Link to my review and measurement index thread where one can also find a full review overview, more information about myself as well as my general-ish audio and review manifesto: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/956208/
I only give full stars. My ranking/scoring system does not necessarily follow the norm and is about as follows:
5 stars: The product is very goodand received the "highly recommended" award from me.
4 stars: The product is very goodand received the "recommended" award from me.
3 stars: The product is good/very good, but not outstanding/special enough to get any of my two awards. ["Thumbs Up"]
2 stars: The product is only about average or even somewhat below that and somewhat flawed/flawed in some areas. [neither "Thumbs Up" nor "Thumbs Down"]
1 star: The product is bad/severely flawed to outright bad. ["Thumbs Down"]
Built-in USB-C socket that acts as a passthrough, which is nice.
Unboxing experience rather nice at the price point (clear plastic box with cardboard inlay; nicely designed and with all of the important information about how to operate and use the Byta).
Fairly small but rather wide for how small it is.
Made of plastic. Feels neither very cheap nor remotely valuable. Definitely okay for the price, though.
The headphone output is slightly angled towards the side.
“Hidden” button that changes the EQ profile. I wouldn’t know that it existed without the manual on the cardboard or if it didn’t read “press” on the DAC itself. Nice; I quite like it.
Sampling rate indicator on the DAC itself (three LEDs). Will also act to indicate what EQ profile is active (LED(s) flash(es) several times and then go(es) back to displaying the sampling rate). Unfortunately, there is no inscription or any other indicator on the DAC itself about which LED indicates what (although it’s rather easy to remember once one has read the info on the golden sticker inside the plastic box).
Fast-charge indicator for the USB-C passthrough socket.
Unlike the Apple A2155, the Byta doesn’t seem to support in-line remote control commands or in-line microphones.
My ZOTAC ZBOX CI547 nano running Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit is the only source that I’m using.
Seems like it always operates on 24 Bits and cannot be changed to operate on 16 Bits natively, which means that it upsamples the signal.
I haven’t tested the built-in microphone’s quality.
The volume is controlled through Windows’ system-wide standard 100 attenuation steps (plus mute). Unfortunately, even the quietest volume setting above mute is clearly too loud for me even when using my Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Basic, wherefore I have to further reduce the volume in the player software.
Already a bit of audible hiss with my Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Basic.
High to very high amount of hiss with my Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10.
Exorbitantly high amount of hiss with my extremely sensitive Campfire Audio Andromeda.
Switching between the Byta’s different EQ modes doesn’t change the amount of audible hiss.
Frequency Response (no Load):
As flat and linear as it should be.
Frequency Response (no Load; all of the four different EQ Modes; different Graph Scaling):
FR unloaded EQ Modes
As one can see, aside from the default EQ mode, all of the three others are differently implemented v-shape/loudness EQ curves with the “Clarity” preset elevating a broader range of the treble than the others. Stereo crosstalk values show a quite significant decrease when any of the three frequency response-altering EQ presets is activated.
Personally, I wish the “Audiophile” EQ preset curve didn’t lose amplitude below 30 Hz, otherwise the implementation is what I would consider decent for portable use, although undeniably already on the strong, easily noticeable side.
The two other EQ presets are very strong and, in my opinion, probably not really necessary, although undeniably sometimes definitely provide some very strongly bass-boosted fun.
Switching between the various EQ modes works in real-time and without any audible glitches or any other undesired noise.
Output Impedance (Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 as Load):
FR loaded – Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10
Based on the frequency response deviation, the Byta’s calculated output impedance should be around 2.4 Ohms, which is definitely already a bit higher than the desirable very-close-to-0-Ohms value one would like to see for low impedance multi-driver in-ears with a great impedance swing.
Subjective Listening Impressions:
Other than that the bass reproduction sounds subjectively a bit blunted and that the high frequencies may appear a tad “unclean”, which all could also be imagination, the sound is subjectively, which is not that much surprising, neutral.
The big issue, however, is the absurdly high amount of hiss that already starts to become slightly audible with averagely sensitive in-ears.
Activating the EQ presets leads to a somewhat narrower soundstage perception, which is not too surprising given that the stereo crosstalk decreases compared to the default (flat) EQ profile.
The bass presentation becomes a bit blunter with activated EQ profiles, but to a surprisingly small degree.
The idea of having four quickly switchable, pre-defined EQ profiles at this price point is nice, however the Byta’s very poor hiss performance and output impedance of around 2.4 Ohms that is quite a bit higher than ideal for (multi-BA) in-ears that have a greater impedance swing are definitely disappointing.
At around the same price (actually even a bit less), the Apple USB-C to Headphone Jack Adapter (A2155) performs much better in these regards; on top, it offers an ADC and in-line remote control support.