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Best Dongle/Portable DAC/AMP to buy?

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Feb 21, 2021
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I need some help! There are way too many of these that its mindboggling. My Primary usage would be for my Laptop.

Main Requirements or what I'm seeking...
  • Budget: Under $100 USD.
  • Standard 3.5mm Port.
  • USB Powered.
  • 1 Unit, No Stacks.
I've compiled a few so far and wondering if you guys can help me choose, or If theres some others that I should consider. I haven't done any or much research. Looking for some Improvement over the Apple USB C Dongle.
  • EarStudio HUD100 MK2
  • HiBy FC3
  • Hidizs S8 / Maybe Hidizs S9?
Thanks! apologize in advance if this doesn't belong here.
 
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JustAnandaDourEyedDude

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Those are all nice choices, but Hidizs S9 is the best among them, based on Amir's review published just tonight. The E1DA #9038D, soon to be reviewed by Amir but already available for sale, has measured accuracy performance better than the Hidizs S9, and will deliver up to 180mW from its standard 3.5mm single-ended jack into 32 ohm earpiece via your existing single-ended/unbalanced headphone/IEM cable. Whereas the S9 delivers 110mW from its 2.5mm balanced jack for which you need a balanced cable at extra cost on your headphone/earphone. They are both great choices, and I do not know that the difference in sound accuracy would even be audible. So it depends on how much power your headphones/IEMs need to get satisfactorily loud. You need to know the impedance and power or voltage sensitivity of the headphones/IEMs you own or plan to buy.

https://e1dashz.wixsite.com/index/9038d
https://www.amazon.com/Linsoul-9038S-Headphone-Balanced-Output/dp/B08L815P44
You can also get it from AliExpress for a little less money.

The question of "improvement" in sound quality depends on whether your ears and hearing are more pleased by accuracy (at which the #9038D and S9 excel) or some manufacturer's expert tuning which results in a SINAD of only 100dB but could be more pleasing to your ears on most recordings that you listen to.
 
Last edited:
OP
Asking Dumb Questions
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Those are all nice choices, but Hidizs S9 is the best among them, based on Amir's review published just tonight. The E1DA #9038D, soon to be reviewed by Amir but already available for sale, has measured accuracy performance better than the Hidizs S9, and will deliver up to 180mW from its standard 3.5mm single-ended jack into 32 ohm earpiece via your existing single-ended/unbalanced headphone/IEM cable. Whereas the S9 delivers 110mW from its 2.5mm balanced jack for which you need a balanced cable at extra cost on your headphone/earphone. They are both great choices, and I do not know that the difference in sound accuracy would even be audible. So it depends on how much power your headphones/IEMs need to get satisfactorily loud. You need to know the impedance and power or voltage sensitivity of the headphones/IEMs you own or plan to buy.

https://e1dashz.wixsite.com/index/9038d
https://www.amazon.com/Linsoul-9038S-Headphone-Balanced-Output/dp/B08L815P44


Does the E1DA #9038D have that issue where it randomly loses volume control? I had the PowerDAC v2 in the past where I sold it immediately when it nearly blew out my ears. I was scared shitless.

The E1DA #9038D is the best one in their lineup?
 
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ZolaIII

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So far L&P W2 actually holds the record (counting in the difference between WolfX-700 and Amir's measuring methodology differences) from those mesured hire so far but with current pricing it certainly doesn't represent value for money.
 
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JustAnandaDourEyedDude

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Does the E1DA #9038D have that issue where it randomly loses volume control? I had the PowerDAC v2 in the past where I sold it immediately when it nearly blew out my ears. I was scared shitless.

The E1DA #9038D is the best one in their lineup?
The #9038S G3 Susumu 3000 edition and #9038D are about equivalent in sound quality and power. However, the #9038D provides the prevalent 3.5mm socket, whereas the #9038S provides a 2.5mm socket requiring a balanced cable at extra cost. I have not experienced the random volume level jump that you mention with either the #9038S G3 S3K or the #9038D, nor have I come across any prior mention of it. I am waiting for PowerDAC v2.1 to be released, which can supposedly be used as a Line Out to feed an amp. The E1DA Discord chat should help answer a lot of questions or issues posed by active users.
 
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brandall10

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Does the E1DA #9038D have that issue where it randomly loses volume control? I had the PowerDAC v2 in the past where I sold it immediately when it nearly blew out my ears. I was scared shitless.

The E1DA #9038D is the best one in their lineup?

I have the balanced version and never experienced that issue. The PowerDAC with the extra HPToy and all that jazz may have been more susceptible.
 

Al Batar

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Hi, I'm new here and I need to buy a additional adapter USB-C to jack 3.5 mm for my new phone (a Xiaomi MI 10T Pro). I've found this forum, full of interesting reviews and comments, and hope I could get here tips and /or answers to some questions.

The first is : does anybody knows if my phone is compatible with analog audio over USB-C ?

Additionally, I use a Sennheiser Momentum 2 (low impedance) and currently own a portable DAC (Encore mDSD) which I find quite good (but I have no other DAC to be used in side-by-side comparison !). I've started to search for another DAC, with smaller footprint in my pockets. As I read this forums, it appears that the following products should be interesting for me :
* Hidizs S9 (should I wait for the incoming Pro version ?) ;
* Hidizs S8 or its clone Sonata HD Pro ;
* HiBy FC3 ;
* E1DA #9038D.

Reading some customers' review on AliExpress, I found a guy saying the E1DA 9038D was quite power-demanding to let it express its full qualities, and that with more power, the DAC was sounding far more better (see 2nd comment here).

Do anyone sincerely believe that I will be able to ear a major difference between any of these products ? I'm quite old now (47) and I do know my ears are not anymore what they used to be ;-). And, to be complete, I'm specially demanding on the quality of the tones of analog instruments (I play cello, I love the « matter » of a sound), I hate cramped or metallic sounds (eg. violins on mean products), skimpy soundstage. But I also prefer transparency over artificial warmness.

Lastly, does anyone have a suggestion concerning USB-C cable allowing communication AND charging simultaneously ?

Thanks for reading this far, and more thanks in advance for any piece of advice.

AB

PS : my apologize for all English flaws, it's not my native language...
 

jonathane40

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The #9038S G3 Susumu 3000 edition does seem very interesting. Has anyone used it with sensitive IEMs like Andromedas? I wonder if it would have a clean and silent background without any hiss.

I am looking for a 4.4mm balanced amp/dac but I'm also open to 2.5 now!
 

AdamG247

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Rottmannash

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Hi, I'm new here and I need to buy a additional adapter USB-C to jack 3.5 mm for my new phone (a Xiaomi MI 10T Pro). I've found this forum, full of interesting reviews and comments, and hope I could get here tips and /or answers to some questions.

The first is : does anybody knows if my phone is compatible with analog audio over USB-C ?

Additionally, I use a Sennheiser Momentum 2 (low impedance) and currently own a portable DAC (Encore mDSD) which I find quite good (but I have no other DAC to be used in side-by-side comparison !). I've started to search for another DAC, with smaller footprint in my pockets. As I read this forums, it appears that the following products should be interesting for me :
* Hidizs S9 (should I wait for the incoming Pro version ?) ;
* Hidizs S8 or its clone Sonata HD Pro ;
* HiBy FC3 ;
* E1DA #9038D.

Reading some customers' review on AliExpress, I found a guy saying the E1DA 9038D was quite power-demanding to let it express its full qualities, and that with more power, the DAC was sounding far more better (see 2nd comment here).

Do anyone sincerely believe that I will be able to ear a major difference between any of these products ? I'm quite old now (47) and I do know my ears are not anymore what they used to be ;-). And, to be complete, I'm specially demanding on the quality of the tones of analog instruments (I play cello, I love the « matter » of a sound), I hate cramped or metallic sounds (eg. violins on mean products), skimpy soundstage. But I also prefer transparency over artificial warmness.

Lastly, does anyone have a suggestion concerning USB-C cable allowing communication AND charging simultaneously ?

Thanks for reading this far, and more thanks in advance for any piece of advice.

AB

PS : my apologize for all English flaws, it's not my native language...
I have the 9038D and the way I get around the charging issue if when in the car I use a phone mount that wirelessly charges the phone while the dongle is in the USB C port. Charging and listening simultaneously but that only works w/ wireless charging. One could use one of those wireless pads one can place one's phone on and can use it that way as well.
 
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