Review of the Hidizs DH1000 ( Sonata )
( for those curious about the meaning of the name )
A little unboxing to get ya excited...
(Hidizs always makes such good looking devices ) ( AP200 on the left )
I have not written a review in a few months. Mostly because I haven’t found anything new that is exciting. About a month ago I was reached out to by a rep for Hidizs to see if I would be interested in testing the Sonata (DH1000). This is an AMP/DAC that was built to be connected to cell phones, computers, and preexisting DAPs. I tested the device with almost everything I own. If you want to see a list of all of my headphones, earphones, and daps, please click on my profile as it is too long to list. I should also mention that I tested this on my gaming computer. The BUILD quality is impressive. It reminds me of a cellphone and the first time I saw it I was confused that I was sent the wrong thing. Both sides are made of tempered glass and look fantastic. On the flip side of looking awesome, I find myself cleaning the glass every time I get it out of the box. A case is a must for this device to keep up the gorgeous aesthetics. The rest of the device is constructed of aluminum with the inputs on the bottom (two micro USB ports and one standard USB ). One of the micro USB ports is for charging ( the DH1000 lasts ten or more hours depending on headphones used and volume level. ) The left side has volume buttons for plus and minus, and they feel nice and stable when they click. The top has a power button and two outputs, standard 3.5mm, and 2.5mm. Let me stop here and just say how thankful I am that this is incorporated in the DH1000. 2.5mm has become popular among the crazies in our hobby, and there is a good reason why. At the end of this review, I am going to leave a link to the ES9018K2M DAC data sheet for the super nerds. If you have not heard about this DAC chip, you need to. Hidizs put two of these in the DH1000 to make sure the balanced output was actually BALANCED. If you are familiar with this issue, there have been companies releasing devices that are not balanced. Time to talk about the SOUND... the device reminds me of my aune M1S and what I mean by that is the DH1000 is very clear and organic. I am a huge fan of anything that can keep songs to how the mastering engineer intended them to be enjoyed. All spectrums of the frequency range are coherent. The DH1000 has an open soundstage with both depth and height that created holographic imagining when paired with well-mastered songs in Hi-RES. Both the 3.5mm and 2.5mm are impressive! 2.5mm is the clear winner just because of the extra voltage which gives an even more realistic nature to the sound spectrum. That is normal between 3.5mm and 2.5mm outputs if the design is right so if you don't have anything balanced its time to invest. If I had to put a percentage on it, I would say there is an overall 10% improvement that if you have the right gear, you will absolutely notice the difference. Which is thanks to the designers that put the extra effort in the internals on the DH1000. However, I saw that higher ohm ( with lower sensitivity ) home gear does lose some of the soundstage and bass which is to be expected from a device geared toward mobility. I have used that for a month as my only audio device to understand its use as an EDC. EDC stands for every day carry, and I believe that was the vision behind the DH1000. There have been days in the past at work that I feel somewhat insane when I start working on a project and pull out a DAP strapped to an AMP... having the DH1000 is freaking convenient; I can plug it into my work computer when I am at my desk. Later I can plug it into my iPhone while I am enjoying a coffee and then plug it into my gaming computer at home and it is very accurate on 3D imagining and could be used by gamers on the go. The way this is possible is that the DH1000 has an internal battery and keeps the sound quality on point when I am running off of a weak source like an iPhone. The one downfall I noticed what that it does not charge and play at the same time. With other AMP/DACs like the hifimeDIY 9018, it drains my iPhone battery. I am ok with it not pulling power from its source, but It would be a cool feature if there is a version to that would know the difference between a mobile device and a powered PC. Another feature that could be useful and needs to be discussed is an auto reset to 20% volume on mobile devices. With my iPhone, there is no software volume control, so if it were to be accidentally be turned up, I could potentially damage my more sensitive gear. Everything has its pros and cons and the convenience of the DH1000 matched with the overall sound quality makes this a necessity in every audiophile arsenal. I will continue to carry this on a daily basis.
Favorite album with the DH1000: https://tidal.com/album/2570671 ( Nirvana MTV unplugged )
DAC Data sheet: http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/view/721831/ESS/ES9018K2M.html
Link to official website: https://dh1000.hidizs.net/
Link to Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/873263862/hidizs-dh1000-worlds-first-truly-dual-balanced-amp