Maktar Spectra X2 Dac/Amp Dongle

General Information

PREMIUM QUALITY DAC - Enjoy audiophile-grade portable Hi-Fi sound from ESS Technology's SABRE 9118 with low power consumption, bringing music to life and beyond

DESIGNED FOR IPHONE - MFi certified Spectra X2 comes with a lightning connector to 3.5mm jack. Let’s bring back the good ol’ days of wired headphones

AS THIN AS A PEN - Weighing at a mere 0.5 oz, its slim profile fits in your pocket like it’s never there

HI-RES AUDIO - Supports PCM audio files up to 32 bits / 384 kHz and DSD256 at the sampling rate of 11.2MHz

MAKING GOOD HEADPHONES SOUND GREAT - The advanced SoC inside Spectra X2 can easily drive headphones upwards of 150 ohms. Want to experience the absolute potential of your premium cans? Spectra X2 will deliver!

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Latest reviews

Audio Fun

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Overall tonality
Neutral sound
Superb detail retrieval and clarity
Clean and articulated bass
Smooth yet detail midrange
Crisp and clear treble
Imaging and layering
Build
Carry pouch included
Cons: Maybe to analytical sometime
Introduction
The Maktar is the Taiwanese company that design and manufactured the Apple MFi certified accessories. The Spectra X2 is the Dac/Amp dongle designed by Nextdrive, which is also the Taiwanese company that specializes in Dac/Amp products. Two companies has work together as collaboration to make sure the Spectra X2 can support the iOS devices. The price of the Spectra X2 is $199USD.

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Disclaimer
I would like to thanks Wei from Nextdrive for given this opportunity, and the review will be based on my honest opinion through the music I listen to.


Package & accessories
The Spectra X2 come with the moderate sizes box, there are the image of the Spectra X2 at the front cover with the brand name, model name and other information, whereas the specifications at the rear side of it. After open the cover from the side, the dongle it self is sited in the foam. There are carry pouch and handbook contain under the dongle.

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Accessories list
1 pcs x Maktar Spectra X2 Dac Dongle
1 pcs x Carry Pouch

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The Spectra X2 come with really nice finished carry pouch, it is made with non-woven fabric, and there is the Maktar branded logo on top.

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Design & Build
The design on Spectra X2 is fairly simple and minimalistic. The main body and lightning connector part are in the aluminum shell with matte finished in the black color. On the main body there is the model name “Spectra X2” located on top along with the unique waveform pattern.

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While at the rear side of the main body there is the two brands sported. The wire that connect with the main bodies and connector are finished with the braided wire.

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The build quality on the Spectra X2 are really good, it is well rounded and polished. The 3.5 mm jack and the connector part do not have any loose after I used for few weeks. The cable also has additional strain reliever to provide the better durability.

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Technical specifications:
Type : USB DAC/AMP
DAC : SABRE ES9118EQ
Sample rate : PCM : 8Hz – 384kHz (16/24/32bits) native – DSD64/128/256
Outputs : 3.5mm (single-ended)
Input : Lightning (8-pin)
Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
Output power : 15mW@32ohms
THD : – 105dB
Weight: 17g


Driving power & connectivity & hissing
The Maktar & Nextdrive claims that Spectra X2 can drive up to 150 Ω, As far as I tried he Final audio B1, it required 30-35% of volume. The Spectra X2 don’t need any driver or app to be installed before using them. There are no background noise on Spectra X2.


Sound

Paring

I used both of the iPad mini 5 and iPhone 12 as the source to play my music library through the Spectra X2 and connected to my IEMs.


Overall tonality
The tonality on Spectra X2 are fairly neutral and articulated. It has well controlled and fast bass, refined yet smooth mids, and clear yet crisp treble compare to iPad mini 5 and iPhone 12.

Bass
The bass are clean and articulated, the sub bass has average extended and quick decay speed. The bass has above average punch and impact. It has good levels of detail and clarity. The bass are well well controlled and detailed.

Mids
The midrange are close to neutral with slightly bright tonality. The lower midrange has moderate bodies and sound clean with high levels of clarity. The upper midrange sound vividly with good balance of forwardness. It has high levels of transparency and detail midrange.

Treble
The treble are extended well and sound sparkly. The treble are detailed and clear. The upper treble has good amount of sparkle and airiness. It has above average levels of crispness. The detail retrieval and clarity are above the average.

Soundstage and imaging
The width and depth are both above the average.
The imaging are really good as well.


Comparison
IKKO Zerda ITM03 ($99USD)

Bass
The bass on X2 are more linear compare to ITM03, while the ITM03 provide more powerful bass with slightly more depth. The bass has more clarity and detail on X2, whereas the ITM03 has warmer and fuller tonality.

Mids
The midrange are cleaner on X2, fuller on ITM03. The X2 has more neutral timbre in comparison, while the ITM03 has more natural presentation. The midrange has higher transparency level and clarity on X2, while the both did the pretty good jobs in term of detail retrieval.

Treble
The treble are brighter and extended further on X2, both has similar tonality, but the ITM03 has more bodies, while he X2 are slightly clearer. The treble has more airiness and crisp on X2. The detail retrieval and clarity are slightly better on X2.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage are wider on X2, with same levels of depth.
The imaging are pretty similar.




Conclusion
The Maktar Spectra X2 are nicely finished Dac dongle, it is well constructed and finished in high standard. The output power is fairly enough and stable. It offer the great detail sound for its price range. The sound is neutral and articulated. It is able to provide clean bass, smooth yet detailed midrange, crisp yet clear treble. Thank you for reading, Happy listening!

Maktar Spectra X2 product link: https://www.amazon.com/Maktar-Spectra-Lightning-Portable-DAC/dp/B08GLY69G9

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