KIWI EARS Allegro

General Information

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High-Fidelity DAC Chip: Allegro utilizes the ES9028Q2M DAC chip, renowned for its high signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion, ensuring unmatched audio clarity and lifelike sound reproduction.

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Versatile Output Options: With both 3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced outputs, Allegro offers flexibility. The balanced output provides superior channel separation and a wider soundstage, ideal for professional-grade headphones, while the single-ended option ensures compatibility with a variety of devices.

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Comprehensive High-Resolution Audio Support: Supporting PCM up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD up to DSD256, Allegro preserves all nuances and dynamics of the original recording for an immersive listening experience.

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Universal Connectivity: Allegro's USB Type-C interface ensures compatibility with most modern Android devices (version 5.1 and above), offering plug-and-play convenience across different devices.

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Latest reviews

hokagoteatimereviews

New Head-Fier
The gamepad looking dongle dac
Pros: 1. Looks awesome, love the retro gamepad design personally

2. Has a nice analogish sound

3. The supplied cable is very good

4. Love the minimal packaging

5. Built like a tank!
Cons: 1. USB A adapter not included

2. Sadly the buttons on the face don't work
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Introduction:-

Hey, guys this is the kiwi ears allegro. Its a dongle dac from kiwi ears which looks like gamepad. Its a really nice design and the price too is quite good at $59. So how is it? Lets find out.

I have also shared a video version of the review at YouTube any support there in form of a view, A like or A subscribe is greatly appreciated. But if you so wish to read the written version you can read this.




Before I start I want to say that this is a review unit from linsoul, but all the thoughts and opinions you are about to hear are my own.


Buy it here (Unaffiliated Link) :-

https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwiears-allegro?


I will be as usual following my bullet style format for better readability for those who are dyslexic and in general find it hard to read long paragraphs. I follow this guide in general from the British Dyslexia Association.


So lets get started!






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Review:-



1. The packaging is very simple it has the dac and the usb c cable. Thats it! A small usb c to usb a adapter would have been nice for PC use.

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2. I absolutely love the design of the dongle dac. The gamepad design is really nice and not boring unlike most dongle dac



3. The metal body of the allegro is really well built



4. Sadly the buttons on the face of the allegro don’t work, would have been nice if they could do something like tuning filters or shifting to high or low gain mode.



5. It has the ES9028Q2M DAC



6. It can support upto 32bit/384khz and DSD258



7. Its output power is 70mw from 3.5 and 155mw from 4.4



8. It does not have low or high gain mode



9. There are no filters here



10. As for power they are surprisingly good and drove even my hard to drive tanchjim kara really well.


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11. Before I talk about the sound I want to say that it is very hard to determine the sound of the dac and its heavily dependent on the iem I am using and also by comparing to different source.



12. Well the overall sound of the allegro is very neutral but which sounds analog-ish



13. The bass and the mids are very neutral with no colouration whatsoever.



14. But the mids of the allegro are quite analogish and male vocals specifically sounds really good here.



15. The treble is really good, but it isn't the sharpest here.



16. The overall treble note is not that sharp and it is apparent when listening to 1985 live album from cassiopea.



17. The treble extension lacks a little bit and for some warm iems could be a bit of an issue



18. I think so the allegro pairs really well with brighter sounding source where the treble notes are blunted a bit and the vocals come forward a lot.



19. When using it warmer sounding iems for some songs it sounds a bit too dark and I do feel quite a bit of treble is lost. Again this is a bit of a nitpick. But it does pair well with most iems



20. The soundstage of the allegro is as depicted with the iem

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21. Overall technicalities of the allegro is really good, the analog nature of allegro doesn’t muddy up the details and they come across quite well



22. The tonality and timbre of the dongle is very good.



23. Now for the battery test, I used a moondrop chu 2 at around 30% volume via the 3.5mm jack and got around 15.5 hours from my 5000mah smartphone.



24. The battery test is really good



25. It has 100 volume steps



26. The first few steps almost seems useless as the rise in volume is quite minimal and there is this huge jump in volume where the stepping is even more sudden.



27. Although not an issue I still thought of mentioning it



28. The allegro makes for a great budget buy, specially if you want a 4.4mm output and also want something which sounds a bit analog-ish and smooth



29. v/s the ka11 – ka11 is still my pick for a fantastic warm sounding budget dongle dac. Also ka11 has an app which the allegro lacks. Ka11 has only 3.5 but it costs less at $29



30. v/s the akliam pd4 plus – pd4 plus is very analytical and has play pause buttons and more power along with low/high gain mode. The allegro is a very analog-ish. So it depends on what type of sound you want and like



31. Well thats my review of the Kiwi Ears Allegro, I hope you liked it. If you have any questions please do comment and I will try to help you out. Thanks for stopping by!







If you have any questions please feel free to ask me and also if you have any issues regarding this format of review please do comment I will try to mend it. Also sorry to those who are used to reading long paragraphs of review in headfi. I hope my review was upto the mark, I appreciate any feedback.

Again a big thanks to Linsoul for making this review happen.

Have a great day ahead :) Bye!

Pawsu1

New Head-Fier
KiwiEars Allegro : Smooth and Natural
Pros: +Neutral sounding
+Analogue and organic
+High power output
+3.5mm SE and 4.4mm Balanced terminations
+Independent volume adjustments
+Unique retro look
+Excellent cable quality
+Excellent build quality
Cons: -Lack of features such as gain modes and filters
-It gets warmer on 4.4 Balanced
-Average note weight and density for the asking price
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Intro


KiwiEars Allegro is a classic retro look DAC/AMP equipped with ES9028Q2M known for its high signal to noise ratio and low distortion. This is KiwiEars new portable DAC dongle a highly musical one.


Specifications


DAC Chip : ES9028Q2M

THD+N : 0.0015% (32 Ohms)

Output Power : 70mW@32 Ohms (3.5mm), 155mW@32 Ohms (4.4mm)

SNR : 123dB

Frequency Response : 20Hz~40kHz

Noise Floor : <1μV

Supported Formats : PCM (up to 32bit/384kHz), DSD (DSD256, DSD128, DSD64)

Indicator Lights : PCM (blue), DSD (red)

PRICE at $59.99 USD


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Packaging


The box containing the ff :

KiwiEar Allegro

USB DAC/Amplifier Dongle

USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable


Build Quality and Features


The KiwiEars Allegro is a small and well-built USB DAC/Amplifier. It is made of metal but it is lightweight and easy to carry wherever you go.


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This features a LED status indicator that gives information about the Standby, PCM(blue) & DSD(red) mode.

The independent volume adjustments placed on the side of the dongle.


Sound Aspects


KiwiEars Allegro sounds neutral and nearly transparent. It is natural and organic. Bass is impactful and well- controlled. Technicalities is above average for the asking price. It also highly musical how it present the sound.


Source used :


Letshuoer D13
QKZ x HBB Hades
EPZ Q1 Pro
Letshuoer DZ4

DDHIFI TC05 Cable
Stock Cable


This DAC spend 30-40 hours of burn in before taking details of this review


Pairing


With Letshuoer D13

The bass where it excels it is clean and impactful. The midrange instruments sounds natural. Surprisingly the treble is sparkly. It create wide soundstage, imaging and layering improved a bit. The musicality of D13 improved a lot.


With QKZ x HBB Hades

The overall sound quality is more correct to my ears. The bass is impactful and controlled it shows less midbass bleed but still there. Midrange is more forward to my liking. It balances the frequency from end to end of the presentation.
I found the treble produces more air in my experience. This combo is really good. The musicality of the allegro gives the hades enjoyable and engaging presentation.


With EPZ Q1 Pro

The bass is tight and punchy. Midrange instruments is quite recessed. The vocals is thicker and have more air. Male vocals perform better than female vocals. Treble become lively and engaging. Sound stage is wide and open. Layering and resolution improved a lot.


With Letshuoer DZ4

It has clean and more coherent bass. Giving ample power this DZ4 the subbass rumbles deep. Mids is more forward in the mix. Vocals is thick and organic when I listened to some acoustic tracks there is noticeable sweet and lushness of vocals. Technicalities such as soundstage improved a bit.



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Conclusion


KiwiEars Allegro is a small and well-built DAC/AMP. That sounds neutral and nearly transparent. The soundstage is above average for the price. It is highly musical dongle makes your gears engaging and enjoyable. Highly recommended!


Order here using the non -affiliated links below :
https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwiears-allegro

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suicideup

New Head-Fier
Kiwi Ears Allegro Review!
Pros: A neutral-sound, fairly powerful dongle!

Neutral, nearly transparent sound.

Very clean, noise-free, black background.

Fairly powerful for its asking price.

Independent volume control!

3.5 SE and 4.4 BAL ports!

Precise, volume buttons!

Up to DSD256 support!

LED indicator.

Unique, retro console look!

Sturdy, well-built overall build quality!

Well-built included cable!

Plug and play, no drivers and apps needed!

Average battery consumption.
Cons: No high gain mode.

The LED indicator is oddly placed at the bottom side of the dongle, making it practically useless if you ask me.

The retro console buttons are not functional, but only a design.

Lacks additional filters such as filters, bit-perfect mode, which may be a necessary for those dongle enthusiasts (subjective)

Power delivery from phone to dongle is mildly lower compared to the dongle plugged into Desktop PC/Laptop (might be an isolated case, subjective)

The dongle will be warmer to touch after quite some time (this is normal for dongles I have tried under 100 USD, still subjective)

A pouch or a case would’ve been a nice treat for everybody.
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Kiwi Ears Allegro USB DAC Review!

(Video Review Here: )

Good day! After a week of casual and critical listening, here’s my written review for the Kiwi Ears Allegro. Analytical eye candy!


Disclaimer:
  • - Linsoul sent this unit to me in an exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Rest assured that this review will do its best to devoid from any bias/es as much as possible.
  • -I have not tested this with MQA files or MQA streaming since I don’t use MQA at all.
  • -The following remarks and observations shall be made and owned only by me.
  • -No monetary compensation is/was involved before, during, and after the period of creation of this review.
  • - I have only tested this with earbuds and IEMs and earbuds.
  • -Your mileage may (and always, will) vary.

Burn-in time: 5-10 hours per day, 10 days.

IEMs/Earbuds/Source used:
  • - Etymotic ER3SE
  • - Simgot EM6L
  • - Letshuoer DZ4
  • - Tanchjim One
  • - Temperament X6
  • - QKZ X HBB Hades
  • - Sony Xperia X Compact
  • - Aiwa XP-V710C CD Player (12 sec. EASS)
  • - Non-HiFi smartphone (Infinix Note 12 G96)
  • - Desktop PC, Laptop.
  • - Local Files via Foobar, YouTube Music, Deezer, and Qobuz with UAPP.
Setup configuration: Kiwi Ears Allegro paired with phones/laptop/pc.

Essential Product Specifications:
  • DAC Chip - ES9028Q2M
  • THD+N - 0.0015% (32 Ohms)
  • Output Power - 70mW@32 Ohms (3.5mm), 155mW@32 Ohms (4.4mm)
  • SNR - 123dB
  • Frequency Response - 20Hz~40kHz
  • Noise Floor - <1μV
  • Supported Formats - PCM (up to 32bit/384kHz), DSD (DSD256, DSD128, DSD64)
  • Indicator Lights - PCM (blue), DSD (red)
============================================================================================
Sound signature:
  • Just like the Tanchjim Space I own, this is a neutral, analytical set, but is not as transparent when compared to the Space. However, their differences aren’t really that big or substantial, making the Allegro a more “practical” dongle for most IEMs. My etymotic ER3SE and Letshouer DZ4 sounded dead flat on this dongle.

Build Quality:
  • I personally like what they did on this dongle in this area - it is very unique and a visual candy since you don’t usually see this type of design in today’s USB DAC scene! The smooth, rounded corners, the chunky design, the tactile buttons - speaks premium. It’s a shame however, that they missed the opportunity to make the retro gamepad buttons functional, like the D-pad as the volume control, and the A/B buttons as gain switches or playback buttons. But who knows, they might implement that on their future DACs or dongles. It gets warm to touch after a long period of time, just like most IEMs I have tried within the 100 USD and under category. The cable is nicely built as well, looks and feels similar to the Tanchjim Space cable.
Device Compatibility:
  • This dongle is plug and play - no apps and requirements needed. The simplicity of this area also means that this doesn’t have any bit-perfect mode, sound filters, EQs, and presets. I personally prefer it to be this minimal while sounding in its optimal state, but you do you.
Battery Consumption:
  • This dongle is quite average in terms of battery consumption. It drains about 10% of battery in an hour when paired with a smartphone at most, depending on the file type and gain that you are using. It drains around 10-15% when used with 4.4 port. I also noticed that the Allegro has more power to deliver when plugged into a desktop/laptop PC when compared to it plugged in a smartphone. This can be an isolated case.
Power and volume:
  • The Kiwi Ears Allegro is enough for most IEMs - even on planar magnetic and other hard to drive IEMs. Here are some IEMs and earbuds I have tried with their respective listenable/ enough volumes (do take note that the volumes indicated are only based on adjusting the hardware volume buttons to 5 steps from its factory hardware volume setting, with the software volume variable. 100% = 100% max software volume):
  • Etymotic ER3SE - 40/100
  • Temperament X6 - 50/100
  • QKZ X HBB Hades - 60/100
  • Simgot EM6L - 20/100
  • Tanchjim One - 30/100
  • Letshuoer DZ4 - 30/100
============================================================================================
Pros:
  • A neutral-sound, fairly powerful dongle!
  • Neutral, nearly transparent sound.
  • Very clean, noise-free, black background.
  • Fairly powerful for its asking price.
  • Independent volume control!
  • 3.5 SE and 4.4 BAL ports!
  • Precise, volume buttons!
  • Up to DSD256 support!
  • LED indicator.
  • Unique, retro console look!
  • Sturdy, well-built overall build quality!
  • Well-built included cable!
  • Plug and play, no drivers and apps needed!
  • Average battery consumption.
Cons:
  • No high gain mode.
  • The LED indicator is oddly placed at the bottom side of the dongle, making it practically useless if you ask me.
  • The retro console buttons are not functional, but only a design.
  • Lacks additional filters such as filters, bit-perfect mode, which may be a necessary for those dongle enthusiasts (subjective)
  • Power delivery from phone to dongle is mildly lower compared to the dongle plugged into Desktop PC/Laptop (might be an isolated case, subjective)
  • The dongle will be warmer to touch after quite some time (this is normal for dongles I have tried under 100 USD, still subjective)
  • A pouch or a case would’ve been a nice treat for everybody.

============================================================================================
Verdict
The Kiwi Ears Allegro is definitely one of my current top recommendations if you’re looking for a neutral sounding USB DAC under 100USD! Its neutral, nearly transparent-sounding DAC will fit most IEMs and setups easily as this does not boost any frequencies. This is shockingly close to the Tanchjim Space to my ears, and is only behind in terms of power delivery, features, and transparency. In a practical perspective, this is worthy to be a daily driver. And yes, this will definitely stand out in a world full of simple bar dongles. Well done Kiwi Ears!

Who is the Kiwi Ears Allegro for?

  • For those people who want an analytical, neutral sound.
  • For those people who want a noise-free listening experience.
  • For those people who wants a dongle with a detachable cable.
  • For those people who want a very lightweight usb dongle on-the-go.
  • For those people who do not want to mess with any app or setting just to achieve optimal sound quality.

Why should you not buy the Kiwi Ears Allegro ?
  • If you don’t want a non-minimalist design.
  • If you don’t want a neutral sounding dongle.
  • If you need extra features such as filters and modes.
Thank you for reading!

Non-affiliated link here!:
https://www.linsoul.com/products/kiwiears-allegro


Additional Photos Here:


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