports the model name and brand logo. There is a transparent film that shows the Beam. After opening the package, there are the Beam and a blue box that contains 3 cables – USB-C to USB-C OTG, USB-A to USB-C OTG and Lightning to USB-C OTG.



    DAC Build & Design

    The Beam has a rectangular design and it is gold in colour. At the top of the Beam, there is the input port. At the bottom of the Beam, there is the output port. On the front, there are the brand logo, signs for the button and indicator lights.






    Sound Analysis


    The Beam is able to extend its sub-bass well with a moderate quantity. The sub-bass reproduction on the Beam is exciting to listen to. There is a consistent punch. The bass decay has speed and the agility enhances the engagement level. Bass texture on the Beam is rendered smoothly. Each bass note on the Beam is articulated rather accurately. There is moderate tightness. The mid-bass on the Beam has a fair amount of body and the slam is quick without a weighted feeling.


    The Beam has a lively midrange and it boasts good transparency. The midrange is rendered in a manner with a high level of details retrieval. There is slight lack in the lushness. The lower mids has moderate quantity and male vocals are expressed well without any dry feeling. The upper mids has a nice boost and the forwardness accentuates the intimacy level of female vocals. It ensures a captivating listen. There is energy which contributes to the overall vibrance.


    The treble is extended moderately and demonstrates a fair stretch. There is no sibilance and harshness. The crisp is good and there is slight sparkle to inject excitement into the overall sound. There is moderate brightness. Treble articulation is accurate with an acceptable amount of body. The amount of air rendered helps to create an airy feeling at the top end.


    The Beam has moderate naturalness in its expansion. The width magnitude is good and the depth is closed in. It is able to provide a fairly open feeling . Positioning of vocals and instruments is rather accurate.


    The Beam is a detailed sounding DAC that is able to provide a performance that combines agile bass, lively midrange and airy treble. The transparency is great and the midrange is the star of the show. In addition, its compact size gives the added convenience of bringing it around. The release of the Beam as Audirect’s latest offering comes in the form of an engaging yet portable DAC that is sure to delight many.


    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
      Audirect and Moonstar like this.