SoundMagic A30 Portable Headphone Amplifier/Dac

General Information




The SoundMAGIC A30 features a powerful A30 Amplifier that unleashes the true potential and performance of your high-end headphone. Allowing you to experience clearer sound with a great amount of detail and audio separation. So if you are looking for the high-quality sonic experience this might be the right product to elevate your music listening experience.
The amplifier comes with an independent CS43131 high-end chip with a dynamic range of more than 120dB. This chip provides PCM output of up to 32bit/384KHz and high-resolution audio format of DSD64/DSD128/DSD256 decoding resulting in a studio-level music listening experience. This is a smart amplifier that can adjust its power to meet the impedance of the headphone. It supports headphones up to 600Ω high resistance and delivers a natural sound.
SoundMAGIC A30 is made of high-grade material including quality aluminium components with precision making. It weighs around 11.1g making it easily portable for music on the go. No need to charge it, not need to download an application, just plug and play. You get a type-c plug and 3.5mm jack with the SoundMAGIC A30 amplifier along with a USB A-C adapter and you can also play music using smartphones, tablets and smartphones with a USB port.
The amplifier automatically detects the PCM and DSD music format and on the basis of the format, the LED light shows unique colours. Moreover, the multifunction button allows you to change the music playback and volume. You can increase or decrease volume level, play/pause and move to your next song with the easy to use control buttons
NOTE: While playing DSD music files button function are not available. This amplifier is not compatible with phone calls. However, it does work with WeChat/QQ voice and video calls.

Latest reviews

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Soundmagic A30 DAC/AMP - Baguette Of Sonics
Pros: + Ergonomics
+ Price
+ Detail
+ Clarity
+ DSD Decoding
+ Good DAC
+ Not extremely power hungry
Cons: - Driving power is not the highest
- Body is a bit thick, not the most ergonomic design
- Buttons on the body will almost never be used, but they make a nice aesthetic for it
Soundmagic A30 DAC/AMP - Baguette Of Sonics


Soundmagic A30 is a baguette-shaped DAC/AMP, just like NextDrive ones, and it is priced at 30 EUR / 50 USD. This would make it technically one of the most affordable DAC/AMP I reviewed to date, and I know very few DAC/AMPs at 50 USD to compare it to, so the review will focus on its sonics and usability alone.


Sondmagic is a growing company from China, having both expensive and affordable products in their portfolio. They make the HP1000 I liked a lot, which is an amazing closed back headphone, but also the Sport IEMs ST80, which are a unique product, rich in the package, but fairly basic in the sound. This sets an all-over-the-place bar for Soundmagic, as far as their favorite sound goes, but it is clear where their heart lies when it comes to their warranty and support, as they're a nice company with great support for their products.


It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Soundmagic. I'd like to thank Soundmagic for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with SoundMagic A30. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in Soundmagic A30 find their next music companion.


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:


The DAC/AMP comes in a pretty straightforward and basic package, with more than the bare minimum included.


Where most companies, for this price point, would have included just the DAC/AMP, Soundmagic decided to play it rough and include not only the DAC/AMp, but also a Type-A to Type-C adapter, allowing us to use the adapter with PC computers.

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Functionality

The baguette shaped DAC is really basic, it has an angled Type-C connector, and a baguette shape with a 3.5mm output. This is pretty much everything there is to talk about it, the cable is flexible, it is practical. Power consumption is rather low, and it wont draw too much from your smartphone's battery.


The volume and play buttons found on the body of the mini baguette are compatible with most smartphones but do not seem to work on my Pc computer, although this may have something to do with the way my PC is configured. It is 10 CM in length, and weights 11 grams, being rather portable, and it is based on a Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC. It supports High resolution PCM, as high as 24 Bit / 384 kHz, and it also supports DSD up to DSD256.


For the driving power, it has a fairly low driving power, and it is fit to drive mostly portables, although the company states that it should be good to go for up to 600 OHM headphones. That is, if you listen fairly quietly. It has low background noise and hiss with IEMs, so it should fit nicely for that. There is an iPhone version out there, named A30i.

Sound Quality

In terms of driving power and ability, I was not happy with the maximum volume with HIFIMAN Sundara, HIFIMAN He400SE, or Soundmagic HP1000. The sound is controlled and clean, so it doesn't go overboard and distort, but the maximum volume is fairly limited and I simply don't listen that quiet, so I will recommend it mostly for IEMs like Campfire Holocene, Moondrop Illumination, IKKO OH1 Meteor and Metalure Wave. As I tested it with quite a few IEMs, I figured that the way it sounds, it pairs well with pretty much anything. If you're spending 50 USD on a portable DAC/AMP, you most probably don't expect to be driving a Sennheiser HD660S, and if you are, there are good options around 200 USD, but most options sub 100 USD have low power delivery and while A30 can indeed drive pretty hard headphones well, the final result is a sound that's too quiet for my tastes.


Starting with the overall signature, A30 is warm, with an euphonic, smooth and fun sound. There's a good sense of space and detail, and the soundstage width is great, plus if you're comparing it to a smartphone and the default sound of my Black Shark 4 smartphone, the sound of A30 is much cleaner, with better dynamics and more driving power. It is not like Black Shark 4 has an audiophile DAc/AMP inside, but A30 can beat every smartphone I have on hand, and if your smartphone doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack, you're probably going to party when you find out that A30 works with Huawei, Xiaomi, Black Shark, Oppo from my tests.

The bass is deep and clean, with good extension as low as 20 for IEMs, and with good control in the lows. In fact, the bass is so clean and clear that the company doesn't joke around when they say that it can drive headphones well, but the bass is also warm and uplifted from what I would consider truly neutral. The treble is also smooth and slightly rolled off, which enhances the sensation of a warm and colored sound. I like the way it can paint a thick and heavy low end with IEMs like IKKO OH1.


We're looking at a clean and flat midrange, and as other people called it, there's not a lot of dynamic in the midrange, but it all depends on what you're comparing the sound to. If you're comparing it to most 150 USD DAC/AMPs, it is fairly flat and won't be very interesting, but if you're comparing A30 to a smartphone's default sound, it has more dynamics, better detail and more overall resolution than most smartphones. At the end of the day, the sound should be fairly enjoyable and clean, with a good sense of width too. There's not a lot of depth in the sound.

At the end, we have the treble, which is smooth, gently rolled off, and not very sparkly. It does have a fair extension to it, but it is too soft for rock and metal, unless you're listening to some laid back bands like Hawthorne Heights, which sounds fairly clean and fun on A30.

Value and Conclusion

At the price of 50 USD, Soundmagic A30 is a good addon for a smartphone, even if it has a 3.5mm headphone output, but a true blessing if it doesn't have a headphone output already. You need something to push music from your smartphone, and you will be happy to hear that A30 is the perfect DAC/AMP for the job. For the price you get great performance, and a TypeA to TpeC adapter thrown in too.


At the end of the day, if you need a fair performance from a DAC/AMP, if you have just 50 USD for it, and if you fancy a smoother, warmish sound, with good clarity and a distortion-free experience, I recommend A30 with zero reticence.


Reviewer at hxosplus
A Bargain Portable amp/dac to upgrade your listening experience
Pros: - Natural tuning
- Low power consumption
- Enough power
- Good build quality
- Precise 0.5dB volume control
- Control buttons
- Price
Cons: - Bulkier and heavier than the competition
The A30 was kindly provided by SoundMAGIC for review and evaluation.


The SoundMAGIC A30 is a USB portable headphone dac/amp with an embedded cable.
It is a small barrel shaped USB dongle with a 3.5mm output jack and a cable extension input that ends with an L shaped USB C plug.
A USB A-C adapter is provided for use with regular USB ports.
It is compatible with Android and Windows OS devices.
The recommended price is €79 and you can get from



Physical description

The A30 is small and portable with a total length of 10cm including the cable and a weight of about 11gr.
SoundMAGIC opted to include three small buttons for better control of the playback and volume without the need to reach for the connected device.
While you can't call it big or heavy it is larger than some of the competition and for our personal preferences we would ditch the extra buttons for a more slim and lightweight body.


Build quality is very good with a sturdy aluminum body and plug while the button area is made from a water resistant rubber.
The cable exterior is rugged and extra rubber reinforcements are used in the two cable entries in order to secure and protect it from bending.


Technology inside

Inside the A30 we are going to find the Cirrus Logic CS43131 high end chip with a dynamic range of more than 120dB.
This chip provides PCM output of up to 32bit/384KHz and high-resolution audio format of DSD64/DSD128/DSD256 decoding.
It is a low power audio DAC with a high-fidelity headphone amplifier to provide a superior system-level audio performance without draining battery life.
The integrated Class H smart adaptive headphone amplifier can drive 2 VRMS of output into 600 Ω.
It is rated at 62.5mW/16ohm and at 31.2mW/32ohm per channel.
It provides precision volume control with 0.5 dB step size and the power consumption varies from 6.25 to 40.2 mW at maximum.
Unplugging the headphone it will enter standby mode.


How to use it

Operation is very simple as it is a plug and play device without the need to install drivers.
iOS is not supported.
With Android OS it will take control of the native system volume so it is compatible with all the sound applications without the need to download something special.
The device is not compatible with phone calls as it will not allow to control the volume level.
Before accepting calls you should unplug it because it will automatically set the volume to the highest level.


Sound tests were performed with various easy loads like the SoundMAGIC E80 , FiiO FH3 and FA9 , Final Audio B3 and the bigger Soundmagic HP1000.
The HP1000 was a great match with very satisfying results.
As it is a 66Ω load it will trigger the high impedance mode and with a sensitivity of 120dB it gets pretty loud without distortion.
We have even tested higher impedance headphones like the Sennheiser HD660S or more difficult low impedance loads like the Drop HE5XX.
While volume level was sufficient enough the A30 was stressed and clipped running out of headroom.
When stressed it will sound harsh and bright.
As such we suggest that it should be used with low to medium impedance earphones of regular sensitivity.
With the above mentioned earphones the noise floor was very low and couldn't be heard.
Unfortunately we don't own any super efficient earphones to perform further testing.


The A30 is fast , balanced and neutral with an easy going tuning to it.
Bass that extends quite low is full sounding and well controlled with excellent dynamics.
Mids are flat , clear and well rounded while highs are smooth and non fatiguing but not recessed.
Detail retrieval is more than enough and soundstage is open and spacey with sufficient depth layering.
The sound is a mix of technical performance and musical enjoyment.
Nothing stands out and nothing is missing in the long run and as a result our ears are treated with a well blended sound that favours an analog organic presentation suitable for long term listening.


Vs the Zoorlo Ztella MQA dac/amp

The form factor is the same but Ztella body is much smaller and lightweight due to the absence of physical buttons.
It is powered by an ESS 9281CPRO DAC chip that offers MQA support but it is more expensive at $99.99.
A non MQA version is available with the ESS 9270C dac chip that costs $65 but it is still $10 more expensive than the A30.
Power output is 2Vrms for both devices and the main difference except the form factor is in the sound presentation.
Ztella is more detailed and refined with a better clarity throughout.
Sound is faster and a bit more dynamic with added control but on the leaner and bright side of things.
The A30 is not that far behind in overall technicalities and it is a more relaxed experience with an easy going character to it.
Both are good so as they say it's different strokes for different folks.


At the end

The SoundMAGIC A30 is an excellent sounding entry level portable dac/amp that is going to greatly improve your everyday listening experience.
With an easy going yet reference tuning and enough power for all your easy to drive earphones is able to suit all kinds of music and tastes.
At just $55 is an absolute bargain and it earns our highest recommendation with a five star price to performance ratio.

The test playlist -

Copyright - Laskis Petros 2021.
Last edited:
Hello, I haven't tried with S9 specifically but everything else worked flawlessly.
hello there, i was hoping that can you test it with the beyer dt 990 pro (250 ohms ver) and tell me how you feel about it.
much appreciation, wish you a good day
Hello, I don't have the DT900 but I have tested it with the HD650 (300Ω) and I don't think that it has the power to really move them.
It is better suited for low impedance/easy to drive iems.
  • Like
Reactions: baoo


There are no comments to display.