ddHiFi TC44B

General Information

Latest reviews

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
A tasty slice of cheese
Pros: - Balanced and open sounding
- Powerful
- Clean and precise
- Dual balanced outputs 2.5mm & 4.4mm
- Build quality
- Seamless operation
Cons: - A little bulkier than the competition
I have contacted ddHiFi to ask for a TC44B review and they have kindly responded by providing one free of charge.
This review reflects my honest and subjective opinion.

Introduction

ddHiFi is a relatively new brand that was established in 2017 by Mr. Demond Ding a former engineer and lead designer for FiiO and Oppo.
They started by building some very useful audio adapters and they have grown to include an earphone (Janus) and a few small dac/amps with the top model being the TC44B.
They have stripped their products from unnecessary cosmetics and fancy packing in order to offer good quality at an affordable price.

The ddHiFi TC44B comes into a simple and environmental friendly small carton box with an extra USB type C to type A adapter.

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It is priced at $89.99 and you can get it directly from ddHiFi or from Linsoul

Physical specifications and build quality

The TC44B is a small USB type C (a lighting version is also available) to 2.5/4.4mm balanced dac/amp with an embedded cable.
Due to having both balanced outputs it is a little more bulkier than similar products like the iBasso DC04 but still very compact to fit with ease into our pocket.
It has a unique triangular shape that looks like a cheese slice wrapped with matcha skin as we can read at the ddHiFi website.
The dimensions are 18.3x16.8x30mm with an extra length of 98.5mm for the cable including the plug and weights about 13gr.

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It is an all aluminium chassis with good build quality without hard edges and a quality green paint job.
The cable is silver plated with teflon insulation and TPU coating in order to be thin but strong although there is not a strain relief to protect the side that enters into the main body.

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Technical specifications

The ddHiFi TC44B adopts dual Cirrus CS43131 DAC's the same that we have encountered in similar products like the iBasso DC03/DC04 (Review) or the SoundMAGIC A30 (Review)

This is a high end miniature chip with a dynamic range of more than 120dB able to provide high resolution PCM output of up to 32bit/384KHz and native DSD64/DSD128/DSD256 decoding.
It is a low powered audio DAC with a high-fidelity headphone amplifier to provide a superior system-level audio performance without draining battery life.
The integrated Class H smart adaptive headphone amplifier can drive 2 Vrms of output into 600Ω and 30mW into 32Ω.
It provides precision volume control with 0.5 dB step size and the power consumption varies from 6.25 to 40.2 mW at maximum.
Dual configuration will double the output power to 4 Vrms/600Ω and in our case it is configured to provide 120mW/32Ω but somehow it seems that it doesn't output 4V at 300ohm load.
Of course power consumption is also doubled so the TC44B is going to drain the host device battery much faster.

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Set-up

The TC44B is plug and play with Android and it will completely bypass the internal sound card so there is no need for a special application.
Sound calls are not supported.
For Windows 10 we need to install the available drivers that offer ASIO support.
We have used it with a couple of mobile phones and tablets plus a Windows PC without encountering any functional problems at all.

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Sound quality

Sound tests were performed with various earphones like the Dunu EST 112 , FiiO FH3/FD5 and Kinera Freya.
We have also tried it with the easy to drive Sennheiser HD 660S and HiFiMan Ananda to discover that the TC44B is powerful enough to drive them with satisfying results although not to their full potential.

It's not a secret that we are very fond of the CS43131 musical and very engaging sound presentation.

The overall sound signature is very balanced and linear with good extension both ways without any significant roll off to be noticed at least for the intended use scenario.

Bass is full sounding with satisfying levels of clarity and layering plus it never feels out of control.
This balanced configuration is certainly better than the single ended variants with upgraded driver control and ample dynamics as long as we don't use inefficient headphones.
Mid range feels clear and well articulated with strong presence and natural voiced timbre.
Voices and instruments sound full bodied with a lifelike quality to them and deep sense of musicality.
Treble is smooth and easy going but still full of energy and crispness.
Decay feels very natural as for timing and pace are top notch and the TC44B can handle busy and complex material with ease.
Noise floor is surprisingly low and the black background helps with detail retrieval and precision that are more than enough for the price point.
Head stage presentation may lack in depth layering but feels very airy with good width and positioning.
All in all a very enjoyable sounding device with a touch of an analog feeling and great technicalities that feels at home with all kinds of music.

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Vs the iBasso DC04

Compared to the iBasso DC04 ($69) the differences come down mainly into physical attributes than sound quality itself with the exception that the DC04 is somewhat more powerful at 190mW/32ohm.
Both devices sound almost indistinguishable and the decision factor should be design and size.
If all of your balanced earphones are 4.4mm then the iBasso is the obvious choice as it is $30 cheaper but if you have both 2.5mm and 4.4mm then you should go with the TC44B especially if you hate adapters as much as we do.

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At the end

The ddHiFi TC44B is easily an instant recommendation because for $89 we get a pocket friendly but powerful dac/amp with two balanced outputs and an excellent sound performance.

Test playlist

Copyright - Laskis Petros 2021
Last edited:
DocErnie
DocErnie
Question for the iem audiophiles who may see this....
Which offers the most performance in sound upgrade for my setup (Samsung Note 10+ with ThieAudio Monarch iems with stock 2.5mm balanced output jack and streaming Tidal MQA)?
1. This ddHiFi TC44B with balanced output?
vs.
2. The ddHiFi TC35 Pro USB Decoder (Eye)? Or similarly the Helm Bolt MQA? (from what I've read they both use the same chipset - though the Bolt's is hidden/unspecified)

ANY comments, opinions, educational thoughts and advice greatly appreciated!!
Thank you!
Ichos
Ichos
Hi, the ddHiFi TC44B doesn't do MQA so I would suggest the TC35 Pro.
It is very good sounding with great form factor.
I haven't experience with the Bolt.
Another good option is the iBasso DC05.
DocErnie
DocErnie
Thank you!! I was not sure which was better - MQA with a TC35 Pro through my setup or the 2.5mm balanced output of the TC44B. This helps a lot, I'll pursue the MQA option with one of those you mentioned.
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Reactions: Ichos

JasonLucas

Head-Fier
Built like a tank with excellent sq
Pros: Balanced output
Excellent sq
Great mids , good low end extension with slight punch , neutral extended highs
Cons: No mqa
No 3.5 output
TC44B



TC44B -dual Cirrus CS43131 DACs

High impedance headphones boost Optimized for smartphones for better sound quality but scales up with additional power.



USB Type-A adapter included.



Great stage and imagining

Good bass and sub bass, musical with slight punch

lively great sounding mids and neutral treble with good extension



Output power: 120mW(32Ω)

Dimensions: 18.3x 16.8x 30.0mm (triangle part)

DNR: 120dB

Cable length: 85mm

THD+N: 110dB

THD+N: 110dB

Plug length: 13.5mm

DAC (PCM): Up to 32bit/384kHz

Weight: About 13g

DAC (DSD): Native DSD64/DSD128/DSD256



No mqa

No single ended

Either usb c or lightening versions available

89.99$

Last edited:

Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
Designed to be different
Pros: Great and good looking DAC
Performs excellent, good specs, quality of build is above average.
Environmentally friendly packaging. USB Type-A adapter included.
Cons: Honestly Nothing major, my personal thoughts would be generation two to have a removable cable in back.
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Unboxing is a easy and simple one inside the recycled cardboard box is the ddHiFi TC44B and a USB A-C adapter.

The first thought is wow this looks great and the triangle shape is a refreshing change. The device feels solid but weight is light and easy to travel with.

The ddHiFi TC44B performed better than I was expecting outperforming the Dragonfly Black and a few others I had on hand.
Sound is semi Transparent but there is a lift in Bass giving this a slight analog feel but not always noticeable , Midrange is a slightly forward but very natural Treble is untouched and quite neutral, soundstage is open and the imaging detailed with a good amount of separation.

Conclusion:
If you are looking for a small balanced DAC this one not only performs well it looks great too, build quality is very good as is with all ddHiFi adapters and products.
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