General Information

DH80 Unique Portable DAC & AMP​

Made for AP80/AP80Pro with perfect unity.

DH80S Unique Portable DAC & AMP​

Not only made for AP80/AP80 Pro, but also for mobile phone, PC, iPad, wired earphones, desktop speaker, etc.
How to use the DH80S Portable Balanced DAC & AMP, is up to you.

Support MQA Audio Technology​

MQA audio technology is supported in Hidizs DH80/DH80S Portable Balanced DAC & AMP, can fully "unfold" the MQA file to deliver outstanding sound.
Music services that support MQA should be installed on playback devices(e.g. HiBy Music, TIDAL) to realize 4X unfolding of MQA audio or even 8X.

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)
MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download.
The DH80 & DH80s includes MQA Renderer technology, which can connect to an MQA Core signal and complete the final unfold of an MQA file. The LED glows magenta to indicate that the unit is rendering an MQA stream or file. This delivers the final unfold of the MQA file

*MQA support will be added in HiBy Music App soon.

ESS9281C PRO DAC Chip + Dual Op Amps RT6863C​

Hidizs DH80/DH80S Portable Balanced DAC & AMP features an advanced ESS9281C PRO DAC chip with more dynamic range, low power consumption, ultra-low distortion, close to 0 noise and supporting MQA. Internal dual independent op amps RT6863C supports up to 4Vrms for balanced 4.4mm output and up to 2Vrms for single-ended 3.5mm output.

3-level Gain Selection & High Output Power​

DH80/DH80S Portable Balanced DAC & AMP has three gain settings (High, Medium, Low) for high compatibility with all sorts of HiFi headphones.
Balanced 4.4mm can power 150Ω over-ear headphones easily with its 210mW+210mW @32Ω output.
With the professionally precise 30-level volume knob,every nuance, every subtlety and every tiny drop of emotion, you’ll feel it.

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Latest reviews

IryxBRO

500+ Head-Fier
Hidizs DH80 (S) – a pair of powerful portable balanced DAC/AMPs
Pros: Great monitor sound, good power output, 4.4mm BL port, MQA 8X support
Cons: Not found
Great news from Hidizs: right after the release of new hybrid MS2 IEMs, Hidizs has announced two more products: DH80 and DH80S. The chosen names are inherited from and join portable DAC/amp “DH” family lineup which will now consists of 3 devices. The first one – DH1000 – was released quite long ago and still stays one of the most balanced product in this niche with very smooth and appealing sound. Despite the similar final purpose, DH80 and DH80S intended to be used differently and have the unique features and scenarios which we would like to describe in this article.

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First of all, just to clarify: DH80 and DH80S are similar DAC/amp devices and the only difference is the form factor. DH80S is a standalone universal battery-powered portable DAC/amp suitable for various usage scenarios with lots of different audio sources. Best to be used in “sandwich” type setups or in any other physical combinations. Whereas DH80 is designed to accompany Hidizs AP80 DAP family lineup – it is designed to fit AP80 as a cradle and to expand its features even further. Of course, such shape might also fit other DAPs and even some of the smartphones with USB type-C port but no one can guarantee that such physical combination would not cover other important control elements or ports and what is the most important – that it would not put excessive physical stress on USB. Therefore, the choice is obvious – DH80S is universal, while DH80 is solely for AP80 DAP series.

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DH80/DH80S tech specs:
  • DAC: ESS ES9281C PRO
  • OpAmp: RT6863C X2
  • Max Sampling Frequency: 32Bit/384Khz
  • DSD:Up to 128
  • MQA: 8X unfold
  • Independent Volume Control
  • Gain: High/Medium/Low
  • Sampling Rate Indicator (Red:44.1k-48k, Blue:88.2k-384k, Pink:MQA)
  • Inputs: USB Type-C
  • Outputs: 3.5mm SE, 4.4mm balanced
  • Battery:1300mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery
  • Charging Time: ~2.5 hours
  • Battery Life: balanced: ~6 hours, single ended: ~8 hours.
  • OS: Windows 10, Mac OS, iOS, Android (for iOS users, the Lightning OTG cable has to be purchased separately)
  • Dimensions: 70×50×12mm
  • Net Weight:76g
Specs for audio outputs:

dh80s.png


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Packaging and design:

Hidizs DH80S comes in small but stiff rectangular box with glossy product picture at front and technical specs printed on the back side. This box consists of two compartments inside, one has soft insert that holds DH80S at place and below that you’d find the rest of the accessories and leaflets. Full set is as following:
  • DH80S
  • type-C to USB-A converter
  • type-C cable
  • type-C to type-C OTG cable
  • coin type separator for sandwich setup
  • warranty card
  • User manual
DSC0461.jpg


If DH80S had a screen – it would’ve been hard to distinguish it from AP80 DAP. Very similar profile, materials and dimensions. It is built upon unibody aluminum chassis with one main design element in form of leather cover over the facing side.

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Leather feels nice, has natural surface texture, protects the other device from scratches in sandwich setup and adds the grip to DH80S slippery shell. The opposite flat side contains all prints such as logos and names.

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Top edge is left free on any controls. Left edge got 3-position Gain adjustment, right edge has two volume buttons, main power switch and power LED indicator.

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All inputs and outputs are located at the bottom edge: 3.5mm SE, 4.4mm balanced, sampling rate LED and type-C USB charging + type-C USB data ports.

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DH80S is neither thick, not heavy, weights only 76g which makes it very good for sandwich setups with different portable audio sources. It would still create Frankenstein awkward look in such stack but would fit in into a pocket, at least.

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In standalone operations, DH80S is nicely looking and monolithic in hands, comfortable to hold and operate. Although, we should mention that buttons do rattle a little and LEDs were not aligned well with body openings in our particular pre-mass production sample. We have not spotted similar issue on the pictures of samples that were released later.

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Device in use:

One of the first questions that comes in mind – why there are two separate type-C USB ports? One is designed solely for charging and another one accepts data. With such design, battery charging is done only through charge port. What advantages does it bring to us? It means that the source battery would not be drained to charge DH80S. On the other hand, if DH80S runs out of charge in the middle of nowhere, our source device would not be able to power it up… We would need a powerbank or other power source to bring DH80S back to life. One question which is not quite clear is the logics of power LED. It lights up shorty when power switch is on and stays lit green during charging process. Not really what we’ve got used to.

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Charging from empty to full takes around 2.5 hours and battery lasts for about 8 hours of use through SE audio output at ~70% volume. DH80S never got hot during charging or regular operations.

This DAC/amp can be used either with Android or iOS smartphones or with desktop OS like Windows 10 and Mac. All of those would natively support DH80S, with no need for extra drivers. Although, for the best audio quality under Windows environment it is better to wait until Hidizs would release a dedicated ASIO driver which is not yet available. With Android OS – we have used HiBy Music app to feed bit-perfect stream over USB. No issues. For those who have Tidal or Qobuz subscriptions – DH80 series support an impressive 8X MQA unfold over USB.

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All control buttons, apart of volume, are represented by multi-position switches (sliders) for the sake of easy blind operations and faulty triggering protection. Volume buttons are regular press-to-operate with tangible click and reasonable force to be applied. Unfortunately, those operate in discrete steps, far less precise than any analog potentiometer. GAIN switch has uncommon three (!) positions (LOW, MID, HIGH) with significant change in resulting amplification. Additional care should be taken when tuning GAIN to your liking with sensitive low impedance IEMs as those might just burn with MID, HIGH settings at higher volume. The amount of power output is not too impressive, but still unexpectedly high from such tiny device – 210mW at BL / 32Ohms and 125mW at SE / 32Ohms. It results in ~0.5W with 10-15Ohms impedance IEMs on balanced output which is a significant figure for the most of hybrid or armature IEMs. Thus, DH80 makes sense even in stack with AP80Pro – it would add significantly more power, 4.4mm BL output and MQA support.

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General operations did not cause any troubles, no issues and faults were found during couple of week of heavy testing. There were couple of random reboots in forced unlikely operation, for example – trying to quickly switch between DSD/FLAC tracks not even waiting for the track to begin to play… But this was a part of experiment that was also submitted to Hidizs for additional checks. Regular usage is straight forward, fluent and not causing any issues. BTW, sampling rate LED does its work and is synchronized to track quality, even indicates MQA with pink color. Therefore, we can conclude that DH80S has the consistency and provides good user experience.

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Sound quality:

Test gear: Hidizs AP80 DAP + Hidizs DH80S DAC/AMP + various IEMs + AudioTechnica ATH-M50

Lows and midbass:

Hidizs DH80S resolves lows with above average amount of textures, capable of delivering it with nice outlines in perfect balance with other ranges. Extension is on the pros side, bass is neither too fast or slow. Lows show adequate volumetric feel and do not interfere with mids and treble. Bass portion is fully perceptible, making the stage wider and the complete picture warmer to a reasonable extent. Although, we can not tell that this DAC|amp is warm or dark, let’s say neutral or even a little bit dry. But lows and mid bass do a great job on making it less analytical. Mid bass is decent – sounds natural and powerful. Dynamics and articulation on drums are both impressive.

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Mids and vocals:

More resolution is observed in this range while the entire picture stays similarly neutral. Vocals are not popping out or recessed, show slight tendency towards emotional side but not sounding too thin. They do take a central part on the stage and close to monitor reproduction. No harsh and screaming notes. With slight emotional appeal male vocals still maintain good touch of warmth. Instruments of upper range show the most amount of tiny details. Excellent instrument separation positively results into stage depth. In overall, mids feel natural, energetic and emotional.

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Treble:

Treble is perceived balanced to the rest of the ranges with no extra emphasis or excessive capabilities. It has enough clarity and crispness and the extension and micro dynamics are good. Treble is accurate in general and naturally compensates good bass presence without any piercing or dirty effects. The potential of this range might only be compromised with very expensive BA or piezo drivers while for the most of IEMs and overheads DH80 treble has the excessive potential.

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Compared to Hidizs DH1000:

DH1000 is very similar in its purpose and nature. It has a better battery life, more comfortable volume control and more appealing look. Moreover, it sounds more delicate, accurate and less dry. But it is more expensive, has not-that-convenient 2.5mm BL output, less power… We would say that DH1000 would be better for desktop use while DH80S is a better companion for any smartphone on-the-go.

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Compared to Hidizs S9:

S9 is very interesting external power dependent small DAC/amp with BL and SE outputs. Since it is so tiny – it is limited in driving potential and power compared to DH80S. It also does not feature MQA and processes sound with less amount of details, creating less separation and smaller stage. Apart from that, S9 is great ultra-portable DAC|amp that might be chosen over DH80S if charging another battery is boring and carrying another relatively large device in a pocket is cumbersome.

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Conclusion:

Our conclusion is that Hidizs DH80S really sounds neutral, it even has a tendency to monitor-like, dry performance. It would be a good starting point for anyone who searches for transparent performance with analytical approach which would nicely pair with most of the end gear, not coloring the resulting sound. Tonality is neutral, no extra emphasis or accents, good amount of textures and details, high power and driving potential on balanced output, plus 8X MQA support – attractive combination of great features within low budget. We have already made it a part of our travel setup as it is the smallest and the most powerful DAC/amp. Two weeks – so far, so good. Wishing you the same…

You can get DH80/DH80S in Hidizs official website: LINK
  • Like
Reactions: joaoakio
J
joaoakio
Hi, how the DH80 compares to other portable DAC. I am interested specially on the BTR5, the Q3 and the ifi hip dac.
IryxBRO
IryxBRO
Don't have those. Have others like Hidizs DH1000, xDuoo XD05Plus, S8, S9, Audinst, Audirect, Tempotec, SMSL....

cqtek

500+ Head-Fier
Sabre Magnetism
Pros: Great Sabre sound, pure and analytical.
- Great power and performance.
- Supports MQAx8 and DSD128.
- Small size and weight, built-in battery and nice and attractive design.
- 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm Balanced output.
- 3 gain modes.
- Separate USB Type-C charging and data connections.
- Operation LEDs.
- Automatic shutdown in absence of source signal or no connection of outputs.
Cons: When activated (not between songs), the sound appears with a relatively fast Fade-IN. In my case, I don't like this feature, because the first musical bars are lost.
- The switches are somewhat soft, they exert little resistance to movement.
- No ASIO driver available.
Introduction

Hidizs, the well-known brand established in 2012, continues to expand its catalogue with increasingly versatile products. After the excellent S9 and the small, but surprising H2, the brand wanted to complete its DAC/AMPS portfolio with the new DH80/S. The DH80 is a custom-made dock for the AP80/Pro DAPs, while the DH80S is the same product but universal, lacking the dock for these DAPs. In my case, the product to be analysed is the small DH80S. And I say small, because honestly, I expected it to be bigger. And my first surprise was to see its size and all its features: volume control, triple gain control, 3.5mm SE output, balanced 4.4mm output, independent USB Type-C charging port, USB Type-C input port, dual LEDs for operation notification and 1300mAh internal battery. All this in an aluminium alloy tablet with leather bottom protection, weighing 76g. Inside, in addition to the aforementioned battery, it has two oscillator crystals, two RT6863C operational amplifiers, Sabre's ES9281C Pro premium DAC, Panasonic capacitors, plus a magnetic absorption design. It is compatible with Windows 10, Mac OS, iPad OS, Android and iOS. It supports MQAx8, has 3 gain levels and 30 volume steps per level.
Below we will see all these features expanded, its measurements and we will analyse its sound.

Hidizs DH80S 01_r.jpgHidizs DH80S 02_r.jpg

Disclaimer

Hidizs, offered me this model, in exchange for writing an honest review. I want to make it clear that all my opinions written in this review have not been conditioned by this fact, nor will I ever write anything that I do not really think or feel here. I will only write about my personal opinion in relation to the revised product.

Specifications

  • DAC: Sabre ES9281C Pro
  • OPAMP: RT6863Cx2.
  • Power connector: Type-C.
  • USB input: Type-C
  • Battery size: 1300mAh (3.7V Li-Polymer).
  • Charging time: Approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Battery life: Up to 6 hours (balanced), up to 8 hours (single).
  • Maximum output power (3.5mm): 125mW+125mW(32Ω).
  • Maximum output power (4.4mm): 210mW+210mW(32Ω).
  • Frequency response range: 20Hz-80kHz(±0.6dB).
  • THD+N (3.5mm): 0.0006%.
  • THD+N (4.4mm): 0.0004%.
  • Crosstalk (3.5 mm): 79 dB.
  • Crosstalk (4.4 mm): 108 dB.
  • SNR: 116dB.
  • Size: 70x50x12mm
  • Weight: 76g approx.
  • Support for MQA x8.
  • Sampling rate: up to 32Bit/384kHz.
  • DSD: up to 128

Hidizs DH80S 03_r.jpgHidizs DH80S 04_r.jpg

Packaging

The DH80S comes in a dark box, which has a realistic photo on its front side. Its size is 128x98x55mm. In the upper left corner you can see the brand logo. At the bottom the model name, as well as a short description and the Hi-Res, DSD and MQA logos, all in gold lettering. On the back, in white lettering, are written the full specifications, contents and Hidizs' address and web link. Lifting the lid reveals the DH80 tablet wrapped in a whitish plastic bag inside a thick foam mould. Thanks to a strip of cloth, the product can be removed and the rest of the accessories can be accessed. In a summary:

  • 1 DAC/AMP DH80S.
  • 1 USB-A to Type-C converter.
  • 1 USB Type-C charging cable.
  • 1 USB Type-C to USB Type-C connection cable.
  • 1 warranty card.
  • 1 instruction manual.
  • 1 adhesive metal disc.

The packaging is adequately sized, sober and simple. The accessories are basic, but I'm happy with two cables: a charging cable and a connection cable, as well as the USB Type-C female to USB-A male adapter. On the other hand, I miss a carrying pouch and some rubber bands for attaching it to other devices. Also missing is the lightning OTG cable, for connection to iOS devices, which must be purchased separately.

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Construction and Design

The tablet is made of aluminium alloy. Its dimensions are 70x50x12mm and its approximate weight is 76g. It is completely black and all its inscriptions are made in white ink. On the upper side you can see the logo of the brand, while on the lower side there are the Hi-Res, DSD and MQA logos, the name of the model and its description. On the lower side face are the LED indicating the sample rate, the USB Type-C female connection port, the USB Type-C female charging port, the 3.5mm SE output and the 4.4mm balanced output. You can clearly see that the balanced output is gold-plated, while the SE is not.
On the side face is the gain selector switch. The DH80S has three gain modes. The switch is cylindrical and its movement offers hardly any resistance and the jump between the different modes is small and subtle. I would have preferred the movement to be a little harder and longer, not so easy to switch. On the left side, also at the bottom, there is a charge indicator LED, a power switch, a volume down button and a volume up button. All three buttons are cylindrical. There are 30 volume steps, which may not seem like much, but combined with its triple gain mode, it may be adequate. Personally, I would have liked more steps, 50 would have been fine. The pulsation travel is small and the click is subtle. Likewise, the vertical travel of the drive switch is short and soft. I would have liked it to be harder to avoid accidental activation.
On the underside is a brown leather cover, encased in a protruding aluminium rim.
The shape is reminiscent of the brand's DAPS, the AP80, with that slight trapezoidal shape.
Personally, I would have liked the USB connectors to be on the bottom side only, and the headphone outputs on the top side.
On the other hand, the fit of the LEDs seems to be a bit loose, as they seem to be moved inside their slots, which appear to be larger.
All in all, the best thing about the pickup is the size and weight. That the balanced output is 4.4mm is great, but I don't understand why the SE output is not gold-plated. I would have preferred a harder drive with more travel on both switches to avoid unwanted movement. Still, the design is sober, simple and black, with the right indications. It is, however, sturdily and rigidly constructed. The leather base is appreciated.

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Connectivity

The DH80S is compatible with Windows 10, Mac OS, iPad OS, Android and iOS. For Windows 10 it does not need a driver, although I would have preferred an ASIO driver. It can be used as a DAC/AMP connected to a PC and as a headphone amplifier, connected to a compatible smartphone or DAP. It has a dedicated port for connection and another for charging. Thanks to its internal battery, no charging connection is required during operation. Both ports are USB Type-C female. It supports up to 32Bit/384kHz sampling rate, DSD 128 and Full 8X MQA decoding via UAPP, Tidal, etc. software.
There is no line output, nor any other input other than the USB port.

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Operativity

Operation is very simple: power switch, 30 volume steps, 3 gain modes, 3.5mm SE output and 4.4mm balanced output. Load indicator LED and sample rate indicator LED:

  • Red: 44.1kHz-48kHz
  • Blue: 88.2kHz-384kHz
  • Pink: MQA

The charging LED is green during charging. Once charged, it turns off.
To avoid unnecessary battery drain, it has a quick shut-off: when the playback application is started, the sound is activated smoothly, from mute to the current volume. If playback is paused, this fade-in is not executed, only when the playback application is started. During playback, the corresponding sampling light is lit, during pause or non-playback, it is switched off.
It should be noted that the DH80S remembers the volume status when it is switched on again.

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Measures

No load SE LOW


At low gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, the Hidizs DH80S presents excellent linearity, providing a maximum voltage of 650mV @ 1kHz.

NoLoad-Low-Gain-SE.jpg


No load SE MED

At medium gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, with no load, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 1.49V @ 1kHz.

NoLoad-Med-Gain-SE.jpg


No load SE HIGH

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, without load, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.14V @ 1kHz.

NoLoad-High-Gain-SE.jpg


No load BAL LOW

At low gain, through the Balanced 4.4mm output, with no load, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 1.26V @ 1kHz.

NoLoad-Low-Gain-BAL.jpg


No load BAL MED

At medium gain, through the Balanced 4.4mm output, with no load, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.99V @ 1kHz.

NoLoad-Med-Gain-BAL.jpg


No load BAL HIGH

At high gain, through the Balanced 4.4mm output, with no load, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 4.2V @ 1kHz.

NoLoad-High-Gain-BAL.jpg


15 Ohms SE

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, at 15Ω, the Hidizs DH80S's maximum voltage is 1.4V @ 1kHz.
This means a power of 130mW. This power is not achieved at maximum volume. I have tried lowering the volume until a pure sine wave, free of visible distortion, is displayed. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of just over 93mA.

015-High-Gain-SE.jpg


15 Ohms BAL

At high gain, through the 4.4mm Balanced output, at 15Ω, the Hidizs DH80S's maximum voltage is 1.26V @ 1kHz.
This means a power output of 110mW. This power is not achieved at maximum volume. I have tried lowering the volume until a pure sine wave, free of visible distortion, is displayed. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 84mA. It is curious that the balanced output, with this impedance, delivers less power than the SE output.

015-High-Gain-BAL.jpg


33 Ohms SE

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, at 33Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.07V @ 1kHz.
This means a power output of 130mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current in excess of 62mA. As can be seen, it is clear that Hidizs delivers as specified, 125mW @32Ω and certainly with a very low level of distortion.

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33 Ohms BAL

At high gain, through the 4.4mm Balanced output, at 33Ω, the Hidizs DH80S's maximum voltage is 2.67V @ 1kHz.
This means a power output of 220mW. This power is not achieved at maximum volume. I have tried lowering the volume until a pure sine wave, free of visible distortion, is displayed. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 81mA. Again, Hidizs delivers as specified, with distortion that is sure to be low, as the waves appear clean.

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100 Ohms SE

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, at 100Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.10V @ 1kHz.
This gives a power output of 44.1mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 21mA.

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100 Ohms BAL

At high gain, through the 4.4mm Balanced output, at 100Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 4.09V @ 1kHz.
This is 170mW of power. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 41mA.

100-High-Gain-BAL.jpg


150 Ohms SE

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, at 150Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.09V @ 1kHz.
This gives a power output of 29.12mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 14mA.

150-High-Gain-SE.jpg


150 Ohms BAL

At high gain, through the 4.4mm Balanced output, at 150Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 4.09V @ 1kHz.
This is 110mW of power. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 27mA.

150-High-Gain-BAL.jpg


300 Ohms SE

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, at 300Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.09V @ 1kHz.
This gives a power output of 14.56mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 7mA.

300-High-Gain-SE.jpg


300 Ohms BAL

At high gain, through the 4.4mm Balanced output, at 300Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 4.18V @ 1kHz.
This gives a power output of 58.24mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 14mA.

300-High-Gain-BAL.jpg


620 Ohms SE

At high gain, through the Single Ended 3.5mm output, at 300Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 2.14V @ 1kHz.
This gives a power output of 7.39mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 3.45 mA.

620-High-Gain-SE.jpg


620 Ohms BAL

At high gain, through the 4.4mm Balanced output, at 300Ω, the Hidizs DH80S maximum voltage is 4.18V @ 1kHz.
This gives a power output of 28.18mW. This power is achieved at maximum volume, with no visible distortion. At this rate, the DH80S is capable of delivering a current of 6.74mA.

620-High-Gain-SE.jpg


Frequency Response

As can be seen in the images above, the frequency response, both for the SE and Balanced output, is linear. The following graph corroborates the linearity of the frequency response and it can be seen that there is no difference between channels over the entire frequency range (10Hz to 50kHz), even at different volumes. With this, it is clear that the Hidizs DH80S is a device that meets the Hi-Res specification, as far as frequency range is concerned.

Hidizs DH80S.png

Output Impedance

The SE output impedance measured at 33Ω is 1.12Ω.

Hidizs DH80S Output Impedance 033 SE.jpg

The SE output impedance measured at 100Ω is 1.9Ω.

Hidizs DH80S Output Impedance 100 SE.jpg

BAL output impedance measured at 100Ω is 2.69Ω.

Hidizs DH80S Output Impedance 100 BAL.jpg

The SE output impedance measured at 300Ω is 1.44Ω.

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Sound

The Hidizs DH80S has an unrestricted Sabre sound. Anyone familiar with these DACS will have an idea of their profile, which tends towards clarity and analytical capability. And so it is, from the very first moment, the sound is uncluttered, very clean and defined, full of light, separate and precise. It's not a harsh sound, not to misinterpret the analytical sound towards this side, but it's not silky or sweet either. It is more neat, transparent, clean and highly descriptive. And that is true of all the IEMS that connect. Notably, there is no clear colouring for either output (SE or Balanced), regardless of the IEMS connected, whether with pure dynamic drivers or BA drivers. In this way, the DH80S respects the idiosyncrasies of each connected headphone, but clearly shades it towards its profile. This is how this new device from Hidizs demonstrates its distinct character, which will leave no one indifferent. It is clear that this will be a double-edged sword: those who like analytical sound will love the DH80S; however, those who prefer a quieter, softer sound may not be at ease. I have made my preference clear in many of my reviews, but without disparaging other profiles. That's why, from the very first moment, I connected with his sound and was surprised that his accent was so insightful and exposed. That is why I have emphasised and extended this lengthy introduction. But I would also like to point out that the DH80S is capable of boosting its profile, more or less, depending on the connection. Used as a DAC/Amp, connected to my Windows 10 PC, this profile shines the brightest. Connected to a warmer source, such as the Tempotec V1-A, its profile tends to calm down a bit, but without reaching neutrality. This is how this Hidizs is not a completely anarchic device, but also has its docile and obedient side, but without giving up its character.

In the mid-range, the splendour of its analytical character is appreciated without restriction. Light, clarity, separation, transparency, definition and level of resolution are limited only by the capabilities of the connected headphones. Vocals are exposed very full in their edges and details, without the body suffering. Their level of dynamics is quite high and so is the speed. The differences between them and the instruments is very clear, with no decoupling felt, just a great separation and a sense of air. Despite the cold character, there is no loss of musicality: it is not an inert and insensitive sound, but a technically very outstanding sound, which works very well with BA drivers, because it knows how to enhance their virtues. But it is not only good for them, with dynamic drivers it makes the profile more musical, offering a more fluid and continuous mid-range. The instrumentation is very delicate and precise, but without losing its naturalness. It is remarkable the great amount of detail offered, generating a very refined and melodic timbre, very suitable for complex compositions, where a high level of resolution is required. This DH80S does not shy away from big challenges, but excels at them.
The high end does not feel betrayed by the character of the Hidizs, as it is no more exposed than other areas. The treble sounds in keeping with the profile, technically precise, without losing its delicacy or sounding harsh, even with the most excited headphones. It is clear that the timbre in this area stands out in its coolness, speed and tightness. The notes are exquisitely thin, swift and lightning-fast, showing off their precision and level of resolution. It's worth noting that, although the sound is analytical, this is not an overly bright DAC/AMP, nor is it emphasised in this area, because it is clear that the linearity of its frequency response is absolute, nor is there any colouring in the response of the connected headphones, be they dynamic drivers, BA, via the SE or Balanced output. It goes without saying, however, that the highs are very sparkling and dynamic, with a lot of liveliness and extension, not least because the DH80S reaches up to 50kHz without losing the linearity of its response.
In assessing the scenery, it is notable for its amount of air and enormous separation. As a result, the musical representation is eminently wide and enveloping, with a generous depth and considerable height. At no point does the DH80S limit the expansiveness of the music in the connected headphones, but invites them to spread out as far as they can. This is how all the great features of this device come together in a positive way to offer a remarkable three-dimensional sensation, a positioning worthy of its analytical capacity and a precise and realistic provenance, without being artificial or forced.
Finally, I would like to point out that there are slight differences between the 3.5mm SE output and the 4.4mm Balanced output: I find the balanced output technically superior, with a higher level of definition and separation. Meanwhile, the SE output has a more musical, uniform and cohesive point.

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Comparisons

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus


The Sonata iDSD Plus is an old acquaintance of the family. It also shares a Sabre DAC, but in a different model and in a Dual version (ES9018K2M). It also has a battery, is larger, heavier, has a balanced output (2.5mm) and ASIO driver, something in which it surpasses the DH80S. But it has less power: the Hidizs has a smidge more per SE output and 60mW more per balanced output. Another improved feature of the DH80S is that it does not draw power when idle, whereas the iDSD does. So if you forget to turn it off for a few hours, the battery may be drained when you return. Also noteworthy are the Hidizs gain selector, MQA support, descriptive LEDs and its magnetic absorption design. It is clear that a newer product has new and superior technology.
The profile of both is similar, although the DH80S feels more analytical, with a higher point of clarity and better exposure, although the difference is not great. One thing that is more noticeable is the emphasis in the low end, with the DH80S's bass energy being higher, and also showing a more perceptible, undulating texture, with a more attractive and noticeable roughness. Meanwhile, the iDSD feels softer and smoother in this low end, less visceral.
The mids of the DH80S have a somewhat higher order: when the volume is turned up on some sources, the sound sometimes seems to get out of control. Comparatively speaking, this effect is minor on the Hidizs, while it is noticeable on the iDSD, although it seems smoother at first glance. And perhaps that smoother, more cohesive sound is to blame for this effect, as there seems to be a hint of higher resolution in the DH80S, which gives it more transparency and definition. In this way, both the vocals and the instrumentation sound more separate and isolated, with more prominence, a darker and purer background, which provides less continuity and highlights more details, generating a more analytical and precise sound. Thus, in the DH80S, vocals improve in texture and micro detail, and have a better described body, thanks to their higher level of resolution. Separation to and from instruments also feels improved.
The high end is very similar, and looking at it point by point, it's hard to find differences. But there seems to be more air in the DH80S, energy, speed and a finer, crisper definition, that gives it the superiority in detail and resolution. So it is, too, that the scene and separation look slightly better on the new Hidizs, with that point of greater transparency and superior placement, that darker background and faster speed, allowing for better isolation of elements, more precise drawing and superior definition.
There is no doubt that the comparison between the two devices is complicated and you have to pay a lot of attention to distinguish their differences, but it seems that the Hidizs DH80S has taken the quality of the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus up a notch, improving in size, features and also in sound, without the price being higher, which is great.

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Conclusion

The battle between DACs/Amps up to 200$ is getting tougher and tougher. Every now and then a new dongle or amplifier with battery is released. In this sense, when the battery appears, the fight is focused on weight, dimensions, connections and new features. In this respect, the new Hidizs DH80S is very good: the size is small, as is the weight, it has 3.5mm SE and balanced 4.4mm output, separate USB data and charging connections, 3 gain modes and 30-step volume control. It also supports MQAx8 and DSD128. Little more can be asked of it in this sense, apart from a good design, which it has, and that leather-lined bottom with magnetic absorption. In terms of power it does not fall short and it will be difficult to beat it, especially when its specifications in this respect are true. In terms of sound, the DH80S is Sabre through and through: an analytical, pure, energetic, clear, transparent, defined and high-resolution profile. And this is true from the very first moment. Only some warm source may soften this profile slightly, but its idiosyncrasies remain firm. And that is great news.
All in all, for those who want to preserve the battery life of their devices and/or improve (possibly a lot) the sound of their PC/Tablet/Laptop, etc., the Hidizs DH80S is one of the best candidates, no doubt.

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Earphones and Sources Used During Analysis

  • Tempotec V1-A
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • Hidizs MS2
  • Rose QT9 MK2
  • NF AUDIO NM2
  • BGVP ArtMagic VG4
  • ISN H40
  • NS Audio NS5 MKII Extra Bass
  • Tin HiFi T4
  • Tin HiFi T2 Plus
  • Tansio Mirai TSMR-2
  • Ikko OH10
  • Toneking tk12s
  • Takstar Pro 80
  • SoundMagic HP150
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Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 90
  • Packaging and Accessories: 75
  • Connectivity: 80
  • Operability: 90
  • Sound: 94
  • Quality/Price: 95

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Purchase Link

https://www.hidizs.net/products/dh80-dh80s

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You can read the full review in Spanish here:

https://hiendportable.com/2021/03/28/hidizs-dh80s-review/

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