USB-C to 3.5mm adapters (DAC) - Let's find the best
Aug 25, 2021 at 11:48 AM Post #2,911 of 3,227

Barusu Lamperouge

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FiiO released this on their Instagram feed the other day:
"The upgraded 2021 version of the Flagship Portable HiFi Bluetooth DAC and Amplifier BTR5.
The new BTR5 2021 takes an all-new ES9219C DAC, which has better performance and stronger decoding ability. While ensuring low power and higher SNR, it is capable of handling MQA decoding"
Screenshot.png
2021 BTR5 is nothing but Fiio responding to market demand for BTR5 because ESS ran out of older chips. BTR7 will be actual upgrade to BTR5. Even Fiio themselves have confirmed that BTR5 2021 is not an actual upgrade but a forced one
 
Aug 25, 2021 at 1:33 PM Post #2,913 of 3,227

HiFlight

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I have never tried the S9 Pro but it is meant to be good.
I own the S9 Pro, among others, and can state that the performance is superb in all regards.
 
Aug 25, 2021 at 1:36 PM Post #2,914 of 3,227

OspreyAndy

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I own the S9 Pro, among others, and can state that the performance is superb in all regards.
Agreed. In my book, S9 Pro being the most versatile 5 Stars dongle that performs great in all scenarios. Be it sensitive IEMs or even stubborn Magnetic Planars, S9 Pro does it all
 
Aug 26, 2021 at 1:10 AM Post #2,916 of 3,227

someyoungguy

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Not so much a dongle DAC, but does fit into the USB to 3.5mm theme:

Aune just announced the details of their BU2 - the text details are only available in Chinese so far: http://cn.auneaudio.com/index.php?s=Home/Article/detail/id/602.html

In short:
  • Dual ES9318 chips
  • USB or Bluetooth input (SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD), 2.5mm and 3.5mm headphone outs (no line out)
  • Resistor ladder volume control, jitter crystals, same low noise power system as used in B1S
  • 9 hour battery life on USB input (presumably less for Bluetooth)
  • Power:
    • 3.5mm out: 1.8 Vrms/100 mW at 32 ohms
    • 2.5mm out: 3.6 Vrms/265 mW at 32 ohms
I haven't seen many products using ES9318 chips around. Seems like Colorfly used four of them in the U6, and they're also in the Vivo X20+ smartphone. Not sure if it's the next iteration of the ES9218/9 chips found in the LG V30/40 etc phones - it seems like ESS Tech's website doesn't list the details of many of their lesser-known chips. Resistor ladder volume control is usually used in desktop amps and it's interesting to see it implemented in a portable product.

The price over here is 1699 CNY. For reference the Violectric Chronos is going for 1688, Luxury and Precision W2 for 1850, Earmen Sparrow for 1449 - but not sure how the prices will convert to the international market once sales tax differences and everything come into play.
 
Aug 27, 2021 at 8:44 AM Post #2,918 of 3,227

Hal Rockwell

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Has anyone tried this? Booom-BMD01 https://en.pifferia.com/products/booom-bmd01
Supposedly Class A with a TI PCM5142 DAC
I dont think I've ever seen a dongle with this dac or even Class A before

Class A for portable is among the worst design choices their PM could have made. Energy inefficient, that turns electrical losses into heat and drains the battery of the host device quickly. See no reason why someone would think that class A is a virtue in this day and age, when class D amps measure the way they do. It's just a sales pitch that for some reason works on audiophiles.
 
Aug 27, 2021 at 9:22 AM Post #2,919 of 3,227

khades

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20210827_154644.jpg

Its great, no clicking issues as in generic ALC5686 one
 
Aug 27, 2021 at 3:31 PM Post #2,920 of 3,227

Liberte

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I'm new to the forum and have been researching USB DACs since I recently picked up a Galaxy S20 phone which has no 3.5mm jack. This has pushed me towards looking at external DACs, which will hopefully allow me to listen to lossless audio on the phone and replace a dedicated DAP to save carrying two devices around.

The first DAC I will try is the Meizu HiFi for everyday minimalist use. In the long run I'm interested in a Hidizs S90 Pro for longer trips. I'm not sure how these will stand up to the DAP's sound quality, although if possible via a phone and USB DAC would like to get there.

:)
 
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Aug 29, 2021 at 7:21 AM Post #2,922 of 3,227

Matias

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A friend lent me his Hidzs S9 Pro to compare against my TempoTec Sonata E44. I used the same 16 core, silver plated copper **** cable with 4.4 mm plug, but he also lent me an adapter to fit the 2.5 mm output of the S9 Pro. I used my Moondrop Aria with SpinFit CP145M tips and lossless high-res streaming from my home server to my phone.

At first listen they are both very similar, one is not a lot better than the other, or major tonality differences. But after 2 hours switching between them and paying attention I started to see where they differ.

The E44 is a little more mid centric, and maybe tiny little more open sounding, not in the highs, but more channel separation. The S9 Pro has more dynamic punch, the sub-bass hitting a little harder. The S9 Pro may have a tiny little more depth and be more natural sounding, but these are very small differences, like 99 to 100.

Usually, I am 100% sound quality oriented, but in this case, what really defines for me is the form factor. For desktop connected to a PC I really want hardware volume buttons, so the E44 wins it for me. And mobile OTG the S9 Pro is not as small as my Meizu. But if I would use with my phone only and would not bother getting a larger case for the IEMs + dongle, then the S9 Pro would be my choice.

But really, the best of both worlds would be an S9 Pro with volume buttons and 4.4 mm output! @Hidizsofficial come on! :)

Edit: just heard both with my equalized Audeze LCDi3 and my observations remain. S9 Pro dynamics sound awesome with planar magnetics!

IMG_20210828_195832.jpg
 
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Aug 29, 2021 at 8:13 AM Post #2,923 of 3,227

Liberte

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I'm new to the forum and have been researching USB DACs since I recently picked up a Galaxy S20 phone which has no 3.5mm jack. This has pushed me towards looking at external DACs, which will hopefully allow me to listen to lossless audio on the phone and replace a FiiO to save carrying two devices around.

The first DAC I will try is the Meizu HiFi for everyday minimalist use. In the long run I'm interested in a Hidizs S90 Pro for longer trips. I'm not sure how these will stand up to the FiiO's sound quality, although if possible via a phone and USB DAC would like to get there.

:)
OK, so I've tried the Meizu HiFi and was very surprised how good it sounds alongside the HiBy app using USB HQ, unfortunately the USB sits loosely in the phone and when walking the connection occasionally stops. I would have liked to have kept it for portability but expected this given the notorious reliability of these style DACs.

A note for the HiBy app in case someone has a similar issue - With USB HQ I had to set a fixed sample rate as 44.1 kHz files cut out. This also happened in UAPP and Neutron so perhaps due to the Meizu.

The next DAC to try will be the Hidizs S9 Pro...
 
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Aug 29, 2021 at 9:10 AM Post #2,924 of 3,227

Matias

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Meizu is definitely an overachiever. It is unbelievable how such a small dongle has such a high sound quality. Lean sounding though.
 
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Aug 30, 2021 at 12:58 AM Post #2,925 of 3,227

misteral201103

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Early-ish thoughts on the Ovidius B1

Important to note:
I went for this based on @OspreyAndy 's review on his site, where he lauded the huge soundstage and said that, for him, it was more often chosen above a number of high level DAPs.
My primary source every day is the iBasso DX220 with amp8 (4.4 balanced out).
My primary headgear is the Unique Melody Mest IEMs. I also use the Audioquest Nighthawk as my PC headphone at work, and the HifiMan Ananda as my PC headphone at home.
Phone is the OnePlus 9Pro
I got the B1 second hand, for 1/3 its normal price.

Initial reaction was a little ambivalent. Frequency representation was, I thought, quite balanced throughout the range. Highs were well represented, maybe a touch more bass than I was used to - I'm talking a tiny bit more and it was not a bad thing. Spatially, I wasn't blown away. I was hoping for even more depth and width than the DX220 and it wasn't there.

Compared to the DX220, I felt the Ovidius was a touch less in most areas. A little smaller soundstage, a little less detail in the highs. But not night and day, not at all. And considering the prices of each piece of gear, I think that's pretty damn good for the B1!!

My immediate take-away was that it was definitely good enough for me as a picky listener. YouTube (which is compressed to all hell anyway) sounded great. Flacs (played through Hiby Music app) sounded great. Yes, my DAP was a bit better, but I'd feel like an idiot if a 1000RMB DAC/AMP beat my 7000RMB DAP!!! As it is, they're pretty close.
I have to say, I'm very glad I got it at the second hand price. I think if I had paid full price, I might be a bit less sanguine.

The "sensitive IEM device" was missing from my set and I feel I might benefit from that. Volume can only really go up about 33% (if that) before it is too loud. And I believe I have noticed a noise floor when no music is playing (I need to double check this). I feel confident that the device would get rid of this. However, it is not noticeable when listening to music and is not something I would hold against the device.

On further listening over the weekend, I've grown more and more attached to it as a listening experience. I'm now feeling very happy that I picked this one, I feel the sound is beyond "good enough" and into "pretty damn excellent", especially considering my only other option is Fiio's UTWS3 bluetooth modules which, while really quite good, are obviously no match for a wired connection. I suspect my expectations were unreasonably high and once I got past that, I was able to enjoy the B1 much more.

I'll be checking out the B1 with Nighthawks and Ananda sometime soon, there is obviously enough power to drive them.
Really, very pleased with this choice and I would have little hesitation in recommending it as a solution to audiophile quality sound from a phone. Wish the connecting cable was a little more robust, but otherwise...yeah, happy with my purchase!!

Thanks to @OspreyAndy once again for the invaluable and extensive information on his site!

edit: Tried with the 'Hawks. No, not a good pairing. This is neither devices fault though, the Hawks don't play super well with the DX220 either. They are picky. Sound fantastic out of iFi iDSD. Bizarrely, they sound really good straight out of a PC as well! All the people who heard the Nighthawks and called them "veiled", this was what they were hearing.
 
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