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Dosmix Headphone Dongle Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and measurements of the Dosmix USB-C DAC and Headphone Amplifier adapter for phones. It was kindly purchased by a member and drop shipped to me. It is available on Amazon and costs US $21.89 including prime shipping.

From the outside, it is not much different than any other dongle:

Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier Qualcomm WHS9415 Audio Review dongle.jpg


Its claim to fame is usage of Qualcomm WHS9415 DAC+headphone amp.

As is typical of some of these adapters, the way they advertise themselves to Windows causes the ASIO wrapper I use to truncate samples to 16 bits. For this reason, the jitter and dashboard views were generated using WASAPI in my media player. For the rest of the tests, I did use the wrapper so there is a slight impact there but not much.

Headphone Adapter Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard:

Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier Qualcomm WHS9415 Audio Measurements.png


There is a mix of good and bad news here. The good news is that the SINAD which is a measure of noise and distortion is quite good for a dongle, likely the best I have measured:
best usb phone dongle review measurements.png


Not so good news is that the output is just shy of 1 volt. And that is with the Windows volume control set to 52. Anything above causes severe clipping. Most dongles cap out at 1 volt but the good ones go up to 2 volts, resulting in much more power being available for high impedance headphones. Not here.

Here is the response as we vary the input digital level:
Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier THD+N vs Level Qualcomm WHS9415 Audio Measurements.png


I set the volume to just above 52 to show the clipping behavior. What this says is that you can turn up the volume way above the distortion-free range of this dongle.

Jitter signal caused severe clipping at anything but the lowest volume. Seems like a bug in the chip. To measure it then I had to lower the volume way down to 12:
Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier Jitter Qualcomm WHS9415 Audio Measurements.png


Lots and lost of spurious tones there though most dongles have similar issues. There just isn't enough room in there for proper filtering. Your phone by the way may do better than my noisy desktop PC I use for testing. Either way the levels are very low so not audible anyway.

The superior SINAD also translates into superior intermodulation test at the limit:
Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier Jitter Qualcomm WHS9415 IMD Audio Measurements.png


I did not try to run the dynamic range test as it will be limited by the 16 bit truncation.

Most important measurement for a dongle is power availability. If you run out of that, none of the above figures matter as the volume will either be too low, or distortion too high, or both. Here is the available power at 300 Ohm:

Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier Power into 300 ohm Qualcomm WHS9415 Audio Measurements.png


As I predicted, this is not much power at all. My threshold for desktop headphone amps is 100 milliwatts and here we only have 2.8! Here is its ranking as a result:

Best USB-C Headphone Dongle Phone Review 2020.png


Switching to 33 ohm load, we get:

Dosmix HIFI DAC Earphone Amplifier Power into 33 ohm Qualcomm WHS9415 Audio Measurements.png


best USB-C Headphone dongle review 2020.png


Headphone Listening Tests
Keeping the level below 52 gave decent amount of volume with my Sennheiser HD-650 high impedance headphone. Turning up the volume was useful for tracks that were recorded below 0 dB but push it much higher and severe distortion would set in. You get crackling and other artifacts on each bass note.

Going to low impedance Hifiman HE400i generated similar performance.

Conclusions
While the Dosmix dongle has good distortion and noise characteristics, as a headphone amp it just doesn't have much power. If you have an efficient headphone or listen at low volumes, it may do.

For its intended purpose, I can't recommend the Dosmix headphone amplifier. But maybe you can use it as a poor man's desktop DAC.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Usually I have excellent reasons for asking for money from you all. But sometimes I don't and but still crave the money. So please donate what you can using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

ernestcarl

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#3
I have the last (I believe) iPhone that still has a headphone jack input so I haven't been all that too concerned about 'dongle shopping' -- yet. I regularly plug in my HD650 and DT880 (250 ohm) to the phone with no problems, maybe other than the battery running out faster.
 

Vini darko

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#5
OK preformace especially for cheap. Main problem (aside from power) with these dongles seems to be the wire breaking after a day-week.
 

patate91

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#6
This is a review and measurements of the Dosmix USB-C DAC and Headphone Amplifier adapter for phones. It was kindly purchased by a member and drop shipped to me. It is available on Amazon and costs US $21.89 including prime shipping.

From the outside, it is not much different than any other dongle:

View attachment 73903

Its claim to fame is usage of Qualcomm WHS9415 DAC+headphone amp.

As is typical of some of these adapters, the way they advertise themselves to Windows causes the ASIO wrapper I use to truncate samples to 16 bits. For this reason, the jitter and dashboard views were generated using WASAPI in my media player. For the rest of the tests, I did use the wrapper so there is a slight impact there but not much.

Headphone Adapter Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard:

View attachment 73904

There is a mix of good and bad news here. The good news is that the SINAD which is a measure of noise and distortion is quite good for a dongle, likely the best I have measured:
View attachment 73905

Not so good news is that the output is just shy of 1 volt. And that is with the Windows volume control set to 52. Anything above causes severe clipping. Most dongles cap out at 1 volt but the good ones go up to 2 volts, resulting in much more power being available for high impedance headphones. Not here.

Here is the response as we vary the input digital level:
View attachment 73908

I set the volume to just above 52 to show the clipping behavior. What this says is that you can turn up the volume way above the distortion-free range of this dongle.

Jitter signal caused severe clipping at anything but the lowest volume. Seems like a bug in the chip. To measure it then I had to lower the volume way down to 12:
View attachment 73906

Lots and lost of spurious tones there though most dongles have similar issues. There just isn't enough room in there for proper filtering. Your phone by the way may do better than my noisy desktop PC I use for testing. Either way the levels are very low so not audible anyway.

The superior SINAD also translates into superior intermodulation test at the limit:
View attachment 73907

I did not try to run the dynamic range test as it will be limited by the 16 bit truncation.

Most important measurement for a dongle is power availability. If you run out of that, none of the above figures matter as the volume will either be too low, or distortion too high, or both. Here is the available power at 300 Ohm:

View attachment 73909

As I predicted, this is not much power at all. My threshold for desktop headphone amps is 100 milliwatts and here we only have 2.8! Here is its ranking as a result:

View attachment 73910

Switching to 33 ohm load, we get:

View attachment 73911

View attachment 73912

Headphone Listening Tests
Keeping the level below 52 gave decent amount of volume with my Sennheiser HD-650 high impedance headphone. Turning up the volume was useful for tracks that were recorded below 0 dB but push it much higher and severe distortion would set in. You get crackling and other artifacts on each bass note.

Going to low impedance Hifiman HE400i generated similar performance.

Conclusions
While the Dosmix dongle has good distortion and noise characteristics, as a headphone amp it just doesn't have much power. If you have an efficient headphone or listen at low volumes, it may do.

For its intended purpose, I can't recommend the Dosmix headphone amplifier. But maybe you can use it as a poor man's desktop DAC.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Usually I have excellent reasons for asking for money from you all. But sometimes I don't and but still crave the money. So please donate what you can using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
What would be the SPL, in other words what below 52 means.
 

Tks

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#7
No bigger tell of an audiophile company than the usage of these annoying and flimsy braided cables of that sort.

Had a pair of those on some headphones (aftermarket), went right back to stock. If it's one thing big companies do well, is they nail the ultility aspect of basics getting out of the way of the user experience.

Also had braided and paracorded cable for my HD650, worse decision ever, microphonics like crazy, and just stiff. The stock cable for Sennheiser headphones is a godsend to the degree I bought a balanced cable that was simply terminated with a 4 pin Neutrik male. The cable is supper supply, and I'll never again understand why anyone would opt for anything but these basic sorts of cables that work so well.
 

restorer-john

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#8
I'll never again understand why anyone would opt for anything but these basic sorts of cables that work so well.
The same reason millions of people put aftermarket alloy wheels on their new car (which already has beautiful alloy wheeels that compliment the vehicle) and get tribal tattoos. Their desire to modify something for no good reason and delude themselves into thinking it makes them unique and somehow better.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #9
What would be the SPL, in other words what below 52 means.
Forget the 52. You need to go by the output voltage which is 1 volt. You then look up the headphone sensitivity to see what SPL it is supposed to produce/volt. My quick look shows 105 dB from 100 Hz on up. So that would translate into 105 dBSPL. Alas, bass is where you need the power and sensitivity there is likely much lower. How much lower, you have to find the actual value to plug in.

Subjectively I can tell you that it does not sound like 105 dBSPL.
 

Jimster480

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#10
This isn't even close to competitive.... There is so little power aswell that you might as well just use whatever headphone jack you have.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #11
A side note on use of these dongles. Out of blue, my wife's Lenovo laptop started to transmit system noise into her headphones. She watches a ton of educational youtubes related to her hobbies and needless to say, she was not happy. I grabbed a random dongle and gave it to her and she was happy again. So isolation of these dongles is certainly a lot better than the DAC inside a laptop.
 

Racheski

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#12
No bigger tell of an audiophile company than the usage of these annoying and flimsy braided cables of that sort.

Had a pair of those on some headphones (aftermarket), went right back to stock. If it's one thing big companies do well, is they nail the ultility aspect of basics getting out of the way of the user experience.

Also had braided and paracorded cable for my HD650, worse decision ever, microphonics like crazy, and just stiff. The stock cable for Sennheiser headphones is a godsend to the degree I bought a balanced cable that was simply terminated with a 4 pin Neutrik male. The cable is supper supply, and I'll never again understand why anyone would opt for anything but these basic sorts of cables that work so well.
I would much rather have those braided cables instead of Apple's silicone crap, which has the worst durability of any cables I have ever owned by a large margain.
 

Tks

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#13
The same reason millions of people put aftermarket alloy wheels on their new car (which already has beautiful alloy wheeels that compliment the vehicle) and get tribal tattoos. Their desire to modify something for no good reason and delude themselves into thinking it makes them unique and somehow better.
I've seen modifications that make things better on all fronts, performance, and looks. These braided cables are a plague on the other hand (specifically these sorts.)

I would much rather have those braided cables instead of Apple's silicone crap, which has the worst durability of any cables I have ever owned by a large margain.
For the doggle? Yeah they fucked up massively with these, they're just too thin. But in general, I've had Apple earbuds for ages (then again I'm not haphazard with my items, to the degree I've never even coiled them in my hand like most people do when they're done using them, or IEM's in general).

I'd not look to Apple for durability of peripherals or parts, they're masters of planned obsolescence.
 
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#14
So meizu pro dongle wins?
 

AndrewDavis

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#15
The same reason millions of people put aftermarket alloy wheels on their new car (which already has beautiful alloy wheeels that compliment the vehicle) and get tribal tattoos. Their desire to modify something for no good reason and delude themselves into thinking it makes them unique and somehow better.
Oh gosh, I used to be one of those people. And when you lay it out so clearly like that... :facepalm:

I repent!
 

koitoaa

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#16
this review confirms my experience using this dac.. since i don't know about audio that much and it's pretty much my first dac
i used it on my pc for a week and i noticed that its sound better at mid volume(40-50) compared to low volume(0-10) but when i go beyond 50 it sounds really really bad.. and then i found this review just today lol

and yeah i agree it sounds better than my pc audio jack, especially it's noise floor
but i don't recommend for phone since it's sounds worse( at least from my experience)
 

renaudrenaud

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#17
this review confirms my experience using this dac.. since i don't know about audio that much and it's pretty much my first dac
i used it on my pc for a week and i noticed that its sound better at mid volume(40-50) compared to low volume(0-10) but when i go beyond 50 it sounds really really bad.. and then i found this review just today lol

and yeah i agree it sounds better than my pc audio jack, especially it's noise floor
but i don't recommend for phone since it's sounds worse( at least from my experience)
this review confirms my experience using this dac.. since i don't know about audio that much and it's pretty much my first dac
i used it on my pc for a week and i noticed that its sound better at mid volume(40-50) compared to low volume(0-10) but when i go beyond 50 it sounds really really bad.. and then i found this review just today lol

and yeah i agree it sounds better than my pc audio jack, especially it's noise floor
but i don't recommend for phone since it's sounds worse( at least from my experience)
How could you buy something before a review in ASR? :rolleyes:
 

pavuol

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#18
I'm sure many "spoiled" members asked why measure this kind of things. Personally I think it's good to have this kind of reviews for reference, as Qualcomm is a major phone chipset manufacturer and we can compare a mass market product performance with higher grade chips from "more specialized" chip makers (ESS/AKM/Cirrus..).

Here is a datasheet (whs94xx family).
 

pavuol

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#19
A side note on use of these dongles. Out of blue, my wife's Lenovo laptop started to transmit system noise into her headphones. She watches a ton of educational youtubes related to her hobbies and needless to say, she was not happy. I grabbed a random dongle and gave it to her and she was happy again. So isolation of these dongles is certainly a lot better than the DAC inside a laptop.
OT:
If you accidentally trip over some Thinkpad "T-/L- series" laptop, would it be possible to measure it? Seems like there is only one laptop tested up to now, it would be nice to have a bussiness Lenovo laptop reviewed..

Here is a list of audio chips used in their more recent generations just for reference:
Realtek ALC3232 - Thinkpad L440/L450/L540/T440/T450/T540/T550 -
Realtek ALC3245 - Thinkpad L460/L560/L570/T460/T560
Realtek ALC3268 - Thinkpad L470/T470/T570
Realtek ALC3287 - Thinkpad L480/L580/T480/T580

There is a problem to even find a datasheet for them, unlike Qualcomm...
 

vkvedam

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#20
Am I missing something here. Meizu HiFi Pro dongle measured much better, isn't it?
 
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