Pros: - Super value for the price
- Build Quality
- Balanced output
- Ultra low noise LDOs and femtosecond crystal oscillator
- Slightly warm sound (typical Cirrus)
- Removable cable
- Functional button for volume adjustment and play, pause and change song
- Strong power
- Sturdy Zinc alloy case
- Gain switch
Cons: - Random technical specifications
- Non-independent volume
- Super heavy
- Led just show it is on and DSD format
- No Type c to USB adaptor
This unit was bought with my own money, I will try to be as objective as possible and being a common audio enthusiast I will use simple words in this review.
From my point of view the Dacs sound very similar to each other, or at least they shouldn't take away or add anything to the sound.
However, also this time some small differences are easily noticeable.
I’m going to compare it with cheap dongles I own with similar prices.
The EPZ TP20 comes in a well made carton package, quite simple and standard.
Once opened inside, we find the dac embedded, below we find the accessories:
- Type C to type C cable (similar to Jcally models)
Definitely well built with a sturdy body, the feeling is of a premium product. The metal case is well made and the paint finish does not retain fingerprints.
The buttons and the gain switch have excellent pressure feedback.
They work on Android and OSX without any issue but the volume works together with the device it is connected to.
There must surely be an error in the specs as it sounds significantly louder than the Hidizs XO. Probably some mistranslation often found in similar products.
On the box and manual the specs are even worse but I assume they put numbers at random.
Its power is fine for almost all headphones and iems , however compared to other dacs in my possession it definitely has more juice.
The 3.5SE port is already similar to the power of the balanced port of the Hidizs XO.
It would have been nice to have more volume steps for very sensitive headphones but actually the volume steps are so well made.
Obviously in balanced mode the power is ridiculous!
I tested it with:
KZ PR2 on 4.4 Balanced high gain and needed just 40/50% volume to get them to a really high pressure level.
Blon Z300 with less than 40% volume
Whizzer He10 and HE01 on 3.5SE need less than 40% volume
Thuthear Zero needs 35% volume on 3.5SE
Philips X2HR needs like 50% volume to shine
The Dual CS43131 dac chip has a less analytical and natural sound compared to ESS however its timbre seems slightly warm.
The soundstage seems to be not affected, good layering, bass are slightly improved so pairing them to bright iems is the best choice.
Totally no hiss sound in both ports also in high gain mode surprised me.
This thing is a little powerful brick, it requires just 50% volume to make any iems sing.
Its sound is perhaps less refined than an ESS chip (Hidizs X0, F.Audio Ks01) but completely in line with the other Cirrus Logics in my possession such as FX-audio X6 and the Jcally Jm10. However in power it wins effortlessly.
vs Hidizs XO
Raw power versus sound definition. They’re both extremely good and also extremely different. The Hidizs is more refined and natural and seems to add some layer to the sound.
If you have iems that are hard to drive you need to look at the TP20.
We are still talking about an ESS chip which is the exact opposite of this Cirrus. The KS01 emphasizes the treble slightly while the other emphasizes the bass. If you are looking for a very cheap dac the KS01 is one of the most powerful SE I have been able to test. If you need independent volume this could be your choice!
vs Creative SFXi
The Creative DAC is certainly less powerful but for what it costs it offers exactly everything you need with much higher support (firmware updates + Apps). Its sound is definitely different from the classic AK4377 but you feel that Creative's experience has added what was missing to the original AK sound.
The SFXi however is very light and robust! Ideal for portability!
Who do I recommend this DAC to?
If you are an audiophile or audio enthusiast on a budget this could be a great option for your pockets.
However, it must be considered that it is by no means light compared to the competition. A use in full mobility seems difficult. Personally for me the fact that it is so robust is an added value.
This model in particular can be found under various brands Tiandirehne , Audiocalur and EPZ. Take the one that is cheaper than where you live.
The sound is perfect and you have a lot of power to drive quite any you want.