500+ Head-Fier
Hidizs XO - Smooth powerhouse with some quirks
Pros: - Pleasant sound with a slightly hint of warmth and an overall smooth and pleasant sound at both ends, in contrast with other similar dongles that have a drier approach
- Plenty of power in such a small factor
- Superb build quality and design
- Very lightweight and portable, it fits even in very small IEMs’ cases
- Features both unbalanced and balanced outputs, MQA and most of the high-res formats out there
- RGB lighting is well implemented and looks cool
Cons: - The smoothness is pleasant but this also leads to a less clinical and transparent sound (especially in the upper end)
- Heats up very fast even though it maintains a constant (yet a bit high) temperature after that, and consumes more power than most of its peers
- 2.5mm balanced output instead of 4.4mm output won't be ideal for most users
- Missing a volume/gain controller
- Some dongles in the same price range perform better in terms of overall efficiency


Hidizs is very popular in the Chi-Fi industry and they have been experiencing a very nice period thanks to their positive reviews on the MP145, MS1 Galaxy and other IEMs in their lineup. Not only that, they have also received some praise for their dongle DACs, and in this review I am going to cover the Hidizs XO.
Disclaimer: the Hidizs XO was sent to me by Hidizs free of charge after being selected for the “Hidizs Product Feedback Insights Program”. This review represents my personal opinion on the set and it is by no means a promotional or paid content.
At the time of the review, the Hidizs XO was on sale for around 59$ at
Hidizs’s official webshop.
I wanna thank Hidizs for this opportunity as I get the chance to try one of their products and give my honest feedback that will hopefully be helpful for the brand and the community.

Technical Specifications​

  • Size → 55mm * 24.5mm * 9.35mm
  • DAC Chip → ESS SABRE ES9219C x 2
  • Compatibility → MQA up to 16X (requires software support, recommended to use HiBy Music, DSD (Native DSD64/128/256), PCM (up to 384kHz/32bit)
  • Output type → single ended 3.5mm jack, balanced 2.5mm jack
  • Frequency Response → PO(3.5): 20Hz-40kHz (±0.12dB) / BAL(2.5): 20Hz-40kHz (±0.12dB)
  • THD + N → PO(3.5): 0.0015% / BAL(2.5): 0.0005%
  • SNR → PO(3.5): 118dB / BAL(2.5): 119dB
  • Crosstalk → PO(3.5): 76 dB / BAL(2.5): 118 dB
  • Output Power → 78mW + 78mW@32Ω 3.5mm SE, 195mW+195mW@32Ω Balanced 2.5mm
  • Supported systems → Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS, iOS (if you have older iPhones, though, you’ll have to buy a Type-C to Lightning adapter separately)
  • Net weight → 11g


The box is very small, it has a very simple design and contains:
  • The Hidizs XO dongle
  • A Type-C to Type-C cable
  • A Type-C to USB-A adapter
  • User manual and warranty card
  • Two small “Hi-Res Audio” stickers

Design and Build Quality​

The Hidizs XO is a true beauty in its (Rose Gold, in my case) metal chassis: it’s pleasant to look at, it’s very lightweight and its size also makes it easy to fit in small IEMs’ cases.
There are two RGB LED strips on the sides, on which Hidizs spent some effort (and words), since it’s a highlighted feature on the official product page on Hidizs’ website.


There are two physical buttons on the front:
  • The X button: used for changing the RGB LEDs’ colors/effects;
  • The O/rounded button: used for applying a sound filter (even though the difference is almost unnoticeable) which is recognizable by the color of the outer RGB LED ring.


Power consumption and temperature
The XO is not the most efficient dongle out there, even though this doesn’t only depend on the output or the RGB lighting (which for sure, when active, leads to higher battery drain).
One of the main issues is that the temperature increases pretty fast after some minutes of listening; this leads to more energy dispersion due to the heat, hence more power consumption and lower efficiency overall. Summer will definitely be a stressful test bench for the XO, since the operating temperatures will be much higher.
Having a dedicated gain setting option would have been optimal since one could decrease the gain with very sensitive IEMs in order to have less energy consumption and lower temperatures (hence, better efficiency with certain loads).

In terms of sound, the XO is relatively neutral with a very soft touch of warmth. It’s not the most resolving, accurate or analytical dongle DAC out there for sure, but delivers an overall nice and kinda musical sound that pairs well with almost every IEM.
Soundstage is quite expansive, detail retrieval is nice and the overall instrument separation is in line with the price range. There isn’t anything dirty going on even when very sensitive IEMs are plugged in, and the overall sound is slightly smoothened in the extreme upper and lower end in a pleasant way (hence not the most transparent/clinical or the driest I’ve heard).

Pressing the physical rounded button should slightly change the sound since there are two filter presets, but I found the two settings basically indistinguishable. Let’s say that Hidizs has put much more attention on the lighting, on the build quality and the overall appearance rather than on the sound filter.
Unfortunately, there also isn’t any button nor any combination of buttons that can be used to select a different gain setting, which is a missed opportunity.

Some comparisons:​

Hidizs XO vs Truthear SHIO
The SHIO sounds slightly more neutral, more transparent, a little more analytical and detailed. It feels like a more capable product in terms of small nuances and it’s a bit more powerful as well. Not only that: the SHIO drains less battery (in both the gain modes through both the outputs), it doesn’t heat up like the XO and also has two gain levels, a feature that is missing on the Hidizs XO.
Build quality and lighting are of great quality on the XO, no doubt, whereas SHIO looks and feels cheaper even though its performance is slightly superior overall.

Hidizs XO vs Type-C Apple Dongle
There’s really no competition when it comes to power output, so it doesn’t make any sense to compare them under this aspect. The Apple Dongle, though, sounds very good in terms of quality, with a more linear and transparent sound compared to the XO.
The XO wins in terms of soundstage and overall detail retrieval, but it’s also slightly warmer than the Apple Dongle, hence a bit more colored and musical.
The Apple dongle has no issues with heating (it isn’t very powerful, though, so that also plays a role) and it’s basically a cable, while the Hidizs XO has a full metal chassis, RGB lighting, a balanced output (the Apple Dongle only has an unbalanced output) and looks way more premium.

Hidizs XO vs Fosi Audio DS2
The Hidizs XO is warmer, and slightly smoother in the upper end with a tad more low-end body. The DS2 is a bit brighter instead and more transparent, sounding slightly drier than Hidizs’ dongle.
In terms of power and efficiency, the DS2 can reach higher volumes and it does that without becoming very warm/hot after some minutes of listening, a thing that happens instead on the Hidizs XO and that leads to more power consumption than the Fosi DS2.
Both are built very well, they are very lightweight and portable, both feel solid in the hands and both sport an added 4.4mm jack port for the balanced output, along with the unbalanced 3.5mm port. The Hidizs XO has RGB lighting but doesn’t have any volume control buttons, and the sound filters are basically identical in terms of sound. Another important difference is the fact that the XO sports a 2.5mm balanced port, whereas the Fosi DS2 features a more common and safe 4.4mm output (2.5mm outputs aren’t very appreciated because 4.4mm connectors are generally less delicate on the long run).
The XO is not a bad dongle but the Fosi DS2 is a product with an overall higher value for money, even though they sound slightly different in terms of sound approach..

Fosi DS2 vs Hidizs XO
The Hidizs XO is warmer, and slightly smoother in the upper end with a tad more low-end body. The DS2 is a bit brighter instead and more transparent, sounding slightly drier than Hidizs’ dongle.
In terms of power and efficiency, the DS2 can reach higher volumes and it does that without becoming very warm/hot after some minutes of listening, a thing that happens instead on the Hidizs XO and that leads to more power consumption than the Fosi DS2.
Both are built very well, they are very lightweight and portable, both feel solid in the hands and both sport an added 4.4mm jack port for the balanced output, along with the unbalanced 3.5mm port. The Hidizs XO has RGB lighting but doesn’t have any volume control buttons, and the sound filters are basically identical in terms of sound. Another important difference is the fact that the XO sports a 2.5mm balanced port, whereas the Fosi DS2 features a more common and safe 4.4mm output (2.5mm outputs aren’t very appreciated because 4.4mm connectors are generally less delicate on the long run).
The XO is not a bad dongle but the Fosi DS2 is a product with an overall higher value for money, even though they sound slightly different in terms of sound approach.

A very personal take on this dongle and its target market​

I think Hidizs tried to attract two kinds of customers with a single products:
  • Audiophiles/audio gear hobbyists with the balanced + unbalanced outputs and nice technical specs
  • Those who are attracted by RGB lightings (i.e. gamers and similar users)
I don’t really dig when things are mixed up because the final result is usually an in-between that works just ok for both kinds of users instead of excelling.

If Hidizs wanted to make something appealing to gamers, then a very good idea would have been making a dongle with unbalanced output and TRRS support so that gamers could also microphone input, and they could also have the RGB lighting that was implemented on the XO (which is definitely cool).
If they instead wanted to aim to the hobbyists that search for the best dongles around, then they should have put a bit more effort at making the XO more efficient, with a better temperature management and less battery drain (less effort on the lighting, more effort on the overall performance).

Final Thoughts​

The Hidizs XO is among the most compact and lightweight dongles out there, enclosed in a high quality metal chassis and featuring both balanced and unbalanced outputs, which lead to a versatile and powerful source.
The RGB lighting is the icing on the cake, but it really looks like Hidizs put too much effort on a feature that drains more battery on a dongle that isn’t already very efficient. In fact, I would have understood the RGB lighting if the product was targeted to gamers, but this one aims to those who listen to music and prioritize quality, power and efficiency on the move, and the lighting doesn’t really improve the overall experience.

I still think the XO is a great device, but there are even better dongles in their price bucket and if Hidizs managed to address the few mentioned issues, this could have been an even better contender (especially considering their original listing price).
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Headphoneus Supremus
Disco Lights on the go
Pros: 1.Great build quality
2. Small
3. RGB lights
4. Neutral sound signature
5. Good soundstage
6. Decent power rating
7. Native DSD playback
Cons: 1. No 4.4mm output
2. RGB lights
3. Battery drain on phone was quite high
4. No volume buttons
5. Gets quite warm

This is my first dongle to give my impressions of.
I'm approaching this from the angle of a dongle novice. I have mainly used dongles as a way of using wired iems on my phone and as such I didn't use the HIDIZS XO with any other sources.
First I'd like to thank HIDIZfor sending my the XO for evaluation, they haven't tried to influence my impressions in any way and as such these are my thoughts

Here's what HIDIZS have to say about the XO

DUAL ESS SABRE ES9219C DAC & Independent Crystal Oscillators
Get double the audio performance and the most accurate clocking for both DACs, through the synergy of the Dual ESS SABRE ES9219C DAC chips, and high-precision independent crystal oscillator, for the purest audio experience, and reproduce real music with unprecedented accuracy!Outstanding DAC parameters: 32bit/384kHz PCM, DSD256, +121dB DNR, -114dB THD+N, ultra-low power consumption, high integration, and substantially better performance than previous iterations.Remarks: The above official data is provided by ESS company.

The XO MQA Dongle is only the size of a USB and weighs only 11 grams. Contains two outputs, enough to drive mobile phones, iPads, and PCs. The output power is strong but not excessive, single-ended 78mW+78mW@32Ω / balanced 195mW+195mW@32Ω. The XO MQA Dongle perfectly balances sound quality and battery life.

The XO is not a new product and has been on the market for a couple of years I'm actually reassured by this too many products appear the disappear soon after.

The Dongle I receiveis an attractive rose gold colour, made out of aluminium. I have to say I like the RGB flashing lights a little too much. The light have many different combinations I rather like the rainbow multicolour rendition.

On initial release the dongle was $99 its now retailing for $59 which I think is a fantastic price for the functions available.

On plugging the XO into my phone (Samsung Galaxy S24Ultra) I mistakenly plugged the cable the wrong way round which meant no sound because the HIDIZS logo needs to be plugged into the phone USB-C port.
Once connected I was greated with a very ckean nuetral sound signature, organic in presentation with a rather surprising wide soundstage.
The 3.5mm se connection drive my IMR ACOUSTICS DARK Matter dual DD iems flawlessly giving a very solid bass and smooth mids the soundstage open with good layering.
Next iem I chose to pair was the Mangird Tea a very sensitive iem the delivery was so smooth and satisfying that I think this will be the pairing I will be using in future the combination was all I could wish for when on the go on public transport or out and about. The bass was dynamic with good articulation, the mids were open and sweet with the treble just about perfect for my tastes. The 3.5mm connection was so good that I don't feel the need to use the balanced connection which for me is held back by the old 2.5mm size which would mean I have to use a converter to 4.4mm as all my balanced cables are the larger termination.
The Balanced output does deliver a substantial increase in power delivery for harder to drive iems. The sound quality didn't really sound any different to the 3.5mm se to my ears.

There is full control of the XO via the Hiby app which takes the hassle out of stabbing at the tiny button in the dongle. The app is very easy to use to access the different sound signatures which do change the signature slightly attenuating the treble response. Which one you prefer will be subject to your personal preferences and the iem attached.

Compared to my limited collection of dongle the XO performed admirably easily matching the Hiby FC4 with a similar sound signature. I Discounted comparing the Cayin RU6 as its not a fair comparison due to its r2r configuration and much higher price bracket.

Overall I was very impressed with the HIDIZS XO for its cost and will be using it as my travel companion with my phone and the Mangird Tea for quality music enjoyment on the go.
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Riyanto Theo

New Head-Fier
Pros: - Neutral sound signature, with a bit of warmth.
- Noise free
- Expansive, airy soundstaging
- The size is small easy to tucked into IEM case
- MQA format is supported
- RGB panel if you like it
- Filters button if it works
Cons: - Filters have no effect to the sound
- No 4.4 mm balaced port
- No gain switch
- No volume buttons
I am not an audiophile; I am just a middle-aged man who enjoys trying out different IEMs and DACs and spending a lot of time listening to music during my boring office hour. I happened to be chosen as one of the winners of the Hidizs XO giveaway from Hidizs with the obligation to to give feedback to this XO. Thanks to Hibizs!

I was quite surprised by the size of the box and the DAC of this XO. It's very small. But it could be a plus point. The contents are very simple: DAC, USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A connector, instruction manuals, and the HiRes logo.
  • The size is very small and thin. I like it because it can be tucked into the case box of my Tanchjim Oxygen, finally replacing the Apple dongle. Very practical, one small box contains both IEM and DAC, ready to slip into my pocket.
  • It's a pity that the balanced port uses a 2.5mm size, which is now rarely used in other DACs. I don't have a cable with a 2.5mm jack.
  • Perhaps this is the only DAC with a button to change sound filters. There are 2 filter options marked with blue and red lights. It's just a shame that I didn't notice any difference in sound when pressing the filters; perhaps my hearing is limited. If there really is a change, this would be a big plus point for the XO.
  • RGB Panel : it only for visual purposes and matching with my keyboard hahaha, it would have been more interesting if the color were to be reflecting to the sound wave of the music being played, but it's not.
To test the sound, I paired the XO with the Tanchjim Oxygen and Sivga Nightingale IEMs, connected to my Redmi Note 8 smartphone.

  • The XO is quite stable during usage, rarely experiencing disconnections with the smartphone.
  • The XO doesn't have a volume button. When using the Hiby player app, the volume steps are limited to 30, making it difficult to adjust the volume precisely. However, using the UAPP app allows for volume step adjustment up to 100 steps.
  • Battery Consumption: The XO provides a runtime of approximately 10 hours, which is quite sufficient for my needs.
  • With the 3.5mm port, the XO can still drive the Oxygen and Nightingale effectively.
  • This is my first DAC that supports MQA. I tried MQA on Tidal using the UAPP, and the indicator light on the XO turned purple, indicating successful MQA playback. This was a new experience for me. However, I haven't found a way to play MQA on my PC yet. The indicator light remains green when playing Tidal MQA songs on my PC. If any readers know how to play MQA on a PC, please comment below.
This is my first DAC using ESS Sabre and supporting MQA. Previously, I've owned the Shanling UA3 (AKM), iBasso DC04 Pro (CS), and Cayin RU6 (R2R) DACs.
I'm very pleased because this is the first time I've heard the sound quality of MQA. It's safe to say that it's almost on par with DSD in terms of sound quality. The advantage of MQA is that it can be obtained via streaming legally.

I categorize the XO as a DAC that is quite neutral and detailed, with a slightly warm tone due to its deep bass response. The midrange vocals and instruments sound natural and clear, while the treble is crisp and dry. There's no background noise at all. The soundstage feels spacious, and instrument separation is excellent.

I'll compare with RU6 as it's the only DAC I still have.

Song used :
  1. Timur - The Bakuucakar
  2. Never Enough - Loren Allred
  3. A Case of You - Diana Krall
XO has a more focused bass punch compared to RU6, its bass hits are deeper and eardrum-shaking. Sometimes, it feels like there's too much bass impact for me, leading to fatigue. Perhaps age is a factor here.

XO can reach higher notes better, especially noticeable in songs with high-pitched female vocals like in "Never Enough." The guitar sound also feels sharper on XO compared to RU6.

However, RU6 has one advantage, particularly in lower female vocals. Voices like Diana Krall's feel weightier, clearer in pitch modulation, intimate, and thicker. This is especially prominent when paired with the mid-centric SIVGA Nightingale IEMs. It's as if Diana Krall is singing right in front of my ears. This is the only reason why I chose RU6 over RU7.

In terms of technicality, XO has a wider soundstage compared to RU6.
The vocal position on XO feels slightly more backward compared to RU6.

The Hidizs XO is the small DAC with tremendous capacity. It's highly reliable in terms of both sound and power. I highly recommend it, especially since currently on sale for $60.
Thank you to everyone who has read my writing.





New Head-Fier
Hidizs XO Review - Gamer's Essential
Pros: - Sturdy aluminium build with matte finish.
- Neutral sound signature, with a bit of warmth.
- 15 different modes of RGB (if that matters)
- Filters switch to match with listening preference.
- MQA format is supported.
- Removable cable, easy pairing with any source.
Cons: - No 4.4mm Balanced termination which is much needed in future.
- Filter does not resonate too much effect
- No volume rockers.
- Not for RGB haters.
- Gets warm overtime.
- Power consuming is a bit on the high side.
Overall rating: 4/ 5
Build Quality: 4/5
Design: 4.5/5
Accessories: 4/5

Sound Rating:
Timbre: 4/5
Bass: 4/5
Midrange: 4/5
Treble: 4/5
Technicalities: 4/5


- The review equipment is a demo unit sent by Hidizs as a part of a tour review. Regardless, all opinions remains original ideas, thus there is zero influence from any 3rd party or external opinions.
- Sound evaluations are kept neutral and due to the type-c cable gone missing, I will use my Jcally cable to work on this review.
- Burn-in was done for 100 hours prior to review.


Take a look into the Hidizs XO, not their latest dongle DAC at all, but this was the DAC that Hidizs brings gamers aesthetic into the audiophile game, and made the list. Apart from the RGB lightshow, Hidizs knew what they are doing. Sporting dual ESS Sabre ES9219C dac chip which can produce a bunch of power, and a relatively premium looking enclosure.

Unboxing & Accessories:

Hidizs XO is packed under this plastic case, to protect the dongle DAC from damaging. What you will find?
- OTG Type-C cable
- Type C to Type A adapter
- User manuals

- Hidizs XO
I find the Hidizs XO comes with the stiff cable. I do prefer braided cables so hopefully Hidizs will consider that in the future.

Build and Design:

The overall CNC-milled aluminium alloy feels premium on hand. The surface is matte finished to avoid fingerprints. The “X” and “O” are the only tactile buttons you can press, which one act as the 15 different RGB modes switch, and the O being the digital filter toggle.

The “O” tactile button is design with a LED outer ring, indicating the sampling rate. The LED emits 5 different LED lights for different sampling rate:
GREEN -> PCM 44.1- 96KHz
BLUE -> PCM 192KHz
RED -> PCM 384KHz
YELLOW -> DSD64 - DSD256
ORANGE -> MQA ~up to 16x
The design is very straightforward and focus more on the details. The edges are chamfered to avoid unwanted cosmetic damage and feels comfortable to hold on hand. The HIDIZS logo on the surface of the XO is a nice touch to be recognized easily.


Hidizs XO supports PCM up to 32bit/384kHZ, DSD up to DSD256 and MQA unfold up to 16x, dedicated for the MQA lovers. The digital filter can be triggered by pressing the “O” button, which we have red and blue filters.
RED FILTER: High frequency will be reduced to about 30 – 40% and boosted low end.
BLUE FILTER: High frequency will be reduced to about 20 – 30% and boosted low end.
I find the filter does not do much in the overall sound spectrum, leading it to be a gimmick feature. At the rear we can find a 3.5mm single output and 2.5mm balanced output. Both can put out a bunch of power at that time.
- max of 78mW@32 ohms in the 3.5mm
- max of 195mW@32 ohms in the 2.5mm
It is still usable despite having too many dongle DACs has been released this year, but my only complaint is I wish to have a 4.4mm balanced output, which make sense by today’s standard.


Not an issue even if I tested it today. The only thing may struggle is to drive planar headphones, but I have tried it with my Philips SHP9500 and it has no problem with that. No noise floor issue whatsoever but it gets relatively warm, even warmer than my Fiio KA13 in Desktop mode. This can be someone’s heat pad in the cold. (Just kidding) but this does show how warm it is.

The power that it can delivers amazed me. I have 6~7/100 volume steps with my PC, and -60db in UAPP with my smartphone to get to my acceptable volume. One drawback is that the volume steps are quite marginal. If I take one step above, it will sound louder than what I expected. It is a bit hard to get to an optimal volume I would say.

When it gets warm, the power efficiency gets lower, hence the power drain issue occurred. Just plugged into my smartphone and played with a few songs, enough to drain from 100% to 95% in less than half an hour. Not an ideal situation for this to happen.
Source used:
- Hidizs XO pairs with android phone, direct output 3.5mm to Moondrop SSR
- Hidizs XO pairs with PC, direct output 3.5mm to Moondrop SSR
- Hidizs XO pairs with Iphone 15 pro, direct output 2.5mm to Tangzu Zetian Wu
- Hidzs XO pairs with PC, direct output 2.5mm to Geekwold GK20


So how is the sound? The sound itself is clean and almost neutral, with a bit of colorization in the low end. Pairing with my warm-balanced Geekwold GK20, it emphasizes on the mid-bass so the GK20 got a bit more oomph in the bass guitar.

Then I have switched to my Moondrop SSR. The DF-neutral sound signature is coloured with more authority in the sub-bass. The treble in default mode or in any other mode, has heard with some roll offs. It does not have enough sparkles to my desire.

The ES9219C DAC chip has that clean analytical sound, making the vocals sounds drier than CS chips driven dongle DAC. Though it is not a problem with me as I quite like it, some may find a bit cold.

Soundstage and Technicalities:
The soundstage is wide, but the sense of depth to me is just average. The separation is not something I like from the Hidizs XO but the imaging is decent. I can hear lyrics while enjoying the guitar riffing and drum snares at the back.


Jcally AP10
I have not review my Jcally AP10 yet but this is a neutral set with the dual-CS43131 dac chips. Compared it to the Hidizs XO, it has engaging midrange, especially female vocals. The vocals are pushed forward to sound fuller. The vocals have that CS chip sound which has a warmth and natural filter on top of it. The Hidizs XO sounds cleaner, has more texture in the sub-bass and less offensive treble.

Both offers good technicalities, but do not sound like each other. The Jcally AP10 excels in separation, holographic soundstage, and dynamics. While the XO excels in imaging, and microdetails retrieval.


The Hidizs XO is a great dongle with the price of $99. However, it is competing in the recent overcrowded budget DACs market. Without the 4.4mm balanced output and independent volume buttons, the Hidizs XO would not stand for its own and the team need a revise to gain back the traction. Since the Hidizs S9 Pro Plus released lately, I do not think I have any reason to recommend this anymore. Unless you want a tacky RGB aesthetic to add it into your equipment!

Hidizs XO is now having a bargain at $79 in their official website. Attached below is the unaffiliated link to purchase one:


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Sorry if I didnt evaluate this enough. Basically I am telling that the XO's good technicalities allowed my test tracks to have distinctive present and separation, with a slightly recessed but prominent vocals as well as tight bass. Hope this helps
slightly recessed? thts no bueno.. because its not just you its other reviewers tht mentions the vocal and instrument imaging.. what iem did you use for review?
Source used:
- Hidizs XO pairs with android phone, direct output 3.5mm to Moondrop SSR
- Hidizs XO pairs with PC, direct output 3.5mm to Moondrop SSR
- Hidizs XO pairs with Iphone 15 pro, direct output 2.5mm to Tangzu Zetian Wu
- Hidzs XO pairs with PC, direct output 2.5mm to Geekwold GK20

These are the ones mainly used for this particular review.


New Head-Fier

Hi-RES sound with RGB?


1 ★ - Appalling! please avoid this!
2 ★★ Subpar offering, there are better options out there!
3 ★★★ Decent with some caveats! Not a bad pick!
4 ★★★★ Not perfect but solid choice ! This should be in your shortlist. A nice addition to your collection.
5 ★★★★★ One the best in class! You should go right ahead & buy one! A must have!

Hidizs XO 3 ★★★



- L shape tonality. It sounds almost flat and colourless but rather intimate in presentation.
In terms of tri-
frequency forwardness [BASS:MIDS:TREBLE] : 2.5 : 2.0 : 2.0
- Sounds more hi-fi than analogue.
- Sub-bass oriented, polite mid-bass presence. Mediocre bass texturing and layering. Decent transient with acceptable decay and sustain level.
- Mid-range is quite intimate and remain uncoloured. Vocals lacks fundamental body but in terms of texturing its decent. Male & female have equal spotlight energy wise. Good tolerance to sibilance and shout control.
- Treble is not peaky, safe and not too bright nor not too dark. It is not the airy type. The treble could use more bite. It is not the most define treble, some of the textures are smoothed out.
- Micro-detail is average, dynamic range could do some work, micro-dynamics felt lacklustre.
- Instrument timbre is not the most organic among the dongles. Overall, the note weight is decent. The transient is fast but soft, the decay is mildy quick but with acceptable sustain level.
- Separation & layering is good, didn't face congestion issue regardless of pairing.
- For an intimate presentation, the stage is quite wide, good depth and enough head-room.
- It sounds very cohesive from low to highs. There is almost zero timbre contrast.
- Beautiful RBG lights, I love it!
- Can get very hot, as hot as your hot tea.
- Price performance isn't the best by today’s standard.
- Good built quality and well accessorised.
- Average power-draw efficiency.
- And no 4.4 BAL jack in 2023?
- No gain-switch. No independent volume control.
- Green, Blue and Red Filters makes almost no difference.

- And for some reason it doesn't work with my Huawei phone. ISH.

It is not a bad performer…. But how well does it fair up against my daily dongle?



- Neutral-bright tonality. Mid-centric with added brightness up-top. Forwardness wise, [BASS : MIDS : TREBLE] : 1.0 : 2.0 : 1.5. Hence it sounds less intimate vs the XO
- SPACE achieved better balance between hi-fi & analogue sound. It sounds more natural overall.
- SPACE sounds slightly more mid-bass biased with good sub-bass presence. it's more qualitative than quantitative vs the XO's bassline. The bass response is better controlled with finer detail. The bass transient has higher amplitude in attack with more natural decay & sustain.
- Being the more mid-centric DAC of the two, the bass and treble took a step back in mix. It has a hint of ear-gain bump which increase the forwardness vocal and instrument in this region. The vocal sounds denser, fuller and better textured overall. Female vocals will sound more rewarding than its male counterpart.

- Treble performance is a step up, it has better extension and definition. It sounds brighter but does not boost any unnecessary peaks that can cause fatigue or sharpness. The overall attack is more incisive with natural decay. The added transparency also means it is less forgiving to low-fi.
- Micro detail is definitely better but by a small margin. As for dynamic-range, it is a step up. It makes the XO sounded dull and soulless by comparison.

- The SPACE instrument timbral approach is not the most realistic nor organic in its class but is natural enough to my ears, something like the Centrance DACPORT HD or Ovidius B1 is the gold standard here. The XO sounded almost digital-like next to the SPACE. In a sense that every note hit is more heard than felt which is unfortunate. Taking away some of the realism of replay. Timbre-head might want to steer away from this.
- Separation & layering prowess are slightly better with the SPACE.
- But the XO does offer a more spacious stage. It sounds wider, better depth with nigh identical headroom.
- I find the XO to sound more cohesive, the transition from low to highs is more fluid.
- They both can get fairly as hot upon using them.
- The SPACE has the edge in price: performance value.
- Although it doesn’t have any fancy RGB built in, the overall design is classier. Still, both have just about the same build quality. None felt cheaper.
- It has 4.4 BAL jack which is missing in XO.
- They both are capable to power a harder to drive IEMs, not sure about headphones though.
- It has physical button which does gain switch and independent volume control. SPACE has more volume steps as well
- It got digital APP called “TANCHJIM APP” but it's not working on my end.

The Hidizs XO then is by no means a bad product. It’s got its own good qualities but the performance is mostly overshadowed by its competitors. I wanted to love the XO. I really like the RGB effect. But the DAC overall performance is just a downgrade especially coming from my TANCHJIM SPACE. Hidizs needs to pay more attention with what is happening around CHIFI-market. Being just good is not enough these days. They have got to release something that sounds really special and substantial at the same time. Or else it won’t pass the test of time. Hidizs used to be quite competitive with its Hidizs S9 PRO but with the XO it’s a miss. I am having a hard time recommending the Hidizs XO to anybody when you have something like the IBASSO DC03PRO, DC04PRO or even the TANCHJIM SPACE for that matter which are more rewarding for almost the same price or cheaper. Hidizs, you can do better than this. And also, please get rid of that 2.5MM jack. Nobody is using that 2.5MM jack in 2023. We would appreciate to see a 3.5 SE and 4.4 BAL jack port instead with your future release. All the best Hidizs!


Native FLAC Files [44.1Khz 16bits-96Khz 24bits]
Foobar2000 [Laptop] [Ugreen USB C Adapter]
Huawei P20 PRO [Phone][ App- Foobar2000]
Tanchjim PRISM+
EPZ 530
Moondrop Blessing 2
7hz Timeless+
Hidizs MS3


1982 Chicago – Hard to say I'm sorry.
2003 NARUTO Original Soundtrack I – Wakiagaru Toushi
2008 K.will (케이윌) – 소원 (Great King Sejong OST Part.1)
2009 Maksim – Exodus
2010 Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou (OST) – Kokoro no Oku De Ha
2014 Grabbitz – Here with you now.
2014 Hyolyn – 안녕 Good bye
2015 K MISSING KINGS (OST) - New Kings
2016 K RETURN OF KINGS (OST) - Return of Kings
2016 K RETURN OF KINGS (OST) - If you die.
2017 Namie Amuro – Hope
2019 K SEVEN STORIES (OST) - In Pursuit Of
2019 K SEVEN STORIES (OST) - Lost Small World
2019 Blade & Soul (OST) – Half-Moon Lake
2020 Paradox Live Opening Show (1st E.P) – BAE – BaNG!!!
2020 Paradox Live Opening Show (1st E.P) – cozmez – Where They At
2020 倖田來未 (Kumi Koda) – GET NAKED (Kiyoshi Sugo Remix)
2020 倖田來未 (Kumi Koda) – again (MATZ Remix)
2020 premiere fleurs – プリンシパル
2020 Love Live! Nijigasaki – 朝香果林 (Karin Asaka) – VIVID WORLD
2020 Fujii Kaze – へでもねーよ”/Hedemo Ne-YoSeishun Sick
2020 King Gnu – 三文小説 /Sanmon Shosetsu
2021 OWV – Fifth Season
2021 加藤 ミリヤ (Miliyah) feat. Yoshida Brothers – この夢が醒めるまで
2021 Official髭男dism – Cry Baby
2021 Chanmin BIJIN 美人 – Morning Mood
2021 門脇更紗 (Sarasa Kadowaki) – きれいだ
2021 Mirei Touyama – 美忘録
2021 SELECTION PROJECT Vol.1 – Only one yell -天沢灯ソロver.-
2022 Belle (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Million Miles Away (ENG vers.)
2022 rei (E-girls) – Dark Hero.
2022 rei (E-girls) – IDNY
2022 I can fly (Special Edition) – Bleecker Chrome - You will shine
2022 I can fly (Special Edition) – YOSHIKI EZAKI x Bleecker Chrome - UP
2022 BEAST TAMER (OST) – じんわり感じている幸せ
2022 Ado – 会いたくて
2022 Ado – 踊
2023 La prière - Sweet Dreams
2023 Bungou Stray Dogs 4th Season ED – Luck Life – しるし
2023 Genjitsu no Yohane – Far far away
2023 Genjitsu no Yohane – Hey, dear my friends
2023 Anna – 花のように (Hana no You ni)
2023 riria. – 貴方の側に (Anata no Soba ni)

Do take my words for what it’s worth. Afterall, I am just one man.


- This is a loaner unit from Hidizs Tour Malaysia . Big thanks to the @Bella Juan & the team for making this possible!
- If you're interested to own an XO, Checkout the links below (non-affiliated)

If you like me to review your IEM/DAC/AMPS please hit me up:


Extra Photos

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New Head-Fier
Pros: > Powerful dual ESS Sabre ES9219C SoCs
> Neutral, analytical reference sound with a tad lower-mid warmth
> Expansive, airy soundstaging
> Capable gushing out tons of micro/macrodetails
> Rigid, smoothly angled aluminium alloy chassis
> Dual filter settings
> Balanced output
> Bobby-dazzling RGB LED light show with 15 effects
Cons: < Digital filter could not be turned off
< Warms up easily even without playing anything, which gets even warmer with the lights on
< Inefficient power rating
< Huge volume gain jump (caution IEM users with low impedance + high sensitivity)
< Absence of gain switch or external volume button for something this powerful
< 2.5mm (BAL) output which rapidly losing relevance

Full Review – Hidizs XO – Incandescent Illuminance

LRM_20230908_224701 (1).jpg


  • The review equipment is a demo unit sent by Hidizs as a part of a tour review, Hence, massive appreciation to Hidizs and Ms/Mrs. Bella Juan, a representative taking care of this tour for providing this demo unit and making this review possible.
  • Regardless, all opinions remains original ideas, thus there is zero influence from any 3rd party or external opinions.
  • No EQ or 3rd party filter presets were used during the entire review.
  • Sound evaluation are kept neutral from any 3rd party accessories (ie; eartips, 3rd party cable, reversible/unreversible mods)
  • Burn-in was done for 50+ hours prior to review.

“How could we make our product stands out the most unique than the rest of our competitors?”

That is the kind of question that begs companies to think out of the box, bolder in marketing their design and providing infinite possible functionality, in order to offer clients and customers a unqiue, one-of-a-kind product that stands out from the rest of the majority. Audio equipments such as DACs and amplifiers mainly regardless of form size, has always been touted with minimalistic, professional designs with little eye-catching details which to some people might have felt a tad “visionless” and “boring”.

What I have today with me is a brand new XO dongle DAC/AMP from Hidizs. Hidizs is a Chinese company typically known for their small DAPs and for the past couple of years they have been venturing into this dongle market with previous releases such as the S9, S9 Pro, DH80S and plenty more. It has been a while since I tried any Hidizs product apart from the AP80 DAP which I owned long time ago and this is my very first time being offered an oppurtunity by Hidizs to review their product.

The XO features a dual ESS Sabre ES9219C which can be found in their AP80X audio player, protected by under a high-density aluminium alloy chassis. What makes this dongle standout from the rest of its competition is the RGB LEDs along the body of this dongle. As we all know, some majority of audiophiles are also gamers in disguise, perhaps this is a coincidence or Hidizs has been aware of this case since there are the evergreen “X” and “O” symbols of gaming consoles on the main interface. To make things short, the “X” button allows user to cycle through up to 15 lighting effects, while the “O” button is to switch through two digital filters which will be enlighten further into the review.

In other cultural understanding the term XO is also recognized as hugs and kisses. Which can be defined as a lighthearted way of expressing affection, sincerity or deep friendship. The X represents a kiss, while the O represents a hug. Before the scene could get a whole lot spicier, let us get straight into the review and determine whether the Hidizs XO deserves our love.

Packaging and Accessories
The Hidizs XO came in an adorable, palm-sized packaging that slides outward unveiling a similarly sized hard plastic box. The cardboard sleeve itself is printed with an illustration of the dongle itself including its marketing logos at the front while at the back and sides are printed with all of the specifications and extra informations regarding the product itself.


Upon opening the box, its pretty straightforward without much frills you will be directly greeted with the dongle itself resting in a foam tray which can be pulled easily via a ribbon. Other than that, under the foam tray you will notice a small cardboard box where you can find the included generic USB-C with a Hidizs branding on one side to connect to your Android phone, laptop, etc and couple paperworks as well as a product manual. Unfortunately, for our dearly Apple friends Hidizs does not include any Lightning cable or an OTG with the XO. However, Hidizs do sell the LT02 which is a USB-C to Lightning cable on their website for an extra $21.99.

Design and Ergonomics
Built entirely out of high-density aluminium alloy which has undergone through 5-axis CNC process, the XO boasts a modern and elegant design which blends quite easily with the rest of most equipment. Tiny “H” etchings of Hidizs initials on the sides which works as a grill, allows the RGB LED lights shine through the chassis. Hidizs were generous enough to have the XO available in three colour options, Black, Rose Gold and Silver.


Weighing at just 11g and measuring at 55 × 24.5 × 9.35mm, this dongle feels robust yet light and small in profile that is no less than the length of a pinky finger. The edges are angled and smoothen out for better ergonomics and safety.

Top-end of the dongle has a 3.5mm single-ended and a 2.5mm balanced connections, while on the bottom there is a USB-C port which is the norm for all latest dongles in the market. Perhaps, it would have been much positive if the XO is equipped with a 4.4mm Pentaconn as most audiophiles tend to prefer it to the much fragile 2.5mm.

Looking at the main user interface, there are two clicky buttons each distinctly designed as “X” and an illuminating “O” that glows in green colour when powered. Each button allows users to cycle through different features that came in this adorable rectangular box.

Speaking of features, what separates the XO from any other dongle in the market is the existence of RGB lightings on each side, programmable up to 15 effects via the “X” button. Of course, it will draw out slightly more power from the host device and generates more heat, but it can also be switched off when not needed. The light show is unfortunately unskippable, unless by unplugging it or patiently cycle through all the options. Some may see this gamery gimmick as a con, but as long as it is not affect it’s sonic performance and user-friendliness negatively in any possible way.

Furthermore, the illuminated “O” button is also apparently an indicator for file formats and sampling rate such as below;

PCM 352.8/384kHz
PCM 176.4/192kHz
PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96kHz
DSD 64/128/256

Clicking the "O" button allows the user to cycle through the filter presets. There are two types of filter which are colour coded on the light ring as Blue in its stock and Red, both filters seemed to mask the treble to some extend. Despite that, the differences between the two filters are almost inaudible and hard to tell unless one is in a quiet ambience. While the differences are not night and day, the Red digital filter seemed to reduces treble a tad more compared to the Blue filter does when critically listened.

Hidizs XO Filter.png

Blue LED: High frequencies reduced by 20-30%, thus low intermediate frequencies will be much prominent
Red LED: High frequencies reduced by 30-40%, thus low intermediate frequencies will be much prominent

I did grab my chance ask Hidizs's representative regarding whether the digital filters can be turned off, since I noticed there was a Green coded light while rotating through the filters. As far as I was informed, there is no option to turn off the digital filter settings, the green coded effect was merely a default setting whereby it will change colour indicating the sampling rate of the current song playing as per shown in the table above.

  • Dimensions: (L×W×H) 55*24.5*9.35mm
  • Net weight: 11g
  • DAC SoC: 2* ESS SABRE ES9219C
  • Crystal oscillator: External independent crystal oscillator
  • THD+N: PO (3.5mm): 0.0015%/BAL (2.5mm):0.0005%
  • SNR: PO (3.5mm): 118dB/BAL (2.5mm): 119dB
  • Crosstalk: PO (3.5mm): 76dB/BAL (2.5mm): 118dB
  • PCM: Support up to 32bit/384kHz
  • DSD: Native DSD64/128/256
  • MQA:16X
  • Input option: 1* Type-C
  • Output option: Single-ended (SE) 3.5mm, Balanced 2.5mm
  • Output power: 78mW+78mW@32Ohm, 3.5mm (SE), 195mW+195mW@32Ohm 2.5mm (BAL)
  • Supported systems: Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS, iOS (Lightning cable + OTG sold separately)
  • Tested at: $86.00 USD

Performance that outclasses its size and price tag, the XO is equipped with dual ESS Sabre ES9219C DAC which can be found in Hidizs AP80X, as well as products from other brands such as Shanling UP5 and M3X. Boasting a whopping 78mW+78mW @32Ohms (SE) and 195mW+195mW @32Ohms (BAL) allowing this device to power almost any pair of IEMs and headphones. On lesser efficient headgear and planar-magnetic might be a tad too demanding for the XO could sufficiently provide.

This small dongle is also equipped with a high-precision independent crystal oscillator is adopted to ensure superior phase noise level whilst improving data connection. Even when plugged with a highly sensitive IEMs, the XO proven to be silent at all times without any hissing or humming background noise.

Despite the praises, the XO draws quite a lot of power from its host device, thus making it a less effective when used with a phone, unless it has a large battery. Added with the lights are turned on, the XO will definitely drain battery life a lot faster with greater heat generated. Preferably as well, if Hidizs should have also provided a volume button with wide volume steps or a gain setting on the XO. This is due to the decibel (dB) gain per volume increase were just simply way to high to adjust via the built-in host device volume controller. A small, clumsy mistake on the volume might cause the user to blast their music into their ears, especially for those who listens at lower dB with sensitive IEMs/headphones.

Sound Impression
The Hidizs XO is tuned quite differently when compared to other ESS DACs which I owned in the past, its neutral with a hint of warmth and smoothness in other words it does not leave an irritating harsh tail/transient like a poorly ESS Sabre implementation does. Think of it like listening to an EQ-ed Etymotic SE/SR-series with a 1 dB increase between 60-500Hz. Of course, that being said DAC chips should not produce any sound to some extend, the implementation what matters the most as variables from other components like an op-amp and etc must be taken into account.

Regardless, the XO synergize well with pretty much anything but may not for a brighter gear unless listening music using a stethoscope is actually possible. Soundstaging (ie; width, height and depth) is expansive and airy although it would not quite considered holographic as it almost seems trying to mimick instead. Detail retrieval is also a strong asset for the XO as it being a delta-sigma DAC, subtle nuances and microdetails are presented precisely even on quieter tracks.

Separation between instruments and vocals are outstanding with a dark background behind which gets even darker with the balanced 2.5m output which is expected due to the numbers in the specs sheet. The XO preserves vocal forwardness in mid-centric IEMs exceptionally well, although note weight is a bit lean. Uru’s voice in Furiko (From THE FIRST TAKE) - Uru which usually is intense and velvety warm seems slightly affected, which became slightly lean yet still retaining the fluidity and smoothness in her vocal. Layering was a bit of a shame, some extend of the elements in Mad About You – Hooverphonics and sub-bass rumbles in First Love – Hikaru Utada are a tad mushed together. Dynamic range was cut short, hence bass decay are slightly faster but for those who prefer tighter, faster mid-upper bass might gain from this dongle.

Testing Gears


  • Audio Technica ATH-IM02 (36 Ohms 113dB/mW)
The ATH-IM02 is notoriously well-known of its nature for being a strictly demanding in-ear monitor for source pairing and low output impedance (preferably <1 Ohm) requirement to ensure its dual-BA drivers performing optimally. An impedance mismatch could skew its frequency response from a flat, mid-centric studio reference to a Harman Target with harshly gritty and thin treble in an instance.

The Hidizs XO seems to be a solid, pristine pairing together with the IM02, there was no trace of frequency response shift when plugged into the XO. Despite losing its velvety warm midrange slightly, the XO preserves the IM02 exceptional vocal forwardness and instrument separation impressively. Low-end sounded much chesty, tighter, with faster bass reponse although, the dynamic range and richness is sacrificed by a small amount. Higher frequencies seemingly relishing fair share of vividness, clarity and extension which greatly enhance the airiness which this IEM needed. Definitely my favourite pairing out of all!


  • Dressage DS4+2 (24 Ohms 102dB/mW)
With a low impedance and high sensitivity rating synergy makes the DS4+2 perfect to detect any subtle background hiss or EMI interference within an equipment. However, as far as detailed and thorough testing were done, the XO does not produce any possible background noise, cleanly provide a silent and pristine audio playback quality via the DS4+2 even on maxed volume when no music was played.


  • Letshuoer DT02
The DT02 with a single Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC in its internal provides a much warmer, richer and natural sound signature, that is much well suited for long hours of laid-back listening compared to the XO. Both dongles has almost similar separation with the XO edges in front by a marginal amount but layering wise speaks different. The DT02 could present much complex layering especially within the low-end region with greater dynamics and note weight.

Other than that, the DT02 is beaten quite easily by the XO in terms of soundstaging and clarity, it sounded a lot more intimate and slightly muted at higher frequencies despite having almost similar capability to draw out subtle nuances and microdetails in vast majority of music. The XO is overall a better dongle by a mile which deservedly so, compared to the DT02 if it were compared via technical specs since the XO was much quieter, free from any hiss. Both dongles does get warm from time to time but the XO reaches temperature a lot quicker and higher with the RGB light show turned on, which indirectly causes faster power drain from the host device compared to the DT02.

To wrap this review up, Hidizs has brought up an unique package into the portable audio segment in this small, adorable dongle. Although, it would not be the next big thing at least in my concern compared to other dongle DACs within the similar or lesser price range. Regardless, the XO is still a worthy selection for those who wanted something that is aesthetically unique and quirky that was executed very well.

The XO is build exceptionally well as a whole, I could not find any complaints regarding the overall build and ergonomic aspect of this device. However, it would have been a stellar if the XO comes with a 4.4mm Pentaconn output to increase its relevance among audiophiles as 2.5mm is awarely gotten much obsolete from time to time. Furthermore, a gain setting button or a volume button should be a mandatory for a dongle of this powerful driving power, cannot say the amount of times I have been bamboozled by the sudden volume increase whenever I listen via the HibyMusic App.

Other than that, the XO also was not the most efficient and low-temperature friendly dongle one can get in the market, especially with the RGB effects turn on, it will drain most smartphones quite similarly to some entry-midrange level DAPs. Although, it is not severely piping hot that it could melt plastics, one could at least heat their fingers during the cold weather in no time with the amount of heat the XO could generate. This thus, makes it suitable for desk use instead of purely portable.

In a nutshell, this small powerhouse deserves more exposure for those who are into a dongle that could provide a pristine, accurate sounding and capable of providing wide gear coverage of driving power. Its sonic performances are also one of the main highlight of the XO which definitely benefitting neutral-heads and those who needed a natural reference-like equipment. Perhaps, it could and should have been a better product if only those subtle details such as a gain switch/button or an external volume button could have been added and a better heat dissipation.

For those who are interested to make a purchase for the Hidizs XO, can refer via this link (non-affiliated):
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Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
The gamers Dongle
Pros: Lights , nice transparent sound, two outputs, build is excellent.
Cons: Lights?, heat, battery drain and no volume controls.


DAC CHIP: ESS Tabre ES9219C x2
DSD SUPPORT: DSD64/128/256
MQA SUPPORT: MQA 16X Unfolding
OUTPUTS: 3.5mm SE, 2.5mm BAL
78mw x2 @ 32ohms 3.5
195mWx2 @ 32ohms 2.5

Independent Crystal Oscillators
Single 5-axis Aluminum CNC
Sample rate based on the color
Hiby Music App support
Hi Res and MQA certified
DNR: +121dB
THD: -114dB
WEIGHT: 11 Grams
SUPPORT: Windows, Mac, iPad OS, Android, iOS
3.5mm: 76dB
2.5mm: 128dB

The XO's Box is little and inside is the XO, documentation, a Type-C to C cable ,and a USB C to USB-A cable.
The Hidizs XO is silent producing no ground noise even on all BA IEM and low Ohm IEM, it has a transparent and Neutral with a little warmth to give it character. It still manages to be very detailed and can has good technicalities.


This is a cool looking kind of niche dongle, offering a nice crisp, and detailed, Neutral sound. The lights are unnecessary but satisfying! Its not the most resolving or the most powerful but it looks good and is a vast improvement over the stock chipset in terms of quality and volume.


100+ Head-Fier
Party On The Outside, Business on The Inside
Pros: Unique 15-mode RGB Feature

Digital Filters

Sleek, lightweight, compact design

Detachable Type-C input for solid device compatibility

Intuitive controls

Noise Free Output

Decently Powerful SE and BAL

Uncolored and neutral sound

MQA (16x), DSD256 and Hi-Res (32bit, 384khz) support
Cons: Gets hot pretty fast

Battery drain can be a little bit much

RGB is more of a party trick than something practical

Digital Filters only have a minimal effect

No physical volume rockers


2.5mm (nitpick, I just prefer 4.4mm)

Might come across as too clean/clinical

Hidizs XO Review: Party On The Outisde, Business on The Inside​

PRICE: $99 (PHP. 5,000.00)


  • Unique 15-mode RGB Feature
  • Digital Filters
  • Sleek, lightweight, compact design
  • Detachable Type-C input for solid device compatibility
  • Intuitive controls
  • Noise Free Output
  • Decently Powerful SE and BAL
  • Uncolored and neutral sound
  • MQA (16x), DSD256 and Hi-Res (32bit, 384khz) support


  • Gets hot pretty fast
  • Battery drain can be a little bit much
  • RGB is more of a party trick than something practical
  • Digital Filters only have a minimal effect
  • No physical volume rockers
  • No LO
  • 2.5mm (nitpick, I just prefer 4.4mm)
  • Might come across as too clean/clinical


  • People looking for a compact DAC with 2.5mm BAL output
  • People who like quirky features on their DAC
  • People who are looking for a powerful but portable source
  • People looking for a clean, versatile DAC


  • People looking for the most powerful DAC for the price
  • People who want an unadulterated, no frills source
  • People who want dedicated physical volume rockers
  • People who want a vibrant, energetic sounding DAC


"The Hidizs XO is a small yet powerful DAC with quirky 15-mode RGB lighting that sets it apart from other DACs with its unique presentation. While it may not be the best in one specific thing, it makes up for being a solid, all-rounded solution for portable audio enthusiasts." RECOMMENDED


When it comes to sources, you can’t really get much variations in terms of how it is presented. Most DAC’s are a piece of metal with plugs and buttons with varying shapes. Recently, some manufacturers have decided to switch it up by presenting the DAC in a unique manner. And today, we’ll be taking a look at one such DAC. Let’s take an in depth look at the Hidizs XO!


DAC CHIP: ESS Tabre ES9219C x2
DSD SUPPORT: DSD64/128/256
MQA SUPPORT: MQA 16X Unfolding
OUTPUTS: 3.5mm SE, 2.5mm BAL
  • 78mw x2 @ 32ohms 3.5
  • 195mWx2 @ 32ohms 2.5

  • Independent Crystal Oscillators
  • Single 5-axis Aluminum CNC
  • Sample rate based on the color
  • Hiby Music App support
  • Hi Res and MQA certified
DNR: +121dB
THD: -114dB
WEIGHT: 11 Grams
SUPPORT: Windows, Mac, iPad OS, Android, iOS
  • 3.5mm: 76dB
  • 2.5mm: 128dB


Watch Unboxing here:

The Hidizs XO comes in a rather small box with a pretty exterior that shows the XO with an iridescent finish. Removing the outer packaging, you’re met with a solid plastic case that holds the XO, the paperwork, a Type-C to Type-C cable and a USB C female to USB A male.



The Hidizs XO has a very sturdy, single 5-axis CNC Aluminum build that makes me feel confident that this DAC was made to last. The Type-C connector has a very satisfying click every time you plug it in and stays snug.

The same can be said with both the jacks with the 2.5mm jack being considerably tighter than the 3.5mm. I’m not much of a fan of 2.5mm connectors as I find them a little too thin for comfort, but I understand that it’s necessary to keep the XO compact.

There are two buttons located at the very top with the O being the button to change the digital filters and the X being able to change the RGB. The buttons are responsive and clicky and quite satisfying without feeling too hard. The sides are patterned in a way that makes the RGB pop out in an aesthetically pleasing way that compliments the colors well.



I used this on my PC, Hiby R2 Gen II and my Huawei Nova 7 SE. All devices worked wonderfully with the XO, including my Nova 7 SE which is usually problematic with DACs.



As stated above, the XO’s main features digital filters and a total of 15 RGB modes. They are also capable of decoding MQA 16x, DSD supports up to 256, and are powered by two ES9219C chips. While omitting any physical volume rockers or mic support, it’s a relatively adequate and unique feature set that separates it from other DACs. The digital filters don’t provide much of a difference personally and the RGB modes, while cool, is arguably gimmicky and could have been put into something more practical. Still, I can’t blame the Hidizs for including such a weird feature.



The XO has a more than decent SE output with 78mW x2 which is more than capable of powering IEMs and some low-impedance headphones, but these pack over 195mW x2 on its 2.5mm Balanced output which is more than capable of powering even harder to drive headphones, but might struggle with planars. Unfortunately, I do not have any properly hard-to-drive headphones on hand to test out its performance. But I’m going down as low as 15/100 on Windows with the PR2 where I usually go over 25/100, so these are definitely powerful.

However, it does have two drawbacks with that amount of power. One is its power consumption is a little bit on the heavier side. Plugging it into the R2 Gen II at an average of 40-60 volume, I found myself draining more than 30% of the battery in a single album and over 15% with my smartphone. The other is the heat generated on the DAC is quite a lot. Even leaving it on idle will make it quite toasty to hold.


There is virtually no noise floor with the Hidizs XO, even on sensitive IEMs like their very own MS5 which I found to be prone to producing such noise floor on more powerful DACs. This was the case for both the 3.5mm SE and the 2.5mm BAL

The sound of the XO is neutral and clean. Coloration is put to a minimum while also providing a very crisp and technical sound. Comparing this to something like my Audioquest Dragonfly Red, the DF Red still pulls ahead in terms of clarity, detail, and openness. But the XO sounds smoother with a less colored sound and slightly improved low-end dynamics.


Plugging my Aful Performer 5 into the 2.5mm output, the XO smoothened the treble out while still maintaining a clean balance throughout the frequency. It also allowed the P5 to be pushed to its potential as I found the P5’s overall bass dynamics and transients to have been sharpened and more incisive without harshness or distortion. The usually rounded-sounding bass of the P5 was given a little bit of punch and texture, although only by a tad bit. The real improvement the XO brought about to the P5 was definitely opening up the midrange and smoothening the treble. Stage unfortunately doesn’t seem to have changed a lot despite the midrange sounding a tad bit more open, even in the Balanced output.


Plugging it into the Simgot EA500 and right out the gate, the XO improves on what makes the EA500 solid while also smoothing out the edginess that some might find harsh or unnatural. The bass sounds tighter with better texture and a smoother transition into the midrange where it retains a well bodied lower mids but also opening up the vocals and instruments to have more breathing room. The refinement to the upper mids and treble was also quite phenomenal as it still presents the EA500 as the sparkly beast that it is but making it smoother and overall more euphonic to listen to.

However, this definitely isn’t for those looking to make their IEMs more fun on both ends. The XO delivers a more neutral sound rather than an energetic one. It doesn’t boost the bass quantity as much as it tightens it to sound clearer while still maintaining an adequate body. The treble is about the same story with the treble being well extended but not elevating much from the usual sound.



The Hidizs XO is a quirky, tiny but powerful piece of DAC that is perfect for those looking for a compact, portable but versatile source with a colorful presentation that’s perfect for those who like to listen in style. While it may omit the usually useful features like volume controls, it instead features a quirky 15-mode RGB and digital filters that are supposed to give you a different listening experience per filter. And while I did find both more gimmicky than useful, it doesn’t change much from the fact that this is a very solid DAC solution for the price. Heat may come as an issue, as well as power consumption. But for the power that it brings out, I’d say it’s more than justified. Overall, the XO allows both your eyes and ears to feast in its beauty.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review. I would also like to thank Hidizs for sending over the XO for me and my fellow reviewers to share our thoughts on. If you would like to see more of my content, please consider following my Facebook page and my other social media accounts:
If you would like to avail the product reviewed today, check the non-affiliate link below!

Have a nice day, and enjoy music!
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"opening up the vocals and instruments to have more breathing room. The refinement to the upper mids and treble was also quite phenomenal" what would you say is the most dongle that does that? (i hate instrument/vocal overlap, like talking over each other) rather forward vocals with instruments in the back.


New Head-Fier
Hidizs XO DAC (S10)
Pros: - Build Quality
- RGB lights
- Balanced output (but 2.5mm)
- Analytic, organic and natural sound timbre
- MQA Support + DSD
- Removable cable
- Metal case but really light weight
Cons: - Filter switch doesn’t affect the sound at all
- No gain switch
- No hardware controls
- No 4.4mm Balanced
- It gets slightly warm after a short time of use
- It lacks some raw power

This unit was kindly offered to me by Hidizs whom I thank with all my heart otherwise I would struggle to support my hobby!
I will try to be as objective as possible and being a common 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, some small differences are easily noticeable.


The XO dac comes in a well made and very sturdy plastic box.
Once opened, we find the dac and the following accessories:
  • Type C to type C cable
  • Type c to USB adapter
  • 2 Hi-Res stickers
  • Manual and warranty card

First impressions:

Definitely well built with an ultralight body (personally I would have preferred it even more robust). The buttons have excellent pressure feedback. The grids for the LEDs add a touch of style.

You may or may not like the choice of using RGB LEDs, but it is certainly something different and unique. In full PC gaming style.


  • 3.5mm SE - 78mW + 78mW at 32 Ohms
  • 2.5mm Balanced - 195mW + 195mW at 32 Ohms

Its power is fine for almost all headphones. However, compared to other dacs in my possession it definitely lacks a bit of power.
It would have been nice to have more volume steps for very sensitive headphones.
Obviously in balanced mode the power is excellent!
I tested it with the KZ PR2 on the 3.5SE and it takes at least 70% volume to achieve good sound pressure. Anyway to get a better performance with them you need even more power.
While it loses in raw power to other chips, it wins in sound fidelity which is why I often choose it over others. Let it be clear that its power is enough for 90% of the headphones on the market. It only struggled with top-of-the-line headphones that you'll probably never use with a dongle.

Sound Signature:

The dual ESS Sabre ES9219C dac chip has an analytical, natural and organic sound, however its timbre tends to be slightly brighter than dacs with CS43141 or AK4493.
Unfortunately, the ability to change the digital filter makes very little difference. I personally struggle to hear a real difference and would have preferred a bass boost function instead.
The soundstage seems to be wider, exceptional layering and the backstage is full of details. Truly a clean, natural and organic sound, great for some critical listening.
Personally, given the slightly bright note, I would tend to pair it with warmer headphones.
Having the Hidizs MS5 I have made the most of the hours listening to them coupled with the XO dac and I have to say they have amazing synergy! Strangely it doesn't seem to have added brightness but more naturalness to the sound with a slight increase in overall details.
Also with the newest MS3 this dac sounds gorgeous.
Considering the effect it has on the MS5 I dare say it manages to remove the high peaks or make them smoother without losing detail giving a more relaxed sound.
I haven't personally tried the MQA because I currently use Amazon Music instead of Tidal. However, keep in mind that the company that created the MQA is in receivership, so MQA support may end soon.

However these are all personal impressions, the DACs should provide as neutral a sound as possible so probably more neutral than the other DACs I own.

Who do I recommend this DAC to?

Surely if you like RGB LEDs it will be your only choice! However if you have a single chip dac the upgrade is recommended.
This is my first dual chip dac and the difference is still noticeable especially in the balanced mode. If you own a mid-range DAC you probably already have what you need. If you have some low end dacs then hurry up and upgrade.

Product link:
On sale right now at 86 USD
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New Head-Fier
HIDIZS X0: Boppin Audio Party
Pros: - Neutral analytical with natural timbre
- Impressive technical performance with high detail retrieval and accuracy
- Clear and detailed treble response without harshness or sibilance - Great brilliance that gives sparkle to the sound
- Wide soundstage with great layering and separation- Accurate imaging, with instruments and vocals placed precisely in the sound field
- MQA 16x decoder
- Native DSD 256 support
- Compact and portable design with durable build quality
- Removable Cable
- Button for sound filters
- Button for RGB lighting
- Great design and aesthetics
- Color indicators for different kind of music formats
Cons: - RGB lighting may not for everyone
- Tuning switch only minimal effect to the sound
- No hardware volume controls
- a hint of overheating in longer use


This unit that I currently have is supervised by HIDIZS and i was chosen to be part of the Philippines tour of the HIDIZS X0, which gave me the opportunity to test this device thoroughly, without this opportunity iI would not have had a chance to try out this product.so I am very thankful to HIDIZS.
I didn't gain any form of incentives in this review, and all opinions are my own.
We all have different ways on how we hear sound so your millage may vary



I am very excited to test the HIDIZS X0, The main reason is the RGB function it has which I find unique and interesting. Kidding aside for a Dac/Amp in the market, HIDIZS has been known for its high-quality devices and adding a switch for the RGB Function just adds to the appeal. But some might find it not necessary or even distracting, so it's all up to personal preference. So let's dive into the features, design, and sound quality of the HIDIZS X0.

Features and Functionality​


The HIDIZS X0 somewhat resembles an electronic cigarette or the most common term for it is the word Vape. Other reasons is becuase of the design of the Dac/Amp which features a rectangular shape and is small enough to fit in your pocket. In terms of functionality here are the functions of the X0.
  • Circular button for Digital Sound filters which has an indicators or blue and red, Blue color has more pronounce mid frequency while the red one emphasizes more on low frequency-
  • A (x) switch for the RGB Function which lets you choose between different colors to light up the Dac/Amp.
Thats basically the function of this Dac/Amp. Also before i forget this has no hardware volume control but instead makes use of the volume controls of whatever device it is plugged into.
Now lets Proceed with the features of the HIDIZS X0. So here is the following features of the HIDIZS X0 Dac/Amp:
  • The HIDIZS X0 supports PCM decoding up to 32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD256 Decoding. This means that it can deliver high-resolution audio for an immersive listening experience.
  • The X0 is compatible with various devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets that support USB OTG.
  • This has dual ESS SABRE ES9219C*2 dac chip which gives superior audio quality that enhances the listening experience.
  • Dual port which conists of one 3.5mm single ended and 2.5mm balance ended
This also has color indications for different kind of music formats
  • Green: PCM 44.1-96KHz
  • Blue: PCM 192KHz
  • Red: PCM 384KHz
  • Yellow: DSD64-DSD256
  • Orange: MQA unfolding which supports upto 16x

Drive Type: Power​


If your confuse what is this all about, Its basically the power output that the HIDIZS X0 can deliver. The X0 can deliver a power output of up to 195mW for a balanced connection and 78mW for single ended. This has an impedance of 32ohms for both connections mentioned above. In my mobile phone I am reaching a maximum of -31.8db with the X0, indicating that it can provide a significant power boost to my mobile setup, meanwhile in my pc setup I am reaching a maximum of 12-14% volume also this depends on the track and IEM but mostly thats the volume i am able to reach with the HIDIZS X0. Overall , the HIDIZS X0 provides enough power to drive most headphones and delivers a clear and crisp audio output.

Sound Signature​

The HIDIZS X0 Dac/Amp has a Neutral Analytical sound signature that delivers an accurate, detailed, and transparent sound output. The dual ESS SABRE ES9219C*2 dac chip in the HIDIZS X0 adds to its superior audio quality, enhancing the listening experience by providing a wide soundstage and precise imaging. Also this has natural timbre with good separation between different instruments and vocals. Additionally, the HIDIZS X0 has digital sound filters that can be adjusted using the circular button to enhance the audio output according to personal preferences.


The bass response of the HIDIZS X0 is tight and controlled, producing a clean and accurate low frequency output. It does not overpower the midrange or treble frequencies, providing a balanced and natural sound. It does have great sub-bass rumble and impact, making it enjoyable.


The midrange of the HIDIZS X0 is detailed and well-defined, with a neutral and transparent output. Vocals and instruments are accurately reproduced, providing a clean and natural-sounding audio output.Listeners can easily distinguish between different instruments in a song, with clear separation and no muddiness.


The treble response of the HIDIZS X0 is clear and detailed, with a neutral extension It does not produce any harshness or sibilance, providing a smooth and enjoyable listening experience. Brillance is also great it gives that sparkle in the sound, making it feel alive and dynamic.


This has an impressive technical performance and while doing this impression I already fell in love to its technical capabilities. The HIDIZS X0 has a high level of detail retrieval and accuracy, making it suitable for critical listening. Soundstage is wide and has great layering and separation between different instruments. Imaging is impressive, with instruments and vocals placed accurately in the sound field.



In conclusion, the HIDIZS X0 Dac/Amp offers a neutral analytical sound signature that produces accurate and detailed audio output with natural timbre and imaging.

Test Tracks​

  • WINNER- Abyssmare
  • Tomoshibi- Nonoc
  • Undercover- Lyrical Lilly Cover
  • Maihime- Lyrical Lilly
  • Look at me- Happy Around
  • Axel F- Harold Faltermeyer
  • Sleep Now in the Fire- Rage Against the Machine
  • Kimagure Mercy- Cover by Ouro Kronii
  • Kuusou Mesorogiwi ❮alty Remix❯- JubyPhonic
  • Axel F- Crazy Frog Version
  • DJ NANMO WAKARAN- Unichord
  • Round and Round- Merm4id
  • Umbilical- Milgram Project
  • Anicca- Hitomi Harada

Review Setup​

  • AET07 eartips
  • 3.5mm standard cable
  • TempoTec E44
  • OPPO A95
  • Samsung S10+
  • Roon Music Player
  • Local Music Files and CD ripped files
  • Volume level: 50-60%
  • Hakugei Starry Night
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New Head-Fier
HIDIZS XO DONGLE : A Colorful Mobile Upgrade
Pros: Provides an almost neutral sound
DSD Support up to DSD256
MQA Support
Decent power output
It has a 3.5mm unbalanced and 2.5mm balanced ports
Very portable and lightweight
Support to Type-C and Type-A all covered by its default inclusions
Cons: No playback buttons
The colorful RGB aesthetics may not be everyone's cup of tea

HIDIZS has recently released their latest dongle, which features a dual set of Sabre ESS chips, MQA support, digital filters, and a dual headphone output. The dongle also includes switching LED lights for aesthetic purposes. The device is priced at $99 and has a premium lightweight build.


  • I have no affiliation with Hidizs and have not received any monetary compensation during or after writing this review. Zoie Hello provided this unit to me in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • As a non-professional reviewer, I aim to use simple terms that can be understood by both beginners and experts in the hobby.
  • Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed in this review are subjective and based on my personal experience with the unit. I encourage you to try the product yourself to form your own opinion.


The XO comes in a visually stunning box with a durable plastic case. Inside the box, you'll find a USB Type-C cable, a Type-C to Type A adapter, some manuals, and the XO dongle itself. The inclusion of the Type-C to Type A adapter makes it convenient to use with devices that do not have a Type-C port. The packaging and contents reflect the overall quality of the product and the attention to detail that went into its design.


The HIDIZS dongle boasts an aluminum chassis with grills on both sides, through which the LED lights shine, creating a visually stunning effect. The slim and compact design makes it easy to carry around, as it can fit in your pocket without any issue. The durable and lightweight aluminum construction ensures that it can withstand everyday use while retaining its premium look and feel.


The XO does not offer any dedicated playback options, as the buttons on the dongle are reserved for other purposes. The "X" button controls the LED lights, allowing you to change their color and pattern. The "O" button, on the other hand, lets you switch between digital filters, giving you the ability to tailor the sound to your preferences. The lack of dedicated playback options means that you will need to rely on the hardware settings of the host device for playback and volume control.

The LED outer ring of the circular button on the XO dongle serves as a sampling rate indicator and filter mode switch. The indicator uses a color-coded scheme to represent different sampling rates, as follows:
  • Green: PCM 44.1-96KHz
  • Blue: PCM 192KHz
  • Red: PCM 384KHz
  • Yellow: DSD64-DSD256
  • Orange: MQA unfolding
This color-coded scheme makes it easy to identify the current sampling rate and filter mode at a glance, adding convenience to the user experience. The LED indicator is a useful feature for people who want to monitor their playback settings and ensure they are optimized for their specific headphones and listening preferences.

Regarding the digital filter switch on the XO dongle:
  • The red filter adjusts the frequency response by reducing high frequencies by 30-40% while boosting the lower intermediate frequencies. This results in a more well-rounded frequency response overall.
  • The blue filter, on the other hand, decreases high frequencies by 20-30% while allowing the lower intermediate frequencies to stand out more. This leads to a more emphasized midrange.
The ability to switch between digital filters allows users to tailor the sound signature of the XO to their specific preferences and headphone sets. The red filter is a good choice for those who want a more balanced and neutral sound, while the blue filter is better suited for those who prefer a more emphasized midrange. Ultimately, the choice between the two filters comes down to personal preference and the specific characteristics of the headphone set being used. The digital filter does not drastically change anything to the sound so it does not prove that much purpose to me.


The XO's sound signature is clean and analytical, providing a great level of detail. The XO's sound signature is not recommended for brighter headphone sets, as it may make the treble hotter than it should be, leading to a harsh listening experience. Despite these limitations, the XO excels in providing great detail, making it an excellent choice for those who prioritize clarity over warmth. The level of detail it provides can bring out nuances in the music that would otherwise go unnoticed. Overall, the XO is a great choice for audiophiles who prefer a clear and analytical sound signature and who are willing to sacrifice some warmth for increased detail.


  • Provides an almost neutral sound
  • DSD Support up to DSD256
  • MQA Support
  • Decent power output
  • It has a 3.5mm unbalanced and 2.5mm balanced ports
  • Very portable and lightweight
  • Support to Type-C and Type-A all covered by its default inclusions
  • No playback buttons
  • The colorful RGB aesthetics may not be everyone's cup of tea

The HIDIZS XO is a highly recommended device for anyone looking for an affordable on-the-go solution to enhance their mobile audio experience. The XO offers an excellent combination of high-quality audio output and portability, making it a great option for audiophiles who are always on the move.

One of the most notable features of the HIDIZS XO is its ability to deliver a crisp and clean sound that is far superior to the standard audio output found on most smartphones. This is especially valuable for users with devices that lack a dedicated DAC, as the XO is designed to provide a noticeable improvement in audio quality.

Moreover, the HIDIZS XO is incredibly easy to use and can be quickly connected to any smartphone or laptop with a USB-C port. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone who values convenience and wants to upgrade their audio setup without any hassle.

Furthermore, the HIDIZS XO is constructed using high-quality materials that ensure durability and longevity. Its sleek and compact design means that it can be easily carried around without adding any bulk to your pockets or bags. It is also worth noting that the dongle has a built-in amplifier that further enhances the audio output, making it a great choice for music lovers who want to get the most out of their headphones or earbuds.

In conclusion, the HIDIZS XO is a highly recommended dongle for anyone looking for an affordable, portable, and high-quality audio solution. With its crisp and clean sound, user-friendly design, and excellent build quality, it offers a significant upgrade to your mobile audio experience. Whether you are a music enthusiast or a casual listener, the HIDIZS XO is an excellent choice that will not disappoint.


New Head-Fier
Review Of The Hidizs XO
Pros: 1. Clean and neutral sounding
2. Smooth signature
3. RGB lights
Cons: 1. Need of 4.4mm Balanced
2. Average technicalities

Review Of The Hidizs XO



Hidizs, a business that excels in creating what we now refer to as digital audio players, has a sizable following among audiophiles. Since its founding in 2009, the firm has extensively studied and produced a huge number of digital audio players, other portable sources, such as dongle dac/amps, and other accessories needed to use with these devices. Hidizs previously issued some IEM as well, establishing their introduction into the IEM industry, however I haven't heard more about any of their IEM since. They have truly taken their company seriously and have developed such a following among audiophiles. They have several releases that serve every market categorised by pricing. And now I'll be examining the Hidizs XO, a portable dac/amp that is mostly marketed to gamers who are audiophiles or to gamers alone because it has several characteristics that gamers in today's market value. Before we learn more about the Hidizs XO, let's clear up a few things.



*Since this unit tour was organised by the beautiful people at HiFiGo, I am grateful to them. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to this device as "XO"
*I am using different Ear-tips for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the XO based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.



The XO contains two ESS SABRE ES9219C that combine to output a balanced 2.5mm and a single ended 3.5mm. Given that it has dual RGB light stripes and a setting for 15 various presentations, this device's capabilities surpass those of similar products in its price range on the market. These had a really excellent light presentation with 15 various light settings, which made me a bigger gaming nerd. With a green light that is constantly on and changes to one of the other four identifying colours when the button is pressed, the button above the type-C socket looks fantastic and lets us know what sample rate we are listening to. Another button in the shape of an X is located below the round button and is used to switch between the various light types. The balanced 2.5mm and single ended 3.5mm sound output ports are located on the side of the type-c socket opposite the USB connector. It has a very intriguing form factor and is neatly packaged. It is complemented by the type C to Type C cable that is included with the dongle; the wires are braided and have a sparkly silver appearance. The XO dongle's aesthetic appeal and one-piece CNC aluminum housing make it a stylish choice. The output formats for the dual dacs and independent crystal oscillators include 32bit/384kHz PCM, DSD256, and MQA 16X. The Hiby Music app also works with the dongle. I've included a table below for more detailed information:

Opera Snapshot_2023-02-06_173612_www.hidizs.net.png

For convenience and better use, I coupled this dongle with my beloved LG G8X, and it worked as intended. I had no problems utilising the pair while commuting or unwinding, and they were both simply pocketed and kept safely. Additional details that are not underlined in the paragraphs are provided below.

Opera Snapshot_2023-02-06_173958_www.hidizs.net.png


Most of the time, the XO's sound is analytical and clear. Without a doubt, this is the purest sounding dongle dac I have heard in this price range. While the treble gets more exposed thanks to the clarity, the midrange becomes more expressive and crisp. On the other hand, the bass here feels more restrained and textured. Yes, these are that good; I had a similar sensation when I bought the Questlye M15. For some people who are used to listening to warm sources, the treble may sound a touch thin and bright, but they won't sound objectionable; instead, the treble may sound edgy. It sounds pretty well because the mid range has a better hold on the notes. The voices and instruments have a rich, detailed sound that is well exposed in the mix. I like how the XO's sonic presentation essentially takes a neutral stance while sounding everything but monotonous. The response is smooth in my experience; I don't think the music coming out of the XO is brittle or metallic, but it does sound aggressive but not sharp. All I have to say about the tonal performance of this is this; let's move on to the technical performance.


Technical Performance

The technical prowess of this XO is pretty impressive, easily providing the cleanest and most detailed sound. With enticing details emerging, the resolving power is excellent. The stage being big enough to enable depth field and wide play does help with the sense of direction and excellent imagery. To provide tactile and dynamic range, the Xo prowess leans toward its source. The nicest part of this is that throughout all of my testing with any of my IEMs, I never felt as like that particular IEMs had been deprived of their full potential. The majority of the time, when hearing from other sources, the IEMs hesitated to function as they should and improved over particular portions of the response, but the XO maintains the performance in a perfect balance and improves across the spectrum. I can't dispute the fact that XO brings out the best in every IEM. Let's face off with the IEMs I currently have and pair them with XO.


Sound Impressions


With Unique Melody MEXT, the sound was surprisingly muted around the 6–8k range, where I perceived an offensive approach. I was relieved to experience little to no hotness and sibilance in the treble region, but the mid range was brought forward to preserve the integrity of the vocals and instruments. The bass improved in control, texture, and impact. Although over certain songs in the rock and metal genres, the only area that suffered was in the mid bass with some thin presentation.


Thieaudio Monarch MKII

The treble was the same as it was with other sources when the Thieaudio Monarch MKII was used, but the midrange was improved with excellent control over the wispiness felt with vocals, especially female vocals. With more control, the bass got punchier and rumbly. Overall, I thought the tone was more upscale, but I still appreciated the feedback I got from other sources like V6 or hipdac. However, there was undoubtedly a technical update.


Thor Mjolnir MKII

With Thor Mjolnir MKII, there was a change in the response's treble and midrange dominance. I perceived that the excessive treble and reserved lower midrange were balanced, giving the treble the proper impact and bringing out the lower midrange. Although it still seemed somewhat boomy and sounded clean and more textured, the bass became incredibly controlled. The technical performance was essentially same, but the stage's width shrank and the front and rear of the stage picked up more sound.


TangZu Shimin Li

With TangZu Shimin Li, I thought the XO was essentially upgraded in terms of both tone and technical elements. The bass had more texture, the midrange was more open, and the treble felt more alive. According to my observations, the stage seemed was wider and the resolution was a little bit better. I'm confident in saying that XO outperforms Shimin Li.


Tforce Yuan Li

Using Tforce Yuan Li, Yuan Li has the same tone as Shimin Li but better technicality. It comes off as more endearing and supportive of its relationship with XO because nothing jarred or sounded out of place. The treble became more even, the midrange was clear, and the bass had excellent control.

photo_2023-02-06_19-08-57 (2).jpg

Sony MH755

With the Sony MH755, there was nothing particularly novel about the pairing, but there was improved technological response. The resolution improved and imaging clarity was noticeable. I couldn't identify any other big revamps or upgrades over other aspects aside from these. Although I like the MH755 and XO combination.


Tracks Used

Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Boston - More Than A Feeling
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere(Remastered)
Toto - Africa
The Police - Every Breath You Take
George Benson - Affirmation
Daft Punk - Doin' It Right
Daft Punk - Derezzed
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (End Titles)
GOJIRA - Amazonia
The Mars Volta - Inertiatic ESP
Fergie - Glamorous
50 Cent - In Da Club
Jay Z - Holy Grail
Erbes - Lies
Nitti Gritti - The Loud
Juelz - Inferno



I realise that this dongle dac might be marketed for gamers, and if it is, then it is the best dac a gamer can purchase for the purest sounding sound card. The XO is a very capable and distinctive set that can draw a lot of attention due to both its sound and its appealing appearance. Not just for its aesthetically stunning and alluring aesthetics, but also for the best sound they can generate, I can highly suggest XO.



Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: - Small, portable, stylish, plug and play
- Very clean output
- Great with darker headphones
Cons: - Not ideal with brighter headphones
The Hidizs XO is the new ultraportable amp/DAC adapter for smartphones and computers designed by Hidizs.
The XO Pro has a CNC aluminium body and very sleek design, with a LED indicator that has several color patterns, which can be indicate a different digital filter (selected through the large dedicated O-shaped button) or the sampling Rate of the music being played. The colors come out also from the sides of the XO (where several, small H shaped holes are etched).
The Hidizs XO is super tiny: it measures 55 mm * 24.5 mm * 9.35mm , so it is slightly shorter than the S9 Pro and slightly wider. It can fit any situation, and its clip can be perfect for pockets. It’s only 11 grams in weight.

The Hidizs XO features two ESS9219C DAC chips and supports MQA format up to 16X, PCM 32bit/384kHz and DSD258.
Just like the S9 Pro, the Hidizs XO has two headphone outs: balanced (2.5mm) and single ended (3.5mm).
The output power is rated at 78mW@32Ω per channel in single ended mode, and 195mW@32Ω per channel in balanced mode. SNR of the device is also quite high: 118 dB in single ended mode, 119 dB in balanced mode.
The Hidizs XO is capable to power portable headphones, IEMs and some (efficient) full size portable headphones.

Hidizs XO


The Hidizs XO has a USB Type C input and can connect to Windows and Mac OS computers, as well as Android and iOS smarthpones. It’s plug and play, no installation of external drivers is required.
The XO doesn’t have an integrated battery and powers up when connecting to its source device.
Included in the box is a short Type C-to-Type C cable (for Android connectivity) and a USB-C to USB-A adapter (for PC), while a Lightning cable for connection with a iPhone is not included.
I tested the XO with my Windows 11 PC and Google Pixel 7 Pro Android smartphone.

Hidizs XO Lights

Sound Quality

I have tested the Hidizs XO Pro with my Etymotic ER4P, Momentum over-ear and Hifiman R9 and even Edition XS.
The XO presents a very clear, slightly bright sound signature. Against the built-in headphone out of my PC and smartphone, it provides much more headroom, much better level of detail, higher treble energy, better bass definition. The sound is more spacious.

The bright character of the XO makes it especially good to match dark headphones like the Hifiman R9 and Sennheiser Momentum.
The first combination is particularly amazing, sounding better than hooking the same headphone to much more expensive and powerful amplifiers (such as DNA Stratos). The R9 is a dark headphone, with rolled off top end, and with the Hidizs XO it ends up sounding extremely balanced, detailed, and extremely good for a combination that costs under 400 USD as a whole.

With Sennheiser Momentum, the overall sound is similarly balanced but less detailed, because the Momentum scale less as far as details/transparency go.
Etymotic ER4P don’t match very well with the XO, because the brightness of the headphone and the device add up and there is too much treble energy. Anyway, even so, connecting the XO with the ER4P shows that the no noise floor (hiss) is picked by such an efficient IEM.
The Hifiman Edition XS poses an excessive load for the Hidizs XO to handle, resulting in an underamplified sound (poor instrument separation, screechy treble): it simply tells us that the headphone is too much for such a tiny device.

The XO has two optional digital filters, which are selected and identified with lights: Blue Light is supposed to reduce the by 20-30%, while Red Light should reduce by 30-40%. With my tests, though, while I did notice mainly an increase in bass fullness, using digital filters with combinations of XO and trebly headphones did not change the overall character enough. In the end, I would prefer to select my headphone carefully rather than playing with digital filters.

Hidizs XO Hifiman R9

Bottom Line

The Hidizs XO has several positive points: it has much more powerful and cleaner output compared to a standard device (PC, smartphone); it’s small, light and easy to wear; it is extremely cool (its light patterns make it feel alive). It can reach high volumes and low distortion with several portable headphones, and can also work with full size headphone that aren’t too demanding (such as the Hifiman R9).
Matching the XO with headphones that have a subdued top end can create a special sinergy, and end up producing highly budget-efficient portable systems.

Hidizs S9 Pro Etymotic
Thanks mr Petros


100+ Head-Fier
Hidizs XO Dongle Review
Pros: 16x MQA Unfolding
Switchable digital filter via the physical button
Engaging sound signature, wide soundstage, slightly lifted low end for added fun
Solid build quality
Doesn't get too hot even after long running time
Funky RGB light effect
Cons: Lack of physical volume control button
Possibly a bug for MacOs, after each reboot/unplug/replug, the volume between left and right channel is out of sync, have to manually re-adjust it
RGB light effect may not be for everyone

General Info/Build/Packaging
Hidizs is no stranger in the Chi-Fi community, they have churned out several products which are favoured by fellow audiophiles touting high price performance ratio, the S9 Pro dongle dac/amp is one of them, which i favoured and also reviewed. Build quality is solid as the chassis is aluminium, very solid overall. Two buttons, X is for changing the RGB light effects, O is for the Dac’s filter (Two modes).
Packaging is rather minimal and straight forward, a small box consist of the dongle itself and Hidizs’s USB C to C cable.


Dimension - 55*24.5*9.35mm
DAC Chip - ESS SABRE ES9219C*2
Independent Crystal Oscillator - Yes
MQA - 16x
DSD - Native DSD64/128/256
PCM - Support up to 384KHZ/32Bit
Sampling Light Indicator - Yes
RGB Light - 15 Variations
Physical Buttons - X for RGB effect switching, O for filter mode switching
Chassis Material - Aluminium Alloy CNC
Transmission Interface - USB Type C

IEMS used for this review
  • Dunu Kima
  • Dunu Talos
  • 7Hz Timeless x AE
  • 7Hz Salnotes Zero
  • Akoustyx R100
  • Akoustyx S6
  • FloAudio Lily
  • Hidizs MD4
  • Hidizs MM2
My review is solely based on what I hear via my equipment and I never consider my reviews to be objective in any way rather a subjective approach. Do take into consideration that everyone’s ear anatomy is not the same, so the psychoacoustics perception might be different as well, but i believe it will not stray too far


Sound/Listening Impression
XO does not sound like the usual ESS dac which has quite a little more energy on the top end, instead it is smoother overall, there is also a slight lift on the low end from what I hear.
The bass reproduction on the XO is well controlled with good texture, it doesn’t sound lean at all, as i mentioned earlier, there’s a slight lift on the bass hence it does add some impact to it. The midrange is also well done to my ears, it does stand out a little in terms of being slightly forward, but not to the point where it is in your face.

I mentioned earlier that the XO doesn’t have the usual ESS glare on the top end. This is quite a refreshing experience, I believe this probably has got something to do with the implementation on the analog stage in the XO. It is slightly lacking in terms of bite, but it is always smooth and non offensive sounding. The soundstage, to my surprise, is quite open and spacious sounding, it works very well with a certain IEM that has an average soundstage and XO kinda helps in expanding the soundstage a little. Imaging capability is not bad considering its price point, not pinpoint accuracy, but decent enough for the asking price, one can’t really fault it.

General Features
  • Two physical switch button namely the X and O
  • X is for switching the digital filters, which i will further explain what the filter actually does below
  • O is for switching the RGB light effects
Listening Impression with various IEMs
Dunu Talos

  • Talos on its own the soundstage is fairly wide, pairing it with XO does enhance the soundstage a little more, but to my ears, it can be too wide where it is sounding a little artificial in terms of the soundstage
  • Bass on the Talos is quick and tight, but somehow lacking a little in terms of the quantity and impact, pairing it with XO does seem to gift the Talos a slight lift on the low end, bringing some grin to a certain people who prefers the Talos to have a little more bass quantity
  • Highs on the Talos remain more or less similar as Talos’s highs are pretty smooth except if you turn on the hybrid mode (Planar+BA
  • Overall, i think the Talos pairs well with the XO
Hidizs MD4
  • MD4 is a full BA IEM and the sound signature is rather neutral to my ears, i personally find this pairing to be very enjoyable as XO itself is not tuned in an analytical way
  • Bass has got more impact on the MD4 (Balanced mode), slightly more quantity to my ears, remains fast and well controlled
  • Soundstage is also slightly wider on the MD4, it has got a bit more 3D-ish presentation to it rather than a flat 2D prior to pairing it with the XO
Hidizs MM2
  • MM2 itself is a U shape sounding IEM with swappable filter to fine tune the sound according to your preference
  • On a balanced filter, pairing the MM2 with XO, it gives the MM2 slightly more dynamics overall.
  • Bass is punchy and tight, highs are non offensive with good detail retrieval for the asking price
  • Slightly wider soundstage on the MM2 also
XO’s Filter
I personally can’t really tell the difference between the DAC filters, or perhaps my IEMs were too colored to really tell the difference. Anyway, here’s the information that i managed to get from Hidizs’s rep.

Red Light is indicating that it is currently on Hybrid fast roll off filter, while blue is on linear phase fast roll off filter.
Blue light: the high frequency is reduced by 20-30%, and the low intermediate frequency will be more prominent.
Red light: the high frequency is reduced by 30-40%, and the low intermediate frequency will be more prominent.

Comparison between the S9 Pro
  • Slightly more powerful on the S9 Pro
  • S9 Pro is fairly neutral sounding, slightly energetic on the top end, bass is accurately reproduced and doesn’t have any boost on the low end
  • Soundstage on the S9 Pro is not as wide compared to XO
  • Overall i would say both are tuned differently and catered to different audience
  • S9 Pro is for those who prefer a more neutral listening experience whereas XO is a little more on the musical side (slightly warm, fun bass and wide soundstage)
Final Thoughts
All in all, Hidizs XO is a very capable dongle that offers a fresh and unique design (RGB) for those who are in the lookout for some unique dongle, at the same time, with respectable sound performance and driving power as well. At the time of writing, there is a discount of 10$ during the pre-order period. XO will be retailing at 99$.

*This dongle is sent over by Emma from Hidizs for the purpose of this review. I received no compensation nor was I influenced in any way to produce this review. Appreciate the support as always

Head over to Hidizs’s web store to pre-order one now!
Hidizs XO Dongle - Non affiliated link


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: ● Solid-built exterior chassis.
● Its small frame makes it more pocket friendly.
● Digital Filter Switch.
● 15 different modes for RGB LED light effects for visual appeal.
● Decent power output for both 3.5mm SE and 2.5mm balanced.
● MQA unfolding support (for MQA format lovers.)
● Neutral, organic and analogue-ish sounding set.
● Proper native DSD support up to 256.
● Colour-coded sampling rate LED indicator.
Cons: ▽ It doesn't have a hardware volume key buttons.
▽ RGB LED Lights effects seems a bit "out of place" in the overall aesthetics. (Subjective)
▽ Compare to S3 Pro and S9 Pro, it has lesser power output.

USB DAC/Amp Dongles are the future of Hi-Fi mobile devices as I mentioned in my review on Hidizs S9 PRO as to how this important feature, the analogue headphone jack is withdrawn little by little to almost current flagship smartphones. Either we accept the current trend of the omission of certain feature as an evolution process of technology or we will not accept the outcome, USB DAC/amp dongles are the only possible solution if we want a portable, analogue-ish set-up or else we will go wireless which gives you an inferior listening experience as current transmission of wireless data is still gives lossy audio format.

This is my second review article for a Hidizs product and what I have here is their latest USB DAC/Amp Dongle offering, The Hidizs XO.


Hidizs XO is somewhat a successor unit of Hidizs S3 Pro and like its predecessor unit, it has a smaller form factor in a rectangular shape which is contrast to a circular shape of its precursor model and a detachable cable. Its shell chassis is made of a solid CNC-milled aluminium alloy with a circular switch button for filter phasing and sample rate indicator and a X-shaped key button with a built-in RGB LED light at the top and at both sides of this device along some brand and supported codecs at the bottom part of the panel. You can locate the two audio jacks of different termination output and a USB type-C port at both opposite ends of this device. Like all Hidizs DAC/Amp dongles, it doesn't have a hardware volume key button which is more logical. (My unit has my name laser-etched on it which makes this unit more "special".)


When it comes to audio codec support, Hidizs XO supports all known lossless codecs such as PCM ones like FLAC, ALAC, WAV and other lossless type format, DSD which can decode up to DSD256 on either DOP or native. Hidizs XO also supports MQA format via streaming and can unfold up to 16x.

As I aforemention a while ago about the LED outer ring of the circular button on sampling rate indicator which also acts as a filter mode switch. Here are some colour-coded scheme on sampling rate:

GREEN - PCM 44.1- 96KHz


RED - PCM 384KHz


ORANGE - MQA unfolding (works only in streaming services like Tidal).


As for digital filter switch:

RED (Hybrid Phase Fast Roll-off) - The high frequency will be reduced to 30-40% and the low intermediate frequency will be more elevated in the overall frequency response.

BLUE ( Linear Phase Fast Roll-off) - The high frequency will be reduced to 20-30% and the low intermediate frequency will be likely to be protruding in the overall frequency response.

Regarding its built-in RGB LED lights inside of this device, it gives a stylistic sense of a PC gamer vibe that it has 15 different types of LED lighting effects for more visually appealing to its users (I usually turn off this feature as it is quite distracting to my eyes in most cases). Another thing that I almost forgot to mention was the most important component in the overall aspect of this device was the implementation of the DAC chip. It uses a popular ESS DAC for mobile use, a dual ES9219C for better audio sound quality and good amplification due to the proven SABRE amp with newer generation of quartz oscillator for clocking and phase reference signal for accuracy and lesser power drag on better consumption rating.




Hidizs XO has two types of output audio jacks, a standard 3.5mm SE and a 2.5mm with balanced output. Both audio jacks can amplify high-impedance cans with a rating up to 300 ohms. I've tested most of my IEM collection and Hidizs XO can drive them decently even some of my planar IEMs like KZ PR1.

Here are some power output rating of each audio jacks:

◆ 3.5mm SE - 78mW + 78mW at 32 Ohms

◆ 2.5mm Balanced - 195mW + 195mW at 32 Ohms


As for compatibility, Hidizs XO has a seamless connectivity to most devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs by using a short detachable type-C cable and ad. For OS and software support, Hidizs XO can be compatible with most known current popular OS either mobile or full desktops like Android, iOS, iPadOS, Windows, iMac and Linux. For Android, you should use an app that supports USB DAC connectivity like UAPP, Hiby Music Player and Neutron.


Like its older sister, The Hidizs S9 Pro, The Hidizs XO doesn't have a built in battery and like most usb dongle it will syphons off some substantial power from its host devices. But its power draining ratings seems to be in a trickle that makes this device very power efficient due to the built-in power regulator that regulates the temperature of this device to avoid heat build-up. Processing on higher sampling rate plus activating the RGB LED lights will have a noticeable warm on Hidizs XO.

The inclusions inside of the packaging box of Hidizs XO are the following:

● Hidizs XO DAC/Amp dongle

● Short Type-C to Type-C cable

● USB-A adapter for PC/Laptop connectivity

● Some paperworks like instruction manual, Q.C. card and calling card.


As for its tonality, Hidizs XO has a neutral sound signature with just a tad of warmth just to sound more organic akin to an old definition of analogue "neutrality" (I'll just explain more about its characteristics in an orderly manner.)


Bass seems that have an ample punch, precise and expressive on how it gives a definition on specific bass regions. Sub bass has a sufficient rumble to reverberate if some certain tracks demand it to be played upon likebsome low bass guitar register, synthesisers and electronic drums especially on synth-pop tracks.

Mid bass has a reasonable texture to give a well-bodied sound on bass kicks, bass-baritone vocals and bass guitars. It gives a sustaining and thudding sound on bass kicks, an ample heft and depth on bass-baritone vocal to have a more guttural sound and bass guitars to have a satisfactory growl to sound broady and sombre. Bass trumpets seem to have this intense full and darker timbre.


The mids of Hidizs XO seem fairly neutral, with sufficient warmth, clean and "silky" delivery. Both male and female vocals benefited from that warmth that added some density to their note weight. Male voices has this power and heavily gravelly to project its strong presence in all types of male vocals especially on counter-tenors and tenors. Female vocals has this euphonic and sensous that I can describe upon its voice quality.

Instruments are all depicted in almost in an accurate manner from percussive to wood winds. Percussives like field drums and snare drums has this sonorous, hard, penetrating and precise sound. Brass instruments like trumpets and tuba has a blaring, metallic and robust sound that gives a "heroic" vibe. Woodwinds like fife and flutes has this shrill and ethereal sound. Strings like acoustic guitars have this buttery and balanced sounding, Violins has this lustrous and yet vibrant sound that listening on it gives me a pleasant manner. And last but not the least, the sound of piano has this warm, rich and vibrant sound that I was able to describe.


Hidizs XO definitely has a clean, smooth treble. It has enough brightness just to give enough details on the elements and harmonics. Not a hint of harshness or sibilance that I discerningly hear even to my treble-laden tracks.

It has a good treble air that every cymbal or xylophone strikes has a shimmer with an adequate amount of sizzle. Hi-hats has a life-like sound with its distinctive shortened buzzing.


Overall soundstage dimension of Hidizs XO seems to have an above average on wideness, with good height and a valid sense of depth on how I perceived it within my headspace. Imaging is decently enough that I was able to distinguish the placement of the elements (vocals and instruments) on its spatial cues but not the most accurate that I've encountered on such a device.

Separation and layering performance is commendable; it gives a sufficient spacing and gaps of elements in a track. And both dynamic and frequency layering has its distinctive placement within its sonic canvas with its sustain, attack and release of each specific instruments.

Resolution capability of Hidizs XO has an acceptable presentation of delineating elements either on macro-dynamics or micro-detailing. Micro-detail retrieval is somehow least edgy and sharper that is quite unusually different to typical characteristics of most ESS DACs which has some emphasis on treble region. Tonal colour is more on a natural state with just added warmth to make it sound more "analogueish" rather than digital one.



■ Compared to Hidizs XO, Dragonfly Black has a larger chassis with matte-coating finish. It has only a 3.5mm single-ended port and a USB Type-A port which is more beneficial on PC and laptop connectivity but needs some add-on adapter for mobile usage which makes the connection a bit more complex. It has a volume control which is better than more choices on RGB LED lights.

■ On paper, Dragonfly Black's sample playback was capped to 96kHz compared to 32/384khz of Hidizs XO but most of us aren't really that concerned for a hi-res playback rating. With a rating of 1.2 Vrms, It is noticeable that its power output is a bit lower compared to Hidizs XO but at least it can drive some IEMs and low-impedance cans properly without a hitch.

■ Tonality-wise, both Dragonfly Black and XO have an eerily-similar timbre as they have more leaning more on the musical side as they have some warmth to make a sound more organic and "analogue-ish". But Dragon Black is more U-shaped sounding as bass and treble is more prominent than the midrange. Technicalities are even analogous on both devices.

HIDIZS S3 PRO (2021)

■ It is Hidizs XO's predecessor, it has a contrasting shape as this has a circular shape chassis and a detached Type-C connector. It has only a single-ended 3.5mm jack unlike its successor unit which has another jack, a 2.5mm balanced. Both devices have MQA-support for Tidal playback.

■ S3 Pro has a better DAC chip, a flagship ES9281C which is similar to the TOTL DAC/Amp dongle, Questyle M15. It can drive most of the IEMs and some power-efficient headphones.

■ Both the tonality of these devices leaning towards a neutral side of tuning but they have different perspectives on neutrality, S3 Pro is more transparent and sterile compared to a more organic and analogue-ish tuning of Hidisz XO.

As I conclude my review regarding Hidisz XO. Hidizs managed to make Hidizs XO more appealing to some transitional audio enthusiasts who are still in the exploring phase towards more matured, reference-level tuning. A balanced-neutral with a hint of warmth to make a more natural sound and an above-average technicalities in an affordable price is indeed a very compelling offering for a budget audiophile.

With the exception of those implementations of RGB LED lights which I honestly feel a bit "out of place" and somehow it is more palatable towards Video/PC gamers than serious audiophiles, Hidizs XO is a decent device that delivers a sufficient power output and to deliver the best possible clear and clean sound.

Hidizs XO DAC/Amp dongle is now available in HIDIZS official site and if you are interested to purchase this device, simply click HERE.

Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *

Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**

Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **

Mountain - Mississippi Queen *

Queen - Killer Queen **

Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*

Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'

Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'

Pearl Jam - Daughter **

Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *

Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*

Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *

New Order - Blue Monday *

The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *

The Madness- Buggy Trousers *

Metallica - Motorbreath **

Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *

Destiny's Child - Say My Name *

Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *

Mozart - Lacrimosa *

New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *

Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*

Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *

Exciter - Violence and Force *

Diana Krall - Stop This World **

Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*

The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**

Suzanne Vega – Luka **

Lauren Christy – Steep *


I am not affiliated to HIDIZS nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to thank MS. EMMA LI for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate her generosity towards me and other reviewers.

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Headphoneus Supremus
Hidizs XO - Crisp. Clear. Colourful.
Pros: + Neutral tonality
+ Crisp and clear
+ Pitch-black background
+ Improved sense of soundstage depth
+ MQA 16x (if you want MQA)
Cons: - Less output power than S9 Pro
- MQA (if you don't want / use MQA)


That was my question when I heard about the latest dongle DAC/AMP from Hidizs, the XO. Why do they release another dongle when they already have the excellent S9 Pro? Why do they reduce the output power compared to S9 Pro? Why do they make RGB light strips the key selling point?

I was not left wondering for too long. Now that I have spent a solid amount of time with XO and run it through all kinds of A/B tests, let me tell you about this colourful dongle.


  • I use the term “source” to denote a DAC + Amp combo.
  • Sources do not make sounds. Therefore, when I say sources “sound” a certain way, I talk about the change they make to my IEMs and earphones.
  • I want my music to be crisp, clear, well-separated and form a 3D soundstage around my head. Sources that intensify those characteristics of my IEMs are considered “better”.
  • This review is based on my subjective experience. Ratings are given based on A/B tests with benchmark sources and IEMs.
  • Making loud noises does not mean that a pair of IEMs or earphones are driven to their full potential.
  • Despite my textual descriptions, improvements from sources are minor and nuanced. If you are beginning your head-fi journey, getting different IEMs or earphones would yield more benefits. If you know your gears very well, improvements from sources can be delightful.
  • The XO used for this review was a preproduction sample provided by Hidizs (Thank you!). The unit is retailed for $99 and can be found on Hidizs official store (non-affiliated link)


  • DAC Chips: ES9219C x 2
  • Output ports: 3.5mm (Single-ended) and 2.5mm (balanced)
  • Single-ended output power: 78mW@32ohm per channel
  • Balanced output power: 195mW@32ohm per channel
  • Recommended impedance: 8 - 250ohms
  • MQA support: 16x

Handling and Usability:​


XO is a small metal box with two buttons (X and O) and two grills on the sides that cover the RGB strips. The glass panels of the S9 Pro have been replaced by metal panels with a matte finish. I prefer this design because I no longer have to worry about smudges and scratches.


The X button controls the RGB lights. There are about a dozen lighting effects for you to fidget with when listening to music. Unfortunately, the dongle does not remember your lighting setting, so you must find your favourite effect again any time you connect the dongle.

The O button displays the type of file being played. You also use this button for cycling through the available DAC filters. These filters produce slight differences in the reproduction of high frequencies (I mean it when I use the word “slight”).

  • The blue filter makes the treble a bit sharper. For instance, the E string of violins would sound sharper and more “bitey”. This effect can translate to a slightly clearer sound signature.
  • The red filter rolls off the treble a bit, making high notes rounder and less bitey. This sound reminds me of the slightly rounded treble presentation I adore with S9 Pro.

Sound Performance​


Gears for A/B tests:

  • Moondrop Blessing 2 (22ohm, 117dB/Vrms)
  • Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020 (12.8ohm, 112.8dB/mW)
  • Final Audio E5000 (14ohm, 93dB/mW)
  • Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle
  • Hidizs S9 Pro
  • Topping G5
Playlist for A/B tests: IEGems Playlist

XO is neutral, crisp, and clear, with a pitch-black background and enhanced soundstage depth. By neutral, I mean XO does not noticeably change the connected IEMs’ response. You would not hear your IEMs slightly shift toward a warm and mellow sound like you would with a Shanling device, such as UP4. At the same time, you wouldn’t hear emphasized high notes and deep bass like you would with Fiio KA3. If I am very nitpicky, I would say XO sounds slightly brighter than the Apple dongle.


XO sounds crisp and clear, meaning that music notes such as individual bowing in a complex violin phrase are crisp and separate. The good thing is that XO does not boost or highlight the treble to achieve this improved “resolution”. You can further fine-tune the treble presentation of XO with the included filter options as I described above.

Speaking of S9 Pro, how does XO compare to the previous dongle by Hidizs? I say XO has a more refined but less “weighty” sound. The signature pitch-black background and the illusion of enhanced soundstage depth of the S9 Pro also exist on XO. The improvement XO brings to the table is resolution. What XO takes away is a bit of weight and body in the bass notes. The lower output power also reduces XO performance when facing difficult-to-drive IEMs and headphones.

Average IEM and earphones (4/5)​


The first test of any portable source is whether it offers something extra compared to the plain old Apple dongle when driving a regular pair of IEM or earphones. For this test, I rely on the trusty Moondrop Blessing 2 IEM and G.O.A.T. by Polyphia.

Yup, Blessing 2 sounds better with XO than the Apple dongle (3/5). As always, the difference is not day and night. However, in back-to-back A/B tests, Blessing 2 sounds duller, less punchy, and less engaging with the Apple dongle. The stand-out difference is the sense of depth. XO shows a more substantial separation between foreground and background elements on the soundstage. It brings closer elements closer and pushes background elements, such as the blip sounds around 1:30, further from you. Bass is also “tighter” with XO, meaning the attack of bass notes is sharper, and the decay is shorter. The texture of the sound, such as the “brrrrm” sound from 0:26, is also crisper with XO.

How does XO compare with S9 Pro (4/5)? I say they sound almost identical. In back-to-back A/B tests, I feel like I am hearing the same DAC/amp. Whenever I hear more midbass or clarity with XO, the difference disappears when I swap back to S9 Pro.

How about the G5 (4.5/5)? I hear a larger soundstage with instruments spreading further apart with G5. However, the difference is not day and night. If you want to pursue the diminishing return, G5 is good. Otherwise, S9 Pro or XO get you nearly there when using regular IEMs and earphones.

Low-impedance, high-Sensitivity IEM (4/5)​


The second test of any portable audio source is driving low-impedance, high-sensitivity IEMs. In theory, these IEMs should be very easy to drive. In practice, they demand high-quality sources with low noise, low output impedance, and a high limit on the electrical current. For this test, I rely on the notoriously sensitive Andromeda 2020.

How does XO deal with Andromeda? Excellent, just like its predecessor S9 Pro. The background is pitch black with zero noise. This pitch-black background makes music notes pop, creating an excellent sense of depth and separation.

How does XO compare to the Apple dongle? Noticeably crisper with better depth and layering. Using the G.O.A.T. as a test track, I can hear the soundstage arranged in layers from closer to further away with XO. With the Apple dongle, the soundstage does not form strong layers but is more like a wide but flat picture. Another improvement of XO is clarity and separation. For instance, at 2:33, when the foreground elements of the mix get loud and busy, I can still “hear through” the foreground to reach the background with XO. These background elements themselves sound like they come from further away from me, which helps increase the sense of depth.

The difference between XO and S9 Pro is less extreme but still noticeable with back-to-back A/B tests. The first difference is in the smoothness of both lower-treble (around 5kHz) and mid-treble (around 8kHz). Simply put, high-pitched peaks, such as loud cymbals, sound slightly rounded off and thus less harsh on S9 Pro than XO. Vice versa, you might also say XO is more “crisp” or energetic than S9 Pro. Another difference in the treble region is that I hear more treble “air” with S9 Pro. The low end of the S9 Pro also sounds thicker and punchier than XO.

So which one is better? It is a matter of taste. XO and S9 Pro play more or less on the same field.

Low-impedance, low-sensitivity IEM (3.5/5)​


When I looked at the specs sheet of XO, my primary concern was the reduced maximum amplification output over both balanced and single-ended output compared to S9 Pro. Whilst this reduction was not very noticeable with regular IEMs, it is very apparent with difficult-to-drive stuff, such as the notorious Final Audio E5000. Refrain from letting the low impedance of E5000 trick you. Its low sensitivity brings most dongles down on their figurative knees.

To be clear, it’s not that dongles cannot bring loud volume out of E5000. Even an Apple dongle at about 80% volume can make the midrange of E5000 loud. However, E5000 sounds muddy and congested with boomy bass if the amp cannot supply the necessary electrical current. When powered by desktop-class amplifiers, such as Topping G5, the tonality of E5000 becomes brighter, and its bass becomes tight and sub-bass focused. Its soundstage also becomes large and almost surrounding.

So, how does E5000 sound with XO?

Firstly, XO outperforms the Apple dongle noticeably. In rapid back-to-back switching with the test track G.O.A.T., I hear a more airy and separated presentation with a sharper and cleaner bass line with XO. Everything sounds duller and more congested with the Apple dongle, even at the airy part of the track around 1:00.

With the excellent results against the Apple dongle, I had great expectations for XO’s subsequent tests against S9 Pro and G5. Unfortunately, there was no surprise. Even via balanced output, XO cannot drive E5000 to the level of the powerful amplifiers. In back-to-back tests, XO sounded thick and stuffy, though the background elements were audible and crisp. I also found that XO requires significantly more volume than S9 Pro (2/3 vs 1/3).


XO is a good DAC/AMP dongle. It sounds crisp, clear, and natural whilst maintaining that pitch-black background and enhanced soundstage depth signatures of its predecessor, the S9 Pro. However, it does not achieve above and beyond the limit of a USB dongle.

Should you get XO? Perhaps not if you already have another dongle of the same class (dual DAC with balanced output). Instead, you should save for powerful, battery-powered DAC/AMP with desktop-level performance. However, if the Apple dongle is all you have and you are itching for an upgrade, XO is a compelling option in its price bracket.
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Reviewer at hxosplus
Disco lights
Pros: + Musical and engaging sound signature
+ Smooth and not fatiguing treble
+ Natural timbre with minimum digital glare
+ Great technicalities for the price
+ Very powerful given the size
+ Two reconstruction filters available with a press of a button.
+ Low power consumption
+ Balanced and unbalanced headphone outputs
+ Unique LED lighting system
+ Compact sized and lightweight
+ Good build quality
Cons: - Not the most refined or resolving
- Bass could be more impactful
- Flat soundstage
- No onboard volume control and lack of hardware buttons
- No gain setting
- A touch of background noise with sensitive earphones
- Competition is more powerful
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
Hidizs was kind enough to engrave my name at the back of the chassis.
The price of the XO $99 is and you can buy it from Hidizs official store or from here if you are located in the EU.
At the Hidizs shop there is a special pre-sale price of $89 valid from 12.15 to 12.21 2022.

About Hidizs

Hidizs was founded early in 2009, when pocket HiFi had just become a thing.
At that time, they were pricey and badly made.
Digital music sucked in those days, but people didn't really care.
Tamson, the founder and the CEO of Hidizs, did care.
He was an audiophile and fronted an underground rock band in college. After graduating, Tamson dedicated his life to making HiFi music players for lossless music.
As an audiophile, it was a no-brainer; music should be heard as it was intended to be.
In order to produce better quality portable HiFi audio devices at an affordable price, Tamson brought together a group of audiophiles with extensive backgrounds in HiFi audio R&D.
With a core staff of over 40 audio-obsessed professionals and decades of combined experience, Hidizs has been able to consistently produce the highest quality portable audio gear.
Hidizs are making some really good sounding stuff like the compact DAP AP80 PRO-X and the earphones MD4 and MS2 that I have recently reviewed.


Hidizs XO

The Hidizs XO is a brand new, compact sized, single-ended & balanced MQA USB DAC dongle with 3.5mm and 2.5mm headphone outputs.
The XO is using dual ESS ES9219C DAC chips and an independent crystal oscillator for the purest audio experience.
It can decode up to 32bit/384kHz PCM, DSD256 and fully 'unfold' MQA files (16X) while all operating systems are supported without the need to install drivers.
The XO is compatible with the HiBy music application which is recommended to use in order to do the full 16X MQA unfold.


Build quality and appearance

The XO is a rectangular, compact sized, stylish and modern looking dongle.
The XO chassis is made from a high-density aluminum alloy which is formed with a 5-axis CNC process.
For the first time, the etched technology is used on both sides of the XO with the Hidizs initials - "H" as the main design element.
Build quality and finish are excellent, there are no sharp corners or rough edges and the XO is available in three colors, black, silver and rose gold.


At the front face of the chassis you are going to find two buttons, one "X" shaped that is for controlling the built-in light system and one "O" shaped that doubles as the sampling rate indicator light and the low pass filter selection button.


Pressing the "O" button will cycle between the two available low pass filters that are distinguished by momentarily flashing the respective color.
Blue is for linear phase fast roll-off filter and red for hybrid fast roll-off.


The Hidizs dongle family

Disco lights

The XO has a unique built-in RGB LED light system at both sides of the chassis with 15 different lighting effects that can be controlled by the "X" shaped button at the front face of the dongle.
Subjectively speaking I am not that fan of the light system and I prefer not to use it in order to keep battery consumption as low as possible.
Despite that I can see its appeal to the younger crowd and as long as there is the option to enable it or not then everyone should be happy.


Power output and associated gear

The Hidizs XO is quite powerful given the size as it can do 196mW/32Ω from the balanced output, enough power to drive sensitive headphones like the Meze 109 Pro and the Sennheiser HD660S.
For the latter I never exceeded ¾ of the available volume range to get loud enough and with good control in classical music.
Driving earphones was an easy task for the XO, I have mostly used the FiiO FH7S, Meze ADVAR and TRN ST5.
Noise floor is pretty low but the XO is not the blacker sounding dongle and it can sometimes peak a little interference from the cellular antenna.
The XO gets mildly warm but not hot while power consumption is pretty low so it will not deplete the host device battery too fast.


Listening impressions

The overall sound signature resembles that of its bigger brother, the Hididz AP80 PRO-X, not surprisingly though because they share the same audio architecture.
So regular readers you may find out a lot of similarities in the sound description of the XO with that of the AP80 PRO-X review but you are also going to read about a couple of critical differences.


The XO is neutrally tuned with a balanced sound signature but not as transparent, luminous and treble forward as the AP80 PRO-X.
Transparency and overall fidelity are on a high level but the AP80 PRO-X is still better in this department.
The XO is not that crystal clear and sharp toned nor that refined and resolving but it manages to sound slightly more musical and organic than its bigger brother.
This is an engaging and enjoyable little DAC with just a touch of warmness and a mostly natural timbre without much of a digital glare.
Technicalities might be on a little lower level when compared to the AP80 PRO-X or third party competition, like the iBasso DC06, but they are still good enough.

The bass is tight and controlled with good layering and definition, not too lean sounding and quite dynamic although it is not that impactful and visceral.
This is an agile dongle with speedy transients but time decay isn't too rushed so percussion instruments fade away without sounding overly thin.
Frequency integration is stellar, there is plenty of space for the mids to shine and a surplus of air for the sparkling and not subdued treble which might be lacking in extra bite but in exchange it manages to stay smooth and fatigue free.

The soundstage is surprisingly open, spacious and well defined with sharp imaging but the truth is that it is mostly flat, almost one - dimensional sounding without too much of a depth layering and holography.
But it would be somewhat unfair to seek such properties from a budget friendly dongle which at the end of the day proved to be an excellent companion for everyday casual listening.
It is not a critical listening tool and it does not need to pretend to be one.
The XO feels at home with all kinds of music, even classical, while it can do full justice to budget and mid range earphones, an excellent combination that gave me plenty of listening joy with some of my favorite classical albums.


Compared to the iBasso DC06 ($119)

The iBasso DC06 is another USB DAC dongle with similar audio architecture as it also uses dual ES9219C DAC chips.
It has a 4.4mm balanced headphone output instead of the XO's 2.5mm but for a thicker body.
It is also considerably more powerful with 320mW/32Ω but it is also more power hungry so is going to deplete your phone's battery faster than the XO.
The DC06 has a different design pattern and is somewhat heavier and bulkier because of the thicker aluminum chassis which nonetheless offers better EMI shielding.
The DC06 doesn't have user selectable filters but it is compatible with the iBasso UAC application which bypasses Android SRC to achieve a 64-step hardware volume control.


Sound-wise, the iBasso DC06 has the same kind of musical and organic sound character, like that of the XO, but it also has the upper hand in overall technicalities, dynamics, bass impact and driver control with more difficult loads.
But it is not as relaxed and smooth sounding in the treble as the XO, something that should be carefully considered as an advantage for people who prefer less nervous and sharp sounding DACs or for someone who is seeking to tame an already aggressive earphone.


In the end

The Hididz XO is yet another USB DAC dongle in an already saturated market which nonetheless manages to pull out of the crowd thanks to the youthful design with the unique light effect system, the power output despite the compact chassis, the ability to select filters and the audio quality.
So if you are looking for a compact sized USB DAC dongle with a modern appearance and a relaxed sound signature then the Hidizs XO is highly recommended.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2022.
Ace Bee
Ace Bee
Can you provide a comparison with the S9 Pro as well?
Unfortunately not yet.
The S9 Pro is still WIP.
Thanks Ichos
  • Like
Reactions: Ichos


500+ Head-Fier
Hidizs XO - The RGB Performer!
Pros: -
- Neutral and natural sound curve
- Highly organic timbre for an ESS Sabre DAC
- Great driving power
- Good battery drain to the host
- Two selectable sound filters, on the fly toggle
Cons: -
- May not sound the best with natively bright sounding partners
- Imaging can be slightly fuzzy on certain tracks
- Volume steps a bit chunky between levels
- No physical volume adjuster
- Some issues with volume on Tidal MQA (USB Native Mode)

The latest offering from Hidizs, XO is here to enrich the options for good quality audio source.

In a nutshell, Hidizs XO I would consider as a moderately tuned DAC/Amp by ESS Sabre standards. The overall scheme of sound spectrum, tone and timbre being organic and natural. Just as per expected of a properly tuned DAC/Amp, they should always strive to remain uncolored. In this case, XO definitely fit the bill.

Dynamics handling of XO can be best described as smooth and unoffensive, rendering of dynamic transients being moderately tuned to not exhibit aggressive euphony level, it is probably the "most polite" sounding dongle from Hidizs so far, if to be compared against the siblings of Hidizs S9 Pro and S3 Pro. XO offers good technical prowess especially for natively bright sounding partners, can be a bit fuzzy sounding when paired with warmer/darker ones.

Perhaps, one element that pleases me the most is how good XO is with driving heavy stuffs like my Fostex T40RP MK3, a magnetic planar headphone boasting low sensitivity at 91dB and 50 Ohm. I am hearing rich musical output which does not sacrifice the element of technicalities. Dynamic range appearing well extended and with note weight that is satisfactorily rich and dense.

XO also proved to be quite versatile with highly sensitive IEMs, despite lacking gain mode switch. Again the general theme being moderate and never aggressive sounding, imparting admirably organic output that is pleasant as it is musical. Most prominent, XO being super clean with background, devoid of any element of floor noises, which can be quite annoying for highly sensitive hybrid IEMs.

One notable feature that I find useful, real-time switch for toggling two different modes of sound filters, of which the 2nd option will exhibit audible changes with soundstage projection, seemingly expanding wide to either sides and thus imparting a sense of circular spatial sound spread. But this is not evident on some IEMs or Headphones, only the ones that are capable or technically competent enough to emit holographic staging.


On the aspect of usability, XO scored 10-11 hours on continuous runtime on my Xiaomi Mi9T (4000 mAH Battery). XO will remain relatively cool (just mildly warm to the touch) even when subjected to long hours of operations.

Last but not least, XO can be quite a vibrant gadget when the RGB mode activated, simply by pressing the X button, and it will literally become a disco light emitter - party mode to suit the moods. There's several lighting scheme available and all easily toggled by just pressing the X button again to choose the desired projection.

For in depth review, please check it out on YouTube #donglemadness channel.

Hidizs XO will be released soon at:

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Thanks for the review
is this "2nd option will exhibit audible changes with soundstage projection" the computational audio stereo widening trick that increases volume only on the difference between left and righr channel ?
@amanieux It depends on how sensitive your listening devices are, my Fostex T40RP MK3 and some IEMs does feel wider circularly, some not so evident


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -smooth open and transparent musicality
-single ended and balanced out
-more than decent power output (190mw)
-impressively wide open spatiality
-OK imaging
-organic timbre
-unique design
-RGB lighting for those that find it cool
-sound rendering seem to target gamers (extra bass, decent imaging, openess)
Cons: -useless buttons
-not most resolved nor cleanest sound
-not the last word in technicalities
-colored bass and darkened tonality
-softed attack edge and definition
-balanced out seem to have too high gain or impedance


is a chinese audio company that focus on portable audio, they have launch lot of DAC-AMP and earphones in the last years. Their S9pro dongle gain lot of praise, but today it's their new comer, the XO that I wil review.
Price is not yet reveal, but should be under 100$, making this dongle enter most competitive portable dac-amp. The XO have a single ended 3.5mm output and balanced 2.5mm output. It use dual sabre ES9219 dac, promising good dynamic and channel separation. As well, it seem aimed for the gamers, since their unique RGB lighting effect that will WoW their eyes, but did the sound too is tuned for them? Let see in this review if audiophile should consider this dongle too!

SNR: SE:118db BAL:119db
Crosstalk: SE:76db BAL:118db
THD: SE:0.0015% BAL:0.0005%
Output Power: SE: 78mw@32ohm BAL 195mw@32ohm
PCM up to 32bit/384khz
DAC: ES9219Cx2

The Hidizs XO have 2 botton and it's not really for control, so no volume or pause-play option here.
Nope, the audacious choice is a bit, how say, head scratching.
The O button is there to select between 2 digital filter: Blue light for ''Linear phase fast roll-off filter'' and Red light for ''hybrid fast-roll off''. To be honest the sound difference is barely noticeable, depending of IEM i use i can feel bit more openess with Blue mode, while bit more vocal presence and warmth with Red, but this is a bit ridiculous if you want my real opinion since I tend to select ''non over sampling filter'' when I can, less their filter, cleaner is the sound.
And then, hum, the party light effect. Yep, the X button start eye catching light effect. But I don't even know if we can stop it once started, which can be annoying to say the least. I mean, its beautiful and captivating for what it is, but i can't find exact purpose of this. Hidizs sure choose to be different with these 2 unecessary button, even if their no doubt i will not be the only one to wish they have valuable purpose like just play-pause option, which is something lot of dongle are lacking.
In term of Construction, its not bad, not great. Body is light alluminium and feel semi-sturdy. The jacks are made of plastic. The USB-C connector is what I found concerning for durability since it feel a bit loose in the body. Both side have this light effect screen, its nice i guess.

Packaging might be beta version for me, but its minimalist. It come in a small black box and include one usb-c to usb-c basic cable and a usb-c to USB adapter. Nothing to write about here, yet its enough even if longer usb-c to USB cable would have been appreciated.


TONALITY isn't what i would call completly neutral, since it sound a bit colored to me, especially in bass and treble part. I would call it sligthly U shape with hint of extra sub bass warmth and resonance, smooth open mids and airy treble with softed edge. Its an organic sounding dongle to my ears, detailed yet not bright or agressive, with a great sens of openess in spatiality and gently tamed upper mid to offer a safe musicality.

DYNAMIC isn't the most hefty or vivid, yet doesn't feel lacking to the point of being dull or overly lean. The bass has light boom to it, while mid range is delicate and airy and treble blossom instead of biting in energic attack.

As said, sub bass take the lead here and can inflict warmth on mid bass and blur kick drum. For ex, Kindera Idun Golden are more mid bass focus, yet become more sub bass proeminent with those, Ikko OH10 too gain in extra slam, not in an intense way and the result can be very pleasant in fact. Resolution is a bit darkened in the low end due to this and separation isn't the cleanest.

Mids are to my ears leanest part of spectrum, thus the U shape qualification. Its impressively transparent too, soft in texture and it doesn't boost loudness nor tend to extract unwanted instrument or vocal details that might inflict negatively on timbral balance. Its liquid mids, dense enough in timbre and easy to love. Laid back, musical and wide in layering. XO isn't crisp nor analytical or cold, the presentation feel natural, softed in attack edge and innofensive.

Treble doesn't jump at you nor create wow effect, it's smooth with unforced sens of detailing. Lower treble is darkened and avoid abrasive texturing, which will inflict on attack bite so violin will lack a bit of authority as well as electric guitar. Yet, we have hint of extra brilliance and crispness on top, just enough to add air and openess. Texture is minimal here, percussions aren't sharp in definition, you don't get extra snap.

Spatiality is very wide, but not very deep as if sound layers are too close to each other without feeling compressed, just not clearly define due to romantic blured sustain-release. This still is highly rewarding since it did open lot of IEMs i try.

Imaging is impacted by this damped dynamic edge, while layering is decent, the definition isn't sharp so it's hard to precisely pin point instrument, in that regard the XO are a bit bellow average.

Technicalities are good, yet understated, as if an extra taming filter have been use to make the sound smoother and more laid back. Resolution is OK, but not super clean or crisp, this isn't a dongle that wow us with secret micro details even if when we are active listener there lot of nuance in macro resolution to find, its when we try to capture all details of a single instrument that limit of resolution are evident. Noise floor is decent, and in fact this is the type of dongle that erase part of noise artefact of bad recording, this make it very versatile performance wise. Yet, i would say i feel the treble doesn't fully extend up to 20khz. Even if we have either a 10khz or above extra slight boost to add openess.

All in all, i feel this dongle is tuned specificaly for gamers, this is due to extra bass resonance, sens of open imaging-layering and fatigue free tonality to preserve long listening fatigue or damage.


The XO deliver up to 195mw, i don't know impedance output but its not the lowest I would say. While not bad, i dont consider amping section extremely clean nor very muscular in dynamic push, so IEM that lack some like the Moondrop Aria will not sound more lively with X0.
About impedance, the test with slightly sensitive Audiosense T800 result in extremely distorted bass in BAL mode, but i don't encounter serious issue with single ended mode, perhaps slight micro distortion in attck edge there and there but this sound good in fact so this make the XO quite versatile for both sensitive and hard to drive IEM, just be sure not to use balanced mode which is surely stock at high gain.


The SUNDARA test impress me in term of bass rumble and density without any distortion at high volume, so ill say it pass it well even if mids seem more recessed and thin and highs are a bit overly softed, it does sound quite open but at the same time a bit distant. Yet, again, no distortion at full volume is very impressive, we got a more L shape bassy Sundara.

The Final Audio A8000 test pass OK, but don't blow my mind since clarity is softed, darkened a bit, treble is less snappy and airy and overal sound is less clean. We don't have lot of space between instrument and mid bass punch isn't as weighty and well define. Upper mids are now smoother tough.

With Ikko OH10 the pairing is quite good, its warm the tonality a bit and make timbre smoother, but bass become warmer and more muddy. It does improve mids presence. Overall tonality become more organic which can boost sens of musicality, especially for classical music.

With Aria, it don't pass the test, it sound overly lean since mid bass is already lacking so the XO don't help in that regard. Sound quite lean and distant.

With Kinera Idun Golden it's excellent pairing, as if they are mean to be togheter, since its already more about slight mid bass punch and textured presence it gain in sub bass presence. As well, soundstage feel wider and taller. Mids are fuller in timbre. Treble seem even a bit more airy and brilliant too, just a hint, but a needed one. Best pairing I try.


VS TEMPOTEC HD V (dual ES9219C-120mw)

OK, these are very similar sounding yet not tuned the same, the XO is more bassy and U shape, it have more boosted sub bass that make it more resonant in impact while HD V is more bright neutral with better define mid bass punch, more textured and well define kick drum for ex. XO is near 2 time more powerfull balanced way, as well, both single or bal way it sound more open and tall in spatiality. Vocal are more upfront with the HD V, making female vocal less recessed as if XO have softed its upper mids dynamic, this make mid range a bit more dark too, more distant. HD V seem a bit brighter because of this, more textured in timbre and edgy in definition, more neutral as a whole even if we have slight W shape tonal boost.
Level of micro details is a hint higher with the HD V, while timbre is more organic with XO and less prompt to problematic pairing with very bright IEM for ex. Again taking female vocal for ex, it have a more breathy presentation with XO. Treble is sharper and more sparkly with the HD V as if their extra brilliance to guitar. To note, XO due to its more liquid texture seem to have better transparency, which make me conclude soundstage wise its superior in all direction.
Attack sustain and release is better controled with the HD V, seem a bit warmed with the XO, treble is fuller sounding adding more crunch and snap to IEM you pair with too.

I would be tempted to say XO is an overall better value, but i'm not sure of it's price and to be honest, i find the HD V more refined and better resolved, yet it doesn't have balanced output. As said, these 2 sound near identical, but technical performance, dynamic impact and articulation as well as overall resolution is superior with HD V, so, if you want smoother more open sound with less edgy definition and hefty attack, go for XO because you will be able to drive more power hungry IEM and headphone in balanced output.

VS MOONDROP DAWN BAL (dual CS43131-230mw)

Ok, this might be my fav sub-100$ dongle and first thing that hit is how more open wide, tall and deep is spatiality even if XO is far from being bad in this department. After, it's how cleaner and more detailed it sound, effortles way. The, timbre is more texture and attack is sharper. Dynamic is more vivid, crisp and airy with the Dawn too. X0 is smoother, hint darker. Bass is more punchy and less resonance, it have clearer-cleaner separation and more textured body and more bite for bass instrument. Note weight of mids is a bit heavier, faster too and more accurate in timing. Treble is notably more vivid and edgy in definition, perhaps a bit less organic in cohesion than XO. Timbre is smoother with XO too, more transparent and less brightish than Dawn. Overall tonality is more neutral to U shape against crisp W shape for the Dawn. Soundstage and imaging is superior with the Dawn, notably deeper and more holographic.

All in all, the Dawn Bal perhaps lack dual output, but in term of sound quality and performance, it's from another league.



I don't really know what to say about this exotic dongle since i feel i'm not the consumer they target, i mean, i just can't understand the goal of the 2 bottons and while some people will find RGB light effect entertaining, i find it annoying....yes, I think i'm just too old for this dongle.

Yet, the sound is far from being bad, but the sub-100$ market is so fullfill with highly competitive offering, so it's hard for me to conclude the sound value is high here. But the positive side is that their no other dongle offering RGB light effect and possibility to swap sound filter on the go, this is to be underline even if personaly i would prefer classic control buttons as said.

As well, i do enjoy the versatility of amping power, in the sense 3.5mm single ended sound cleaner and is lower in impedance, perfect for sensitive IEM, while balanced out is very powerfull and can drive demanding IEM or headphones without creating distortion. The fact it drive my Hifiman Sundara well enough merit applause here.

All in all, the XO isn't a bad sounding dongle and its dual output make it a versatile device for those who enjoy bassy laid back musicality, with decent resolution, good transparency and open spatiality.

Recommended for gamers, cool youngsters, new audiophiles and dancers!

Disclaimer: This dongle was sent to me by Hidizs. I didn't show the review prior to publishing nor have any incentitive to write a positive or embelished review. Thank you Hidizs for accepting honest reviewers that aren't know to be hyper. Respect.

You can follow Hidizs XO launch here, the price is unknown for now but should be under 100$:

For more written review, give a look to my website here:https://nobordersaudiophile.wordpress.com

For video reviews, you can subscribe to my new Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@nobordersaudiophile206

For some audio porn pics and reels, im back on my Instagram too, give a look here:https://www.instagram.com/nobordersaudiophile/?hl=fr

And finaly, join Chifi Love facebook group, its non-elitist, non biased, non sponsorised audio group that encourage diversity of opinions and sound impressions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/517665269706033


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Thanks for the review! They do look very good. Will go great with someone's rgb setup


1000+ Head-Fier
The Added Balance
Pros: Very precise, structured, versatile, rich, detailed sound, highly suitable for monitoring.
- Great level of clarity, transparency, resolution and definition.
- Great technical ability.
- Wide soundstage, great laterality, good headroom, good positioning.
- Balanced output improves the sound.
- Very light in weight.
- RGB LEDS with 15 different lighting modes.
- Two sound filters.
- High level of construction, the side panel with H-shaped holes is very precise.
- Very powerful, especially for low impedances.
- Quality USB converter.
- Ultra low output impedance.
Cons: Slight overheating.
- USB cable could be better.
- The image is frontal, with an average depth.

Hidizs is really active lately and is not losing any ground in the dongle market. It takes advantage of its experience with the Sabre Dual ES9219C SoC, which it has used in its latest DAPS, to implement it in its latest creation. This is the XO dongle, which also knows how to follow up on the taste of RGB LEDs, to adopt it as an attractive sales strategy. Of course, it also supports MQA x16, has two 3.5mm SE and balanced 2.5mm audio outputs, a sample rate indicator light, an O button to switch between two filters and an X button to switch between 15 different lighting effects. Yes, the XO has side grilles with H-shaped holes, through which you can see the RGB lighting set via the X button. It is capable of decoding up to DSD256, PCM 32Bit/384kHz, has an ASIO driver and is compatible with the HiBy Music application. All this in a rather restrained aluminium alloy body, which can be chosen in three colours.
It is being prepared for launch on Kickstarter at $89. The final price will be $99 on the Hidizs website. Let's take a look at the rest of the features and, of course, we'll talk about its sound.

Hidizs XO 01_r.jpgHidizs XO 02_r.jpgHidizs XO 03_r.jpg


  • Independent Oscillator Crystal.
  • MQA x16: requires use of software to cooperate, such as HiBy Music.
  • DSD: Native DSD64/128/256.
  • PCM: Support up to 384kHz/32Bit.
  • Sample rate indicator light: 5 colours.
  • RGB LED Illumination: Support up to 15 different modes.
  • Build quality: CNC machined aluminium alloy.
  • USB interface: Type-C.
  • Audio Outputs: Single-Ended 3.5mm, Balanced 2.5mm.
  • Frequency response: PO(3.5): 20Hz-40kHz(±0.12dB) / BAL(2.5): 20Hz-40kHz(±0.12dB).
  • THD+N: PO(3.5): 0.0015% / BAL(2.5): 0.0005%.
  • SNR: PO(3.5): 118dB / BAL(2.5): 119dB.
  • Crosstalk: PO(3.5): 76dB / BAL(2.5): 118dB.
  • Output power: 3.5mm SE: 78mW @32Ω. 2.5mm BAL: 195mW @32Ω.
  • Supported systems: Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS, iOS (Lightning to Type-C adapter must be purchased separately).
  • Dimensions: 55x24.5x9.35mm.
  • Weight: 11g.

Hidizs XO 04_r.jpgHidizs XO 05_r.jpgHidizs XO 06_r.jpg


Hidizs is known for its small packaging and the XO is no exception. The new dongle comes in a very small, almost square, black box with dimensions 76x75x39mm. On the front side you can see a real picture of the XO on a black background. On the bottom left is the name of the model, as well as the description and logos of the certifications it meets. On the right side is the Hidizs logo, all in holographic ink. On the back are the specifications, both in English and Chinese, in white ink. After removing the outer cardboard, a black plastic box appears, with the brand's logo and slogan inscribed on the lid. On one side there is a sticker with the CE certificate and another with the model name, between two linear barcodes. On the other side, there is another sticker with the name of a server (more on that later). After opening the box, the dongle is embedded in a foam mould lined with black cardboard. There is a strap to pull it out. The dongle is protected by a cellophane bag. The complete contents are as follows:

  • Hidizs XO dongle.
  • A short USB Type-C to Type-C cable.
  • One USB Type-C female to Type-A male adapter.
  • One warranty certificate.
  • One serial number card.
  • One Hidizs VIP card.

The contents are just right. There is no carrying pouch, almost no dongle comes with one, so it can't be an honest review. The USB cable is short and simple. I like the USB Type-C female to Type-A male adapter, it's nice that it's so small and of good quality.

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Construction and Design

The Hidizs XO is a really small aluminium alloy tablet. Measuring 55x24.5x9.35mm and weighing a very light 11g, it really is very compact. It may be a little wide compared to the S9 Pro itself, but its all-aluminium body and bevelled edges make it stand out from the crowd. Of course, the most striking feature is its side panels with H-shaped holes, through which you can see the 15 lighting effects, which can be activated by pressing the X button in succession. There is another button on the front face, close to the USB connection, which is an O surrounded by an LED ring indicating the sampling frequency with its colour. The mark is inscribed on the part near the audio outputs. These outputs (3.5mm SE and 2.5mm BAL) are plastic connectors (not gold-plated). The USB Type-C connection is recessed in the tablet. Only a few inscriptions can be read on the rear side: the ESS logo and MQA on the top left. The supported formats and the product description at the bottom left. Finally, Hidizs has been kind enough to inscribe the name of this humble WEB on the top right (Thank you very much!). That's why the box came with a sticker with my reviewer alias on the outside. This is the first time this has happened to me and it was really exciting to see it in my hands.
The aluminium has a micro texture that gives it a nice roughness, but also prevents it from being a fingerprint magnet. The panels with the H-shaped holes look perfect and should not be an easy fabrication. The bevelling is also quite precise, as are the inscriptions. But I do miss a 4.4mm output instead of 2.5mm, as well as gold-plated connectors. It is true that a 4.4mm output would have required a larger pickup thickness. The width of the dongle is justified by the RGB LEDs, which, on the other hand, can be an eye-catcher, but on the other hand can lead to a higher power consumption of the power supply to which the dongle is connected.
Finally, it is available in three colours: black, silver and rose gold.

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The Hidizs XO is compatible with Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS, iOS. For Windows 10 and above, no additional driver is required and it has an ASIO driver, which is highly appreciated. Allows exclusive mode with the HiBy Music APP. It has official MQA 16x certification (with the help of HiBy Music). It does not support microphone.
Finally, the Lightning to Type-C adapter must be purchased separately.

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No volume control. Decodes MQA, DXD, DSD 64/128/256 natively. Supports 32-bit PCM up to 384kHz. Supports exclusive mode for all platforms. ASIO drivers. Connects in exclusive HQ USB Audio mode with HiBy Music APP. It has a multi-colour LED status indicator:

  • Red: PCM 352.8/384kHz.
  • Pink: MQA
  • Yellow: PCM 176.4/192kHz.
  • Green: PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96kHz.
  • Blue: DSD64/128/256.

It has an O button to switch between two sound modes (red and blue filter). It has an X button to switch between 15 different lighting patterns. The RGB lighting modes are independent of the music. Of course, the illumination can be switched off.
There is no volume control. The volume steps in Windows are the usual 100.
It only heats up slightly, very little.
It runs smoothly and there are no problems connected to Windows, something I have noticed on other dongles with the same Dual DAC, where the Foobar2000 hangs.

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Hidizs does not usually lie in its specifications. On the contrary, it tends to err on the side of caution. And that's something you notice after you've measured it.
As usual, I usually turn the volume up to the limit just before I notice visible distortion. I use pure sinusoidal amplitude 1. I use the Hidizs connected to my PC used as a DAC/AMP via Foobar2000, using the ASIO driver.

No load SE

Not much to complain about, 2.07V at 1kHz.

Hidizs XO SE No Load.jpg

15 Ohms SE

1.28V @ 1kHz Power: 110mW Current 85mA. A great value.

Hidizs XO SE 015.jpg

33 Ω SE

1.71V @ 1kHz Power: 86mW Current 51mA. The specs say 78mW, excellent.

Hidizs XO SE 033.jpg

100 Ω SE

2.03V @ 1kHz Power: 41mW Current 20mA. Not bad at all, I only notice a subtle distortion visible at full power.

Hidizs XO SE 100.jpg

No Load BAL

4.11V @ 1kHz.

Hidizs XO BAL NoLoad.jpg

15 Ω BAL

1.78V @ 1kHz. Power: 210mW Current 120mA, simply enormous, it exceeds the 90mA barrier, leaving the brand in tatters.

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33 Ω BAL

2.66V @ 1kHz Power: 210mW Current 80mA. Again, above the specified value.

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100 Ω BAL

3.93V @ 1kHz Power: 150mW Current 39mA. Again, at maximum volume I notice a subtle distortion.

Hidizs XO BAL 100.jpg

Frequency Response

The frequency response is flat in the audible frequency range and has only a minimal difference between channels which is not audible.

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Impedancia de salida

The measured SE output impedance for a 33Ω load at 1v at 1kHz is practically zero. There is no voltage difference between the measurement without load and the measurement with load.

Hidizs XO SE NoLoad 1kHz Imp.jpgHidizs XO SE 033 1kHz Imp.jpg

The measured BAL output impedance for a 33Ω load at 2v at 1kHz is practically zero. There is no voltage difference between the unloaded measurement and the loaded measurement.

Hidizs XO BAL NoLoad 1kHz Imp.jpgHidizs XO BAL 033 1kHz Imp.jpg


Again, the Sabre Dual ES9219C SoC is being used, the same as the one used in the Hidizs AP80 Pro-X. So I don't expect a different sound. I think SoCs leave little room for manoeuvre when it comes to introducing elements to condition the sound. But there is always some contribution with the electronics used. Starting from a stable handling, after many hours of testing, the sound glides with great clarity. It is that exposed, crisp, bright and somewhat cool profile that is classic for this new ESS chip. I feel that the XO has an analytical bent to it, where both resolution and definition are squeezed. It is a device that can be very useful for sound monitoring, because it is able to exploit that aspect with the right headphones. The spirit of the XO is strong and this is noticeable even with warm IEMS. And although the SE output is quite good, I'm inclined to use the balanced output, for a more dynamic, clear and detailed sound.
The synergy with the headphones depends on what you are looking for. With analytical IEMS, the sound achieved reaches a clear monitoring level, as I have already mentioned. This is not a pejorative comment, on the contrary, as the neutrality and the level of resolution are very useful when analysing headphones. But, I also enjoy this association very much, when it comes to enjoying rich and unrestricted music. With warm headphones the fit is also remarkable, because the XO is able to bring more light to this profile, adding a new face to the sound of such devices.
As for the lower range, it feels very dynamic, complex, agile and fast. It is a technical range, where the texture is concise, but not very juicy. It is not a smooth bass, but the roughness is felt, but under controlled exposure. In this sense, the bass is not the most descriptive, but if you are looking for definition, a clean presentation, capable of shelling out crisp bass lines and layering, this is one of the most appropriate devices for it. As it could not be otherwise, the punch is dry, but forceful, very well marked and light in its decay. It leaves hardly any aftertaste and the substrate has character. What may be missing in this range is a little more panache, viscerality and passion. Even in the most complex, dirty and uncontrolled passages, the Hidizs XO is able to handle the situation with skill and precision, which is beyond the reach of many audio devices in this range.
The midrange is exaggeratedly clean and neutral. There is not a hint of warmth, nor any influence from the lower range. Through the balanced output the sense of clarity, sharpness, separation, luminosity and definition is exuberant. While this is not a passionate range in the musical sense, it is very remarkable in its technical abilities. The ease with which the XO is able to clothe music in all its complexity is commendable. And this is clearly noticeable in the mid-range. Timbre is genuinely neutral, with a sparkle of brilliance. Detail is exultant, exposed and controlled. There is no room for error, no room for blur, no fuzziness whatsoever. The quality of the midrange will depend on the headphones used, because the XO will be able to bring out the best in them effortlessly. All the richness will be revealed, as well as all the poverty.
On the other hand, this is not a lean midrange, although the sounds are elegantly stylised, there is a tight, dry, but powerful physicality. The body is swift and low-pitched, something that makes the separation of the elements, the level of transparency, as well as the darkness between them, even more evident. In this way, the sense of dynamics is quite high.
Perhaps one of the points to watch out for in this new iteration of ESS's SoC is the treble. And in the XO, that virtue is outstanding. It is clear that the sound is analytical and clear. But that's not to say that there's no control there. The high notes are splashy and crunchy at just the right point. There is a clear maturity in their execution and also in their timbre. They are not overly thin. I feel that the treble is again elegant, spirited and full-bodied enough to avoid being overly piercing or sharp. Their weight is very well calibrated, as is their presentation and exposure. All this makes the sound very easy to follow, highly descriptive. It's something that persists from the mid-range and re-emerges in the upper range: the music flows very easily. Perhaps not the most musical sound, but a very rich sound, both in its presentation, its level of resolution, its ability to recreate nuances and enrich the music with all its detail, but fully respecting the basis of all the notes. The music is presented in a fully structured way, from the lows to the mids to the highs. The recreation is very precise, consisting of all stages, and the treble crowns the work. Such constructive ability adds a remarkable holographic sensation, as well as a palpable three-dimensional feeling. The level of transparency is clear, the feeling of air is persistent, the image is wide and broad, of good height. The treble adds vapour and volatility. Perhaps the least remarkable point is the depth and a sense of frontal presentation, albeit of great laterality. It is clear that with all the XO's skill and analytical ability, it is precise in its placement of instruments and is not diffuse in this regard. As I said, it is structurally very competent, although the body and depth suffer slightly, due to the frontal character of the stage recreation.
Finally, the Hidizs XO has two filters, red and blue. Their impact on the music is in the higher regions, so the real impact on the sound will be in the higher harmonics. Difficult to distinguish, I'm leaning towards the red filter.

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Hidizs is keen to stand out from the direct competition and has created a very attractive dongle with a high level of construction. It has a pair of buttons (X and O, hence the name), two sound filters and 15 LED lighting modes. Yes, dear reader, you read that right. Because the XO features RGB LED lighting, just like the mechanical gaming keyboards. Clearly, this marketing gimmick may seem superfluous in a world where sound is the star of the show. But together with the balanced output and its power level, it can be a very strong selling point when it comes to choosing one model over another.
For the sound Hidizs has opted for the Sabre Dual ES9219C SoC, the same one that is used in the Hidizs AP80 Pro-X and which has given such good results. It is an analytical profile, with a neutral-bright tendency, which has a high technical level, an excellent descriptive profile, very suitable both for enjoying a very clear, precise, defined and rich sound, as well as for monitoring music. Other great qualities of the XO are the degree of transparency, separation and a great ability to structure the music, giving it three-dimensionality, efficiency and ease of monitoring in all its details.

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Earphones and Sources Used During Analysis

  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper LE
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • Letshuoer D13
  • Letshuoer S12 Pro
  • TinHiFi P1 MAX Giant Panda
  • TinHiFi T2 DLC
  • Kinera Celest Gumiho
  • Rose QT9 MK2s
  • Hidizs MD4
  • Dunu Titan S
  • Dunu Falcon Pro
  • ISN H40
  • Yanyin Aladdin
  • Penon Globe

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  • Construction and Design: 92
  • Packaging and Accessories: 75
  • Connectivity: 85
  • Operability: 80
  • Sound: 90
  • Quality/Price: 91

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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.

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Purchase Link

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You can read the full review in Spanish here

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Damn! Love the rgb. Even though it looks a bit tacky
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Reactions: cqtek
hello,does it works with audeze lcd-2c?
Sorry, I don't own those headphones.