Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -Excellent technical performance
-Lush, dynamic and musical
-Wide open spatiality
-Great resolution-imaging-transparency
-no bass or treble roll off
-Impressively fast & controlled PRaT
-Powerfull amping for a dongle (4vrms-175mw@32ohm)
-High sound value
Cons: -sensible volume control that can be press unwitingly (and make explode your ears)
-not the deepest cleanest spatiality
-not as crips-airy-sparkly as some other CS43131 based dongles
-a play/pause button would have been welcome
-some clipping at very loud volume with low sensitivity IEM

TONALITY: 8.5/10

TEMPOTEC is a chinese audio company specialize in portable DAC-AMP. They have collaborate in the past as OEM DAC-AMP company for company like Hidizs but decide to fly with their own wings and create their own ultra value budget DAC-AMP.
Tempotec get on the map with their 3 years old best seller, the HD PRO, which use a single cirrus CS43131 and cost 40$. AT the time, it was head and shoulder above all other hifi dongle offering in term of sound quality value and even today it stay very competitive.
Since HD PRO, they have launch alot of new dongle, most of them using dual CS43131 DAC like the BHD, E35 and the one I will review today, the E44.

Priced 80$, the E44 can be considered as the flagship dongle from this company. It use dual CS43131 DAC and have a 4.4mm balanced output. Let see if it’s a notable upgrade from the marvellous HD PRO (and HD V) in this review.




The E44 have an atypical design, firstly its cabled in both way, and the 4.4mm plug is near as big as dongle body. This body is made of metal and glass and is very thin. It have a volume control button. The cable material seem to be 6 cores silver plated and feel quite sturdy. To go back at this big 4.4mm plug, it’s heavier than the dongle itself too. The goal of this design is to make dongle more flexible, acting like a prolongation of earphones cable.


It make about 3 months I have this dongle and durability seem very nice. Everything feel premium with teh E44, even USB C connector which have thick metal body. 4.4mm is heavy as said and made of thick metal, it’s gold plated as well. Cable of both end seem not sensible to pulling stress and promise long durability too.


One notable drawback about design is the volume control, and this for multiple reason. Firstly it can’t be use in exclusive mode as single volume control, secondly it only have 32 steps, and thirdly the single long button is sensible to pressing and when you hold it it scale very fast in volume step. This mean i get my ears explode at least 10 times, it happen when i walk with the E44+phone in my pocket which can press button with phone weight pressing the long button…since the E44 can play VERY loud, this can be dangerous for hearing no doubt. In that regards, Tempotec BHD have better button, less prompt to easy pressure.

In term of packaging, it’s very minimalist and don’t even worth picture (ok, i lost the box and some accessories, this is why there no pics!). Its a small box wich include an extra 3.5mm female to 4.4mm male adapter, a USB-C to USB adapter, protective screen, wipe cloth and a much need Hi-Res sticker to stick on your cat or anything you find funny to transform into hifi product. All in all, we have everything we need here so no complaint.



At 4vrms, the E44 deliver a very respectable 180mw@32ohm which will be plenty enough power for 95% of IEM, earbuds and headphones. Top put in perspective, it’s 3 times more powerfull than the HD PRO. With a rather low level of total harmonic distortion, it deliver a clean and hiss free loud amping experience.

It seem Tempotec choose to use implemented amping section of CS43131 DAC in dual mode, but i’m really not certain. Still a single DAC deliver 2vrms, double it and it equal 4vrms….but for the rest, its mystery to me.

Still, i can certainly conclude it really deliver 180mw@32ohm since it one of the most powerfull dongle I own out of 20. I wouldn’t say it’s as clean or linear as THX AAA amp, nor as transparent, yet it’s crisp, with black background and great dynamic scale-something that I favor in amping factor, being able to feel difference in notes loudness and impact.

Clipping is very rare but can occur with very hard to drive IEM like the Final Audio E5000 when you pass certain volume level. This will translate in bass distortion, especialy sub bass heavy track, not so much with instrumental music. And even pricier Questyle M15 create this, but in a smoother way.


(main IEM used: Final A8000, Moondrop Aria, UM Mext)
I would call the slight tonality push as gently bright neutral to well rounded W shape. It’s energic and fowards presentation, yet, holographic and not harsh or agressive nor grainy or spiky. Hint of mid bass extra punch authorit, hint of extra upper mids bite and mid+upper treble snap. The balance feel natural, not forced, yet the dynamic is lively and engaging.
Since it’s not lean and cold sounding but feel it have hint of W shape dynamic heft to overall tonal balance, I can’t consider the E44 plain neutral. It’s injected with lush musicality, yet have a vivid clean and detailed rendering. Nothing feel distant with the E44, you have an holographic perception of fowards bass, mids and treble, all in their presence and body. Well rounded and full bodied tonality that sit between mature analytical and lush musical. Crisp L shape come to mind due to beefy low end. A unique yet cohesive mix of warm bass impact, bright clear mids and highly detailed treble without the CS43131 extra air spike we can expect from this DAC.

The E44 tend to add a bit of texture and punch to the mid bass, which is very notable with the Moondrop Aria, but what it do to this IEM is taming a bit the sub bass resonance and rumble, keeping it’s presence cleaner, more texture and tactile than physical. Yet kick drum sound more rounded with magnify layering, in the sens sub bass and kick doesn’t mix togheter but sit on each other in a neutral way. Don’t get me wrong, we never feel lacking sub bass, it just become less loose and more controlled with the E44, and the slam become tighter, rounder, less bleedy too.

When it come to mids, transition is smooth and dynamic have weight. Definition is detailed and clean, yet not edgy or clinical. It’s not the widest in presence, it centered and well sculpted in instrument singularity. Transparency is good but texture do make timbre a bit opaque. Timbre is quite dense tough, not thin like lot of other CS43131 dongle i try. Between lush and bright. Free of sibilance boost.

The treble is superb, even if it trade some sparkle and air to achieve this impressive timbral balance that feel so natural yet near analytical in it’s richness. Percussions have this 3D feel to them, in the sens it’s fully extract, not half done with faked sharpness or over boosted brilliance. You have full image of sound reconstitution here. And alot of micro-details to discover too. About brilliance and sparkle, it just don’t boost it, but will not tame it if your IEM produce some. Fact is that everything is organically balanced, yet with sharp but not spike definition.

The spatiality is a bit stretched in wideness-tallness and doesn’t blur deepness, so it tend to feel more holographic and fully presented in a 180 degree, not just stereo since center stage is perceive too.

Imaging is very impressive and better than the excellent Xduoo Link2 Bal in that regard since it’s cleaner in layering. You have both good separation of wide sound layers and pin point perception of static instrument, it’s precise without feeling forced or analytical and you can dig trough sound layers transparency even if their are richly textured.




This is a very hard to drive IEM due to low sensitivity, which is different than impedance and can even be more capricious in proper amping.
Firstly, good news, the E5000 sound open, have improved resolution and brighter mids and treble. Unfortunately, when it come to bass, we can have clipping-distortion at high volume and overall body isn’t as well rounded, warm and thick too, still, i do listen at unhealty high volume.
Let just say the fact E44 can properly drive the E5000 is extremely impressive, the sound is open, with more spacious imaging, faster attack punch and snap, timbre is still lush and natural yet with a hint of extra energy that permit cleaner mids presentation, which with warm dac-amp will make the E5000 sound overly dark and warmed by bass.
Simply put, unless if cranked at max volume to ears exploding level, this pairing is excellent and improve technical performance of the Final E5000 gloriously.


Ok, this is a great pairing and far from boring for sure since it make the Aria sounding more foward and energic as well as more focus on texture. So, brighter mids and more mid bass textured, so bit of extra punch and bit of sub bass taming. Female vocal sound fuller and better extracted, more textured and foward, less laid back overall. Beautifull crispness of Aria is preserve, perhaps with a hint of extra abrasive bite…as if Aria begin a transformation to become a Kato. That surely proof how Aria are transparent to source, since here its tonality is more W shape than U shape. Very interesting and rewarding paring, with an injected sens of immediacy and holographic between lush and crisp rendering. Highly immersive and addictive!

With TINHIFI P1plus

Though less hard to drive than both Final E5000 and Tinhifi P1, I wouldn’t say these Planar IEM are easy to properly drive either, and again the E44 proof to deliver plenty of amping power, this time without clipping issue at max volume as the well define and articulate thick sub line of ”Moonlight” track from IAMDDB show, rumble stay clean even when i crank up volumeabove my already loud listening range. So, we have an open and deep spatiality, punchy bass and gently bright P1plus here, with vivid dynamic and again this energic snappy performance. It isn’t as sharp and treble crispness foward as with other CS43131 source like Tempotec HD PRO or BHD, very balanced sounding and rich in texture, where the P1plus can show every single micro-details. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite pairing but sure a good one that can be resume: extra texture details and density, more energic less delicate dynamic, crunchier fuller treble.



VS FIIO KA3 (ES9032q2m DAC-80$)

So, the E44 have slightly lower power output, but it’s doesn’t translate into a lack of dynamic energy, which in fact is more weighty and lively in amplitude projection than KA3. This is surely due to dual DAC used that perhaps permit lower crosstalk.
(Indeed, I just check and E44 crosstalk is about 3 times lower.)
This doesn’t mean E44 sound clearer, but that dynamic is better articulated and sound projection perhaps more free since attack of KA3 is notably more retain and blend. In other words, high resolution of E44 doesn’t feel forced, while with KA3 it does, with extra grain that amplify brighness reveal.
Bass of E44 have bigger slam and warmer, fuller timbre, in fact here the timbre is very different, more natural and pleasant with E44, yet less amplify in texture and ”digital transparency”. Mids is where the KA3 show it’s more artificial tonality, it doesn’t open in wideness as much as E44 and make instrument like saxophone and some vocal notably more dry and thin and rude in realism. Finally ,treble is brighter and more agressive with the KA3 as expected, it have less natural brilliance and sparkle as well as resonance than E44.
Hum, here, the clear winner is Tempotec E44, even if technically it isn’t as ”frontal”, the dynamism is more coherent, hefty and fluidly articulated in contrast of amplitude than flatter colder more clinical sounding KA3.

VS XDUOO LINK 2 BAL (dual CS43131+independant amp chip-160$)

DAC=Dual cirrus CS43131
Power output= 175mw@32ohm 4.4bal

DAC=Dual CS43131
Power output=275mw@32ohm 4.4Bal 125mw Se

These are a bit similar in tonal balance, not timbre nor spatiality presentation since BAL is more open, wide and tall. The independant amp section did inflict greatly to overall sound ,adding hint of warmth and density to individual instrument without affecting negatively the resolution.

Still, E44 feel more cold-clean, with an edge in definition that is more evident in busy messy music passage where BAL will have more harmonic distortion and blurry micro details. E44 hacve deeper spatiality and more precise instrument placement in a more restrain spatiality. Silence feel cleaner as well as background noise lower.

Something surprising too, is how the bass differ with those 2, BAL being notably weightier warmer and more beefy in slam due to extra sub bass presence. Sub bass have more density, rumble and mid bass is a bit less vivid in tight punch, less well separated from mids tooa nd more prompt to mix and thicken tonality.

To go back about timbre, which is biggest difference between those 2 after power output, E44 is thinner with greater transparency, a bit more polished less textured-grainy than BAL, vocal are a bit more lush, euphonic and appealing with BAL but not as well cleanly extracted in presence.

It’s evident to me that LINK2 BAL is more about amping power upgrade than proper sound quality upgrade, since its really more about timbre and slightly warmer more analogish tonality which can be usefull for brighter IEM or power hungry ones like the Final A8000 I use, but still, if you plan to only use balanced output on it, im not sure you need this extra 100mw the extra amping section deliver. Why? Because it had hint of harmonic distortion, which will inflict technical performance in term of attack sustain, snap and overall resolution. We are in tonality subjectivity for this case. Some will swear that BAL is better when in fact they find musicality more charming, thats all. Oh, and i check the SNR after this comparison….interesting isn’t it that E44 is better in that regard?



Even if it’s more than 6 months old, the E44 still is a very competitive dongle that stand it’s ground in the overwhelming dongles offering of today portable audio.
Tempotec implementation of dual CS43131 DAC is excellent here, delivering a natural cohesive tonality that is highly resolved yet highly musical too.
With it’s high power output, black noise floor, above average technical performance and affordable price, the E44 offer high sound value that is versatile in both power and tonality.

Tempotec haven’t finish to surprise us, so stay tuned for their upcoming mid-tier Android DAP too, it will use dual AK4493SE DAC and have alot of features. I mean ALOT!


PS: I want to thanks Tempotec for sending me this review sample. Though i’m a big fan of Tempotec since 4 years, it doesn’t bias my sound impressions and i’m not affiliated or compensate financially by this great audio company.

You can order the Tempotec E44 from their official store HERE
Or on Hifigo store HERE

For more honest reviews of diversify audio products, give a read to my No Borders Audiophile blog HERE.
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Tempotec Sonata E44 Sound Impression/Review
Pros: Clean and dynamic sound
Cons: Fingerprint magnet
Non detachable cable attached to the dongle limited the flexibility
Tempotec Sonata E44 Sound Impression/Review


Tempotec is a company known for producing affordable and high quality dongle dac/amp.
Compatibility is also not only limited to Android only but it also supports iOS, Windows and MacOS. Not to mention that some of the firmware is actually upgradable.

Today I have with me the Sonata E44 which sounds fairly impressive to my ears.

Specifications (Grabbed from Tempotec’s Aliexpress Store)
DAC: Dual CS43131
SNR: 130dB
THD+N: 115dB
Output Level: 4Vrms
Output Power: 175mw/32ohm
Frequency: 0-40Khz/+- 0.5dB
Crosstalk: -127dB
Decoding: PCM32bit 384Khz, DSD 256(Native), 128(DOP)
Additional Feature: HW Volume Control
Compatibility: Windows, MacOs, Android
Driver: Win7,8,10 & Asio Driver

Fairly standard packaging, a box containing the E44 itself, and also the addition of 4.4 Male to 3.5 Female adapter. Do take note that this adapter is meant to use with E44 only, i have not tested it on other dac/amp but theoretically, you shouldn’t as it will damage the dac/amp. I’m sure E44’s internal circuitry has been modified in order to support this.

IEM/Headphones Paired with E44
  • Unique Melody 2HT (4.4)
  • Audiosense AQ4 (4.4)
  • Sennheiser IE40 Pro (3.5)
  • Grado SR125X (3.5)
  • Dunu Titan S (4.4)
  • Effect Audio Axiom (4.4)
  • Tripowin Lea (3.5)
  • Thinksound in20

Sound Impression
Coming from Xduoo’s Link2Bal, despite both sporting the same Dual Dac config with the exact same DAC Chip, they don’t sound the same at all. I will be sharing my sound impression of E44 in point form, so it is easier to read instead of going through long lines of words:
  • Tonality wise, E44 sounds rather neutral with a slight tilt on the cold range if you are coming from a warm sounding DAC/Amp
  • Attack speed is very good on E44, Snappy and fast. Very clean sounding overall
  • The note weight is not as thick as i preferred, however, this is what makes it speedy in my opinion
  • I find that the Bass, Mids and Trebles are not boosted and it rendered the music as it is, this is important as it will not add any sort of coloration to your IEMs/Headphones, however, there are also a certain group of people who prefers the coloration (musicality), i for one don’t fixate on a certain preference, i am all about good implementation and that alone will enable me to enjoy the musics
  • Listening to Kenshi Yonezu’s Lemon via UM’s 2HT, the whole song is very engaging, vocal does not present as intimate nor recessed, it has got good texture to it, certainly not thin sounding, the treble rendition on 2HT via E44 is what i like the most, the definition or details via this pairing is superb(to my ears), the definition of the details in the upper range is highlighted, yet it is not fatiguing to listen to it nor it sounded harsh
  • Listening to MJ’s Dirty Diana via the same pairing (2HT+E44), coupled with 2HT’s big soundstage, the listening experience is very engaging as well. Very clean and not harsh sounding at all
  • Listening to live recording (Toto’s Africa), it is very vivid, as if the artist is performing in front of you, this is via Grado’s SR125X paired with E44. Grado is a little sensitive to source in my opinion, pair it with the wrong source and it will sound very harsh, and with the right one, it will sing!

Track List used during the listening session
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication
  • Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven Unplugged
  • Teresa Teng - The Moon Represents my Heart
  • The Weeknd - Gasoline
  • Billie Eilish - Your Power
  • Metallica - Master of Puppets
  • Sinne Eeg - We’ve Just Begun
  • Hans Zimmer - Why So Serious
  • Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
  • Toto - Africa (Live)

Driving Power
I do not have any power hungry IEM/Headphone to really test the driving power of E44.
One thing to note is that it can easily drive anything in my collection which I already listed out earlier. I do need to crank the volume up a few more steps when i am using it with Grado SR125x, still not a major issue for E44, still powering it without any hiccups

Additional mention
  • The physical volume button is very welcoming as you can control the volume on the dongle itself without messing with the window’s or the application’s volume control
  • The cable on the dongle is fixed to type-c only, if you want to use it with an iOS device, you may need to purchase a separate adapter. The only gripe I have with the fixed cable is that it might break after some time or due to some accidents, having a fixed cable also means it lacks some flexibility. Not a deal breaker, but more like personal preference
  • Front and back is made of glass, fingerprint magnet, the decision to include protection film for both front and back is a very welcoming gesture

Final Thoughts
Tempotec E44 is an easy recommendation from me for someone who’s looking for a clean and dynamic sounding portable dongle dac/amp. The price performance ratio on this is fairly high in my opinion, while it is not a DAP killer, it does offer a step up from someone who’s been using mobile phone as their source, or even some seasoned audiophile who’s considering portability with good sonic performance, this is the one for them.

E44 is not for someone who likes warm and musical sound because E44 is not warm and musical, rather dynamic and clean sounding, slightly cold tonality. This is not a pro nor cons but more of a personal preference

If you are interested in grabbing a unit, head over to tempotec’s store to order one for yourself!
Tempotec E44

*Although I received this unit F.O.C from Tempotec, I am in no way influenced by Tempotec on my impressions nor do I gain any monetary benefit from Tempotec. All thoughts are of my own



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Review TempoTec Sonata E44: True winner
Pros: Uncolored, natural, with a true sense of realism, relaxing, very detailed and transparent sound; big soundstage; holographic image, great dynamics and separation; outstanding quality.
Cons: It does not have both 4.4 mm balanced and 3.5 mm outputs; all necessary cables are attached to the unit, which is rather a matter of personal choice.

The past few years we have a “big bang” in new In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), the vast majority of which are of good and quite a few of excellent quality; there are obviously different sound signatures for different tastes, but the quality of most of these IEMs is really good.

Good quality IEMs created a need for good quality Digital to Analog Converters (DACs). Now, if you want to have just one DAC on the go and at home, then you need a mobile or portable DAC, what we usually call a “dongle”; and it is true that in recent years dongles started popping up at a pace that is really hard to follow.

Here, I should point out that what we usually call DAC it actually is a DAC/AMP, namely, a device which, besides doing the conversion of a digital to an analog signal, it also has an amplifier section that allows this signal to be played through an IEM or a headphone even one of low sensitivity and/or high impedance.

We have actually reached a point where we have companies that deal exclusively with the manufacture of mobile DAC/AMPs. One such company is the TempoTec Corporation, originally formed by a group of audio experts from China, Taiwan, Korea and Germany, each having more than 20 years of experience in the development of audio systems. The purpose of this coalition was to create products which are friendly, affordable and of audiophile quality.

TempoTec has so far presented a number of great and affordable products, and one of their latest additions is Sonata E44.


Sonata E44 uses dual CS43131 chips; this is the flagship, and indeed a very mighty chip, of Cirrus Logic, which is used in some very good DAC/AMPs in the market. There is no additional information provided on the amplification part of the unit. Nonetheless, E44 has some very impressive specifications: The SNR is 130 dB, the THD+N 115 dB, the crosstalk -127 dB and the frequency response 0 Hz-40 kHz/±0.5 dB. Although there is no information given on the amplification of the unit, the output level is an impressive 4 Vrms and the output power 175 mW/32 Ω. This is obviously the result of the dual CS43131 chips and the fact that the unit has a 4.4 mm balanced output. The volume is controlled by a long button, having 32 steps, and this allows for a smooth adjustment of the volume level.

E44 volume control.png

The Sonata E44 is able to deliver PCM 32 bit / 384 kHz plus DSD 256 (native) and 128 (DOP) playback, which is more than what one needs from a portable DAC. It is compatible with MacOS, Windows (7,8,10 and USB ASIO driver) and Android (supports OTG function). It is USB powered through a type-C cable. The output is a stereo 4.4 mm balanced output. It is both interesting and quite unusual that the type-C and the 4.4 mm balanced cables are both incorporated into the unit i.e., they are part of it, and they are made of 8-core, single crystal copper silver-plated OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) wires; for those that are not familiar, OCC is a casting process for copper or silver wire that draws a single crystal up to 125 meters in length, providing the least possible oxides and other impurities. Furthermore, a female type-C to a male USB-A adapter is also provided.

E44 cable.png

The housing of Sonata E44 is made of metal (I suspect CNC aluminum) and glass on the front and back plates. Although the unit itself is petit, its physical dimensions, including the cables, the type-C input and the 4.4 mm balanced output, are 185 mm x 21 mm x 7 mm, and its weight is 27.2 grams. One could certainly argue whether the attached cables to the unit is a practical choice. In the market, you find units with separate cables for the input or output, while you can also find units that have just one cable for the input attached (like in the iBasso DC series). There is no doubt that the attached cables cannot be lost, unless you loose the unit itself; on the other hand, you have to carry cables all the time with the unit, which make it bulkier. It is really a matter of personal choice.


In order to be able to use Sonata E44 with IEMs and headphones having a 3.5 mm plug, the unit comes, as a gift to the user, with a 4.4 mm male balanced to a 3.5 mm female cable adapter, which is really very versatile.

E44 adapter.png

What I can say without any hesitation is that the overall quality is outstanding; this could be expected from a unit having a tag price of well over $100.00, like many DAC/AMPs in the market today. What about if I tell you that E44’s MSRP is just $89.90, and many times you find it on sale for as low as $69.99? Amazing? You bet!


I use the word performance, because Sonata E44 has a DAC and an AMP section, so I shall comment on each one of the two, and the combined effect is what I call performance.

The main characteristic of E44’s sound is that it has a very nice tonal balance; balanced sound does not mean what some people view as or call neutral sound. One has to be very careful with this term, and because of that I very rarely use it. I do believe that very few manufacturers want to make a truly neutral sounding product, and I very much doubt that they can actually do it even if they want to, given that the tuning is done by acoustic engineers according to what “they believe” that is neutral. Really neutral means no engagement and no musicality whatsoever, so maybe good for studio recording but not for listening to music. E44’s sound is completely uncolored, and at the same time natural, with a true sense of realism, relaxing and very detailed.

The bass is tight, with the right amount of sub- and mainly mid-bass, and very polite, so you will never feel that E44’s sound is even the slightest warm; in that sense, if someone wants to experience a kind of analogue and organic sound, then most likely he will be a bit disappointed.

The mids are very natural and relaxing, and both female and male vocals are very nicely presented. It is also interesting that through the 4.4 mm balanced output the vocals retain their natural and relaxing character, but they become slightly more intimate.

The tremble is extended but never hissing or harsh; so, one gets plenty of details, but I would not call the presentation euphonic, although in some cases one may get this impression.

Overall, the timbre is natural, realistic, full bodied and transparent. The soundstage is quite big, mainly in width, and in certain cases is also tall and extends in depth, while the image quite holographic.

The sound through both the 4.4 mm balanced and 3.5 mm outputs has the same character and is really great, as was already described. The difference between the two is that through the 4.4 mm balanced output the sound opens up and becomes more airy and detailed, although one may find it a little more crispy than one would actually like. On the other hand, this extra crispiness gives the impression of a taller stage.

The dynamics is really great given that the output level is an impressive 4 Vrms. E44 is a beast that can drive any IEM or headphone up to 600 Ω with ease and without any change in its sound signature. Furthermore, it is a very quiet unit, without any floor noise even with the most sensitive IEMs, which is quite of an advantage.

The sound testing of E44 was done with a variety of musical pieces from TIDAL, varying among the classical songs “The Look of Love” by Diana Krall, “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, “Texas Sun” by Khruangbin and Leon Bridges and “I Want The World To Stop” by Belle & Sebastian, using a variety of IEMs and headphones. In all of them, E44’s performance was uncolored, natural, relaxing and transparent.

It is really amazing that E44 costs so little and offers so much; it would be a truly worthy addition to every computer, laptop or smartphone. The reproduction of the whole of the audio spectrum is very articulate and E44’s performance represents a big improvement over the usual one-dimensional output that comes out from a computer’s, laptop’s or smartphone’s DAC. It is undoubtedly one of the best implementations of a dual CS43131 chips design.


To iBasso DC04

Another DAC/AMP, using dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 chips and having a balanced 4.4 mm output, is the iBasso DC04; although it has been discontinued, one can still find it in certain vendors; its MSRP was $75.00, and it pretty much remains the same or a bit lower in some cases. The DC04 is a very powerful unit providing 195 mW at 32 Ω and 4 Vrms at 300 Ω. It also has a a low background noise of less than 0.9 uV (or 900 nano volts), an output impedance of 0.12 Ω and low total harmonic distortion rated at 0.00039% at 32 Ω and0.00032% at 300 Ω. A type-C plug is attached to the unit through a good quality cable, while an adapter converting the type-C plug into a full-size USB-A is provided. DC04 is able to deliver PCM 32 bit / 384 kHz plus DSD 256 (native) playback. However, it does not have a volume control. Like E44, the housing of DC04 is brushed aluminum; its length is 110 mm and its weight is 12.0 grams.

I have to admit that the sound of Sonata E44 and DC04 is very close to each other, although there are small differences; the sound of E44 is more relaxed, while that of DC04 is more revealing. Someone listening to E44 may get the impression that the tonality of E44 is somewhat warm in order to give this relaxed sound signature; it is not, and it actually gives plenty of information. It is that it does not have the crispiness of DC04. Other than that the soundstage of both units is about the same, although DC04 with its extended highs may give you the impression of a slightly taller stage; the image is holographic in both of them, and also excellent is the dynamics and separation. Both units can drive any IEM or headphone up to 600 Ω with ease and without any change in their sound signature.

So, if you want a relaxed performance, which is preferable for me, then you go with E44; if, on the other hand, you prefer a crispier performance, then you go with DC04. It is good to have choices!


Sonata E44 is a truly amazing unit. It has a sound that is uncolored, natural, with a true sense of realism, relaxing, very detailed, with a big soundstage, and great holographic image, dynamics and separation. On top of all this, its quality is outstanding.

What is even more amazing is E44’s price: At $89.90, it is a bargain; at $69.99, that you frequently find it, it is a steal.

E44 improves by a whole lot your computer’s, laptop’s or smartphone’s sound, and at $69.99 everybody should own one. Most highly recommended!


Reviewer’s note: The reviewer is grateful to TempoTec Corporation for sending him a sample of Sonata E44.
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New Head-Fier
Tempotec Sonata E44 - Best bang for the buck
Pros: Price to Performance
Clean black background
Transparent and organic sounding
Neutral without any coloration
Crazy power
Excellent technicality capability
Easy to operate
Cons: Cables can get too long when using the 3.5mm adapter
A tad heavy
Note: I purchased this unit with my personal savings. You can expect an honest review from me.

Let me just get right into it, Tempotec Sonata E44 is the only DAC that I will ever need, and I think it will be my end-game when it comes to dongles.

When I first unboxed this unit, I was impressed by the overall package of it. The experience was totally premium. Straight out of the box, you will be greeted by a 3.5mm adapter, a USB-A adapter, a HI-RES sticker (if you care), and the unit itself.

My user experience when using Tempotec Sonata E44 is simply flawless. Unlike my previous DAC, the E44 actually remembers its hardware volume when I replug the unit. That way, I don't have to control the volumes all over again when I want to listen to my favorite songs ever again. Also, the unit doesn't get hot easily, even after a long period of time of using this continuously. However, there's one thing that you need to consider if you want to primarily bring the E44 with you when going outside. Having the E44 plugged into your phone when you're bringing it outdoors is simply not practical and convenient enough. The reason is that the cable is long, especially when you use the 3.5mm adapter. Not to mention, the unit is a bit on the heavy side.

Now, let's talk about sound impressions. I paired Tempotec Sonata E44 with my Tin T2 Plus running on a balanced 4.4mm cable. The first thing I noticed when I plugged this DAC into my Samsung A32 with UAPP is that the power on this thing is exceptional. I literally need to lower the volume down by a large margin using the hardware buttons on the DAC itself. As for the tonality, E44 is fairly neutral without any coloration whatsoever. It doesn't alter the sound of the cans that you have, meaning that the sound that you will hear through your IEMs is exactly what it is supposed to sound like. Not to mention, the E44 also stays true to the timbre of your IEMs. Moreover, the Tempotec Sonata E44 sounds organic and transparent at the same time.

For example, when I paired this with my CCA CRA, it portrays the sound of the unit so well. The bass is deep and punchy but never lacks speed, the mid is neutral and natural at the same time without any colors to it, and the treble is sparkling with very good extensions. Also, when I plugged in my Tanchjim Tanya into the E44, I can still hear the mid-bass focused sound, the organic and sweet vocals, and the smooth treble that the Tanya possesses. However, I did notice that the E44 lacks a bit of air in the treble area when paired with something that has an airy treble sound profile like the Tin T2 Plus.

Another thing that I like about the E44 is that it has a dead silent black background, even in my sensitive cans.

Given the points above, I can safely use E44 as my reference/benchmark dongle to test out my units. However, there's one important thing that you need to know. Please note that the E44 makes your IEM sound a tad more edgy and aggressive overall, but it is barely noticeable so I don't see any problem regarding it. All in all, when it comes to tonality, I have to give the E44 a solid 5/5.

Tempotec Sonata E44 is no slouch when it comes to technical performance either. It paired really well with my Tin T2 Plus (the best unit I currently have in terms of technicality) and they complement each other really well. I can hear a lot of macro and micro details. Not to mention, the imaging of the E44 is exceptional. I can easily pinpoint instruments even in busy tracks such as Queen of the Night by Wagakki Band. On the same track, the E44 did a very great job in separating the instruments. Last but not least, Tempotec Sonata E44 is also great when it comes to resolution, transient speeds, harmonics, and also dynamics. Overall, Tempotec Sonata E44 is really capable when we talk about technicalities.

If I have to nitpick on Tempotec Sonata E44, I would say that it doesn't have the widest soundstage I've ever listened to. Compared to something like the CX-Pro or Cyberdrive Aura, the E44 lacks a bit in width. Despite that, I don't really have a problem with it, as it can still give me a sense of space and headroom for my listening experience enough and it simply never lacks.

Last but not least, if you want to really bring out Tempotec Sonata E44's maximum potential, you should try pairing it with your IEMs that are rocking a balanced cable. It will make the sound neater and refined overall. The bass will also profit from this, as it will get more punchy and deep at the same time. Also, using the balanced output will give you a slight technical performance increase if compared with the 3.5mm output, especially with the separation and detail retrieval.

Overall, I think that Tempotec has once again created an exceptional dongle that offers you a quality that exceeds its price. The E44 surely follows the steps of the successful Sonata HD Pro, but this time, we are given a balanced output instead of a single-ended one. Also, instead of one CS43131 chip, the E44 has two of them. What more could you ask for? Just buy this, and experience what the best has to offer.
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100+ Head-Fier
TempoTec Sonata e44 REVIEW
Pros: Sound at the level of DAPs
Great sounding midrange
Beautiful design
output power
It can be used with most headphones and earphones
Cons: Hiss with sensitive iems (4.4mm output)
Intimate soundstage
About me:
Music lover and earphone enthusiast, most of my previous reviews are in spanish.

Disclaimer: TempoTec graciously sent me the Sonata E44.

Gear used:
Final B3, A4000, Sonorous 3, Ath R70x

About Tempotec:
TempoTec is a company based in China conformed by a group of experts in the pursuit of "the best sound quality". You can find more here: https://www.tempotec.net/pages/about-tempotec


SNR: 130dB
THD + N: 115dB
Output level: 4VRMS
Output power:175mW / 32ohm
Frequency: 0-40KHZ / + - 0.5 DB
Crosstalk: -27dB
Support: 32Bit PCM / 384kHz DSD256 (native) DSD128 (DOP)
Support: PC, MAC and Android, Compatible with W7, W8, W10 and ASIO driver

Packaging and accessories:

The Sonata e44 ($89) is one of the newest dongle dac/amp from tempotec, it comes in a basic packaging with no colorful or striking designs, it seems that TempoTec focuses completely on delivering products that speak by themselves and that stand out by their sound performance. Inside of the box we will find a USB type C to type A adapter, a Hi-Res sticker, a plastic protector and a 4.4mm male to 3.5mm female adapter.

Unlike previous products from TempoTec, we won't find a transport case in the accessories. The current accessory set is good enough, it has all the necessary items and i wouldnt like to see an increase on price just for having more extras.



Just like the previous version, the e44 has a beautiful and stylish aluminum finish. The device feels solid and has a small size that makes it very portable and easy to carry everywhere. In the front and back faces it has a mirror-like finish that is very easy to scratch so I recommend you to use the plastic protections of the accessory set.

One thing I didn't like in the Sonata e35´s design was that it looked cheap in that coffee golden colour, in this case the e44 looks completely different just by changing the main color. I really liked this combination of black tonalities that makes it look elegant and sober.

The non removable cables are attached to the main unit, they feel resistant but just like all products of the same style, we don't know how much the cable is going to last. These cables have on one end the type C connection and on the other end we will find the balanced 4.4mm output. In the central part of the e44 there are 2 buttons that allow the volume control and thanks to the 32 step volume, the changes are good enough to reach comfortable levels of volume.


Daily use:

The Sonata e44 doesn't need special software to operate, just plug and play. In terms of heat control, this device keeps cold and it doesn't reach high temperatures but it does like energy and will drain your smartphone's battery faster than regular dongle dacs specially when using high impedance headphones. At the same time I find that the e44 has better performance by using it with computers, the bass gets tighter and the stage increases while it has more power for high impedance headphones.

One thing that I liked was that no matter if I use low or high impedance headphones, the e44 delivers a solid execution in all cases. Please note that hiss/noise appears with high sensitivity iems using the 4.4mm output.



It's well known that most entry level DAPs are being surpassed in sound quality by these little devices like the sonata e44, in this case the e44 can easily match and triumph in some aspects when compared side by side to hiby r5 and shanling m3x. Before making a detailed comparison, let's start with the sound description of the sonata dac/amp.

The e44 has a neutral sound reproduction with high coherency and delivering a natural tonality. Since the first time I tried this dac / amp I noted how good and balanced the sound was. Nothing was above the rest, everything sounded rich and my final b3 sounded the best it could.

Being a neutral sounding device gives the bass a full extension, with no added weight nor fake accentuations. Bass is fast, has a good level of detail and when it's time to hit hard it will do it but do not expect a very punchy low end specially using the 3.5mm adapter. One point to notice is that the e44 has the best performance without any adapter on it and in this case the bass sounds fuller and with better dynamics using the 4.4mm output.

Here is where the e44 shows it's better capabilities by delivering a natural clean midrange with an excellent balance between the musical and analytical side. It doesn't add much coloration to the sound and the only thing i note is that the midrange sounds have more weight on it sounding fuller and richer specially vocals.

In terms of soundstage i find it lacking specially using the 3.5mm adapter. Compared to daps or desktop amps the soundstage was one step below in both width and depth. On the other hand the imaging has good precision, instrumental separation is above average compared to similarly priced dongle dacs and last, the transitions have good speed reflected in songs like Design your universe pt 6 from Epica, a band that specializes in fast transitions and vocals.

Treble has good clarity, once again it has a neutral representation so it won't add more coloration to this part of the sound. With bright sounding earphones like Final A4000, the e44 is able to control the very energetic highs achieving a satisfying pairing that won't sound aggressive nor lose the essence of sound of the a4000.



Final B3 (3.5mm-4.4mm): The final audio B3 is a neutral-bright sounding IEM with great clarity and excellent vocal performance. Using the e44 i experienced a very detailed treble, good layering and it never sounded thin or aggressive in highs thanks to a very well controlled and neutral treble performance of the sonata dac/amp.
Pros: vocals sound clean and rich, bass is tight and very detailed, treble has good extension and without any sibilance on it.
Cons: With pop, rap or electronic music, bass is very light and doesn't hit hard. This shows how true and honest the e44 is because it doesn't add more emphasis or extra bass boost.

Final Sonorous 3 (3.5mm): The smooth V shaped sound signature of the final headphones is well represented, i can feel the vocals very close to me, female vocals are very enjoyable to listen to while the rest of the instruments keep back. These headphones require a good source to sound decent and the e44 delivers what they need so that's why this pairing has become my daily use equipment.
Pros: excellent female vocal performance, deep layered bass,
Cons: small stage and sometimes it can sound dry

ATH R70x: The 470 ohm impedance of this headphone might be too much for the e44 but thanks to the 4VRMS of the balanced output I achieved an excellent performance from this headphone. It is still far from desktop amps like Zen Can or Asgard 3 but the dynamism, instrumental separation, the note weight and imaging were not lacking and the results are more than good enough for a dongle dac.
Pros: Good dynamics, natural soundstage, smooth and well defined treble.
Cons: -



Hiby R5 (3.5mm output): The hiby DAP has a warmer, softer and laid back sound when compared to the e44. One big difference is in the treble region, the r5 has an average extension and a very polite treble so it will be more forgiving with bad recordings but at the same time lacks all the detail that the e44 delivers. Bass also has more presence in the r5, it has a mid bass emphasis that delivers extra rumble and last, the midrange has better clarity and is more resolving in the e44.

Shanling M3X (3.5mm output): The unbalanced output of the M3X is one of the worst that I have listened to, especially when the double dac is deactivated. It has an unnatural treble, mids have poor resolution and it's not hard to see that I prefer the e44 by a large margin. When using the 4,4mm output of the M3X the sound improves a lot: mids have better resolution, treble gets softer without losing detail and the coherency appears.

If we compare the 4.4mm headphone outputs of the daps to the e44 there are not big differences. First, the hiby dap is still sounding warmer and sweeter while the m3x has better treble performance by sounding softer and with lots of detail when compared to the e44. The biggest difference is once you use full size headphones that require more amplification: the r5 is way better than the e44 in this aspect while the shanling dap is just a bit better than the sonata dac/amp.

Zen dac: Due to the popularity of the zen dac i decided to compare both. The first thing I noticed was the warm and soft sound that the zen dac delivers compared to a more linear and transparent sound of the e44. A clear advantage of the zen dac over the e44 is how the soundstage is presented. In the Zen dac the stage has a 3D effect on it with great air between instruments meanwhile the e44´s stage has a more intimate representation. On the other hand, the e44 sounds more natural, has a better treble extension and a more realistic bass.



Every time I tried a new dongle dac/amp it was hard to distinguish between it and the rest of competitors, the performance was close and so was the sound between them. In this case the e44 has achieved a solid performance that clearly differs from the rest so i'm happy to give it 5 stars.
Hi @Abir, if you want the best sound quality and better amplification I would recommend you to buy a DAC/amp.
On the other hand, if you don't want to use your phone or pc buy a DAP.
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Would you recommend a Dac amp under 200$ ??
I like the ifi hip dac (warm sound and great output power), tempotec idsd plus (average output power and neutral sound) or Aune bu1 (warm and bassy sound)


500+ Head-Fier
Formula 44
Pros: Excellent sound, with a lot of clarity, separation, cleanness, openness and three-dimensionality.
- Technically it is also outstanding.
- Compact and complete design.
- Quality of construction, cable and connectors.
- Very good price/performance ratio.
-It's compatible with SE 3.5mm headphones, thanks to an adapter that comes as default.
Cons: Volume steps too wide.
- No case like the BHD model.
- Does not work well with the USB ports of my PC.

The balanced pair from Tempotec's new Sonata E series could not be missing. And following the trend, the output is 4.4mm, much more robust than the smaller 2.5mm. This is the first highlight of Tempotec's new model, which is called, of course, the Sonata E44. Aesthetically, it is the same as the E35, only the connector size is different. Internally, it is also the same, because it uses the same Dual DAC CS43131. But its balanced circuitry improves the SNR, THD+N, output level and crosstalk specifications. But what about the sound? These and other issues will be addressed in the following review.

Tempotec Sonata E44 01_r.jpgTempotec Sonata E44 02_r.jpg


Tempotec, 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.

Tempotec Sonata E44 03_r.jpg


  • DAC: DUAL CS43131
  • SNR: 130dB
  • THD+N: 115dB
  • Output level: 4VRMS
  • Output power: 175 mW/32ohm
  • Frequency: 0-40KHZ /+-0.5dB
  • Crosstalk: -127dB
  • Support: 32Bit PCM/384kHz DSD256 (native) DSD128(DOP)
  • Support: HW volume control
  • Support: PC MAC and Android
  • W7, W8, W10 and ASIO driver support
  • http://www.tempotec.com.cn//download/SONATA_HD_DRIVER.zip

Tempotec Sonata E44 04_r.jpg


The external presentation of the E44 is the same as that of the E35. The only difference is a couple of stickers on the back of the box, just to indicate which model it is. The box is white. Its dimensions are 127x100x35mm. On the main side you can see a drawing of the edges of the E44. On the back side there is only the brand, the model, the website, the e-mail address, several QR and an EAN13. But after removing the outer cardboard, the complete black box can be seen again. It opens up like a box and inside you can see the E44, the USB Type-C to USB classic adapter, a 4.4mm balanced male to 3.5mm SE female adapter and some Hi-Res logos stickered inside a thick foam moulding. Underneath, there's little else. The complete contents are:

  • Tempotec Sonata E44.
  • USB Type-C female to USB male adapter.
  • Adapter 4.4mm balanced male to 3.5mm SE female.
  • Gold Hi-Res AUDIO logo sticker.
  • 1 back cover.
  • 1 front side protector.
  • 1 wet wipe.
  • 1 dry wipe.

The device already comes with protective plastics, but a replacement is appreciated. The two-stage cleaning kit (wet wipe and dry wipe) is also appreciated. However, a carrying case, like the Sonata BHD, is missing. As for the E35, the contents are almost the same, except for the BAL to SE adapter cable.

Tempotec Sonata E44 05_r.jpg

Construction and Design

The new E44 has the same external construction as the E35, except that it uses a different cable. In general, it is not a simple tablet and the connectors are not integrated into it either. Instead, an 8-strand silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable runs from each end, which is attached to the USB Type-C connector on one side and the 4.4mm BAL connector on the other. Each connector is gold-plated. The USB male connector sleeve is the same colour as the body and is oval in shape. The headphone output connector sleeve starts out as a cylinder that turns into a rather bulky hexagon. It also has the same colour as the body. On this occasion it is only available in black. The dimensions of each component are:

  • Global 200mm.
  • USB connector 22.5mm.
  • 4.4mm BAL connector 31mm.
  • Centre pickup 54mm.
  • USB cable 48mm.
  • Headphone output cable 49mm.

The sum total of the parts is greater than the overall size, because the connections are located in an innermost groove of the housing.
Each connection point of the cable to the central pickup or any connector is protected by a translucent white plastic sleeve.
The central module is constructed of an aluminium housing, on the faces of which a black, glazed surface is mounted. The edges of the housing are not sharp-edged, but bevelled, even at the corners. On the rear side are the model name, the words "HIGH QUALITY USB DAC&HPA" and the logos of the regulations it complies with. On the top side, the glazed part has a longitudinal groove, where the volume control is located. This is a single button, which operates in rocker mode. At the bottom of this face, you can read "Tempotec". The weight is very light and is worth about 15 grams.
The design is the same as its sibling E35 and I note the reversal of the trend towards fixed cable connectors, the rocker button used for volume control, the thick, hexagonal design of the headphone output connector sleeve. This time, however, there is no choice of colour, only black.
Finally, the fact that the connectors are wired together can in principle ensure better connection quality, as the fixed cables are of apparently good quality and the soldering should be up to standard. This design loses the smaller size of the initial idea, but offers more flexibility and avoids losing accessories. I guess everyone will have their own thoughts on whether this design is an advantage or a disadvantage.

Tempotec Sonata E44 06_r.jpgTempotec Sonata E44 07_r.jpg


The Sonata E44 has a USB Type-C connection, which limits it to Android, PC and DAPS compatible systems. Connected to a Windows PC it is Plug&Play, being compatible with version 10 without the need for additional drivers. For previous versions such as 8 or 7, it will be necessary to use the ASIO driver. However, the use of this driver is also recommended for Windows 10.
When connected to an Android device, it is advisable to activate the "OTG" and "USB debugging mode" options.
Finally, compatible DAPS, such as the Tempotec V1/V1-A itself and others like the HiBy R3 Pro, will recognise it without any problems and can be used without restrictions.

Tempotec Sonata E44 08_r.jpgTempotec Sonata E44 09_r.jpg


The E44 has 32 volume steps. As usual with powerful systems, the volume steps are usually relatively large. Using a PC, a DAP or even a smartphone, the volume can be additionally controlled by the source device itself. This is one way to improve its accuracy. However, I think it would be better to have a larger number of volume steps available.
On the other hand, the operation is not very mysterious, apart from the fact that it seems to remember the volume position.
As an accessory, the E44 comes with a 4.4mm balanced male to 3.5mm SE female adapter cable. With it the device is compatible with IEMS SE 3.5mm. But it seems that the sound quality is not as good as when used balanced, without this accessory cable. I think it is very useful for many occasions to keep this compatibility, something that adds a more complete value to this device.

Tempotec Sonata E44 10_r.jpg


The measurements were made at maximum volume, at which the waveforms were free of visible distortion. FLAC files of 96000 Hz, 24 Bits, with pure frequencies of gain 1, generated with Audacity software, have been used.
It appears that the power measurements are lower than specified. The current delivery ceiling is 60mA. It seems that the device has been designed to be able to connect to headphones with medium/high impedances, although the output impedance is very very low and the signal is not altered.

No load

The measured no-load voltage exceeds 4V RMS, providing a clean, clipping-free signal.

E44 No Load.jpg

15 Ω

The signal offered is not so clean and seems to have some noise. This is something that has surprised me and I have used different USB sockets, even voltage filters, without any visible improvement in the signal. Another surprising thing is that the balanced output does not offer 1V at 15Ω, staying at 0.9V. This means a current of almost 60mA and a power of 53mW.

E44 015.jpg

33 Ω

With this load, the noise seen previously is less and the signal is cleaner. The voltage achieved has increased quite a lot, reaching 1.85V. The measured current is 56mA and the power is 100mW, far from the specified 175mW.

E44 033.jpg

100 Ω

The signal is getting cleaner and the voltage continues to rise, as expected. But for 100Ω it still doesn't reach 4V RMS and stays at 3.3V. This means a current of 33 mA and a power of 110mW.

E44 100.jpg

200 Ω

With this load connected, the promised 4V RMS is almost reached, the current is almost 20mA and the power is 76mW.

E44 200.jpg

Frequency Response

From the measurements, the frequency response appears very flat for all loads tested.


If the E35 gave the impression of a wall of sound, with a powerful and seamless low end, the E44 doesn't lose that character, it even adds more refinement. But above all, it adds more clarity, a sense of openness and three-dimensionality. It is these characteristics that stand out most in the sound of this new E44. It seems that, at last, we are faced with the benefits of a purer balanced sound, in which its more technical virtues are already coming to the fore. In this way, the E44 adds a more analytical appearance to its neutral and natural profile, although it loses that certain analogue feel in favour of a more ethereal and expansive look. To all this must also be added a greater amount of light and separation, as well as a point of excitation in the upper zone. All this gives it that more analytical, airy and detached profile. The background is still very dark, even darker if possible, making clear that greater capacity for dynamics, separation and space between notes. The level of detail and micromatices is pushed to the limit, extracting great results from the connected headphones. In this way, it is difficult to think that you can get more out of a device in this price range. Firstly, because this good feeling is apparent at first glance, as soon as decent headphones are plugged in. Secondly, because the difference is palpable. My ears even notice it at the first touch, which amplifies the sense of surprise after testing this product.
Turning to a more concrete description of the sound, focusing on each band, the low end contains power and expansiveness. There is a good degree of forcefulness and depth. But, above all, the technical properties of the range stand out: definition, control, containment, dryness in the stroke and a quick fade. All of this is aided by a great sense of space that facilitates the creation of planes, provides an excellent sense of depth and expands the bass range.
The central range is presented with utmost clarity, present and exposed. There is no symptom of dullness, cloudiness or distancing. All the elements are there when they appear, there is no need to look for them or be attentive to them, they just bloom with naturalness, strength and splendour. In this way listening becomes easier and more pleasurable, just enjoy and relax. By this I mean that the sound of the mids is clean and detailed, with a natural, subtly bright timbre, providing a transparent, deep, detached and airy sonority. Everything sounds correct and spacious, from acoustic compositions, with vocals and few instruments, to much more saturated and complex recordings. All the details will be there, as well as all the micro-matices, as if they could be played.
The treble, despite the E44's subtly analytical profile, does not sound overexposed. In this respect, it is true that their timbre is bright, with very good definition, sparkle and slightly crisp, without losing naturalness, but just enough to provide that quick flash and sparkle, which disappears with immediacy and without a trace. The sensation of air is evident in all ranges and that is something that enhances the separation and decongestion of the sound. All this, together with the great dynamics of the sound, enhances the scene, recreating it in a vaporous and ethereal, but well-defined way, without smoothness but without harshness, with that analytical capacity that remains intact. The soundstage has many components, a good surrounding image, with plenty of depth and remarkable height, thanks to the air and the vapour. The ethereal feel is easy to recognise, but without the scene getting out of one's head, keeping the details in check, in place, to be perceived and enjoyed.
That said, the sound is hard to beat and little can be asked of it for a lover of analytical sound, apart from nothing sounding harsh or unreal. And this Sonata E44 has none of that, but rather a naturalness with great definition and resolving power.

Tempotec Sonata E44 11_r.jpgTempotec Sonata E44 12_r.jpg


Hidizs S9 Pro (for balanced output)

The first thing to note is that the Hidizs S9 Pro is more powerful, delivering 90mA versus 60mA and this is also noticeable with high impedance headphones. Form and construction aside, I'll move on to sound considerations, based on the balanced output of both devices. The first difference is the greater clarity and sense of openness offered by the E44. A flatter and less vivid sound, somewhat darker in some segments, is observed in the S9 Pro, where the treble is slightly sharper and more unpleasant. The brighter sound of the E44 does not imply that it is harsher, on the contrary, the greater dynamics, separation and even, why not say it, fidelity in the high notes, make it more enjoyable, especially at medium/high volumes. The result is a bigger and more volatile soundstage in the E44, where details don't escape. With the S9 Pro I get the feeling that something is missing, as if something good is left inside. With the E44 this is not the case, because its timbre is richer and more pleasant, also more coherent, in the upper mids and first treble, this difference is clearly perceptible.
In the bass range, the S9 Pro seems to offer more punch and energy, especially in the sub-bass. The punch feels more powerful and immediate, with a quicker decay and a slightly more noticeable texture. On the E44 it is subtly smoother, slightly more rounded. Although I must confess that these differences are very small, as a bass-lover I would lean towards the S9 Pro.
For the mid-range, however, I prefer the E44 for its closer, more obvious, wider and more separated sound. The S9 Pro draws vocals a bit more muffled, less dynamic and with less detail. In complex musical passages, with many instruments, the better separation and definition of the E44 offers better fidelity and technical ability in reproduction, offering less congestion and getting out of this kind of more complicated situations.
In the treble, despite the slightly brighter feel of the E44, it also shows more control and the flare disappears sooner. This denotes more control, and the lesser afterglow gives it a less fatiguing and shrill sound. Not that the S9 Pro is like that, shrill, but its brightness is a bit sharper, as if individually, the first treble rises with more emphasis and its notes are more energetic.
Finally and back to the beginning, the scene is more spacious, airy and three-dimensional in the E44. Image recreation and positioning is also more accurate, thanks to the depth and greater sense of separation. Improved accuracy and high definition contribute to a better result in this area on the E44.

Tempotec Sonata E44 13_r.jpgTempotec Sonata E44 14_r.jpg


I could say that the Tempotec Sonata E44 has the excellent balanced sound I was looking for in this price range and end the conclusion here. There are always some buts, though: a lower power output than specified and a not-so-clean relationship with my PC's USBs. This makes it not a completely perfect device. But its sound is really great, I haven't tried such a good balanced output in the 100€ range. And that's it, isn't that enough?

Tempotec Sonata E44 15_r.jpgTempotec Sonata E44 16_r.jpg

Earphones and Sources Used During Analysis

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • Tempotec Variations V1-A
  • Rose QT9 MK2
  • Smabat M0
  • Smabat M2s Pro
  • Ikko OH1s
  • Ikko OH10
  • NF Audio NM2+
  • Kbear Robin
  • NiceHCK Lofty
  • NS Audio NS5 MKII Extra Bass

Tempotec Sonata E44 17_r.jpg


  • Construction and Design: 92
  • Packaging and Accessories: 75
  • Connectivity: 90
  • Operability: 85
  • Sound: 95
  • Quality/Price: 95

Tempotec Sonata E44 18_r.jpg

Purchase Link


Tempotec Sonata E44 19_r.jpg

You can read the full review in Spanish here:


Tempotec Sonata E44 20_r.jpg
Last edited:
I would agree for that 2.5mm socket is more weak than 4.4mm but if we talking about plugs then 2.5mm is enough robust to hold and survive almost any force :) Electric current is also very tiny and 2.5mm plug/socket is way above needs. Here is cable what I made by myself. I'm using Canare Starquad l-4e5c conductor unfortunely with E1DA 9038S G3 Susumu 3000 because of detachable cable (fixed in E44 is con in my opinion) and 2.5mm mobile connection standard. That is also only my opinion :wink: Have a good day !
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Hello guys,
Got this Dac but want you to give one suggestion. if you using it on PC or Mac do NOT use Type-C to Type A dongle that come with device. Sound is very harsh and analytical, i got 3 different dongles and they all are much better than default one. I don`t know what is inside but probably some cheap magnetic wire.


I also bought 4.4mm to XLR 6N coper cable and connected direct to power amplifier (Benchmark ahb2) without pre-amp, other end to optimized laptop for music only and listening that way, no noise no buzzing just music. I can tell that sound quality is very good, not analytic, especially for this price.